Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The social library.....

(Found via here. The Wall Street Journal has an article entitled Libraries Have a Novel Idea. It looks at how the Internet Archive is:-

Starting Tuesday, a group of libraries led by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library, are joining forces to create a one-stop website for checking out e-books, including access to more than a million scanned public domain books and a catalog of thousands of contemporary e-book titles available at many public libraries.

and that:-

To read the books, borrowers around the world can download and read them for free on computers or e-reading gadgets. Software renders the books inaccessible once the loan period ends. Two-thirds of American libraries offered e-book loans in 2009, according to a survey by the American Library Association. But those were mostly contemporary imprints from the last couple of years—say, the latest Stephen King novel.

But the more interesting news is that the internet archive has set up

[which] goes a step further by opening up some access to the sorts of books that may have otherwise gathered dust on library shelves—mainly those published in the past 90 years, but of less popular interest.

If you take an item out, only one copy is available due to copy right restrictions. My main concern though (via a friend mentioning it). If you have a digital copy, could you not just make another another digital copy? Isn't it just trying to put an analogue answers to a digital world?

Definitely would check the two articles.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Today programme discussing libraries

Yesterday, Today reporter Bob Walker went to Nottingham and Grimsby to look at the effect library cuts would have upon patrons, and what can be done to preserve them. Link here.

Hear the one about a librarian that went to the Internet librarian in London?

No. Neither did I. My question is to anyone out there how do library professionals afford to go to Internet Librarian this year. The cost this year is over £500.00 for a two day conference. Obviously, the event has some great speakers, but is this show just for managers? Is there no way there could be some places at a reduced rate for 'ordinary' librarians? I have been to library mash ups and these have not been prohibitively expensive. Though on the new website Owen Stephens does point out:-

The venue and catering are probably the main costs associated with hosting an event. If you are inviting people to speak you may need to cover their expenses (or even pay speaking fees, although the first three events haven't had speakers who charge to speak). The main ways of covering the costs are through sponsorship, and through a fee for the event. Costs can be kept down considerably by getting a venue for free - which is often an option at Universities.

So, my question is this. Is anyone going? And if you don't mind me asking, how did you get your company to agree?

Clay Shirky talk to be streamed live from RSA tonight

Clay Shirky whose new book Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age will be talking on the book in London, at the RSA. For those unable to attend (like me) a live stream can be found here , starting ten minutes before the 6pm start.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Great article on Public libraries from the States

(Found via here). The go-to-hellman blog has a very insightful post entitled Are Public Libraries in a Death Spiral?. In the post he makes two very salient points when he writes:-

A favorite budget-cutting tactic of public library directors seems to be curtailment of opening hours ......To me, this seems like the worst possible thing for a public library to do. ........Public library funding comes from the public, and the best way to convince the public that their library deserves more funding is to get the public inside the library doors.

Public Broadcasting is a good example for public libraries (and a competitor for donor support). Does public radio turn off their transmitter when they need money? No, they put on specially good programming and have pledge drives. My local library puts donor names on bricks; I'd like to see libraries put donor names on opening hours.

Tough economic times are exactly when public libraries are needed the most. The assistance that libraries offer to people looking for work, training for new occupations, learning to read, or finding social networks makes public libraries valuable parts of their communities, but that doesn't happen when the doors are locked.

Would Britain be willing to pledge money to its libraries to increase hours? I doubt it. The Lib/con pact are looking at cuts, and what services we do provide will be reduced (in my mind). So, last one that leaves the library, please turn off the light.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cilip membership

I have a colleague I worked with previously in a library. She now is a school librarian in South London. I therefore told her she should join Cilip and get chartered, as it would improve her career and that it would be good for her. Also there's a £20.00 Amazon token for those that introduce them. Yup, there's no such thing as a free dinner. Well certainly not. Seems you have to fill out this form to obtain the token and not the one my colleague filled. Wouldn't it make sense to add in the other form if someone introduced you? Nope.
I went in an asked Cilip about this and 'they'll put a note' to see if I get the token. I'll just not bother trying to sell Cilip in the future.

The conservative policy on Libraries? We have the answer

For those of a squeamish disposition please turn away now. Seems the lovely lib/con pact is cutting into the library budgetby suspending the Libraries Modernisation Programme by £12m. All Ed Vaizey promises seem pretty hollow. Well, with Cameron as leader thats no surprise then?

5 years on....the 7 year itch strikes early

Five years tomorrow two important events occurred. One important and one I look on with declining interest. The important one is meeting my German girlfriend at a friends 30th birthday. I opened our conversation with the following joke:-
What did the German watchmaker say to the clock that didn't work? Ve have vays of making you tock.
OK, not funny.
Anyhow, the second event was getting on the MSc in Library Science. The only thing I had to do was get some experience of working in a library. This was achieved when I was given an 8 hour voluntary role at a public library in North London. I enjoyed the course and my time there. I brought a fresh breath of air and outlook to the library.
I've since moved on from there and in with my girlfriend. I work in an academic library on a short-term contract. Idea's and fresh approaches are frowned upon. Cynicism being my only release from the drudgery of my role that still exists (for the moment). Training is usually self taught, as there is no training at work. The only time I feel fulfilled is blogging, reading the learning. Gary Green's recent post made me look at changing direction and learn some new skills (which I'm slowly doing). I'm also looking for a role within as an SEO or something where my mind is used.
The good thing is at least I have one thing to celebrate tomorrow. Thank god for my girlfriend.

Cilip article on tweeting controversy

Ok, controversy is a bit strong. Anyhow, as I wrote recently I went to a Cilip event discussing The Google Generation: implications for libraries and librarians and was told to stop tweeting. Not only was I asked but others, including Woodsie Girl, who wrote on it to. She has now written an article in Cilip article here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

A return to normality

Well, I have returned from my trip to Germany. I was away with my my girlfriend and parents in an area of Bavaria called Allgau. We stayed here in a Bed and Breakfast in a small village called Zaumberg, near a lake called Buhl. We were there for 4 days and did so much like hiking and eating well. We went so Immenstadt and Missen, which had its own brewery. If you ever get the chance I would recommend going.
Was great to be away. I returned on Thursday for an interview on Friday. Unfortunately, the job was placed already but I will look into the area I was to be interviewed for.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Away on holiday

From Saturday I'll be in German and Sunday off to Allgau in Bavaria for a few days with my girlfriend and family. Hopefully bring back some photo's of the area.

Good news about libraries.......shock, horror

After the sadness about 10 library closures in Belfast, in which I stated 'maybe one day I'll have some good news on this blog.' Well, the BBC reports 'Libraries in Wales see borrowing rise, against UK trend'. Its seems, in Wales, there's been a 3.7% increase in usage of libraries.

Uk librarians on twitter

(Found via Phil Bradley's twitter feed), if you wish to join or follow over 240 UK library twitter, go here. I'm just about to join myself. It is also been created by Phil himself.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Fun with Yahoo Pipes.....but not me

I've been reading Gary Green's twitter feeds about his 'this made me' idea on Yahoo pipes. The idea was quite simple but very ingenious and set out on his blog:-

I wanted to put together a visual representation of things I consider influenced me throughout my life and made me the person I am today, just as an experiment to see what I could come up with.
I’ve actually managed to turn that idea into something concrete using Yahoo Pipes to pull through information I added to a Google spreadsheet. Yahoo Pipes then automatically created the map with markers and details of influences in those markers.

Anyhow the result can be found here. Its a really good use of maps though. Impressive.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Chips and Mash. Huddersfield 31st July

Found via Karen Blakeman's twitter account, it seems Huddersfield will be having another mash up on 31st july,2010 entitled Chips and Mash. David Pattern, the organisor is thinking of looking into RFID area for this event. No pricices etc as of yet.