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Thursday 22 December 2011

French open data and historic monuments

Way back I had this idea I'd keep up with library blogs in French (and another couple of languages I was semi-competent at, at least with the help of Google Translate) and feed back the occasional roundup of interesting stuff into the anglophone world. I did it a bit, then ran out of steam, then the rss feeds I followed got out of date so nowadays I've no idea where the really interesting conversations are happening.

But I still see the occasional tidbit, such as (via Des Bibliothèques 2.0) the launch of the official French Open Data website (A nice touch is that down the bottom of the page they link to Open Data initiatives in a bunch of other countries too.)

And even more cool, (via the same), Monuments historiques, a mashup of data from, OpenStreetMap, INSEE, Wikipedia and DBpedia, and Yahoo! (see more on the sources and process) which lets you search or browse for nearly 44,000 monuments in France by type, historic period, region, Metro stop... and gives you data, description, and images about each monument in a really pretty interface.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Closing panel #lianza11

Key messages the panel noticed
* Karen Coyle: We're all in the same boat. And we're all working toward solutions.
* Andrew Booth: The power of stories. Everyone has a story - every user - can we harness that power?
<small earthquake happens (possibly a mag 3-4?) and I get briefly distracted>
* Michael Houlihan: Passion is important, and confidence is important. These go together. Librarians as leaders.
* Martin Molloy: Spent so much time trying to survive and look after colleagues. Tend to forget what this is all about, and being here is a good reminder. Also, we're all in the same boat but not necessarily rowing in same direction! Need to use the strength we've got, our comaraderie.
* Jenica Rogers: Concerned that might be minimising difference between countries, but pleasantly surprised that we are very similar. (But downside is we don't have magic solutions to her answers either.) Very encouraging that we've got people all around the world working on these problems.
* Audience #1: Each one of us has the power to transform something at our own libraries.
* Audience #2: Climbing hills and not giving up - as long as it's a hill worth climbing.

Issues for next 5 years
* Jenica Rogers: Concerns about readiness of librarian leaders. We're not supporting as much as we need to. Moved up early because she chose to. But many wanting to do this aren't finding the path or the support to do that.
* Michael Houlihan: Disagrees. Thinks many are preparing. Not sure the things we care about are always the preserve of professional librarians. Have brought in professions from elsewhere - can be in danger of isolating ourselves. Libraries sometimes pushed into slow lane.
* Martin Molloy: If David Cameron has his way won't need to worry about younger generations because older ones will always be there unable to retire. Politicians are a key area for the next five years, and the advice they get from their policy offices re which services are vital/expendable. Librarians haven't stepped up to the mark in managing corporately and advocating for libraries at the same time. Need to get more economists (etc) speaking for us.
* Andrew Booth: In past thinking about challenges have always thought about externalities, but Jenica's presentation reminded that restrictions in our own head are the big challenge.
* Karen Coyle: We have many practices that are hundreds of years old that we need to transform into new technologies - and to do this we need to understand them (the practices) better. Have to re-examine what we take for granted, to transform for a new information-era.
* Sue Roberts: We have a strong professional collegiality and association that helps us work on these together and we shouldn't underestimate that.
* Audience #3: "Nothing in this world is certain, all you get is the sun rising and setting." Retention of traditional knowledge. When we see everything coming at us it might be an opportunity to look at ourselves and see how we need to change ourselves to face the future.
* Audience #4: We've got challenges but we have to prepare the next group. The next level are saying they don't want the pressures. Need to look at doing things differently. We can get our message across if we position ourselves. Need to look beyond where we are and see if there's something else.
* Carolyn Robertson: Don't advocate a natural disaster to break the mould, but notes the "Other duties as required" - civil defense duty. As manager had to retrieve staff because they were so fantastic in other areas people wanted to hold on to them. Can take inspiration from INELI leaders.
* Heather Lamond: Has heard a few times that people don't want to be leaders. So those who do want to be leaders have to let people know that.

Advice on working politically
* Karen Coyle: Attend a non-library conference. Be the only librarian and speak up as a librarian.
* Andrew Booth: We see things through librarian glasses. Work out what buttons to press with those with evidence. "Slip out of librarian skin; slap down librarian biases; slop on some reality."
* Jenica Rogers: When making a case she's rarely doing it to librarians, so has to translate it to broader audience. Had to learn how to do this. Communicating to people without librarian background is hard and very important!
* Martin Molloy: Simple to explain and difficult to do: Politicians are just like us - they have things they care passionately about and you need to work out how they tick and what their agenda is. Need to work with people who work with politicians to find out who's doing what where. Politicians want to get reelected every four years, so need stories about how things change within four years. Local politicians are motivated by stories in their community; national politicians have more varied agendas. Time spent on reconnaissance is never wasted. Can't leave this to someone else - managers, etc - "I" need to do it within "my" role.
* Michael Houlihan: We're all holding a bird that says "Celebrate" (promo for next conference) - need to tell people what we've done and how we contribute. Show the relevance of what we do to the goals of people who control the pursestrings. Likes the "Turning knowledge into value for New Zealand" motto because it says so much.

Audience #5: Asking what panel will take away to change what will come back.
* Jenica Rogers: Has realised her actual staff have never heard her do this. (Sue says she might scare them!) Fear is a good motivator. :-)
* Karen Coyle: Will try to bring passion, humanness etc to meetings in future.
* Michael Houlihan: LIANZA is like a mini-IFLA - both contributions from worldwide and new innovators within NZ. Hopes to bring some of this to Wales.

And LIANZA 2012 will be in Palmerston North, 23-26 September with a theme of Ipukarea (referring to the ancestral homeland - a place that represents our history, where we go to be rejuvenated) Celebrate, Sustain, Transform.

[Waiata: Tu mai ra]

Power to print disabled people #lianza11 #p25

Mariann Kraack, Wendy Nasmith
Power to print disabled people through passion for information

Most popular RNZFB service is braille and talking book library. By the end of this year all audio will be sent on CDs. Door to mailbox service. Issues continues to increase: July 2010-2011 324,000 audio items; estimate 576,000 next year.

Only 5% of print material is in an accessible format. In their experience the more material is available, the more people borrow.

DAISY - Digital Accessible Information SYstem. international standard for structuring digital audio content, makes it more accessible to readers. Made up of mp3, html (may have text or just navigation) and SMILE (synchronises audio and text) files. Tries to keep it as usable for a print-disabled reader as print is for others. Playback software can be downloaded from DAISY website for free.

RNZFB DAISY player is the Plextor PTX1 Pro designed in Japan. From any place in the book can tell reader what page they're on, how far from end of book. Create and remember bookmarks. Sleep timer. Synthetic voice, can read from SD card or memory stick. Internet capable for downloadable books.

"Burn on demand" service. A CD can hold up to 40 hours of listening - 6 books (so less time for things to be delivered) or 20 magazines. Reduction in cost of postage despite more books being issued. Player is lent to members. Personalised CDs are burnt with borrowers' individual book requests and posted out. When it's returned, a new one is sent out. Borrowers can choose which day they want to receive magazines. No missing or damaged items to replace, no waiting lists, digital recordings have better audio quality.

6000 items available in DAISY format. Producing 100 new titles a year including NZ titles. Purchase titles from overseas. Only add unabridged titles, all structured according to standard. Digitising old titles and adding DAISY structure. 20 magazine titles (eg Women's Weekly, National Geographic, Mana) recorded in DAISY audio. Braille titles also distributed and want to digitise these in future.

New title and subject bibliographies are produced weekly and distributed by email listserv and by Telephone Information Service. TIS also delivers newspapers, government and regional news, and uploads of book reviews by staff and readers, and audio extracts. Library magazine produced thrice yearly. Expensive to produce as printed large-print. Can search on accessible OPAC. Need to upgrade.

What readers like about it
They like the quality; getting more content in a more timely manner. Less handling of physical items. Easy to use player - Mr H thought he'd have to get help setting up but could use instructions all himself. Audio testimonials from supremely happy users.

Creating partnerships
Public libraries have increasingly more content in CDs or Overdrive. "Tea with Tales" event at some public libraries where library staff read extracts to both sighted and blind people. Simple to organise and very successful. Book groups: old cassette system was awkward but new digital services let print-disabled people participate. Can advertise events held by local public libraries to

Christchurch Public Library with JAWS software. APNK includes software as part of its standard suite (having listened to a single customer). Infrastructure is in place but do people know it's available and do staff know how to teach people how to use them? Want to hear success stories to share with members, which would make it easier for them to visit library.

Have worked with Wellington to help people using Overdrive. Worked with Auckland on making website accessible.

In future want to collaborate with public libraries. Small steps. Advancements of technology open up world of communication. Huge range of levels of expertise among users - not always related to age. Increasing numbers using email, OPAC, asking about other material online. But older members prefer to use DAISY; younger members more technosavvy. Can't provide all info needed to members on their own - there's too much.

