Tag Archives: lianza2008

Libraries and sharing

In December last year Dale Askey wrote a Code4Lib column, We Love Open Source Software. No, You Can’t Have Our Code which raised some discussion for a while.

But of course it’s not just software.

Oh, I haven’t personally experienced libraries refusing to share information. In fact when I was researching our “Library on Location” project, everyone I contacted was more than happy to give me stories, photos, even survey data. But… I did have to track them down from oblique references in old blogs and newsletters and email them, one by one.

And we put our own Library on Location reports online, which I’m glad we could do. But… we had to ask if we could do it, and only our conference paper is in any kind of official repository sort of space.

Is this consistent with our profession’s attempts to convince academics to put their research papers and data into institutional repositories?

And is it an efficient, librarian-like way of organising the accumulated knowledge within the profession?

User surveys.
Projects that work.
Projects that don’t work.
Projects that might work but we ran out of funding.
Projects that would work if we could share the workload with another institution.

This might have been why the Library Success wiki was created. It’s a great idea, but its contributors are individuals, not libraries, so it just doesn’t have the kind of oomph I’m thinking about.

What if…

What if every library in the world brought their anonymised circulation data, their IM reference statistics, their anonymised usability testing and survey results, their project reports, their lesson plans and handouts, and their iPhone applications out from their hard drives and their intranets and made them publically accessible?

What if they all licensed this stuff (and photos and podcasts and vidcasts and…) with a Creative Commons or GPL license?

What if they all created a single website where this stuff could be stored and searched in one place?

What if that website allowed space for libraries and librarians to comment and collaborate on and add to each other’s work?

No, seriously, I mean it

At the end of the month my library’s delegates to LIANZA2008 are going to report back to the rest of the staff about what we got out of the conference. I got 4 things out of conference, 3 of which were:

  1. Leadership – future taking vs future making
  2. Innovation – just do it
  3. Why are they presenting on this topic when we’ve gone further in our analogous project and have more experience of how it works in practice? Oh yes: because it never occurred to us to share.

So in my allotted 5 minutes of the reporting back, I plan to pitch the idea that we should move all our (sanitised if need be) project work from the intranet to open webspace.

What about the rest of the world?

LIANZA 2008 Day 4 summing up

It’s weird that it’s now over and moreover I’m not just back at home with my cat (who cuddled up to me all night) but also back at work. Day 4 was as great as all the rest.

Marilyn Waring started off talking about her work with various communities, and how quantitative “objective” research just isn’t sufficient to work out what the underlying problem is in a lot of cases – you need to talk to the people living the experience and get them involved in the research.

Meg Upjohn and I talked about our Library on Location trials. Kris liveblogged our talk and the questions and answers. We really enjoyed presenting and the audience was great.

At lunch I went to the Aotearoa People’s Network presentation — it was really inspiring hearing how the implementation has affected so many communities which would otherwise be left out, or at least left for last, in a market-driven majority-rules approach.

Helen Mandl talked about the extension built onto their library and the ensuing refurbishment. There was nothing revolutionary but we did get to see how the ‘learning commons’ ideas could be applied in a practical way.

Dylan Horrocks gave the last keynote, bookending the conference – talking about how the stringent anti-piracy laws don’t actually benefit the artists, but rather the corporations; and how peer-to-peer file-sharing is going to become more and more predominant and change the economic model. Did I mention he’s a great speaker and very entertaining?

I kept up the liveblogging: see Waring and Horrocks and Aotearoa People’s Network and Mandl (you’ll need to scroll down as this link contains three days’ worth of stuff now).

Food report for the day: I forget morning tea as we were preparing for our talk. Another buffet lunch – took it into a lunch session so had somewhere to sit while eating. Small scones with jam and cream to taste for afternoon tea – very tasty though the jam was quite sticky to spread.

LIANZA 2008 Day 3 summing up

Today was slightly more leisurely – I still think I got my full money’s worth, just that it’s nice to come out and have enough brain left that you can remember what sessions you’ve been to without checking your notes.

First off, Lawrence Lessig’s keynote was fantastic. For one thing, he’s got a quick thumb on the powerpoint clicker, and his voice/slide synchronisation is so perfect that the images become an extension of his voice — from a technical standpoint alone it was a joy to watch. His message was great too: he started off talking about the much broader context of corruption in government, justice and health, and then brought in copyright and libraries in a way that made us a part of that context: it was really moving and inspiring. With questions as well we ran over the scheduled time, and I’m sure we would gladly have listened to him for another hour as well. If you want to know more, you can read the live-blogging Kathryn, Kris and I did of the talk.

We then had the LIANZA fellowship awards and the AGM. I virtuously went to the AGM — but must confess that when I saw that the first slide was “financial audit”, I followed the unconference “two feet” rule and went back to the exhibition area. Sorry if I let the side down… but the vendors had jelly beans.

Speaking of vendors, the conference organisers had the brilliant idea this year of an “Exhibition Passport” – a card with a square for each exhibitor. If you all the squares stamped, you can enter a prize draw. It’s a great way of getting people to visit stands they mightn’t otherwise stop at, and it makes a great ice-breaker too — one doesn’t feel quite as greedy asking for a stamp as asking for a pen.

