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Showing posts from March, 2008

UK librarian blogs - the list so far

I’ve pulled the previous entries into one alphabetical list, with a few categories. Will be back later with more detailed discussion of what I’ve learned by doing this. And, as always, if you know of other librarian blogs, let me know and I’ll add them in! Institutional Library Blogs / Professional Group Blogs aRKive Appears to be the blog of the Reid Kerr College library, or someone related to the Library, but unable to confirm as it doesn’t have any ‘about’ section that I can find. Lots of posts about library topics, books, IT… Brit Lib Blogs Google Group There’s a Google Group for British librarian bloggers! Unfortunately it looks to be pretty much unused at the moment. CILIP Blogs CILIP has various blogs by either staff, or links to relevant blogs, available from the Communities section. Varying levels of activity on these blogs – the PTEG blog has one post from November 2007, while Lyndsay’s CILIP Blog has been going has been going for almost a year, with at le

The right to die in scotland

Independent MSP Margo McDonald has claimed in a Scottish Parliament debate that the terminally ill should be allowed the right to "assisted death" at a time of their choosing. Although the law is not likely to change, the Scottish Parliament does have the devolved power of healthcare...I wonder if it extends to allowing euthanasia? And would that start a cross-border trek for those who wanted to die with dignity but needed help, travelling from other parts of the UK to Scotland?

UK and USA public libraries - guns drawn?

I found this story on a US library news blog. It's about a UK public library story (which in itself is entirely horrific), but the comments show an interesting cultural difference. As a UK resident, I find the sometimes easy American acceptance of gun ownership quite unsettling. I understand that there’s a Constitutional right to bear arms (and a huge debate about that in itself), but the culture of acceptance of the need to have access to a weapon is, to me, quite scary. For a personal example - while working in America , I managed to gain a stalker. The response of my workmates? Did they offer to help me report him to the police / give me a lift to the police station, accompany me there, offer moral support, give me safety tips, work out a strategy of how to lose him and distance him from me? Nope – they offered me various handguns to protect myself with. I had never even seen a real gun, let alone handled one, had no weapons permit and no intention of (or probably legal

Labradors are not evil. Mostly.

From a case in the Court of Session , reported in the news area of the Journal of the Law Society of Scotland. This seems to have been an unfortunate accident involving an excitable black lab that collided with another dog walker and injured her knee, while it was playing with her own dog. It was attempted to establish liability for the behaviour of the dog under the Animals ( Scotland ) Act 1987: "Section 1 of the Act provides, so far as relevant: "1(1) ... a person shall be liable for any injury or damage caused by an animal if - (b) the animal belongs to a species whose members generally are by virtue of their physical attributes or habits likely (unless controlled or restrained) to injure severely or kill persons or animals, or damage property to a material extent; and (c) the injury or damage complained of is directly referable to such physical attributes or habits. (2) In this section 'species' includes - (a) a f

Does Denmark want them back?

Apparently, the Shetland Islands could not actually be part of Scotland , being pawned to the Scots crown in 1469 as part of a long term loan by King Christian of Denmark, and never intentioned to become a permanent part of Scotland. Not much chance of succeeding in the case I'd think, but it does give an amusing thought - how much would Denmark have to pay now to clear the debt and get them back?

Do you really own your ebooks?

Via a link on Boing Boing , a post on Gizmodo about research on the ownership of content bought for e-readers such as the Kindle and Sony Reader. It brings up the issue that it would appear that you're only licensing the content of the books, not buying them in the traditional sense of having outright ownership, with the associated the right to sell on and lend to others. As the authors of the original research (access appears to be subscription only, but the Gizmodo post includes the article summary) conclude though, if it appears to be a sale, even if it calls itself a licence, it'll be regarded as a sale. But you couldn't sell a copy of your document (some small thing called copyright!), you would have to sell the physical storage device the file was downloaded to. Or perhaps find a way of getting the downloaded file off the reader, leaving no trace / copy of it behind. And as someone points out in the comments, there's no requirement that says the publishers have

An Early Easter gift!

From CILIP, to me! After having had my portfolio since September, it missing the October and January Chartership Board meetings, and having no hope of hearing anything until after the April meeting... I passed! On a meeting on the 19th of March, bizarrely! I'm Chartered! - I can put MCLIP after my name! It's a bit of an anticlimax now, after submitting it 8 months ago, and all the incredibly ridiculous problems caused by CILIP, and all the fighting to try and get things moved along... Although one friend has said that she can't help reading MCLIP as McCLIP....maybe that's the Scottish version? :D

The Belgians reach an agreement...finally!

