Wednesday, December 23, 2009

5 UK Library stories of 2009

Following on from from lisnews Ten Stories That Shaped 2009, I thought I would do my 5 UK stories.

1. Cilip 2.0. This was a discussion started by Brian Kelly & Phil Bradley which looked at Cilip Bob McKee failure to take on board some of the web 2.0 technologies within CILIP. The power of the network caused Cilip to rethink there policy and have an open forum on the event in April and produce a draft paper on the subject.

2. Woodsiegirl meme on 'why i became a librarian. I like blogging because sometime one persons post can spiral into a bigger discussion (see above). Well blogger Woodsie girl discussed why she became a librarian. A few others started adding there reasons why and the wikiman made a wiki for others to enter and discuss the subject on. This was actually pretty life affirming and a great idea.

3. Many had heard that Wirral maybe closing many libraries in that area. Thankfully all 11 were saved. Many local people voiced there concern on the closures, making politicans back down (for the moment).

4. Most stupid idea of the year? Culture minister Margaret Hodge's suggestion that libraries should link up with internet bookseller Amazon. Um, people go to libraries so they don't have to pay and store it. A library and a bookseller are two divergent markets and its not possible for one to be the other without major changes in the organisation (read money).

5. UK mashup still going strong. It was good to see many librarians meet this year for two mashups in Huddersfield and Birmingham. I went to the Huddersfield one and was really great to see a profession working to help our users experience (and learn something to).

Anyhow, thats my top 5? Anybody have any others?

Interesting Msc Dissertation

I follow many blogs (and occassionally even get around to read them......but thats another story). One I do follow is edit subscription unsubscribe mark all new related feeds subscribers Joeyanne Libraryanne a 25 year old Resources Librarian at the University of Wolverhampton currently studying for a Masters in Information and Library Studies via distance learning.
Well, in a recent blog post she mentioned an interesting Msc theses she's hoping to write entitled Marketing UK Higher Education libraries: a current perspective. Sounds interesting, and to be honest one of my main bug bears doing my Masters is there was no Marketing module. Its good to see someone write on an important area of librarianship.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thoughts with Phil Bradley

Many of you will know Phil Bradley's blog. He had said in previous blog post that his wife was ill. Unfortuntely, she seems to be worst by his last entry. There's not really much I can say, except my thoughts are with you and your wife.

Monday, December 21, 2009

French look for Google alternative in digitalisation plan

(Found via here). Seems the French are not allow Google digitalise there nations artifacts, and has 'gone solo'.
Lisnews says:-

A consortium of French technology companies and government-backed I.T. research labs says it can provide the skills needed by European libraries, universities, publishers and others to scan, catalog and deliver to end-users the contents of their archives better than Google can.

he full story is here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Eurostar gets wacked by twitter

With the Uk weather having a knock on effect on Eurostar needing to suspend services for a third day, the adverse treatment of customers has meant a backlash from the social media site such as twitter. One twitter in PR gave a neat appraisal of events here. There is good coverage of the event here.

Facebook campaign is the Christmas story in the UK

X-Factor winner Joe McElderry has been the first winner not to get a UK christmas number one. A facebook campaign to stop it becoming number one and make Rage against the Machine Killing in the name of. The campaign, set up by couple Jon and Tracy Morter. Not only was this one of the most successful facebook campaign like his, but also Rage Against The Machine shifted 502,000 downloads achieving two new records in the process – the most British downloads in one week and the first download-only track to make it to number one.

Happy holiday period to all readers

Just seasonal wishes to all those that read this Blog especially those who have commented this year (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 & 9). After the 23rd of December I'll be in Germany for two weeks, so I may not be able to post.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Library 2.0 Gang guests Meredith Farkas

Talis December Podcast of the Library 2.0 Gang entitled Social Software in Libraries. Along with the usual suspects of Nicole Engard, John Blyberg and Marshall Breeding are joined by Meredith Farkas. Well worth a listen, in that it discusses the users needs rather than technology for technologies sake. The Mp3 is here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pixar Book and there early films

I started reading The Pixar Touch: The Making of a Company which is a real good read. Whilst reading I was interested to see some of the early short films. The first one was Andre & Wally B. The second was Luxo Jr. The third and final one was Red's Dream, Pixar's first Oscar. The films were really interesting in how far Pixar has gone and where they began. The books a good read to.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

French Government behind Helping Universities and Libraries.......and stuffing it to Google

France's President Sarkozy has released plans unveiled a €35bn (£31bn) spending plan aimed at preparing France for the "challenges" of the future. France are looking to become the premier place to go to university in the world.
He also said:-

Sarkozy warned last week that he would not let France be "stripped" of its culture by the US giant Google's plan to scan books for publication in its online library. "This too is a question of identity," he added, in a reference to his ongoing efforts to discover France's inner self.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Could libraries do with a Steve Jobs in the changing information world?

I have read plenty about Apple's Steve Jobs (1,2 & 3). I have seen him in 2002 at Mac Expo, meet some of his former work colleagues and business associates whilst working on a documentary.
Here is a brief synopsis of Steve Jobs career that really won't do him justice. First of Steve Jobs is not a nice person. Many stories about him being a first class pain in the butt. One story abound that he called the Apple Lisa project was named after his first daughter, even though he denied she was his as he was said he was sterile. It was later proven he was a father.
The interesting thing about Jobs really, is unlike someone like someone like his assumed nemesis Bill Gates, Job's has recreated himself in many guises four times. In the 1970's, him and Steve Wozniak created Apple and the Apple. Jobs was idea's man and the sales force, Woz was the introverted engineer who created the Apple II. Was therefore was the creator of the Apple brand.
Secondly, after John Sculley ousted Jobs from Apple, he went and started NeXT Computer workstations which Tim Berners-Lee used to create the World Wide Web.
In 1986 he paid $5,000,000 for what would later become Pixar studios .
Finally, in 1997 Jobs went back to Apple and created his digital hub. His creating the Ipod and Itunes, has meant Apple has taken a march on the digital music and video market.
My reason for feeling that librarians and information professionals need someone like Jobs is that he has done something our profession needs to do many times. He has created. He has been at the start of the Microcomputer industry. He has been there to create machines that assisted in the world wide web. Started one of the most prestigious film companies in years and started a whole new way listening to music.
All these were not only great pieces of engineering but also management. These were also created with panache. Jobs has constantly re-invented himself and his products he has worked on.
In our profession we need to do this. We need to change and re-invent our role. We all have been to work and heard people say they can get information from only Google. Libraries need people to pre-empt what patrons need before companies like Google take our role. Google have already taken a march on search. We need to take a march in either new area's like some have done already or create an improved and personalised service.
My problem is though, do we have the managers or leaders to take us there? Can we re-invent the library? Are we ever taught this? My main concern at University when doing my Masters was that we were not taught to be advocates of our profession or to think outside the box to keep ourselves relevant. Where is the libraries Steve Jobs? Any idea's would be much appreciated.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What to read for christmas......

I am presently trying to select some books to take on my trip to Germany at christmas. So here is my list for my books away:-
1. Winners and Losers: Creators and Casualties of the Age of the Internet
2. Groundswell
3. The Pixar Touch.
4. Crowdsourcing.

Nice books to read then.

Read? Isn't that a job website......or how Britain is losing another book shop

The recent news that Borders has gone into receivership is pretty sad news. As Indigo Jo points out, the one in Kingston upon Thames Will not be taken over by Waterstones like Ottakars was, as Waterstones has a flagship store at the Bentall centre. Even sadder will be the demise of the Borders at Angel.
Therefore in recent years booksellers have diminished. As mentioned earlier, Waterstones took over Ottakars. Borders took over Books etc, and duplicate shops closed. Know Borders is to close. In some places, a bookshop will no longer exist, and Waterstones will have a virtual monopoly [unless you live in London and have Foyles or Blackwells].
Obviously, with Amazon and other virtual providers providing books this is sad news for the UK. I'll miss Borders, it provided a welcome relief after shopping at the Bentall Centre.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Tim Spalding talk on Yotube

(Found via here) Tim Spalding of Librarything has an interesting Youtube video called What is Social Cataloging? Worth a look.

Mashup with Pipes wiki

(Found via here). Jody Condit Fagan released a Wiki dealing with Yahoo Pipes. I had heard of Jody via Nicole Engard book, in which she looked at this article dealing with Mashing Up Multiple Web Feeds Using yahoo! pipes. Worth a look.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh well, onwards and upwards......

As mentioned previously, I went for an internal job promotion. Unfortunately, I gave a terrible interview and didn't get the job. Oh well, at least I got an interview.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Utrecht ruling causing mininova to go legit......

Seems that bit torrent site Mininova has had to go legitimate after Dutch Court of Utrecht ruled that BitTorrent platform Mininova acts unlawful. Seems that Bittorrent is taking a bit of a battering with Peter Mandelson hoping to amend the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and Piratebays case in Sweden.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Labour to try and Amend copyright law to deter fileshare in UK

The Guardian has an interesting article on Peter Mandelson in that he seeks to amend copyright law in new crackdown on file sharing. Mandelson is hoping to amend the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. The amended bill is expected to set out a "three strikes" policy under which people who are found to be illicitly downloading copyrighted material have their Internet connections withdrawn after three warnings.
The Guardian interestingly points out that if this became law the Tory Government (if/when it wins the election 2010) would assist Rupert Murdoch point out:-

But the proposal to alter the Copyright Act in this way has caused alarm within government, where some fear that an incoming Tory administration could use it to curry favour with Murdoch, head of the News International publishing group.......

Murdoch has recently said that he believes that copyright is being abused, particularly by organisations such as Google, which uses short extracts from online newspapers to create its Google News page, and the BBC, which he has accused of "stealing from newspapers".

