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Showing posts from August, 2011

When Google gets it wrong

Today, I couldn't be bothered to dig into my bookmarks and find the link for the online version of the magazine of JLSS - The Journal of the Law Society of Scotland.
So I asked Google to find me it, by cunningly searching for the terms "JLSS" and "magazine". I'd say that's a pretty clear search: two words, both of which are correct.

But no: Google knows better.

I'm not actually wanting to look at a recent article on Agency Worker Regulations.
Actually, what Google knows I'm really looking for is sites about JLS, the boy band.

Obviously, me putting in the actual words that I want to look for just isn't accurate enough, as after being presented with a screen of nonsense about disturbingly flexible young boys in tight t-shirts, I then have to click again to correct the search. Which actually was correct when I originally input it.

Google, I am NOT thick, and I do NOT want to have to see JLS!

The Phantom Booker returns

And the fabulous but mysterious maker of lovely book sculptures strikes again, gifting the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the city with two new sculptures, left carefully at the Book Festival venue in Charlotte Square.
The previous possible link to Ian Rankin seems to have disappeared, with new authors books being used, but they're just as inventive and fun as before!

The 14th Thing - cite unseen

Uh-oh, Thing 14's going to be another one of those ones that I'm not really going to be investigating. Not because I'm lazy, but because it's just not relevant in my current workplace: the only sort of citations we're bothered about here are the legal ones. In fact, the ones we're mainly concerned about here are the incorrect legal citations, and the time we have to waste trying to figure out the correct ones. Top news: advocates don't actually always double check their case references...who knew!

I'm trying hard to think of a good reason for me to spend time poking about on Thing 14's suggested tools, but the last time I had to properly cite a bibliographic reference would have been at least 10 years ago. It's not a skill I feel that I need to have in my current role. We don't have users that need to cite material in an academic form, not do we need to support this sort of academic work.

If I do ever end up being thrown out of legal librari…

Tiny book prizewinner

So, after a strict judging process (i.e. I collated the entries, and asked some workmates which one made them laugh the most), the winner of the tiny book was....................the final entry by Daniel .
His reasoning was:

I want the History of Apples:
Because I have lost the manual for my Ipod Mini and assume this small book about Apples will cover the same ground.So Daniel, please get in touch via the email address on the right, and I'll get the book and its bottle posted off to you soon :)

And the others all provoked giggles from those who read them too...and lots from me. Thank you for the amusement, peoples! :D

An old fashioned habit

I like handwriting.
I was informed by my Dad at an early age that an inability to write in a straight line without having a lined page to guide you was the sign of a Weak Mind.*
I can write in a straight line without having a lined page to guide me.
I can write in multiple sizes (1mm high is my favourite).
I struggle to write continuously in capitals when official forms require it (lower case is my natural habit).
I have nice, readable handwriting.
I write to people, because it's nice to get a letter.
I keep every letter or postcard ever sent to me.
I make interesting line images using words.
I wrote all my University notes by hand...with bonus illustrations, when I was bored.
I keep to-do lists in my handbag, and delight in carefully scoring out things when they're done.

So...writing: is fun, even though I barely do it for the bulk of my time - in my daily life, typing is King!

But I find that writing's actually the best way that I learn: the physical act of writing trans…

Unlucky Thirteen - the Thing of collaborative working

Apparently, collaboration is not just a thing that it is naughty to do with the enemy during a war. It is also a Good Thing too. There are many collaborative tools, and Thing 13 asks us to take a look at one or more of their suggested tools: Google Docs, Wikis, and Dropbox.

Now, I've looked at Google Docs in passing before, or when someone's pointed me towards a document they'd like some input on that's being hosted there. To be honest, I've not seen much use for it for me currently - my role does not often need that sort of mass-input to create single documents, or to share them widely. Same for Dropbox - I've not had much need to put a document somewhere that people can later download it from. If I want to work on a document at home, I can access my computer remotely, or email it to my personal email address. So, neither of these two resources currently do much for me, as my work needs don't call for much in the way of document collaboration..

