Book Week Scotland 2015

This week is Book Week Scotland, which is a great event that is held in all book shops, libraries and wherever you might find books.

I have tried to promote the week at the FE I currently work at, which wasn’t really a hit, but I created a display!

Then I began to think, when I was in my “academic years”, from secondary to university to post graduate study, did I read for pleasure very often? I did, but not as much as I would have liked.

I was lucky enough to have friends in my undergraduate university that I had had from the age of 12, and who were also fellow bookworms, but we were the minority of our class. We liked to read for a past time and gave each other book recommendations, went to book stores together, even, loaning books to one another. We have that level of friendship! (Yes, I am a lucky girl)!

We are all working now, lawyers, doctors, accountants, executive assistants, library assistants…. And it seems that not all of us read for pleasure anymore?

I suppose our working week has made us tried, we stare at screens all day and we just wanted to relax when we get home or on our commute by listening to music, binge watching a TV show or checking on our Facebook feed.

Can that really replace a book? Have we exchanged the feel and touch of a hard or paperback cover for the cold small communication device that we all keep in contact with one another now we are on different parts of the globe?

I recently took part in a “Social Media Diary” as a research participant, which has made me reflect on my online usage immensely.

For 7 days I had to write down (on a Google Doc, so not even on paper) when I logged into my social media accounts, what I saw and how I felt about it.

After a day or two I noticed that I check my Facebook the first thing in the morning and the last thing at night, which shocked me.

I began to use my phone less, and read in bed more, listen to Podcasts more regularly (I highly recommend the The Penguin Podcasts, very very interesting) and I picked up a book from my TBR shelf!

I picked up a Stephen King I bought in September called “Revival” and I am hooked. I read a lot of King’s works when I was a teenager, I loved being shocked, scared and sometimes terrified at the way he could make me feel about the characters inside his pages. I also loved the looks on my teachers faces when they saw what I was reading when I had the chance.

I suppose, in the profession that I am currently in, I need to have the passion for books that I had from an early age, that my friends did as well. Bookworms 4eva! I am lucky I can go through out fiction section and borrow a book and have the time to pick something  I know I will like, and have the time on my lunch break to relax and read what I want to read.

Not everyone is as lucky, but we should encourage others to try and fit in some time for reading, for fun.

You too can be a bookworm, it is more fun that is sounds!

Thanks for reading!

Jade x

If there are any topics you would like to write on, please feel free to leave a comment 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading….. for fun!!! – “Finding Audrey” by Sophie Kinsella

So the last couple of months have been, in Irish slang, MENTAL TED, so I have been lacking on this blog of late.

I am managing to read more, books that I have bought and am excited to read on my daily commute, who would have thought it would have made my TBR shorter to get the bus every weekday?

I am slowly getting used to having time to myself, and my social life, in the evenings and have started to have this thing called….. a life again? Strange, I know.

Last month I finished “Finding Audrey” by Sophie Kinsella, I read it in 3 days! I haven’t been that involved in a book, or had the time to be, for going on 2 years that were not academic so I was very excited to read it. 

I really enjoyed the writing style, and the topic was mental health of a teenage girl after intense bullying in her school (which every woman can relate too, teenage girls can be cruel). I have seen on the BookTube land that it is actually not getting the best reviews, due to the main character, Audrey, kissing a boy really quickly after not knowing him that long (even though she has very very bad social anxiety with new people).

In my opinion, I could tell that this book was written by an author who was coming from a place of reflection on the topic, that they had had experiences that they were describing previously in their younger years (as I have had some of these experiences myself) and when you are looking back at hard or good times, you tend to speed it up a little. I am not saying that you would lie or make up certain parts, but it is more of the “cream from the top” style reflection.

Audrey has had her breakdown, she is working towards healing in the book, so you do not see how hard she has worked to become the young woman she turns into, you only meet her in the middle/end of her journey with understanding her own mental health and how she is the only one who can build herself back up again.

I would highly recommend this book for readers of all ages!

I found this book by browsing through the stacks at my local library, so it didn’t cost me a penny to read.

Maybe you could find a book you love at your local library! Go explore the stacks!

Jade x

BookTube VS Libraries

I do not own a TV, of any kind! I am very proud of this and it does shock a few people when I mention it.

