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Friday 14 December 2007

More fun with weeding

Things found today:
  • a bunch of 1992 press releases from a company I've never heard of;
  • a government guide to decimal currency for businesses, prepared when NZ changed from pounds and shillings in 1967 - very cute and absolutely fascinating, but we've got copies in other branches where it's more likely to be used. I read it cover to cover before respectfully disposing of it;
  • a pair of books which perfectly fit our criteria to be disposed of (another copy in another branch; not quite in our subject area; have had practically no use) - but they were so lovely we couldn't bring ourselves to do it and they're now back on the shelves;
  • moths. As I pulled down several bundles of journals (tied together with binding tape a decade or so ago and clearly never touched since) a couple of moths flew out at me. I wasn't fast enough to dispose of them along with their erstwhile home, but with luck the tidier shelves will prove an environment too hostile for them to breed in.

Tuesday 11 December 2007

What, will these hands ne'er be clean?

Our library is soon to be getting a new and much-needed lift, to make room for which we are undertaking a large collection management exercise (aka "weeding", though I personally prefer the "pruning" metaphor - getting rid of both deadwood and of nice enough shoots in order to make the collection as a whole bear more fruit) in part of our collection.

While studying for my MLIS, in a temporary fit of determination to actually study, I came up with a mnemonic for twelve ways pruning could benefit a collection. I can't remember it anymore, but I'm still a great fan of the process, so this post title doesn't refer to any kind of guilt, but rather much more prosaically to the fact that, while we're working our way through this, for approximately 7.5 hours of each day my hands are grey with decades-old dust.

My favourite candidate for deaccessioning so far is Objections to removal of Fendalton shops: shops proposal in doubt (this link may not work for very long...). It was a slim A5-sized thing, the kind of quarter-flushing-type work our bindery used to do decades ago. I opened it up to find the barcode and discovered it wasn't a bound report; it was a pocket. A pocket containing two newspaper clippings. From 1966.

It's now being recycled. The relatively nice books (duplicates and such) we put out for students to browse through, but the really ridiculously thick-with-dust what-were-we-thinking? ones we put in the recycling bin; we're green that way. We've also been dismantling plastic ringbinders to extract the cardboard inside for recycling, and tearing apart spiral-bound reports to recycle the paper and throw out the wire/plastic. Today (possibly a little bored by now of wielding the "cancelled" stamp) I used some spiral-binding wire to make a bracelet for my sister (Merry Christmas!); and my colleague, inspired by the artistic possibilities in the length of wire I tore from another ancient report, made the sculpture you see above, which she's kindly allowed me to name "Lampshade".

Tuesday 4 December 2007

More fun things to do with Skype

We've been having a look at possible new designs for our library website and today we've been running usability testing on two favourites. What we do is have the tester in one room with a facilitator beside them, a note-taker behind them, and next door a group of observers watching a) a view of the computer screen and b) a closed-circuit video of the tester. (The note-taker is in the room in case the video link breaks. Testers are told other observers are watching but that we're not recording.)

Normally for the closed-circuit link we use video equipment booked and carted over from the AV department, but today when I arrived to do my duty as an observer I discovered they'd set it up using Skype instead. It worked well: there were problems with sound volume (a function of the hardware: we used our regular webcam, but a clip-on microphone for the tester would probably be better), but quality otherwise was just fine.

(The usability testing was, as usual, fascinating. Although it covered the library website as a whole, there were several points where testers were using the library catalogue (of which, I was recently part of a project group to find and fix as many things as we could fix for free in a short timeframe), and one question asked was if they'd noticed any of the multitudinous changes. Yes: they noticed the new colour scheme. On the plus side, they approve.)

Tuesday 13 November 2007

Web 2.0 and Library 2.0

(Rather belatedly: the text of my contribution to our institution's report-back session after the Lianza 2007 conference. I had a five-minute time limit or I wouldn't have composed a speech in such detail. Links are to my blog posts about each conference paper. The papers themselves are at the Lianza website.)

Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 are the buzzwords of the decade. They're all about the new kinds of interactive websites out there, and about the new ideas about getting our users participating in improving our libraries.

Last millenium (I love being able to say that) most web pages were just like a page in a book: someone wrote it, and a bunch of people came along and read it. This millenium, more and more websites are like a whiteboard where the person who owns it hands out a pen to everyone who comes to visit. So you get blogs where visitors can comment. Wikis where visitors can fix typos and add information. Websites where users can create social groups and share information with each other. All of that is Web 2.0.

Library 2.0 is the realisation that a lot of people like this approach -- sharing information instead of just taking it. And it's the idea that if we let people participate in the library like this, then they could help us make our services more useful to them.

This is a huge idea, which is why there's a lot of talk about it, both for and against. At the conference, I went to at least eight papers about it, so most of them I'm just going to skim over.

I'll start with the ones against -- or at least, the cautious ones. Peter Darlington talked about the IT perspective - about how they have to be careful with new technology, planning for the worst. Modern systems are extremely complex, so they have to make sure that anything added to it doesn't compromise its security, and doesn't make everything crash.

Andy Neale talked about how we don't have to jump on every bandwagon. We should focus on what we're trying to achieve: he was very keen on figuring out what you want to do first, and only then working out how you're going to do it technically.

Brian Flaherty and Paul Sutherland were more enthusiastic about Web 2.0. They did point out that there's no use in just setting up blogs and wikis if they don't actually add value to our services. But we can use modern technologies to make our search systems easier to use, for example. And we can use them to get users participating in the library.

Paul Reynolds talked more about users participating and creating content, and about harnessing that. We create subject headings, which is great, but if we let users add information about levels we don't look at, that'd be even better. Or if we let users present search results in a completely different format -- like showing books about Captain Cook on a map according to where they were published; or a Beethoven CD side-by-side with an encyclopaedia article about him; or an email every time a new book about cochlear implants is added to the catalogue. We don't have the time to do all this sort of thing ourselves, but if we made our data openly accessible then our users could do it.

All of this might sound pretty theoretical, so I'll get into some examples of what libraries have been doing. The University of Waikato has been creating interactive tutorials, online library tours, and podcasts (that's essentially blogging by voice instead of typing). A lot of the technology they used to do all of this was available for free on the web.

CPIT have been working on podcast library tours for the same reason as Waikato, so students can listen to them whenever and wherever they need them. They also created a video tour in NZSL, and they're wanting to do a tour in Te Reo. Again, they talked about focusing on the users, not the technology.

And for the same reason I want to mention the Dental Library at Otago -- they didn't use any new technology at all, but it was the same idea of getting students participating in their own learning. Instead of the normal library tour where students trail around listening passively, the Dental Library created a treasure hunt where the students were essentially creating their own tour.

So you don't need to use technology to get users participating in the library - but it can let you do some really amazing things. I'm going to finish up with the Horowhenua Library Trust. Their council asked them to help gather all the pieces of the local cultural heritage that were scattered among small organisations and private individuals. So they created a piece of free web software and they asked the people in their community to participate by adding their own information onto the website.

At the conference they played us a recording of a builder who'd never seen a computer in his life -- but within an hour and a half of going into the library, he was cataloguing images of machinery for them. They were overwhelmed with volunteers -- retired secretaries, people who'd say they could maybe do half an hour a day, and now they're doing it full-time, four days a week. People are logging in and adding information about photos that no-one else could identify.

Their view of Web 2.0 is of "radical trust": trusting their community to create their own library -- and by giving that trust, they're getting an amazing digital library that they couldn't ever have created without that community's participation.

Friday 26 October 2007

What non-librarians think of libraries

Rhonda Gonzalez is asking about the top myths about libraries.

One of the things we tried for Library Week here was an "In 2017, libraries will be..." display - shamelessly stealing the idea from National Library's LIANZA 2007 campaign and asking students what their vision of the library in ten years time will be.

Answers so far are on Flickr. We haven't got a huge number of responses, but we'll probably leave it up for another couple of weeks (ie until the end of exams) to see how it grows.

I'm now thinking towards next year's Library Week - say, a display showing "a day in the life of a librarian" with all the things we do in a day beyond issuing books....

