RSS for us!

Lo-fi Librarian (amongst others) is on a crusade to encourage UK Legal Publishers to start using RSS Feeds for their marketing material. I'd like to see them start using RSS for a lot more than just marketing materials but this would be a good place to start.

In my eyes this is a win win situation for the Legal publishers so am surprised they haven't done it already. If you'd like to see UK Legal Publishers using RSS Feeds, then support the crusade by joining the Facebook Group.

Information Law for Information Professionals

Now this sounds like a course I could do with going on. My understandning of Copyright, Data Protection and Information Law isn't great. We cant be good at everything I suppose!

Customising news RSS alerts

A great tip here from Karen Blakeman at Tales from the Terminal Room. The question is whether you can customise an RSS feed from an online newspaper so that it only returns results matching terms you enter. The answer is YES!

Top tips for new Librarians

This is a nice little list from Nina Platt at the Strategic Librarian for any Librarians who are just starting a new job that involves work with fee-earners although the tips apply to any Library settting.

To infinity and Web 3.0

The Times is certainly churning out the articles this week on Web 2.0 and now Web 3.0 which according to this article is just around the corner.

Of all the quotes in the article my favourite is "Now we're about to enter the third decade - Web 3.0 - which is about making the web much smarter." According to the article an example of a Web 3.0 technology is "natural-language search", this allows search engines to answer questions like "Can I park on a double yellow line?" In a legal context I think this has a wide application and Westlaw have already developed a "natural language search" for the new Westlaw platform.
What do I have to say about Web 3.0...bring it on!

The end of the page turner?

Another day, another aricle about how e-books are going to see the demise of printed publications. This time the article is published in the independent and presents the views of those who currently publish in a digital format and those who don't.

The article also has the details of a great sounding Blog, called Print is dead now what could the subject of the Blog be?

Web 2.0 = new internet, new etiquette and new law?

This is a great article which discusses some of the legal issues surrounding Web 2.0.

The article initially discusses how social networking sites like Facebook have meant we have had to develop "new rules or etiqutte" when using them and questions like "is it wrong to spy on your ex's Facebook page?" and "when does an unanswered friend request turn into a hint that you are not wanted as a friend?" are interesting examples of how quickly we have had to change and develop our internet usage.

The article goes on to question whether we need new laws to govern the changing internet landscape, currently the answer appears to be no, but I will let you judge for yourselves.

Thanks to Gareth at Gareths Law Library Blog for alterting me to this.


Just spotted this site on one of the Blogs I read. From the site:

"CaseCheck is the best way for you to keep up to date with the law and business of law. Building upon the success of the Intersettle Scottish Courts Newsletter, CaseChecktm delivers web 2.0 functionality absolutely free!" They go on to say:

"CaseChecktm is a legal service for the 21st Century. Instead of price driven exclusivity we want everyone to have access to clearly structured legal information."

Nick Holmes at Binary Law has also spotted Casecheck. It looks like it could be useful.

Life online is just fine

This isn't quite the title of the article from but almost, in it the author initially describes how "the migration of legal research to the Internet sparked predictions that law librarians would gradually become extinct" but in fact the exact opposite has happened.

The author interviews Sybil Turner, a Research Librarian at Arnall Golden Gregory's, she describes her job as "wrangling information" and "digging through" stuff, that's online rather then onsite. Definitely worth a read.


Do you wake up every morning filled with dread about the Friend requests you will have received or the invites you will have to ignore?

If so you could be suffering from
Socialnetworkitis , in this post the author argues that "social-network services tend to be clunky media destinations, requiring too much intention, focused navigation and maintenance."

I'm not sure I agree with everything the author has to say, he is certainly right about there not being enough time to look at everything, but isn't that where being selective about what you do and using tools to help you use Social Networks come into play? For instance I use
Twitter, but I never actually use Twitter I always post to Twitter via Facebook.

What is encouraging about this post, is that the author believes social networks are developing and may one day present a cure to Socialnetworkitis.

Halsbury's Awards 2007

I'll be attending the Halsbury's Awards at Inner Temple tonight, so if any readers or fellow bloggers are going I'll see you there.


The Running Librarian is the work of James Mullan Information Officer at a larger than life Law Firm. Previously called LI Issues or LIG Issues dependant on who you speak to, The Running Librarian is a blog firmly focused on the use of Web 2.0 technologies by Law Firm Libraries. I will also continue to write about:

  • Social networking tools
  • Legal and legal library stuff
  • Legal Publishing
  • The weird and wonderful side of Law Librarianship

You can get in touch with me via Facebook or Twitter.

It's all about play..the 2.0 way

Thanks to Anne Welsh at First Person Narrative for pointing out this useful looking presentation on how Library staff can use Web 2.0 technologies. As the title of the presentation indicates it's all about playing with the new Web 2.0 technologies and making staff responsible for their own learning.

What does innovation in Law Libraries mean?