So I watch a LOT of YouTube, everyday, as I love the interaction I can have with other members of the community and even sometimes with the creator of the works.

BookTube is honestly my favorite part of the YouTube community, if you like having conversation about book recommendations or how you hated what happened to the characters in the book you just read, it is a great place to be a part of.

BUT! What annoys me is that a lot of the creators do “Book Hauls” and “Book Shelf Tours”, which can be interesting and honestly does my me jealous of their set up. Why aren’t they using the library if they love books so much? This has always been in the back of my mind when seeing my newsfeed/subbox/timelines/whatever the latest update will call it.

My partner bought me a book shelf and I love it!

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As you can see, it is not full at all! That is because I loan the majority of my books out from my local library!

This is how I arranged my book shelf:

Bottom: academic books from my career thus far (mostly second hand to be fair)!.

Middle: read books that I love and will probably read again.

Top: TBR (to be read) books that I have been gifted or have bought with vouchers etc.

Slowly, picture frames and musical instruments have made their way into it, which I don’t mind as I love having somewhere to display them.

Although I do love the BookTube world, I am surprised that they do not recommend the local library more often. The books are FREE!

This is the idea that will be behind my own YouTube/BookTube channel.

What are your book shelves like? I had a bookcase, that was suitcase of books, before I was lucky to get this!

Do you use your local library? If not, why so?

Thanks for reading!

Jade x

BuzzFeed Books – Library Week

Some of you reading this will already know that my comment appeared on BuzzFeed about my local librarian growing up, here is the link to the article:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/sarahgalo/stories-that-will-make-you-want-to-hug-your-librarian#.jwnn4GnLp

I really do enjoy reading BuzzFeed, people may think that our generation is all about the internet and “listing” everything, making them into sizable chunks due to our lack of DINOSAUR attention spans.

I am lucky to have grown up with technology, watching it grow and understanding by the mistakes of others to never put things online you do not want your family, friends or future employers to see (having your mother as your friend on Facebook is the best filter you could ask for)!

The local library I grew up with, compared to the fantastic resources that are in the town now (Mitchelstown, County Cork) was more a room in a council building. This did not stop the librarian from being kick ass.

My parents split when I was around 9-10 y/old. I took it hard (as every child does, that is NORMAL) and I found escapism in books. I bought my beautiful little Shit-Tzu Jessie (2001-2010) with my confirmation money (rural Ireland people) and she soon helped me with the changes in my life. My Mum was working three jobs and finishing off her degree full time (basically being SUPERWOMAN) and I was only allowed to go to the local shop and library, which were across the street from one another.

My hair is tame now, but my god it was NOT at that age. I had a flip scooter and a back pack I would put Jessie in. I was a moving target basically!!! I was bullied a lot, but I had a great circle of friends from primary school a town over who would visit me.

This was back in the day (1990s) where Walkmans were not a thing for 10 year old to have, and also everyone would stop and chat to me on the way. I would sneak Jessie into the library with me in my backpack, and try to have her all tired out from playing before I go there so she wouldn’t wriggle! On one particular hot day, I had Jessie a sleep in my backpack and was on my way to the library, I decided to leave the back pack open a little so she could have air and forgot to close it when I was going up the stairs to the library. I was browsing through the stacks when the librarian approached me and asked,

“Jade, do you have a dog in your backpack?”

To which 10 y/old me replied, “No…..” and at that exact moment Jessie popped her head out and barked an hello!

I thought I was going to get kicked out, I was so worried, but the librarian took her out of the back pack and hugged her and commented on how well behaved she was. She held her as I browsed in the empty library (it was the height of summer, and all of the other children were outside playing). Each day that summer I would bring Jessie in, not hidden anymore, and began to discover Shakespeare, Hemingway and “The Sleepover Club” books.

My local librarian that summer made me feel normal, and not like the outsider that the children who bullied me made me feel. If I got upset about how I was never invited outside to play, I would put Jessie on my lap and read something new I got from the library and feel better. Books are still my escape to this day. If I am in pain or stressed, they really take me on a journey away from my problems.

I am just finishing off the final touches of my MSc in Library and Information Studies dissertation, and really hope I can be even a fraction of my childhood librarian. I have Tweeted the BuzzFeed article to the library, so hopefully she will see it, or a family member of hers.

