Monday, 30 January 2012
Monday, 23 January 2012
The View from Scotland
I was asked why I attended my first BIALL conference and I am ashamed to say that the answer that sprung to mind was "I was made to go". This isn't entirely true and looking back I know it should really be "I was given the amazing opportunity to attend", although my flight phobia did not approve. I had just started a new job and was in their head office getting induction training when the head of department said she was booking me in for BIALL conference in Cork. I had heard of management level colleagues at my previous job going and knew they were always talking about the conferences so knew it was a great opportunity, and it turned out to be just that. I've been most years since then and it has helped with my professional development and just as importantly with networking. My career path has really shown that "its not what you know its who you know". So get there and get talking would be my advice! The first time is a little un-nerving but it soon becomes obvious that Law Librarians are lovely people (obviously!) and its worth making that first step and saying hello, soon you will be enveloped into the BIALL family. Listening at sessions is also important obviously and even if you only come back to the library with one or two action points that are applicable to your working environment it was worth the time it took to attend.
Keeping in touch
My current job is not a truly Law Librarian post, although there is a library I'm in charge of I do a lot more general administration tasks. So I thought maybe it wouldn't be so necessary to continue my attendance at the BIALL conference every year. However a few years on, I am now convinced that my attendance is even more crucial: to keep in touch with what's going on for other librarians; to get ideas of how to develop our very old fashioned library; to see what new tools our solicitor members may have access to; and, to meet and talk to new and old friends. Straying from the path of true librarianship is not as scary if you keep a foot on the original path and stay true to what you are. As with any role it is important to keep your finger on the pulse and know what's going on, not just for your own corner but across the profession - who knows where you could end up in the future, or what enquiry you may be given tomorrow.
Contributed by Maria Robertson
Thursday, 19 January 2012
Contributed by: Helen Marshall
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
- learning more about what you are doing now and possible ways of improvement
- learning how other people are approaching the same issues that you are facing
- learning about future developments in legal information
- learning about legal information sectors other than your own
- learning about new products
- meeting people in a similar situation to yourself and exchanging experiences
- meeting people from other sectors and other jurisdictions
- meeting up with your existing suppliers and perhaps some new ones
- meeting new friends and catching up with old
I would urge anyone in the profession who hasn't made one yet, to either apply for a bursary or ask their manager about attending
Monday, 16 January 2012
Every year the Awards & Bursaries Committee approve a number of bursary applications for members to attend the BIALL Annual Conference and we look forward to doing the same again this year for the Belfast Conference. If you’ve never considered applying for a bursary before, and have assumed that it’s going to be a long and complicated process, then let me disabuse you right now of that notion, because it isn’t! The only essential criteria for applying is that you are a personal member of BIALL. Once you have satisfied that point, you need to demonstrate how the conference programme will benefit you in your role and / or your employer – which sessions in particular are you looking forward to and why; are there any sessions that specifically relate to aspects of your job and whether you are going to feedback on the conference to other colleagues unable to attend. Evidence of professional involvement (either in BIALL or in the wider professional sphere) will help an application, but is not a “deal clincher”, so new professionals in particular shouldn’t be put off from applying on that score. Even if an application is initially considered to be weak, the Committee will contact the applicant with specific questions designed to draw out the kind of information mentioned here – so we really do all we can to help applicants succeed. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!
Contributed by: Angela Donaldson
Thursday, 12 January 2012
All of us who work in law libraries are used to having colleagues who we suspect don't struggle as much as most when they settle down to watch University Challenge. But we also don't generally have library users who have been described on the BBC as having a "Brain the Size of a Planet".
Well that's the prospect that the staff at the Supreme Court library face now that Jonathan Sumption has been sworn in as a Supreme Court judge.
But they can rest easy. Because amidst all the coverage of his elevation to our highest court a crucial and in my mind pivotal piece of information has been missed. What information you say? Well as a Bencher at the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple the now Lord Sumption served as a valued and supportive member of the Library Committee for many years.
Lord Sumption hears his first case today sitting on a panel of five in a shipping dispute case.
19/1/2012 - Update - We now understand that Lord Sumption was not only a member of the Committee but was Master of the Library chairing the Committee for 12 years!