@MarDixon Passionate about culture. Champion for the next generation of Cultural visitors. Defender of Libraries. Digital, Wearable Tech Enthusiast. Sharing knowledge. Troublemaker and/or advocate, depending on what you need.
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    November 20th, 2011mardixonCulture, Literacy, Personal

    Charlotte and I had a fun filled weekend in London.

    After a lovely journey on Virgin Trains, we headed over to Bloomsbury Thistle Hotel.  The last time we went to London we were a little disappointed in this hotel as the elevator and key lock stopped working.  This time, they more than made up for it!  The room was large, with all the amenities you expect and then some.

    We barely put our bags in the gorgeous room before heading back out as we were meeting Laura Porter from GoLondon.about.com and her daughter A at the Science Museum to see the Hidden Heroes exhibition. The exhibition explores everyday items that we use almost everyday and invites you to think of where you’d be without them.  Most of the items (if not all) have been mentioned in Justin Pollard’s book Boffinology (which is a brilliant book).

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    July 9th, 2011mardixonLiteracy

    The Wenlock Olympian Society hosted their 125th games on the gorgeous new fields at William Penny Brooke school**.  As a member of the Society, I volunteer to help Paul Hutchinson document (film) the days events.  Paul owns the very successful Virtual Shropshire and is the official video-grapher for the games.

    As part of the day, we interviewed as many people as we could from Event organisers, President of the Society, car park detail, program sellers and everyone in between.  It was a fascinating day to get to listen to the stories that every volunteer had to share. 

    A few weeks ago, we were told there was a special guest attending  – Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport who would be escorted by our Local MP Phillip Dunne.  It was already agreed that the Society would have dedicated interview time with him and that Helen, the Society Press Secretary, would interview him first, and I would interview him after. 

    Then the News of the World scandal hit this week which related to BSkyB.  Up until his arrival, we were unsure of how the events of the days would be – would he still arrive? Would we be granted an interview? If yes, would we be limited in what was asked?

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    July 7th, 2011mardixonLiteracy

    This week, Johanna Anderson put out a tweet asking if anyone wanted to join them in Birmingham for a court hearing regarding libraries.  As it happened, I was able to arrange my schedule to be able to attend.  To be completely honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what the hearing was about, but felt as it was virtually on my door step, I should show my support, if nothing else by just being there (which is essentially all I did).

    These articles tell the story:

    The BookSeller 

    Gloucestershire

    If you prefer the Twitter version:

    @MarDixon #savelibraries They secured judicial review AND no libraries will close – woot! Well done @Jo_Bo_Anderson & team for all the hard work.

     

    Meeting Johanna, Nancy Graham and Demelza was the icing on the top.  These stanch library advocates feed of each others energy throughout the day (as did I!).  The court hearing itself would have been much more intimidating had it not been for us knowing we weren’t alone. 

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    June 16th, 2011mardixonLiteracy

    My daughter Charlotte was one of four kids chosen by Book Trust to be invited to Children Laureate announcement after she wrote an email nomination (she nominated Nick Sharratt but Julia Donaldson, ala Gruffalo, won). 

     

    From that, we had a heads up that Ed Vaizey was going to be speaking at the event.  For those that don’t know, on January 16th I tweeted Libraries are important because [fill in & RT] #savelibraries on Twitter and it went WorldTrending (thanks to Neil Gaiman and Jack Schofield) and there was a lot of attention to the hashtag. The responses I received were heartfelt and meaningful and showed how, world-wide, libraries were a necessity, not a luxury.  I was put into a position to speak on behalf of libraries, something I hope I did with dignity.

     

    From that, I started to tweet Ed Vaizey and Jeremy Hunt to find out how they would answer the tweet.

     

    Can everyone PLS RT Day 121: Dear @edvaizey & @Jeremy_Hunt Libraries are important because [fill in & RT].#savelibraries

     

    I talked it over with Charlotte and said if possible, and as long as it didn’t take away from her very special day, would she mind if I had a quiet word with him.  She was more than happy and here is where I’m going to go into Proud Mom mode. 

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