On 21st July, CILIP Y&H had our AGM, cunningly sandwiched between some far more entertaining tours and talks. Scarborough Library and Information centre hosted us for most of the day, and Angela Kale led a tour of their building to start things off. Scarborough was one of the first public lending libraries in the UK, and the staff are very proud of their commitment to serving the community. They offer space for crafters to sell their creations, display local schools’ art projects on the walls above the children’s section, host concerts and plays in the purple hall upstairs, and with the help of their volunteers, they provide a huge range of free classes and activities (including Rhyme Time, which we kinda interrupted…)
The AGM consisted of the formal reports on CILIP Y&H’s activities over the last year, from our Chair, Treasurer, Mentor Support Officer, and Candidate Support Officer. Links to some of the reports are provided at the end of this post – please contact us if you would like a copy of the others. No positions were required to be re-elected this year, though our CSO Mark Naylor was stepping down at the end of July. The committee took the opportunity to thank Mark for his hard work and dedication over the last three years, and were pleased to announce our two new CSOs, Emily Bogie and Fiona Titterington.
Following the AGM, Leanne Young from Sunderland University took the stage to explain her adventure on the west coast of America, as she visited five colleges in 18 days to find out about how they provided library support to their distance learning students, and what makerspace initiatives they had. As an experience, it was intense, draining, and fantastic – quite apart from all the ideas, she came away with the impression that America is huge, as getting between places took at least a day, and always involved an airport!
After a buffet lunch, Katherine Coussement from Bradford University spoke about her volunteering trip to Kerala in India, to set up a children’s library at Hope Community Orphanage. She heard about the project via a photographer friend who volunteers with a number of charities, and funded it partly by selling copious amounts of cake to the staff at Bradford. The funds raised covered a year’s salary for a part-time librarian, who Katherine trained and worked with to choose a selection of ‘story’ and ‘information’ books in Malayalam. It was an excellent exercise in taking a library back to the basics; creating something sustainable and low-tech, that fit the community’s needs.
Then, via a procession of taxis, we headed out to Coventry University: Scarborough, which is comprised of just one shiny new building that houses the all the teaching, office, study and administrative spaces. Katie Mann explained that in 2016-17, the first year of opening, there have only been 180 students, so the building has felt quite spacious, but the number is set to more than double for 2017-18 as more courses are offered and the first years become second years. She had been worried about the challenge of creating a physical library from scratch, but the way CU:Scarborough launched made it a (relatively) gentle learning curve!
Thank you to both speakers and tour hosts for helping us run this fantastic day.
(Report by: Evelyn Webster, CILIP Y&H Visits Co-ordinator)