Tag Archives: lianza2011

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?

* 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 library@rnzfb.org.nz

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.

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.

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 http://linkeddata.org. 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.