So very nearly ready for our conference, lots of things moving into place and happily the programme looks great lighting the future looks as if it will be a good one. Think I may owe everyone lunch in the office to make up for all the hard work.
Tomorrow I’m off to the new Canada Water library in docklands for an Arts Council consultation on the model for libraries of the future. Think it may be a challenging day! Frustratingly the APPG on Libraries scheduled for earlier this week has been postponed as they couldn’t get enough MPs and Lords to the breakfast meeting – so heaven knows when that will get rescheduled.
Meanwhile we have an SLA delegation off to see Nick Gibb in early July – to discuss school libraries! Could be good.
Looking forward to all the merriment in the village for the Jubilee – especially Will and Pete’s revue entitled Diamond Geezers. One more mad week at work and then a long weekend of jollity. Bring on the fun.
So, the holidays draw to the end, with a party at the pub tonight with friends…to celebrate the start of 2012.
Last year, 2011, was a good year with lots of short breaks, mainly good health, lots of family visits and some new work opportunities for Will and I, and the girls seem to be happy in their chosen paths – so all positive.
I wonder what that new year will bring for us; certainly some tightening of belts, both literally (as I must loose some weight!) and financially, as we seem to be no nearer the end of this recession.
Work wise the new offices should create a pleasant environment, with savings that will make our lives a little simpler, and hopefully much cheaper. The challenges remain the same – closing libraries (public and school), head teachers with no vision as to what a library can be and do, a government with a great line in chat but no commitment in legislation on school libraries, and a delayed new curriculum! We may be in for hard times ahead, so not totally looking forward to the new year in some respects.
Whatever is thrown at us – good health, happy families and peace to all.
What a lot can happen in ten days. I watched with disbelief and horror as the riots in London and then in our major cities spread. The disgust at the pointless waste and the vandalism, and then the difficult process of trying to understand (not excuse) and thus try to think of ways that will make a difference and help to heal all the rifts. The solution is probably political – and thus fills me with a certain amount of healthy cynicism. But, with disassociated, disaffected youth in all our cities why then continue closing the one non judgemental place society provides for all – the public libraries. There have been a lot of discussions of this in the press recently – Alan Bennett in the Telegraph and Boyd Tonkin in the Independent have both said it better than me.
Meanwhile the LGA and MLA have reported on their Future Libraries programme – and what dispiriting reading that makes! No recognition of the intrinsic value of libraries – just an exploration of the ways to decimate and cut the library services in the name of economy. There are savings that can be made I am sure but cutting librarians, opening hours, or running libraries with volunteers are not the way forward for any good quality service.
So to finish the week I got away from it all by going to my favourite music festival – Fairport’s Cropredy Convention. This advertises itself as the friendliest festival - and it really is. The village really seems to welcome all it’s annual visitors and lays on breakfast in the village hall or the boating club so that those of us who are infrequent campers can eat well – even if we can’t do the camp-fire cooking bit! Then we all get onto the field and watch the most amazing selection of musicians appear before us. Acts varied from UB40, The Blockheads, the Travelling Band, Horslips and Seasick Steve to folk favourites like Lau, the Shee, Moore Moss Rutter and, of course, Fairport themselves – briefly joined on stage by Ralph McTell too! The sound of 20,000 people enjoying themselves and singing Meet on the Ledge at midnight on Saturday is spine tingling. It was also reassuring to go to a festival where camp-site neighbours will lock the car next to them and put the keys into the owners tent rather than steal anything from the car that had been left with the keys dangling in the door! A caring society does exist – we just need to spread the ethos a little more widely.