Lilac and Lime

Contrasts in colour, contrasts in life – Mary Bruce

About me

Joy. Kindness. Laughter.
Perspective. Sharing. Colour.
This blog is about things that touch me,
tangible and perceived.

One of the qualities I am most grateful for is the capacity to be happy in the present. Tomorrow may bring something ‘better’, but today is what I have.

The uplifting moments come from all spheres of my existence. They frequently sneak up but the unexpectedness adds to the quality of the experiences. It may be just a fleeting moment – not always easy to express verbally, but this rarely impedes my attempts. Sometimes it is a matter of taking time out from other distractions to be able to appreciate being in the right place at the right time.

Open spaces almost unfailingly refresh my perspective on life, put any problems into the space they warrant. Colour adds so much quality to life ; neutrals have their place but colour can be inspiring. It takes a lot to achieve but sometimes an unexpected compliment leaves me speechless. Really.

[Warning : trying to associate names and/or identities with individuals or entities whom I’ve chosen to keep anonymous will only result in frustration. I feel strongly about not embarrassing anyone whose path has ever crossed mine ; the encounters have contributed to who I am today.]

Unsurprisingly, many of my waking hours have been spent at the behest of my employers ; actually an undue number of subconscious hours have also contributed to their various causes. Therefore a summary of my career in formal employment follows.

In January 1979 I was employed by the University of Natal (Pietermaritzburg) in their main library as one of the youngest employees ever, having just completed my matric year. I had been quite deeply involved in the administration of my high school library for the previous five years and valued the opportunity to work in different departments of a large academic library and gain experience which was to prove invaluable in the years ahead. Towards the end of 1982 the University library started developing an electronic catalogue using the URICA system and my involvement in the retrospective project accounted for the following three years. Life on campus in the ’80s exposed me to a multitude of computer programs, some of which didn’t enjoy an extended existence, but it provided an opportunity to develop IT skills and a flexible approach to technology in general. In 1985 an electronic publishing unit was launched within the library and I held the position as sole incumbent until I resigned in 1992.

During the period 1992 to 1999 I had the opportunity to broaden my experience by working on a part-time basis for the Wykeham Collegiate Media Centre, the University library on a contract basis, the Natal Society Library (the only Legal Deposit library in KwaZulu-Natal) and the Natal Law Society. Up until then most of my experience had been gained in an academic environment and the broader perspective was most interesting.

In May 1999 the opportunity arose to join the KZN Law Society with the task of developing two websites and generally developing a range of electronic services for the benefit of the legal profession. I am currently still in this position.

▪  Member (IT Administrator : of KZN Law Society’s Information Technology Committee
▪  Part-time Instructor (Electronic Research) at the School for Legal Practice, Durban on behalf of the Law Society of South Africa, Legal Education and Development. February 2006-June 2009
▪  Committee Member (Listserv Administrator) of Organisation of South African Law Libraries (OSALL) ( August 2006-
▪  Committee Member (Advisor) of the Pietermaritzburg Computer Club ( March 2003-December 2009 ; March-October 2014

