Monday, April 28, 2008
I think Vanessa on the Fidra Blog says it all best....
Lets just hope the SQA doesn't get such daft ideas into their collective mind, or the youth of Scotland will be churning out fan fiction / poems based on William McGonnagall's work...although JK Rowling may have got there first, having already borrowed his surname for a character!
My main delight is the fact that, when using Stair Memorial Encyclopedia (our main reason for subscribing), there's now a lovely new option.
Previously, to see a whole section of the encyc, you had to click individually on each separate paragraph.
Now, when you click into a para, there's a lovely option in the top right that says "View whole of"...it's a joy!
Now I can scroll merrily through the encyclopedia, without thinking that it'd actually be quicker to use the paper version!
Well done Lexis Nexis!
Now, off to get used to the navigation (already re-sorted my bookshelf) before someone else needs me to do something useful with it!
Friday, April 25, 2008
P.S. BBC, it was on the 7th May LAST year he was caught, not this year...unless he's invented time travel and kept the secret to himself.
He obviously wasn't trying to impersonate a police officer...unless there is actually a Sergeant Eros out there, who moonlights as a stripper in his spare time?
Thursday, April 24, 2008
So, over the next wee while, we'll be revisiting all the blogs already on there, and checking the original quick synopsis is accurate, and adding in a date of last visit.
In my meanderings last night I found that already, in the month since I'd first visited, one blog had shut down and moved to another address with a new focus, and a new university departmental blog had started...it's all go with us library bloggers!
So thanks again to Christine and Jo for giving their spare time to help with this task!
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Hector MacQueen in SLN points out the reasoning why it wouldn't have been possible to win it in the first place!
So, we keep the Shetlanders, whether they like it or not... :-)
Monday, April 21, 2008
So...isn't this a better way to re-use old books?
That's some beautiful book-based things that man makes!
Link via Neatorama
Friday, April 18, 2008
Arrange a lunch with your Mentor and boss, explaining to Mentor that a pink friend will be joining the table, and causing much trepidation.
Walk down street with large pink unicorn pinata.
Join Mentor for lunch, and settle Uni at table.
Boss arrives and is happy her suggestion of lunch companion was able to join us.
Be amused throughout lunch by waiter studiously ignoring the pink unicorn at the table.
Leave and return to office.
Deflect attempts by workmen to beat poor Uni on the way, by telling them that he's too young.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
In a previous workplace, it could be frustrating when you found passages of text in Institutional writings / law reports underlined with ink, and notes made in the margins - the courts won't accept photocopies of defaced texts like that.
But it was hard to argue with the perpetrators, as the ink was from ink wells, and the writing was copperplate...and the original annotator had probably died 150 years before you were born!
After all, it's just a reference guide to her work - she didn't write it, someone else (a librarian, woo-hoo!) put in that hard work.
I wonder, to take it to an extreme, if she wins this does it mean that travel writers won't be able to write about the countries they visit, because they didn't create them, just experienced them and loved them?
Assuming they even visited them in the first place, of course.
The case is being heard in America, and I'm not clear enough on UK copyright law (other than to know what I can and can't copy in a commercial library) to know if she'd be able to bring the same sort of case here. I have a feeling she couldn't but can't guarantee it.
Either way, I think she's perhaps getting a bit uptight about work created by people who love what she writes, and want to help guide others.
Or would you give an old school friend your eBay password?
Apparently, those details were enough for scammers to steal money from individuals who'd been perhaps a little too forthcoming with personal information on social networking sites.
It does seem that they were perhaps using some of their personal information that they also publicly shared as passwords, but still, how much do you trust Facebook and similar sites?
Would you be as wary about clicking links in an email that appeared to come from them or giving personal info as you would if it came from a stranger?
Do we now trust these sites more than banks, to the extent that an email from them must be authentic and reliable?
That is one unusual talent...
