Friday, April 18, 2008

Creative Stuff

My RSS feeds fall into three main categories:
- all about library stuff
- industries and stuff related to/aligned with libraries
- stuff with nothing to do with libraries

My favourite RSS feed in the middle category is Creative Economy Online - "News and research on creative industries, innovation and society".

Creative Economy is a gateway to research and commentary on developments in Australia’s creative industries and their cultural and social impact, hosted by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCI). The site draws on the resources of Australian Policy Online, together with outputs from industry groups, consultants and other researchers and research organisations.

The feed is a valuable source of information about new reports and projects, and it often has topics about libraries, literacy, reading and publishing.

Highly recommended.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Innovative Ideas forum presentations

The Innovative Ideas Forum (National Library of Australia 10 April 2008) has Powerpoint presentations and audio files of each presentation available as links from the program.

Speakers and topics include:

* Professor Gerard Goggin (Professor of Digital Communication, University of New South Wales) - The Internet and the Mobile Phone: Histories, Possibilities, Challenges

* Kris Carpenter Negulescu (Internet Archive) - Digital Services and Online Research: The Future of Who does What and For Whom

* Richard Walis (TALIS) - Beyond Web 2.0 -The Continuing Journey a bunch more.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Web 2.0 with the Connecting Librarian

1st April and I managed to escape any April Fools jokes. Instead, I got to listen to Michelle McLean talk about Web 2.0 and libraries, which was time well spent.

I was in Sydney attending a two day course title "Revolutionising Library Management" by the Ark Group. There were only 11 participants so there was a high level on interaction and conversation.

Michelle had the floor for the whole day and her energy never seemed to fade. She gave an excellent overview of the Web 2.0 world and touched on lots and lots of examples. Michelle is partly to blame(?) for me getting this blog going again. Thanks Michelle!

Anyhow, here are some dot points I picked up from the day:
  • in the 2.0 world, the user is at the centre, not the content
  • tagging is almost universal across 2.0 tools and not limited to a few
  • use account to to tag websites to do with 2008 Olympics, and then feed to website with RSS - instant subject guide!
  • must explore yahoo pipes again...
  • mobile devices (phones, PDAs) used to be fussy about what online content they could display. This is changing and devices are being made to read any online content. Great possibilities for libraries...
  • new ideas come through conversations - the web is one big conversation
  • use a widget to create a quick survey on library website
  • some libraries building OPAC search applications for facebook
  • use feedburner to track stats of blog subscribers (have since set this up with this blog - it works!)
  • Michelle made good use of Google Maps to map out mobile library stops and branch locations for her library service

Warren and Michael

At SLQ after Michael's Hyperlinked Library forum

Monday, April 14, 2008

Notes from the Hyperlinked Library

I took a lot of notes during Michael's presentation, but once I re-read them, three main things stand out:

Big Picture
I wasn't exposed to a bunch a new ideas that I had never heard of before, but rather was given an excellent summary of the best of what web 2.0 and library 2.0 mean at the moment.
It was like going up in a hot air balloon and getting a wide picture of the 2.0 landscape, and Michael is an excellent guide.

Best practice
I did learn some new things, when Michael chose some real life examples to illustrate a point. Won't list them all here, but I have a long list of programs and websites to check out!

It's all about people
The phrase that had the biggest impact on me came near the end of Michael's talk, and it was something along the lines "the library encourages the heart, the library is human".
When I talk with colleagues about technology, especially social software type stuff, it always helps to bring the conversation back to the fact that it's mostly about people communicating with and connecting with other people. The technology is just a tool, and it's people and their conversations that are important.

Meeting Michael

Sometime in 2005 I discovered library-related blogs.

I had been reading library blogs since 1999 without realising what a blog was (for example, Jessamyn West's - back then they looked to me like normal web pages that were updated frequently and acted kind of like a diary.

I'm not sure what really started me onto library blogs in 2005 - maybe it was a comment on an email list, maybe an article in a library journal, but one of the first blogs I started reading was Tame the Web by Michael Stephens. Back then Michael worked in public libraries, trained people how to use the internet, and educated / enthused staff about new and emerging technology. He also was enthusiastic about library blogging, and through his blog I was introduced to a whole range of blogs written by people involved in library/information work, and information technology.

Over a period of about six months, I discovered an online community of peers who shared my professional interests and concerns. I did a lot of reading and only left comments or contributed to discussions on very rare occasions. Through the bloggers, I felt like I 'attended' major library conferences overseas. Library blogs helped me stay up to date with ideas and technology, all of which helped my day-to-day work, both on a strategic and operational level.

I felt my professional interests renew and refresh in a way that I don't think would have otherwise been possible, without the support of my online peers.

So it was a great thrill to be able to travel to Brisbane on March 13 to hear Michael Stephens give his Hyperlinked Library presentation at the State Library of Queensland. Better still, I managed to talk with Michael a couple of times during the day. To have the chance to meet in person, someone who has genuinely inspired me, has been the professional highlight of my year so far.

Thank you Michael for your generosity of time and your generosity of spirit to the library community.

(Michael covered a lot of Australia during his visit - organised by CAVAL).

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dusting off and blogging again

It's been a while since the last post, and that's OK.... my intention for this blog was to only blog conferences and training I attend, however in the last few weeks I've had my vision of all things web 2.0 renewed, and so I might try expanding this blog to more than just reporting of professional training.

There are many, many excellent bloggers out there who already write about issues that I'm interested in, so I don't think I'll try to create too much new content, but simply report on things that catch my eye, and maybe share an opinion or two about the issue.

In the next little while I hope to write some notes from two very excellent professional development opportunities I've recently taken part in: