Working Class Movement Library

A blog from the Working Class Movement Library in Salford

Archive for January, 2012

Karl Marx, the Working Class Movement Library and me: a librarian tells all

Posted by wcmlibrary on January 31, 2012

Having found that the Morning Star is not averse to a litte alliterative tabloid style headling I’ve taken a leaf out of their book for the title of this post.

Actually its not quite as exciting as it sounds.  I’ve been de-duplicating our holdings of Marx and Engels in the light of the fact that we have a near complete set of the collected works  (We’re only missing vols 30, 48, 49 and 50).  I’ve therefore removed most of the duplicated material from the library stock.  But being a librarian with hoarder tendencies, I couldn’t remove of everything – so we have kept a variety of different editions of Karl Marx’s Capital, along with copies of Engels’ Condition of the Working Class in Britain and Socialism: Utopian and Scientific.

We have also added content listings for the various collected works volumes to the library catalogue – which does make some of the entries a bit unwieldy, but does mean that readers can find what they are looking for.

In all we have made room for another 4 or 5 shelves of books, which is lucky because we have just had a large-ish donation of books which will need space somewhere in the library.

Boring, but true – As a lowly library assistant at the University of Bath I and my colleagues all dressed up as books from the collection and I chose to pay homage to Engels’ Condition of the Working Class in Britain.  Photos do exist, but are seldom seen.


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2011 in review

Posted by wcmlibrary on January 4, 2012 has prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Very chuffed librarian and library assistant to stay at WCML

Posted by wcmlibrary on January 4, 2012

I think that the headline says it all.  Both Tara (our Library Assistant) and I have been offered (and accepted) permanent contracts here at the libary.  And we are both over the moon to use a seriously overused cliche.

This doesn’t mean we are out of the woods as regards our fundraising.  As Dennis, our treasurer says “We recognise it is taking a bit of a risk with our outgoings still exceeding our income, so we’ll still have to dip into our reserves to cover any shortfall, but the Trustees, buoyed by the early success of the [fundraising] appeal, are prepared to take the risk of eventually reaching our target rather than making anyone unemployed when jobs are so hard to come by.”  And who are we to argue with him.

However we do still need to increase our donations to £80,000 per year by 2015 – we are currently at about £50,000 per year – so if you can give anything, or better still commit to give a regular monthly sum, visit our website at to find out more.

But in the meantime I’m still a chuffed librarian and looking forward to putting into place my master plan for the reorganisation of the book stock based on the colours of the rainbow!  You may not know, but the library is in a Victorian building that was formerly a district nurses home, and all the books are shelved in what were the nurses bedrooms.  So … my master plan is to have each room full of books with the same colour covers.  We’ll have a red room, an orange room, a yellow room and I’m particularly looking forward to setting up the indigo room.

Or has this new found job security gone to my head!


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