Story originally from Nothing to Do With Arbroath
I'm not altogether keen on the idea of reintroducing bears, lynx and wolves to the wild, or even in this case, a fenced estate. They won't stay contained for long.
Hasn't he seen Jurassic Park? As Mr Malcolm would say, life always finds a way...
Monday, April 14, 2008
What are the odds it'll be snapped up and turned into yet another hotel? And for an added bit of trendiness, they can have it themed like a fantasy lawyers office / library, with law books lining the walls, quiet little alcoves for meetings and discussions, neat piles of important paperwork filed away in lovely units, or locked securely into impenetrable safes...in other words, nothing like reality at all!!!
Ah, so the member of the Royal Family that we all know this is about won’t have to appear in court, as the Crown Prosecution service has allegedly blocked moves for him to give evidence, from the looks of it, by his own request.
Erm…why? We all know who he is, ‘cos the gagging order doesn’t apply overseas, and the
Honestly, it’s REALLY not as if we don’t know who he is!!!!
*Thanks again to the Inner Temple Library Current Awareness for story source*
Friday, April 11, 2008
I wonder if this will help sort out the problems we often have, with people not knowing what law applies where, if they have a better grounding in both jurisdictions? Will British qualified lawyers have a headstart in any way on single jurisdiction qualifieds?
Also, I wish they'd do it as a distance learning degree - currently, the library staff have a problem. My boss has a law degree, I have a science degree. We both work with both Scots and English (and sometimes Northern Irish) law. She has a good basis to work from, and can launch straight into enquiries, regardless of jurisdiction. I'm slightly more vague, and need more time to bring myself up to speed on topics when first asked.
But neither of us are English law qualified, and we're often asked to deal with English issues. We both know we need training, me in Scots and English law, her in English. But there's nowhere we can find that would provide a course of a basic grounding in each jurisdiction.
If we wanted to be paralegals, we could do courses on specific aspects of Scots or English law - civil court practice, personal injury etc.
But we don't need specific area training, we need general, basic foundations stuff! Pretty much the equivalent of perhaps the first year of a law degree, laying out the reasoning of things, the main areas of legal work / activity etc.
Does anybody out there know of any sort of (distance) course that would cover a good depth of basic English law? Or Scots even?
Or will I just have to wait until Dundee extend to the British law course to distance learning?
*Thanks to the Inner Temple Library Current Awareness Service for the heads up!*
James Coutts, Marketing Manager at National Museums Scotland got in touch to say that advance booking for these events is essential. Call 0131 225 7534 to book.
There's no "visit date", and for something as rapidly changing as blogs, that's not good - things may change quickly, and without a visit date, it'll be hard to know when things happened.
So....anybody want to volunteer to take a trip around the blogs, check what I've written about them for accuracy, and email me with the date of visit / revised synopsis?
No, thought not...guess what I'll be doing this weekend?
Also, the line between "librarian" blogs, and "information professional" blogs is getting harder to draw. The list was set up to pull together all the UK library / librarian bloggers I could find. If people didn't say in their "About" section that they were a librarian, or worked in a library, or the blog was run by a library, they were excluded. So yes, this has ruled out great people like Brian Kelly, and useful blogs on information literacy like Moira's Info Lit Blog, but really, if the list is to stay accurate in only covering UK library bloggers, it's got to be restricted to only those who define themselves as a librarian, or blogs for a library service...
Thursday, April 10, 2008
As a part of that final fling, there's 2 talks going on, one by Maggie O'Farrell on Saturday, and another by Kate Atkinson.
Although free, there was mention elsewhere about them being ticketed, so if you're planning on going, it might be best to get in touch first and find out about ticket allocations.
According to a recent ruling by the ECJ, it is confirmed that Marks and Spencers Teacakes are indeed cakes, not biscuits, and therefore zero rated for VAT, meaning the taxman may potentially have to repay M&S £3.5 million in VAT payments from the last 20 years.
