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Library Camp Glasgow: Innovative information literacy

13 Nov

In this guest post, Jane Furness of Edinburgh College of Art writes about her session on information literacy and the ideas that came out of it. In this lovely tweet, a book about shoes is surrounded by – shoes!

In my session I showed the group some of the artists’ books from the ECA Library Collection, (which were all published by the wonderful Redfoxpress). My aim in this “show and tell” was to demonstrate my belief that our students learn better from hands on workshops using physical objects rather than sleep inducing lectures using power point. We then went on to discuss other ways we could “do” innovative information literacy training. These are the ideas that came up from the group discussion:

  • Use Prezi instead of power point: it’s more dynamic and multimedia friendly
  • Produce online workshops and tasks
  • Use Comic Life software to make Library guides into graphic novel formats (as at Glasgow School of Art)
  • Explore gamification of information literacy training – e.g. at Abertay in Dundee (led by the School, not the Library)
  • Run Doors Open Day events – i.e. we get the students in to explore the space and by stealth we “do” information literacy with them
  • Do treasure hunts with QR codes in the Library instead of a lecture
  • Use hashtags to explain the concept of classification
  • Find champions within the student and academic / staff communities to spread the word about the great things the Library can do
  • Use case studies and stories to show personal journeys
  • Use physical objects as teaching tools
  • Set up mood boards in the Library showing all the resources students could use – visually
  • Do 3 minute library talks at other classes
  • Provide library clinics and drop in sessions within the School, not in the Library (i.e. library goes to them, not  them having to come to us)
  • Offer 15 minute library training sessions – not hour-long ones!
  • Embed into teaching sessions with academic staff
  •  As at the University of the West of Scotland, Moodle-register (or equivalent) on all the courses you support to access to discussion boards so that you can jump in to conversations if students are asking each other for research help

Library Camp Glasgow: Jennifer’s view

11 Nov

Picture: Lynn Corrigan

In this guest post, Jennifer Higgins writes about experiencing her first library camp.

I’m a diabolical blogger. Only too eager to attend the latest library event happening in Scotland’s central belt, my vampiric tendency is to gorge on the offerings of the day, internalise them in the darkness of my desk before picking over the bones of half-remembered details a few weeks /months later – and usually in response to an information enquiry that requires further support.

But the outwardly reflective nature of the sessions at Glasgow Library Camp 2014 on Saturday at The Mitchell Library has awakened me out of my blogging somnambulism to share a few thoughts on what really was a brilliant day out.

Proceedings started at 10am sharp, minutes after my hasty arrival. This being the first library camp I’d attended, I’d been pre-warned to expect the unexpected. Nonetheless, it was still quite unusual to be greeted by a chorus of questions from “Do you have a pet cat?” to “Do you play any team sports?” while fumbling through my CILIPS goodie-bag for a pen and notepad. Library bingo had been in earnest play since 9.30am, an excited Anabel Marsh and ever-cheerful Kirsten McCormick (General Services Librarian at the Mitchell) explained.

The ice well and truly broken, Anabel welcomed us all, explaining the concept of the un-conference (a more spontaneous version of the traditional format) and introducing the day’s session-pitch speakers. It was then onto the MmITS-sponsored 60 second soapbox rants covering an assortment of cross-sector themes. I was very apprehensive about standing up to recite a verse I’d penned on the subject of female-librarian stereotypes, alongside three spirited pitches from Sharon Wilson, Karen McAulay and Fiona Hughes, but it was well-received. (Ed: Jennifer is too modest to mention she won the prize!)

The announcement of the day’s timetable saw a glacial surge of librarians move to pick their sessions. I plumped for a combination of four sessions that I could sink my teeth into – either because they sparked my professional interest or addressed a latent development need. Here are some thoughts on each of those four sessions:

Jane Furness, Edinburgh College of Art – Innovative Information Literacy

Jane’s session discussed her work as an art librarian offering visually-orientated information literacy sessions to both small groups of creative students and large lecture theatres. Jane highlighted student artists’ preferences for using hands-on, visual materials (such as the fabulous collection of artists’ books from Red Fox Press she had brought) as part of information-literacy sessions in today’s contemporary digital context. She sought contributions from the group on best ways of expressing information literacy concepts to engage students who often have to produce work rapidly. Some of the most salient ideas I took from the session were:

  • The use of stealth IL techniques such as pop-up library sessions and 15-minute library clinics
  • The benefit of introducing students or school-pupils to the library in advance of the academic session when there are fewer distractions around
  • The development of techniques such as QR codes to encourage students to explore new corners of the library space
  • The discoverability of the ‘hidden’ aspects of the library such as Special Collections.

