Archive for the ‘Librarian’ Category

“We’re Librarians”

July 16, 2017

RLC

When blogging, I tend to leave the title until last (as I did here). I chose this one as it reminded me of a title I used before but in a different setting – “We’re Scientists”

On July 15th 2017, Radical Librarians Collective (RLC) had a meet up here in Glasgow. These have been taking place annually around the UK since 2013, but this was the first one north of the border.

There is no central committee running RLC hierarchically. The Collective grew organically out of  conversations between like-minded library workers, and its membership continues to be fluid and evolving. You don’t have to be a library worker to be part of the Collective: RLC thrives on collaboration and open discussion so everyone is very welcome to contribute in whatever way and to whatever extent they are able.

The format of the event was an unconference setting, was free to attend and was held at the Glasgow Women’s Library in Bridgeton in the East End of Glasgow.

glasgow-womens-library-collective-architecture-scotland_dezeen_1568_2

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Being a free to attend event, not all who signed up came along on the day, but most did, ~40 attendees. The format for the day was clear and informative. Being an unconference, a rough schedule was put in place in advance and several pitches were made.

The event began.

Bridgeton4

Having not been to an RLC event before, I was impressed at the level of detail that had been thought out in advance “to mitigate barriers to engagement within the group”. SOURCE

One thing that initially took me by surprise (but swiftly understood why) was that Chatham House Rule was in place for the meeting. One is aware of the rule but has only been to one event before (2010) where this applied.

The Cost of Open Access ?

In this instance however, tweeting was permitted providing that attendees did not associate things said to who said them. All complied with this. The # for the day was #radlib17 and here are all the related tweets.

The actual topics for the sessions unfolded.

After a welcome and introductions, the first main session was on trade unionism and putting the radical before the librarianship.

 

A week prior to the event, I put in a pitch myself:-

Maybe something about ‘Big Deals’ and how to get out of them ? There has an increasing movement against them of late.

Just a suggestion for a discussion.

I was pleasantly surprised that this was actually selected and a 30 minute discussion took place. This was kicked off (as informally agreed on the day) by a voluntary member of the group, Prof Charles Oppenheim, myself followed by a general discussion.

Some of the topics that may have come up (in no order):-

Recent cancellations of “Big Deals” in Europe and beyond.

FOI requests

Cost of journal subscriptions by Scottish Universities

Lawson S and Meghreblian B. Journal subscription expenditure of UK higher education institutions [version 3; referees: 4 approved]. F1000Research 2015, 3:274
(doi: 10.12688/f1000research.5706.3)

Sci-Hub

I think I am allowed to say that I made the closing remark, but I am not permitted to say what it was (Chatham House) but I may have pointed to some of the words on a t-shirt…

librarians

After a short lunch period, a workshop/cryptoparty session on internet security was had.

The event concluded at ~15:50 and as we had to vacate the building by 16:00, off we went having left our area in the same way in which we arrived.

Almost all of us then walked round to Bridgeton station and trained it back to Glasgow Central.

A somewhat brisk (was pishin’ it down at times) walk up Renfield Street to The Flying Duck for dinner/drinks etc.

flying-duck-optimised

I buggered off early but I understand there was some karaoke !!!!!!

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