Friday 19 October 2007

Full disclosure

Of course we did have glitches of varying problematicity over the week. In no particular order but my memory:

  • screensavers! We used our normal log-in to run the Skype stations, and so the screensaver kicked in every 15 minutes. At one point I fixed it to kick in only every 30 minutes; sekrit IT codes or something were needed to make it not kick in at all, and everything was always too hectic to actually get around to this.
  • speaking of hectic, it was the last week of term before end-of-year exams. I don't think the "too busy studying" thing actually had that much effect, but on Friday the "too busy getting drunk" thing definitely did.
  • in testing, a couple of us had weird video effects, like a yellow translucent bar down the middle of the screen; or our preview image showing pink; or video freezing. Perusing the Skype forums suggested using the older but more stable version - we switched accordingly and never had the problem again.
  • dropped calls for mysterious reasons. This often required one library phoning another as not all stations were visible from a service desk so they mightn't be aware of the problem. Hypotheses included mischievous students messing with it, screensaver issues, and gremlins. Once it was our wireless connection failing (though otherwise it behaved impeccably all week).
  • a couple groups of students making rude gestures and saying ruder things. Well, there's always a couple who'll drag the rest down.
  • quality was better at some libraries than others - blurry images, timelag, sometimes voice and image out of sync. Don't know whether this was equipment/computer-related, or bandwidth-related.
  • webcam out of alignment with screen, so eye contact fails. Not much way to fix this with present technology, but the problem was magnified for those of us who projected onto larger screens.
  • a computer blowing up. I didn't hear the full story behind that so like to think that it was just one of those things that happens, nothing to do with Skype, move along now...

Also - not a glitch exactly - it was only between two libraries at a time. Using different software that'd connect one-to-many, or many-to-many, would increase possibilities for sharing events. Of course at this time of year we were all too busy to think about extra events. And also one-to-many would make it much less private for students who wanted to talk to a friend or family member in another city. So, pros and cons; but it's something worth exploring if we do anything like this again.

And there has been talk of doing something like this again, perhaps in a different time of year - for example during Orientation, or after the settling-in period. So obviously it hasn't all been bad. :-) For myself, it's been a great buzz seeing it all come together, watching the students get so much use out of it, and each day meeting face-to-face more of the librarians who've made this such an amazing event.

Videochat station set up

(Wow, Blogger's code for images is rather intimidating.)

Okay, this isn't a very exciting picture and the quality's pretty bad because I haven't tried any sort of clean-up. There aren't any students in it because of library policy that photos with people require permission and I was feeling a tad lazy. And it's dark because I couldn't use the flash because the image was being projected.

That said, it gives an idea of how we set up the station: smartboard with image projected onto it; laptop sitting below connected to speakers and webcam. We put our webcam to the right, just above the poster showing the timetable. (Other things displayed were a library week banner, fliers showing the timetable and library tips, and a whiteboard naming the library we were connected to at any given time.) Internet was wireless which only caused a problem once, briefly, late in the week.

This image shows us connected to Lincoln University Library, in their student lounge. (Different libraries set it up in different areas - some near the main entrance, others near the service desk, etc. In my branch we had a good spot that let us combine these two: directly in front of the main entrance so it got lots of traffic, and next to the lending desk so we could quickly respond to problems, and also overhear and respond to students wondering among themselves what it was about.)

Some libraries had it just on a normal computer monitor, rather than projected onto a screen. This wasn't so visible, but it had the advantage that people could sit down at it. When one of our students wanted to sit down and chat with his sister we brought a chair over for him but it was trickier to adjust the camera angle.

I'll try and clean up some of my photos over the long weekend and hopefully post something slightly nicer when I'm back on Tuesday.

Thursday 18 October 2007

Videochat success stories

So far today:

  • I chatted with the librarian setting it up at her end, about some alternative ideas that have been raised in email discussions.
  • One of our students came along for a prearranged meeting for his sister in another university - they talked for about a quarter of an hour.
  • One of our postgrads asked whether it'd be possible to use it to talk to a librarian in another library to help with finding what resources that library has (presumably to then get through interlibrary loan). We didn't actually try this out and I'm not sure if he had a specific application in mind but it'd definitely be possible and is a neat idea.
  • Lots of people stopping to look, wave at people through the screen, and chatting with us at the desk about it - it's not so glamourous as the rest, but I think this sort of light interaction goes a long way to make us more approachable by users.

Other uses I've seen or heard about:

  • Helping a colleague in another branch sort out a problem with wireless access by having her turn her laptop screen to the camera.
  • Another couple of colleagues in different branches talking over the connection.
  • Keeping our manager (at the time in another branch) informed about developments here.
  • Colleagues being able to put faces to names they'd only seen before in emails.
  • Students having fun pulling faces at students in other libraries. :-)
  • A student in one branch seeing a friend in another: "There you are! I've been looking for you!"

Ideas being talked about:

  • using it in Orientation Week
  • using different software over the KAREN network to be connected to several libraries at once
  • possibilities for management purposes (our manager runs two branches so is constantly back and forth)
  • between interlibrary loan departments to save on toll calls
  • distance reference provision

(Well, at least I'm talking about the last two - but people are humouring me and agreeing that they're nice ideas.)

As I write this, there's a flurry of Twitter messages over the news that MySpace is going to embed Skype in its interface.

Wednesday 17 October 2007

Skyping for Library Week

Generally New Zealand's Library Week is very focused on public libraries but earlier this year I was asked to come up with some ideas for what we could do in our university library. I brainstormed with a couple of colleagues and somehow came up with the idea of getting together a network of uni libraries from all over the country to have videolinks set up between each pair, throughout the whole week.

A couple of months later, it's actually happened. I'm now typing this from our front desk with a good view of both my own branch and one of the other branches on campus, and we also have been and will be connected with other cities. 11 libraries are involved from 6 universities - for an example of the timetable seeour timetable - probably a temporary link.

How it works:

We're using Skype because it's free, easy to use, and I was familiar with it. :-) Each library has a computer station with webcam set up in a public area - here we're also projecting ours onto a large screen so it's very visible. The connection is set up to be permanently open for four hours per library, morning or afternoon - so students can see into the library and talk with whoever might be passing, or make a date with their friends to talk over the connection.

People were a bit shy of it to start with but they're getting more enthusiastic about it, particularly when the opportunity of talking to friends in other cities is pointed out. I've heard several students planning to text their friends - and people have passed on stories of students arriving at preplanned times to meet friends. Librarians have been using it too: one person phoned a colleague to come and talk over the connection about something, and I used it myself to talk a colleague through a laptop issue (she held the laptop screen up to the webcam so I could see what was going on).

Libraries being what they are I've been writing this post in bits and pieces over several hours so I'll stop here and post, but I'll come back later in the week and write more about the experience - glitches, success stories, ideas for future usage. For now I'll just say that it's been really great to see it up and running and getting so much interest from our students.

Wednesday 12 September 2007

Summary session: Engaging our customers

Vicki Darling & Sue Fargher

Vicki Referred to Ian Brooks; also mentioned Opinionmeter as useful tool. [I'll have more to say about this when I'm back too!]

Sue Vye suggested with all the knowledge we have sometimes we can be seen as intimidating. More references to Ian Brooks - had been feeling smug until he said "Lots of you will be thinking 'but I'm already doing that' - but you're not."

Talking in groups and then sharing what got out of conference.

  • Ian Brooks - customers with conflicting demands but didn't address the issue
  • Ian Brooks - managers making decisions in office - need to come to frontline and see what things are really like
  • how to find out what customers want - two did focus groups with teens but problems of volunteers who are those who come to library anyway. Tools don't always work.
  • making ourselves available to customers, listening to what they're saying. We do much telling of what we know; need to listen more. Paula Ryan pointed out that "one size fits all" actually fits no-one
  • Open Polytech library librarian and customer in same group - fast and easy - book ordered in pm delivered next morning. Different things work in different libraries.
  • listening to customers - spend much money on research but gets put in drawer because think current process is working. Customers want to know when books coming overdue and library has consistently ignored it. So don't just listen - act!
  • accessibility - first impressions count (both from Ian Brooks and Paula Ryan). Making systems and services accessible.
  • phone problems - [...I got lost in what was being said here, but something about thinking laterally in how to serve customers]

Listen. Reflect. Act.

