The annual event for members of the ELISA community was held on 11th June. The event was fully booked and marked by the superlative speakers, the energy of the volunteer helpers, and the enthusiasm of the delegates.
The event takes place under the auspices of the ELISA Staff Development Group and so sharing of the information gleaned from the day is a priority objective. The organising team shall be working on this over the next two weeks but in the meantime,Â Jane Furness, Reader Services Librarian at Edinburgh College of Art, has kindly sent her notes on the event as a Wordle. (www.wordle.net)
Following Jane’s lead, I have been collating the feedback from the event and was interested to see how the comments were weighted. Wordle of course is a fun way to see this and this is what happened when I submitted the unedited text of everyone’s answers to the question “What did you like most about the day?”
There has been a dearth of newsings as the organisation of Edinburgh’s Festival of Libraries entered that phase of pinning down details – and as we all know – the devil’s in the detail. For the Libraries Fair on Saturday 8th November, I’m checking: Are there enough tables and chairs booked for the Libraries Fair? Is the publicity reaching all the corners it possibly can? Are the volunteer staff recruited and briefed? etc. etc. Well, we are all set now and when you come to Adam House, this is the layout of the exhibiting services for the Ground Floor and the First Floor. All that remains is to blow up the balloons for the Mobile Library planned to park outside!
For the Festival week, participating services are finalising their arrangements. Indeed, some events have recently been added to the programme as last minute confirmations have come in – the Creative Writing workshop at Napier University, the Old Town Libraries walk scheduled for Wednesday 12th, and an additional walk of the City’s Walls has been programmed due to popular demand. Our attention has also been drawn to an exhibition being held by the Royal Botanic Gardens Library during the Festival week. For more details look at Edinburgh Festival of Libraries website www.edlibfest.org.
The finale public debate on the Future of the Book looks like being good fun as well as bringing some stimulating ideas to the fore. We would like to make a recording of the discussion so as to extend the debate via podcast. I am having several discussions re kinds of mics, staging valance, and procurement of a projection screen – and that is not even touching on the canapes!
Details are important but it is important to see the wood for the trees. For Edinburgh’s Festival of Libraries there are over 50 library and information services contributing with a common aim – to showcase their public services and resources. This is an amazing knowledge resource for any city – worth celebrating in fact!
We have 45 services and organisations mentioned in the Edinburgh’s Festival of Libraries 2008 printed programme – I believe we have something to celebrate in this fact alone! Please see the list here.Â List of organisations in programmeÂ Note that there are many more involved in the Libraries Fair on the Saturday 8th November and we look forward to publicising this separately.
The printed programme text is here in “raw” form. Festival of Libraries Programme Text – raw versionÂ If you are a contributor, please could you check the text pertinent to you and send me a quick e-mail with an OK or an edit.Â You will seeÂ a wide range of events that will appeal to a number of different audiences, from performances to walking tours, from exhibitions to author events, and not forgetting the Edinburgh premiere of the feature length documentary “The Hollywood Librarian”.
Only one person can write one thing at one time, so it’s only me who can collect all the text for the programme. I have the contacts list, the overview, and the “time” to chase, cheer and cajole. So I spent all today collecting the details and my heartfelt thanks to the people who are doing their best to deliver the details as soon as they can – to Helen Williams from 500 years of Printing for setting up a walking tour on the Printing Trail from Adam House on the day of the Libraries Fair – to Jill Marple from Leith Library for firming up details on a poetry event at Stockbridge and a World War One memorabilia day at Leith Library – to Ann Jones of Heriot Watt Museum and Archive for confirming details of their exhibition and Watt’s Walks. To relieve the on-set of Cabin Fever brought on by 8 hours chained to the computer and the phone in the Cabin, I toddled off for a break to an exhibition I had heard of at Stills on Cockburn Street. Check this out – weird and wonderful – some people believe in libraries Stills . I am working on a plan for a public installation involving books for the Festival of Libraries – more of this anon. Tomorrow is final deadline for entry into the printed programme so I have held back from posting the programme here. Please note that there is scope for new events to contribute to the Festival by being publicised on the dedicated webpages.
I am keenly aware that it would be sensible to title my posts so that they can stand on their own as staging posts on the development path of Edinburgh’s Festival of Libraries – perhaps I shall reach ten, run out of digits, and see the light, or more realistically find some time to do this. Meanwhile, I hope, dear anonymous and very quiet reader, you can follow OK.
The text for the printed programme is virtually completed. It covers at least 14 pages at present as it is unformatted for the designer. I shall post a more palatable version on Monday (25th) morning. An interesting set of events are walking tours – there will be some particularly interesting tours – Watt Walks – around Heriot Watt University Campus looking at 200 years of history with links for visitors to follow into the archive collections. The 500 Years of Printing in Scotland programme has generated a Printers’ Trail and we hope that it will be possible to have this happening on the day of the Libraries Fair 8th November. The National Library of Scotland has also instigated a tour of the Old City Wall on Sunday 9th led by historian and researcher, Graeme Cruikshank.
I now think that there is so much happening that we will have to think of clever ways of highlighting the different events. We plan that the dedicated web pages will be ready by the beginning of September and I think these might be a very useful tool to do this.
To add a bit of spice to my life, I have e-mailed the BBC One Show and asked if they might be interested in featuring Edinburgh’s Festival of Libraries. I thought that they might be particularly interested in the panel discussion on “The Future of the Book” that is our finale event. I am also keen to initiate a temporary installation created out of books in a large public space – we could make a very big and exciting statement about knowledge and information in this way. I’m in the process of looking for a sculptor who might be on the same wave length – anyone you know?
