Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2013

Making foolish assumptions

There’s a saying about making foolish assumptions, and it certainly applies in this situation. CILIP, a leading professional body for the library sector has recently launched a new Virtual Learning Environment for members, which will provide an online method of tracking and submitting the evidence of members professional registration activities (e.g. Certification, Chartership etc). It should hold all the information we need to do those things, and the My Portfolio area is an add-on to the VLE, a virtual portfolio which allows logging and submission of evidence of your professional activities directly. It should be better than the old, paper based, "oh god, I think I just destroyed half the Amazon, and now I have to index tab triplicate!” option, and simplify and speed up what had become rather time consuming, mainly because of the admin. doesn't appear that the changes, at this present moment, are much of an improvement. I initially went on yesterday …

Living in interesting times

As you’ll have seen if you've been reading this blog this year, it’s been a bit of a bumpy professional time for me recently. The rapid entry of my long-term employer into administration in March, and the changes it brought about, have certainly seen me living through “interesting times”.  My various work roles since March have differed in lots of ways, and yet been oddly similar in others, and I've learned a lot about myself along the way.
I've moved from the legal sector, to the higher education sector, and into the government information sector: areas which were completely new to me and not ones I’d really considered moving in to while in the security of a permanent job.
I've taken a fixed-term project role, and a short-term contract which became a rolling weekly contract, neither of which I would have considered before. The fixed term role also converted into an opportunity for recruitment to a permanent position during the course of the contract.
I've been in a j…

The eternal legal ebook dream

I was recently at a discussion forum, where a legal publisher gave the audience some updates on where they are with their legal ebook offering. The jist of the presentations and discussions was - legal ebooks are great, people love them, if you aren’t using them yet, you will be very soon.
Now this isn’t a new topic to me, I’ve considered how I’d like legalebooks to work a few times, so forgive me if you've heard this from me before. I identified some of the main problems I think legal ebooks would have to overcome before a law firm library would be happy to begin using them, and I want to see if the recent massive rise in the use of mobile computing devices such as smartphones and tablets has addressed any of the issues I first had with ebooks in a legal setting.

Devices vs desktops
Previously, the big push was to get legal textbooks available in an electronic form through web services such as Westlaw, and access them via desktops computers, and laptops. This is still in evidence, b…

Not a job I'd envy!

There was a motion proposed last week by the Magistrate's Association in England and Wales, to end the swearing of oaths in court on the bible and other holy books. Although the motion was defeated, there was a sentence that caught my eye:
Had the motion been passed, it would probably have needed the approval of parliament to bring the change about.
The previous version of the story mentioned it in this way:

The practice is so old that it is not clear whether it is simply custom or if Parliament would have to change it.

Oaths sworn on the Bible are old enough for the Magistrates' Association to be unsure whether they are mere custom and practice or whether they were laid down by law.So, whatever the decision in Cardiff, it might need the approval of Parliament to bring the change about.
 I found this quite unusual: changes to the law were being proposed, but the people proposing the changes didn't actually know how they would go about changing it! Even in the final versi…

Is it time for a new space for information professionals?

This post is a collaboration between @ijclark and myself, and is essentially a very rough outline of something that has been variously discussed between Ian, @ellyob and me. It is rough but we think it might be worth taking forward as an idea and we were hoping others could pitch in and help develop it, potentially bringing it to fruition. Ultimately, we need your input to help refine this idea and, perhaps, to help us get it off the ground. This information is also cross posted on Ian's Infoism blog.

The Why

As a librarian who worked in a commercial law firm, I was very sensitive to the fact that any public statements of opinion made by me, on any topic, could be interpreted by my employer or clients as a breach of my employment contract. This was especially true if they could be seen to contradicted my firm’s stance on certain sectors or were overtly political. This meant that I had to be careful not to involve myself online with any contentious issues, and had to restrict myself …