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Closing up shop

I no longer update this blog, but for various reasons, it still needs to live here at the moment.

If you’re looking for updated crafting and how-is-this-my-life content, head over to Made In Oxford


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Up and Running

I feel that this post should begin with a pile of dusty books and maybe a cobweb or two, given how long it is since I wrote anything in here. And even now, I’m running late. Maybe it’s time for that cobweb.

Picture by Practicalowl on Flickr

Yesterday I started my new job. As of yesterday I am the Circulation and Customer Services Librarian for the Sainsbury Library at the Said Business School. Yes, that is a bit of a mouthful, especially once you add ‘University of Oxford’ and no, I haven’t worked out how to get it all on my business cards yet.

This is my third subject change in seven years, since I started out in Classics before moving to Law. Business is very much its own beast again, and I’m going to have to do a lot of reading very quickly to get me up to speed. Fortunately, I’ve already found some great Business Librarian blogs to get me going – more recommendations appreciated!

But mostly the last couple of days have been about settling in, finding the coffee and getting to know my new colleagues. Considering I started today by turning my desk through 90 degrees and subsequently rearranging a large chunk of the workroom, I think they may need a while to get used to me too! Next on my list is a trip to IT to see if they have a mouse that doesn’t have the ball falling out the bottom. Once I’ve got that and my network drive sorted, I’ll be ready to make a start.

New jobs and new subjects are always a little scary, and I’m really going to miss my colleagues at the Law Library, but staying within the same university helps, as does a good induction programme and people willing to answer your questions eight times an hour (thank you, people!). Hopefully as part of getting myself up and running again, I won’t be quite so neglectful of this blog. For various reasons, 2011 got off to a bit of a rocky start, so I’m declaring this the first week of the rest of the year. There’s so much to learn, so much to do, and so much to talk about that I’m still a little bewildered right now, but looking forward to what lies ahead.

Interesting Times, for sure.

Picture by Ian on Flickr

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By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea

I heard this morning that I’ve been awarded a busary to attend the BIALL conference in Brighton next month, which I’m absolutely delighted about. I had such a good time last year, not only socially, but also hearing more about the nitty gritty of law librarianship. I’d only been in the job 9 months at that point and was still rathe bewildered by all the terminology and peculiarities of how Law works as a subject. Now that I’m coming up on my 2 year mark, I feel more confident not only that I know what I’m talking about (sometimes), but that I’m really going to be able to take useful information away with me.

Of course, that does mean I have a to-do list as long as my arm, what with trains and seminars and wanting to do some reading up before I go and, most importantly (of course), what to do with the evening before. I’ve only been to Brighton once before, so hopefully I’ll get to see more than just the conference centre!

What do other people do when they know they’re going to a conference? Suggestions to pack a bucket and spade will be taken under advisement…


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Stamp Out Stigma

It’s taken me a long time to compose this post, and it’s going to take you a while to read it! But I make no apologies for length, not on a subject this important to me.

I just ReTweeted the link to MIND’s Stamp Out Stigma campaign, which aims to tackle the stigma attached to learning disabilities and mental health problems. It asks people to think about the language they use, and to recognise that mental health problems are no different to physical ones. They’re aiming for 100,000 pledges, and want to reach 50% of the UK population with their message.

You probably know someone with depression. In fact, if you’re reading this, you’ve met someone with depression.


Hi. My name is Laura, and I have depression.
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Identity Crisis II

As the 23 Things programme rolls to an end, I’ve had to face up to the problem of online identities, my main issue being that I have three. I’ve been online for nearly four years now, and in the communities that I first joined, pseudonyms were normal. Everyone chose a name that said something about them, or related to their interests or that they liked the sound of. For many of us who’ve always used the internet like this, we’d probably answer to our pseudonyms offline as well as on. It’s considered terribly bad form in these circles to connect someone’s online identity to their ‘real life’ identity, and there are some people I’ve been talking to for years whose ‘real’ names I will probably never know. This is perfectly normal, and doesn’t get in the way of lively conversation and informative debate.

For 23 Things, I decided to create a whole new identity for myself, which presented me with yet another issue. Did I want my new identity to be purely professional, or was it going to be personal as well? Put simply, was my blog just going to be about libraries, or was it going to include all my other interests as well, and if the latter, would library colleagues mind the occasional picture of crochet, or would craft friends be interested in all my library things? In the end, I decided that the answer was ‘yes’, and going forwards, I’m going to use my 23 Things blog for anything that I wouldn’t post to my pseudonymous blog. Three online identities is too much for even me to handle. I’ve been reading about people’s struggles to remember passwords with a sort of hollow laughter – I have 2 Twitter accounts, 2 registered Google IDs, 2 Google Wave accounts, 3 blogs, Facebook, a Yahoo mail account, my work email and my work login and a partridge in a pear tree. And that doesn’t take account of things like Photobucket, eBay and Etsy, where I sometimes have trouble remembering my login name, let alone my password. Let me be an awful warning to you all of the dangers of internet overload, and let me point you once again in the direction of KeyPass, which may well have the power to save my aching brain.

When you’re pseudonymous, protecting your privacy is important and easier. I’ve been intrigued by the posts during 23 Things about privacy in ‘the real world’.

(quick disclaimer: After this post, this blog will be moving to WordPress. This has something to do with privacy, since my non-professional identity is connected to a gmail account, which is what you need for this Blog. That, the logging in and out logistics, and my general dislike of Blogger, are sending me elsewhere)

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The iPad cometh

Picked up from Phil Bradley’s Twitter: A 2.5 year old encounters the iPad for the first time. Fascinating to see how quickly she picks it up, although he does say in the whole article here that she already knows how to use an iPhone.

I’m not entirely sold on the iPad personally, but that’s probably because I have a Touch, which seems remarkably similar, only littler. And I have my netbook and no more money to spend on gadgets. People who’ve used it are loving it, though, so it’ll be interesting to see how much market penetration they get beyond the Apple Faithful. It looks gorgeous and is easy to use by all accounts, but I find it hard to believe that Apple really believe they’re going to kill Flash by refusing to have it enabled on their devices. The frustration of only being able to see half a website just doesn’t go away.

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Open letter

Dear Blogger,

I was not inclined to love you. It took me long enough to figure out my Livejournal, but at least over there people organise themselves into communities to help one another. I find the independent nature of blogs over here disconcerting, I find the menus hard to navigate, and I never seem to be able to find the option I want when I want it. Having said all that, I was prepared to give you a chance, hoping that the 23 Things programme would let me discover your inner beauty.

I still haven’t given up on you completely, and oh, how I love being able to sign into everything with one ID, but if you don’t start sending me the damn comment notifications, you and I are going to have a serious falling-out.

No love,


[later] PS. Okay, so it wasn’t entirely your fault. Yahoo thinks your notifications are spam, so at least now I’ve found them. I’m still yet to be convinced, though. You have 13 more Things to win me over!

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