Libraries – the original Social Networks


library dragon

I was listening to the Scroobious Pip podcast (birthday edition) this morning where he interviewed his mum.
She sounds very nice.
She also works in a library.

She was advocating the role of libraries everywhere. I sympathised with her because, over the last few years, I’ve worked in several libraries in Perth, Dundee and Fife on behalf of their local authorities, running workshops and classes in using social media and digital media (filmmaking, storytelling, etc…).

As a direct consequence of doing this work I have a new found enthusiasm for libraries and there role in local communities. In lots of areas libraries are struggling to stay open but in others they are the hub of the community. The fact that you are reading this may mean that you have all that you need at your finger tips via the internet – however, by turning up at your local library for an event, to borrow a CD or… dare I say, borrow an actual book, you are helping to retain a service which, for some, is a life line.

putting social into social care 043


Click here to visit my LinkedIn page to watch a couple of short videos and tell me your memories of going to the library – or even what’s happening at your local library this summer!


Getting QReative with World Book Day – part one

capturing stories

Thursday 7th March is World Book Day 2013

On this day all sorts of activities are organised across the globe to celebrate ‘the book’!

One of the events a lot of schools are adopting is the ‘Book Swap’ where young people bring in a book from home, that they’ve already read (and presumably recommend…), and swap it for something new to them.

I love the idea of swapping and sharing stories and so, as my local Primary school was organising a Book Swap, I offered to help, and add a new twist, to sharing stories…

World Book Day logo 2013

Class by class I asked some of the children about their favourite books – Without spoiling the ending, what was the story, who their favourite characters, why did they love this book! I recorded our little chat, and I’m now in the process of editing and uploading to I’ll then tag the AudioBoo with a QR Code and the QR Code will go in the front of the book.

Soon, these well loved books will be carrying two stories – the one in print and the one in the QR Code. And of course, the next owner could very soon be adding their own story and QR Code… we’ll have to wait and see!

Look out for links to the AudioBoos later in the week – and enjoy World Book Day 2013!

UPDATE: Part Two here

Story Tasters

“Eve reads from ‘Dexter’s Dinosaurs’ by Michaela Morgan – chapter four.
Eve is in P3 and loves reading aloud. Listen to this story taster to decide if you would like to read the book for yourself!”

This is one of the ways in which I have been using AudioBoo with my daughter to encourage her current love of reading. She loves reading aloud and puts as much as she can into the expression and feeling… she’s a proper little storyteller!

I ran the idea past some Primary Educators and it was pointed out to me that this tool provides the ‘audience’ and ‘purpose’ elements that encourage participation. Part of the reason for pursuing this project was because I had noticed that Eve upped her game as soon as she new she was being recorded. Just as you might hold something back ‘for the night’, then she lets fly when she knows there is a potential for many others to listen. Especially as AudioBoo rated our first effort as a ‘staff favourite’ and we got more than 400 listens in 30mins!

So, get your kids to listen, get them to record, get them to share. Then, in a few years reminisce as you listen to your kids read to you from their pre-teen years and maybe even to their own kids. Let me know how you get on.