This is a quick round-up post of some recent reading, announcements and events. I've shared much if not all of this on Twitter, and it seems worth sharing here too.
NEW PROFESSIONALS DAY
CILIP is holding its annual New Professionals Day this year on 11 May. It's already fully booked, but there is a waiting list. I was delighted to be invited to give one of the nine workshops on the day. Under the unimaginative title 'Special collections librarianship: What's it all about?' I'll be taking a look at what special collections librarians do, what skills they need, and ways of getting into special collections work. Do let me know (in the comments here, or at maedchenimmond at gmail dot com or @girlinthe) if there's anything in particular you'd like me to cover. I'll be making the workshop materials available online after the day, so do get in touch even if you can't be there in person.
SPEC COLLS IN THE STATES
Continuing the careers theme, Brianna Marshall has written a great post on getting special collections librarianship in the USA over on the Hack Library School blog. Do read the comments, too, for some further useful thoughts.
SPEC COLLS OUTREACH IN CAMBRIDGE
Polly Harper, current graduate trainee at Newnham College Library, Cambridge, has written an engaging post about her recent experiences taking part in special collections outreach in Cambridge on the always excellent Rarely Sited blog. She ends by wondering which library sector will afford her the most opportunities to engage in this work later in her career.
SPEC COLLS IN THE LITERATURE
Geoffrey Little (Concordia University, Montreal) has an article in the forthcoming issue of The Journal of Academic Librarianship reviewing some of the ways in which special collections departments are harnessing technology. I'd say that the article itself doesn't break much new ground, but the references are quite handy.
MAKING USE OF BOOKSELLERS' DESCRIPTIONS
Anyone who has looked through a high-end antiquarian bookseller's catalogue will have noticed that they can and do include far more information about the books (contents, significance, history, condition, details of binding, etc.) than most of even the most detailed rare books cataloguing can manager. Mike Widener has written a very interesting post on the Yale Law Library Rare Books Blog about how his library is including booksellers' descriptions in the catalogue by making use of the OPAC's 'add a review' function. Two immediate concerns: booksellers' copyright and disclosing sensitive information are dealt with by asking permission first, and by not including price information. I'd love to hear if any other rare books libraries are doing similarly and whether they have had any problems with it. Sarah Werner has written a great post about this - do go and join in the conversation there (it's sad that the original post doesn't allow comments).
ARCHIVES ON DISPLAY IN A MUSEUM
A display of material from the museum's archives has just been opened in the Segwick Museum of Geology in Cambridge. It's great to see that museum recognising its documentary holdings and heritage like this.
The Library & Information History Group has organised a walking tour of 'some of London’s forgotten book collections', led by Dr Alice Ford-Smith of Dr Williams's Library. Booking is essential, and I hear that tickets (£10) are going fast!
The Leeds Library is holding a one-day conference on 'Books of every variety of taste' - The advance of the library in the long-eighteenth century on 12 May. The programme looks very interesting, and it's a chance to visit the oldest surviving subscription library in the British Isles. Booking closes on 1 May.
CILIP PRESIDENT COMING TO TOWN
The East of England Branch have organised an audience with Phil Bradley on the afternoon of 12 May, taking place in central Cambridge. The theme is ''Making CILIP work for you', and it's open to members and non-members alike.
MASH CAT IS COMING
Mashed Library events are unconference-style gatherings aimed at sharing ideas to do with using and reusing library data. MashCat is a Mashed Library event focussing on catalogue data, and open to cataloguers, techies, and anyone else who's keen and interested. It's happening on 5 July, in Cambridge, and booking is now open.