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.