Friday, 21 December 2007

It's Christmas!

Time to stop blogging! This little blog is now one whole year old! To those you read this I say "why are you reading this now and not enjoying yourselves having a fantastic Christmas?" Anyway best wishes and for 2008!

Library 2.0 initiatives in Academic Libraries

This book, edited by Laura B. Cohen has apparently just been published. Here are some details :
Library 2.0 Initiatives in Academic Libraries is a hybrid book and wiki presenting twelve case studies of significant Library 2.0 initiatives in academic libraries. Following its publication, the authors will write regularly updated reports about their initiatives for at least two years on a wiki hosted by the Association for College & Research Libraries (ACRL), located at The case studies describe several emerging practices of Library 2.0. These include varied uses of networked social software and open data formats to add value to and distribute library resources and services. Other cases describe 2.0 ways of pedagogy, the provision of services in physical and online spaces where students congregate, online catalog enhancements, and the creation of feature-rich interfaces for accessing digital research collections. The authors describe the use of such tools as blogs, wikis, podcasts, IM, RSS, XML, Web services, mashups, and social computing to illustrate their efforts to forge new models of scholarly communication in academic environments.
There are several interesting-sounding IL chapters inckuding:
"Building Library 2.0 into Information Literacy: A Case Study" by Susan Sharpless Smith, Erik Mitchell, and Caroline Numbers, Wake Forest University.
"Discussing Student Engagement: An Information Literacy Course Blog"
Gregory Bobish, University at Albany, State University of New York.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Two major presentations

Here are links to two major presentations given recently which I would like to draw attention to. Ellyssa Kroski at ACRL New York symposium : about the best summary of where we are with use of social software in academic libraries.
Meredith Farkas at UC Berkeley "Building Academic Library 2.0 " which is on YouTube and enables her enthusiasm to come across.

How Universities are using Web 2.0 to promote their Libraries

This was a short presentation I gave in the Pillar Room at Olympia during the Online Conference last week. Didn't manage to show any YouTube videos and the two I most enjoy highlighting are the De Montfort Induction video, which is excellent because in good Web 2.0 style it begins with the users and promotes the Library from their viewpoints : and the L-Team, which amuses me no end every time I see it : it must be the music - it's great!

I should also have shown the British Library video "From Bones to Bytes" fronted by Tim Campbell, winner of "The Apprentice"Tim Campbell, winner of the BBC's 'The Apprentice', which gives a video introduction to the British Library and what it offers to visitors and researchers.

Online Information Conference, Olympia, 4-6 Dec 2007

With 101 countries represented, this event was a sell-out this year. Web 2.0 was a pervasive theme and I felt was reaching a critical mass position.
Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) as the first keynopte speaker was inspiring. He felt he was like a "Red Cross for information" as Wikipedia was open source with no chance of being sold to Google! Funded by small donations it was not dependent on advertisments. Its popularity is becoming worldwide and is even the 14th most popular web site in Iran. He spoke enthusiastically of Wikia, which is encouraging the creation of special interest wikis, (e.g. Muppet Wiki)with over 3000 topics so far in 66 languages. This is like the long tail going onto the web and is obviously being created by enthusiasts.
Interestingly he said that he would not expect students to be citing Encyclopedia Britannica any more than Wikipedia in their academic work. Encyclopedias are not original research! He commended the use of Wikipedia in Information Literacy teaching "not as good as a book, but better than Facebook". Remember Wikipedia is a general interest encyclopedia, not an academic journal.
He doesn't believe librarians will disappear either :"Everybody has jokes, but we still have comedians!" So that's my calling!!
It was a privilege to see and hear Stephen Abram (Sirsi-Dynix)"Library 2.0 - Fact or Fiction"- this was very much as he gave at Internet Librarian with some whizzy slides and provocative future gazing. He also showed "Here comes another bubble" a very enjoyable YouTube video about Web 2.0 fads. A few points which stay with me :
We have to create effective experience everywhere users have needs.
How do we meet them instead of telling them what we want to tell them?
Are we ready for dealing with a 15 year old who pays fines via an avatar in SL?
Teach success and knowledge managemnent rather than Information Literacy.
Our transactions with students should all add something to their experience.
David Nicholas (University College, London) spoke about the SuperBook project : a few points that stick in my consciousness - 3.5 minutes found to be the common time frame for use of the e-books on the survey, with no real evidence of the prevalence long reading sessions. Importance of power browsing.
On Thursday I moderated a session on "Embracing end user behaviours for better service provision" : this included an interesting presentations from OCLC researchers Lynn Connaway, Jasmine de Gaia and Marie L.Radford, and "Observing student researchers in their native habitat" a ProQuest survey by John Law.
Final thoughts : as the profession tries to meet the google generation and therefore becomes Web 2.0 savvy we may become more like thge Web generation. There is also evidence that the silver-surfers (I havent quite reached them yet..) are spending more time on the Web than the Web generation. Guess this means that the picture is getting more complex (not just Web generation, baby-boomers, screenagers etc in categories) and that we should be among the vanguard.