You know, I thought the UK political situation could be difficult. The Welsh Assembly , Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Assembly all having different levels of devolved powers. Knowing who can do what, and where that power comes from can be a nightmare. Each piece of secondary legislation has to be double checked to see if it applies to all the parts of the UK, or only some, and even the ones that only apply to some parts may have some importance in general to the parts they're not actually in force in. For instance, the pleural plaques compensation is currently UK wide legislation, but the Scottish Government disagrees with the decision, and is planning to create its own legislation under its devolved health remit. But the Belgian situation makes all those niggles easy to deal with. They've only just managed to swear in a government...after elections in June 2007! And it may still collapse in July 2008. At least in the UK we only have one language to have to cope

Not a huge surprise from Amazon

As a follow on from this post on the 5th of March, I just got this email from Amazon customer services: Dear Customer, Greetings from We are writing to you regarding your above mentioned order for the item "Love and Consequences: A Memoir of Hope and Survival" Unfortunately, we are currently unable to offer this item, as we're currently out of stock of "Love and Consequences: A Memoir of Hope and Survival" and we are not able to guarantee when or if it will be available for purchase on our website. For this reason, we have removed this item from your order and the item will shortly be listed as out of stock on our website. Any other items ordered will still be dispatched. Please note that our supply of popular items is sometimes limited and some products sell out quickly. We suggest checking our website from time to time to see if this item has come back in stock or if it is available from a third-party seller through Marketplace. When

The BBC Micro - happy days!

The men responsible for the creation of the BBC Micro are meeting up at the Science Museum in London today , to celebrate its creation. I have many happy memories of the BBC Micro - my Dad was lucky enouguh to have an employer who understood what a revolution these 'computers' were likely to cause in the future. In the mid 1980s (I think) they set up a programme to allow staff to purchase a BBC Micro to use at home and educate themselves on. The initial purchase was actually made by the company, and the (then huge) cost of the Micro was taken out of the salary in instalments. Those who took them up on this offer got a snazzy machine to play with, and I can't say that being able to programme in Basic ever harmed their career prospects! A side effect of this is that I got to come home from school and , if Dad wasn't using it, play games on the Micro. It was connected to an old TV which was used as the monitor, sitting on a wooden plinth that my Dad had made that fitted ov

And more UK library bloggers...

I continue on my mission to gather UK library blogs into a list. I’m sure somebody’s going to pop up at some point and tell me such a thing already exists, but until then, I’ll keep going. Of course Roddy Macleod guest blogged on this same topic on UK Web Focus almost a year ago. Since then, there’s been a growth in the number of library blogs. I intend to eventually gather these into one list, reorganise the categories, and maybe put it on my website (anyone got an easy tool to build one, for a girl that knows not of the mysteries of HTML, and doesn’t think she could ever get to grips with it anyway?). I will also probably post about what I’ve learned about UK library blogs in the process. I haven’t been able to explore every blog linked to on these blogs, but I’ve made a good stab at it…I’ve discounted any blog not updated for a reasonably large amount of time, restricted the list to only UK people, and only people who state they are librarians, or work in the libra

Where are the UK Librarian blogs?

In response to various posts wondering about the strange lack of UK library / librarian blogs, I thought I’d have a look for myself to see where they’re all hiding. I did a search on Google Blogs, just using the words “ uk ” and “librarian”, and looked for posts published ‘anytime’, which gave me 24 pages of blog listings. This included spam blogs, duplicate postings, and various sites including ‘ uk ’ in the text of a link they’d posted. I learned a few things in the process. Lots of blogs post occasionally about librarians, without necessarily being written by librarians. If a blogger doesn't fill out their location information, it can be quite hard to work out where they're based without having to read a few posts and look for cultural references. “ UK ” also means "University of Kentucky ” ( See? ). There are quite a few interesting English language library bloggers, but they're not on this list 'cos they ain't in the UK. There really doesn’t

As L'Oreal says...

