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Central Issues BUSINESS NAME

The Newsletter of the Career Development Group West Midlands Division

Inside this issue: Issue 19

Editorial

Visit to Stafford 2 College Libraries: dazzling displays and interactive inductions. CDG National Council Report

Winter 2009

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Literary Walking 4 Tour of Birmingham Library Routes Project Wiki

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David Viner’s Routes Reflections

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Dates for your Diary

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The Career Development Group is a special interest group of CILIP, The Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals. Registered Charity Number 313014.

Editorial Welcome to a festive edition of Central News. This issue is packed with lots of news relating to events and activities that the Career Development Group (West Midlands) has been involved in over the last few months, including a pictorial report from the successful Literary Walk around Birmingham in September, a reflection from a visit to Stafford College and an introduction to a great new national Library wiki project. CDG WM have put on a number of successful events in 2009 from visits to collages, the Health Information event, chartership course, and the popular Love your Chartership Events to name a few. Watch out for more upcoming events next year in our traditional cut-out-and-keep dates for your diary. May we take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Jess Humphreys (Newsletter Editor)

Newsletter Ideas We are always looking for ideas on how to improve the newsletter, or any suggestions for possible articles—you may even want to contribute to the newsletter—if so then please contact us via the following email: ppowestmids@gmail.com


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Visit to Stafford College Libraries: dazzling displays and interactive inductions. By Anita Phul, Training Librarian, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust. Stafford College has two libraries: Earl Street Study Centre is the larger one serving ten subject areas, and the Link Study Centre is the smaller one. As the layout of the Earl Street Library consists of several rooms along a corridor, each room has been carefully allocated specific subject resources with clear signage on the doors. This works well as students can easily find cosy corners to study, but staff also actively remind them that although the rooms are divided into subject areas, they are allowed to use the other rooms! There are zoned areas for quiet study and places to use mobile telephones. I was impressed by the eye-catching displays up on the walls, and learnt that these are usually changed every term time. There are themed displays for special days, and plastic display stands on study tables contain marketing information that is frequently renewed. Library staff also use an area below the log in box on computer screens to promote services available in the library. Computers are very popular at the college libraries, so an electronic computer reservation system is in place to guarantee access to a computer. Library staff are also experimenting with restricting access to just one hour at a time to see if this discourages students from spending all their computer time on FaceBook! Signs are helpfully dotted around the library, explaining that laptops can be booked when all other computers are in use, and pointing out where laptop points are. Library staff make an excellent effort to make library inductions as varied, useful and interesting as possible. A ten minute presentation is followed by a tour of the library, concentrating on the particular subject area of the students. Interactive induction methods are used where students ask questions from cards. Practical issues are covered by offering students an overview of IT services including how to log on and accessibility options, and this is followed by a quiz on Moodle, the e-learning platform used by the college. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the college libraries, and have taken away one or two marketing tips that I hope to try out in my own workplace. I would like to thank Pam Hanney for organising such a useful and memorable afternoon.


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CDG National Council—Birmingham 2009 By Pamela Hanney As we were the hosts for the National Council this time, it was a great opportunity for me to attend as the representative for the West Midlands. The prospect felt a little less daunting after I had attended a dinner in Birmingham the evening before, with members of the National Council and other members of the WM committee. I sat next to CDG President, Maria Cotera, who made me very welcome and filled Central Issues me in on what to expect the following day. Page 3 The Newsletter of the Career Development Group West Midlands After meeting the Council members at their hotel the next morning and escorting them to Birmingham Central Library, the meeting got under way. It was very interesting to see how Council works, and far less formal than I was expecting. There were reams of paper to read prior to the meeting, which was very time-consuming, but it is important to read it all and to be clear about what you are being asked to vote for. There were also small group discussions on ideas for CDG marketing products. Several of our committee members were involved in supporting the event, and everyone appreciated the opportunity to be involved. I thoroughly recommend attending one these meetings if you can, either as a representative, or you could go along as an observer, and if you feel a little anxious about it, dinner and a little wine the night before will help!

Keep up to date with the CDG WM. Follow us on Facebook! http:// www.facebook.com/group.php? gid=77209952331)

Look out for news on the latest events via email or in the newsletters. Register with the new look CILIP webpages and watch out for regular CDG bulletins, plus other advantages of other great CILIP services

Come along to a CDG West Midlands Committee meetings.


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Literary Walking Tour of Birmingham (Sat 5th September 09)

It was cloudy but it didn’t rain on us. We enjoyed a literary tour of Birmingham conducted by a blue badge guide and even those of us who have been living in the city for several years learnt new things about what is on our doorstep.

The start of the tour: just outside St Martin’s Church.

Selfridges: Birmingham’s most famous building: it even appears on postcards in Barcelona!

Birmingham’s contrasting blend of neighbouring old and new buildings is loved by some and thought hideous by others.

The only Cathedral of Birmingham; the seat of the first Bishop of Birmingham; Late Princess Diana visited this Cathedral and planted a tree in the grounds which then became the place where people laid flowers when she died – St Phillip’s Cathedral.


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Council House- engravings on the top of the building signify Britannia recognising the contributions of businessmen and industrialists of Birmingham.

Victoria Square in Birmingham taken over by the Royal Air Force for promoting the various job opportunities in RAF

Boulton and Watt feature which has been nicknamed ―The Golden Boys.‖

Stamps in Centenary Square in Baskerville font. John Baskerville was a famous printer who worked in Birmingham. The grey and red brickwork on the ground is meant to represent a Turkish carpet to the extent that it even contains deliberate mistakes.