Hopefully in future will use internet. Want to create partnerships to help provide information to all.

Charity, funded by public donation. Operates under Section 69 - print-disability - blind, visual impairment, can't manipulate books, can't move/focus eyes, has a handicap re visual perception. Add copyright statements to recordings.

Now distribution is easier may be able to offer services to stroke/arthritis sufferers, people with dyslexia or neurological conditions, but currently funds earmarked for blind/partially-blind people.

Can provide awareness training on adaptive technology and physical spaces. Simple things like the design of a form contribute. Many public libraries provide database access, but members may need support to start using them. Would like to work with public libraries - needs awareness of how technology is used. Ebook readers available have different levels of accessibility. Some have text-to-speech capability, but not all titles have it enabled. Books can't usually be navigated - touchscreen unhelpful. Some devices use same button for different functions depending what mode you're in. Emerging technology and features will improve in time. YouTube video about ebooks for blind/partially-sighted

Q: A couple of years ago had trouble getting DAISY readers to members - how's progress?
A: Should get them to all members by end of week. Very need-based - old technology was breaking down.

Q: Are your members better informed than other NZers?
A: Many members not working; for many it's one of the main things they can do. Desire to read is strong.

Q: Plexitor is internet-capable - is that currently in use?
A: This is the next step, to send books by internet. DAISY protocol is being finalised. One site is using it, streaming to player. The dream is getting closer.

Q: Work with dyslexic kids - can we tell them to go to RNZFB.
A: Yes. Just need something to prove they meet print-disabled requirements of the Copyright Act. Used to be hard to serve all people with cassettes, now able to serve a bigger group. There is a funding dilemma re device so they may have to meet those costs to get the DAISY player.

Q: Recorded or text-to-speech?
A: Send out human-narrated books.

[demo of DAISY player]

Q: [Re databases]
A: Someone went to library to get help using databases, but miscommunications re technology, and trying to solve over the phone was awkward!

Reality-based librarianship #lianza11 #keynote8

Session chair recounts the Chalk notes as a valid communication format story.

Jenica Rogers
Reality-based librarianship for passionate librarians

We live in a liminal time - internet, digital divide, shifting economies. Some cling to the past, some plunge forward, some standing still and waiting to see what'll happen next. Future will take care of all of us in the end, but we need to decide our position, based in our own realities. We can all be passionate, successful, plunge forward - but foolish to think we can all do it in the same way.

How do we get places? We go there, do it, be it. We are our own best weapon against the things we want to change. We are our own best resource.

First have to find our passion. Many great ideas at this conference. But fraught with uncertainty about our own job.

Step 1 - figure out why you like an idea. Why are you fixating on this technique, this equipment, this change? What resonates? If you can figure it out you can advocate for it in a compelling way. Complaints that some keynotes haven't explicitly linked their talks to the library situation - but that's our job. When we go home, a list of what we heard is less compelling than "I heard this, thought about it, and linked it to what we're doing at our library." We've had a lot of talk about telling stories - we need to take stories back home. So name your passion.

Step 2 - make your passion actionable. Quotes from Rands in Repose: You Are Underestimating the Future A passion combined with a belief it can be done.

"There's always a hill to climb - and some are worth dying on. Only some." Acting on your passion is a hill. Everyone has a hill to climb. People who don't know what their next project is haven't named their passion or don't believe in it. Uses her blog to do this - eg blogging about bad vendor service.

Sometimes legacy processes protect core of what we do. Can't know what this is unless we challenge it. So challenge things when we get back! We've got ideas from conference - will hit wall of "You're just one person". So pick a hill, look at your energy levels and work out which one's worth climbing. When you find barriers (economy, earthquakes, inertia...) decide, "Is this a hill you want to die on?" Some battles aren't worth fighting, sometimes the cost of winning is too high, sometimes the victory isn't strategic enough. Choosing a hill is intensely personal so only you can know which is which. But we have the power to choose which hills are worth it.

"Approach success as you would any project. Plan for it, organise it, manage it." Change doesn't just happen. Need person in right place, right time, right idea, who does it. You have to put yourself in the right place and time. So plan for it. Can't just tell manager "We should have ebooks" - need a plan. Any goal can and should be project-managed.

This applies to everything
  • identify your goals
  • map out the steps - how do you get started (depends on who you are, who's in charge, who are your allies, what will it cost in money, time, political capital). May need user needs survey, may need to meet people, may need to write a budge projection.
  • understand your personal need for accountability. How much do you need to know and report to people; how much do others need to know and report to you? Prepare to ask for info and give it in return. If you're prepared you look smart!
  • understand your need for support systems. Do you want to work as a loner or be part of a team? If you know, you can agitate for it.
  • include all of these issues in your plan and make a map
Make a map and follow it! Needn't be detailed, guiding you every minute of the day. But thinking about things gives you confidence - a script to follow if things go wrong. Can protect you from yourself.

Imagine you're an astronaut. Want to go to stars but you *can* go to the moon. So that's your goal. To do this you have to build an ugly rocket. You hate it - but it'll get you to the moon. So "Embrace process and love even your ugly rockets." Eg when planning to update survey you know that you'll have to do a user survey. You don't want to, think it won't tell anything new, but the powers that be require it. Doesn't matter if you're right or wrong - you have to do it to get to your goal.

At the same time, "Don't lose sight of your goals - and remember that sometimes the wise choice is to turn back." Sometimes rockclimbing you've put in so much effort and pain you can't imagine giving up. But sometimes you need to remember your goals - why are you doing this? Think about your passion. Have you passed the point of no return? Or can/should you say it's time to stop? Serving needs of others is part of our operating principles so turning back can feel unaccepting. Sometimes altruism can prevent success by preventing failure. If it isn't working and can't work then you'll keep pouring resources (altruistically!) off a cliff. Have to parse out what's probably and what's possible and what's "possible but only with nuclear weapons".

"Success requires some tolerance for failure. What's yours?" How high are you willing to climb? How strong/fragile is your egg? Strong things can be fragile if you know where to knock them; fragile things can be strong if you know how to hold them. Before you start chasing passion, ask "What's the worst that could happen?" Easy to think about "What's the best that could happen?" We pick projects because we can imagine success - but consider failure too. Once you know the worst, ask "Can I handle that?" Not asking these to operate from a place of fear - that just makes us small and weak. But we need to know how far we can push ourselves before we break.

Remember other people have points of fear too - different fears than ours. When they hit this, they can become a brick wall; or maybe just a closed door. "If fear of failure is what stops people, ask why. Then ask 'What can I do about it? How much do I care? Am I the right person to deal with this?'" If you know that they're immoveable you know to stop hitting your head against that brick wall and look at other options. May not be able to move them, but you can move yourself. Be creative.

Of course sometimes that brick wall is your boss. You can't go over or around your boss. But can you find an advocate who can say things you can't say? "Find a community that loves you. You can't do it alone." Sometimes her power in uni admin team doesn't come from herself (because she's newest and youngest) but from finding an ally. Even if you can't win, you still need the support, people who will get you and feed you passion when the world sucks you dry. Your support network might be in your organisation or out of it - national, international, online.

You're going to need to network someday. "This is not your last job." If you follow your dreams you'll sometimes find you've outgrown your job. At this point your network may give you leads, support.

"Know thyself and set your priorities accordingly." You need to know what you want and what you need. If you can identify your strengths and values you'll know what hills to climb and how to get there. Doesn't care what our passion is. "I don't give a shit how bad things are. [...] This is life." Long ago noticed that farmers never have a good year. But they keep farming! Libraries are the same. We've been here for a long time and never had a good year. We're all struggling - so what? Get over it, move on. Keep farming anyway. "Go do something. Change the world."

Q: Do you get fitter the more hills you climb?
A: Yes, every time you get more skills, and it hurts less.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Evidence-based librarianship #lianza11 #keynote7

Andrew Booth
Evidence based library and information practice: harnessing professional passions to the power of research

Wants to talk about a passion for continually monitoring, evaluating and improving our practice.

Four-square of:
Research   | Practice-based research
Practice     | Research-based practice

Need to be using research and researching our own service. Not just research that gets into journals, but local data.

  • EBLIP has a bit of a "cold fish" reputation. Wants to get away from this idea. Really initiative and enthusiasm is vital.
  • The Librarian knows best (aka the Divine Right of Librarians). Our passion may colour our view of what's best for users. Have to be cautious about thinking we know what our users want - doesn't always match up. See also cognitive biases (eg primacy effects, recency effects, stereotypes, perseverance of belief, selective perception). "And we all suffer from Question Framing Bias, don't we?" Librarians keep assuming there's a right way of searching, rather than showing users how to harness the skills they have - eg "the dreaded Google Search typically displays a PubMed Abstract on page one".
Can harness evidence-based practice and passion together. Quotes an informant from Partridge (2007) saying they're passionate about things so wanted to have things to "back up my passion".

