Libraries - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent

We can't turn back the online shopping tide, but we can change the way we think about high streets

An average of one in eight UK shops now lies empty: in some areas, it's much more

10 things no student should ever waste money on

Somehow, it’s already the middle of 2013. We’ve survived apocalypse scares, generated celebrities who are more influential than politicians, and grown into adulthood without everything we’ve forgotten about Egyptian pharaohs from primary school being a hindrance to everyday life.

In praise of books - proper books

You'll never get an e-book reader with the authentic smell of the library, says Eleanor Doughty

Jacqueline Wilson said most children can not spell her name correctly

Jacqueline Wilson: 'Spelling is not something that seems to be taught at schools'

Tracy Beaker author Jacqueline Wilson has criticised the language skills of British schoolchildren – revealing that her young overseas fans write more eloquent English than UK kids.

Geffrye Museum

Geffrye Museum: The pub for labourers, the museum for the middle classes and an extension that resulted in class war

War of words erupts after council declares derelict building is of benefit to community

Author Judy Blume

Tiger Eyes: Young adult author Judy blooms on on the big screen, but why the wait?

Judy Blume, the beloved “young adult” author, might be 75-years-old now but she’s still proving that when it comes to the trials and tribulations of adolescent girls, nobody understands them quite like Judy.

Librarian Stephen Pearson, left, who has for 15 years been in charge of selecting and hothousing Manchester University contestants for University Challenge,w ith Mr Pearson is Independent reporter Jonathan Brown

Watch out, Paxman: Manchester’s quiz-show guru reveals his secrets

Manchester’s recent University Challenge successes can be credited to one man

Gadgets such as tablets are becoming a familiar tool for pupils, who use them for research, writing and recording video and audio

Do students need an Apple iPad?

We investigated the issue thoroughly, and the answer is a resounding 'maybe'

The Blagger's Guide To: Liverpool literature

World Book Night highlights the quality of Mersey

If this is Justin Bieber 'raising awareness' about Anne Frank and the Holocaust, perhaps he shouldn't

Celebrities 'raising awareness' is not an end in itself. Beyond that there has to be 'creating understanding' – and that’s before we even get to 'taking action'

Jumpers for Goalposts

Theatre review: Jumpers for Goalposts, Watford Palace, London

It was my privilege to present Tom Wells his gong for Most Promising Playwright at the Critics' Circle Awards in 2012. This was in honour of The Kitchen Sink, an adorably funny play which, in calculated contradiction of its class-war-promising title, showed how the family of a milkman who was facing a phase-out because of competition from Tesco fought to cope with life -  in a spirit of quirky resilience and stoical humour - in a North East Yorkshire world of recession and wind-down.

Postcard from... Erbil

A shopper uses a credit card to buy goods on the internet

A guide to life without an internet connection

British people would rather go cold and dirty than lose connection to the internet, a new study suggests.

Campbell: his work was imbued with his self-deprecating humour

Malcolm Campbell: Pioneer in the provision of business information

His accession to president of the Staff Association was marked by a seven-gun salute in Guildhall Yard

Libraries to lend ebooks under new pilot scheme

Libraries could be loaning books electronically as early as this summer after a review commissioned by the government called for new e-lending capabilities in a bid to secure their future.

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Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
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12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
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Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
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England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

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Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
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‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week