Showing posts from November, 2013

Giving a tour of Kew Gardens Library, Art and Archives

In November, me and the other graduate trainee at Kew carried out a tour for some graduate trainees from Reading University. Unfortunately, I was unable to go to a reciprocal visit, so I really wanted to impress with a nice display of our rare books collection and illustrations.

The day itinerary mainly consisted of:

Meet & Greet

Intro to Library and Archives Graduate Trainees

Tour of the Library, Art and Archives


Display presentation

Some of the material on display form the oldest part of our rare books collections within the library dating back to the 12-14th century. I also decided it was a good idea to put books that I had catalogued on display also. The book with the red card inside is featured on my new blog post called the The Living Fossil
Next month, I will be shadowing and giving a tour of students and interns. So I am really looking forward to doing more tours.

Disposal of Special Collections

It was thoroughly invigorating being able to attend the Historic Libraries Forum Annual conference on Tuesday. It is not every day you can attend a conference on the topic of “guarding against the disposal of collections” with a long list of guest speakers from special collections.

We had a Pressi presentation from Katie Flanagan (who was ill and couldn’t attend but still sent a copy of her speech) setting the scene about the need to build awareness of inappropriate disposal of special collections and the need for libraries to become watchdogs of this active through increasing social media campaigns. Also highlighting the idea about having a more pragmatic approach to ensure that there are less secretive sales of books and keep collections together in the public domain, if they do indeed need to change hands. 
After such an introduction I just knew I was in for a good debate. A lot of problems that libraries face is the need for more storage and space and the lack of money to invest in …

Visit to London Library

Having visited the London Library, I realise that I appreciate their collection policy of only acquiring books that will be central to their collection thus never disposing of anything. As a form of preservation and unique identification a lot of books are covered and labelled with a London Library book stamp.

Other unique features of the library is that out of the million books it has 97% are on open access either in the 1890's wing containing art and humanities books or literature session majority in English and some foreign languages. Winding around this maze it is easy to see the thought given to keep the library as it once was by ensuring the writers room has no electronic devices so have complete silence. However, also new editions such as T.S Elliot house for the art collection and The Times Room.

Taking the time to speak to the tour guide, it was great to find out why so many librarian aspire to work there. The majority of head librarians and /or cataloguers are either fluen…

Trends in the Library and Information sector

Innovation in Conservation Presentation

Well I have had a busy Tuesday last week. I started off the day cataloguing and then proceeding to spine labelling, before being swamped on the enquiry desk with 4 hours worth of enquiry retrievals. Then to top it all off, I had to make my way to King College University to attend Hugh Phibbs talk on "Innovation in conservation mounting and framing" before running to my Japanese class.
According to Mr. Phibbs, one of the most important forms of preservation is that of paper, because it forms the memory of the human species. In the 21st century, content is gradually becoming paper-less and preserved through digital means. However, this form of content has a finite shelf-life, whereas paper has infinite use when preserved in its original state. Therefore, there is a need for transparency in the ways in which paper can be preserved. 
The materials used in preservation are made of three things: cellulose (plant changed to paper), animal (vellum from calfskin) and synthetic mater…