We need to be evidence-based. Difference between barber (just the same inventory of skills as ever) and surgeon (body of knowledge continually built on) - also talks about the "Oops" factor: how do they behave when things go wrong? Note that abuse of evidence-based practice can be as dangerous as cutting off the wrong leg.

Using research = best practice + best use of resources. Lets professionals add value to work practices. Need to evaluate both ourselves and our professional practice. At the professional level it can inform practice, help see where we're going, raise profile of librarianship, and improve status of library.

If we're not practicing EBLIP we might be deferring to (Isaacs & Fitzgerald, 1999): eminence-based LIP, vehemence-based LIP, eloquence-based LIP, providence-based LIP; diffidence-based LIP; nervousness-based LIP, confidence-based LIP; propaganda-based LIP.

Must align evidence, profession and passion.

Role of evidence-based library and info practice
"Difference between research and using evidence-based practice to make workplace decisions". Quotes someone saying there's nothing wrong with reinventing the wheel - it's reinventing the flat tyre you want to avoid.

Not just about research. About integrating user-reported, practitioner-observed, and research-derived evidence. Not undervaluing what staff say, but restoring balance to value users too.

Start starting            | Start stopping
(innovation)             | (discontinuing
                                 | ineffective practice)
Stop starting            | Stop stopping
(not introducing       | (continuing
ineffective practice) | effective practice)

The 5 As:
Ask a focused question
Acquire the evidence
Appraise the studies
Apply the findings
Assess the impact

Reflection for, before, in, on action and Re-action.

EBLIP comes from medicine and is suitable for healthcare but less so for other systems.  So must adapt the model, not adopt it uncritically.

Eg doctors are often autonomous; librarians work together.

So rewriting 5 As:
Articulating the problem
Assembling the evidence base
Assessing the evidence
Agreeing the actions
Adapting the implementation

Q: Your last slide is about ultimate goal of EBLIP to create a toolbox we can dip into, and thus to write itself out of existence - that was the last slide six years ago so how long will it take?
A: Did think about it! There's been progress.  Still people see EBLIP as a project to stop and start, not to sustain.

Q: Can you give examples?
A: One workshop he does is called "Walking the Walk". Some great examples around developing webpages - many poorly designed - Cancer Library in the UK came up with webdesign guidelines backed up by evidence. Much has been done esp in Canada around evidence-based collection development.

Online tutorials #lianza11 #rs2

Fiona Salisbury La Trobe University
More than a quiz: a new approach for empowering first year university students to navigate scholarly information

Curriculum renewal 2009-2012 organised around undergrad curriculum design (integrating into every subject), defining assessment standards (early feedback for students), curriculum mapping, coordinating first-year services.

Created two learning objects for information literacy.
#1 inquiry/research quiz (designed to be delivered in LMS) with videos, questions - if they get it wrong the avatar explains the answer and links to more information. Each question addresses a learning outcome based on NZ standards.

8 subjects trialed the quiz - all different approaches, but all completed in first weeks and then revisited later. Sometimes voluntary; sometimes integrated as a hurdle; sometimes the mark was recorded and low marks would go on to an Academic Skills workshop. 3000 students completed it with final results of 80-90%. (Multiple tries were allowed.) Where voluntary, completion rate was 30-60%.

For many, trial and error without guidance is a frustrating and negative experience.

Very good feedback from students (eg going back to re-view videos when stuck searching) and academics (re student learning outcomes, quality of referencing). Has let library break complex skills down into manageable chunks for first-year students. No dictating to academics exactly how they do it, and no academics asking them for endless customised courses. Time student spends depends on their prior knowledge (15min - 5 hours, mostly 1 hour).

Want to continue developing learning objects to support infolit outcomes. Role would be less about customised classes for first year and more supporting staff.

Meg Cordes
Elements in common? Antipodean online tutorials and overseas’ literature

Online tutorials - usually interactive teaching tools delivered over the internet. Can be flash, video, text-based (older)... Universities moving towards screencapture and interactive and away from text-based.

Gap Hypothesis - that published literature not used by tutorial developers - specifically researching the hypothesis that there was no significant difference in features being used in tutorials developed based on literature.

Most common content: assistance ('help', where else you can go), audio, interactivity, modularity, navigation aids. Considered the principle of least effort - does modularity have an effect on how easy a tutorial is to use?

Frequency of elements in the literature - eg interactivity comes up over 70% of the time, modularity and navigability over 60%. Frequency in tutorial sample is 40%, 30% and 90% respectively. However didn't reach statistical significance of literature, and had limited search to library journals. Mostly studied uni libraries (not polytech libraries).

A snippet #lianza11 #rs1

From the very end of the first research session, I walked in on the middle of:
Liz Wilkinson, Penny Bardenheier, Hēmi Dale, Tauwehe Tamati
Me whakarongo ki te kōrero: let the conversations be heard

New call number structure with the Framework-Kete Sublevel Series-Letters Title-Letters eg K-HAa PUR KAI

Used Ngā Ūpoko Tukutuku - still remains gaps for subjects in Māori language readers. Sometimes a feeling of indecision about whether a term can be used. Would support workshops.

User-centred access lets users browse by difficulty level, or search by difficulty or topic. Supports language and literacy development, and supports relationship building. Have made some great connections between library and Te Puna Wānanga.


Koha / demonstrating value #lianza11 #vs1

Two papers in this vendor session.

Shelley Gurney (
Giving librarians a voice - using open source libraries to build a better system

"We're too small"
"We're too big"
"You need to be a techie to run Koha" - there's always someone on listserv to help and answer questions
"It's difficult to migrate" - usually yes, but with Koha in fact you can have a painless migration
"The quality of the ILS is not great" - the British Archives, French police are using it without issues. Government departments - so security's not an issue

FOSS - Free and Open Source
Why money isn't everything - she can give us a CD now for free with the whole ILS and documentation. But will take time - which is why there are companies who can do this set-up for you.
Collaboration and community are the cornerstones of FOSS - and libraries - so we can have a say, a voice, in making it just what we want it to be. Can be customised exactly how we want.

Version 3.6.0 just released. (Upgrades every six months; bugfixes every two weeks.) Looking at using RFID with the system. Book covers, RDA compliant. Works with Te Puna, Worldcat. A library in India might ask for a new system to deal with children's books, and will pay for its development - then it's available for everyone to use.

Try it out at - reset at 6pm every evening but you can catalogue, circulate, etc just as if it was live at your library, and see how users would use it. Search history and borrower history - deleteable by user. In staff view, things most often used on left, and others linked from right. Circulation screen looks like a friendly webpage. Fast cataloguing available - with Z39.50 search so you can look up in NLNZ or LoC.

Q: Why is NZ so behind in adopting Koha?
A: Partly don't understand open source (think it's free therefore no good) and partly hesitant to change. Lots not knowing what open source really means - advises to go to these sites, look around, and ask existing users how they're enjoying it.
Comment: Often open source debate is about cost of actually maintaining it.
A: If you make it too complex this is true, but if you just take an existing system it should basically run itself (as much as, or even more than, anything else).
Comment: Used at ASB Community Trust - very small organisation and library. Migrating to Koha was so much easier than any other migration. Can pay for any specific customisations (per hour for development).
A: And if you need help, there's a turn-around of 10 minutes for an answer.

Q: Smartphone and tablet aps?
A: Some developers working with RFID and integrating with tablet aps so can walk around and scan items in the library - mobile version of the main system that you'd be able to use on your phone. Also aps for users in the library.

Stephen Pugh Oranjarra Partners
Librarians are not hospice workers: best practice strategies for demonstrating value and influence in academic libraries

Currently seems like librarians are like hospice workers - looking after the patient while it dies. Sums up issues with vendors, suppliers, aggregators - market dominance and effective monopoly.

Best practice is not new in NZ. Streamlining of collection development. Idea of return on investment. Pushback against the Big Deal.

SCS - Sustainable Collection Services - irony of someone who spent first half of his year selling big packages, now telling libraries how to get rid of them.

World class collections aren't created in a vacuum... Focus on relevant content. Academic libraries don't want to put things in silos - is it a monograph, a journal, a CD - but look at whether it's relevant. Also want to look at alternative models. Some are publisher-agnostic.

Various practical studies of return on investment. Tend to focus on research grant money but this measure is less relevant to institutions that don't have a solid sci/tech base. Likewise summits on the value of academic libraries.

Evaluation has to do with standards. Assessment has to do with goals.
Usage and such measures = implied/empirical value
Testimonials = explicit value
Time and cost savings = contingent value

Questions for your toolkit
How does your library contribute to: student retention, graduation, success achievement, learning, experience; faculty research productivity, grants, prestige.

