Saturday, 30 April 2011

Sophia Smith Collection

This website is reviewed by Lia Vella (Colorado School of Mines) in College and Research Libraries News Volume 73 Number 4 (April 2012)

It is a splendid companion to the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College Libraries and offers a peek into the rich women’s history materials and programs in the Smith College archives. 

The site provides clear instructions and collections information for researchers planning a visit, links to helpful advice on archives use for novice researchers, and, most notably, access to plenty of digitized material: photos, documents, online exhibits, even a book-length work commemorating the 50th anniversary of the collection.

Sophia Smith Collection
Review 2012© American Library Association

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Career Development Quarterly

Remember the saying about London buses? You wait for what seems like ever and then three come along at once. It doesn’t happen so much with buses in these days of instant communication – now you’re more likely to get the disembodied announcement that “this bus is being held to regulate the timetable”.

What’s that got to do with the title of this post? After requesting the journal several times over the last weeks, or maybe months, today I get three at once. 59(1) September 2010, 59(2) December 2010 and 59(3) March 2011.

And it’s currently 18:59 on the evening before the long Easter weekend, I’m sitting at a desk in the British Library which closes in an hour! I’ll simply have to ask for these to be kept on the shelf until Wednesday of next week!

I’ve had a quick glance and there’s at least one article in each that I need to read not glance at.

On to the next!

Debt management

Adviser: a guide to benefits, housing, employment and money advice (Number 144 March/April 2011) is “must read” for me.

This publication is produced by Citizens Advice, largely written by staff of the organisation for staff and volunteers. However, each issue has something of more general interest – often more than one.
New proposals to help people ion financial difficulties would streamline the process of debt management and deliver a better and fairer deal for customers, says the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) and Accenture.
The report, A New Model for Dealing with Personal Debt (PDF 20pp not easy to read online), says that a clearer range of options for people working to resolve their debt would avoid confusion and worry. The report calls for greater consistency in the way debt advice if provided and in how creditors deal with customers in financial difficulties. …

Adults Learning: a NIACE publication

I'm beginning to wonder whether it is worth my time continuing to read this publication.

OK, I'll probably do so for auld lang syne or something but …

you can read the contents list for yourself at and if you are sufficiently interested then you will subscribe, or persuade your library/learning centre to do so.

What I prefer to draw your attention to in this blog is those articles published in journals and other sources in which you thought you had no interest, or which contain so little of interest that you don’t want to plough through three pages of abstracts to find the one which attracts you, try to find the article to see whether it is really appropriate – and so on and so forth!

One of ADSET’s early straplines was “we do the reading so that you don’t have to” and it still stands. And yes, last year I did not maintain a particularly impressive record in that regard but I&rsqu0;m through the worst of the depression now, know how to recognise if I start to slip and can take remedial action. It is really true that it is not until you have crossed the Slough of Despond that you truly appreciate where you were. Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?

Oops! Blogger’s spell checker not working. I don’t think I’ve let any gaffes get through but you never know!

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Effects of unemployment and underemployment on …

material hardship in single-mother families

an article by Mary Keegan Eamon and Chi-Fang Wu (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) published in Children and Youth Services Review Volume 33 Issue 2 (February 2011)

Using data from the 2004 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), this study examined relationships between employment problems and four types of material hardship among single-mother families. Although a bill-paying hardship was the most common hardship reported by the mothers (41%), 38% of the families experienced a health hardship, 33% suffered a food hardship, and 25% had a housing hardship. The multivariate results indicate that compared with families whose mothers were adequately employed, families whose mothers were unemployed/had involuntary job gaps and were underemployed had heightened risks of experiencing bill-paying, health, and housing hardships. Only unemployment/involuntary job gaps was related to having a food hardship. A number of other factors associated with experiencing material hardship also were identified. Finally, implications for social work practice and social policy are discussed.

Hazel’s comment:
Some of my close friends are aware that I spent two periods of my life as a single parent. Initially with two small children and later with those plus two others when they were in their teens. Neither time was easy and I can identify with the bill-paying problem – if it hadn't been for the support of family and friends I’d have gone under so how those without this social support network cope with the situation I don’t know. Government/statutory support in the form of benefits is, of course, of practical assistance but does not provide any emotional support.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Latest deprivation index released

Rachel Smith at Centre for Cities provides the details and interesting illustrations of the variability of deprivation.

For example:
  • Tendring, in the East of England, is the most deprived area in England.

  • All major cities have deprived areas (some of them in generally affluent areas such as the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea as I noted in the Evening Standard).

  • In Blackburn, 9 percent of the city's population – or 12,100 people – were located in the most deprived 1 percent of all neighbourhoods and in Blackpool 7 percent – or 23, 600 people.