Friday, 14 March 2014

Happy Birthday Internet

According to various sources the internet has reached 25 year old. In this Blog My friend Sara looks at what has changed in the last 25 years, and while some I agree are fun I have strangely different memories of the same time.

I was also in my second year at library school, and we had dial in LISA and some of the databases online to California, which would have been the early parts of the web, and the new invention the CD Rom! Which I loved as it was quick and you could build carousels and search several at once... Part of our course was how to catalogue, another how we used ICT etc.

But while Sara was up in the north of Scotland I was in west London, and no better place can I think of to be 20 and studying! I had yearly entry to Kew, and Royal academy of Arts, I saw the latest films and enjoyed live plays when ever we could be bothered to go. I got to see the Levelers on tour in three different venues (including their home town of Brighton due to getting a lift down) and moshed in the web at the Astoria, the palace at Camden and even saw the Wonder Stuff live the week they were number one.

I spent a busy Saturday afternoon at the site of the Rose Theater in London as part of the Save the Rose movement, and like every other things then I also got the T shirt. Sadly the T shirt later got trashed by a child, but I had it, and the levelers and the cure etc and so much fun! My friend an I were even out the day of the storms and were on streets from some of the worst carnage! but came home untouched until we saw the TV that night!

I worked in Richmond for part of my time and the summer of 1989 I worked at the Poetry Library in the South Banks Centre, which is an amazing place and I can highly recommend a visit, some of the things and info they have is second to none and well worth a nose around. The underground was my life blood and the noise bustle and life in the city what I thrived on.

25 years later I am married with 3 children (now at going to uni age!) with a job I love which challenges me and makes me think. I have a home and world that allows me to still get live plays, and latest films but also lets me curl up in front of the fire when I want to. The biggest difference is the internet, I could now work from anywhere, a friend recently got a job in Dublin company, but still working from the highlands with occasional visits to head office. I can read my mums paper in Devon while eating my lunch in Caithness, or check the latest headlines from Ealing.

The internet and mobile technology has made the world so much smaller, what we supplied in the past as librarians was access to information, that is no longer enough as any decent phone can do that, what we need to do is facilitate information, getting best info or help identify what information is needed. We need to start discussions about why they want information about a car? to buy one to see one to find an old one or just a picture to like! We need to help open dialogues and make talk more valuable, help use the skills we and other have but do not value or even use. Like the paperless office of the 'new computer age' the conversations that are not needed now we have the internet are even more valuable.

On a lighter note I have been running World Book Day things and the tokens for the children, but a few years ago I felt the small cost to get the books allows me to give the books out to all the younger years as a gift from the library, so I set up my tables this week and have been through all the first years and half the second so far, I also have older titles that they get to choose from. I think a book in a hand is valuable no matter how or why.
My camera has a panorama feature and I am still working it out but this looks okay for now :-).

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