It was interesting to hear from a school librarian who discussed the difficulties implicit in attempting to teach IL to pupils for whom the idea of going into a library to find something out for themselves (and not to answer the pre-set questions of the teacher) was a completely new concept. How to give enough instruction while also letting learners work ideas out for themselves in the library and get other educators on-board with this idea was one outcome we discussed. The group’s response being that IL librarians need to find their champions who can take ideas to senior educators and represent library initiatives on all-staff Boards and meetings. The benefits of the online use of Prezi, wiki spaces, Glasgow School of Art’s InfosmART and the use of ‘Comic Life’ software for creating subject guides were all held up as successful information literacy tools.

Martyn Wade, CILIP Info – Internet Privacy

In what must be a clear-cut violation of library camp rules, I couldn’t help myself from scribbling screeds of notes in fascination at some of the things I learnt during Martyn Wade’s informative session on the IFLA’s manifesto for a privacy statement (to be released in Spring 2015). I’m really pleased I attended this session as it highlighted an alarming number of gaps in my knowledge and encouraged me to reflect on my previous experience as a public library assistant in the habit of regularly collecting data from the public to join them as library members. It was evident that libraries need to be communicating with their suppliers to avoid breaches of user privacy, particularly when accessing e-books that could feasibly entail the downloading of software that routinely collects personal information that can be shared with other organisations. Adobe’s rights management was cited as one prolific example. The over-riding message was that there’s a really strong role for the library and information profession in privacy matters, not least in our ethical and legal responsibility to protect library users’ information and in communicating what we do with that information. Discussion was had around the need for a distinction to be made between digital skills training (‘here’s how you do it’) and digital literacy training (‘here’s the implications of doing it’). Martyn put some feelers out to collect people’s thoughts on the term ‘media literacy’ as a better means of describing the inter-relationships between different media types and conveying the idea of communication on social media as ‘publication’ as opposed to ‘conversation.’ The term was positively received although mixed feeling prevailed over the recent passing of EU legislation giving citizens the right to be forgotten – does this prevent people taking responsibility for their (online) actions and where does the ripple effect of this legislation stop? Foregrounded were the need for a public interest test when applying this legislation and, related to this, the extent of the FoI Act’s scope to extend to organisations currently evading its jurisdiction. I was grateful for the sustenance of a good lunch however the prevalence of Internet monitoring left a bad taste in the mouth. It’s unpalatable that a lot of what people trust about libraries is under threat from this activity and consultation on the content of a privacy statement is surely an opportunity for all in the library and information profession to comment on.

Karen McAulay, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – ‘Do you practise what you preach?’

Karen’s session took us through her reflective practice blog developed on a teaching artist course she’d undergone as part of her CPD at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, posing the question: do we reflect enough in our daily roles? Thoughts to come out of the session were how to solicit honest responses from library users to facilitate more impactful reflection, whatever form that reflection may take. Although when and how to reflect is deeply subjective the discussion raised a need to share our reflections more widely as a profession and for this reflection to be externalised at both an individual and institutional level. Due to its portability and transferability between institutions, Evernote won hands-down in response to the question of whether any librarians kept bibliographies, although with Martyn Wade’s words still ringing in our ears, there’s debate to be had about the merits of institution-wide endorsement. In other words, as soon as you stop purchasing, you become the product. I was encouraged by the level of reflection the session generated and Karen’s blog-model is a fantastic template to follow. Read her post on the session here.

Annette Thain, NHS Education for Scotland – Cross-network Collaboration

Annette’s session canvassed for ideas to facilitate cross-collaboration in order to produce more evidence-based practice and foster better information-exchange across sectors. She was also interested in how library assistant training could be delivered as part of these cross-collaborative efforts.

