Friday, March 28, 2008

UK librarian blogs - the list so far

I’ve pulled the previous entries into one alphabetical list, with a few categories. Will be back later with more detailed discussion of what I’ve learned by doing this. And, as always, if you know of other librarian blogs, let me know and I’ll add them in!




Institutional Library Blogs / Professional Group Blogs

aRKive

Appears to be the blog of the Reid Kerr College library, or someone related to the Library, but unable to confirm as it doesn’t have any ‘about’ section that I can find. Lots of posts about library topics, books, IT…

Brit Lib Blogs Google Group

There’s a Google Group for British librarian bloggers! Unfortunately it looks to be pretty much unused at the moment.

CILIP Blogs

CILIP has various blogs by either staff, or links to relevant blogs, available from the Communities section.

Varying levels of activity on these blogs – the PTEG blog has one post from November 2007, while Lyndsay’s CILIP Blog has been going has been going for almost a year, with at least one or two large postings every month.

Engineering Info @ Imperial College London Library

Regular posts of topical news and press releases from relevant Government departments for users of the Library.

English liblog@chi

English Library blog at the University of Chichester. Covering UC library service information, with updates on new stock and services.

FADE

Fade Library is the Library Service of Liverpool PCT. A wealth of regular health related posts, and a good sense of humour –

Why is the library called the Fade Library?

As the North West Grey Literature Service we naturally ‘Fade to Grey’! Musical puns apart it stands for Frequently Accessing Documents that are Esoteric (if the musical pun wasn’t bad enough we suffer from librarians who like playing with words!)”

From the Chief Executive’s Desk

Regular, personal postings from CILIPS Chief Executive Bob McKie on library topics. This may be a personal viewpoint, but as it’s hosted by CILIP, I’ve placed it in the Institutional Blogs category.

Galway Public Libraries Blog

A regularly updated site, giving info on events, new stock and other library news to users of the Galway Public Library service

Glasgow School of Art Library: Fine Art and Design News Updates

News for students of Glasgow School of Art, with postings about library services, print and electronic resources, and links to relevant news articles.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Library Land

A group blog for members of CILIP South East's Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sub Branch. Not updated since September 2007 and may be defunct.

Information Matters

Blog from the Library and Information teaching staff at the University of Brighton. Mainly focussed on University course information / material, but a fair amount of general library information. Updated one or two times a month in general.

ILS Matters

Blog from the LIS Department of the University of Worcester. Entirely focussed on internal news, but with very friendly and informal postings.

In Through the Outfield

Who knew? The British Library blogs! Blog of Ian Infield, Manager of the BLs Business and IP Centre. IP / technology focused, with lots of nice, honest posts, with some useful BL info thrown into the mix.

Mental Health Update Blog

John Gale at Bethlem Library produces “easy to understand summaries of research articles, all the latest information from the Department of Health and news stories from specialist journals.” Multiple regular posts with good summaries of relevant research and news.

Open University Arts Library
Open University Maths and Computing Library
Open University Library News for Science
Multiple blogs from the Open University Library, catering to their dispersed users through regular blog posts on topic specific blogs, about library services, training, and online resources.

Perth College Library

Library news for users in Perth College, with posts about new acquisitions, IT information, and also custom sub blogs created by the library for specific student projects.

Perth College Library Webspots

A blog for the staff of Perth College Library, where they can share weblinks and information relating to CPD, initiatives and new resources.

School Library Association

“The SLA weblog contains news about the SLA and topical information of general interest to our members.” Lots of regular postings, but the format of the postings is a hyperlinked headline, which could become frustrating with regular visits.

Shush!

The Information Services Library blog of the University of Northampton. Lots of posts of technical tools useful for students (and others), linking news nicely to course topics and educating students on developments in some of their favourite online tools.

SINTO

A blog on library and information management issues for members of SINTO - the information partnership, a consortium of library and information services in South Yorkshire and the surrounding area. Regular in depth posts, and covering a wide range of library topics.

SLAINTE Pageflake

I’m not sure whether this counts as a blog, but as it incorporates many of those elements, I’ll put it in here with the institutional blogs. When launched, there was a blog section, but that appears to have disappeared now. The flake covers news of relevance to all sectors of Scottish libraries, and is a joint effort between Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS).

Tales from the CDG Tardis

The blog of Amanda Quick, President of the CILIP Career Development Group. In her own words: “As President of the group from April - December 2008, I will be blogging myself hoarse.” Blog was started in late March 2008, and already there are lots of posts on a wide range of library related topics. Another one I’m unsure whether it’s personal, or CDG / CILIP linked, so I’ve put it in the Institutional category.

UCL Library Services blogs

Not one but 4 separate blogs from University College London – Anthropology, Communication, First Reading (currently on hold), and Library News for Artists. Each blog gives regular information on library and departmental news, relevant upcoming events, and new stock.

University of Bath Library: Science News

Updates from science subject librarians at the University of Bath, with information on new stock and resources.

UK eInformation Group blog

Edited by Karen Blakeman, with regular posts on Web 2.0 topics. Mainly a bulletin board type of blog, with brief postings linking back to fuller source material.

What’s New On the CyberLibrary

Infrequent (2 to 3 monthly) posting on news relevant to public libraries and their users in the South West of England.

Individual Blogs

025.04: Michael’s blog – fighting library apathy, one Dewey Hundred at a time

Lots of posts on library issues (and an interesting recent visit to Bulgarian libraries!) by Michael, an E-Resources Librarian in Bolton.

He also blogs as part of a group for Signpost Libraries Blog, “Signposting you to book and DVD reviews, and online resources for your community. Brought to you by Bolton and Wigan libraries.”, although this seems to have been abandoned since August 2007.

The Batty Librarian

A blog from a UK school librarian, with her "musings, book reviews and confessions". Frequent postings on life, and the library.

Enquiring Minds Want To Know

The joint blog of Jennifer Vass and Davina Gifford, law librarians for commercial firms in London. Posts two to three times a month on library, legal and Web 2.0 issues.

Information Literacy meets Web 2.0

Blog of Peter Godwin, a librarian in St. Albans. He posts regularly on information literacy and Web 2.0 topics.

Information Overlord

Blog of Scott Vine, Senior Information Officer with a London law firm. Regular posts on library, advertising, legal and Web 2.0 topics.

Joeyanne Libraryanne

An Academic Information Assistant at the University of Wolverhampton, studying for a Masters in Information and Library Studies via Distance Learning, and focussing on technology developments, and enhancing academic library services.Regualr posting and commentary on library issues.

John Wright: research support librarian

John Wright blogs about life as a Research Support Librarian within the library service of the University of Wales, Bangor.

The Librain

The blog of the Learning Resources and Information Services Manager at Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College in Bedworth. Posts cover developments and musings about the future of school libraries.

Library etc.

Blog of Neil Stewart, law librarian at a law school in central London. Covers "Web 2.0, libraries, probably some obscure music and films, general thoughts", with a couple of posts a month on these topics.

Library of Digress

New blog from a PhD research student at the University of Strathclyde, (so far) looking at public libraries and Web 2.0 technologies.

Librarytwopointzero

UK librarian, living, working and blogging in London, currently in a public library but shorty moving to London University. Focussing on libraries and Web 2.0, regular posts and lots of links!

lo-fi librarian

Infobunny in a law library, with regular postings on Web 2.0 topics, and weekly "Useful Tools" posts, listing web tools with a wide range of uses.


Lore Librarian

An Information Officer in London, Lore Librarian blogs on "library, law-library, web stuff, 2.0, and other random wafflings." Regular round ups of library, technical, law and just generally interesting "stuff" in "Interesting Things of The Week" posts.

Making Another Library

A librarian in a South Yorkshire FE College, blogging his reads, reviewing them as he goes along, and musing on the thoughts that these books trigger.

My:self-archive

Blog of Kara Jones, Research Publications Librarian at the University of Bath. The blog covers institutional repositories, self-archiving, open access and libraries, charting the progress of the development of the repository.

Also blogging institutionally at University of Bath Library: Science News

Oracle Librarian

Blog of Meghan Jones, working in the legal sector in London while completing her MSc in Library and Information Studies. Posts two to three times a month about "web 2.0, social networking, legal information, general shiny things and stuff that doesn’t really fit in any of those categories".

Paige Turner

Interesting behind the scenes look at Swansea Public Libraries, from the viewpoint of a staff member – the Central Library refurbishment looks fab! Hard to tell if it does have official approval, so I've put it here as a personal blog.

Phil Bradley’s Weblog

Internet searching, web design, search engine developments and anything that will interest librarians!” Lots of posts on search engines, useful online tools, and anything else that may be of relevance to librarians.

The Running Librarian

The Running Librarian is the blog of James Mullan, Information Officer at a UK law firm. Previously called LI Issues or LIG Issues, The Running Librarian posts frequently on the use of Web 2.0 technologies by law firm libraries. It also covers social networking tools, legal and legal library stuff, legal publishing, and law librarianship.

Silversprite – the librarian at the end of the world

Prime contender for Most Remote UK Blogger, John Kirriemuir blogs about his business interests of digital libraries, digital gaming and online economics.

The Singing Librarian

An academic librarian, working his way through a librarianship qualification, and musing on “Libraries, singing, comics, life”. Regular, often in depth posts on all the aforementioned subjects, but mainly on music and musicals!

