Saturday, January 31, 2009

Books beating Borders and Blockbuster?

As the credit crunch continues, many innovative libraries are now providing careers advice and online information services in addition to traditional book lending.

“There’s a whole lot of stuff in the newspapers and on the internet at the moment about how libraries are being revitalised as the credit crunch is hitting and people are not buying books any more.”

Area manager for Bournemouth Libraries at The Triangle, Gerardine Bodey says they’re well prepared to offer everything from job and training advice along with partners Next Steps, to internet access when applying for a new job.

The traditional role of the librarian has expanded with many now holding an NVQ in Information, Advice and Guidance. This means they can give people assistance in searching for a new job as well as some general tips on applying.

The expansion in services offered by Bournemouth Libraries includes the successful Enquire partnership with other public libraries. Users can join an online chat with a librarian to look for information or answers to questions. The service has been so successful that Enquire has partnered with 'Yahoo! Answers' to offer information to even more users.

Gerardine Bodey is pleased with the response so far: “77% of people say that the Enquire service run by all the public librarians had the best answer to their questions. So it shows that not only do libraries have the information, but it’s quality information too. Usually, we’re pointing them to a website or a piece of information that they can rely on.”

AUDIO: Gerardine Bodey, Area Manager for Bournemouth Libraries talks about why you should explore your local library.


Bournemouth Libraries
Next Steps Employment Service
Enquire – Ask a Librarian
Yahoo! Answers UK

Friday, January 30, 2009

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra - Review for Wednesday January 28th

Guest conductor, Kees Bakels and piano soloist, Simon Trpčeski joined the BSO for a Russian piano masterpiece and an epic English symphony earlier this week.

"It was worth coming just for that," according to the woman sitting beside me at Wednesday's Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra concert.

We'd just heard Simon Trpčeski play Tchaikovsky's 1st piano concerto with the BSO. With great sparkle and style, it was the kind of performance that makes you want to go back to learning the piano.

Trpčeski and guest conductor Kees Bakels really seemed to enjoy working together. Watching the two communicate was like watching a friendly chat, albeit a musical one. This warmth of feeling came across in the flow of the solo piano and in the orchestral sections of the concerto.

The audience at Poole's Lighthouse stamped their feet and clapped enthusiastically after Trpčeski and the orchestra played the final flourishes of Tchaikovsky's piano masterpiece. A ripple of laughter went through the audience before the pianist smiled and said: "Yeah, I'm thinking what to play." His encore was a waltz for solo piano, which he had learned as a seven or eight year old boy.

The orchestra returned (without soloist) to conclude the evening with Elgar's 2nd Symphony. Conductor Kees Bakels had a twinkle in his eye as he guided the musicians' journey through this lesser performed work.

If you know the 'graduation' theme used in American films about universities or high schools, you'll have a sense of the brass fanfares in this symphony. There's plenty of loud brass and pounding percussion in the earlier movements before Elgar, the work then fades slowly into silence.

The Tchaikovsky is very accessible even to someone who's new to classical music, the Elgar a little more challenging. The sense of energy and passion for great music will continue to build the good reputation of the BSO.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bookworms gather across the UK

Local libraries are inviting readers to join the largest mass read ever organised in the UK.

Libraries in Bournemouth and Poole are inviting bookworms to join The Lost World Read, which starts nationwide next week.

The largest mass read ever organised in the UK starts on 30 January and participants of all ages are being encouraged to read Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World.

Reader Development Librarian with Bournemouth Libraries, Vickie Goldie explained that The Lost World Read aims to build on the National Year of Reading in 2008.

She hopes The Lost World Read "will get a lot of press attention. It's trying to attract people who don't normally go to libraries. With the credit crunch it's good to point out our libraries are free and we rent DVDs out."

Visitor figures to the libraries rose by 26,000 during 2008 and Ms Goldie expects the number of books loaned out during the year will also have risen. A report on last year's projects is due to be released soon.

The work of Bournemouth libraries has attracted national attention from book publishers, particularly to their blog Book Talk Bournemouth. It has received at least 3,500 hits since Ms Goldie set it up in late 2007.

Publishers HarperCollins have linked the blog to their website and are among a number of companies who now send Bournemouth Libraries "proofs" of upcoming books.

Asked for recommended books for 2009, Ms Goldie's suggestions include Skin and Bones by Tom Bale and she comments: "Stephenie Meyer is just taking the world by storm."

She continues to be very enthusiastic about reading:

"It can take you other places and other worlds, it can change your mood and be very uplifting. There's that whole sensual aspect of it, holding a book, turning the pages and the smell of the paper."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hospital surgeons face crisis

A European cap on working hours could have a major impact on surgeons in Bournemouth and Poole.

Hospitals and other public services could be hit hard when the European Working Time Directive (WTD) is fully implemented next August.

President of the Royal College of Surgeons, John Black, said "the effects on patient care in the NHS are potentially disastrous."

From August, surgeons will be restricted to working a 48-hour week. However, Mr Black said this would lead to inadequate emergency cover overnight and at weekends and that the government should discuss an opt-out.

He also said the proposals would lead to "much less experienced trainees" to work alongside surgeons.

MEP for Bournemouth and South West England, Neil Parish said "some 14 member states already use the opt-out or are considering using it. So in reality it is unlikely that this cap will come into force in the UK."

A survey of hospital trusts last November showed only 18% were meeting the 48-hour limit outlined in the European Working Time Directive.

Spokespersons for Bournemouth and Poole Hospitals were unavailable for comment. However, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health confirmed the European directive "will need to cover surgeons" from August.

Given the current economic crisis and rising unemployment figures, MEP Neil Parish suggested, "If people want to work and employers are prepared to pay them for the extra work, why should the state step in and stop them from doing so?"

He went on to say he opposed the 48-hour cap for a number of reasons, "including the effect this may have on NHS staff and on retained fire-fighters."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Student caught with cannabis faces eviction

A Bournemouth University student caught with cannabis could be evicted from Halls of Residence within 2 weeks. Scott Spurgeon, 19, was found in possession of the drugs by a security guard at Corfe House on November 15th last year. Corfe management have now given Mr Spurgeon 2 weeks to find alternative accommodation.

According to blogger, Kayley Rogers, more than 150 fellow students have voiced their opposition to Mr Spurgeon's eviction by signing a petition. Classmate Laura Fulham said: “I think it’s harsh and over the top. They didn’t ask him what happened, they just kicked him out.”

However, Corfe management have said: “Drugs are prohibited in the building and anyone caught with them will be dismissed – there are no exceptions.”

Any repeated breaches of regulations could lead to disciplinary action by the Vice-Chancellor of the University.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Former Irish President continues to advocate justice

Former Irish President and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson has been appointed head of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ).

A ground-breaking leader, Mrs Robinson was the first woman to be President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997. Following this she worked as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights until 2002. She has since set up a non-governmental organisation, Realizing Rights, which advocates ethical globalisation.

Mrs Robinson has recently been on an ICJ panel overseeing a three-year inquiry on how counter-terrorism measures have impacted human rights.