Biscuits, Movies, Science and more in Cambridge: The SLA Europe Special Spring Quiz
Thursday, 23rd May 2019 – a day of history: Britain voted in European Elections it didn’t expect to be a part of… the birthday of a good friend… the SLA Europe Special Spring Quiz.
From around 6pm that evening, a veritable band of quizzers started to assemble in the Intermission Room of Baroosh – a Bar & Kitchen situated just off Cambridge’s Market Square on the site of the former Cambridge Arts Cinema. Greeting them were pre-assigned team tables pre-set with samples from perhaps the most varied variety box of biscuits ever. The first round of the quiz? You perhaps guessed it – name the biscuit! Before we got down to that though, there was opportunity to socialise and network with friends and colleagues, old and new.
Many had travelled just a short distance from Cambridge and its environs, but others had come from further away – London, Scotland – even Bromley. A key strand to emerge from the various conversations was the forthcoming, inaugural, SLA Europe Conference – for it was this that the quiz was conceived to celebrate – more on that later…
Once all had assembled, our quiz-master Andrew Grave got the main business of the evening underway. Against a backdrop of biscuit tasting we were treated to questions about Cities of the World, Music, and Sport. A journey from Graz through Detroit to Ho Chi Minh, a mixtape embracing Gershwin, My Chemical Romance and 50 Cent, musings on cocked hat doubles, feathering and the hand of God… Before we knew it – we were at the halfway stage. What we didn’t know then was how close the scores were – what we did know was that it was time for the buffet.
More networking ensued as a fine selection of food items was consumed – the mini falafel burgers appeared to be particularly appreciated. More conversations about the forthcoming, inaugural, SLA Europe Conference – more on this later…
Drinks were refreshed and so too were the team tables – the biscuits had been supplanted by a collection of book covers with titles redacted. But what about the scores? Who was ahead, who had everything to play for? Before we got back underway, our supremo marker and adjudicator, Sarah Bicknell, provided us with an insight into the current standings. Propping up the table were In Conference and The Radical Valencians; tied in third were the topically named EU-reka and the somewhat suspect Fake Librarians; occupying second place were The Tigers who came to Beer and leading the way, just one-and-a-half points ahead, were Table 3 Amigos.
Whilst we pondered missing book titles, our minds were further challenged with questions on Science and Movies. A sporting theme pervaded the movie round – soccer, ski-jumping, baseball, ice-skating, tennis and dodgeball… The Science round contained my favourite question of the night – “Which letter does not appear in the periodic table of elements?” – quite fitting for the International Year of the Periodic Table[IB2] . A round of Potluck questions finished us off and our quiz sheets were all handed in for final adjudication. As the scores were being totted up, finally there was opportunity to find out more about the forthcoming, inaugural, SLA Europe Conference!
Niamh Tumelty, Head of STEMM Libraries at the University of Cambridge and SLA Europe Conference Co-chair talked us through what was being planned for 5-6 September 2019 at Newnham College, Cambridge. The conference will ask Are You Future Ready? It will include keynote speakers, seminars, lightning talks and panel discussions. There are a limited number of speaking opportunities still available – proposals[IB3] can be submitted up until 14 June. If you would be speaking at an international conference for the first time, then you can apply for a sponsored speaker place[IB4] after you have submitted your proposal. Registration [IB5] for the meeting is open – early bird rates are available until 31 July 2019.
Suitably informed and hopefully inspired, we turned to the dénouement of the quiz and the grand unveiling of the scores. In Conference and The Radical Valencians had sadly not been able to improve upon their position whilst our halfway leaders, Table 3 Amigos had slipped to third place. The two teams previously tied in third had gone their separate ways with the Fake Librarians dropping to fourth and EU-reka climbing to second. This left The Tigers who Came to Beer claiming the glory of first place!
Prizes were distributed – Haribo, Heroes and Book Tokens – and thanks and appreciation were expressed: to Andrew our Quiz Master and Sarah our Scorer, and to Claire Sewell who had pretty much single-handedly sorted the majority of the local organisation. Thanks are also due to all those who came to compete, for what is a quiz without quizzers? Similarly, what is a conference without conference attendees? Maybe some of the quizzers will reunite at the forthcoming, inaugural, SLA Europe Conference in September; maybe we’ll see you there too…