In order to better integrate my blog with my website, better manage comment spam, and reduce my dependence on Google, this blog has moved to In order to avoid broken links I won't be deleting content from here, but no new content will be added, so please update your bookmarks and feeds.

Wednesday 23 December 2009

Links of interest 23/12/09

Christmas tree made from books
"star topper" by LMU Library
used on a Creative Commons
BY-NC-SA license
(Photos of tree construction.)
M-libraries (libraries on mobile devices
Library on the Go (pdf) "explores student use of the mobile Web in general and expectations for an academic library’s mobile Web site in particular through focus groups with students at Kent State University. Participants expressed more interest in using their mobile Web device to interact with library resources and services than anticipated. Results showed an interest in using research databases, the library catalog, and reference services on the mobile Web as well as contacting and being contacted by the library using text messaging."

library/mobile: Tips on Designing and Developing Mobile Web Sites shares "Oregon State University (OSU) Libraries’ experience creating a mobile Web presence and will provide key design and development strategies for building mobile Web sites".

Infomaki: An Open Source, Lightweight Usability Testing Tool describes a tool developed by New York Public Library to spread the usability testing load among visitors to their website - visitors are asked if they want to answer a single question; if not, they're not bothered again; if they do answer it they're given the option to answer another one. Because it's not asking much of an investment in time a lot of people will do it, and then because it's so easy a lot will answer more than one: "In just over seven months of use, it has fielded over 100,000 responses from over 10,000 respondents."

University of Michigan has made available two reports about the usability of their LibGuides.

Search interfaces
Google Labs is trialling Image Swirl which adds an "images related to this one" functionality to their image search in a lovely visual way.

Happy Holidays!

Friday 18 December 2009

Opening hours

I have a saved Twitter search for mentions of 'library' within 1000km of New Zealand. It gets people talking about iTunes libraries, programming libraries, and even actual book libraries. Sometimes people just mention visiting by-the-by, and sometimes they talk about good experiences (yay wireless, yay free stuff, yay nice staff!) or bad experiences (overdue fines, book wanted is out, library too noisy).

I've seen a few recently surprised at how late libraries open in the morning, but this one made me laugh:

9:30? The library opens at 9:30! Why so late? Is it because librarians need extra time in the morning to put their hair in a bun?

Monday 14 December 2009

Links of interest 14/12/09

A library in a telephone booth

"Fix Your Terrible, Insecure Passwords in Five Minutes" talks about some common mistakes in creating passwords and suggests techniques for more secure ones.

Customer service
Zabel, D. and L. J. Pellack (2009) First impressions and rethinking restroom questions, RUSQ 49(1) has garnered a number of thoughtful comments, as well as reactions in the biblioblogosphere including:
Via someone I forget, who pointed out that this works perfectly if you replace the word "computer" with "library/catalogue/database/etc": How to help someone use a computer.

Information literacy
Karen Schneider recommends and discusses the Project Information Literacy report Lessons Learned: How college students find information in the digital age (PDF, 3MB).

Digital natives, scholarly immigrants on the ACRL blog discusses some of the findings of the Journal of Higher Education article University students' perceptions of plagiarism.

Monday 23 November 2009

Links of interest 23/11/09

Library Society of the World brainstorms library terminology:
Unshelved (the library webcomic) has launched Unshelved Answers, where librarians can ask question and get answers from fellow librarians. There's a nice system of voting and rewards points to ensure quality control by the community.

The National Digital Forum 2009 conference is in progress; the hashtag on twitter is #ndf2009. Announced there, Make it Digital is offering two $10,000 awards for organisations wanting to digitise NZ content.

Due to popular demand, DigitalNZ announces Collaborative digitisation of the AJHR.

Google Scholar adds full-text legal opinions from various US courts.

The Ithaka report on What to Withdraw: Print Collections Management in the Wake of Digitization "analyzes which types of journals can be withdrawn responsibly today and how that set of materials can be expanded to allow libraries the maximum possible flexibility and savings in the future."

The Swiss Army Librarian writes (with photos) about printing a book from Google Books on one of Google's Expresso book-on-demand machines.

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Links of Interest 4/11/09

New Zealand Electronic Text Centre has posted a list of online texts for current courses at VUW.

The Dept of Internal Affairs has launched Government datasets online, a directory of publicly-available NZ government datasets (especially but not exclusively machine-readable datasets).

Complementary Twitter accounts:
  • APStylebook (Sample: Election voting: Use figures for totals and separate the large totals with "to" instead of hyphen.)
  • FakeAPStylebook (Sample: To describe more than one octopus, use sixteentopus, twentyfourtopus, thirtytwotopus, and so on.)

Information Literacy
There was a lot of interest at and after LIANZA09 about the Cephalonia Method of library instruction (basically, handing out pre-written questions on cards to students to ask at appropriate times during the tutorial). A recent blogpost by a librarian worn out from too many tutorials wonders "what if the entire class session consisted of me asking students questions? What if I asked them to demonstrate searching the library catalog and databases?"

Scandal du jour
A document by Stephen Abram (SirsiDynix) on open source library management systems (pdf, 424KB) appeared on WikiLeaks. The biblioblogosphere saw this as evidence of SirsiDynix secretly spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) against their open-source competition. Stephen Abram replied on his blog that it was never a secret paper and he's not against open source software but it's not ready for most libraries. Much discussion followed in his blog comments and on blogs elsewhere; Library Journal has also picked up the story.

For fun
Also at Library Journal, The Card Catalog Makes a Graceful Departure at the University of South Carolina - rather than just dumping it the library is hosting events such as a Catalog Card Boat Race and What Can You Make With Catalog Cards?

Things Librarians Fancy.


Monday 26 October 2009

Facilitating the unplannable

(aka, my view of how my "Getting People Onside" workshop at LIANZA09 went. I've written before about planning and about rehearsing this workshop.)

  • A set of slides to structure my intro/warm-up

  • a bunch of topics on A3 paper for people to cluster around and discuss

  • an egg-timer to keep track of time with

  • a bell to ring to prompt people to move between topics every ten minutes

  • a box to collect email addresses in for those who wanted to join a mailing list to continue the conversation after conference

The conference organisers arranged for the room to be rearranged beforehand from "theatre-style" to "cabaret-style", which terminology provided a certain amount of mirth to my colleagues in the days leading up to conference. We ended up with nine tables, each furnished with chairs, mints, and writing pads. I estimate about 60 people turned up, which was a great number.

I started off by introducing where I was coming from with this topic - basically that conference tends to give you all kinds of great ideas, except that you can have all the good ideas in the world, but if you're not prepared and able to deal with the various obstacles/resistance to change then they may well sink without a trace; so this was a time to think positively and brainstorm about how to be prepared.

We did some warm-ups next. First, the "Mexican Wave" - because we didn't have time to introduce 60+ people, I got people to just call out their first name as my arm swept around the room, and then we repeated that with a couple of other simple questions. It didn't go as fast as I'd intended: partly because the shape of the room made it unclear where my finger was pointing, partly because we all fell into turn-taking mode instead of the babbling whoosh I'd envisioned, and I wasn't confident enough to really get more energy in there. But it still worked and I think achieved its purpose; certainly when we moved on to brainstorming how to respond to the "50 Reasons Not to Change", everyone was quite happy to participate.

And then we split into 10-minute groups. Well, actually 9 minutes for each one, because I had a close eye on my timer. :-) I kept the 'ground rules' up on the slides during these, following a suggestion from the rehearsal. I sort of hovered and spent a few minutes at each table, occasionally sticking my oar in but mostly just listening, and it was all very cool. Some of the keywords I'd come up with as conversation starters were interpreted differently by the participants than how I'd intended them, but that didn't matter in the slightest of course. During the last 10 9 minutes I passed around my box for email addresses.

Finally we spent five minutes getting someone at each table to report back a highlight or two; and then some kind soul helped me gather all the notes people made while brainstorming, which I've now duly transcribed.

I was really happy with how it went, which of course is all down to everyone's participation - it was exactly what I'd hoped for when I proposed the session.

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Links of Interest 20/10/2009

A map of LIANZA09 participants - purple for attendees, pink/orange for invited speakers, yellow for vendors.

Widgets and other neat free stuff
Gale Widgets aren't new but are nicer than ever. If I understand correctly, the PowerSearch widget searches across all Gale databases subscribed to by one's institution. To create a widget use our location ID "canterbury" - the javascript code provided can then be pasted into LibGuides. (New box -> Rich text -> Add text -> plain text editor -> paste)

SpringShare gives instructions for adding WolframAlpha's improved search widget to LibGuides.

Elsevier provides all their journal covers free. ("These cover images may be used in systems in which Elsevier material is offered to end users. Unauthorized use and/or modification of these images is strictly prohibited.") Perhaps could be used in a future generation of our catalogue to complement book cover images? If you just want a single image to promote a journal on LibGuides, replace the number in this link with your journal's issn:

Plates from Buller's Birds (digitised on a Creative Commons license).

Text message reference
Penny Dugmore writes about Unitec's launch of a text reference service, and Elyssa Kroski's Library Journal column on Text Message Reference: Is It Effective?. Oh, and just in: a summary about a recent presentation on text reference, with stats on libraries offering it and more links.

Library humour
A library-themed filk of Gilbert and Sullivan's I've got a little list.

Range guide humour (alas, it's harder to get this effect with LC...)

Wednesday 14 October 2009

LIANZA 2010 Conference Launch

Linda Geddes is 2010 Conference Convenor. It'll be the centennial conference (first NZ library conference was 26th-28th March 1910) - aim to create a historic event. Video prepared with welcome message from Dunedin Mayor, apparently not realising that librarians can party to rival the Undie 500 delegates. :-)

Theme will be "At the Edge - Te Matakāheru" 28 November - 1 December in Dunedin, at the University of Otago.

Tim Spalding on Social cataloguing

What it is, and what it means for libraries?
Tim Spalding founder of LibraryThing

Introduces self as a failed academic, worked in publishing, started LibraryThing.

Warning: Library Science being practiced without a degree

Started as a personal project, now a company. 850,000 members who catalogue their personal libraries - so far 44million books. Available in 12+ languages. (Not Māori but would be open to that - translations done by members.)

Social cataloguing is "what I say it means" because he invented it! It's what emerges when personal catalogue goes social. It's becoming increasingly important to libraries. Used in LibraryThing, Shelfari, GoodReads; Visual Bookshelf, BooksWeRead.

Ladder of social cataloguing:
- started as personal cataloguing and grew from there
- users climb the ladder
- climbing the ladder is more altruism, more cooperation, more social. But participating is primarily for self. There's some application to libraries but it's different there.

Live demonstration of adding "History of New Zealand" by Michael King to his bookshelf. Mixture of tags - "new zealand", "history", "lianza", "interesting". Bookshelf with ratings. Can add from Amazon or many other bookstores or even libraries - 10 libraries in New Zealand contribute data. Can view libraries by list, cover, tag (list or cloud); author cloud or portraits. Statistics on language, number of characters, places. Reviews and ratings. Members' profiles - social networking component but LibraryThing is more about content than people, reflected in focus on users' names rather than user icons.

23,000 people adding Twilight. All doing it for themselves but as a result there are now 1200 reviews people can read; tags are added, recommendations are generated ("Will I like it?" - it correctly predicts he won't like Twilight. :-) ) Can follow a feed of new recommendations. There's also the "unsuggester" - trying to be entertaining around books.

Example of Neuromancer - library of congress has bizarre subject headings; LibraryThing has "cyberpunk" and you can click through to read more cyberpunk. "Chicklit" is sorted by how many people have called it that; cf Library of Congress "love stories" which is just either/or, no sorting. Idea of prototypes - a robin is a really good example of a bird, a penguin is a kind of okay example of a bird...

Non-romance readers think romance readers read romance, but they don't - they read contemporary romance, trashy romance, regency romance, lesbian romance, paranormal romance....

"If you're using terms like "social capital" you've already passed some kind of brain test" so not worried about vandalism....

"magic" is problematic - Harry Potter mixed in with academic ones.
"leather" even more so

Can do tagmashes to get tagmash "France", "WWII", "fiction"

"chicklit" is now an LCSH but not geographically subdivided and will never have a "zombie" subdivision.

Tags: glbt vs lgbt "But those are the same thing!" -- but no: the books are actually different. The terms that people use encode all sorts of stuff. Many things labelled "homosexuality" actually mean "anti-homosexuality".

More than 1.5million covers added (including Albanian, Serbian editions of Harry Potter). When you upload it for yourself, everyone gets the benefit.

Social networking based on books you have in common. "Even if I don't want to be his buddy, checking out his library will be very interesting to me. Social networking for people who don't want to talk to each other."

Most popular group is Librarians who LibraryThing. Conversations about books on groups are tied into the books' own records.

LibraryThing Local - showing us map of bookstores and libraries in Portland, Maine. Can connect to local LT members; find events at bookstores, libraries. Add a photo of our libraries to these pages!

Example of wife's books - members have combined all the editions (other languages, etc) FRBR-style. Members have combined "Mark Twain" and "Samuel Clemens".

"Common Knowledge" - awards, quotes, characters and places in the story, blurbers - all sorts of things not captured in typical metadata.

Series pages - eg Star Wars series. Plus "related series". Much more information than any library has. Collated by people who know about it - the books' fans.

How many books does George Washington occur in? How many books take place in Washington, D.C., or in Hell?

LT "member" Thomas Jefferson, Marie Antoinette. No New Zealanders at the moment. Based on eg auction house records. Done by the group "I See Dead People's Books". Nice to be able to search Thomas Jefferson's library - couldn't do it before; now can see how you overlap with these people. Most popular book among all legacy libraries is Don Quixote; #2 is Complete Shakespeare.

Highest rung of ladder is altruism - flash mob cataloguing where volunteers go to library and catalogue their books in a mob in a day.

Six free ways to use LibraryThing:
1 Make sure you're in LT Local
2 Make an account
3 Libraries of Early New Zealand
4 Flash-mob catalogue your local historical society, church, health centre...
5 "Community library" to create a shared local library with LibraryThing Groups (eg two churches, a historical library, and a couple of people in town).
6 Grab our free data: common knowledge data, frbrised data etc.

One un-free way:
1 LibraryThing for Libraries eg at Seattle Public Library showing other editions and translations; similar books; tags; reviews. Four or five NZ libraries are using it.

What does social cataloguing mean for library cataloguing?
The end of the world! No!

Defends the value of structured metadata but that shouldn't be all we have.

LCSH - A book has 3-6 subjects - why? because that's how many we can fit on a card.
Subjects are equally valid because of... the card.
Subjects never change because of... the card.
Only librarians get to add subjects because of... the card.
Users don't get a say in how books are classified because of... the card.

In the digital world, none of this matters. In libraries these ideas have still persisted.

The physical library was human. The first wave of technology was dehumanising but social cataloguing can rehumanise the library. Everyone can help. (We don't need to let them do everything but they can help!) Local matters again. cf Māori Subject Headings - sometimes local communities need headers other communities don't have.

A note of caution before joining the exciting world of web2.0 - join the exciting world of web1.0! Library catalogues aren't web1.0. Often you can't link to library catalogue records; they're all session-based. Why why why? People need to be able to bookmark and share. And catalogues aren't indexed in search engines! Why?????

Go with the grain of the internet, not against it. We're not in competition with the internet. We should be open. Libraries are going the wrong way. LibraryThing gets twice as much traffic as WorldCat. Dogster gets as much traffic as WorldCat.

Be part of the conversation. Trust people: put your stuff online and risk that people might find the "wrong thing" or tag it the "wrong way".

Choose solutions that favour all this. He thinks open source is the way to go. He doesn't think open source is necessarily better, but it can be.

Social cataloguing can be a last chance to join web 1.0. Before we start struggling with ebooks struggle with the fact that people can't find our books on Google! It's an opportunity to reinvigorate library technology. To reconsider some LIS thinking and improve systems. (Had a LT project to replace Dewey. Turns out to be hard and didn't work. But it's cool to try!) Chance to embrace best traditions of librarianship: radical openness, public spirit, focus, connection to the local and social. Why would we lend books but hold back metadata?

Q: Could libraries organise own flash mobs and [? get stuff on web?]
A: Absolutely! Thinks flash mobs are good for things on the periphery, stuff that's never been exposed eg churches, historical society. So many books exist in private holdings!

Q: What proportion of books on LibraryThing do people catalogue themselves rather than pulling data in?
A: Not sure but probably a small percentage. Zines, comics, etc are the main things.

Web 2.OhMyGod to Web 2.OhNo

Douglas Campbell and Chelsea Hughes
Chelsea Hughes and Douglas Campbell
Nautical theme using the Web 2.0 Map.

MySpace - went to tell musicians "Give us your CDs, it's the law." Message was clear but didn't actively engage; then left and had no exit strategy.

Blogs - started up a couple. Also name "The Collections blog that never happened" - because would be too time consuming for staff to do necessary research. Other blogs (Library Tech and Create Readers have been successful and they're sticking around.

Flickr - Rights was an issue to start with but now joined Flickr Commons. Staying but passively - adding stuff but not joining discussion and groups.
Learned how to take risks, created relationships. But didn't have resources to really nurture their pressence - like blogs it's not really anyone's job.

2008 Web Harvest
Timeline: anger because of bandwidth. NatLib explained so people were happier. What went well - they were already in the social spaces so were alerted to anger quickly and could respond quickly.

Twitter - worked well because could apply past lessons. Identified as opportunity to promote collections. Tea-break tweets only - no system outages, media releases. Try to be at desk for 30 minutes after tweets go out in case of replies so can stay engaged. Don't measure success by number of followers but by clicks on links and conversations. Low effort so definitely staying. Much went well; so far nothing's gone badly!

Have tested waters in wikipedia, slideshare, delicious, youtube, but so far haven't found a good fit at them. These places don't meet their criteria of having something to offer, someone to tell it too, and a way to sustain it.

Lessons learnt:
Engage, set goals, know your audience, know your limits, know yourself, be social, own it, choose your platform wisely, make it personal, take risks but be smart about it, be casual but not too casual.

Handout folded in shape of boat with chocolate 'gold coin' folded inside. Contents will be on Library Tech.

Q: Still doing Flickr Commons?
A: Yes, still adding things, just not more involved.

Q: Are you capturing NZ Tweets through NDHA?
A: No. Not sure how to identify NZ twitterers. Only covers .nz and "known offsite distributors".

Q: How do you sell Flickr etc to bosses?
A: Get a longer leash to trial it; point to success examples; show them the benefits. Get a three-month pilot agreed.

Q: Re "just do it" - but it's about the library's reputation too.
A: If you're just doing it then use a personal account but also be smart about it.

Being online is just another way of living your life - a staff member could make just as bad a reputation for you at the pub.

Implementing Web 2.0

Paul Hayton

Metrics are important - available on flickr, wordpress, facebok, youtube, witter. Wikipedia doesn't.

Launch dates all refer to Dunedin Public Library's accounts.

consider using a secret email address; it negates most IT/Council security uploading hassles. Subject heading becomes title and body is description.
Flash-based tools may break so use the basic uploader
Pro account gives features that are worth it.
Link Flickr to blog, facebook, etc - facilitates crossposting.

Started having news and reviews blogs. In Feb 08 merged to a single blog at wordpress.
Use Google Analytics. Hosting on own servers makes it easy to put code in.
Suggests posting every 1-3 days. Every day is too much, every week not enough.
Include youtube clips, flickr banner and links to other services down the side.

If doing more than one thing then reuse your content! Eg description on images / blog description of event. Push people through to different services by linking blogpost, photo, through to youtube video etc.

Post a little content often rather than a lot infrequently.
Link to other online spaces proactively
Review content using metrics to discover what really is popular content (eg topical links to Swayze-related collection)
Use categories, not tags to standardise search when running a blog with multiple contributors - forces authority control.

Wikipedia article - launched April 08. Anecdotally well-received but hard to read statistics. Have had one instance of vandalism - corrected by wiki community within 24 hours. When Paul started adding stuff he had people telling him he couldn't put up library-copyrighted stuff.
Establish an account
Declare who you are
Start small, build content as time permits
Add images and links to other online spaces
Reference where you can
Seek other pages with related content and edit to include a link back to your own page

Launched May 08; now 111 videos, average of 40-60 viewers per day.
Invest in a tripod
Recording at 320x240 at 8 frames per second is fine and reduces both file size and upload time
YouTube has a 10min limit
Don't pan and zoom.
Be consistent in categories and tags

Launched December 2008 - wanted to establish a profile and generate viral promotion; engage in dialogue with fans and deliver targeted promotional info to fans
Address is horrible - get a badge. (Me: if you have 100+ fans you can get a custom address)
Metrics interesting - fans are 64% female which reflects library membership. Highest fans are at 25-34%
Good conversation going.
Have a response plan for if customers engage.
Establish a page, not a group.
Post links to other online spaces
Use the events feature and selectively send invites to fans
If you have a Twitter account, consider linking your status updates to it.
Import blog, flickr content etc to your page.

Launched Feb 09
Can get statistics from various analytic sites eg
Predominantly events stuff.
Use web stats services to analyse account
Use the power of the + in to get stats on how often it's been viewed.
Firefox - install Power Twitter add-on.
"The more you give the more you get" - the more you tweet the more followers you get - but it's more about quality vs quantity.

- Strategy - be clear about why and where you're playing, but you don't need a full strategy before you dive in. No analysis paralysis!
- Staff/time - better to do one thing well than several things poorly. Look for something you like and do that.
- Learn by doing. Forgiveness vs permission, action vs policy.
- Proactively network with like minds.
- Spend time each week being a 'naive enquirer' to learn more.

Q: Release permission for filming booktalks, audiences?
A: Get permission for authors, performers. Camera is generally not on audience - only incidental and not very identifiable. Anecdotally - email from someone in a video who wanted a copy to send it around

Q: Problems with Wikipedia's rule against editing your own page?
A: No issues.

Q: YouTube filming at low resolution - shouldn't we film at high resolution for posterity and just upload a low-res version?
A: Yes, valid point - could be something we could do better at. But currently dealing with practical issues

From "We Shall Remain" to "Operation teen book drop"

new national indigenous library services initiatives
Loriene Roy and Scott Smith
abstract (pdf); We Shall Remain librarians' website

Once American Indians were the whole of the now-USA population; now 0.1%.
Urban/homeland split due to 1950s/60s policy of relocation. Health, higher education, economics, traditions are compromised.

Initiatives to support libraries; this presentation is a status on these two projects.

"We Shall Remain"
Film is a rich media to show experience. Indigenous have been depicted in film for decades but are rarely involved in the production itself. "We Shall Remain" is a PBS show, the largest "American Experience" series produced. Aired in 5 90-minute episodes: After the Mayflower (depicting especially Wampanoag, Pequot, Nipmuc, Narragansett), Tecumseh's Vision (Shawnee), Trail of Tears (Cherokee), Geronimo (Chiricahua Apache), Wounded Knee (Oglala Lakota and Native peoples from tribes across the country). The last was able to draw on rich media coverage from the time.

Project also included a mentoring programme for Native film producers, and a website linked to many films created. Grants for states and cities to collaborate with local organisations to create public events, programming and to deepen public understanding of Native history.

Event kit for libraries gives ideas about how to organise culturally appropriate discussions. Storytelling events, reading circle ("The Plague of Doves"), exploring stereotypes, art contests and projects, discussion forums, film festival, guideleines for evaluating media resources (many preexisting guides for selecting books on Native topics; this is the first for evaluating film) - shipped to 15,000 public libraries. Won an award for design and communication. PDF copy available at We Shall Remain librarians' website. Two Facebook groups.

The "We Shall Remain" title image of the teepee and flag ("Nespelem", a photo by Bob Charlo of the Kalispel Nation, was taken at the annual powow on the Colville Reservation in Nespelem, WA in 1992): "To me it represents that we - Native people - are still here and still vibrant. We are not a conquered people. We are a contributing people." -- Bob Charlo

Highest number of states with events were Arizona, Texas, and Utah. Most popular were lectures/discussions (often about topics re the TV programmes), screenings (of previews or episodes (esp Trail of Tears) or local films by Native producers/authors, displays of books/photographs/other featuring Native history and/or authors, sometimes collaborating with local organisations); then performance and hands-on activities (weaving, basketry, games, musical and dramatic performances, crocheting afghans donated to local hospital).

Operation Teen Book Drop
Donation of 8,000 YA books to hospitalised teens in 2008-09 by publishers, organised by readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and YALSA. April 15th 2010 will take YA books to teens attending tribal schools on reservations. So far 27 schools registered - about 5000 teens. Featuring Lurline Waliana McGregor, Sherman Alexie, Joseph Bushac (sp?) - other names mentioned include Dean Koontz.

Coordinating national publicity plan to tribal newsletters and library community.

Will have live chat at Raising funds online.

Successes are result of collaboration, promotion, and planning.

Q: Why would schools not want to be involved?
A: Might have assumed would get a different title per student - instead it's one title for the whole community so they might feel it's too much work for a single title. Another issue is that publishers are saying "Take the books now" so storage space is an issue. Trying to locate local liaisons to help with work.

Q: Will it screen in New Zealand?
A: Needs to be picked up by tv; but can buy on PBS.

Libraries building communities: communities building libraries

Jessica Dorr
abstract (pdf)

Begins with "Kia ora"; ends with "Kia ora koutou". :-)

Says our reputation precedes us.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation guided by belief that every life has equal value. Goals to improve health; strengthen education; reduce poverty. "Bill Gates has billions of dollars. Why would he give it to libraries? The answer is simple: libraries change lives." Librarians work to make information available -> strong drivers of economic and social progress.

