Booking open for MmIT 2016 Conference

MmIT blog

Booking is now open for the 2016 MmIT annual conference – Digital Citizenship: What is the library’s role?

To book go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/mmit-2016-conference-digital-citizenship-what-is-the-librarys-role-tickets-18734070108

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During this conference we will explore and discuss several digital citizenship themes and the role and responsibility of the library and the librarian in supporting citizenry in the digital world.

The conference themes will consist of, your library’s role in:

  • Digital access and inclusion
  • Digital literacy
  • Digital communications (including digital profiles, reputation)
  • Digital law
  • Digital security

Digital citizenship is a term often used to describe how people acquire and use their digital and online skills and experiences in order to further achieve and develop in their personal, professional and social roles. MmIT believe that libraries across all sectors play a significant role in supporting and developing digital citizenship with our user communities.

With four expert keynote speakers confirmed, the conference seeks to facilitate discussion and the sharing…

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Lucknam Park

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

I have a feeling that our times are equal interesting as Dicken’s time in his book ‘A Tale Of Two Cities’. The plot was centering on the years leading up to the French Revolution and culminates in the Jacobin Reign of Terror. Oh well, I cannot predict the future not even what is going to happen in the near future, the only I know is that we deserve a break from the bombardment of the bad news and the everyday anxiety of what’s next. For that reason I’m posting some photos from the Lucknam Park, a country house near Bath which  I visited recently. It is a lovely and serene place and transmits this calmness even through the pictures. Enjoy your weekend!

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18th-century Palladian Mansion

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Michelin star  Restaurant

 

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“Only men of property could vote…”

During the pre-enlightenment period  only men of property could vote and probably it was a continuation and mimic of the  Athenian democracy where only the aristocrats can vote -no women, slaves and commoners…

The  British referendum had divided the country into two camps (leave & remain) with clear animosity between them. The same happened with the Greek referendum of “No & Yes” against EU/German’s bailout.

Many people have argued only selective persons must vote such as:  young people whose future belong to them, the highly educated, probably with PhD and above from Ivy league or Oxbridge Unis and for sure the petite bourgeoisie  with their well grounded aspirations for better life , their “comme il faut” appetite for museums, concerts and their pedant inclination to scorn everyone who has posted on facebook a ‘grammarly accident’. The rest must stay at home and play videogames or watch x-factor. Only by this way Democracy will survive, they argue.

The above arguments gave me an inspirational idea :  to abolish all these nonsense elections – government, local, referendum…-  and launch a whole new election concept  : the Bank elections as we say Bank holidays et cetera. Where the above mentioned selective people will elect the Banker of the year or the best Bank with the best mortgage or interest rate…

The following  is a parody from 1915 by Alice Duer Miller, satirizing all the reasons given at the time the reasons for why women shouldn’t vote :

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Chelsea Flower Show 2016

 

The life connoisseurs say that patience is from the highest virtues and probably they have right. I had booked my tickets for Chelsea Flower show long time ago, at that time of the year that someone has nothing to look forward. Christmas and New Year celebrations were over  and the next holiday is quite far away, let alone the next payment day which is just a bank transaction from the current  to the credit card account. Through all these months being occupied with the daily working routine  I had forgotten the second round of “Christmas time” the flower show at Chelsea. And there you are! The tickets arrived promptly and along with my friends were visiting one of the best shows of the year that the English life can offer!

The prominent flower colour for this summer  is definitely the purple and the rotten apple.

In the interior space of the Chelsea ground the  flowers and strawberries’ fragrances were creating euphoria to the visitors.

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Husqvarna Garden by Charlie Albone. The cottage flowers (lupins, hollyhocks) entertain the formal garden. This was very inspiring idea for my own garden.

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The Chelsea Barracks Garden by Jo Thompson. The garden was inspired by the huge developments of apartments next to Chelsea hospital which prices are in the range 2-5 millions pounds!IMG_0645

L’Occitane Garden by James Basson. It seemed to me that this year the same garden was much more scruffier and drier.

