Sunday, 8 March 2009

LIBRARY UPDATE

International response: surprising, gratifying 
and worried

News of the redundancy of the post of Librarian at the National Library for Conductive Education has met with a perhaps surprising but certainly gratifying response, made very publicly on the Internet. A previous report on Conductive World has summarised the beginnings of this:

The present article updates this and attempts a first evaluation of the public response so far.

Discussions and comments on the Internet

The following sites have made reference to this, in some cases resulting in discussion threads:
The general tenor is that what has happened is a bad thing for Conductive Education, indeed a severe blow for the conductive movement worldwide, along with the strongly expressed hope that something should be done to remedy the situation.

The tone of these contributions is sober and positive (most unlike some rancorous discussion that marked some earlier public public discussions in Conductive Education). The dilemma is clear: the economic realities of our world are recognised but so too is the incalculable value of knowledge, a position that has not before enjoyed such widespread and powerfully expressed public attention in Conductive Education.

A petition

Rony Schenker (Tsad Kadma) has launched an Internet petition:
Following the decision of the Foundation for Conductive Education to make redundant the post of Librarian at the National Library of Conductive Education, we the undersigned respectively and most urgently request that the Foundation for Conductive Education take all necessary steps to ensure that the functions and services of the National Library of Conductive Education should continue and develop, to the benefit of the whole international conductive community.
This Petition can be found at:

The number of signatories has already passed a hundred (though some people have had a problem signing their names, in some cases resulting in their signing up twice).

This number continues to rise and may continue to do so as notification spreads through new data bases. One knows of this through requests to sign from collective sources such as the International Cerebral Palsy Society and the European Conductors Association. It has also been announced on English and Hungarian Facebooks.

The roll call includes many familiar names, plus many who are new to coming forward publicly in this cause. There is broad representation from around the world, including users of Conductive Education, parents/carers, conductors and people with other involvements in the field.

The Petition form permits signatories to add a comment should they wish. By no means all have chosen to do so, while others have not been able to do so (indicated by the grey box after their names). One of these, determined to have her say, forwarded the Comment that she had wanted to make to one of the CE blogs for publication there).

Over a quarter of signatories have included brief statements. These convey a general message that strongly reinforces what may be read on threads on the CE blogosphere.

There is no need to anthologise these comments here. They can be easily retrieved at:

Of necessity the movement to establish Conductive Education around the world has had to focus strongly upon everyday and pressing practicalities. The nature and magnitude of the online response to what is happening to a Library may come as a surprise. So too may the underlying message that people recognise (revere even) the role and the worth of communicable knowledge in our field, the strength that it lends and the vulnerability that stems from its absence.

There has been some discussion around possibilities for the practice of Conductive Education to be ‘evidence-based’. The responses to the problem of maintaining the National Library of Conductive Education is gratifying in demonstrating that there is indeed recognition of a perhaps more fundamental issue, that Conductive Education needs to be more explicitly ‘knowledge-led’ in its development than has seemd to be the case.

This issue arises at a critical point in the story of Conductive Education, a situation that is also recognised with concern amongst the public responses.

A surprising and gratifying response, yes, but. also a worried one, worried for the future of Conductive Education

Gill Maguire

Personal concerns for Gill Maguire who, as Librarian at the National Library for some eighteen years, is a widely known figure in the internationalisation of Conductive Education has been much to the forefront of many people’s minds. They may be pleased to learn that her commitment to Conductive Education has not slackened, and connect with her through her blog at:

The wider policy issue, however, is starting to separate out from the personal matter and should henceforth be considered in its own right.

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