I’m scared… why aren’t you?

My latest two tweets sum it up:-

Lynne_GALs So, we all have ‘responsibility’ in Big Society to ‘volunteer’ as public sector,but no right to benefit as everything is privatised? #condem

Lynne_GALs #olympics2012lies rescind Sunday trading ‘for benefit’ yet in London businesses have been advised to close. London hit again?

The condems, who were not voted in and exist to govern only via a dodgy coalition, the smaller ‘half’ of which has forgotten all its’ promises, seem determined to fracture and break the UK. Under the guise of ‘The Big Society’ we are urged to volunteer to cover public service roles as this will ‘save’ money from our pockets (hardly, once we’ve paid privately for those self-same services!). Yet we are not considered sufficiently members of society to benefit from the remaining public-owned functions and these (roads being the latest) are to be sold off to private companies. But it’s okay as cutting the top rate of tax will ensure all those people who have given so generously to their local communities previously and not at all dodged tax and invested offshore, will definitely start paying up… yes?

Roads being privatised will, inevitably, decrease the options for the vast majority of people (who do not have tracts of disposable cash) regarding travel. This makes a mockery of the demand by job centres to consider work within 50 miles of residence! Hence decreasing work prospects against a background of increasing unemployment. But no matter, one can pull ones socks up and self-educate, apply for loads of jobs by finding them online as everyone has internet at home! Except they don’t, but never mind – go to your local library, what do you mean it’s now closed or run by ‘volunteers’, therefore opening when it can be. Still, at least the professional, discrete and courteous assistance required will be available still? No – those staff are stood next to you having been made redundant and replaced by volunteers, after all, all a library staffer need do is stamp a book.

It’s enough to give one a coronary – oh dear, need an ambulance? Do you have enough money in your personal NHS pot? No – have you enough to pay the mortuary at least, well, that’s another job opened up anyway. Oh – you DO have enough, okay, well providing the ambulance crew have enough change to pay the tolls on the newly privatised roads you should get there in time.

And don’t get me STARTED on education!

So – as the above is not beyond the realms of reality – why are YOU not scared?

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Filed under Anti Cuts, Campaigns, Libraries

They were never EVER going to listen.

On the 12th October the DMBC cabinet are meeting to discuss the results of the consultation and consider ‘alternative ways’ of delivering the 14 libraryservices that were originally propsed for closure 1 year ago.

The earlier Council decision was to fund 12 of 26 libraries and to ‘improve and develop’ these ‘to ensure they are sustainable, high quality, fully maintained libraries that are significant community facilities;.  65,000 questionnaires were sent out to people living near the 14 libraries (not those who work or are educated in those areas as the 1964 Public Libraries and Museums Act includes).  Following feedback on the 7,000 returned, a thorough impact assessment and discussions with volunteers, community groups and library action groups the proposals drawn up are:-

Expected community-led provision at Bawtry, Intake and Warmsworth.

Expected community-led provision in a different venue at Valby, Bessacarr, Edenthorpe, Wheatley and Sprotborough.

Expected self-service supplemented by community volunteers co-located with another council service in Moorends, Rossington, Stainforth and Scawthorpe.

Enhanced Mobile/Outreach at Carcroft and Denaby (ie they will be closed).

Currently libraries cost £5.26 million to run not including money needed to maintain and invest in the buildings.  Keeping all 26 in current form not a option.

My initial reaction – what impact assessment?  Who are these groups with whom they consulted?  What other formats were the questionnaires provided in?  How did this adhere to the 1964 Act?  What costings are expected to be met by the community groups?  What support and training and provisions are the Council going to provide?  What if no community-led groups are found?  What about the current staff of the 14 – and indeed the whole service?  What is the time-frame expected to be met?  Have they considered the impact on literacy levels and education?  What about the employment market, eg Barnsley Council only accept online job applications so if you cannot access a local library to do so, how are you going to compete in the job market fairly – and against those who used to work in those libraries!? etc etc

The Review should be here:- http://www.doncaster.gov.uk/db/chamber/default.asp?Nav=Meeting&MeetingID=5515,  if that link doesn’t work it’s the DMBC home page, select Council Chamber, select Agendas, Minutes and Reports, selectCalendar of Council Meetings and Event, then choose Cabinet on the calndar date of 12th October :)  As Jon’s just said “Easy to find”!!!

The Mayor – defending decimation of services on Radio Sheffield Drive time – here  at about 59:23. He says one sentence basically which is the council will put in some books, refresh them regularly and give as much support as they can without ploughing money into it, and that if people want a library putting in one or two hours per week ‘isn’t too much to expect’. NOT A CLUE!!!!!

