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Showing posts from June, 2011

(Mock) trials and tribulations

The mock trial, something more commonly seen in University law schools, is popping up in Scotlands primary schools, with real court practitioners involved.

I like this. I know that, as an adult, the day I went into a court when I went for jury duty was the first time I'd ever been in a working court, despite having worked in the Scottish Courts complex in Edinburgh for years (we're not counting the time when lots of staff in the court complex downed tools and shuffled in to watch Jack McConnell being sworn in as First Minister) .

I didn't know what the court would look like: I was surprised by how modern it was (not like the ones I'd looked through the door windows of at the court complex) . I had a vague idea of who would/should be there, but nothing more than that. I don't work with criminal law, so had only the vaguest of ideas about how things worked in such cases.

Question - has anyone reading this ever visited a court, unless required to for jury duty? If you…

Dumpling does a drawing #2

Meg mentioned in a comment on my previous drawing that I'd missed a couple of the other ways lawyers utilise expensive law books...so I've created an additional drawing to illustrate one of the other favoured approaches....


Old Legal 500's: great for putting plants on (or increasing the height of your monitor).

Dumpling does a drawing

I wonder how many other law librarians will find this situation familiar.


It's the one where you ask someone where the book signed out by them is, and they strenuously deny all knowledge of it...or even the existence of such a thing as a book...while surrounded by the things.

P.S. Dumpling is not very good at art.

Art books...literally.

I love this story!

A link to a famous thriller and crime writer, mysterious pieces of book-based artwork turning up in libraries and cultural venues around the city, use of Twitter usernames on gift tags to show the maker is familiar with social media...

I hope they manage to display them all together - as a bit of a crafter myself, I do like to see what creative things people can do with old books. :)

Thing 3 - My brand (or lack of it)

So, it's time to think about my personal brand, it would appear. Well, I think I can quite clearly and definitely say that my professional brand is hugely muddled, and I've added to that confusion by recently changing my blog name! Who am I? Where am I? Where's my blog gone? Why did I choose such a silly name?
Although if we were talking about my non-professional brand, I'm pretty consistent with what I do there. If you know my usual online username, you'll find me all over the web quite easily. And, as I'm the only person who uses my username (or at least I have been for the last 10 years or so), if you find me out there, it will be me. Of the first 20 Google search results, 18 are about me. This may even potentially be higher, but my account is protected on certain services, and so won't be indexed by Google. And I'm pretty good at closing down accounts with services I no longer use, so they're also usually active accounts, or those in limbo before…

cpd23 - Thing 2

I've been blog hopping!

Using the cpd23 Delicious bookmarks, I've been having a wander around some participants blogs. I feel I already know certain bloggers reasonably well, so after a wander round their blogs, and some commenting, I branched out into other blogs....the blogs of STRANGERS!  I joined in on an interesting discussion in the comments of Libraries, the Universe and Everything, about what number of RSS feeds people feel is reasonable. Some people are certainly able to deal with a lot more feeds than me, although I suppose it's also not just the number of feeds, but the activity levels of each of those feeds that may be a factor in how many is "too many".

 I have to admit though, I kind of lost track of where I had been, as I would click on the link of a blog commenter, then comment and follow a link to another comment on their blog...and forget to click the "send emails of following comments" option. D'oh!

I also learned that finding the…

cpd23 Week One - Blogging

So, week one of cpd23 begins, and participants are asked to set up a blog, if they don't already have one. Well, I've had this blog (in it's previous incarnation as "Jennie Law" for four years, so I think I'm good for the "setting up and getting used to blogging" part of Thing One :)

I set this blog up originally as just somewhere to share the interesting things I found around the internet, with no real expectation of many others finding or reading it (and hence very little thought about a good name). At the time, there were only one or two other law librarians that I knew of blogging, so it didn't seem like it would be something long term, but for that moment, it felt good to be able to share some random thoughts with other law librarians, and to be able to learn from their blogs. I've stuck with it, despite a few periods of thinking "I've got nothing to say!" (and then finding a month or so later that I suddenly had a flood o…

What Dumpling Learned Today, #1

Today, I learned that Scots no longer lay boys down on stones that mark boundaries and whip them, in order for them to be sufficiently traumatised by the event that they will memorise the position of the stones for the rest of their lives.

It appears that the development of fencing in the eighteenth century is wonderful in many, many ways.
And generations of boys must be truly grateful for this.

My Favourite CDP Things

Blogging, and tweeting, and making connections,
Exploring resources, professional reflection, 
Email alerts that make my inbox go "ping",
These are a few of my CPD Things.


Training, and Chartering, and being a mentor,
The professional chances I need to look out for,
Figuring out how to build a search string,
These are a few of my CPD Things.


Finding the tools to help with citations,
Top tips on giving a good presentation,
As long as no-one out there expects me to sing,
These are a few of my CPD Things.


