Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Upcycling old library stock

One of the displays of folded book art
Folded book art

Our discarded library books are routinely given to BetterWorld Books, but this year we held on to several and instead used them to create a display. We felt the college’s annual Green Week initiative was the ideal time to demonstrate ways in which old books can be reused. Two members of the library team (Fran Heap and myself) turned once-loved books into creative book sculptures. Permission was sought to position displays in the reception areas of the college’s two largest campuses, and almost 50 individual pieces were created.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Alison Northover Bursary 2014

I'm all smiles!
Image by Ben Smith
This time next week, I will have arrived at the University of Sussex in Brighton, ready to attend my very first conference. Conferences are something I’ve always had an interest in attending, but due to the cost of tickets it is has never been plausible. Until now…

Towards the end of last year I decided to apply for bursaries with the hope of securing a sponsored place to a conference. Whenever a bursary was advertised I considered applying for it, and in the end I applied for three. All three were to attend CILIP’s Academic and Research Libraries Group (ARLG) conference, entitled ‘Academic libraries: the final frontier’. One of my applications was rejected as I fell outside the geographical boarder for applications, but my other two applications were both successful. Both bodies contacted me to say I’d been successful within a week of each other, and I accepted the bursary with the more substantial financial package. I was incredibly flattered and humbled to win both. I won’t name the bursary I turned down out of respect for the person it was then offered to, but I am both surprised and pleased to be the 2014 recipient of ARLG’s Alison Northover Bursary.

Friday, 13 June 2014


A quick look back to September 2013…

It was several months ago now and my
recollections are now a little hazy, but back in September I attended the 2013 CILIP AGM. I've had this post written for a long time but wasn't really sure it was worth publishing. It's just a brief personal reflection, but as that's the main purpose of my blog, I've recently decided to publish it. So here it is!

The AGM was held in the new Library of Birmingham and as I live within the region it was too good an opportunity to miss. I had never before attended a CILIP AGM and was keen to experience such an event. This year’s AGM is in Bristol – quite far – so I’m glad I went to the last one.

One of my main recollections of the day was how many people attended. There was a sizeable queue for the venue and it was a good chance to meet new people – I queued with a retired librarian from Leicester and sat next to a clinical librarian from Cardiff. Having never attended a library conference, this was the largest number of librarians in one room I’ve ever seen! (Is there a specific noun for a collection of librarians?!) There were lots of people live-tweeting from the event which made for interesting an online discussion. I love the way library folk utilise Twitter!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Learning Space Review

One of our campus libraries
During February, we volunteered to undergo a Learning Space Review. This is a service offered by our local JISC Regional Support Centre (West Midlands). It is a way of ascertaining unbiased opinions regarding use of the library space, with the aim of positive recommendations being made. The review focuses on the use of the physical space, rather than the library service as a whole.

Two JISC RSC representatives spent half a day with us, during which time they observed the operation of the library, made notes, interviewed staff etc. Being observed is quite nerve-wracking but they did their best to put us at ease and explain what they were looking at.