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Showing posts from January, 2011

Book handbag instructions

When I was in Australia last year , I promised various people the instructions on how to make a handbag that I had with me, made out of an old law textbook. So, belatedly (but it did take ages to make/photo/write up at the same time), here's the details of how to make a book bag for yourself! Materials Empty hardback book shell, in good condition Material – 1 large piece, or 2 contrasting/complementing smaller pieces (fat quarter size) Craft felt – any colour Magnetic clasps Handbag handles Ribbon to co-ordinate or contrast with the selected material (up to 1cm wide) Tools/equipment Scissors Ruler Tweezers Wire snips A4 Card Craft knife Cutting mat Pen that will write on fabric (make sure it won’t bleed through the fabric though) Glue gun Iron and ironing board Sewing machine (or it can be hand sewn if you have infinite patience!) Other info For this bag, I used 2 complementary colours/patterns of fat quarters. My book shell was 38 cm by 24 cm, with a spine width of 7.5cm.

The pretty picture...

I'm such a copycat: I saw Karen Blakeman's visual LinkedIn network on her blog, and thought I'd see what mine looked like... I've taken out my name at the centre, and the shareable version strips out contact names, but I seem to have 3 separate worlds - orange is workmates, past and present. Blue is personal/real life contacts, green is online/social networks contacts, and pink are library-but not via-social-network contacts. Methinks you can see that work and social/personal don't really overlap in my life, although some of the colour coding, as Karen says, seems to be entirely random. But it's still quite pretty, all swirly and stuff!

Tommy's a tweet thing

Today, for the first time, live tweeting will be allowed from the High Court in Glasgow , for the sentencing of Tommy Sheridan in his perjury case. STV News made a formal written application to be allowed to do so, and permission was granted. I wonder if this will be an exceptional situation, and live tweeting will only be allowed for this case (due to the media/public interest), or whether this is likely to be something allowed in future for other, less "exciting" cases?

You're all lovely, you know that?

Look what you did! You've given £1758.11 so far to help build a library in India ...and if you haven't contributed yet, there's still a few hours left to give until the campaign closes. That means, in the space of only 2 weeks, dozens of total strangers have chipped in enough together to pay the £1,250 needed to build, staff and stock an entire library in India for 2 years...with enough left over for 5 mobile libraries in Africa and/or book grants, woo-hoo! Think of the future you've all helped to create, enabling people to take charge of their own lives through the power of education! You ALL deserve that warm inner glow of Being Good People!* Really, you're all amazing - nobody who's donated their hard-earned money is getting any sort of commodity back for it: each donation is a selfless investment in the future of strangers. Good People rock! And remember to keep an eye on the Buy India A Library blog for updates on developments with the library. *It looks

Drifting over drafts

Today, I’m looking for this draft Statutory Instrument: The Offshore Chemicals (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (oh yes, I know how to live life on the wild side!) The Stationery Office gave notice of its existence here . Now, I want to put that information into our Current Awareness service, so I went to the section in OPSI that I’d previously bookmarked, as it held draft SIs. But that redirected me to the front page of . Ok…I knew that the shift of all content to would be happening soon, so that was fine. is generally a good, handy site…but unfortunately it still has some glitches. Before, on OPSI, I could either go directly to the Draft SIs page, or search by the title of the draft. For some reason though, doesn’t recognise draft legislation if you try and find it via entering its title in the search box – it seems that search is restricted to only enacted legislation, so Draft SIs aren’t findable that way.

No discrimination in Boston

It doesn't matter whether you're black, white or even just kinda patchy colours all Boston, you're able to serve as a juror. Yes, species is no barrier to being involved in turning those big, heavy wheels of justice! It makes the Scottish Government's recent act of removing the age barrier for jury duty look positively old-fashioned: bring on the time when animals are serving! I can't wait to see what "reasonable adaptations" would be needed to allow large farm animals in the jurors box. Although I suppose at least some animals, like horses, would already be used to being in a box... Ta to Greville Tombs for sending me this story. Image source

Librarianing - the physical reason

There are many factors that might steer you into librarianship as a career. A love of learning and knowledge; a mind that likes to dig out the useful information hidden in a pile of nonsense; ruthless organisational skills; an ability to strip out extraneous information and get to the core of a question; a memory for random snippets of information and facts that turn out to be useful later on... And then there's the factor that's beyond your control. Something that you might not realise you have until one day, all the little moments add up together into an moment of glorious, and disturbing understanding. You have Librarian Face. It's the face that makes people want to ask you random questions. It's the face that makes strangers think that you have memorised the intricacies of the local bus system, and can therefore give excellent advice on this topic. The face that implies an in-depth knowledge of the stock of local shops, and therefore exactly which ones will be able