At lunch I went to the SLIS meeting because they were playing half of the video of Stephen Abram’s speech from when he visited Wellington. The video didn’t do justice to what was obviously a greatly appreciated talk but I was impressed by the way he adapted his speech to include a huge amount of local-relevant content.

My first session of the afternoon was a Second Life workshop led by Kathryn Greenhill. It was a great introduction and tremendous fun — even if we never figured out why the scripts on my bookcase wouldn’t work! At least I could see how it was working for others. At the end I snagged a moment to have a quick fly around the island.

I got back into the live-blogging with Lynette Makin’s “Homework on Wheels”, talking about the bookmobile initiatives in the Upper Murray region. It’s a bit tangential to the work Meg Upjohn and I have done on Library on Location but wonderful to hear how varied the things were that they could do with this service.

The final session I was tossing up between three, but ended up at the Unconference one by Kathryn Greenhill and Constance Wiebrands, and I’m very glad I did. They gave a smooth and energetic presentation, demonstrated a Library Karaoke and a Libjam session with amazing flair, involved the audience, and just generally taught me a whole lot that I hadn’t known before. It was particularly good hearing audience experiences of unconference-type things going on in NZ already.

My liveblogging of Abrams, Makin, and Greenhill and Wiebrands is here (you’ll need to scroll down as this link contains two days’ worth of stuff now).

Finished at 5pm and had a quiet evening before practising for the presentation Meg and I are giving on Wednesday.

Food report for the day: Morning tea appears to have been forgettable, but I’m sure it was perfectly pleasant. We had another delicious but awkward buffet-style lunch (ended up finding a wall where we could sit on the floor) concluded with macadamia-and-caramel tarts (a bit too sweet) and small chocolate cakes (not too rich). Afternoon tea consisted of absolutely divine fruit kebabs (grape, rockmelon, honeydew melon, and pineapple) which had me going back for seconds more than once. We had these another morning, but I was very glad to see them make an encore.

LIANZA 2008 Day 2 summing up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIANZA awards 2008

Joint Letter of Recognition: Bicultural Development
to the Maori Subject Headings Steering Committee
(Anne Anderson, Jenny Barnett, Alison Elliott, Kitty Murray, Glenn Taitoko, Lisa Tocker)
and to the Maori Subject Headings Project Team
(Robyn East, Rangiiria Hedley, Judy Keats, Anne Reweti, Whina Te Whiu)

Rua Mano Award
Hinerangi Kara
Sheeanda Field

LIANZA Fellowships
Rosalie Blake
Alan Edwards
Beverly Fletcher
Geraldine Howell
Michaela O’Donovan
Alison Fields

LIANZA Associates
Marleene Boyd
Megan Clark
Kim Taunga
Kris Wehipeihana
Te Upoko o te Ika a Maui
Sheila Ford
Cherie Shum
Janet Upton
Samantha Searle
Julie Anne Farquharson
Craig Murray
Margaret Walker
Louise Booth
Helen Brownlie
Elizabeth Finnie
Bernie Hawke
Mark Hughes
Andrea Simonsen

LIANZA Award of Merit: Management
Hilary Rendell

LIANZA Award of Merit: Marketing
Anne Thompson, Mercine Davidson, Chelsea Hughes for “Be heard forever”

Edith Jessie Carnell Travelling Scholarship
Bernie Hawke

Crown Records Management Scholarships
Jackie Claridge and Anne Dickson

YBP/Lindsay and Croft Award for Collection Services
Linda Geddes

Emerald Research Project Prize
Nicola Rawnsley

3M Awards for Innovation
2nd prize – Helena Westwick, Uni of Auckland for CareerSearch
1st prize – Jane Brooker, Massey Uni, for Connecting Virtually With Our Students

LIANZA 2008 day 1 summing up

So I was a bit scattered yesterday afternoon, trying to figure out why the wireless was so flakey — of course it turned out to be fine once we got into the presentation room itself.

The two keynotes (see our liveblogging yesterday) were both great, with very different moods that both reflected the conference theme of “Outside the Box”.

Dylan Horrocks gave a really lively talk about the history of comics, neither traditional art nor traditional story-telling, a genre that’s gained respectability in part because it’s developed to a point where artist/authors can work outside the box in a way that can only be seen as real art.

Diane Mara’s talk on Pacific people in New Zealand was very personal, at times emotional, and it was obvious that it came very much from her heart. In a way her story spoke of life outside of – excluded from – the European box; and I think alluded also to the hope of breaking out of the box that stereotypes put people in. And when else has a keynote presentation ended with librarians dancing in the aisles?

We then went to the exhibition welcome and though there are lots of the usual pens in evidence, I’m getting the impression that even the vendors have been thinking outside the box. More investigation is definitely required on this front.

Food report to date: super fruit kebabs. Generous sized glasses of wine at the exhibition welcome, and delicious orange juice. Very interesting hors d’oeuvres — not in a bad way, more a thought-provoking way. (For example, they’re currently provoking the thought, “Should hors d’oeuvres really be thought-provoking?”)

Day two begins shortly; I’ll embed the live-blogging for it in a new post.