Friday, December 04, 2009
"Knock knock?Who's there?The Doctor?Doctor who?You just said it!"
Thursday, November 26, 2009
It's that time of year again. This year's Christmas networking meeting will be held on Wednesday 9th December at 4pm in the SSC Library. Christine Wilcox has kindly offered to be host again and the meeting will be sponsored by Avizandum.
We will be sticking to our usual "speed networking" format followed by the ever-popular "mulled wine and mince pies" format.
If you would like to come please let me know and if you have any suggestions for discussion topics, even better.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
- That I am your personal diary secretary, and I myself should have reminded you that you had agreed to attend this training.
- That you are incapable of leaving your seat without my specific instruction to point you towards a training room, and therefore cannot make your own way to your training.
- That the frequent pop up reminders on your computer of your imminent training session are only for you to ignore. Every time they pop up. For an hour beforehand. Every 10 minutes.
- That you can only tell me that you're not attending the session once I have had to come looking for you and ask you personally.
- That you cannot write an email or pick up the phone to spend 20 seconds telling me you will no longer be attending, and thereby stop me wasting my time chasing around the building for you.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
It just so happens that Woodsiegirl has been blogging lots of things recently that catch my attention, and interest! So, I'm copying her Q and A!
Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
Depends where I am when reading. Usually, it's on the bus to / from work, or in bed, neither of which are snacking hot-spots for me. If I'm spending a few hours on the couch reading, then yup, usually crisps....but those crisp-smeared hands never touch the book until they've been cleaned!
Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
No writing in books! I have enough trouble removing the underlined passages in books at work (which at least tend to be historic, and in pencil...current users know I'd gut them if they inked up the library books!). I didn't write in books while studying either - I remember things better if I've written them myself, so I'd write notes on lined paper instead.
How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
Bookmark or laying it open carefully, without cracking the spine. Having bought a lot of old, charity shop books, I know pages tend to fall out at the points where the spine's broken first...and I have a liking for smooth spines, if it's a new book. If I've read a book, it can be hard to tell, as the spine's usually still perfect.
Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
Fiction. I have to read enough non-fiction information in daily life to not want to deal with it in my free time. Unless it's about murders of course. Yes, I am morbid, and love forensic science.
Hard copy or audiobooks?
Hard copy. Not sure that I've ever listened to an audio book. I read really fast, so to have to sit and listen to someone reading out what I could read for myself in a quarter of the time would drive me mad.
Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
End of chapter if possible. If not, I'll just put the book down where ever I feel like I can't read any more for (evenings) or when my stop's coming up (commute).
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it
up right away?
Nope. I can usually work it out from the context, and if I can't, I'll just ignore it. One word's not usually critical to understanding things. If I remember, I may check it out later, but usually, I just forget!
What are you currently reading?
"Arthur and George", "The Shadow of the Wind", and "Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters"
What is the last book you bought?
Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, new. I tend to bulk buy from charity shops though, so often it's hard to tell what I bought last as it's just a bagful, but SSSM I really wanted to read, so pre-ordered from Amazon.
Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
As you can see from my current reading list above, I can have anything from 1 to 4 books on the go at once.
Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
Afternoons, or evenings. If I have nothing else to do (cue hysterical laughter here) I love an autumn afternoon or evening on the sofa, lost in a book, with a cosy blanket.
Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
I like stand alones. As my usual book sources are charity shops, finding the parts of a series is a rare event, so books that stand alone suit me better. Although, if I like a series, I'll buy the books new, to ensure I can read the whole lot.
Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
I love the Time Travelers Wife, but haven't read Audrey Niffenneger's new book, so I don't know if I can recommend the author. I'd recommend the book (I'm ignoring the misspelling of the title!), and tell anyone who's seen the film to forget that pile of pants and read the book! I also have a weakness for David Eddings fantasy books - brings back my teenage years :)
How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
Organise? Books? Nah, that's for work! My books go on the shelves according to...erm...no rules. See? It's all higgledy piggledy - books I've bought, gift books, read books, unread books, toys, photographs, scrapbooks, craft stuff...my bookshelves are a glorious mess :) And to be honest, there's not even all that much room for books!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Well, I finished "Mr Darcy, Vampyre" a few days ago, and I have to say, my initial impressions of it didn't improve much.
I'm no writer myself, or book critic, but I really didn't think much of this. It seemed a bit of an awkward attempt to shoehorn in phrases that would have suited at the time when Pride and Prejudice was written, but don't quite sit properly in with the rest of the writing.
There are a
When they get to the other side there's a bit about
is skipped merrily over.
Time is totally odd...they start their wedding tour, and seem to spend months either travelling to locations, or living there, but it's an eternal summer...even in Italy in November things are flowering and the weather is lovely. I have no idea what timescale this book is supposed to cover: 6 months, 9 months a year? More? We get 'time passed in a swirl of soirees' etc sort of statements, but never anything more detailed.
