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Sakura! Sakura!

April brings the Cherry Blossom or 'Sakura'. Walking around Elgin enjoying and photographing the beautiful blossom of the cherry trees is an absolute delight. The blossoms are with us for such a short time, enjoy them!

Up into the cherry tree Who should climb but little me? I held the trunk with both my hands And looked abroad in foreign lands. I saw the next door garden lie, Adorned with flowers, before my eye, And many pleasant places more That I had never seen before. I saw the dimpling river pass And be the sky's blue looking-glass; The dusty roads go up and down With people tramping in to town. If I could find a higher tree Farther and farther I should see, To where the grown-up river slips Into the sea among the ships, To where the road on either hand Lead onward into fairy land, Where all the children dine at five, And all the playthings come alive.
Foreign Lands by Robert Louis Stevenson

Recent posts

Summer 2018 book recommendations

While at this years 2018 School library Association Conference in Glasgow in June, I took a notion and asked the publishers reps to recommend a few books for my pupils in my two schools to read at the S2- S3 level. And I recorded them doing this! I've pieced them together as a 6 minute book suggestion trailer to share with pupils in my two schools to inspire them into finding something new to read. Please feel free to share this and use it. There are some great suggestions and recommendations, and all the reps were very enthusiastic to be part of the trailer. A huge thank you to them and I hope you are inspired to read some of these books :0)

Librarian on tour

On my summer holidays I managed to visit several brilliant libraries, including the Ayr Carnegie Library, the Maybole Carnegie Public Library, and a visit to Scotland's oldest lending library at Innerpeffray - which proved to be an absolutely amazing library! With the future of many libraries uncertain, I do feel we should be supporting libraries whenever and wherever we can, even if that is just to look inside or ask a question. Who knows what else you may find while there. For example, at Innerpeffray Library my friend and I found ourselves leafing through a gardening book from the 1580's, and viewing hand written poems by Robert Burns, which was a privilege and delight to do. What will you discover at library near you?

Course completed

I’ve done it! I’ve completed the course and received the last two badges today. Finishing The course has been a lot of work over the past few weeks, but really enjoyable too. I’m so glad I pulled myself together and completed. Many thanks to the Rudai 23 team for organising this course - it has been brilliant :0)

Professionally engaged? A final reflection (Thing 22)

Am I an engaged professional? After working through and reflecting on this last section of the course I would say yes, but with room for improvement both with being involve with CILIP and being a better advocate for my library and libraries in my local area. I have become aware through looking at my own experiences and talking to other librarians that people’s engagement and level of involvement with professional bodies will change throughout their working lives. And this is OK. It’s OK if the only way you engage with CILIP, is to read the ‘Information Professional’ magazine. You may be on 2 committees and attend every conference. That’s great. What’s important is that you are part of a professional organisation and supporting it in whatever way you feel you can – and this may change. I would also say you should challenge them on issues and topics where you feel more should be done which is something I need to get better at doing. Professional library organisations are here to repres…

CILIP and I: a changing relationship (Thing 21)

I’ve been a member is CILIP and its predecessor since my student days back in 2001. Since then I have had a changing relationship with CILIP. In the mid 2000’s I stopped my membership for a variety of reasons – problems finding a mentor, little or no accessible training opportunities near me, cost of membership, the removal bymy local authority of the non-chartered salary bar , and a perception that the organisation had nothing to offer me. About 6 years ago I re-joined, partly to be able to work towards becoming a chartered librarian and a change in my attitude towards CILIP - If I claimed to be a library professional, I needed to be part of the professional body that is representing me and keeping abreast of current issues. At the time local authority cuts were starting to bite into the service and keeping up to date on current library news, advocacy and training took on a new incentive. I now have a much more positive relationship with CILIP, and the assault on public and school l…

Thing 20 Advocacy and Engagement

1. Name three detrimental effects to a community when a public library is closed.
Loss of direct access to free resources in the community e.g. books, multimedia, PCs, local information, visitor information, training opportunities, that may not be available elsewhere in the community for free. Will impact those on low incomes who can’t afford to buy these resources.The loss of the library as a social, activity and meeting space for groups in the community: older people, parents and toddlers attending story time, people attending evening talks etc. Possible increase in social isolation within these groups.Reduction in children’s reading opportunities and engagement in reading, and support available for children’s reading, with no summer reading challenges to engage children in reading or professional support with reading choices.
2. Three ways a strategic library plan can advocate for the library service.

After some web searching I came across this document: ‘Read, Learn Explore: Cork Cit…