Bronwyn's Library Blog

Saturday, December 31, 2005


Jeff Harrow’s comment on the encyclopedia issue. 
 Change is certainly a constant, and looked at from the perspective we had 20 or 30 years ago, frightening, when nothing should be considered a constant.  Looking forward, however,  exciting and challenging.  Thanks Jeff.
One Person Can Change The World. Overnight. To me, this is a wonderful example of the virtually overnight emergence of a phenomenon that was never even contemplated by those who participated in the growth of the Internet. It's an example of the power of a single individual's concept to rapidly change (eventually to decimate) an entire long-established and once profitable industry by suddenly eclipsing much of its relevance. And it's also an example of how an empowered, global, volunteer community can choose to take the reins of improving the accessibility of human knowledge across a vast spectrum of topics. The encyclopedia industry was blindsided. They never imagined that they could be marginalized, much less by the antithesis of their long-valued process of expert editors and verified content experts. In a way, this is similar to what happened to be best buggy whip manufacturers when the automobile replaced the previous common mode of transportation.This is a Big Thing.”  Read the whole article

Friday, December 30, 2005

Harry Potter reduces childhood accidents

So reading reduces childhood accidents – or is it just Harry Potter?  And if so, something that I’ve been wondering for a while - can we claim Harry Potter as “reading” or is it just a phenomenon, a trend?.  Must be the Superman television and not the comics that caused all those little boys (and girls!) to jump off roofs.How Harry Potter staves off childhood accidents James MeikleFriday December 23, 2005The Guardian Harry Potter's spells have made children less accident-prone. Numbers attending a hospital emergency department fell when new books by JK Rowling hit the shops. Doctors in the department of orthopaedic trauma surgery at the John Radcliffe hospital, Oxford, checked how many seven- to 15-year-olds suffered muscle and bone injuries needing treatment over the past three summers. They found there were 36 and 37 instances when the last two Potter books came out in June 2003 and July 2005, while the average for other weekends was 67, they say in the British Medical Journal.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Google Librarian Newsletter

Google Librarian Newsletter December 2005 “- This newsletter was conceived at the 2005 ALA conference in Chicago , where Google hosted a booth in the exhibit hall. We spent three days chatting with librarians about Google: what you liked, what you didn't like, and where you saw opportunities to work together to help people find useful, relevant information

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Call for papers: Digital libraries and eScience

Call for Papers: Special Issue on Digital Libraries and eScience
International Journal on Digital Libraries
Papers are invited on the technical, social, and policy dimensions of eScience and digital libraries. Topics to be considered include, but are not limited to:

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Digitisation initiatives

ALPSP briefing: Digitisation initiatives
25 January 2006
Society of Chemical Industry, 14/15 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8PS (map) booking form
First Amazon, then Google, and now a number of other players have launched initiatives to digitise print publications for Web indexing (and, in some cases, potential future sales models). While publishers have welcomed the added visibility which search-engine indexing brings, they have been concerned both at those initiatives which do not involve seeking rightsholder permission to digitise in-copyright works, and at the implications of third-party sales of all or part of their works. In this ALPSP briefing, we shall hear at first-hand from representatives of some of the most significant of these initiatives. This is an opportunity to hear what they are really doing, to evaluate the potential pros and cons for your publishing business, and to ask questions.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Weblogs webinar

Weblogs & Libraries: Communication, Conversation, and the Blog People

February 15, 2006 | 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Pacific
Weblogs have become a standard content management and communication tool for many libraries. There are conversations taking place every day in library-sponsored blogspace. Librarians can create content easily and effectively and build communities for their users.Where do we go from here? What does the next generation of library blog look like? What about the Blog people, librarians who write weblogs for sharing, knowledge exchange, and community. This presentation will examine the blogs and the bloggers and point to the future of the medium.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The death of literature?