I was also driven nuts by all the brooding expressions, flickers of 'darkness' and tortured moments Darcy seemed to go through. Look - your book says he's a vampire / vampyre in the title...we KNOW what he is, only Elizabeth doesn't, and I'm pretty sure that by the time Darcy's 150 years old he's well able to control his facial expressions.
Elizabeth acts strangely - she randomly decides on complete strangers to 'confide' in, at points where the author must have decided that she needed to have Elizabeth 'reassured', so she won't blow the plot too early, before she can be taken through some more nice stereotypes - the isolated, scary castle, the attack of the baying mob...
There is of course a looming menace in the form of the Old One, who is apparently the oldest vampire, and nobody knows where he came from or anything more about him. As expected, Darcy must fight him to save
And ageing. Darcy and his sister (and, it would appear, most of the world) are vampires. Darcy was 14 when turned, his sister much younger. Yet they're both now either adult or thereabouts. Did they just decide to age to a certain point that they liked the feel of, then stop. But they state that part of the vampire curse is that they don't age, so they couldn't do that.
And the finale? Oh. Dear. God. We've entered cliché-ville: a ruined monastery / hidden Roman temple at an unknown location, marked by a distinctive tree and view (of course unknown to the aged and fragile teller of this tale (on his own a whole special cliché), but it just so happens Darcy fell into it while playing there as a child...dear God, did Darcy live everywhere in the world as a child?!? And was this as a vampire child, or a human child? Cos as a human child he lived in London, not Italy...oh, I give in), the chance to lift the curse Darcy's under, an ancient cave, a fight with unseen monsters (which Darcy and another do, off screen as it were, and arrive back dishevelled but won't speak about it..so WHY even put that in!!), petrified forests, unearthly glows, earthquakes, separation from the faithful guide / helper, a split second choice to be made, and in the end, of course, love triumphing over all.
Friday, September 04, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
So, on Monday afternoon, it was time for the now-annual Scottish Law Librarians Group jaunt to the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Every year, the Committee try and decide on an event that's as relevant to the members as possible (law related, Scottish issues, publishers with a Scottish interest), and at as convenient a time as possible...and that we can get enough tickets for. As you can imagine, that's not always an easy trick, but I think we did well this year, and even managed to get a day when the mud was minimal, despite the signs warning us about it!
Michael Mansfield Mon 31/08/20094:30 PM - 5:30 PMFrom Ruth Ellis to Jean Charles de Menezes, Bloody Sunday to theMarchioness disaster, Michael Mansfield has taken on many of the mostdifficult cases of our times. The Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer recalls acareer defending the innocent (and sometimes the guilty), infuriatingthe establishment and championing human rights, with wit, passion andhonesty.
And Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, supervised it all from above...I think his horse was a bit tired by this point...it's been a long Festival.
Friday, August 28, 2009
These are the only way I'm ever going to be able to cope with these type of classic books! Monsters! Vampires! Yay!
I shall post a review once I've read 'em :)
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
The Children’s Bookshop in Edinburgh is expanding and opening a new bookshop for grown-up fiction and non-fiction. The manager will need to develop core stock, as well as undertake daily stock replenishment and new stock ordering. She or he will also be responsible for event organisation, cashing up, maintaining the customer mailing list, customer orders and managing any additional staff. The manager will contribute to overall business development. Work days will be Tuesday-Saturday.
The candidate will have a proven track record in bookselling as well as experience of managing staff and budgets. Good IT skills and excellent interpersonal skills are a must. She or he must be self-motivated, but also work well in a team with other staff and with The Children’s Bookshop. Reliability is vital.
Those nice people at Fidra books are expanding into the world of grown-up books, and need a manager for this new venture. Wouldn't it be nice to actually work with books you'd like to read, and recommend to others to read? (I would strongly advise against reading law books for pleasure, unless your definition of pleasure also includes pulling out your own fingernails, and watching the growth of mould in damp areas). The bookshop will open on the 5th September 2009, and I'm hoing to take a trip over.
Prior to the opening of the bookshop for grown-ups (apparently, calling it an "adult bookshop" might attract the wrong type of customers ;) ), they're using the space as a gallery for illustrations by some wonderful childrens book artists.during a period which also encompasses the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The Fidra Gallery will be open from the 11th July - 29th August...think I might make it over to that side of town to have a look. And if I'm feeling too lazy, it's got a website too.
They're also on Twitter as @FidraBooks
It's so nice to have such a friendly, fun and communicative independant bookshop in town, instead of just the Big Beasts of Waterstone's and the supermarket 'reading for the lowest common denominator' options! Through their blog and their Twitter posts, I feel like I know the staff already, without ever having met them!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Ohhh, there's just nothing like the scent of old, mouldering books to make you feel at home in a library, so when you're feeling lost while sitting at your desk, paging through the latest electronic information source, why not blast a spray of this around, and think back to happy times spent researching obscure points, buried in ancient texts...
