The Blog of Jonathan White, a trainee Librarian from Derbyshire. Aimed at people who are just starting out in public libraries or are considering a career in them.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Do you 'Love Libraries'?

You may or may not have seen information about the People's Network being banded about. This is the umbrella term for the access to ICT that public libraries provide. The People's Network website allows members of the public to share good and bad reviews of books, seek answers to questions from public Librarians worldwide and explore different special collections that public libraries house. It's a really useful site, informative and entertaining in different parts.

Another website that is a part of the People's Network is a site called Love Libraries. This site is a pretty good attempt at marketing public libraries and has been followed with a national poster campaign. I think the best bit about it is the Have Your Say area where ordinary members of the public can have their say on public libraries.

You should look at the Make a Difference page if you are considering a career in public libraries. Its fully of reasons why you should do it!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Library Weblogs

Weblogs are being used by public libraries more and more to share information with their users on new services and service changes. I think that this is an excellent way to promote a big event or simply inform users when the next book sale is.

Gateshead Libraries have a weblog as part of their excellent libraries website. It is called et cetera. As new web technologies are taught on library courses it is important that aspiring librarians keep up to date with these sorts of technologies, after all it is likely that you will have to apply it in job. You could be asked to set up and run a weblog for your library service or you may be asked to train the public or local community groups how to blog.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

"It's all about stamping books isn't it?"

"Definately not!" I said to a friend recently when quizzed on my choice of career. During my trainee year with Derbyshire I was involved in many projects across the county and East Midlands region as a whole.

One of my favourite projects was being able to work on the What Are You Upto Tonight website. This website is maintained by public library authorities in the East Midlands region working together. It is a website aimed at 16-24 year olds and is designed to encourage reading and the use of libraries without overtly being about libraries. I added many reviews of new books to the site and after reading Luke Rhinehart's The Dice Man I decided to write a page on his dice books for the site. The article is called The Dice Life.

I consulted with local teenagers to find out what they wanted from the library service. This led to the creation of a new area within the library for them and the setting up of competitions and a Games Workshop event.

I was also given the opportunity to co-research and author a report for the management team, which will influence future policy.

Of course currently I am involved in a project which is completely different again! I am now helping to organise and run ICT literacy sessions in library learning suites.

The possibilities for team working both within the libraries department and with outreaching to work with other groups are enormous within public libraries. There are also plenty of opportunities for ambitious young librarians to reach middle and senior management level as well. Why not look at the CILIP guide to becoming a library professional?

Official opening of Learning Suite

Ripley Library's new Learning Suite will be officially opened by Councillor Bob Janes on Thursday 16th March 2006 at 2pm.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

ICT Buddies at Ripley Library

We are setting up an ICT Buddies scheme at Ripley Library from the 1st March 2006. This will take the form of basic computer training for members of the public who class themselves as complete beginners when it comes to ICT.

The sessions will take place every week with the initial training being provided by myself, but will eventually be run by volunteers from the local area who want to help their peers.

The sessions are taking place within the learning suit at Ripley Library which, like its counterpart at Alfreton Library, is now home to state of the art equipment including; Windows XP computers with CD/DVD rewriter drives and broadband internet connection on a wireless network, a data projector and interactive white board.

We hope that running such sessions (and others we are still developing) will address the information literacy needs of the local community and will be a good contribution towards inspiring learning for all . The lifelong learning of everyone is a big concern of the government at the moment as well and it has been said that libraries are a good place for this to happen. Further information can be found on the MLA website and also in Framework for the Future.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Hi thought I would start this Blog with a little introduction.

I am Jonathan White and I am currently a postgraduate student of Information and Library Management at Loughborough University in the UK. I also work part-time for Derbyshire County Council's Cultural and Community Services Department at Belper Library. I am temporarily covering a Local Studies post and my main area of responsibility is to organise the setting up of computer 'buddies' sessions at Ripley and Alfreton Libraries in their new learning suites.

Previously, I was based at Alfreton Library as a Graduate Trainee with Derbyshire's Library Service and the course I am now doing at Loughborough will lead to me being a professionally qualified Librarian/Library Professional.

I have set this blog up in the hope that it may give others like myself somebody to relate to and hopefully it may inspire some young people to pick a career in public libraries. It is very true that it is about a lot more than stamping books!

Anyway I will be posting a lot more on myself, my degree and my work over the coming months, so if anyone wants to comment or send me a message please feel free.