Monday, 6 September 2010

Keep on Running

So well, I was please to receive an email last week from "the powers that be", informing my erstwhile colleagues and I that the Paige Turner blog has been identified as the longest running UK public library blog. How cool is that?

Of course, I couldn't let my identity slip, so I joined in with the laments - "if only we knew who the mysterious Paige was - we could let her know "

Anyway - this is 100% true, a real librarian has said so, in print and everything.

Saturday, 7 August 2010


Gosh, I read this years ago. Brilliant article, perhaps I'd better go digging for my old copy.

Sunday, 18 July 2010


Masses at the moment, including this and this and this from Richard Stark's awesome Parker series - reissued in new versions by Chicago University Press. Parker novels are my comfort reads at the moment. The Noirest of the noir... without Stark there would be no Tarantino - fact.

Monday, 12 July 2010

The first cut is the deepest

Or is it? The sword of Damocles is hanging over the heads of all public services at the moment, and we genuinely don't know how we will be affected. What we do know is that in times of hardship, recession, unemployment and squeezed public services - the public library is more important and relevant than ever. I hope that the opportunities that libraries bring into people's lives are recognised, valued and spared as much as possible.

Friday, 2 July 2010


The Lost Child by Julie Myerson. This has been on my bookshelves for about a year but somehow, even though I wanted to read it, I was sure I'd hate it. I didn't.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


How not to grow up by Richard Herring. This book is awful. I loathe it, and I now loathe him, which is a shame as I got much comedy mileage out of recreating Fist of Fun scenes down the pub as a young 'un. Weak Lemon Drink anyone? Answer Me!!!!

I shall continue to worship at the altar of the Stewart Lee and leave the Herring alone.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

I'm not a trend bucker...

Well, actually, by association I am!! This article shows Welsh Libraries well and truly bucking the trend of declining and stagnant public library usage seen in other parts of the UK.

Leading from the front (as ever) are Swansea's libraries, with Swansea central Library coming in as the busiest library in Wales and more pleasingly, the 10th busiest in the UK, despite a fairly modest population.

Well done Welsh Libraries - we have proven that the public want and will use good libraries and this is a reflection on the hard work and investment that have gone in over the past few years.

We can only hope that the sucess of this service is in some way recognised by those wielding the budgetary axe in the months to come.

fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


The Secret History by Donna Tartt

I remember this coming out,and later being a mainstay of "one hit wonder" displays (that was before The Little Friend). Never inclined to read it until now, maybe I'm entering my "once a decade" fiction phase...


Panorama had an equally doom laden premonition but the programme did at least send out the message "mess with libraries at your peril"


The Bookseller's take on tough times ahead...

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Have you heard...

You can now download audio books from the comfort of your own home - how cool is that? Don't ask me about the detail though because although I attended a presentation about it I was rather distracted by the charming Gordon Griffin and didn't pay as much attention as I should have.

I can certainly recommend getting hold of some of Gordon's narrations as he is truly fabulous!

Love in the Library...

Looking for love, or just a good night out?

Why not try your hand at a spot of speed dating at the lovely Killay Library?


Naked by David Sedaris

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Safe surfing

Interesting article on the BBC website about internet safety for children. It's a difficult issue for parents, teachers and libraries to address and it's one that causes a fair number of complaints from library users.

What is acceptable filtering for one individual is crippling censorship for another, while one person's idea of acceptable material for a child to view is inappropriate to another.

Still - while I by and large think that CEOP is "a good thing", there is no substitute for vigilant and engaged adults helping children thought the internet maze.

More here and here

Friday, 29 January 2010


The Jugger by Richard Stark, part of his fantastic, genre defining Parker novels.

I hate telling people what to read but really - you should.

Thursday, 14 January 2010


The To-Do List by Mike Gayle. I've never read any of his 30's lad-lit and probably won't, but I did enjoy this non-fiction which recounts his attempts to feel like a real grown up by tackling a to-do list of epic proportions filled with the sorts of things many 30-something parents would probably be familiar with.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle

"Have you read Harry Potter Stu?"
"No, because I am a 40 year old man"

As a child, Stewart Lee helped out in his school library. What a loss to the profession.


Thanks for Nothing by Jack Dee - very good it is too, if you're a curmudgeon by nature.

Well there you go...

This article from the dear old BBC on why this year probably won't be "The year of the electronic book"

Having worked in the book trade for 15 years, I can't remember a year since oooh, about 1997, that wasn't going to be "The year of the electronic book" but here we are, hanging on in there with our antiquated quill and ink.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Apocalypse (s)Now

So the opening of the newly refurbished Brynhyrfyd Library has had to be delayed by a week due to the dreaded white stuff.

It's a shame as this is probably one of our biggest transformations yet - with £35,000 worth of new books really making a big difference to the stock and the building totally revamped inside and out.

Brynhyfryd will now open on Saturday 16th.

The thing about blogs...

is that they don't write themselves, even when you're really busy. What you need is someone to come along and invent something that extracts thoughts from your head and turns them into erudite and thought provoking blog posts, making you look simultaneously intelligent, witty, hard working, irreplaceable, beloved of the masses and furthermore - stops your boss asking you why you haven't updated the blog for a while.

Kind of like that bit in minority report.

Now that, dear reader, would be a technological advance that would impress even me. Maybe even more than if Blogger came with a spell checker.

Instead we get this , which lets face it, no-one needs.