February 13, 2011
Sheffield Public Libraries Debate
From Carl Clayton
SINTO is running an event on the 25th February on Library Campaigns (Hallam University 2 -5 pm) called - "Are we all inside the tent?" with the aim of considering the differences of opinion that exist between various groups and individuals that are fighting to protect the public library service. It features contributions from Tim Coates, Alan Gibbons, Annie Mauger and Lauren Smith. It is clear that we are not all inside the same tent and that these is a great deal of mud throwing going on in all directions. The intention of holding a "real world" debate is that it would avoid the febrile atmosphere of much on-line discussion and widen the debate to include those who do not normally participate.
Recent events, not least the debate here yesterday, have made this event even more relevant.Those of us who see ourselve as "professionals" in its widest sense need to step forward and address this issue.
Members of the public are most welcome
Posted by Perkins at February 13, 2011 12:35 PM
Don't think I can make it to Sheffield (I have another appointment far away the very next day) but do agree we should avoid the febrile atmosphere online debate can provoke, and I've never met my fellow commentators either.
If you're doing an event in Scotland, please mention it on this blog, and who knows, maybe I'll even make it to Sheffield anyway.
Re "professionalism" - this is not an entirely serious point, but I spent years as a so-called library "professional" wasting my time and being wasted. It is only now that I've stopped paying my dues to CILIP, stopped talking jargon, started saying what I think and started enjoying taking the piss out of library pseudo-professionals, that I've got any satisfaction or got anywhere. So, while I don't consider myself a professional any more, making this change has perhaps put me on the road to wisdom via a dose of hard common sense.
Perhaps if we all stopped calling ourselves professionals so much, used a bit of hard common sense, put our egos aside and, most importantly, learned to laugh at ourselves a little, we might all make a bit more progress?
Posted by: James Christie at February 16, 2011 10:52 AM