#2 issue in facilities in recruiting students is the library (article in "Facilities Manager")

Survey (results on website)
People know of trend to measure ROI; many don't think ROI can be accurately measured but do think metrics can be applied to Collection Development activities. Think admin/funding bodies more interested in ROI than faculty/students/community. Some measuring it; more "might at some stage".

Oranjarra's work will be informed by this trend. Hard to measure to get result you want. Need to decide if it's a political issue or if there's intrinsic value in it.

The future of metadata #lianza11 #keynote6

Karen Coyle
Five steps to the future of metadata

Everyone on Facebook has created a webpage. We expect to be able to comment on news stories. Still have the Powers That Be - but also Wikileaks. Can't do anything without expecting user interaction.

Devices and interfaces still very crude to the point that libraries have to help users, though users expect to be able to Just Use It.

Access means getting a copy - and hard drives get cluttered and messy. We don't have good means for helping manage that.

Communication is increasingly remote and faster. The "slow conversation of books" cf IM and SMS.

Much training is in video form.

Everything is becoming part of the record. Every cat has a webcam. Email is used as evidence in court.

What are libraries doing about this?
Linked data - this year the concept of linked data has become mainstream in library (though we may not have heard about it...) Internet developed (before web) for sharing of documents. About 12 years ago idea of semantic web - instead of documents on the web can put data on web and let it link.

Linked data is a simple concept but the technology can be complex. Data can be linked to more data - a web of data. The link itself has meaning - doesn't just link between Melville and Moby Dick, but says "he's the author".

Plus anyone can link to me. Data remains intact, but the linking leads to knowledge creation. See Shows a link cloud full of sets of data from various organisations. Many scientific data sets - everyone works in narrow environment but know it probably connects with other people's data. Government data - big efforts in UK and EU to get data out for people (and other agencies!) to use.

Some library data (though not a complete picture) starting to appear. W3C Consortium wants to get more on the web - huge interest in library data. People begging for us to get our data on the web!

Five steps
* Data, not text
** Identifiers for things
*** Machine-readable schema
**** Machine-readable lists
***** Open access on the web

Web of data only functions when people can make free use of what they find. Some organisations have a hard time with this. Open Data movement; concept that bibliographic should not be considered proprietary.

LCSH, BnF RAMEAU subject headings, Dewey Online (just the summary) are available online in linked data format, and soon LC classification. MARC geographic and language codes but not MARC itself. All RDA Elements and RDA controlled vocabularies are out there - though no applications using them.

FRBR and ISBD. Virtual International Authority File (merged name records - access via MARC and linked data formats).

Getting open access to citation data would be great; friend-of-a-friend data.

Linked data format more flexible - can add into existing network without disrupting what's there.

When we try to meet everyone's needs we build something so awkward no-one will use it.

Expressing library data as linked data isn't rocket science. British National Bibliography is put out as linked data, Swedish catalogue, German libraries have done this. We can do this - the question is, is this what we want to do?

What might this let us do? Open Library does this. Lets you have different views. Page for author doesn't just give list of titles, but information about author. Page for work gives general info and list of manifestations/blurbs.

Current metadata, much is useless - xii, 356 p. ; 23cm - it's like the secret language of twins, and yet this is our face to the users.

Our classification schemes are incredibly rich. Bing, Google, etc do keyword search not because it's effective but because it's easy. You can't say broader or narrower. No categories. It's up to the user to turna complex query into a simple search - all the intelligence is on the user, so it depends on the user's skills.

It is good for nouns, especially proper nouns. Doesn't work for concepts.Terrible if searching for common terms. Can't ask specific questions. Linked data can let you ask and answer this type of question - cf WolframAlpha.

Why is Wikipedia always near the top? Because it's organised info and people love it.

When we get results that don't help us we forget it - we use our human intelligence to ignore everything that isn't helpful. Keyword searching is like dumpster diving, trying to find that one sandwich among the trash.

Tagging is okay but it's not knowledge organisation. Miscellany has its role but puts a great burden on the user.

Need to change our concept of what the library catalogue is. Need an inventory for librarians, but this inventory is not what users should see! Need to link to circulation too. But need something users can access and use because OCLC report shows only 2% of users start with the library catalogue. Our data needs to be elsewhere, where the users are. Must be willing to free our data.

Need to focus on knowledge organisation - have rewritten our rules but haven't looked at classification. Finding books by title or author isn't the most exciting thing people can do! Should assume people looking for something are doing so because they don't have the information.

W3C Library Linked Data group - has a good discussion list
LOD-LAM forum in Wellington, December - where people talk about what we can do
The Data Hub

Karen Coyle's site will have links

Breaking news: this morning got an email that LC has just released Future of Bibliographic Control report.

Tai tokerau taniwha rau #lianza11 #p10

Cherie Tautolo and Bernd Martin
Tai tokerau taniwha rau: empowering library patrons to achieve

Te Tai Tokerau campus
Sylvia-Ashton Warner Library (located between railway track and intermediate school, next to high school fields) - primarily supports Faculty of Education (three Education degrees offered), 868 students, over 3/4 extramural. 52% are under 30 years old; 48% percent over. 50% Māori, 50% non-Māori. Presentation focuses on on-campus group.

Need to focus on retention/success especially for equity groups including mature students, those from rural, low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Mere's story

Equity of access in libraries - barriers
Personal, Institutional, Societal (refering to Gorman (2000) p135 - thanks @greengecko29)
Need to think about what we have control over, can improve.

Need a layout that makes ethnic minorities more comfortable. Ghastly painting replaced with tapa cloth. Some may have little experience with libraries/academic libraries. Need to make our purpose and roles clear to patrons. Some patrons have experiences of racism or marginalisation so especially need to be made comfortable. They've moved the reference collection to create a more open space. Grouped tables to create discussion area for laptops. Photocopier, laminator, etc in one area. Moving further back in the library gets quieter - self-regulated.

Collection reflects needs of users. Māori readers - project underway to reclassify these (cf RS2 session this afternoon about this). Small reference collection - only core bit left. Short loan collection is open access in same area.
Information literacy workshops - work with student learning people to have tie-in lectures: eg first student learning workshop then library workshop. Try not to be authoritarian, invite input from group where possible to build rapport. Groups can be large, sometimes 20+. Remind that people can come back for followup/one-on-one - helps them to relax if feeling it's too fast.

Relationships - especially with student but also faculty and support staff. Make the librarians' role more effective and easier. Personal approach to greeting patrons - learning names - and greeting in Māori when comfortable. Body language especially important! Move away from desk when appropriate. Culturally appropriate acknolwedgement means feeling respected and valued. Taking interest in students as people means better able to serve them. Had a relationship with a student so could ask why they hadn't seen him - he replied saying everyone seemed to know what they're doing so he was embarrassed not to. Gave the opportunity to show him around - and 10 minutes later he was showing one of his friends around.

Reciprocity - students aren't the only beneficiary of relationships. Students gathered outside library one day to sing Happy Birthday to Cherie in English and Māori. Another time presented her with a card to support her in her illness. Received a gift of a kete from a graduating student. Gets offered a ride home when raining. A feed of oysters!

Students feel uncomfortable when lack of Māori students and staff. Need to normalise the presence of Māori students and staff. Eg get classes brought in, student discussion groups.

Silence - some people uncomfortable with silence - feels unwelcoming, cold, formal. Different spaces important - need gathering spaces - noise of discussion can feel more welcoming.

Participation in campus events - because small campus often involved in things that aren't technically library purview. Reinforces relationships and contributes to campus life. Food plays a big role!

Empowered students achieve.

Q: You have good support from faculty to get library courses embedded - did that take a long time? Course programmes so tight we can't muscle in.
A: Sometimes have to work on it but mostly they're good. Mostly the reciprocal thing - goes two ways.

Q: When moving out into campus activities is the library closed? Tension between participating and keeping library open when poorly staff.
A: At powhiri time (before semester starts), everyone's expected to close and go. Other times would stay open.

Te Papa #lianza #keynote5

Michael Houlihan (at Te Papa since 2010)

Passing an item around the audience, asking for an identification.

Theme of transformation coming up again. How do we engage in changing lives?

Museums originated in disciplinary society hoping to educate working class and expose them to middle class behaviour - and even now the first thing we see going into museums is a list of rules about behaviour.

Libraries have the power for change.

Te Papa is now 13, a spotty adolescent, getting into that awkward phase. Can't keep living day one, needs to develop a new narrative. Have posed themselves twelve questions.

1. What's your story? Curatorial vs educationalists, marketers. Tension within organisation. Tensions regarding money too. How do we build a narrative that we feel comfortable with but gets these tensions out on the table?

2. Who are we here for? Paradox of globalisation vs fragmentation.

3. Why? What's so special about what we do? Te Papa is unique in being bicultural. (Wales is bilingual but not bicultural.)

4. Where? Visitors/audience/customers are in fact the owners.

5. What? 36,000 toilet rolls per year at Te Papa. We're a business - we have to make sure people have a comfortable visit. Need to generate money, but also tell a story. Curators' research is funded by shop's money.

