Friday, 21 June 2013

Two not quite but nearly library visits

Today I was at Aston University Business School for an ALT meeting. After the meeting across the road I saw Aston University Library. It looked new and exciting - I went in and asked if I could look round but they said no. It's a shame when you can't look round a Uni library out of interest, I didn't want to use any of their resources but I suppose it is understandable for security ?!?

When I was in Birmingham earlier in the week I saw the new City Library building. It looks fantastic, I think it is opening in September so I'll have to try and visit in the autumn.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Library Camp NE #LibCampNE

Library Camp NE
On Saturday I went to Library Camp NE - it was interesting and I enjoyed it.
First point to note - all of my family and friends that I mentioned it to in advance thought it was either hilarious or weird. Why? What? On a Saturday? Yes, it's hard to explain so I just say 'it's a CPD sort of thing'.
Mind you they think this about other sort of library focused events such as visiting libraries for National Libraries Day although in that case I give them a serious answer and persuade and cajole them to come with me.
Learning Technology events fare slightly better as long as there's no embarrassing or weird people there.
So to Library Camp which was held at Northumbria University in the Sutherland Room of the Sutherland Building. It is a beautiful space.

It was organised by @nikkidavey @MiningLibrarian @audesome @louiselib (apologies if I've missed anyone out) who are library people from Newcastle. It was nice to see quite a few people that I know from when I worked in Middlesbrough and people that I've met through work and networking events in the North East - and through twitter of course.
The first activity of the day was to decide on the unconference format for the day so in groups everyone decided on some topics for discussion. These were combined with some that had been volunteered beforehand with people offering to lead a discussion. The organizers then sorted these into a grid of groups and time slots and that was it. You just had a look at the chart, see which discussions were happening in which group at which time and move around accordingly.
The discussions I took part in were:
1. Closed Stock Libraries 'Argos Libraries' - which models would work? What are the advantages apart from saving space?
2. Operating a library from a temporary location eg Portakabin.
This is quite common for short periods of time but what are the pitfalls and problems if its for months or years instead of just weeks?
3. Shared services - what are the advantages of library services sharing their space, desk and roles with other customer facing facilities?
4. Job hunting and creative CPD. What should library professionals do to increase their chances of successfully getting jobs? What are the useful hints and tips for applications and networking?
It was an interesting day - it's good to meet up with colleagues, fellow professionals, library people etc. and share ideas in an informal setting and format.
I hope it happens again with cups of tea too :)
I've storified the tweets - not very well as in random order but they give more information about the day and the discussions.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Edinburgh Libraries Tweet Up eltu1

Last week I went to the first Edinburgh Libraries Tweet Up #eltu1. It was organised by Lynn Corrigan, advertised on twitter with tickets available through eventbrite.
The event included a visit to the Scottish Poetry Library I had been before for a quick look round but this time we had a guided tour by the librarian Julie Johnstone. She talked to us about the architecture and history of the building - outside and inside.

The library is a modern, beautiful building although it is quite small - like a treasure trove.

Upstairs the space is brighter and lighter and can be used as a flexible space for events. There is also a children's section with a variety of books.

Back downstairs we had a look at the book sculptures which have been made and left by the infamous anonymous book sculptor in Edinburgh.

Then we had a talk by Colin Waters the Communications Manager who is charge of the library's social media activities. He outlined their social media strategies and explained about their podcasts of poets readings.
The visit was very interesting and the overall impression was of the library being forward thinking and involved in making poetry accessible to a wide audience.
After visiting the library we went for food and drink at Hemma bar restaurant - where we had cider as recommended by Lynn.

There were 8 or 9 people there and I'm sure the next tweet up will be even more popular. It was good to see Anabel Marsh again - (we met through twitter) who organises the Glasgow Library Tweet Ups as well as other Glasgow Library related stuff.
Other people there included Karen, Ria and Simon from Napier Uni whom I'm hoping to arrange a visit with. And Kirsten who lives in the same area as me.
I'm looking forward to the next LibTweetUp.