Project to connect all libraries to the internet within five years. Spirit similar to APNK but didn't know how challenging task (including technical support) would be. Pulled it off though it took closer to seven years. Total PCs granted = 47,200; buildings receiving a grant: 10,915; training opportunities: 62,000. When started, less than a quarter had access to internet; now all do, and provide it for free. "If you can reach a public library, you can reach the internet."

Started with poorer libraries - those not already connected. Started with states in highest need -- Deep South. New Mexico was sixth state and provided challenges and opportunities. First large state they worked in. Noticed when plotted a map there were large gaps with no libraries - discovered those were tribal reservation areas. Felt it was unfathomable that there was no need so went to visit. Found lots of space, and found libraries which weren't on the state-recognised list of libraries.

Underestimated challenges of technology and underestimated the relevance of the internet to these communities. Showed Microsoft Encarta online encyclopaedia and they searched for themselves. Found mistakes in the encyclopaedia.

Began a crash course - couldn't just add libraries to a list of libraries and give them computers. Needed to do more. Used loom as analogy: if weaving this project needed to learn all six steps.

(Native communities are justifiably wary of the outside world but want education, want to learn to use computers in a native way.)

Find a sheep / Shearing / Needs assessment
Environment makes providing services more difficult and expensive.
Computers have to speak and write Native languages
Could work with tribes and network - worked hard to involve all of Navaho
Had to work with Navaho definition of library
Had to build capacity and support organisations that work with tribes long-term
Tools/equipment: scanners, microphones, digital cameras, software tools, test models, drove computers and generators out to test them thoroughly.

Wash and dye / Training
Project-based - using Native examples
Presenting information less linear, more circular/interrelated
Short days as people had to leave early to chop wood, etc
Mornings teaching staff, afternoons outreach (students, tribal elders, police, any group that had interest in training)

Card and spin / Program challenges
Connectivity - In US program didn't plan for long-term payment because government should provide. But here couldn't expect to persuade tribal governments to pay, so gave step-down funding (more first year, less next, less next) to give tribal governments time to recognise the value outweighed disadvantages like porn.
Challenge in staff turnover so training need never goes away

Dye and pattern / Examples of success
Indigenous Language Institute uses YouTube to promote preservation of native langauges
Websites developed for/by government of all chapters so can email instead of drive, minutes and budgets are online. Bartering online.
Individuals - computer lets people do homework online instead of driving hours to study.

With the tools in place, they are weaving.

Learned importance of being familiar with community needs and working with them.

Now working in other countries. Aim to bring about effective, sustainable access in developing countries. Want computers to be useful and used in ways to improve lives.

Need training for staff - both in technology and outreach
Libraries have to be accessible and open to all. Might need to include health clinic; or be on a boat.
Libraries have to demonstrate impact by measuring how they meet local needs

In terms of sustainability, suffering because assumed benefits of libraries were obvious so didn't spend effort on evaluation so libraries could prove benefits. Now work from beginning to include an evaluation component. In Latvia compare library services across other government services. In Lithuania doing a study showing return on investment. In Poland doing a study of library users vs non-users. --Different from country to country but critical to have some evaluation in place.

Need strong library systems in place to provide vision for field, develop curricula, create sharing opportunities.

More than 70% of people in US who use computers in a library say it's the only place they have internet access.

Latvia had so many people sitting outside after hours to use wireless that used bandwidth stats to argue for longer open hours.

Libraries need to radically change perceptions people have about libraries, we won't survive. Have to be bold, be more radical, be louder, use data, use stories. Must champion and strengthen the resource. Need to keep libraries on the agenda.

Story of mayor in Latvia who had to decide whether to improve roads or libraries. Decided to invest in library - and discovered ripple effect on local business, kids staying in school longer.

Q: Even with full funding, would be difficulties in some public libraries to add internet. How did you manage that?
A: There's no national library in the US - just state libraries. So asked state libraries to apply on behalf of their libraries. Because it was the Gates Foundation, states didn't want to be left out. Some were hesitant, but starting in places with most need showed their priorities. Policy to only work in libraries that would provide free internet. Some libraries didn't want to, but the momentum carried it through.

Q: How are you involved in prison libraries?
A: Haven't been yet. Have also been asked about academic, schools. But have chosen to invest in public libraries.

Q: How are libraries sustaining themselves in difficult economic times.
A: Difficult. 20-25% of libraries are at forefront and can continually refresh computers. Middle group, and then 40% really struggle and in 5 years haven't been able to upgrade. So studying what's the difference between these groups? High-performing libraries isn't due to funding as much as due to the librarian - if they're actively involved, actively promoting, they perform well. So future training is focusing in this area too.

Q: Has foundation work increased opportunity for collaboration between libraries?
A: She thinks so, and they're trying to support it. Spend time building partnerships between grantees; support them to conferences, publication, etc. Recommends looking at their website.

Q: Could the Foundation look at supporting indigenous [libraries?] all around the world to get together?
A: Good idea - will take that back and consider it.

Q: [missed it]
A: Every State Library has a different mandate, governance structure, statutes, etc. Some State Libraries didn't even know how many libraries they have. Some have state conferences, some might barely send out an annual newsletter. Would have liked to spend more time working with state libraries but weren't comfortable meddling into policy issues.

Q: Is meeting Rodney Hide and will show movie re Latvian mayor. Hoping to gather more stories re value politicians place on libraries.

A new equity emerges

citizen-created content powering the knowledge economy
Penny Carnaby
abstract (pdf)

Just when we thought we had the web2 environment sussed, it's about to get more exciting for librarians world-wide. A new equity is emerging which puts individual citizens in the driving seat for the first time.

Every day someone is deleting something on the web. We're all part of the delete generation. Hana and Sir Tipene O'Regan talked about the loss of indigenous languages.

As librarians we need to take responsibility for preserving information.

Building blocks
Roll-out of broadband
National Digital Heritage Archive
Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa
Digital New Zealand
data and information reuse
NLNZ New Generation Strategy

New government has endorsed the digital content strategy. Talks about life of asset from creation to access to sharing to managing and preserving.

Information on two axes from private <-> public and from formal <-> informal.

National Digital Heritage Archive. If we're taking citizen-created content as seriously as formally created content, how do we go about preserving it? What do we curate - porn, hate sites too?

DigitalNZ has put over 1million NZ digital assets online in one year.

Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa - cornerstone of allowing citizen-created content. Allows local kete to emerge all over, through libraries and marae. Extraordinary emergence of citizen-created information collections.

Idea of creating a virtual learning environment in every school, founded on govt-supplied broadband. Ministry of Education looking at how APNK works and thinking about how that could work if it was in every New Zealand school. (Me: Whee!)

International colleagues see New Zealand as an "incubator country".

Announcement: Will be digitising the Appendices to the Journals of the House of Representatives. (Me: Whee again! This has been much-requested and will be a very valuable asset.)

As of February this year, with digital heritage archive, "we refuse to be part of the delete generation".

New equity emerging. Kiwis from all walks of life creating solutions to harness and preserve. Each of us has contributed to New Zealand emerging as a digital democracy.

Tuesday 13 October 2009

What would you do?

Developing and sharing creative solutions (aka Doing More With Less)
Elizabeth Whyte, Paul Sutherland
"90 minutes of user-generated discussion. In the spirit of Unconference and Pecha Kucha, hear rapid-fire presentations of ideas and challenges from your colleagues. Then break into groups, design solutions, and get inspired to do more with less."

Going to watch presentations, ask questions without answering, and then break into groups ("of at least two people because otherwise it wouldn't be a group") to generate answers.

I started with my suggestion box presentation, which I'll upload later. (ETA: it's here.) Questions about this were:
- How responded to allegation that AU is better than CU?
- How are questions and answers distributed?
- Staff training for social media sites
- Should we forego paper suggestion boxes completely?
Break-out groups came up with: (ETA - there was much more discussion that I've noted of course! These only include the 'takeaway' summary reported back at the end of the session.)
- If people ask a question/complain, respond in public so everyone can see.

We got another presentation on "What would you do about disruptive youth in a public library?" This library is the only free sheltered space in the area. So kids will congregate which is great, but some associated behaviour (especially age 9-14) is less than delightful. Verbal abuse of staff, customers; bullying; assault; gang activity. Long-term they want kids to stay in the library and keep reading. Diagnose much activity as boredom. Are having holiday programs. Want low-key, low-cost, low-advertising, low-efforts. Have used trespass orders but a 2-year tresspass order to an 11-year old is icky. Police relationship, contacts with schools and other agencies. Blogging on an internal incident archive. Training staff. What else can be done?
Questions from the audience:
- How do older kids respond to incidents?
- Does library employ extra staff in holidays?
- What's the scope of the youth worker role?
- What about ways of getting youth to interact with library knowledge other than passive reading?
- Can you create an alternative space?
- How do you engage with parents of children?
- What are their interests?
Break-out groups came up with:
- It's good that youth are coming in; they're disconnected and libraries are connecting them into society.
- Lots of other ideas and going to work it into something coherent.

Jack Goodman
Libraries have lots of fans but not necessarily outspoken ones. Library is the cool place to hang out because we're about people. Talks about building relationships with businesses, universities, polytechs, future generations of educators. Sporting clubs. WIIFM? What's in it for me/libraries? Innovation is essential. Normally takes a lot of resources, money. Denmark $122 per capita funding for libraries; NZ ~$60, Aus ~40.
Have we thought about partnerships with local gardening centre? Example of garden centre referring to library for care instructions.
Questions from the audience:
- Can you get a supplier to support a project within the library?
- How would you make the first approach?
- Have you done this yourself?
Break-out groups came up with:
- Libraries shouldn't sell themselves short re potential partnerships. Build relationships.

Ellen Thompson from Queensland University of Technology on the unconference "It functions better when more traditional meetings fail." Traditional meeting boring - either nod off or get surly and disruptive. Would like more dynamic ideas movement going on in meetings. Wants an un-meeting. So did it - convinced boss to have a fortnightly agenda meeting and every second week have an un-meeting:
  • whoever comes is the right people
  • whatever they talk about is the right topic
  • when it starts it's right, when it's over it's over
  • law of two feet
To get a quick meeting: have it standing up. (Audience suggestion to secretly take the chairs away.) Are there any systems, practices, procedures in our organisation that we can "un-"?
- un-performance and strategic direction
- un-jargon
- joking: un-reference interview
- un-email (talk to colleagues instead)
- un-bureaucracy
- un-heirarchy of information and power
- un-serious
- un-noncontroversial
(Put the "un" in "fun"!)
- un-risk averse
- ungry!
Break-out groups came up with:
- A well-run meeting can be a beautiful thing.
- Need to have purpose and time and place.
- Don't try to mash-up agenda-meeting and unmeeting - will get the worst of both worlds.
- Some people have standup meetings and they work, so it can be done!

Claire Stent from Statistics New Zealand
We try to offer the silver service "everything to everyone all the time". But then people are in the food court! They know Google's not the best search tool but it's quick and easy and has no tutting librarian over their shoulder. They don't feel *comfortable* with our portals. So what do we do? We improve our portals and our processes. So it's not silver service any more, but there's still no people because nothing's changed: the same service is still under the hood. Uni students get a course reader - a chapter here and a journal article there.
What do we want? Something different, like a picnic or barbecue? Why be a restaurant if people don't want that? So now if people go to their research page they get training, emails, etc to do with research. Also has pictures! Getting lots of good feedback.
People don't want journals and issues; they want one subject-related article. So instead of table of contents, get a subject-related alert. RSS feed search alerts from Ebsco or ProQuest.
Don't invent your same service in a new way; invent a new service!
Questions from audience:
- Why second-guess what people want rather than asking them? (or watching what they use)
- Do your staff understand alerts and RSS feeds?
- Is the value of libraries in the food or the service or the menu?
Break-out groups came up with:
- Vote that we're about service.
- We're not convinced people know what they want. Should observe them rather than ask.
- People like different delivery methods - need to do a variety of things.

LIANZA Ning - if people sign up we can write up what we came up with today.

The role of libraries in emerging models of scholarly communication

a faculty-library publishing partnership
Sigi Jöttkandt, John Willinsky, Shana Kimball
abstract (pdf)

Crisis in scholarly publishing
Exponential rise in subscription prices, decline in library budgets, consolidation of the publishing industry. Affects everyone in academia but especially the "book disciplines" eg humanities. Crisis for readers (access to scholarly materials decreases) and for authors (fewer publishers to be published by).

Open access as a response
Definition by Peter Suber.

Alternative publication models
"Green road" - institutional repositories freely available. Discipline-specific eg, CSeARCH.

"Gold Road" - open access publishing - Directory of Open Access Journals

Open Humanities Press
Slow uptake of OA among humanities scholars, perhaps because of perceptions among humanities researchers that internet isn't an appropriate publishing/researching venue. Open Humanities Press founded to counter these perceptions. Primary importance for humanities is not time to publication but prestige. Author-side fees would be inappropriate and didn't want to waste time fundraising, so instead of starting new journals, looked to gather pre-existing efforts.

Launched Open Humanities Press with seven journals. Aim to raise profile and credibility of these journals. Assess journals according to various policies
Libraries Scholarly Publishing Office. Use open source publishing software.

Found there was a perception that OHP would soon be involved in books so ran with it. Formed a model where international scholars get together to edit, peer-review, and publish books - eventually e-publishing. Aim to double publishing of books each year.

Hope model will take off more widely. Doesn't require much change from academics.

Still a community/volunteer project.

Public Knowledge Project
Open journal systems, open conference systems, developing open monograph systems

Made a dummy OA "LIANZA Journal" and Sigi says she'd be happy to talk to people about actually making the journal open access!

They're modularising the journal system to create a software platform for a monograph system.

Q: Would publishers use this system to set up open access monographs? What's the role of the library?
A: Scholarly Publishing Office is just for the conversion side of things - academics still do editing and peer review. Would like to see more libraries offer these services to scholars.

Q: Who does subject headings - authors or SPO?
A: Authors do add keywords. Journals are catalogued by libraries so subject headings are added there too.

Here, there and virtually everywhere

library services for distance learners
Anne Ferrier-Watson
abstract (pdf)

[Argh, network cut out in this room.]

History of Virtual Education Reference Desk (VERD)
1997 - BTeaching started distance services
2000 - need to streamline processes so VERD was created
2008(?) - Moodle has taken VERD to a new level

Philosophy to "give students the fishing line, not the fish"
Over 3000 education students are enrolled in online papers

1.75 EFTS supporting VERD. Busier at some times than others.

Asynchronous service - answering Monday to Friday. Many questions asked have been answered before so they've got an ongoing work in progress of making previous answers easy to find

5 sections:
  • Request items or information (can fill out a webmail form or ask for help on forums - 7500 views in the last 12 months)
  • Library FAQs (started as answers to easy common queries; now starting to use it for standard answers for more complex questions too)
  • Help with APA referencing ("our favourite section" - laughter - 2500 views in semester B - a few pdf guides and a link to the forums too)
  • Catalogue guides (not high use - many just use it for the link to the library catalogue; starting to think of putting in video tutorials)
  • Guide to finding journal articles (high use - includes videos for using ebsco, proquest, indexNZ; also pdf guides to various databases)

Jing screen capture software - easy to use, free-as-in-beer but not open source.

Feedback from students includes:
"The video instruction is fantastic too as I find it easier to do something if I see it in action."
"now if I forget a step I can use [the online tutorials] to find the right path again"
"you are like the referencing angel"

Can look at individual activity reports so when someone asks a question you can see where they've already looked for help.

Can look at overall activity reports to give an idea of where most activity is happening and most work is best spent.

Q: What's providing the format?
A: Working around the Moodle format. Not actually a fan about the format but it's the best they can do.
Suggestion: Worked with McGovern to create which can be put on your own website. (Me: ? Not sure whether she meant the whole manyanswers service or the platform to support your own FAQ.)

Q: Forums available to all students or just distance?
A: Available to those enrolled in those papers.

Q: Are guides available on public site or just private forums?
A: Some static guides (not interactive) are available on the public website. Looking at redeveloping some of this too.

Q: re answering repeat questions
A: Some refer back to previous answers, some move them into FAQs and refer there.

Libraries on the agenda

Claudia Lux

Kris Wehipeihana is covering this better than me. A few highlights: has a Success Stories section which she asks NZ libraries to add to as it's important for their advocacy functions. Success stories show how libraries develop and support the information society. They help networking and partnering; show the value of libraries; help you measure the impact your work has for a student, teacher, administrator....

Transparency - what is a librarian doing all day? Do our users know? Can we explain it? Do we explain it?

Libraries aren't visible to city planners. Need to explain what we do, advocate. Start marketing
  • no complaints - don't go up to the minister saying "My library leaks and no-one's coming and I need more money and more space!" - just puts off the minister. Instead try "I read your speech, it was great, and even though you don't know it, it has a lot to do with libraries, I'd love to talk about how we can support your work." Next time s/he remembers your name and that you're a nice person. :-)
  • good news "Great news! We've got so many people coming into the library that there's no room for them all to sit down!"
  • surprise your customer
  • define successful methods
  • present your normal work differently
Use success stories and pictures to convince your politician. One picture, or a short video, says more about your activity than a long report, and sticks in their mind better. (NB politicians love children so lots of pictures of children. Young adults are harder...)

What can you do?
  • shape the picture
  • collect arguments
  • know developments in advance
  • connect to the library association
  • help analyse possibilities
  • show best practice
  • make demands
  • never stop

Successful advocacy needs training and is ongoing.

Q: Is it time to update the public libraries manifesto?
A: yes

Q: re what steps we could take to support indigenous / tangata whenua (question was more involved/specific but I lost part of it)
A: Claudia promises to bring this to the governing board at IFLA. Applause from the audience.

Q: Why be involved in IFLA - how would home community benefit?
A: If you don't contribute who will? We're privileged speaking English so easier to have influence. (Three very active NZ chairs already. We're "small and smart".) Bringing many ideas, big and small, back to your library. And shows you and your library how well you're really doing.

Making IT work for you

Warwick Grey and Corin Haines
Warwick from HP - never set out to do IT but fell into it.

Tech trends 2009
  • netbook adoption accelerates
  • built-in wireless broadband usage widens
  • cell phones get more software
  • unified communications increase
  • online data backups proliferate
  • social media becomes strategic at home and in business
  • online video gets cheaper and there's more of it
  • video conference solutions expand
  • hosted software applications
  • online presence gap widens as more customers use online search before they buy

"My young life was in black and white and nothing was what I chose to watch."
1970 calculator
1971 microprocessor
1974 colour television
1989 world of DOS
2008-2030 pervasive computing environment

Instead of building infrastructure should build community
create content -> create loyalty
enable transactions -> enable self-service
capture eyeballs -> capture experts
integrating applications -> integrating channels

Launching new fashion laptops - colours and imprinted designs

Increasingly looking at sharing information with many people at once instead of one-on-one email, video conferencing.

Cloud services = shared under virtualised management accessible over the internet
Social networking = staying connected with more people in more places

People marketing business on Twitter - fast growing network.
Demonstrates a video recorded yesterday on a Flip camera and uploaded to YouTube
Demonstrates mash-up he made of out-of-copyright music from World War I with photos National Library uploaded to Flickr Commons

Skype has been released for phones
Should be putting RSS options into news we provide
Bookmarking and sharing - even bookabach gives you 55 options to bookmark their pages
Mashup with Google Maps lets you show where you've run
Have a facebook site for your library!

Touch-screens are getting big - demonstrates touch notebook moving things on screen, magnifying video, etc - "Windows 7 is like Vista without the brain cancer"

Video showing touch-screen possibilities - fingerpainting on screen, putting together a jigsaw puzzle with a moving image, put camera on touch screen and photos appear wirelessly on the screen.

(NB I've left out most of the plugs for HP-specific technology :-)

Shows Windows Movie Maker - looks fairly similar to iMovie.

Engage customrs where conversations/activity is already taking place
Empower your internal advocates (HP measures who's most positive in their twittering about HP)
Accelerate and efforts across your organisation

Monday 12 October 2009

Message from the Minister / LIANZA Awards

Starting with a message from Nicky Wagner MP, speaking on behalf of the Minister responsible for National Library and Archives NZ, Nathan Guy. (He's in a budget meeting today.) Library has signficant contribution to make socially, economically, etc, to country's wellbeing. Driving goal of this govt is to grow the economy. Recognise difficult financial times.

Rollout of ultra-fast broadband network throughout NZ. Improving schools and frontline services to public. Need to lift educational standards. Focus on literacy and numeracy.

Another key driver is innovation including research.

Services we provide are important to society; the public expects more and more. Glad that our profession is addressing questions of services vs technology. National Library is a leading centre in preserving documentary heritage of New Zealand. Minister is keen to see more people engaging with collections housed there.

So much depends on easy access to information. Libraries make quality NZ information accessible. National Library has done groundbreaking work. Demonstrates value of cross-govt, cross-sector collaboration. Collaboration within library profession makes a lot of sense in these difficult times. APNK and EPIC are great examples.

[Pronounces LIANZA as L.I.A.N.Z.A.]

Believes librarians are very much at the front line of research, engendering a love of reading, developing new innovation.

Need more integration so NZ data is available to those who need it. Need more collaboration for efficiency and to be active at national level. Need to think carefully how sector as a whole can grow from here.


Warm up comedy act by "Pedro Haust" and "Pia Haust" collectively making up "The Hausts" (pronounced "The Hosts") with fake Spanish accents. Um. Well, Everyone Knows(TM) that foreign accents are inherently funny, right, because they're spoken by foreigners; but I'd at least have left out the jokes about Tourette's Syndrome and bulimics. --<wince> And I would like to hope that the final joke aimed at Barbara Garriock was done with her foreknowledge and consent.


LIANZA awards
2009 LIANZA Award Recipients

Rua Mano Award
Ariana Tikao

John Harris Award
Mary Ronnie for Freedom to Read
Moira Fraser for Parliametary Library 150 Years

Crown Records Management Scholarship
Anderina McLean
Adrian Jenkins

YBP/Lindsay and Croft Award for Collection Services
Margaret Ferguson

Nielsen Bookdata Research Award
Paula Legel & Kris Wehipeihana

MLIS Annual Research Prize
Highly Commended Award
[Missed the two names as we had no slides]

3M Award (see my earlier post)
3rd - Auckland City Libraries for Active Movement
2nd - Nelson District Libraries for Top of the South
1st - National Library/Marlborough District Library for Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa

How to run a podcast poetry competition

Kris Wehipeihana - How to run a podcast poetry competition
without an in-house IT infrastructure to support it
Rachel Fisher, Kris Wehipeihana
abstract (pdf)

Covering podcasting; working outside IT infrastructure; social media.

Using Blogger, Twitter, Google Calendar. But if your team isn't keen it won't happen.

Linking Montana Poetry Day activities to something that could be pushed out through to school activities. Wrote it quickly.

Clause 4 of terms and conditions - that poems are shared under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND. No questions or complaints from users.

Didn't have any speaker/microphone/sound cards/file space at all. Most work done on Rachel's own time and own computer. Used free software. Some shortcomings but advantages outweighed disadvantages.

Blogger as easy to use. Free templates can be customised but not easy if you're not familiar with html. However there's lots of instructions available online especially as Blogger is so popular.

Audacity - all you need to know is the location of record, stop, pause, play. Advanced functionality available if you're technically minded. Save-to-mp3 is an extra file so awkward step for users. Comes included in APNK package.

File hosting - two downsides include: sites require you to sign in regularly or you'll lose your account. Can also impose file storage and file size limits (but probably not a problem unless your competition is really popular).

Stat counters (eg StatCounter) lets you know how many people are visiting, whether they're repeat visitors, where they come from again. Google Analytics is another one they use and will use in future.

Last year people could only enter if they had their own equipment; now they have stuff through APNK it's opened things up for everyone. APNK should be self-managing but customers still ask librarians for help, so librarians require training.

Rodney Libraries uses a yahoo email address because their staff email has size limits - it also ties in with their Flickr account.

File hosting sponsor this year is Liquid Silver.

Ideal set up would have dedicated website where customers can fill in mandatory information and upload files directly. Computers would have all equipment and software preloaded; staff would be fully trained. Significant relationships with local schools to combine curriculum areas (technology, english, etc). One school in Rodney catchment area has more classes participating each year.

Intends to maintain presence in web2 sites so as to be in a good position when demand for these services increases.

First year had 32 entries; second year 56. (50 entries in short story competition, for comparison.)

Tim Spalding asked whether they've looked at sites where people can post poems and have them critiqued.

Some difficulties in first year of competition re dialup - but it could be done, so don't let dialup be your excuse not to do it!

Kei hea te taunga mai o aku kupu?

(Where will my words rest?)
Terehia Biddle
abstract (pdf)

Archives NZ is official repository for Treaty of Waitangi and other historical documents.

Relationship objectives with Māori
  • Can act with respect but question is whether Māori feel respected.
  • Trust and have confidence
  • [missed two]

  • Treaty obligations
  • legislative requirement under Public Records Act 2005
  • Waitangi 262 claim (flora and fauna) with respect to cultural and intellectual property issues - brought against Crown by 6 iwi asserting Crown breach of Treaty by agreeing to international agreements that affect indigenous flora and fauna and intellectual property rights, eg commercialising sacred knowledge

Building blocks
  • Statement of intent - responsiveness to Māori as a strategic priority
  • business planning documents and performance measures have sections covering responsiveness to Māori
  • Individual performance-based reviews from the general manager down

It's hard to build a relationship with Māori if internal infrastructure isn't set up to support it.

In last 5 years has been an increase in the number of iwi requests seeking assistance to support their efforts to access information; increase in number of iwi/hapū organisations seeking solutions in management of iwi records and information. Recognise that there's an ongoing expense attached to maintaining records. Looking at working collaboratively. Some movement from full repatriation to virtual repatriation.

Important to have conversation first rather than make assumptions about where conversation is to go. Easy to forget the large population group you're serving when you're dealing with just a few people face-to-face.

  • establish precedent for future Māori-ArchivesNZ relationships
  • create win-win situations between ArchivesNZ and Māori
  • Hands-on cultural awareness training for staff
  • ...

Projects they've worked with:

Kai Tahu - pilot project selecting items that local hapū Ngāti Tūahuriri had. Turned out they had a system set up so ArchivesNZ only needed to create hyperlinks and they could make sure that information that was only for their people would remain secure; whereas information that could be shared with the public could be made public. Was some concern about how much information should be shared. Some didn't feel comfortable sharing it; others pointed out that their people lived across the globe. So now have mechanisms in place for those who can prove whakapapa.

Currently Taranaki Reo revitalisation Project. -Language identified as being in state of decline. Identifying and digitising records.

Tūhoe project to identify historical records re land area now known as Te Urewera National Park.

Common themes:
  • one size doesn't fit all
  • Māori are clear of where they want to be positioned in the work, discussions and decision-making process
  • aware of significant role ArchivesNZ can play in Treaty claims
  • want to be part of solution

Guiding principles
  • build a strong relationship with māori
  • competency in te reo and (local) tikanga adds to credibility
  • kaumātua provide guidance and advice - to get into communities, and talk to people, kaumātua open the door
  • iwi determine the scope for the research
  • iwi determine the criteria for quality of data - needs to be Māori-intuitive
  • involved in all phases of project, determining milestones, etc
  • iwi-nominated kairangahau (researchers) are appointed to do the work.
  • protocols re distribution of product rests with iwi
  • work conducted in a culturally appropriate way
  • database that identifies items of significance needs to comply with ArchivesNZ standards and meet needs of iwi
  • don't compromise originals
  • be clear about what is possible
  • when necessary, say no - gently
  • manage expectations and relationships well

Q re breakdowns in relationship
A: it occurs mostly when we let our ego get in the way and aren't willing to say we're wrong. Need to keep focus not on ourselves / our department, but on people we're wanting to encourage.

Q re records that might be borderline on what should and shouldn't be accessible
A: records will always be controversial, it's a matter of interpretation, fortunately iwi-nominated researchers pull out only records that they believe are of significance to them, so it helps that they're the ones making the decision.

Q re pay of researchers
A: Up to recently salary came from ArchivesNZ baseline budget. The researchers come in and learn all the jobs there so leave with good experience too.

Q re whether there's any homogenisation of Māori viewpoint vs iwi differences in a national organisation
A: Not their job to make judgement, it's about each iwi. Each iwi have their own mana.

Q re Māori-intuitive finding aids
A: Have been working on this since the Tainui project - this became the platform on which they can improve so they now have a template. 16 fields to complay with professional standards, now have added to this fields to include names of people and places mentioned in the records. Have tried to keep it simple as are looking to the database being usable by pākehā colleagues.

Copyright vs community in the age of computer networks

Richard Stallman (homepage)
abstract (pdf)

Brenda Chawner, chair, says Stallman is "The most influential people no-one has ever heard of."

Talking about whether the idea of free software extends to other works. User deserves:
  • Freedom 0 - to run the program

  • 1 - to look at source code, verify what it's doing, fix it to make it work as you need

  • 2 - to help friends by sharing software with them

  • 3 - to help community by publishing changes to software
If one of these freedoms is missing then it's proprietary. This keeps users divided and helpless.

Text isn't the same exactly as software - no source code. So mostly affected by copyright. This has developed along with copying technology. Originally had no economy of scale - ten copies took 10 times as long as 1 copy. Copies were made in a decentralised manner. Anyone who had a copy and wanted to copy it could. --Unless the local ruler didn't like the book, "but that's not copyright, it's something closely related, which is censorship".

Printing press has economy of scale. Took time to set up, required money and skill, but once it was set up you could produce many many copies. So copies were made in a centralised manner. And this is when copyright began. In England it began as a method of censorship in 1500s (originally to censor Protestants, then to censor Catholics). You'd apply to crown and get perpetual monopoly to publish a title. This was abolished, and in the 1680s reestablished as a temporary monopoly for the author of 14 years. It was a means of promoting writing.

When US Constitution was written they decided that Congress could optionally adopt a copyright law in order to promote progress, and it must last a limited time.
In time of digital technology, one-off copying has benefitted so we're back almost to the time of decentralised copy-making. Copyright is no longer adapted to the technology. It's now a restriction on the public, controlled by publishers in the name of authors. "It's no longer easy to enforce, no longer uncontroversial, and no longer beneficial."

Copyright is supposed to encourage authors to write more - but how does extending copyright in 1998 encourage the authors of the 1920s to write more? And the value of 20 years of copyright 70 years in our future is too small to actually change anyone's actions. The real reason of the law is that certain companies have lucrative monopolies and want them to continue.

Originally copyright regulated certain activities while others were simply allowed. Now, companies want to set up a pay-per-universe by turning our computers against us using DRM. First by technology, until people figured out the formats and published free software - then by law, by criminalising this software. Then by technology again. Stallman says that a conspiracy to control our computers in this way should be prosecuted to price-fix.

AACS was broken and the key was published (illegally) by being included in a photo with cute puppies so it got shared faster than it could be deleted. (cf also this story)

Blue Ray. "Corrupt disks" will play in audio players but not on a computer. Sony discs install a program to take control of your computer, to hide itself and resist deletion - these are crimes. Also included GNU code which was on a GNU copy-left license - which Sony didn't comply with. People sued Sony but focused on these specific crimes instead of on their evil purpose.

Fortunately music DRM is receding. But we're seeing a renewed effort to impose DRM on books. First by taking away freedoms from ebooks; second by convincing people to switch from print books to ebooks.

Publisher wanted to get Stallman's biography as an ebook to promote their line. He said only if it's not encrypted. They wouldn't do it. Eventually he found a publisher which would.

He thinks probably the reason there's so many stories about electronic ink is companies want us to get excited about ebook readers - which have DRM, backdoors, spyware. Eg Amazon knows everything you've bought on the Kindle. You can't lend it, can't sell it to a used bookstore, and Amazon can delete your book (which they've done with 1984).

"They want to create a world where nobody lends books to anybody anymore."

Encourages us to spread the message that by using these devices, "Other readers will no longer be your friend" because we'll be acting like a jerk by having them in a non-sharable form.

He's happy with an ebook reader which runs free software, no DRM, doesn't have backdoors, restrict your files. It's possible to have such a thing. But the companies pushing ebooks "are doing it to attack our freedom and we mustn't stand for that."

Stallman says:
  • Copyright should last 10 years from date of publication. The publication cycle has got shorter and shorter - almost all books are remaindered in 2 years and out of print in 3. (Was once on a panel with a fantasy author who said 10 years was intolerable - it should be 5! He wanted to distribute his own book.)
  • Functional works (software, recipes, educational, reference) should be free - these are necessary for your life. (Imagine if the government tried to stamp out "recipe piracy". Points out that attacking ships is bad, sharing with people is good, so should reject propoaganda use of term 'piracy'.) Works will still get made - cf recipes, Wikipedia, etc.
  • Works about what people thought - eg diaries, letters, memoirs - should allow noncommercial redistribution of exact copies.
  • After 10 years goes into public domain and you can publish your modifications.
  • Remixing snippets from many places should be legal outright.
  • Sharing copies on the internet should be legal.
"To attack sharing is to attack society."

Also proposes:
  • Distribute tax revenue directly to artists to promote the arts. This means not in linear proportion to popularity. Based on popularity, yes (eg through polling) and then take the cube root - so 1000x more popular would get 10x as much money.
  • Voluntary payments - micropayments so you could send a dollar anonymously to the artist of the song you're listening to. You could get a certificate of having supported your favourite artists as encouragement. Make friendly advertising campaigns encouraging "push the button". (Me: make it a big red button and everyone will want to push it!) Need a good system.

3M Award for "Innovation in Libraries" Finalists Presentation

(Presentations available online)

Auckland City Libraries with the Active Movement programme - biggest problem now is where to park the buggies because it's so popular. Including video of snippets of the sessions including bubble-blowing. :-) SPARC will sponsor this in 50 libraries across greater Auckland area, starting today.

Aotearoa People's Network Kaharoa (on whose wireless network those of us with laptops are connected!) "Kaharoa" is the largest of the nets traditionally used for fishing. Many stories of word-of-mouth bringing in huge numbers of new users to libraries.

Top of the South - "the prow" referring to the canoe that Maui fished up and which became the South Island of New Zealand. Local providers used. Community continually adding content, comments. Many plans for website to add functionality (RSS, GIS) and content.

