Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wohoo......200 posts in one year

Ok, this is a rather 'none' post. But this is number 200 for the year. Who said bloggings dead

Congrats to Woodsiegirl on her need job

Laura Woods has a new job according to her blog. I meet her a few times and hope the job is everything she's looking for. Best of luck.

Books to read for the new year

Having mentioned previously what I had enjoyed reading previously, I thought I would say the books I hope to acquire and read. Anyhow, here goes.

1. Siva Vaidhyanathan The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry), which is out on 07.03.10. I've been looking forward to this book since he mentioned it on his blog for the book in 2007. I read with interest his previous book The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash Between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System. Siva is often (fairly, I believe) of Google, so I think it'll be a pretty good read.

2. Nicholas Carr fairly new book The Shallows: How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember. This book looks at the effect the Internet is having on society and on our brains.

3. Robert Darnton The Case for Books: Past, Present and Future. This I have ordered and was hoping to read whilst in Germany.

Anyhow, thats another list. Will I make the 200 post for this year? I'm still trying.......

Away in Germany for christmas

I am (hoping) to be flying out to Nuremburg today, flying from Stansted at 8.05pm. I'll then be staying with my girlfriends parents until 03.01.11. Therefore, I'll be on holiday from tomorrow, enjoying the famous Nuremburg christmas market. Therefore, happy christmas and new year to all my readers.

February 2011, Library protests

Library campaigners are to start protests during the month of February 2011. I'll keep you informed if their is anymore news, or better still check the voices of the libraries website.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Real Wikiman is writing a book

The real wikiman has revealed he is writing a book. In the post he says the following:-

this isn’t a book about marketing the profession (or the industry) – it’s about marketing your specific library. So, I would absolutely love to hear what you think you’d like to see in such a book. Each chapter will be on a different theme, and they’ll all feature a case-study. I’m yet to finalise the proposal with Facet, so if you can give me your ideas quick I’ll try and make sure they’re addressed!.

Sounds interesting. He also asks anyone to send him any idea's, saying:-

I would absolutely love it if you can leave me some comments, or email me your thoughts if you’d rather it be private, and tweet a link to this post to encourage others to do the same (or share it on Facebook).

So I'll put my totally unoriginal idea's here. These idea's I expect Ned already knows. First up, read Brian Mathews Marketing Today's Academic Library: A Bold New Approach to Communicating with Students I suppose is the first step.

Secondly, ask Joanne Alcock about her dissertation which was about 'marketing in HE libraries in the UK'.

Thirdly, check Nancy Dowd's blog and Book called The Accidental Library Marketer.

Fourthly, Marilyn Johnson This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. I remember reading a chapter in the book that described a librarian at New York library and would introduce himself to authors, offering to assist them if needed. These would then assist him when setting up any financial events they may need for the library.

Anyway. I expect he knew this already.

Top 5 favourite books for this year

Well, another list post of favourites for the year.

1. The Mechanical Turk: The True Story of the Chess-playing Machine That Fooled the World by Tom Standage. I had read Standage's other book The Victorian Internet, and found that fascinating. The mechanic turk looked at the eighteenth century wooden 'robot' that could play chess and win. Its interest inspired Charles Babbage to start work on a computer and even played Napoleon I.

2. 1968: The Year that Rocked the World by Mark Kurlansky. Again I read his previous book on Salt: A World History and Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World. Its the year of my birth, so I was interested to see what events did occur.

3. A History of the World in Six Glasses by Tom Standage. A really interesting book looking at the social, political and economic history of 6 beverages. These being, beer, wine, spirits, tea, coffee and coke.

4. Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age by Clay Shirky. Shirky again looking at the impact of the digital generation sharing information online for the social good. Bit big society for my liking, but
some interesting points none the less.

5. Replay: the History of Video Games by Tristan Donovan. A fascinating read on the impact of video games worldwide (and not just the USA and Japan), as many others have followed.

Anyhow, thats my reading list.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

5 UK Library stories of 2010

Last year I did a blog post entitled 5 UK Library stories of 2009. So, being someone with an originality, I thought I would repeat the top five stories for this year. I do say, some may disagree with my choices, but its just my view point.

1. Last year at number 1 I had the CILIP 2.0 discussion, that Phil Bradley had started. Phil had discussed the need for change within CILIP. So much so that Phil is now Vice President of CILIP. It was interesting in it seemed to be very much a twitter campaign for canvassing. It was also good news for library professionals in the UK, in a year with very little cheer.

2. The creation of Voices for the library. Created as an advocacy site to stop the library public closures and underline what libraries offer, the site has even been mentioned within the Guardian after being online for just four months. The people working on it are doing an excellent job.

3. The real wikiman's post and presentation with Woodsiegirl entitled Escaping the Echo Chamber – presentation. Again, looking at how we can go beyond just talking to our own community of librarians to underline a librarians value to customers, society and the economy.

4. Thank you for not tweeting, was a post about tweeting at a CILIP event and how other users didn't like it and told people off (myself included).

5. And last but not least my own post entitled Good Library blog.....missing the usual in which I looked in which Tim Coates wrote an inflammatory post about library closures and his attempt at 'assisting' libraries from closing. 25 comment later, seems neither party could agree who was correct.

Well, thats it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

LibTeachMeet in Huddersfield in february 2011

I was sent this email for the above event. Anyhow, here's the email in full:-

We’re holding a Librarian “TeachMeet” (idea from in Huddersfield on 9th Feb 2011.

This will be a really informal opportunity for librarians who teach to get together to share tips and experiences.

If you come, be prepared to give a short (5 min at most) talk to share an aspect of your teaching. There will be “speed dating” to share tips and a lucky dip of teaching goodies to rummage through for inspiration.

The free event will be held at the University of Huddersfield from 14:00 to 16:30 on Wednesday 9th Feb. More details will appear on and as we decide them.

Anyhow, would like to go but not sure.

Rules are rules

I found this article via Jessamyn West blog which looked at Ed Bilodeau blog, with a post entitled Tired of your library being littered with food and garbage? Do something about it!. In the post he discusses patrons using phones, littering and eating within a library, even when there are signs saying these things are not allowed. I'm very much of the school that these rules should be adhered to, but other members of staff are less stringent. As I work within a prestigous research library the worst rule seems to be the need to use a phone. Constantly pointing people to phone use area's is a constant bind, but I feel these rules are there for a rule (the rule being people are studying within a peaceful environment). Many staff members are less fastidous than myself, but a dual policy of 'good cop, bad cop' often causes patrons to be confused by the message. Therefore, although people may complain I do enforce the policy.
Anyhow, any other librarians suffer similar difficulties?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Time off and a good book

From tomorrow, I'm off until friday. Therefore, I was going to do loads of stuff. Instead I think I'll finish Carl Honore's excellent book In Praise of Slow. I had heard of the book previously in my Library course, but only just got around to reading it. Certainly make's me reappraise myself. It even got me using my pasta maker yesterday, as the book discusses the delights of home cooking. Anyway, most likely will try an get a few post outs whilst home. Can't wait to have a break from work.
By the way, Carl left a comment on my twitter account when I said I was reading, which is a nice touch.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Step away from TGLB step away!

