Saturday, 31 May 2014

Britax B-Agile Double Stroller Review

Safety Evaluation - 4.5/5
Retains a maximum of 100 lbs. Features a-5 point safety harness. Equipped with tough linked parking breaks situated on the rear wheels.

Comfort Rating - 4.5/5
Front wheels set or can be locked to rotating. Outfitted with large canopies that permit better shade from sunlight and rain. The all-wheel suspension makes the ride easy. Has infinite reclining seat positions. Chairs are reasonably padded.

Additional Attributes - 5/5
Features big storage under and behind. Slim design that's able to fit through standard doorways. Can be combined with child car seats that were versatile. The elevation of the handle can be readily adjusted to meet with your relaxation. System that is easy to retract allows for storage that is fast and simple.

General Evaluation - 4.75/5
The Britax Bagile Double Stroller is a safe and comfortable stroller for your own twins. It's sleek design makes it a favored choice for several parents. It is ideal for going on surfaces that were smoother. Storage area that is big and the many additional attributes make taking your bags and baby materials a breeze. This stroller meets the expensive side worth many times over, although a little on it.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

LIKE Picnic

I went to the London Information & Knowledge Exchange picnic last night. Given the torrential rain this was an indoor picnic but the food was lovely!

I didn't have the indepth conversations that I usually end up having at LIKE events but I'm sure that's because I dashed off home early (about 8pm). No real excuse to leaving but I had a headache, felt a bit grotty and was just sick of wearing wet clothes!

We did play a game of 'bingo' where you had to find a person for each topic on your 'card' e.g. has not seen Avatar, doesn't have a TV etc. This was pretty good fun and I ended up finding out the names of the two or three new people.

I am also encouraged to hear that we have a new venue for LIKE events so there won't be the mad scramble to get your name up on the list! LIKE events are always good and I look forward to the one planned for the end of September. I hope the weather is nicer then!

Library School

Everyone (Girl in the Moon; the Wikiman; Libreaction; Agnostic, Maybe; Niamh Page) seems to have been discussing the pros and cons of the current system of library MAs.

I thought I would throw my hat into the ring on this one.

I don't think the current system really works properly. I think that there is a real contradiction between the various aims of the MA; prospective librarians and their employers want people to be introduced to the basic skills and ideas of librarianship and get practical proven experience in these things.

Universities, in order to offer a masters course, want to do theoretical work which is academically rigorous. This seems to cause some problems.

In my MA, I feel that they were trying to merge these objectives and it ended up slightly you would be constantly referring everything back to your workplace and using it as a case study but instead of just referring to theory where it applued, it seemed to be pushed into abnormal prominence.

An example I can give is the creation of a short resource guide for my firm - they said set it out in a way which would make sense to the users but then it had to be properly referenced which if I was doing it for real. Stuff like that popped up everywhere.

I definitely don't advocate a BA instead because it is just dragging a year of work out over three including unnecessary modules like IT systems (as far as I can tell, not having done it!) but I think a return to the sort of courses being offered fifty years ago where it was proof of professional skills. I think it would be difficult to change now but maybe something could be done...

I definitely have different views to a lot of people with regard to the MA - I cannot imagine anything worse than being forced into a marketing or teaching module but I wouldn't mind having them offered as an option so long as I could do Cat & Class or business or something...

We'll see if anything changes over the next few years with regard to the content and manner of teaching within MA courses!

Can English people speak English?

I just found this article and I am shocked that "a significant proportion of native English speakers are unable to understand some basic sentences"

The piece notes that this might disprove Chomsky's theory that grammar is innate which is of course interesting but I think the more important point is that the adults studied at least to the age of 16 and cannot understand "The soldier was hit by the sailor"

This is extremely scary - you have to assume that most of these people have an English GCSE but even if they don't surely most people have that basc grasp of grammar by the time they start secondary school. If they don't then (remembering this is solely concerning native speakers of English) what on earth are the schools teaching people?!

Answers on a postcard!

My Library Roots / Route

This is in response to the Library Routes wiki I have already posted something very similar to this on the now defunct New Professionals Blog but thought I should have it on my own too...

I really very much fell into the idea of Librarianship from nowhere (like many other people) but once I had thought of it, it seemed so obvious I could not (and still can’t) work out why I didn’t think of it much much earlier.

I studied French and German for ‘A’ level, I also got stuck with Law (rather than politics and the four other subjects I had as preferences!) The plan was to apply to study French and German with perhaps one more language at university. Then on a whim, after having a really interesting lesson in Law, and atrocious language lessons, I decided to apply for law degrees instead.

There was then no going back, so I studied Law, enjoying the theory but being very sure that it was not the career for me. In the second year of my law degree, we had to go to the careers service and do one of those online quizzes to see what jobs would suit me. The top three which came up were interpreter, translator and librarian.