Michael Masterton wrote an article about the decline of reading and literature in his ezine Early to Rise #1599 . I had to respond. Obviously his title "The end of Literature" was meant to arouse some response. But the main thrust of his article was to decry the end of reading and books. As a librarian and avid reader these are also thoughts that are uppermost in my mind these days, too. Nevertheless, I have to disagree with Michael. I don't think reading is dying, and literature that we idolised last generation and last century may be dying, but I would prefer to use the word changing. We read, but in different formats and from different sources. Many of us use the internet for information that once we retrieved from books. We develop a sense of community with writers on the internet that once we got from magazines and newspapers. But both of those still involve reading. I still read for pleasure in an archair or in bed - from books and I don't think that is changing much, although I read (there's that word again) that people use their mobile devices and computers to read for pleasure. Those may grow, but the comfort is not there so it will be slow.As for literature... It is changing as it always has done. Sentence structure is changing. Storytelling techniques are changing. And our tastes are changing parallel to those changes in writing style. What is considered current great literature is changing. And yes, oral storytelling evolved into paper based materials so that the stories could be preserved better. And we were glad. Now the preservation/publication styles are changing to be able to tell stories orally but preserve them as well. An entirely different pleasure is involved in listening from the pleasure involved in reading, but it is literature all the same. So Michael, maybe it's change we have to face, and embrace, if we choose, but it is not death - well not of literature and reading.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Wikipedia news

Malicious Editor of Wikipedia Comes Clean  The moral of the story: If you libel someone on Wikipedia, don't fess up... The heinous villain in the slanderous affair of the Wiki edit, The Dead President and The Journo has come clean and admitted the dastardly deed. Unfortunately, honesty doesn't seem to be the best policy (in this case, at least) as the perpetrator has now lost his job:  Article continues

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Guardian first Book Award

Biography of homeless man wins Guardian First Book Award
Alexander Masters has tonight beaten a strong field to win the £10,000 Guardian First Book Award for Stuart: A Life Backwards, his biography of homeless man Stuart Shorter. Told in reverse, from homelessness, drug addiction and spells in prison back to a horribly abusive childhood, it is, despite its harrowing subject matter, a funny, irreverent read,

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Library 2 in black

"The basic drive is to get people back into the library by making the library relevant to what they want and need in their daily make the library a destination and not an afterthought."

"Make the library a destination and not afterthought..."

Worth quoting.

MerriamWebsters Open dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary where you can 1) submit and share entries that aren't already in our Online Dictionary, and 2) browse entries submitted by other members of the Merriam-Webster Online community.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Oxford University open source system

Oxford University opt for asq library system based on open source
Oxford University libraries have announced that their new Library Management System (LMS) will be from VTLS. The VTLS product range incorporates open source components such as FEDORA digital object repository and the Mckoi or MySQL databases. So what are is Oxford paying for, if the software is based on free and open source software? Training, integration, installation, customisation, maintenance and so forth, and none of these are trivial, especially when you consider that Oxford University has 80 libraries, including the Bodleian copyright repository library and over 700 staff.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Yahoo adds blogger to and flickr

Yahoo! teams up with top blog provider
Yahoo! has continued its drive to make inroads into online social communities with the announcement of a deal under which it would become the preferred supplier of the world's most popular professional blog platform.
The deal with Six Apart, creator of Movable Type, is the latest in a string of deals by the world's largest internet media company as it seeks to embrace so-called "social media", the new generation of websites that encourage internet users to share written text, photos and videos.
On Friday, Yahoo! acquired, a site for users to share their favorite web links. Earlier this year, it acquired Flickr, which offers a way to annotate and share photos.  Article continues


“your number one source to find the Wiki engine that matches your or your company's needs”“Select the Wikis you want to compare, then press the button.”

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Year in Review

Year in Review

Thank you LIS News for this review.  Certainly fascinating times we live in.  Wouldn’t be anywhere else!!

It's that time again when the media looks at the year in ideas and we review the top stories of 2005. Below are some of the highlights of this year's library news. For some background, see the 2004 and 2003 recaps, as many of those stories are alive and well. This year we look back at stories that cover Google, a good looking librarian, a curmudgeonly president, Wikis, Rootkits and more. The LIS world continues to be shaped by the stories you read here.