Other varieties available...maybe ;)
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
The blurb says:
This course is for information professionals – librarians, archivists, information and knowledge managers – looking to keep up to date with modern technologies, sources of information and today’s users.
It is for those in the profession who wish to stay relevant in this fast-changing world of information, find out how other information services are facing the challenge and consider ways of proving their worth in the Google age. Among all the issues that the course covers, you will be given the opportunity to reflect on the possible consequences for your service of a new generation of ‘Homo zappien’ users, try out games developed for library users and archivists and consider the implications of the 7 Ps for marketing your service.
All looks very interesting...but in general terms. And I can't really see myself paying almost £500 for that level of general interest. It may be more useful for public /academic librarians, or anyone who has to deal with a regularly changing group of users.
When they invent a course that includes dealing with lawyers and their....'foibles', then I'll be there in a flash! :)
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
And then, once they're out practising in the Big Bad World, they have to be able to assess information presented to them, the accuracy of that information, identify opportunities and threats, and figure out what's really a sensible conclusion to many issues.
So...with all that education, knowledge, experience and business skill, just how the hell did this proposal get any further than a 4am late-night-cheese-snack-induced nightmare?!?
The Executive Committees of Inner Temple and Middle Temple have agreed to commission a feasibility study to investigate the potential benefits of merging their Libraries and creating a Joint Education and Advocacy Centre.
The study will be overseen by a working group chaired jointly by Master Jonathan Hirst for Inner Temple and Master Stanley Burnton, Deputy Treasurer, for Middle Temple.
The results of the study are likely to be available in the late summer and no decisions are anticipated until much later in the year, after full consultation with staff and consideration by the relevant Inn Committees, Bench Table and Parliament.
In particular, no assumption has been made as to which Inn would house the Library and which the Education Centre, should the project proceed.
Vivian Robinson QC
Now, having worked at a large institutional legal library myself, my brain just shuts down in shock when confronted with a lunatic proposal like this. Really - this is actually a serious proposition, from these "smart" people? Charon QC has commented extensively on this here, and here: please feel free to take part in his poll. Many others have also commented on the absurdity of this proposal.
Even in Scotland the Inn Libraries have an outstanding reputation. Their extensive holdings and experienced staff are essential to the smooth running of the legal system in England and Wales, just as the Advocates Library is here in Scotland. Without the knowledge and skill of the library staff, and the immediate access to a wide range of legal materials they have in stock, the barrister profession of England and Wales would be hamstrung.
So, to propose that that wealth of experience and materials would be effectively halved by merging the Inner Temple and Middle Temple Libraries is verging on the insane! And where is the actual detail on this proposal? What exactly are they studying the "feasibility" of? Cutting staff? Cutting stock or putting it into storage? Losing study space? Saving money? Ahhh...saving money. I think we may have found the reason here. Because you can be sure that this initiative is not for the benefit of the members of these libraries...it'll be about cutting costs, while pretending to (as is a favourite excuse) "modernise" the service.
Because, of course, a modern service is one that has fewer staff, and fewer resources, but looks shiny and pretty. As, after all, nobody reads those musty old things called books any more. And librarians just sit at desks and stamp books. And users can navigate the intricacies of all the massive databases with ease, because they're designed to be nice and user friendly. And all the books that users actually do want (strange, old fashioned users that they must be!) are always right where you want them....
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Apparently they're asking for a solution for their badger problem. I do happen to know that, although it's illegal to move a badger without a proper licence, or "interfere" with it and its sett, if a young badger does happen to move in somewhere inconvenient (say...under a joiners workshop), and try and establish its home there, that a period of full-volume dance music / cheesy local radio, played through speakers in that workshop while in the course of using it for the established business seems to be a good encouragement to those wandering young badgers to move along to a more serene location to establish themselves in... ;)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I've enjoyed reading this (despite some editing / proof reading errors: e.g. I know for a fact that the English countryside has at no point been the native home of chipmunks, and the concept of "coy ponds" instead of "koi ponds" in a Japanese parkland setting was a bit jarring), and the addition of zombies definitely made it more entertaining: no walk in the English countryside, or carriage ride to London was safe from violent zombie attacks. And no young lady of refinement is considered to be accomplished unless she is skilled in the Deadly Arts, and has studied them in Japan or China. So the various encounters, and methods of despatching then certainly made for a bit of light relief when the "thwarted love that it was indelicate to discuss" thaaang kept coming up. And, although I early on thought I'd like a copy of the original to compare this to, to see where the differences from the original text are (other than the zombies), now I know I just couldn't cope with having to read it. It ain't made an Austin fan of me...but perhaps it has made a zombie fan of me.
