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Showing posts from July, 2011

"This one time, at Library Camp...."

So yesterday, I was browsing Twitter at lunchtime, and Jo Bo Anderson posted that she was going to something called Library Camp in Birmingham in October, and wondered who else was interested in attending. The actual content of the day so far is totally vague and woolly, but that also means that no-one is excluded by it being too sector-specific, and I started seeing lots of people I'd love to get to meet in real life post on Twitter that they were signing up to attend. There's no way with most of these people that our paths would ever cross at professional events otherwise, so this seemed like a great chance to get together with a wide range of information professionals from across the country. And it was free! And on a weekend, so there were no clashes with work! And in not-London, so therefore travel and accommodation were reasonably affordable! And there was to be CAKE! So, in the course of an hour I had signed myself up to attend, booked train tickets, found myself a

Reluctantly professional

I try and pretend I'm not, and keep it well hidden, but actually, I can be quite Grown Up and Professional. So much so that I'm going to be Revalidating my Chartership this year - ohhh, get me, eh? But...I am not-so-good at saying why I'm fabulous, or keeping up with collating my evidence of professional activity nice and accessible in a voluntary way, so I've got two things that are going to help me with Revalidation. The first is my employers internal appraisal system - as our Library service's work is entirely internally focussed, it's important to be able to demonstrate that we're still maintaining a high standard of professionalism and awareness of activities and developments both in and outside our specialist fields. The appraisal system allows my boss and I to set realistic targets and activities, keep track of them, and update them as progress is achieved. All of which works nicely with the Revalidation process! And second is teaming up with some

Calendar juggling - Thing 8

Righty, we're on to organising tools then, and this one is Google Calendar. Now I have to say, I'm not going to be doing this Thing, for various reasons. Mainly, I don't really have a need for it in my life. Work I have a personal work calendar, as does my boss. We can both access each others calendars when needed, and see what each person is up to - this is useful if my boss is unavailable and people want to check with me whether they could schedule a meeting with her, or when she has a gap in her day. Our calendars allow us to easily book meeting rooms in our firm, and keep track of events and plans. This is the only calendar I have any need to share the information on with anyone, and this is already possible. We also don't need to publicise anything to our users: we're here during core service hours, and sometimes beyond, and if either one of us is not at their desk (holidays etc) we put up signs on our monitors, put on out of office emails, and generall

Thing numero seveno - professional networky stuff

So, for this Thing , I'm looking at my professional networks and organisations. CILIP / CILIPS I was never a student member, and only joined in the first place because 1) my employer paid the fees, and 2) my line manager at that time was heavily involved in the Scottish branch. The same pretty much applies now as the reasons for me maintaining my membership! Oh, and also because I'm Chartered now, and if you leave CILIP, you lose the Charter (which is fair enough - there's no point having a qualification that shows your commitment to your own and others professional development if there's no-one checking you're doing what you say you're doing) . What do I get from CILIP/CILIPS? Well, currently, not much. As a Chartership candidate, I attended a session on the process, and I've attended occasional events organised by CILIP, where I could squidge them to kind-of fit with my internal Appraisal goals. I get the CILIP info email on library related news, but

Edinburgh New Town plans

The excellent Edinburgh Blogger has posted about the fact that the original plans for Edinburgh's New Town will be returned to display (under special conditions) in the Museum of Edinburgh . Now, for a girl who often functions as an unofficial tour guide for any friends or acquaintances visiting Edinburgh, I thought I knew quite a lot about my adopted home town. Who the King, Queen and Princes are that the New Town plan is based around. Where the remnants of the old city walls can be found. Where John Knox's grave is. Why students rub the toe of the statue outside the High Court of Justiciary before exams. Why people spit on the Heart of Midlothian. Where Deacon Brodies workshop is (and the name of the literary character he inspired). Where the most active poltergeist is. What building a mummified cat was found inside the walls of during renovations. Where Jacobs Ladder can be found... But I didn't know about the Museum of Edinburgh. I've walked past that building

