Visit to the National Art Library

Apologies that you haven’t heard from me for a few months. You may not necessarily consider this a negative development given that my fellow GTs have posted some fascinating blogs on their work and visits to other libraries since the New Year.

I have to tell you about one visit that I made to the National Art Library at the V&A museum, alongside the GTs and several other members of the RCN Library and Archive Service. This was my first trip to an art reference library and I must admit to my shame that I didn’t previously know that there was a library at the V&A museum. Anyone can join the National Art Library so there is no reason why I should have left it so late to explore this gem.

National Art Library
National Art Library

Our team was very lucky to have the Library staff give us a demonstration of 10 treasures in their books collection. Among others, these treasures included: a book written by an Italian monk in 1560 which listed all books published in Italy and gave its readers advice on hawking; a peep show of the Great Exhibition of 1851; a fantastic photography book which shows life on the Norfolk broads in 1887; and a book about fashion written in 1567 intended for readers who were unable to travel in the Age of Discovery.

 

 

I found Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads, a late nineteenth century photography book, the most intriguing:

Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads
Emerson, P. H., Goodall, T. F., Ballantyne, Hanson and Co, Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, Valentine & Sons and Ballantyne, Hanson & Co (1887) Life and landscape on the norfolk broads. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, Crown Buildings, 188 Fleet Street, E.C.
Norfolk Broads 1
A local man pulling a boat filled with bundles of reeds

 

Norfolk Broads 2
Fishing trap?
Norfolk Broads 3
Transporting the Reeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Norfolk Broads 4
Sail Boats.
Norfolk Broads 6
Fishermen.
Norfolk Broads 5
Hunting on the Broads.
Norfolk Broads 7
Harvesting the reeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Art Library is widely recognized as one of the top four art reference libraries in the world. The Library will be closed over the Easter weekend but I would encourage you to visit once it reopens. You do not have to be an art student, historian, V&A museum staff member, researcher or to work for an auction house to request to view items held in the National Art Library. It is a closed-access library, you may have to wait up to 90 mins for an order to be processed. However, it is well worth the wait because their historical collection is magnificent and it is a great place to study.

Stephen

Advertisements

Elizabeth Fry

Each member of the Library team has the opportunity to create a display case on a topic of their choosing. This is to present items in our collection that remain very well hidden, and quite often don’t get the time of day unless you’re specifically searching for them. One of the key’s to finding all of the hidden treasures in the treasure trove that is our library, is through our Special Collections page . Here you can find a link to all of the unique collections that we hold, ranging from our Oral History Collection , Florence Nightingale Collection, to our Rare Books. Given the depth of our collections, it can be quite difficult to choose the topic for your exhibit case.

Continue reading

Royal College of Nursing Archives

I know you’re thinking that it has been a while since we’ve posted. Well you’re right. To be exact it has been 6 weeks, 1,008 hours, 60,480 minutes, or 3,628,800 seconds (ish). What’s happened? You might be thinking. Did the grad trainees get stuck inside our library store for all of this time? Did our Nursing Scrapbooks cause a time ripple that meant we got transported back to the First World War? No. I just forgot to post something. Continue reading

Let’s get Classical – Visit to the Institute of Classical Studies

 

20171119_094957
Here is my plug for Athena, my favourite Greek deity who I FINALLY got to meet in Paris! She was marbleous, although a little stony faced.

When given the opportunity to organise a visit for myself and grad trainees, it didn’t take me too long to make up my mind. Having studied Classical Civilisation as an undergraduate, as well as currently contributing to the Our Mythical Childhood project with the University of Roehampton, you could say that I have a history with the Classical World.

Continue reading

Bad Christmas jokes and more book recommendations!

Merry Christmas!

Hope you’ve liked my fellow Graduate Trainee’s book suggestions so far. My favorite book to get your teeth into over Christmas as is Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” which I am sure will also be a firm favorite among others.

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, OXFORD STREET

The book is centered around the key protagonist Ebeneezer Scrooge who was void of ‘Christmas Spirit’, failed to see the importance of family and hated distributing his wealth among others.

  download (1)Three visits from the Ghost of Christmas past, The Christmas present and the Christmas Yet to come forces Scrooge to re-evaluate his attitudes to his colleagues, relatives and his personal conduct.

 

Marley's_Ghost-John_Leech,_1843.jpgAfter the Ghost of Yet to Come visits Scrooge, he becomes a charitable man who gives to others without ceasing. Grateful for his chance at redemption, Scrooge becomes renown among his community for the ‘Man who celebrated Christmas’.

