Monday, April 21, 2014

My review of Bibliocraft - by Jessica Pigza (also known as @handmadelibrary)

BiblioCraft: The Modern Crafter's Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative ProjectsBiblioCraft: The Modern Crafter's Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects by Jessica Pigza
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a wonderful book. This is a book for makers/crafters and library workers. Reading this book brought me lots of joy - I found I was smiling to myself as I read it. It is written by a rare book librarian, and based on five years of crafternoons (a new term for me) at New York Public Library.

This book connects library collections and resources, including skilled librarians, with makers (in this book called crafters, but really they are they same, or at least very very similar). This is the bit that is most exciting as it is bringing library collections, skilled library staff and clients together. It is a book for reference librarians, including local studies librarians, to think about closely as it is a way to help flaunt any library collection to your community, and to connect clients to online resources from all around the world. I have been talking about this for a while, but it was lovely to read about it, as it is a crucial area for libraries to explore in the current maker developments.

There is a section called "finding inspiration at your library" which takes the reader through the different strengths of public libraries and research libraries in an enjoyable and easily readable way. There is a guide to finding libraries, and some helpful hints about planning a library visit (with some key questions to help crafters/makers). The author also has a useful section on finding your way around a library with a quick overview of searching, including an explanation of subject headings (with examples). Digial/online collections are also included (sadly Trove is not) helping people to discover a broader range of inspiration for what they are making. Specialised collections are highlighted (mainly in the USA). Copyright is addressed well, in a very practical way. While i have taken time to describe this section of the book, it takes up a modest number of pages, with most of the book focusing on projects inspired by library collections.

For many of the chapters well known makers/crafters were invited to contribute projects. The author provided research assistance based on their interests (sounds a lot like reference work to me). There are description of the creative process for each project, followed by an information session about particular sources like decorative bookbindings, illuminated manuscripts, and botanical pursuits.

This would be an excellent book for library collections, but also one for library staff to read (it is a quick read) and plan plan programming for - working out ways to highlight their library collection, and connection their clients to online sources of interest.

I have written this review from a library perspective, but it also works well for library clients, giving them the tools to engage with a wide range of libraries, for the best outcomes for themselves.

After reading this book I dug out three knitting project from many years ago. Two jumpers and a vest. The vest was based on botanical illustration, one jumper on the Book of Kells and the other on Mayan writing. All of the materials for these were sourced from the public library I was working in at the time.

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#myHCL - Hennepin County Library and consultation

Why Did You Come to the Library Today? This image shows part of a Hennepin County Library consultation with their library clients. You can look at the rest of the set here. Of particular interest are the range of questions being asked of their community. It reads like a survey, done in the library. 

They used facebook as well (see this link). People were tweeting about the library using this tag too.

I like the use of the in-library consultation by Hennepin County Library - and it is a great way to connect with clients during library week.

This also brought to mind #MyHuntLibrary (a brilliant idea and well worth reading the background on).

Saturday, April 12, 2014

different reading styles

This article came through my Medium alerts feed - Agency or why we love Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. I happen to enjoy both of these stories but not everyone does, and some of it comes back to the doorways mentioned by Nancy Pearl - character, language, setting, story (a description of this by Nancy Pearl is here), and there are a range of other factors as to why people may not enjoy these titles.

These books are interesting because they can be interpreted by readers as fitting in all of these doorways.  They both have strong story (even if we don't quite know where GoT is going).  There are many interesting characters, and we want know what happens to them (even if we only get to know then for a short time thanks to GoT).  The locations of both are important and described to add to our experience of reading them (and we can see that location can be an influence), and they have interesting use of language.  Depending on which of these is most important to you, will depend on how these books appeal to you (and there are a whole range of factors as to why they may not).

We all have a different mixture of the doorways in how we read, and there is not a ranking system, as they are all important to each of us in a slightly different mix.

This is obviously not language to be used with library clients,  but the ideas can really help when working with clients and helping them find something they want to read (without trying to give them something identical to what they read before - unless they really want this).

This article - Agency or why we love Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings - is also interesting because the description demonstrates the different doorways, without using the terminology.

I tweeted about this, but felt a longer explanation was needed.

As an aside Medium is a great source of a range of news stories appealing to different  reading styles.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Agricultural discussions on twitter

I have mentioned agricultural twitter discussions before (see HerdySheperd on twitter)

In case you have been wondering about other agricultural discussions twitter, you can follow the #AgChatOz hashtag and the @agchatoz twitter stream.  There is some background information about it too.

This has been developing over time - see Farmers on twitter: hashtags over harvesters.  Meat and livestock Australia is giving advice how to use twitter (and it is a very useful introduction), and there has been discussion about Landline on twitter

There are other accounts you may be interested in such as ABC Rural and many other hashtags and even more.

I think it is exciting that farmers, like librarians can connect all around the world to areas of common interest as well as areas of specialist interest.