Kindness goes a long way, believe me, it really did help me discover my look for books, music and art.

This blog is dedicated to the librarian from my childhood, wherever you are!

And also Roo English, you are an amazing young women, I am very proud to be your friend.

Where have you been Jade???

So I have been very quiet on here for a good few months, I also change the settings to private.

I was feeling very stressed and needed to do this:

This is still 4,000 words short for my dissertation :/
This is still 4,000 words short for my dissertation :/

This, my readers, is my 23,000 word first draft of my dissertation for my MSc in Library and Information Studies from Robert Gordon University.

If you have been following me on here, you will know my topic, but for those of you just popping by, it’s basically about music copyright in libraries.

The word limit is 20,000 (+/- 10%). I did a LOT of data collection, surveys and interviews, which has made my appendix…. let’s just say it’s nearly at the double digits.

My current employers have been very supportive and have let me working on this paper during working hours (after I have all my duties done, of course) so I am very happy I made the investment in a Google Chromebook and have 1TB of storage to save everything onto and access where I need (as long as I have Wifi/Internet).

***This blog post is not sponsored by Google, I just want current and future students to know how awesome their products are***

I could not recommend using Google Docs/Drive highly enough, it really is amazing how you can ask someone to edit and proofread along with you!

So what I am doing now is planning a summer of an Irish Road Trip with my friend, Maid of Honour Duties, Kick Ass Graduation Parties….. AND I HAVE DECIDED TO GO FOR CALL FOR PAPER DEADLINES.

I am good at presenting my work and think I would kick some serious networking butt at these things. I just have to make sure my (FULL TIME) job is not disrupted too much in the process.

I think I have a problem, I just love learning 🙂

Sorry it took me so long to post again, I promise after my deadline (May 6th), I will be back in action on here.

Jade x

It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree…

I am happy to announce, I have secured a job for the new year 🙂

It comes with a great pay jump, health and dental and even has holiday days that I can take to go home for a few visits!

This really has taken the pressure off for a while and made me feel really good about myself.

It isn’t in a library though…

I am aware that I am qualified in the area of Library and Information Studies now, but after working in a Public Library for nearly 6 months, I do not think the setting is for me.

I understand office politics, as it was forced upon me a few years ago, but working for a public library run by the local government can be a bit stressful. I found it difficult to adjust from my retail job into a “traditional” library role. I loved it, don’t get me wrong!

I just think I have out grown it, as I prepare to leave.

Everyone I work with is lovely, so grounded and genuinely nice people, but the sense that there was something else out there that I could do has been itching at me for a while.

My boss was very honest and said that my contract was unlikely to be renewed due to budget and also the need to have a L.A on the floor for which I work, which I totally understand. Sometimes it feels like I am trying very hard to look busy, and other days I am rushed off my feet.

I have managed to get a job in the oil industry, which I am very excited about starting!!! It will open a lot of doors for me and also be internationally recognized for my future plans (my partner and I would like to move to Canada before we are 30)!

As you can tell from my other posts, I will not be revealing where I will be working, as that is a private thing, but I will discuss my experiences of my new position and the career I am going to take in this area!

I am having so much fun writing this blog, thank you to all my followers and I hope you and yours have a fantastic Christmas break, whatever your traditions are!

Just remember, it’s not what’s under the Christmas tree, it’s who’s around it 🙂 Charlie-Brown-Christmas-Business-Lessons

Research Collecting!

Tim Padfield Copyright Flowchart
Tim Padfield Copyright Flowchart

I received 32 FULL responses back from my public online survey last week, I am so happy about this! 🙂

Thank you to everyone who helped me get closer to my MSc in Library and Information Studies.
My dissertation for my MSc is on the topic of music copyright, and the survey is now visited and I have downloaded my data in a lovely looking Excel sheet (and EPIC looking Pie Charts) for my Supervisor for Friday.

When I mention the area to an information professional or library worker, they do tend to make the noise of air flying out of a balloon extremely fast.

The topic is very complex and new rules and regulations are being updated constantly within the library work and laws in the U.K.