6. Are you transformational? Impact on the nation is very important; equally important is impact on ourselves (our organisation).

7. Accessing all areas? How are we sharing our collections, skills, knowledge, with community? At Te Papa story has been about "to here"; next 13 years will be about "from here" - getting collections out. Decision was to bring all history into one place that people would come to, but movement now with iwi reasserting rights/ownership to care for their own taonga. Demographics - how to respond to big demographic shift north of Taupo? Also have an international responsibility, show NZ to the world and the world to NZ. Cultural tourism will place new demands on us.

8. Being a forum for the future? Create and act as catalyst for discussion around culture, environment, politics.

9. Treauring the treasures? Museums talk about knowledge, not about wisdom. Have been challenged that we collect the natural environment, but not science. Where do we go to see the history of science in New Zealand? Inspiration for the future is critical.

Language - we have a responsibility to act as a bridging role. Need to work on supporting Te Reo and mātauranga Māori.

10. Have you got an issue? Te Papa will be pushing the environment for the next 5-10 years. Doing international research. Also responsibility to act locally. We like to preserve things in NZ - which we do by slapping up air conditioning which is bad for the environment.

11. Connecting with people? Te Papa does this well. Currently make learning engaging and fun but need to focus on learning outcomes too.

Co-creation very important in future. Genealogy is about people telling their own stories. People don't want to be given a narrative, but to create their own.

Museums becoming more personal rather than supposedly-objective.

12. Mana taonga / sharing authority? Te Papa working with iwi to help/let them tell their own stories. Need to bear in mind that Te Papa only holds collections in trust - and it needn't be in Te Papa, but can happen in the community too.


What about the impact on ourselves? Need to change how we do things, get a different focus, and these can be the most difficult areas to deal with.

Going digital? It's about how you build capacity and capability. No shortage of ideas! No extensive research about how sites are used - how do they meet objectives about changing lives?

Keeping fit? How to be a learning organisation. Future depends on continuous development of staff. Staff need to be involved in determining values. Also important to evaluate.

Staying in touch? Governance here is less transparent - people get shoulder-tapped. In Wales meetings were open and all documents published. How do we engage with individuals to keep them involved? How do we engage with youth? Values are critical to give you a framework about the future. Has never worked in an organisation with effective internal communication.

Getting down to business? Value for money. What does the organisation do that's special? this will give you ideas.

Telling your story? Institutions have to blow our own trumpet, because no-one else will. Social, cultural, economic capital. Added value to tourism, employment - politicians understand these arguments.

Building sustainable leadership? One of NZ's big challenges is - well, the reason he's here, all the way from Wales. Why couldn't there be an NZer in this role? We need to develop staff for leadership. How do we become the employer of choice? This is a long-term thing but is about transformation.


Item going around is a heel of a boot from 1914 British Army. That boot was probably at Battle of the Somme, at Mametz Wood 1916 when the Welsh army came in to attack. Shows a photo of the field where he found it. Starting to build context, a story, around it. We've been able (or some of us!) to touch history. What libraries and museums do is unlock the obscure, give meaning, create emotional reaction - can provide knowledge, but essentially unlocking a world.

Q: Many GLAM institutions have moved together - what are your thoughts on ways we can support each other?
A: Many good examples of that eg in New Plymouth. Where there's a strong sense of community and what's important. Idea of memory can drive museums and libraries. There's an intellectual synergy but may be an economic synergy too. Thinks it's a good thing. Need to explore potential around this, especially digital. With synergy can explore idea of community forum. Harder for individuals but easier with larger bloc.

Q: Where an item's maintained in a community, whose responsibility is it re preservation?
A: Belongs with community but preservation is an issue, and iwi are very aware of this. Museum has responsibility re care and preservation. Challenge is not just about giving rules, but getting involved. Not impossible to do it, there are already steps to take, opportunities to share collections instead of just being colonial about it. Permanent arrangements are the harder challenge. Te Papa as mothership and getting collections out there to work.

Belated notes from ITSIG #lianza11

[I'd dumped my laptop back at the hotel to recharge (and give my hands a rest) before coming to the ITSIG workshop but ended up writing some notes longhand - all without attribution, sorry.]

To define a social media policy, you need to know why you're doing it, who for, and what values you want to uphold. (I noted this especially because it reminded me of the planning process that I got out of Sally's Project Management workshop.)

Libraries and publishers don't understand each other and need to work together better. This is the point of view that HarperCollins are perfectly within their rights to insist on their 26-loan deal. An audience comment pointed out that we accept a lot of crap from publishers in terms of interfaces that even librarians can't cope with, they're so broken, let alone our users - should we just deal with it? The answer was yes and no - we have to buy the stuff (we can't just tell our customers, "Sorry, you can't have that super popular book because we're having a tiff with the publisher") but we do need to work with publishers to improve things.

[Personally, I think there are ways to phrase it that could leverage the customers' unhappiness - eg, "Sorry, you can't have that super popular book because the publisher broke it so it would take longer to set up your ereader to use it than it would to read it," because honestly it's not much more of an awkward conversation than, "Sorry our catalogue claims it's available when the publisher's removed it from their holdings," or "Sorry the loan for this academic textbook you need to refer to regularly for the next few months expires after a mere four days," or "Sorry the site claims getting this is a three step process when it actually requires installing and upgrading and more upgrading and escalating to various levels of library support." None of these latter situations make us look any better - unless we explain it's the publisher's fault, people will still assume it's the library's fault, so why not go for broke?]

"Librarians don't need training, they need to learn." (I believe this got retweeted a few times.)

In training/learning sessions found library staff who couldn't right-click, unfamiliar with installing software, nervous about Adobe signup. Users buying ereaders who struggle to find the on-button. (Or bought by people for parents.) We have to be engaged in helping with tech issues or we'll become just a repository.

Also need to look at the challenge of getting other ebooks, eg from NZETC, downloadable by people whose devices are based around aps.

Monday 31 October 2011

Building customer relationships #lianza11 #p07

Lucy Lang and Louise Mercer
Using influence and power to build a good customer relationship
Monday abstracts (pdf)

Power is a tool for good.

Define power
Audience suggestions: Authority, influence, control, imbalance, ability to make a decision
OED's definition includes effectiveness. Power is also the ability to make power, to empower people.
Short search has words: might, force, authority, potency, energy, motive, philosophical, managerial, political, actuate

Two forms of power: power over (which can be negative, reduces available options) and power to (not related to other people but our own intentions).

When you have power need we retain it, or can we share it?

Discuss customer expectations - audience brainstorm
As a provider:
  • a polite welcome
  • results, efficiency
  • knowledge - reliable information
  • developing relationship
  • empowerment
  • that we listen
  • respect

As a customer:
  • quick and timely service
  • helpful and friendly
  • welcome and listening
  • quality service/product
  • a good experience
  • consistency
  • an appropriate service - appropriate to your needs
  • efficient

Their research
Similar to what we said. Interviewed tertiary librarians (ran out of time to contact wider network.)

Expectations around communication, knowledge, attitude, service provision, service outcomes.

Communication - keep the customer informed even if you don't know the answer. A quick response can be as useful as a lengthy query. Communicate on an emotional level - understand their situation and emotions. Body language is important here!

Knowledge - If we don't know the answer find out. Context is important - understand what they need. Know the alternative solutions and pros and cons. Know our own limits - when to keep going and when to refer.

Attitude - Start by assuming that people are reasonable. They want personal connection, to feel like an individual. Someone has to be control - not always us, not always customer, but we need to read situation to decide where the power best sits. Giving up power empowers customer. Stay confident and consistent and let customer know they're not just a number in a queue.

Service provision - be clear about how long things will take and keep promises. No unnecessary referrals (hard to gauge). Interviews often didn't realise they're using strategies to manage eg listening. Be adaptable, cheerful, consistent, honest. Many customers think we're their only option - may become more needy, difficult, formal, guarded, have low expectations. We need to understand they're relying on us.

Service outcome - Not just the solution but relationship building - trust and rapport. Need to help customers help themselves. Not just about whether they get what they want. True outcome is about how we got there. People remember how they feel more than whether they got what they needed.

What's in the literature?
Tucker (2010): library needs to balance needs of one against all users.
Brewer (1995): empower frontline staff as representatives of library. Invest in training.

Product vs service - products can be machine-made; when provided a service people come away with a memory.

Beyond the library sector
Four strategies for influencing customers:
  • Assume leadership role
  • Humanise relationship
  • Advertise expertise
  • Unlock information vault - control of info is source of power
Minimise inequalities in the relationship.

What influences customers? It's what they see and especially what they feel. A single interaction can influence how they view your organisation. Look at what they experience. What messages are they getting? How services are provided can be more important than the outcome. End result is still important, but good emotional response is vital.