Presentations since 1997

▪ LinkedIn : a very popular business-focused social networking service. 5 August 2014. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪ Twitter : introduction and etiquette. 6 May 2014. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪ Alternative search engines : other ways to find what you want on the internet. 4 August 2010. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪ Readability : say goodbye to superfluous stuff on your browser. 2 December 2009. Pietermaritzburg Computer club
▪  Chrome security settings : lock down Google’s browser. 1 July 2009. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  Searching the hidden web : finding information beyond the reach of traditional search engines. 4 February 2009. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  Protecting your children from Facebook dangers : Facebook security. 6 August 2008. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  Facebook at work! : social networking for business value. 7 May 2008. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  Google Groups archiving. 28 February 2008. OSALL : Lighting the Way on the Information Highway Workshop (Routledge Modise, Sandton)
▪  Copernic Desktop Search : index your hard drive for fast local and internet search. 4 July 2007. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  Wikis : collaborative web publishing. 6 September 2006. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  Google utilities : Google’s specialised searches, services and tools. 3 May 2006. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  What’s new for computing in 2006 : Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show and beyond. 1 February 2006. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  RSS feeds : putting the ‘current’ in current awareness. 3 August 2005. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  Weblogs or online diaries pt.2 : creating your own online journal. 6 July 2005. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  The practical application of blog- and wiki- technology in the South African legal information community
23 June 2005. SAOUG/OSALL/SLIS Conference (CSIR Conference Centre, Pretoria)
30 June 2005. Provincial Legislatures. Research and Information Cluster (RIC) (Edward Hotel, Durban)
25 July 2005. Specialised Libraries in Pietermaritzburg. Development Planning Library, Pietermaritzburg
▪  Blogs (weblogs, or online diaries) : what value do they add to the Internet? 1 June 2005. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  Searching the web : tips and shortcuts to refine your search. 2 February 2005. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  Internet searching : current options and future developments. 4 August 2004. Pietermaritzburg Computer Club
▪  Potential web-based communication application. 20 October 2002. International Institute of Law Association Chief Executives (Durban Country Club)
▪  Questions and discussion. 12 June 2002. The rhythm of change : dancing to a new tune. SLIS/OSALL/SAOUG Conference (VW Centre, Midrand)
▪  The electronic rightness of being in KZN : the KZNLS sustains its e-nitiative. 21 November 2001. International Institute of Research (Holiday Inn, Johannesburg Airport)
▪  The Natal Law Society : reaching out to deliver library and other services. Case study. 12 October 2000. Lead, follow or get left behind. SLIS/OSALL. (CSIR, Pretoria)
▪  Sharing of legal material in South Africa. 27 January 2000. UND/LIASA (University of Natal, Durban)


OSALL Newsletter. Dotting the i Crossing the t column

Making the social media “A” list. January 2014
For-Evernote, or, The “external brain”. August 2013
Responsible use of third party information. May 2013
Searching with March 2013
Law firms take a novel approach, and other joyful tidings. November 2012
Of further Pinterest. August 2012
Piqueing your Pinterest. May 2012
Weighing the options : and being found wanting, very wanting [choosing an e-reader]. December 2011
“Popcorn, chewing-gum, peanuts and bubble gum” : not on the A list but they may be here [online pigeonholes ; OPML files and archiving tweets ; online communities ; social networks for booklovers]. September 2011
She Sells Sea Shells to a Fish Called Wander [recommendation engines and making recommendations online]. July 2011
When a fraction of distraction causes better action [IT policies, and whether Twitter distracts us from what we should be doing]. March 2011
South African legal publishers use Web 2.0 too [JutaLaw, LexisNexis, Sabinet and Siber Ink]. December 2010
Through the Looking Glass [realtime searches using Google, BlogPulse, crowdeye and boardreader]. September 2010
Dribbles and drabbles. [Caffeine ; Living Stories] May 2010
Clues on how to clear the clutter [Buzz ; Readability]. February 2010
2009, and Muuch, Muuch Moorrre. December 2009
▪  All that Twitters is not gold. August 2009
▪  Counting sheep in the stable : what the saddle saw. [European Commissioner’s comments on the future Internet ; Sergey Brin’s “2008 Founders’ Letter” ; Google users’ privacy issues ; fired for flaming on Facebook]. May 2009
▪  How low can you go? [‘Deep web’ search]. March 2009
▪  A generous quantum of solace : the bond of loyalty strengthened [Review : Google Chrome]. November/December 2008
▪  Mr and Ms Min [Housekeeping and development on the listserv]. August 2008
▪  C:// : and use it wisely. [The perennial debate surrounding the accuracy of information sourced on the Internet]. May 2008
▪  Google Groups Archiving : OSALL listserv. [Notes from Lighting the Way on the Information Highway : Sabinet Online Legal Bookmarks and Google Groups Arching Workshop (Routledge Modise, 28 February 2008)]. March 2008
▪  Using Web 2.0 and social networking to weave a web of perception. November/December 2007 (
▪  Utilising the potential of OSALL’s new listserv as an information repository for the legal information sector. September 2007
▪  Review : Copernic Desktop Search 2.0. May 2007 (
▪  [Really Simple Syndication (RSS) Feeds]. November/December 2006 (

Cited in

Land matters : new developments 2005(2). SAPL 2005, v.20(2), p.434

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