Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Mining Literature: Digging Deep or Merely Opencast?

I was genuinely excited about the Mining Literature event, which is part of the Arts & Humanities Festival at King's College London. The blub burbled, 'this panel discussion will explore the representation of mining and miners in literature with examples drawn from the Renaissance to the present. We will discuss the ways in which the labour, science, technology and social history of mining have dug their way into English, American, Canadian and Australian literature'.
After completing a dissertation which looked at mining as part of an interdisciplinary exploration of an art/science object, I felt a kind of relief that other people were using 'mining' as part of their studies. Because, frankly, it's a niche topic and I had no idea that others were interested.

Friday, 17 October 2014

A Brief History of the Dance Floor

The things I do in the pursuit of the new. This weekend saw me watching Strictly Come Dancing for the first time; a mostly enjoyable experience in the company of best friends and some purple alcohol. Whether the colour of my drink affected my perception of the garish swirling and artificial tans, I could actually see how guiltily addictive such a programme could become. So when I saw that there was a lecture on the secret history of the dance floor at Kings College London, I signed up immediately. How, I wanted to know, had popular dance become a vast box of living Quality Street?

1234 Get on the Dance Floor (2013) filled the old Anatomy Lecture Theatre and Bollywood lived! The catchy nonsensical international lyrics, the colour, movement and rhythm and we were almost back with Strictly, which demonstrates the universality of the themes Professor Ananya Kabir was picking up. The dance floor is transnational, a home for signature moves in a potentially foreign vernacular, a sacred/key place on which you are urged to get, with an unlikely coupling up being a possible goal.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Property Law Current Awareness

A guide for the grumpy!
Sometimes it's good to go back to basics and take a fresh look at a topic. In the past I've worked with property departments, helping them access and make the best of current awareness. However I felt a bit rusty last week so I've popped some sources together and I hope that others find this collection useful - and feel free to tell me about any others. My focus is UK material and I've steered clear of planning law.

There are a wealth of sources for ensuring that property lawyers are fully conversant with current affairs. From newspaper special reports, to social media, I have included an updating method suitable for everyone.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Book Review: 'Corporate Libraries: Basic Principles in a Changing Landscape’

Confusion reigns in the land of CILIP: Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. What is the difference between people who are mid-career managers, experienced directors, newly qualified solo specialists, or…something else entirely? An email from the largely public and academic library umbrella organisation regarding focus groups got me thinking about why our professional body is struggling with this complicated brave new information driven world. In my view, part of this is due to the perceived differences between public and corporate librarians.

Some insights are inadvertently offered in Constance Ard’s new book ‘Corporate Libraries: Basic Principles in a Changing Landscape’ and it goes straight to the heart of why CILIP is in turmoil. I shall come on to specifics shortly. Firstly, it saddens me that this book wasn’t published by Facet Publishing because, aside from a few gripes, it is one of the most insightful and readable - and expensive - books about the changing role of library and information staff I’ve come across recently. Ard and her team of extremely well qualified contributors set out to explore the way that corporate librarians are instrumental in contributing to the aims and objectives of the companies that employ them.