Thursday, November 17, 2011

Congratulations to Gloucester and Somerset public libraries

As many of you may know, Somerset and Gloucester have ruled library cuts unlawful. This means that both councils will need to look at the closures somewhat differently. It was interesting how Cilip, The Guardian and BBC reported this.
Anyhow, congratulations one and all. Especial mention to for one campaignor who said this after the case:-

Gloucestershire residents should never have had to go through this stressful, upsetting and expensive process and serious questions now also need to be answered by the secretary of state Ed Vaizey. It is Mr Vaizey’s duty to intervene when authorities are not meeting their obligations to provide a library service available to all who wish to use it. Why were Gloucestershire County Council allowed to continue down this destructive path? In opposition Mr Vaizey was a vocal critic of library closures yet our many pleas for help have been ignored whilst library users were left to fight this alone – it is clear that he left his convictions at the door on entering office.

Go get 'em........

Saturday, November 12, 2011

CPD 23 Thing 16: Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published

Thing 16: Advocacy, speaking up for the profession and getting published looked at what can be done to stop library closures and to underline libraries importance in an information economy. Laura discussed such area as the #savethelibraries hashtag, the Voices for the Library and CILIP amongst others. Laura also pointed out:-

Unfortunately it's very hard for public library staff to campaign for their own sector without risking their jobs, so it's very important for people outside of public libraries (and within, where possible) to shout about the role of public libraries and talk about why they're more relevant than ever.

She then looked at what might be needed to become an advocate such as a campaigning toolkit amongst other things.

She also looked at things to Do to become an advocate. Her recommendations where :-

There's plenty you can do to incorporate advocacy into your day-to-day life; the hardest part is working out how. For this Thing:

Consider why it's important to advocate for the section of library and information sector that you work for or want to work in.
Have a think about what advocacy you've been involved in. Give examples so we can pool resources and inspire others to do the same. Or, give an example of some advocacy that you think has been particularly effective – library-related or otherwise.
If you haven't been involved in advocacy, reflect on what your skills are (or which you want to develop), what you're most passionate about and think about what you might be able to do.
If you're passionate about public libraries and want to help – let Voices for the Library know! We're keen to get more people involved with things like asking organisations and well-known figures for supporting statements, securing sponsorship, liaising with other campaigning bodies and representing us at events.
If you've got any potential content for That's Not Online! let Jacqueline know.
Think about where advocacy fits in with professionalism – maybe comment on Johanna's blog post about Activism, Advocacy and Professional Identity or if you can get hold of any, look at some job descriptions and identify where you think the advocacy might fit within the requirements of the roles.

Ihave done some advocacy. Very lazy advocacy. This was setting up voices for the library wikipedia page.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Who was the greater economist? - A conversation with Robert H. Frank at Nesta

I am off tonight to Nesta to see Who was the greater economist? - A conversation with Robert H. Frank
. The event will look at:-

Economist and New York Times columnist Robert H. Frank will discuss his new book The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition and the Common Good, at NESTA on Wednesday 9th November.

The Darwin Economy contends that Charles Darwin’s understanding of competition describes economic reality far more accurately than Adam Smith. For Smith, market failures were almost always rooted in attempts to suppress competition. In contrast, Darwin’s framework suggests that market failures are rooted in the logic of competition itself.

Hopefully, will write it up sometime this week.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography book review

As I mentioned previously I was sad to hear of Steve Jobs passing. I've read loads on him (1, 2, 3 and 4), so knew a fair deal about him. I had worked on a documentary and knew about some of the Apple stories especially Steve Jobs. Therefore, I was quite interested to read Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography.
In reading the story Isaacson gets to talk to Jobs at a pretty sad moment in his life. When he's coping with cancer.
The book does look at Jobs the man and his binary outlook (things are either great or crap). His reality distortion field stories are also covered extensively. One point of interest is the author feels Jobs could often fall pray to the reality distortion field in believing he did not have cancer as he willed it so.
For those who have read about Jobs previously, he really is not an endearing person. In fact he's pretty nasty. But, his ability to resurrect apple, his views on tablet computing and his success at Pixar making him interesting material to read about.
The main part I liked are near the end. When I went to the states I meet Jobs friend Dan Kottke, Apple employee number 12. Kottke had gone to India (one of Jobs biggest influence on him was his interest in Asian culture and religion) with jobs and worked with Jobs but when it came to giving shares to staff Kottke got none. Kottke wasn't bitter (totally), but he was disappointed in his friend not recognising he was there at the beginning of the company. When we meet him, him and Jobs hadn't spoke for years. In the book, when Jobs was dying (2009 or 2010) Kottke spoke to him when buying an Ipad. Jobs stopped and spoke to him. I've heard also Kottke did meet him on other occasions. That alone makes Jobs a more approachable character.
In conclusion. If your an Apple fan, design fan or IT fan get this book. Obviously, Jobs is slightly sugar-coated in the book, but not greatly. So, if you want an insanely great book, get this.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

CPD Thing 15: Attending, presenting at and organising seminars, conferences and other events

Thing 15: Attending, presenting at and organising seminars, conferences and other events . Oh dear. My favourite. The article looks at attending events. Why you should attend. What you get out of it. What you get out of it.
This then looked at Jo Alcock's article on this idea here.
Next, was speaking at events. Again, why? How? What you get out of it? Also presentation tips are included. There's also a link to Ned Potter's article on this.
Organising an event? Librarycamp and unconference etc.
I would point out that something might be added how do you find out about events? I check Nesta and the RSA are two area's I look. I also keep an eye on cilip website.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Guardian article on decline library usage figures

Library usage falls as branches close so reports the guardian.

In the article, Alan Gibbon says:-

"The great scandal is that opening hours are being slashed to ribbons,"

Designing Research - A Seminar and Conference Series at the University of London

As I work at Senate House Library I noted on Facebook the following event Designing Research - A Seminar and Conference Series at the University of London. If your not a member of there facebook page, here's a link via there blog. Worth checking. And i'll be there to........

CPD Thing 14: Zotero / Mendeley / citeulike

Thing 14: Zotero / Mendeley / citeulike. I have accounts for both Citeulike and Zotero, but unfortunately have not really used them. This article quickly reviews what they do, what differences their are.
For Zotero, I'm looking to use it longer blog post. With Zotero I could look at say 'librarything'. I could utilise video's from youtube, reviews of librarything and even academic approaches to librarything.
I really need to look at this in more detail though. A really good read though.