Of course, if you bought a M&S teacake within the last 20 years, it's pretty unlikely you'll be seeing any of that repayment money!
So, does that mean that Tunnocks Teacakes will be having a shot at reclaiming VAT too, now that teacakes are officially cakes?
Oh yes - Jaffa Cakes have always been cakes too, apparently (I would have loved to have had a bit of that 12 inch Jaffa Cake!!).
There have been quite a few peeps whose blogs I read who’ve been attending various conferences over the past few months. Quite a few of them seem to ‘liveblog’ the events they go to, which seems like a good idea in concept – you get the ideas and discussions from the event, as they happen, without having to go, very useful if you’re not funded to attend events, or time / location prevent you from being there.
But for me, the reality of reading these posts, just seems like looking at the PowerPoint slides of a seminar you’ve not been to – there’s probably some good points in there, but without attending the associated presentation, it can be hard to make sense of.
Very often there’s just random statements or key phrases bullet pointed, like:
Probably good topics, but lists like these are impossible to extrapolate a thread of discussion from. Posts like these that bounce through a presentation and try and condense it into snappy points are only of use to those who actually attended…did you ever have to copy lecture notes for a class you missed, and had to make the choice of who to ask? You always went for the person who made the in-depth, full content notes of what was presented, not the ones who jotted down the main points. Main points are good as the basis to start from, but don’t give you enough information to fully understand what was going on, you still have to go back and double check things, find out more etc.
Trying to turn a 45 min / 1 hour chat into a coherent blog post just doesn’t seem to be possible while actually listening to the presentation. Most of us are not trained journalists or transcribers – we can’t write things that make sense while also listening to what’s going on. Why could blogging about what you’ve learned not just wait until it can be written into a readable format? Sure, you might be using your blog to keep notes of these points to do just that later on, but in that case, why not just keep them as a draft version, why bother to publish gobbledygook? Seriously, if you publish a ‘notes’ version, and then a ‘proper’ version, the ‘notes’ version has already irritated me enough that I’ll not waste time coming back and looking for the full version.
Or if you’re using it just for your own reference? Use a Word doc, don’t publish it to your blog!
Is there now a pressure on conference attendees to be the first to blog each event? Is it more important to get the information out there fast, regardless of how readable it is?
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Slightly worrying - the change to the text makes for some major change in meaning!
The Hansard site iself states: " Hansard is:
"a full report, in the first person, of all speakers alike, a full report being defined as one 'which, though not strictly verbatim, is substantially the verbatim report, with repetitions and redundancies omitted and with obvious mistakes corrected, but which on the other hand leaves out nothing that adds to the meaning of the speech or illustrates the argument.'""
Did they think they were correcting an "obvious mistake" when they changed "hack-proof, not connected to the Internet" to "secure database; it will not be accessible online"?
Should I be concerned that there's a steady number of people searching for The Naked Rambler, and finding me? Yes, I have posted about him, but really, is it right that "naked" is the 4th most popular term, with "rambler" coming in not far behind? And Banky's also a high result...
I suppose I should be grateful that together, "law", "library" and "librarian" come higher!
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
In my traipse through the highways and byways of the interweb, looking for UK library and librarian blogs, I learned a few things about blogs in general, and UK library blogs. I'll try and make sense of it below...
- Have an “About” or “Profile” section easily locatable on your blog. Without this, it's like a book without a “blurb”: there’s no information to guide the reader on what to expect from you, and people may well get frustrated, leave and not return, regardless of how interesting your content is.
- Give people some idea of what you blog about. If you blog infrequently, it can take a fair amount of time for a reader to skim through multiple posts and get an idea of what you’re about. A tag cloud is very helpful to allow a reader to see at a glance what your main blogging themes are. Or sort your labels by order of frequency, so people can see what you most often blog about.