Spot the stereotype

So, Channel 5 have got a new TV show (originally a Japanese game show , and then an MTV show) called Silent Library . Can you guess what elements are involved? Sexy-but-prim female Librarian: glasses, hair in a bun, in both human and cartoon form? Check Librarian standing behind an issue desk, piles of books around her? Check Irritated librarian shhhh-ing people in the library when they make noise? Check Large "Silence Please" sign? Check Librarian aggressively using stamp and ink pad? Check My, what an exciting and novel idea they have here...not. The Production team had a similarly inspired approach to asking for contestants "Do you think libraries are dull? Can you suppress your laughter and hold your nerve whilst all those around you are losing theirs? Do you want to win up to £2000 in cash? We are currently producing a new TV series for Channel 5 based on a cult Japanese game show. We are looking for fearless, game for a laugh, up-for-it

The confusion of the Public Data Corporation

This press release was posted by the Land Registry yesterday, and it's left me a bit confused. What are these Public Data Organisations (PDOs) the Government is creating? I had never heard mention of these before. The Met Office, Ordnance Survey, and Land Register are moving into this PDO? Why? The Land Registry was part of the Ministry of Justice? Really?  The Land Registry will be part of the Department for Business, Innovations and Skills - that seems like an odd combination. Why are there no links to any of the supporting materials mentioned in the press release. The "previous work on the Feasibility Study"? The "findings reported to ministers"? Why was this not announced earlier than on the day it actually happened? Why is the enabling legislation coming into force after the change happens - why was it not made and in force in advance of this move? So...the moneymaking Government departments are being hived off into a mysterious body called a PDO,

Digging about in the library

Libraries are great places to dig about to find unusual items...and even more fun is doing it using the European Digital Library (Europeana).  There's information on all sorts of interesting things held in libraries, museums and archives all over Europe to be found on there. I decided to go on an online animal-themed hunt: after all, animals (apart from the obligatory Library Cat , or occasional dog) are not generally encourage in libraries. So, you can find this mongoose in Sweden, this Canadian  octopus  in the UK, this frog in Italy, a confused sloth in the UK, a deevloping  axolotl in Italy, an  aye-aye  in the UK, a marmoset in Romania, and a miraculous quail  in Shrewsbury. And of course, some African wild ass , which is actually found in the Netherlands. What's the oddest thing you can find on there, animal or otherwise?

Dumpling in a maker?

So, I'm a dumpling in a hanky.... Perhaps, with the help of Lidls fine offer on Thursday , I should convert to being a dumpling in a maker? Apparently, they're actually multifunctional strange-plastic-devices. Not only do they do dumplings, but they're handy for ravioli too. Spinach and ricotta filling for my ravioli, please. Ta!

Thing 6, online networks, and how I'm using them (or not)

Okaaaaaaaaaaay, Thing 6 is it then! Of the various networks suggested, I'm a member of Facebook, LinkedIn, LISPN, and CILIP Communities...please note though, that there's a big difference between me being a member, and me actually participating in all of these! I have to confess up front, that I don't ever actually go onto either LISPN or CILIP Communites. LISPN I signed up to when it was first launched, as I wanted to help build the momentum to get it going, and be involved, but it moved way past me needing to be there as an encouraging body long ago! Also, it's not really a network that I feel I need to be actively involved in at this point - I feel I'm at a stage in my career where I'm experienced, established in my role, and happily settled in my workplace. This means I'm not greatly in need of the resources available there, which are more suited to those moving to/from library school, first/second/third jobs/contracts, and trying to establish pro

Dumpling does a drawing #4

The "head slumped onto looseleaf binder, while carefully avoiding impaling face on spine spikes" pose is standard when looseleafing. Looseleafing. A word to strike fear into the heart of even the very bravest of librarians. An activity designed to shatter any illusions a librarian previously may have held about there being order and sense in the world. The thing we do when we want reminded of the shortness and utter futility of human life.