Practical tips
  • Listen - simple but key. Hear what people mean not just what they say
  • Create a connection
  • Keep your promises

Q: Cf Auckland work on customer experience
A: Yes, want to look into that, just haven't gone past tertiary yet. Asked librarians about their expectations as providers and then as customers - interesting to see differences even when it's the same person thinking in different roles.

Notes from Wales #lianza11 #keynote4

Andrew Green (on Wikipedia) Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru National Library of Wales
Notes from a small country

Small country. Has only smasmodically been its own political entity - mostly dominated by England. One of the first countries to become industrialised. Employment dominated now by public sector and light industry. Welsh and English are the two official languages. Number of Welsh speakers increasing thanks to efforts to develop it as a living medium in school and everyday life.

1997 decision in referendum to move much power from Westminster to Cardiff. Most areas of public policy could be addressed by people directly elected in Wales. Some hoping for full federalism or even full separatism. Currently in period of nation-building.

CyMAL (=a joint eg in the body): Museums Archives and Libraries Wales.
Has helped public libraries upgrade/build new buildings. Encouraged growth of regional consortia. Monitoring standards in Wales. Funded all-Wales catalogue and initiative to give free online access to reference and family research resources in libraries.

But still a steady drain of resources, including professional staff. Trying to get cross-border cooperation.

People's Collection Wales - Casgliad y Werin Cymru - online showcase of culture. Can log in, upload, create own scrapbook, create a trail or follow a trail, create a map to link in with mobile device.

Libraries are public goods. Noone should be prevented by lack of means from taking advantage of GLAM institutions. Prefer to deliver digital knowledge for free and without restriction. You can register for no charge and little formality. Can't always negotiate licenses for as wide access as want, but do the best. When creating/digitising material, insist it's available for free without charge or need to register.

Keep core services, core permanent staff, then use grants/funding for special projects.

Theatre of Memory project to digitise whole history of Welsh corpus. Want to build an alternative National Library - not bound to physical building which will be inaccessible for many. Will be the largest online corpus to date of material in the Welsh language.

Welsh is a precious asset, needs to be protected by government and people in everyday lives. Libraries play a big role in this. Librarian developed Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru Welsh Books Council. Policy to treat Welsh as equal to English - it's actually the language mostly spoken within the library so Green mostly uses English only when speaking with users.

Archifau Cymunedol Cymru Community Archives Wales - a project from CultureNet.

Digital Inclusion Wales

Library acts as de facto national archives - only official documents go to National Archives in London.

Report developed: Twenty-twenty: A long view of the National Library of Wales.
Online usage will increase bringing new opportunities and threats. Plateau of people entering buildings; number using it online increasing hugely every month. Digitising will open up collections hugely. Challenge of how to fund without restricting access or losing ownership. Need to move into sound/moving image. Have to address copyright (government may be doing something with orphan works). Interactive library in infancy. Social networking and crowdsourcing currently experimental, will develop to bring library and users together.

Physical library? (Refers to Y Llyfrgell by Fflur Dafydd - ebook here) Libraries becoming cultural centres. National library has thriving programme. More visitors for cultural use than for reading.

Working with authors to preserve their work in The Welsh Literature Archive Project.

Need to learn how to scrounge, beg, borrow. Also to keep our heads high!

Academic chair in Digital Collections in the national library - may be a first worldwide. Generating project work, fundraising. To do academic work on this but also help national library to maintain and innovate in digital collections. Example of moving forward, not just retrenching. Need to extend existing collaborative initiatives into new areas.

Q: Digitising up to 1910 - why not further?
A: First digitisation programme was 20th century so ventured straight away into in-copyright material. Second programme wanted to do as much as possible without copyright. Stopped there after taking advice - had to be conservative - left them on safe ground (originally going to stop at 1900). Copyright is 70 years after death of author so even 1910 might be trespassing on copyright. Also issues of trademarks. May need to retreat from that conservatism in future especially if Westminster government changes copyright law especially re orphan works.

Q: Do you have to measure impact re artists-in-residence, and how do you do it?
A: Difficult question, and do get asked it! Don't offer firm data. Can talk about outputs eg how many kids have been through schemes, but can't measure imaginative gain on part of children. But plenty of anecdotal and personal evidence from teachers and children of the effect on them.

Q: How do you speak Welsh internally when only 20% of Welsh speak it?
A: Policy is to be bilingual so any job interacting with users staff have to speak both. Not all in library speak Welsh, but definitely those with contact with public. Nothing in charter says this, it's just something they do and always have done, and people regard library as an organisation that will do this.

Q: Is there an expectation of multiculturalism?
A: Not legally but yes. Not always easy - some of oldest immigrant communities were in Wales. Cardiff had oldest African immigrant population in UK. Not always easy - issues with bringing material away from Cardiff where it belongs - but do have initiatives and have links with communities/organisations.

The WAI-262 claim #lianza11 #keynote3

Aroha Te Pareaka Mead (Speaker notes)
The WAI-262 Taonga Claim

Treaty of Waitangi claim - WAI# is the chronological number, so 262 is a fairly old claim. The WAI-262 claim has big implications for people working with Māori knowledge.

Six original claimants: Ngāti Kuri, Ngāti Wai, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu asserted that Crown had
  • failed to actively protected exercise of tino rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga by claimants over indigenous flora and fauna and other taonga and also over mātauranga Māori
  • failted to protect the taonga
  • usurped tino rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga
  • breached Treaty of Waitangi by agreeing to various international agreements/obligations that affect these.
Complex claim - includes all native species; Māori arts and designs; traditional knowledge, medicines; DNA, genetic modification. Covers misappropriation, offensive use, inappropriate use, and trademark laws that prevent Māori from using Māori language terms - a singer who couldn't use her name Moana in Germany because it'd already been trademarked there.

Claim lodged in 1991; hearings began 1998; 2001 other evidence; 2006 statement of issues and 2nd round of hearings; 2007 end of hearings; 2011 Ko Aotearoa Tēnei report (very long but you should either read all or nothing - can't just read a bit - but very good and recommended). Only one of the six original claimants still alive to hear the report, and has since passed on.
Report created new definitions of taonga species (significant to culture or identity of iwi), taonga works (significant because there's inherited body of knowledge associated with it and iwi or hapu obliged to act as kaitiaki), taonga derived works (works with a Māori element but generalised or adapted and combined with other non-Māori influences - eg new artform by Ta Moko experts for non-Māori requesting moko).

Report decided that:
  • Treaty entitles kaitiaki relationships and a reasonable degree of control but not ownership or veto over uses of IP in all cases.
  • Māori are not 'the other' - the Treaty partnership requires the Crown to be both Pākeha/Māori. Crown has often acted in a hostile way towards mātauranga Māori issues. Treaty principles must be read collectively, not cherrypicked.
  • Crown has a right to govern but Māori interests vital.
  • Can't do business as usual - need a more sophisticated Treaty partnership.
Mead says it's like a marriage in dire need of counselling. One partner has got a lot more out of the marriage than the other; one partner thinks the other is a continual whinges. Lots of bruises, scars, fights, but when they think about the kids, and they don't know what to do with the chattels - though one of the partners is trying to sell off the chattels.

Intellectual Property in taonga works
Should be able to protect against offensive or derogatory use. Kaitiaki should be able to object to commercial uses of taonga works. Should develop a register of cultural works such as haka, moteatea so kaitiaki can be identified. Should be a new commission to hear objections to commercial uses.

Basically tinkering with existing system. Claimants had wanted an indigenous system.

Māori and the environment
Three levels of protection:
  • full decision-making authority to kaitiaki
  • partnership with crown - shared decision-making
  • influence over decisions
Tribunal suggest moving to the first, acknowledging we're not even at the third.

Text in legal situations re Māori issues tend to be very waffly eg "give consideration to". Tribunal says we need to be more specific.

Wildlife Act should be amended to give Māori and Crown shared management - rather than Crown ownership. (This is the only act where the Tribunal comes straight out about.)

Taonga and the Conservation Estate
"For Māori [this is about] the survival of their own identity. Without the mātauranga Māori that lives in the DOC estate, kaitiakitanga is lost." Less than 4% of land is left in Māori ownership. Everything other than land has been given to Māori - have actually lost more land. 33% is held in the conservation estate.

So much land is 'hands off' - ideally to protect species, but it's not working. All frogs threatened, 5 of 6 species of bat endangered, 2420 species threatened, 180 species on brink of extinction. The best conservation outcomes come from communities living alongside and working with nature. "Nature without people" doesn't work - need connection between people and land.

Tongariro National Park was first park in the world to be created by a gift of land by an indigenous people.

When the Crown controls mātauranga Māori
Report points out Crown is in control of funding/managing education/arts, etc, so is basically controlling mātauranga Māori whether it knows it or not.