Cory Doctorow has described Mandelson as Pirate Finder General. Doctorow points out the following:-

Secretary of State Peter Mandelson is planning to introduce changes to the Digital Economy Bill now under debate in Parliament. These changes will give the Secretary of State (Mandelson -- or his successor in the next government) the power to make "secondary legislation" (legislation that is passed without debate) to amend the provisions of Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988).
What that means is that an unelected official would have the power to do anything without Parliamentary oversight or debate, provided it was done in the name of protecting copyright. Mandelson elaborates on this, giving three reasons for his proposal:
1. The Secretary of State would get the power to create new remedies for online infringements (for example, he could create jail terms for file-sharing, or create a "three-strikes" plan that costs entire families their Internet access if any member stands accused of infringement)

2. The Secretary of State would get the power to create procedures to "confer rights" for the purposes of protecting rights holders from online infringement. (for example, record labels and movie studios can be given investigative and enforcement powers that allow them to compel ISPs, libraries, companies and schools to turn over personal information about Internet users, and to order those companies to disconnect users, remove websites, block URLs, etc)

3. The Secretary of State would get the power to "impose such duties, powers or functions on any person as may be specified in connection with facilitating online infringement" (for example, ISPs could be forced to spy on their users, or to have copyright lawyers examine every piece of user-generated content before it goes live; also, copyright "militias" can be formed with the power to police copyright on the web)

Its interesting if this highly unpopular and unworkable legislation comes out. But hell, its not if its not happened before.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Nesta Event on twitter

Next week Nesta is holding an event on twitter entitled Social Media - a force for good? The description of the event is thus:-

Date: 19.11.2009 12:00 - 13:00
Location: London
Stephen Fry, actor, journalist and celebrity 'Tweeter' and self-confessed technophile; Biz Stone, Founder and Chief Executive of
Twitter; and Reid Hoffman, Founder and Chief Executive of LinkedIn will discuss the phenomenon of social media and its future impact.
Due to limited space, this event is by invitation only. But we'll be live streaming the discussion from this web page, so don't forget to tune in from 11:45am on 19 November.
You can also join the conversation by posting a question for any of the speakers - all you need to do is add #svuk to your question on

I am off the day reporting then......

Monday, November 16, 2009

Being a librarian is a serious matter.....

(Found via here). I was interested to read the cataloguing librarian's article discussing how when she mentioned to a second hand card salesman that she was a librarian there response was:-

he laughed. Yes, laughed. As he leaned back in his chair, he went on to say derisively “ahh, I know Dewey is going the way of the dodo.”

Firstly, you don't laugh at your clients if your trying to provide something to them (do you laugh at patrons because they may want to read?).
Secondly, what is so laughable about being a librarian?
thirdly, I often get this reaction from people ask what i do. Some say 'what do you do all day? Go shhhhhhhh all the time?' Others think the Google revolution of having all information makes us redundant? Poppycock.

Its a shame more people don't take us more seriously. Anyway, I am going to make sure there is silence in the building.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Good review of why people should support library 101

I was interested to read the article entitled Why I Support Library 101 (And so should you). Having previously mentioned library 101, it was good to see that the author had the following to say about the project:-

And as the video is one component of the overall Library 101 project, let us examine the essays section. Perhaps the term ‘essay’ is a misnomer for some of the submissions, but they do offer personal takes on the kinds of skills and paradigms that libraries should have now and in the future. Or, for a better description, a collection of entries by well respected online library professionals describing what they feel are the basics of the libraries of the present and the future. For myself, these entries act as a barometer of thought as common themes emerge (such as customer service and technology) as well as food for thought about my own place in my library, my system, and the greater library universe. The points contained within this section cultivate an inner dialogue, challenging the reader to accept or reject the premise and support their viewpoint. How exactly, pray tell, is this sort of self examination a bad thing? According to David in his post, Library 101 is intended to start these kinds of conversations.

.......I highly doubt that it was the intent of Michael and David to turn every librarian into a techno-jargon spewing 2.0 web savvy librarian. The appeal of the list is far more basic and primal, reaching out to the sense of curiosity that resides in us all. To me, the denial every item of the list and offering of no additions is to say that they is nothing new or interesting in the middle of the largest information explosion in the history of mankind. That’s inconceivable and unacceptable.

I really like the library 101, and will hopefully soon get a chance to read all the essays included on the site.

Book of interest........

(Found via here). I was interested to hear about the book called This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. Rick Roche describes the book and author thus :-

While Johnson extols the virtues of the profession, she points out that it has some members that resist change, usually trying to preserve services and procedures that served well in the past. She also repeats the often heard cry that librarians fail to promote themselves well in our highly contentious world. Her praises, however, greatly overshadow her criticisms. She believes that most librarians knock themselves out serving their clients regardless of pay, institutional support, or appreciation from society at large.

The book is not due out until 10.02.10. Hears to the new year then.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Job promotions and possibilities......

I have recently gone for a job promotion at work, and thankfully have an interview on the 24th of November. Although I'm doubtful I'll get the role, I am taking the process seriously and trying to cram as much information as possible for the interview. Even if I don't get the role it will still be something I can add to my Cilip chartership portfolio.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Boys with toys

I got a brand new toy. A new mobile, the blackberry curve. Hell its good. Push email, great video recorder and camera. Help, am I sad.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Joining the Union.....

I recently joined Unison, I just feel that sometimes in today's economy, you just need some advice and legal assistance. It allows me to hum ertain tunes to.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Vendors turning Librarians benders

(Originally found here) seems that SirsiDynix is making some rather unfriendly comments about Open Source vendors to some of there users saying:-
"This document was released only to a select number of existing customers of the company SirsiDynix, a proprietary library automation software vendor. According to our source it has not been released more broadly specifically because of the misinformation about open source software and possible libel per se against certain competitors contained therein."
This has caused a great deal of debate with Stephen Abraham (vice president of Innovation for Sirsi Dynix) writing in a blog post entitled it's about a respectful discussion. On the other side we have Meredith Farkas looking at the subject of open source and the part of vendors in the library role. Her discussion is well more interesting look at things.

Library 101

David Lee King and Michael Porter have release a new video and Library resource called Library 101. They have essays, learning resources and obviously the video. Its even been mentioned on BoingBoing.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Boolean for Idiots

(Found via here) I was interested in this simple Boolean search tool. Really easy to use, simple for students of most ages to get there head around to. You could also try these videos to (1 and 2). For the video links thanks Colin.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Death of a hero

Back in 1992 when I went to University, me and my mates had a ritual for Friday night. A sad one, but one we enjoyed. Go to the gym, get the weekly shop (with a four pack as a minimum amount of drink) go back to our University accommodation, put on our tune and go out for the night. That tune was called weekender by flowered up. Seventeen years have passed and although me and my friends keep in regular contact, we were all sad to hear the lead singer from the band had died. Feels like a piece of my youth has been taken from me.

Mash up American styleeee.......

(Found via here) in the UK we have Middlemash, but in the USA we have World Cat Mashathon in Seattle . There is a payment for it (and for us in the UK, travel expenses maybe incurred). Anyhow, looks an interesting event.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

BBC and book piracy

Over on the BBC website, they have an article entitled Are we due a wave of book piracy? Coming as it does with other discussions on the subject, such As Tim Spalding's article and other bloggers comments, its another interesting look at the problems and advantages of e-books.

Library Survey

(Found via here). If any one has time their is a library survey here. The Survey, we are told is:-

I am conducting research for my book Effective Blogging for Libraries (working title), from Neal-Schuman as part of its forthcoming Tech Set series created by Ellyssa Kroski. The book is almost complete, but I need your help! I am looking to find out what has and has not worked with library blog(s).

Anyone got time, it only takes a couple of minutes to complete.

Middlemash is open

As mentioned previously, there is a Library mash up event being held at Birmingham University on the 30th of November,2009. You can book via this link, at £15.00 (plus vat).

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dame Lynne Brindley at Senate House

As mentioned yesterday, today I went to the Charles Holden talk with Dame Lynne Brindley. It started off with a brief talk about Senate house friends and the events that the did and what they paid for within the library. The Emma Robinson, former Senate house director formally introduced Dame Lynne Brindley and discussed the British Libraries 'cultural diplomacy'.
Brindley described the British library as 'one of the greatest libraries in the world'. She discussed how the BL supports research and makes around £22 to 25 million from the work it does for business, which is then re-invested in the library. The BL website also receives 75000000 hits per year we were told.

She then proceeded to discuss the shrinking world and 'the response to the challenges of the digital age'. In today's age Brindley discussed how users expect to get there information may vary, but many expect it electronically. She said the BL was 'responding to the challenges of the digital age.'

She briefly touch on whether libraries have a future. Although she felt they did, she did see that with the question being raised, that that shows it is being though about.

She then proceeded to discuss cultural diplomacy and the international engagement strategy, which has 5 aims:-

  1. Restoring and sustaining cultures.

  2. Virtual reunification's of collections.

  3. Capacity building.

  4. Professional leadership.

  5. Digital development.

She then discussed some of the important work the British library is doing. For example, the International Dunhuang project. This looks at the ancient silk road maps in Asia.

The she discussed the Codex Sinaiticus is one of the most important books in the world. Handwritten well over 1600 years ago, the manuscript contains the Christian Bible in Greek, including the oldest complete copy of the New Testament. This garnered 96000000 hits in its first two days. Other things were discussed such as Web Curator briefly, but it then proceeded to a Q & A. Oh what fun.

Question 1 was 'why is the BL so badly staffed, with rude staff'. Great opening question. Brindley responded that she would look into it and felt that they provided a service fairly well.

Question 2 was whether the BL might get less money from the Government in the economic downturn. She felt that it could be likely in the present economic climate.

Question 3 was the worst and made my blood boil. Some French researcher/academic who'd used the BL for 40 years felt people from Kings Cross and Euston used the BL as a waiting room, charging there phones up off free electricity of the BL. Excuse me, even if they do they paid for the BL via THERE TAXES. At least they were entering the library and using it. It was if mere plebs are not allowed to use it. Sorry dear, but we are not in the nineteenth century anymore. Brindley smiled, and said the library was open to the public (or as the academic would say, 'the great unwashed' in her mind).

Question 4 was whether the BL would join with google to digitalise the collection. She said no, as they had not 'been mindful of copyright....[but] the ambition is amazing.'

There were some more questions, but I must conclude. My conclusion is that Brindley came over as a great speaker and leader of are national heritage, with foresight and ambition (for culture and not personal) and it was really an interesting evening.

Micromen review

Having the good fortune to have a day off from work, I had the opportunity to watch Micro Men, which I had mentioned last week. The programme looked at the early 1980's rivalry between Sir Clive Sinclair Spectrum computer and his former work colleague Chris Curry and his Acorn computers.
The programme is around an hour and half long, showing there declining relationship, there building new companies and empires, and in the British computing industry getting the most important contract of the early 1980's. This was the BBC computer literacy project. This was designed with an emphasis on education it was notable for its ruggedness, expandability and the quality of its operating system. Acorn won this competition in 1981 and with it, the computer was used on The Computer Programme.
In the next few years we see how fruitful the 2 companies become. Acorn, the programmers toy of choice, whilst the Spectrum is the gamers choice. But both are dissatisfied with there lot, as they want a share of each others market. When the fade of 1984 comes in, as computer aficionado's we know the computing world would never be the same.
Both colleagues take wrong turns, Curry with the doomed electron and Sir Clive's QL. When they finally meet for a drink Curry says 'If we joined together we could have taken on IBM.' Back then, as a teenager it felt like it could have happened.
I do feel this area is rarely covered by social and computer historians. In the 1980's we had great games like Manic Miner & Jet Set Willy by Matthew Smith, who made a fortune and disappeared to commune in Holland. Gaming companies like Imagine Software, who climbed great heights and went belly up before our eyes in a BBC documentary. Very few books have been written on this era excluding one on the Spectrum and a Chapter on the Game Elite (originally made for the BBC and then transported to the Spectrum). Its a shame really.
In all it is a melancholy trip down memory lane, of when we were young, were full of dreams and could take on the world. How middle age makes fools of us all.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The German empire strikes back......against Google

Having mentioned Google's problems last week with publishers,librarians and others over its desire to build a massive digital library, German chancellor Angela Merkel has waded into the debate.

The Guardian says:-

In her weekly video podcast, before the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair this week, Merkel appealed for more international co-operation on copyright protection and said her government opposed Google's drive to create online libraries full of scanned books.

"The German government has a clear position: copyrights have to be protected on the Internet," Merkel said, adding that there were "considerable dangers" for copyright protection online.

The Charles Holden Lecture by Dame Lynne Brindley tomorrow

Senate House is holding the Charles Holden Lecture by Dame Lynne Brindley tomorrow from 6pm.Although I'm off for the day I am going to attend as she will be discussing:-

"The British Library: a library for the world"Outlining the many ways in which the British Library collaborates internationally, including cultural diplomacy projects and the use of new technologies to share texts of international significance with a world-wide audience.

And a wine reception after. Not bad ;)

Friday, October 09, 2009

Guardian poll on the Kindle in the UK

(Found via here) The Guardian yesterday had a poll and discussion on the Kindle coming to the UK. The comments section point out the DRM problems that face Amazon (1, 2 & 3). Worth a read, but I can't see where the Poll is on this though.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

In a Google Planet far, far away........

(Found via here), the New York Times reports that Google, is being taken on by 'a broad array of authors, academics, librarians and public interest groups are fighting the company’s plan to create a huge digital library and bookstore.'
Siva Vaidhyanathan, a critic of Google says 'This was the first issue through which Google’s power became clearly articulated to the public.....All sorts of people — writers, researchers, librarians, academics and readers — really feel they have a stake in the world of books'.
It seems that, at long last people are noting, that in signing over our culture to Google, they maybe doing it for financial gain and not cultural gain.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Britain had a computer revolution in the 1980's.....See it on the BBC

Its often forgotten in the 1980's that Britain had a computer revolution. The ZX80, ZX81, Spectrum, BBC Micro, Dragon Computer and Amstrad CPC to name a few. Between 1980 up to the mid 1980's these were the bastions of British industry. Gates and Jobs were no one in comparison to Sir Clive Sinclair. Well, those Elysium days of my youth playing on some of these machines were great. Anyhow, on Thursday in the UK, BBC 4 is showing a programme called the Micromen in which:-

Legendary inventor Clive Sinclair battles it out with ex-employee Chris Curry, founder of Acorn Computers, for dominance in the fledgling market.

Well, I work late on Thursdays, so I'm going to have to see it on iplayer I suppose [UK viewers only]. Anyhow, catch it if you can.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Why do I do This? Wiki

Following on from my recent blog post entitled Why do I do This? The person who started the original meme for this, pointed me in the direction of a wiki . The wiki has been set up to collate people's blog posts on the subject.

The UK falls behind Latvia and Bulgaria in Broadband terms

A recent report by Oxford University's Säid Business School and the University of Oviedo's Department of Applied Economics has said the UK are 25th in a list of 66 countries in Broadband speeds, falling behind Bulgaria and Latvia in this list. In a world run on data. The top 3 were unsurprisingly S.Korea, Japan and Hong Kong.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Why do I do this?

