27 November 2007

#23 What I have learned and where to from here

Well, if this was a sample of what "lifelong learning" can be, I think I'm hooked! Not only did I learn about numerous potential tools for the future, I saw great networking develop, not only within my own library but with colleagues in other libraries as well. One of my first impressions was to do with the benefits of attending conferences and it feels now like I have just returned from one of the most successful ones ever!
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.
But now it's time to take a break and catch up on some lost sleep!
Congratulations to everyone who made this course possible. What a leap into learning it has been. Very 21st Century, too!
Thank You!!

#22 Audio Books

I listened briefly to the computer-read version of Frances Hodgson Burnett's "The Secret Garden". That was painful! I don't quite understand what the purpose of "robot readers" is unless what we are listening to innovation in progress. I MUCH preferred the human reader of that lovely book, and listened to a fair bit more of it as a result. The reader had a wonderful reading voice and captured the satirical slant of the descriptions very well. I don't borrow from our talking book collection, but one of the things I particularly like about the online one is that they don't have to be shelved! And they don't get returned with pieces missing either. I think there is a definite future for subscriptions to online audiobooks.

#21 Podcasts

Of the 3 directories listed I like the ease of use of the Podcast Directory best, and the categories were just right. (I particularly liked "Soliliquies - Soap Box & Rants"!)
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

#20 YouTube - Can't live without it!

This YouTube video that I found combines several elements that are special to me: black & white photography, noir movies, odd angles, reference (detective) work, libraries and a big dash of humour. What fun! Thanks to Nick and his cast and crew for demonstrating how not to conduct a reference interview!

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

#19 Web 2.0 Awards

Web 2.0 Awards is a great site for getting a birds-eye view of the way the internet is developing.

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

#18 - Zoho Writer: Literary Awards Calendar & Genre Index

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?




Childrens Book Council (CBC) Awards - 18th-24th August 2007 (Children's Book Week)

Man Booker Prize (UK) LONGLIST announced October 2007


Hugo Awards – winners announced 1September at Nippon 2007

VIC Premier’s Literary Awards 3rd September 2007

Age Book of the Year Awards

Ned Kelly Awards for Crime Writing - 2007 entries, winner to be announced at the Melb Writers Festival

The Australian/Vogel AwardAllen & Unwin - Winner announced 19th September 2007

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

National Book Critics Circle Award (US)


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

British Book Awards (UK) home 1st 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




National Biography Award

Children’s & Young Adults:

Childrens Book Council (CBC) Awards (Aust)

Young Australians’ Best Book (YABBA) Awards (Aust)

Nestlé Children's Book Prize (UK)

Carnegie Medal (UK)

Kate Greenaway Medal (illustration) (UK)

Caldecott Medal (children’s) and Newbery Medal (picturebook) (USA)


James Beard/KitchenAid Award winners announced 7 May 2007

Crime Fiction:

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

Edgar Awards(USA)

Macavity Award - Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for their favorite mysteries in four categories.

Ned Kelly Awards for Crime Writing

Shamus Award - Private Eye Writers of America


Andre Norton Award (see Nebula Awards)

World Fantasy Awards


NSW Premier's History Awards

Prime Minister's Prize for Australian History


Bram Stoker Award


The Age Book of the Year Awards The Australian/Vogel Award NSW Premier’s Literary Awards QLD Premier’s Literary Awards VIC Premier’s Literary Awards WA Premier’s Literary Awards


Rita Award

Science Fiction:

Aurealis Awards Hugo Awards

Nebula Awards

Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master

Talking Books:

Louis Braille Audio Book Awards


Thriller Awards

Ian Fleming Steel Dagger


Spur Award

11 November 2007

#17 Playing with a Wiki

A few things have changed - for the better - with the PBwiki software used for the PLCMClearning Wiki. The instructions given for adding my blog and for editing pages have altered since Learning 2.0 was created so it took me several mistakes before I realised that the editing functions had been streamlined. I worked it out in the end. So if you are reading this before doing exercise #17, ignore the instructions about putting URLs and titles in brackets. Just edit as you would in your own blog. It's nice to see that level of standardisation filtering across the social networking side of the internet. It makes it so much easier to add one's 2-cents worth!

#16 Making Wikis Work

I have used blogs and wikis for some while now and have marvelled at how effective they have become in just about every aspect of life from sharing best recipes on Epicurious, capturing the contemporary world's knowledge in Wikipedia, sharing travel tips at Intelligent Travel and of course sharing information with other librarians and information brokers at FreePint. "Sharing" is the operative word! Many started as online magazines or newsletters. They built mailing lists of their subscribers and then started to open up forums for those members to interact - presto! a wiki is born.

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

#15 Libraries & users in the future

One of the most exciting things for me about the Web 2.0 features we've been exploring is the collaborative aspect which encourages library users to contribute their expertise to enhance the services on offer. Librarians have traditionally been seen as the authorities who present carefully selected materials to their users. This role has been changing for some time now to one that is more directional and enabling for users. The ubiquity of the internet has made it imperative that librarians be involve in the creation of internet content, too, not just navigators of it. Del.icio.us and LibraryThing are brilliant examples of how knowledge can be distributed among users rather than to users. The challenge is to find mechanisms for encouraging and enabling users to share their knowledge as a part of what they are already doing. Applying the idea of del.icio.us bookmarking in a targetted way - different buttons for specific resources (wikis?) - within an organisational intranet perhaps, could be a useful knowledge management tool.

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

#14 Technorati Travels

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.