Report: A Tour of Two Law Firms, 27 June 2018, by Megan Dyson

CILIP Yorkshire and Humberside Member Network

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a tour of two legal libraries organised by CILIP Yorkshire and Humberside and led by Evelyn Webster (Pinsent Masons) and Lisa Hawkyard (Walker Morris). It was a lovely group of librarians (as these gatherings usually are) and there’s always one or two people you know, but only a few law folks.

I knew next to nothing about law libraries before so it was definitely a learning experience. It was interesting to hear that law libraries have some issues in common with other libraries. For example rationalising your physical space and problems with lack of space/storage, evaluating and meeting user needs, issues with transitioning from print to online resources, and the need to demonstrate value and advocate for the service.

We also learned about some of the unique challenges for the sector. There is a need to keep back editions of books (and with this comes…

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A (insert collective noun here) of music librarians

A wrap-up of the recent music libraries conference in Edinburgh (featuring a presentation by yours truly). Reblogged from MusiCB3, the Cambridge University Music Library blog.

MusiCB3 Blog

I spent part of the Easter holidays in beautiful Edinburgh attending the annual IAML (pronounced Yam-ull, rhymes with camel) Annual Study Weekend. The UK and Ireland branch of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (Archives and Documentation Centres were added to make the title more inclusive in 1980, hence the earlier abbreviated acronym) has run conferences along with its AGM on an occasional basis as early as 1956, with the ASWs becoming a regular fixture since at least 1972.

So what do music librarians talk about when they get together? Here are a few of the highlights.

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Children’s Books that Presidential Candidates Need to Read

I remember talking about the Harry Potter books when they were coming out with different cover art for the “adult” version and being asked which I preferred to read. Obviously, the kids version! Plus if I had more shelf space, I would start collecting the British editions because they have different cover art to the US releases. So in the spirit of children’s books and their awesomeness, here’s a tongue-in-cheek post on lessons from children’s books for the US presidential candidates.

Mr. Library Dude

Children’s books aren’t immune to politics. Many deal with issues that children need to learn about. The Lorax is a good example as a modern fable for protecting the environment. Other books have a left/right divide: In If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is it better to be generous, or are we just “enabling”? Evidently it has generated political discussion.

I was doing some work in our Curriculum Materials Collection, when I pulled this book off the shelf:

The Chickens Build a Wall, by Jean-Francois Dumont. Translated into English and published by Eerdmans in 2013, Dumont tells the story of hedgehog that appeares in the barnyard. Chickens, under the leadership of the rooster, decide to build a wall to keep out other “foreign” and unknown things.

As a read this, I immediately thought of the U.S. presidential campaign–and one candidate in particular, Donald Trump. Then I thought, what…

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Music libraries facing closure, redundancies and more

Excellent post by Isobel Ramsden about recent music library news and the impact they have with regard to sustaining amateur music groups around the country.

Update 30/3/16 Good news, I heard yesterday that Leeds City Council library will be taking on the Yorkshire Music Library. Hopefully more details will emerge soon.


I was sad to learn last week that Yorkshire Music Library has had to close. This is due to its parent company, Fresh Horizons, going into liquidation. Yorkshire Music Library had the largest collection of performance sets in the UK. It loaned over half a million scores and orchestral sets to 2,000 choirs and orchestras (Glover, 2016). Two librarians ran this popular service and both have been made redundant.

Apparently, the Society of Chief Librarians Yorkshire and Humberside, who are the legal custodians of the stock, are trying to find a way make the collection available again (Making Music, 2016 (a)).

I met one of the librarians, Sophie Anderson, at a IAML Study Weekend in 2014. She seemed really lovely, bright and passionate about her job. I hope her talents can quickly be put to use in a similar job elsewhere.

Unfortunately other regional music libraries are also reducing their services due to cuts in funding…

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Winter Update – Thanksgiving, MLT & Library School

It’s been a busy month or two. The weather is getting more and more horrible BUT it was Thanksgiving a few weeks ago! Thanksgiving Day was on Thursday, November 26 and since that was a normal working day for me, we had a little Thanksgiving dinner with friends the Saturday before. New for me this year was attempting pumpkin pie and catering for a vegetarian. Both came off well I think! If this whole Thanksgiving thing is new to you, here’s a website that explains the history behind it. It actually brilliantly sums up my families’ typical day: ‘Each year on the fourth Thursday in November, Americans gather for a day of feasting, football and family.’


“Tom Turkey’ …as named by Jill…’ by Olin Gilbert. Flickr CC license.

My work with the Music Libraries Trust also ramps up this time of year. I’ve started organising our annual bursary scheme for the IAML (UK & Irl) conference in April. This involves some admin, letter writing and sending out loads of emails, posters and tweets advertising the bursaries. For more information on our work click here. We’ve also got a shiny, new website you might want to check out.

I’m in the final stretch of my library school coursework as well. I finished the final two modules yesterday. The assignments had become all consuming as they are wont to do. I wrote an article about the pros and cons of the new cataloguing standard Resource, Description and Access (RDA) which was implemented by most major national libraries including the Library of Congress and British Library in 2013. No one likes change and librarians are rather bad at it so you can imagine the uproar over this. RDA is a departure from the print-centric standards of the past and instead seeks to accommodate any type of content no matter the format. In short I think it’s a positive step into the 21st century for the field.

Now I will be busy with driving lessons (blog post forthcoming) and Christmas! Also, *space nerd geek out* I’m following the current mission to the International Space Station including the first British astronaut, Tim Peake. The BBC has done a brilliant documentary on him. Their Soyuz docks in a few hours. Current ISS resident, Scott Kelly is also worth following. He tweets the most beautiful photos and is part way through a year long stay (a human experiment trying to understand the long term effects of zero-G by using Kelly’s identical twin brother on Earth as the control). So cool. Geek out over!