Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wohoo......200 posts in one year

Ok, this is a rather 'none' post. But this is number 200 for the year. Who said bloggings dead

Congrats to Woodsiegirl on her need job

Laura Woods has a new job according to her blog. I meet her a few times and hope the job is everything she's looking for. Best of luck.

Books to read for the new year

Having mentioned previously what I had enjoyed reading previously, I thought I would say the books I hope to acquire and read. Anyhow, here goes.

1. Siva Vaidhyanathan The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry), which is out on 07.03.10. I've been looking forward to this book since he mentioned it on his blog for the book in 2007. I read with interest his previous book The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System. Siva is often (fairly, I believe) of Google, so I think it'll be a pretty good read.

2. Nicholas Carr fairly new book The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember. This book looks at the effect the Internet is having on society and on our brains.

3. Robert Darnton The Case for Books: Past, Present and Future. This I have ordered and was hoping to read whilst in Germany.

Anyhow, thats another list. Will I make the 200 post for this year? I'm still trying.......

Away in Germany for christmas

I am (hoping) to be flying out to Nuremburg today, flying from Stansted at 8.05pm. I'll then be staying with my girlfriends parents until 03.01.11. Therefore, I'll be on holiday from tomorrow, enjoying the famous Nuremburg christmas market. Therefore, happy christmas and new year to all my readers.

February 2011, Library protests

Library campaigners are to start protests during the month of February 2011. I'll keep you informed if their is anymore news, or better still check the voices of the libraries website.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Real Wikiman is writing a book

The real wikiman has revealed he is writing a book. In the post he says the following:-

this isn’t a book about marketing the profession (or the industry) – it’s about marketing your specific library. So, I would absolutely love to hear what you think you’d like to see in such a book. Each chapter will be on a different theme, and they’ll all feature a case-study. I’m yet to finalise the proposal with Facet, so if you can give me your ideas quick I’ll try and make sure they’re addressed!.

Sounds interesting. He also asks anyone to send him any idea's, saying:-

I would absolutely love it if you can leave me some comments, or email me your thoughts if you’d rather it be private, and tweet a link to this post to encourage others to do the same (or share it on Facebook).

So I'll put my totally unoriginal idea's here. These idea's I expect Ned already knows. First up, read Brian Mathews Marketing Today's Academic Library: A Bold New Approach to Communicating with Students I suppose is the first step.

Secondly, ask Joanne Alcock about her dissertation which was about 'marketing in HE libraries in the UK'.

Thirdly, check Nancy Dowd's blog and Book called The Accidental Library Marketer.

Fourthly, Marilyn Johnson This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. I remember reading a chapter in the book that described a librarian at New York library and would introduce himself to authors, offering to assist them if needed. These would then assist him when setting up any financial events they may need for the library.

Anyway. I expect he knew this already.

Top 5 favourite books for this year

Well, another list post of favourites for the year.

1. The Mechanical Turk: The True Story of the Chess-playing Machine That Fooled the World by Tom Standage. I had read Standage's other book The Victorian Internet, and found that fascinating. The mechanic turk looked at the eighteenth century wooden 'robot' that could play chess and win. Its interest inspired Charles Babbage to start work on a computer and even played Napoleon I.

2. 1968: The Year that Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky. Again I read his previous book on Salt: A World History and Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World. Its the year of my birth, so I was interested to see what events did occur.

3. A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage. A really interesting book looking at the social, political and economic history of 6 beverages. These being, beer, wine, spirits, tea, coffee and coke.

4. Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky. Shirky again looking at the impact of the digital generation sharing information online for the social good. Bit big society for my liking, but
some interesting points none the less.

5. Replay: the History of Video Games by Tristan Donovan. A fascinating read on the impact of video games worldwide (and not just the USA and Japan), as many others have followed.

Anyhow, thats my reading list.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

5 UK Library stories of 2010

Last year I did a blog post entitled 5 UK Library stories of 2009. So, being someone with an originality, I thought I would repeat the top five stories for this year. I do say, some may disagree with my choices, but its just my view point.

1. Last year at number 1 I had the CILIP 2.0 discussion, that Phil Bradley had started. Phil had discussed the need for change within CILIP. So much so that Phil is now Vice President of CILIP. It was interesting in it seemed to be very much a twitter campaign for canvassing. It was also good news for library professionals in the UK, in a year with very little cheer.