I recently read Jennie Laws Blogpost Why do I do This?, which was a follow up to Woodsiegirls post entitled Careers Advice. Both looked at why they had become librarians and how they had got to this career path. I thought I would add my reasons on becoming a librarian.
Well, I went to Bath Spa University in 1992 to do my BA in History and English. Whilst there I spent a lot of my time working in the library, went to the courses on how to use inter-library loans. I really enjoyed my time there and graduated in 1995. I really wanted to then be a librarian. In 1996 I went to Kingston and worked for an agency and even went for a job interview as a librarian and did not get it. Well, a few more jobs came and went (but nothing like what I wanted). Then in 2004 I worked for a friend as a carer and assisted him on his movie in the USA. Whilst working as a carer I was able to save up to do my Masters Degree in 2005 at City. As part of my degree I had to work within a library. I worked at a public library in Seven sisters as a volunteer for 2 years and really enjoyed it.
Whilst doing my masters I became interested in Web 2.0 and library 2.0. I began blogging whilst doing my degree and have been ever since.
In 2007 I passed my masters and began looking for a job. I got my first paid job working as library assistant in a public library on the Holloway road in October 2007. It was a temporary role, but it was enjoyable to enjoy going into work. In march 2008 I got my present role at an academic library in Bloomsbury.
Although it took me a long time to get the job in a library, I never have regretted it. Its the best job in the world.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Online Information event in October, 2009

This year I will be going to Online Information, but only the Tuesday one. Tony Hirst will be moderating the semantic web coming of age, with speakers such as Conrad Wolfram and Stephen Arnold. At the same time Brian Kelly is moderating a talk called building on use of personal web 2.0 technologies. Also Phil Bradley is talking at Twitter 101: top tips for information professionals. Unfortunately, I'll not be able to go on the Wednesday as I really wanted to hear Ellyssa Kroski.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Middlemash......the data move's to Birmingham

Following on from the success of the library mash ups in London and Huddersfield, it seems there will now be one in Birmingham on the 30th of November. Unfortunately I'll doubt I will be going.

Panlibus talks to Hazell Hall, Strategic Leader at LIS Research Coalition

Panlibus had an interesting podcast with Hazel Hall, Strategic Leader at LIS Research Coalition. In the interview she discuss what the coalition will be doing, her role and the future of the group. Certainly this is of interest to any academic librarians out there in the UK. Check the media coverage page for a more in depth look.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When Andrew Keen meet Siva Vaidhyanatha

(Found here), Andrew Keen interviews Siva Vaidyanatha about Google, and the release of Siva's book. Worth watching if you could hear Siva.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Summer must Read list

I saw Alan Choo's reading list for the summer, and had read most of them, and therefore thought I would add a few more. Here we go then:-

1. Big Switch by Nicholas Carr. An insightful book into the history,economics and future of the internet and electricity, very similar to Tom Standage's Victorian Internet.

2. We-Think: Mass innovation, not mass production: Mass Innovation Not Mass by Charles Leadbetter. Looking at the impact of Web 2.0. Similar to Clay Shirky's Book.

3. Crowdsourcing: How the Power of the Crowd is Driving the Future of Business by Jeff Howe. Looking at how groups can work effectively within the internet age. Interesting social science/business book.

4. Infotopia by Cass Sunstein. Interesting book on how groups work and don't work in the modern world.

5. The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih. The rise and rise of Wikipedia.

6. Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data by Nicole C. Engard. Yet to be released, but waiting in bated breath.

Thats my list.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wikipedia.......the rising headaches hitting 3million makes

The Guardian has an article entitled Wikipedia approaches its limits, which looks at the rising problems Wikipedia presently faces, with its editors either being 'Deletionism and inclusionism'. I had read about this previously in Andrew Lih's interesting book The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia. Both worth a read.

100 library blogs to read

(Found via here), here is a FAIRLY good list of the top 100 best blogs for library science students. I did note that infotangle was there (even though its not been updated since 2007). There was one that was also in Arabic. Ummm, perhaps they should do there research properly.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Linked Data in London

(Found via Paul Miller's blog). On the afternoon and evening of Wednesday 9 September, there will be an informal Linked Data Meetup. Sounds interesting, especially as i'm on holiday and can go.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Facebook buys friendfeed

Facebook it seems has bought friend feed, says the FT. Om Malik's blog has a good review of why facebook has good explanation for this here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What is an academic library?

Whilst meeting my mentor for my Cilip chartership we discussed the what my working role was and what is the role of an academic library and librarian?
Since then I have been thinking what is an academic library in the broadest sense? Via wikipedia it is:-

a library which serves an institution of higher learning, such as a college or a university — libraries in secondary and primary schools are called school libraries. These libraries serve two complementary purposes: to support the school's curriculum, and to support the research of the university faculty and students.

But every library has an individual approach to this. Where I work, te library is part of the University of London, and serves 22 London Universities. From tropical diseases to art. The academic library therefore has a large remit to cover. The mission statement of the library can be found here. The library therefore can at times be unwieldly with so many patrons to 'satisfy'. On top of this the Library is also being rewired, which means a three week closure, retraining and re-acquainting ourselves with re-opened area's.

I also feel academic libraries serve are what Tony Hirst recently wrote in a blog post:-

- students (i.e. people taking a course);

- lecturers (i.e. people creating or supporting a course);

- researchers;- folk off the web (i.e. people who Googled in who are none of the above).

Do we within an academic library fulfil our criteria for the 3 groups? I couldn't really discuss that here on my blog, but I do feel that things should be simplified for users. Anyhow, no more to add.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Cilip chartership the British Museum

This evening I went to a Cilip event entitled Night at the Museum: Career Development Group (London & South East Divisions) Summer Social. Well, I went and had a great time on the hunt, with Susanne, Katherine and Lizzie (and a guy from Royal Holloway whose name I forget, but not the pint. Thanks).
The woman from Sue Hill and discussed there blog.
Unfortunately we did not win the hunt, even though we called ourselves 'the winners'. A very interesting evening for networking etc and I even meet a fellow library blogger, though they did now about my blog.

