Category Archives: Information Management

What is the most popular activity in the UK? The answer may surprise you…

Going to church? Going to the cinema? Watching the football?

Visiting Libraries is the most popular activity in the UK

It is probably safe to say that Libraries have been in the news constantly over the last couple of years, but for all the wrong reasons… funding cuts, closures etc. So it is great to see some positive news coming from one of my favourite bloggers Ned Potter.

When someone tells you libraries are no longer relevant in the digital age, think again, and keep these stats in mind, that’s 536 visits per minute, just while you were reading this post.

At Ashgate we have always believed that libraries have a strong healthy future, which is one of the reasons why we are so proud of the library and information management books we publish. Here are some recent highlights or view our latest catalogue here.

PPCspine22mmDeveloping Community-Led Public Libraries by John Pateman and Ken Williment

‘If the Minister for Libraries seeks clarification on what exactly constitutes a comprehensive and efficient service he need look no further than this excellent book’ CILIP Update

View an extract here.

Pateman & Vincent casePublic Libraries and Social Justice by John Pateman and John Vincent

a well-researched and compelling account which should play an important role in the ongoing debate about the role and contribution of the public library service.’ CILIP Update

Pick up a copy here.

PPCspine22mmReading Groups, Libraries and Social Inclusion by Eileen Hyder

‘a welcome contribution to the growing body of qualitative and quantitative knowledge about blind people’s reading habits’

Publishing History

Look inside the book.

Linking Literacy PPC_AsselinLinking Literacy and Libraries in Global Communities by Marlene Asselin and Ray Doiron

‘a positive and inspiring contribution to the promotion of the value of libraries in building globally literate communities.’ Australian Library Journal

Purchase a copy

BIALL Life Membership Award 2015 awarded to Loyita Worley

Posted by Helen Moore, Marketing Manager

The BIALL Life Membership Award 2015 has been awarded to Loyita Worley, Director of EMEA Library Operations, Reed Smith.

The British and Irish Association of Law Librarian’s (BIALL) awarded the BIALL Life Membership Award 2015 to Loyita Worley at the BIALL Annual Dinner, which took place in the Hilton Brighton Metropole on 12 June 2015.

This is an award that is bestowed on current BIALL members who have had active and distinguished careers within Law Librarianship, and who have been substantially involved with BIALL. Loyita has been active in BIALL for 30 years and has stayed with the same law firm, albeit in different guises, for almost as long. She has held the roles of Membership Secretary, Council Member and in 1999 Chair of BIALL (the former term for “President”), the first member from a law firm to be elected to this office.

BIALL handbook of legal information managementLoyita edited the first edition of the BIALL Handbook of Legal Information Management published in 2006 and stepped in again more recently to take over as editor of the 2nd edition as well as contributing one of the chapters.

It was with great pleasure that BIALL president Marianne Barber presented Loyita with the Life Membership Award.

Writing Classification Made Simple – a long and winding road – a guest post from Eric Hunter

Posted by Corey Boudreau, Sales and Marketing Coordinator

To mark his book’s selection as an Editor’s Choice, in this guest post Eric Hunter discusses his experiences publishing Classification Made Simple and the resonance his work has had in the field.


Writing Classification Made Simple – a long and winding road

In the mid-twentieth century, the main thrust of library classification was towards the traditional schemes of Dewey and Library of Congress. A catalyst for change arrived in 1951, when Palmer and Wells published The Fundamentals of Library Classification, based on the researches of Dr S.R. Ranganathan. I can recall vividly a lecturer at Manchester Library School gamely trying to teach this ‘new’ approach but without any great success, as he was only in the throes of coming to grips with it himself!

After Manchester, I was called up for two years national service. Upon my demobilisation, I gradually eased my way back into librarianship and one of the subsequent positions that I held was head of a cataloguing department. Wells had incorporated some aspects of Ranganathan’s concepts into the British National Bibliography. I became enamoured of chain indexing and began to introduce it into the procedures of my department. I suppose that this was when I really began to appreciate fully the enormous practical advantages of Ranganathan’s theories.

