Wednesday, 24 March 2010

I want to check out your books....

Here's one especially for the librarian's

4 minutes and 10 seconds of librarian fantasy from Haunted Love,a “gothic/country/pop” duo from New Zealand

Monday, 15 March 2010

Science and Business department

Maths, chemistry, physics, astronomy, science (not biology!), law, management, design, typography, photography, architecture, periodicals, directories, phone books, EU info, gardening, DIY, computing, economics, business..... and 26 PC's with wireless internet available.

Sakura Adachi's Cave bookshelf

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Meanwhile.... in the murder/mystery section...

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Once upon a time...... in the library

I've started to recognise some of the locals and noticed a few people are regulary spending all day in the library ( I've become one of them). I can see the attraction, the heating is on, it's dry and no one tries to sell you anything. In these wintery economic times the Central library is a place of respite for many a Dundonian. What has struck me since I have been here is that inequality and disadvantage dominates a lot of the library users existence. Despite Dundee having been the focus of substantial investment, the ‘trickle down’ effect appears to have impacted little, as low wages and part-time employment can create similar effects as unemployment itself.

Image : Dina Goldstein

I personally can't say enough good things about the library. The best thing is it gets you away from home ( if you have one) it offers a place to hang out. It's popular, there are always people wanting to access the Internet (for free). It routinely offers all sorts of events for children and adults alike, and has special multipurpose spaces for music, children’s activities, visiting speakers and creates supportive environments for vulnerable users.

It's a place of escape, and if you really want a distraction can always get lost in a book*.

*DISCLAIMER We can't promise it will magic away disadvantage, discrimination, abuse and poverty in your life but it might offer a welcome distraction.


Dina Goldstein's Fallen Princesses

Dundee Central Library Facebook page

Thursday, 11 March 2010


I've been on the look out for artists who make work with books and I found this which is based in the hall of the main library in Prague. This popular sculpture dominates the space, it's a giant tower of books - a monument made out of old novels from the library. It rises more than 5 metres in the air. In the bottom, there is a mirror, creating the effect of a deep well of wisdom.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Introducing the Tagtool project

Last Wednesday I set up a 'taster' session at the library to introduce the staff team to the Tagtool project.

The Tagtool is a live performance instrument for drawing and animation.

It's similar to a musical instrument but it plugs into a projector instead of a sound system.

The great thing about the Tagtool is that people with little or no computer experience can feel at home with it immediately. It can be used by anyone who can hold a pen.

Everything you see is created on the spot by the artist.

Kerri, a youth worker from Grey Lodge Settlement picked up the pen and made this flower which was animated by Alistair from Science and Business. It just took about three minutes to make.

Ida from the Local History department started tentativly saying, "Im no good at drawing you know" but after playing around with the colours for a few minutes she didn't want to come off.

Anyone who knows Ida will know colour is very important to her. The vibrancy of colour created by Tagtool made the tool very appealing.

Eilidh, arts and philosophy student from Duncan of Jordanstone dropped by. Despite living in the city for 18 months it was the first time she had been in the central library.

Eilidh met with some of the staff and we tried out projecting on ourselves and drawing to music.

Shona and Margaret managed to escape from of the Children's Department to try the Tagtool.

They'd like to see it used to enhance the activities in the children's area like storytelling sessions and baby rhyme time. With this in mind I invited local illustrator John Paterson into the library, his style of drawings would really suit the Tagtool.
You can see more of Johns work here. John is currently working on an online anti-bullying project creating animated characters for children to relate to.

Later in the week John and I met with Shona in the childrens department, together we discussed the possibility of projecting live drawings on the frosted glass windows to accompany story time.

Another option would be to make the tool available to children to animate the storytime sessions themselves.

We set up the tool for ten year old Harvey to try out.

In a matter of minutes Harvey was making his own football animations

...finally when Harvey had gone to bed, John made a late night attempt at a spaceship....

More from Ninja librarian...

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Grey Lodge's AAAA project

Last week I met with Jackie and Kerri from Grey Lodge and various library staff to see how I can support their work with a group of six young people from St Johns who will be participating in Grey Lodge's AAAA project next term starting on 23 March.

Grey Lodge work with young people from Morgan, Braeview and St Johns one day a week over a period of six weeks. The photo from last Friday's Evening Telegraph shows S2 pupils from Morgan Academy with their end of course certificates.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

21st century apprentices

The old Nine Traders had apprentices in tow, with this in mind I'm on the look out for a suitable candidate to work with me. Last weekend I met Eilidh McKay, a bright eyed, enthusiastic arts & philosophy student, who arrived in muddy wellies for our meeting, fresh from her allotment.

Years ago apprentices had to pay to be trained, the modern day equivalent could be seen as the student loan.

Eilidh expressed an interest in being a 21st century apprentice, she brings with her a passion for people and human rights. So much that she got her kit off for
People and Planets day of naked action to protest about clothes made in sweatshops on sale at Dundee's university shop.

Years ago Dundee Indwellers ( the non-trades people) got the rotten jobs and lived miserable lives.

Eilidh says change is long overdue.

Friday, 5 March 2010


Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Finding strange people in libraries

In a world where the library is overrun with computers.....

For the kind, friendly, hard working, much put upon staff based in the Science and
Business department, who spend a large proportion of their day logging people on
and off computers.