Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How to present while people are twittering.

Driving back last night from a meeting about Professional Registration for Librarians (and yes I'm sending mine off today) we were talking about social media. I mentioned how I learnt about Twitter at the Bridging World's conference in Singapore where members of the audience and some of the speakers were communicating on the 'back channel' : Twitter. I found it quite intriguing that discussions were taking place in real time while the paper was being presented - including questions which some hardy soul ocasionally asked the speaker at the end of the session. Not sure how I felt about it; it looked kinda rude with people not paying attention but I guess they must have been in order to sustain the conversation...

Anyway, this article by Olivia Mitchell, reported on Twitter by @cindi, discuses the issue of how to present while your audience twitters.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bug reporting may never be the same again: Jing

While down south last week showcasing Kete to the West Coast Aotearoa People's Network libraries, Jackie Gurden mentioned Jing as a great way to produce short videos which captured screen action accompanied by a talk over. This will be really useful for illustrating or explaining a bug, or for giving instructions. Might have a play at documenting the creation of Kete content ...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Why Facebook is for old fogies...

Tongue in cheek article from Time magazine about why Facebook appeals to us 30 pluses ... very timely given my recent attempts to convince my 18 year old he was too old for Bebo and needed to shift to a 'grown up' site like Facebook now he's off to university.

Thanks to cindi for posting on Twitter.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Commons

Heads up to Paul Reynolds for once again finding something very very cool to blog about:

In this great wee animation, filmmaker Laura Hanna, writer Gavin Browning and video artists/animators Dana Schechter and Molly Schwartz examine the concept of "The Commons" as a means to achieve a society of justice and equality.

Very, very cool - thanks Paul!

TV3 news item explaining the ramifications of the proposed s92 on public libraries.

This news item appeared on TV3 last night and is a good explanation of some of the issues public libraries will have to face.

I think it is completely unreasonable, not to mention unfeasible, to make public libraries keep records for six months of every session of internet use, of every hour, of every day plus be able to track down the internet user no matter where they came from!

Join NZ in protesting this ridiculous new law. Popular Twitterer Stephen Fry (yes the comedian) is actively supporting Internet Blackout NZ week as are many other internet users around the world.

Visit to find out more.

Why open source is good for Google

Great news item today on Stuff about open source:

"OPEN WIDE: Google's open source-friendly strategy is paying off, Google's head of engineering for Australia and New Zealand says. More>>"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Internet Blackout NZ

New Zealand's new Copyright Law presumes 'Guilt Upon Accusation' and will Cut Off Internet Connections without a trial. Join the black out protest against it!

Launch of "The Prow" : a digital library of local history from NZ

Another luscious digital project funded by the NZ Digital Strategy was launched today. Congratulations to the development team; it is beautiful!

"The Prow collects and makes accessible stories from the Top of the South - Te Tau Ihu o waka a Maui. Each story stands alone as an illustrated snapshot of an event, person or activity, but is also a starting point for further research, with full lists of and links to sources and resources. Our stories been written by contracted writers, including Hilary and John Mitchell, who have contributed many Maori stories, and fully researched by Library staff.

A key feature of the site is that it is interactive, allowing people to comment on, or add to, our stories, or to add a story of their own.

The Prow is a collaborative venture between Nelson Public Libraries, the lead partner, Tasman and Marlborough District Libraries, the Nelson Provincial Museum and Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology. It was funded by the Digital Strategy Community Partnership Fund.

For further information, please contact Nicola Harwood, the Project Manager."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The "Just Get it Done" approach to digitisation projects

I think Roy Tennant may have been a New Zealander in a previous life; if his comment regarding a 'just get it done' approach towards digitisation projects is anything to go by.

This post in the American Library Journal points out 2 publications for those involved in digitisation projects (as we are) :
  • 3rd ed. Framework for Building Digital Collections published by NISO with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
  • Shifting Gears : Gearing Up to Get Into the Flow by Ricky Erway and Jennifer Schaffner.
The first sounds like a good, solid, authoritative guide, but the second one balances the first with the argument that actually, more material online of lesser quality is better than fewer materials online of whatever quality. To which Roy says "Hear! Hear!"

This suits my somewhat pragmatic approach towards digitisation down to the ground.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wm. Shakespeare's Five and Twenty Random Things Abovt Me

Something dug up from the library, in Shakespeare's First Folio:

1. Sometimes I Feele so trapp’d by iambic pentameter... Does that make me a Freake?

2. I haue been Knowne to cry at Bear-baiting.

3. I am not uery ticklish. I am Not. So prithee, do not euen try. Waste. Of. Time.

4. I cannot keep Lice, and know not why.

5. Sometimes I thinke plays are all Talke, Talke Talke, and wish for a cart-chase scene. I tried one in The Merry Wives, but it looked like Shitte, so I cut it. The men playing the horses were so Pissed at me.

6. I once threw vp on a man's head, from a high Windowe. I was so fvcking Sicke that Daye.

7. I hate to wear a Ruff, for I haue such a pleasing Necke.

8. As a player, I am painful-slow to learn my part. Once whilst playing Edward I, I used the prompter so ouermuch that a groundling yell’d ~Stop interrupting, Will! And it was my Dadde. (Kydding!)

9. Sometimes when I am Stvck for a rhyme, I new-mint a Worde because I jvst want to get the Damned script ovt the fvcking doore.

10. I play the Flute yet poorly, but I can make any crumhorn beg for Mercy.

11. When I am happy I call Anne my Kicky-wicky. When I am cross I call her “Olde Fun Killer Hag-Ass.”

12. I keepe my Stashe hidden in our seconde best bedde. Shhh. Don’t tell the Fyve-Oh.

13. The people that loue my Wordes the best are always the most disappointed vpon meeting me. Is thisse List ouer yet?

14. On the topic of dating, my daughter Susanna loues to remind me: ~Jvliet was only thirteen! And I remind her that i) she was Italian, an impulsive race ii), she was actually played by a middle-aged Eunuch named Ned, and iii) she died. That always shvts her right vp.

15. I deteste it when the Low-Comedians improuise the scenes I writ them… becavse they always make them so mvch fvnnier.

16. I haue, on occasion, thovght abovt hiring a Boy to fixe my Latin.

17. When I was sixe, my Goode-Friend Charles brovght to Schoole a wood-cut of his mother, qvite naked. After that we called him Charles Nudie-Mummy, whiche did make him Crye.

18. I take my eggs ouer-medium. If I get them O’er-Easily, I tell my Porter, ~You may thinke this is what I ordered, but it’s snot. I thinke that one is a real Slap-A-Th’Knee.

19. I work ovt my calues thrice weekly, usvally three pyramid sets of Calf-Rises whilst holding a flagon of Meade. I knowe I should stretch afterwards, but it Bores me so I do it not.

20. As a boy in my Bed, I would shriek i’the night that Witches wovld come to eat me. My Mother (bless her) wovld smooth my Hair and whispr ~ Be not afear’d, the Witches onlie eat the Jews.

21. Whitsuntide has become so commercial.

22. Nobody euer forgets where they were the moment they heard that Thomas Kyd died. I was shopping for codpieces in West Cheape. I came ovt of the Change-room and the proprietress was i’tears. I said ~What is it, now?~Kyd is dead. There was a melancholy qviet, and then she said ~And that Piece is a mite too small on ye.

23. Euery time we do the Taming of the Shrew, some pvnter wants his Money backe, because we don’t actually show a shrew getting tamed.

24. I do not vnderstand all the Fvss over Currants. Sure, they are both sweet and Small, but must they bee added to EUERY FVCKING MEAL these days? Yestermonth, found I currants in a Tarte of Spinnedge. I meane come on, People. Seriovsly.

25. When I am feeling Melancholic, I console myselfe with the Knowledge that, aboue all else, I will be remembered for my Musick.

©2009 Mike McPhaden

Monday, February 9, 2009

Twittering Libraries

I got sprung by the boss last week observing the social phenomenon that Twitter has become.