Distinction between kaitiaki relationship (when taonga legitimately sold/transferred) and rangatiratanga relationship (when taonga lost or wrongfully taken or newly discovered). When held in libraries/archives, Māori have a strong interest in it - but important to maintain relatively free public access. Recommend managing use through objection-based approach. Should be free access for private research but commercial use should consult/gain consent.

Recommendation to establish viable partnerships to support mātauranga māori. Real proactivity required.

Q: Thanks for speech - media never gives balanced picture and bad for everyone.
A: When report promoted, attempt by someone else to make it as racially divisive as possible - often a challenge to turn around media's challenges.

Q: Please explain more about where rangatiratanga would apply to objects acquired wrongly - is this objects overseas or within NZ?
A: Tribunal makes distinction between items wrongfully taken (especially through Antiquities Act), where Māori interests weren't identified; now you can go through Land Court to establish your interest. Gisbourne just got their wharenui returned from Te Papa. Need to be discussions - kaitiaki might decide to let the items remain. But other situations where Māori just have 'an interest'.

Q: Might a commission be set up for libraries and archives (to monitor use of IP etc)?
A: Good question - but commission the Tribunal's recommending has a specific legal and commercial reason to exist. In case of libraries probably less of an imperative. But still sitting on collections where people might access info for commercial purposes and we need to work out how we manage that access.

Q: Process around how to access information - weren't asked who they were or why they wanted, and might have been easier to access if it had been known that it was the iwi representatives.
A: Need to delegate the care of taonga to iwi, who are the people who can/should give access decisions.

Turning knowledge into value #lianza11

Bill Macnaught - National Librarian
[ETA: Speech now online]

Huge management changes - much change in staff (including Macnaught) and National Library now also a part of the Department of Internal Affairs. Easy to contribute to the aims of government within the DIA.

Cites Weinberger's "Everything is Miscellaneous".

Libraries and library courses talk about organising knowledge.

Some DIA colleagues sceptical about need for libraries/librarians in the future. Can see how algorithmic tools transform how we deal with data. If you're sceptical about the future of everything as unstructured data you'll be scorned. May think librarians are locked into the past.

Old view of all knowledge mappable into a tree-structure. But the world can't be organised like this - particularly obvious now with the internet.

Michael Spence: Knowledge is "the ultimate public good". "Old knowledge has to be disseminated in every generation". Hence education. Creation of new knowledge is costly, but incremental cost of disseminating new knowledge is low (as already disseminating old knowledge). "knowledge transfer causes the productive potential of a developing economy to increase extremely rapidly". Development needn't involve high levels of creation of knowledge, but high levels of sharing knowledge.

How do libraries contribute to the transfer of knowledge?
Public libraries support kids to reading, learning. School libraries do the same and support infolit skills. Academic libraries provide specialised resources to support success of teaching staff and research communities. Special libraries deliver value to support success of their organisation - which may be economic value. School and academic libraries support learning outcomes. Public libraries 'do a bit of everything' but customers don't have to be a member of anything, don't have to justify what they're reading or do a cost/benefit analysis. Purely driven by individual curiosity.

We turn knowledge into value - not just economic value but cultural and personal value.
The National Library turns knowledge into value for New Zealand. Includes valuing our heritage. Working with Archives. Plan to move the Treaty of Waitangi. Looking at ways to share collective resources. Literacy, learning and public programmes team busy - this year much about rebuilding public schools programmes in Christchurch. (Slide of destroyed original site (probably from their Flickr site); now up and running again in Cavendish Park.)

Ultra-fast broadband in schools initiative from government. Also rural broadband initiative, working with APNK. Launch of National Library Beta.

Shoutout to Sue Sutherland and Penny Carnaby's work; and acknowledges that much of this wouldn't have been possible without National Library being part of DIA.

Big opportunities and challenges in shift to digital. Has led initiatives like Digital New Zealand, Kōtui etc from within NDL but can't rest on laurels! Asking staff to think about the environment in ten years time (using new equipment: shows a slide of a crystal ball). Plan to facilitate conversations with colleagues across New Zealand and overseas to exchange ideas of the future.

No-one has a crystal ball, but as professionals it's our responsibility to describe a desired future and persuade decision makers to support it, rather than letting the future happen to us.

Reaffirm fundamental purpose of libraries and values of librarianship. What's our purpose, how do we add value to tools like Google, etc? We value life-long learning; equality of access; intellectual freedom; rights of users to access and publish information; linguistic diversity and cultural heritage. None of these depend on organising information and can't be replaced by algorithms.

  • Unstructured data - metadata is essential; but it's mostly developed automatically. Should we develop capability to do this or focus on specialised data?
  • Users always connected to information online
  • Free! or at least affordable access to libraries. How does this remain viable? Subscription vs owned?
  • How do we collaborate national to improve stakeholders perspective of our value?
Can't just morph as we move with the times - transitional change isn't enough. Need transformational change. Will build relationships - can't do this alone.

Together we turn knowledge into value.
(Speech supported by waiata Tutira Mai Nga Iwi

Presidential Address #lianza11

Jane Hill

LIANZA has launched its Advocacy Tools Portal.

Power in working together, connecting and using technology. Essential to build and harness expert power - we're all leaders.

We're well-placed to make a difference if we keep watching, listening, thinking analysing, collaborating, making mistakes, and triumphing.
Many trends already evident - we need to look at future implications.

[Speech is supported by singing of the LIANZA waiata]

Sunday 30 October 2011

Libraries: essential for learning and life #lianza11 #keynote2

Molly Raphael 2011-2012 ALA President
Libraries: essential for learning, essential for life
(Abstract is in Sunday's programme)

Libraries can and must play a transformative role in people's lives. Tough economy but huge increase in demand/use of libraries.

In 1990s some thought libraries would fade away with rise of the internet. Instead libraries embraced the internet, proved adaptability. Now need to change rapidly and demonstrate we're as essential as any other "essential services" (police, fire departments). We're not "discretionary" or "ancillary" services though we're not effective at making our case.

Need to transform libraries and transform how people think about us.

How do we keep our libraries moving forward?
Look for opportunities. Libraries doing pretty well at this. Not just keeping up with changes in technology but also how we communicate with public - local and broader community via online. Keeping up with demographic changes.

Excited by what she sees in libraries and library websites. Balancing demand for traditional services with demand for e-services.

Physical library vs virtual library. Most libraries are somewhere in the middle, usually towards physical. We make strategic choices re what we invest in. Shift to virtual use but still lots of demand for face-to-face.

Community library vs individual library. How do we bring people together, create spaces to make it possible - community not just individual.

Collection library vs creation library. Tend to be more focused on collection side, but some more creative esp in Netherlands, Denmark, Singapore.

Portal library vs archival library.
Research on what affects public's likelihood to support libraries for more funding:
Library funding support is only marginally related to library visits - many highly believe in libraries even if they don't use them. Perception of librarians is an important predictor of library funding support. Raphael's going to stop introducing herself at community events as "Director" in favour of "Chief Librarian".

In academic libraries, "Value of Academic Libraries".

Used to look at inputs (how many books do we have), then outputs (how many books are borrowed), now starting to look at impact - how do we transform lives? This info is much more difficult to collect...

This is a frightening time for libraries but also opportunity to demonstrate importance of libraries in transforming lives.

Who can be the most effective in telling the library story?
If we tell it, sounds like self-interest. When members of communities tell it, that issue disappears. Power of people from the community telling the story. Raphael advocates, but notices the impact of parent, teacher, business leader, business activist in making the case for the library. Eg a father talking about a summer reading project turning his son into a reader, from struggling to doing well in school. Community in Oakland defending libraries from closures. Reads story from someone who went from being a school dropout, used library resources to self-educate, then went to community college and now has Master of Engineering.

When libraries seen as transformational source, not informational source, they get much stronger support.

"The Spokane Moms" spoke out in support of school libraries. Lost at local level and went to state level. State provided support for school libraries and school librarians.
Need to engage communities and empower them to speak.

Challenge: think about how our communities can speak in powerful ways. How can we direct this towards the people making decisions? Need to think of how we advocate. Not just when budgets get cut. Need to have communities talk about our value all the time (not necessarily about budgets, but about success linked to libraries). Need to move ourselves into the "essential services" category in preparation for tough economic times.

Need more collaboration between researchers and practitioners. Build bridges so research gets used, and need to share in accessible way to communities. Front-line staff essential in advocacy.

"Empowering Voices: Communities Speak out for Libraries" (see Raphael's column) - building tools to engage in communities. For USA but open to anyone. Advocacy University

Q: "Raging Readers" turned around the whole issue at [missed the location] around to keep materials free - best-kept secret was the "Raging Readers" consisted of two people.
A: A small group can have a huge impact. Politicians often interested mostly in getting reelected. Libraries seen as easy target. Libraries who fight back usually regain most of what they lost - but then exhausted. So need people to see what the library of today is like. Had a meeting with Chief Operating Officer in the library space so he saw it during the day and was blown away by its usage.

