Monday, 31 March 2014

Spring has Sprung yet again

Despite my best tries at being cold and miserable, the spring has sprung and flowers are up and about and the cats have all got the joys stuck in their coats and need to run round like nutters to get them out! I am currently working on my front door and am repainting it with the hope that it looks so good my husband will spend part of Easter with my sons painting all the rest! The inside needed three coats just to look okay and the outside is needing more yet so I shall be painting in the dark and cursing the whole Idea soon. Oddly found it has been very relaxing, almost meditative for me. just slowly painting the wood, getting it all smooth and even. This is after the first coat, and it started to look better! Yes my walls are bright yellow!

The clocks have changed meaning my lunch wasn't too late today but by the time my body clock resets I will be famished by lunchtime again. The sun is again low when I drive in for work and I have a really hard time getting myself out of bed. I know it will improve and when it returns in the autumn the world is so much nicer due to the extra time, but I am robbing me now to give me then a help.

The school is working to two major deadlines at the moment, and the closer of these has been fun. Next summer (2015) a group of children will be going to Belize to walk and complete their Gold Duke of Edinburgh awards, but this summer a group of children are going to Belarus to volunteer. They have been fundraising and are doing well, despite us being a small community and the kids new to fundraising they have been working really hard. The website for them is here and their latest you tube video is very funny and well worth a look (poor Anna) please go see and if you feel like supporting that would be good too.

On a library note I win!!!! I heard on Friday one of my Mentees got her qualification, and can now move on to her next bit and charter (does silly dance) and best bit is I also got my re validation through (repeats silly dance) So now I must make sure I am brushed up on the new chartership while I get the last two I have doing the paper version (old style) finished as soon as possible (Easter I hope) I do have more bits from my meeting two weeks ago but this blog is mine and not a public broadcast (even if I did that myself, and then put up a must support thing :-) just a catch up blog post). Next week is the start of Easter holidays and I will be a bit in and out for the following two weeks, I hope to still blog on Mondays but may be from home instead.

Just a cat picture to finish, with her ginger leg on show and the sun shining my baby monster wants me to love her!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Public Information broadcast or something similar

I was lucky to get to a day of information and last blogged about the third sector and how it has an effect and how it can affect Libraries and society. This week at work I have been helping host a student who is here to see about active teaching and active learning. I know that is not really my area but she is an ex pupil and I was her return point to come back and make a difference. Why I mention it is because we got into a big discussion on society and who has control and how we change and what we can do or can't to affect change, I covered some aspects of sociology in my degree course (which the type I did seems to have gone west now :-( all BSc based rather than BA) and my one change I would make in life on a redo would be to do a BA in sociology and then an MA in libraries (or MSc) as I loved the whole idea of sociology and how we see and are influenced by the world and society.

This introspection has led me to actively participate in a cause that I do feel strongly about but I may have not bothered last week more due to apathy or too busy syndrome. The Cilip are leading a drive to get the rules changed for e-books, to get them more widely available and to get them free for libraries to loan. I have signed up and will be shouting about it on and off, because in that old adage, if your not part of the solution your part of the problem!

So feel free to skim over it but if you get time do click the link and join in the drive to get things changed, it is part of the whole who runs our world and how sets the rules. We can make a change. (climbs down off the soap box).

The same day of information I was shown a Website that is fab! the skills development Scotland team have set up a web site to help them get 48 hours in every day :-) as we need them more there seem to be less of them so they have a site that allows you to get much more out of their information and support your own life. They have set it up for schools initially and more recently have expanded it out to all those who may want support int he jobs market or even to just keep check of what you have in the jobs market. The web site is called My World of Work and includes a 'DNA' test that looks at what your suited to and what you like as well as a My Strengths section that helps you tailor you choices and interests! Even with a job I found it interesting and it allows me to fill in the CV section and update as I go. The website has recently been revamped to help the post school user get more from it and I was amazing just how much is online, from how to apply for a job to how to dress for an interview and how to practice your answers etc ahead. The point of showing us was the fact that it is a tool that can be used to keep track of job searching as part of the universal credit and current job seekers requirements. Well worth a look and a try, and if your a librarian or other partner worker they have an extra section that allows you access to more tools and info to support other better, amazing tool.

I remember when I was a child getting programs on the TV pre-political broadcasts which were noted as Public Information Broadcasts I wasn't awfully aware as a small child about these but they seemed old, boring and stuffy, I know wished I had listened more :-) but this is my version of it. So in time honored fashion I now end with a note that; This is the end of the Public Information Broadcast. Thank you and Good night.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Normal Service is Resumed (I Hope)

After a few weeks of busy and none stop, fighting off colds and trying tot get as much sleep as possible, traveling over a thousand miles and still turning up on time, I am back to normal working.