In the late nineteen sixties I transferred to teaching. This gave me more of an opportunity to write and to publish. At first, I tended to concentrate on cataloguing and, more specifically, on Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (as some readers will be aware). The sixties and seventies were a time when computerisation was gradually taking hold and I became a convert. I tried to introduce computer studies into the teaching curriculum but some colleagues were less than enthusiastic. I recall one fellow lecturer referring derogatively to ‘Eric and his toys’. However, I believed that computerisation had to be the way forward. I was granted a year’s sabbatical to work and train in the University’s Computer Services Department. In 1982, my ABC of BASIC : An Introduction to Programming for Librarians  was published and, in 1985, Computerised Cataloguing.

At this time some excellent books on classification were available. Sayers’ Manual of Classification for Librarians, revised by Arthur Maltby, being one and Tony Foskett’s The Subject Approach to Information another. All the same, the fact that facet analysis lends itself admirably to computerisation and my experiences with students convinced me that there was an additional need for a book that explained the basic principles of classification more concisely, in a way that was easy to understand, profusely illustrated by practical examples. Thus the idea for Classification Made Simple was born; Ashgate saw the possibilities and agreed to publish; a contract being signed in May 1987.

Classification made simpleWhat impact has the book made? When it appeared in 1988, it was gratifying to note that, in general, the work was well received. Reviewers (who came from a variety of countries and organisations) applauded its simplicity and practicality; they recommended it to anyone needing guidance in the application of classification to the organisation and retrieval of documents in any type of information unit. More than one reviewer regretted the fact that it had not been available when they were students. Others said that it would be invaluable for any IT department concerned with search and retrieval. All of these positive comments were music to my ears.

I like to think that it has helped many of the people working in library and information management, and in data processing, to understand the basic principles and practical applications of classification. There have been enormous changes in librarianship and information management since the work was first written but, hopefully, it is still of some relevance. It is now in a third edition and a translation into Korean is currently in progress.

My advice to anyone wanting to publish would be to choose a subject that you are passionate about and have sufficient knowledge of. Carry out a literature search in order to ascertain what is already available on the topic; look for a gap in the market. Produce one or two extracts and a synopsis to submit to appropriate prospective publishers, to see if there is interest. There is nothing worse than having a completed manuscript sitting on one’s shelf ignored and unwanted.

Remember that writing is a labour of love and self-satisfaction. Textbook authorship will not make you a fortune. There will be no flashy car on the driveway. Perhaps you will just be able to afford the petrol to go in it! Writing is also time consuming. If you are in a relationship, you need the support of your spouse or partner. I am fortunate in that my wife is always encouraging, patient and tolerant during the long hours when I am happily tapping away on a typewriter or computer keyboard.

When the finished product finally arrives on your doorstep, there is a wonderful sense of achievement. All of the effort expended seems worthwhile; writing is rewarding! Carpe diem!

Eric Hunter


Full information about Classification Made Simple: An Introduction to Knowledge Organisation and Information Retrieval can be found on the Ashgate website.

Browse our catalogues online…

Online versions of our printed catalogues are available to browse. Please follow the links below to your subject(s) of interest.

Most of our catalogues are available in two formats, ‘eCatalogue’ which is a ‘page turning’ document, and standard PDF which loads in Acrobat Reader. Both versions include links to full book details on our website, for further information and for ease of ordering.

Don’t forget, ALL orders on our website receive 10% discount.

Tara Brabazon on Digital Dieting

Posted by Corey Boudreau, Sales and Marketing Coordinator

Digital dietingIn 2013, Tara Brabazon authored Digital Dieting – From Information Obesity to Intellectual Fitness. Since its publication, this title has proven to be a significant contribution to the field of information and cultural management, and has cemented Tara as one of the foremost authors in the field.

Recognizing the success of this title, we asked the author a series of questions regarding her experience researching and writing Digital Dieting. She has kindly created an insightful podcast which allows listeners to learn more about her experience with Ashgate, the development of the book’s central themes, her intended contributions to the field, and her advice for anyone wanting to publish their own work.