Generation Ngai Tahu

Hana O'Regan and Sir Tipene O'Regan
Sir Tipene O’Regan and Hana O’Regan

The Whare Mahara - The House of Memories

The house is an acknowledgement of the past; embraces the present, providing a place to gather and collect; and is about future as a legacy to be there for the next generation.

Intergenerational transmission of knowledge - will look at tools, systems etc that have been used transmitting knowledge in Ngai Tahu.

Transmitting knowledge also means loss of knowledge. With the arrival of the potato, the whare arohe, the knowledge, poetry, references of fernroot disappeared. With the arrival of iron saws, the time-consuming process of grinding pounamu was lost. The knowledge of those who lost wars - their poems and stories - is gone. "History always forgets the losers." -- Tā Tipene

Hana says she and her father have very different perspectives. (Her father interrupts to correct "focuses" to "foci". :-) ) Each generation influenced by events and values of their time. Tipene says older generation may have longer view.

Hana defends "she waits for the movie to come out" by pointing out that it's higher quality than old reels, and in colour, and she has access to a wider range of technologies than older generations had.

Tipene's father had benefit of his father's library; his uncle read Gibbons' Decline and Fall 20 or so times and also a fisherman, but belonged to "an aristocracy of knowledge". Tipene was exposed to Dickens before he read it as father read it to him when a child. Father: "What's the use of Latin? None, thank God. Lord preserve us from the tyranny of relevance!" Tipene: "We all handle knowledge differently."

Structural questions: - selection, determining what we want to know and preserve; loss - do we want to lose it and not-know just because we're no longer using it.

  • Priorities: maintaining tribal boundaries, survival, whakapapa, mahinga kai
  • Tools: mōteatea, karakia, kōrero o nehe, pūrākau, whakairo

Early settlement
  • Priorities: adaptation (fish hooks and axes, steel replaced stone), globalised knowledge, new worldviews and worlds (sealskins going to China and Māori travelling in those ships), new commerce/production
  • the written word, books, Christianity

Post Ngāi Tahu Deeds/Treaty
  • Priorities: survival, diseases, introduction of an abstract legal code, retaining land, economic sustainability
  • Tools - petitions, letters, presentations to commissioners

Ngāi Tahu Claim
  • Priorities: documenting the Middle Island land claims and securing fulfilment of South Island Purchase contracts
  • Tools: private journals, whakapapa records, manuscripts, petitions, legal documents

Waitangi Tribunal
  • Priorities: collection of information to prove traditional use rights and mana whenua, establishing the tribal base, political organisation, economic sustainability
  • Tools: secondary and primary research, records of oral traditions, oral accounts of sustained practices and traditions, specialist analysis of mahika kai resources

Ngāi Tahu settlement
  • Priorities: commercial viability, maintaining tribal boundaries, understanding development, redevelopment of tribal resources, moving from claim-mode to looking to future
  • Tools: radio, tv, digital media, websites, print, books, magazines (Te Karaka, Te Panui Runaka) - new tools but still missing something.

Move away from process of repetition to transmit knowledge - can now be recorded and stored and retrieved in other ways - print and video. Don't have to retain knowledge as parents and grandparents did - can Google it.

Knowledge as entertainment - takes it back to the fireside.

Te Reo as an example - language was neglected for a long time. Why did so many generations raised in the language not transmit it to their children? Sir Apirana Ngata argued that the first priorities of education for Māori should be English, English, English. They felt that the community spoke Māori and it couldn't possibly be lost, so focused on English. This happened to Gaelic in Ireland too, and elsewhere. Hindsight is 20/20....

Languages (47% endangered, threatened or extinct) are far more threatened than birds (11%), mammals (18%), fish (5%), plants (8%). Particularly low statistics of Ngāi Tahu language proficiency among Ngāi Tahu speakers. Hana's frustrated that language doesn't feature on the tribal wish-list; Tipene interrupts to say it features on the wish-list all the time - just not on the "must do" list. It's a systemic problem: you can't understand place names unless you have Te Reo.

Hana comments on the "PC-ing" of knowledge that is being transmitted. Lullabies used to include quite graphic depictions of past wars and necessary revenge - what it might look like ("or taste like"). Now sanitising a whole body of knowledge by omitting this.

How will Ngāi Tahu decide what knowledge to transmit to their mokopuna? What will they need to know to be Ngāi Tahu, to survive, and prosper? What songs will they sing?

Call back to conference theme - He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata. (What's the most important thing in the world? It's people, people, people.)

Monday 28 September 2009

Rehearsing the unplannable

After my post about planning the LIANZA 2009 un-workshop I'll be facilitating, I met with Erin Kimber, who's going to be chairing the session, and we talked and brainstormed some more. She gave me some really great ideas including one that will probably be obvious to people who've actually been to unconferences: that, instead of dividing the time up among the topics, I should divide up the space so there can be three simultaneous conversations going on.

So this afternoon I ran a practice session at my workplace and that's how we did it. We got just enough people (about a dozen) to make this viable. I started off by going over the 'groundrules' and explaining where I was coming from and what we were going to do, except I babbled a bit so that wasn't entirely clear. Lesson learned: I need to write a script. Word-for-word scripts aren't for everyone - they can make you sound like a robot sometimes - but I know how to write in speaking-language, and can memorise sufficiently well, and the alternative for me is to babble for twice the time with half the sense.

We did introductions, but even with only 12 people it took too long. So far apparently 86 people have registered interest in the session itself (I deliberately didn't put an upper limit on numbers. 86, or 100, or whoever turns up, sounds like <gulp>, but if 86 people are interested then it'd suck to turn away 56 of them. Besides, I think the format really is that flexible) so I'll go with a kind of "Mexican Wave" of first names, as a warm-up, instead -- which gives me the opportunity to add on a few more Mexican Waves of increasingly challenging questions.

The "50 Reasons" exercise worked okay but probably won't scale up without me providing more guidance - I'm thinking of a variation on Mitch Ditkoff's suggestion, of answering each excuse with a question: in this case eg "I don't have the authority" -> "Who does have the authority?"

We divided into three topics, with a spare table in case of break-out topics. With only 12 people, one of the groups dissolved about halfway through; with 86, we'll probably need 10+ topics to start with.

It wasn't always easy to follow the "keep it positive" rule, so I'll focus on that more in the warm-ups. Also in the real thing I'll be wandering around instead of being a part of any group, so I can intercede and help encourage turning problems into questions.

Other than the one group dissolving and splitting among the other two, there wasn't any movement between topics. This isn't deadly because there's only a short time anyway and people might well want to stick with a single topic -- also it might partly have been because the groups were so small -- but someone suggested it'd be good to remind people of the opportunity by blowing a whistle (or, less martially, ringing a bell) every ten minutes.

I ended by passing around a sign-up sheet for the mailing list (again, with 86 people, this will be too time-consuming -- I'll go instead with a box for people to put in their email addresses if interested) and then a very brief wrap-up. People suggested it'd be good to have a takeaway, eg come back to the larger group at the end with a bullet-point list of tips - they also pointed out that having "Come up with some bullet-point tips" as a goal would help keep conversation on track. So I'll do this in the conference session too.

So that's where I am at the moment. Having that kind of dress rehearsal was 1000% value for money, and has got me even more excited about the conference session itself in two weeks.

Friday 25 September 2009

Something you mightn't know about Google Reader Shared items

You probably know that Google Reader has a "Share" option which puts a blog post into your own "Shared" feed so friends who subscribe to that can see what you've been reading.

And you probably know that recently they added a "Share with note" option that lets you... well, add a note when you share it so your friends can see what you think about what you've been reading.

But what you mightn't know is that if you select both "Share" and "Share with note" it goes into your shared feed twice (once with and once without the note). This is a bit stupid, but there you are. To stop it happening just don't select "Share"; selecting "Share with note" all by itself is sufficient.

Links of interest 25/9/09

LibLime, an organisation which sells support to the New Zealand-developed open-source library system Koha, has recently announced changes to their practices that are technically legal but many feel don't abide by the spirit of the open-source license. Library Journal has a basic summary of events with links to key discussions.

A libarian gets a marriage proposal on Ask a Librarian.

Customer service
Being at the point of need discusses placing screencasts, chat widgets, and other tutorials in the catalogue, subject guides, and databases.

Chalk notes as a valid communication format is a library manager's blogpost about her response to chalk-on-pavement comments about the library. Her follow-up on chalk notes addresses the issue of communication within the library about public responses like this.

Tracking ILL Requests is a "wouldn't it be neat if" post about providing more information on ILL requests to users.

The APA has an APA Style Blog with all sorts of handy tips.

10 free Google Custom Search Engines for librarians

5 sites with free video lectures from top colleges