There is more of his interview at 1:05:32. In summary – His usual line blaming the cuts on the government. Preferring 14 libraries open via other means such as volunteers or schools. Says opponents seem to think there’s a magic tree to get money from. Says opponents invented his saying he will close a library. He’s asking people to talk to him about opening the libraries, and that’s it, the plan. Schools can take them over… Great, my kids school has just closed theirs! Says more libraries per head of population (“I think”) than any other borough “a mighty number” and had little interest in some for keeping them open – BECAUSE WE CAN’T any council funding? He says putting books in, refresh them regularly and as much support again but money. happy they can be run by volunteers? Yes in Warmsworth – they have an army of volunteers it seems. Is suspicious in one or two cases as to whether people actually want a library, Librarians are professionals – hes laughed! Says all sorts of trades and jobs need training but what;s needed for stamping a book and letting them out an in “Things are made mysterious” Admits he doesn’t know and that libraries are in the state they’re in means not had good librarians in over the recent years! NO BECAUSE YOU (AND OTHER EQUALLY GUILTY FROM ALL PARTIES) CUT THE FUNDING AND STAFFING IN DMBC OVER THE LAST 5-8 YEARS YOU UNEDUCATED AND ILL-INFORMED PERSON Sorry, typed as listened.

The responses – First up is Phil Bradley ( ♥ ) A very polite response, far more than Mayor Davies deserved, says doubts many agree with {Mayor Davies}, shame when think can get rid [of libraries], it’s part of community and without one not really a community, disrespectful to community and also to CILIP members, talking about common misconception, assistants wonderful, but like comparing receptionist to a Doctor, explained training time and that [Mayor Davies] interpretation a typical ignorant idea…. now some examples…. What about closing if not got volunteers, can you keep it this simple? A basic book service? Yes, they’re extremely valuable… but costs money to train and support… working with children therefore need CRB checks. Helpful to running but not running it themselves.

Another response came from Dave of Mexborough via text who agreed that the Mayor’s Librarian comments were an insult and he should be taken to a library, stamped, but not returned!!!

So – with the amount of support to Save Doncaster’s Libraries and the total lack of flexibility shown over the last year to change their stance in any way, despite MANY alternatives being given, how are we to think that the wholesale decimation of our libraries is anything but a political stance to dumb down our population any further.

The proposed referendum regarding a Mayoral system in Doncaster could not come soon enough, lets get rid. The possibility of electing a moron by accident is too great a risk.

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Thing 4 CPD23. The dawning realisation that procrastination is not always your thing…

Wow! This Thing (4) is about Twitter, RSS Feeds and Pushnote. For the first time I’m not behind in the game!
I’ve had Twitter for my personal/professional use for quite some time, although did neglect it a while. I do minimal personal tweeting (I have facebook for that) and predominantly professional. I find it truly invaluable as I get many links and leads from contacts and often have upwards of 20 tabs opened as I click on links to check and sort once I’ve scrolled through twitter. I have a personal rule to never scroll back more than 24 hours of tweets if I’ve not been online a while. I would certainly recommend skimming and scanning to the newby – see, cross-resource information literacy skills are relevant.
I have another Twitter account too, for my driving instructor school (a grand phrase for just me!) which is the Glam School of Motoring.

I confess I have not used it lately. I am planning to tweet once per day from that account with some pertinent piece of driving news or advice, but am waiting for my Glam School of Motoring website to be updated before starting that! I am also one of the twitterers for Danum School‘s account.
So, I guess I’m okay with Twitter!

What else? Oh yes, RSS Feeds. Once again I’m ahead of the game *boast boast*. I have set up my own RSS Feed within my google ID. Once again the concentration tends to be professional blogs or friends who enter into discourse or offer considered opinion with which I can engage. I think there is one humourous one but… I tend to keep them professional. Here are my current feeds:-

Between the RSS feeds and the tweets I am more current with ILS innovations and news than I have ever been before.

Pushnote – I cannot access this at the moment as I cannot use it at work. I have read other comments about it and am not sure what use it may be initially as the websites shared by fellow professionals tend to be recommendation enough, but I will have a look-see later.

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CPD23 Thing 3 – My Personal Brand

Hmmmm…   Suggested issues to consider 1) Name Used 2) Photograph 3) Professional/Personal Identity 4) Visual Brand.  The activity within my online areas… What happens when you google my name!

1) Name Used – in my blog.  Well, this has changed for personal reasons.  Unfortunately I cannot change the blog URL (although according to libwig I can, and may do…), which I chose because it marries the main factors that make me, me.  My forename, vocation, original family acronym and my being a twin.  My family make-up has altered but as my self-employed business is called this so it remains.  But my posting ID is now my first name and my new family acronym, the first initials of me and my daughters.  It was unusual enough to be unique but identifiable as me by those who know me.