Next, I shall read of one poet's descent into the zombie horror by buying Zombie Haiku...
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
If (like me) you can't be there in person, you can take part via Twitter (although I'm not sure how this is going to be integrated into the session), and the presentations of Phil Bradley and Brian Kelly are either already available in draft form, or will (I think) be made available after the session.
CILIP Council blog post here.
Twitter hash tag is #CILIP2 (#CILIP2.0 tag has been abandoned as the 'point' disrupts some applications)
Thursday, April 23, 2009
CaseCheck Launches UK-wide Service – Free Access to over 5000 legal case summaries and more
Scotland’s leading online legal information provider, CaseCheck, has linked up with Law Brief Publishing. This collaboration with the English legal publisher will give users free access to a database of more than 5,000 case summaries. The resource is popular with the Scottish legal community and has ambitious plans for the rest of the UK and beyond.
The free web-based resource now covers all major areas of law across the UK and EU, and includes expert opinions covering a wide variety of specialist subjects. Visit www.casecheck.co.uk to find out more.
CaseCheck is the brainchild of legal geek, Stephen Moore, who gave up practicing law for a career in legal information technology. Moore combines his work as a technology consultant with a number of leading law firms, with development of the CaseCheck concept.
Moore explains: “As soon as we launched we began getting great feedback. In spite of there only being 10,000 lawyers in Scotland the traffic picked up really quickly. Revenue grew on the back of that traffic and we became committed to seeing how we could develop the idea into other jurisdictions. It was just a question of finding the right partner.”
Law Brief Publishing was set up by Tim Kevan, a barrister, writer and entrepreneur. Commenting on the tie-up, Kevan said: “From the start Stephen really impressed us with his dynamic and innovative approach. CaseCheck has the potential to be an extremely important application and we are delighted to be helping with that. In return Stephen is able to give our extensive back catalogue of case reports a new audience.”
I love the fact that Stephen Moore is a self described "legal geek"! :)
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I'm trying to do the personal blogs soon too, but with more work, less time to do it in, and my own life getting a bit busy, don't hold your breath for that to happen in the next few days! :)
As always, if you're not on there (and that's quite likely, the Magical Interweb is a big place, with many nooks and crannies hiding things), contact me either via the 'contact owner' option on the wiki front page, or via the email cunningly disguised in the right hand sidebar here, and I'll add you as soon as I can :)
*Oh, looks like it was a bit more than a month, more like two! Time flies!
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I know, I know: I may have become slightly disillusioned late last year, and threatened to leave you for Greader, or Netvibes, or NewsGator, or any of the other feed readers I tried out when you were having "personal issues" and trying to "find yourself".
But I stayed with your original version, I didn't desert you for that fickle Beta, I liked you just the way you were. And I didn't get on with those others like I do with you.
And I thought you appreciated that. You bucked up your ideas, sorted yourself out, and I thought we were happy together.
Until this week.
My dear, why do you now think I want you to import every post, from every feed I take, dating back to 2007, all marked as new and unread?
I mean, it's nice that you want me to have comprehensive information, but really, it would have been better just to stick with what I asked you to do, which was supply me with the feeds, and make them go away once I'd read them. It's nice that you think I might want to keep them around, but really...no.
And that new thing you're doing of making feeds appear unread, even though I'd read them a few seconds before? And regardless of how many times I "mark as read"? Stop it. It's not as endearing as you may think it is. And it wasn't even funny the first time.
Now, I think we're strong enough to be able to work through these issues together, but it's got to be a team effort. So, if I promise to not shriek in a high pitched manner, and mash the keys, will you promise to stop doing these really, really annoying things to me?
Friday, January 23, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I'm aiming high - by the end of this week, the mail pile should be gone....hopefully.
In the meantime, a link to a story the lovely Hedgehog Librarian sent me while I was off bungee jumping in New Zealand...
The Digital Repository of the National Library of Scotland (which has its very own lovely blog here) has made a choice of technical partner for its ongoing project of creating a Digital Repository of many of the important documents from their massive (and always increasing!) collection.
Also, I just realised that the NLS also has a Flickr account, uploading lots of interesting photos from their photograph collections. A great way to be able to see some of the things you wouldn't always expect a library to have. After all, libraries just hold books...don't they? ;)
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
And now, the revived poet has also taken to blogging!
Robert Burns' Letters will be posting the letters of the bard, on the anniversary of the day they were actually written. He's currently in full love-letter flow, writing to his 'Clarinda'. The content of 91 letters will be being posted, concluding in 2010, when it is hoped the National Trust for Scotland will be able to open the doors of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. Funds are still needed for this (about £4 million), so if you can donate, please do!
Although one plea - pleeease take off the SnapShots thing on links to sites outside the blog, it's the most annoying popup in the whole entire world...ever!
Now....time to try and find a good ceilidh in town for Burns Night....