Transformational leadership and its implications for the library profession

Debbie Dawson & Sally Lewis

Transactional leadership - focused on managing the status quo through transactions between leader and staff. Usually delivered by someone in a named leadership role. Focusing on individuals and development so performance contract can be achieved.
Transformational leadership - not necessarily attached to authority role - anyone can provide it. Some do it consistently, others around a particular purpose. Doesn't deal with status quo but with moving beyond current expectations into new territory. Ability to inspire and stimulate.
Both these styles are essential to a successful library. They're not the same; only rarely can the same individual excel in both of these. Both leaders must engage people: transformational leaders must engage hearts and minds for purpose of change.

Transformation threatens status quo though we don't know where we'll end up. "Change in kind, not just in degree" (Herb Kindler)

Consider incremental change when

  • the present system is adequate to support the desired vision and values
  • a backlog of cost-effective, incremental change options is available
  • the environment in which you operate is relatively stable and predictable (when was the last time this applied?...).

Consider transformational change when

  • the current system no longer yields acceptable progress toward your objectives
  • turbulent conditions require a fundamental change
  • you're prepared to address staff resistance re job security, maintaining competence in unfamiliar new system.

Not about what you know, it's about how you think.

Transformational leaders have: vision; courage; role-modelling; thinking-ability and intelligence; sense-making; decision-making; optimistic realism/realistic optimism; political savvy; self-management; patience & perseverance. Have to be alert, quick, sharp, and measured in their approach.

Courageous followers - Followers often see themselves as powerless and helpless, but can be powerful. Not afraid of hard work, taking on tasks to lessen load on team. Don't just mutely take orders, but challenge leader and contribute to team. Powerful - personal history, faith in self, influencing others, relationships they've established, power to leave organisation.

Will libraries nurture their transformational leaders?

Putting things in boxes and seeing things as one right way to do everything (eg literature search, perfect solution) vs requirement for courage to think independently and be assertive (eg courage to raise ideas, risk upsetting the status quo).

The requirement for transformations is unpredictable and ongoing.

Transform! From tourist to treasure hunter

Kate Thompson, Rosemary Kardos & Lynne Knapp
Lynne presenting - works in Dental library at Otago

Library tours/presentation tedious so treasure hunt - so students could take more responsibility for learning.
Induction programme to get them aware of self as beginner registered professional - raise awareness of services etc. Get them out of their comfort zone...

Science librarian had camp/treasure hunt for school students.

Hoped to be fun, breakaway from information overload, develop collegiality, learn library skills and learn why they might use libraries.

Covered a number of library sites and other campus hot-spots.


  • brainstorming
  • develop timeline
  • develop risk assessment matrix

    • risk of ripping books - solution only once open book, otherwise just call numbers and e-resources
    • risk of power failure!
    • main risk - creating sound clues

36 students in teaching lab - presentation, hands-on, then treasure hunt pack (including maps, guides to catalogue etc, keypoints of presentation, first of five cluecards). Grouped in pairs. 1.5 hours.

Cluecards specific to each library/hotspot. Once each card was completed, checked by librarian and given next card.

At end quick-fire quiz to recapitulate what learned; and evaluation where they reflected on it.

Now worthy of treasure. As well as knowledge got Colgate sponsorship with goodies.

Follow-up: two days later went into a class and presented special prizes to three of those who'd successfully completed quiz. Discussed what improvements would make for next year.

A month later, after had handed in assignments - asked how treasure hunt had helped.

  • improvement in written work - accessed more resources
  • greater awareness of uni services and campus
  • got to know each other


  • include Student Job Search, Sports Centre
  • consider competitive nature of some students
  • campus very spread out so need more time to complete and warn them to wear sensible shoes

What questions asked? Kate looked at what had been done. Wanted to learn basics of where things were. Use of books, use of electronic resources. Didn't want congestion or risk to physical materials.

Treaty 2 U, a touring exhibition: transforming the way our public engage with collections

Huria Robens
Changed way public engage with collections, and way materials have been presented.
Truck transforms into exhibition space - tripling in size. Uses hydraulics to lower floors, etc. Takes 6 people 2 hours to set up. Entrance tent like bouncy castle kept erec by fan feeding air inside. Inside van lights mounted, walls moved into position. Sight, sound, video, cartoons... Offered range of free resources as leaving (brought many of these to this session too).

Huge success so second tour schedured. Third tour July07-08 to secondary schools - schools need to book in. Launched Treaty2U website where can see much of the content. First installment up - more installments to come.

Example of how a theme can drive a product/project.

strategic plans - professional development for staff on te tiriti - what does Treaty2U contribute to this? Tours nation-wide self-guided. Many councils sent all staff through. What staff got through was up to them. (98% of people said "thanks so much for coming - I didn't know this stuff". Free resources a big hit. :-) Some emotionally affected. Muslim school where had to keep boys and girls separate. With schools break out into activities - this works well for professional development too.)
Understanding Treaty different from implementing it - do you cover this? No, this is intro to Treaty only.

The EPIC LIANZA Training Initiative: transforming online skills training

Craig Cherrie & Fiona Rigby
"Paula Ryan's upstairs."

[this wasn't so full of new ideas, more a report back, so I haven't taken many notes - my own random thoughts-to-self are in square brackets.]

Have moved from card catalogue to "It's a jungle out there" (Vye Peronne). Real challenge for librarian at desk. Soothing white space of google - (best friend or false friend?)

Customers often don't go with best, they go with quickest. [My thoughts: Cf Ian Brooks: we shouldn't give them bad experience of telling them off, or trying to force them into searching complicated resources: should offer them the options: "You can do this and get quick but poor results, or do that and get good results but take time." If they have a good experience now they'll come back for other, more complicated services later.]

Continuing professional development issue. [This definitely accords with Ian Brooks: can't give users options if staff don't know what they are!]

EPIC LIANZA training initiative - to train the trainers. [Provide training to all college tutors?] Focus on online skills, not just databases: core strategies that you can use across a range of online resources. [cf Learning 2.0] Set up online forum using Ning.

Launch of trainers sometime in the next few weeks.

online resources only accessible to trainers? Yes because copyrighted and for trainers' use. But can be adapted for library use. If a district doesn't have a trainer, best to go through training - resources quite a thick wodge.

if get training, can we get materials to on-train? Yes there's a part of package designed to be handed out. They feel written material isn't a substitute for training.

what characterises your training? (as opposed to 'geek approach')? Instead of presentation and powerpoints, give a context of information request - series of guided questions - thinking about next step, point of failure, etc. [Adaptible for teaching how to go about assignments?]

thoughts on online vs face-to-face for teaching? Everyone learns differently - some prefer elearning, some prefer face-to-face. Use both to support each other - elearning can't be only vehicle.

"Unless encouraged [etc], people won't go to the best sources, they'll go to what they know."

Keynote Address

Ian Brooks his notes about this session (but such a great talk I took notes anyway)

Reckons we're passionate about potential of library service; frustrated that users not as passionate about it, so we don't have the resources. Thinks he has solutions which will require us to think differently about things. Giving checklist against which to evaluate our performance.

Himself is frustrated when people think they're doing what he's talking about - but they're not. He's talking about a fundamentally different way of running organisations.

Talked about experience coming here (wonderful new building) to talk - no mirror, no water, no coffee; in bathroom mirror, washbasins, urinal universally too low. Experience for user is vital.

Different customers, different needs -> conflict -> our job is to manage these needs. 82% say quality of interaction more important than quality of products/services; both of these more important than price. Bar has been raised -- old stuff is important but people won't notice, they'll notice their experience interacting with us. If we were surveyed about this room we wouldn't say "The carpet was a good idea" - but if it wasn't there we'd notice! Our customers want everything a library should have and good experience.

Suggests inspirational customer experience so:

  • more people want to come - don't underestimate word-of-mouth. Organisations where people saying good things grow four times as quickly as others. Do we measure word-of-mouth? Do we let people walk out ready to tell people how bad their experience was? (Is at war with Vodaphone - asked to make a complaint - was told to put it in writing. So he writes a column for NZ Busines...) We need people to leave our library in such a frame of mind that they want to tell people how great an experience they had.
  • people are happy to pay fees and charges (or tell city council/registry that they want us to be paid) - the more problems a customer has with you, the less keen they are to pay fees. Quality experience -> willingness to pay.
  • people are happy to come back and use your other services
  • people are inspired to tell others about it all

Not enough to make users happy; have to make users inspired - make them a crashing bore at their next party to tell people about how great we are. People like telling stories - we need to make sure the stories are positive and not negative. Brings in more people, more money - and more job satisfaction.