Click here to listen to the full podcast. Tara Brabazon has authored several Ashgate titles including most recently Thinking Popular Culture (2008), The University of Google (2007), and From Revolution to Revelation (2005).

Tara Brabazon is Professor of Education and Head of the School of Teacher Education, Charles Sturt University, Australia.

Completely revised and updated second edition of the BIALL Handbook of Legal Information Management is now available

Posted by Helen Moore, Marketing Manager

BIALL handbook of legal information managementA new edition of The BIALL Handbook of Legal Information Management, which was first published seven years ago, was published last month by the British & Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) and Ashgate. Edited by Loyita Worley and Sarah Spells, this is a valuable handbook and important reference tool for managers and staff of all types of legal information services.

The new edition has been thoroughly updated by the original team of experts and new contributors, to provide best practice guidance on the key legal information issues for every type of service. Each of the chapters has been updated to reflect general changes in law libraries in the past seven years. The Handbook covers new information technologies, including social networking and communication. New chapters also focus on the key topics of outsourcing and the impact of the Legal Services Act 2007.

“This second edition brings the Handbook right up to date which ensures that this essential reference work continues to be an extremely valuable resource for anyone interested in the field of legal information services across all sectors of employment.  The publication of this new edition is due in large part to Loyita Worley of Reed Smith LLP.  Loyita took up the task of editing following the untimely death of Sarah Spells, Law Librarian and Deputy Head of Teaching and Research Support at SOAS Library, who passed away before the work on the new edition was complete.”   Marianne Barber, current BIALL President

Contents:  Foreword, Jas Breslin; Preface; Law libraries and their users, Jules Winterton; Sources of legal information and their organization, Guy Holborn; Legal research – techniques and tips, Peter Clinch; Legal technologies: Current awareness systems, Dean Mason; Law firm intranets, Sally Roberts; Library management systems (LMS), Mandy Webster; Financial management: Planning and budgeting, Sarah Brittan and Michael Maher; Negotiating online subscriptions, Fiona Fogden; Managing legal information professionals, Loyita Worley and Jacky Berry; Copyright and data protection, Chris Holland; Knowledge management, Ann Hemming; Collection management: Cataloguing and classification, Diana Morris; Developing the collection and managing the space, Lesley Young; Taxonomies and indexing, Christine Miskin; E-learning and virtual learning environments, Angela Donaldson; Planning a training session, Emily Allbon; Making the most of social media tools, James Mullan; Outsourcing, Kate Stanfield and Sophie Thompson; The Legal Services Act, Amanda McKenzie; Case studies: Academic law libraries, Diane Raper; Freelance legal information professionals, Karen Scott; Government department libraries, Penny Scott, Stephanie Curran, Kathy Turner and Rachel Robbins; Law firm libraries and information services, Loyita Worley; Solo librarians, Nicola Herbert; Professional society libraries: the Northern Ireland experience of change and repositioning, Heather Semple; References and Bibliography; Index.

About the EditorsLoyita Worley has been Senior Manager of EMEA Library Operations at Reed Smith LLP since January 2007 following the merger of Reed Smith and Richards Butler and has recently been promoted to Director. She was Chair of the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) in 1997-1998 and has been involved with BIALL in many capacities since and is currently on the Legal Information Management Editorial Board. She is also a member of the Special Libraries Association (SLA).

Sarah Spells was the Law Librarian and Deputy Head of Teaching and Research Support at SOAS Library, UK.

For more information on the book, please visit:

A guest post from Tim Wales, author of ‘Business School Libraries in the 21st Century’

Tim WalesTim Wales recently joined the University of West London as Director of Library Services. He was previously Head of Library at the London Business School and Associate Director (E-Strategy) at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Business School Libraries in the 21st CenturyThis week sees the formal publication of my new book for Ashgate, Business School Libraries in the 21st Century. A lot has happened since I started writing and editing the book in August 2012 with my fellow contributors around the world, not least the fact that I changed jobs during its final gestation period and moved out of the business school library sector to take on a more general academic library leadership role at The University of West London.

