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Archive for the Category "Library"

Could you be Black Rod? Nov 12

The post is a high-profile and challenging one suitable for someone at a senior level in the public or private sectors with proven leadership and administrative skills. The ability to work in a complex political environment, and experience in the area of security, are essential.

So says the job ad in theguardian seeking a replacement for Sir Michael Willcocks, who retires next April. The job will be a scaled-down version of the current role, according to the Telegraph, retaining ceremonial duties – and, judging by the job ad, security responsibilities – but passing the running of the Lords to a new director general.

Still, a senior civil service salary and the chance to dress up in tights and wave a big staff around aren’t to be sniffed at.

You know you’ve had a good party conference when… Sep 17

Long time readers of this blog will be aware of an awesomely popular, semi-regular feature, written when I used to be involved in classification of library resources, where I highlighted some of the latest additions to the Dewey Decimal System.

So I was delighted to be alerted by a former library colleague to this month’s changes which are all about the classification of political parties.

For example, should you find yourself needing to classify a book on the French Communist Party in Paris, 324.2440750944361 – leaning towards being mistaken for pi by the inattentive – is the number for you.

And now, added to 324.24106 (Liberal Party and its successors) is the entry:

Class here Liberal Democrats


I couldn’t resist flicking through other recent months’ updates for old times’ sake, so here are some highlights:

  • Management of household finances moves from 640.42 to 332.024
  • 364.16: “Class here looting, pillage, plundering”
  • 364.4: “Prevention of crime and delinquency – including curfew, eugenic measures”
  • 133.539 changes from “Trans-uranian planets, and asteroids” (remember, transuranic planets may not be used where there is life) to “Neptune, Pluto, asteroids, related bodies”
  • To reflect its recent demotion out of the planetary premiership, Pluto itself is moved from 523.482 to 523.4922
Last day Dec 08

Last Day is a track by obscure indie band Silver Sun, but not the subject of this post.

Today is my last day at Napier, my last day working in Edinburgh, and my last day in the library world. (Fear not, the much loved Dewey Decimal posts will continue as infrequently as ever.) As alluded to recently, I am following in the footsteps of Richard and Steve (who has made a welcome return to blogging) by getting myself a new job. Like Mr Kitchen, I am heading to The Smoke.

That’s four years in libraries, moving from customer services to electronic resources to cataloguing to IT and encompassing such new terms as III, CLA, FOI, HERA, AACR2, MARC21, DDC22, RSS, OPAC, SDI, EDI, RFID, OCLC, LoC, BLDSC, NLS, SQL, PHP, ILLOS… But it’s time to move on to pastures new.

More on that story later; first I have a desk to clear, files to sort, papers to bin, etc. For the time being, have a look at today’s remarkably prescient Dilbert.

Collegium Regium Chirurgorum Edinense Nov 02

Yesterday took me to the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for a visit to their library and museum organised via ELISA. The college itself is on Nicholson Street near Edinburgh University, its pillared frontage opposite the Festival Theatre standing out amongst the banks and restaurants.

The very enthusiastic librarian kindly showed us a number of very old books including a Book of Hours and a Nuremberg Chronicle, both from the 15th century and in Latin. The latter is an early printed work, full of marvellous wood-cut illustrations and charting the history of the world up to 1493 (though omitting the discovery of the New World). The library also holds the College archives, which include letters leading up to the 1505 formation of the college (as the Craft Guild of Barber Surgeons) written in Old Scots.

We were treated to a visit to the Surgeons’ Hall Museums. The pathology museum is well worth a visit, but is not for the squeamish or for the hypochondriac: there are plenty of human remains, assorted tumours and kidney stones, plus battlefront injuries in the form of damaged bones and paintings of the victims. Like the photographs on European cigarette packets, there were plenty of images and objects to put you off an unhealthy lifestyle (or going to hospital…). There are also displays about Joseph Bell, a Fellow of the College and the main inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, Burke and Hare, and the history of the College.

For more information, see the College’s website.

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