Ebooks and publishing

The Guardian has an article entitled For digital books, the story's just starting. Worth a look if you wish to see the failures of publishers to take it seriously on board.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Meredith's view and friend feed,part.2

Following on from Merdith's Farkas insightful article called 'W(h)ither blogging and the library blogosphere?'. Whilst checking my feeds I noted that Michael Goldrick had commented upon it in his blog, and not only pointed to this, but also the feedback on friend feed. The feed back was so good I event went and joined the conversation. Some really insightful comments to.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The demise of blogging? Part 1

Meredith Farkas has an interesting over on her site entitled 'W(h)ither blogging and the library blogosphere?'. I 've discussed this previously. Meredith's article makes much sense. The uptake of twitter and microblogging seems to have cause a decline in Blogging. Many great blogs like Infotangle by Ellyssa Kroski has been replaced by her new blog ilibrarian. Other library blogs seem to have lessened in the library blogosphere, but as Walt Walt says in the comments of Merediths article :-

Great post and remarkable set of comments–and Karin, I think you’re right on the money. Twitter et al (I really dislike the term “microblogging,” but can’t win that one) have, in a way, strengthened essay-length blogging while weakening short-form blogging (maybe)–and essays have always been harder to do than quick notes.

Really worth reading it and especially the comments section. By the way, when mentioning Ellyssa I wasn't having a go at her.

Library video and the hive

(Found via here), Jisc has released a video entitled Libraries of the future on youtube.
Librarians Matters blog says of it:-

Libraries as bee-hives? Google as a partner? Librarians as network administrators as much as information specialists? Librarians “entrepreneurial, engaged and outward looking”? Investing thousands of pounds in change management programs?

The video is well worth a look.

Monday, July 20, 2009

One year on

A year yesterday my baby brother was murdered. Its been sad without him and even sadder going to Cornwall to be with my parents. I still hold the memories and times we had together. Anyhow here are some video's of Jody (1 and 2). Thanks to all the messages of support.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Panlibus competition that rocks the mainstage

Panlibus have released their monthly podcast entitled The Library 2.0 Gang on Mashups. In it they tall with Nicole Engard of what I learned today blog (a must read blog). Obviously they discussed mashups, but also Nicole's new edited book entitled Library Mashups : Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data . There's a facebook page, a contents page of the twenty chapters and the release date (late september).

There is also a competition on Panlibus site, stating:-

This month’s show launches the Library 2.0 Gang Mashup Idea competition. To enter you need to send in your idea for a library mashup. It can be as simple or complex as you like. The only restriction being that it must include library data or functionality somewhere within it. The best three, as judged by Nicole Engard and myself, will each receive a copy of the Library Mashups book she has edited. Closing date is August 31st, send your entries to

I've put my entry in. I hope I win, but I rarely do.

Phil Bradley discuses Cilip use of Web 2.0 technologies draft paper

Phil Bradley has written about Cilip draft Council Paper. This is obviously after the fall out from the Cilip 2.0 discussion in late April 2009.

Phil says of the document:-

I'm pleased to see all of these draft statements, which echoes and develops what both Brian Kelly and myself talked about at the April Council meeting. I'll be interested to see how this develops from words into actions next!

Let see how it pans out I suppose.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Chartership, wiki's and idea's.....

Having previously mentioned I had set up my own Wiki, I had unfortunately allowed to stand more dormant than my delicous account. Until I started my Cilip chartership that is.
Therefore my idea with my wiki is to put as much information online about my idea's and what I am presently doing etc. I can then inform my mentor and they can edit any idea or just look it over. Simple and productive I think.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New book at the book sale

I just went to Waterstones on Gower street, where they had a half price sale on for second hand books. So I picked up Nicholas Carr's book 'Big Switch' for £2.97. Along with reading this and this at present I really must get them completed.

Some interesting Mash up idea from mash oop north

Mash oop north has released 30 ideas (if you ignore my initial idea) submitted by delegates on its web page. Their are some great idea's here and well worth looking at here.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Should I quit blogging post

(Found via here) Stephen Abram pointed me in the direction of this post 'Should I Quit Blogging?' by Darren Rowse. I have mentioned previously, and although Walt Crawford responded by saying:-

Blogging has had a low persistence rate for years. I'd like to think that the best bloggers are sticking around...but I've always been a Candide at heart.

Rowse's response to the decline of blogging wrote following:-

Blogging is not dead - it’s evolving.

You should be evolving too (read Blogs are Out of Beta, But Bloggers Should always be in Beta)
Keep being useful, keep solving problems and keep meeting needs - whatever the medium this is key.

Keep producing content - people continue to search the web for content in huge numbers. It’s not all about networking and bookmarking - whether it be text, video or audio - keep producing content.

Experiment with different mediums - to the best of your ability keep abreast of the ‘new’ mediums that are emerging.

Build a ‘Home Base’ - many people flit from one medium to another and end up with nothing of their own (read more on the
Home Bases and Outposts that I use).

