29 December 2007
27 November 2007
Of the 23 things the ones I enjoyed the most and will certainly look into further were:
- Blogs & Wikis - I want to find out how to create sub-blogs for different topics within my blog, and I want to explore other blogs and wikis to see where the action is. At the micro-level, a reference wiki will certainly aid in communicating information between members of my team and to the rest of the library staff. A few of my colleagues are already getting some up and running;
- Rollyo search engines - this was such a neat way to pull together a number of related sites. I can see using these for delivering current awareness information on a number of subjects to our council research officers;
- RSS feeds - I still have to do a bit of brain re-wiring to change my methods of receiving news, ditto for social bookmarking which also has exciting possibilities for not only providing information to our users but for them to provide information to us and others. This is a much more effective approach than we have used until now.
- LibraryThing - isn't it a magnificent site! It's wonderful to see so many people drawn together to exchange ideas using the love of books as the good oil. I will enjoy searching for other dedicated sites like this where people's enthusiasm keeps everyone on the ball.
Congratulations to everyone who made this course possible. What a leap into learning it has been. Very 21st Century, too!
I remember when I was young being joyously scared to death listening to suspense plays on the radio, so, just for fun, I checked out the Podcast Directory for 'radio thriller' . Lo and behold! I found "Thriller: Stories to keep you up all night" - not that I've had any problems with that lately with all the new ideas that this course has set spinning in my brain. On a more work-related note I found an interesting series of "City Talks" sponsored by the City of Sydney and have set up an RSS feed for them on this blog. These are similar to our own, Melbourne Conversations, which could possibly be aired in the same way. Certainly within our library service the use of podcasts and videos are already getting people humming with ideas. Podcasts would be particularly useful for delivering services to sight-handicapped users of our website: library announcements, new talking book lists, author readings, etc.
24 November 2007
Library Mystery Tour
Last year a useful webpage was created listing examples of YouTube applications in libraries: YouTube and Libraries
Investigate the Possibilites (another noir film!) is a clever way to introduce the library. Political correctors beware!
I've taken to using YouTube for researching music that I'm unfamiliar with. You can check out the latest album by a new or favourite artist/group before you buy. I notice a lot of the online book/music/dvd shops, not just amazon, provide clips like these, too. Embedded video is everywhere these days.
22 November 2007
How often do you send an email to a friend or colleague saying "Look what I stumbled upon!" followed by one or more hyperlinks to useful and/or amazing sites you've discovered? I seem to do that more often than not, so I was particularly taken with one of the winners in the Social Tagging section, wait for it......StumbledUpon! A recent listing that captured my eye was about landscape photos. I was impressed with the built-in intuitive factor which leads you to other relevant sites based on your rating. I'll give it a more detailed exploration. This could be very useful for project teams to use for gathering relevant information in a particular field.
I was also attracted to the Yahoo! Answers site, 1st prize winner in the Questions & Answers category. There are a lot of questions out there! As tomorrow will be Thanksgiving Day in the USA I was interested in some of the questions that people were asking about Thanksgiving - from "What is the origin?" , "Who's got a good recipe for turkey stuffing?", "Is it a holiday anywhere outside the USA?", to "What are you thankful for?" I wonder how many of the top 'Answerers' are librarians!
16 November 2007
This document was created by me originally in Microsoft Word for use by our Reader Development team at Melbourne Library Service. I imported it into Zoho Writer, saved it and then published it here on my blog.
It was very easy, however some of the formating didn't translate quite as I had expected. Nevertheless, it's a pretty neat way to put a large amount of information into your blog that was created elsewhere! Less ambitious formatting may be the way to go in future.I also created a public Zoho Wiki titled: InfoSleuth Wiki. It is empty at the moment. I think I'll need to think this through a bit more. Perhaps that's what this calendar should be instead. Then I won't be solely responsible for keeping it up to date!
Later: It seems that wiki is already taken on the Wikipedia: Book Awards and Honored Creative Works, so I should become a contributor to it instead. This all begs the question: how much overlap there is in wiki-world?
