My visitors today

Monday 4 May 2009

The people’s living library

Inspired by the flags of the May Day marches 2009, by Susie Mallett, May 3rd 2009

I am still as shocked as I was the day I received the news that the Library is out of action.

I am still wondering how a pioneering institute for the development of Conductive Education and the training of conductors could even consider functioning without its living library.

I miss it almost every day. Each time I write something for my blog I wonder what Gill could have found for me on my current subject in the Library. Even for my May Day blog, I'll bet there is something tucked away on a shelf on this subject too.

But unfortunately with no librarian there is no mediated access to the material there. Thanks to Gill with her continuing Library Blog, we are kept up to date with a few new developments around the world and, as she promised, she has access to an awful lot that she has stored in her head.

I also speak about the Library with friends and colleagues. They ask me what is happening, they inquire whether we are any nearer to saving it. They ask how the Petition is progressing.

Recently I was pleased to see the link on Andrew Sutton’s blog to his other site. Now I can refer my friends to that and once there they can at least read the comments on view.

I hope others have spotted this site now and checked across to it.

Anyone has not signed the Petition yet will find it interesting to read the comments already made. Then add your own voice.

A comment of my own

The longer the Library remains inaccessible the more I believe that here is another Conductive Education organisation run by people not interested in looking further than their own doorstep, not looking at the future of Conductive Education as a whole. Not considering how it changes and how these changes will affect the development in different countries over the coming years.

If only they were they could realise the importance of that Library in this process.

I would really like to be contradicted on this.

I would like to hear everybody’s voices, but particularly the voices of people running organisations, anywhere in the world. I would really like to know what visions and plans you have for the development of Conductive Education in the futures. There are so many Conductive Education websites, so many blogs and forums where you can make your voices heard.

Where do people see it all going, and how do they see this happening without what was represented by that Library?


For those of you who have asked, I did eventually get a reply to my letter to the Foundation asking for information as a Member of the Foundation. This was not very satisfactory and gave me no reassurances whatsoever. In fact it made me wonder even more if the people running the Foundation are actually interested in the future of Conductive Education at all.


Andrew Sutton's postings, on two sites -

Other Library posting on my blog -


Gillian Maguire said...

I am pleased to read that you are still campaigning for maintaining the 'living' library and hope those in the conductive world will add their thoughts and hopes for this as comments to this blog. Libraries are nearly always the first to suffer when cutbacks need to be made but I strongly believe that this unique collection of material needs to be looked after properly - after all, Conductive Education needs to be practised by those trained to do it, not by those who can count and have wooden furniture - and this library deserves the input of a library professional in the same way. In the meantime I am happy to help where I can with the resources I have at my disposal.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Susie, for speaking your mind like you do for the sake of all of us conductors. You are the only one strong enough or brave enough to do this, you really are our Joan of Ark. Look after yourself, we need you until the rest of us are ready to follow.

Melanie Brown said...

Thank you for your thoughts on the library however I feel that it is important to make sure that some of the facts are correct. Firstly the library is open and is continuing to add to the collection through up-dates received from a range of places ; published articles; journals and of course the many blogs which now give us all access to a range of material/ information. The library at the National Institute is still offering a service to members (which sadly only consists of 1 for this year and has struggled to gain members for many years now).
We are still able to respond to all enquiries which come - some asking for publications, information on CE or even specific articles on CE. Alongside this we are also able to offer access and support to all of our students and visitors. The library is open each day of the working week.
Unpublished material is harder for us to come by as we are reliant on individuals passing on the information to us; unless of course we find something on a blog which we can then respond to. Published information is often easier to find and can then be added to the collection we have.
I am not saying that the situation is perfect as it isn't but I am also very disappointed that when we had a librarian and a membership package conductors (and those interested in CE) did not join. A careful log of users was kept for many years; discussions had at the institute of how to encourage the conductive world to use the resource we have. The same is true of the RACE journal - so wanted by the CE world - but very, very undersubscribed.
So, in the current climate we are able to respond to the enquiries we receive, able to add new items as they are published and work to keeping the library resources up-to-date. All at the institute value this special resource we have and are very pleased that it is also apparently valued by the CE world. The age of electronic information has made knowledge even more accessible however the library is not closed and remains alive.