Teen Librarian

Does exactly what it says on the tin – a blog with postings relating to teen or youth librarianship. Part of a larger site which is “the first website of its kind in the UK. It is specifically geared towards those that work with Teenagers and 'the Youth' in Libraries in the UK (and also abroad).”

Chartership Blogs

My Library World

A blog recording the Chartership progress of a librarian in a Glasgow Further Education college, with discussions of staff visits, developments in the library service, and what constitutes good practice.

Musings of a Chartering Librarian

The blog of an Assistant Librarian in the Reader Services team in a UK university library, going through the Chartership process and using the blog as a record of this.

When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Librarian!

The blog of Katharine Widdows, Science Information Assistant at University of Warwick Library, working her way through Chartership, and using her blog to track this progress. She blogs about UW Library issues, and Chartership related events and activities.

Note – Some of these blogs didn't come up on my blog search, and are taken from the links in this previous post from Enquiring Minds.

http://uk.dir.yahoo.com/Reference/Libraries/Weblogs/

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The right to die in scotland

Independent MSP Margo McDonald has claimed in a Scottish Parliament debate that the terminally ill should be allowed the right to "assisted death" at a time of their choosing.

Although the law is not likely to change, the Scottish Parliament does have the devolved power of healthcare...I wonder if it extends to allowing euthanasia? And would that start a cross-border trek for those who wanted to die with dignity but needed help, travelling from other parts of the UK to Scotland?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The mankini is not appropriate outdoor attire!

Apparently, thongs are hard to put on the right way round.

I would say more, but the story's a wonder all of its own...

And if you don't know what a mankini is, be thankful. If you have a strong constitution, you can Google it at your own risk...

UK and USA public libraries - guns drawn?

I found this story on a US library news blog. It's about a UK public library story (which in itself is entirely horrific), but the comments show an interesting cultural difference. As a UK resident, I find the sometimes easy American acceptance of gun ownership quite unsettling. I understand that there’s a Constitutional right to bear arms (and a huge debate about that in itself), but the culture of acceptance of the need to have access to a weapon is, to me, quite scary. For a personal example - while working in America, I managed to gain a stalker. The response of my workmates? Did they offer to help me report him to the police / give me a lift to the police station, accompany me there, offer moral support, give me safety tips, work out a strategy of how to lose him and distance him from me?

Nope – they offered me various handguns to protect myself with. I had never even seen a real gun, let alone handled one, had no weapons permit and no intention of (or probably legal basis for) getting one, and would be more of a danger to myself than anyone else with a gun, but I was being offered a deadly weapon to protect myself with, as if this was normal. Familiarity with guns can lead to them being seen as the entire solution to a problem, rather than a possible part of a strategy to solve a problem.

The comments section shows a debate over whether allowing the library staff or security staff to be armed would have stopped this. I can’t see that this is a debate that could ever even be opened in the UK.

  • Would YOU feel safe in a library (or any area) where the staff were armed? I know I feel LESS safe in the airports where intimidating , riot-geared police loiter with guns casually slung over their arms. Would thinking that staff could access a gun if needed make you feel reassured, or nervous?
  • Do you think arming staff / security will ever make a public library safer?
  • And would that mean that library staff would have to be checked for suitability to carry a gun? Would you progress faster if you were ok with having a gun? Would a personality test that revealed you to be unsuitable to be armed prevent you from being employed?
  • What's to stop a staff member being the one who 'goes postal' and opens fire?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Labradors are not evil. Mostly.

From a case in the Court of Session, reported in the news area of the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.

This seems to have been an unfortunate accident involving an excitable black lab that collided with another dog walker and injured her knee, while it was playing with her own dog. It was attempted to establish liability for the behaviour of the dog under the Animals (Scotland) Act 1987:

"Section 1 of the Act provides, so far as relevant:

"1(1) ... a person shall be liable for any injury or damage caused by an animal if -

(b) the animal belongs to a species whose members generally are by virtue of their physical attributes or habits likely (unless controlled or restrained) to injure severely or kill persons or animals, or damage property to a material extent; and

(c) the injury or damage complained of is directly referable to such physical attributes or habits.

(2) In this section 'species' includes -

(a) a form or variety of the species ...

(3) For the purposes of sub-section (1)(b) above -

(a) dogs ... shall be deemed to be likely (unless controlled or restrained) to injure severely or kill persons or animals by biting or otherwise savaging, attacking or harrying ..."

As Lord Malcolm said: "The pursuer's case is that, by virtue of their physical attributes or habits, black labradors are likely to injure severely or kill persons unless restrained or controlled (section 1(1)(b)). I suspect that for the general population this proposition would cause much incredulity. "

Very true - I think you may well be more likely to be bounced to death, or drowned in drool than be confronted with a Cujo-type labrador attack...

Does Denmark want them back?