Comedian Stephen Fry is an active twitterer - and he got stuck in a lift. Using his cellphone he 'tweeted' saying as much, alongside a photograph of the inside of the lift - again using his cellphone (see above).

What happened over the next hour was extraordinary. People all over the world - hundreds of people - tagged his photo and posted hilarious comments ... which kept the crowded lift mightily amused - not to mention naughty librarians in New Zealand who were meant to be working.

I am fascinated by Twitter now - after an initial 'WTF' respose. What I saw unfolding was akin to a live, totally unscripted, sitcom episode with hundreds of bit players. And Twitter is huge - make no mistake about it. 752% growth in registered members in 2008.

Public libraries need to be where the punters are and they are increasingly on Twitter. So how can libraries use this social tool? I don't know how we will yet but Lindy Brown, guest contributor on Tame the Web has some ideas in her recent post.

Click here to read her article which provides background information and a brief history of Twitter, notes the pros and cons reported by libraries using it, and shares findings on innovative ways libraries are using the service.

At the time she wrote the article, late 2008, she found about 90 libraries on Twitter but she has since found many more - and many more possibilities Twitter can provide for librarians. Check out her blog post on Tame the Web for more.

So while some may see twitter as just another fad I'm not so sure. And we lose nothing by playing along for a while anyway and see where it takes us!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Interested in Koha as your LMS?

Koha Con 2009

Press release from the Koha list:

"February 3, 2009.

The creators and developers of Koha, the first open source Integrated Library System (ILS), today announced that KohaCon 2009 - a conference for current and interested users of the Koha Integrated Library System - will be held in Plano, Texas, April 16 &17, 2009.

KohaCon 2009 is the sequel to the first ever KohaCon - held in Paris, France in 2006 - which brought together users and developers worldwide.

KohaCon 2009 will feature an international slate of speakers (both Koha users and active Koha contributors) conducting presentations and workshops on a diverse range of topics. Topics will include technical information on how to develop for the various modules of Koha, support options, and even panel discussions featuring users of Koha talking about their experiences with the software.

"We expect this event to have wide appeal," said Paul Poulain, BibLibre, CEO and Release Manager of Koha 2.x "The conference is for both techies and non-techies. In addition to presentations on the technical side of Koha, the conference will serve
as a hands-on introduction to how users and developers around the world collaborate to make the Koha open-source software possible," Poulain explained.

"Kohacon 2009 will be huge, everything is bigger in Texas. Plus you get to hear from some of the veteran Koha developers, complete with funny accents. What more could you want?" said Chris Cormack, one of the original authors of the Koha version 1.0, and current Translation Manager for the Project.

This is a FREE conference. There is no registration fee, but conference organizers are requesting that all attendees pre-register using the registration form found at:

Details (travel, hotels, tentative agenda, etc) can be found on the Koha wiki at:

About Koha
Koha is the first open-source Integrated Library System (ILS). Gifted by Horowhenua Library Trust and now in use worldwide, its development is steered by a growing community of libraries collaborating to achieve their technology goals. The impressive set of features available in Koha continues to evolve and expand to meet the needs of its user base. Koha has lived up to its name, which means 'Gift' in the Maori language of New Zealand.

To learn more about the Koha project, visit:

Press Contact:
Expert en Logiciels Libres pour l'info-doc
Tel : (33) 4 91 81 35 08

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Open Solutions for Libraries Gain Momentum is a really exciting new open source project that LibLime in the States has been working on - and very timely given the OCLC policy review and the 'heat' that has generated.

Some key points about are:
  • It's built with completely open source software, and released under the GPL, just like Koha.
  • The data in the giant record store (currently 35 million records) are licensed under the Open Data Commons license. Anyone can use the records, modify them, etc. This is in stark contrast to many national libraries and organizations like OCLC, who view the data as owned by them.
  • The service is free for anyone to use, meaning that libraries have a free cataloging tool and a free data store.
Click here to read a very informative news story about the increasing popularity open source solutions are finding with libraries, and why is so timely and striking such a cord.

Thanks to Philip van Zijl for posting link on NZ Libs list this morning.