Wednesday, 2 February 2011

News roundup, including savelibraries


Campaigns to defend public libraries across the country against cuts are gathering strength, and this Saturday, 5th February, will see a day of action to show our support.  John Kirriemuir has written up a summary of what's what, including links to resources, so I won't repeat all of that here.  What you need to know is the following:
Save our libraries day, Saturday 5 Febraury 2011

  1. Check this list to see if a library near you is having an event. If is is, go to it.
  2. If there's no event near you, go to your library anyway. If you're not already a member take some ID with your name and address on it so that you can join up. Borrow some books or CDs or DVDs, or read the newspapers and magazines, or use the PCs and/or wifi there.
  3. If you can't get to your library, visit its webpages and use the online resources - you can look things up in the OED, for example.
  4. If you're a Facebook user, show that you're taking part by RSVPing to this event. Then invite all your friends.
  5. If you're on Twitter, tweet a reason why libraries are important, using the #savelibraries hashtag.
  6. Pass this message on, using some of these posters to help you.

Echo-chamber breakout

Back last June, during Library Day in the Life 5, a post by Emma Cragg inspired me to think that the Library Day in the Life Project (which was started and is maintained by Bobbi L. Newman) could be used to advocate for libraries outside of the 'echo chamber'.  Emma and I teamed up, and wrote a pitch about 'what librarians really do' that we sent to The Guardian and to Radio 4.  Some time later, we heard back from The Guardian, who were interested in using the idea in their 'Behind the Job Title' series.  We wrote up an article about the various roles of, and skills needed by, a modern librarian, sent it off, and heard nothing for a while longer.  But lo, after Christmas we were asked for some revisions, which we supplied, and the article was published on Monday in GuardianCareers:

'Beyond books: what it takes to be a 21st-century librarian'

There was a little excitement in the comments and on Twitter in response to the decision to swap the picture of a brain for a picture of some stereotypically dressed female librarians carrying books on their heads and with their fingers on their lips in the international gesture for 'shh!'.  Comments from some upstanding librarians have now set that to rights, which is very pleasing indeed.

At this point I have to say an enormous thank you to Emma. She did all the hard work with the article, including writing all the best bits, thinking up whom to use for case studies, and corresponding with the paper.  She's been a pleasure to work with, and is clearly pretty busy as she has another article out this week in the ORG (Open Rights Group) Zine also out this week!

Also a thank you to Ned Potter for being so loudly pleased about the article.  He's chuffed to be mentioned in a Guardian article, and I'm chuffed that he liked it. Smiles all round.

And finally...

This isn't about libraries, but it is about making the world a better place. A friend of my has written a truly brilliant blog post. I've tried to summarise it, but I can't manage it. Just read it and be inspired to be a better person. Or something.


  1. Thanks for the Graeme Obree post

  2. Katie it has been a pleasure to work with you too... but I think you give me too much credit. This was most definitely a team effort

  3. @Suzan You're welcome.

    @Emma Thank you. It's the first time I've ever collaborated remotely with someone I've never met in person (we must remedy that..) - it's odd how much you can get done without seeming to interact much during the process.