Yep. Yesterday was the second ever Voices for the Library get together. Funnily enough (and purely by accident) the meeting came just one week before our first anniversary on the 28th August (no really, it has nearly been a year…honest!). It is certainly amazing to think how far we have come in such a short space time. Literally from nothing to, er, something? It blows my mind to think how much we have achieved as a team, particularly as none of us really knew each other when we started. Of course, there is still much to be done, but hey, it is a start right? No-one ever said this was going to be easy.
This time around it was my turn to act as ‘chair’ of the meeting. That sounds far more formal than it actually is. There is very little need to actively chair at these meetings as we all seek to accommodate each other’s points of view entirely amicably. I think this is definitely one of our great strengths. No matter how many people come and go, the dynamic barely shifts. Everyone is working towards the same goals and any areas of (very slight) disagreement are hammered out harmoniously. Personally I find it amazing that despite the changes in personnel, the core of VftL pretty much stays the same.
It was also also great to finally meet Abby, Jo and Ian, as well as meeting Adrienne again (we met at the Word Festival earlier in the year). Despite having practically ‘worked’ with Jo for around about a year, we had never actually met face-to-face, so it was really cool to finally put an actual person to the emails/phonecalls/tweets. I have a huge amount of respect for Jo in the way she has been dealing with the Gloucestershire situation. I know it has been exceptionally tough for her, but she has been an inspiration in the way she has kept fighting for the rights of library users across the county. I wish I had 1/10th of the drive and determination that she has. Oh, and by the way, Adrienne is total genius 🙂
Quite possibly the weirdest thing about the meeting and how the team has worked over the past year is how Lauren and I seem to be almost sharing the same brain (or The Laurenian as I have now dubbed it). I know Lauren commented on it recently on her CPD23 blog and it is scarily accurate. We often seem to think, tweet or (on one memorable occasion) email the same thing at the same time. It’s freaky but it’s kinda cool. It’s especially handy in meetings as I know that I can go quiet and be confident that Lauren will express exactly what I am thinking. The only exception being The Thing That Must Not Be Discussed. For if we were to discuss The Thing That Must Not Be Discussed, The Laurenian would surely explode and leave a big, horrible mess everywhere. And I am not sure that is a mess that anyone would be willing to clear up. God only knows (whoops!) what would happen if she gets that thing. I’ll be chuffed but equally a little bit lost.
Anyways, we had a great day and a really productive meeting. My only regret? I should really have booked accommodation in Oxford instead of driving back to Canterbury at 10.15pm. It’s a long drive.