My desk is full of work to do and work needing doing, the end of the financial year is more than it used to be for me, and I am needing to get my head round new processes, but despite that it is situation normal for me. The weather has been kindish but of course when I want to paint the outside of the house the snow makes an appearance! An odd weekend, the cats decided I have to be up at 6am! so fight at my door until I get up. The daylight has turned, we now get more daylight than nighttime, which is great for doing things and for plans but hard to get back to sleep when woken by furry noses! Sat in my bed on Saturday morning with a Capri sun drink and the end of a bag of Haribo, did the bad Facebook thing and put that as my status, which later cause problems when my kids found out I had Haribo and they didn't get any :-).

Last week I was lucky to hear Sally Dyson speak about how the third sector is developing in support of digital provision in Scotland. She was talking about 'digital by default' which is the new online credit and universal credit system, how folk have to go online or lose out. how this is not a good thing. Her main thrust was how to develop 'digital by desire' Now I must admit here that my own mum is very much a non digital person, her banks closed and her only answer form them was 'well you must bank online' so she shut her account and uses another bank that at least visit her village by van once a week. The thought that if she had to do anything more then post office for her government interactions she would have to find internet and learn how to is just wrong. But that is a whole other kettle of fish. Sally was talking about how support must be found and how the third sector is a good start point and how they also need help developing their own  online presence. More about her world on SCVO.

Also in the same bill was a guy called Richard Clifford form a company called MAKLab which quietly blew my mind away! They run form the light house in Glasgow and they have rooms set up for design and more for manufacture, what caught my eye was the jewelry where someone had tried to make a prototype to check it would hang and could be made, I love this idea, as a crafter I love the thought I could make a thing just to see! He was also talking about bringing 3D printing to a wider audience which would be amazing, I am sure this is not as 'tomorrows world' as I think it is and I will dream on.

There was more but I think I shall stop now as I am only a day behind my aimed for deadline :-).

I shall finish with a quick pic from Glasgow that I took, I was wandering the town center and found this, so had to take a shot. Forgive the Geeky son who had to lean on the box.

Back to processing the last few weeks before my head bursts with ideas...

Friday, 21 March 2014

Hokey Kokey world

Well I feel in out and shaken all about!

Spent Sunday going to Glasgow and Monday in a meeting, amazing place Glasgow, such a poor rep but such nice folk and clean and welcoming city. Wandered the length and beyond of Sauchiehall Street (pronounced socky hall) and saw so much and had fun. The meeting was very interesting and I am still processing some of the information. Monday night spent going home.

Work for Tuesday then Tuesday evening south on the local train to Inverness (known to the locals as Invernsnicky for some reason) Over night in the youth hostel to get an early train to Edinburgh for Wednesday. Very good value but I spent the night dreaming of Zombies due to the shuffling of feet past my door at all hours, snigger. The room next door was chatting till late but that was okay, they regretted it when I got up at 6am I am sure. The train south was nice and not busy, mind you that may have been due to the very large number of carriages!

Wednesday was spent in Edinburgh, I had a couple of hours to kill wandering the town and made the most of it, from one end of the princes street to the other, and up the mile, I made the most of the sunshine and good day and walked until I realized I would be late and took a taxi across town to the central library. The whole day was nice and relaxed even the meeting while it was heated and full of debate was good and productive.

Wednesday night was spent getting home, trains and cars and very late night arrivals again. but to sleep in my own bed was a treat. the morning came too quick, and of course I had organised things for the Thursday and so I needed to be in work early and had a training session all day, by 4.30 at night I had done so much I had to go home and sleep.

And so my week is now at an end and I haven't got much finished at all, I have done lots and made loads of links and connections, I have set in motion things I hope to report back on the future but for now I have got nothing done! My cats haven't forgiven me and I spend the home time swinging between 'love me love me', and 'I hate you' I get head bonks and face nuzzles and then bites and chews and claws in my skin.

The final bell has gone for the day and I am done in, I will post this and go home, see got one thing done today :-). Just to finish a cat picture...
Have a nice weekend.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Happy Birthday Internet

According to various sources the internet has reached 25 year old. In this Blog My friend Sara looks at what has changed in the last 25 years, and while some I agree are fun I have strangely different memories of the same time.

I was also in my second year at library school, and we had dial in LISA and some of the databases online to California, which would have been the early parts of the web, and the new invention the CD Rom! Which I loved as it was quick and you could build carousels and search several at once... Part of our course was how to catalogue, another how we used ICT etc.

