APDO Book Club: Work Like A Woman

Don’t be fooled by my read dates (16 May-23 July) – I borrowed this on the Libby app, missed the return date and had to wait to reborrow 🤦🏻‍♀️. I loved this book, and would have sped through it if I’d started reading earlier during my first loan period.

In fact, I couldn’t agree more with Sali Hughes’ pull quote on the cover – “Ideas, solutions, wisdom, kindness, and zero whining.” This Last is really important, because as a working class woman who made it into some of the top board rooms in the retail industry, Portas has had her fair share of fuckwittery and bias to face down, and while she doesn’t pull any punches in sharing it, she always does so with a good lesson and often a killer punchline attached.

I also like the way she acknowledges her ex-husband, life partner and home staff who provided her with the space and time to focus on her work whilst at work. The people who looked after her kids are clearly very important to her, and it’s appropriate in a book that argues for better acknowledgement of the labour exchange in retail that she should demonstrate those principles as an employer of child care, cleaning and household management professionals.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given my own circumstances, my biggest takeaways are that it’s absolutely OK to walk away from work that others see as successful and set up independently; that the workplace really is tough for women (and especially working class women), and that it’s tougher the more old boys’ rooms you have to enter to do business. And, above all else what matters is being true to yourself and your values. Follow your gut instincts. Be kind, but take no s**t. “Work like a woman.”

Tidy Beginnings Pricing

Some people ask why we quote by project rather than advertising an hourly rate. It’s a fair question.

This description from colleague @organised.joy sums it up: when you hire me to sort out your books you’re hiring a quarter century of experience as a qualified librarian. Quoting by project means you don’t pay my expert fees when I’m not using that expertise.

Last week included a couple of mug sorting exercises with virtual clients, another shed tidy and helping to decide and carry out a picture hang. I love a bit of variety, and I love being able to sort the spaces around the books and papers – that’s how Tidy Beginnings started, helping existing private library clients with their non-library work too.

As a working class person I used to be terrified of services without set price lists. It took me years to realise that while some bespoke products had inflated prices, others were motivated by a desire to fit the project to the budget of the client, not the other way round. As a customer the most cost-efficient prices I’ve paid have been to businesses who work this way.

Originally posted to Instagram.

Tsundoku Experience Coming Soon

Book pile and quote card.

Really excited to be trialling a new experience for people who feel they buy too many books. First run-through with a client today, so more details coming soon.

For now, here’s some #wednesdaywisdom from Marie Kondo:

“Tidying books is a powerful means of self-discovery. The ones you choose to keep because they spark joy reveal your personal values.” (Joy At Work, London: Bluebird, 2020, p. 38).

Originally posted to Instagram.

New Links for Old

Shelfie with small pot.

We’ve made an important change to the way we link to some online book sites.

While investigating best practice for creating our newsletter, which will launch next month, we decided to introduce affiliate links. There’s a straightforward article about how these work on The Guardian website. Essentially, each time someone clicks on an affiliate link, we make a few pence.

Don’t worry – we’re not going down the road of product placement, shoe-horning links to, I don’t know, fishtanks or phishfood ice-cream into our writing. Several major book sites to which we link anyway – Abe, Abe UK, Betterworld Books, Foyles and Waterstones – offer affiliate links, and so all we’ve done is convert those. (See our book publications page for examples). We’re also not stopping linking to places that don’t offer affiliate links. Facet, who publish books by both Katharine Schopflin and me, will always be the first place we link for those books, and we’re still linking to WorldCat and other library catalogues.

The only change, from our point of view, is that when we link to Abe or Betterworld, for example, we’ll use the affiliate links they offer.

From your point of view, you should be aware that affiliate links use cookies. You can opt out of this here.

We continue to support independent bookshops, ordering directly from them where we can. However, I find Abe helpful to find rare books and, indeed, bookshops that are new to me. The books pictured in today’s shelfie were all tracked down via them this summer, when I had to replace the collection of old books that is still locked down in my old office, while campus is closed for Covid-19. I have supported Betterworld Books since it first launched, with its regular donations of books to others. It’s my preferred way to dispose of unwanted collections of textbooks, knowing most will find good homes.

I’ve commissioned Andy Horton (BPP University), who wrote his Masters thesis on corporate book donation schemes, to write a Beginnings article on this topic. I’m also commissioning some pieces on indies. If you have a favourite independent bookshop, especially if it trades in second-hand or rare books, and would like to submit a piece to the blog, do get in touch via email to find out about how we commission and remunerate guest posts.

Anne's signature

If you have any concerns about our use of affiliate links, you can get in touch directly via info [at] beginningcataloguing.com


Addendum, 17 December 2020:

With the launch of bookshop.org in the UK, we have set up an affiliate “shop” at https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/beginningcataloguing.

Read more about it at https://beginningcataloguing.com/about-beginnings/beginning-cataloguing-bookshop.

Live and Open for Booking

The Beginning Cataloguing Online School is now live and open for bookings on teachable.com. As it’s the first time we’re using the technology, our first offering is FREE.

Other events, including our first course, Beginning Bibliographic Models, open for booking next week.

Masterclasses with Concetta La Spada, Summer 2020

This Summer, Beginning Cataloguing is delighted to host three masterclasses with our Associate Concetta La Spada, who is Senior Metadata Librarian at Cambridge University Press. As a librarian working in the publishing industry, Concetta uses a range of tools to maintain and update the press’s many online products.

Taking place via Zoom, each masterclass will consist of a presentation (20-25 minutes) followed by questions and discussion. They are an opportunity for you to find out more about the standards and tools Concetta is using, and also to let us know if there are any on which you would like her to run a “how to” class in future.

Continue reading “Live and Open for Booking”