LITERARY AWARDS CALENDAR
Childrens Book Council (CBC) Awards - 18th-24th August 2007 (Children's Book Week)
Man Booker Prize (UK) LONGLIST announced October 2007
VIC Premier’s Literary Awards 3rd September 2007
Age Book of the Year Awards
Anthony Awards: at Bouchercon World Mystery Convention 27-30 Sept 2007
QLD Premier’s Literary Awards Announced September 2007
HammettAward for crime writing (US & Canada) – 14-15 October 2007
Man Booker Prize (UK) winner announced 16th October 2007
Nobel Prize forLiterature – laureate announced, award made in December
John Llewellyn Rhys Prize - Shortlist
Anthony Awards: at Bouchercon World Mystery Convention 9-12 Oct 2008, Baltimore
World Fantasy Convention – 30 Oct-2 Nov 2008, Calgary
World Fantasy Award Convention 1-4 November 2007
Young Australians’ Best Book (YABBA) Awards 14th November 2007 (At Award Ceremony)
US National Book Awards (USA)15th November 2006
NSW Premier's History Awards Announced Later in Year for 2007 Winners
Nestlé Children's Book Prize (UK) 13th December 2006
Caldecott Medal (children’s) and Newbery Medal (picturebook) (USA) 2007 Award Winners & Honor Books announced at the ALA January conference
Aurealis Awards for Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writing - 27th January 2007
COSTA Book Awards (formerly Whitbread Book Awards) (UK) 2006 Book of the Year announced 7th February 2007
Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction LONGLIST announced 19 March 2007
Man Booker International Prize SHORTLIST, 12 April2007 2007 Winner-Chinua Achebe
Pulitzer Prize (USA)16th April 2007
Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction SHORTLIST announced 17 April 2007
Orange Broadband Award for New Women Writers SHORTLIST announced 24 April 2007
Edgar Awards (USA) winners announced 26 April 2007
Nebula & Norton Awards (USA) Winners announced 25-27 April 2008
Agatha Awards(USA) Winners announced 25-27 April 2008
Cooking: James Beard/KitchenAid Award winners announced 7 May 2007
Nebula & Norton Award winners announced 11-13 May 2007
NSW Premier’s Literary Awards 29th May 2007
Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction & Orange Broadband Award for New Writers (UK) 6th June 2007
WA Premier’s Literary Awards - 8th June 2007 (Presentation Dinner)
Westerns: Spur Award- 12-16 June 2007
IMPAC Dublin Awards (UK) 14th June 2007
Nielsen BookData Booksellers Choice Award 18th June 2007
Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History – 20 June 2007
Carnegie Medal (UK) 21st June 2007
Kate Greenaway Medal (UK) 21st June 2007
Miles Franklin Award 21st June 2007
Horror: Bram Stoker Award
CWA Dagger Awards for crime writing (UK) – 5 July 2007
Australian Book Industry Awards Tuesday 24th July 2007
Romance: Rita Award
ThrillerFest – 10-13 July 2008, New York City
LITERARY AWARDS BY GENRE
Children’s & Young Adults:
Carnegie Medal (UK)
Kate Greenaway Medal (illustration) (UK)
James Beard/KitchenAid Award winners announced 7 May 2007
Cosy Mystery Awards (various)
Agatha Awards - honor the traditional mystery
Anthony Awards: at Bouchercon World Mystery Convention 27-30 Sept 2007, Anchorage; 9-12 Oct 2008, Baltimore
Macavity Award - Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for their favorite mysteries in four categories.
Shamus Award - Private Eye Writers of America
Andre Norton Award (see Nebula Awards)
- Australian Miles Franklin Award
- UK Man Booker Prize British Book Awards Orange Broadband Prize COSTA Book Awards (formerly Whitbread Book Awards) John Llewellyn Rhys Prize – Shortlist
- USA National Book Awards National Book Critics Circle Award Pulitzer Prize
- International Commonwealth Writers Prize IMPAC Dublin Awards Nobel Prize for Literature Man Booker International Prize
11 November 2007
What is it that makes wikis thrive or wither away? The work involved in making a wiki work, from what I have observed, is not unlike a major advertising campaign. You have to carefully target your wiki to those who are most likely to use it, provide an environment that will encourage them to spend time there and contribute to it, give reasons to return (often), and because time is finite, compete successfully against (or with) other competitor wikis and blogs. In a brief survey of "making wikis work" via Google, the results I found focused mainly on business, organisations, and education applications. Focusing results on library wikis was not as successful as I had expected. I suspect the time needed to effectively monitor entries hasn't been factored into many library work roles as yet. And many of us are too busy working on the "next best thing" to evaluate what has gone before. This might be a useful assignment for library students looking for a thesis subject. It would certainly be an aid to librarians in the field.
Libraries have done many of these things for their patrons - booklists, discussion groups, library newsletters. In the latest issue of Library Journal an article by Neal Wyatt: 2.0 for Readers shows ways of distributing the tasks of readers advising among readers as well as librarians through the use of wikis. This is happening on on many book-focused websites, not the least being on LibraryThing.
Princeton PL's Book Lovers Summer Reading wiki FAQ page made for some very useful reading with policy and procedure details and raffle ideas for attracting reviewers. It's a very attractive and legible site, too. I noticed that the use of wikis has ceased since they now encourage readers to post their reviews directly on the library catalogue. I wonder how effective that has been. It's not possible to see how much reviewing is done on the catalogue as there isn't an index to books with attached reviews. One of the things I like about both blogs and wikis is that you can readily see what other contributors are writing. Speaking for myself, some people may find adding to a "conversation" more comfortable than putting up a stand-alone review.