We live in a world where customers are outraged and managers are delusional. 80% of managers say "We're doing a great job of looking after our customers." 8% of their customers agree. Managers mostly don't have regular meaningful contact with customers.

Put yourself in the customers' shoes. We intellectualise things. (Story of restaurant where breakfast room freezing, duty manager had just found out, hadn't gone down to see but reckoned he understood because he'd been told about it by staff.) Customers don't get unhappy, they get outraged. 73% of customers in NZ say we've had a really bad customer experience in the last year. So bad -> headaches, shouting, swearing, chest pains, throw things, break things. (The name Vodafone makes him wince - he wants to quit but is stuck for 18 months unless he pays so will spend the next 18 months hating them and talking about how much he hates them.)

What percentage of our day is spent thinking about internal issues and what percentage about customer experience? When we discuss things, do we think of it from customer pov? Need to put customer first.

  • customers aren't important to our business, they are our business. (In Ashburton went giftshopping and overhead storeowner and other shopkeeper: first said "Having a customer is a privilege and if you think like that when you're with a customer you'll create an experience that makes them want to come back.")
  • put customers first: Many of our policies put us first - they make things easier for the library, not for the customer. (Eg drinks cart on plane "unable to accept silver coins" -> "our bank won't allow us to accept silver coins" - he phoned BNZ and they don't mind!)
  • need to learn about customers (at Chch City Library "hearing what they say" - whenever any customer said anything to any staff, staff would deal with it and write it down; looked at weekly; aggregated up and up and up so every three months head of entire library systems could look at them.) Make it easier for customers to complain! Suggestions even better; questions tell us about needs that aren't met. (86x "What time does the shuttlebus leave?" gets a bit wearing. That tells you something - "but we've got a sign up!" -> Well it ain't working!) Challenge: every month need to identify at least one thing you're doing differently based on something learnt from customers.
  • walk in customers' shoes. His wife listens to bad customer service explanations etc then calmly says "If you were in my shoes, what would you want to see happen?" ... "Oh, alright, just don't tell anyone I did this for you..." Would avoid 50% of problems if we looked at things from customers' pov. Cf Required fields on webforms vs fields not required: What do we get our customers to do that aren't necessary?
  • Get staff to be advocates for customer, not for library. Staff shouldn't offer library excuses to customer, but listen to what customer wants and telling this to managers. And managers should see staff doing this as voice of customer.

How to behave to create this experience?
Don't sit there and say "Yeah, we do that?"
It's our job to be proactive, not reactive. Management by walking around. Watch staff, body language, hear tone of voice
Basic level

  • availability

    • have to be physically available when the customer wants you - 6% of customers will walk out and not come back if someone not available. When we have a bad experience we tell 9 other people. If can't get people available, this is a problem for us to solve
    • have to be psychologically available - give attention to customer, not computer screen.

  • appearance matters - 92% say how staff member looked affected expectation of service. In NZ we're informal->casual, possible ->disrespectful
  • listen: 49% say problem was staff not listening. If not listening will give wrong answer. ("I'm looking for something--" -> "Oh, it's over here." -> "No, I'm looking for something *like* this but different." -> "Oh, it's over there." -> rinse and repeat.) Need to develop listening skills.
  • make it fast and easy - 24% complained that had to wait too long to be served, 36% too long to pay. Get customer groups and find out where it's slow and where it's hard.
  • know our stuff - 47% surveyed said quality of service could be improved through better staff training. Not just own business but all stuff that people might ask us. People don't want to hear 'no', they want to hear 'yes' or at least 'I don't know but I'll find out.' Induct *before* people get in front of the customer.

Intermediate level

  • take responsibility - think about what can do, not what can't do for customer. Customer has taken effort to bring problem to you (demonstration with him hefting chair = problem) and don't want to be told to go to other side of the building up six flights of stairs
  • make an effort
  • be genuine and honest - admit mistakes, be upfront about what can/can't do. "The flight is delayed because of engineering requirements" = "We broke the plane and want to fix it before you get on."
  • be polite and respectful - research in NZ complains people don't say please/thank you/sorry. "I need your credit card" -> "May I please have your credit card." If you have to tell customer something they don't want to hear at least say sorry.
  • be friendly, caring, enthusiastic - 61% want to be greeted. 36% said friendly enthusiastic most important


  • get to know them. Use their name. Regular customers, find out their preferences. Find out how they want to be treated. Ask them what they want.
  • walk in their shoes
  • give them control - give them options.
  • go the extra mile - look for problems which your customers would love you to solve but can't expect you to solve. They'll be impressed, tell others all about it and get new people in your door.

Customer service not means to end of library service - library means to end of customer service. Organisation and everything in it needs to become customer driven. Put customers first in everything we do.

Each staff member each minute of each day should treat customers as if our future depends on them - because it does.

LIANZA fellowship presentations

Presented by Glen Walker to

  • Brian Marshall (map librarianship for 34 years; teaching students and staff re map management, esp at Uni of Auckland; founded what became NZ Map Society)
  • Ross Harvey (library academic, teacher, researcher, writer, lecturer in NZ and overseas) (accepted on his behalf by Janet Copsey

(Yesterday I missed the presentations to John Stears and Rowena Cullen)

Welcome to Wednesday

Library Week blog to be up soon.
Paula Ryan session to be filmed by the media.

2008 conference in Auckland Sky City Convention Centre 28 Sept - 1 Oct. Beverly Fletcher will be convenor.

Tuesday 11 September 2007

Your library virtually everywhere: using what you have to give them what they need where and when they need it

Ruth Ivey & Kay Young
(Room jam-packed - had to bring in extra chairs and close the door on people.)

Tutorials, virtual tour developed

Tours (Ruth)
Online versions of what already offering face to face - wanted it where and when needed. 2 years research and development. First-time users link to download flash. Modules - much scripting. Design encourages interaction. Can work through or go to topics or select a module. Refer to other modules but no live links to avoid people straying and getting lost.

Interactive activities time-consuming to create but very successful. Eg Boolean connector - AND Have had requests from other libraries to use all or part of WISE for themselves.

Virtual tour uses online campus map as recognisable. Tours took 6months to create - not in colour until live. Also interactive with guided tour using 'next' or clicking on floor - each floor different colour. Went live beginning A semester for Central, B semester for Education. On tour can choose location or choose resource

Legal Research Skills (Kay)
Time pressure. Couldn't just deeplink into WISE but gave opportunity to give a legal slant. Could piggyback off research done. List of modules, index of resources covered. Drag-and-drop puzzles, quizzes, polls. Radio-style and songs. :-)

Podcasting very easy
Microsoft Producer free if Office - but creates ginormous files, slow to download even on campus!
Snagit for capturing and annotating screenshots (not free)
Audacity to record webcast mp3 files. Just recorded in office with phone turned off.
Hot Potatoes for games and quizzes - free for public websites
Picasa for editing photos

Learning experiences (both)

  • Research - looked at lots of other online tutorials.
  • Useful to develop common vision, agreed goals, limits etc at start.
  • Communication - ongoing vital. Much drawing. Timelines essential (never kept to them!) to give way of tracking progress. Any scripting or instructions had to be very clear on communication so all needed to be standardised. Documenting everything absolutely necessary
  • Talent-spotting - enthusiastic amateurs as useful as professionals. Check out free resources. Look at talents of team around you. Used whole team.
  • Funding - having no money restricted options so allowed quick decisions!
  • Learning preferences - catering for different learning methods: audio, visual, puzzles, etc. Varying voices by age/gender/ethnicity for webcasts.
  • Usability - navigation important. Simple. If difficult for you then difficult! Usability testing crucial.
  • Promotion - promoted through academics (some put on course site); postcards in course packs; screensavers in library; newsletters; photos of tour on website which clicked through to tours. Related assignment.
  • Monitor - Poor response to online survey (common for online surveys) so will repeat with face-to-face class. Subject librarians monitor pages to make sure kept up-to-date. Tours need changes regularly; have added to legal research tutorial too.
  • Fun - started without humour but too flat; then put in, usually at end so people had choice whether or not to use them. Work sometimes tedious so needed to be fun for staff too. Often those had most fun creating have had best success on.

other libraries ask if can use - do you allow use? - Linking to it have okayed. Some ask for files - send them to web developer.