 

 

 

 

A few other non Christmassy (sorry for cheating!) books to get stuck into over the festive period are ‘PS I love you’ by Cecelia Ahern which features themes of  loss, rediscovery and reflection, perfect for entering 2018  with a bang!QS_0762166cfb5e469d9193d816392d6796 ‘Brooklyn’ by Colm Toibin and ‘The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

 

 

 

 

 

Too lazy to read after gorging on your fifth mince pie? Not to worry, a few good Christmas movies to burn calories in laughter to are: ‘Mrs Doubtfire’, ‘Home Alone’ and ‘Elf’

download
If you have not watched Elf at Christmas you have been living under a rock!

Here’s a few Christmas jokes to get you in the festive spirit! 

Why did Santa’s helper see the doctor?
Because he had a low “elf” esteem!

Who delivers presents to baby sharks at Christmas?
Santa Jaws

 

 

Who is Santa’s favorite singer?
Elf-is Presley!

Elvis_Presley_first_national_television_appearance_1956

Don’t say we don’t look after you!

See you in 2018!

images

Porshia

 

 

Harry Potter and the Grad Trainee Blog

Not much beats sitting on your favourite armchair/sofa/cushion to read a book at Christmas time. I racked my brains very hard to think of a book that makes me feel Christmassy – A Christmas carol, Little Women or even How the Grinch Stole Christmas. But none of them make me feel as festive as re-reading a Harry Potter for the umpteenth time.

hagrid_christmas_by_milenafernandes-d34jzw8
“Come on, cheer up, it’s nearly Christmas.” (Classic Hagrid quote – couldn’t agree more)

 

And let’s face it at Hogwarts they have THE BEST Christmases. Not only do they get to have a feast (and not have to do any of the washing up), it’s normally snowing and they get some cracking presents. At the core of why people love Harry Potter is the distinctly different characters, and every one of them has their own present giving style.

“Oi! Presents!” (Ron one Christmas)

I thought I’d give you a whistle-stop tour of the different gift-givers in Hogwarts. Which one are you most like?

img_5501-1

Hermione – well thought out and practical. Something you should have rather than you want. Expect a guilt-inducing homework planner, a quill or a broom-polishing kit.

Ron – wildly last minute. Expect something Quidditch-themed or novelty (like dungbombs).

Hagrid – well-meaning but ultimately terrifying. Think a purse with fangs.

Dobby – again well-meaning but ultimately terrifying, but this time for reasons of intensity. Expect a heartfelt painting or a pair of odd homemade socks.

Durlseys – absolutely dismal. Worse than Scrooge. Presents given to Harry include: a fifty pence piece, a tissue and a toothpick. I hope you don’t have a Dursley buying you presents this Christmas.

Mrs. Weasley – Next-level homemade gift goals. You will get a homemade knitted jumper and a cake of some sort. Considering Mrs. Weasley makes a jumper for everyone in her family (eight people) and others like Harry, I think she may be the ultimate Christmas gift-giver. If you’re anything like her can I request a present from you this year please?

481291a0-2827-0133-4715-0a2ca390b447

There you are, a brief idea of what magical Christmas presents are like. Perhaps it’ll give you some inspiration for presents to buy/make for your favourite muggles this year. I hope you get what you want this year, unlike poor old Dumbledore:

“One can never have enough socks,” said Dumbledore. “Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn’t get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”

I hope you have a merry Christmas and get some good gifts. I recommend treating yourself to a Harry Potter book or two.

1490deea9a3b2d0d869104160668

Molly

A Hearty Graduate Trainee Christmas Greetings

Hi there! I have only been part of the Royal College of Nursing Graduate Trainee team since this October. However, I feel right at home here and have gotten to know everyone well.

We are very excited about the approaching holiday season. Of course, we will miss all our lovely library users but a week’s recuperation at home during the holiday closure period will be a welcome break.

Along with the other Graduate Trainees, I thought I would share one of my favourite Christmas or winter-themed short stories with you. Unlike the other Graduate Trainees, I have a chosen a short story that is only very tenuously related to Christmas and winter festivities. I have selected a short story called ‘The Boy Who Read Aloud’ by Joan Aiken[1]. I imagine that this story took place in December. Certainly, Aiken does not rule out the possibility that the events of the story took place in the run-up to Christmas.