Apparently, the Shetland Islands could not actually be part of Scotland, being pawned to the Scots crown in 1469 as part of a long term loan by King Christian of Denmark, and never intentioned to become a permanent part of Scotland.

Not much chance of succeeding in the case I'd think, but it does give an amusing thought - how much would Denmark have to pay now to clear the debt and get them back?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Do you really own your ebooks?

Via a link on Boing Boing, a post on Gizmodo about research on the ownership of content bought for e-readers such as the Kindle and Sony Reader. It brings up the issue that it would appear that you're only licensing the content of the books, not buying them in the traditional sense of having outright ownership, with the associated the right to sell on and lend to others.

As the authors of the original research (access appears to be subscription only, but the Gizmodo post includes the article summary) conclude though, if it appears to be a sale, even if it calls itself a licence, it'll be regarded as a sale.

But you couldn't sell a copy of your document (some small thing called copyright!), you would have to sell the physical storage device the file was downloaded to. Or perhaps find a way of getting the downloaded file off the reader, leaving no trace / copy of it behind. And as someone points out in the comments, there's no requirement that says the publishers have to make that process easy for the downloader....

The research is based on US law, and, not being a lawyer, I can't comment on whether the "first sale" doctrine has an equivalent in the UK.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

An Early Easter gift!

From CILIP, to me!
After having had my portfolio since September, it missing the October and January Chartership Board meetings, and having no hope of hearing anything until after the April meeting...

I passed!
On a meeting on the 19th of March, bizarrely!
I'm Chartered! - I can put MCLIP after my name!

It's a bit of an anticlimax now, after submitting it 8 months ago, and all the incredibly ridiculous problems caused by CILIP, and all the fighting to try and get things moved along...

Although one friend has said that she can't help reading MCLIP as McCLIP....maybe that's the Scottish version? :D

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Belgians reach an agreement...finally!

You know, I thought the UK political situation could be difficult. The Welsh Assembly, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Assembly all having different levels of devolved powers. Knowing who can do what, and where that power comes from can be a nightmare. Each piece of secondary legislation has to be double checked to see if it applies to all the parts of the UK, or only some, and even the ones that only apply to some parts may have some importance in general to the parts they're not actually in force in. For instance, the pleural plaques compensation is currently UK wide legislation, but the Scottish Government disagrees with the decision, and is planning to create its own legislation under its devolved health remit.

But the Belgian situation makes all those niggles easy to deal with. They've only just managed to swear in a government...after elections in June 2007! And it may still collapse in July 2008.

At least in the UK we only have one language to have to cope with in negotiations. Well, actually, there's Welsh in Wales...and Gaelic in Scotland...hmmm, that could get tricky if you get people who want to be difficult!

Not a huge surprise from Amazon

As a follow on from this post on the 5th of March, I just got this email from Amazon customer services:


Dear Customer,

Greetings from Amazon.co.uk

We are writing to you regarding your above mentioned
order for the item "Love and Consequences: A Memoir
of Hope and Survival"

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to offer
this item, as we're currently out of stock of
"Love and Consequences: A Memoir of Hope
and Survival" and we are not able to guarantee when
or if it will be available for purchase on our website.
For this reason, we have removed this item from your
order and the item will shortly be listed as out of
stock on our website. Any other items ordered will
still be dispatched.

Please note that our supply of popular items is
sometimes limited and some products sell out quickly.
We suggest checking our website from time to time to
see if this item has come back in stock or if it is
available from a third-party seller through
Amazon.co.uk Marketplace.

When there is an Amazon.co.uk Marketplace item
being offered by third-party sellers, this will
be indicated in a blue box marked "More Buying
Choices" on the product's information page. The
links in this box lead to lists of new, used,
refurbished or collectable copies of that particular
item; just click on the appropriate link to see
a description of each individual item that a
seller is offering. If you'd like to buy one of
the copies, click the yellow "Add to Basket" button
and fill in the requested information to complete
your purchase.

You could also search our Auctions
(http://s1.amazon.co.uk/exec/varzea/subst/home/home.html/)
or zShops
(http://s1.amazon.co.uk/exec/varzea/subst/home/fixed.html/)
sites to see if anyone is selling the item there.

We hope that you are successful in obtaining this
item. Thank you for shopping at Amazon.co.uk.

Oh well, I knew I wouldn't get it really, but it does beg the question...if it was withdrawn from sale on the 5th of March, why did it take Amazon over 2 weeks to work that out, and tell me?
And why can't they tell me that it's been recalled from sale, rather than sending me on a wild goose chase to try and find copies elsewhere?

The BBC Micro - happy days!

The men responsible for the creation of the BBC Micro are meeting up at the Science Museum in London today, to celebrate its creation.

I have many happy memories of the BBC Micro - my Dad was lucky enouguh to have an employer who understood what a revolution these 'computers' were likely to cause in the future. In the mid 1980s (I think) they set up a programme to allow staff to purchase a BBC Micro to use at home and educate themselves on. The initial purchase was actually made by the company, and the (then huge) cost of the Micro was taken out of the salary in instalments. Those who took them up on this offer got a snazzy machine to play with, and I can't say that being able to programme in Basic ever harmed their career prospects!

A side effect of this is that I got to come home from school and , if Dad wasn't using it, play games on the Micro. It was connected to an old TV which was used as the monitor, sitting on a wooden plinth that my Dad had made that fitted over that large 'bum'. I don't remember there being any more colour than a black background and green text, despite the fact that it was a colour TV. Text based games could be loaded onto it (I thought at first they were cassette based, but now I remember they were the original 'floppy discs', which meant they were portable and easy to load.), and my favourite game was definitely Eliza. Me and my friends spent many hours trying to wind her up, and feeling very naughty when we used a swear word! I almost learned to touch type on there too, but was far more interested in playing than typing...

I learned how to programme in Basic on the BBC Micro, which certainly helped me out when I took Computing in secondary school and we were using BBC Micros. Unfortunately, our teacher wasn't actually a Computing teacher, but a Maths teacher who'd done a weekend course. So, when I got stuck, I was stuck for good. I think a lot of peoples terror of hitting the 'wrong' key also comes from BBC Micros - you hit the wrong thing at the wrong time and EVERYTHING went!!

Now, that BBC is up in the loft, securely packaged and insulated. It lives along with various other old computers (Commodore 64 and perhaps an Atari?), in a box sealed by my brother, and bearing the immortal words "Not to be opened until 2010".

The time for opening draws near...maybe we could open it early and take the BBC on a daytrip to next years exhibition at the Science Museum?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

And more UK library bloggers...

I continue on my mission to gather UK library blogs into a list. I’m sure somebody’s going to pop up at some point and tell me such a thing already exists, but until then, I’ll keep going.

Of course Roddy Macleod guest blogged on this same topic on UK Web Focus almost a year ago. Since then, there’s been a growth in the number of library blogs. I intend to eventually gather these into one list, reorganise the categories, and maybe put it on my website (anyone got an easy tool to build one, for a girl that knows not of the mysteries of HTML, and doesn’t think she could ever get to grips with it anyway?). I will also probably post about what I’ve learned about UK library blogs in the process.

I haven’t been able to explore every blog linked to on these blogs, but I’ve made a good stab at it…I’ve discounted any blog not updated for a reasonably large amount of time, restricted the list to only UK people, and only people who state they are librarians, or work in the library sphere.

Institutional Blogs

UCL Library Services blogs

Not one but 4 separate blogs from University College London – Anthropology, Communication, First Reading (currently on hold), and Library News for Artists. Each blog gives regular information on library and departmental news, relevant upcoming events, and new stock.

Mental Health Update Blog

John Gale at Bethlem Library produces “easy to understand summaries of research articles, all the latest information from the Department of Health and news stories from specialist journals.” Multiple regular posts with good summaries of relevant research and news.

Engineering Info @ Imperial College London Library

Regular posts of topical news and press releases from relevant Government departments for users of the Library.

Glasgow School of Art Library: Fine Art and Design News Updates

News for students of Glasgow School of Art, with postings about library services, print and electronic resources, and links to relevant news articles.

Perth College Library

Library news for users in Perth College, with posts about new acquisitions, IT information, and also custom sub blogs created by the library for specific student projects.

Open University Arts Library
Open University Maths and Computing Library
Open University Library News for Science
Multiple blogs from the Open University Library, catering to their dispersed users through regular blog posts on topic specific blogs, about library services, training, and online resources.

From the Chief Executive’s Desk

Regular, personal postings from CILIPS Chief Executive Bob McKie on library topics. This may be a personal viewpoint, but as it’s hosted by CILIP, I’ve placed it in the Institutional Blogs category.

Group Library blogs

What’s New On the CyberLibrary

Infrequent (2 to 3 monthly) posting on news relevant to public libraries and their users in the South West of England.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Library Land

A group blog for members of CILIP South East's Hampshire and Isle of Wight Sub Branch. Not updated since September 2007 and may be defunct.

Brit Lib Blogs Google Group

There’s a Google Group for British librarian bloggers!
Unfortunately it looks to be pretty much unused at the moment.

Perth College Library Webspots

A blog for the staff of Perth College Library, where they can share weblinks and information relating to CPD, initiatives and new resources.

SINTO

A blog on library and information management issues for members of SINTO - the information partnership, a consortium of library and information services in South Yorkshire and the surrounding area. Regular in depth posts, and covering a wide range of library topics.

