Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Stolen weeks!

Okay who keeps stealing my weeks, I know I was booked very busy for June but where has it gone! I have been staff at the prom, paper maker, knitter, poetry reader, book group reader, spinner, and tree feller, and I did all of these out of work time.

The biggest event which I am still waiting to hit me but I think I am over the worst was my daughter going to work in America for the summer. She decided last September she wanted to and she make so many I am going to do this statements that later get changed we did our usual and went 'yes dear' She did all her home work and identified a company to go with which was not the one who had caught her attention but have a good track record, and we started to think she might actually go! Then in January she started asking about events to go to and meetings and registration fees, which she wanted me to pay. Gradually the paperwork and bills came and got sorted and paid, then she had the chance to chose a camp and went to a fair at Edinburgh and while one of her favorite was so busy she couldn't even get close her other favorite was clearer and she not only got through the first selection but they loved her and she signed on the day! Now she had a destination and the whole lot got realer.

Now she had a date and better still a T shirt! more on that later. Her phone had a countdown that she told me about every day, so much so I used to ask if she was sure, and was her count down right :-) nothing like winding up a teenager. Next came serious paperwork, getting an international disclosure that would be acceptable for the US, and once that came getting her visa which could only be done by person in the embassy in London. Cue trip to London, and final payments and set ups and booking buses and timings to get her flight that now had times and numbers attached. Of course the whole event was over shadowed by did she have enough shorts, how many tops would she need and how could she get the sheer amount of chocolate she wanted to America.

Now we were down to the last few weeks and suddenly a promise I made months ago came back to bite me. Yes I would get a T-shirt made for Nev and get the logo put on, I had made the logo up and she had painted it to be the right colour, but suddenly getting a baby t-shirt was impossible, had to be white body, blue arms and baseball style t-shirt, and to fit Nev! I ended up buying a cheap small men's baseball T and cutting it down and remaking it, then I had to get the logo put on it. We picked up the finished garment only days before as the packing gained momentum.

Pictures of him in his hand made top do look good.

All too fast the day of her departure was upon us, I took time off a course I had booked myself on to make sure she had all she needed and got to the first of several connections. She texted back bits and then tweeted an odd tweet, and finally messaged once a week as she has work and is busy. I have missed her and I am looking forward getting her back even if it is just to leave for uni again.

I didn't set out to write so much about her and her leaving but to get it out as a time line is very interesting. A follow up to her chocolate parcel was a note from her saying the Irn Bru hadn't coped and her parcel arrived a bit damp. Five minutes of thought would have told us this but in the frenzy before she went neither I nor her realised what would happen to a parcel in flight.

More next week of the rest of my life, and safe summers to the Campers of Camp America.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Summer returned or Day Two of the CILIPS 2014 Conference

The day has improved, the sun has burnt off the mist and the sky is that clear blue that makes you wish you could just lie in a garden and snooze the rest of the day away. I wont get home until late tonight and I am wishing it was different! well back to catch up time.

The breakfast was very nice, I ate early and enjoyed the peace, and sunshine. The opening was the AGM for CILIPS, which ran for a whole 4 minutes, which is a meeting win for me. Then the keynote speaker to start us off was Rolf Hapel, from Aarhus libraries in Denmark, and digitizing services and their impact as his theme. He was talking of the new build in the centre of Aarhus on the dock front and seeming to float on the water, with trams to a under ground station and buses through the very complex. The whole idea was very interesting, esp in the light of our own local new build. Again we had the theme of big Data, how we use it and how we make it show more value. The vision of a library full of partnership spaces that were designed for the folk who will be in them, with a library at the core.
A very scary view of the future according to him but one again we must take on board. The idea of the community space which he admittedly stolen from the UK ideas. What was also a shock was the extinction timeline, which I am sure many have seen but was new to me. and the end of libraries as we know them. He did end on a challenge he asked us 'To which problems in society are libraries the answer.' Another positive view and optimistic spin on a drech out look otherwise. 

The next sessions had me choosing again but as a mentor I felt I must chose the Professional registration and what you need to know. This was delivered by the always wroth listening to Simon Edwards from CILIP, I am glad I did as it has given me the nudge toward possibly going for Fellowship next time and not just re-validation. He gave a wonderful talk on the positives and how we are adding value to our own profession. I love the PKSB shorter form in the excel and will be downloading it and filling it in soon. also you only need to keep your eye on 6 to 10 areas max and you only need the killer pieces of evidence for them, not the small forest you currently seem to generate. Watch this space for more ideas...

Another fab lunch finally knocked me for six and I ended up sitting in the foyer knitting brain finally full and mind full of things to think about. I would have gone home then but I so wanted to hear Iain Macwhirter speak at the end. So glad I did, as he spoke so eloquently about the decline and demise of printed news papers esp the Scottish press. There are more copies sold of the Mail each day than the Scotsman and the herald combined! which is dreadful! and there are less than 10k sales for the whole of Scotland for the Guardian! Iain Challenged us to become the means of truthful record as the papers could no longer be that resource for us. We must help the public navigate the tidal wave of propaganda from the indy/ref information. This contrasted with the mornings message of citizens and not customers in Denmark, with sources and filters not passive supply for us.
No power points and glossy back drops, no pictures to distract us from his very hard hitting message. Another scary prospect but again another place we must adapt and change to fit what is needed.