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One of Birmingham’s more ornate buildings located in a quiet corner of the city centre. Now owned by Birmingham City University.

The Central Library building: soon to be history. Count down to the new Library of Birmingham. Did you know historians say that Shakespeare would have had an accent resembling that of the people of the West Midlands?!

The urban beach opposite the Central Library.

Part of Birmingham’s floral trail: a handbag with flowers representing the city’s shopping facilities.

The Rotunda. The residents of Birmingham campaigned to keep this building from being demolished due to the interest it adds to the city’s skyline


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The much-loved bull of Birmingham. It has become a tradition to rub his nose for good luck, hence his lighter coloured nose.

The Waterstones book store on New Street: a beautiful building both inside and outside.

Brindley Place – the canal was used to transport essential goods from different places. The tour ended at this point.

Acknowledgements: Main organisers: Abigail Williams and Georgina Hardy Photographs: Colin Engel and Anita Phul Descriptions: Anita Phul and Preeti Puligari


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Library Routes Project (http://libraryroutesproject.wikkii.com)

Several months ago I was alerted via Twitter to a new wiki project that had been set up encouraging fellow Library professionals to share their experiences of entering the Library profession. By linking from the Library Routes Project to your blog entry on your route into the profession, you can share your experiences with fellow librarians. The wiki project was set up by Ned Potter, Jennie Findlay and Laura Woods. In the world of web 2.0 technologies the project went from an initial concept to reality in the space of half an hour and since then the popularity of the wiki has grown from strength to strength. In fact there is now approximately 100 entries onto the wiki, and nearly 10,000 people have accessed the site. Transnational interest has also taken hold, with some entries coming from America. This wiki is a great way for potential new professionals to see what routes people have taken to become Librarians and for current librarians to network with each other. So why not have a look at the wiki, and add your entry to the ever increasing collection of stories that are stored there. The following blog entry from the recently elected chair of CILIP West Midlands is one such example.

Library Routes Blog Extract

By David Viner—Chair of CILIP West Midlands (http://dviner.wordpress.com/) ―As I child I loved books. Reading – yes, but above all books themselves. I loved owning and collecting books and It’s fair to say that I had a massive library! In my teens I became really interested in radio and would have loved to have become a researcher. I had spent time during holidays with a friend who is a presenter on BBC Radio Wales and was really taken with the idea of researching guests and features for various programmes. However, at that time I was never going to go to university so quickly gave up on the idea.


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It was only after a serious cycling accident when I was 17 that I started to knuckle down and take my studies seriously, eventually going on to do A-levels and then read History at the University of Wales Swansea. During my third year I spent a lot of time in the university library researching my dissertation. But it never crossed my mind to explore working in one as a career. Like many graduates I blindly sent off applications to the biggest and the best graduate schemes around – but to no avail. After leaving university I moved to Cardiff where I worked as a Support Worker for people with learning difficulties. This was a steep learning curve for me and whilst I enjoyed earning money, I knew that ultimately it wasn’t for me. Degree certificate in hand I started to think about radio once again. I applied for a few positions with the BBC all with a focus on research. It was only when I received one rejection letter from the BBC in Manchester that things started to fall into place. It gave me a number of pointers for improvement, the usual try again next time stuff. One of them was to consider postgraduate study. When I left Swansea further study was the last thing on my mind. But now, feeling frustrated with what was a fairly dead end job, I went back to the Careers Department at Swansea for some advice. During the interview the advisor asked me based on what I had said: have you ever thought about becoming a librarian? It was like an alarm bell had gone off in my head. Yes – this was it, why hadn’t I thought of it before? I left there and went back to Cardiff and spent the next couple of days on the Internet researching. Librarianship was a graduate career, it required undertaking an MA/MSC. As I read on I could see that my skills, experiences and interests were well suited to the role of librarian. Within a few short weeks I had quit my job as a Support Worker, been accepted on to an MSC in Information and Library Management and become a student member of CILIP, which at that point (April 2002) was newly formed, as a result of the merger between the Library Association and Institute of Information Scientists. After a year spent at UCE (one the last few cohorts of students at the Information Studies Department), I took up a post as School Librarian at a co-educational grammar school in Birmingham. The rest as they say…is history! Well that’s my story, I’m looking forward to reading other posts on this topic and hope that as a collection they help people make the right choice about whether our profession is for them.‖


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Dates for your Diary Your “cut out and keep” guide to what’s happening in the West Midlands with Career Development Group over the next few months. CDG WM “Christmas” Dinner Date: Wednesday 20th January Time: From 7.00pm onwards Venue: Chez Jules, Ethel St., Birmingham (less than 5 mins walk from New Street Station) Cost: Free—just the cost of the food and drink! This event is open to members of CDG WM. Contact Georgina Hardy (g.c.hardy@aston.ac.uk or 0121 204 4495) to book your place before Monday 4th January. …………………………………………………………………………………………………. CDG WM Committee Meeting Date: Wednesday 27th January Time: 6.00—8.00pm Venue: Birmingham Central Library Why not come along to a committee meeting to find out more about what we do. For further details contact the Georgina Hardy, the chair of CDG WM on email g.c.hardy@aston.ac.uk ………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Look out for future events including... The popular ―Love your Chartership‖ events A Reflective Writing workshop Further information will be circulated via email, and in the various bulletins.

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Central News - CDG WM Newsletter, Winter 2009