Saturday, 23 December 2006


The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris, a selection of festive short stories by the hilarious American satirist. Better than the Only Fools and Horses re-runs.

Only 2 days to go...

Until Christmas Day!!

Merry Christmas to all of you and my best wishes for a happy and (of course) peaceful New Year (shh!)

Love Paige.

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Only 445 days to go....

Until the New Swansea Central Library opens!

Work is well underway on the new library design with actual building work commencing early in the new year. The design is stunning - there's a massive children's area (see below), a huge range of books, DVDs and music, loads of free access PC's and,for the first time ever, an accessible local studies collection.

The whole look is bright and modern and customers will be able to use self service technology to issue and return their books and book their PC's.

Best of all though is the seafront location and the views across the bay. I can just see myself sitting in an armchair near the first floor travel section looking out to sea with a copy of The Virago book of Wanderlust and Dreams lolling from one hand, listening to The Chillout Session on my new iPod

Oh stop it - I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, 13 December 2006


To Joni Mitchell's Blue

I wish I had a river I could skate away on.

Loving Libraries

Bit quiet on the blogging front for a few days as I've been busy Loving Libraries at a conference for Welsh librarians.

The conference was attended by librarians from 10 counties across Wales and took place in the fabulous conference room of the Millenium Coastal Park Discovery centre

Speakers included Catherine Howard - project manager of the English Love Libraries campaign, and Fiona Emberton of John Stanley Associates and Embervision


More discussion soon.

Friday, 8 December 2006

Playground wars

Some innovative ideas in the field of library design at the moment, amongst which, these new designs for children's furniture from Opening the Book , which I have managed to get my hands on some photographs of.

The reading tunnel and reading tower are rumoured to be the centrepiece of the design of the children's area in the new Swansea Central Library and are causing some debate here in library land.
"It's a library, not a playground!" remarked one erstwhile librarian, while another spoke grandiosely of "interactive reading adventures".
Personally I'm just sorry I'm not small enough to enjoy them myself as I think they look rather fun.

So, what do you think?

Tis the season

of receiving corporate gifts for the office. Arriving in library land today though, something a cut above the usual fodder in the shape of a rather nice calendar from our friends at Sirsi Dynix.

The calendar depicts some rather stylish photographs of libraries around the world who subscibe to Sirsi Dynix's technology, including the stunning Detroit Public Library, Hong Kong Central Library, and my personal favourite, Norfolk Library in Conneticut, USA. Sadly no images of the attractive libraries of Swansea, although to be fair, we don't "go-live" with their software until March.

So, 2008 then.

Fame at last

It seems our friends at Aunty Beeb were in attendance at the Big Read bash and have very kindly granted it the status of "News". How exciting!

Pictures and everything here

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Swansea Big Read - winner

Well, the winner was announced last night at a big bash at the Dylan Thomas Centre, attended by so many cultural luminaries that I literally couldn't even begin to list them all!

The prize went to Catrin Collier for her novel Swansea Girls, and I have to say it couldn't have happened to a nicer lady. I have actually read Swansea Girls and must say I quite enjoyed it, although the desciption of the Pier Ballroom of the 50's bore little resemblance to the Cinderella's of my youth.....

Reading of the night has been unanimoulsy recognised as "Harry and the bucketful of dinosaurs" read by a leading light of the Swansea cultural scene with nary a slip of the tongue, even though there's hard dinosaur names and everything!!

Music and dancing went on late into the night, so there may well be some sore heads in library land this morning.


to "Not Accepted Anywhere" by The Automatic, which contains easily my favourite song of the year. All together now... "What's that coming over the hill, is it a monster, is it a mons-ter!!"

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

Interesting Library Fact 1

The UK's busiest library is Liverpool Central Library, which lends over 1.1 million books every year.

Swansea "Blog" Read

So, what's your favourite book?

For science fiction fans

Sadly, the most excellent Steve Andrews will not be visiting Killay library this evening to talk about his book "101 must-read science fiction novels" in the Bloomsbury Good Reading guide series. We hope to see him soon, but in the meantime find out more here


Arriving today in library land a missive all the way from Bristol (!) regarding the library bug!!

News of the bug has spread it seems. "Is it an actual object that can be held?" they enquire, "If so we would wish to purchase a high number".

They have seen photographs of the bug and wish to know if it is available for personal appearances.


Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Not reading

"I Hate Myself and I Want to Die - The52 most depressing songs you've ever heard"

Too depressing. The clue was in the title really. Back in stock in Swansea libraries if you want to read it though.


"The Gutenberg Elegies" by Sven Birkerts. Sadly not in stock at Swansea Libraries but worth seeking out.

Get the Library Bug!

While I'm on the subject of purple, there's a certain character who divides opinion here in library land. So, the library bug, what do you think?

The Big Read

Excitement is mounting in library land as the results of the Swansea Big Read are due to be announced tomorrow! I must say, I lost interest a bit once the top 10 was announced as I didn't really like any of the books on the list. My personal favourite, Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones" narrowly missed getting into the top 10 which is dominated by children's books and so-called crossover titles. Not that I mind children's books, but where was the seminal "Mog's Bad Thing"?

Clydach Library

This is a nice library, don't you think? I'm pleased to say that the modernisation of libraries in Swansea always includes spending loads of money on new books! Oh, and the liberal splashing about of purple paint which is great if you like that sort of thing - which I do.
Purple is a colour with a solid literary heritage; purple prose, Alice Walker's "The Color Purple" (one of my favourite books), and lots of others I'm sure.