Meeting the future library leaders

Last week I was invited to give a talk to a group of library Foundation Degree students who were on their final study school week of their course in the delightful setting of Gregynog Hall. The 12 students on the course (based at Glyndwr University) were from FE, HE and public libraries, from both Wales and England. I was asked to focus on management issues and talked about CyMAL’s functions, the Welsh library context, library strategies in Wales, funding, grants and project management. I also allowed a bit of time for some creative group work and set them the task to come up with an idea for a project and to outline the title, what they wanted to do, why and how, who was involved, some SMART objectives, and how they would evaluate it. Despite being given only 10 minutes, they came up with some very good ideas and there is certainly a lot of enthusiasm and creativity amongst the library workforce. They’ll be planning our libraries in the future!

During conversations with the students over lunch, and with delegates at the recent CILIP Wales conference, the issue of the generally positive position of libraries in Wales was raised, and the ability to progress with a number of agendas and activities, often in partnerships. It is probable that some of this is down to CyMAL, the investment by the Welsh Government and having a library strategy, but also due to the enthusiasm and hard work of librarians in Wales who make the ideas reality.

Staff are often the key to the success of a service (see the Mystery Shopper research) and CyMAL’s investment in the library workforce is important for the future success of library services. If you or your staff are looking to improve your professional library skills a Foundation Degree may be worth considering. CyMAL provides bursaries for the first year of study of either of the Foundation Degrees in Wales (at Coleg Llandrillo and Glyndwr University). More information can be found on the CyMAL grant web pages

I’ll conclude with the poem that Paul Jeorrott read out before introducing me for my talk. (He was reading from Heaven on Earth 101 Happy Poems throughout the study school which is a lovely idea.) The poem he chose was by e cummings and I thought the first verse was particularly appropriate for the view of Gregynog gardens out the window of the room.

i thank You God for most this amazing day

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Printed in Heaven on Earth 101 Happy Poems edited by Wendy Cope
Text online  (and yes, this is the correct punctuation!)
Hear the author read his poem 

About alysontyler

Civil servant, yoga teacher and former librarian.
This entry was posted in Grants, Presentations / talks, Workforce development. Bookmark the permalink.

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