Archive for August 2011

Citihub Mandaluyong Shipping Container Dormitory in the Philippines

Citihub Mandaluyong Shipping Container Dormitory in the Philippines that’s built from shipping containers and designed for low-income workers and students.
Designed by Manila’s Arcya Commercial Corporation, Citihub Mandaluyong is situated on a stretch of land in Mandaluyong along the Pasig River.

Great tips for using RSS

Sheila O'Flynn's article on how to use RSS feeds effectively is full of helpful advice and suggestions (BIR, June 2011).

The article focuses on how Sheila uses RSS feeds to help her carry out competitor intelligence for a client but the tips and guidelines are valuable irrespective of why you are using feeds and readers. Sheila explains how to customise your reader to help you effectively organise the information you are gathering.

The Perfect, Round Snaidero Acropolis Kitchen

Kitchen is not only a place where you can spend hours, cooking different dishes but it is also a meeting place. Here you can meet your family members and enjoy together a nice breakfast or a delicious lunch.
Usually, a comfortable, tiny kitchen is a great place where you can sit with your best friend and discuss all kinds of staff enjoying maybe a nice cup of coffee. It is like a warm private place where you can feel confident and express all your feelings.
This is the concept for this round Snaidero Acropolis kitchen. Its round shape marks a perfect place where everybody can join and meet each other. Here you can find all the necessary tools which you need for cooking and it is a perfect place where all the members of the family can meet and enjoy a meal sharing all their thoughts and opinions.
It is a comfortable place where its round shape assures the fact that everybody can see everybody.

Harmonious Green House Interior Painting Ideas

Green means eco-friendly. According to most people green is the eco color so if you are an ecologist this is your color for sure. Not only balance but harmony too. After all you know that you design your home and paint your walls in the way you feel. Green wall is able to create a calm senses. You can always decorate the walls of your home with different green accessories but always remember that everything should match perfectly, even the smallest details. The first thing you can paint is your bathroom. It feels refreshing and revitalizing while taking a hot shower. Also in the kitchen, everything in the kitchen should be green, but not too dark. The color should be very bright by starting from the appliances and reaching to the shelves and the floor, green is your color. Green in the bedroom, according to many specialists the bedroom is the place that should be painted green because it will help you sleep better and will make you feel relaxed.

Fresh Green Living Room

Dark Green Bedroom Wall

Green Kitchen Wall Painting

Lime Green Bathroom Color Scheme

Green Dining Room Wall Color

Soft Green Bathroom Wall Painting

Popular Interior Design for your Home

Tuscan home design is one of the popular home designs. It’s like Little Italy and Mediterranean style. Stone fireplace, floor tile, and wood nooks-block, are all of these Tuscan decorating designs. There is another characteristic of this design in the furniture, iron beds, or living room. Arch-curve creates stunning style.

Popular Interior Design Home, Interior Home Decorating, Modern Home Decorating

Things that classics are popular this time, as well as the classic design house. Although is a classic, but it all looks stunning if you can place them accordingly. Symmetry, regularity, and balance the elements sought in this design.

Popular Interior Design Home, Interior Home Decorating, Modern Home Decorating

Contemporary design is the best-selling designs and lots of demand. The room is nicely decorated with colors and shapes that are not complicated. This design seems to tend to the elegant and modern. Just a little color to complete contrasts only this contemporary design.

Popular Interior Design Home, Interior Home Decorating, Modern Home Decorating

Lapses in information security

Confidential pay details of staff working at RBS have been inadvertently leaked by the recruitment firm Hays (as reported in the Financial Times today).

The lapse in the management of confidential data is embarrassing to both Hays and to RBS. RBS is shedding many permanent roles and the data makes public the pay rates of temporary staff.

Such lapses impact not only on organisational/brand reputation, but can also have direct financial consequences.

A recent report by Symantec suggests the top 'social media incidents' for organisations are employees sharing too much information in a public forum and loss/exposure of confidential data.

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Community engagement

I recently blogged about community engagement and a course that SINTO is planning to run on this subject. I pointed out that community engagement is one of the "ingredients for change" that are listed in the recent Future libraries report. Most of the debate on this report has, understandably, focused on the "four models of reform"  but the ten ingredients for change were identified as important success factors in developing, planning and implementing change. While politicians, heads of library service and the profession and public at large are debating the pros and cons of the models, it will be job of senior library managers to look at the list of ingredients and consider how they can be embedded within their library services. It doesn't grab the headlines but it is an essential part of delivering a library service.