Mirror of the world
From the Read alert blog …
This Friday, the State Library of Victoria opens Mirror of the World, a new permanent exhibition tracing the history of the written word.
“Most Victorians have no inkling of the treasures their library contains because few, apart from the whitegloved scholars who consult the rarebooks collection during their research, have seen any of them”, Ray Cassin of The Age wrote in descibing the Mirror of the World.
A series of writing workshops and tours are available for school students during 2006. Writers Carole Wilkinson, Kirsty Murray, Trudy White and Gabrielle Wang will help students explore this extraordinary collection, and write imaginative pieces in response. Contact us for details of dates. There are sessions in all four terms of the school year.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The World’s Fastest Librarian: SHORT FILM made for librarians about librarians

No thanks, MC, I won't be asking the community, though I loved your discussion and aligned with lots you said.... Their perception is what was reported (see below). We change that perception. We introduce the services that we learn about. Add the buzz and the hype in the best ways we know how. Micromanage has its place because we have workplace health and safety to consider but I would love to see a balance.

And yes we need think tanks. Can't afford them? No, neither can we, but just reading the blogs is enough to create the energy and to learn how and why to implement what we can of L2. Community is one of the greatest outcomes of Web 2, and the energy that comes of discussions and open idea sharing will work to create Libraries 2.

Perceptions of Libraries and Information resources

Now can we get creative with our marketing?

Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005) summarizes findings of an international study on information-seeking habits and preferences.

With extensive input from hundreds of librarians and OCLC staff, the OCLC Market Research team developed a project and commissioned Harris Interactive Inc. to survey a representative sample of information consumers. In June of 2005, we collected over 3,300 responses from information consumers in Australia, Canada, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Perceptions report provides the findings and responses from the online survey in an effort to learn more about:

Library use
Awareness and use of library electronic resources
The Internet search engine, the library and the librarian
Free vs. for-fee information
The "Library" brand
The findings indicate that information consumers view libraries as places to borrow print books, but they are unaware of the rich electronic content they can access through libraries. Even though information consumers make limited use of these resources, they continue to trust libraries as reliable sources of information.

The Online Library User Manifesto

From Jenny levine posting on the ALA Techsource blog.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Databases in education

Digging into Databases--Using Databases to Inspire Novel Approaches to Creating CurriculumDuring the past year, I spent dozens of hours looking at more than 50 subscription databases as part of research for a school's new library. These online publications are a dream for middle and high school English and history teachers in the variety of primary and secondary sources they offer. Databases can inspire novel approaches to creating curriculum. As teachers become familiar with them, their thinking about lesson planning and student research often moves in innovative directions. Below are five projects where librarians can take the lead in helping history and English teachers see the potential of this new world of sources.  Article continues

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A day in the life ...

A Day in the Life of a Reference Librarian 2005

“Monday started with so many chores that it seemed a good day to chronicle. Maybe a library school student can gain some insight into the work of a librarian from this posting. Then again maybe I'm not typical. Perhaps this will just be amusing.”

Rick, thanks for your list.  Echoes, certainly, of my life as a librarian and library tech.

“As I look back on the list, I see some universal themes recurring: death and taxes and chocolate and the Internet.”

Well, chocolate and the Internet anyway !!  

Library best practices wiki

Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki
“This wiki was created to be a one-stop-shop for great ideas for librarians. All over the world, librarians are developing successful programs and doing innovative things with technology that no one outside of their library knows about. There are lots of great blogs out there sharing information about the profession, but there is no one place where all of this information is collected and organized.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

e books

e-book ImpressionsOver 30,000 bestseller fiction and non-fiction e-books

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Wikipedia tragedy

A false Wikipedia 'biography'
By John Seigenthaler

Out of the clubs and into the libraries

Out of the clubs and into the libraries – more comments from the lbr blog

Now this is writing!!