Individual Blogs


The Librain

The blog of the Learning Resources and Information Services Manager at Nicholas Chamberlaine Technology College in Bedworth. Posts cover developments and musings about the future of school libraries.


Making Another Library

A librarian in a South Yorkshire FE College, blogging his reads, reviewing them as he goes along, and musing on the thoughts that these books trigger


Silversprite – the librarian at the end of the world

Prime contender for Most Remote UK Blogger, John Kirriemuir blogs about his business interests of digital libraries, digital gaming and online economics.

My:self-archive

Blog of Kara Jones, Research Publications Librarian at the University of Bath. The blog covers institutional repositories, self-archiving, open access and libraries, charting the progress of the development of the repository.

Also blogging institutionally at University of Bath Library: Science News


025.04: Michael’s blog – fighting library apathy, one Dewey Hundred at a time

Lots of posts on library issues (and an interesting recent visit to Bulgarian libraries!) by Michael, an E-Resources Librarian in Bolton.

He also blogs as part of a group for Signpost Libraries Blog, “Signposting you to book and DVD reviews, and online resources for your community. Brought to you by Bolton and Wigan libraries.”, although this seems to have been abandoned since August 2007.

Information Literacy meets Web 2.0

Blog of Peter Godwin, a librarian in St. Albans. He posts regularly on information literacy and Web 2.0 topics.

John Wright: research support librarian

John Wright blogs about life as a Research Support Librarian within the library service of the University of Wales, Bangor.

Chartership Blogs

My Library World

A blog recording the Chartership progress of a librarian in a Glasgow Further Education college, with discussions of staff visits, developments in the library service, and what constitutes good practice.

Musings of a Chartering Librarian

The blog of an Assistant Librarian in the Reader Services team in a UK university library, going through the Chartership process and using the blog as a record of this.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Where are the UK Librarian blogs?

In response to various posts wondering about the strange lack of UK library / librarian blogs, I thought I’d have a look for myself to see where they’re all hiding.

I did a search on Google Blogs, just using the words “uk” and “librarian”, and looked for posts published ‘anytime’, which gave me 24 pages of blog listings. This included spam blogs, duplicate postings, and various sites including ‘uk’ in the text of a link they’d posted.

I learned a few things in the process.

  • Lots of blogs post occasionally about librarians, without necessarily being written by librarians.
  • If a blogger doesn't fill out their location information, it can be quite hard to work out where they're based without having to read a few posts and look for cultural references.
  • UK” also means "University of Kentucky” (See?).
  • There are quite a few interesting English language library bloggers, but they're not on this list 'cos they ain't in the UK.
  • There really doesn’t seem to be many UK library bloggers!

It's not an exhaustive list, but here, in no particular order, are the blogs I DID find, with a (very quick and dirty) synopsis of what they seem to be about. I only spent 3 or 4 minutes each in general on skimming through these blogs, so if I’ve got anything about them wrong, sorry, but this is on my free time, which is short!


Institutional or Group Blogs

Information Matters

Blog from the Library and Information teaching staff at the University of Brighton. Mainly focussed on University course information / material, but a fair amount of general library information. Updated one or two times a month in general.

ILS Matters

Blog from the LIS Department of the University of Worcester. Entirely focussed on internal news, but with very friendly and informal postings.

CILIP Blogs

CILIP has various blogs by either staff, or links to relevant blogs, available from the Communities section.

Varying levels of activity on these blogs – the PTEG blog has one post from November 2007, while Lyndsay’s CILIP Blog has been going has been going for almost a year, with at least one or two large postings every month.

In Through the Outfield

Who knew? The British Library blogs! Blog of Ian Infield, Manager of the BLs Business and IP Centre. IP / technology focused, with lots of nice, honest posts, with some useful BL info thrown into the mix.

FADE

Fade Library is the Library Service of Liverpool PCT. A wealth of regular health related posts, and a good sense of humour –

Why is the library called the Fade Library?

As the North West Grey Literature Service we naturally ‘Fade to Grey’! Musical puns apart it stands for Frequently Accessing Documents that are Esoteric (if the musical pun wasn’t bad enough we suffer from librarians who like playing with words!)”

aRKive

Appears to be the blog of the Reid Kerr College library, or someone related to the Library, but unable to confirm as it doesn’t have any ‘about’ section that I can find. Lots of posts about library topics, books, IT…

English liblog@chi

English Library blog at the University of Chichester. Covering UC library service information, with updates on new stock and services.

School Library Association

The SLA weblog contains news about the SLA and topical information of general interest to our members.” Lots of regular postings, but the format of the postings is a hyperlinked headline, which could become frustrating with regular visits.

