Thursday, 18 July 2013

Smudged days

I am late and turned round, the lack of bells and the peaks and troughs of the last 2 weeks have left me not sure what day it is, I had a few high points of which one was today. I had the joy of meeting a gentleman by the name of Bob Pegg who came and did a music and story workshop for me, only a few there but everyone of us enjoyed it. We got to ask questions and to handle the different musical instruments, he played everyone of them for us and gave us a history and wove stories around them, truly mesmerizing!
The day was so nice, the beach below us so inviting, but the time with Bob flew by and I can recommend seeing him if you get a chance, my youngest said as we drove home that he was a 'real story teller!' which was a great recommendation from a geeky mine crafter like him. I may also be tempted by an Ocarina for myself! Also I have a new website to drool over and not buy the very pretty expensive things on but to dream :-) with early musical instruments.

The world of Cilip seems to be calm at the moment but I am following a thread in the mentors list about how much training costs when we give our time for free and often pay costs ourselves, but then get asked to pay more. I realise that they have costs and I know that Cilip can't just give for nothing, but with all the changes this is the time to raise the issue. I hope the restructure takes some of the thoughts on board and we have had another survey monkey asking about our thoughts.

In a different vein I am also getting ready for my Holidays, which are still in the air in places, like the last few weeks there are some unmovables, a flight to meet, a dinner booked, and some venues we must get too, as well and plans to make sandwiches and take lunches (even if we need help lifting enough food for four teenagers!) and walks on the moors, the beaches and the lanes of the west country. Other than that we shall see and go with the flow.
The cool lanes and walks near where I grew up and will be staying are calling!

I am also thrilled to see a piece of my writing is up online, I put in a piece about my favourite treasure. It is being run by the Scottish Book Trust, and it is up under my name. The piece is called Alexandra and the details are in the work, I took a couple of weeks to write it as I kept getting too emotional and far to close to it! but it is done, and up, I am so proud! Feel free to go and read, and if you want the date for submission of your own treasure is not until the end of the month! up to 1000 words, and has to be a thing not a place or person or time.

I plan to blog as and when while I am away, so forgive if the next few are less work orientated, and more 'oh look where I have been!'

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Post cheer slump

Normality has struck, my laundry still needs doing, the shopping and cleaning, the keeping track of three teenagers, on top of full time hours and getting up to go to work at an early hour. Now I should add the last is a lie, I have never thought it was too early to get up and work here. I have done supermarket shifts that involved being in and being ready for a 7 am opening on a Saturday, I have also worked on an internet desk which had me starting one shift at 6.30 am but only once a week (which was a killer). I know folks out there who may have a 9 am start like me, but who have a commute from hell! mine is a 20 minute drive and if I am late I have to park at the far end of the car park! in theory I could leave home at 8.30 am and be here on time, but I like a bit of time so I leave at 8 from home and get in by 8.30 parked and at my desk! In the holidays I can get in for 9 am, no kids to get ready for, no morning meeting to go to, and no customers banging on the door at 9. But I would like more of a lie in, I am greedy!

I so enjoyed the Umbrella Conference, I have been over the handbook since and have seen two or three things I so wished I had got to, I didn't realise until I got home that one of my lecturers from when I was in uni was speaking, he was always amazing and I am kicking myself I didn't go! I am still processing half of what came at me, I must go back over my notes and try and get some in order, they cover every event I went to and I have a picture of nearly every speaker I saw. One talk was so interesting I didn't take any pictures, sadly wish I had later! A lot of the ideas and focuses was way above my level, the awards were amazing, but aimed at the services not the individuals in places, but they gave me an flavour of what is wanted, how more is to be delivered, and what my bosses are aiming at. So a greater understanding was good.

I also followed the online tweets from the General Meeting at Cilip yesterday, I was interested that most there had felt the motion should be carried, meanwhile the vote went against it due to proxy votes, as a proxy voter I am glad, the idea of it all the changes stopping was wrong, I agree that we must have more clarity esp. for those not based in London, and for a profession who runs on communication we can be bad at sharing info officially, but I think this meeting should make a difference, which for me is enough. I will note that while those who went were pro the motion those who didn't go may have done so to avoid argument and to vote against the motion without any face to face issues, had I been in London I may have gone but then I am not that shy and retiring (stop sniggering those who have met me). Having said that I did feel that Ian Clark had to say in his blog was very relevant as he is one of the people who are out there and not members but who could be and could do good!

The sun had been shining and my mornings now have a new pattern, I get up and hang out last nights laundry, then I get my watering can and water all my plants, and then I get ready for work and leave. I am very proud of my peas and beans, and my carrots may even become food! The cats are bemused by this routine and I end up being followed to my washing line, they lie around or stalk about while I hang clothes, then they sit and watch it to make sure it isn't dangerous! They also wander round my pots and one loves to see what is happening and has had her head watered twice this week already! The heat in the far north of Scotland is roasting, well for us, but sadly that means flies and midges about, most is stopped by the breeze but in nice sheltered areas (like my garden) the flies don't get blown away, this has seriously limited the sitting doing nothing plans!