I’m pleased to make available the updated draft version of the programme for the Festival of Libraries 2008. The range of services taking part is impressive and there are still urgent negotiations taking place. Please note that this Festival is generated by ELISA as a collaborative effort, it is a reflection of the library and information profession in Edinburgh – I can see that there are gaps, can you? Please comment so that we can start to guide the shape of the Festival in years to come. I believe we have an excellent and exciting basis on which to build. (This draft is now removed as there are updates to be published soon – Wendy)
Pressure is increasing in the Cabin as the deadline for details to be included in the programme has passed. Recent rain has caused the Cabin to spring several leaks and the increased humidity of the atmosphereÂ makes it even moreÂ akin to a pressure cooker.Â Â There are still some exciting contributions that are almost finalised – but not quite! Â So I am madly phoning around to tie up loose ends but can be extended to this Friday (15th August) when the brief goes to the designers.Â There is the presentation by the Living Memory Association who have collected some insightful reminisences of health care prior to the NHS – they have prepared an exhibition and talks to appear in some libraries under the banner “The Three and Sixpenny Doctor”. We are also bringing together a possible creative writing workshop based in the HBOS Museum on the Mound working with some intriguing eighteenth century fraud cases. Finishing touches are being made to a rarely available tour to the basement stacks of the University of Edinburgh special collections.
Under less pressure, the Libraries Fair is gathering a fantastic range of services and resources. I am eagerly awaiting the confirmation from the Royal Observatory Library. Our team of volunteer organisers are worth their weight in gold and are procuring music throughout the day and cafe facilities.
Please keep the booking and confirmation forms coming in and don’t hesitate to get in touch with any queries.
My thanks to the Festival of Libraries Planning team for their stalwart support of the project – in spite of some uphill struggles. We hadÂ our monthlyÂ meeting yesterday and managed to pin down some details. It is very difficult to make cut off decisions in a venture that seeks to be as inclusive as possible but we have our cut off date for event details to go in the printed programme. This is Friday 15th August and if we don’t have the information by then it can’t go in the programme. There will however opportunities to use the dedicated webpages and other electronic mailings.
Latest addition – Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh is contemplating bringing some exhibits of a medical nature to the Fair – I believe these will not still be pulsing.
Thinking about the finale event with the panel discussion on “The Future of the Book”, my chief cook and bottlewasher remembered reading a Superman comic in the 60s where Superman was in his virtual library. I would love to get a look at the story. Any ideas on where/ how I could find it….?
Latest additions to Edinburgh’s Festival of Libraries include: an Urdu literary and musical evening hosted by McDonald Road public library; a talk and tour of Edinburgh University New College Library; an introduction to the Special Research Collections of Edinburgh University Library.
There are also marvellous ideas being developed – a walking tour of libraries; a poetry workshop looking at wartime remembrances as the BBC are spearheading a programme of activities around this year’s Remembrance Day; Napier University Learning Information Service is throwing open its doors and undertaking a number of tailored activities to showcase its collections; an on-line chat session with a very well-known person run through Edinburgh City’s Reference library – there’ll be queues round the block just you wait and see!!
The launch event of the Libraries Fair is shaping up well under the helmsmanship of Anne Donnelly (Edin Uni) and the enthusiasm and generosity of spirit fromÂ Fiona Laing (NLS), Ruth Bartram (Stevenson Coll.), April Middleton (Edin Uni) and Diane Schofield (Edin City). We are confident that over 30 services will be represented although extracting booking forms is a challenge. There is no quibble that once visitors reach the stalls they will find things of interest, the planning team’s challenge is to attract the visitors in the first place and to make their visit enjoyable. We are working on refreshments, music (there is even talk of enticing some harps in), a book swap building on the success of the Publishing Scotland and City of Literature Book Swap earlier this year, and a creative activity to get visitors moving around the stalls. I am in pursuit of a beautiful mobile library to park outside like last year, and as Lothian Fire Brigade have a library and a librarian, a fire engine would be top of my wishlist as well! (you think I’m joking – well at least I’m going to ask)…
The finale event is also shaping up well – a panel discussion on “The Future of the Book”. We have secured the interest of an excellent chairperson and will announce this once the formal invitation has been issued (and accepted!). We also have agreement from OCLC , that they will provide a speaker from their American office who is at present working on promoting their e-books programme.
The printed programme is a millstone round my neck as the deadline for event details is this week and there are many with few details, and some events are still being planned. However, I refuse to let this stymie any possible developments and we will have to use the programme as a pointer to other publicity mediums – such as the dedicated web pages being offered by Edinburgh City Web Team.
More newsings anon ….
Back from annual leave and raring to go – breaks away do marvels for putting things into perspective and the view of Edinburgh’s Festival of Libraries is looking good. I’m afraid I couldn’t help myself and during my wanderings across the southern Russian steppes I came across a library or two. This library is Kazan State University Library, a marvellously ornate building in Art Nouveau style and stuffed full of plants.
A couple of thousand kilometres later, whilst sauntering up the lovely pedestrianised Pushinskyia Street in Rostov-in-Don – in 45degrees Centigrade, we came across this extraordinary building. This is the Karl Marx public library and not built in the Soviet era asÂ I thought but in about 2003 – just look at the scale!
Enough of holidays and on to the development of the Festival of Libraries I attach here the listings to date LISTINGS 29th July – more details tomorrow and in the next issue of TACIT