SLAINTE Pageflake

I’m not sure whether this counts as a blog, but as it incorporates many of those elements, I’ll put it in here with the institutional blogs. When launched, there was a blog section, but that appears to have disappeared now. The flake covers news of relevance to all sectors of Scottish libraries, and is a joint effort between Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland (CILIPS).


These didn't come up on my blog search, and are taken from the links in this previous post from Enquiring Minds.

Shush!

The Information Services Library blog of the University of Northampton. Lots of posts of technical tools useful for students (and others), linking news nicely to course topics and educating students on developments in some of their favourite online tools.

Galway Public Libraries Blog

A regularly updated site, giving info on events, new stock and other library news to users of the Galway Public Library service


Individual Blogs

Librarytwopointzero

UK librarian, living, working and blogging in London, currently in a public library but shorty moving to London University. Focussing on libraries and Web 2.0, regular posts and lots of links!

Does exactly what it says on the tin – a blog with postings relating to teen or youth librarianship. Part of a larger site which is “the first website of its kind in the UK. It is specifically geared towards those that work with Teenagers and 'the Youth' in Libraries in the UK (and also abroad).”

The Singing Librarian

An academic librarian, working his way through a librarianship qualification, and musing on “Libraries, singing, comics, life”. Regular, often in depth posts on all the aforementioned subjects, but mainly on music and musicals!

UK eInformation Group blog

Edited by Karen Blakeman, with regular posts on Web 2.0 topics. Mainly a bulletin board type of blog, with brief postings linking back to fuller source material.

When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Librarian!

The blog of Katharine Widdows, Science Information Assistant at University of Warwick Library, working her way through Chartership, and using her blog to track this progress. She blogs about UW Library issues, and Chartership related events and activities.

Joeyanne Libraryanne

An Academic Information Assistant at the University of Wolverhampton, studying for a Masters in Information and Library Studies via Distance Learning, and focussing on technology developments, and enhancing academic library services.Regualr posting and commentary on library issues.

Library of Digress

New blog from a PhD research student at the University of Strathclyde, (so far) looking at public libraries and Web 2.0 technologies.


And another one from from Enquiring Minds.

Paige Turner

Interesting behind the scenes look at Swansea Public Libraries, from the viewpoint of a staff member – the Central Library refurbishment looks fab! Hard to tell if it does have official approval, so I've put it here as a personal blog.




There - I hope that helps some people in some way!

As L'Oreal says...

...because I'm worth it!

Ok, so it's been pointed out that there may be more use for my random wafflings than I thought, so there's actually a point to keeping blogging on here. So, I will!

I will still try and focus on Scots Law: as there's very few of us doing this it seems to be the most useful thing I can do. But perhaps I'll loosen my self-imposed restrictions on keeping it to technical topics, and maybe allow myself to meander along the random roads of library stuff...

A few posts 'from draft that have been lurking because I didn't think they were Web 2.0 enough' may pop up on here now!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Time to shut down?

I've been thinking a lot recently about what my blog is actually contributing.
I'm not a leading 'thinker', I'm not an investigative reporter, I'm not really great at anything, I'm just, well, here.
It's been great for meeting other law librarians, both in the UK and internationally, but do I actually really contribute anything useful or new?
I don't think so, to be very honest.
So what's the point of me continuing this blog?

I can now post (hopefully) useful stuff to the law.librarian collaborative blog, which I would otherwise have posted here, so this blog has become kind of surplus to requirements really. I started it to post items I thought were relevant to my field, so I could refer back to them easily, but law.librarians does a far better job of it together than I could ever do on my own!

I may continue to post items of relevance to Scots law only, or the more fun / frivolous that doesn't really fit on law.librarians, but I think that I'm going to take a break from blogging here, and perhaps in general, and see how I feel about things in a few months. Maybe I'll become filled with opinions and thoughts, and they'll be clamouring to be typed out, and I won't be able to shut up for more than a few days.....who knows!

Cardiac hacking?

From Null Hypothesis, the news that having to have a pacemaker fitted may not be traumatic enough in itself, without hearing that medical staff are now realising that the new, snazzy wifi enabled pacemakers they're fitting may be a health hazard in themselves!

The pacemakers are wifi enabled, to allow easy downloading of data and checks of the device, meaning the recipient doesn't have to make as many routine hospital visits. Which is a good thing indeed!
What they hadn't really taken into account is the fact that wifi also means that, theoretically, the pacemakers are hackable, allowing them to be reprogrammed and potentially triggering life threatening palpitations.

Thankfully, it's not likely to ever happen, but if have a pacemaker, and your heart starts to race in a wifi cafe, maybe it's not just the caffeine rush...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Isn’t it funny the places where you find a discussion of duty of care?

Donoghue v Stevenson rises again!

Entertaining discussion about spellings, maiden names and whether or not it was proven the snail was actually in the bottle in the comments section.

