Monday, January 29, 2007

British library to charge........did I see that coming.......

Reports in the britsh press and other blogs. One reporter wrote:-

To survive, the library proposes to slash opening hours by more than a third and to charge researchers for admission to the reading rooms for the first time.

All public exhibitions would close, along with schools learning programmes. The permanent collection, which includes a copy of every book published in the UK, would be permanently reduced by 15 per cent. And the national newspaper archive, used by 30,000 people a year, including many researching their family trees, would close.

Well, its not as if learning or having a cultural identity identity seems to matter anymore. It makes you wonder what this country represents, apart from a dirth of reality TV shows and a lack of anything else. Seems a shame the government and British library do not taking into consideration the important of libraries.

library 2030 or 2010.....part 1

Having recently gone back to university for my last two semesters, one of our lecturers brought up the idea of what libraries will be like by 2030. Well, I thought I might blog this, but more hopefully this will be the library of 2010.

Change 1:- The impact of millenials.

Millenials are a follow on from Generation X and millenials are described as being:-

Sociable, optimistic, talented, well-educated, collaborative, open-minded, influential, and achievement-oriented. They’ve always felt sought after, needed, indispensable.

Millenials will become more and more to the forefront as a group of people by 2030. Unfortunately a problem with millenials is their love of feedback. As one writer pointed out:-

...this generation expects immediate and ongoing feedback, and is equally comfortable giving feedback to others...Providing feedback on their performance should play a big part, as should encouraging their creativity and initiative to find new ways to get tasks done.

Millenials' impact can already be seen in social cataloging sites such as shelfari and librarything, where people discuss books and make virtual friends and groups. Classification is often done by people generating there own tags.

Millenials, in utilising the idea of feedback loops and tagging, have made libraries take notice. In America, librarians and users want to bring radical changes to the OPAC (online public access catalog) system. Users and librarians want to allow users to have the opportunity to classify books, rather than have Dewey doing this for us.

Another example of the impact of millenials in 2030 (or 2010) upon libraries is they can aid in giving feedback to libraries. They could also be part of the advertising process to. This can already be seen to occur with the First InfoTubey Awards, which are allowing both staff and patrons to discuss libraries and advertise them. This is an area that will hopefully grow.

Change 2:- The impact of virtual worlds.

This virtual world can be seen in second life, which has brought about a flurry of businesses starting to trade in the linden dollar through selling virtual products.
Libraries have also been opened in second life. In 2030 or 2010, users could go to a virtual library and see what books they can pick up via a computer/phone or other device of the time. They can then order the book they want and collect it from a library that has it at a time that is convenient for them.

Change 3:- Enquiries and instant messenging.

IM will also become a more ubiquotus tool for enquiry desks. Advice will be sought more virtually than now from reference desks. By 2030 the reference desk will be not only about still doing checking for books via archiving etc, but also the digital aspect of archiving which has already begun. Reference desks will need to be aware of more web-based content, such as blog posts and websites.

This is the conclusion so far. I will add more idea's over the next few days.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hilary goes Cluetain

Seems Hilary Clinton is using the internet to start a conversation with the electorate. Very Cluetrain manifesto. There is control by her aide's what can be asked though. So the height of questions seem to be whats her favourite film (Casablanca by the way). The tagline for the film being 'Mysterious City of Sin and Intrigue !'. Sounds like Washington.............

Google Germany goes down

Techcrunch has pointed out that (Germany) went down earlier today, as they had forgotten to renew the domain name. Hell, how stupid must they feel..........

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Millenials , social networks and the library

Having watched the explosion of Digg and its copycats I discussed in passing with a ZDnet journalist about this an millenials (or net generation, generation Y etc). When will libraries and librarians give the millenials the opportunity to vote on the idea of closing libraries and individual librarians, digg style? What a great idea huh? We all know that millenials like to give and recieve feedback. Here it'll be more direct action........

Friday, January 19, 2007

Google's RSS Reader, Techcrunch

Over on Techcrunchs Mike Arrington called Just How Big Is Google Reader?. It looks at whether google rss feeder is as big as bloglines and rojo. Its an interesting analyst, and looks forward to the time that feedburner can show us if google is taking the lead in rss as much as it does search engines.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Blogging and RSS: A Librarian’s Guide reviewed by Walt

Walt at Random has review (briefly) Michael Sauers
Blogging and RSS: A Librarian’s Guide
. I also got this book. I would highly recommend the book (well, I have bought it). As my dissertation is also on the subject about libraries and blogs, I think its pretty relevant.

Connect via books

Librarystuff pointed me in the direction of a new social website called connected via books. It describes itself thus:-

We want to provide an environment where readers can share their excitement from having read a great book and where everyone, through a passionate exchange of ideas, information and knowledge, can question, learn, grow and emerge not only wiser but also having made new friends from around the world.

Its not librarything, but its worth a look.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Glad to be back

Gaving taken virtually a month off my blog,catch up on my bloglines. 1300 was a few too many too read though. What was good was reading Steven Cohen's & Blake Carver's librarystuff to revitalise my enjoyment in blogging. Another thing I notice. A month is a long time in the blogosphere.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Libraries as internet cafe's

The Good library blog directed me towards a Daily Mail article called Internet cafes that used to be libraries and its comments. I'm certainly not a fan of the paper (if your American, with left leaning view points think fox news). It has some interesting views but more in the comments I find. I think the one that goes as follows hits the:-

Also, library staff (who are poorly paid) are expected to be computer technicians and answer technical questions

Now, unlike most of this article, I don't mind computers in a library. Its having to assist people on the computers, when a lack of training is given to you. I like assisting people, but sometimes patrons won't even go to some of the free course's libraries run. But then, i'm in a bad mood, an perhaps i'm just ,oaning too much......................

Monday, January 15, 2007


Having had a month off to do two term papers, its nice to be able to relax and sit down and write. Anyway, just wanted to congratulate head of Haringey Councils, Diana Edmonds on recieving an MBE. Although i'm far from like the new years honours list, I have been given the oportunity to work as a volunteer at one of her libraries. Not only as she made the libraries better for patrons, but she wants her staff to be content in there jobs. So its not only a pleasure to patronise Haringey libraries, its a pleasure working there.