Strong suggestions were made for:

  • Increasing the broker role of library services that have pre-established links with the health sector (such as Sandyford Library or the Dementia Services Development Centre at Stirling University
  • Improving opportunities for work-shadow placements across sectors
  • Introducing more guest lectures explaining services to be delivered on university MLIS courses and establishing links between NES and the SCURL Health Group

We chewed over the representation of, for example, public library professionals in presentations at health and SHINE-organised events as well as NES representatives at CILIPS events. Plus, the idea of receptionists and information assistants in the NHS being trained in the resources available through the public library made a lot of sense to me. What resonated most were the interests of other library sectors to be collaborating specifically with the public library sector to reach a wider audience. Yet the localism of service provision for each sector representative seemed to muddy the waters – is the ‘embeddedness’ of sectors a positive or negative thing? As a newly-qualified librarian, I’ve been nurtured on the benefits of establishing library partnerships yet I still harbour a real scepticism about the essential remit of public services being stretched too thinly through private partnership or joining with trusts. However, where public library visits can be driven up and on an agenda as central to the public library mission as wellbeing, surely such public collaborations are to be encouraged. Perhaps it comes down to connections being made by open-minded individuals in different sectors but I think it would be extremely sad for cross-collaboration opportunities to be passed up on the basis that the practicalities were too difficult to tease out. The public library sector could really be showing its value by pushing forward a physical and mental health agenda – beyond the remit of its collection development policy. Making this a reality has to come down to the vision and enthusiasm of the people on the ground…

… something which led nicely onto the thorny issue of training for library assistants. The number of questions raised rather than answers given highlighted the need for more consistent support of LAs and other information workers as members of the group shared varied interpretations of what staff training needs might be and levels of training provision.

And that concludes my reflection on Library Camp Glasgow! For a first attempt it’s been pretty rambling but if events like this wet my appetite for the importance of the profession, then in future, I could be holding up a mirror on the library profession more often. Given the openness and supportiveness of the group and the value of group discussion, I’ll certainly be looking to pitch my tent and importantly, reflect once again. This vampire has seen the light!

Library Camp Glasgow 2014

10 Nov
Mitchell Library

Mitchell Library


The second Library Camp Glasgow took place at the Mitchell Library on Saturday, 8th November 2014. 36 people attended, took part in competitions, listened to rants (or ranted) and discussed a variety of topics. Here’s how the day unfolded:

Badge Competition

Everyone was invited to bring their own name-badges, with prizes for the best, and entrants were photographed as they arrived. There were some very creative efforts!

Human Bingo

To get everyone talking, the day kicked off with Human Bingo with the incentive of a prize draw for the completed bingo sheets.

MmITS Minute of Madness

This was a chance to vent a burning passion or frustration about libraries, librarianship or a related topic, with 60 seconds to get the point across in a mad rant. It was sponsored by MmITS who generously donated a Kindle Fire as the prize. Thanks to the four entrants, Sharron, Jennifer, Karen and Fiona, for taking part.


The main event was, of course, the sessions. At a Library Camp, these are pitched by participants and a timetable is made up on the day. There were sessions on CILIP Registration, Innovative user education, Internet privacy, Advocacy, CILIPS West, Do you practice what you preach?, 23 Librarians live, and Cross-network collaboration. Two groups also toured the Mitchell Library. Some sessions have already been written up and I hope more will be added – check the Event Writeups page on the Library Camp wiki, which also lists links to some of the sites recommended during the day.


So who won all the lovely prizes? We finished up with the prizegiving. Jennifer Higgins won the MmITS Kindle Fire with her rant “Covering gender bias in representations of the female librarian – a poetic quip about the perils (or should that be pearls?) of image stereotypes.” All other prizes were sponsored by CILIPS – Annette Thain won a book and CDs when her name was drawn from the completed bingo sheets and Sharron Wilson and Karly Walters-Smith won Tunnock’s goodies for the best badges. These were independently judged by desk staff at the Mitchell who gave it a lot of thought before choosing their two favourites.


Library Camp Glasgow was a completely free event, for which I am indebted to its sponsors. I’ve already mentioned the prizes donated by MmITS and CILIPS.  CILIPS also provided the goody bags, seen here being investigated by an unexpected guest, and librarians do not run on empty stomachs, so thanks also to SALCTG for morning refreshments and SLIC for lunch. Thanks to Glasgow Life for use of the Mitchell for the second year and to library staff Kirsten McCormick, Lisa Powell and Elaine Thomson for all their help.

