Thursday, 5 October 2017

Thing 3

In keeping with the season I decided to upload a nice halloween image from Pixabay.   This was very easy to do having read the instructions from Thing 3.  In my job I tend to do the Mailchimp which is our monthly e-newsletter/brochure of upcoming events in the Library.  I have always used Google images and find that the quality and resolution of the images tends to vary a lot especially when you mess around with the size etc.  I found Pixabay very easy to navigate and because it is public domain there are no issues around copyright as they are free under Creative Commons.  Also being able to refine the image size will be helpful for Facebook as some of the images I use for mailchimp end up being too small for backgrounds to creating events for Facebook.   In general, a very basic and cursory look at this has made me realise that this is a much better way to go than Google images.  

Friday, 22 September 2017

Thing 2

So finally I'm getting around to writing my first blog.  It's not easy to find the time to 'randomly muse' in a mad busy library.  I started my week of work, not thinking about literature or literacy but meeting with a plumber to discuss vent heating and the merits or demerits of wood pellet boilers!   Yes it's that time of year again when the heating has to be fired up.  Building maintenance is not something you really envisage when you dream of being a librarian!

So much of the time in this job you get side tracked into other things - things you wouldn't think were anything to do with us.  After the chat with the plumber I had to get on to my supervisor to discuss the health and safety implications of the proposed maintenance work to get the heating running efficiently for the winter.  Then I was told that there was a leak in the toilets and I had to sort out getting someone to fix that - should have hung on to that plumber from earlier!!  At this stage it was after lunch and I still hadn't put my hand on a book!!

Books are the reason that I wanted to work in a library.  From the time I was a young child I was immersed in books.  Our local library had a separate children's library and it even had a small garden with a pond!!  Imagine the health and safety implications of that scenario in this modern world!  To us, as children it was a little paradise.   My brother and I went there after school, picked our books and met with other kids and played in the garden before we went home.   Books were an adventure in themselves, a voyage of discovery.  You just picked something up and took a chance.  There was no mass advertising of authors or titles, no merchandising.  There was no 'have you any David Walliams or Diary of a Wimpy Kid' - you just read what looked good and sometimes it was and sometimes it wasn't but it didn't matter because you could come back next week and get some more.

So my earliest experience of libraries were extremely positive and sometimes when I see young kids after school in the library and see their happiness when they find a book they like, it brings me back to those days.  Despite all the distractions in this modern world, we can still make the reading adventure real for kids.

So - after sorting out the plumbing I went out to a school to talk to the teachers about CBF and the events we have planned.   There really is so much going on for kids now - I mean when I was a kid it would have been a dream to meet a 'real author'.   We have four authors coming in October and we'll have loads of classes in to meet them.  Outreach is a big thing now - going out to places and promoting the library service.

Finally on Tuesday evening I got back to the books.  Wexford author Cat Hogan came in to talk about her recently launched second book 'There Was a Crooked Man' the sequel to 'They All Fall Down'.  Cat was inspirational!  She is one of those 'can do' people.  She spoke about her experiences becoming a writer, all the ups and downs that led to the publication of her first book.  As I observed the audience respond to her I got a real sense of positive engagement with writing and literacy and, yeah, moments like that I feel, I'm so lucky to have this job!!

The job can lead you in different ways and you start to think its less and less related to books.  You're co-ordinating computer classes, helping someone with printing, organising business and employment talks, cookery demos or music recitals.  What about the books, I sometimes think.  But whatever way you look at it these events are happening in a place that is surrounded by books - wall to wall in fact.  That's got to rub off somewhere, somehow.   In my life I have always come back to books.  I have never forgotten what I discovered as a child, that you can escape into a different world, some one else's world, someone else's place, someone else's joys or woes.  In the library we have the power to help other people discover that books can take you anywhere.  Whether that person is a young child looking at a picture book at storytime, a schoolchild learning to read alone, a young adult who feels disconnected but discovers a character in a book just like him/her or an adult who never found the time to read.  It doesn't matter who they are, we can start them on that journey of discovery and we know that once it starts, whenever it starts - it doesn't stop.

That's the great thing about this job!