Friday, 23 October 2009


I have started YSL 3 and read one presentation and listened to another and both leave me with the same feeling- it is all fine in theory but how do I get the students to live the same message, how do I get them to be as excited about their studies and use the lib as a place to increase their knowledge and understanding rather than a place to socialise and play whatever game they can on the pc.

The students and I have different views as stakeholders about what the lib should or could be and it ends up with me nagging about what they consider silly things and I consider bigger ones

They pivot the chairs on one or two legs - chairs break and so I nag and says "4 or 6 or the floor", they push their feet against the modesty panels on the pc tables, the mdf panel is not strong enough for this and breaks and so I say " take your feet off the table, please" nagging again

They eat (though not allowed) in lib and leave their debris where they like, but rarely in a bin, would you do that in the local bookshop?

They move the chairs around to suit their needs but do not put them back again and leave they all higgedly piggedly, should I be happy to put up to all these chairs neatly again?

What do I need to do differently to become a learning commons?
Though surveys and f2f pupil voice over the years I have come to the conclusion that sutdents do want an adaptable space to be what ever they want it to be for their immediate needs, silent when pushed by deadlines, noisy and social when they "have nothing to do", a cafe etc etc, but some how they do respect or value the space enough and think that their is always someone who will tidy up their mess

I would love to know what I should be doing. We try to be welcoming, we help with enquiries and I know this makes me sound really negative and I am not but I just find that theory is often difficult to relate to practise.

However through teachers I have had many instances of positive feedback when I have introduced them to web 2.0 tools - lots use voicethread and animoto.

Enough for now!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Library routes

In response to the library routes project (cilip gazette 22/10/09) here is my route
It looks like I am in a minority choosing to become a librarian straight from school, although if I were to have achieved better A level results I probably would have done languages at uni.

I went to Liverpool Polytechnic in Sept 1971 and was part of the final cohort doing the library association exams. I enjoyed the course although some was deadly boring and I remember morning spent sitting in Liverpool Libs reading room passing bibliographies from person to person and taking notes on what they were and what wonders they listed! Two years later I got my first job at Liverpool uni in a very boring job sending periodicals to binding and finding the books to send on interlibrary loans. I was part of the inferior class of employees who did not have a degree, we were not allowed to go to the same staffroom or canteen as staff with degrees. I wonder if and when that practice ended?

I survived one year and then got a job at Birkenhead Central Lending library in the adult lending section and stayed there until I left to have a family in 1979.

Roll on eight years, two children and a house move to Surrey and I discovered that Surrey school were appointing half a librarian in all the secondary schools. This seemed the ideal opportunity for me and I secured a post at Ash Manor School and then finally moved to George Abbot in 1991, this time a full time post. 18 years on I am still there and love it, but that it another story.