New ELISA website

I launched the new, updated and re-vamped ELISA website the other day. The new logo was agreed, slightly edited, and uploaded. The structure has been altered, the content checked and up-dated and a big old invitation email has been sent out encouraging folk to sign up. Now comes the hard part – getting folk to post – and other folk to read those posts. Building a blog is easy. Keeping it alive is tough.

I’ve already posted a before picture of ELISA’s site. Here’s what it looks like now:

elisa new site

I’m pretty pleased with this one. I love the colours! Fingers crossed the intended audience will like it too!

At least my ‘clients’ are happy with the work. I’ve had some nice feedback already. And this seems like a fairly active group. I’m hopeful (as always) that they will engage with the site.

Something new – although I’m the chief admin, I actually have some volunteer help this time. Nice as this is, it’s been a challenge to my blog-territoriality – and my techno-control freakery – to share one of my babies with someone else. Luckily, I can ease into it since my helpers are new to the ways of the blog. They are happy for me to be the boss of them… so far. We’ll see how it goes once I’ve got them trained up and brimming with confidence and ideas…   🙂

Elaine Henry: Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair

via Bella Caledonia

It’s Official! – re-postings from @natlibscot Official Publications Unit blog

Cold War intelligence 
Posted: 07 Oct 2014 02:14 AM PDT
Now available through the National Library of Scotland. A full-text collection of 2,360 formerly classified U.S. government documents (most of them classified Top Secret or higher) which provides readers with the declassified documentary record about the successes and failures of the U.S. intelligence community in its efforts to spy on the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Details on how to access this resource can be found on the NLS Website

The Smith Commission 
Posted: 09 Oct 2014 01:57 AM PDT 
You have an opportunity to have your say and respond to the Commission directly via their website from the 13th October 2014. The terms of reference for the Commission are: To convene cross-party talks and facilitate an inclusive engagement process across Scotland to produce, by 30 November 2014, Heads of Agreement with recommendations for further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament. This process will be informed by a Command Paper, to be published by 31 October and will result in the publication of draft clauses by 25 January. The recommendations will deliver more financial, welfare and taxation powers, strengthening the Scottish Parliament within the United Kingdom.


Official Publications in the National Library of Scotland

nlsWe are curators of the Official Publications collection in the National Library of Scotland (we have over 2 million government and government-related publications). You can find out more about who we are and what’s in our collections on our web pages.

The Wee Blue Book – #IndyRef

“On 18 September 2014, between the hours of 7am and 10pm, absolute sovereign power will lie in the hands of the Scottish people. They have to decide whether to keep it, or give it away to where their minority status makes them permanently powerless and vulnerable”

Jim Sillars – Former Labour MP, Founder of Scottish Labour Party, Former SNP MP

From The Wee Blue Book by Wings Over Scotland – Read this before you vote!


Time travel – part 2

I’ve recently spent a lot of time developing and enhancing the SWOP Blog so it can become the group’s primary public site. A major piece of work was building a new home for SWOP’s unique ‘Directory of Official Publications in Scotland‘, then transferring, checking and updating all directory entries from the old website.

I created ‘Events’ listings, added a Tag cloud and Twitter feed – and my recent #happygeek moment was setting up new ‘pages’ and figuring out how to re-direct posts to them via the ‘Category’ function. Such fun! Finally, I added a Welcome page and re-jigged the site to make that the new Home page – all done.



I used the same template/theme for SWOP Blog as I chose for A Very Fine Library. Initially, this was for reasons of expediency (see here) but I’m so happy with the look and functionality of the site that I decided to stick with it.

So pleased am I, in fact, that I started wishing I’d made some ‘before and after’ pics to remind me of the changes. It occurred to me to check whether the Internet Archive WayBackMachine had collected the site in the past…  To my surprise and pleasure I found that it had!

the old look - via WayBackMachine

the old look – via WayBackMachine

It was gratifying to note that, in the past, SWOP Blog had been harvested only 3 times from 2011 to 2013.  Since I started tinkering it’s been captured that many times in just 7 months   🙂

It’s even more gratifying to see that my own little blog is being captured now too!

Referendum links

A colleague was at the CILIPS conference the other day, where Iain Macwhirter spoke. Apparently he made the point that libraries are even more important today because the people of Scotland cannot trust the press. They need places to go and find answers for themselves. He feels so strongly about this that he brought it up at a librarianship conference!

Though I obviously agree about the importance of libraries, Scotland’s Referendum on Independence is only 100 days away. People need information now. We only have to open a newspaper or turn on the tv to see the latest pronouncements from Project Fear but where can we go for positive, hopeful arguments from the Yes campaign? Or, at the very least, un-biased coverage? Luckily we have the internet.

Hence, my decision to include some ‘Referendum links‘ on this blog. It is a short list but a good one. Some very important and vibrant sites there – mostly pro-indy – including a couple with links to various other sites. I especially point out the Scottish Parliament Information CentreReferendum Hub: balanced, unbiased and crafted by librarians – what more could you wish for?

…incidentally, was very excited to find @librarians4yes on Twitter   🙂 


They say knowledge is power.

Nah.  Knowledge is just data.  A book on a shelf, an idea in your head – if you do nothing with it, knowledge is next to worthless.  Data only has value when it’s passed along – disseminated – when it becomes information.

I’ve known this for as long as I can remember.  As a very little girl I was compelled to communicate any information I gathered.  Every speck, ever crumb of knowledge I gained I had to tell someone about.  I had a child’s sponge-like mind so this was a very trying time for my mother.

Imagine my joy when I realised that people might pay me to do what came as naturally to me as breathing.  I found my calling.

Then the internet burst into the world and people were confronted with more information than they could handle.  Luckily, I found I also had a knack for wrangling these pesky herds of wild data.  The dawn of the Information Age – oh, happy day!

It may seem odd (or perhaps a little sad) to say so, but I do believe I am a natural born Librarian.