Ciara Eastell My Favourite Tipples from a Public Sector Innovator
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By Ciara Eastell

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Abstract

My Favourite Tipples are shared by Ciara Eastell, head of Libraries, Culture and Heritage for Devon County Council and president of the Society of Chief Librarians (SCL). She shares her favourite online resources in areas from online learning and digital inclusion to innovation and creativity.

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With a day job in Devon, the SCL Presidency and a young family, my time is at a premium but it's essential that library leaders keep an eye on what's going on in the world around them.

The impact of libraries is so far reaching and their potential to support a wide range of broader policy objectives is so huge that I try to keep an eye on what's going on in a broad range of areas, including the broader digital scene, arts and culture, creativity, government departments and the broader political landscape.

As we come up to the general election, it will be interesting to see how politicians engage with libraries as an issue. Financial pressures facing library services and local authorities are understandably a hot topic but I hope that the public narrative around libraries also reflects the huge potential they have to support individuals and communities.

  • Open Culture: A great website with some fantastic content and online courses. I wish I had the time to do some MOOCs via Open Culture or FutureLearn as there are some fantastic ones on offer. I'd like to learn more about big data and am also keen to learn more about enterprise and economic growth. 
  • Nesta: Nesta do excellent work and research around innovation and creativity and future trends. Their predictions for 2015 make for interesting reading. Libraries are beginning to get on their radar and we are working with them in Devon on our Fab Lab, which provides low cost digital making facilities from Exeter Library.  
  • Twitter: Twitter suits my busy life - I can dip in and out as I make breakfast for my children first thing in the morning and have a quick peek at the end of the working day. It keeps me in touch with what's going on in my local area; I pick up how our libraries in Devon are being perceived by customers and partners and it alerts me to the latest library news and innovations. I have a personal Twitter account and also occasionally tweet from the @UKSCL Twitter account.
  • Carnegie UK Trust: I'm a huge admirer of the work of the Carnegie Trust and welcome their ongoing support for public libraries. They are also taking an increasing interest in digital inclusion and how we can all support those without easy access to technology to get online. Their regular programme of advocacy and research is always worth looking at.

For fun...

  • I'm starting to use FaceTime to connect my children and their grandparents. It's proving a great way to keep the different generations in contact. 

An article in FreePint I found particularly interesting:

  • I found James Mullan's article "Do You Know Why You Collaborate?" very pertinent and helpful. There is so much focus in my day-to-day working life - both for Devon and for SCL - on collaboration that it was very helpful to be taken back to some of the core reasons why working together is so important. I completely agree with James that one of the big drivers for collaboration is that the outcome is almost always better than working on your own.


Contribute Your "My Favourite Tipples"

Would you like to share your "My Favourite Tipples" with the FreePint audience? For contributor guidelines email catherine.dhanjal@freepint.com or visit the Publish with FreePint page.

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