The most recent edition of Legal Information Management (LIM) carried an article about innovation in Law Libraries. In it the author discussed how their Library was involved in the pitch process, preparing reports on the potential client and meeting the client at the initial pitch. It made me wonder; What does innovation in Law Libraries mean? Does it mean working with clients? certainly but not just at the pitch, the relationship should be one that is ongoing and built on by providing the client with information as they request it and increasingly providing information to clients on their own internal systems using technology like Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) which has made publishing information from websites and blogs much easier.

Innovation also means more than working with clients, so aside from this what else do Librarians or Law Librarians do that is “innovative”? My feeling is that innovation needs to be centred on things that we are experts at are excited about and which we know will make a difference, so (for myself) building blogs and social networks, working with clients on enquiries, creating taxonomies and tools for tagging material, creating imaginative training programs both online and offline and generally thinking about how I can use new technology to improve our procedures so we can work more efficiently with both our internal and external clients and provide a better “user experience”

Of course being innovative is only half the battle there are a number of barriers to innovation in Libraries. Stephen Abrams discusses these and more in a recent
post in the SirsiDynix OneSource newsletter. The Designing Better Libraries blog also has an excellent post on what innovation means.

One of the best?

Nick Holmes over at Binary Law has listed me as one of his top 6 Legal Information Blogs! I cant describe how much of a honour this is especially when you consider how well read Binary Law is.

Many thanks to Nick and to the editor of Blawg Review who started this meme.

Blogging and over-sharing

This is a thought provoking post, published on the Blog Herald. In it the author asks whether it is possible to "over share" on your Blog. The answer is a resounding yes as they link to a post which advises caution over how much personal information you share.

This is a difficult area as the Blog Herald suggests, people like personality, if we all wrote in the same style it would be a very boring world and blogging is about collaboration or including your readers, hence why comments are so valuable and should be encouraged, but there does need to be a balance between writing professionally and personally.

As an aside I'm currently thinking about changing the name of my blog to "The Running Librarian" one because I run and and two because I'm a Librarian, thats two pieces or personal information right there!

Social Bookmarking Terms Explained

For anyone new to Social Bookmarking and everything involved in it from why to how, here is a short little quiz on what all the terms really mean.

Law Librarian hotties - the winners!

Just click on the link you know you want to....

Will everything be online in 10 years?

This was the question posed by Deborah Ginsberg, electronic resources librarian at Chicago-Kent College of Law Library, at the AALL Annual Conference in New Orleans. In the article, in which she summarises the session she ran, Deborah looks specifically at the current use and future use of e-books.

Shameless plug!

Emily Allbon who I've spent many an hour deliberating the finer points of LORD with has recently relaunched the website she created for the Law Students at City University.

From the site itself "Lawbore is tailored to City students but we hope it will be useful to anyone with a legal interest. Our mission has always been to make as much of its content available for everyone freely as possible. Our directory aims to present resources selected for their quality rather than quantity, and to avoid presenting long meaningless lists of links."

The sites includes some very innovative use of technology the "How to Find your way around the Law Library" presentation is great and I really want my own avatar, although the prospect of my head talking randomly is slightly scary.

Completely unrelated but also a plug is the article that Jennifer Findlay has written in IMPACT on how she used a Wiki when compiling her portfolio for CILIP Chartership. The Career Development Group is a worthwhile group to join if you are new to Librarianship. Jennifer is the author of the blog Jennie Law

What are the FT really up to?

Lots of reports this week about the Financial Times expanding free access to content on a previously subscription only website. At the moment a limited amount of news content is available to all, under the new arrangements articles and data can be viewed up to 30 times a month before an individual is asked to subscribe.

30 isn't just a random number either, according to the press release which accompanied this news the FT have "carefully studied" how people come to the site.

What this move really means is that bloggers and news aggregators who will not have had access to material previously only available to subscribers now do, potentially widening the appeal and influence of the Financial Times. The move should also improve results for the Financial Times on search engines.

Facebook updates (2)

With the possibility that Facebook will be bought by Microsoft, Facebook have decided to make some small but significant changes to the application.

  • You can now update your Facebook status with your Twitter updates (Tweets). According to the post which publicised this change you need to make one small change to your existing Twitter account. It's the great big link displayed on the Twitter application page that says "Want Twitter to update your Facebook status? Click here!"
  • Facebook is also developing Friend Groups and the ability to read email messages in digest form.

Will publishers bet on pixels?

For anyone who wants to ditch the traditional book format and read a book electronically the Telegraph online has published an article on the take up of e-books by publishers. Some interesting quotes in this piece:

"Publishing has to evolve or it will die,"The cyber generation spends the majority of its leisure and work time in front of screens and we need to find ways of taking books and author-led content to this audience."

All interesting stuff, but I don't really see this as being the end of the book as we know it. Individuals like reading books in different formats, sadly I used to once buy all my books in hardback until I realised how expensive it was becoming. Nowadays books can be bought in either hardback, paperback or audio formats and the addition of e-books is just going to widen consumer choices. This in my mind is a good thing.

"The notion of taking the reading experience online may reclaim some of that lost ground. Just as cinema did not kill theatre and TV did not kill cinema, it seems that e-reading is unlikely to kill the printed book. Each new piece of technology is another chance for self-expression"