But while Sara was up in the north of Scotland I was in west London, and no better place can I think of to be 20 and studying! I had yearly entry to Kew, and Royal academy of Arts, I saw the latest films and enjoyed live plays when ever we could be bothered to go. I got to see the Levelers on tour in three different venues (including their home town of Brighton due to getting a lift down) and moshed in the web at the Astoria, the palace at Camden and even saw the Wonder Stuff live the week they were number one.

I spent a busy Saturday afternoon at the site of the Rose Theater in London as part of the Save the Rose movement, and like every other things then I also got the T shirt. Sadly the T shirt later got trashed by a child, but I had it, and the levelers and the cure etc and so much fun! My friend an I were even out the day of the storms and were on streets from some of the worst carnage! but came home untouched until we saw the TV that night!

I worked in Richmond for part of my time and the summer of 1989 I worked at the Poetry Library in the South Banks Centre, which is an amazing place and I can highly recommend a visit, some of the things and info they have is second to none and well worth a nose around. The underground was my life blood and the noise bustle and life in the city what I thrived on.

25 years later I am married with 3 children (now at going to uni age!) with a job I love which challenges me and makes me think. I have a home and world that allows me to still get live plays, and latest films but also lets me curl up in front of the fire when I want to. The biggest difference is the internet, I could now work from anywhere, a friend recently got a job in Dublin company, but still working from the highlands with occasional visits to head office. I can read my mums paper in Devon while eating my lunch in Caithness, or check the latest headlines from Ealing.

The internet and mobile technology has made the world so much smaller, what we supplied in the past as librarians was access to information, that is no longer enough as any decent phone can do that, what we need to do is facilitate information, getting best info or help identify what information is needed. We need to start discussions about why they want information about a car? to buy one to see one to find an old one or just a picture to like! We need to help open dialogues and make talk more valuable, help use the skills we and other have but do not value or even use. Like the paperless office of the 'new computer age' the conversations that are not needed now we have the internet are even more valuable.

On a lighter note I have been running World Book Day things and the tokens for the children, but a few years ago I felt the small cost to get the books allows me to give the books out to all the younger years as a gift from the library, so I set up my tables this week and have been through all the first years and half the second so far, I also have older titles that they get to choose from. I think a book in a hand is valuable no matter how or why.
My camera has a panorama feature and I am still working it out but this looks okay for now :-).

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Don't worry Normal Service will be resumed.

I think this is the longest gap I have had since I restarted  blogging, I know I have missed the odd week and usually get to stressed and hassled at missed weeks, but the last few weeks have been so busy!

I have had to be prioritizing and organizing and make this my 'fun' thing, sadly that time has been sucked into the gaps just recently. Work has been fun, I took on certain things knowing it would be hard work. I just didn't think it would be this hard in places. Some of my work load has been lifted and I am getting a handle on the rest now, I also have a new assistant who is fab, but I need to bring them up to speed!

I had a weeks break from school only to find the other half of my job took over, I had to work most of the holiday and never got to my desk so had well over 100 emails to sort when I did get back. I am still catching up with missed calls and missed work and the end of the month things that I should have done and I so need to make a list.

Most of the last week was spent looking for a lost cat, it wasn't the usual lost one so we were very worried. She is a semi feral cat so can look after herself but rarely wanders far, she turned out to be next door stuck under floor boards that had been lifted for a few hours on Sunday and somehow she got under and too scared to come out again until too late! Some of the local children heard her on Thursday evening while waiting on the ice cream van (yes us hardy Scot's get an ice cream van in the mild winter, only minus 10 well bring it on) she was very thin and very very jumpy as they had been knocking walls down that week while she was stuck under the floor, never have I been so glad to open a food sachet than then.

I see that CPD23 has been revamped and is now 23 things uk and I for one love the idea, it was never meant to be static but needs someone to run it! or some way to keep it fresh, and this allows you to do some aspects and do it in your own time...

another area I am enjoying is the VLE from Cilip, I thought it would be annoying, or hard to keep track of but it is so much easier than before. I still need ideas and help, but I am getting round it more and more. I was a bit tough on my mentees, any who are not at submission point really need to think about transferring across! If they can't get done in 6 months then they need to start the new system. Some may do it but I know of two who really do not want to have to start again so both are now on a very short deadline! :-) how cruel of me (whistles as she walks away).

This is a feed me bacon face, we tend to have a small bacon roll fest every Sunday morning, we get up late and fry bacon, waking most of the teens and if they don't get up they don't get bacon, so its a bit of a first come gets the best bits idea, but of course as the furry ones can smell the packet opening and tend to haunt my feet they get bits of raw bacon while I cook. and this is very much the 'wheres mine' face! She is nearly long enough to reach the counter top, but not quite, and so she pulls herself up as high as she can and begs!

Normal service will be resumed in a week or so but thank you for your patience :-).