The reason I chose this topic was due to my love of the Open Access forum.
I believe everyone should be able to access information for free, on any topic that they are interested in.

BUT!

The person who takes the time and effort to come up with the idea for the paper, research, collect the data and publish it, has gone to huge amount of effort and should be recognized Right??! RIGHT??!! What about musical scores?

Some people, not all please don’t think I am saying everybody does it, think that this pretty musical score is up for the taking. They can photocopy the whole thing and not have to worry about copyright. The composer is dead, so it doesn’t effect anyone and no one gets hurt.

Just think about it, you fall in love with a piece you hear during a seminar or a class you have taken for your BMus/Music degree. You take time out of your day to go and find it in the library, and you take it home. Slowly but surely you manage to learn it and play it whenever the mood strikes. You bring it back to the library and photocopy the whole thing. (This is the, this is not okay part). So…. you stole it. You might not think you did, but that is exactly what you did.
Now you can go on about how you couldn’t afford it, how you really needed it, and how you shouldn’t have to justify it if the photocopier is right there.
If you want to work in field of music, academic, professionally or any other which way and you become a composer or performer who is trying to live off of the craft, future you had just been robbed by past you.

Think before you copy, music is the same as any other discipline, you need to dedicate your time to it.

If you would like to know if the musical score it out of copyright, please see the image, it is a handy guide to ensure you do not steal anything! If this is confusing, why not ask the librarian or library assistants to help you?

Adding some more letters….

My undergraduate degree is from University College Cork in Music. It took four years, but I am so happy to graduated from the same uni as my mum!

I moved to Scotland to attend Robert Gordon University, to add a few more letters after my name. I am currently in the research stage of my MSc Library and Information Studies dissertation and am getting to grips with online surveys.

When completing my undergraduate, I never even thought about doing one. My topic was on music education in primary school children and who different approaches create different outcomes for my children’s over-all education. (So I asked teachers face-to-face about it all)!

It is scary, I felt sick hitting the share button! My topic is music copyright implementation in an academic setting.

I have been working on the survey for far too long, I made it “live” last night and I have to say, I am so happy about the responses so far!

If you are working in the MLIS/Libraries/Information Assistant sector and would like to help me getting more letters, please see the survey here:

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1898197/Music-Copyright-in-the-Library-Setting

If you are working, or have previously worked in the area YOU are who I am looking for. All opinions matter, it is important that I capture the positive with the negative so please feel free to give out as much as you like! (It is anonymous)!

I think I should create some hashtag thingy…… ah….. #helpjadegetmsc? *cringe*
Ok… how about… #musiccopyrightMLIS ???? Thoughts? ANYONE?????

Open Access Week

All over Twitter world last week the hashtag #OAWeek was trending and blogs were flying around about the topic.

My main passion for entering Library School last year was the open access to information that every one should be granted, with most being permitted.

What is your public library like for access for people who have a disability? There are many types of people who have hardships in life and people with special needs who need to be catered for. When was the last time you saw someone with a mental health need in the library enjoying themselves?

The systems in Scotland are fantastic and everyone is welcomed with open arms.

Where I grew up, not so much.

I am not saying the whole of Ireland does not have access for someone with a special need, be it physical or mental, but are they welcomed as much as other patrons?

I find it difficult to walk to a certain library in Cork county due to the pathway being so small, I couldn’t imagine a person with a wheelchair being safe without falling onto the road.

Simple things can change this, having an open, honest discussion with library staff, to see if they are fully comfortable if they were asked to help someone. 9/10 will say they are comfortable, but would they really? Are they just telling their bosses what they want to hear so that they will not get fired? This is a really scary time for Librarian Assistants in Ireland, as they are stuck between a rock and a hard place, have a look here to see the jobs that are available: http://bit.ly/1wtL8cJ These jobs are for people who are on unemployment, but need the MSc and have no experience, and they only received €50 extra a week. This link is the #1 reason I left my family and friends, as there are no jobs that I could have done without going on unemployment benefit.

There are regular users who will visit the library who have certain needs, and every day you learn how to help them access the information they are searching for a little bit easier.

What I would love is someone, anyone who is reading this and works in a library or with the public and is asked, “Are you comfortable with helping someone who has *insert certain need here* unattended?” and they honestly answer, be it yes or no.