I am following a new blog which looks very good called once upon a book case which is a YA review blog, which I so didn't need to find as I buy enough already, but looks very very good! Also am enjoying today's note from the American editor about the disappearing client, something we all need to think about, the view is very business focused but as times change I feel that we need to pick skills up where ever we see them and aspects can always be applied to our own jobs. To note also he states that 'Marketing is not an as-needed project; marketing is an always-needed project.' We need to address this in our own world.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

I want to be a Dandelion!

The conference seems so long ago, even when I was there only yesterday, the drive home was long and we didn't get in until after 2 am. I am looking back over the two fun filled days and still have the words winding round my head.

I have been taunting a friend who didn't get to it, (or any recently due to her circumstances and her perception that it was boring) the guests were amazing! Not one speaker made me wander, even the post lunch slump stopped me form taking notes and enjoying it. We heard from the new director of the British Library, who has an amazing pedigree! He had a hand in 'Who do you think you are' when he was at the BBC and just his vision left me breathless, I thought he would not be matched, but by the end we had also heard from Janice Lachance part of Bill Clinton's staff, and Geoff White who is the producer of technology at Channel 4 News. I have never thought about how the changes that we are facing would effect other job sectors, The news world has gone from the sole source of news to competing with the internet and social media. One of the things he said that made me think was that the internet can say what it wants but if he says something wrong he could be fined personally. I know my own viewing of the news has changed, as a child we all stopped at 6 for the news, and again at 9 for any detailed news. if it wasn't in the papers or on the main news we didn't know. My own kids think that's nuts, they get stuff through FB and Twitter, they check websites and the news channel of choice last year in our house was Al Jazeera, I love checking the local news in North Devon for stories my Mum may know and that way we have more to talk about when I ring.

Loved hearing about all the gamification of libraries, and the Lemon tree, as well as the new movie by Ben Lewis called Google and the world brain which I will be hunting out to watch (when I have time) I hadn't thought that my supermarket card could be gamified, but I like the idea of hooking the users in with this.
I got to several Information literacy talks and have some great ideas of how to move my own sessions with the kids forward. watch this space, what works I will talk about, I will even talk about what didn't work!

My Fave picture of the Umbrella I took is one from the opening speeches, when the floor got thrown out to questions, and Biddy sat waving her arms for questions, but the picture looks like she is conducting an invisible band or directing us in a sing along! Roly Keating watching on as Biddy sets the tone for the whole event so well.

The final thought is one that led to my title today, Ben showers spoke about tooling up, I thought I would hear about what tools I need for the future instead I got a wonderful talk about how the future is change and we must embrace as much as we can, that we are valuable and valued we just need to keep up, he drew the talk to a close saying we should be less like mammals and more like dandelions, a mammal has few children and spends long time nurturing them and puts a lot of care and thought in tot hem, and they as many to survive to keep life going as possible, while Dandelions throw many many seeds out, no care , no energy, no worries and they spread and get taken by all. We need to focus on less big things and more on smaller and freer items that float and go further, and need much much less from us.

I think for me the message I got from the Umbrella was one of hope, one of change but adapting, the idea we can do, we may not be traditional or even labeled librarians but we are still us and doing well, There is so much we can do and go, so much difference we can make and so very much to learn still. I will be going over the notes and info from the two days for ages and will take months to get all I need out of it, but it was wonderful. I must make quick mention of the Unbrella people who ran events and ice breakers, who made the whole experience so much easier for everyone. I hope to do a note on them alone another time, when I have my notes sorted!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Floating on Air

I am  a few days late blogging as I am in the Umbrella conference! It is like coming back down a mountain and getting oxygen rich air again, I am so enjoying it. The speakers have been so interesting, and the information covered has been written down in my scrawly notes with extras on the sides, with ideas to try, people to see and things I  must chase up, I will be still getting round to all of this when the school is back in, in August!

The organisations has been fab with all the venues in easy wander of even me! the building is lovely and I even caught myself daydreaming I could be a student in them! which makes me chortle as I loved being a student but prefer the self driven training much better than formal sit downs.

The over all day yesterday was one of hope, of using what we have to do as much and that wonderful idea I like of adding value, esp in that bracket was Victoria Threadway form the Wirral hospital who does ward rounds with the critical care staff! Thankfully schools are not that time sensitive, but I am thinking how I analyse who uses me and how they use me... we shall see.

I am now about to start day two and am interested to see what more will I see and hear.

I am buzzing with the idea of a library champion and other things and have made so many new contacts or which many I hope will go on to be friends! I shall hope to do more once I get home.