All photographs, except for the view of the Mitchell entrance atop this post and the (so delicious) chocolate muffins above, are courtesy of Lynn Corrigan. Thanks to her too and, of course, thanks to everyone who came and made it such a great day.



Library Camp Glasgow 2

23 Sep

Library Camp 2

I’m delighted to say that the second Library Camp Glasgow (#libcampgla) will be taking place at the Mitchell Library on Saturday, 8th November. I’m very grateful to the Mitchell for hosting this again. Full details are available on the Library Camp Glasgow wiki and bookings are now open on Eventbrite. Attendance is completely free. For those of you who have not been to a Library Camp before, it is an “unconference” which is entirely user-generated – the programme is decided on the day from session pitches proposed by attendees. This makes it very participatory and I’d urge as many of you as possible to think of a topic on which you would be willing to lead a discussion. (NB Library Camp is a non-tech, PowerPoint-free zone.) You can pitch in advance on the wiki (username and password will be supplied when you book) or at the beginning of Camp – the wiki has examples of previous pitches and write-ups of some of last years sessions to help you.

Library Camp has prizes! Last year’s Soapbox feature has been renamed the MmITS Minute of Madness in honour of the prize sponsor – MmITS has generously donated a Kindle Fire for the best contribution. Do you have a library-related peeve or passion that you can rant about for 60 seconds? Sign up on the wiki for a chance to win this amazing prize. There will also be prizes for the best home-made name badges, so time to get crafting! Last year, this was VERY competitive and took off on Twitter as the #greatbritishbadgeoff. Once again, examples from last year of both these competitions are on the wiki.

Morning refreshments, sponsored by SALCTG, and lunch, sponsored by SLIC, will be available. Many thanks to them for their help.

Finally, please let me know of any special requirements, e.g. access or diet, after you have booked. I’m also happy to answer any questions you might have.

I look forward to seeing some of you at Library Camp – and please help with publicity if you can by circulating this information to your own networks.

Library Camp and #GLTU12 News

24 Feb

1. Library Camp. Library Camp Glasgow will return to the Mitchell Library this autumn – the date is Saturday, 8th November. In the meantime, there is School Library Camp Scotland on 14th June for those of you interested.

2. #GLTU12 / CILIPS West event. Travelling Librarians is on Wednesday, 12th March at Glasgow Caledonian. As the recipient of the CILIP / ESU Travelling Librarian Award for 2013, Glasgow Libraries’ Kirsten McCormick spent a month travelling around Australian libraries researching ways in which they record major sporting events and their legacies for the social record. In 2012 Michael Charlton spent 5 months in Zapallal, Peru, where he created a library and learning centre for the 40 children, aged 5-18, who live in the Project Peru children’s refuge. Come and hear Kirsten and Michael talk about their experiences, and find out from Kirsten how to apply for this year’s Award. Refreshments and Registration will be available from 15.30 with the event starting at 16.00. If there is sufficient interest, a traditional Glasgow Library Tweetup Curry will be organised after 18.00 – you are welcome to sign up for the curry alone if you are unable to make the event. There is no need to be on Twitter to join in, but if you are this is #GLTU12. Follow the link for further information and to book for both event and curry.

3. 23 Librarians. You might have read about this new project in the recent CILIPS newsletter. 23 Librarians is a blog to record snapshots of Scotland’s library and information world. 23 different bloggers will describe what attracted them into the profession and give an insight into a typical day in their current post. I hope that this will be useful to people considering a career in libraries, Library School students wondering what sector to look for work in, Chartership candidates looking for wider professional knowledge, people considering a move between sectors – and basically anyone with an interest in finding out what librarians and information professionals do. I have received enough submissions to start at the beginning of March – to follow the blog, if you don’t use WordPress or an RSS reader yourself, click on the “Follow by Email” button at the right hand side. Contributions are still needed to get to 23 (and beyond if the interest is there) so please get in touch if you’d like to know more about sharing your own experience. You can comment on either blog, tweet me at @AnabelMarsh or complete the form on the “About” page of 23 Librarians.

4. Glasgow Library CPD Passport. At its early stages in planning, and unlikely to go much further till 23 Librarians is off the ground, but watch this space! With Clare Hemsworth, Jessie Linardi Nicol and Sharon Lawler I have been discussing an idea to draw up a set of routes of libraries in Glasgow that could comfortably be visited in a day (something like the Shoogle we did for NLD a couple of years ago, but going beyond the Subway). We’d provide information such as opening hours, who to contact and so on, to take some of the work away from chartership candidates or anyone else wishing to set up visits. It might even be a proper passport you can download and get stamped in each library – we’re unfeasibly excited by that idea!

5. National Libraries Day. Talking of NLD, if you haven’t seen them, there are links to Storifies Parts 1 and 2 and a gallery of photographs on the CILIPS webpage.

More news on all these projects soon.


Library Camp Glasgow: Reader development

5 Dec
Photo: Lynn Corrigan

Photo: Lynn Corrigan

This session was pitched by Wendy Kirk, Librarian at Glasgow Women’s Library, as a way of finding out what other libraries are doing in terms of reader development.  It was a chance for people to share experiences, and to be inspired by examples of best practice and new ideas. Wendy’s notes from the session follow.

I started the session by chatting about what Glasgow Women’s Library is doing at the moment, with a focus on our weekly read aloud Read, Relax, Recharge group. This group is very much focused on the concept of reading for wellbeing and relaxation, and is very sociable (group members bring and share their lunch and there is always lots of tea!) The group is particularly popular with older women, who have expressed how important it is to them in terms of company and the chance to ‘get out for a few hours.’

At the session, people talked about the importance of evaluating the impact of reader development activities, and how best to capture this. As well as simply logging numbers attending, for example, book groups, it is crucial to get qualitative feedback. Often this is vital for funding. Someone suggested a questionnaire that the Literacy Trust use, which is about people’s self-perception as readers.  You do the questionnaire at the start of someone’s reading journey, and then again once they have been, for example,  attending a book group, to see if their self-perception has changed.

Other suggestions of good practice or sources of information included:

  • National Reader Development Network – open for anyone to join
  • Scottish Poetry Library – their work with doctors on the concept of ‘nothing but the poem’
  • ‘Sell a book’ – encourage people to bring in their favourite book and ‘sell’ it at an event or book group
  • ‘Best book award’ – get your book group to vote for the book that they’ve liked the most at the group, or get them to rate each book after reading it
  • LGBT book group at Hillhead library (Glasgow Life) – this group started off reading LGBT texts only but is now mixing these with mainstream texts

People also talked about sharing book recommendations that are particularly good for using with groups, and came up with the following suggestions:

The session showed how much is going on in libraries! A great session full of interesting practice and generous sharing of ideas.

Reader development session. Photo: Lynn Corrigan

Reader development session. Photo: Lynn Corrigan

Library Camp Glasgow: Libraries as creative incubators

4 Nov

Delphine Dallison pitched the following: “Glasgow School of Art launched The Hatchery this year as an online resource for creative people to take inspiration from libraries as a source or a site for creativity. Glasgow Women’s Library has also been leading the way in this area with the 21 Revolutions project*. I’d like to hear from other libraries about how they engage with artists and other creatives.” In this guest post, Delphine tells us how the session went.

* GWL recently won the Enterprising Museum Award for this project.

All images are used with permission.

The reason for pitching this session was because, although now a graduate trainee librarian at the Glasgow School of Art’s library, I had also previously studied at the Glasgow School of Art in Sculpture and Environmental Art and used libraries as the setting or inspiration for a number of projects. The first project I ever did in a library was at the GoMA Library, where I’d developed a series of postcards challenging gender stereotypes and then proceeded to slip them in between the pages of books, so that the books could become a method of surprise delivery of the art work. I was also obviously quite tickled by the idea that GoMA could be unwittingly promoting my work at such an early stage in my career as an artist. Later on, I pitched a similar project idea to the Glasgow Women’s Library, which although the project itself never really saw the light of day, led me into a collaboration with GWL which has lasted many years now and also was also the catalyst for GWL inviting me to be one of the 21 artists they commissioned as part of their 21st Anniversary celebration.

I went on from there to discuss a few of the artworks which were created by some of my fellow artists as part of that commission. The 21 artists and 21 writers were asked to take inspiration from books in the lending/reference collection of GWL and various items in the archive. One of the points I was keen to make when discussing that session was how the artists didn’t just limit their scope to the books, but actually investigated every aspect of the library.

For example, looking at the work of Shauna McMullan, 165 Stars, Found in GWL Lending Library, we can see how Shauna went through all the books taking photos of all the different marginalia and eventually narrowed it down to the asterisks she’d collected.

165 Stars: Shauna McMullan

165 Stars: Shauna McMullan

I’m always really moved by this artwork, as I feel that each asterisk captures that moment in time when a woman (or a man) felt so strongly about a passage in a book that they felt the need to single it out with a star. Was the star meant for themselves? Or were they hoping that the star would catch other people’s attention at a later time or day and encourage them to also partake in the reading of that exact passage?

Some of the other artists did indeed take inspiration from the books, but then felt drawn to doing a bit of detective work, like Amanda Thompson, who first came across an entry about Mary McCallum Webster, a little known Scottish female botanist, who made a great contribution to Scottish botany by writing ‘The Flora of Morayshire’. Through her research, Amanda Thompson found a memorial to Webster and was able to get it added to the Mapping Monuments to Women project.

Moneses Uniflora: Amanda Thomson

Moneses Uniflora: Amanda Thomson

Amanda’s project was a great example of how some of the women artists used the brief to highlight the lives of some of the women who contributed to Scotland’s heritage, but who’ve been left out of the history books.

One last example of how the GWL artists holistically used the library as inspiration was Ruth Barker, who designed an edition of scarves which when wrapped around someone beautifully illustrate what Ruth calls “the virtual hug” she receives as a welcome to the library whenever she comes to visit.

A scarf for GWL: Ruth Barker

A scarf for GWL: Ruth Barker

To find out more about the 21 Revolutions project, follow the link in the introduction or keep an eye open for the publication coming out in March 2014. Click on the images above to find out how to purchase limited edition copies.

The next point of discussion I wanted to raise was about the GSA library’s new online resource The Hatchery which was launched just after the summer. In this resource, the GSA librarians have been attempting to create a record of any instances during which students and artists have used the library as the source and site of their inspiration and artworks. The hope is than in future, students will be able to use the resource to feed their own inspiration and maybe librarians can look at ways of fostering similar instances of creativity in their own institutions. I went through a number of examples of artworks which were recorded in The Hatchery, or will soon be added, such virtual artist books which will only take the physical form of catalogue entry, exhibitions being inspired by our rare books collection or sculptures being made from long-lost USB memory sticks. (Click on the image for more information.)

Theresa Moerman Ib: Lost Memory

Theresa Moerman Ib: Lost Memory

This was really the launching point of the session’s discussion and it was heartening to see the warm response of the various library staff and other people attending the session. A number of people showed an interest in how The Hatchery will continue to develop in future and whether there will be scope for links to other libraries’ creative efforts.

The discussion also brought up interesting points about audiences for art in libraries, with Ally Proctor sharing the experience of a friend of hers who, while presenting artworks in a library in the US, came across an unexpected audience of homeless people who habitually use the library as a safe and dry refuge from the outdoor conditions. Could art in libraries be a means of reaching out to these disenfranchised audiences?

Karen McCauley spoke about how the Royal Conservatoire’s library has often hosted musical events, rather than visual art, obviously influenced by the students’ artistic focus and there was discussion of maybe developing some sort of exchange where students from the Conservatoire could perform at the GSA Library and GSA students could create art for the Conservatoire.

After the end of Library Camp Glasgow, Karen also brought up some new discussion points via her blog, which would be interesting to thrash out at a later event about how librarians evaluate the value and reach of creative efforts taking place in libraries. For me the idea of art in libraries is an important component of the political stance taken by environmental artists to displace art from its position of elitism and commercialism and instead make it available to everyone on a platform where the audience feels included in the work.

