Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple Ipad to take on Kindle/Sony Reader

As mentioned previously, Steve Jobs has released the long awaited Apple tablet, the iPad. It looks like a large Iphone to be honest. But the big news for libraries and book fans is the ibook application. Some are saying its the future of publishing.
What I loved was Jobs saying the Amazon Kindle had done a good job, but Apple had Five of the largest publishers — Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Hachette. Oh, how like Steve Jobs to damn by faint praise.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Jessamyn West on Boing Boing for 1 week only

Jessamyn West is writing on Boing Boing for one week only. I look forward to reading a bibliblogosphere writer being on there.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

500 not out and the good, the bad and the ugly

On the 2nd of may, 2006 I started this blog. Today is my 500th entry. Not bad going huh?

Anyway, I'm going to look at the good, bad and ugly of my 500 entries. So this is me being self congratulatory.


Well, I suppose my favourite or best entry has to be my article comparing shelfari,librarything and gurulib. This piece was a favourite as a lot of people quoted it, Tim Spalding from librarything. That article stil gets me more hits and it was actually enjoyable.


I suppose it really has to be when my brother passed away. There's not a moment goes by I don't miss him.


I think for all those that have read (sorry, tried to read) this blog, it must be my grammar. Its enough to send all my readers to despair.

Anyhow, thanks readers. Here's to the next 500.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Library advocacy in a digital age

Woodsie girl and wikiman have been discussing how to create library advocacy and the dangers of the echo chamber.
Woodsie girl says on her blog:-

Following a conversation on Twitter this morning, me and thewikiman (@theREALwikiman) are trying to find out if anyone has any good ideas for overcoming the “echo chamber” effect in library advocacy. It’s easy to spend time preaching to the converted, but how do you reach people who don’t use the library, aren’t interested in what you have to say and don’t think you have anything to offer? Any thoughts, please tweet using the hashtag #echolib, or leave a comment here. We’ll be blogging anything interesting we find out.

Well, I had an idea, which maybe good or most like not. I am presently reading Charlene Li's Book Groundswell. In it she discusses how Mini was sold in the USA, whilst Honda and Volkswagen were entering the market in the mid 2000s. This would have eaten into there market share as there product was older. Trudy Hardy, who was in charge of mini marketing wanted to increase or retain market share. So was she did was she listened to mini users, sent out items only they were allowed to recieve along with other idea's (read the book). Anyhow, what she did was she listened to her present users and made them feel unique. Uniqueness and listening are both highly important in any organisation business, but if we make our present users seem unique then there word of mouth will gain us patrons. Its not an original idea, but it's my thoughts on it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Internet world 2010 tickets available

Internet world 2010 are available for free at present. The show is at Earls Court from 27.04.10 to 29.04.10. Who exhibits can be seen here. Worth a visit at that price.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Jill Bradley's Service

As mentioned previously, Phil Bradley's wife, Jill passed away recently. Phil has just entered a very touching piece on his blog about the service. She sounded a lovely person and my thoughts are with Phil and Jill's family and friends.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lisnews competition

Lisnews has an essay competition for february. The article says:-

Essay Contest invites librarians to write an original essay about issues that impact librarianship. The contest will run for the entire month of February, 2010, with the fabulous prizes awarded sometime in March. Winning essayists will receive one of several prizes including Amazon or Borders gift cards, and a year of hosting from

Great, but I hope they are aware if its a UK winner the Borders gift card will be no good.

Mash up Podcast for librarians

(Found via here). Nicole Engard who released the Book Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Data has a podcast out with Sarah Long of Longshots on how libraries can utilise mashups (podcast here).

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Free film on Piracy

I discovered a free documentary called Steal this film. The film deals with Bit torrent technology. The film talks to such people as the piratebay founders, mininova founders, the electronic frontier foundation. They talk to Howard Rheingold, Siva Vaidhyanathan and Yochai Benkler.
The film looks at how the MPAA tried to bring down Piratebay in 2006 and failed. That trying to stop torrent technology is like one person said 'trying to stop someone pissing out the swimming pool.'
he film looks at the power of the network and history of the network. One thing, the sound is not brilliant and a few years old (2006).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Digital Maoism for beginners

(Found via here). Jaron Lanier, the man who created the term digital maoism has an article in the New York Times entitled The Madness of Crowds and an Internet Delusion discussing his new book You are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto.

The article notes:-

Mr. Lanier, a musician and avant-garde computer scientist — he popularized the term “virtual reality” — wonders if the Web’s structure and ideology are fostering nasty group dynamics and mediocre collaborations. His new book, “You Are Not a Gadget,” is a manifesto against “hive thinking” and “digital Maoism,” by which he means the glorification of open-source software, free information and collective work at the expense of individual creativity.

I would think of getting it if I did not have something else to read pretty soon.

A Cilip talk about finding your way around London

Today I went to an interesting talk with Cilip entitled Legible London: A Wayfinding System for London, with Tim Fendley from Applied Information Group.

The talk looked at :-

The Mayor wants everyone to walk more. But how do you get information on the easiest or quickest routes for navigating your way across London? Many visitors use the Tube map! Is that really the answer?

Tim discussed how 44.5% of peoples navigate through London to get to area's is via the tube map. Tim's company is looking how we can improve finding our may around London easily and walk more.

Tim was saying how our cognitive behaviour is to look for visual markers to find our way around (for example Selfridges at Oxford street is seen as a good marker). Also he discussed how at Tube's there are multiple exits which make finding the correct exit more difficult.

It was an interesting discussion about how this organisation is trying to change how people find there way around London.

An interesting response to Seth Godin

Having mentioned previously article The future of the library, lisnews has an interesting response here to his views. Worth a look if you have time.