‘The Boy Who Read Aloud’ is a tale of a boy named Seb who cherishes the memories of reading his book of stories with his late mother. Following the death of his father, who remarried following his mother’s death, Seb lives with his horrid step-mother and her three equally repulsive daughters. Eventually, Seb escapes from home in a bid to prevent his treasured book of stories falling into the clutches of his step-sister Morwenna. She is unable to read but is mean-spirited and wishes to deprive Seb of his enjoyment of stories, which are his only medium of escape from his oppressive home-life.

After his escape, Seb determines to make his way to the sea with the intention of reading it stories. On a noticeboard advertising local jobs, Seb had read a poster that had been apparently posted on behalf of the sea that read, “Elderly Blind Retired Sea Would Like Boy To Read Aloud Daily”[2]. In fact, the old and torn job advertisement had originally been posted by request of an elderly blind sea captain for someone to read aloud to him daily the newspaper.

On his journey to the sea, Seb reads aloud to an old Rolls-Royce car abandoned in a yard, a derelict house with a garden, and a thorn tree. All three are delighted to have Seb read a story to them. In fact, this was the first time that they had ever heard a story and in return they each reveal a wonderful secret to Seb.

The tale ends with Seb finding a new home in the heart of the sea. The sea is so impressed by Seb’s stories that it rescues him from his step-mother and her family. Aiken believes that we may occasionally meet Seb in a library. He will be choosing new books from the shelves to read to sea.

'The Boy Who Read Aloud'
‘The Boy Who Read Aloud’

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 🙂

Stephen

Bibliography

Aiken, Joan. “The Boy Who Read Aloud.” Classic Fairy Tales to Read Aloud. Ed. Naomi Lewis. London: Kingfisher, 1996. 209-223. Print.


[1] Aiken, Joan. “The Boy Who Read Aloud.” Classic Fairy Tales to Read Aloud. Ed. Naomi Lewis. London: Kingfisher, 1996. 209-223. Print.

[2] Ibid. 213.

Letters from Father Christmas

To help us all get into the festive spirit, the grad Capture 1trainee elves had a huddle. We thought about how to best combine the festive season with our favourite Christmassy books to present you with this selection box of our favourite festive books or stories over the next week.

I – very unsurprisingly for me – chose ‘Letters from Father Christmas’ by J.R.R Tolkien. Largely known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, this books spans a family tradition for the Tolkien family that began with his return from the First World War, and would last for around 23 years for his 4 children.

Each year for his children he would write his children letters that were from – you guessed it – Father Christmas himself (or in some cases his elvish secretary). These letters would range from the general antics and misadventures that he and his helpers experience at the North Pole. Whether this would be bat-riding goblins (not very Christmassy), or his helper the North Polar Bear (a little more Christmassy).

An example of this letter is below, and doesn’t look too dissimilar to some of our Nursing Scrapbooks that you may have seen from one of our earlier posts:

Capture 2
Image from: http://www.openculture.com/2013/12/read-j-r-r-tolkiens-letter-from-father-christmas-to-his-young-children.html

 

Let the festivities begin (soonish)

Oliver

 

ILI Conference 2017!

20171017_102806.jpg

Last Tuesday I was lucky enough to attend the Library Innovation Conference at the Kensington Olympia. This was after we received an email in our communal inbox from FLIP Network (Future Library Information Professionals) with the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win tickets to attend the conference.  I obviously won a place to attend free of charge, and to attend the many talks throughout the day.

This was my first conference in the library sector, and of this size (310 attendees, and roughly 65 speakers!). The day started with speaker Kate Torney, the CEO of the State Library Victoria in Australia, with her keynote – Making a noise about a quiet revolution. After this, there were three different routes that can be found here that we could jump to and fro throughout the day titled:

The New Library, The New Librarian

Users, UX, and Usage

Content creativity

I thought it was most fitting to attend the first track of talks as I was literally new to the Library, and a new (but not really) librarian. The first talk was titled The Super Powered Library which spoke of the library as a fusion of social, physical, and digital space. Liz (Solus) spoke about the use of augmented reality textbooks, and the rising impact of the digital reading experience. All of this alongside the need to fully integrate the Digital mind-set into our libraries to enhance customer experience. The scary thought began to come across of potential bookless libraries in the future, which to be honest, I can’t imagine, but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

