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Library Day in the Life Round 4: Thursday

I am taking part in the Library Day in the Life this week. I am currently working as an information assistant at a London law firm. The eagle-eyed reader may notice that these posts were written last week – I am on holiday at the moment, celebrating the end of my MSc in Library and Information Studies, so decided to write these early so I could still take part. I thought lots of posts talking about my holiday this week would probably just annoy people!

Thursday 21st January

Made it in to work in time this morning and got straight on with the Legal News Updater – our past-time admin assistant was in again today, so I didn’t have to do the post. Got that finished and sent out by 11, then cracked on with checking my alerts and RSS feeds.

Finished all my current awareness stuff by 11.30, then catalogued some new construction contracts that had come in. I also had to hunt down the old contracts they were replacing. We keep all superseded construction contracts in case we need to refer back to them, and I’ve been trying to create a record of what old contracts we actually have – they’ve just been shoved into a cupboard for years, and we didn’t have an actual catalogue until two years ago, so it’s been a nightmare to try to sort out what’s where and what we need to keep. I’m making some headway on it, but it’s a dull job.

Spent about half an hour checking out a couple of search engines Phil Bradley had flagged up in his blog – tried searches on Yabigo and Searchzooka. Yabigo looks useful, but I think Searchzooka might be a bit too fiddly to be really practical. Nice idea though. Also tried out the Cornell Legal Research Search Engine. Out of the Jungle blogged about it ages ago, and the post has been starred in my Google Reader for yonks, but I hadn’t got around to trying it out yet. Was quite impressed by the results I got back – I don’t think it’d be any good for in-depth research (but why would you use a web search engine for that anyway??), but could see it being a useful starting point if you’re asked about an area of law you know nothing about.

Lunch next – spent my break going through some more starred items in my Google Reader, and set up a WordPress account to play with for SLA Europe. We’re considering redesigning the website, and it had been suggested that we could use a WordPress blog as a cheap, simple solution to build a website around. I volunteered to mock-up a prototype website on WordPress, to see what we could do with it. Should be a fun project – it’s the kind of thing I’m glad to have time to do now I’ve finished my MSc!

I don’t have any more enquiry desk shifts for the rest of the week, so I spent most of the afternoon concentrating on the missing books list. I’ve found quite a few titles which are available for free online as PDFs (mostly government publications), so after checking with the senior information officer I went through those records, added the online versions and deleted the missing book records. Finished that by about 5.15. Was nice to have something to cross off my to-do list!

For my last 15 minutes I had a bit of a play around with the SLA WordPress site. I haven’t got that far with it yet, but I have high hopes for it. Hopefully I should have something to send to the rest of the SLA web committee by the weekend – it might be a bit basic, but mainly I just want to have a way of demonstrating that it is possible to build a website from blog software that doesn’t just look like a blog. There’s some scepticism among some other committee members about whether it’s do-able, so I think the best way to find out is to just try it. Looking forward to seeing how it all works out.

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