Sunday, 12 April 2015

#PaintingParadise: The Art of the Garden at the Queen's Gallery, London

From the natural open space of Green Park to the ordered splendour of Russell Square, it is hard to avoid London's parks and gardens. Open to all and offering different atmospheres to please all tastes, they ensure the sanity of tourists and locals alike, as well as inspiration to the most jaded of writers. When I saw the underground poster for the Queen's Gallery's exhibition 'Painting Paradise: The art of the garden', I was unconsciously lured by the well dressed young man's relaxed pose under a tree. Now I've seen that exquisitely tiny painting in its gold frame, I understand my response; it's spring. The sap is rising and simply put, sex sells, and sex is to be found in many of the painted gardens on show.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Clare Goes on a Bitchy Rant

My first non-librarian/KM conference is finally over. My experience was mixed; I'm returning with a phone full of Evernotes and a head overflowing with as yet jumbled ideas. I've not really assessed the learning yet because it's rather daunting and I've no clue where to start. But never have I encountered such cliquey unfriendliness, and in some cases pure discouraging rudeness.

Academia has a problem. You only have to regularly read the Times Higher Ed and realise that the humming halls of learning disguise a bearpit of competition, backstabbing and secrecy. I'm an outsider in this world, just standing on tiptoes looking in, like a child at a window listening to warring parents. And I've no wish to join this dysfunctional family in a professional capacity. My library training and natural inclination is for openness, collaboration, and making room for new ideas from external influences and as such, I'm clearly unwelcome.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

From Jerusalem to Bethlehem: or Wo ist...?

There are a number of reasons why a few days in Berlin is a Good Thing. The least important one, despite it being the main event, is the rather large Renaissance Society of America 2015 conference which stretches over three packed days. More of that anon, if I ever navigate the 500 page programme guide. And once I have chosen lectures, will I find the right place out of the 100s of seminar rooms dotted around Humboldt University campus.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Richard Susskind Lecture: The Future of Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Richard Susskind has been making predictions about the legal profession for some years now. However when you’re closely involved with the practice of law on a day to day basis, as many of us are, it is hard to see the dramatic changes that have taken place. This is especially true if you’re in one of the middling sort of law firms. The firms in the extreme size brackets have probably seen the most change; high street firms with funding issues and larger firms with the push for outsourcing, diversification and international growth. All of this has been well covered in the legal press so Susskind has turned his thoughts to the future of litigation, specifically.