Build a Brand - the mediums are tools. They’ll come and go in time - the key is to build something that lasts beyond them.

Don’t be Precious about your ‘Blog’ and be open to change - there’s no one ‘right’ way to blog. Blogs can have comments or not have comments, have full RSS feeds or partial ones, look like a traditional blog or act and look more like a lifestream or portal. The key is to know what you want to achieve and let that shape what you do with your blog.

Don’t abandon your blog too quickly - your primary efforts may move into a different medium but blogs can be an important part of the mix of what you do online. Don’t abandon your blog - build upon it, let it evolve, leverage what you’ve already built and use it where appropriate in the mix of what you do.

I think its a pretty good article about how blogging is a great tool. I'm hoping to soon add to Darren's list in the near future on why I blog.

Google O/S on the streets soon.....

(Found via Lisnews), discussed the news that Google is going to release its own O/S.  Ishush then discusses how this might be a good thing for librarians saying of this news:-

Which is cool on a number of fronts -- Being an open source system (?) it'll further the general 'biodiversity' of the web as it invites modifications. It'll knock MS hard which is good for all of our imaginations (I'm tired of walking around in a Windows frame of mind, forced to crunch my numbers and words in Windows ways).

Its going to be interesting when its released.

Free Book released

(Found via ilibrarian), in which Chris Anderson has released his new book FREE for free here. Lets see if I get time to read it.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Mash oop north............lightning talks

After lunch, the lightning talks started, which were 5-10 minute talks on what could and/ or maybe done at other institutions.
First up was Owen Stephens discussing interactive fiction and information literacy. He pointed us in the direction of this site as an example.
Next up was Tanya Williamson, who discussed Edward.R.Tufte. Tufte she described as an 'artist, economist and statistician'. Tufte also had a thing against, confusion and clutter are failures of design, not attributes of information.' He also had a treaty against PowerPoint (not a bad thing then?)
Next up was Paul Stainthorp and Joss Winn discussed Scriblio. Both looked at the plug-ins for word-press, and how you can create your own database and tags. Both looked at how you could individualise the users experience, which remind me of Nicholas Negroponte Idea of the Daily me and Ranganathan idea :-

These laws are:

  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every reader his [or her] book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the User.
  5. The library is a growing organism.
There were more talks, but these are the one's I have notes for.

Anyway, thats it for my write up of the Mash oop north.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Mash oop north......lunch and other points of interest

Apart from listening to talks in the morning, I was also interested in what else I would learn. Firstly I used twitter a hell of a lot, and could see its advantages in this environment (ie an unconference). I also used the the mashlib hashtag. I was pointed in the direction of many exciting things (see here).
I also did not go and to the mash up in the proceeding rooms, in which case I could have learnt more. I was also not very forward on my networking either. Though I was glad I spoke with Dave Pattern to say thanks for the day
I did enjoy the plentiful supply of food though. I also lived off coffee for the day.
I also forgot to mention that were some pre lighning talks based on Mike Reed's 'Runaround'. These area's included the Semantic Web, Information Literacy, Mobile devices, social networking and discussed by some of the experts there. Everytime runaround was said, you had to move and go to another area (if you wished).

Mash oop north......Mike Ellis talk

Mike Ellis was next up.  He was discussing Scraping, scripting, hacking. Mike looked at how we could scrape data via Yahoo pipes, Google Docs, Dapper, YQL, HTTRACK, Regex (which Mike said was very powerful), Mail Merge (I kid you not), Html tidy, Open Calais (which is better than Regex Mike said) and many more. It was all pretty quick, and I found it hard to keep up with (read I'm not too hot on this). Owen Stephens gives a lot better overview of it here though.

Mash oop north......Richard Wallis talk

Richard Wallis was up next up. He was Discussing the juice project. The Juice project is open source and described thus:-

Mash oop north......Brian Kelly talk

Brian Kelly was the firt speaker I listened to, who discussed 'Enthusiastic amateurs and overcoming institutional inertia', which is something very close to my heart. Brian spoke about how to approach institutions about implementing web 2.0 idea's or just iniatives. He discussed how different people and organisations can bring new idea's in. He discussed how doing something and showing how good it may work within  organisation is a good way to implement things (rather than to march over them). A good Idea, if the organisation is open to change.  
Paul Stainthorp and his colleague Josh Winn, seemed part of a lucky minority to have less institutional inertia than others (I must ask if they have any opportunities there then.....thats a joke btw)
Brian talked about how we could use recent reports to underline how we could aid are bringing in new 'web 2.0 technologies'  to assist our users/students/patrons. He pointed us in the direction of two of them. The Demos report and Higher education in a web 2.0 world. These should be use as indicators to both management and staff to underline our need to go forward and to enable our users rather than to stop them.
Brian discussed the Cilip 2.0 debate also between Phil Bradley and the Cilp CE, and hw Cilip was shown it need to be changed. Very Cluetrain manifesto.
Brian also said another approach to bringing in change is to show your rivals and what they are doing to instigate change. An example would obviously be Sheffield University, which is presently using netflakes, vle etc.
I later spoke 1 to 1 with brian and had an interesting discussion with him. I really found it an informative approach to this problem.