Friday 3 November 2017


The dark muted autumn peeps through mist
Dark and earth and wet and cold
Scientific method strives to rise
As golden sun appears
All is magically uplifted
Quietly, roaringly, gaseously
The vibrant autumn calls us clearly home.

We are but shadows against an illusory life
Fleeting and swift and temporary
We strive to love and rise above our failings
As people come and go
All is supposedly revealed
Closing, dying, ending
The unknown winter beckons us clearly home.

For a friend of Victoria Stamps. I only met him once, but he passed away 21/10/2017.

Wednesday 6 September 2017

Tales from the river to the ocean

Brest Maritime International Festival
I am currently living in Atlantic Wharf on the banks of London’s Thames, and September’s Totally Thames festival is in full swing. This timing is a perfect opportunity to make connections; London and Dalmatia; the Atlantic and Adriatic; industry and artistic endeavour; environment and exploration. It is clear that we can learn from those who spend their lives on and around water. Teamwork, effective communications, information sharing, and contingency planning are all essential.

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Law librarians and the importance of training

May your training room be full!
In this article I want to highlight the vital role that UK legal information professionals play annually each September. My team can testify to the fact that late summer is a busy time. Those of us involved in legal private practice are preparing for a new intake of trainee lawyers. Depending on the size of the client firm, this can be from 5-20+ new starters, so there is much to do. 

Monday 3 July 2017

A personal approach to mentoring

Looking for me?
Independence can be an obstacle to effective mentoring. From a personal point of view I'm happy to go away and look up an answer myself if I'm struggling. That's perfect if it is a fact based problem but what if it is more empathic or personal? Allowing yourself to develop your soft skills through discussion is actually a skill in and of itself. Asking for mentoring assistance can be tricky and requires an exchange of trust. 

Tuesday 20 June 2017

Virtual teams and collaborative working #BIALL2017

I've now completed my first full week of truly remote working so am reasonably well equipped to comment on and consolidate the notes taken from the various relevant sessions. As usual BIALL had ensured that although there were topic overlaps, a different perspective was given by each expert. Eleanor Windsor from LibSource presented on 'Managing a successful virtual team', whilst the entire Vinge law firm library team came in to offer insight on working together in different offices. And finally a duo from the University of Law talked about collaborative working to reduce pressure on library services.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Being Informed about Brexit #BIALL2017

The notes that follow arise out of the BIALL Conference 2017 and given the theme of the conference was 'Together or Apart? Effective ways of working'  I'm happy to share my notes! This has recently been updated to reflect the #BIALL2019 conference on Vable.

Being Informed about Brexit

The first plenary session - and Willi Steiner Memorial Lecture was entitled 'Informing the debate about Brexit', presented by David Allen Green. This is obviously a contentious topic as a whole but at least law librarians can claim to be well informed as to the arguments. After all, it is the legal chaos in which we are interested. As I have noted in the past information specialists are experts in spotting fake news. We have all the skills and expertise required to assist the general public and others who rely on us to get things right.

Thursday 2 March 2017

Content is dead! Long live content!

This article was originally published on Iris Briefings but I feel strongly about the message it sends. When we create content, who are we trying to reach? Search engines or people?

A recent article on content marketing got me thinking. As a qualified information professional it has always been my responsibility to get the right information to the right person and at the right price. My colleagues knew that if I sent them an article or document, they could rely on the quality of the content. Increasingly though, people researching online are being deluged with rehashed, badly written ‘junk articles’. I’m unsure whether this is the fault of a decreasing amount of discerning readership, or a rise of a new king: the search engine.

Monday 13 February 2017

Lost found lost

Lost found lost

In earth orange they lost their treasures
Small somethings across the stage
Socks, umbrellas,
slike, stuffed dogs
As they lost their minds they found their breath.
To catch a body to hold aloft...

In muted reds they found their voices
Large nothings beat deep inside
Fathers, emotions, limbs, virginity taken
And as they found their breath, they lost nothing.
To land a body with perfect poise...

In fierce pinks they lost their breath
Many and all fighting hard
Metronomic, arrhythmic, moving lines
And one by one they noisily collapsed away
Fall falling body fallen lost.

Lost found lost

Inspired by the Janis Brenner & Dancers Concert of Dance, Voice and Music presented by the Sarajevo Winter Festival 2017 'Silk Road Art' National Theatre, Sarajevo, Friday 10th February 2017.

Saturday 14 January 2017

A Human View of Current Awareness

Current awareness has been on my mind recently as I begin the New Year. Most people pick up a free newspaper on the train or bus, or listen to the radio, and it's apparent than many rely on Facebook. Not the highest quality or most reliable sources.

High quality current awareness services are only available to professionals. It’s normally provided by in-house information specialists to scholars, lawyers, doctors and others. But in my view, everyone is entitled to quality low cost alerts from a trustworthy curator.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Constellation London

Even the methodically moving moon takes on a deceptive speed
As seen from the small windows of this metal and plastic conveyance. 

As its crisp flashing harasses the dark lakes below, the benevolent moonlight
Competes with earthy sodium glow and wins in its startling blinding whiteness. 

Moonlit clouds quickly obscure the city and in cruel stargazing reversal
Eyes search the ground below for familiar constellations of motorway. 

In this topsy-turvey corruption of the heavens, glowing grey gaps appear 
Forming a jigsaw of the universe below, Becoming more complete as we climb. 

Normality returns. Moon recovers its extreme speed, needing no illusion
To impress our flight's feeble flash. Indiscernible against the street stars. 

But for that split second between land and cloud, our disinterested 
Satellight overshadowed our city's artificial Big Bang of travelling light.