2) Photograph – easy, it’s a really old one that, again, people will know is me IF they know me but isn’t instantly identifiable for those who haven’t ever met me physically, and vanity finds it flattering :)

3) Professional/Personal Identity – am putting this last, it’s the longest one…

4) Visual.  I just chose one that was simple, not girly, and not too busy, in colours I like.  Not a lot more thought went into it than that!  I may need to look for a meaningful wallpaper as I feel it is a bit boring but…  Time… just not got the time!

Back to 3).  Well.  My blog started off as a place to have a rant about whatever was bothering me at the time.  I did not intend it to be a particularly professional sphere of communication although saving libraries is both one of my issues and a professional concern so it actually does marry both.  I thought about starting a new blog and separating the personal from the professional but… I can’t!  If my profession was simply a place I went to in order to earn a wage then maybe, but it’s not, it is personal so…  I just hope those reading my blog don’t do so to see if they want to work with me, and think that what they see there is truly representative of my conduct in professional circumstances!  My blog is intended as a place to have considered moans, that’s probably the best way of putting it!

Googling my name.  Of COURSE I’ve done this!  I’ll just do it again and see what occurs…  Oooh, my first result is the Write Path ID that I have as a project undertaken in the Day job, then a Guardian article from when I was interviewed annually over 3 years as the school librarian representative of 50 different public sector jobs (and proving my salary has gone DOWN), next GLAM School of Motoring within a Driving School Directory – this is my business; 4th is Linked In… then sites in which my name appears, blimey, the first sites actually refer to me! Benefits of an unusual surname? The first 25 results are me, often from sites in which I have no control over the content, the 26th links to someone with my name in Second Life, and the 27th lists a Librarian in Erdington Library, Birmingham with my name!!!!  OMG!!!  Exciting!!!!  Am going to be stalking her!  Oh, it’s me in a list underneath which is Erdington Library.  *sigh*.

Online Presence.  I have 6 email addresses, all used for different reasons.  My main work one used in my day job; my GLAM School of Motoring one used for that sphere of work; my older personal yahoo one I primarily use for SLN; my hotmail one which I use as an alternate to the day job, for my NVQ assessing and ebay-type online IDS; My Save Our Libraries Doncaster ID which I use for trying to save Doncaster from itself and FINALLY my personal google one for friends and family and chitchat.  I have a Facebook account which I LOVE and use both personally and professionally insofar as I use it for my driving school and also for interest groups.  I also have a bebo account that I only set up to keep in touch with certain younger friends of mine such as nieces and Godchildren and rarely look at.  I have a Linked In account for my driving school and may set up a separate one in order to connect in the library world.  I have two twitter accounts, my personal one which I actually use more for the Library World than personally, and my driving school one, and I am also a tweeter for my day job on their account.

So there is very little I can do about the information already out there, and I simply need to ensure that areas where I do separate personal from professional has clear and obvious delineations.  On the whole I am pretty happy about the representations of me out there, on a professional level perhaps they could be more serious but that’s a niggle, not a concern.  

I wonder, is t’interweb perhaps a little oversaturated by me???

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CPD 23 Thing 2 – Stalking of Blogs

Thoroughly enjoying this element of the professional development.  I chose a completely educated and intellectual method of blog-selection – Went to the CPD 23 Delicious list of participants , alphabetised them and picked on names that either had a connection with me and my likes, or that made me laugh! Have gone through 10 already and am leaving comments when I can. There are some really good blogs out there and my RSS feeds and links on here will get updated eventually. BUT I realise I need to up my game and stop bookmarking websites etc to look at later. I need to evaluate and assess usefulness to me and/or work more quickly. So, been doing CPD23 about half an hour and have learnt/reflected already!

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CPD 23 – Thing 1

23 Things for Professional Development. As someone who feels stagnant I have been wondering how to instil new challenges without looking for other jobs. Then along pops Ms Lauren Smith with her tempting mention of #CPD23 on twitter. “Oooooh, what be that???” me-thinks, and off I trot for a look-see. “Ooooooooh, that’s for me” me-thinks then. And after checking Walk You Home won’t object to my jumping her bandwagon, I signed up.
There are many Web 2.0 elements with which I am familiar, but do not exploit enough, and many that are new, and with the course being online, free and requiring weekly tasks done in my own time, it’s ideal. Peers supporting peers. Librarians enhancing the skills and information-sharing for and with other Librarians. Now THIS is what I signed up my soul to the information world for :D

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Doncaster Council – Any chance of getting it right soon?

I need say no more but – priorities on spending please? Could the current actions of DMBC in dumbing down it’s population by decreasing access to self-education amenities… coupled with a willingness to spend a fortune on a super-injunction… could they make their priorities any clearer? Cabinet and Council – hang your heads in shame. See here – The Super-Injunction Hemming was to break and here Gag Removed – Job Done.

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Filed under Anti Cuts, Campaigns, Children - the importance of them, Protest, Ranting