Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Behind the Scenes at the Museum

.. well the library actually, but I didn't want to miss the literary reference.
So - here we are, an exclusive peek at the new library in progress! Will be updating these as often as I can until opening day...

The Sea, The Sea

What other library in the world has a view like this?

Google is not your friend

says a colleague of mine (although I suspect he nicked it from somewhere)

Well Mr H, you are wrong! Google is my friend. How else do you explain a recent visitor being directed to this site after a Google search for "inspirational librarians"??

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

What I meant to say...

of course, was that the highlight of the conference by far was the fabulous presentation of Mr Peter Gaw "Building new libraries in Wales" which was greeted with tumultuous applause by the hall.

Rather reminiscent of Magaret Thatcher's infamous neverending standing ovation at a Tory conference "back in the day". Not that Mr Gaw is a "child of Thatcher" of course. He's much older than than he looks.

Peter Gaw will be leaving Swansea Libraries soon to take up a position as head of Nottinghamshire Libraries. I'm sure that staff there will soon be able to chant their mission statement at will too.

Yes, definitely the highlight of the conference.

The Italian job

I was reporting undercover last week at the Welsh Libraries (archives and museums) conference at Llandrindod Wells. Usual good cheer in the bar and a pretty positive set of presentations, but many colleagues were left dispirited by the debate on"the future of the profession" at the end of the conference, and the absence of more than a couple of people under 30 at the event.

Highlight for me was Sergio Dogliani's presentation on the Tower Hamlets "ideas store" concept. Often, I hear about these non-traditionally named library solutions for the 21st century, and there's lots of excitement about yoga classes and spanish courses BUT... no mention of books.

However, the idea store concept is centred on books - and that makes me happy.

He really was a very nice man too, a very nice man indeed.

Lowlight was the mention of the dreaded "sexy" word in relation to librarians. At least it wasn't in conjunction with the dreaded "funky".

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Let's have ... "a heated debate"

Interesting discussion over at Annoyed Librarian's blog about the nature of librarians. According to one poster, Librarians:

"are not Scholars, do not appreciate technical skills, are intimidated by scholars, have low self esteem, have no business/organizational skills, are nurturers, do not generally have high IQs, do not have good social skills, think inside of the box, are inefficient, are limited to linear thinking, do not value innovation, are reactive, make mountains out of mole hills, are introverted, are underachievers, focus easily on detail without seeing beyond, never question authority, avoid confrontation at all costs, do not value history, are clueless, complain alot about lack of money instead of addressing their inefficiency, are mindlessly bound to outmoded modalities of dealing with information, never look at the world around them, design systems that serve librarians and not the public, have difficulty making decisions, fear and resist change, don't think well on their feet"

Have no intention of being Dooced , or starting "the great Dewey debate" but I think it makes a few interesting points about the profession (although certainly not true across the board) so I am interested in your comments.

One point to note though, I am most defintitely NOT Annoyed librarian, although I am very jealous of her profile statement.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007


A new webpage has been launched with the plans for the new central library. Click on the 2 links on the right hand side to access the images. Unfortunately they're sideways but you can rotate them for a better look.

Interesting that the patterned carpet was given as much emphasis as the books but rest assured the selection is going to increase massively. I myself spent the whole of yesterday buying boxes and boxes full of philosophy, psychology, sociology, business, politics, poetry and literary criticism titles, while colleagues purchased art, music, history, religion, science and technology books.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Television - the drug of the nation

Very interesting article at the Guardian on the effects of television on young children. The article is based on this research

Makes me want to dig out my copy of this old favourite.

Rising cost of borrowing

According to this article in The Western Mail recently,

"Many schoolchildren in Wales do not know how public libraries work or what they are for...
The National Marketing Strategy survey for libraries in Wales found many children believed they had to pay to borrow books."

Strange isn't it? When I worked in a place where you did have to pay to take books, one of the most commonly asked questions was "is this a library?"