Wow – this is rather late! I’m finally getting back to the CPD23 program after a prolonged break.
Advocacy and speaking up for the profession
I’ve heard a lot about the problems that public libraries in the UK are having with funding being cut and services being reduced. It is the result of challenging economic times in Europe – many countries are instituting tough austerity measures that effect all public services. What I advocate for though, is not library and information services per se, it the freedom of the public to know information that effects them – I am a firm supporter of WikiLeaks in this regard. I am also interested in health literacy issues. The healthcare coverage debates in the US right now are very concerning, especially since the politicians are displaying wilful ignorance and by their public speeches and spreading misinformation. Read Dr Jen Gunter’s blog to get an idea about the current situation for women’s health. Currently, my advocacy activities is part of my job – teaching public librarians and staff from other organisations how to teach the public how to find evidence-based health information online (health literacy). By doing this, I help public libraries add value to their services to the public. The other interest of mine I conduct on Facebook. I believe that people have a right to know what politicans are doing in their name. Of course, there are times when the information has to be withheld, but the times when governments have used ‘national security’ as a reason not to divulge information in court, it has been found that the issue is not of national security at all, it was just that the government didn’t have any information and pretended that it did OR that the information was erroneous and they didn’t want to lose face in public. OH!!! The other thing that has me hopping mad is the Murdoch media empire in the US, the UK and Australia. My little bit of activism was to stop buying and consuming News Corp products. and encourage others to do the same.
I was very pleased to read “It’s also worth pitching article ideas to places like The Guardian’s Comment is Free – they’re keen to hear from people who specialise in particular subjects, and have commissioned pieces by me, Ian Clark and Simon Barron when we’ve approached them”. I read The Guardian and in fact, my husband I subscribe to The Guardian Weekly! The journalism is mostly top rate and far better than any Murdoch or Packer owned media in Australia. I don’t read any Australian newspapers at all. I have encourage my husband to pitch an idea to The Guardian (he is an art critic) but perhaps I should do something too. I’ve published in some library media, but my prefered tack now is to write for medical journals. I had a letter to the editor published in The Lancet (about health literacy … of course) – that’s a start!!