The response so far to the SINTO course has been 'interesting'. One library authority wants to run the course in-house for their staff as they see it as an important part of what they are trying to achieve and want as many staff as possible to attend. I have been happy to help arrange this.

Apart from that I have had only one booking. Does this mean that the topic is not relevant to most authorities? But in that case why is it relevant to two? Is it that senior library managers want to send people on the course but cannot afford it? Or is it the case that over the summer librarians are focusing on their holidays? To be fair, perhaps they are focusing on keeping the service running with reduced staffing levels as other people are on holiday!

I have talked in the past about workforce development. In theory, libraries decide what it is they want to do (e.g engage with their communities), identify the skills that they will need to achieve this and then identify the training provision that will give their staff those skills. In practice it does not always work out like that!  Perhaps the e-mails, flyers, blogs and Tweets I have sent out about this course have got lost in the clutter on people's desk, or in-boxes or brains. It happens! See Current Awareness, Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the "Mark All As Read" Button by Woodsiegirl and Phil Bradley on filter failure.

I have to remain relaxed about all this. I put this course in the SINTO programme because I thought it was important for the current workforce development needs of our members. If  I am wrong then I will postpone or cancel it. But perhaps, when we get to the end of this long hot summer (as if), people will rediscover the messages under all the clutter and will book places. Let me know soon - I am taking a late break myself!

Arts Council England announces commitment to library development

[This is the text of a press release from the Arts Council England, Yorkshire]

On 5 August 2011, we signalled our commitment to the continuation of the Future Libraries programme, in partnership with the Local Government Group (LGG) and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS).

The first phase of the Future Libraries Programme has now concluded, with the Local Government Group and MLA publishing the lessons learned on Saturday 6th August. The Arts Council will build on the achievements of this first phase and continue with the partnership approach for Future Libraries 2, a two-stage programme that will run from autumn 2011 to the end of March 2013.

The first stage of Future Libraries 2 will be delivered by the Local Government Group, and will share ideas, learning and best practice from the original programme through seminars and the development of expert guidance. The Arts Council will deliver the second stage of Future Libraries 2, which will focus on long-term goals, strengthening the sector encouraging partnerships and innovation at a local level. We will announce further details in September.

While the Arts Council will not be responsible for providing or funding library services, we will play a significant role in supporting and developing the libraries sector. We see our role as developing the cultural richness and potential of libraries. We would like to facilitate the formation of new partnerships and develop innovative approaches, to enable a stronger 21st century library service for communities across England.

Continuing discussions with the libraries sector, new in-house expertise and a national overview will enable the Arts Council to draw an accurate picture of the challenges and opportunities for libraries, and be in a unique position to help drive national cultural policy.

We will work with partners to promote reading, encouraging people of all ages to experience and enjoy it through festivals, reading challenges and groups, author events, and other initiatives. Digital technology will be harnessed, enabling many more people and communities to access and appreciate reading and create the content themselves.

This is a challenging time for libraries, as it is for many different kinds of cultural institutions across the country. Through working collaboratively with museums and arts we believe exciting opportunities will open up for libraries to build on the important role they play in our communities.

Relationship Manager, Libraries
The position of Relationship Manager, Libraries, in the Yorkshire Office is currently being advertised on our website, with a closing date of 22 August 2011. Further information can be found here:
Please feel free to disseminate details of the vacancy to any relevant networks.

Companion to Achieving Great Art for Everyone
In September the Arts Council will also publish a companion document to Achieving Great Art for Everyone, our 10 year framework for the arts, on how we will interpret our strategic goals for museums and libraries between 2012 and 2015. This will also outline the benefits and opportunities we believe exist for all our stakeholders as a result of our wider cultural role. This will build upon the publication of Estelle Morris’ review on how the Arts Council could best approach our extended remit.

We have further work to do ahead of taking on these functions and will continue to engage with you and the wider museums and libraries sector as we look to adjust the Arts Council’s goals to reflect their needs and priorities. An informal consultation on the longer term focus beyond 2015 will be launched in the autumn to ensure a wide range of views are heard about how best to reflect the long-term ambitions of all the sectors that the Arts Council now represents.

I hope that you find this information useful, please do not hesitate to contact Cluny or myself if you have any other queries.

Kind regards,

Abi Cattley
Assistant to the Regional Director
Arts Council England, Yorkshire
Direct line: 01924 486225
Fax: 01924 466522
Textphone: 01924 438 585

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Politics, pragmatism, principles.

