CILIPS Meet the President 2018

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CILIPS East & Central Branch are holding a Meet the President Event.

A wonderful networking opportunity to meet Margaret in our time-honoured tradition: with friends old and new and some tasty treats!

Margaret has worked in Dunfermline, West Lothian and the Scottish Borders and had been an East Branch committee member for about 20 years. We are really looking forward to seeing what she has been up to so far in her role as President this year.

Please join us!

Date: 19th September 2018

Time: 6-8pm

Venue: The Boardroom, Central Library, 7-9 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EG

Register: by emailing Julie Sutherland


#LibrariansUncorked reading group meeting

Join us for the second #LibrariansUncorked reading group taking place this week on Tuesday 11th September at The Wash Bar.

The group will discuss ‘Vocational awe and librarianship: the lies we tell ourselves’ written by Fobazi Ettarh for the online journal In the Library with the Leadpipe.

By considering the historical connection between religion and libraries, the article analyses the problem of characterising librarianship as a ‘calling’; rhetoric that glorifies librarians as intrinsically moral and ethical individuals rather than a valued professional group. Supposed MLIS ‘martyrdom’ is arguably creating a pattern of workplace stress, low salary expectations and expanding job roles; even leading to a lack of diversity within the profession. Yet strong professional ethics are how librarians are entrusted to make decisions on behalf of communities.

Over-awed? Then make an after-work pilgrimage to the pub for praise to freedom of speech and intellectual freedom with fellow saintly colleagues. We’ll debate the article and consider its relevance and impact to our working experiences. If the second meeting is anything like the first, then expect a broad church of opinions, passions (and possible confessions) to be represented and celebrated in a friendly, social space.
It’s free. For faithful and lapsed CPD devotees alike!

Librarians Uncorked - Sep 18

Album of Victorian travel photography

The latest Capital Collections exhibition from @TalesOfOneCity

Tales of One City

By the mid 1800s, photography was bringing foreign destinations closer to home. Previously, if you wanted to know what far off lands looked like, you were reliant on descriptions or artistic interpretation. Photography provided an unprecedented ‘true’ picture of unknown places.

Street in Chester

The growth in photography allowed armchair travellers to obtain a record of the world beyond their experience. It also encouraged those fortunate enough to have the means to travel, to venture to new exotic destinations where they could collect photographic mementoes of their holidays.

By the late 1800s, several professional photographers employed teams armed with heavy cameras, equipment and glass plates who would travel across Britain, Europe and further afield to China, Japan and the USA photographing popular tourist attractions and daily life in these unfamilar locations. Some employed sales representatives who would visit stationers and newsagents shops persuading them to stock and sell their company’s souvenir views.


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Identity Theft: a modern cautionary tale

We recently learned of someone – we’ll call her Lesley – who became the victim of an identity theft scam we’d never encountered before.

For the purposes of helping others avoid the same fate, and with permission, here’s Lesley’s story

On Wednesday Lesley received a text message from her mobile provider saying she’d changed her account password and then another saying the provider was sorry she was leaving them! Lesley immediately phoned to state she was not leaving them, nor had she changed her password.


They confirmed that someone had just been taken through their vetting process as her and was currently in the process of cancelling her account and had been given her PAK number to give to a new provider in order to retain the mobile number. Although the provider locked her account and reset the password, the number transfer had already been agreed. This number transfer would occur at 11am the next day.


Her phone provider sent a new SIM card and advised Lesley to contact her bank immediately.


Essentially, from what we gathered, the fraud happens thus:

  1. If someone is calling from a registered number with the bank, banks will use this as a secondary security measure to confirm someone’s ID, often not asking as many vetting questions.
  2. If you can’t remember your online banking password, the bank will send a text is to the registered phone number (more usually a mobile) of a secure code to input in order for you to change the password and gain access.
    • Criminals usually rely on phoning a customer pretending to be from the bank and asking them to read out the code sent to the phone back to them.
    • What happened to Lesley is an attempt to bypass the human element by taking the registered phone number to therefore receive the text directly to a phone in their possession.


Lesley left work and went to her nearest bank branch.


The bank was initially unhelpful: “Since there is no fraudulent act happened at the moment, we can only make a note to look out for it”.


However, explaining the activity which was likely to go ahead once the number transfer was complete, the assistant put Lesley in touch with their fraud dept. who agreed to shut down all Lesley’s banking as a precaution. The fraud dept. explained this type of fraud attempt has begun only in the past 2 weeks and has been aggressive while phone providers and banks look at ways to close it down.


On Thursday at 11am Lesley lost her number. Within the hour she received emails saying that her email password had been changed. Again, asking for a password reset triggers a coded text to a registered number. Lesley managed to regain her email pretty quickly (redirecting codes to a newly created email account) and remove her ‘old’ number from her original email account.


