Tag Archives: Storify

National Libraries Day in Dundee

11 Mar

Kevin McGinley, Library Information Worker and Social Media Admin for Leisure and Culture Dundee Libraries, has written this guest post on how @dundeelibraries created their contribution to our National Libraries Day Storify.

My first library cardImage used with permission of @dundeelibraries

My first library card
Image used with permission of @dundeelibraries

National Libraries Day on 9 February 2013 was a culmination of a week’s worth of celebrations in school, college, university, workplace and public libraries across the UK. Our involvement began when we were asked by Anabel Marsh of Glasgow Library Tweetups if we would like to take part in a Libraries takeover on Twitter. It seemed a great concept and we quickly decided to take up the challenge. We were inspired by the fantastic faceBOOK project by photographer Keith Pattison and decided to use this as the inspiration to tweet similar photos throughout the day. We have to say we were a bit nervous about how our customers would react to having their photos broadcast all over the world, but we need not have worried as almost everyone we spoke to was keen to take part.

After a bit of planning and admin (gaining permission via photo consent forms etc) we soon set about snapping customers as they visited our libraries, asking them what they loved and why they were visiting their library. We tried to get a broad spectrum of activities photographed and hopefully we managed to give a nice flavour of what we offer in terms of Library services. Yes, books and reading are core but it doesn’t do any harm to show that libraries are involved in wide range of activities from Pram Pushing Groups to Video Games Coding Workshops for young people.

We decided to schedule some of our tweets in advance via Hootsuite, just in case we were overwhelmed on the day. This worked well as we scheduled tweets every 30 mins and mixed them in with live tweets. We had retweets and replies from all over the UK and it was brilliant to see #nld13 as the top trending topic on Twitter. What was also great was the feel-good factor it created in our own libraries as lots of staff got involved in the lead up, snapping photos on their mobile phone as the chance arose. Special thanks go to Jacque, one of our Library and Information Assistants who, as Tinned Tomatoes, doubles as a very successful food writer and blogger in her spare time. Jacque took photos, and also helped tweet on the day ensuring the success of the project.

If anyone is thinking of trying this type of project in their Libraries, the best advice we can give is just go for it. It’s great fun! You can view the full set of photos we used on the day on our Facebook page.

National Libraries Day in Scotland

11 Feb

Instead of having an event for National Libraries Day this year, GLTU decided to create a Twitter snapshot of Scottish libraries – what people use them for and why they value them. After much tweeting and retweeting, we got a great response. It’s obviously not comprehensive, but we have a geographical spread from Orkney down to Dumfries and Galloway and representatives of public, academic, school and special libraries, so there’s pretty broad coverage. There are cute kids, a dog, a cat (cheated a bit on that one) and cake – what’s not to love? Head off to the Storify to see the full results – it’s too long to embed, but here’s Strathclyde’s NLD cake as a taster. (Too late to taste literally, I fear).


#GLTU6 – Edinburgh Book Sculptures: review

13 Oct

After a break over the summer, #GLTU returned with a very successful first outing for 2012/13 on Friday, 12th October.

When she heard that the famous Edinburgh Book Sculptures were on tour and visiting the Mitchell Library, Gillian (@gillianhanlon) was quick to suggest a visit, and we were lucky enough to persuade Abby Cunnane of the Scottish Poetry Library (@byleaveswelive) and Peggy Hughes from the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust (@EdinCityofLit) to come along and give us added insight into the sculptures and how they were found. The evening was well attended:19 for the visit at the Mitchell, of whom 14 moved on to the nearby Koh-I-Noor for a curry afterwards. I took a few pictures, but they turned out a bit rubbish I’m afraid. These two were acceptable, the first showing Abby describing one of the sculptures and the other taken at the restaurant. The food had just been served so we were concentrating – we didn’t look as serious as that all night!



Other people took better photographs, the most prolific being Richard (@Ricaird) who tweeted a full set, one of each sculpture, so I decided the best way to enhance this review was shamelessly to plunder other people’s material and create a Storify which also includes links to background information about the sculptures in case you want to know more. I thought they were wonderful, and loved the mysteries surrounding them. Who created them? I believe they are genuinely anonymous – Abby and Peggy seem to have no more idea than we do, although they know the artist is female. How could she smuggle the sculptures into the ten cultural institutions where they were found without ever being noticed? Why were they all addressed to the recipients’ Twitter-handles? She must therefore be familiar with Twitter – perhaps we follow her unknowingly? What is certain is that the artist has a passion for books and libraries and is tremendously creative – as well as the intricacy of the sculptures themselves, just having the idea in the first place and working in all the literary allusions she makes would be beyond most people. So I think there must be others out there who know someone like that and have very strong suspicions, yet they keep the secret too.

The sculptures are at the Mitchell till the 27th before they go off on the next leg of the tour. If you can, I strongly recommend visiting. If you can’t, console yourself with buying the book Gifted – 50p from each copy sold goes to support the Scottish Poetry Library.

So that’s #GLTU6 over. At the end of the evening, talk turned to #GLTU7. There are two schools of thought – leave it till the New Year, or go for a Christmas bash. If we’re going to do the latter, we need to move quickly so opinions are sought as soon as possible. Also, if anyone else has posted any material about the book sculptures visit, please let me know so that I can link it into the blog or Storify.

RIP @JordanhillLib – the end of a library told through social media

6 Jul

A library full of books (photo by Lynne Marshall)

A few weeks later

The University of Strathclyde is centralising onto one campus this summer. As part of the procedure, Jordanhill Library closed on 1st June and was emptied within a few short weeks. This was an emotional wrench for me, having worked there over two decades, so I decided to create my own little archive. I tweeted the whole procedure as @JordanhillLib so that staff and students were kept up-to-date with progress, but tweets disappear off the horizon quickly and, now that the account has morphed into @StrathLibHaSS (HaSS = Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences), they’d be more or less irretrievable anyway. I’ve blogged about Jordanhill in other places, my travel blog and children’s literature blog, but it was two new (to me) tools that really came into their own.

Pinterest I signed up to this a while ago, but hadn’t really done anything with it until it occurred to me it would be a wonderful tool to document the closure of the library and collect memories. My Farewell Jordanhill board is a mixture of current photographs and archive material.

Storify Again, I had been aware of this tool but not used it much. However, I made two Jordanhill Storifies (Storifys?) – one about the Library’s last day, when we served cake to all our visitors, and one about the campus closing ceremony a couple of weeks later. Storify goes some way to solve the problem, mentioned above, of preserving tweets.

It’s wonderful these days how, with very little technical expertise, you can create good-looking web pages using these tools. Obviously, there is no guarantee that they will last for ever though so I have my photographs all backed up – I’m not daft. And I’ll always have the memories!

%d bloggers like this: