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The Chocolate lovers’ wedding by Carole Matthews

I’m quite partial to a bit of chicklit and Carole Matthews is one of my favourite authors. This book was a perfect Easter read, although I did long for my Easter eggs, reading the chocolate porn in the book!

I really enjoyed the book and particularly the characters’ development. The book moves them in a very satisfying manner. They are all very likeable and women I’d like to be friends with. I’d also like to have the Chocolate shop available locally!

I don’t want to give too much away but if you’ve read the other books in the series you won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t read them you’re missing out 😉


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I passed! Very pleased to be able to claim I’m a Chartered Librarian. I’ll keep on blogging especially if I find some more good Moocs 😉

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Submitted my Chartership

Well, I submitted my Cilip Chartership portfolio online last Wednesday. Now I’ve just got to wait AGES to hear whether it’s successful. (2-3 months which is fair enough but I’m impatient sometimes.

So, now what should I do with my life? Well, our Schools are getting inspected next week (eek!) so that’s going to be a bit scary. My first inspection, at least I can truthfully claim I’ve done loads of CPD this year!

I’ve also somehow had my arm twisted into helping out at my daughters’ primary school on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. Wednesday I’m reading to reception children (they’re gorgeous but hard work), Thursday I do reading with year 4s. They may have to choose which day to have me next term but I’m OK at the moment.

On Saturday 30th January, I’m going to an NLPN digital skills day  at Makerspace in Manchester which sounds very exciting.

Then from 1st February I’m going to do a mental health and literature entitled “Reading for well-being” mooc because I think it’ll be valuable working with young people to know more about how books can support MH and be interesting on a personal level.

Maybe soon it’ll also stop raining and I can start my running again (I’m back to c25k and the rain is serious putting me off). I really want to go and dig on my allotment too and enjoy being outside but apparently we’re going to get a month’s worth of rain in 48hrs. 😦

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The woman in blue by Elly Griffiths

I’m a big fan of Elly Griffiths, especially her Ruth Galloway books and thoroughly enjoyed this one.  I love the way she interweaves personal relationships, belief, ritual and of course murder most horrid.

Griffiths writes in a vivid, cinematic manner that makes you feel as if you’re witnessing the events first-hand.

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Analysis paralysis

So, I’m 90% there with my Chartership portfolio – this is the CILIP professional qualification that says you’re a librarian that stays up to date with CPD. I’m now suffering from analysis paralysis/imposter syndrome. I’ve a few online friends who’re also going for it and now I’ve looked at their work I’m “having a wobble” that my reflections aren’t in enough depth, I haven’t applied enough of my learnings and changed what we’re doing at work and that I’ll never be good enough to pass.

On the other hand, I’ve already got my job, I can reapply if I don’t get it and my mentor is happy with what I’ve done! I’m sort of seeing why there aren’t any Chartership portfolios available to see as examples.

Urgh, perhaps the main learning here is to finish the last bits of my work and just wait and see!

(This was a private post but it strikes me that since I eventually passed, it’s probably useful for others to see that panicking is the norm)

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I had a very interesting Saturday in Huddersfield listening to folk who’ve just graduated from a library postgraduate course present their dissertations. They were a friendly bunch which was a relief.

It also really made me think about how important having topics included in library classifications and on library catalogues is in terms of ensuring equality of access to marginalised groups (including women’s studies!)

This is something I didn’t have to deal with in public libraries as it was done by our suppliers. Now however, it’s partly my responsibility how we classify and catalogue books.

There were other interesting presentations about digital equality in community run libraries. What can I say about this except that it is deeply depressing where our country is going with cuts? Indeed, Lancashire county council is apparently cutting half of its libraries. I don’t know the solution but I will be making my views known. 😦

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Radical librarians and the future of public libraries in the uk

Below The Portico Library, Manchester (pictures by me) 

 Work has been really busy over the last fortnight but I am still on the web. I participated in a very interesting Twitter chat hosted by the Radical Librarians. I’m not sure I’m radical, although I sympathise with much of their opinion which is basically that since libraries are vital to the political health of the country they should be publicly funded. My issue is that since we have a Conservative government that we perhaps need to be pragmatic. I feel that whilst our libraries (especially public libraries) are so threatened that we need to play the politicians at their own game.

One of the groups in society least affected by cuts are the baby boomers who are notorious for voting and making their demands known. Equally needy, but less likely to vote and statistically shown to be having a worse deal with the cuts are the young and unemployed. Maybe we as librarians need to appeal to the “grey” vote? Would this help to put pressure on the government to stem the closures and cuts to services. I don’t know but the current state of affairs is very depressing.

My other thought came as a result of visiting the rather fab Portico library in Manchester. This is a private library funded by its members. It has also been the subject of various philanthropists over the centuries, managing to stay open by changing and adapting. I wondered if we could appeal to rich benefactors (bibliophiles if you will) to support our libraries. It’s certainly happened in the past as many libraries were built by rich benefactors to help the local community. My local library has become a “neighbourhood collection point” within a children’s centre. I would have been very happy if local money had enabled it to stay open.

I’m interested in what others think. On Twitter I was told this goes against librarians’ ethics as libraries should be paid for by public money. I’d like to explore why in order to understand this issue?

PS I’m about to get a copy of the ethics of librarianship book, so I may change my viewpoint after reading it. I’m honestly interested in why donations would be wrong rather than trying to play devils advocate 😉

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