The ‘Thoughts….’ Annual 2010 – Part I

As 2010 is drawing to a close, I thought what better way to commemorate the passing of one year and the beginning of a new one than to look back over the past year and revisit some of the events that I have blogged about and some of those things that I hadn’t.  There probably are better ways (getting blind drunk and dancing in the street singing Lady Gaga’s greatest hits for example – quick little 2010 cultural reference there….my finger is practically stroking the popular zeitgeist and tickling its soft underbelly), but I’ve decided to do this now so there is no turning back.  So, without further ado, here begins Part I of my review of 2010.


January saw my usual sceptical take on the Kindle and a bunch of statistics that Amazon had thrown at us in the immediate post-Christmas period.  Strangely enough, almost a year later, Amazon are still throwing out statistics about the strength of Kindle sales. Yet here we are, a year down the line, and I am still far from convinced that a Kindle is the right option.

January also saw me make a decision about my option modules for my course.  Looking back I still believe I made the right choices, as I think skills in both marketing and digitisation are going to be very important.

I also blogged about CardStar, an application for smartphones that allows library users to recreate their library barcode on their phone.  This had some interesting ramifications for libraries and pointed to the need for staff to be on top of developments to ensure that service delivery isn’t compromised.  That said, I haven’t used CardStar at all since I blogged about it (but then I don’t have many storecards either), but I still think awareness is key.

Finally, I also blogged about the announcement of the iPad and it’s potential to seriously rival the Kindle.  To date that post has had over 5,000 views and is by far the most viewed post on my humble little blog.  It also holds the record for most viewed post in a single day (over 500). Not bad going!


Seville's Feria de Abril

These were very quiet months for my blog……so quiet I didn’t write a damn thing!  That said, it wasn’t exactly a quiet period in other respects.  First of all, April saw my very last study school come and go.  It was kind of a weird feeling back then.  I thoroughly enjoyed all of my study schools and they certainly brought back memories of my student days.  However, upon completion of this study school I knew that I was heading towards the final straight and a long hard slog was ahead of me.  I will miss the schools and the connections they provided (I met several previously unseen Tweeters at this last study school which was quite weird…..the collision of the virtual and the real always sends me into a spin), but I am looking forward to getting the qualification under my belt and moving on professionally.

April was also fairly traumatic as my wife and I had intended on taking our daughter to the fantastic Feria de Abril in Seville for our little girl’s first birthday.  Unfortunately, Eyjafjallajökull decided to kick off and any chance we might have had disappeared before our eyes.  A sad end to April, but hopefully we will rectify this in 2011.


And with a quiet few months behind me, the blogging began again in earnest.  First off, I blogged about my experiences at the study school I went to in April (see above).  I hoped it might prove useful for those on the distance learning course to see what lies ahead of them.  Of course, I may have just freaked them out, but that’s the chance you take!

May also saw some exciting news on the job front.  I had been successful in applying for a library systems post at my local university and I was about to straddle that line between librarian and shambrarian (a libshambrarian if you will).  I have to say i have thoroughly enjoyed the new challenge that this has brought me and I certainly do not look back with regret and my decision to move on and try something different.

I also blogged about privacy concerns on Facebook (something I am sure will continually creep around ad infinitum) and a post about marketing in libraries wondering whether they should focus on those that use the service or those that do not.  A problem I still struggle over and I have yet to come to a satisfactory answer.


Gardens of the Real Alcazar in Seville

And so we reach June (or does June reach us?) and my utter annoyance at the coverage of library closures on Newsnight. So throughly cheesed off was I that I devoted a rather lengthy post to defending the library service and attacking those that fail to see its value (and indeed those that fail to defend it sufficiently). What infuriated me at the time, and continues to do so to a certain extent (although, like the Icelandic volcano, my initial eruption has subsided somewhat, causing only slight discomfort to those in my immediate vicinity), was the fact that the defence was put forward by someone with a tenuous grasp of libraries and their role and that a series of middle-class assumptions were made (everyone has broadband/internet……tell that to the 9 million people who have never….let me repeat that…..never even experienced the Internet firsthand).  Furthermore, it set in motion the narrative that has seen councils ignore the local people’s demands of a comprehensive library service (surely the Big Society is all about meeting the demands of the local community?) and force them (yes, force) to run the service voluntarily without professional guidance.  The horror.  Ironically, the Big Society seems to involve government forcing people to provide services that they feel are better provided by their local councils.  Not so much Big Government, more Bullying Government.

On the flip side, June also saw a long-awaited trip to Seville and my birthday.  See, it’s not all doom and gloom

End of Part I

So, that’s where we leave it at the end of Part I.  Our hero is sat in front of his computer, over the festive period no-less, tearing his hair out in frustration at some events that he has voluntarily decided to re-visit.  Let’s hope things pick up a little in Part II or else this experiment in creating my first blog review will remain an ill-advised experiment.  And not one worth repeating (are any ill-advised experiments worth repeating?).


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