Vote for the Oak! European Tree of the Year

Please vote for the Suffragette Oak, as nominated by Glasgow Women’s Library, as European Tree of the Year!

The Glasgow Gallivanter

European Tree of the YearGlasgow’s Suffragette Oak was planted on 20 April 1918 to commemorate the granting of votes to (some) women. Last year, Glasgow Women’s Library nominated it as Scotland’s Tree of the Year and I know that some of you voted for it, for which many thanks. It won, and throughout February the Suffragette Oak is part of the European Tree of the Year competition. On Monday I and GWL colleagues Wendy and Beverly braved the wind, rain and mud to promote it while shivering in white dresses. The photo-call was also attended by the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sadie Docherty. (A Provost is a Mayor, and a Lord Provost is always a Lord even when she’s actually a Lady.) I would be so grateful if you could reward our dedication by voting for us here!

A bit of background information about some Scottish Suffragettes:

  • Mary Hamilton – later a Labour MP (1929) and a lifelong campaigner for equal pay.
  • Marion Dunlop…

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“My Library By Right” – have you signed yet?

Do you use libraries? If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance the answer will be yes, but did you know that every week two libraries in the UK close their doors for good?

If you answered no to the first question, is it because you can afford to buy books and pay for a good broadband connection? But what if you couldn’t? As Nick Poole says in a recent Mirror article “It’s hard to understand the impact of these cuts when you’re well-off, have easy access to the internet and can buy the books you want. But for millions of poor families, jobseekers and people with disabilities a library is a lifeline.”

CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) is running a campaign called My Library By Right. Follow the link if you’d like to know more, and please, please sign their petition along with (so far) almost 8000 other people, including famous authors such as Joanna Trollope and Andrew Motion. It relates specifically to English libraries at the moment, but libraries in Scotland are facing cuts too and it’s important that we show our support.

Thank you.

Spotted in Bermuda

A few weeks ago we escaped a dreary, wet Glasgow for a week in Bermuda. It’s a beautiful place about which a full set of posts will appear on my travel blog in due course. In the meantime, here are a few book and library-related items for your delectation.

Above is the National Library in the capital, City of Hamilton – I suspect it’s the only library, though it also has a children’s section in a separate building.

Elsewhere in Hamilton were these fabulous sculptures of people reading. The telephone box is in the Old Town of St George’s – it calls itself The Telephone Book Swap Library so it’s covering all options.

Finally, next to our hotel was Bermuda College Library. I think I could survive working here.

Happy Christmas!

We won! Scotland’s Tree of the Year

In my last post, I wrote about Glasgow Women’s Library nominating the Suffragette Oak, which was planted in 1918 to commemorate some women getting the vote, as Scotland’s Tree of the Year. Well, we won! At a reception at the Scottish Parliament last night we were presented with a trophy, certificate and banner.

Here’s the tree and its banner:

And here we are winning at the parliament!

Now we go on to compete to be European Tree of the Year next year. I might be asking for your votes again – thanks to anyone who voted for us this time!

The sound of my own voice

Last week, I had the weird experience of hearing my own voice twice. With another Glasgow Women’s Library volunteer I did an interview on Radio Scotland about the Suffragette Oak. This was planted in 1918 to commemorate women being granted the vote – well, some women: those over 30 who owned property. It wasn’t till 1928 that all women over 21 got it. The Library has nominated the tree to be Scotland’s Tree of the Year – it would be great if you could follow the link and vote for us please! The radio interview is on the BBC iPlayer – start at 1hr 49m to hear it.

Earlier in  the week, I attended the premiere of the Library’s film March about the suffragette pageant we re-enacted in the Spring. I’m interviewed in that too! So I’m quite the media star these days. Autographs on request 😉

Orkney Library

In my last post, I wrote about visiting Shetland Library while on holiday there. The following week, we moved on to Orkney and, of course, I visited the library. How could I keep away? This is a very famous library, winner of the 2015 Library of the Year Award, but long before that it was known world-wide for its humorous Twitter feed.

I was sad that the Wooden Woman (what’s she all about?) didn’t have any jokes to offer when we were there (those are hedgehogs made out of old books she’s holding) but, just so you don’t miss out, here’s an example of what she gets up to from Twitter.

If you don’t already follow @OrkneyLibrary I suggest you do so right now! Life will never be dull.

Shetland Library

On a recent visit to Shetland, you couldn’t expect me to stay out of the library in Lerwick – could you? Thought not. Not only do I like visiting libraries, this one has some art work I wanted to see. Last year, Shetland was one of five places teamed up with an artist for Book Week Scotland (read more on the website of Scottish Book Trust which organised the scheme.) I met the artist paired with Shetland, Rosemary Cunningham, when she was working on another project, the wonderful Glasgow Alphabet Map, so I was keen to see what she had done here.

Shetland is rather windy, so Rosie designed a flagpole and a set of flags. One flies proudly outside, the others are displayed on the balcony inside. I love them! One of the staff members told me that the flag is raised and lowered each day – another skill added to the CV of multi-tasking library workers.

Since the early part of this century, the library has been based in the refurbished St Ringan’s Church. It’s beautiful, inside and out.

Previously, it and the town museum shared the rather unattractive building next door which still houses the library admin and reserve stock. One mitigating feature of the building is the carvings by the door of a girl and boy reading.

Overall, I was impressed with the library. It was bright and attractive in décor and stock, lots of people seemed to be using it and the staff member I spoke to was friendly and helpful. Well worth taking half an hour out of my holiday for.


2/23. Anabel – a retired librarian’s story

Finished the second series of 23 Librarians with my own story.

23 Librarians - and counting!

An early interest in books An early interest in books

Having cajoled (some might say nagged) 45 other librarians into telling you their library stories, perhaps it’s time I told you mine! I took early retirement almost three years ago, since when I’ve been involved with many library projects including this blog. I’m not going to write about my current life, because I keep quite a detailed log at Adventures of a Retired Librarian, but I am going to tell you how I arrived at the point I am today.

I was a complete bookworm as a child. There were always loads of books around the house and my Mum and Dad took us to the library regularly. I kept my own books in strict order and decided aged about 8 that I wanted to work in a library – I had no idea what that really involved, I just wanted to be around books all…

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The A to Z Challenge

atoz-theme-reveal-2015In the A to Z Challenge the idea is to blog about a subject beginning with a different letter every day (except Sundays) in April. I tried it for the first time with my travel blog last year, and I’m doing it again this year (on the theme of Gallus Glasgow if you’re interested). Then I had a crazy thought – maybe I could follow it on this blog too? It would be a good way of using the Library A to Z materials, and I could add in some of the quotes about libraries that I’ve been jotting down for years.

Library A to ZI’ve hummed and hawed and eventually decided to do it. I’m well ahead with the travel posts, and I’ve prepared a few for this which will get me through the first week. I’ve made my mind up too late to join in with the official Theme Reveal last Monday, so this is my own, personal little reveal. From 1st April I will be blogging about the benefits of libraries from A to Z – please come and join me and add your own thoughts.

To start us off, here are three of the more famous quotes about libraries:

I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. Jorge Luis Borges.

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero.

I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book. Groucho Marx.

What do you think is good about libraries?

Announcing #GLTU15 – Gartnavel Hospitals, 28th April

This should be a great visit – all welcome!

Glasgow Library Tweetups

Library at Gartnavel General Library at Gartnavel General

I’m happy to tell you that #GLTU15 has now been fixed for the afternoon of Tuesday, 28th April at 2pm. We’ll be visiting the libraries at Gartnavel: the General and Royal Hospitals, the Beatson and the Public Health Resource Unit. I had a preview before Christmas, so pop over to the post I wrote then for more pictures – it was a fabulous afternoon and I learned a lot about the variety of work in health librarianship. Many thanks to Shona McQuistan for all her work organising this.

Getting to Gartnavel is easy – it’s well served by buses on Great Western Road (there’s a stop just next to the hospital) or by Hyndland Station (via the footbridge – turn right on the bridge then left at the bottom of the steps.) I don’t recommend driving – the carpark is always full, though there is the option of…

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