Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nesta event What’s App? A look at the emerging app economy‏

Nesta is holding a free event What's App? - The App Economy Event on the 22.03.10. I've got my ticket as I heard apps are the new platform.

British Library to archive defunct UK websites

The British Library is to launch a UK Web Archive. The BL website says of it:-

Dame Lynne Brindley, [said] this project demonstrates the importance and value of the nation's digital memory.
Websites included in the UK Web Archive include:
The Credit Crunch - initiated in July 2008, this collection contains records of high-street victims of the recession - including Woolworths and Zavvi.
Antony Gormley's 'One & Other' Trafalgar Square Fourth Plinth Project - involving 2,400 participants and streamed live by Sky Arts over the web to an audience of millions, this site will no longer exist online from March 2010.
2010 General Election - work has started to preserve the websites of MPs such as Derek Wyatt, who will be retiring at the next election, creating a permanent record of his time as a Member of Parliament.
This important research resource has been developed in partnership with the National Library of Wales, JISC and the Wellcome Library, as well as technology partners such as IBM.

Brindley also discusses it here on the Today show.

Is Library 2.0 dead?

With the closure today of Ning Library 2.0 happening today, the decrease in blog posts and increase in micro blogging, it seems that library 2.0 as a meme is on the demise. In some ways this is true.
This maybe seen in the closure of the Ning site, in which Bill Drew said of its closure:-

The network has not seen much traffic the last few months and most people requesting to join are posting profiles full of link spam. The return is no longer worth the work. I am not transferring it to anyone else......... It grew far beyond my wildest hopes. At one point it got over 50 posts a day but is now getting less than 4 posts a month.

It seems that library 2.0 had lost its cadre of zest for many users. Although Bill points out many users and post joined at first this dropped. Without a conversation (and too much spam), people would disappear.

Other area's where there seems a decline in what has been termed web 2.0 is a decline or at least change in blogging, especially with some of the early library 2.0 bloggers. Jenny Levine's Shifted Librarian has changed her blog into a lifestream rather than a blog. This she describes as:-

lets me run a stripped-down version of my own personal Friend Feed (but without the comments on individual items). It totally rocks.

Michael Casey's influential Librarycrunch has become the Michael Casey blog, therefore its become an individual blog, rather than a more group/borg blog.

Brian Mathews blog the Ubiquitous librarian said recently:-

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.

In many ways, the Library 2.0 seems a fallacy of the past. A word we used to start a conversation about. A word we used to bind us and throw around idea's. It was something new at the time.

Now, even the word library 2.0 seems dated, and we are now in the realm of semantic web/web 3.0.

Its a shame the ning site has closed, but that shows the speed of change in the digital/library world. Anyway, library 2.0 is not dead, as I would have to change my blog and thats not likely to happen.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Leonard Lopate Show interviews Marilyn Johnson

(Found via here). Having reviewed Johnsons Book. Seems today she's beong interview on the Leonard Lopate Show. Hopefully I'll get o hear it later.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Facebook causing the End of USA yearbook page

(Found via here). Seems students at the University of Virginia won't have a hardcover memento of their college years. The school founded by Thomas Jefferson has become the latest college to decide there's no place for the traditional yearbook in the age of Facebook. See the whole story here.

Now, many might see this as the end of another American tradition. Or the end of print. Well, it maybe. But I find something far worst about this. My worry is all those horror movies that use the yearbooks to show who the baddies are are or who has been killed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Library 2.0 ning site may close

Nearly three years ago I mentioned Nings library 2.0 site created by Bill Drew. Well, I just recieved this email:-

Unless I hear a huge outcry over the next 24 hours, I will shut down this group effective Thursday evening , Feb. 25. Most people trying to join are spammers or just seeing what they can get into. I do not want to transfer the ownership of this group to anyone else. There have only been a few blog posts since the first of the year and hardly any discussions. The groups appear to be moribund as well.

I hope it doesn't close, because I thing when it was originally released it was great. I still go there and love reading the aricles by Araan Tay on there. But I don't add to the conversation anymore as work and life seem to take over. Bill, I hope you don't close it, but thanks for a great site if you do.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Librarians, patrons, archivist, second Marilyn Johnson's book

Having previously mentioned Marilyn Johnson's book This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All I thought I would give it a quick review. Then after reading it I thought giving it a quick review would be a great disservice to someone who writes so eloquently on our profession.
The book is a tour de force of librarianship of the modern generation. I have read Battles book and Nicholson Baker to. Both seem set in the past in comparison to this book.
Johnson's reason for writing the book we are told come from her first book Dead beat, which looked at Obituaries. She found librarians had the most interesting, such as Frederick Kilgour and Henriette Avram and longest.
Johnson wanted to see why librarians do there job. What was there role. What where the changes.
She looks at the power of library blogs and spoke to many pro and anti library bloggers out there. All the blogs she mentions in the book can be found here. She talks about the time Michael Stephens felt slightly stalked when to blog followers discovered his whereabouts whilst paddling in a lake
She spoke to library Avatars on Second life, and the reference work they did there and the free work they do there.
The radical reference group whose mission statement is :-

Radical Reference is a collective of volunteer library workers who believe in social justice and equality. We support activist communities, progressive organizations, and independent journalists by providing professional research support, education and access to information. We work in a collaborative virtual setting and are dedicated to information activism to foster a more egalitarian society.

The role of David Smith at the New York Public Library, and how the NYPL seems to becoming a more digital and modern hub.

The penultimate chapter, she speaks to archivists. This is a sad chapter about Sue Hamburger, an archivist who is archiving her recently deceased husbands writings, and wondering if anyone will accept them.

There are other chapters, but all have one thing in common. She admires our profession (and its quirks). She seemed to have enjoy writing this book. But not half as much as I enjoyed reading it. My only one qualm on the book? I wish I was as good as many of them. 10 out of 10.

Librarian in Black link

Librarian in Black has a good link link entitled 10 Technology Ideas for your library, today, which comes from the American Libraries cover story. Mind you I think I said most of these idea's to my library nearly two years ago.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Google books ruling in today......oh no its not

(Found via here). Seems that the ruling for the Google books dispute that was due today.
But Judge Denny Chin will rule it 'sometime' saying:-

"To end the suspense, I'm not going to rule today at this hearing," Chin said at the start of the proceeding. "There is just too much to digest."

Oh well. Move along, there's nothing happening here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Echo chamber? All I hear is good news about libraries

Recently Wikiman had an interesting blog discussing the echo chamber within libraries.

Plenty has been talked about the image of librarians and libraries etc, but how do we go about addressing the misconceptions on a wider basis? At the moment, I reckon a very (very) crude representation of library advocacy might look a little like this:

The point being, the library skeptics aren’t really being reached, and many of the excellent ideas we have are going into the echo-chamber of our own Information Professional community.

This maybe true but recently all I seem to hear are positive things about libraries and librarians. For example, Librarian by Day has a post entitled Librarians Play a Vital Role in 21st Century Literacies which points to two papers one from the Report from the Knight Commission:

Recommendation 7: Fund and support public libraries and other community institutions as centers of digital and media training, especially for adults.

And a white paper from the MacAuthor Foundation

If anything, these traditional skills assume even greater importance as students venture beyond collections that have been screened by librarians and into the more open space of the web. Some of these skills have traditionally been taught by librarians who, in the modern era, are reconceptualizing their role less as curators of bounded collection and more as information facilitators who can help users find what they need, online or off, and can cultivate good strategies for searching material.

These seem to show were succeeding in some area's at least.

These along with Marilyn Johnson's book This Book is Overdue seem to represent libraries in a positive light. Johnson's book is getting a lot of deserved coverage (i'm half way through it already) from a wide audience.

But then, I don't think we are aklways that good in praising ourselves or selling ourselves at times.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Union protest at Belfast library closures part 2

Having written previously about planned/proposed closures of Libraries in Belfast, I was informed that people in the area have created a facebook page against it. Radio Ulster also interviewed people who went to a meeting against the closures (but I have no link to it at the moment).
I was also asked about the good library blog this can be found here.
To Carly, any further help, please just ask my email is here

Library Mash Ups review

Having mentioned Nicole Engard's Library Mashups: Exploring New Ways to Deliver Library Databook previously, and noted other bloggers discussing it, I was interested to read a review of the book here. For those who have not bought it, check the review.

Situationist humour at Amazon

(Found via here). A book written in French and recently written into English has taken Amazon by storm according to this article. It says:-

The book, which predicts the imminent collapse of capitalist culture, was inspired by disruptive demonstrations that took place over the last few years in France and Greece. It was influenced stylistically by Guy Debord, a French writer and filmmaker who was a leader of the Situationist International, a group of intellectuals and artists who encouraged the Paris protests of 1968.

I think they maybe having a laugh at the second hand price of £1,930.91!!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Truro library re-opens adter £1.4 million refurburbishment

Having lived and worked in Cornwall and Truro, it was great to hear that it has re-opened after a refurbishment. Its a grade two listed, granite building which I used regularly in my sixth form days. The building was originally paid for by the British philanthropist John Passmore Edwards. I had seen it recently but hope to be there at easter and get a proper look at it.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chartership and beyond event in London

Last week I went to a Chartership and beyond event at Cilip. Those in charge of the event were Michael Martin, Franko Kowalczuk, Alex Seymour and Emma Illingworth. Two of them have also written about it here and here.

We then had a break and looked at some old portfolios to see how they were set up. There was only three and too few for all of us to look at.

There was a discussion by Michael and Franko on what chartership was (and was not) and how to start and finish a portfolio. We were then split into groups to discuss area's of concern within the library or area's we were looking into, to improve the library. This could then be added within our portfolio. This was an interesting discussion on information literacy amongst other things. Was fairly interesting to hear different librarians views.

Anyhow, got a nice certificate at the end of it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Guardian Podcast

The Guardian has a one off podcast dealing with libraries.Looks at how Public Lending Right – how authors are paid for library loans.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Crowdsourcing the mainstream

(Found via here). Ideascale which works like Digg, but rather than voting for stories, users vote for what they might want within an organisation, those with the most votes get put forward.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The [old] medium is [not] the message......Last Paleographer in Uk cut

With all the 'great news' about Ebooks, Amazon fighting Macmillan's, the Ipad, it seems that the pass may have no relevance in how we read previously. It seems King's announced recently that it was to close the UK's only chair of palaeography. From ­September, the current holder of the chair, Professor David Ganz, will be out of a job, and the subject will no longer exist as a separate academic discipline in British universities.
It seems a shame that the study of ancient writing has now disappeared. I suppose we could always study them via twitter or even show our outrage by starting a facebook page. That will make losing our history and culture so modern and at least we'll feel we have done something modern to show we won't put up with this. Or maybe not.......

Reviews of Marilyn Johnson's book

Having written previously called This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. Well, with the release of there books there have been some very positive reviews here and here. Hopefully mine will be there tonight.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Ebooks from the British Library....Free

(Found via here). It seems the British library is going to be offering more than 65,000 19th-century works of fiction are to be made available for free downloads by the public from this spring. More information can be found here.

Charles Leadbetter discussing cloud computing

(Found via here). Charles Leadbetter the man who wrote We-think, has written a piece for the British Council entitled Cloud Culture. Worth a look.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Nothing is the Future by Wayne Bivens-Tatum (Academic Librarian)

(Found via here). Wayne Bivens-Tatum, an academic librarian from Princeton has a post Nothing is the Future. The post looks at how the web 2.0/library 2.0 has become:-

The future of libraries is Second Life. Wait, I mean Facebook. Or maybe it's Twitter. It's librarians in pods. Etc.The beauty of talking about the future is that it never happens.

Wayne does have a point, but as someone has mentions in the comments Walt Crawford has discussed this previously in an insightful (and longer) piece.

I do think that Wayne has a point. But, recently I was talking to a former work colleague about whether web 2.0 or library 2.0 had changed anything in the workplace? He felt that it had, in that it had re-invigorate new staff and perhaps even teach some old staff some new tricks.

Repackaging the library may seem foolish to some, but I think we may all agree doing everything the same, everyday is dull and repetitive. Yeah, second life maybe not the future or blogging, but at least you may improve the service and your own skill set. As one predominant library 2.0 blogger has said on Talis recently said:-

Meredith Farkas, Author of the book “Social Software in Libraries”. A couple of years after publishing her book, Meredith has become a little jaded about the way libraries are using social software, with some libraries seeing it as a magic wand for community building and engaging with their users. This chimed well with the thoughts of the Gang, who were drawn to the conclusion that like most software, it is just a tool. How you use a tool to communicate with your users, is far more important than the tool itself.

Finally, I would say people today have adapted to the web 2.0 idea for career reasons just as much for helping users. In the world today our library careers are based on short-term contracts. What we learn and can transfer to similar roles are as important to us as ever. Without a new skill set to assist our resumes we are dead in the water.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

New Books on my Amazon radar

A couple new geeky books I ordered from Amazon. First up is This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. The author says of the book:-

What is it like to be a librarian in a world of too much information? Constant change, exploding technology, shrinking budgets, growing numbers of the baffled...could there be a better spot than behind the librarians' desk to watch the digital age unfold? Check out the reviews on the Review page, and read the first chapter on Harper's Library Love Fest blog or download to the right.

A review of the book can be found here.

Another book I have ordered is Search Patterns by Peter Morville, who did the excellent Ambient Findability.

The author says of it:-

Search is among the most disruptive innovations of our time. It influences what we buy and where we go. It shapes how we learn and what we believe. This provocative and inspiring book explores design patterns that apply across the categories of web, e-commerce, enterprise, desktop, mobile, social, and real time search and discovery. Using colorful illustrations and examples, the authors bring modern information retrieval to life, covering such diverse topics as relevance ranking, faceted navigation, multi-touch, and mixed reality. Search Patterns challenges us to invent the future of discovery while serving as a practical guide to help us make search applications better today.

Reviews can be found here.

Interesting books

I've just quit smoking (or am trying to quit smoking). This has meant rather than going for a cigarette at breaks, I've started reading a lot more. I did read Groundswell. It focuses on how companies can take advantage of emerging social technologies. What a load of tosh. Felt like reading microwaved Clue Train manifesto but at 2 star Michelin restaurant price tag. If you've not read it, well done. I just felt Charlene Li was just trying to make money for Forrester's by underlining how good they are. The book was so bad I sold it on Amazon.
Then I read Cyburbia by James Harkin. He says of that Cyburbia, in his interpretation, is the place to which we go when we spend huge swathes of our time hooked up to other people via a continuous loop of electronic information, and online social networks are only its most visible manifestation. This was a more enjoyable read for me. Looking at the impact of the network society are affecting us and how we interact. Worth a look.
Then I just finished The Accidental Billionaires: Sex, Money, Betrayal and the Founding of Facebook. I really was not expecting much from this but its a good read, and feels more like a thriller. The author Ben Mezrich obviously seems to side with Eduardo Saverin than Mark Zuckerberg as the originators of facebook. This is not surprising as Eduardo gave him the most time in his researh for the novel. The author also does not have the greatest grasp of Facebook. At one stage he describes how open facebook is. Really? It doesn't even allow you to customise your page unlike Myspace. Its also open to data mining users profiles and is often seen as a walled garden.
Apart from that its a good read.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Foursquare for libraries.....

I had heard some months ago about Foursquare from an old colleague of mine. Wikipedia describes the service as:-

Foursquare is a location-based social networking website, software for mobile devices, and game. Users "check-in" at venues using text messaging or a device specific application. They are then awarded points and sometimes "badges."

You earn points for finding new places, tagging them and describing them. And if your the first there you can become mayor and win other titles.

Anyway, I like Helene Blowers feel that :-

It's been awhile since I've seen a new social technology emerge on scene that looked like it had that "explosion potential". The last real time for me was Twitter

David King also has an interesting article on the use of Foursquare for libraries. Below are 5 ingenious idea's he has thought up:-

1.Add your library as a place, or edit the entry if someone else has already added it. You can enter your street address (Google map is included, phone number, and your library’s Twitter name.

2.Add tags relevant to the library. For example, I have added the tags library, books, music, movies, and wifi to my library’s Foursquare entry. If you are in the area (Foursquare is a location-based service, so it knows where you are) and search for wifi – guess who’s at the top of the list? Yep – the library.

3.Add Tips and To Do lists. When you check in to a place, you have the option to add tips of things you can do there, and you can create To-Do lists of things you want to do there. For libraries, both are helpful – it’s a way to broadcast your services to Foursquare players. To Do lists are handy, because you can make the list and other players can add those To Do list items to their lists, too. When they do something on those lists, they gain points. Think of it as a fun way to get people doing stuff at your library! Just think – someone could gain points by getting a library card – how cool is that?

4.Add your big events. Then, you can have an event check-in with prizes for the first person who checks in, etc.

5.Shout outs. These are a type of status update, and can be sent to Twitter and Facebook. So do stuff, then shout out that you’ve done them.

I reckon these are pretty great idea's. I think I might just give them a try for my library.