The Casual Librarian

My thoughts and opinions

Leave a comment

Data Protection: The Unprecedented Change.

Emma Redmond brings us through the terms and concepts involved in data protection. The definition of privacy or data protection is basically the protection of that personal data. Redmond explains this definition is a key and important concept to understand.

The importance of what is happening within EU legislation is reiterated over and over again by Redmond, where she states “we have never seen anything like this before”.

What is this change?

A lot of this is legal change with the main two areas being The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the EU – US Privacy Shield.

Who are the main players in this change?

Redmond brings us back to the fundamental basics of data protection, and teaches us to ask who is actually controlling all this personal data AKA a “Data Controller”. As the data is collected, held, processed, is that data then changed by a third party? If so this data then comes into the hands of a “Data Processor”. Redmond gives the example of a bank transaction, does the bank have a third party that will need to service all these public needs, and no surprise, the answer is yes.

What does it look like for us the people?

It is our fundamental right to have protection over our data, so we need to know what players are in the field and who does what to our data.



Leave a comment

“Privacy, a human right for the digital age” – the legal practice and challenge of Data Protection

Preserving the privacy of Europeans is a big challenge facing the European Union states Dr Denis Keller, a barrister  who specialises in privacy and data protection law.

The biggest news in the last few months sees the European Parliament passing new rules surrounding data protection, also known as the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”).

Many of the challenges facing Europe and the reason these rules are so crucial to the people of Europe can be seen in the way data can be gathered and used through our “data gathering devices” or as we like to call them our phones.

In addition to this personal privacy the law needs to take into account surveillance, how CCTV is used and how recording devices are now in everyone’s pocket, if you are being recorded you need to be aware of the interviewer but also your audience.

Dr Keller stress the threat to privacy in the privatisation of surveillance and how phone tapping can now be done outside of state surveillance. This massive topic has many angles and the magnitude of people that are affected by it makes the legislation hard to combat it, as it is forever changing.

So how do we, the regular people with the regular phones get our privacy back?

Dr Keller says there is an increased awareness now, but more people need to question their privacy, as they don’t know their rights.

Furthermore, to understand the data that is being harvested and gathered at all times & more importantly to change their behaviour surrounding privacy and the legal aspect of this topic.


April Showers

Hi, Everyone!

Reflecting back over the last 3 months, I am very happy with my achievements every month.

However, Job searching can be very draining. I find writing these blog posts help me look back over the goals I have set myself. The good news is I got a part time job as a Research Assistant with Waterford Institute of Technology which I begin next Monday.

Saying that, I am very interested in the goals I didn’t achieve, I like to sit down and ask myself, “Why didn’t you follow through with this”?

You need to stay real, and I can honestly say it is because I turned my focus to something that in the long run has helped win me an award!

SLA’s LMD Divison (if you don’t know it check it out) have a career advancement award every year, so with the encouragement of my mentor, I set about to create my application.

I was thrilled to begin this as it brought together a lot of ideas I had floating around for some time now. Watch this space!

Also, one of my main aims this year is to do as much public speaking as I can, and I can safely say I love it, I spoke at a family wedding, I joined a writing class and stood up in front of a crowd of strangers and read my material.

From there my writing class got invited to two events in Waterford and again I spoke to a crowd of strangers and showed my material!

I have finished reading Chapter two of the Organised Mind, however, I do need to write up a blog post.

Data Protection and Privacy I had to sideline, however now the Law Society if Ireland started a MOOC, and I am currently looking at Module 1 so will reflect on this come the end of the week.

I shall be very busy this month, however, I do plan to keep this blog even more active as I will have lots to share with you all!


1 Comment

March Madness: Being Inspired!

March Madness, the madness is time is flying by!

The long bright evenings are so inspiring, inspiring me to do more. Take that walk, prep that blog post, read that chapter.

Setting goals for each month and then writing in my personal journal about my achievements is inspiring me to do more, looking back over all the completed to do lists is magical.

For the first time I got the opportunity to walk in the St Patrick’s Day Parade, it was super. I have increased my fitness level and I feel very positive about my weigh in next month!

Next month brings a family wedding, a weekend long celebration that I am looking forward to and being asked to do a reading at the mass has made me feel very honoured!

I have also begun writing a short story for a competition, and a very good friend is being my reviewer, with lots of positive feedback. It is probably a pile of junk and she is being super sweet, I don’t mind it’s fun!

I have signed up for a few MOOC’s the self learning ones, and I’m disappointed in the quality of them, so I have not been inclined to go back which is disheartening, I might give it another try this week and see how I get on!

I have been keeping tabs on my habits, from only having the one cup of coffee a day, to drinking 4-6 pints of water, to setting my reading challenge and I found an app called Slides which sends you multiple reminders of each one and I have realised it does keep me on my toes.

So what is in store for next month,

  • I need to update my blog with another review of The Organsied Mind,
  • I also hope to read an article about Big Data & Data Privacy and blog about that. It is such an interesting topic!
  • Stay positive!

Enjoy those nice long evenings!




