Public Libraries

Another sector to have suffered a lot due to the recent financial crisis, public libraries have cut many of their professional staff, in some cases now being staffed entirely by volunteers. According to this article in the Guardian, branch closures in 2012 saw the UK loose more than 200 libraries. This is deeply sad and regrettable, as is the reduction in professional staff, as the role of public libraries is traditionally far broader than just the loan of books. Under the Public Libraries & Museums Act 1964, public libraries are a statutory service. It requires local authorities to provide a “comprehensive and efficient” public library service. Many in the sector are of the view that this is not currently being upheld by the local authorities responsible for the provision of these services.

CILIP’s Public Libraries Group is one network of public librarians, although they deal with public libraries on a devolved basis so you will also need to explore the websites for various nations. However, many current and ex-public librarians are also members of various groups which you can find out more about on The Library Campaign website. There is also campaign work done by UNISON, the public sector union. Lots of activity takes place on social media, so joining Facebook and Twitter is a good way to get involved and become familiar with the issues.

Law Librarianship

There are many different types of librarian and information professional roles based in the legal sector, to be found not just in large legal firms, or the Inns of Court, but also within industry, academic libraries and within government. For more information on careers working with legal information, check out the website of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians. 

Government Libraries

This section covers those librarians/ information roles in government departments and agencies, parliamentary and national libraries. Roles have been fairly hard-hit in the financial crisis.

London is still the main centre for this kind of role, but with increased regionalisation of departments and NGOs, this is less the case than in the past. If you are interested in roles in this sector, you might also find it interesting to look at the Network of Government Library and Information Specialists.

Academic- FE, HE

One of the most commonly encountered Librarian/Information roles, Librarians in Further or Higher Education have varied roles with many varying responsibilities. It is still fairly common to have subject specialist librarians, who are responsible for  supporting specific disciplines (eg. Politics, Economics etc…) Sometimes these librarians will have to take on a range of departments. These Librarians are sometimes called liaison librarians, subject librarians or something along these lines.

Their role varies, but usually includes providing training and advice to students, checking reading lists and ordering materials for the library (including online resources), exploring new resources (especially new databases) representing the library at departmental meetings and involvement in stock management decisions.

Other roles in academic libraries include cataloguing new acquisitions (sometimes also done by the subject librarians), ordering and processing stock (some Acquisitions staff have responsibility for multi-million pound budgets), being responsible for services provided to the user (eg. circulation duties- such as checking items in, and dealing with those who owe large amounts of fines).

Why not check out our Sccop.it page to keep up to date with the issues in this sector? Access is free: Higher Education News for Libraries and Librarians

ALISS wishes you an appy christmas! See our recommended research apps

To celebrate 2013 Christmas season. Here is our advent list of recommended apps for students and researchers in the social sciences.

  1. First on our list the British Library apps – includes the 19th century app which has thousands of books covering arrange of topics. for French readers get free access to French historic books from Gallica via the BNF the national Library of France. Try the New York Public Library collections – they have apps for their World’s Fair archives and their Frankenstein and Shelley’s circle collection.
  2. More on books try the Google books app to search for contents pages and free editions. Project Gutenberg provides free access to classic out of copyright texts via its mobile version. Worldcat Mobile allows you to search the library catalogue of the major libraries of the world to locate printed copies
  3. Dictionaries – try for free the American Merriam Webster – which also has words of the day
  4. News services – a good selection are: Bloomberg: business and finance news.BBC news Economist has free access to some editor picks.Politico politics news (mainly usa) Reuters news services.
  5. Maps – try Google Mapsopenstreetmap has mobile versions. Highways agency – traffic app
  6. For Geographers. FieldTrip GB is being developed by EDINA. this will enable mobile data capture
  7. Keep in contact on your field trips using SKYPE for mobile use.
  8. US census data .UK Government data has some mobile apps
  9. more examples of data and publications  from these great international organisation website  World Bank , EU news , IMF data, OECD fact book
  10. try these museum and art galeries online Museum of London the street museum lets you view london streets in the past. V&A.Art galleries Tate includes a dictionary of modern art terms and gallery guides.
    Louvre top 100 paintings and exhibition guide. Metropolitan Museum of Art explorer
  11. Search for articles. Google scholar, medical articles on pubmed . many subscription databasesalso have mobile versions. Try ebsco,
    ISI web of science.
  12. Information literacy – citing and referencing. University of Lincoln Harvard system .University of St Mark & St John, MARGen –  Marjon Academic Reference Generator

ALISS 12 days of christmas recommendations

Here are recommendations for the 12 days of christmas (for social scientists!)

On the first day of Christmas, My true love sent to me A partridge in a pear tree. Here are some resources for orchards and pear trees.

2.  Turtle Doves – here are some data and mapping resources relating to birds!

3. French hens – hens and eggs data

4. Calling birds – resources on bird songs!

  •  BBC Radio 4 has a collection of bird songs from common Uk birds which you can download.
  • The British Library sound archive has an entry on the language of birds which discusses the purpose of their songs and gives examples.
  • Xeno-Canto is a free website dedicated to sharing bird songs and sounds from around the world.
  • Macaulay Library Sound & Video catalog The Macaulay Library is the world’s largest archive of animal sounds. It contains more than 160,000 recordings of 67 percent of the world’s birds, and it is rapidly increasing its holdings of insects, fish, frogs, and mammals.Search the database for animal sounds and behavior. Visualize sounds using a spectrogram. Speed up or slow down sounds. Create spectrograms from your own sounds. Spectrograms can be customized with a clickable world map or by using an advance or simple Boolean search. Windows 2000 or newer is needed to use the spectrograms.

5. Gold rings

  • The world Bank blog regularly updates on commodity prices.
  • Trade body the World Gold Council provides some free access to issues of its Gold Market trends from 1996 onwards.
  •  Kitco has some free price and commodity news.

6. Geese a laying

7.   Swans a swimming

  • Swans as culinary fare! – From the Institute of Historical research. See the recipe for swan offal:
    • Chawdoun for swannes. Take ðe lyuer and ðe offal of the swannes, & do it to see ð in gode broth; take it vp. Pyke out ðe bonys; take & hewe the flessh smale. Make a lyour of crustes of brede & of ðe blode of ðe swan ysoden, & do ðerto powdour of gynger, of clowes, & of piper, & a litul wyne & salt, & see ð it, & cast ðe flessh ðerto iheweed; & messe it forth with ðe swan irostede. – Hieatt, Constance B. & Butler, Sharon (eds.)  (1985), p. 131. tasty recipe for swan offal and liver. swan pie from the food history blog.
  • Google books also has some interestingpies.
  • Finally a cheesy Christmas swan song from youtube – Gooseneck hill waterfowl sanctuary.

8. Eight maids a-milking,

9. Ladies Dancing

10. Lords a leaping

11. Pipers Piping.

12. Drums drumming.