This change has left me feeling somewhat conflicted about the book: depending on my frame of my mind, I see it serving as an effective “capstone” (to use MBA programme jargon) for my time spent leading a business school library with a nice piece of international collaboration to capture the common sets of issues business school libraries around the world are having to confront and deal with.

Or, alternatively, I see it as a “tombstone” for my time in charge at London Business School Library (LBS) – this is because the strategic planning exercise for the Library’s future that I describe in Chapter 12 will continue under the aegis of an interim Head of Library (currently being appointed) reporting to a senior Library Review group. I am not so vain to presume that the future scenarios for the Library that I came up with are the only possible variations and so I will be watching through my fingers as events play out in Regent’s Park in the next 12 months. Two predictions though: 1) the Library’s reporting line in the organisational structure will change from being part of IT (it is always fascinating to discover how many different variations Library reporting lines can throw up around the world) and 2) the Library team will move into the School’s new Sammy Ofer Centre on the Marylebone Road in some shape or form in 2017.

I should also say that I feel very proud to have published my first professional book just as I was proud to have published various professional articles in the past and written a chapter for another Ashgate book on academic libraries for my friend, fellow contributor and business library head, Andy Priestner. Not only do these publications give me ideal testing and demoing metadata for use with Library systems, citation databases and altmetrics, they give me the means to understand the publishing cycle and associated processes for the academic community I support. This in turn gives me a little more professional credibility at a senior level and, crucially, the opportunity to experience at first hand the issues wrapped up in my role as Director of Library Services: academic dissemination and visibility, publisher processes and agreements, open access publishing (OA) not to mention working remotely within a defined virtual subject community internationally to name just a few.

OA in relation to my own situation with this book deserves further brief comment. I remember having discussions with senior managers at LBS regarding how to handle publications of faculty who had since left the School. Should associated metadata and outputs be left in the publications database or not? The scenario did not extend to non-faculty staff who happened to publish as there was no tradition of including such staff in the publications database anyway (I’m deliberately not using the word “repository” by the way). So having carefully chosen a publisher like Ashgate that permits green OA chapter deposits in repositories, but with nowhere now to deposit them as I have left my associated institution, where can I deposit my chapters to fulfil my moral and ethical duties as a librarian? Thankfully, there is a OA refuge for nomadic authors like me in my situation, it’s called OpenDepot. By the way, my book includes a very interesting chapter on the OA situation in France by Agnès Melot and Sophie Forcadell from HEC Paris.

So would I edit such a book again? However good your contributors, it is undoubtedly hard work to keep an eye on all the details all of the times and and it is very easy to lose momentum and interest through the proofing stages. I don’t think I will be able to read the book myself for another two years as I am sick of the sight of the text but also afraid that I will uncover mistakes or omissions! At times, it was like an extension of the day job in terms of managing people over whom you have no formal control but require their co-operation in order to complete a task to a required degree of quality by a certain date. The worst part was having to gently encourage (by email) two prospective contributors to withdraw their draft chapter voluntarily and rewrite it e.g. as a journal article instead, without hurting their feelings or injuring their professional pride.This leads me to think that my next publication will be a sole author work in whatever shape or form.

Why should you read this book? Well, it collates (original) material together which you will not encounter elsewhere, including some primary research and original change management case studies for libraries in the USA, Europe and Asia (like all good MBA courses!) as well as some thought-provoking opinion pieces from respected librarians in the sector. And, as it is emphatically not a “how to be a business librarian” or “how to answer business queries” book, then it has general relevance for senior library professionals and managers working in tertiary education with English as a first or second language. It also has a very touching and personal foreword by the Dean of Harvard Business School, Nitin Nohria, about the importance of academic libraries in his own career which is eminently citable in its own right. Enjoy…

The author writes this blog post in a personal capacity.