Monday, January 11, 2010

BBC discusses our love of paper and not e-readers

The BBC has a great article on its website entitled Page-turning passion. The article discusses how many people have been saying 2010 will be the year of the e-reader.
Lisa Jardine looks at how users of paper books use the object and makes a very interesting point when she says:-

Gabriel Harvey sums up productive reading, in a neat black hand and with his usual practical-minded concision, in the margins of a fashionable contemporary manual on family conduct:

This whole book, written & printed, of continual and perpetual use: and therefore continually, and perpetually to be meditated, practised, and incorporated into my body, and soul. Better any one chapter, perfectly and thoroughly digested, for present practice, as occasion shall require: than a whole volume, greedily devoured, and rawly concocted."

And don't forget that critical ingredient for "continually and perpetually meditating and practising" on a book - the sharing of it with friends. Passing your online-purchased books to others is something few e-reader manufacturers are even prepared to consider.

Union protest at Belfast library closures

Unions In Belfast have protested at a plan to close up to 15 libraries in the Northern Ireland capital. The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) said on there website:-

NIPSA intends to oppose the radical and wholesale dissemination of the public library provision in the Greater Belfast Area. It is appalling that only 9 months after the creation of the new NI Regional Library Authority that they are planning to remove 45% of the public library provision mostly in areas of high social deprivation. NIPSA is encouraging all library users, political representatives and other interested groups and parties to actively support the NIPSA campaign to oppose these radical cuts to library provision in the Greater Belfast Area.

Lets hope it get overturned like it did in the Wirral.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Seth Godin and the future of libraries

(Found via here). Seth Godin has an interesting post The future of the library. He asks:-

What should libraries do to become relevant in the digital age?.

I suggest you read the rest to see what his idea's on the subject are.

Old get cold in Uk and turn to burning books

(Found via here). Seems the freezing weather in UK has caused some People in Swansea to burn there books to keep warm. Seems like a scene from from a Malcolm Bradbury novel. But then if you can't keep warm, you'll burn the first thing at hand I suppose in these arctic conditions.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Hollywood Librarian 2 in London

I have previously discussed the Hollywood librarian film before. Anyway, on the 1st of march,2010 Stuart Hall Library is holding an event entitled Hollywood Librarian: Take 2. The blog post for the event says:-

This is a free event for librarians as well as those interested in film studies, gender, and representation. Hollywood Librarian: Take 2 is being held at the Stuart Hall Library, Rivington Place, London on Monday 1st March 2010 10:30am - 5pm. Booking is free and includes refreshments and lunch. To book a place please contact, 0207 749 1240.

For further information please contact Holly Callaghan, 0207 7749 1255.Hollywood Librarian: Take 2 will again feature 2 film screenings that represent the library profession in very different ways. The event will also feature a panel discussion in which 3 selected librarians/institutions will provide presentations and discuss ways of transforming misconceptions of libraries.

Well, I've booked my place. See you there I hope.

Is my career going to pot because I still blog a lot?

I was interested to read Brian Mathews new years post. In the article he made the following point:-

I wonder if 2010 is the year that many of us academic librarians will shut down our blogs? There were a bunch of us who launched three or four years ago and who posted regularly. It felt sort of like a Gen X movement. However I’ve noticed a steady overall decline in post quantity in 2009. Walt probably has an algorithm to measure that. I think the probable cause is that many of us were moving past the newbie stage of librarianship and were really starting to sink our teeth into the profession. Now we’re just too busy for constant online reflection. Additionally, Facebook and Twitter have evolved to replace the long form narrative (blog posts) in favor of quick bursts of ideas.

When he discussed the steady decline in library blogs and that many of us were moving past the newbie stage of librarianship and were really starting to sink our teeth into the profession, I looked back at my figures and on average I still blog the same amount as I have since may 2006. Therefore has my career 'careered' down a cul de sac?

In some ways it has not. I'm working at a prestigious academic research library in London. I have started on my Cilip charter ship (but very slowly).

I've meet and gone to some interesting events (1, 2 & 3) as well.

In other ways, many of my ambitions have been dashed and in some of the new web 2.0 technologies (an old phrase in itself) I just detest. I have never understood the thing about twitter, and how many librarian use this more than blogging. I just don't get 147 characters of information. I just don't see where the discussion is or:-

A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge.

And e-readers? I just hate them. I used a Sony reader in Germany and I just did not get it. I know I don't have to, but I can see they are the future for SOME user.

As for my career I have become a bit jaded that I rarely get interviews, and I even sometimes wonder why I do this job (but that last about 1 minute). I do want to learn more and would like to have achieved something more than at present.

But, I think Brian also forgets that sometimes blogging can be cut short not by work commitments but also life changing events that cause us to reappraise our life . They might not make us better librarians, but they make us look at life and all the good time we have enjoyed and still hope to.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A lovely film about firing 2.0

Just watched the new George Clooney movie Up in the Air. If you wanna see a film that will make you smile at how to sack a person and how someone tries to iniate an almost web 2.0 to the industry, it'll make you smile.

Monday, January 04, 2010

New York times aricle on Apple Islate article

As many of you may know (or ignore to know) I am an apple fan boy, I read this New York Times article discussing Apple's alleged Islate.
The article was interesting when it stated the following:-

The iSlate will do lots of that stuff too, as well as basic computing. Critically it will also act as an electronic reader, like Amazon’s Kindle and Sony’s Reader.

Many people like their e-readers (not least because they save them from having to haul around books, newspapers and magazines) but I’ve yet to meet anyone who loves them. That’s the key. If a really great e-reader appeared, the market would explode. The e-reader is waiting for a killer product, just as the MP3 player was before Apple’s Ipod. Apple didn’t invent the MP3 player, it made such a sexy one that many more people wanted to buy it. That’s what it is promising to do again.