Posted by: billpurdue | February 24, 2011

Nottingamshire libraries – a little better, but not much

Well, it’s not long now before the public libraries in Nottinghamshire get much reduced hours and they spend a lot less on new books. There have been a few concessions however and I suppose we should be grateful for small mercies. The County Council has decided that the book fund will be reduced by 50% and not 75 % as previously proposed. Without this change I suppose public librarians in the County might as well have packed up and gone home.


Some concessions have been made to opening hours reductions. I read in the Chad that libraries close to Mansfield have had their opening hours changes delayed until the refurbished central library reopens in the Autumn. Elsewhere, I’m told that Selston Library for example has managed somehow to get an extra 6 hours added to its projected 10 hours per week, though, from personal experience, I understand that some of those added hours will be on Friday evenings – in recent years, in my experience, that was never a busy time.


What I would urge you to do is to continue to use the libraries and show the powers that be that they are still needed – even though you won’t see many changes on the bookshelves in the months to come  and getting requested books may take a while longer.


New block busters


The latest offering by Philippa Gregory, The Red Queen which came out in October last year will soon be out in paperback [ Simon and Schuster £7.99 978-1847394651 – published n April] . In this, the second novel in the “Cousins Trilogy”, set in Tudor times, we read about the life of Margaret Beaufort, who was a shadowy figure in the first book The White Queen

[ Pocket Books £7.99 978-1847394644] . Whilst some reviewers admit to some aspects of the story appearing rather implausible or just niggling, most seem to agree that it’s a really good read. (The cover illustration is of the hardback edition).


After a gap of 9 years, following the publication of Shelters of Stone, the final book in the “Earth’s Children” series Land of the Painted Caves [Hodder £19.99 9780340824252] by Jean M Auel is out at the end of March. Auel’s books have been bestsellers worldwide ever since the first book Clan of the Cave Bear appeared in 1980. The series is set about 30, 000 years before the present  and starts off with a young girl being orphaned when an earthquake kills her parents and she wanders alone until she is adopted by a group of Neanderthal people. Her name is Ayla and this latest book concludes her story – or does it? Some commentators didn’t feel that it was completely conclusive and there has been a mention of a seventh book, so you never know. By the way, I always thought that Jean Auel was French, but she is American.


Finally, the latest from the bestselling author Wilbur Smith is in the shops in a few weeks. Those in Peril  [Macmillan £18.99 9780230529267] tackles the very topical subject of piracy in the Indian Ocean. The daughter of Hazel Bannock, heir to an oil company, is kidnapped by pirates and held to ransom. Can Hector Cross, owner of a private security company rescue Hazel’s daughter and save the day by taking the law into his own hands? I’ve found various publication dates for this book, but I think it’s fairly safe to say that it’s due right at the end of March. If you are a Wilbur Smith fan, you might like to know that he will be talking about his new book at the Birmingham Conservatoire on 13th April at 7 pm. For tickets phone 0121 331 5909.

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