Assessment - didn't have time at the time but looking to do it. Probably quiz-based which not happy with but haven't had better idea.

(thought to self - maybe don't call tutorials 'infolit', 'tutorials', etc but "about the library' 'how to use the library', 'what the library has'?)

You don't have to meet everyone's needs all of the time

Andy Neale
Had handout for 50 people but a couple hundred people there...

Idea of maximising user satisfaction against resources. Really complicated/expensive solutions can be done but not priorities.

Find focus - narrow in on what trying to achieve.
Find key users - make the majority happy first. Eg Papers Past 48% were family historians. If make them happy, that's half already and probably helps make other users happy too. Could also choose to focus on minority as a growth market - but majority better start.

Ladder of progression: browsers -> searchers -> researchers. Use as model of user motivations etc. Start with user research you already have to understand motivations. Individual interviews with target users to get into head, work out what they're trying to achieve.

Focus on important features - the fewer features created the more resources to focus on each. Happy User Peak - point at which don't need to add features, because after this slowly gets too complicated and users start getting confused, etc.

Don't listen to everyone. If various people say "green", "blue", "pink", "orange" and you try to mix them all - you just get mud.

Nielsen says "Don't listen to anyone". If you ask people what they want they'll say something but it mightn't be true. Instead observe -> usability testing. Neale very keen on comparative usability studies. Run tests on other peoples' websites. (cf handout) Lets you narrow down features you want to implement before you've even implemented them.

Build capabilities.

  • 37 signals developed Ruby on Rails. Suggest starting with visual design first and programming second. (Book online.)
  • Agile development - over time the cost of implementing changes and fixing bugs increases. Catch them early reduces cost.
  • Use design patterns - documented solutions to known problems. Other people have done anything you're likely to do - copy them instead of reinventing the wheel. Yahoo has design pattern library released.
  • Use third party aplications - let other people build your applications. Many mega-companies building functions, why should we rebuild them instead of piggybacking/reusing? Many factors but things we should be looking into.

    • flickr - if Matapihi didn't exist, why not use flickr instead of building and maintaining new services? (Not suggesting getting rid of existing services though.)
    • Google Coop - custom search lets you refine google results to create own search engine. Only works for content already exposed to Google. Neale has played with some NatLib sights to simulate federated search. Particularly interesting now WorldCat's up. (National Library of NZ collections) Papers Past online 10 days ago, already indexed by Google.

Narrow in on core user needs and what people will be satisfied with. Simple, cheap solution may meet 60-70% of need. Lets you spend other resources on more advanced needs. Not necessarily final goal but good start and worthwhile.

Source urls: (I don't know what this is as haven't had time to follow it...)

IT/library relationships: understanding the IT perspective

Peter Darlington
Obligatory Paula Ryan joke. :-)

Talking about taking a leap out of libraries into IT. Different but a lot in common as well.
Started in basement of NatLib. Experienced earthquake there - fantastic - sounded like train - everything swaying, sewer pipes above heads.
Later at help desk at NZBN. When talked to computer guys then they'd tut-tut as if answer too far over heads.
Got job with newfangled PC network though hadn't seen one before. Access a key issue.Customer service <- network <- join up networks to make a better one
Internet came around at same time as did self out of job by joining networks together. But had learned tremendous amount in meantime of running network.
Got job in IT for money; influence decision-making; make business work better - tech is a great business-enabler.

Why are IT people so evil?
Look up "BOFH" on google....
Tricky part of new job was learning how to be disliked - had to make unpopular choices. Eg everyone using different applications., and he brought in a single package - robably not forgiven yet.

  • performance is king - needs to be dependable. Everything affects everything else like an ecosystem.
  • security - viruses, spyware, etc - you can't do anything but you're safe...
  • complex sstems - new things affect old things
  • cynicism - - coming out of bad solutions. Trying to limit number of new projects because of things falling over.
  • planning for the worst.

Neat ideas automatically filtered up through all these points - if it survives then IT will be on board.

Living with the enemy

  • learning to speak the language - living in the digital world - being comfortable with the stuff and knowing what things can do.
  • understanding the repercussions - two sides to every fence
  • learning about the business -
  • getting involved - bring own skills into it projects
  • learn about processes and projects

My inconsequential view: Informational literacy among customers as important to it as to reference; good at description/classification; letting customers loose.

Comment that need to educate them about your own needs

re building relationships - developing trust vital but informally what about service level agreements? - If you must have them, keep it simple. And remember 'agreement' is negotiated, not forced on you.

often translating what IT role back to clients - how can a client deal with when X blames Y and Y blames X for a problem? Don't know - is in a small organisation so not an issue.

still happy with having combined library and council networks (as library needs less security)? Nowadays can separate network but keep connected.

Access it: encouraging the new generation to engage with your library

Jane Robinson
(Julie Batchelor was to be here but AirNZ cancelled her flight.)

CPIT project. Three on team - reference librarian; academic in infolit, elearning; disability coordinator

Many students not coming in to tours as just not the right time for them. Wanted tour available to them at the right time and in the right format.

Thought about

  • users' expectations - read much about web 2.0 - people wanting to engage with library in different ways
  • social software; wanted to be "engaging students where they live"

Had idea of library tour but went on to do different things as well.
Wanted to focus on deaf students, students with specific learning needs, and Te Reo speakers. (Want to do podcasting in Te Reo.)

Branding important - to claim materials as your own, tie everything together and give it a theme.

Podcast library tour - audio in English with stills; video in NZSL; audio in Te Reo with stills hoped for. Other ideas: screen readable formats for print resources; use of 'read and write' software for text->MP3; braille-ready information; digital recorders for individual student needs ($100 from Dick Smith) eg instead of taking notes in lectures.

Endnote example: a couple of stills and then speech for three minutes.

Into public setting - podcasting of book reviews.
Advertising - slot in radio, in newspaper.
Enhanced podcasts - include video clips


  • what technology? - Windows MovieMaker good for audio but not video. So moved to Mac (GarageBand) which is set up for creating podcasts - saved a lot of time and hassle to use this.
  • need of buy-in - need to communicate well with staff to disseminate technologies, and empower and get buy-in
  • pedagogically-driven - not just for the sake of the tech
  • reliance on specialists - much reliance on tech experts
  • time issues - fun but time-consuming
  • haven't had time for many great ideas as initial development work has taken a lot of time
  • continuity - shot on two different days and NZSL signer wearing different clothes

Where to from here?

  • recording of lectures with dictaphone as has most potential

Compatibility - audio with all mp3 players, video only iPod
How promoted - not promoted yet

Kete Horowhenua: a community-built digital library

Joann Ransom
Played audio of builder who's never seen computer in his life but within hour and a half of entering library was cataloguing images etc of machinery for Kete.

Had problems in the historical sectors aof aging and dying volunteers, huge backlog. "Digital library building in my inbox". Council concerned. Much stuff in private hands; much in people's heads. Researched initiatives offshore, licensing options, etc.

Important to develop with open source. Brainstormed what records it could draw on from various databases, various organisations.
Greenstone considered but rejected because suitable for something creative and published whereas Kete needs to be dynamic
Ruby on Rails - development framework and Zebra indexing engine. - tested on 10million records with Koha - works with Koha.

Developed on the fly. 3 instances of server: development, test, live. Has allowed very rapid development and kept librarians involved in building. Content added even while developing - as soon as anything available.

Needed volunteers - advertised in newspaper "interesting work, lousy pay" - overwhelmed with replies, retired secretaries etc. 20 regulars working from home."I can do half an hour a day I guess" - now working four days a week.

Radical trust concept - being afraid isn't a reason not to do it.
Creative Commons - content may be amended etc but not for commercial use, credit original author, derivative work on same terms.

Web 2.0 stuff included - the new sudoku - people can go in and play. contact people with similar interests online or offsite (opt-in).

Catalogued in natural language; people can add extra tags. Topics point to diferent file types.
With clean screen didn't know what to look for so provided various access points including featured topics, keyword search, latest 5 topics. Browse list of entire contents arranged by formats in tabs. Random image as slideshow. Featured baskets (locked baskets - administered by owners and protected from editing but viewable).

Text edit - wiki. Allows image and tables etc. Templates for creating topics.

