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A bit more for the Library Day in the Life project:

On Thursday, I set off to London for Committee Meeting of CILIP Rare Book and Special Collections Group.  I’m Hon Treasurer; I’ve also organised conferences and day events for the Group.  I find committee work a great way to meet other people working in this sector, to find out what is going on, and to build skills in new areas.

The Group is facing tough times (who isn’t?).  The funding we receive from CILIP is being cut this year and we don’t yet know whether it will be reinstated.  We are looking at new ways to raise income, and exploring the use of social media to communicate with members.

The CILIP meeting was held in the British Library, a perfect venue, so handy for everyone travelling by train.  I was catching a late train back so had time to check out the Evolving English exhibition – will blog about this later – and of course the shop, which is one of my favourites in London.  Fantastic stock of book history – mmm typography!

I also met my editor at Facet to discuss progress on the Special Collections Handbook.  She is happy with the draft chapter I wrote over Christmas; of course there are plenty of things to reconsider, but I am on the right track.  I’ll write a more detailed post about the feedback and ideas I’ve had in January soon.

Friday was dominated by meetings and planning for moves of artworks.  I work closely with the arts people at the University as our missions overlap: sharing University objects, people and ideas to wider communities.   We have different but complementary approaches, and I welcome the enthusiasm and drive of these valued colleagues.  Also:

  • Dealt with some Special Collections enquiries (including helping a library wanting to do a Priestley display, advising book designer about historic Priestley dustjackets)
  • Phoned a potential donor of archive material to discuss what he has (wasn’t in, will have to try next week).
  • Promoted 100 Objects Bradford and other projects.  I wrote a quick post on our peace archives (PaxCat) blog about two displays at the University this spring, and started a little piece for the funders of PaxCat, the National Cataloguing Grants Scheme.
  • Had a chat to electricians who were mending a fault in the fire shutter.
  • Played with Prezi, the whizzy zoomy presentations tool.  Blog to follow!  I think it has potential …

The three days I wrote about this week  give a good picture of my role at Bradford.  It’s all about communication and management, backed up by professional expertise and knowledge of our collections.  With the exception of the enquiries, there’s very little that most folk would imagine as typical of library work: no shelving, no issuing of books, no cataloguing.   I will admit to asking students to be quiet/stop eating in the Library, though I don’t “shush” them!

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