Showing posts with label Libraries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Libraries. Show all posts

Friday 11 September 2015

Heritage Open Days- This Weekend...

A quick post about a nationwide visiting opportunity this weekend, Heritage Open Days- UK.

I mentioned this to a few writer friends and it was a 50/50 split between those who knew about it and visited place, and those who had not heard about it, so I thought I'd mention it.

In September each year, various museums, private homes and other buildings open their doors to allow the public to visit heritage gems that are not always available to be accessed and seen. Find out how it's brought about.

If you pop along to the website you can search for all the FREE events either by region, county, town or local council, and then print out the details.

Personally I'm hoping to get to see Bromley House Library in Nottingham. It's actually a few doors away from the modern Central Library in the city.

Hopefully I can then get to the places I'd intended to go to last weekend before my plans changed...

I hope to be able to take a few photos for mine and Serena's blog, though they will be different places of course.

So if you get to events near you, have fun...

Saturday 1 February 2014

Connections and Respect...

Having got back into a steady routine of writing and blogging, my life was thrown upside down last weekend by not only losing my broadband, but my phone line too.

Okay, I know. If my phone line goes then so will my broadband. Unfortunately it happened the other way round for me...

I should add that we suspected our loss of service was 99.9% related to the engineer (from our provider) who was putting a broadband line in for one of our neighbours, as we lost our broadband about the time he would have been connecting up to the box in the pavement.

All the cables run under our pavements where we live, so we don't have any telegraph poles with wires running across.

But the provider's fault system requires you go through the testing routine, and of course their instrumentation said our broadband signal had no drop-out (!!!!) and the problem was our phone line-further tests then went on to blame our house wiring, and warnings that if the engineer came out we'd be liable to pay nearly £130 if it wasn't their equipment at fault.

So from Friday evening until the engineer arrived early Tuesday morning we were stuck. You get a lot of other things done with no phone calls, or Internet to distract you. (I read three e-books on my kindle.) But my desk had to be moved right up against my bookcase!

Very pleased to say that the engineer quickly found that the problem was outside, and as we'd suspected on the Friday when we started losing our service, it was related to what the other engineer had done.

Took about an hour+ to fix and test- even that wasn't trouble-free, but eventually we had a working phone and broadband line.

But it has taken the rest of the week getting the bandwidth back to where it was. And don't mention how many e-mails there were to sort through!

It's only when you lose your broadband that you realise how much of everyday life has moved online.

We communicate with friends and acquaintances from all over the UK, and in other countries, as if they were in another room. We use the Internet to interact with companies and services, even publishers! It's often easier to contact a company online than it is by phone...

The Internet has opened up so many resources that writers, a hundred years ago, would either have had to make a time-consuming trip to access the location, museum, gallery or specialist library and spend hours finding the information needed, or send lots of letters to get the answers.

My loss of broadband for those few days certainly increased my respect for those early writers. Their books may have been shorter word counts than we produce now, but they put as much, if not more effort, into producing their manuscripts.

It also makes you realise how much we take access to information for granted.

If the Internet hadn't been invented how many of those essential services and goods we writers depend on, would not have been invented? How many companies and organisations that employ, and sometimes support, people (including writers) may never have come into existence?

That's slightly scary...

Friday 15 July 2011

Bits and Bobs...

First the good news on the Blackbird family nesting in our garden. Two days ago the first fledgling appeared among the pots and overgrown grasses by the patio...

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I've been having to look at computers with a view to replacing the current desktop. It is still functioning but the loading time for any web page with pictures is slowing down; so the graphics card is no longer adequate for a lot of the visuals you get everyday.

So it will be Windows 7 and that means I have to sort out all my saved work on XP so it will be in a form the new system can recognise- anyone got any tips?

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If you haven't visited Sally Quilford's blog today, then do pop over and have a look at the pdf of the new guidelines for the longer My Weekly Pocket Novels.

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Jane Austen's unfinished manuscript of The Watsons was sold at auction a few days ago and sold for just under a million pounds. It was bought by the Bodleian Libraries of Oxford, so it will not be going out of the country.

She was very neat in her editing- crossed out lines were quite straight, but you'd certainly need good eyesight to read it...

You can read what there is in book form, details here.

Despite our digital world with lots of means to communicate, in the end paper will probably last a lot longer and still be able to be read...

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Libraries and the writer- and readers too...

Tomorrow the Government announce the results of their Comprehensive Spending Review and we all know that means more cuts are coming.

Last week the list of Quangos to be closed or transferred was announced and writers everywhere were very disturbed by the intention to transfer the PLR (Public Lending Rights) to another "existing publicly-funded body".

Read the statement in PLR News here.

PLR payments are vital to many authors who aren't in the best seller lists and don't  have books available in major booksellers. They are writers of local history books, romances in formats specifically for library purchase.
6p to the author each time it is loaned out is not much- and that depends on your book being in some of  the libraries being used for counting each year.
Cuts to arts funding in the past few years has meant this amount has not increased, nor would it be rising this year.

Last week our local newspaper listed pages of cuts highlighted by our County Council. The library service will suffer very badly with staff cuts and closures, as well as fewer books purchased. We lost a small village library nearby a couple of months ago.

One of our local publishers Ross Bradshaw- a man who has always supported writers in Nottinghamshire (a Lowdham Book Festival organiser)- sent an e-mail to writers and publishers on Friday asking for their support in his letter of protest over the library cuts. He has a hundred names supporting his stance.

I know how big a part the library (in my own home town) played in the writer I have become. It was a building full of words, adventures and facts that fed my growing mind and imagination.

I'm certain that some of our great writers, like Alan Sillitoe, wouldn't have stepped out of the life intended for them if it hadn't been for access to libraries.

Reader or writer, that should be available to all children and adults...