Monthly Archives: October 2009

Facilitating the unplannable

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


  • A set of slides to structure my intro/warm-up
  • a bunch of topics on A3 paper for people to cluster around and discuss
  • an egg-timer to keep track of time with
  • a bell to ring to prompt people to move between topics every ten minutes
  • a box to collect email addresses in for those who wanted to join a mailing list to continue the conversation after conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

Links of Interest 20/10/2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIANZA 2010 Conference Launch

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

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

Tim Spalding on Social cataloguing

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

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

Warning: Library Science being practiced without a degree

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“If you’re using terms like “social capital” you’ve already passed some kind of brain test” so not worried about vandalism….

“magic” is problematic – Harry Potter mixed in with academic ones.
“leather” even more so

Can do tagmashes to get tagmash “France”, “WWII”, “fiction”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series pages – eg Star Wars series. Plus “related series”. Much more information than any library has. Collated by people who know about it – the books’ fans.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Web 2.OhMyGod to Web 2.OhNo

Douglas Campbell and Chelsea Hughes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Re “just do it” – but it’s about the library’s reputation too.
A: If you’re just doing it then use a personal account but also be smart about it.

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

Implementing Web 2.0

Paul Hayton

Metrics are important – available on flickr, wordpress, facebok, youtube, witter. Wikipedia doesn’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Launched May 08; now 111 videos, average of 40-60 viewers per day.
Invest in a tripod
Recording at 320×240 at 8 frames per second is fine and reduces both file size and upload time
YouTube has a 10min limit
Don’t pan and zoom.
Be consistent in categories and tags

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coordinating national publicity plan to tribal newsletters and library community.

Will have live chat at Raising funds online.

Successes are result of collaboration, promotion, and planning.

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

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

Libraries building communities: communities building libraries

Jessica Dorr
abstract (pdf)

Begins with “Kia ora”; ends with “Kia ora koutou”. 🙂

Says our reputation precedes us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With the tools in place, they are weaving.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A new equity emerges

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

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

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

As librarians we need to take responsibility for preserving information.

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

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

Information on two axes from private public and from formal informal.

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

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

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

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

International colleagues see New Zealand as an “incubator country”.

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

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

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

What would you do?

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

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

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

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

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

Ellen Thompson from Queensland University of Technology on the unconference “It functions better when more traditional meetings fail.” Traditional meeting boring – either nod off or get surly and disruptive. Would like more dynamic ideas movement going on in meetings. Wants an un-meeting. So did it – convinced boss to have a fortnightly agenda meeting and every second week have an un-meeting:

  • whoever comes is the right people
  • whatever they talk about is the right topic
  • when it starts it’s right, when it’s over it’s over
  • law of two feet

To get a quick meeting: have it standing up. (Audience suggestion to secretly take the chairs away.) Are there any systems, practices, procedures in our organisation that we can “un-“?
– un-performance and strategic direction
– un-jargon
– joking: un-reference interview
– un-email (talk to colleagues instead)
– un-bureaucracy
– un-heirarchy of information and power
– un-serious
– un-noncontroversial
(Put the “un” in “fun”!)
– un-risk averse
– ungry!
Break-out groups came up with:
– A well-run meeting can be a beautiful thing.
– Need to have purpose and time and place.
– Don’t try to mash-up agenda-meeting and unmeeting – will get the worst of both worlds.
– Some people have standup meetings and they work, so it can be done!

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

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