After this, I attended Shared Library, Shared System, Shared Benefits which spoke about the fusion of the University of Greenwich, Canterbury Christ Church, and Kent. This spoke about how these three university libraries were began to use a unified library system across all 3 universities to serve their libraries. This would include all of the bibliographic and patron data, and the need for a unified reading list system across these sites. This was followed by Delivering Digital that focussed on the digital strategy for Scottish Public libraries with their six strategic aims of

  • Reading, literacy, and learning.
  • Digital inclusion, access, and creativity.
  • Economic wellbeing.
  • Social wellbeing.
  • Culture & Creativity
  • Excellent public services

Following this, I was invited to attend a workshop session called How to be an information professional in the 21st Century. This was aimed at trainees, and those early on in their library careers. We discussed the benefits of different library associations such as CILIP (Chartered Institute of Librarians and Information Professionals), and the SLA (Special Libraries Association), the opportunities these offer, as well as the trends in the library industry.

20171017_090840

The final talk that I attended was The Library Redesign at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, which focused on the I.T refurbishment that the hospital underwent including an abundance of iPad’s, the use of Chromecast to allow for training sessions anywhere that there was a screen, and Macbook air’s with access to clinical software for use by medical students.

Attending the ILI conference was a great, and tiring experience, although all I did really was sit down, watch, and listen). It allowed me to place myself, and the RCN library in the wider scope of the libraries of the world, reminding me of the abundance of opportunities on offer, and the many branches on the proverbial library career tree.

Until next time!

Oliver

 

Hello, from Stephen the newest Graduate Trainee

I am three weeks into my one-year Graduate Trainee Customer Service (GT) programme. So far, I have enjoyed it immensely. I often feel as if the Library and Archive Service (L&A) procedures go in one ear and out the next. However, practice makes perfect and I am at the advantage that everyone else knows what they are doing and are happy to help me settle in.

I recently finished a BA History degree. This summer, I applied for teacher-training but I realized during the interview process that I was glad to have finished secondary school and did not want to repeat the experience. Initially, I thought that since I was now bigger and smarter (?) I would be able to navigate the complexities of school-life with confidence. This June, while on a tour of a secondary-school, I took one look into the school playground and realized that I was wrong. I had already escaped from school and the school-children were as scary to the 25 year-old me as they were to the weedy 12-year old of the previous decade.

I was pleased to read about the RCN’s no-bullying policy on their website. I thought that it would be a good place for me to improve my inter-personal skills and discover whether an L&A job was the right career path for me. The job brief for the GT job seemed clear: give great customer service to our nursing membership and help promote the interests of the nursing community in everything we do. There is no average day at the RCN because our job at the L&A is to respond to the ongoing needs of our membership. We cannot answer any particular enquiry in the same way because no RCN member is the same.

Nevertheless, there are certain tasks that a GT needs to perform consistently and be on top of. One rewarding feature of the programme is the emphasis on self-development. It is the GT’s responsibility to book their place on CPD courses, Diversity and Equality training, the RCN On-board course[1], etc. Furthermore, I am encouraged to explore all specialist areas of the L&A service. My colleagues in other sections of the department inform me of their work on digitization projects, cataloguing, collections, E-Systems and digital archives, to name but a few. I am confident that by the end of this programme I will be in a much better position to decide what kind of L&A work would most interest me. I have chatted with colleagues who are currently studying part-time for an MA in Librarianship. In fact, I have already applied to do a postgrad course in Information Management (MSc) at Sheffield University. The RCN expects me to reflect on my career goals beyond this programme.

At present, I feel I need to master certain technical aspects of my role such as knowledge of database and family history searching. The software we use for the fundamental library tasks of checking-in and out books, renewing items, placing hold, etc., is Workflows. Workflows often gets the better of me and we have had our ups-and-downs. Nonetheless, I am sure that, as with all my colleagues, as we get to know each other better we will learn to work together in harmony.

I hope that I will be able to supply the L&A team with as much banter as my GT predecessors. As a first effort, I will now provide two cracking jokes below.

Funny Joke

There are two sausages in a frying pan named Sausage 1 and Sausage 2.

Sausage 1 says to Sausage 2: “Oh my, it’s getting hot in here!”

Sausage 2 replies: “Ahhh, talking sausage!”

 

 Hilarious Joke

There was a magic tractor. The tractor drove down the lane and turned into a field.

 

[1] The RCN On-board course is a two-day induction event which involves, among many other things, an introduction to the history and purpose of the RCN, as well as training in giving tours.