This is something I should have done when responding to The Good Library blog and his post If these libraries were any good councils wouldn't be closing them. I wrote about the post here yesterday.
Unfortunately, Tim's post seems to have riled a few feathers (me certainly included). Comments on Tim's blog say the following:-

I wish everyone would stop squabbling about the usefulness or otherwise of 'professional' librarians. It's time to put differences aside and concentrate on fighting the cuts otherwise there will be no public libraries/librarians left to disagree about.

I whole heartedly agree. I realise Tim and Voices for the Library are trying to stop closures, but I do feel Tim's approach rather takes a simplistic look at things. His original post was a sweeping generalisation of libraries and librarians such as:-

The library profession get very cross with me for saying it, but, in regard to public libraries, they have an awful lot to answer for, and instead of looking in my direction, it would be better if they faced and tackled their own problems. They insist they have a monopoly of know how, but that is hard to believe and there is not much to show for it.

Tim, what do we have answer for? Reductions in investment and staff under continual cut backs? Increasing needs for computers from patrons and the previous government? And what statistical facts do you have to back this up?

Also, if you put up a post at least be civil in response. Its basic blog etiquette. Here is an example of Tim's response to one comment on his blog (to a post he put up later, which supported his view point from the comment section of his original post) :-

As a librarian I worked with amazing library I'm a library assistant I appreciate the input of the librarians in the service, although they are few in number and decreasing because vacancies are being left unfilled.

Incidentally, an authority which I used to work for, ceased insisting that librarians' be qualified let alone chartered, years ago.

There are many public library authorities, all have different staffing structures, job titles and staff relationships. Can I suggest that people stop making generalisations based on their personal experiences.

Posted by: Library Assistant at December 6, 2010 10:03 AM

Well now Loughton Library User, you have been coming here for years to tell us, as a user of your local library, how wonderful your local librarians are and what a brilliant service they give. I never believed you for a minute. Now you tell us that actually you are a professional librarian. ho ho ho. You kind of make my entire point really. Though I guess you won't see it. It's called being a wolf in sheep's clothing. How jolly gracious of you to value the work of your lowly assistants.

Posted by: perkins at December 6, 2010 10:11 AM

I give up. I see no point in making any kind of contribution whilst you continue to make malicious comments.

Posted by: Library Assistant at December 6, 2010 10:20 AM

I'm sorry Tim, but being rude hardly forwards your argument in any way or form.

In many ways i'm glad Tim is passionate about libraries. But in creating inflammatory posts, he certainly does create tensions that are certainly not needed with the closures to public libraries. Like a commentator said before 'I wish everyone would stop squabbling.'

I am now going to step away.

*I am not in any way connected with Voices of the library, and certainly not talking on there behalf. I just like what they are doing.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Good Library blog.....missing the usual

I'm always interested in what Tim Coates Good library blog says. Sometimes I will agree with him, but not very often. But as I'm often to quote F.Scott Fitzgerald statement:-

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.

So I read with interest the post If these libraries were any good councils wouldn't be closing them

The piece is just full of so many defiecencies and sweeping generalisations. His statements such as thus:-

If they were all as good as the good ones then councils and councillors wouldn't think of closing them.

Sorry? So councillors are closing these libraries because they are rubbish then? Councillors are just nice people with no political agenda? Sorry, a councillor usually becomes a councillor for political reasons Mr Coates (not all the times, but they do have a political agenda).

He then proceeds to blame public library closures on librarians saying:-

public libraries, they have an awful lot to answer for, and instead of looking in my direction, it would be better if they faced and tackled their own problems.

So, lets look at these two points again. Councillors are nice people, just trying to get rid of the crud in the local area? So when Johanna Bo Anderson's Blog pointed out in a post entitled Librarians Gagged that was not the councillors trying to stop freedom of speech? Or how about this post here, where three middle aged librarians where physically accosted for being on library property, because they were protesting against there terms and conditions that were being pushed on them?

His second point that libraries (and librarians I assume) have created this problem because we are only interested in digital formats rather than books an buildings is rubbish. Sorry Tim, some users want digital formats as well as books. He also seems to indicate that librarians have done nothing to help themselves but follow a policy of futerism, not caring about reading and books etc and therefore are deserving of losing there roles. Well, sorry Tim many librarians (who don't work in public libraries) are trying to stop the cultural vandalism of the present government with advocacy sites like Voices for the Library.

Christ, I left a comment on his post, but he has yet to answer. Oh well, thats a change?

Cornwall library cuts agreed

As mentioned previously, Cornwall has been under increasing pressure to make budget cuts. It seems that libraries will have a 23% cuts. Lanson Boy has a good discussion about the debate here.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Walt Crawford to release Liblog Landscape 2007-2010 next week

Walt Crawford will be releasing Liblog Landscape 2007-2010 next week. Not sure if I will be buying it, but Will's previous book on the subject was called But Still They Blog. Anyway, for those interested in library blogs, its well worth a look.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Congrats to Phil Bradley and David Pattern

Well, I expect most people will now Phil Bradley is now CILIP Vice-President Election for 2011. I'm really glad Phil won. He takes his work seriously, is always helpful (he answered a question for my masters dissertation) and he always says what he thinks (in a good way). Anyhow, I hope there's no conflict with his new role and his role with Voices for the Library?
Also, congrats to David Pattern who is IWR Information Professional of the Year (found via here). I've meet Dave a few times at the Library Mash ups, especially the Mash Oop North in 2009, in Huddersfield in which he waived me paying (so I certainly owe him a pint for that).
Both well done on the good news.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The DJ, The Librarian and the truth

I've been reading Ian Clark's twitter feeds with Tony Horne's poorly constructed and argued piece in the Chronicle live on the 26.11.10. Tony Horne then responded to Ian's argument in a blog post, without citing Ian as:-
"I have deliberately not linked to IJ Clark’s blog. Don’t think it’s worth your time."
Thats nice of Tony to have our interest at heart.
Anyhow Ian responded (and linked) to Tony's post here.
Anyhow, read via the links.

Advocacy in full effect

In my previous post I commented on The Observer article. Well seems the comment section has been pretty busy. In this section people like Phil Bradley , SimonXIX and IJClark responding some of the critics and queries about libraries and closures. Adocacy in full effect.

Voices for the Library gets beyond the echo chamber

After going to the Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamberevent, and listening to what both Ned and Jo talked about getting beyond the echo. At the talk Jo discussed that Voices of the library she volunteers on was getting some press coverage. Well, seems this weekend thats proven Without libraries, we will lose a mark of our civilisation in the observer, in which they are quoted.
But then, as Jo knows the only reason an academic librarian tries to keep public libraries open is like, turkeys at christmas, as someone told her once.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏ event part.4 (conclusion)

So. How was the evening? Well, pretty damn good. I came away from the event feeling totally revitalised and feeling pretty glad what I do. Meeting people like Gary Green, Phil Bradley, Laura, Jo bo Anderson and Bethan Ruddock actually did make feel embarrassed at how little I have done in comparison. It might just push me to do more.
BUT. In response to Ned and Laura, I do say this. Both seemed to be critical of the echo chamber. The echo chamber has its problems. Agreed. But without that echo chamber how would those two groups from the evening of come together. Also echo chambers can act as a meme to users (which I think is a good thing?)
Finally, I should point out Laura has put up a post on the event here.

Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏ event part.3 (Ned Potter)

The real wikiman then took over. He discussed that instances of the echo chamber. He pointed out Seth Godin's article The future of the library, which had librarians jumping bacause of much of its inaccuracies. We responded in our own small, niche bubble, arguing about it amongst ourselves. But not all. Toby Greenwalt wrote a reprisal to Seth on the Huffington Post called To Know the Library Is To Love the Library -- But Who Knows the Library? Ned here is pointing out that we have to reach beyond our circle and inform an educate others where they may or are misrepresenting the profession.
Phil Gave example of others reaching out to the media, which was not in there remit. For example, Phil Bradley (who was actually at the event) had two days talking to radio five about libraries. Secondly, how Chrystie Hill (a librarian) did a talk at TEDx. These are media's you would not associate with libraries and librarians. But, they do make people aware of us. Ned's main point being we all need to be advocates for our profession.
Anyhow, I could add load more, but I will add Ned's closing comment, which was:-

There is no such thing as abstaining from library avdocacy.

Amen to that brother.

By the way, Ned and Laura's excellent presentation can be found here.

Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏ event part.2 (Laura Woods)

Following on from my earlier post (and most likely regurgating Fiona and Ned's post).
Anyhow Laura started the talk by explaining what the echo chamber. It is :-

any situation in which information, ideas or beliefs are amplified or reinforced by transmission inside an "enclosed" space. Observers of journalism in the mass media describe an echo chamber effect in media discourse.

Anyhow, Laura inderlines how librarians on both sides of the atlantic are suffering from fear of closure and how when we discuss this, we seem to discuss it within a 'library bubble' [my quote]. Laura mentioned how we as a profession are an easy target, and that we have many sceptics that see little relevance as now 'everything is online'. Laura felt we should reach beyond our users and make the none users as are (future) advocats. Laura pointed out if we (libraries) were invented today, we'd be seen as something fantastic.

She then said how her an Ned had put out the idea on twitter on getting beyond the echo chamber. Library by day started a post on the subject called Thinking Outloud About The Echo Chamber. In the article she says:-

Are we, the twittering, blogging, technology inclined shouting into the echo chamber? Are we only puffing each other up? Do we care that this defeats our purpose and goals? I guess it depends on your goals. (Some I’m sure, are just happy to have choir to preach to.) But for most of us, its not. If we’re too busy telling each other “right on man” who’s engaging in discussion with those who don’t agree with us? Because let’s face it, they aren’t reading your blog or following you on twitter.

Laura then went on to say we need to hear more about criticism, so we can see how we improve the service and jobs we do. Then Ned appeared from his journey from Leeds (les said the better).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏ event part.1

This evening I went to Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏. I got there in good time and meet Gary Green and Jo Bo Anderson (apologies for my directions the previous night). We started on time and were presented to the people who worked at City Business Library (whose name I could not remember). All very nice.
Anyhow, the event started with Bethan Ruddock and Jo Bo Anderson. It was suppose to start with Ned and Laura Woods were supposed to start the event, bit Ned was in traffic from Leeds with a 3 month old child (I think most people would call that hell).
Bethan and Jo discussed there work on Voices for the Library which is trying to put public libraries on the map. It started on twitter with a hashtag of #pling. A group of librarians felt that public librarians were under attack and started using social media to contact each other. The group started on twitter and discussed the website and had it up by September of this year. They felt the need for speed to get there message out. They did this all via social media (whoops, repetition). Anyhow, it was mentioned this was the first time four of the group had been together in the same physical area.
Voices for the Library wanted to discuss positive stories of the public libraries. Voices for the Library used facebook and Flickr to get users on board.
Voices of the library sent major press release to all news organisations. Left comments with email on blog post, newspaper organisations etc. They have attempted to use the website so people can say how well we, as libraries are doing. So its shows how a successful campaign can be done via the social media.
There profile has increased and they are getting more hits and attention. They've contacted Unison who have sent out 40000 members about libraries.
Both Bethan and Jo discussed problems of Voices of the library whether it should be affiliated etc. The problem of money. The problem of time. The problem of not meeting in person.
Jo talked about reaching beyond groups you expect to reach and that she'll be talking to the WI (womens institute and not game console) the following day.
The successes as they see it is more press coverage. More people who are not librarians discussing there experiences of libraries and why we needed them.
This is just a brief synopsis. But one final thing. Gary Green mentioned he was the only member of Voices of the library who worked in public libraries, He was glad to have support from fellow professionals.
Both Bethan and Jo are passionate about libraries and it was really an awe inspiring presentation.
I'm now going to listen to the opening first day of the ashes. Oh my life is this.

How to arrange going to an event

I will going to the Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber‏ tonight.
I thought I'd point out a few things you should do before going to an event.

1. Make sure you have a place booked for the event.
2. Make sure you know where the event is. Check maps and transportationon how to get there.
3. Make sure you get the day right. Which I didn't when I walked to City Business Library last night.

Oh well. At least I know where it is now.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Job feedback

I recently spoke about a job I went for.
Yesterday I got some feedback. Seems 180 were interviewed for 3 positions. Seems I did fairly well, but was not consistent on fine payments and asking users how they search for books. Bit of a shame. Good to get feedback, as it shows where I can improve.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Librarians as activist

I've just been read Johanna Bo Anderson's blog post entitled Librarians Gagged. In the piece she discusses how in Gloucester she has started a website entitled Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries so as to stop a 43% cut in Library funding and closure of possibly up to 11 libraries.

Jo then write:-

Friends of Gloucestershire Libraries took part in a protest rally today with hundreds of other people protesting against brutal public sector cuts. A young lady who I had never met before approached me and said “My dad says your campaign website is great and everything but he says that maybe you should not say on it that you are a librarian.“ She is the third person to have individually advised me to stop telling the press that I am a librarian as it may seem as if I am running this group in self-interest. Well let me tell you something I AM A LIBRARIAN AND I AM PROUD, proud to be speaking up for libraries, library users and public library staff. In all three incidences I heard myself saying apologetically “But I am an academic librarian not a public librarian. If public libraries die, I still have my job“

What? So do we sit idly by and keep quite so a few of us MAY keep our jobs? Or do we organise ourselves in to a community of 'library activist' and show we think are jobs are still relevant to society? Jo and others are willing to use the own time, resources and attention to the cause. Jo is even a founding member of the Voices for the Library.

We need people like Jo and Lauren Smith to underline that many people still use public libraries. Once there closed there never coming back.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

How do you keep ahead of the library game?

In a recent post I discussed the new facebook page for librarians. In the four years or so of blogging, the way I've kept out to date has been via blogs. I've also used twitter to some degree to keep ahead. I did also occasionally pop into the library 2.0 ning site. I also created a daily google alert for the term library and library 2.0.
Anyhow, anybody else get there information any other way.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Blog post on interview answers

The ACRL blog has a good post entitled Interview Questions Are A Two Way Street. Looks at interview questions you MAY get and how you should present yourself. Worth a look for those with those who may have interviews coming up.

No go with the job

As mentioned previously, I went for a job interview. Unfortunately, I didn't get it. Which is a shame.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Facebook group for librarians

(Found via here). Brian Kelly blog post pointed out that Aaron Tay has created a facebook page for librarians called Library Related People Facebook group. I had heard of Aaron previously via his blog and the recently deceased Ning site for Library 2.0, in which he was a prominant member of the community.
Seems the site as growing, and as Brian says in the article:-

Will be more to do with the extent of Aaron’s professional network and his esteem in the library community.

Anyhow, its certainly worth a visit and good on you Aaron for creating it.

Interviews and preparation Part.2

The day of the interview. Up at 6am for a 9am interview. Suit ready, lucky Vivian Westwood tie. Have a showers, shave and look my best. Then get to Cafe Nero nearby at 7.45am to do some last minute studies. 8.30am make a move to the where the interview to be there 15 minutes early.

I wait and was then shown round the library. The person showig me around had previously worked at Islington libraries. So we discussed people we knew and worked with. Its always a good idea to try an enamour yourself to other staff I feel, just in case the interview may ask what you were like. They could also be your future work colleagues.

I then had a fifteen minute test using my search skills via the library website. Fairly standard questions.

I then had the interview and after the test and preparation felt fairly confident. Questions ranged from what would you do if the system goes down and there is a line of people? A standard question dealing with how you work under pressure, how you prioritise and how you cope. Other questions were why I wanted to work there. Here I made a mistake in I didn't complement them on the web 2.0 youtube videos. I also was not too complimentary to my present work place (I said I felt slightly staid, which I do). Never be critical of work. It makes you look a moaner and you may do that at the new place. But predominantly I came over fairly well I felt. They even asked for my telephone number to inform me of their decisions.

I then asked my questions. One was what training I would need for the job. One of the interviewers said 'it doesn't look like you need any'. Not sure if that was a compliment, or I came over as a bit arrogant. That was a concern.

So that was it. After the interview I reflected on where I could have improved and where I did well. I was happy with my preparation and questions. I was concerned I may have come over as a bit arrogant (but that was due to my confidence).

Anyway, no news yet on the job.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Interviews and preparation Part.1

This is a follow up to an earlier post by Meredith Farkas and Ned Potter's recent post about working in libraries. My post will look at a recent interview I had for a job within an academic library in London as maternity cover. Its just a reflection of my approach to it. What I felt I did right and what I didn't do correctly.

Firstly, I was a bit shocked, as getting any interviews in this market was a surprise. I also was a bit fearful, as I have had some faux pas at interviews.

I then saw it as an opportunity. Therefore, my first port of call was to look at the job specification. Unfortunately, I couldn't find it. Therefore, first thing you should do, is make individual folders (virtual or paper) of each job you go for later reference. I therefore looked at the job specification via the cache web page I found. I also looked at the application form. This would allow me to see what I was going for and what I had put respectively. Then, I started reading a book my girlfriend used called Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions. This is a really good book, and had a great anecdote, in which he says of a lawyer who never lost a case, was once asked why he was such a great lawyer. He said he was not a great lawyer, but the best prepared. Preparation was therefore what I was going to do.

My first piece of preparation was to look at the library website. In looking at this I discovered three things. Firstly, that they used Millenium III library management system. Secondly, that they used the same photocopying and print system than what I had been used. Finally, that this was found via the libraries youtube channel. Very web 2.0 and something that made the job more appealing. Therefore, I felt at an advantage because in the interview I could point out I wouldn't need so much training.

I then looked at the panel and checked there digital status (aka linkedin, facebook etc. This allowed me to see what there area of expertise was and what they looked like.

I then looked at the map of where I had to go for the interview, and printed off directions. Just in case I got lost. I certainly did not want to be late for an interview as that created a very bad impression.

I then proceeded to be Great Answers to Tough Interview Questions. I set up a table of questions he raised, giving a short answer to each. I then looked at the questions I should ask. I did this over a week before the interview so I was honed in on the target. Getting the job. Being this well prepared I felt pretty confident.

In part two I will discuss the interview.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Football or career? the choice of life

The Liverpool manager Bill Shankly said:-

“Some people think football is a matter of life and death. I assure you, it's much more serious than that.”

Well, on 30.11.10 I can either see my football team play play Wigan for £10 (if there are any tickets left that is?) Or do I pay £10 to go to Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber?

The evening:-

will bring together a great panel of speakers. In the first session, Laura Woods and Ned Potter will explore how the information profession is full of forward thinking professionals sharing great ideas.......
In the second part, we will hear from Jo Anderson and Bethan Ruddock talk about the Voices for the Library campaign and how they are reaching out to users and stakeholders outside the echo chamber to promote the value of public libraries.

I'm very much siding with the library event. Better be good, an arsenal better win.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Eric Schnell article

I read with some interest Eric Schnell article enitled Are Blogs Given Any Weight in Library Tenure and Promotion Cases?.

He states:-

I feel that blogging is a valid form of scholarly communication in the discipline of academic librarianship. Still the question continues to arise as to whether blogging should count as scholarship or a creative activity in academic promotion and tenure.

For those interested in academic library blogging, its well orth a read.

3 books for £ time to read them

I just got a load of books at a pretty cheap price. First up, John Palfrey's Born Digital for £6.00, which looks at Digital natives. Then I got Constant Touch by John Agar F2.50, looking at history of mobile phones (bit short on history so far though). Then, the real bargain, Clay Shirky's Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age for less than £6.00. I the joy of reading.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Article on Cornish libraries

Following on from a previous post, a local in the area discusses what could happen in the area. Interestingly it seems all the talks are behind closed doors of the councillors. Oh, the elights of democracy?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

International Group Xmas Quiz 2010 at Cilip

For those in London Cilip is having a International Group Xmas Quiz 2010, on the 8th December, from 6pm. The Cilip blog says of the event:-

This is an 'international' quiz, preceded and followed by festive refreshments and networking. We are looking for teams of 4 -6 people. Prizes will be awarded to the best teams.

A voluntary Quiz entry fee of £5 per person will be gratefully received - to go entirely to ILIG's Emergency Fund.

Please note that, unlike our usual Informals, Quiz places are limited.

Sounds a good event for networking.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The (possible) closure of Cornish Libraries

I am presently in cornwall visiting family for the week, and it was with some sadness I read about the closures of a majority of cornish libraries here. One's such as the photo above could be closing. In the article talks about the possible closure of 23 t0 32 of cornwall libraries closing. My aunt, who lives in Mylor, near Falmouth has heard there maybe a closure of 20 in the local press. This is pretty worrying for a count that is large but sparsely populated. As yet, nothing has happened. I hope it doesn't but I will keep you informed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I'm on Holiday

To my readers. I'm off for a week in cornwall. The likelihood of wi-fi or connectivity is unlikely. So see you all a week on sunday.