Secondly though, how do librarians speak about the work once it’s been produced? Do they have the necessary critical vocabulary to do so? In my first week as a trainee at GSA, there were indeed a lot of questions going about on what constitutes a crit term for the critical analysis session students at GSA regularly have to take part in to develop a critical awareness of their work. It was interesting to me to find out that none of the librarians at GSA had ever taken part in one, even though I’d imagine that their insights would be really valuable. I’m not sure though that there is such a need for complex language in the analysis of art. Most importantly, I feel that everyone should be able to provide a critique of an artwork, without in depth training (even though this may go against the past 3 years I spent studying at GSA). In 4th year Environmental Art, my crits used to get broken down in 3 parts:

–          Describe what you see.

–          Describe how it makes you feel.

–          Interpret the meaning of what you see and how the work makes you feel.

Finally, depending on whether the interpretation matched the artist’s intention or not, the artwork would be deemed successful or unsuccessful. I feel this structure could easily be transferred to the context of a librarian discussing work taking place in their library, but equally could be passed on to any member of the public, trained or untrained, who wished to discuss an artwork.

Hopefully, this is only the start of many discussions on how libraries can provide the framework for many forms of artistic expression.

Delphine Dallison

Library Camp Glasgow: National Libraries Day

30 Oct

Sean McNamara of CILIPS and Anabel Marsh pitched a session about how to build on last year’s Storify from National Libraries Day and gather more attention and create a resource from NLD 2014 which happens on February 8th.

The following points were brought up in the discussion:

  • If we are to do any attention grabbing stunts such as a flash-mob we should involve library users as much as possible
  • We should be sure before creating any resource that we understand who our audience is – current users? Non users? Politicians?
  • We should look at ways that various libraries links to the community when planning NLD
  • More effort should be made to outline what happens on NLD in the lead up
  • Dundee last year asked people questions, used placards and got individual stories from people. A national version of this could work well and the Dundee examples could be followed up in more depth
  • The planning for NLD is difficult if library cuts are recent or on-going
  • Academic libraries could become involved by more promotion of their local public library and vice versa. Not just books but e-resources can complement each other.
  • Find a way to use Wikimedia on NLD
  • Attention grabbing events like Midlothian pole-fitness or something like a library sleepover can get press attention
  • Emphasise literacy e.g. in prison libraries (Saughton)
  • Ask your users. Use regulars as champions. What would bring your pals in? Teenagers transformed Sighthill
  • A library swap – staff from different types of library promote their service or work in another library for the day
  • Murder mystery events worked well in England last year
  • Fun should be a key word

It was decided the following tasks would be carried out to develop plans further:

  • #NLDScot would start to be used right away and promotion started early in other ways. This allows for national buy-in and ideas for fun events to be submitted as well as activities across all types of libraries. Events should add value for users but raise profile for the press. Heads of service to be contacted
  • One question – all libraries that are involved would be asked to pose a question to users about why their library is important. If every library can generate at least one story (with accompanying photo with placard where appropriate) then these could be gathered on the CILIPS website and be a lasting resource
  • A webpage with advice and information could be set up also before the day (CILIPS?)
  • A one-off attention grabbing stunt could gather more press attention in the lead up – ideas to be submitted via #NLDScot

So – over to you! What are your ideas for National Libraries Day? Leave a comment below, tweet using #NLDScot or feel free to contact Sean (@SeanieMac24) or Anabel (@AnabelMarsh; directly.

Library Camp Glasgow

29 Oct
The Happy Campers All photos courtesy of Lynn Corrigan

The Happy Campers
All photos courtesy of Lynn Corrigan

Library Camp Glasgow took place on Saturday, 26th October at the Mitchell Library. About 55 people attended and, judging from the feedback, a great day was had by all. I don’t want to write too much here because there is fuller information on the Camp wiki where the sessions are listed and links to write-ups are being collected. I’ll also be adding write-ups on sessions to this blog when the authors don’t have anywhere of their own to post them. So, for now, a few pictures to capture the flavour of the day.

Library Camp was busy! Lots of groups avidly discussing library-related topics.

We had prizes! Andrew McDougall was voted the best Soapbox ranter, Mitchell staff chose Karen McAulay and Sheila Williams as owners of the best home-made name-badges and Katy Loudon won the Library Camp Bingo.

Library Camp had support from a variety of organisations – see the sponsorship page for full details – making it a completely free event. Thanks particularly to the Mitchell Library and staff for the venue and Swets, SLIC and SALCTG for catering.


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