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Tuesday 4 November 2008

LIANZA 2008 Day 2 summing up

This was a busy day. The first keynote, Mason Durie, talked about transformational leadership - he used examples of historic New Zealand leaders to show the difference between responding/adapting to change and actually leading the change. He was very much for this latter kind of leadership, and though I suspect for every one person leading change, you need a whole bunch running along behind adapting to fix all the things the leader hasn't thought of, I also suspect it's a lot easier to find people good at adapting to change than people good at leading change.

At 10 we had the 3M Award presentations: the CareerSearch database at Auckland and the online reference consultations at Massey. Over drinks after, a few of us agreed that Canterbury ought to enter these Awards one of these days.

Charlotte Clements, and "surprise guest" Timothy Greig, talked about the investigation they've done into online chat services - looking at proprietary software vs open source, they found the latter did everything they needed and was a more familiar interface for the users as well. In fact the lack of bells and whistles was a plus. They're going with Pidgin and a Meebo widget. They haven't yet launched it but think it could be done within a week including staff training time ("5 minutes" for the technical stuff, though that's because they've already ironed out some bugs); in question time, a few people from Canterbury were able to talk about the way we've implemented and rostered our AskLive service using Meebo.

The ITSIG presentations at lunch went on a bit longer than I think they'd planned, so I don't know when they had time for their AGM. I went for the LibGuides stuff, but there was lots of interesting bits and pieces, including the Auckland City Libraries new website which looks fantastic.

Samantha Callaghan talked about the dilemmas in digitising matauranga Maori (essentially knowledge created by Maori and in a Maori framework). Some stuff is culturally sensitive so you need to consult on it, but what I brought out of the session that you shouldn't let this requirement stop you from doing it - otherwise you end up with a real imbalance in what's available online. She said there was a point where they stopped consulting and just did it because if they'd consulted everyone there was to consult, they'd still be consulting even now. And all the feedback they've had so far has been positive.

Keitha Booth and Andrew Matangi talked respectively about Open Access for government information, and the NZ Creative Commons license - and a bit about using CC for govt information to make it open access! It was a good introduction and I'd love to use CC for some of our library stuff as well, as I know some US libraries have.

The second keynote of the day, Mark McCrindle was a great speaker - lots of anecdotes, and stopping to get us to play a game with our neighbours that was completely unrelated to his topic, but the idea of stopping he brought back to the idea that attention spans are decreasing. He was talking about how different environments have shaped different generations -- I tend to think that generalisations can be taken too far and too literally sometimes, but there are still differences that we need to be aware of.

(For more details of these see my live-blogging: here for Durie, I think the 3M Awards, Booth and Matangi, and McCrindle and here for Clements and Greig, ITSIG, and Callaghan. Sorry for the way this is split, it made sense at the time.)

And finally the LIANZA awards, and drinks, and then we went out for dinner.

Food report for the day: Lunch was buffet-style -- very nice, but the lack of places to sit down necessitated a lot of balancing, which isn't conducive to cutting things. The gingerbread at afternoon tea was to die for. Alas, I spent so long trying to decide whether to ask for the recipe or just smuggle a basket of it away that I ended up not able to do either.