British Library event

(Found via here) The British Library has an event on Tue 26 Oct 2010, 18.30 - 20.00 entitled Growing Knowledge:
Is the physical library a redundant resource for 21st century academics?. Priced at £6 and £4. Unfortunately I am away, but sounds interesting.

Nesta event on Collaborative consumption review part.4 Conclusion

In conclusion, Well, as ever with Nesta, the event was well attended, very well looked after and very good presentations by all. My problem, is it seemed that its a credo I just can't see that works. It seemed to be this idea of big society the tories have fostered as an ideology. The whole idea that we improve our 'community' by investing our time and money within the community.

First off, due to my political bias I disagree with this. I'm an old lefty, so sue me.

Secondly, i'm not the only one*. I think that there are five main reasons -
• The main problem facing Britain is the state of the economy - and the Big Society idea seems distant from it. The country faces its biggest spending scaleback in modern times. The speech was a chance to level with voters about why it's necessary - and make them an offer about better times to come after it's over. It didn't grasp the opportunity.
•To some, it's a bit paternalistic. I don't agree with this view, but I know people who do - who think that the Big Society conjures up an image of comfortable types in rural settings helping to run the village fete, and risks sketching a caricature of the Cameron leadership as a bunch of out-of-touch toffs.
•To some, it risks irritating voters. "So you're cutting my services, raising my taxes - and now you want me to run the local school. Get lost - that's the Government's job." This is the response that some Tories I know fear the electorate will give to the Big Society concept. I think the problem's managable, but I see the point.
•It's a bit vague. I suspect that this is intrinsic to the Big Society concept. Lots of good and often little things happening locally are hard for voters to grasp, and for government to package in a big way - unlike, say, selling council houses to their tenants or shares to individuals. Those policies gave people concrete, personal gains - and government clear, hard numbers of winners. The Big Society isn't a retail offer.
•It's not clear what the Government's plan is for helping to make the Big Society happen. I think this is the biggest difficulty. Activists would wear the Big Society more easily if they could see how the Coalition's going to help deliver it. They want to know answers to such questions as: which Department's in charge? How many are involved? What's their collective plan? Will there be a Big Society bill and, if so, why? How much will it cost? How much will it save? How will progress be measured? How will it be presented and sold to voters?*(via above link).

I feel that the panel felt the altruistic nature of there idea's would appeal to others. That trust would become our currency. But do I trust something that is unregulated by offical bodies? (well, if your a tory I suppose you do).
The panel seemed to see this 'big society' idea helping the earth, creating neighbourliness and allowing earning a bit of money.

Well, as far as the earth is concerned lets look at landshare as an example. First off, I assume many people in London would like to garden, but how many Londoners have a garden? Usually (but not always) fairly well off one's. Would a wealthy landowner allow anyone on there land? How do I know there not going to do anything? Fall out with them? How do I gauge I can trust them? I DON'T. If you use a feedback loop like ebay does for positive reviews, we all know you can mark people up (or down) out of spite or because someone asked you. Therefore the feedback loop can be rigged.

Point two, creating neighbourliness. Sorry, I lived in a very small community for years, and peoples 'neighbourliness' is really just gossip. But would it be any different on the internet? Well, I don't think so. Imagine for example the spice example of a town in Wales which is virtually using the time share model. What if you are not part of the timeshare model? Do you think people will see you as part of the community or a pariah? I know my answer.

Point three, allowing earning a bit of money. This whole 'micro-payments' economy is flawed. Whipcar pointed out one young lady who has made £1000 in a year from her. She lives in Notting Hill. Ummm, in London, £1000 is a monthly rent in that area. Also, the collaborative consumption of we 'make a bit' from our spare resources. It feel's our new economic plan in a post-industrialist world, is to become a large car boot sale.

Another problem is the panel felt we all had 'spare capacity' to lend, loan and assist. Ummmmm, I DO THAT IN MY JOB. I put unpaid hours in, I sell where I work what we do and use all capacity there. Those with spare capacity are usually those that can afford to give time, give their drill to a neighbour etc. Most of us don't though.

Finally, not everyone can give to this idea of a collaborative community. Because there disabled. Because they have no access to computers. Because they have no skills. What about them?

Sorry if this sounds a rant (well, it is), but this dressed up, tree hugging torism just doesn't wash. Its too niche, it looks to amateurs to do a professionals job, its unregulated. Heaven help us.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Nesta event on Collaborative consumption review part.3 (Q & A)

The next part of the event was a Q & A session to the panel. It was quite a lively debate. One person asked whether it was a question of altruism or self interest in this new community? Someone else asked do people want to be part of a community? Rachel said that you can be anonymous if you wish. All the panel seemed to thing community was a good thing. Um, well its actually not always. Some communities are intrusive and negative.

Someone asked about the power of the brands in collaborative comsumption. The panel felt that perhaps the brand could be improved.

Anyhow, again this is a rough approximation of the Q & A.

Nesta event on Collaborative consumption review part.2 (a.n.other)

Following on from the previous blog post, I'll discuss the other speakers talks all together. These speakers are:-

*Ben Dineen, Spice time bank founder
*Giles Andrews, founder of social lending site Zopa
*Vinay Gupta, founder of WhipCar

This is not to belittle there role, but Rachel's talk was longer than the others, therefore more could be written. By the way there a great interview here with Rachel after the talk here.

Giles Andrews opened proceedings and discussed Zopa and the importance of trust as a commodity within his company. He also discussed how Ebay was an obvious role model for there company.

Vinay then gave a very brief and very good slide show of his company an how it worked. He described how most cars only get an hour a day use and the average yearly cost is £5000 per year for a car. Therefore, he wants it so cars are being fully utilised by the community.

Ben Dineen from spice then spoke of his company. He described how his site worked by rewarding people for there time invested. Therefore dig a garden over somewhere for two hours and u get two hours ironing (this is my own example, but you get the idea). Its mainly a welsh company, but he described one town in Wales in which all the people have invested there time. He discuused the positive feedback loop in that this can cut down anti-social behaviour and creates a sense of community. In Ben's world, kinship is enhanced.

As I said previously, Rachel spoke mostly, therefore the coverage of the other's was reduced. Obviously this is just a brief overview.

Nesta event on Collaborative consumption review part.1 (Rachel Botsman)

I was up rather too early this morning to go to a Nesta event entitled Collaborative Consumption: Re-imagining public services. It started for breakfast at 8am (four coffee's in I was buzzing like Hunter S Thompson). The speakers were:-

*Rachel Botsman, author of "What's mine is yours"
*Philip Colligan, Executive Director of NESTA's Public Services Lab
*Ben Dineen, Spice time bank founder
*Giles Andrews, founder of social lending site Zopa
*Vinay Gupta, founder of WhipCar

I tweeted the event and here is the community hashtag (if interested).