Internal wikis for library staff look like being a great way to share information, collaborate on projects, even do the work of meetings that are so difficult to organise. Much is made of the idea that they can reduce the use of email, but that remains to be seen! (Wasn't the same thing said about the "paperless office"?)
I was very excited by Meredith Farkas' (previously mentioned on this blog) Library Success wiki when I first visited it about a year ago. The Readers Advisory section of it has really blossomed since then. I will continue to watch developments with great interest.
The LibraryOutreach wiki has a "sandbox" to give people offline practice in posting to the wiki. What a great idea! And the Library Instruction wiki, with its subtitle "...stop recreating the wheel...", is definitely a bookmarkable resource.
07 November 2007
But it is important to keep in mind that not everyone will be directly "connected". And there will always be those who want to use libraries only to find good books to take away and read on their own. Also, we are an ageing population and many will never be users of technology. I can envisage expanded mobile and home library services with more librarians visiting users (not just delivering books) equipped with laptop computers, library newsletters, transcripts of discussion group meetings and personalised reading selection lists. These lists could be created from services such as LibraryThing and Whichbook customised to the library's IPAC to enable housebound library users to have greater interaction with their library services even if they aren't able to use the technological tools. Together with their visiting librarian/s they can have a personalised library service equal to other more mobile and connected users.
Now that scenario may be useful for the next 30 years, but after that, as one of my colleagues has suggested, everyone will be chip-implanted and "wired" to everyone else. I think I would prefer to have a librarian visit me!
05 November 2007
On Technorati I searched, as suggested, for information on "Learning 2.0" Australia libraries. I further limited the search by Authority to "a lot of authority" which resulted in one listing:
2007 Survey of the Biblioblogosphere: Demographics By Meredith Farkas | September 4, 2007
This led me to her related post: "Online learning and its impact on public libraries".
From these readings I can see that public libraries have a huge future on the internet. Also that our current interlibrary loan practices have the potential to receive a massive boost in usage and in importance among the services we currently offer. It will be interesting to see what impact this increased demand will have on the use of physical materials that have not been digitally converted. My public library puts a great emphasis on lifelong learning and is heavily used by students – of all ages. The internet has increased awareness of the availability of resources in such novel ways such as LibraryThing and interactive blogs that it is bound to have an impact on our approach to service delivery (I will soon find out more in my next step in Learning 2.0).
Comments about online learning posted only a couple of weeks ago, pointed out the necessity for academic and public libraries to form partnerships to better meet the needs of all students. This is fascinating reading as you can see action taking place right before your eyes!
Back at my initial search I broadened the setting to “Some authority” which resulted in comments made by Stephen Abram about his recent visit to Australia – and Melbourne – to see the Learning 2.0 statewide program in action. I wasn’t able to attend his talk so I’m grateful that he made links to his presentation available.
25 October 2007
Melissa Rethlefen's article "Tags help make libraries del.icio.us" in Library Journal last month is another eye-opener, filled with exciting ideas for attracting library users to high quality information sources.
Even within our staff, using accounts with del.icio.us and LibraryThing could be a great way to share ideas for developing services.
16 October 2007
Since ALL of us are growing older (not just us Baby Boomers) the question of how we want to live our lives in 10, 20 or 30 years from now is one that most city governments grapple with on a daily basis. Working for a municipal library, I have often had queries from our council staff about access, design, strategic planning and policy research for our ageing population. There is a lot of excellent research taking place and some wonderful internet resources like Ageline, DocuTicker, Intute and Australian Policy Online that help connect us to it. I have grouped my favourite resources together into a search engine I've named Grey Power and added the search box to the sidebar. Give it a try with this search example: technology "older people" to give you an idea of the range of excellent ideas at work in the world.
14 October 2007
I've set up my LibraryThing catalogue using my InfoSleuth handle. There's also a search box you can try over on the right sidebar. Input "photography", "travel", or "crime" and you can see some of the ~25 titles I've added. These represent some of my own home library, but I intend to continue to use LibraryThing mainly to document my reading which is supported by my work library more so than my home library.
The Librarians Who LibraryThing group is a terrific social network. I've joined that one and the one for Crime, Thrillers and Mysteries where I couldn't resist making a suggestion for a Michael Connelly fan.
13 October 2007
Merely twenty minutes ago, John Howard skillfully was mistaken for 3.14 screaming children.
Now this was a rumour that even I could believe! We'll have to wait and see if the other one is for real.
eLouai provided the Harry Potter Doll Generator that enabled me to create this avatar:
I have no idea what Harry Potter character this has morphed from. Obviously not Hagrid!!