Successful: it's local, belongs to community, it's "ours" - people like to help build a fence, build a database... valuable, non-threatening (teaching IT virgins) - pride in itpersonal, easy to find stuff, addictive!

Problems solved: no backlog, originals safe, working on unidentified photos, raised profile, getting more donations now proved that it'll be looked after,

What next:
Have got more funding to strip out customisation and let people download software to use for self. Kete 1.0 in November. Guided install and skin module.Mass import. Establish a community.

Other kete in process - in Florida, Taranaki (Working on bilingual, adding Maori Subject Headings, building Taranaki wordlist), Chinese Ass. of NZ (working on federated searching). (More info contact Rachel @ Katipo)

Lessons learnt:
don't underestimate application forms for funding
short time between expession of interest and full application
be scrupulous in record keeping

More success stories of variety of older community members participating - dedicated community

The Digital Content Strategy: what's in it for libraries?

Sue Sutherland
No written paper accompanies it because need to read the strategy itself.

It's a whole of government / whole of country strategy. Genesis in Digital Strategy 2005 with three Cs - connection, content, confidence. NatLib given task of developing digital content strategy. Received 90 submissions inuding composite submissions so huge amount of info to absorb.Won't be a strategy for five years as everything changing. Virtual strategy so will be updated/modified as things cchange.

Four influencing factors

  • public digital space - formal/informal, public/rivate
  • high-speed broadband
  • digital convergence
  • content on demand - ease of use and easy of discovery - if not, won't be used - how do we ensure our content is visible?

Five element framework

  • creating and protecting digital content

    • need to think about access and protection directly when it's being created - tension between control of rights and availability of information
    • responses include creative commons for NZ - building iCT skills and knowledge individually, not just the techies. - participate in debate on cultural content

  • accessible and discoverable content

    • challenge to optimise content for search (standards etc) and others
    • new initiatives: te reo maori and pacific languages metadata project (between NatLib, Te Papa, Archives NZ to develop metadata standard); digital NZ; research NZ (funded TEC and unis fudning institutional repositories)
    • responses include: digisation, adoption of interoperable standards, indexes online, repositories, accessibility on other devices eg cellphones

  • sharing and using content

    • new initiatives - stats NZ to get data online and accessible; national heritage; people's Network;
    • responses: unlock public content, free internet access, web 2.0 strategies

  • managing and preserving

    • digital archives preservation, documenting creative and performing arts project

  • digital content is understood

    • world internet project - international study out of AUT to get data on impact of internet on everyday lives
    • responses - read, read, think!

Keynote address - TraNZform... or Die

Roy Tennant
Libraries were created to pool resources to be able to provide to people who can't afford them. - "buying clubs"
In past used to go to a library - Now go to google.
In past used t thmb through card catalogue - Now

  • Amazon, (some librarians say hard to find in catalogue so go to Amazon first and then catalogue once have title in hand) Many students familiar with finding boks on Amazon - know how easy and effective - then come to our library and are dismayed. Why hard in library?
  • Google Books - entire libraries being digitised (copyright problems.

Being social then - in libraries to get a date in foyer. :-) Now on MySpace You can initiate IM, find out when friends are online. Facebook (started in colleges, now opened up to all). Twitter (keep up with what friends are doing right now - useful at conferences to find out quickly which programmes you should be at; where to meet people at bar etc - if wireless acces ).
Reasons for users to come to us are dropping away.


  • We no longer conger control access to information - lots of other places to get it.
  • Have to collaborate outside of the profession. (Hence WorldCat and Google).
  • "Our need for inventory control should not define our discovery systems" - need one discovery environment that brings together books, journal articles, etc in one place - this is our users' first assumption. This is what Google does and they're used to.
  • Some of our professional standards are archaic. - ("MARC must die") - need to build infrastructure that allows Dublin Core, museum/art/etc standards - to index and display any metadata we come across. Willing to let MARC die of old age rather than murder.

What to do?

  • "Wake up and smell the coffee" - things are changing and have changed. New reality -
  • Our users

    • have lives - don't want to spend time learning how to use you - they have other things to do
    • don't enjoy pain - don't enjoy having to standaon heads to figure out archane system - want things to be easy.
    • satisfice - "this is good enough" - only willing to put in a certain amount of effort for a certain gain - effort/time different for each thing / dependent on mood.
    • seek efficiencies - want to make sure time is spent well.
    • are diverse - generational differences, but with caveats. Millenials are diverse too!
    • their needs are diverse too - change from one day to the next.

  • Our systems

    • we don't have one system but many: catalogue, databases, website, etc etc etc - and not obvious wheich to use when. Requires librarian intervention almost every time.
    • painful to use - view with fresh eye, as if new to uni - - esp in comparison o Google
    • don't offer everything users expect - expect everything at once. Or everything we have.
    • are tailored for our use, not theirs - designed by librarians for librarians - Berkeley system is a good bad example
    • don't enable activities similar sites allow (eg Amazon has wish list, can enter review, rating) - cognitive mismatch of what expect and what get.

  • Print collections

    • important but not as much as we think
    • enhangeced by access to other collections
    • increasingly exposed to wider audience so
    • will increasingly be called on by others (->doc delivery)

  • Our services

    • need review in light of user need
    • may not be what we've done in the past - forget same old. Will have to stop doing some things. Prioritise based on users
    • may be at network level, or regionally, or locally, or a combination - connect to consortia, world level, ... OCLC putting our library books into google. Increasing mix of where service happens.

Focus on strengths

  • the long tail - Amazon can have records of books that are no longer being actively published, eg used books, rare books, etc. Might sell one of a given title every couple of years, but the number of titles might make this greater volume than volume of popular titles. Personalisation features, user recommendations to move from popular to obscure.. Libraries likewise have a lot of unique stuff on offer.
  • More than 20 million worldcat records have only a single holding attached. - more than 25%10 or more 7 or more; 2% 100 or more.
  • bring unique content to network - eg kete project. Calisphere - digitised California history, wrapped into themed subpages, tailored to specific audiene and need.
  • participate in large aggregations - info re collections so people can discover us in new ways - find us on the interneteg WorldCa. (registry of libraries to give key info about libraries - keeps IP addresses. OpenURL link resolver to allow Google -> WorldCat -> your library.) (*Can these be used to instead of location information?)
  • get really really good at doc delivery - material getting exposed more so need to be good at shipping around
  • become part of the grid - machine ways that things knit together. - wouldn't it be good to see on worldcat results page whether book is on shelf or not. --API at NCSU API for their catalog to let software communicate with other software. Service so if send query re bok id it'll send back info to tell you if book is on shelf or not.
  • info may want to be free but it isn't - searching on Google scholar things still cost. - So this is still one of our strengths, to license resources on users' behalf.
  • recognise our biggest cost center: staff get efficient at using staff.Need to use staff to best advantage
  • strive for efficiency in basic or redundant activities eg "marking and parking" (accessioning); chicking books in and out;
  • Find place on curve and adjust it as need be. (Curve of innovativeness - innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, laggards) "Neither an early adopter nor a laggard be" - wait for bugs to be shaken out but don't wait so long that it's no longer popular!
  • create an agile organisation -

    • use standing committees for communication -
    • create task forces to accomplish work - can get the right people. When taks finished, disbands.
    • Use best people for the job - janitor if need be if they have knowledge that's important for that task.
    • reward innovation. - people who take risks and put heart and soul into work
    • punish loitering - at least don't advance them. (Libraries bad at that because we hate confrontation)
    • take risks - some things won't go anywhere, but need to try
    • invest in infrastructure - eg people. Don't make expensive resource be wasted waiting for computer to slow computer. Let staff come to conferences, professional development

  • Become agile yourself

    • take responsibility for own professional development - need to be absorbing info all the time
    • make strategic learning decisions - can't learn everything, so triage. Quick look, enough info to assess whether it's something that'll impact soon. - Ignore some things to pay attention to important ones
    • learn as you breathe - all the time without thinking of it.. Pick up journal, blog, etc to keep up to date
    • take risks (individually) - "beg for forgiveness rather than ask for permission" - usually works out...
    • strive for flexibility; thrive on uncertainty - world changing
    • be ahead of the organisation - organisations are slow, conservative by nature for good reason. They can get stultified so individuals have to be pushed, dragged, et forward.