Struggling to keep yourself together, when once again another rejection comes your way. It has been a long road to here, life has thrown more than a few curveballs my way. I have had to sit with myself and search deep down to keep my head above the feeling of being beaten.

I recently found a reassuring way to stay strong, the universe works in many mysterious ways. Floating aimlessly through social media one day I came across this lovely article (which escapes me now) it was how people with different brain activity achieved or succeed in different ways. Anyhow in the article they mentioned a Ted Talk, so having a lot of free time, I thought let’s have a look.

The Ted Talk by Carol Dweck, a psychologist, speaks about how students when they received a grade that they had failed, did not see the word “Failed” they saw the words “Not Yet”. In students who thought they could not do the test, this feedback encouraged them to try again rather than give up when they get a “Fail”.

This really struck me, for each rejection I receive I feel it is the universe telling me it is not yet time, be patient, this is not the job for you, the award for you, the opportunity is in the process not so much the outcome. Learn from it, go back over it, what would you have done differently?

In doing this you praise the process that you entered, the application forms, creating new material, brainstorming ideas that may someday come into being, just “not yet”.

This gives me an inner confidence to keep doing my writing, learning every day and knowing that I will bring all this with me on my journey.  Be Strong!0bee15600a7908123c05da8d4c88e216


Leave a comment

February: Spring and Sunshine!

Super, I didn’t manage to write a post for February in February, so 2016 is going to plan!!

February, we look forward the nice long stretch in the evenings, the daffodils coming alive, finding sandals in the shops!! We survived another winter, OK it is still kind of winter how many storms have we had? Anyhow, I digress!

This month’s theme goes along the lines of Learning & Creating while facing your Fears.

If you read my January post I mentioned I would be speaking at a library conference, and yes I did it and it was the most amazing experience, fear really is not a nice friend to have hanging around.

Since then, I have become slightly obsessed with facing all my fears! Having said that I really want to reflect and learn from my accomplishments & create ideas from these endeavours. So to begin I have been reading Elizabeth Gilberts new book, Big Magic.

So to begin, I have been reading Elizabeth Gilberts new book, Big Magic.01-big-magic-book-review

With books like Gilbert’s I tend to read them with half an interest, they seem to be coated with this sugar that makes you see the world in a colourful hypnotic way. Anyhow, I really related to the way she referred to fear as being boring! She maintains fear is always going to be the friend you find annoying, the voice that will always hold you back. She asks you to consider how this is boring, how this is the same voice, saying the same things to you over and over again.

So I thoughts about my fears, and there are many. And I began to write the following…

You don’t do because you fear X and people will say Y.

You don’t believe in yourself because of X.

You don’t do because of all the excuses you have made about Y.

You don’t do because you won’t succeed with X.

That is a lot of not doing, and that not doing is useless and damn well boring. It is the same story over and over again. How have I not realised I have been creating a boring life by not doing. Just sitting around listening to the same old boring voice saying “I cannot”.

Fear makes you do little with your life, why would anyone want a little life. A life that has not been fulfilled and amazing and interesting to me. Not other people, my life, ME!

It makes sense to me to begin to face my fears and take this fear, self-doubt, anxiety whatever you want to call it, on a journey that will be the most interesting and awesome adventure. This adventure is called MY LIFE!

I hope you had an awesome February and here is to an amazing March!

1 Comment

Exploring this wonderful January

January is a wonderful month, you get to make all these brilliant resolutions and promises to yourself. 🙄🙄🙄

We make the most of the dreary dark mornings and miserable late evenings, and we do this by making sure we stay positive and keep our energy up so we don’t go running for the large bar of chocolate!

It’s nearly over this wonderful month and I am only now getting around to writing my first blog post of 2016!!! Go me!!!

The topic on todays list is understanding.

Understanding what I do BAD!! I recently purchased Gretchen Rubin’s book, Better than Before. I am a person who has no habits, until I have to have them. Like getting up at 7am Monday to Friday because I’ve a place to go, a thing called a job!! Which at the moment I don’t have!

I did not really develop habits because my 20’s involved working in the hospitality industry which is everything the opposite of habit building. You cannot make your life into a beautiful routine because your rota will change and sometimes change daily!

Now I desperately want habits. This is the year I will make this work. And off I go!!!

What I have learned so far is I’m very easily distracted, like a child I want to do everything for five mins and then go no I’m bored now!!

Gretchen’s book has allowed me to understand there is nothing wrong with this, it’s part of my personality and traits and I need to know these if I want to change them. It’s very reassuring to know that I can work on these and over time it will take hold.

A few habits have been in action for this month, and it’s thrilling to me to see the outcomes.

Some of the questions I ask myself on a daily basis, maybe more than once involve: Why do I procrastinate? What holds me back? Am I scared? What do I fear?

As I begin to think deeper about these questions the only answer I can come up with is, how do you know the answer when you have not actually done it! So do it and then go back to the questions!

I fear public speaking apart from college I’ve not done it professionally! To figure out why I fear this, I am challenging myself mind and body to present this year at a conference! It’s been a challenge my mind is struggling with the concept that it will do this, my body won’t start rejecting this idea until the day of the presentation, but it’s all about understanding the why!

Onwards I go!