Retired or About to Retire? Don’t Lose Touch!

CILIP SW Committee member Valerie Bearne is the group’s Liaison Representative. In particular Valerie’s role is to recruit and inform retired members. Valerie has put a call out to members who are about to retire to stay in touch with the profession. ‘There is a lot of knowledge, experience and contacts that retired members can still share’, says Valerie. This is an excellent means to draw upon the experience of retired members who can share the benefit of their knowledge with younger professionals.

As Liaison Rep, Valerie writes: ‘If you can host a group visit yourself, or offer training or mentorship to younger members of the profession, we would love to have your contributions and work with you to help and support people across the SW’.

Retired library and information professionals can also take part in occasional group visits and social events such as the visit to the Britannia Royal Naval College, previously reported in the CILIPSW Blog by Anne Howard.

Valerie is currently organising a return visit to the Britannia Royal Naval College, scheduled for Wednesday 5th April 2017. Contact Valerie.bearne[@]tesco.net for further details.

britannia-royal-naval-college-library

Britannia Royal Naval College, Devon

Presidential visit to UWE Bristol

Kirsten-Rose Brooks reports on talk by CILIP President, Dawn Finch

On 6th December, CILIP President Dawn Finch visited UWE Bristol to give a talk to students on the MSc Library and Information Management course and library staff. Her subject was ethical principles in LIS (Library Information Science) and codes of professional practice. While regarded by some as old-fashioned and no longer needed, Dawn stressed that library ethics have never been more important, particularly in the so-called ‘post-truth’ world as false information proliferates and concern mounts not only for the public good in general, but also the good reputation of the information profession.

Dawn talked about the problem of inappropriate bias in LIS; while some sectors and organisations cannot avoid a bias, such as the House of Commons Library and the military, an ethical code enables librarians and information professionals to fight against this pressure. She reminded us of the major issue of privacy, since the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 has received Royal Assent and the revamp of data protection laws loom.

After this introduction, we worked through some quick-fire ethical scenarios, identifying whether they involved business ethics, personal morals, ethical codes or a point of law. We were continually reminded that, in providing frontline customer service, librarians have seconds to decide what to do in a given situation. Some were really tricky, and there were some disagreements over courses of action, and Dawn emphasised that good training of staff and users is important to avoid ethical dilemmas or negotiate them appropriately.

Dawn used examples to relate ethics to current events, such as in Ferguson, St. Louis during the riots, where librarian Scott Bonner and his staff kept the library open despite pressure from the local authorities to close, in order to continue providing an information service to the community. Another recent instance was media scrutiny of libraries during the Jo Cox murder case. Questions were asked of the role of local libraries since Thomas Mair visited them to search for controversial material online in the lead-up to his crime. During discussions, Dawn said that library work is potentially a minefield, with several potential obstacles. I was reminded of the e-learning module on ‘Overcoming Bias’ we were recently encouraged to complete at UWE Bristol. In this module we were told that librarians and information professionals should be aware of the need to overcome unconscious bias and provide information and books to all users, regardless of personal beliefs. This did get challenged, however – if a library user asked you for details on constructing weapons, would you give them what they wanted straightaway?

There was an encouraging message at the end: our jobs are more needed than ever, if more difficult. Reliable information must be made available from all sides, with policy documents, ethical principles, and the work of professionals used to fight false information, censorship and violation of privacy.

Dawn herself is a very engaging and funny speaker, and I enjoyed the fast pace of the session; although we were discussing weighty issues, we didn’t get bogged down in too much deep discussion and could cover lots of different points. It was an intriguing session which left attendees with plenty to think about.

Kirsten-Rose Brooks

(Graduate Trainee, UWE Bristol Library Services)

Digital adventures for all in Taunton’s gleaming new Glass Box

glass-box-entrance

After the last CILIP SW Committee meeting I took the opportunity to visit the Glass Box, which has recently opened in Taunton Library. Prominently located at the Library’s entrance, the Glass Box provides a bright welcome as the first area visitors see as they walk into the building. It functions as a digital makerspace, with free wi-fi access and an exhibition area.

The Glass Box was launched in the summer to provide a space where all can access a range of digital resources and create and experiment in a supported environment. Staff provide support for digital skills and there are workshops to help get started in using the 3D printer. A regular Code Club has been set up to help children to learn coding. The offer for children and adults also includes opportunities to learn how to make a computer, engage with a local history and heritage project and even sign up to ‘robotics for fun’. The space also functions as an enterprise zone for local business, which it supports by hosting free webinars and making available databases providing company information and business start-up materials.

The Glass Box is one of the latest initiatives in a bid to create innovative spaces in public libraries, providing the communities they serve with access to try out state-of-the-art equipment. Such projects are encouraging evidence, if any were needed, that public libraries remain absolutely relevant and connected in fast-moving times, providing an essential educational role. The popular and inspirational Fab Lab opened in 2014 at nearby Exeter Library, which hosted the CILIP AGM and Gadget Day earlier this year.

To find out about latest events scheduled at The Glass Box see:

http://somersetlibraries.co.uk/glassbox/

glass-box-interior   glass-box-digital-skills     

AULIC Conference on Library Design 22/6/16

 

Photo credit: Emilio Nanni via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

The AULIC 2016 Conference was a really enjoyable and interesting day. See details on the AULIC Website here for details of the day (and my notes on the speakers below).

AULIC has a new website/blog here

A part of the day was the display of posters from library staff including the visit I made to the McClay Library, Belfast, see Library Design- On Different Budgets:)

See details and all the posters on the AULIC blog

Here are my notes from the AULIC Conference (see here for programme). Apologies to the speakers for any mistakes.

Continue reading

Profile of Morag Evans, Student Representative on the CILIP SW members’ committee

We like to introduce you to your committee members and find out what they do. In this posting we meet Morag Evan, CILIP SW Student Representative. We look forward to hearing about Morag’s adventure in Berlin at a future date!

Morag Evans

Hi, my name is Morag and I am a student representative for the CILIP South West Members’ Network. The first thing I would like to do is say ‘thank you’ for the warm welcome I received at the first committee meeting I attended a fortnight ago.

I am currently studying for a Distance Learning Masters in Information and Library Studies at Aberystwyth University. I am passionate about libraries and the information profession but came late to the party after a first career in teaching and then raising a small family. I live in Weymouth, which is lovely in the summer months, but like any seaside town, the winter is rather depressing! But we do have lovely countryside nearby and of course the Jurassic Coast not far away! My husband is a postman and we have two daughters, Beth (11) and Millie (8) who keep us busy with their demanding social lives (busier than ours). We also have a hamster, Sally, and two guinea pigs, Hermione and Ginnie (yes, we’re Harry Potter fans!).

I work as a trainee librarian at Dorset County Hospital Library where I started as a library assistant almost three years ago. I absolutely love my job; the things I like to do the most are: acquisitions, cataloguing, collection development and marketing & promotion. I also enjoy hosting a book group in the Library.

Our Library is part of the South West Information Management System (SWIMS), the healthcare library network in the South West. The network is very supportive and it is lovely to belong to a large family of libraries. Our users are often blown away by the speed at which we can source Inter Library Loans and Document Supply; well, this is down to our colleagues in SWIMS! I’m a member of the SWIMS Inter Library and Document Supply Group and we meet regularly to keep policies and procedures up to date.

I joined CILIP as a student last year and I am a member of another group, the newly named CILIP Professional Development Group and I have been involved in the organisation of a study tour in Berlin in October with them. Here’s a cheeky plug! It will be an amazing tour, Berlin is a vibrant and interesting city and its libraries and museums reflect this. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about it.

As a student representative, I think my role will be to inform other students about the events we organise, but also to canvas their opinions…what the group can do for them and how we can best support them in their chosen profession. I have a particular interest in supporting those who are distance learning as this can sometimes be an isolating and lonely experience. I meet regularly with other students from Aberystwyth and am hoping to organise an event in Dorset soon, namely a Library Safari…with a difference!

Also, I am really excited that I have the opportunity to attend the CILIP Conference in Brighton this year and I hope to bump into some of you there!

If you are an ILS student and would like to be put in touch with others, please e-mail me morag.evans[@]dchft.nhs.uk

Morag Evans

 

SWRLS Grant Scheme

SWRLS (South Western Regional Library Service) is very keen to promote library co-operation, resource sharing and collaborative collection management across all library sectors in the South West region.  We realise that this might not happen easily without some resource.  This is where the SWRLS grant scheme may be of help as we offer grants up to £10,000 to SWRLS members to support projects or feasibility studies.  In addition, we can also provide funding of between £200 and £1,000 to enable colleagues from member organisations to attend conferences or external training courses, with an expectation that they share that learning with the wider SWRLS community.

Examples of previous project outcomes may be seen on the SWRLS grant scheme webpage at: http://www.swrls.org.uk/swrls-grant-scheme.html  where you will also find the guidance and application forms.  Don’t hold back, please contact us!  Shelagh Levett: director@swrls.org.uk or Jackie Chelin (Chair): Jacqueline.Chelin@uwe.ac.uk

SWRLS logo

Your new Editor:)

 

Julian Wood me

 

First, a word of introduction! I am now part of the Editor team for this blog. My name is Julian Wood, I am 39 years old and I work at the University of Bristol Library Services as a Library Assistant in the main Arts & Social Sciences Library, and in the Medical Library. I’m also studying the Distance MA Information and Library Studies at Aberystwyth University.

I am a CILIP Student Member (at the very generous rate of free membership!), and recently attended the CILIP Emerging Technologies Day (see Steve’s report on it here and here). In my free time I like cycling, meeting friends and reading.

I am a lifelong fan of libraries. At school it was a place of refuge to escape to when, as well as a place of inspiration and calm. My first job was as the ‘Saturday girl’ (they had always been girls, for some reason) at my local library in Malvern, Worcestershire.

I then studied German and Russian at Edinburgh University (1996-2000). After that, I spent a few years teaching English and translating in the Czech Republic. I started working at the University of Bristol in 2008, and in 2012 started the MA.

I am lucky to have always been keen on technology, so I’ve managed to keep up-to-date with IT.  The MA course has helped with this, and with a lot of other aspects. See my article for Research Information for what I’ve learnt on the course.

Other things I appreciate about working in a University library:

  • Colleagues are really kind and helpful.
  • Everyone I work with has fascinating interests outside work- we have artists, musicians, writers…
  • The students (undegraduate and postgraduate) are almost all friendly, polite and grateful

I’m presently working at our Medical Library most of the week. It is amazing me how different the Medical students are- very mature for their age.

I love working in a public-facing role, as I enjoy helping people. I find Customer Service very interesting. Above all, I think a smile and being welcoming goes a long way. I try to greet students as they enter the library, and remain approachable rather than too focused on my computer screen!

And to finish off with- a picture of my hamster John. He once shredded an entire Russian dictionary I offered him as bedding, and so is a wannabe librarian too:)

John