“There are whole generations out there that we want to get //iNTO THE LIBRARIES. Perhaps we should be thinking about what ideas we can get OUT OF THE CLUBS. Seriously, though, we need to get more music //iNTO THE LIBRARIES. More gaming //iNTO THE LIBRARIES. Social space //iNTO THE LIBRARIES. Text messaging. Moblogging. //iNTO THE LIBRARIES. How about equipment and software so more people can start doing their own remixing, their own mashups, their own podcasting? //iNTO THE LIBRARIES (really, not as expensive as you think). Karaoke nights. Poetry slams. //iNTO THE LIBRARIES.”

We can do it!!

Copyright law still valid?

Is the copyright law still valid in the digital age?
Editor's note: As Google and Amazon prepare to digitize books and hawk them online, are they violating the copyright law? Listen to what Wharton professors say. THE latest frontier in the digital content revolution — efforts by Google, Amazon and others to turn millions of books into bytes that can be accessed no matter where the reader is and sold by the page and easily searched — could redefine copyright law and change the way knowledge is shared around the world.  

Article continues

Friday, December 09, 2005

Teen users - good news

Thanks to Aaron for his blog post about success with using games to attract teens to the library.  They’re not such an alien lot after all …?!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

NetLibrary reaches milestone

NetLibrary reaches 100,000-title milestone
NetLibrary, a division of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., and a leading platform for full-text digital content in libraries worldwide, has achieved a ground-breaking milestone in the eContent industry.  NetLibrary is the first eContent platform to offer academic, public, special and school library users access to more than 100,000 full-text eBook and eAudiobook titles.  Article continues

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ask-a-question at IPL

The Ask-A-Question Service at the Internet Public LibraryThe Ask-A-Question service is our free, e-mail reference service. From the very beginning, reference has been an important feature of our site, and our service is still going strong.  In fact, we’ve now answered more than 50,000 questions from clients around the world. 

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

World digital library

World Digital Library Planned
Library of Congress Envisions Collection To Bridge Cultures
The Library of Congress is launching a campaign today to create the World Digital Library, an online collection of rare books, manuscripts, maps, posters, stamps and other materials from its holdings and those of other national libraries that would be freely accessible for viewing by anyone, anywhere with Internet access.  Article continues

Monday, December 05, 2005

Beware the new Ministry

Beware the new Ministry
The Ministry for Reshelving has started a wave of revolution.  Instructions are provided for reshelving copies of George Orwell’s 1984 from fiction to a different area of the bookshop.  Libraries beware!!  Today 1984 – tomorrow?  Hmmmm…

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Reading to children

Does reading to children help them learn to read?
Eric Durbrow pointed me to this article in the Globe and Mail. Its lead sentence offers a surprising claim:Parents take note: Reading to your preschoolers before bedtime doesn’t mean they are likely to learn much about letters, or even how to read words.But aren’t teachers and literacy advocates constantly urging parents to read to their kids? Aren’t their entreaties backed by research?   Article continues

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Carey's Backlist Released

Carey's Backlist Released by Random House
During September and October 2005 Random House [released] all of Peter Carey's backlist as the Sydney- and Melbourne-based publisher takes over the rights to Carey's books from University of Queensland Press. Designer Jenny Grigg has created new jackets for each of the books with Carey's name dominating the design. Random hopes the new covers will entice book collectors' interest, thereby boosting sales.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon – smokeless versionIn the great green room, there is a telephone, and a red balloon, but no ashtray. "Goodnight Moon," the children's classic by Margaret Wise Brown, has gone smoke free. In a newly revised edition of the book, which has lulled children to sleep for nearly 60 years, the publisher, HarperCollins, has digitally altered the photograph of Clement Hurd, the illustrator, to remove a cigarette from his hand.  Article continues

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Digital Libraries

Beyond Search and Access in the NSDL Based on a variety of calibrations1, we are now in the adolescence of digital libraries. Like any adolescence, there is reason for optimism and concern.  Read the full article