Tuesday, 10 June 2014

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.

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