As I had no intention of going back to university for four more years after the end of the degree, I decided to look into option three: libraries. I went onto the CILIP website and looked at the graduate training opportunities page. I took the contact details for everyone in London and Cambridge and started emailing looking for work experience. I had found that I would need a year of work and a masters if I wanted to do the job, so I thought I should make very sure it wasn’t awful before I made up my mind.

Of the people I contacted, a number responded – many apologising but giving links or advice, some offering tours of their service or chats, and three offering work experience. I took everyone up on their offers, so I met a lot of people, spent a day shadowing staff, looked around a lot and most importantly arranged the actual work experience.

I spent two weeks at the Institute for Commonwealth Studies, two weeks at Drivers Jonas and two weeks at the Institute for Historical Research during the summer between my second and third year.

All three of the stints of work experience were really interesting, everybody was lovely to me and kept apologising for giving me boring menial work. But I really enjoyed myself. That really was what made my mind up for me, if I enjoyed doing the bad parts of the job, I obviously would enjoy the job if I had an even spread of good and bad.

I went back to university researching libraries and beginning to sort out applications for graduate traineeships. In November, the Information Unit Manager at Drivers Jonas called, and told me that one of the part-time members of staff (two days per week) was leaving and asked if I would be interested in filling the role. I was waitressing at the time, working about 14 or 15 hours a week so to do the same hours for more pay and gaining experience for my career seemed an absolutely obvious decision.

I started work almost straight away but continued to apply for graduate posts, as I could not get my experience on two days per week. The first interviews I got from this (and actually my first ever interviews), were for ICS, IHR and the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies all on the same day, back-to-back. I was an absolute mess by the end of that day and unsurprisingly didn’t get the jobs. But then DJ offered to increase my hours to full-time. I admit that I wasn’t sure about whether I should go for a traditional graduate trainee post or stay where I was. I was worried about whether a non-traditional route would harm my chances of getting into Library School, and also of becoming stuck in a rut; I thought it would be better to work in a few different sectors before I qualified.

I looked at all of the jobs I had applied for, or could apply for and compared them with the work I was doing. I realised that I was by then doing work at a professional level and that in many of the graduate trainee roles (although by no means all) I would be doing less interesting, less challenging work. I decided that this, coupled with how nice everyone at DJ was, meant I should stay put.

I started working full-time in July 2008 and started applying for MAs. I subsequently decided that I should limit my search to courses which meant I could remain in post. I then compared all of the courses, and the distance learning course at Northumbria stood out as the obvious favourite given the content of the course.

I was not keen at all on the idea of the Hypermedia for Information Professionals module (I am not a web developer!!!) but all of the other modules were better than comparable modules elsewhere and nowhere else had option modules I particularly wanted to do. I got in to the MA and it turns out that I really didn't mind Hypermedia after all!

I have now been with the firm for almost three years altogether and still really enjoy my job. I get a chance to do a bit of everything from cataloguing to enquiries to organising training sessions to writing reports and trialling software. It is a really interesting job and the fact that I really like all of the people I work with and the level of autonomy I get in my work means I would struggle to leave!

SLA - Maximising your personal impact

Tuesday night saw me going to Perfect Information’s offices for an SLA event. Suzanne Wheatley (of Sue Hill fame) enforced participation in a number of interesting activities including staring into each others eyes for a minute (I noticed that my partner had very pretty greenish eyes, she noticed I wore mascara!), reading books aloud (We got the Gruffalo), and voice and breathing exercises.

It was a really interesting evening and it was great to have an event of this sort that dealt with the full gamut of speaking from one-on-one to small groups to large presentations. I found it useful as well as fun. The food and drink (thanks PI!) were good and having a good chat over them was fun too.

I am now the envy of my office thanks to the Perfect Information goody bag and am feeling virtuous due to attending five CPD activities in five days…although I did spend nearly 48 hours trying to remember that a word I struggle to say is ‘inanimate’”

Points to take away –

∙ enunciate

∙ speak with rhythm

∙ project your voice

∙ be confident

∙ be interested and knowledgeable in your topic

Suzanne was extremely fun to listen to and I will be signing up to anything else she does in a flash (although that could be because she kept saying I was her new favourite person!)hehe!


Last Thursday I went to LIKE 18 at the new venue - The Crown Tavern in Clerkenwell.

It was a really nice evening with lots of new faces to meet but some people I recognised too. The theme was on the changing nature of the Information Professional with the speaking coming from Luisa Jefford of TFPL.

We looked at the shared skills that information / library / knowledge workers have and how easy it is to change who a job is aimed at by using the language of that area with the same core skills underpinning it.

Amongst the skills that we thought to be amongst the most useful were communication skills, specialist knowledge, influencing and negotiation skills, ICT and organisation of information.

All in all, a good time was had and the halloumi salad was scrummy!