2. The creation of Voices for the library. Created as an advocacy site to stop the library public closures and underline what libraries offer, the site has even been mentioned within the Guardian after being online for just four months. The people working on it are doing an excellent job.

3. The real wikiman's post and presentation with Woodsiegirl entitled Escaping the Echo Chamber – presentation. Again, looking at how we can go beyond just talking to our own community of librarians to underline a librarians value to customers, society and the economy.

4. Thank you for not tweeting, was a post about tweeting at a CILIP event and how other users didn't like it and told people off (myself included).

5. And last but not least my own post entitled Good Library blog.....missing the usual in which I looked in which Tim Coates wrote an inflammatory post about library closures and his attempt at 'assisting' libraries from closing. 25 comment later, seems neither party could agree who was correct.

Well, thats it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

LibTeachMeet in Huddersfield in february 2011

I was sent this email for the above event. Anyhow, here's the email in full:-

We’re holding a Librarian “TeachMeet” (idea from in Huddersfield on 9th Feb 2011.

This will be a really informal opportunity for librarians who teach to get together to share tips and experiences.

If you come, be prepared to give a short (5 min at most) talk to share an aspect of your teaching. There will be “speed dating” to share tips and a lucky dip of teaching goodies to rummage through for inspiration.

The free event will be held at the University of Huddersfield from 14:00 to 16:30 on Wednesday 9th Feb. More details will appear on and as we decide them.

Anyhow, would like to go but not sure.

Rules are rules

I found this article via Jessamyn West blog which looked at Ed Bilodeau blog, with a post entitled Tired of your library being littered with food and garbage? Do something about it!. In the post he discusses patrons using phones, littering and eating within a library, even when there are signs saying these things are not allowed. I'm very much of the school that these rules should be adhered to, but other members of staff are less stringent. As I work within a prestigous research library the worst rule seems to be the need to use a phone. Constantly pointing people to phone use area's is a constant bind, but I feel these rules are there for a rule (the rule being people are studying within a peaceful environment). Many staff members are less fastidous than myself, but a dual policy of 'good cop, bad cop' often causes patrons to be confused by the message. Therefore, although people may complain I do enforce the policy.
Anyhow, any other librarians suffer similar difficulties?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Time off and a good book

From tomorrow, I'm off until friday. Therefore, I was going to do loads of stuff. Instead I think I'll finish Carl Honore's excellent book In Praise of Slow. I had heard of the book previously in my Library course, but only just got around to reading it. Certainly make's me reappraise myself. It even got me using my pasta maker yesterday, as the book discusses the delights of home cooking. Anyway, most likely will try an get a few post outs whilst home. Can't wait to have a break from work.
By the way, Carl left a comment on my twitter account when I said I was reading, which is a nice touch.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Step away from TGLB step away!

This is something I should have done when responding to The Good Library blog and his post If these libraries were any good councils wouldn't be closing them. I wrote about the post here yesterday.
Unfortunately, Tim's post seems to have riled a few feathers (me certainly included). Comments on Tim's blog say the following:-

I wish everyone would stop squabbling about the usefulness or otherwise of 'professional' librarians. It's time to put differences aside and concentrate on fighting the cuts otherwise there will be no public libraries/librarians left to disagree about.

I whole heartedly agree. I realise Tim and Voices for the Library are trying to stop closures, but I do feel Tim's approach rather takes a simplistic look at things. His original post was a sweeping generalisation of libraries and librarians such as:-

The library profession get very cross with me for saying it, but, in regard to public libraries, they have an awful lot to answer for, and instead of looking in my direction, it would be better if they faced and tackled their own problems. They insist they have a monopoly of know how, but that is hard to believe and there is not much to show for it.

Tim, what do we have answer for? Reductions in investment and staff under continual cut backs? Increasing needs for computers from patrons and the previous government? And what statistical facts do you have to back this up?

Also, if you put up a post at least be civil in response. Its basic blog etiquette. Here is an example of Tim's response to one comment on his blog (to a post he put up later, which supported his view point from the comment section of his original post) :-

As a librarian I worked with amazing library I'm a library assistant I appreciate the input of the librarians in the service, although they are few in number and decreasing because vacancies are being left unfilled.

