100 years ago today Westminster finally passed an Act
giving women over 30 (who owned property)
the right to vote. As an information geek, I’m celebrating the day with a (very) short list of data sources on the Women’s Suffrage Movement…
An umbrella stand painted by Suffragettes in Glasgow’s Duke Street Prison, at the Glasgow Women’s Library
Here’s my final BookRiot Read Harder Challenge list for for 2017:
- Read a book about sports – Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
- Read a debut novel – The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
- Read a book about books – The Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane
Read a book set in Central or South America, written by a Central or South American author – A View from the Mangrove by Antonio Benítez-Rojo
- Read a book by an immigrant or with a central immigration narrative – The Highland Clearances by John Prebble
- Read an all-ages comic – Lobey’s the Wee Boy!: Collected Lobey Dosser by Bud Neill
- Read a book published between 1900 and 1950 – The Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene, 1930
- Read a travel memoir – The Desert and the Sown: Travels in Palestine and Syria by Gertrude Bell
- Read a book you’ve read before – The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey
- Read a book that is set within 100 miles of your location – 365: Stories by James Robertson
- Read a book that is set more than 5000 miles from your location – A Splendid Isolation: Lessons of Happiness from the Kingdom of Bhutan by Madeline Drexler
- Read a fantasy novel – The Obsidian Throne by James Oswald
- Read a nonfiction book about technology – Unbound: How Eight Technologies Made Us Human, Transformed Society, and Brought Our World to the Brink by Richard L. Currier
- Read a book about war – Damn’ Rebel Bitches: The Women of the ’45 by Maggie Craig
- Read a YA or middle grade novel by an author who identifies as LGBTQ+ – The Marvels by Brian Selznick
Read a book that has been banned or frequently challenged in your country – Ulysses by James Joyce (I haven’t finished this one yet. It’s gonna fit great into one of the 2018 challenges!)
- Read a classic by an author of colour – The Man in the Iron Mask – Alexandre Dumas
- Read a superhero comic with a female lead – The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua
- Read a book in which a character of color goes on a spiritual journey – Warrior of Peace: The Life of the Buddha by Jinananda
- Read a book published by a micropress – The Birlinn of Clanranald by Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair (Alexander MacDonald), translated by Alan Riach, (published by Kettillonia)
- Read a collection of stories by a woman – Gossip from the Forest by Sara Maitland
- Read a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love – Nua-bhárdachd Gháidhlig/Modern Scottish Gaelic Poems: a bilingual anthology – edited by Donald Macaulay
- Read a book wherein all point-of-view characters are people of color – Little Green by Walter Mosley
Here’s what I read for the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge this year! My own rules for the challenge were to:
- only read things that were new to me (except for that one challenge)
- choose from the books growing dusty on my own shelves as I often as I could
- read books with a Scottish slant whenever possible
You’ll see there are two still unticked – both very hard reads, for different reasons. I’ll finish them next year (Ulysses will even fit a challenge on the 2018 list!)
Back in the spring Helen was thinking about ways to raise the profile of the library. As a result of a 3am light bulb moment she came into work with infographics on her mind. Co-incidentally Jane had also been looking into this method of communicating information in a gorgeous and eye-catching manner. We got quite excited – posted on SLLG blog
In recognition of #librariesweek, Reader Services Librarian Helen Robinson and I co-wrote a wee post for the SLLG. However, I am so proud of our infographics, I want to post about them here too.
We started talking about this project in the spring sometime. It was wonderful serendipity that I had been noticing and thinking about infographics just when Helen saw them as an opportunity to market and raise awareness of our Library services, and of the staff who provide them. When she mentioned her idea to me I immediately jumped at the chance to get involved. I relish any opportunity to get to know new bits of software.
Staff are at the heart of the Advocates Library
I looked at a few infographic sites but settled on piktochart.com because that platform offers excellent functionality and an impressively large amount of content for free (more is available with a subscription). Piktochart has a variety of pretty templates but, because my ‘story’ ideas are very specific, I like to start with a blank page and build up from scratch.
I have been having an indecently large amount of fun working on this project. I get to utilise my creativity as well as my technical skills. Also, I spend a few hours playing happily while producing something of legitimate value to my job. Although the presentation is always lighthearted and upbeat, I like to include something slightly daft in each one. To my utter joy, even the inclusion of a spurious cat one month was accepted as an obvious and integral part of the overall scheme. Incidentally, that infographic has probably been the best received (a not just because of the cat).
The industry driving our Enquiry Service
I particularly enjoy joining and layering the icons provided by piktochart to create bespoke shapes. I love that I can edit most icons to fit my custom colour schemes – and I adore my wee enquiry-train! (it took 8 separate parts to make that – and 3 for the pipe/tunnel!)
We’ve received very positive responses to this infographic series – certainly more than I’d expect if we’d circulated the data in purely text form. I hope that I get to play… that we continue to utilise infographics for a good while longer.
An external enquirer asking for the case: Lord Hamilton v Glasgow Diary Company. “Ooh!”, I thought, “I wonder what that was about. Some salacious case of intrigue and scandal no doubt”…
Found the case. It’s the Glasgow Dairy Company (1933 SC 18). If there’s anything salacious in that I really don’t want to know.
To paraphrase the dearly departed Eric Morecambe, they used all the right letters, just not necessarily in the right order.