Social bookmarking in Plain English

Came across another little movie in the Commoncraft series : this time it's about social bookmarkiong and it makes a very good introduction to As they say "We made this video because we want people to see the power of social bookmarking and how it makes web pages easy to remember, organize and share". Could be very useful to "sell" the idea to academics and to some students.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Free images

Came across several very useful posts about where to find free images for re-use.
Joyce Valenza : A picture is worth....
Search Engine Journal : 10 places to find free images
Presentation Zen : 10 links to cool, high-rez images
Hey Jude : Find free images online : my list

Convergence of literacies

There is an excellent article called "Student-content creation : convergence of literacies" by Joan Lippincott in the latest EDUCAUSE Review. In it she admits that despite years of advocacy few Universities have implemented ICT or Information Skills components throughout the curriculum. She suggests that the time is right for proposing a frameworkj which on Higher Education's need to focus on " the need to prepare students to be content creators within their disciplinary or professional specialities." She concludes
"In the way that we produce content today, it is difficult to separate out where media literacy ends and where technology literacy begins—or where information literacy begins and where technology literacy ends. There is a convergence of literacies, and they can all inform academic work in separate but integrated ways". Really interesting article and well worth checking out.

M-Libraries Conference, November 2007

It seems an eternity since I last blogged! This is because I have been on the Conference trail and have not been one of those really whizzy delegates who sit in sessions taking notes on their laptop and blogging immediately afterwards! Still in the Stone Age of taking notes in a book I have to decipher hand-writing later on...
I can report on what I think was a ground-breaking Conference held at the Open University 13-14 November about Mobile Libraries (not the vans) but those hand-held devices. Many of the presentation slides are now on the Web site.
It was great to hear and meet Joan Lippincott (Coalition for Networked Information), a true expert on the Web Generation. For the first time I came upon the term "screenager" for the latest Web generation ; interestingly many of the characteristics of the Web generation are now transferring to older generations, particularly as we acquire new skills, but the big differentiating factor, she believes, is that the Web generation is more VISUAL.
She cautioned against believing we know our student population and encouraged us to look for quantitative data, and qualitative data from focus groups, interviews and field studies.
She quoted the JISC 2007 report 'In their own words' which says "many speak oftheir personal devices as individulaised learning environments which...go everywhere with them".
Her presentation lists mobile devices and examples of how libraries are already responding to student preferences for use of mobiles.
In a trully inspiring presentation she suggested the need within an institution for a Mobile Learning Task Force to drive integration of mobile technologies, encouraging the transition of usage from recreation to student learning.
Time does not allow me to blog about the rest of the Conference but I can recommend the Conference site.
My conclusion is that this technology will become very important for delivery of IL, particularly because of its convenience throughout the world (twice as many persons can access mobile phones as the Web) and ability to provide small gems of information or advice when the student requires.