Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Barbican Library

           The Barbican Library is a part of the Barbican Centre, is the major lending library for the City of London, and it opened in 1982.  When we got there, we were split into two groups: one to go with Jonathan Gibbs and the other one went with Geraldine Pote.  They split us up by handing out red and yellow pieces of paper and depending on what color you got decided whose group we were.  I got the color for Jonathan Gibbs’s group.  Jonathan started our wonderful tour with leading us downstairs to the music library to get a tour from Richard Jones, who is in charge of that section.  The music library has two pianos that patrons can book in advance to use to practice with or to try out some of the sheet music that they have in the library.  This is a really cool concept to help promote music.  Also, they have the largest music library in the United Kingdom and they have the largest collections of CDs. 
           
            Next, we went back upstairs to a sitting area where we met up with the other group to have a snack of biscuits and juice or water.  While we were having our snack, Natalie, the library assistant that helps a lot with the children’s library, came and talked to us because the children’s library was being used during our visit.  She told us about the different programs that they do there.  After that, he gave us a tour of the rest of the library where they have the London collection, the crime collection, fiction, nonfiction, and more.  In their London collection, they have a lending book that dates back to 1739.  Also, they have about 200,000 books for lending with self-service machines that the patrons can use to renew or to checkout materials. 

            This library was one of my favorites to visit because first: it is a public library and we had not visited many in our time here and second: our tour guide.  He made the tour.  He was funny and informative and you could tell that he has good relationships with his coworkers just by how they interacted with each other.  Also, it was nice to see how public libraries differentiate from academic and special collection libraries.  












Philip Richardson Library Visit




            For my research paper, I decided to focus on the Philip Richardson Library which is one of the largest dance collections in the United Kingdom.  The library officially opened in the 1980s. 

Today, I was able to visit the library and meet with Rebecca Blackbourn, the Library and Research Services Manager.  During my visit, Rebecca gave me the tour of their small library and archive.  She showed me their book collection.  For their dance and dance related books, they are classified with their own classification system called RADPAC which stands for Royal Academy of Dance Performing Arts Collection.  Also, it is loosely passed off of the Universal Decimal Classification because it lets the classifier expand the collection to their needs.  For their non-dance books, they use the Universal Decimal Classification.  They have books, DVDs, CDs, VHS, journals, Benesh Movement Notation Scores, theatre programmes, photographs, pictures, and artefacts.  During the tour, Rebecca pulled one of the Benesh Movement Notation Scores for me to look at.  She was explaining to me how she would get emails about looking at a particular part of the scores and she would have to do research online to figure out how to read the scores to get as close as possible to what the patron wanted.  It was nice to know to see how she has to do research to do her job to the best of her abilities. 

Rebecca and I talked about the users of the library.  The users are: faculty and students, RAD friends and members, subscribers, and the public.  They also have had book launches in the library.  They hope that this will help publicize the library. 

Next, we talked about their policies which are that they do not have any formal policies currently, but what they are working towards them.  One of the guidelines for collection development is that they get items that promote the ethos of the Royal Academy of Dance and whatever the teachers put on the class reading lists.  For weeding, they do not weed the dance items.  They keep all of the copies that they have no matter how out of date they are or if they have newer editions.  However, they do weed their non-dance related items.

My talk and tour with Rebecca was extremely helpful.  I was able to learn more about the library, how it runs, whom it helps, and how things are classified.  This will be extremely helpful for my paper.



Courtesy of Philip Richardson Library website

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Second Day in Edinburgh and Edinburgh Central Library

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015 the day started off at 8:30am with the class meeting in front of the cafeteria to head to the National Library of Scotland to look at the John Murray Archive exhibit.  However, once we got there at 9am the exhibit did not open up until 10am.  But Dr. Welsh talked to someone in charge about how we are a Library and Information Science postgraduate class and could not stay until 10am because we had an appointment to get to at that time.  The nice man opened the exhibit early for us to view.  The exhibit was very nice.  It was in a dark room and the items were grouped together in floor to ceiling cylinders with touch screens in front of them.  When you touched the screens you can click on an item and it wil tell you more about the item and it will put a spotlight on the item.  So it makes sense that the room is dark just so that it can highlight certain items more easily.



After we looked at the exhibit, we walked across the street to go to Edinburgh Central Library.  The library is a lending library for the city.  It was opened on June 9, 1890 as a Carnegie Library.  This year they celebrate 125 years of being opened.  


Once we got to the library, we had a little time before we had to meet for our tour so we sang whispered Happy Birthday to Debbie because her birthday is this upcoming Sunday and we won't be together.  After that, we went to the George Washington Brown meeting room to talk about what we will be doing at the library: tours and 3 talks from professionals at the library.  
For our tours, we were split in to three groups and were led to different areas of the library so that we could all hear and see the library while not running in to each other.  The places we saw in the library on my tour are: the children's library, the central lending library, we talked about the art and design library, reference, the mezzanine which is where the music collection, video collection, teen area, the Edinburgh and Scotland collections, and one acoustic pod for groups.  

Once the tour was over, we made it back to the meeting room where we were given coffee or tea for our three talks.  The first talk was by Karen O'Brien called "Never Too Old" about the history of the library, acquisitions, and some of the items in their collections.  The second talk was by Sarah Forteath about some of the outreach programs that the library hosts and about how to get more users in to the library.  The last talk was by Alison Stoddart about about the digital side of the library.  All three of the talks were interesting and informative.  This visit was by far one of my favorites because the set up of our visit was different then our other tours.  

One of the facts that I learned about the library on my tour is that the library is two buildings that were merged together in the 1930s when they acquired the building next door.  

After our visit, we headed down the street to the Elephant House were J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.  Unfortunately, some of us did not get to eat there because it was really crowded.  


Some of us went down the street to Deacon Brodies Tavern to have lunch.  After that some of us split up and went to go shopping on the Royal Mile.  After our shopping, we headed back to the dorm to get ready to hike up to Arthur's Seat.  We met up in front of the cafeteria and made our way to the mountain.  Once we got to the bottom of the mountain, I looked up at what I had to climb and started to have an asthma attack just looking at it.  So I decided to head back to the dorm to calm down and to start packing for tomorrow. However, before I went back to the dorm I was able to get this picture of the mountain.


Once the others made it back to the dorms they came and got some of us to eat the pizza that they picked up and to hang out.  

Till next time!































Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Edinburgh Central Library

The Edinburgh Central Library is a lending library for the city.  It was opened on June 9, 1890 as a Carnegie Library and this year they celebrate 125 years of being opened. 

Our visit started with us going to the George Washington Brown meeting room to talk about what we will be doing at the library: tours of the library and three talks from professionals at the library.  For our tours, we were split in to three groups and were led to different areas of the library so that we could all hear and see the library while not running in to each other.  The places we saw in the library on my tour are: the children's library, the central lending library, we talked about the art and design library, reference, and the mezzanine which is where the music collection, video collection, teen area, the Edinburgh and Scotland collections, and one acoustic pod for groups. 

Once the tour was over, we made it back to the meeting room where we were given coffee or tea for our three talks.  The first talk was by Karen O'Brien called "Never Too Old" about the history of the library, acquisitions, and some of the items in their collections.  The second talk was by Sarah Forteath about some of the outreach programs that the library hosts and about how to get more users in to the library.  The last talk was by Alison Stoddart about the digital side of the library.  All three of the talks were interesting and informative.  This visit was by far one of my favorites because the setup of our visit was different then our other tours.  One of the facts that I learned about the library on my tour is that the library is two buildings that were merged together in the 1930s when they acquired the building next door.




 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Traveling to Edinburgh and the First Day Here

So yesterday started off early at 7am with my flat mates having to put their items into my room for the week long break because my room is the storage room.  Next, I went down stairs to turn in my room key and to wait to board the bus.  Once we got on one of the three buses, we hit the road for the ten hour bus ride to Edinburgh.  Luckily every few hours we stopped to stretch our legs and to grab something to eat.  By about 6pm we made it to Edinburgh and our dorms.  Then we got our room keys and headed to our rooms.  The view from my room is beautiful (minus the building)!


Then I stayed in the room for the rest of the night and Skyped with Becca until I had to go to sleep.

Today, I got up and met some of my classmates in the lobby of the dorms for breakfast at the cafeteria.  Breakfast was delicious! I was surprised how good it was, plus it was my first hot breakfast since coming across the pond.  Then we met up in with the rest of the class and headed off to the University of  Edinburgh New College Library.  That library is pretty cool, it holds mostly theological books and has three floors of items besides the main floor and an off site storage which is already full!  


After our tour, we all split up and some of us went to the hop on hop off bus to get a tour of Edinburgh.  However, it was very cold and slightly wet for part of the ride, but luckily the sun came out and started to warm us up a bit.  



When we got off we got some food at a small pub and then headed off to the Scotch Whisky Experience.  

The tour started off as a ride in barrels telling us about the process of making whisky.  Afterwards, we went into another room and learned about the different types of whisky and had to decide which one we wanted to try just from the descriptions and a scratch and sniff card. I decided to try the whisky from the Lowlands.  However, before we could taste we had to go to another room filled with thousands of bottles of whisky and crowded around a table to be taught how to taste whisky.  All in all, I am not a big fan of whisky by itself.  


After that experience, we roamed up and down the street going into the shops getting some souvenirs.  Then we decided we needed a caffeine fix and we stopped at a small cafe.  Afterwards, we decided to hop on a bus and head back to the dorms.  

Till next time!