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Showing posts from January, 2013

Scots law jurisdiction – it is actually a real thing, you know

Admittedly, various legal database suppliers seem to think that English/Welsh law and Scots law are interchangeable.

For example: Westlaw. It’s developed a sort of “know how” product called Insight, which should allow more in depth analysis and updates on certain points of law. This is handy, and the sort of things our users like – no wading through articles or textbooks and checking if they’re up to date or take into account recent judgments – just nice primers on specific legal points.

Which would be lovely, if Westlaw could remember that not all jurisdictions are the same.

When I go into the Scots Law tab on Westlaw (which should restrict my searches to only Scottish material, hence avoiding a lot of time wasting and confusion when I’m looking for something with a specific Scottish meaning), it gives me the new option of Insight within that tab. “Oh good,” I thought, “they’re actually paying some attention to their Scottish users, and putting Scottish content on!”.

So I went into …

Less moaning, more action

So, after initially complaining that I felt a bit cast adrift, professionally, and then through discussions with other equally drifting mid career professionals, working out what we could do for ourselves in order to actually create the network we felt we needed, the beginnings of a plan are coming together. It's all thanks to lovely Moo (@_Moo_), also known as Lynne Meehan, and her partner. They've got the technical skills and resources to take the experiment a bit further, and set up an forum to see how exactly we could make this work.

If you'd like to be included as a Middler (loving that name, Lynne!), and take part in the experiment (AKA - poking about an online forum and axploring how to make things work as we go), either get in touch with Lynne directly (she's the Lady in Charge), or leave a comment below and I'll pass your details on to Lynne.

Lets give it a try, shall we? After all, if we don't do it, who will?

Supporting the middle sag

Well, my last post triggered a lot of discussions: one big thing was that many people identified that they felt the same in regards to losing the momentum to push themselves, but that they didn't really mention it formally because they felt they couldn't give any input on how to fix the problem.

But then that's not right - if you feel you can only speak up when you can fix a problem rather than be able to just identify that the problem exists, then that means there's a lot of silent people out there, quietly hoping for someone else to see and fix what's wrong.

So, while talking about this feeling of a need for some sort of support, Bethan Ruddock (@bethanar) and Celine Carty (@cjclib) and I started to try and work out what we felt we needed, and what was possible. Beth said that she was hoping to implement some sort of one-on-one mid-career support within SLA Europe, and Celine said she had been working on something for her group High Visibility Cataloguing (@hvcat…

Careering along

When I look around at the activities of information professional groups, it seems that there’s a disparity. There’s quite often a lot of support and funding available for those who’re just starting out in the profession, but a desert of nothingness for those of us who’re “just getting on with it”.

If you’re a new professional, you have lots of groups to support you as you progress in your early career, various prize funds available for essay and report writing, access to bursaries for conference attendance, eligibility for awards for being new and enthusiastic. But what do you get when you’re past that bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed first 5 years (5 years seems to be the approximate cut-off point for becoming “established” and no longer new).

What happens when you’ve already received a bursary from an organisation earlier in your career and so wouldn’t be eligible for one now, meaning you’re not able to attend events or training? When you’re heavily involved in a project but not at pro…

Is your techie toy reducing your reading habits?

I've just read this blog post about a new subscription model for content on e-readers, based on the fact that:

"We have statistically calculated the average consumption for tablet users and smartphone users, which is lower than one book per month,'
Now, I'm not entirely sure which tablet or smartphone users they based their prediction on, but I know that my reading levels have definitely gone up since getting an e-reader. Now, I not only am buying books frequently from charity shops, but I'm downloading free, cheap and even full-price e-books, depending on the urgency of my desire to read them (e.g.if I read the first part of a trilogy and enjoyed it, I'd be highly likely to download the second and third parts, regardless of price, if I really wanted to keep going with the flow of the books). In November, I realised I'd read (at a conservative estimate, as I don't keep much track of the physical books I read, but I do have a "Read" file on my …