What will work

  • know clientele - recognise they change over time
  • learn new technologies - what's available and appropriate to serve needs
  • imaginatively apply those technologies to serve unique needs of users - users won't tell us what to do, they don't know what the ossibilities are. Find out how they think, work, and we apply experience/knowledge to problem
  • provide easy access to what they want, how and when they wan it. - to their desktop where possible.
  • market services well!!! Often great services that no-one knows about

  • rinse and repeat

Re vendors not being innovation - Vendors want to be successful ie to sell product to you. If they hear from customer that product is substandard then they'll listen. [From vendors' perspective they feel we're pushing against innovation.] Can often push them forward by doing things outside vendor systems eg NCSU with Endeca - got lost of attention and got attention by other vendors. Open source eg Koha, Evergreen - when vendors see this they get nervous and busy. So don't be quiet - talk to vendors about what we want

Re putting services out to where clients are - how does this scale - myspace and facebook etc, what do we pick, and what when everyone's left facebook? OCLC can play at this level in the way individual libraries can't. So cooperative solution rather than individual library, to let libraries be there but don't have to put effort in individually.
Followup: currently works with WorldCat and holdings - but is the same model going to work with Vufind etc? --Holdings via Worldcat, individual library via Facebok API. So complementary.

Digital Content Strategy - how would you mash up a whole country? Once things described could be mashed up in all sorts of ways through harvesting. People should be able to find things in all sorts of different ways. Once stuff described then all sorts of opportunities to expose in all sorts of other systems. This one strengths of intrnet to focus on own content and everyone benefit from what everyone else is doing.

(My thoughts

  • market in Canta - regular columns!
  • study how students study (cf study already done elsewhere if I can find it again...)

Monday 10 September 2007

Poster Showcase Event

Fairly exhausted by now but talked briefly with the people showing the poster re Auckland Uni Library's catalogue tutorial "Te Punga". Black and white version for people with slower connections. They did three lots of usability testing, before during and after, in developing it - tweaked things as a result but the basic graphic novel format got their interest right from the start.

Web 2.0 - Library 2.0: myths and realities

Paul Reynolds
(blogs at McGovern Online)

Inevitable Paula Ryan joke - comments that he's put on a tie.

"I have always imagined the information space as something to which everyone has immediate and intuitive access, and not just to browse, but to create." --Time Berners-Lee (Possibly overstating things...)

Web as platform - as opposed to desktop. Internet as the place "in which we all live and breathe." User controls own data. Web 2.0 privileges the user. "The core creator, formerly known as the user, formerly known as the audience."

Key ideas

  • Individual production and user generated content - radical decentralisation of information and content. Of course there are some rubbish blogs. But lets people engage at the level they want to - whether regular or irregular, serious or silly.

    • Acknowledges Christchurch City Library blog - esp sending people up to festival. Hyperlink from blog to catalogue.
    • Hokianga exhibition blog
    • NZ Book Month blog - voice started stiff, now unwinding, relaxing. (Need to watch the voice. Interesting to find a blog you like, and look back to see how the voice has developed.)
    • Beattie's Book Blog - criticised as being 'too prolific' (posting 3-4 times a day)! Working on voice but hasn't found it yet as too excited about what he's doing.

    Technorati - indexes blogs. For a blog to work it needs to be connected with other blogs.
    Mashups; personalised pages with embedded content from other websites.
  • harnessing the power of crowds - folksonomies (tagging, flickr,, etc
  • data on an epic scale: "Invisible rain is captured by web 2.0 companies and turned into mighty rivers of information. Rivers that can be fished." (from powerpoint) -> mash-up - the programmable web. Where are the programmable applications coming out of libraries? Imagine your knowledge assets - photos, texts etc - tagged onto a map.

    • Goocam
    • - citizen created content site following what government is up to. (Includes development blog.)

  • architecture of participation - opening up not just code to developers but content production to all users.

    • TradeMe - works because thousands of traders doing it

  • networking effect - the more people on a network the more effective it becomes (some contentious research on this
  • openness

    • open api (application programmable interface) - bit of software to go somewhere, get a bit of data, bring it back, do something with it; or something built by owners of data to let others take it away.
      • Te Ara: authoritative content, great website, wonderful, unique, doesn't get enough credit - not another site in the world does the same thing so well. And 10-year project - there'll be a lot more, including more clever pieces of software. But - its own world, its own sense of control - never going to become wikipedia, and shouldn't - provided it "opens the windows", using APIs to allow exporting data out to school sites, student learning area, federated searching, etc
      • Matapihi: same thing: great site but need work to 'open the windows'
      • 100% Pure New Zealand layer on Google Earth
      • the fitch: a record re reference queries - fits into a wiki - can be built on. When a customer comes to a reference desk, they're the pulse of the community. Done around keywords, which are represented as tags, and new items in each tag can be sent out as RSS feed.

    • standards
    • public data.

  • putting it all together

    • formal - informal
    • taxonomy - folksonomy
    • closed (can't use without permission) - open (mashable by default)
    • them - us
    • network - our space (not just a place to get stuff, but a tool space)

  • Digital Content strategy five-element framework - creating, accessing, sharing, managing, understanding. Where does this leave libraries? - library websites has to dance to these principles - allow peoples' stories to be up alongside formal catalogue etc. But not just putting into repository and sitting there; put into context. Web 2.0 should be a participatory space. It's not a fad sitting over there in a corner.

No time so go to his website!

Te Reo catalogue made easy: Hamilton City Libraries

Smita Biswas & Whetu Marama Te Ua

Using just own content management system - dreamweaver etc.
Inspred by PutMohio - wanted to create same thing with minimum cost. Putumohio worked with Millennium but they couldn't afford this or work with vendor.
Got editable OPAC templates working as skins to pull catalogue database through so didn't need to be hard coded of library management sstem and can be readily updated in future. Only needed $600 for templates.

Main goal to use simple sentence structure. Used Williams dictionary.

Macrons wouldn't stick in the templates. Came up with dual opac templates.

Macrons but when saved just got squares - font doesn't support it. Changed to Arial.
But Hamilton city kaumatua say they don't use macrons - use double vowel.

Concept of iframes - inline frame - html element allows embedding another html page so two pages can be run at once..
Reduces need to reload entire page
Gave appearance of staying within website. Retain look and feel. Also pulls catalogue database from behind firewall.

If have database and webpage on server can avoid using iframes.

Iframes cause problems for older browsers

Have had good feedback (other than spelling! re macrons). Some tutors um and ah about macrons but mostly just glad something's up in Maori.

Impact on council - first thing done in te reo so good for council. Has helped look at how to improve things for Maori in Hamilton - first time Council have had Maori issues on agenda.

Souping up the engine: making the most of the catalogue at the University of Auckland

Ksenija Obradovic

Users don't want to perform complicated search
Not all relevant literature is on web
Searche engines return thousands of irrelevant hits
catalogues provide organised and consistant resources

Uni of Auckland library's efforts to improve access to resources. Information retrieval depends on data quality.
Integrated Library Systems hasn't kept up with times. Not easy or cheap to replace.
Recently alternative programs.
MarcEdit; Marc Wizard; Marc Report and Marc Global.
These last used by Uni of Auckland.

Ephemera collection in vertical files - almost 2000 files but only listed in MS Word list so students unaware of them. Converted Word document with artists' names into Marc records. More subject headings added. Then authority work, holding and itm records.About 45 hours work (40hours took 40hours) - would have needed to be done anyway. Result - considerable increase in usage.

Database of books, documents, articles but with no marc records. Some years ago added urls to records of print versions. But this not ideal as each manifestation should have records.. Exported from Voyager, added details, reloaded back to Voyager.

Not using library system to full potential - eg gateway to theses. Thesis gateway -> canned search into catalogue with limits preset. No additional software, no extra expenses, just collaboration between cataloguing and diital services (and enthusiasm and time.)

Marc carries a lot of information - more than we use. Any mistake compromises retrieval.

Cataloguing departments face lack of time, money, people; face high demands, big backlogs, the value of their work is questioned.

Shortcuts (eg short bib records) prove costly in long run.


  • international collaboration
  • being part of big communities eg OCLC
  • contributing with copy cataloguing
  • automating workflows - explore systems to enable workflows that save time

Check e-book marc records - quality of vendor e-book records varies widely. Mistakes can compromise searching or cause rejection in batch loading. So files run through MARC Report to identify mistakes first.