Even though there was no hint of activity in it, Lesley also tried to deregister her number from her Apple account. This proved virtually impossible without again sending a confirmation text to the original number, or replacing it with another mobile number (which she did not yet have). As a precaution Lesley removed payment method information in the meantime.




The phone provider is actively investigating a breach of their procedure and also data. It transpires that, correctly, the people were unable to prove they were Lesley earlier on the Wednesday primarily because they were not calling from her phone number. They failed to get any further. Disastrously, in a second attempt on the Wednesday, although still not calling from the correct phone number (so no material difference to the first time), they were passed as genuine. Someone is likely to have made a very grave error by not following due process.


Once Lesley’s ‘old’ number has been used on a provider’s platform this is flagged as being used fraudulently and it will be returned to Lesley. This can take between 5 and 30 days. Once back in the possession of Lesley, she will ask for it and her previous data held to be destroyed.


Currently Lesley can only use her bank accounts by going to branch with her passport and being given a secure line to the fraud dept. Once she has control of her phone number again, the bank can lift the shields and deregister the phone number. Lesley is also getting new bank cards (again, as a precaution).


Lesley now has a new mobile number and will be very careful aboutwhere she chooses to register it in future, as well as looking to direct bank and phone provider email into separate email accounts.


All in all – although it seems nothing but inconvenience has occurred – it was an extremely unsettling time and I dearly don’t wish it on anyone.

We hope no-one else is affected by this scam  😦

“A lovely experience, in a gorgeous place, with a fascinating story and a friendly and wholehearted company”

One of the things that I enjoy most about being part of  ELISA is meeting and speaking to colleagues who come along to our events. At our AGM we were joined by  Krisztina Rabai who turned out to be an intern at the National Library of Scotland, which is where I work however we hadn’t previously met. I asked Kristzina if she would be willing to write a post for us before she left the Library, and the country,  and here it is.

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ELISA mini-quiz: Emily Prince, Scottish Poetry Library

Our first mini-quiz in a while comes from Emily Prince from the Scottish Poetry Library:

Your name:  Emily Prince AALIA (CP)
Library:  Scottish Poetry Library
Job Title:  Librarian


How did you become a librarian/what was your career path?
After completing an undergraduate degree in creative writing in Melbourne, Australia, I was looking into opportunities for further study. I’ve always loved books, and was working casually as a shelver in the university library where I had undertaken my degree. A friend from work had enrolled in a distance learning Masters in Information Studies at Charles Sturt University (also in Australia) and convinced me to give it a try – I fell in love with it almost immediately. Since graduating in 2014, I have worked in public and academic libraries in Australia, before moving to Scotland in 2016. I worked at an academic library in Scotland before going full-time at the Scottish Poetry Library (SPL).


Did you need any specialist training for your current role?
The SPL has a very unique collection, and is not governed by any larger organisation or council, so we have an unusual amount of autonomy in how we manage our collections. This also means, however, that the collections benefit from a wealth of specialist knowledge. I was very lucky when I started to be working with staff who had spent decades developing these collections, and also got a crash course in Scottish poetry while doing so. Constantly reading poetry helps with ongoing training!


What makes your library/department unique?
The focus of our collection! Poetry libraries are not common, and we are a national authority on Scottish poetry. We also have a largely physical collection, mainly due to lack of funds to support digital resources. This means I still update and maintain collections that some people might refer to as ‘old-fashioned’, like our cuttings collection which is largely comprised of actual newspaper and magazine clippings focused on Scottish poetry that we manually locate, cut out, and catalogue.


What is your favourite aspect of the job?
Working with poetry, and cataloguing. There aren’t too many libraries these days where the cataloguing is done in-house, and it is one of my favourite activities!


What has been your most complex/funny/unusual enquiry?
Where do I start? I hold lead responsibility for the enquiry service, and my favourites are the ones where people ask you to identify a fragment of poetry that they have forgotten the origin of. It’s usually a 50/50 chance that we will actually locate an answer for some of the more unusual or rare fragments, but we do our best! Other enquiries come from students doing dissertations on Scottish poets. I did some extensive work for an academic locating mentions of grandmothers in the work of Jackie Kay. There are also ‘lost’ poems that we have been asked about several times over the years that still elude us – and one of them is about the ‘cludgie [toilet] on the stair’ in a Glasgow tenement. If anyone has heard of this one, do get in touch!

Thank you so much for that Emily! Most entertaining and informative. Please contact Emily at the SPL, dear readers, if you have any information on that mysterious cludgie poem…

And, if you’d like to submit a mini-quiz of your own, you can find the details here: mini-quiz.

Summer Gathering and AGM at RBGE

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We had a great time at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on the 10th July for our Summer Gathering and AGM. Many thanks to librarian Lorna Mitchell for hosting us, and for her talk – sadly not in the the library due to emergency building work there. Another highlight was our visit the lovely Botanic Cottage.

Working Group reports: 


Twitter Moment: