Conference Reflections

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

With BIALL Conference 2011 a couple of weeks behind us I thought I'd post a few reflections. It would be great to hear what anyone else thought in the comments!

Excellent Venue - Excellent Organisation

The contrast between the last year's slightly tired Brighton venue and The Sage was striking. It was really good to be at a venue which had modern conference facilities and a real bonus to be at one in such a striking setting on Tyneside.

The organisation was brilliant as well. Sessions began and ended on time and were in the places advertised. Generally all the technology worked and the sandwich lunches were superb.

Speakers

The quality of the speakers was generally high. Nick Davies (How to Make Your Training Engaging) was clearly a highlight. I look forward to seeing multiple speakers roaming up and down the stage next year, employing props and letting their natural humour shine through!

It was good to hear from Integreon again as well. Clearly outsourcing is never going to be a comfortable topic but I was pleased to get the opportunity to hear what they had to say.

The balance between academic and commercial speakers was also about right - the use of the parallel sessions being vital in this respect.

Fun Stuff

The Bowl Networking was fun although personally having secured a surface to balance my bowl on it limited the amount of actual networking I did. Still I would say this was better than the more formal dinner we would have had in previous years.

Finally I enjoyed the Annual Dinner but (and this is only a minor quibble) could the band have been a little less so very loud?

Posted by Philip Cable at 08:47 1 comments  

U.S. State legislation links

Friday, 24 June 2011


A Harvard law librarian, Kate Follen is making blog posts about each state’s legislative info.

"Week by week, she posts links to sources of state legislative information on Monroe Infoblog. No surprise, she is tackling the states in alphabetical order. Last week was Week 4: Arkansas.

Each post also includes Fast Facts about the state’s legislative process and links to regulatory information and to the web sites of state newspapers. You can receive updates on her progress by following her on Twitter @katefollen or by subscribing to a feed from her blog." Source: The Harvard Law School Library Blog.

Posted by Sally Peat at 14:07 1 comments  

2011 Salary Survey

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Nicky Vignoli is organising this years Salary Survey and has a message for us;

"The 2011 Salary Survey is now open and waiting for your contribution. You can complete the survey online via the anonymous and secure SurveyMonkey website. The link is available via the BIALL website - you will need to log in and go to the publications page here.

The survey should only take a few minutes to complete, and the online collection will make the experience speedier and easier for everyone to complete. If you have any problems with this method please let me know. The survey will remain open until 22 July.

Please ensure you do include your salary information. This is very important, and without this information we will not be able to include your responses in the survey analysis."


As tempting as it is to put it off and do it later why not do it now!

Posted by Philip Cable at 09:02 0 comments  

My Conference - Day 1

Friday, 17 June 2011

My alarm clock went off at 6am in order to get into London for an early train to Newcastle (work commitments having got in the way of a Thursday departure). I wasn’t alone though. Arriving in Newcastle it became clear at least half dozen or more BIALLers were also on the train. Indeed it turned out James Mullan had been sitting in a seat behind me for the whole journey!

A brisk walk from the station across the Tyne to the stunning Conference centre took about half an hour. Our merry band arrived in good time for the second session of the day.

In that session Professor Graham Virgo gave an insightful talk entitled “Why Study Law”. He ran through the why and what of what law students do but also posed some interesting questions. Everyone at the lecture will now be a little familiar with the legal minefield of intent and will certainly remember the lessons in the Voodoo example.

After a tasty lunch (a posh sandwich, vegetable crisps, an apple and a carton of juice) it was on to the parallel sessions.

I attended an interesting session on Sharepoint with Jackie Fishleigh. Sharepoint is it would seem the coming thing – in fact we learnt that apparently Bill Gates says that Sharepoint is to the nougties what Outlook , Excel and other MS products were to the eighties.

Three main points struck me from the talk. The first was one should not brand a Sharepoint product as Sharepoint. The second was that different versions of Sharepoint are very different. Finally that we as information professionals should make sure that we are at the heart of any implementation.

The second session I attended was “International Company Information: A World of Difference”. In this round the world tour of company information Barry Vickery from 7Side kept us all enrapt with details of company disclosure across the globe. Perhaps controversially Barry started by telling us how great UK Companies House is. However when he went on to illustrate how everywhere else is a bit poor in comparison it all made sense.