  • catalogues need improvement
  • don't know direction of developments in future
  • developments will be based on premise that cataloguing rules were followed - so goal to create good quality metadata: explore opportunities of technology

RDA - some changes haven't been finalised so still unsure of impact. Hope more efficient to create metadata. Criticised for not being general enough and for being too general.

MARC report software - very useful esp for files outside of Voyager. (Not so useful within Voyager as has to be moved out and back in. But helped identify many mistakes with theses that had been wrongly catalogued.) But great for vendor-originated records.

Keynote address: the creative paradigm emerging in iwi/Maaori communities

Te Ahukaramuu Charles Royal
(researcher, writer, composer)

Sharing ideas about emerging creative paradigm. What it might mean for libraries and archives.
Maaori communities dominated by quest for social justice and desire for cultural restoration. Now yielding creative potential. (Have been creative in past, but now coming to the forefront.

All creative activities involved in -- research, even music -- NZ libraries and archives have been vital. Libraries improving in how they handle Maaori materials. (Still needs improvement in manuscripts.)

Masters programme at te Waananga o Raukawa in Maaori Matauranga. Theme of M culture as living culture, new ideas - modern, alive, vitalised (not just reconstructing/restoring pre-existing knowledge). Equipping students to become creative with matauranga. Develoop inspired and creative individuals within matauranga tradition.

Creative Potential paradigm

  • source of national pride - colonisation/disenfranchisement led to turning inward and away from pakeha influences. Creative potential paradigm seeks to overcome the idea that Maaori activities should stand in a corner. Challenge to undertake activities to which broader society can connect with though inspired by own culture).
  • interleaved distinctiveness - modern runanga has traditional background but often is a corporate entity too. Distinctive organisation but also legal entity - participating with others.
  • mana as creativity - often translated as 'power' but leads to idea that need to acquire (Crown) power. But can also be mana as expressed through creativity. --Get out of competitiveness.

Viewed from Maatauranga Maaori

  • moving through tangata Maaori to tangata whenua - from old paradigm of restoring Maori culture; experience of being Maaori; now that have some idea of identity can move into challenge of what it means to be tangata whenua today. From Maori vs world, to philosophical idea of what it means to be tangata whenua. Identity is only first step. Moving into humanity as a whole using traditional knowledge.
  • moving through Te Ao Maaori to Te Ao Maarama - world bounded by term 'Maaori". Te Ao Maarama -> the world at large. Using world "Maaori" a reductive formula, glossing over variety, diversity of values and views. Terms create barriers. Being Maaori as starting point, not end point.
  • Moving through maatauranga to waananga - (from knowledge to creation of new knowledge) . Was obsessed with whakapapa, karakia, waiata... First step; but next step is to create new knowledge.

Thoughts for libraries and archives:

  • digital sources of maatauranga Maaori rather than oral
  • digital natives need oral guidance and mentors
  • cultural historians rather than claims historians - looking forward to history of love; history of perfume (7 traditional perfumes) as history of land is not so needed for claims process.
  • researchers or maatauranga Maaori enabling new creativity

paper available from his website.

Library X.0 beta

Brian Flaherty & Paul Sutherland

Brian - much baggage and confusion aroudnd library 2.0. He's not sure about emphases on it - if goal is wikified etc then missing the point. Blogs often have X many posts this year, no comments. Blogs about new books. Not integrated with website. What's the value for our clients? Users come in to get the good stuff not for 'conversations'.

Our job to select; acquire; organize; provide access; preserve.

Need to aggregate and integrate.

"Most integrated library sytems as they are currently configured and used should be removed from public view." - Roy Tennant

readymobi - see what website looks like on various mobile devices

Next generation library catalogues - large result sets on keyword searching; unforgiving of spelling, stemming; authority searching mystifying; data from item record not used for filtering.
Eg Queens Library - aquabrowser

User experience vs back-end systems. Harvest metadata to make sense in a separate index, put on front end for users. Not searching catalogue directly. Eg Primo. (Should include databases)

Currently metasearch works but doesn't scale. Would like to have it replaced by Google Scholar. If it had all publishers. (Now has Elsevier.)

Open source Vufind.

"Give them what they want" vs "the long tail"
Much social content - most people visiting, not engaging.
80% of people want 20% of any collection. Also lots of people want things we don't have= long tail.
Web 2.0 as participation. Blogs etc are tools to get to this place. Participation, usability, economy, design, standardisation, convergence
Image of bridge as segue into "train"ing. - pointed to Learning 2.0
Library Elf

The catalogue is not just a cataloguing issue.. Not just customers, we also own it. = data and interface. Searched 'convent girls' in Worldcat. Some links don't work, some do, some aren't even linked at all. To do with Open WorldCat registry. (Uni of Canterbury.)

Eg Danbury Library has tags; similar books; tags from LibraryThing. LibraryThing is one of the biggest library in the world

Wikipedia - one of key reference of Erebus article is CCLibrary fact sheet for kids.
Official reports not linked from wikipedia - or from anywhere else.


re metadata - google is a hit because it has everything. Building igger pools of data and chopping them up differently. So you know what you're looking for.

Scholar as access for collections - they won't pick up small publications unless we do something about it. Aggregation on a national level to get into global sphere.

Vufind - searches all local collections - different interface. Libraryfind also open source

Interoperability and tech knowledge; how to get skills - one person can't do on own; need to work together. Keep up-to-date.

Keynote address

Loriene Roy
(first native american ALA president)

Workplace wellness - healthy passport checklist; workplace environmental scan (to make sure place is healthy); lifeways challenges/competitions; pedometer give0aways at midwinter meeting; ; exercise pavilion with chair yoga, seated aerobices, carpal tunnel exercises etc;

Supporting LIS education through practice: searchable datablase of work experiences/practicum; "The Service Connection" being published; education forum;

Circle of literacy: highlighting services for immigrants, indigenous children, those incarcerated;

Projects: national oral history program; national library camp feasibility study (inspired by 10-year-old asking when it was and there was none); meeting effectiveness training (podcasts giving training/ideas); disaster preparedness (eg flu pandemics etc)

re advantages of international networking of indigenous libraians - answer: five forums so far; need to expand network, eg South America; accomplished action plan etc;

Korowai with pukeko feathers presented to Loriene.

LIANZA fellowship presentations

Hon Judith Tizard

Presentations to Judith Bright (for sustained leadership; mentor; researcher - in field of theological librarianship) and Barbara Garriock (for contribution to profession; sharing knowledge esp small polytech libraries)

Tizard: "one of the things I love about librarians is they always look as though they're having a wonderful time."

"I'm appalled that you're going to have fashion advice [...] I've always thought librarians were among the best-dressed people I ever saw!"

moving NZ from a knowledge economy to a knowledge society

"What other sector touches so many people..."

State of Nation

Penny Carnaby

Visit in South Africa - lots of money going into community libraries. Felt like being "in the centre of an emerging democracy".

This year LIANZA & NatLib, working with Dept of Corrections to bring more literacy programmes into prisons. First Public Library Summit - libraries as "seriously dangerous places".

National Library

  • National Digital Heritage Archive. $24million budget. - world leading project, gaining international recognition.
  • Building redevelopment
  • New generation national library strategy

John Truesdale to join National Library team (press release at 10am)

The knowledge equation - things happening recently/to come:

  • Epic 2005
  • AnyQuestions 2006
  • findNZarticles 2006
  • Maori Subject Headings 2006
  • National Digital Heritage Archive 2005-08
  • Digital Strategy (disccussed 3x in South Africa)
  • World Summit on the information society
  • Matapihi
  • launch of Digital Content Strategy last week
  • OCLC brought into libraries of NZ - connecting all NZers to 57,000 libraries
  • People's Network
  • will go live in a few weeks
  • National Digital Forum - starting to say why don't we have national digitisation programmes?
  • Creative Commons coming in a few weeks
  • Community collections springing up - eg Kete Horowhenua; Cardrona

Homework for the next year: develop a nz framework (unifying search and discovery layer); connect the ketes.

Presidential address

Vye Perrone

Librarians' image - in the past we knew all our resources, but with the internet there are too many resources to know - without people libraries are only collections - new users now not used to waiting for things.