And yes, 'ginger' in Scotland is generally meaning any fizzy drink, not specifically ginger beer, but in this case, it was referred to specifically as 'ginger beer', so ginger beer it is! I imagine in some parts of England the case could have been about 'pop' :-)

T'was to be mixed with the ice cream they bought to create an iced drink, as reported in 1932 SLT 317.

Although personally, I prefer lemonade and vanilla ice cream for an ice cream float.

And no snail included, ta!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Happy World Book Day - come see a big 'un!

Apparently, the Worlds Biggest Book will be on display at the National Library of Scotland to celebrate.

Although the content looks fabulous, can I confess to being slight disappointed by the 'bigness' of the book? I was hoping for something insanely huge, at least a few feet thick, and perhaps the size of a bed...this just seems to be a collection of photographs bound together :-(

It doesn't even show up as a Guinness World Record, so who decided it had that title?

*mutter, mutter*

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Another fake author

The book "Love and Consequences" has been recalled by the publisher, as although it was thought to be a biography, it turns out to actually be a complete fabrication, apparently based on the authors work in a gang outreach programme. It's the second book in a short time to be shown to actually be fiction, having initially been sold as non-fiction.

It seems a bit strange to me that these authors felt that their story would be better accepted if it was claimed to be the truth, rather than if it was fiction. I mean, a four year old girl travelling across Europe during WWII in the company of a pack of wolves isn't exactly a standard life story - surely it's more believable as fiction, than as truth anyway? A terrible childhood, difficult fostering, drug running for gangs, murder...again, (thankfully) not a normal story, but surely better as a fictional tale than as trying to claim it as true? Is that all publishers want from authors now - shocking, true-life stories, with a competition to see which can be the most gruesome / shocking?

And why did it need recalled? Will it never see the light of day again? Or will it be reprinted, with a new author blurb and jacket, and use the publicity from this recall of a previously-unknown book to flood the shops? The Belgian book won't suffer - as it's already been made into a film, the publicity caused by the book being revealed as fiction will probably have helped it, especially outside the country. After all, can you name any other Belgian films?!?

Anyway, since it's caused such a fuss, I've decided to see if I can get a hold of a copy of "Love and Consequences" As it's still for sale on Amazon, I've bought a copy. The chances of it actually getting to me before the recall information filters through are pretty slim, but I thought it would be fun to try!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I'm an omnivore?

From a link pasted on law.librarians, I did this survey, to find out where I fit in the technology world. It's aimed at the American public, but here's my results anyway:



Where do you fit?

Your Results

Based on your answers to the questionnaire, you most closely resemble survey respondents within the Omnivores typology group. This does not mean that you necessarily fit every group characteristic.

Omnivores make up 8% of the American public.

Basic Description
Members of this group use their extensive suite of technology tools to do an enormous range of things online, on the go, and with their cell phones. Omnivores are highly engaged with video online and digital content. Between blogging, maintaining their Web pages, remixing digital content, or posting their creations to their websites, they are creative participants in cyberspace.

Defining Characteristics
You might see them watching video on an iPod. They might talk about their video games or their participation in virtual worlds the way their parents talked about their favorite TV episode a generation ago. Much of this chatter will take place via instant messages, texting on a cell phone, or on personal blogs. Omnivores are particularly active in dealing with video content. Most have video or digital cameras, and most have tried watching TV on a non-television device, such as a laptop or a cell phone.

Omnivores embrace all this connectivity, feeling confident in how they manage information and their many devices. This puts information technology at the center of how they express themselves, do their jobs, and connect to their friends.

Who They Are
They are young, ethnically diverse, and mostly male (70%). The median age is 28; just more than half of them are under age 30, versus one in five in the general population. Over half are white (64%) and 11% are black (compared to 12% in the general population). English-speaking Hispanics make up 18% of this group. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many (42% versus the 13% average) of Omnivores are students.

I have to protest - not only am I not a white male American, I'm also really not very technical at all. My phone is 2 years old (and I tried very hard to get one without a radio, MPs player, camera etc as I don't need them, but it was impossible), as is my MP3 player (Zen, not Apple), I only got a laptop to save space on my desk (and HATE the touchpad, so have a USB mouse plugged in), I don't make mashups, create video...I only recently replaced my 3 year old digital camera, and that was because the 4MP one I had died a grinding, jamming death...I frequently leave my phone on silent and ignore it, as I don't feel that I have to be available to everyone while trying to sit quietly on a bus - I don't feel a need to share all my conversations with the general public!

In short, I'm the least technical I can be while still keeping up with life. Apparently, blogging, using forums / message boards, being able to edit photos a little bit, and owning what are now pretty standard devices such as a mobile and anMP3 player make me a techno geek!

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