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The Cloudy Bay Oven by Sam Ovens.  His winemaker sponsor wanted him to echo the flavours of sauvignon blanc in his planting.IMG_0679

Red handmade 5000 crochets poppies  covered the whole ground front of the Chelsea hospital.IMG_0617

Click, click,click … I heard the sound of the iphones taking pictures and saw a bunch of people through the hole of this structure. I couldn’t imagine what was the object of their admiration.

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I had to go around to find out  what was about all this fuss. The Queen’s profile !

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Small is beautiful : This cute garage/garden designed by Kazuyuki Isihara. If you have space this is a nice compact idea, two in one: Garage & Garden!

Minack Theatre : A Small Wonder In Cornwall

If you were asking me some days ago which is the most spectacular open-air theatre in Europe, probably my answer would be the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens, Greece or the Seebuhne in Lake Constance, Austria  but I didn’t know that there is a third one in the same league as the above! The  Minack(rocky place)  theatre is a really a small wonder  at the far end of Cornwall at Porthcurno, close to Land’s End. A small open-air theatre constructed on a granite cliff and overlooking the spectacular panorama of the Porthcurno bay in the Atlantic ocean. This theatre was the vision  and labour of Rowena Cade  who managed to construct this theatre at the end of her garden with the help of her gardener.  The very first performance, the Tempest was  on 16 August of 1932. The theatre opens between April-September with various performances (see the programme at https://www.minack.com/calendar-2/

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View of the theatre from the top.

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The name of each theatrical performance has been curved on the granite’s seats.

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View from the cafe of Minack Theatre

The place has its own microclimate and the view is beyond imagination. As I was admiring the view (pic. below), the beach with the gold sand and huge waves, one gentleman  next to me told me “I have never imagined that I can experience something like that in England. It seems to me that I’m somewhere in the Continent”.

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Rowena Cade, who lived in Minack House (picture above), decided that the cliffs below her garden would be the perfect setting for a theatre  and over the winter of 1931 and into 1932 she and her gardener, Billy Rawlings, moved endless granite boulders and earth, creating the lower terraces of the theatre, much as they are today”(source at https://www.minack.com/our-history-1)

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Rowena Cadet (1893-1983) an inspiring woman who used her money, labour and influence during a very hard period in Europe (between the two World Wars) and left a remarkable legacy. Sometimes the willpower and determination of an individual can make wonders!

Greece is the all-weather scapegoat of EU: A never ending humilation

Today EU threatens Greece over border controls! As a draft report of the European Commission says:  Greece has “seriously neglected” its obligations to control the external frontier of Europe’s passport-free Schengen zone.

Some days ago at the ‘Annual Team Building’ of the Elite  at Davos, the Chief Accountant of the EU, Mr. Schauble  with his linguistic games referred to the democratic elected PM of Greece as an idiot!

As anyone can understand, Greece’s humiliation has no limits! Of course, this humiliation is reinforced by the strong opposition inside the country from the partisans of the left/ right wing and  ala Greek style neo-liberals(an interesting amalgamation of right wing people).

One thing is the common truth and the curse for the Greeks, they are not able to see themselves as an entity and being accompanied by their notorious low self esteem they are blaming each other (an ongoing attitude) for any governmental action.

The above combination is an easy target for the failed leaders of Europe and their politics.

Last year Angela Merkel, as formidable Hegemon of Europe -in terms of financial power only- announced without taking consideration the rest of the European countries  and mainly the countries that are the  entrance of the refugees-such Greece, which at the moment is an impoverished country- the acceptance of the Syrian refugees. Consequently, quite a few Europeans (Poland, Czech republic, Denmark, few German states, Britain) either closed their borders or started seizing the valuables of the Refugees (Denmark, some states of Germany…).

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It was a matter of serendipity by seeing the above two artefacts at the Victoria Gallery in Bath the other day and so ironic at the same time. The two figures represent Europe and Asia. Europe as an emancipated intellectual woman proud of the great achievement of the Enlightenment being accompanied by Asia, who is holding her ‘valuables for better or for worse’!

At the beginning of the 21st Century Europe’s leaders are trying to set aside their responsibilities by finding their all times scapegoat, Greece! The values of the Enlightenment have been replaced by the motto ‘show me the money’ for better or for worse.