collaboration

Dangerous literature for Library staff

Posted on June 29, 2008. Filed under: collaboration, Everything is Miscellaneous, libraries, library 2.0, sharing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Having read various blog postings, including one by Martin Weller about “Everything is Miscellaneous: The power of the new digital disorder” (EiM for short), I asked for a copy for my birthday. I am currently 1/2 way through it and think that it is set to become a classic, a must read for anyone with an interest in information. It is easy to read and thought-provoking: Is everything miscellaneous? Should we aim to make everything miscellaneous? Should we be allowing our users to categorise everything? How should we do this?

The book is quite challenging. A few years ago I managed the implementation of document management policies and procedures supported by a document management system in the Library that I work in. We produced a folder structure and a set of file and folder naming guidelines. These aim to help us to organise our information effectively, retrieve documents more easily and reduce document duplication. One of the things that we said was that staff must not label folders “miscellaneous” or documents “Joe Blogg’s report”. Weinberger asserts that organising information in folders is not efficient in the digital world. Every person has a different view of the world. Assigning multiple (unlimited) tags is more efficient; file names become less important.

I am so enthusiastic about “Everything is Miscellaneous” that I want everyone in the Library where I work to read it so that we can discuss it and work together to decide how to shape our strategies for both our online and physical information resources. I would like staff to look at the challenges that we are facing and think about how we should move forward. I have enlisted the help of a couple of colleagues to spread the word and help to enthuse other people. So far we have managed to persuade 17 to buy the book (currently we are eagerly awaiting a bulk Amazon order); at least 4 more are going to read the Library’s copies. So almost a quarter of Library staff will be reading the book and hopefully more will join us.

For fun we plan to ask people to take pictures of themselves with the book in interesting places (whilst on holiday, or away at conferences for example) and we will put these into a flickr group. We will be asking staff to share their favourite quotes from it.

Karen G. Schneider’s post at ALA TechSource: “This is, I repeat, a dangerous book. Ban it, burn it, or take it to heart. The most dangerous part of this book is not that Weinberger says these things, and so much more: the danger comes if we don’t listen.” http://www.techsource.ala.org/blog/2007/05/weinbergers-well)-ordered-miscellany.html sparked off an idea. With the help of a few colleagues, I am going to set up a “dangerous” literature group for Library staff. The group will read and discuss things that it’s dangerous for people working in libraries not to read. EiM will be the first book.

We will also be doing a “dangerous” literature display for the Library staff room, to include EiM and other literature relevant to libraries, the information profession & the digital revolution (e.g. “Wikinomics” by Don Tapscott and “Ambient Findability” by Peter Morville). We will summarise each text and our thoughts on it and will include our favourite quotes from it.

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Reading, Writing and Arithmetic on the Web or the Wii

Posted on December 3, 2007. Filed under: children, collaboration, education, edutainment, gaming, kids, technology, wii |

I’ve just had a quick go on a few games on the Arcademic Skill Builders site, having read a blog posting by the Shifted Librarian “The Three Wii R’s“.  Arcademic Skill Builders are providing free educational ‘arcade’ games for (younger) children that can be accessed over the web, or using a Wii browser and ‘mote.   There are single-player and multi-player games available.  So up to 4 children anywhere in the World can play against each other.  I’m looking forward to trying this out with my daughter on our Wii. 

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More on Journal Articles: Ratings and Comments

Posted on November 22, 2007. Filed under: collaboration, del.icio.us, education, indexing, information, library 2.0, sharing, technology, universities, web 2.0 |

This post is further to my earlier post on Journal articles: ratings and comments (7th November, 2007).

Yesterday I attended the JIBS workshop: “Is Library 2.0 a trivial pursuit”. The presentations were all excellent. They included one by Dave Pattern, Library Systems Manager at the University of Huddersfield: “Making the catalogue a good place to be: Lipstick, cowbells and serendipity.” I asked the question:

“How long will it be before people can rate and comment on articles aswell as books; and how long will it be before we can find out ‘people who read/downloaded this article have also read/downloaded these articles’ ” and “Are fed search providers e.g. Exlibris looking at doing this sort of thing?” No-one was aware of anyone doing anything in this area.

However, Ale de Vries, Product Manager, Elsevier, in his presentation: “A publisher’s view of Library 2.0” mentioned 2collab, a beta system that will enable sharing and collaboration between researchers in particular fields. Ale’s presentation also included a last-minute slide (following my question earlier in the day) on how they are going to provide article download/useage information and rankings based on this. So perhaps the rating, recommendation and review of journal articles and papers is not far off.

Personally I think that this would work best as a mash-up of a del.icio.us type-system with a LibraryThing/Zotero type system so that you can save the references to the articles (and add your own tags and comments/reviews to them) wherever you have found them (e.g. within a web-based bib database to which your library subscribes or in a web-journal, e.g. Ariadne) and share them with your colleagues wherever they are based.

Anyone else have any thoughts on this? Anyone else blogging/writing elsewhere about this? Should I patent the idea?

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Google for Universities

Posted on June 14, 2007. Filed under: collaboration, education, google, strategy, technology, universities |

Google is providing universities with “Google Apps for Education” – gmail, google calendars and google document sharing/collaboration tools. Trinity College Dublin appears to be the first UK University to sign up. An advantage to students (and staff!) is that they can still have access to their email account when they leave. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/6741797.stm

Something that I have been pondering is whether students would find it useful to have a tab within their igoogle containing their University’s gadgets. The student could create such a tab from scratch themselves, but for some having a tab pre-populated with gadgets relevant to their life at uni, e.g. their course (e.g. news feeds, course calendar); their library (catalogue search box/website search box) etc that they can edit (add more gadgets to – not just those provided by their uni – and remove things from) may be useful – perhaps?

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