West librarian email update

Information Overlord kindly pointed me towards Wests reply to the staggeringly badly thought out “Librarian name” marketing email.

Wisely, they’ve put their hands up and confessed to being *rses, and apologised. A good response, but why did a massive (I believe, I’m not overinformed on the US legal information suppliers marekt) company whose focus is on supplying information to legal and information professionals, ever think that it would be ok to insult the best informed sector of their users?
And who authorised that email going out? Did they look at it and go “Yup, that’s just the tone we want to set!”
Apparently, it “won’t happen again”. I’m just surprised that it happened at all.

How to insult your users

Well, West (the American parent of our UK Westlaw) seem just about ready to start giving classes in “simultaneously patronising and insulting some of your core users”.

Sarah Glassmeyer posted this screenshot to Twitpic of a West email to its users.
Shall I explain why I find this to be hugely insulting? Well…. do West understand who the biggest users / on site trainers / troubleshooters / BUYERS of its products are? Have they ever actually met a librarian, or do they still think all librarians wear half-moon glasses / twinsets / pearls / sensible shoes / their hair in buns? I suppose we should be grateful they didn’t throw in a clipart library matron, or something about keeping te noise down too. And do they really think it’s a good idea to imply that knowing a colleagues name in another department, who’s there to do expert research work to save that fee earner valuable time, is beneath the dignity of a fee earner?
Sigh.
*Written by the librarian who has short hair, no glasses, no pearls, twinsets or other librarian clothing, and who has never told anyone to shhhh in her life. And whose colleagues DO know her first name, cos, y’know, I’m a real person, and it’s my job to do the research work*

So I’m a bit stubborn…

I was pointed a while ago to this discussion on JISCmail a while ago, which I’m not a member of, so I couldn’t respond to the discussion about library blogs (and to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered joining to explain why the UK Library Bloggers wiki came from, and why it is as it is -it’s all done in my free time).

The point I took from it was that the UK Library Bloggers wiki wasn’t regarded as comprehensive, and was seen to be inconsistent. As it’s always a work in progress, I took that on board…and spent 30+ hours over the last few months going through each of the 800+ liblogs listed on the Hotstuff 2.0 list discussed in the JISCmail thread, and determining which were in the UK, and if they were missing from the liblogger list.
From that, I found 37 new liblogs (and a lot which I would classify as dead, as they haven’t had any posts in 2009, so I ignored), some of which were debateable whether they fell into the liblog definition (automated library news areas, rather than actual blogs etc), and I’ve spent a few spare hours when I’ve found them to visit each blog, classify it, and add it to the list. Meanwhile, Jo Alcock and Phil Bradley have also been adding to the list as they find more blogs in their online wanderings. One of the fab benefits of having people involved who work in different professional areas, and are able to pick up blogs from their professional links!
I’ve also expanded the categories to include information professionals: those who are working with libraries / librarians, who would otherwise fall outside the boundaries of the list, but contribute a lot of useful information to librarians and the information profession. Hopefully this is a good plan – to include people who don’t claim to be librarians on a list of…erm…librarians!
*And yes, I do know there’s a lot more to life, but like I said, I’m stubborn, and since it was pointed out that the wiki was lacking, I decided to sort that out…*

Open University course for librarians

As mentioned in CILIP Gazette…or Update (my memory sucks!) the Open University has launched a new course for “information professionals”: “The Evolving Information Professional: challenges in a digital world” is an online course,. available to begin studying at any time.

The blurb says:

This course is for information professionals – librarians, archivists, information and knowledge managers – looking to keep up to date with modern technologies, sources of information and today’s users.

It is for those in the profession who wish to stay relevant in this fast-changing world of information, find out how other information services are facing the challenge and consider ways of proving their worth in the Google age. Among all the issues that the course covers, you will be given the opportunity to reflect on the possible consequences for your service of a new generation of ‘Homo zappien’ users, try out games developed for library users and archivists and consider the implications of the 7 Ps for marketing your service.

All looks very interesting…but in general terms. And I can’t really see myself paying almost £500 for that level of general interest. It may be more useful for public /academic librarians, or anyone who has to deal with a regularly changing group of users.

When they invent a course that includes dealing with lawyers and their….’foibles’, then I’ll be there in a flash! 🙂

UK Library blogger wiki update

So, a month or so ago* I did a trawl through all the institutional / professional group blogs on the UK Library Blogs wiki, checked that the ones I’d found before were still there, added any new ones I’d found, and added a new area on entries, for account information on those groups or professionals with Twitter accounts listed on their blog.

I’m trying to do the personal blogs soon too, but with more work, less time to do it in, and my own life getting a bit busy, don’t hold your breath for that to happen in the next few days! 🙂

As always, if you’re not on there (and that’s quite likely, the Magical Interweb is a big place, with many nooks and crannies hiding things), contact me either via the ‘contact owner’ option on the wiki front page, or via the email cunningly disguised in the right hand sidebar here, and I’ll add you as soon as I can 🙂

*Oh, looks like it was a bit more than a month, more like two! Time flies!

Playing catch-up

Ok, going on holiday for a month sounded like a fabulous plan, but the reality is, you get the best part of a months work backlogged for when you come back, and spend all your time trying to get that done while also keeping on top of the current stuff.

I’m aiming high – by the end of this week, the mail pile should be gone….hopefully.

In the meantime, a link to a story the lovely Hedgehog Librarian sent me while I was off bungee jumping in New Zealand…

The Digital Repository of the National Library of Scotland (which has its very own lovely blog here) has made a choice of technical partner for its ongoing project of creating a Digital Repository of many of the important documents from their massive (and always increasing!) collection.

Also, I just realised that the NLS also has a Flickr account, uploading lots of interesting photos from their photograph collections. A great way to be able to see some of the things you wouldn’t always expect a library to have. After all, libraries just hold books…don’t they? 😉

UK Library Blogs update

I’m continuing to add to this list, as and when I can, and trawl through those already on the list to check for changes since the last visit / my mistakes in the collection of the initial list (my apologies to Neil Infield for accidentally renaming him to Ian!)

Also, I received an email telling me to look at FADE Library‘s great work on collecting UK health library blogs, which I will(with their kind permission) also add in to the overall list (and blog about in a later post) to try and make it as comprehensive as possible. Unfortunately, my email provider went squiffy and deleted the original email before I could reply, so I don’t know who to credit for alerting me to this massive piece of work by the FADE staff, and also means their own blog details were zapped! If this was you, please can you get back in touch so I can add your blog, and say thank you personally!