Thing 5 - mirror, mirror

For Thing 5 , we've to reflect: on what we did, what we learned, and what we can take forward from it. So...what have I learned so far? To be honest...not a huge amount, yet. As an active blogger, Tweeter, and user of RSS feeds, the only thing new to me that the programme has thrown up so far is Pushnote, which I decided not to trial for the reasons I stated before . Is this a bad thing though? No - every new activity needs to build up its participants from basics, and I knew when I signed up that the early stages were unlikely to provide anything new for me. It's the later Things that I expect will be more relevant to me, so this will still develop into an interesting activity to be a part of. Although I have noticed that I've already slipped back into "minimal commenting" mode again - after the second cdps23 post, which encouraged comments on posts, I've not really been posting many comments. This is probably because I don't really have time to

The original Kindle

The original Kindle Christies sold this travelling bookcase back in 2000: the Kindle of its day, allowing the secure transport of multiple, valuable books in the 17th Century. And it sold for under estimate too...a snip at only $47,000. Via Bookshelf

Dumpling does a drawing #3

Poor thing. Old books can be delicate. Their bindings get dry, their pages become fragile...they need treated with a little care and respect, if they're to have a chance of surviving for another hundred years. So what do they get? Post-it attacks, bent covers, and broken spines.

Securing EuroMillions

Methinks the Scottish Government have got themselves a bit mixed up here. , with this "Bid to secure Euro millions" thing In order to "secure Euro millions", you need to buy a Euromillions ticket.  And, of course, there's no guarantee they'd be a's a lottery, after all....

More mysterious book sculptures in Edinburgh libraries

Another one in the mysterious series of art books has turned up, this time in the form of a dragon in an egg , nestled into a copy of Ian Rankins Knots and Crosses. I love it, the dragon looks amazing...but I'm a bit concerned that staff are said to be " devouring Rankin's Knots and Crosses".  Surely that can't be good for the digestion?

The phantom law librarian

*checks mirror quickly* Yes, I'm definitely here. I exist, I have a reflection (and am therefore also not a vampire, which is reassuring), but it seems I am actually a phantom. An invisible law librarian. If you look for me, I am not there. Search my employers website - I don't exist. And I'm not alone. Look on the websites of law firms...I know  those other law librarians are out there: fee earning, creating bulletins, researching for where are they? They're not on the online staff lists, there's no images of law firm librarians looking dazzlingly smart and intelligent while leaning against the shelves of books that they've carefully sourced and selected for their Library (a favoured pose for lawyers in corporate photos: books = smart, apparently). But we're just as essential to the health of the firm as any other members of staff, who get a shiny profile and "look how fab and experienced our staff are" blurb on the website.

The fourth thing....eventually.

Ok, I'm late, but I was on holiday last week - I reserve the right to pay not the slightest bit of attention to work-type things while I'm meant to be relaxing. Or in this case, painting, birthday attending, painting, sanding, painting, cleaning, painting, carpet shampooing, painting, and home-for-sale-listing. I was a bit busy. So, Twitter, RSS feeds and Pushnote, eh? Twitter I think I've pretty much got a good grip on Twitter - I've been on there 4 years or so, and have built up some good relationships through meeting people on it. From the start, my account has been a protected one, so only those who I approve can read what I tweet, and I don't use my real name, or identify my employer. I did this deliberately - I don't want the personal account that I created (where I am very informal, and more "personal" than anywhere other than Facebook) to be linked to my workplace. I like to have a slight disconnect from my work life: you can find this bl

Bring your own badge

There is a little part of me that hopes that, after appointment to this post , the new job holder is taken aside for a private moment, when they are quietly presented with a shiny, star shaped badge, and told to keep it safe....

It's a Charter, or nothing, apparently

A friend of mine* recently saw a advert for an interesting library post. She's always open to trying new things, and she wondered if it was worth her applying...she ticked a lot of the boxes for the skills that they wanted, and was willing to learn whatever new skills were were needed for the role - she's done it before. But then she saw the fateful words..."Chartership essential". Now, she's worked in various libraries, including special libraries, and Charterships are not particularly recognised or often supported in these sectors, so it's not something she currently holds. But she is a professional, qualified librarian with a wide range of experience, an involvement and interest in the wider profession, and an enthusiasm and willingness to learn, and gain Chartership if a role requires it.    So she decided to phone up and enquire if they were flexible on the Chartership aspect, before possibly wasting her time filling in an application.  Apparently, if