Wednesday 29 October 2014

Data Protection: A Litigation View

Data protection is normally presented from a risk/compliance point of view and, indeed, it is an essential part of a firm's responsibility to their clients. Information professionals should be involved with these compliance duties and be familiar with processes and principles. However, what about the litigation point of view? Yesterday David Glen of 1 Brick Court took us though some recent legal developments but any errors in law or omissions in sense are all mine!

The Data Protection Act 1998 was formed out of the EU Data Protection Directive (also known as Directive 95/46/EC). For the first decade of its existence, it caused a stir as a new area of law but then, litigation-wise, essentially discarded. Data protection has been seen as a secondary cause, offering a peripheral remedy after remedies that libel and misuse of information offer.

David believed that this is shifting and we will be seeing a change in the future. He suggested that people are far more aware of their personal data protection rights because of increased discussion in the press. The increased willingness of the judiciary to apply the data protection thresholds is also key; Tugendhat J. has turned it into a radical issue. The final case (below) that he discussed applies the DPA's already broad issue of fairness in an even wider way.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Walead Beshty at the Barbican

Too many lectures not enough art was the verdict yesterday. With the coming of the darkness, rather than listening to words, it was time to exercise the eyes and imagination. And what better way to escape the inky night than head towards the mysterious and overwhelming blue at the Barbican?
Blue, as the National Gallery showed us earlier in the year, used to be one of the most expensive and show off colours in the colour spectrum. It is also, I find, one of the easiest ways of lifting the spirits; to lie in the green, whilst looking at the blue is a happy experience. So to see an entire curve of white and blue, was at once earthly and unearthly.

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.

Friday 3 October 2014

Poetry Inspired by Anselm Kiefer

Vanishing varnishing points
Leadenly lead us in
Heat from exertion
Icy from snow
From loss
From pain and hate
And dropped burned books
Bomb these stark shadow lines

Deadened punctured landscape
Endlessly blackly repels us
Pale and bloodless
Not seeing
Empty book
Scrawled endless

Words emerge from the soil
A blankness awaiting new life

Inspired by Anselm Kiefer at the Royal Academy Oct 2014

Für Paul Celan Ash Flower (2006)
Black Flakes (2006)