Why I'd rather have an IT department

So, some companies are moving towards allowing staff to buy their own computers to work on? That all sounds very nice, and whizzy in concept, but...I don't think I'd be wanting that option, myself. I am a librarian - I do information retrieval and research work. As part of that, I'm reasonably well aware of some sorts of techie stuff, and the main Dos and Don'ts. But when things go wrong, I need a Grown Up, in the form of the IT Department. They are trained and experienced with the proper technical stuff, both the hardware and software. They build the systems we work in. They've dealt with the regular problems that occur pretty frequently, and they have the skills to work out what's going on when a new problem crops up. They know what that random code in that pop-up box means - I certainly don't have a clue, and I definitely don't have the time to find out about it, teach myself about it, and then attempt to fix it. Chances are, I'd end up breaking s

Security woopsie

So, it's safe to say it's a Bad Thing when there's a breach of security and confidentiality in a meeting between a solicitor and client. So when a technician from Cable and Wireless intruded into a client meeting by popping up on a monitor int he meeting room, that can't exactly have put a smile on many faces... However, I personally like to imagine the technician popping up, and doing this:

6 degrees of legal librarianing

You know that game, 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon , when you can use Kevin Bacon to link almost anyone in Hollywood in 6 steps or less? Yes? Well, it's got almost nothing to do with this post, but I like the idea of it :) Anyhoo, what was it I was going to blog about...oh yes - the problem of what degree is most useful in a legal information environment. See, I knew there was some reason I'd been thinking of degrees! Y'see, Robert Gordon University have done something rather spiffing: they've launched a distance learning Law LLB , woo-hoo! Studying is part-time as standard, and can be accelerated to full time from 2012. Now...this is kinda tempting, because as a librarian in law firm, I'm similar to many librarians in this and other specialist areas: I don't have a degree in the subject I work in. Everything I've learned, I've either been taught by my previous or current boss (both infinitely patient in relation to daft questions), or picked up through doing

When silliness becomes real goodness

Well, back in December I thought it's be fun to put together a gift list for the stereotypical librarian, and this included, of course, library-based options, mainly from . I've used Goodgifts before (it's actually now a running joke in my family: if I hand over an envelope for an event, they tend to wail "Oh don't tell us you've bought me another orphan!"), so I though it'd be nice to feature their library idea. And there I left it - as a nice idea, but one for other people. And of course, the awesome option of buying a full library was just mad - nobody I knew could afford that! But I reckoned without theREALwikiman , and other fab librarians around the world. Ned saw my blog post, and retweeted the link...and him and others have got together to do something fabulous: they ARE going to buy that library! And if there's not enough money for that permanent library, then maybe they can fund some mobile ones, or the stock for them...

Scotlandshire gets with the times

*Warning, this post uses vicious sarcasm* You know, apparently, after the age of 65, your brain turns to mush and all your mental faculties just drain away into your toes, leaving you only fit to watch daytime TV, and consider if Cash in the Attic would find anything worthwhile in your house, while thinking longingly of the days when you could eat foods that didn't get under the plate of your dentures. Although it is rumoured that occasionally, a faint waft of intellect can remain, enough to make such decrepit wrecks of humanity fit to hold a normal conversation...and sometimes they can even crank the handle enough to wind their brains up to lukewarm. And now Scotland will yank them out of their nice, sensible high-backed chairs with sturdy arms , and throw them into a jury box. It's almost like the Scottish Government understands that life and intelligence doesn't end with retirement. Who knew?

No (Form)spring in this step

Yes, I'm the type of gal who likes to mess about and try new tools and sites. So, nine months ago, Formspring seemed like an amusing timewasting tool - people can ask you questions, either putting their name to them (usually a Twitter name), or anonymously. You then can answer them, and post the responses in your Formspring stream, either for the world to see, or only to your followers (I'm not sure if this was originally an option). You can also follow other people, and ask them questions too, so it can be quite interactive. Yes, I know it was and still is attracting bad publicity for the fact that school kids use it to bully each other, but school kids can and will use anything to bully each other, from verbal abuse, notes written and passed around, text messages, or messages on various popular sites that over time have moved from MySpace, to Bebo, to Facebook and Twitter. Just because some people misuse it, doesn't mean a tool is inherently bad. And as an adult, if I di