Adventures of a retired librarian: 2014

Happy-New-Year-Card-562975Year 2 of retirement and I’m still enjoying life – even though nothing very much has changed over the last year. That, and the fact that I was slightly better at writing things up as I went along in 2014, makes an “annual reflection” post more difficult to write. I’ve just read over what I wrote this time last year, and it bubbles with joy and enthusiasm. That’s still there – it’s just no longer such a novelty.

So what has stayed the same in my library world?

  • I’m still volunteering with Glasgow Women’s Library in multiple capacities. What has changed, though, is that I now get paid occasionally for training new volunteers – I’m proud to be a “senior” volunteer!
  • I’m still organising tweetups (though not so many – just two this year, Travelling Librarians and Cornton Vale.)
  • I ran a second Library Camp Glasgow.
  • I’ve done a few more talks / guest posts / articles – I keep a list of these on the “About” page.

What has changed?

  • I’m really proud to have started 23 Librarians which has proved a valuable resource documenting what librarians actually do, has inspired similar blogs in other parts of the UK and featured recently in CILIP Update. I think this is my major achievement of 2014, and it’s still going strong.
  • I’m sad to say goodbye to being a chartership mentor, but when the system changed last year I felt I had done enough. I gave my two remaining candidates a deadline – to submit their portfolios by the last possible date under the old regulations or find a new mentor. One submitted on time and we await the results, though I’m quietly confident that I can add her to my tally of four successful charterships and one revalidation.

What’s the plan for 2015?

  • I intend to keep going with GWL and tweetups (I have three ideas, already one better than last year.) I’m less sure about Library Camp and 23 Librarians – I think the former would benefit from a change of location to another city and the latter will maybe have run its course soon. I’ll keep publishing it as long as people are willing to write for it, but the stream of volunteers is slowing down.
  • I have one more idea for providing library CPD which I can pursue if some of the other things become less time-consuming.
  • I’d like to do more to advocate for libraries. The culture of cuts which has been pervasive in England for some time is spreading to Scotland – so far, I’ve responded to several consultations and sent some material from the Library A to Z campaign to politicians, but I need to follow that up. CILIPS’ advocacy pages are a good place to start. (To anyone reading this before 10th January, you could consider responding to Falkirk Council which proposes to cut its School Library Service. Nicola Morgan’s blog post will fill you in on the details.)

Finally, what do I wish for you?

  • A Happy New Year!
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Anabel Marsh

I'm a proud Glaswegian who loves to go gallivanting both at home and abroad. Join me in my travels, both historic and current. Credit where credit's due: photography mostly by my more talented other half, John.

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