Incidentally, an authority which I used to work for, ceased insisting that librarians' be qualified let alone chartered, years ago.

There are many public library authorities, all have different staffing structures, job titles and staff relationships. Can I suggest that people stop making generalisations based on their personal experiences.

Posted by: Library Assistant at December 6, 2010 10:03 AM

Well now Loughton Library User, you have been coming here for years to tell us, as a user of your local library, how wonderful your local librarians are and what a brilliant service they give. I never believed you for a minute. Now you tell us that actually you are a professional librarian. ho ho ho. You kind of make my entire point really. Though I guess you won't see it. It's called being a wolf in sheep's clothing. How jolly gracious of you to value the work of your lowly assistants.

Posted by: perkins at December 6, 2010 10:11 AM

I give up. I see no point in making any kind of contribution whilst you continue to make malicious comments.

Posted by: Library Assistant at December 6, 2010 10:20 AM

I'm sorry Tim, but being rude hardly forwards your argument in any way or form.

In many ways i'm glad Tim is passionate about libraries. But in creating inflammatory posts, he certainly does create tensions that are certainly not needed with the closures to public libraries. Like a commentator said before 'I wish everyone would stop squabbling.'

I am now going to step away.

*I am not in any way connected with Voices of the library, and certainly not talking on there behalf. I just like what they are doing.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Good Library blog.....missing the usual

I'm always interested in what Tim Coates Good library blog says. Sometimes I will agree with him, but not very often. But as I'm often to quote F.Scott Fitzgerald statement:-

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

So I read with interest the post If these libraries were any good councils wouldn't be closing them

The piece is just full of so many defiecencies and sweeping generalisations. His statements such as thus:-

If they were all as good as the good ones then councils and councillors wouldn't think of closing them.

Sorry? So councillors are closing these libraries because they are rubbish then? Councillors are just nice people with no political agenda? Sorry, a councillor usually becomes a councillor for political reasons Mr Coates (not all the times, but they do have a political agenda).

He then proceeds to blame public library closures on librarians saying:-

public libraries, they have an awful lot to answer for, and instead of looking in my direction, it would be better if they faced and tackled their own problems.

So, lets look at these two points again. Councillors are nice people, just trying to get rid of the crud in the local area? So when Johanna Bo Anderson's Blog pointed out in a post entitled Librarians Gagged that was not the councillors trying to stop freedom of speech? Or how about this post here, where three middle aged librarians where physically accosted for being on library property, because they were protesting against there terms and conditions that were being pushed on them?

His second point that libraries (and librarians I assume) have created this problem because we are only interested in digital formats rather than books an buildings is rubbish. Sorry Tim, some users want digital formats as well as books. He also seems to indicate that librarians have done nothing to help themselves but follow a policy of futerism, not caring about reading and books etc and therefore are deserving of losing there roles. Well, sorry Tim many librarians (who don't work in public libraries) are trying to stop the cultural vandalism of the present government with advocacy sites like Voices for the Library.

Christ, I left a comment on his post, but he has yet to answer. Oh well, thats a change?

Cornwall library cuts agreed

As mentioned previously, Cornwall has been under increasing pressure to make budget cuts. It seems that libraries will have a 23% cuts. Lanson Boy has a good discussion about the debate here.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Walt Crawford to release Liblog Landscape 2007-2010 next week

Walt Crawford will be releasing Liblog Landscape 2007-2010 next week. Not sure if I will be buying it, but Will's previous book on the subject was called But Still They Blog. Anyway, for those interested in library blogs, its well worth a look.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Congrats to Phil Bradley and David Pattern

Well, I expect most people will now Phil Bradley is now CILIP Vice-President Election for 2011. I'm really glad Phil won. He takes his work seriously, is always helpful (he answered a question for my masters dissertation) and he always says what he thinks (in a good way). Anyhow, I hope there's no conflict with his new role and his role with Voices for the Library?
Also, congrats to David Pattern who is IWR Information Professional of the Year (found via here). I've meet Dave a few times at the Library Mash ups, especially the Mash Oop North in 2009, in Huddersfield in which he waived me paying (so I certainly owe him a pint for that).
Both well done on the good news.