Saturday, January 30, 2010


I attended a brief training in our new newspaper online resource, NewsBank.

The national library of Wales lives just up the road from the cottage, and they also offer a WAG-funded website which has made a start at integrating library services throughout Wales, where you can find NewsBank to use, if you register with the site.

And/or, of course, we offer it to members of Cardiff Libraries, in the e-Reference section of our online catalogue.

That website has all kinds of other interesting stuff - you might find this interesting...

The Little Book of Welsh Libraries (PDF)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


And talking of passing through, this travelling arts road show looks interesting...

Cerbyd aims to strengthen the connection and the unification of artists, artist groups and ideas across Wales’ unique geographical form. Cerbyd hopes to highlight and challenge the similarities/differences in creative practice between artists in North and South Wales. Cerbyd will travel to areas of Wales that are often bypassed by contemporary art. The route will create networks, partnerships and collaborations with established artists and artist groups, increasing critical awareness.
As an introduction, you could look at the first post on their blog

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

just passing through

I like to have some idea of visitor numbers, even though a lot of hits may come from trawling search engine robots, etc.

I noticed that my great little Clustr map had suddenly lost all its exciting dots, but that happens fairly regularly (the maps get archived) or the whole thing would turn into a red splurge.

Still, I miss the excitement, so I thought I'd just post up the 2009 archived map.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A smile for Monday morning

I don’t seem to be keeping my current reading list up to date. I was leafing through my old copy of Systemantics recently, because it still amuses me, and I work with ‘’complex systems’ of course.

One that I came across online recently was a corollary to Parkinson’s Law.

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

According to Wikipedia, there are several modern corollories like:

Data expands to fill the space available for storage.

But Berglas’s Corollary amounts to:

No amount of computer automation will reduce the size of a bureaucracy
Sir Humphrey from Yes Minister
And whether you see these rueful laws (mostly invented by scientists) as pure jokes, or containing a grain of truth, you might want to compare them to real life.

When I joined the library service the department was part of Leisure, Libraries and Parks (LLP). We then changed to Leisure and Lifelong Learning (LLL), before becoming Culture, Leisure and Parks (CL&P).

Guess what? We now belong in Citizen Services.

Oh, and I haven’t worked for libraries as man and boy. I have only been here 12 years!

I don’t intend to single out our authority for this, and am aware that a certain amount of re-arranging of management hierarchies must prove necessary in different economic and political climates (quite apart from management fashions).

I only mention it because of the inevitable complications that arise from such reshuffles. Trashing a load of headed notepaper is not the only problem these days.

Because we use complex computer systems, containing folders and cross-references, files and documents with embedded links, etc., it means that all kinds of things can go wrong if one folder gets renamed. I find people whose email address still carries the LLL listing, files and lists that you need to search with LLP, etc. I guess the less said about the unfortunate acronym CLaP the better.

Berglas's Corollary (the complete article)

[excerpt] Conclusion

We have provided empirical proof of Berglas's Corollary, and clearly shown that software does not improve real productivity. Further, we have shown why it is essential that most software projects fail. No one need ever again be embarrassed by participation in a failed software project. Rather they should be proud to have spared society from yet another burden of complexity.

Some may misinterpret this article as satire. Surely it is not really desirable for software projects to fail. But the facts speak for themselves.

NB: The wonderful clock image was found at litemind/parkinson's law

Monday, January 18, 2010

Social Networking ambiguity

This pseudonymous author had taken a break in the hills, got snowed in, but has now returned refreshed.

I felt pleased to see that Socitm decided to encourage the use of 'social networking' in businesses and organisations, rather than block staff from using these tools, and learning how to work them.

As an early-uptaker, it seems to me that blocking staff access to modern tools seems like refusing to let them use a phone, because they might spend time gossiping, or arranging their evening drinks... Apart from the patronising attitude (and lack of trust) to make phones completely unavailable as a 'solution to the problem' would render most library work virtually impossible.

So, the council now trendily uses Twitter to contact its customers, but prevents us workers from using it at all; the public can use Facebook, but staff are discouraged from using it during work time, etc.

I know we only have to patiently wait for the inevitable, but I have an impatient temperament.

Manchester Library's blogLook at Manchester Libraries, with their Facebook Page, their Twitter connection and a blog - The Manchester Lit List.

Hey ho.
Related Posts with Thumbnails