...because I'm worth it! Ok, so it's been pointed out that there may be more use for my random wafflings than I thought, so there's actually a point to keeping blogging on here. So, I will! I will still try and focus on Scots Law: as there's very few of us doing this it seems to be the most useful thing I can do. But perhaps I'll loosen my self-imposed restrictions on keeping it to technical topics, and maybe allow myself to meander along the random roads of library stuff... A few posts 'from draft that have been lurking because I didn't think they were Web 2.0 enough' may pop up on here now!

Time to shut down?

I've been thinking a lot recently about what my blog is actually contributing. I'm not a leading 'thinker', I'm not an investigative reporter, I'm not really great at anything, I'm just, well, here. It's been great for meeting other law librarians, both in the UK and internationally, but do I actually really contribute anything useful or new? I don't think so, to be very honest. So what's the point of me continuing this blog? I can now post (hopefully) useful stuff to the law.librarian collaborative blog, which I would otherwise have posted here, so this blog has become kind of surplus to requirements really. I started it to post items I thought were relevant to my field, so I could refer back to them easily, but law.librarians does a far better job of it together than I could ever do on my own! I may continue to post items of relevance to Scots law only, or the more fun / frivolous that doesn't really fit on law.librarians, but I think that

Cardiac hacking?

From Null Hypothesis , the news that having to have a pacemaker fitted may not be traumatic enough in itself, without hearing that medical staff are now realising that the new, snazzy wifi enabled pacemakers they're fitting may be a health hazard in themselves! The pacemakers are wifi enabled, to allow easy downloading of data and checks of the device, meaning the recipient doesn't have to make as many routine hospital visits. Which is a good thing indeed! What they hadn't really taken into account is the fact that wifi also means that, theoretically, the pacemakers are hackable, allowing them to be reprogrammed and potentially triggering life threatening palpitations. Thankfully, it's not likely to ever happen, but if have a pacemaker, and your heart starts to race in a wifi cafe, maybe it's not just the caffeine rush...

Isn’t it funny the places where you find a discussion of duty of care?

Donoghue v Stevenson rises again! Entertaining discussion about spellings, maiden names and whether or not it was proven the snail was actually in the bottle in the comments section. And yes, 'ginger' in Scotland is generally meaning any fizzy drink, not specifically ginger beer, but in this case, it was referred to specifically as 'ginger beer', so ginger beer it is! I imagine in some parts of England the case could have been about 'pop' :-) T'was to be mixed with the ice cream they bought to create an iced drink, as reported in 1932 SLT 317. Although personally, I prefer lemonade and vanilla ice cream for an ice cream float. And no snail included, ta!

Happy World Book Day - come see a big 'un!

Apparently, the Worlds Biggest Book will be on display at the National Library of Scotland to celebrate. Although the content looks fabulous, can I confess to being slight disappointed by the 'bigness' of the book? I was hoping for something insanely huge, at least a few feet thick, and perhaps the size of a bed...this just seems to be a collection of photographs bound together :-( It doesn't even show up as a Guinness World Record , so who decided it had that title? *mutter, mutter*

Another fake author

The book "Love and Consequences" has been recalled by the publisher, as although it was thought to be a biography, it turns out to actually be a complete fabrication, apparently based on the authors work in a gang outreach programme. It's the second book in a short time to be shown to actually be fiction, having initially been sold as non-fiction. It seems a bit strange to me that these authors felt that their story would be better accepted if it was claimed to be the truth, rather than if it was fiction. I mean, a four year old girl travelling across Europe during WWII in the company of a pack of wolves isn't exactly a standard life story - surely it's more believable as fiction, than as truth anyway? A terrible childhood, difficult fostering, drug running for gangs, murder...again, (thankfully) not a normal story, but surely better as a fictional tale than as trying to claim it as true? Is that all publishers want from authors now - shocking, true-life stories

I'm an omnivore?

From a link pasted on law.librarians , I did this survey , to find out where I fit in the technology world. It's aimed at the American public, but here's my results anyway: Where do you fit? Your Results Based on your answers to the questionnaire, you most closely resemble survey respondents within the Omnivores typology group. This does not mean that you necessarily fit every group characteristic. Omnivores make up 8% of the American public. Basic Description Members of this group use their extensive suite of technology tools to do an enormous range of things online, on the go, and with their cell phones. Omnivores are highly engaged with video online and digital content. Between blogging, maintaining their Web pages, remixing digital content, or posting their creations to their websites, they are creative participants in cyberspace. Defining Characteristics You might see them watching video on an iPod. They might talk about their video games or their partici