Friday, August 29, 2014

Parked Links

via Flickr

I am parking a few links here so that I can follow them up later. I find this a good habit rather than bookmarking them and forgetting them ....

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ken Roberts - The Future of Libraries

I really enjoyed Ken Roberts talk on The Future of Libraries.

A few notes from this series of youtube videos:
  • It is important to establishing where libraries are currently, and where they want to be in 5 years time. Trends, in order to instigate change, need to be embedded in within the fabric of the organisation in order to be sustainable. (check out this article on a Model for Sustainable Organisational change).
  • Looking at the reality of eBooks, he realistically talks about the push and pull of the industry.
  • In the 1930s libraries are used for discovery, searching and entertainment. Ken argues that the ratio has changed but the main three drivers are still the same.
  • Libraries are evolving from being a destination of consumption to a destination of creativity. Students want to "hang out", "mess around" and "geek out".
  • Part 5 deals with collaborative spaces with the discussion on the role of the librarian and how it is changing.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Future of Libraries: 7 Questions Librarians Need to Answer

My earliest memory of a Library involves a calm space where I could go to quietly read, reflect or study.

But in the last few years, the idea of the Library as a quiet reflective space has been dirtied by educators claiming that this makes the Library old fashioned and outdated. They want the Library/Information Commons/Information Resource Centre to be dynamic, loud, colourful. It should be a happening place that sparks interest and encourages questioning. But once you have that question, what do you do?

The Pew Research "Future of Libraries" presentation makes some interesting statements.
  • The need for quiet or thinking spaces in Libraries.
  • Libraries as maker spaces; not just cognitive maker spaces, but physical maker spaces.
  • A greater emphasis on teaching and reinforcing inquiry research skills.
  • Teaching students to work through the info-glut to find out what they need for their learning.
  • Slide 34 has an interesting breakdown on how spaces are used in a Library.
  • The idea of a technology "petting zoo" or genius bar where students can try out new technologies or gadgets to add to their learning experience.
Looking back over history, the Library has evolved many many times to meet the needs of the community. But in order to do so, we need to understand out clientele.

Further Reading:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Relationship between science fiction and user interfaces

A fascinating presentation (15 minutes) on the relationship between science fiction and user interfaces by Chris Noessel.
When I started to use computers, there was no mouse and everything was keyboard controlled. The Control Key was the most important one on the keyboard. Our user interfaces have evolved so intuitively at the moment that a 3 year old can use it! We connect user interfaces with operating systems; Windows, MacOX.
The history of operating systems is interesting, with the first graphical user interface being the Macintosh operating system that Apple released in 1984.
The start of the presentation shows the natural use of data visualisation tools to make decisions; word/tag cloudcharts.
How many of the sci-fi movies have you seen that he identifies? 

Let us make a few observations about this blog post for a minute ....
This blog post
  • asks questions (encourages feedback) from the reader
  • Links to other web sites that will add depth to the topic that is being discussed
  • Has an image or an embedded video to engage the reader in the topic that is being discussed.
What this blog post (SchoL) does not have is:
  • Meta tags
  • Prompts to connect the user to other posts in your blog using algorithms which call up posts that are similar.
  • Encourages the users to connect via social media (Twitter, Pinterest)
If you have found this blog entry useful, please comment below!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

21st Century School Library Staffing Model

At my school, and I am sure around the world, there is much discussion about how the traditional library might transform itself into a "learning commons"or "resource centre". But what about the staffing model? You can't just plonk the old staff with old habits into a new area and expect them to be progressive!

Isn't the Vennesla Library and Culture House gorgeous!

It was with this conundrum in mind that I came across an interesting article by David Weinberger about using the "Library" (commons/resource centre/hub) as a platform for incubating knowledge, ideas and passions.

The thing that struck me about this article was the inference that the space should be about engaging rather than disengaging students from the collection. Often resource spaces are organised in such a way to protect the collection. Special collections behind lock and key, restricted material behind the circulation desk.

The model of engaging students and giving them multiple avenues to access librarians or knowledge professionals, should clearly influence the staffing model.

For example:

  • Front of house Teacher Librarians (Knowledge Engineers) might be required at the circulation desk (or "genius bar" as Weinburger states) to answer questions. Most students will be able to "self check out", so they shouldn't be standing processing borrowings and returns. RFID technology will free up the TL to focus on building the capacity of the students to engage with the space.
  • There might also be Knowledge Engineers working in the back rooms processing resources, but perhaps they are available to answer "online" queries from students that might come in from around the campus. These specialists might not have the effervescence that the front of house librarians might have, but still their skill set is valuable.
  • With the acknowledgement that some of the work of a Teacher Librarian can be done remotely, the flexibility of the "work at home" arrangement becomes possible. 
Weinburger also talks about the Library as a social network:

"An online public access catalog (OPAC) for end-user search and navigation. Various ways of communicating with librarians and users by posting questions, chatting online, phoning, going to the physical library’s “genius bar,” etc. The ability of a computer program to pose a query through an open, well-documented Application Programming Interface (API) to find items based on subject classification, standard metadata (subject, author, year, etc.), popularity or other usage indicators, etc. This will spur the development of innovative applications. Clustering of works by semantic relationships, by recommendations (“people who like this…”), etc."

At the moment the Library structure focuses on reacting to the clients, the users; the students and staff. This concept of the Library as a social network or platform, allows clients/students to define how they want to interact with their Library. Allowing them to get in contact with like minds, share knowledge and use the resources that the library has on hand. But both the virtual and physical infrastructure needs to be flexible and organic enough to allow this to happen. Rather than decide for the users how they might interact with the library, the new library might provide information in a variety of forms and then perhaps use metrics to decide which one to concentrate on. Allowing the users to vote with their clicks or feet and then responding to it.

"A library platform should be measured less on the circulation of its works than in the circulation of the ideas and passions these works spark"

I hope that you have found this article of interest.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Why am I doing INF506?

I am enrolled in INF506, my third last uni subject.

I consider myself to be quite experienced in terms of social networking use, integration and knowledge. So why have I enrolled in this subject? For me, to be formally acknowledged as being knowledgable in this area is important.

In 5 years time, I would like to be moving and shaking in terms of creating a modern library or learning commons for a school. The role of social media for the modern library is important, to connect to our students and teachers. But I would like to understand the impact on teaching and learning and back it up with research.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How do I use social networking?

I have a big digital footprint personally and professionally.  At the moment I have a number of social media accounts. I have noticed that if they are not hooked up to my smartphone, then I tend not to use them as much.

Social Networking Tool Personal Work
Facebook I have a personal account that I use to communicate with friends. Of which I am not going to link to here! I have a business page in Facebook but not an account associated with my role as a Teacher Librarian.

Konstant Kaos business images

Instagram Record my adventures Images that are pertinent to work or school

Professional presence and record of my work experience


A microblogging tool which limits your posts to 140 characters. Use the hashtag to indicate the topic of your tweet.

Konstantkaos twitter pushes out links to my crafty business blog.
Infowhelm twitter pushes out links from my Infowhelm blog or links to do with library and information systems.

Livejournal Totally private and personal journalling site.

Professional, but I don’t necessarily like using it. The scattergun approach to tagging bookmarked sites is not something that I enjoy doing!

I would probably much prefer to do a blog post on an article that I have found interest in.