Category Archives: Your Thoughts are Welcome

but unfortunately we cannot pay you in pennies or peanuts, only in rainbows and sparkles.

New Professionals Conference 2011

On Monday 20th June 2011,  Jo and I presented on Student Activism and Engagement at the New Professionals Conference.

There have been many good blog posts on the events such as Alice Halsey‘s blog and Saint Evelin’s blog. I feel rather guilty as I’m getting admired for what other great members of our class have done to help save libraries. But I’m also excited that people got something out of our presentation, and people are interested in doing a #uklibchat.

Jo my partner in library crimes of the good sort, has also posted a supercalifrajilistic hourly comic, which gives a comprehensive overview on what went down at NPC2011, aside from omitting how he got us lost on the way to the hotel on Sunday. [The truth is out now, you will no longer be able to retcon this!].

Thus I will offer only my highly idiosyncratic impression of the conference in pictorial form.


T-shirt slogan idea:  I went to the New Professionals Conference and all I got was an astrolabe.


Advocacy in Action

Joseph and I will be presenting at the New Professionals Conference on the 20th June, the details of which can be found here at the CILIP website.

Our joint presentation is called:

Can we play? Building Opportunities for Student Activism and Why it Matters

We will talk a lot about why it’s beneficial for students to engage more with the wider professional network.  It is also something that I’ve been trying to do as well through things like joining Jiscmail.

Here is something that I felt is important that came up during one of the recent conversations in Lis-pub-libs Mailing list.

“My local council is under pressure when it was discovered the police force spent £35,000 on drinking water last year. This is North Yorkshire where the tap water is pure and libraries were up for closure to save £35,000 per branch!” (Ian Stringer).

This is a case of people interested in libraries actively thinking about how councils could save the money needed to keep library branches open. Immediately after this mail others on the list mentioned using FOI requests to see how much their council was spending on bottled water. This issue is worth examining, but in order to discuss this, we need to get the message out. The  Voices for the Libraries blog was mentioned as a potential place for where the ball can start rolling.

I am only marginally involved, but I wonder if by posting about it here (and then tweeting about it), I will be able to connect up the different communication networks that information professionals are using.

Please feel free to leave a comment if you’re interested and want to let people know that you’re interested.


Civilisation in Ruins

Between 2005-2009 Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre carried out a project to photograph Detroit and its decaying buildings.

Photo Library in Ruins by Marchand and Meffre

St Christopher House, ex-Public Library

Despite the rise of the internet, and the increasing accessibility to information online, the above image of an abandoned library is stark and potent. It warns me of what can happen if we let it.

We can’t take for granted that public libraries are safe from destruction. If our society as a whole doesn’t recognise their worth, one day they will disappear.


I recommend visiting Marchand and Meffre’s website to see more of their haunting and beautiful photographs.

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Posted by on May 21, 2011 in Art, Your Thoughts are Welcome


A response that tells you little

While researching the Information Policy essay, I visited the MLA website and was curious to find that there seemed to be no mention of the fact that it is soon to be abolished by the current government .  After a quick search, I discovered, a website that keeps tabs on debates in Parliament.

Through this I pulled up a series  of responses from Ed Vaizey on questions about how the decision on abolishing the MLA was made.

Click here to see the series of Q & A.

Here are some choice answers from Edward Vaizey.

“The decision to abolish the MLA was made with reference to these previous reviews and within the context of the Government review of public bodies which aims to increase the accountability, transparency and value for money of public bodies.”

“The decision to abolish the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council was taken as part of the Government’s review of public bodies which aims to increase the accountability, transparency and value for money of public bodies. The decision was taken on the basis that the potential for cost savings outweighed the potential liabilities. Transferring museums and libraries functions to Arts Council England will ensure work is delivered in a more efficient way with a reduction in back office functions.”

“No formal consultation took place prior to the decision to abolish of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA). Ministers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport regularly meet representatives from a wide range of cultural organisations and within the context of these meetings the role and structure of organisations in the cultural sector, including the MLA, has been discussed on a number of occasions.”

Is it not ironic that Vaizey speaks of abolishing the MLA in order to ‘improve transparency and accountability’  then states that the decision to abolish was not made on the back of a formal consultation?

Does he have any facts to prove that abolishing the MLA will be “value for money”   and when he says “value” what does he mean exactly?


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Posted by on March 14, 2011 in Your Thoughts are Welcome