My visitors today

Friday 27 February 2009

Relative Values

This is another posting
for which I have
no relevant picture
in my collection

I have been working flat out this week (conductive upbringing) and I have not been able to keep up with what has been going on in Cyberspace, even with what has been happening on my own blog!

I am ready for my bed now but I would like to thank everyone who has written in and just make the following comment.

Since I first read that the Foundation was appealing for financial help I envisaged that, if the worst came to the worst, the provision of services would slowly diminish and maybe the training of students would be put on hold and that the Foundation and the Library would keep on ticking over until it was time to start rebuilding.

It would be so much easier to employ a conductor and find children than it would to re-establish a library.

It is not what the Library does and how I have used it over the years that first came to mind when this news broke, but the fact that it is there at all seems to symbolise for me the “centre of Conductive Education” in some way. It is the place where books get published and information is stored, and where Conductive Education does not just stagnate.

I have been looking at other people's blogs too to catch up and I see that I am not the only conductor to be making this point about loosing one conductor rather than loosing a library.

Please, are we right?

What do people in general think about this?


Anonymous said...

I have been following the blogs and comments over the last day or so about what is happening at NICE. With the global economy as it is, centers all over the world have to make cutbacks, conductors are losing their jobs, and services are cut back. I have seen how the news of Gill’s position becoming ‘redundant’ as it has been termed, has created a very emotional response. This situation has really reminded me of something that a few of my mentors have been trying to drill into me over the years, the ability to see a situation from more than just one side. All centers will have hard decisions to make over the coming months; will they all turn out to be the best decision when we look back? Probably not, but they do need to be made. Some people feel that services should be cut down or conductors let go at NICE or the training programme to be canceled for the time being.
In my opinion I feel that these measures would not help the situation. When looking at financial aspect, which is what has created this problem, cutting down on the source of income for NICE will not help the situation. My heart goes out to Gill and I hope that she will be able to return to her job when this has blown over, but while the library may not grow it will still exist!
Also, when reading all the comments from people around the world it has become obvious to me that other centers need to start building up their own libraries. Our knowledge and resources need to be in more than one place so if something like this happens or something worse, like god forbid a fire, then it will not be such a catastrophe.

Susie Mallett said...

Thank you "Anonymous" for your comment. I have been hoping for somebody to come forward and give the other side of the argument. Perhaps this could become a real discussion hearing many more sides of the argument.

Surely there are others out there who think the same or who have an entirely different opinion. It is important to hear from you too.

You can see that it is possible to leave messages here without anyone knowing who you are.

It would be interesting to have people responding to the point "Anonymous" has made.

Let's hear both "sides".

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone who knows Gill as a person can fail to be affected by the impact of this on her as an individual. However I agree with the previous comments regarding the 'best' decisions made at the time. To not maintain services or to not train the next generation of conductors would reduce the long term possibility of expanding knowledge of CE. The information in the library is written by those actively involved in CE - the librarian is the gatekeeper of this. We therefore need to split the concept of a librarian and a library - the two can not be thought of as one. If we don't do this then CE will remain generational and soon 'die'. What would have happened when Gill decided to retire (which we assume at some time she would have?) CE so frequently relies on knowledge and skills of one person. Dr Hari died taking much of her knowledge with her, Peto did the same as will/have countless others in the CE world. The library contains a huge amount of resources that still belong to NICE - these will no doubt remain and will not be lost. Conductors now need to develop this knowledge base, write about their work, publish, carry out research etc. In this way the resource of information and the library CAN survive. It is conductors and those involved in CE not only now but in the future who can keep this resource alive. Perhaps e.g. even by making sure that they send relevant information to NICE to house in the library. There are many different ways of sharing information which are yet to be explored in the CE world. How we keep the knowledge base alive is dependent on the people involved in CE not the responsibility of one centre or even worse one person. My heart goes out to Gill as an individual but there is a lesson to be learnt from this for the future. How can we sustain CE; grow CE and grow knowledge not in one generation but through the generations? We now need to discuss how this can be developed into the future using all means that are available. Gill has provided an excellent base on which the CE community can build. Thank you for this Gill and out of respect of the work done so far we in the CE world should now work together to develop this into the future.

Susie Mallett said...

It is still my opinion that a library cannot function as a library without a librarian, as Anonymous said the librarian is the gatekeeper. Whether that librarian is Gill or someone who followed on after her retirement is not relevant, a library needs a librarian.
A conductive centre cannot function without conductors why should a library be able to do so without a librarian.

What I still cannot understand is why there are highly paid senior conductors with time to spare to “run” a library and why, if they are not needed elsewhere doing the job they are trained for, were their hours not reduced and Gill's also, to save much more money and at the same time keep services and training and the library maintained with the appropriate staff?

How many more Members of the Foundation are there out there who are waiting for some real information and answers to such questions as these?

Is the Foundation aware of how much the rest of the conductive world outside NICE uses the library? said...

People!!! We don’t need the discussion right now; we must talk about finding the solutions!
Time is running out.

Here is my immediate solution to solve this urgent problem.

1.Gill is not there. So we must protect the library first. As the NICE have no money they should go with the cheap option and employ person with the dog. The person will there to feed the dog. The dog will there to keep the others from touching the computers and books, magazines, letters e.t.c.

2.Next step…start planning moving the library to “independent state”. The CE world should step and find the money, take over and establish the independent CE library.

3.NICE decision? Itès worry me.I wonder if Karl Marx was right saying

“The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people. “

I am hoping that NICE leadership is not on the level of intelligence of Mao Tze Tung.


Anonymous said...

Sorry Susie, Sorry Becky, Sorry everyone...

I'm another one who even with practice struggles with Blogger's too-complex Comments system.

I abhor the idea of 'Anonymous' signings (and/or the appalling oppressions that there must be to cause some people to have to hide beneath such a device).

One nice thing to have come from all this sorry affair is that almost without exception those who have posted have stood up boldly to state their positions, by writing over their own names, a great step forward for Conductive Education.

This is no Appian way, and nobody is going to crucify anyone. So go ahead: 'I am Spartacus' (look it up).

I am, and remain,

Andrew Sutton.

01 March 2009 08:33 said...


I am glad that we have a leader.
I am signing as your first gladiator who is next?

You right we must establish a common place for everybody to joint the Army.
What about you!!!
The rest of Canada?

Any suggestions? What about Facebook?

Susie Mallett said...

No, I am Spartacus!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous seems to have got inside knowledge about what is going on here It’s high time we had some real facts and plain speaking from someone in charge and less opinion from outsiders and see what’s happening from the other side like you say.
If this librarian’s position wasn’t redundant after all what’s all the fuss about anyway if she was just got rid of for some reason.
And something else your right about, don’t cut down on the source of income, charities should hang onto their fundraisers whatever happens, so other people just have to go instead. The idea about sharing out the library to other centres sounds just what’s needed especially if there’s a fire somewhere.
Sounds like NICE is on top of things and doing what's needed to get us through so people should just let you get on with it.

Anonymous said...

Although I am not a conductor these days, for many years I was an employee at NICE and remember previous times when finance was very tight and senior management of the institute had to make decisions which were painful but appeared to be more rationale and better explained than the current one. Those times were equally hard for management, conductive and support staff, impacted on everyone’s area of work equally. Then change also meant more than laying off ‘support staff’, it meant adjustments, improvements, change in personnel and services at the same time.

It may appears that the economic downturn affects voluntary organisations or charities more than other maintained places, however it would be foolish to deny that these days everyone has to deal with the consequences more or less in such unpredictable and difficult economic time. I work for a large higher education organisation which also has to face the implications of the economic depression with some specific immediate and longer term measures, including natural loss of teaching staff and the acknowledgement of the immediate pressure to change and adapt to the new financial and professional demands. New priorities and new challenges are there for everyone and not simply for administrators, library or support staff. We have to come up with new ideas for our own future, change practice, and make lots of compromises and yes, work harder… No gain without pain…

…. this is what I miss at NICE… the evidence that institute finally makes the effort to go outside of their comfort zone and ask inevitable questions about its working practices, entitlements and conditions and the fact that it finally comes up with a vision (to be shared with the world) regarding what are they there for… for a long time I believed that for the ‘advancement of knowledge and understanding of CE and the teaching thereof’… underrating the necessity of a specialised library and at the same time protecting old-fashioned, somewhat irrational practices perhaps could be remedial for a while but their long-term effectiveness will be proved by time. How do other CE places doing in this respect? Why no other CE organisations reported such losses yet? Questions which may encourage some further discussions regarding the future of CE in the UK and beyond…

For me the response from Anonymous to defend the decision about the position of the library at NICE is rather weak. I tend to think that in 2009 it is not sufficient to call conductors together for a shared responsiblity to sustain what quality and quantity of the library material; it is more needed… the pressures of market forces, competition amongst service providers (even amongst CE places) need advancement of CE with fresh, new and innovative ideas and for this inevitably need a more in-depth change.
I am positive that the world is eagerly looking forward to see how NICE shares their ideas with those who care for the future and status of CE.