Stapleford Feb-2011Well that was a first – standing in front of a building waving around a placard, meeting Joe Public, with a weasel and making a public spectacle of myself.  No, wait, I’ve made a public spectacle of myself on countless previous occasions so it must just have been the other bits that were new.  I was over in Stapleford as part of the big Save Libraries day event making my own small contribution; although my hat is well and truly off to Alison Barlow who was behind both the protest outside, and the read-in going on inside.

In the warm.  And I can say that as someone who spent the best part of two hours standing in the rain and high winds attempting to attract the passing motorists to give us a honk of support.  It was nice to catch up with some of those folks working in the public library service as I don’t often get the chance to cross paths with them that often.

On the other hand I did have some very bizarre conversations with members of the public – one old couple moved from moaning about “this book he wanted being out when he went in” (do public libraries not do a recalls service?) to another guy upon hearing I was a uni librarian wanting to know why we” didn’t stock everything he needed” as a researcher but not incidentally a member of the institution (erm, we stock materials for our core users…of course our open access research repository on the other hand has got a whole lot more).  I did also have an excellent conversation about feminism and women’s studies teaching regimes and familial argument arrangements with one of my fellow placard holders.  And there I was thinking that  academics could be left field.

And all this before lunch!  I won’t even mention introducing the weasel to some local councillors.

My thanks especially to my Wife for coming along and spending her time browsing the (in her words) “Excellent local history collections” that Stapleford had to offer.  I’ll be interested to see if the picture makes it to the local paper, especially since his Weaselship was in it…just behind the local councillors.

Still waiting to see if this wave of library support is going to catch fire across the land, certainly my twitter stream is full of it, but I follow a lot of librarians so I’d expect it to be.  All I can say is well done to everyone who took part in it, no matter what your contribution you can bet the rest of us are damned grateful!


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