In my recent blogs I talked about the call for librarians to be "political with a small p". But what exactly do we mean by that.
One answer can be found in a paper by Ann Curry published in Journal of Librarianship and Information Sciences 1994 (1). This paper explores the relationship between the chief librarians of public libraries and members of their local authority and was based in part on Bob Usherwood's investigation of public library politics and governance (2).
The paper shows that chief librarians were concerned that elected members might try to influence policy, especially library selection policy, because this might introduce political bias. There was particular concern about "special-interest lobbying groups" and both councillors and librarians felt that they had a better insight into the needs of the community than the other. The councillors felt that they were representing legitimate concerns of minority groups while the librarians complained that members were too ready to respond to unrepresentative pressure groups.

Many UK librarians (in contrast to Canadian librarians) deliberately avoided introducing a stock selection policy on the ground that it would have to go to a library committee and that would encourage a political debate that might not be to the benefit of the library. This sort of pragmatism was also reflected in policy on library displays. The aim of the chief librarian was to avoid conflict. "You have to be reasonably pragmatic. If a councillor says that you must do this, then it is no skin off anybody's nose to move or remove a book. There is no point in having a blazing row over something that is not important in the broader picture". Similarly "Exhibiting material which challenges council policies was considered by officers to be foolhardy and futile, like 'shooting yourself in the foot' according to one respondent." Examples of such taboo subjects included race, sexuality land development, education, taxation, labour relations, nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons. Librarians were particularly keen to avoid controversial media stories. They observed with 'cynical resignation' that "The political careers of the councillors would certainly come before any beliefs in the freedom to read".

This shows a high level of political awareness and skill in avoiding anything that might upset the elected members. The justification was that retaining the good-will and support of elected members was of more benefit to the library service in the long term than having arguments over individual matters of principle.

That was 1994 and seventeen years is a long time in politics. Much has changed including I suspect a distancing of councillors from any involvement in the details of library policy. The community is more empowered and I think would be less tolerant of councillors deciding what books to buy or display. On the other hand pressure groups might want to have a direct say over library policy, so the librarian is faced with a similar need to be pragmatic and avoid controversy.

But is this all that we mean by being political? For some the term means awareness of and involvement in public policy debate. An example of this is social exclusion. The report Open to All? The Public Library and Social Exclusion (3) contains statements such as "Public libraries, as institutions of the capitalist state, are thus configured like many other agencies, in favour of the middle class, who consume public goods to a disproportionate extent". This is a long way from a desire not to upset elected members. The report draws attention to the accelerating problem of exclusion in the United Kingdom, and the widening gap between rich and poor. "This is of concern to the Government because it has implications for both the economy and for social stability".

No one, least of all the authors of this report, would suggest that investing in libraries and promoting social inclusion through libraries could, of itself, prevent a breakdown of social stability. Libraries are a part, and a very small part, of any solution. But they are a part. As I have said before, the Darien statement that "the purpose of the library is to preserve the integrity of civilisation" is overblown and probably pretentious. But there is currently a debate on how we can preserve the integrity of civilisation. Some look to water cannons, plastic bullets and more police on the streets. Others are looking at underlying causes. Libraries are not the answer but they definitely have a part to play in giving individuals and communities some hope of a better future. As Bob Usherwood points out we must not allow councils to play off one part of public service against another. I'm sure that some will say that we can't afford to spend money on public libraries when we have to tackle the real problem of disaffected youth and a 'sick' society, but they are wrong. We should argue for the role of libraries in a political context.

So we have two concepts of what being political means. Heads of service have to work within the system and be pragmatic. They cannot damage the service as a whole for the sake of every 'principle' that comes along. Perhaps this is a function of age and experience. To paraphrase - if a librarian is not an idealist at twenty they have no heart, if a librarian is not a pragmatist at forty they have no brain.

But there is a principle at the core of what we do and we should understand what that is, explain it to our 'Power people' and seek to defend it. Without that core of principle the profession is an empty husk and does not deserve respect. We have to decide for ourselves on the right balance between pragmatism and idealism - and that choice is a political act.

1.Curry, Ann. The chief officer / councillor relationship in British Public Libraries. JLIS 1994 26:211
2. Usherwood, Bob. Public library politics: the role of the elected member: Library Association Publishing, 1993.
3. Open to All? The Public Library and Social Exclusion. Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, 2000

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Toronto Kia Promotion by Steel Space

Toronto Kia Promotion
Kia chose to promote its new Kia Soul model at this one-of-a-kind event and worked with Steel Space to create an equally unique promotional concept.  The promotion was themed “Express Your Soul” and invited the public to write their thoughts directly onto the cars located both inside and on the roof of the Steel Space unit.