Friday, 7 November 2014

It being Friday ...

Well, despite my great resolve that Friday would be blogging day, I have managed to miss at least three Fridays in succession but I feel I had good reasons for each of those times. Last Friday was half term and because the other half teaches, I decided to have a "holiday" as well. In actual fact, on Friday he had to do the marking he hadn't got round to, so I consoled myself with moving the books around in my personal Library. I have a study where we keep most of out book collections and a couple of years ago I decided to "Dewey" it. not intensely or accurately, but separate the fiction and non fiction and put things into rough Dewey groups. Because of the configuration of the book cases, the Dewey was not in the correct order and more than one set of shelves had fiction and non fiction. I bought and constructed another set of shelves, and have sorted it all out into order. Well, not to the exact 000.00, but in the right groups of the classification, The 300 are social science, the 600's technology, etc. I wonder whether that can count towards an exercise for Chartership?

The previous Friday, I was having fun in Cambridge with the Grandchild, doing autumnal things, sticking leaves on paper, doing a magic wand making trail in the Botanical Gardens, playing on the swings IN THE DARK!, carving a pumpkin and making pumpkin cake. We put raisins in the cake which was good:

Grandchild to my picky eater daughter: "We made a cake, mummy"
Daughter: "Ohh that looks nice, what sort of a cake is it?"
Grandchild: "Raisin cake"

The Friday before that, however, was a much more solemn occasion, I attended a memorial service at Loughborough University for Dr Ann O'Brien, who was one of the lectures there in the previously named Department of Information Science. The department got swallowed up by the School of Business and Economics, which is where Ann continued teaching. However, her death was particularly sudden and traumatic for the school because she experienced a fatal heart attack while working late in her office one evening.

I had come across Ann right at the start of my PhD work, I wanted teaching experience and she needed an assistant to help with tutorials, so I worked with her to teach small groups of students about meta-data and mark their resulting essays. The lessons were meticulously planned, and she was always happy to share her study with me on teaching days. She passionately felt that students needed pastoral care, and to learn effectively you really needed a system of small tutorials where not only you could talk to students, but they could feel more comfortable talking to you. I still can hear her voice telling me "Oh Marianne, you're doing a grand job". She was so grounded and homely.

She told me that she had been an academic librarian in Ireland and as part of her work, taught students. Her evident skills at teaching and relating to graduates were spotted and she was asked to work as a lecturer. I did not know that she had also spent time in America as part of an exchange programme, had conducted and published a ton of research, taught Ted Nelson about meta data and with another Loughborough lecturer had sorted out the joint library management systems for the Oxford colleges. I have a book she "lent" me, I will always treasure it to remember her.

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