07 October 2007
I have added a number of library-related feeds, including The Shifted Librarian, several book related sites, eg, a favourite crime fiction blog, The Rap Sheet. I also put a couple of digital photography blog feeds on as this is currently my passion, and I will monitor some of my favourite current awareness sites - ResourceShelf and Librarians' Index to the Internet. I'm not sure quite how to list these on this blog, but there is a link to them on the sidebar. I think I need to find a good humour site to add to the list!
06 October 2007
One of my most favourite online reference sites, ResourceShelf, has chosen the timely subject of its own RSS feeds as its "Resource of the Week" How good is that!
What is also quite uncanny is that this weekend is when our IT department is planning to load the IE7 browser onto our work PCs. I've been waiting a long time for this, especially because we are not allowed to download software and IE6 does not have a built in RSS feed aggregator like both Firefox (which I use on my home PC) and IE7. For a long time now, I have been considering how RSS could be used on our Council's corporate intranet to enable internal users to create their own "current awareness" pages. There hasn't been any way of testing this idea until now.
Rafe Needleman's video introduction mentions "more news from more sources than you could ever possibly read. " Now this is what has frustrated me the most about RSS feeds up till now. The ones I currently have on my home PC in my Yahoo Mail account are mainly news headlines from major media sources. Most of the time I don't want to read any of them. But what do I do with the ones I want to keep or read later? I guess the trick now is to focus or customise the RSS feeds that I subscribe to. I'll go back now to the lesson plan and work my way through. This may solve my problem.
01 October 2007
This exercise resurrected a memory of an exhibit I saw many years ago at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art. As I recollect, it consisted of approximately 10 copies of the same A4 sized photograph. Below each was an A4 sheet containing a minutely detailed description of the photograph. Each description focused on a particular viewpoint ranging from the wholly objective to the purely subjective. These are roughly the areas of description covered:
1) Physical - spacial dimensions
2) Chemical analysis of the paper and emulsion
3) Technical - how the photograph was made
4) Economic - commercial product
5) Historic - when it was made and its provenance
6) Thematic - style of composition
7) Sociological - its meaning in the society
8) Cultural - aesthetic properties
9) Psychological - emotional impact of the image
10) Philosophical - existential meaning - which would be totally unique and subjective for every viewer.
In case you are wondering what it was: a monochromatic sepia-toned commercial print made in the late 1880s; a figure study, not intended to be shown in polite company but quite tame by today's standards!
As an example of descriptive cataloguing, I don't think I have ever seen anything to match it. And yet it showed very clearly the variations of description that can be applied to just one photograph and how those will ultimately vary from one viewer to another.
So what is the value of tagging or folksonomies when there is unlikely to ever be any agreement on what tags are meaningful for all? There is certainly no thesaurus in evidence. I found an astonishing number of photos of groups of people partying when I had searched only for photos with tags that were place names. From looking at any of these photos you could never guess that the party was in Melbourne, Sydney, New York or Paris.
I am open to arguments for tagging, seeing as tags are popping up in all kinds of places - I've seen them recently on Amazon.com and they have been used in Fiction Connection (not very usefully in my experience), so we better get used to it. But at the moment, I'm not convinced.
30 September 2007
I had a look at Sutton Library's Flickr page and was impressed with the "New Books" photos that incorporate links to their catalogue.
There are some very interesting "Groups" around the subject of books, eg. book sniffers???
I finally got a photo of my own up on this blog with a link to my Flickr page.
28 September 2007
In the meantime, if you would like to look at my first efforts to share some of my photos, visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/patmilphotos/
I used a single-use camera over the space of 18 months to take these pictures through an increasingly grimy window. Not the stuff of fine printing by a long shot. But it was a fascinating exercise, nonetheless.
25 September 2007
Library Association 2.0.
by: Lankes, R. David.
Searcher, Sep2007, Vol. 15 Issue 8, p50-53, 4p
In this insightful article, David Lankes illustrates a vision of how Web 2.0 technology could be used by library associations to better support their members by enabling "participatory librarianship" in the daily work routine to link professionals together for collaborative outcomes.
More than ever - we are not alone!
22 September 2007
In my brief forays into "blogland" there appear to be a lot of very interesting conversations going on -- and a lot of nonsense, too! And the question on everybody's lips: Where do you find the time for all of this??? Maybe the mission of this exercise should be how to create the time you need to be part of Web 2.0 and still live your "real" life. No doubt, many of you have had this same thought at the start of your new life online. Any tips will be welcome.
10 September 2007
Thanks to my library manager, Barry McGuren, for his foresight and enthusiasm in giving us such an exciting opportunity.