The Modern Legal Foundations Course

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Now is the time to sign up for the BIALL Legal Foundations Course (find the details here). These days it is delivered online as this extract from the BIALL website explains.

"It is an online course providing a grounding in legal concepts for librarians and information workers with at least one year's experience in a law environment. It is not a course in how to conduct legal research, but rather a way of getting to grips with the terminology used in the legal profession, providing you with a better understanding of the law in England and Wales, and of how it has been applied in various subject areas.

Each week a new lecture is made available to participants; these lectures may be in the format of audio recordings with slides or video files. A small activity such as a multiple choice quiz follows the lecture. Participants are recommended to set aside 3 hours per week to complete the activities. The students must pass the online activities in order to receive the end of course certificate."

This wasn't always the case. Indeed it was eight or nine years ago when my then employer offered me the opportunity to embark on the then Law for Librarians course.

In the dim and dark of a winter night I'd leave work, hop on the Bakerloo line and head over to the University of Westminster. I'd sign in - find the room we were in that week and prepare for the biggest challenge - staying awake.

This is not to criticise the lecturers who were generally of a high standard. Indeed the topics were good and very interesting (as they are now). However for me at least University lecture theatres have a soporific effect at the best of times. At the end of a working day, in the winter, with the heating turned up and the windows closed I would challenge anyone not to suffer from heavy eyelids and an occasional involuntary nod - as you fall asleep and are woken instantly by the feeling of gravity pulling your head downwards.

That won't happen now though! Lectures are viewed online and can be fitted into your working week whenever you feel appropriately alert. This is clearly a fantastic improvement.

The one downside I suppose must for the partners of the various law librarians on the course. I can imagine them now watching bemused as their loved one - lap top in place and propped up in bed intently watches a lecture about Tort, or Finance and Banking or Land Law ...

Posted by Philip Cable at 22:03 0 comments  

BIALL Bursaries for the IALL and the ALLA Conference

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Angela Donaldson the Chair of the Awards and Bursaries Committee has an exciting announcement for all BIALL members...

"BIALL's Awards & Bursaries Committee will be pleased to consider applications to attend the IALL Conference, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, 4th-8th December 2011, and the ALLA Conference, Canberra, Australia, 28th-30th September

Applicants must be BIALL personal members and should complete the Overseas Bursary Application Form, available to download on the BIALL Awards & Bursaries webpage - Don’t forget to tell us why you are particularly interested in your chosen conference, and how the programme relates to your role.

IALL Conference – you can get full details about the IALL Conference, including the programme, via the IALL website

ALLA Conference – you can get full details about the ALLA Conference, including the programme, via the Conference website.

The deadline for applications for bursaries for both conferences is Wednesday 10th August 2011"

That's about two weeks away, so if you are interested probably best to have a look straight away.

Posted by Philip Cable at 00:17 0 comments  

BIALL Conference 2011 Tweet Archive

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


Thanks go to James for creating this archive on our behalf. We can look back at our tweets pre, during & post conference.

Posted by Sally Peat at 10:45 0 comments  

"The Brent Six Are Innocent"

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The BIALL blog is interested in the law and interested in libraries. So the current judicial review into the decision by Brent Council to close six of it's libraries is sadly appropriate.

The Council decision is being challenged on the basis that it acted unlawfully in failing to assess the local needs of the community. The hearing took place last week at the Royal Courts of Justice over three days and Justice Ouseley has reserved judgment.

The BBC news site has a basic overview but the has an entry for each day (day one, day two, day three) of the judicial review specifically.

But for a more colourful and detailed account try the blog from one of the campaigners "I Spy in Queens Park". It begins;

"Great to see so many people manning the barricades again on the Strand and handing out stickers to passers-by. Best slogan of the day "THE BRENT SIX ARE INNOCENT" A man who seemed to be breakfasting on a pint of vodka advised us to fight from the heart and not the head... We stuck to coffee, then headed back to Court 2"

With the end of the judicial term imminent judgment is unlikely to be handed down before October.

Posted by Philip Cable at 21:55 0 comments  

Fellowship of CILIP

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Fellowship citation for Jackie Fishleigh 2011

"Fellowship is the highest award CILIP can make to its members. It recognizes achievement within the profession and celebrates members’ contribution to the profession

CILIP President, Brian Hall, presents Jackie Fishleigh with her Fellowship certifcate at Umbrella conference, July 2011

When Board Members discussed Jackie’s Fellowship application, they praised her style and said she was ‘an excellent communicator’. To this we should add ‘ her supreme determination’".

Please follow the link above for the full details of Jackie's story. Congratulations Jackie!

Posted by Sally Peat at 09:40 0 comments  

Are You On Firmer Ground?

Monday, 18 July 2011

BIALL is delighted to be part of an exciting new collaborative blog called "On Firmer Ground" The blog, which was launched last week is designed to be a celebration of who law firm librarians are and what they do and will publish posts from the Private Law Libraries Special Interest Section of the American Association of Law Libraries (PLL-SIS) the Private Law Libraries Special Interest Group of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (l’Association Canadienne des Bibliothèques de Droit) and the SLA Legal Division. Other Law Librarian Associations including the Australian Association of Law Librarians and the New Zealand Association of Law Librarians have also been invited to become part of this collaboration.

Whilst BIALL appreciates that this particular blog is focused on one sector and that Law Librarians and BIALL members come from many sectors, we considered it important that BIALL took an active role in supporting its aims and providing content from the outset.

The editors are very much looking for contributions from members within the sector, so if you'd like more information about "On Fimer Ground" would like to suggest a topic for discussion or would like to get more involved, please contact James Mullan BIALL President-Elect and BIALL representative on the On Firmer Ground editorial board.

Twitter users can also keep up to date with developments by following @firmerground

If you'd like more information about other special interest groups and mailing lists, do check the BIALL website

Posted by Philip Cable at 21:31 0 comments  

Tell Us What You Think!

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Were the sandwiches boring, and the speakers fascinating?

Alternatively maybe the sandwiches were fascinating but the speakers were boring?

Maybe you thought the organisation was excellent or perhaps you are still silently fuming and know how it could have been done better!

If you were at BIALL 2011 and you thought any of these things - or anything else about the conference then go and fill in the Conference Committee feedback survey and have your say.

I just did it, it took less than ten minutes.

Posted by Philip Cable at 08:42 0 comments