Q: In a corporate library. Every dollar counts. Have to pay people to fill in surveys because their time is chargeable.
A: Once out of the public realm it's a lot harder to get support - doesn't really have an answer to this.

Public libraries in the UK #lianza11 #keynote1

Martin Molloy
Public Libraries: the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?
(Abstract is in Sunday's programme)

(Slideshow of photos/paintings of Derbyshire countryside as background, from

400 out of 4600 libraries in the UK are threatened with closure. Street demonstrations, regularly featuring in media and blogosphere. In the UK culture is valued in mechanistic terms - return on investment. Elderly population to grow over the next 20 years, among many other big changes in progress. Molloy thinks libraries are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

How did we get here?
There's no national library service in the UK. No ring-fenced funding from government - have to compete with other services for funding from local government, so have to operate within a political environment.

The best have positioned themselves in this sphere (as well as core functions) to deliver on wider agendas such as health, economic regeneration, community safety. Can't work in isolation - need to contribute to objectives of local authority.

But too great a focus on economic benefits from local government. Some have tried to measure value, but failed to capture intrinsic value - libraries' unique position.

Spending on libraries often at barely sustainable levels.

2009 announcement that 11 libraries to be closed. Due to controversy central government had to intervene and make them consult with relevant GLAM groups. Proposal finally withdrawn.

Free internet access across all UK libraries (People's Network) but local government increasingly introducing charges.

Where are we going?
Some authorities cutting fairly and protecting frontline services. Other places massive cuts and joblosses. Molloy's department needs to save 3.5 million pounds over the next few years. Molloy's priority is to preserve the network of libraries. Have a very small backroom team. Have provided free wifi access. Share transport services. Broadest range of online resources in the region.

Derbyshire has increased business by focusing on core principles. Funds spent on materials, not initiatives. Leader in reader development.

Thinks it's possible to meet challenging savings targets while still running services. Government would probably think they're not radical enough. He lists some government ideas eg sharing backroom services, using volunteers, and others he's even more sceptical about. Cambridgeshire had an idea to hand libraries over to a charitable trust - but finally realised it'd save no money. Now wanting to squeeze libraries into kiosks in business/doctor's spaces so they can sell existing buildings....

Outsourcing to the private sector? Might work in town but not rurally - private sector would want to cherrypick. Handing over to a community group? Doesn't recall local people being asked if they want to be responsible for running as well as using libraries...

Local campaigning has resulted in 3 local authorities being taken to judicial review. (However this can only judge on procedure, not on morality of final decision.) Something wrong when locals have to resort to the law to protect the services they value!

Who is driving?
Public Libraries Network needs shared values, support from government, and inspired leaders. The librarian was once a radical. Service managers need to understand corporate working.

How's the map of public library provision being redrawn?
Arts Council of England will get responsibility - but they're wrestling with gigantic budget cuts too. Starting off with a hand tied behind backs.

Have to work with government, parent organisations. Collaboration - joint procurement. National catalogue, national reading programme. New roadmap to include new ways of delivering services. Ebook loan service getting many new users. Usage of online sources almost doubling from year to year.

Increased personal support to young, elderly. More self-service can keep libraries open longer. Need to become corporate managers, not just service-based. Collaborate with broader groups.

Need to demonstrate that libraries are a life-changing service.

Are we seeing the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?
Many pressures - including demographic, technology. 5 years ago said libraries are as relevant as ever. Enviable usage figures and exception satisfaction levels. But confusion and lack of competence of politicians re purpose and value of libraries. Public library community also confused, lack of confidence, clarity, vision - librarians ill-equipped to defend services. "Toxic mix of short-term fixes and so-called radical solutions."

But if smart enough and flexible enough, libraries will survive. Need new approaches to engage with communities of users. Need to operate effectively within a political environment.

"What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone, but what is woven into the life of others." --Pericles

Friday 28 October 2011

Links of Interest 19/10/2011 - infolit & student success; serials; conferences

The Swiss Army Librarian posts a regular "Reference Question of the Week". One of the latest covers using file conversion websites to help a desperate patron who needs to print out a file in a format that the library doesn't support.

Sense and Reference discusses three recent blogposts on libraries getting rid of books to create spaces.

The effect of library instruction on student success
Three C&RL papers:
  • The Academic Library Impact on Student Persistence: "a change in the ratio of library professional staff to students predicts a statistically significant positive relationship with both retention and graduation rates." (Note that they show correlation, not causation; in their discussion they're inclined to suspect that the effect of more library professional staff is an indirect one.)
  • Measuring Association between Library Instruction and Graduation GPA: "if more than one or two library workshops were offered to students within the course of their program, there was a higher tendency of workshop attendance having a positive impact on final GPA. The results indicate that library instruction has a direct correlation with student performance, but only if a certain minimum amount of instruction is provided."
  • Why One-shot Information Literacy Sessions Are Not the Future of Instruction: A Case for Online Credit Courses: "Researchers analyzed the pre- and post-test scores of students who received different types of instruction including a traditional one-shot library session and an online course. Results show that students who participated in the online course demonstrated significant improvement in their test scores compared to the other students. This study shows freshman students' needs for more comprehensive information literacy instruction."
  • Jenica Rogers names names of vendors with annoying practices. Some vendors responded well; some badly. Jenica posted another followup on Vendors that delight me.
  • SCOAP3 is an initiative to set up a consortium that redirects library funds from paying for closed access High Energy Physics journal subscriptions to funding these journals to be made open access. The FAQ goes into more detail about how the model will work.
  • LIANZA 2011 starts on Sunday - #lianza11 tweets from all attendees will be captured in a set of CoverItLive sessions and I'll be liveblogging as much as my wrists allow
  • the worldwide online Library 2.011 conference will follow, running from November 2 - 4, with sessions held in multiple timezones.

Thursday 22 September 2011

Thoughts on "Cheat's Guide to Project Management"

Sally Pewhairangi's workshop "Cheat's Guide to Project Management" covered the planning stages of managing a project in a way that made it clear why the planning is so vital.

We started by discussing reasons projects fail -- one of those brainstorming sessions everyone always has plenty of material for and which can get downheartening. But Sally concluded this section by saying that while we can't always make these problems disappear, we can manage them; and looking back at my notes now I can see that the vast majority of the problems we talked about would be much alleviated by the process the rest of the session modelled.

This, much abbreviated and paraphrased, was:
  1. Find out/figure out how the project fits into the institution's goals. A project to merge serials into the main collection will go differently if the aim is to free up space or to aid findability. If push comes to shove, which consideration will win?
  2. Define the heck out the project. Make sure everyone's on the same page about exactly what is to be achieved, by when, and with what resources. What's included/excluded? Get it in writing and signed off by everyone to prevent confusion, co-option, mission creep, the sudden discovery that you have no budget, etc.
  3. Break the project down into tasks and subtasks so you know everything that has to be done and don't get surprised.
  4. Work out who's doing which subtasks by which dates.
For someone like me who just wants to achieve something, this often seems like a nuisance, and during the session my group was constantly having to rein ourselves back from rushing ahead to the what when we hadn't sorted out the why. But when we did plan it all, it became much easier to come up with a much more innovative and relevant approach to solving the problem.

One of the other fascinating things came during the "silent brainstorm" section that is, everyone scribbling out all the tasks they could think of in silence. No talking meant no-one dominating or being shy, and no derailing into knocking ideas prematurely. And this really brought out the different strengths of different team members - when we categorised the tasks as a team we could see one person focusing more on communicating with stakeholders, one person on technical aspects of the project. Come to think about it, this could be a good way of deciding who should be responsible for managing what.

In short, a fantastic workshop which has given me a whole new perspective on planning and, more practically, the tools to do it systematically.

Plus, the template we worked through was so useful in breaking things down, guiding us through, and giving a real sense of accomplishment at the end, that I'm now pondering how something similar might work in an infolit class: guiding students through thinking about what information they need and where to find it. I'm thinking something like:

Plan your search
1. What’s your topic?

2. What kind of information do you need?
Well-tested research <-----------------------------------------------------------> Cutting-edge knowledge
Summarised information <------------------------------------------------------------> Detailed information
Layman’s level <---------------------------------------------------------------------------> Research level

3. Who would have written about it? When? Where would they have published?
Kinds of people
Date-range published
Kind of publication

4. What words would they have used to talk about it?
Synonyms - any other words that mean the same

5. What sources would hold the publications from #3? What search features are available?
Database or other source
Available search features

and then some stuff on analysing results, facets, pearl-growing, etc. (I may abbreviate the above to try and fit the whole thing to a single A4 sheet for a one-hour class; or may leave it at two sides for the class I get two hours with.) I won't have a chance to test this out probably until next year so would be happy to hear any ideas in the meantime!