The Annual General Meeting of the CILIP Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Member Network took place at Leeds Central Library on Monday 18 July 2016. We had a short meeting with reports from our Chair, Treasurer, Mentor Support Officer, Candidate Support Officer and Social Media Officer. Links to all the reports are provided at the end of this post.
All committee posts were up for re-election this year and all posts were successfully filled. We welcome Beth Tapster to the committee as our new Students and New Professionals Officer.
After the AGM, we listened to a talk by Paul Sturges entitled “Murder Sex and Magic: Unexpected Encounters in Library Science”. Evelyn Webster has kindly summarised the talk below:
Paul Sturges described the start of his interest in Africa, back in the 1980s when he spent a year teaching library and information science in a university in Botswana. He explained the challenges for library professionals to leave behind their assumptions about how people get information. Librarians from the UK tend to take for granted that people respond to rational, well-structured information, and know libraries are reliable information sources, but this is actually a cultural phenomenon, born of our long tradition of public libraries, that does not necessarily exist in other countries.
The murder aspect of the talk examined information acquisition, distribution and suppression during armed conflicts in Africa, and how modelling the information flow could predict the effectiveness of different groups. The sex part covered the challenges of getting health information on midwifery, child spacing, contraception and STDs to nurses who may be working in isolated communities, without much formal training, and in unhygienic conditions. As for magic, Paul explained that in parts of Africa, people more readily attribute magical explanations to strange events, and they also place a lot of trust in traditional healers and village elders. It’s more productive to work with existing beliefs and information sources than to be dismissive.
We are very grateful to Paul for coming to Leeds to give this fascinating talk to us.
The evening concluded with a guided tour of Leeds Central Library. Evelyn Webster reports:
Ross Horsley took a group of us on a tour of some of the departments of the Central library. It quickly became apparent how much more of the warren-like library there is to see – it would be impossible to do it justice in the hour we had! Highlights included the Leodis photograph store, which houses original photographs of Leeds that are gradually being made available online. The content of the images has to be described in minute detail to allow researchers to search for innocuous things like ‘lamposts’ or ‘washing lines’.
Ben Cleverly gave a presentation about the Business and IP Centre (BIPC), explaining that it is part of a national networks offering start up businesses free advice on taxes, accountancy, marketing, social media, and legal issues such as patents, trademarks, and copyright. Local professionals in each area donate their time in bookable half-hour slots, and the BIPC staff also run courses, and stream events held at the British Library.
Studio 12 is designed to enable creative work by providing access to expensive technologies such as a sound-proof recording booth, a 3D printer, a roll-down green screen, and mac computers with music, graphic and video design packages. People can book time to work on their projects in the morning, but in the afternoons, it’s freely accessible.
In the beautiful Local and Family History library, Rhian Isaac rounded off the tour with some of the library’s treasures, including illuminated manuscripts, Victorian plant guides, local pottery makers’ catalogues, an Elizabethan atlas, and a handbill accusing Charles I of treason…
Thanks to the staff of Leeds Central Library for providing the venue for our AGM and for giving a brilliant tour. Here are some pictures from the day, taken by attendees:
Thank you to all regional members who attended; we hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did!