When the work looms, when the time's short,
When I'm feeling bad,
I simply remember my CPD Things, 
And then I don't feel so bad!


Yes, indeedy, this post is my (somewhat random) way of announcing I've signed myself up for the 23 Things For Professional Development programme.
Are you signed up?
C'mon, join in: it's free, and useful to information professionals workingin all fields - how many things can you say that applies to nowadays?

Feel free to add more verses too …

Chaotic convening

A few years ago, I ended up becoming the Convenor of my professional group. Now, this wasn't because of outrageous ambition or a wild desire for power. Nope: it was more along the lines of "somebody has to do it, and you look like you won't break too much expensive or important stuff". My predecessor was wonderful: very organised, professional, and efficient. I think I can say I took that as a challenge not to live up to...I am definitely more of a Chaotic Convenor.

This is how I convene a meeting*:

Fumble about with the paperwork, and realise I didn't print out the agenda and previous meetings minutes.Sheepishly ask if anyone has spare copies/steal another Committee members copy while they aren't looking, and protest innocence and surprise when the missing papers are discovered.Select which pretty colour of gel ink pen to use.Ask what I'm meant to do.Start going over the minutes of the previous meeting.Ask if that's what I'm meant to be doing.Mean…

I renamed myself...now I'm a dumpling.

So, for various reasons stated previously, I decided to shoogle the blog about a bit, and I finally decided on what I think you can agree is perhaps a somewhat random name. It doesn't have a hint of law or libraries in it, but then, quite often, neither do my posts!

The name does have some little bit of reason behind it: it's part of the lyrics to a Jimmy Logan song my Mum used to sing to me as a child...and I'm pretty childish myself ;)

So, this is my first post as a Dumpling! :D

My previous contact email address will still work if you have that, but old blog links won't, so feel free to update your bookmarks if you have any :)

*waddles off in a dumpy, dumplingy manner*

Thank you for going to events...now stop talking about them.

I like Twitter - it lets me (virtually, and often eventually, physically) meet lovely people. I've made contacts and friendships in the UK and abroad with information professionals in all sectors, programmers and coders of all types, lawyers and barristers in all fields, government staff of all types, teachers, au pairs, historians, housewives, artists...Through the ability to interact on Twitter, I've had help on many occasions to source hard to find materials, or been able to ask people with experience in other fields for advice.

But what I have really grown to hate is the people tweeting Every Single Point made at these events. When you tend to follow a lot of people who work in similar sectors (unsurprisingly for me, that's librarians), you also find a lot of them go to the same events. And that means that you have a LOT of people tweeting exactly the same thing, sometimes differently worded, continuously during talks. The useful content of each tweet usually is low - …

Four Go Mad in Tayside

Oh yes, the life of a law librarian laydee's not all frantic researching, and running as fast as you can, just to stay still. No: sometimes we're unshackled from our desks, and allowed to roam freely in the open air.

So, today, me and three other law librarians will be gleefully running out of our offices after work, for a road trip to Loch Tay, to do crazy things...like edumacating ourselves on some history at the Crannog Centre, sampling traditional Scottish health foods such as fish and chips, wandering around in the woods (we're not going to mention the Blair Witch, mmkay?), and, if we're feeling really brave, and confident enough that each of us know which direction to point in, perhaps some archery...

I believe there will also have to be lashings and lashings of (perhaps somewhat alcoholic) ginger beer.

And I solemnly swear that none of us will be allowed to put any books, CDs or DVDs in alphabetical order.

Scottish Law Librarians Group training course - Google and Beyond!

Are you:

In Scotland?An information professional?Keen to improve your web research skills?Unlikely to get the time or funding to travel to London for the most popular and useful courses by experienced trainers?
Then come to this training day in Edinburgh on Monday 13th June. Presented on behalf of the Scottish Law Librarians Group, Phil Bradley will be leading a full day course (split into a morning and afternoon session), first on getting the most out of Google, and then going beyond Google to using other online resources and tools.

If you're interested, contact the organiser soon - places are limited, and only a few are left!

Online opinions, and offline submissions

What judges like best
This news from America about the online version of court opinions being the "official" version reminded me of a situation we have here in Scotland, although in this case it's about acceptable electronic versions for submission to the court.

Technically, there's no reason that Judges and Sheriffs won't accept an electronic version of a case report - Practice Note 2 of 2004 authorises the use of an electronic case report when it is:
"reported in a series of reports by means of a copy of a reproduction of the opinion in electronic  form that has been authorised by the publisher of the relevant series, provided that the report is presented to the court in an easily legible form and that the advocate presenting the report is satisfied that it has been reproduced in an accurate form from the data source."What this should mean is that the electronic version of a case report should be perfectly acceptable to the court, unless someone decides…