- Identify, if not who you are (if you want to blog fully or semi anonymously), then at least where you are. Don’t assume that because you know where you are, everyone else will without being told! I spent a lot of time just trying to identify the country some bloggers were located in, and often had to resort to trawling the blog posts for cultural references and diffrences in spellings to help me decide. Knowing where you're located can give the reader some idea if what you post might interest them / have common interests.
There are bloggers working freelance, in health libraries, school libraries, academic libraries, public libraries and special libraries. Every sector does seem to have at least one blog.
Even library suppliers have blogs!
Quite a few bloggers have started in the last 6 months.
The smaller countries have proportionately smaller amounts of bloggers, unsurprisingly! 4 or 5 Scots, and 2 or 3 Welsh (a rough estimate), both individual and institutional.
Academic institutions are well represented. They are usually very active blogs, with regular posts. This may be a result of both working as a team, and blogging as a team - it's perhaps easier to keep the momentum going if you're able to chat to co-workers about post ideas, what should be posted, when etc.
Very few, if any (going on memory here!) bloggers comment on their place of work...this isn't unexpected, as mentioning workplaces can create all sorts of problems for the blogger. Any comments about workplaces are usually positive. This does mean that library blogs are skewed quite heavily towards the "isn't the world a lovely place?" attitude, which may not actually reflect the reality of their work.
There are a good few librarian bloggers in the UK, but nowhere near as many proportionally as in the USA. What is it that encourages Americans to blog, but not British? Is it an attempt to stand out / be heard in a much larger group, which is easier to do in the UK without blogging, as the library pool is smaller?
Politics seems to be a taboo subject on UK library blogs - I'm aware of quite a few American blogs whose authors are happy to write about their political views / support for a certain candidate, but I can't remember seeing any posts touching on politics on UK blogs. This might well be because of the upcoming Presidential election in America, and the fact that the UK isn't near a General Election, but I'm not altogether sure about that. American bloggers seem to be more confident on voicing strongly held views anyway, and are willing to defend them, whereas UK bloggers are more reserved. Or am I just perpetuating cultural stereotypes? ;-)
Scottish Working Group on Official Publications seminar
May 23rd 2008
Venue: Edinburgh Training Centre, St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh
From Parliament Square to Holyrood – historical official publications online
A seminar aimed at all users of official publications and statistics. The seminar will provide an introduction to all the new and exciting historical resources currently available online – from Pre 1707 Scots Parliament records, early Westminster through to the Holyrood of the present day.
10.00 Registration and coffee
10.30 Welcome and introduction
10.35 Parliament’s past online : a review of sources
Paul Seaward Director – History of Parliament Trust.
11.05 From archive to internet: producing an online edition of the records of the pre 1707 Scottish Parliament
Gillian MacIntosh St Andrews University
11.55 Prototyping Hansard
Robert Brook, UK Parliament
1.30 Online Historical Population reports
Matthew Woollard – Project Director, Online Historical Reports Project.
2.05 Digitisation of Parliamentary Texts at BOPCRIS
Dr Julian Ball, Project Manager, BOPCRIS
2.40 ProQuest Parliamentary Papers
Rob Newman, Senior Editor, Proquest CSA
3.15 Questions and discussion
3.30 Close of seminar
Fee (includes refreshments and lunch) - £75
How to book:
Please book via the SWOP website
Monday, April 07, 2008
From SwissMiss, the Elastico Bookshelf...it looks cool, but I can just imagine trying to shelve your books, squeezing one too many in...and the whole lot pinging out.
Which, actually, could be quite fun! :D
I'm going to do a quick check by scheduling this to post at a time when I can't post as I'm working, i.e. the middle of the morning....let's see if it works!
Sunday, April 06, 2008
The research projects that were discussed included:
- Developing an animal feed that can reduce methane emissions from ruminant animals such as cattle and sheep - these emissions are a significant source of greenhouse gases
Friday, April 04, 2008
Dagnammit - I won't be able to see it - it's only viewable 10am till 5pm! Oh well, will just have to look at it via the online service The Spread of Scottish Printing...
*Whenever I read these old texts, I thtart thpeaking it in my head with a lithp...pethky interchangeable old "f" and "s"!!*
This would certainly be fun in a smaller flat - who needs a sofa bed for guests when you can accommodate them with a bookcase bed!!
Not sure I understand the workings of it fully - apparently there's 4 sections to make it into a double, and 2 for the single, but I can only see 2 parts. I assume there's a double layer of mattress, one hidden behind the other, when it's stacked against the wall?
And I also want this done in my house...unfortunately, I think I'm a teensy bit short of the space needed!!
By dropping the word "Street" from my address, they've made me un-locateable!
An extract -
Buckstone is a particularly promiscuous forename. Street atlases list All of these:
Buckstone Avenue Buckstone Bank Buckstone Circle Buckstone Close Buckstone Court Buckstone Crescent Buckstone Crook Buckstone Dell Buckstone Drive Buckstone Gardens Buckstone Gate Buckstone Green Buckstone Grove Buckstone Hill Buckstone Lea Buckstone Loan Buckstone Loan East Buckstone Neuk Buckstone Place Buckstone Rise Buckstone Road Buckstone Row Buckstone Shaw Buckstone Terrace Buckstone View Buckstone Way Buckstone Wood Buckstone Wynd
That's 28 different Buckstone streets. And for good measure there is also one that has no classname, just an attributive premodifier of the forename: High Buckstone.
There are actually way over fifty ways to lose your lover in this city's streets. We get the first fifty from the fact that a cursory glance through a street index reveals that all of the following words to be quite common as street classnames in Edinburgh:
Approach Crescent Green Parade Square Arcade Crest Hill Park Street Avenue Dean Lane Passage Terrace Bank Dell Lea Path View Boulevard Drive Loan Place Villas Circle End Mains Promenade Walk Circus Entry Market Quadrant Way Close Gait Mews Rise Wood Cottages Gardens Mount Road Wynd Court Glebe Neuk Row Yard
But in fact, for any chosen forename, we can make many more than fifty well-formed street names.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
It published the press releases from all the Government departments, and if, like me, you prefered to pick them up through an RSS feed instead of emails, it was lovely, helpful, efficient.
On the 1 April 2008, after quietly announcing it on the 28th March 2008 on their site (where, if you're using their RSS feeds you will never go), the GNN became NDS (News Distribution Service).
They boldly stated "The look and branding of this site have therefore changed, although the services remain the same."
If you took the RSS feeds, these are now all dead, as they are coming from a different web address.
Emails of the press releases are coming from a new address too apparently.
This meant, for me anyway, re-registering as a new user (as they seemed to have wiped my account in the process) and re-subscribing to all the feeds again. Not a great start to the day! Especially when the Government had just announced the "Power of Information Task Force, which will drive forward the Government 's pledge to meet rising aspirations of modern communications practice and improve engagement with citizens through social media." It didn't bode well, if they managed to break one of the things that WAS working well at improving communications!
Also, during the 1st of April, any link to any news release prior to that date wasn't working either. Thankfully though, somebody there realised the problem and fixed it! A big relief for me - I really didn't have the time to spare to go in and fix every link I've made to the site over the past 3 years!
Lets hope things go smoothly from now on - after the DTI / Berr farce, I wasn't holding out much hope for this, but the rapid fixing of the dead links problem definitely gives me hope!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
I'll be inviting a few others to co-author it, as many hands make light work!
So, here's the address, come have a look: www.uklibraryblogs.pbwiki.com/
If you're on the list and would like to give yourself a better synopsis than I've managed, please get in touch either via the email here (in oh-so-cunning code on the right, below my profile), or via the link on the wiki. Also, if you'd like to be removed from the list too.
Hopefully, we'll manage to get a nice comprehensive list together on there, and then get RSS feeds from all the listed blogs going...or something technical like that. Grown-ups are going to help me!