The drive home was one of reflection all these new ideas being brought forward, all these views and ideas. we are not broad enough to do all in all places but some will fit in nicely, and may be Scotland will stay the top of the league table for the Carnegie trust for another year. 

Summer Pause or Day One of The CILIPS 2014 Conference

Well if I had got this done on Monday it would have been full of Sunshine and thunder storms, but today we have mist, lots of sea mist (called Haa up here) and while it is cold in the exposed areas the rooms inside are too hot! I managed to forget my normal glasses today so am wearing my reading glasses which work great for my screen but when I look past it the blur is very disconcerting. The past weeks have been so full and so busy I am not sure where to start.

Dundee in the sunshine was amazing, and I got to the town centre and round the shops a bit this time, I had a nice walk round the harbour again and I even spent time in the pool, which was so relaxing! The hotel was exceptional, as it had been last year, but this time I was a lot less worried and a lot more relaxed about being in a very nice hotel. The staff were so nice and so helpful, and the whole event went like a dream. nothing is perfect but the few things that cropped up got solved.

The Cilips 2014 conference was amazing, I always find I gain so much from them and there are so many things happening. Choosing has always been a problem and occasionally you wish you had been there not here but the sessions I was at were so interesting!
The opening was done by Robert Ruthven, who then passed us on to Martyn Evans, Chief Executive of the Carnegie Trust. He spoke passionately about how libraries are more than buildings and how the original set up has left a legacy which is relevant to day and beyond. He showed us how the most successful libraries in Britain are the Scottish who topped all but one survey and that one we came a close second in.

Martyn spoke of wellbeing being essential to our core business, and showed us slides of how it should be.
He went on to announce a series of dates that bids would be welcomed on for projects in the 5k to 10 k range and how they would run for 4 years and were for innovation, needs to be progressive and they will be looking to set up a mentor support system for those who need help to get it, and part of the criteria is the evaluation of its success for projects. The first wave of info about this will be available from September.
Despite a Fire Alarm in the middle of his presentation and a short stand in the car park, we all enjoyed hearing about this and the future.

Next up where the sessions, and after swithering I chose to go to the open badge event, I am so glad I did. I am always looking for new skills and new ways to show and share those skills, and I have a new library app planned to help me get the pupils used to library organisation and skills, and I hope now to set up an open badge for any kids finishing my app and maybe this will help with others and how do we note children successes, as well as CPD and how we note those successes. Tim Riches had decided to do a workshop on development which turned out to be more fun than just finding out what we need to do, I got a chance to give design a go and how we plan a badge and how me manage and roll out a badge. They have a nice website but I am still finding my way round it (in my spare time HAHAhahahahaha) more in the future.

Lunch was lovely and I would have enjoyed it more had I not been chairing one of the sessions after lunch. This group had caused my biggest choice issues when I first saw them, when I was asked to chair it took the choice away and meant that I was chairing one of the two I wanted to see most of all. I was lucky enough to chair the Pleasure Principle by Genevieve Clarke from the Reading Agency. I had a nice intro lined up and chatted to her before to make sure it was okay, then faced with a room of folks I fluffed it :-) I messed it up and got a wry sideways smile as she started as she knew I had fluffed, thankfully it didn't show and no one else knew. She spoke passionately about the way we support learners and how to increase the idea of reading for pleasure, she talked about the six book challenge which is like the summer reading challenge but aimed at adults and reluctant readers or emergent readers, the difference never really dawned on me before, both very interesting.

The missed session for me was the SDS one about how my world of work is helping and how the whole SDS is moving more into the support areas online and the universal credit due to come. This is very much the digital literacies stuff I adore, but I was lucky enough to hear most of his talk in Glasgow earlier in the year. He was such a nice man when I asked he told me what was different and extra so I knew what the talk was about. The Skills Development Scotland folk have been so nice to get to know and so helpful and positive. I recommend using their website for any job related stuff, esp making a CV which they help you do from scratch or to get an out of date one up to current and all for free!

The final Speaker of Day one was Ben Showers, who I was lucky enough to hear and meet at the Umbrella conference last year. His very positive and forward thinking message about digital futures was a wonderful way to end the day. The room though had got very warm by then and some of us were fading, but his message was still great and well received. He was talking about approaching issues from the inside out and not the outside in, changing the focus and what we are doing to better solve problems. Open libraries was his focus and the use of Big Data, which every library is collecting and we are all part of, we must embrace this view and show the value of this data that we collect and keep! either by our own use or by getting others to use if for us. This is part of the I want to be a dandelion from last year, we need to spread data to make its value show to float it out there for others to find its value! Scary prospects but we must move or stagnate.

The day was finished by a walk for me and then after dressing up we met up for drinks reception and the evening meal, which was very good, after that we had the Book Shop Band playing, which was very nice and pretty, sadly too loud to chat with and to quiet to chat under, but very pretty all the same.