Like most people interested in politics I have been glued to the more and more unbelievable events in London around the Murdochs today so sorry my report from Cabinet at Ipswich today is a bit delayed!
In a much more controlled and easy to follow meeting Suffolk County Council Cabinet surprised nobody by adopting the new vision for libraries proposed by Judy Terry.
We had more assurances that the current network of libraries in Suffolk are "saved". Judy Terry gave a more convincing performance than at the County Council and was able to give some reassurances to campaigners. I welcome her commitment to publish the Expressions of Interest and hope we will see this soon.
Mark Bee repeated his assurance at the County Council that the final plans agreed by Cabinet in November would go back to full Council in December.
There is to be a workshop soon to look at structural models and begin the work that will culminate in a decision by cabinet of one of the three models to accept in November. Judy Terry welcomed an offer from the Save Suffolk Libraries campaign to take part in the workshop which was another positive outcome.
Judy Terry has assured us that all three plans will be looked at fairly and assessed against "best value" criteria.
Lib Dem councillor Caroline Page suggested that the best value criteria should be published in advance which is an excellent suggestion that Judy Terry I think genuinely missed (although she was busy scoring the only annoying partisan point at that point).
So we now have a sense of a way forward. Expressions of interest to be published now, workshop in September, discussions about pilots of locally devolved libraries (and Stradbroke, Eye and Debenham together were mentioned more than once as a potential pilot) final decisions on structure and the results of the mobile library consultation in November and a final Council meeting in December. Any new structure and pilots look likely to begin in April 2012.
Whilst I don't think it is time to pop the champagne there are signs emerging that some more trust might emerge between the Council and campaigners and that at least we can start to talk to each other.
So the first chapter of the Suffolk library sage ends and it was a stormy and twisting tale that began back in January with the consultation publication.
The second chapter now begins and I hope that it is a more peaceful story with some more dialogue than action. But one thing is for sure, this isn't over yet!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Monday, July 18, 2011
|Suffolk County Council's Cabinet|
However some of the key decisions look likely to be deferred until November, notably the decision on the structural model and on the future of mobile libraries. In fact Mark Bee promised that the "final decision" would go back to full Council to make.
As Archant journalist Paul Geater has observed, Suffolk's library protesters won't go away and will be present at the Cabinet meeting to ask questions and see what happens.
The full papers for cabinet can be seen here:
Cabinet Papers for the 19th July meeting:
Library Service for the Future (DOC 111Kb)
Appendix 1: Consultation Results (DOC 113Kb)
Appendix 2: Options for Structural Model for Library Services (DOC 61Kb)
Appendix 3: Mobile Libraries, At Home Service and Community Outreach (DOC 78Kb)
Appendix 4: Statutory Duties (DOC 54Kb)
The actual decisions the Cabinet are asked to make are:
- Note the responses to the public consultation on library services in Appendix 1.
- Adopt the proposed Vision for the Future of Suffolk Libraries as set out in paragraphs 36..
- Adopt the proposed access model for library services, as set out in paragraphs 41-49.
- Authorise a best value evaluation of the proposed structural model options as described in Appendix 2.
- Agree to undertake a public consultation on the proposed changes to the mobile library service as detailed in Appendix 3.
- Agree to pilot the running of some local libraries with specific groups that have expressed an interest in working in partnership with the County Council.
- Agree to receive a further report on 8 November evaluating the proposed structural model options and the outcomes from the public consultation on mobile libraries.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
The original Zagg keyboard case for iPad got great reviews and when the iPad 2 was released Zagg joined forces with Logitech to market a very similar keyboard case.
Not that easy to find in the UK I bought the case direct from the Logitech website for £90 which is quite expensive. The case arrived fine in a few days from Amsterdam.
It is made of aluminium but not quite the high quality grade that the ipad itself is. As you can see from the photo below, it doubles as a case and adds amazingly little thickness to the already thin iPad2.
The case has the same magnet wake up trick that the official smart cases have.
The screen is pretty well protected and the keyboard is recessed enough and has padding to ensure it doesn't damage the screen which is well protected in transit. The case doesn't protect the back of the iPad at all.
The keyboard itself is more the size of a netbook, pretty much the same size as the Asus Transformer. They give better feedback than the Transformer keys and the keyboard is nice to type on, if a little on the noisy side!
There is a row of useful function keys at the top that does Cut, Copy, Paste and controls the volume etc
The original Zagg case got some criticism for having a flimsy "hinge" on the back that helped to hold up the iPad. This has gone and the iPad now just slots into the keyboard with nothing to support it at the back. It can be used in either portrait or landscape orientation but is more stable in landscape.
You can't adjust the angle of the screen but it was sensible for day to day use and I found myself using it as a stand as well for example to watch videos.
You really need to use the keyboard on a solid and flat surface like a table. It doesn't work well on a lap or arm of a chair but on an office table or aircraft style table on a train or plane it is pretty stable but I did manage to knock it flying when the table it was on got knocked so you need to take some care with it. It actually worked better on the train as the top of the ipad rested on the seat back in front.
It is actually a Bluetooth keyboard and needs to be paired on first use with the iPad. It has a built in battery that apparently lasts a few weeks and thankfully charges from a standard MicroUSB cable. They keyboard has connected flawlessly to the iPad and has an on/off switch backed up with auto power off if the keyboard isn't used for a bit.
There are some issues with keyboards in general with iOS and many applications like the browser don't let you use cursor keys for advantage. There is no mouse pointer (or track pad) unlike the Asus Transformer for example.
For emails, blogging and note taking in meetings it works well. And these are the three things I want to use my iPad for the most! I do wish it was a little bit more stable though and it was quite expensive. It's looks complement the iPad well though and it is about as slim a keyboard solution as you can imagine. And importantly the keyboard itself is fine to type on and yes I did type this review using it!
- Nice design, slim and complements iPad in aluminium
- Keyboard has good feel and works well
- Screen protected well in transit
- Long battery life and standard Micro USB charger connector
What's not so good
- Needs to be used on a flat surface (not on lap)
- Not as stable as it could be
- Back of iPad not protected when in use as case
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad