Library of the Future

Yesterday's LRSN Forum, themed 'The Library of the Future' was well attended and had some very interesting speakers. Hopefully the outlines of the presentations will soon be posted. Katherine has already put hers here - she's so quick off the mark that lady!
I managed to avoid presenting this year by dobbing in someone else and was surprised that none of the presenters mentioned Second Life (my original proposed topic) or gaming which appear to be very big in the library blogs I read. There were, however, some great speakers and topics; in particular Shanta, Katherine and Connie. There were several concurrent sessions that I would have liked to attend too - but one can't be everywhere.
Facebook was discussed and this morning I came across a relevant article, Why Your Company Needs To Be on Facebook that adds food for thought.
I met and talked with many old friends while digging into the delicious refreshments supplied at lunch and teatimes. Thanks Sandy for organising another successful gathering of TAFEWA Librarians and others interested in the sector.


Facebook and Privacy

Last week I copied a recipe to my Epicurious recipe box and was surprised to see a popup advising me that the information had been added to my Facebook record. I had only recently opened a Facebook account and, like most users, didn't read all the fine print. I considered closing that account as I really don't want my web surfing habits to be made public - but then forgot about the incident - until today.
Reading a recent blog post on
librarian.net I saw this comment:

I explain the word “default” to my sudents often. To people new with computers, the ideas of the comptuers default settings is a little perplexing. Fred Stutzman highlights part of David Weinberger’s post about Facebook where he discusses how Facebook’s default privacy settings are all wrong. Completely and totally wrong. Don’t miss one of Fred’s earlier posts where he discusses how to turn the Facebook Beacon off to stop it from telling marketers more about you than you may be aware of.

What a good idea. I promptly followed the instructions for turning off the beacon and hope that I can surf privately in future.


Second Life @ Central?

We have been thinking about using virtual worlds for teaching at Central TAFE for several months and several lecturers are excited at the prospect - but so far we haven't seemed to be getting anywhere. Now, however, things are beginning to move with the establishment of a wiki where we can share our thoughts and ideas.
I've been emailing interested people every relevant article I come across and really hope that Central can establish a presence in SL. I look forward to being able to do some training both in-world and on campus. It would be a shame if the virtual librarianship courses that I was lucky enough to attend were not put to good use.How my avatar has changed since those early days!


Library Planning

The wiki is up for Central TAFE's day of planning "To establish Library goals and projects to meet the College Strategic Plans for 2008". The list of what we want to achieve is growing ever longer and I am afraid that, as was the case last year, few of these objectives will be realised.

I do hope our planning meeting doesn't result in this:

Discussed on the blog Librarian in Black was Michael Stephens's keynote address Ten Technologies: Ideas to Improve Library Productivity. There are some wonderful ideas and comments here - not least being his closing statements of library philosophy: Learn to Learn. Adapt to Change. Scan the Horizon.

Other ideas for library planning come from Katherine’s blog, Librarian’s Matter; David Lewis’ A model for academic libraries 2005 to 2025 and Part one and Part two of staff responses to the McMaster University Library Strategic planning process.

iLibrarian also has links to presentations from the Hawaii Library Association Conference.


On Blogs, Wikis and RSS

Yesterday I presented 2 training sessions on blogs, wikis and RSS. The first was for staff at my college and I was pleased to see that our professional development sessions are being made available to staff at other colleges too - swelling attendance at this course by 3. However, had I known in advance, I might have planned for a generic login to be available instead of wasting time (mine and my students') running around finding out how to log them into our network. We had fun and I was gratified to read the comments on the evaluation sheets. I hope I gave them all something that they can use both for work and for personal communication. They were so eager to get stuck into the practical part of the workshop that they didn't even want to stop for tea and Tim-Tams.

That afternoon I repeated part of the session (blogs and RSS only) for a group of Library Studies students. This was at a different campus and I made the fatal mistake of leaving my nerdstick with all my presentations stuck in the pc where I did the first workshop. Fortunately I was able to download a copy from the shared drive and use a usb stick from lost property so the day was saved.

These students had a blogging assignment but I tried to give them more than just the basics. We discussed web 2.0 and library 2.0 which they claimed to have never heard about! I think I managed to get across the need for finding out for oneself about all the new tools and technology available and not just waiting to be told what is and is not important. To that end this blog post from
and the accompanying comments make interesting reading.


Thanks for your support

Three people have commented on my decision to stop blogging, one a complete stranger (I think) so I'll keep it up for a little while longer. I wonder why previously posted comments have disappeared into the wild blue yonder?
I've also been asked to do a workshop on blogging for our Library Studies students next week and it would be setting a bad example if I were to give up - wouldn't it?
What's the good of having a mind if you can't change it - so here I go again.

Before reading the comments I had been giving my blog some thought (what else does one think about when lying in bed at night?) and decided that, if I were to start again, I would possibly talk more about some of the things I've been doing recently. I've bypassed the chance to say anything new about Podcamp Perth that I attended last weekend (why was I the only representative from Central TAFE when it was held on one of our campuses?) but can now add my bit about the
discussion held in Second Life last night about the new TV series "The Librarians"
This is a picture of the discussion held at Laneways Library on ABC Island. Emerald Dumont was the moderator and I (Galia Beck) her faithful assistant am sitting on her right. Discussion was fast and furious. I was kept busy handing out notecards and IM-ing people who needed help of any kind.A link to the transcript and another snapshot can be found on Virtual librariesinteract.info. During the discussion we were asked to comment on weird things that had happened in our libraries and my report on the shoe fetishist found under a table sucking on some-one's shoe was voted the most gross. For that I won a prize of $30 to be spent at the ABC shop in RL. Thanks everyone.



It is months since anyone commented on a post in this blog. This is most disheartening and I have decided to stop spending any time on it. My colleagues will just have to put up with emails of interesting items that I find from time to time.

I have been blogging for over a year and at first it was stimulating and rewarding. Now I wonder why I bother - hence the decision to say Goodbye to any regular readers who may be out there. Please email me if you think there is any point in continuing.


Librarians in the 21st Century

I attended another session in the intermediate course on Virtual Librarianship in Second Life yesterday. It was not as stimulating as the previous three sessions, probably because it related to working with teens and I have have been turned off that age group by my experiences as a high school teacher. However, one thing that did come out of it was a reference to an article about Librarians in the 21st Century.in which the writer, Joyce Kasman Valenza, claims that ... librarians cannot expect to assume a leadership role in information technology and instruction, and we cannot claim any credibility with students, faculty, or administrators, if we do not recognize and thoughtfully exploit the paradigm shift of the past two years.
This is particularly relevant in light of my current efforts to run 23 Things at my library and my struggle to achieve acceptance of the role that Second Life or any other virtual world may play in the learning/teaching environment. I am empowered by the comment:
You do not take “no” for an answer when a network administrator or technology director refuses to support a pedagogically sound activity. You seek a way to get to “yes” if learners will benefit.
In yesterdays SL session I mentioned that I was trying to introduce my colleagues to new technology in spite of my director's reservations - and virtually behind her back, and received a resounding cheer from my classmates.
I wonder if the 23 Things participants realise just how much effort goes into running this exercise and how disappointing it is for me when they "cannot find the time" to complete each "Thing" as it is posted.


Latin anyone?

I didn't study Latin at school because my father didn't want me to suffer the way he had when studying the subject. However, my love of words and their origins has often made me regret that omission. One of my favourite daily emails is 'A word a day' by Anu Garg (words at wordsmith.org) and in AWADmail Issue 275 he points us to an article about a Latin version of Wikipedia, Veni, Vidi, Wiki: Latin Isn't Dead On 'Vicipaedia'. This is a wonderful use of modern technology to discuss items of current interest in an ancient tongue.
"Vicipaedia has 15,000 articles. Catullus, Horace and the Roman Senate all are there; so are musica rockica, Georgius Bush and cadavera animata, a k a zombies. You can read in Latin about hangman (homo suspensus), paper airplanes (aeroplanum chartaceum) and magic 8-balls (pila magica 8), as well as about famous Italians like Leonardo da Vinci and the Super Mario brothers."


Engineering Librarians Lunch

It is some time since I last attended an Engineering Librarians Group meeting so when Susanna sent me an invitation recently I jumped at the chance. I was able to combine work and pleasure as not only did I meet up with old friends but also Tamara from Nature Publishing Group was there to tell us about her company's new and enhanced online products - as well as paper based.

Coincidentally, on my return to my office I was working on a wiki for 23 Things @ Central when I came across this post:
Though del.icio.us is great, and I use it all the time, if the student happens to be science-oriented,(Connotea is a fantastic tool that was created by the Nature Publishing Group (publishers of Nature, etc.) specifically as a social bookmarking tool for scientists. And, unlike del.icio.us, it is set up to automatically retrieve bibliographic information from several recognized sites (PubMed, etc.).

Thanks for lunch Tamara. And without your presence I would probably never have become aware of this tool.


Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 Blogs

From Library Journal is an article by Melissa L. Rethlefsen, Tags Help Make Libraries Del.icio.us, I found this, and other useful information, on the iLibrarian blog which contains lots of news and resources on Library 2.0 and the information revolution. If you are "doing" 23 Things there is much material here that could be used.


The Library is alive and well

From ResourceShelf comes this article about the increase in numbers of people who visit libraries in Colorado. There is often talk about the demise of the library because of the rise of access to broadband and the ease by which search engines can be used to find information but this article should be compulsory reading for any of the powers-that-be who are thinking of cutting back on libraries in academic institutions, preferring to allocate them only virtual space.

Libraries attract record crowds
by resourceshelf

Despite the rise of broadband Internet access in homes across the country and the ability to Google just about anything from anywhere, libraries are attracting record numbers of visitors.

Nationwide, visits to and items checked out of libraries are increasing steadily. According to the American Library Association, nearly 1.3 billion library patrons checked out more than 2 billion items in fiscal year 2005, the most recent figures available. That compares with 1.15 billion visitors checking out 1.7 billion items in fiscal year 2000.

Colorado 's 114 public libraries saw just shy of 28 million visitors in 2006, up slightly from 27.8 million visitors in 2005.

Source: Denver Post

Video tools

Central TAFE's "23 Things" team has had a lot of fun playing around with various online video tools, mostly visible on YouTube. In particular there have been some hilarious mashups using JibJab. It's fortunate that our colleagues (and bosses) have a sense of humour.

To find videos why not try
the Google Video Search Engine? This article from Research Buzz tells us more about it:

** Fun With Google Video

As you probably know, the Google Video Search Engine (http://video.google.com/) now encompasses other video sites, like YouTube. But if you don't want to search anything but Google Video, you can go to the advanced search page and specify that you want video only from Google.com, or you can use site:google.com from the home page.

That's how I discovered that site:google.com works as a standalone search. That's also how I discovered that Google Video has something over 4.8 million videos (just over 4.9 million if you turn off filtering). But if you start sorting the results by anything but relevance, the result count drops to about 333. So I couldn't get a handle on what the highest-rated video was or how many videos have been rated lately.

If you use inurl:video.google.com at Google, you'll see that the main search engine gives a result count of about 1.5 million pages.


Hooray for Perth

Perth has been successful in scoring the venue for the first Australian Podcamp, billed as the new media community UnConference that helps connect people interested in blogging, podcasting, social networks, video on the net, and new media together to learn, share, and grow their new media skills.
Podcamp Perth will take place on
October 27 & 28 at Central TAFE (140 Royal St, East Perth WA 6004).
(Oh dear, that's where my new offices are. Does that mean I'll have to camp there over the weekend?)

The last two unconferences (Perth BarCamp and Perth UnConference) were very successful affairs and we are lucky to have another, with organisers who are leaders in their fields. To find out more visit the wiki or the blog.


New Library Building

This may look like something surreal out of Second Life but it is a winning design in real life.
Future System's winning Prague library I want it! In one of the shots it reminds me of a giant Teletubby looking over the treetops at Prague. Whatever it looks like it is a truly innovative design. I hope librarians also had some input as to how the interior works - something often overlooked in current practice.


Research Buzz newsletter

The Research Buzz newsletter always has so much of interest that I find it difficult to keep up. This week's contribution includes:



I'm so glad that Kathryn Greenhill (Librarians Matter) is "doing" 23 Things with her workmates at the same time as I am experimenting with it at Central. She writes such fascinating posts and I don't need to think - just send my participants to read her blog. Her recent post What’s new about Library 2.0? Shift in power had me thinking about the problems that I'm having trying to persuade colleagues - and management - of the value of immersing oneself in new things. Thanks Kate. I know I am not alone.

Second Life demo

I did a demo of Second Life for Adult Education Week recently. There was a disappointing turnout - I don't think it was promoted very well - but the 1 lecturer, 2 psychologists and a smattering of Library staff who attended were entertained and, I think, persuaded to try it for themselves. I was lucky to come across a couple of avatars in a library in SL and one of them entertained us by turning himself into a multi-coloured dragon and several other incarnations. I get a lot of pleasure out of this programme and am doing another virtual librarianship course starting in next week. There is so much to learn about the world and how to do things in it. My new home PC is in for repairs (it went into a regular reboot cycle and couldn't get started) so I am currently unable to visit SL from home. It's very frustrating. Can't play Oblivion either and am having to spend more time on housework!!


23 Things @ Central

We're in week 3 of this programme and the 9 participants have put up a variety of blogs reflecting their tastes and interests. I'm finding out a lot about them as they explore their 23 things and make new discoveries. Marsha advised us to take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid. This turned out to be quite an eye-opener for me

You're Pale Fire!

by Vladimir Nabokov

You're really into poetry and the interpretation thereof. Along the road of life, you have had several identity crises which make it very unclear who you are, let alone how to interpret poetry.

You probably came from a foreign country, but then again you seem foreign to everyone in ways unrelated to immigration.

Most people think you're quite funny, but maybe you're just sick. Talking to you ends up being much like playing a round of the popular board game Clue.

How little I know myself!

Kathryn Greenhill's latest post has some great pointers about how to find time to do the 23 Things:10 ways to find time for 23 Things

Change of Job

I've been persuaded to accept a secondment to a Systems Librarian position with the LRSN for 2 days a week. Not sure if I'm doing the right thing as I'm very happy and perhaps too comfortable in my current job. There will be a bit more money on my payslip (it's level 5) and I've said that I'll try it until the end of the year so both sides can see if I am the right person for the job. I'll continue to work for TAFE the remaining 3 days and it makes sense that I'll be transferring to the eCentral campus. I will miss my current colleagues at Leederville. I've worked with them for 5 years and we've built up a cohesive team that is not afraid of challenges and whose members all have a lovely sense of humour.


Sweet Nostalgia

I ran out of my favourite facial cleanser last week and paid a visit to South African Essentials in Joondalup to buy a new supply. It's odd how the things one has used for a long time - in this case I'd been using Elizabeth Anne Baby Shampoo since my children were babies - remain the best. While there I was thrilled to see a bag of sweets labeled "Black Balls". When I was a kid we called them by the very non-pc name of "Niggerballs". I just had to buy them and see if they were the same; and they are. The first, strong aniseed flavour of the black coating never quite goes away but subsequent layers of different colours and different flavours make sucking these sweets a delightfully different experience. I took half a bag to work the following day and it was fun to watch my colleagues, all middle-aged, getting excited about the different flavours and colours, taking them out of their mouths to see what colour had been reached and sucking like mad to get to the next one. Just the same as I and my friends did when we were kids.

On another tack, what in South Africa are called sweets, are called lollies in Australia, candy in the USA and sweeties in the UK. How can we purport to speak the same language when basic childhood pleasures are known by such different names?


Grammar and Citation

The Resource of the Week at ResourceShelf this week is Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). It is a comprehensive writing style page where users can request help with grammar, construction and how to overcome writer's block (among others).

"OWL is easy to navigate; click the plus sign next to each item in the list on the right side of the page to access an excellent collection of succinct, well-written (of course) tutorials by category — The Writing Process (including what to do about “writer’s block”); Professional, Technical, and Job Search Writing (including writing for Chinese, North American, and Indian business audiences); General Academic Writing; Research and Citation (both APA and MLA are covered in detail); Grammar and Mechanics; English as a Second Language; Internet Literacy (including information on documenting electronic resources); Writing in the Social Sciences; Writing in Engineering; Literary Analysis and Criticism; Creative Writing; Teaching Writing; and Tutoring Writing. The site is keyword searchable via a box on the home page."

Of particular interest to me is the advice about APA citation. We teach Harvard at Central but I have recently been asked to do some APA classes - which I've had to turn down because I'm not familiar with it. I believe it is very similar to Harvard but I'll have to work out a new lesson format - and answers to my set examples - so this will be most useful, to me and the students who need to use it.

Who am I?

As part of the 23 Things programme that I am coordinating for my college I started playing around with avatars from Yahoo earlier this week. Here is my avatar:

Yahoo! Avatars
She's quite unlike the character I play in Oblivion (blonde, fair-skinned, delicate-looking but a champion fighter with "hands like a smith" or my Second Life avatar (she changes virtually every time I go in-world as I have an amazing array of free hairstyles, skins and clothes in my inventory as well as the ability to change my appearance at will). It's sometimes hard to come back to reality and look at myself in a real-world mirror.


23 Things @ Central

On Monday I started a trial run of the popular 23 Things programme based on the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's 23 Learning 2.0 Things. I'm learning things myself as I go along but think that I and the participants should get a lot of fun out of it.

One of my favourite sites for finding out about new Web 2.0 things is Go2Web20.net; It has an endless variety of Web 2.0 sites and an RSS feed that goes some way to keeping me up to date.


What to read?

If you're ever stuck for something to read - here's a blog that gives a new suggestion each day Blogging for a Good Book.
I've reached the stage where I seldom know what to look for in my local public library (I have read all my favourites over and over again) and this could provide me with inspiration.


Google's classroom posters

From Pandia Search Engine News comes a note about Google's set of posters for the classroom, explaining stuff like how a search engines work, how to improve your search results and how to make the most of Google Books. There is a link to the .pdf files. these could prove very useful in Information Literacy classes - as long as teachers take pains to explain to their students that Google is not the only search engine.


Time wasters

Before I started blogging I would go through the various newsletters to which I subscribed and send useful articles to my colleagues. They may or may not have read the articles but if ever they wanted to read them at a later date my emails would have been difficult to find amongst the myriad of others that we receive every day. One of my colleagues has recently remembered some of these and asked if I could resend them - but I'm not sure exactly which she's asking for. I've been going through all those I sent to "Librarians" and have come across several that I'd forgotten. This one is not related to librarianship at all but is a lovely way to stay awake during a boring meeting:

Business Meeting Bingo http://www.tysknews.com/LiteStuff/bingo.htm

Do you keep falling asleep in meetings and seminars? What about those long and boring conference calls? Monotone voices burbling on and on like a creek for hours on end, forcing you to look for the nearest sharp object or length of wire to end it all. Here's a way to change all of that... Meeting Bingo!

1. Before (or during) your next meeting, seminar, or conference call, prepare yourself by drawing a square. I find that 5"x5" is a good size. Divide the card into columns-five across and five down. That will give you 25 one-inch blocks.

2. Write one of the following words/phrases in each block:


strategic fit

core competencies

best practice

bottom line


take that off-line


out of the loop




think outside the box

fast track



knowledge base


touch base


client focus


game plan


3. Check off the appropriate block when you hear one of those words/phrases.

4. When you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, stand up and shout "BULLSHIT!"


Back in the Saddle

My plane from Bali touched down in Perth at 5.00am on Monday. After 2 weeks of perfect tropical sunshine it was difficult to adjust to the rain and cold of a Perth winter and wearing heavy clothing is a definite no-no. Oh for the ubiquitous bathers and floating sarongs worn by most tourists in Bali.

Tuesday I returned to work and it took me all morning just to work through my email. We are short-staffed because of all the winter bugs that so many have succumbed to so it's head down and tail up and I've not had time to attend to this blog.

Before I started blogging I would sift through the various newsletters to which I subscribed and feed through snippets of information to my colleagues. I realise that I have drifted away from this and become a bit more personal in my posts. One of my colleagues has been requesting copies of old emails that she found interesting at the time but can no longer find. Had they been in the blog and tagged that would not be a problem. I should start to do more of that though I think I stopped because so many are already doing it.

I've been preparing the "23 Things" exercise that will be having a trial run staring next week (comment from my director: "Do we have access to Web 2.0?"). I look forward to getting that under way. Also various presentations are planned for Adult Learning Week in September (SL demo and discussion and Wiki and Blog workshop).



Although the college is closed for the mid-year break Library staff have been working hard behind the scenes. The bulk of our stocktaking assignment is complete at Leederville campus and we are getting ready for the influx of new students next week. I'll be leaving my very capable team to manage on their own as I'm swanning off to Bali for two weeks, my first real holiday in years. I'm so looking forward to having no responsibilities for a while as well as finding out about another culture and its people. Then, of course, there's the shopping and I've been given a list of things that various people want me to bring home for them. I hope my luggage allowance will cope with it all.

During the so-called break I've prepared a project brief to have a trial run of "23 Things (Learning 2.0)" at our library and had it accepted to start in week 5 of the new semester. My manager wants to be involved himself and I don't think I'll have any difficulty finding 5-10 volunteers for the trial.

I've also done a lot of reflection as I worked on my performance management review. It seems that our HR department has had to justify its existence by producing more and more forms to replace the old ones. So much is repetitive and doesn't seem to serve any useful purpose. Why not just a few simple questions such as:
What have you done during the past period?
What have you been unable to do - and why?
What do you plan to do during the next period?

The beginners Virtual Librarianship course is complete. Last weeks' session was interesting and some quite lively discussion evolved but it ended very suddenly leaving me with a feeling that there must be something more. We didn't even have an end of course party - not that I would have been able to keep my eyes open much later than the 12.30 pm Perth time the session ended. I'm planning to register for the intermediate course and, now that SL is available on the staff computer network, I'm hoping to be able to attend classes at a more reasonable time.

Swan TAFE asked me to give a brief demo of SL at their Black Friday function last week. If only they'd told me about the theme I'd have dressed more appropriately both on and off screen! It went down well and I hope to have made a few converts among people who are looking for new ways to get in touch with our students.


A Hipper Crowd of Shushers

Many people have blogged about this post in the New York Times and it is recorded as being at the top of their most emailed article list. My comments yesterday about librarian's appearance/style were written before I saw this article but I'm pleased that I am on the same wave-length as so many other people.
People's perceptions about our profession are important. I'm tired of the comments about sexy librarians hiding behind a bun and glasses as well as "But you don't look like a librarian!" or "I'd like to be a librarian because I love reading". How did we ever get that way?
When I was at university and in my teens a boyfriend once suggested that I might be interested in librarianship. I was horrified at the thought because my perception of people who worked in libraries (if they worked there they must all be librarians) was someone of indeterminate age who sat in a large, badly lit room and said "Shh!". Later, as a secondary school teacher I was asked to run the school library and then I found out how stimulating the job could be. Several years later, when my children had left home, I had the opportunity to return to study and complete a Grad. Dip. in Information Management and I've never looked back.
I find it stimulating to be on the cutting edge, know what is meant by Web 2.0 and Library 2.0 and try to have aspects of it implemented in our college in spite of some solid resistance. Meeting with like-minded people and bouncing ideas around is also very useful. I loved Kathryn's post 20 reasons why learning emerging techologies is part of every librarian’s job and wish I could attend Librarians2.0 on the loose: a free unoffical unconference for Western Australian libraryland. Don’t think I’ll cancel a long-awaited holiday to get back to Perth in time though – in spite of the heightened security alert.


What does a Librarian look like?

I got to thinking about the stereotypical image of a librarian after my last Second Life Virtual Librarianship class and then saw a link to these pictures on Flickr. We had a somewhat heated discussion about the need for librarians in SL to dress up their avatars (or not) and the fact that finding clothes and changing one's appearance had been covered at the beginning of the course. One of the participants thought that appearance was not important as she was there to learn how to provide a service to her clients. The facilitator, Puglet Dancer, was of the opinion that her appearance was very important to her and often led to her making business contacts might not otherwise have come her way.
In many public and college libraries staff tend to dress casually and normal business standards of dress don't apply. I think appearance is as importance in SL as it is in real life and love the opportunity the virtual world gives me to look young, wear stiletto heels and change my hairstyle as often as I want. In RL I also try to dress well without reverting too often to "twinset and pearls".



I did attend the Perth BarCamp briefly last Saturday. Wish I could have stayed longer but Saturdays are always so busy and my mum (aged 95) hates to have me out of her sight when I'm not working. Many others have blogged about the event and it appears to have been very successful. Did manage to catch Kathryn's presentation on SL. So glad that someone had radio access and she was able to give a proper demo.

But ... this morning when I fired up my pc I saw the SL icon that I had tried to use but failed when Central TAFE's firewall blocked access. Decided to download the new build anyway to use at home and, I don't know why, tried to access SL again. Success!! I don't know if this is just an experiment and it may last for only a short time but I sure hope not. Considering that I've been doing a lot of agitating to have it enabled at Central I don't understand why I wasn't advised.


100 Words

100 Words That All High School Graduates — And Their Parents — Should Know is an ad for a book but the hundred words are listed on the web page. "If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language."
I think I'll print them off and try to use as many of them as possible in my everyday conversation. Hmm... some may be a bit a difficult. After all when did I last maintain a soliloquy about how to subjugate a supercilious suffragist?
Some of the words would confuse a Scrabble player. I wonder how many of them you could use correctly?

The digital native thingy

I knew that my obsession with video style games such as Morrowind and Oblivion was not just a case of my being a "gaming granny" but something a bit more deep and meaningful. Now, as reported in insidehighered.com, College and university librarians have some unconventional advice: Play more video games. When ‘Digital Natives’ Go to the Library.
This irks me somewhat in that it categorises librarians once again using the Digital Native/Digital Immigrant tags. I recently attended "Nerd School", hoping to become more familiar with new terminology and usage of new technologies, but was instead subjected to a test to see whether I was an immigrant or a native. I defy many so-called "natives" to achieve as high a score as I got! I suffer from insatiable curiosity and am always trying out new things and learning all the time.

Google vs. Library

I think I'll use this Unshelved cartoon next time I present a web search skills class:-)


Educational Projects in Second Life

Many of Central TAFE's staff last week attended AFLF's E-learning Networks June 19-20 Online Conference. Much of it was conducted via Eluminate but there was also a session online in Second Life, In-World Presentation: Showcasing Australasian Educational Projects in Second Life something that made people start to question why no-one in our college has access to this phenomenal new teaching and learning tool.
With educational sites popping up everywhere in SL it is a shame that our Department of Education has seen fit to block it with a dirty great firewall. Too many people see it as just a game and a place to waste time. Certainly you can have fun in SL (I attended a very lively party there on Info Island on Friday night, Saturday morning our time), but you can have fun in a classroom situation too.
Our IT Department has been working with the Dept. of Ed to try and overcome the resistance and, fingers crossed, they may actually be getting somewhere. I look forward to the time when, in the Library at Central, we'll be able to offer courses to our students and lecturers advising them how to make the most of their Second Lives, as well as offering virtual library services in addition to the real life ones.


Best SL session so far

Classroom in the sky

Last Friday's session on Second Life was the most well-planned of all in the course so far. The class met at the usual meeting place on Info Island and students were directed to a teleporter which took us to a classroom in the sky. A copy of the Reference Desk was adjacent to the classroom so when we visited that we didn't cause any disturbance to the SL librarians who were rostered on duty at the "real" desk on the ground.

Reference Desk

The discussions revolved around Reference Desk experiences, griefing and how to resolve problems with difficult clients (yes, those are not limited to real life situations). We were also informed about an application called Babbler that ref desk librarians can use to translate their messages into any one of 10 different
languages (including Pirate).

Griefing example

We started at "sunset" then watched clouds drifting across a starry sky and finally the sun rose slowly as a beautiful orange fireball.


SL as a showcase

The Virtual Librarianship course I'm doing is very stimulating. It's great to thrash out ideas with other librarians, mostly from the US, with the same problems that we have here. I'm currently trying to persuade our IT people of the need to lower the firewall so we can utilise all the wonderful possibilities.

SL also has great potential as a showcase for our colleges. Visit the new Swedish Embassy in SL to see how they do this.

This wiki has great ideas for using SL as a teaching and learning tool http://www.simteach.com/wiki/index.php?title=Second_Life_Education_Wiki

And here is the URL for a wiki relating to an education island maintained by an Ohio University in SL. http://www.bscsecondlife.info/. I met one of the lecturers while I was online observing a reference librarian in SL for my course this morning.

Or this YouTube video from The New Media Consortium (NMC), a community of hundreds of leading universities, colleges, museums, and research centers. http://www.bscsecondlife.info/


Bits and Bobs

In LibraryStuff I came across this video ridiculing copyright. It's very clever.

Why should libraries blog? Here's an article about why the Wilton Library is doing it.

There's a new human-powered search directory in cyberspace, Mahalo. If it's as good as the first page is attractive it'll do well. Like all true directories, however, the amount of information it can deliver is limited, though what there is is usually of high quality.

More from Second Life - Sweden has opened an embassy there. I haven't had a chance to visit yet (damn this firewall) but it looks like fun and I plan to travel there when I get home this evening. To get to the Second House of Sweden, go to http://www.sweden.se/secondlife and follow the instructions.
Images at: http://imagebank.sweden.se/, User name: second_life, Password: sweden

Do you want to get into podcasting but aren't sure if you have the necessary software? Most people I've spoken with are using Audacity but here is a possible alternative, PodcastPeople. It advertises itself thus: a simple web-based service that allows individuals to create audio and video episodes, write blog posts, and interact with their audience. There’s no software to download and nothing to install.


"Web 2.0-centric" librarians

The meeting last Saturday with like-minded "web 2.0-centric" librarians was awesome. See Kathryn's post in her blog, Librarians Matter. I was particularly enamoured with being introduced to lolcats and lolbrarians. Why have I not heard about them before? Does no-one in my milieu have a sense of humour about our jobs?
It was great to meet
face to face with real people in real time. Great too to hear about the variety of responses that various IT departments give to our access requests. Perhaps I should move to another library, though on a recent Second Life chat room one of the participants asked if we all (from diverse corners of the globe) had the same IT department intent on blocking access to any possibly controversial site without investigating our needs.
The meeting renewed my interest in running a course on
Learning about social computing the “23 Things” way. I've been given the go-ahead and will now try to drum up some enthusiasm among my colleagues.


A Second Life Experience

And wow again.
Last week I signed up for a free account in Second Life so that I could experience the SL training in Virtual World Librarianship. This was the most amazing trip I could have imagined. Before the first session I spent a bit of time wandering around Info Island trying to get acclimatised. I was also able to change my appearance, learn to fly, make a virtual cup of coffee in a virtual library and relax on the comfortable furniture.

I met several other interesting people wandering around and we communicated using our computer keyboards to type in text.

I'd miscalculated the time in SL compared to Perth RL and the session started at 10:30pm - 2 hours later that I'd anticipated. Still, it was a real buzz. There were a few issues with the presentation - hopefully these will be resolved next time around - but I'd never realised that work could be such fun. When we finished at 12:30 am I was too hyped up to sleep.

The pictures show

  1. the class having flying lessons
  2. examining exhibits in one of the libraries.
That's me in the striped jumper. I must try and find another pair of jeans - don't like having the crack in my rear showing.

We've been told that next week we'll start having fun - as if the first session wasn't already a load of fun! I also look forward to learning how to use SL for real work.

Some of the issues I have encountered locally
  1. TAFE has a firewall that won't allow me to access SL from my office.
  2. Must have broadband or cable access - dialup is way too slow.
  3. SL is very download hungry and I have had to upgrade to a more expensive ISP account.
  4. Luckily I have a new computer with good video graphics - very important.


It's Library Week and libraries all over Australia are pulling out all the promotional stops. But what happens next week, or the week after that? We should never stop promoting our libraries and all the wonderful things that can be found in them.

In the Shifted Librarian this week is a link to a video posted that looks at the future of libraries:
[Public] Libraries in 2010 - What Happened? Also shown on LibrariesInteract.info.

Here at Leederville we hosted a breakfast for all staff and were pleased to see many unfamiliar faces. Now that they know how to find their way to the Library I hope we may see them more often.


Perth Barcamp and Unconference

Kathryn Greenhill's blog, Librarians Matter, this week refers to two unusual library-type events in Perth. The first is a Barcamp to be held on June 30th at Central TAFE's eCentral campus and the second is an Unconference scheduled for early August. I'll be on holiday in Bali for one of them (not sure which) but definitely plan to attend the other. Not sure what they are? Read Kathryn's blog.


Nerdy Things

Tomorrow I'll be attending "Nerd School", a PD session run by the college's IT department. Can't wait to improve my nerdy skills.

On Friday I'm teaching one of our Library Technician classes about blogs and on Monday I'm repeating the PD session for staff "Making the most of wikis and blogs". There's little need to supply handouts as all the links I refer to are already on this blog.

I'm thrilled to have been enrolled in Virtual World Librarianship - Your Second Life run in virtual time by Illinois Alliance Library System and GSLIS. Because it will be coordinated from the other side of the world I'll have to be online in Second Life from 8.30 pm on Friday nights for 6 weeks. Bang goes any social life I might have had. Friday is the only evening that my husband and I usually have a chance to go anywhere without my mother who is 95 and lives with us. However, I've been interested in experimenting with SL for some time (there have been previous references to it on this blog) but the college firewall has prevented my doing anything at work. Hopefully my new whiz-bang computer at home will give me a better experience.


Who participates in Web 2.0?

A post by Peter White on DownloadSquad had me giggling when I read it during a Librarian's meeting this morning, Most US citizens not participating in web 2.0. Peter has a cynical turn of phrase which has drawn several comments both agreeing and disagreeing with his philosophy.



Last week I was fortunate to attend the Challenging How Knowledge is Created workshop at Burswood Entertainment Centre in Perth. Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, gave a stimulating talk about knowledge sharing and the opportunities available for making knowledge freely available to everyone. The panel discussion and group participation that followed were insightful and gave much food for thought.

Educators (and Librarians) are divided about the value of Wikipedia as a reference tool. Jimmy himself considers that, like any other encyclopedia) it should be only a starting point for research.

The Denver Post has an article, Grading Wikipedia, that reports on the results of a study in which five Colorado scholars were asked to review the Wikipedia entries on Islam, Bill Clinton, global warming, China and evolution. Four out of five agreed their relevant Wikipedia entries are accurate, informative, comprehensive and a great resource for students or the merely curious.

Information Literacy Blog

I've added a new link to this blog today, Information Literacy Meets Web2.0. It is definitely worth a look for anyone interested in InfoLit.



Whew, that's over. I was flattered when asked to be the keynote speaker at this forum but didn't realise that it would involve so much work. Deciding which of all the myriad of Web 2.0 sites to introduce to a body of mostly volunteer language tutors was a trying task. I managed to get my butterflies flying in formation and received good feedback from the delegates with whom I was able to chat during our delicious morning tea. I celebrated afterwards by buying myself a new pair of shoes!

Web 2.0: opportunities for everyone

URLs for websites mentioned in keynote speech (Web 2.0: opportunities for everyone) at Read Write Now forum, Saturday, April 28.

RSS Aggregators

Bloglines www.bloglines.com

Google Reader google.com/reader

FeedReader www.feedreader.com

FeedBurner www.feedburner.com

Digg www.digg.com


PBwiki www.pbwiki.com

SeedWiki www.seedwiki.com

MediaWiki mediawiki.org


Blogger blogger.com

Technorati www.technorati.com

Photo Sharing

Flickr www.flickr.com

Retrievr labs.systemone.at/retrievr

Picasa www.picasa.com

Tagging (Social Bookmarking)

del.icio.us del.icio.us

Streaming Media

YouTube youtube.com

Podzinger www.podzinger.com

Pandora www.pandora.com

Online Office Tools

Google Docs and Spreadsheets docs.google.com/

Zoho Office Reader www.zoho.com


LibraryThing www.librarything.com

Twitter www.twitter.com

Web 2.0 Starter Kit opensourceculture.blogspot.com

Remember the Milk www.rememberthemilk.com


Virtual World Librarianship

Now this would be a fascinating way to teach IL - and might even make students aware that not all library staff are ancient fuddy-duddys.

Virtual World Librarianship – Your SecondLife

I've downloaded Second Life but have not yet had a chance to explore it. A lot of people (including librarians) are talking about it and it seems like a fun idea - and SOOO.. Library 2.0.


When will we be 2.0?

Why isn't our library 2.0 yet? We talk endlessly about the things we want in both the current scene and in the new building planned for the Central TAFE Library, meanwhile other people are out there doing things. See this article from Columbia University Teachers' College Library blog:

Library 2.0: It's All Happening at the Gottesman

Published: 4/12/2007

From book talks to collaborative project management to software development, it's all happening at TC's Gottesman Libraries


New York to Paris

Marsha Bennett sent me this:

1. Go to Google http://google.com/

2. Click on Maps (click on more >>) to get to Maps

3. Click on Get Directions.

4. From: New York, New York.

5. To: Paris, France.

6. Then, read line #24.

7. Laugh

8. Repost.


Great article about academic libraries

Libraries at the Cutting Edge. Not only is this a stimulating article but the comments are well-considered and, on the whole, favourable to libraries and librarians. Isn't it odd though that some people still have the idea that Librarians are the people who spend most of their time saying "Shhh!" or putting books back on the shelves.


A Librarian's 2.0 Manifesto

Kathryn Greenhill in her blog Librarians Matter referred to a video on YouTube - "A Librarian's 2.0 Manifesto" that she showed at a presentation about YouTube and Libraries. For me this epitomises everything that I am trying to do as a librarian. Sometimes we have great ideas and they may be greeted with skepticism and the powers-that-be pour cold water on them or enthusiasm but the technological framework within which we have to work won't support anything non-standard. Sometimes, however, we have an amazingly supportive group of colleagues and supervisors who try to smooth the way as we try to implement new ideas. I'm blessed/cursed with both of these scenarios and wish I had the persuasive powers and technological skills that are needed to bring these ideas to fruition.

Revish is here

Revish has just been launched. It is an alternative to LibraryThing. I've just registered and will need a bit of time to compare them. In its FAQs Revish claims that it is more about in depth book reviews that cataloguing and, unlike LT it does not have provision for tagging. It provides very readable guidelines for reviewers and, if people abide by these, the results should be worthwhile.
In Revish you can find books (from the Amazon catalogue), add them to your favourites, currently reading or other lists, review and rate them. You can also find out what like-minded readers are reading or have in their favourite lists.
Categories appear to be in LCCRA format or may be taken directly from Amazon.


Information Literacy blog

Librarians, particularly in educational institutions, are always concerned with improving their clients' information literacy skills. Here is a blog that might help us by sharing ideas.
Information Literacy meets Web 2.0

How does Web 2.0 affect our delivery of Information Literacy? How do librarians cope with the Google generation and what does this mean for Information Literacy? This site will be a sounding board for us to exchange our views and good practice!


More Web2.0 stuff

In ResourceShelf I saw this post: 2.0 Worth A Look #3: Timeline, Nowsy, Calcoolate and particularly like the look of Nowsy. This appears to be a combination of aggregator and search engine., ie. you search for terms that appear within your chosen feed.
You can customise the look of the aggregator and some links are already displayed so you can see how it looks. One of them is
YouTube and the first clip on the list was Evolution of Dance. Although I became a bit lost after Greased Lightning (it's a long time since I last went dancing) I really enjoyed this comedian's antics.


Things to do with Library 2.0

Among the articles added recently to Maeve's Shared Items is this one from The Shifted Librarian:- 23 Library 2.0 Things in 15 Minutes a Day

It includes a link to 43 Things I might want to do this year , an article from Information Outlook. It actually suggests only 38 and I'm pleased to say that I've already done more than half of them. It has given me some ideas of more things to investigate, though, such as #33, JibJab and #6, LibraryElf.


Google Reader

I recently changed aggregators from Bloglines to Google Reader. GR has many cool features, one of which I've included as "Maeve's shared items" in this blog. It means that anything that takes my interest in GR can be added to my shared list without the hassle of saving it to del.icio.us and then pasting into a new post.

On the downside, once you've scrolled past an article in GR it is marked as read and can't be seen again. I'd sometimes like to be able to backtrack or reread articles that I may not have starred.

Wiki recognised at last

Seen on Library Stuff:

"If you think "wiki" doesn’t sound like English, you are right. But it’s English now. This word born on the Pacific Island of Hawaii finally got an entry into the latest edition of the online Oxford English Dictionary (OED) along with 287 other new words."

Read all about it here.


Referencing Tool

I haven't used this but it could be a useful tool for Information Literacy classes.
clipped from www.google.com

Citation formats on WorldCat.org

New to Worldcat.org They now provide citations for numerous formats directly from any book display. I use this tool everyday, and this is pretty useful.

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