Well, the first to start the ball rolling was Rachel Botsman after the formal introductions by Phil. Rachel started with a little excercise were we exchanged objects of value on our possession. Exchanging my ibook for an iphone made me feel very inhibited. The excercise was to show the object of trust need in the 'new' collaborative markets. She then discussed farmville and how this created a community in a virtual space for 1% of the world. She then pointed out this maybe due to people's wish to return to the land. She pointed out, that at present there is a waiting list for allotments of 10-14 years. Therefore, collaborative communities where land have been created. She said her parents had recent joined one called landshare. In which a community without land will 'hire' the garden space of a house, and the person using it repays in vegetable, flowers or whatever (so a barter economy really). She mentioned her father found the payback was not the food but nowing their neighbours. Nice story, but I live in London so as NOT to know my neighbours.
Rachel then went on to discuss what was termed 'internet enables effiecency and trust' [note, these notes are via my tweets, so their not her EXACT quotes]. In this statement I believe she was regurgatating other authors such as Charles Leadbeater, Chris Brogan and Don Tapscott. These authors cover similar areas, like collaborating, making trust a new form of currency and how working together will assist economic growth (sweeping generalisation, but you get the idea?) This in no way belittles the message, but the utopic view that a network works for a great future of free exchange does grate my political slant on things. I can see that what Rachel is saying, but I can't agree that it works. But, to her defence, she did say we are in the early stages of Collaborative consumption, and there will be problems.
Anyhow, she then discussed how Collaborative consumption is working around the world and spoke Weldon Irby, 97 year old former welding, who wanted to create a community even though he was old but had a skill. This skill was accepting old bikes to repair and give to the poor in his area. Therefore, he gains. In using his skills and making peoples live's better. He is now called santa bicycle.
Rachel then discussed hand drills. Don't switch off. Many of us own one, but its used 12 minutes in our life time. She pointed out that consumption made us want the product even though we don't need it. She then quoted Kevin Kelly on consumption, when he said we want 'access over ownership'. That resonates. Perhaps an exchange of products is a good idea (though I doubt advertisers would agree on this point).
She then discussed the problems with collaborating. The packaging sounds anarcho-communist. Sharing? In a capitalist world? But she felt in many ways it would improve our lives, in we give something back, feel better about ourselves and use less of the worlds resources. Fair comment I feel.
I liked some of it, but I still have problems with it, but I'll discuss them later in the series here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Is there a library community in the blogosphere? Or has it moved to twitter?

I have blogged for nearly five years. And in that time it seems (to me) much has changed. I love blogging (mostly) and even did my masters dissertation on the subject. I might sound like an old man (wait, I AM AN OLD MAN), but I feel that the library blogosphere has changed. I enjoy blogging because it creates a conversation, especially when you get comments.
I blog, but also comment on blogs in the library blogosphere. What really annoys me though is I may comment on a blog and I get no response. Many bloggers do responds to my blog and comments and thats good, because it creates a readership, a relationship and a community. But when people don't respond it creates. Nothing.
The thing is, within the UK we have some really socialable librarians and bloggers. have created new Professionals Information Day. Not only was their blog used to advertise this event, but to have a social event after but a social meet up after the event.
Other bloggers Like Owen Stephens, Phil Bradley, Dave Pattern and Brian Kelly amongst others have created library mash-ups in an inexpensive manner.
This has created a conversation and a social gathering point (whether it maybe if you were at the events or read about it). This creates community.
So what is my point? I feel within my period as a blogger, people don't communicate so much via the comments section (or do I mean MY comments section?). In many ways this is due to the loss of some great library blogs like library crunch and shifted librarian has reduced her blogging. But my biggest thing that now the comments section seems to be found at twitter. I mean i'm a user of twitter (but not a regular user), but most of my comments and conversations seem to come via twitter. Twitter users answer my questions. It seems that the conversation has moved to twitter.

Contract extended....its beer o'clock

As mentioned previously it looked liked my contract had been extended until 31.03.11. So time for a beer I believe.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ICA talk on the death of print

The ICA for those in London has a talk called ICA Debate: Paywalls, E-books and the Death of Print on October 21st, 2010. Cost between £10 to £12.

Described thus:-

Is print media obsolete in the age of the internet and the iPad? Join publisher Andre Schiffrin, Guardian columnist Roy Greenslade, Harper Collins’ Digital Director David Roth-Ey and Kit Hammonds, co-founder of Publish and Be Damned.

I'm working, so I'm certainly not going.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

All quite on the library front

I've not been blogging lately, as work is hectic with new undergraduates and post graduates (which I prefer). It did look like I might only be at work till christmas, but it seems I may have a few more months in the new year to. So thats good.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Untangling web 2.0 event in November

An Untangling web 2.0 event at Wolfson College, on November 24th. Peter Godwin and Shelia Webber are talking at the event. Its £75.00 for those that can afford it.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

LISNPN London meetup 01.10.10

As I can't make the New Professionals Information Day, i'm going to the meet up after at the College arms. I tried to get a friend I worked with previously at a public library, and she was worried that the event is all about talking about libraries. My email response?

yup. we just talk about our collections and shushing policies.

I think I put her off. Anyway, many others going tomorrow?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Textbooks via iphones

(Found via here). BBC website reports that 500 medical students at the University of Leeds, are obtaining there books via there iphone. Seems a good idea I suppose. If you have an iphone.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nesta Event......Collaborative Consumption: Re-imagining public services

Nesta has another event entitled Collaborative Consumption: Re-imagining public services on 21.10.2010 08:30 - 10:00.

The event is described thus:-

Collaborative Consumption describes the rapid explosion in traditional sharing, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping redefined through technology and peer communities. The movement has the potential to revolutionise how we meet social needs through public services, whether through the bike-sharing schemes that are the fastest growing form of transport in the world or the online time banks that are powering a rise in mutualism in local communities.

You can book register here for the event. I got my ticket already.

Geek for the brain

Tomorrow night I'm going to something called geek night. Its a bi-annual event me and some old friends do. It's usually based around food, wine and some new gadget (the kindle). Its quite a laugh really, as it feels a bit like our own homebrew club. No one has brought an Altair 8800 yet.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Talk on library and films at Senate House tonight (well actually 21.10.10)

I'm going to a talk tonight* at Senate House entitled Something Stirring in the Stack? Why filmmakers enter the library. The event is hosted by Professor Ian Christie.
The blurb saysa of the evening:-

Libraries have often provided an incongruous setting for unacademic pursuits on screen, from manhunts to hauntings, and of course seductions. But they also represent knowledge, which is often dangerous as well as enlightening. And in a select group of films, culminating in Amenabar's recent Agora, the defence of the library becomes a powerful symbol of civilisation itself. Little wonder that filmmakers are heavy borrowers.

The twitter hashtag is #EV2010c1021. I'm going as per usual.

* #epicfail the date of the event is actually 21.10.10. Apologies for the error.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Netflix and the library. This meme goes on......

Rebecca Fitzgerald post on tame the web Using Netflix at an Academic Library seems to have gone wild. Her original comments pointed the following :-

Our academic library in New York started a Netflix subscription last Fall. We started out with one account allowing for the maximum number of DVDs, 8 at a time. By the middle of Spring semester, we had two accounts. The New Media professor took over the prior, and we made the new one for all other courses. New Media requires many movies for students to watch. Our library has a very limited budget when it comes to film purchasing, especially popular titles. Netflix has saved us an enormous amount of money (around $3,000) by allowing the physical rentals as well as instant play. The streaming movies have been a great success; instead of students waiting for the one DVD on reserve, they can go to the computer or into the library’s film viewing room, where we have a Roku player set up, and watch the movies on our flat screen TV. The amount we save just having the instant play is significant; it’s almost like having multiple copies of the movie on reserve.

I was a bit concerned about this. It obviously goes against terms and conditions of netflix contract. These being that the films are for PERSONAL use only. Other have also mentioned this in more detail.

Read write web has an interest article on the subject called Netflix Turns a Blind Eye to Illegal Use by School Libraries. Seems that:-

Steve Swasey, Netflix' vice president of corporate communications, but indicated no plans to enforce the rules. "We just don't want to be pursuing libraries," he said. "We appreciate libraries and we value them, but we expect that they follow the terms of agreement."

Not sure that the film studios would agree with that sentiment. As the experts on copyright etc libraries should be upholding it, rather than using it to our own advantage.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Can you sell your library? If not, why not?

Today and yesterday I helped out with the University Of London. I wasn't timetabled on, but as only one person was doing it, and for iover four hours I thought they may need a break. Anyhow, I love open days. How often can you be at work and tell people what a great facility Senate House, what a great building it is, that it has been used for a multiple of films.
So, my question is. How do you sell your library to clients? Because if you can't, no one else will.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Who should head the library? Well certainly not a librarian

(Found via here). Saw this post by Dale Askey entitled Librarians leading libraries. The opening sentence starts:-

Consider this: if we librarians have a profession, then we are professionals. As such, if libraries are to be operated professionally, they need librarians and should be run by those most qualified, i.e.- librarians. Why then do so many elite institutions hire unqualified scholars to lead their libraries?

He then points out that Yale President Richard Levin had appointed Frank Turner to University Librarian, even though a historian. Adam has a pretty relevant point. Are there no librarians to take on this role? After the recent discussion on the Agnostic, Maybe entitled The Master’s Degree Misperception, I think to some degree our qualifications are perhaps rarely needed.

One final point, loved this comment on Dale's blog

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another Mash Up in Bath

Mashed Library 2010 – MashSpa in Bath! is coming on the 30 October,2010. The cost is £20.00 only. I would love to go, but unfortunately will be on holiday.

First impression of the Amazon Kindle

I was recently around a friend who has a new Amazon Kindle. I know that much has been written on the Kindle, so I wanted to see what the fuss was about.
Firstly, it is very light and easy to put in a (large) pocket. Its easy to use and the look and feel is nice. The battery life is excellent. Its easy to buy new titles.
My problems with it. First off, when you turn the page, it has to reformat and flickers, which I think may cause eye strain (but I'm no expert). Also I prefer the paper format, and enjoy the look and feel of books.
Anyhow, short and sweet.

Facebook film

As many of you may know, on 15 of October, 2010 the film The social network is released. Based on the excellent The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, the film looks at the early life of facebook and Mark Zuckberg's company and falling out with friends in Harvard over the company. I'm really looking forward to it. I might even put it on my facebook page.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Goodbye Bloglines....hello Google reader

Thanks to Dave Pattern, on twitter who informed me that Bloglines is closing down. As I have used it for over four years, I've finally transferred my feeds to google reader. Pure laziness has kept me on bloglines, but having transferred them, some are working. W00t.
Anyhow, more on the bloglines closure here and here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Googlization of Everything release date confirmed

Siva Vaidhyanathan has confirmed the date of the release of his book The Googlization of Everything as being early 2011. Have spoken of the book before I'm quite excited by this news.

The book :-

Assesses Google's global impact, particularly in China, and explains the insidious effect of Googlization on the way we think. Finally, Vaidhyanathan proposes the construction of an Internet ecosystem designed to benefit the whole world and keep one brilliant and powerful company from falling into the "evil" it pledged to avoid.

I also noted another interesting book by Tim Wu's book The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires. Both sound fascinating.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Programmable web and British Library Maps Crowdsourced Sounds

Programmable web has a great post entitled British Library Maps Crowdsourced Sounds, this discusses:-

The SoundMap uses Google Maps to plot sound recordings over England and Ireland. When you click on one of the push pins the sound recording will be played in your browser. For those looking to contribute, there is a blog post with ideas on what kinds of sounds to record.

I'm always impresssed by what the British library does.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Oh my.....librarians promoting themselves

(Found via) here. Phil Bradley pointed me in the direction of Voices for the Library website and blog. The site says :-

Voices for the Library is a place for everyone who loves libraries to share their stories and experiences of the value of public libraries.

The team includes Bethan Ruddock, Gary Green, Ian Clark, Johanna Anderson, Katy Wrathall, Lauren Smith and Mick Fortune.

So, if you want to:-

Promoting the need for and value of trained librarians within a free and open-to-all UK public library service.

Go there today. And great site and even better idea.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Lisnews post on the need for a masters degree

Lisnews has a interesting post entitled The Master's Degree Misperception which looks at the need for librarian need for a masters degree (or as this is an American post an MLS degree).

The author puts forward the idea that:-

I’d like to imagine that I got an advanced degree so that checking out books would be a once in a while thing, not a regular gig.)

It is a disservice to the education, to the degree, and to the profession when the bulk of a librarian’s daily tasks could be performed by someone with a GED. It does not take a master’s degree to place a hold on a book, clear a copier, push in chairs, tell people they are being loud, shelve items, or other similar tasks. When librarians are seen doing this and then told there is an advanced degree requirement, there is a reasoning dissonance that occurs in the outside observer.

Well, although the author says he helps out on the desk etc, do many of us with degree's get the profession insist on a greater separation of duties?

Actually, no. Just because you have a masters degree does not mean you get to do the reference work, cataloguing or specialising. Many masters students in the UK certainly won't even get the most basic library roles. I remember the real wikiman, point out that his first jobs in libraries uasually asked for a minimum of 5 GCSE's but usually wanted at least degree's students, if not masters students.

I would love to be able to do more interesting things at my library, but my masters degree does not allow me to do that, as i'm doing shelving, photocopier repairs etc but i'm just happy to be able to work.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Frank Skinner get's busted for Times article

Seems the west bromwich supporting, unfunny comedian Frank Skinner, has been roundly slated for his article in The Times [no link to story due to the times walled garden policy].
The Guardian has an article entitled Frank Skinner's attack on free libraries is a bad joke, which opens with the rebuke :-

Do you believe in a well-funded, free library service? The comedian Frank Skinner doesn't. Writing in the Times last week, he sneered at old black and white images of cloth-capped workers educating themselves for free. He's a working-class lad himself, he reminded readers, and libraries never did anything for him. These dreary hangouts are just a big joke.

Seems there's more people that support libraries I'm afraid Frank.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Can the social web save the public libraries in Britain?

I was interested to see that Mumsnet has started a thread entitled to think that we NEED libraries? This is horrific.. I had only heard about Mumsnet prior to the UK election of 2010.
Mumsnet had been responding to the threat that public libraries are presently facing.
I had noted that the good library blog had noted mumsnets interest in public libraries in a post earlier this week.
But who are mumsnet? Well its described as :-

a British community website set up by mothers to give advice on parenting and family issues.

As said previously, I had only learnt of Mumsnet during the last election, when they seemed to become the new essex man of political punditry and/or poor journalism.
Not all of the talk about mumsnet though was always positive though.
Mumsnet seems to me to also be a support group for parents and family members. Discussing the needs, advantages and disadvantages of parenting. In discussing the fear of public library closures seems a fairly symbiotic relationship, in that for those who work in public libraries, will know that parents are regular users of libraries. Many parents may bring there kids for childrens hour or to get books for there homework. Or so they can use it for free internet access and homework clubs.
But can the social web help us in stopping closures?
Well, yes and no. I do think mumsnet could be a useful tool in assisting in bring these closures to the forefront of politicans. Mumsnet, as said previously was very much seen as important to politicans in the last election. So there support is needed.
But I did not this comment on the mumsnet post:-

StuckInTheMiddleWithYou Sat 21-Aug-10 14:16:28
Would MN like to run a campaign on this?

Thats not good then, if they can't start a campaign on the site.
I also feel you would need greater support from other high end users (say kids, schools, pensioners). The support and iniative of other librarians and users to would help.
Anyhow, its the weekend. Enjoy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The decline of the library?

With all the depressing news about the closures and cut within public libraries, it good to see some positive news for a change. Norwich's Millennium Library, in which the BBC reports:-

Figures in April 2010 saw the library's popularity increase by nearly 20,000 people compared to the previous year.

I wonder what they are doing right then?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sarah Hammond and Public Libraries 2.0 article

I'm a bit behind, but just seen that Sarah Hammond has article entitled Public Library 2.0: Culture Change?.

The main premise of the article being that she wanted :-

To discover the level of engagement of UK public libraries with Library 2.0, I specifically concentrated on blogging in order to narrow the focus of the research to a scope that was achievable given the time constraints. I also felt that blogs are perhaps the most versatile Web 2.0 tool at libraries’ disposal, so that taking a snapshot of blog activity would give a pretty good idea of their wider engagement with Web 2.0 tools. Consequently, I tried to find as many UK public library blogs as I could. Further to this end, I wanted to explore the attitudes and behaviours of public librarians towards the use of Library 2.0 in their libraries which I did with an online survey.

If you have time and work in public libraries its well worth a read.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Great piece on Librarianship by Rory Litwin

I'm a big fan of Rory Litwin and his blog. I remember reading a great piece he wrote a few years ago entitled The Central Problem of Library 2.0: Privacy. Certainly worth a read.
Anyway, he has another great piece entitled Our niche and how to get back into it. This opens with the following gambit :-

More and more, I find that the library profession’s efforts to stay relevant in the age of information technology are in fact eroding our relevance. As a result of these efforts, it is becoming less and less clear what we offer that is different from what everybody else offers in the information economy.

He then proceeds to say:-

I have a good idea of how I use my knowledge of our resources, and I know that I wish I knew more. I don’t wish I knew more about our search tools – those are designed to be easy to use for librarians and the public alike, and I don’t regard our ability to use them as anything special. Where I feel that greater knowledge would help me to be a better librarian is across the board – within my assigned subject areas, yes, but in all subjects, and particularly about things like scholarly communities, the research into reading behavior, learning theory, media studies, and all of those fields that are connected to what we do. I think that improving my general knowledge and working to improve my insight into people are the most effective ways I can work to become a better librarian.

Thought provoking.

Reuters article on the social web and how universities are integrating them

(Found via here). Reuters has an article entitled Schools, tech comPanies tailor social sites for students. The article says:-

Colleges and universities across the United States are going beyond simply creating websites and pages on Facebook for students to "friend" or "fan." They are working with technology companies to build their own social networks and integrate them into campus life to boost admissions and retain students.

Obviously, somethig that could be transfered to a library environment. So, perhaps you could use it for patrons to sponsor books (to increase money's for the library).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Could twitter be used to see positive book reviews?

I've previously discussed social cataloguing sites here before. Therefore, I was quite interested on programmable web to see Fflick, a movie review site, which:-

Fflick is a social movie review site, where the reviews come in bite-sized pieces from Twitter. The way its developers combine the reviews with other APIs and visuals shows how an excellent site can be built by bringing in content from elsewhere.

The most impressive piece is how Fflick mines Twitter to find tweets that include mini movie reviews. It looks for the name of a movie (or sometimes a portion of a movie name). From there, it also attempts to determine the positive or negative sentiment, seemingly by looking for specific words in a tweet.
Therefore, I was wonering if this could be done for book? Taking API data from Amazon for book covers and Librarything etc for reviews?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Haringey allegedly closing 9 out of 10 libraries in borough

(Found via here). Good library blog reports 'there is a rumour [my italics].....that the borough of Haringey is to close 9 out of its 10 public libraries, leaving only one central library at Wood Green.'

I have worked at Haringey and I hope this is not true. Also, I recently saw the library manager there Diana Edmonds at Cilip and asked if everything was OK with the libraries there. She seemed to feel it all OK.

Anyhow, lets hope its not true.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Yahoo pipes and Spectrum Software

As mention previously, I've been reading about gaming, and have a fond memory of my ZX Spectrum years. On top of this I wanted to combine it with my trying to learn Yahoo Pipes, especially after reading Information twist result on 'this made me' project, using Pipes.
Therefore, I've presently used nearly all his code trying to make one for Spectrum Games companies, and use a map to show where they are. Results can be seen here (its early days yet).
What I wish to do, is then have another map showing each companies games, and perhaps use world cat to indicate if these companies have been tagged etc.
Thanks to Gary for the twitter assistance to..

Friday, July 30, 2010

Chips and Mash today at Huddersfield

Most of you reading this will most likely be there, but Chips and Mash are at Huddersfield university today. The hash tag for those following via twitter may be found here.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Viral marketing of the library

(Found via here). NPR has an excellent article entitled 'Why the next big pop culture after cupcakes might be libraries'. The article looks at the impact of the viral marketing of libraries via the (excessively) meme'd Old Spice video and Lady Gaga also. The article looks at the positive article's that seem to being picked up, on the importance of libraries in this 'big society' no skills/pay/promotion world.
The article then looks at the positive impact of libraries on societies to. Obviously, people have to pay for them, but they do provide a cultural outlet for many users. But in Britain when I think of of Cameron, Conservatives and libraries I think of Goring:-

Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my browning.