Wikis, I…

Thing 12 - social media and networks

Ok, Thing 12 is looking at "the role of social media in building up networks and a sense of community." Now, I've got to say, I do love me a good social network. I've been a user of MySpace (back when it was actually cool), then moved on to Bebo, and finally, in the last two or three years, I've settled in to Facebook, and Twitter (with the obligatory LinkedIn presence, but I don't count that as part of my part of my active social network), with a steady background of blogs.

The main benefit that I've gained from social media is using it to help me get to know so many professionals outside my own sphere. Scots law librarians are a small group, and our concerns are specific to the materials and data we have to work with. They can overlap when we work with UK issues, but otherwise, we're focussed on what we need to do to deal with our own needs. Making contact with non-Scots law professionals, and regularly interacting with them has led to me making som…

Thingee eleventyone - mentals, and mentaling

It's time to talk about mentals (or mentors, if we're being awffy formal).

I've been mentored a-plenty, both formally and informally, and now I'm even starting to do a little bit of the mentoring stuff myself. So how has it all worked out for me?

The unofficial mentors
In my previous workplace, I worked as part of a team of five staff in an institutional members-only law library, and effectively had a substantial period of apprenticeship to my boss, who spent at least a year supervising the VERY steep learning curve I had to go on. It was mainly her who ended up being the person showing me where things were kept; explaining how those things related to each other; how she'd figured out where an answer might be found for an enquiry we'd received; introducing me to other legal information professionals; and answering the many random and stupid questions I came up with. She also encouraged me to be active in both CILIP, and the group representing Scottish legal info…

Win a book in a bottle

I like to do crafts in my spare time, and in particular, I like to make mini things. And being a librarian, miniature books are a particular favourite. I cut strips of white paper to size, draw tiny dots and dashes and lines on the paper to represent text sections (it's too small to write actual words), glue these together onto a paper strip spine, write a short title on a front page (I can fit approximately three or four short words onto the front cover), glue the front and back covers on, sand or trim the pages to equal sizes, then finally decorate the spine and front cover corners.





So, what I'm offering to do today is to give away this mini book, called "The History of Apples", which fits within the glass bottle you see it in at the top of this post. The bottle lid has a hole, which means this could be worn as a necklace, added to a keyring...or just kept on a shelf to confuse people.

All you have to do is leave a comment below within the next week, completing th…

And...the rest

Following the Good and the Bad, this is the WTF category. The contents are...interesting.
Some are fun and cool.
Some are twee-as-Hell, and play on the dowdy/boring/cat-loving old woman librarian theme.
Some have gone for the shushing harridan stereotype.
Some are unusual and interesting.

And some, quite frankly, are terrifying.

I leave it up to you to decide which is which. And whether some of them would find a better home on Regretsy.

And for the Bad...

So, we've seen the Good - often quite pretty or kinda-cool ladies (nobody had tagged solo male images as "librarian", they only seem to turn up within groups or as part of a couple), doing things to do with books, reading, relaxing...that's fine, I can go with that.

Now, we move on to the Bad (or Sexy Girls). There are two main librarian representation stereotype categories - there's the nice girl, and then there's these: the librarians who are obviously repressed, and are secretly just itching to rip their clothes off/show you their cleavage/stand over a handy airvent to flash their pants/ wear short, high-split skirts and stilettos, stockings and garter belts to work.

You know, the standard stuff that us librarians think about doing while trapped behind those big, nasty issue desks...



What librarians look like...according to Etsy artists

Etsy is quite a treasure trove of. handcrafted items, in all sorts of materials. Some are great, some are good, and some are....erm....different. You can find all sorts of things when you search on there. I wondered what this random selection of creative types considered to be a librarian, or to look like one.

As a form of mild amusement, I will present here the results of a recent search I did on Etsy using the word "librarian", which brought up results including this word in their description or tag.. Therefore, the choice of whether this is what a librarian looks like is the makers, not mine. Believe me, I would really prefer that some of this stuff wasn't tagged as being a librarian - I got a reputation to uphold here!

They can be perhaps regarded as being in three categories: The Good (or Cute), The Bad (or Sexy), and The....WTF.
Today, I shall begin with...The Good.

The Good