Well I have come to the end of my Travelling Librarian study tour. I’ve had an amazing time and consider myself extremely lucky to have been given this opportunity. Along the way I’ve seen some fabulous libraries and places, I’ve met some awesome librarians, found an American library soul-mate with whom I hope to plan some international co-working and made some great contacts to share best practices with.
I will be taking back some great ideas, some will be:
- Wow! If only we had the space or the money!
- We could definitely look at that model and adapt it to suit us.
- We could build relationships like these.
- That is so obvious – it’s a no-brainer!
- Next year’s team plan!
- Maybe not for us but other libraries may find this useful.
I also know that we have a great team at North Somerset and we have lots of fantastic projects and developments on the go, which I have enjoyed sharing with colleagues overseas. I hope that what I have discovered and learnt will help inform future developments, I know that colleagues in the States will also be looking at some of our processes and projects to adapt for their libraries. Sharing is the best way forward, it’s not necessary for any of us to re-invent the wheel, libraries, after all, are about open access to information – free for all!
I will be writing a full report and will post it here when it is published. I am happy to help and give guidance or support to anyone who may be applying for the Travelling Librarian bursary or similar in the future. Please do get in touch email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter: @FrancesTout. I look forward to writing articles and delivering presentations to share my findings and experiences over the coming months.
Most of all I would like to thank the English Speaking Union and CILIP for giving me the opportunity and funding this amazing library adventure. Also North Somerset Library Service and North Somerset Council for supporting my application and letting me go. Lastly, but by no means least, I would like to thank all my colleagues at work, who have had to cover my workload while I’ve been away, they have been extremely supportive and not one of them has moaned at me!