The Bowl Networking Event rounded off the day. Put simply the staff of the Sage brought round some bowls of food as we had a jolly time networking. With the evening light streaming through the windows it was a very pleasant way to round off day number one.

Posted by Philip Cable at 00:05 0 comments  

BIALL 2011 Starts Tomorrow!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

The 2011 BIALL Conference starts tomorrow (and the Pre-Conference Seminar does today...)!

Why not check out James Mullan's blog The Running Librarian ? His most recent post reminds us how much there is to look forward to at this year's conference - thanks James.

At the conference please be as generous as you can for the BIALL 2011 Charity raffle, the proceeds of which will go to support a local Newcastle based charity, Children North East, which works with deprived children in the North East of England. If you are not attending this year please ask a colleague to buy a raffle ticket for you to show your support. This year once again we have a great selection of prizes kindly donated by the Exhibitors. These include a luxury regency hamper (from 7Side) and a vintage bottle of champagne (from Hammicks).

The Exhibition Raffle has some great prizes too, so don't forget to bring lots of business cards to take part.

Posted by Philip Cable at 08:08 0 comments  

The Conference on Twitter

Monday, 13 June 2011


Just a quick reminder that our hashtag on Twitter for The Conference is:

#BIALL2011

Please remember to use the hashtag while tweeting!

Please follow the conference, if you can't make it in person.

Posted by Sally Peat at 11:25 0 comments  

Malmaison Hotel for the conference

Tip for anyone staying at the Malmaison Hotel for the conference: Google maps shows Cafe Mal in the right place where the hotel is but has confused the hotel itself with the Royal Station Hotel (which, as you would expect, is just outside the station!) For location and direction, best to go to: http://www.malmaison.com/hotels/newcastle/finding-the-mal.aspx

Posted by Sally Peat at 11:16 0 comments  

Want to be in on all the action?

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


Are you dynamic, finger on the pulse, trending on Twitter, more followers than Stephen Fry? Well, in that case we would love to hear from you. The BIALL Web Committee would like to offer you a platform to shine! We are interested in attracting more Web Committee members to our team. Are you up for the challenge?

If you would like a chat and want to find out more, we will be out-and-about at 'The Conference' on Thursday night, look out for the spots!

Posted by Sally Peat at 11:07 0 comments  

Not yet registered for the BIALL conference at the Sage Centre Gateshead, Newcastle

It’s not too late. Why not have a look at the programme and register.

Posted by Sally Peat at 10:01 0 comments  

Conference preparations:

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

If you’re thinking of staying on in Newcastle and Gateshead for a few days have a look at What’s on

The Eat! Festival on till the 26 June promises lots of lovely treats – a must for foodies.

See you at the BIALL conference!

Posted by Sally Peat at 16:34 0 comments  

The Hippest Street in Britain!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Let it never be said that BIALL isn't hip, happening and at the bleeding edge of what is fashionable. As we ready ourselves for hitting Gateshead we learn it is home to the Hippest Street in Britain! Whats more that street is home to The Sage the venue for this years BIALL conference.



According to the The Guardian ;

"South Shore Road – home to the Lord Foster-designed Sage music centre and the Baltic contemporary arts building – has won the title in a competition run by Google to name the best streets in Britain. The road, which overlooks the "Blinking Eye" millennium bridge and has a view across the water to Newcastle, inspired a recent travel guide to urge visitors to "think Budapest"



The competition ran by Google also had winners for Best Shopping and Most Romantic. You can read about all the winners here.



If you fancy seeing what all the fuss is about I link below to South Shore Road on Street View (You need to swivel left a bit to see The Sage).

Google Maps South Shore Road

To finish I'm going to steal a joke from the late Douglas Adams - BIALL so hip we have trouble seeing over our pelvis!

Posted by Philip Cable at 17:52 0 comments  

It’s not too late

Friday, 3 June 2011

Not yet registered for the BIALL conference at the Sage Centre Gateshead, Newcastle. It’s not too late. Why not have a look at the programme and register.

Posted by Sally Peat at 09:55 0 comments  

Gateshead makes bid for city status

Wednesday, 1 June 2011


A formal bid is underway to make Gateshead the UK’s next city. Competition from Middlesbrough, Croydon and Reading.


See you at the BIALL conference!

Posted by Sally Peat at 10:53 0 comments