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LibPunk

Posted on July 7, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Earlier this month Kathryn Greenhill coined the term “LibPunk” in her blog:

“Librarians using non-proprietary products and groupings not based on institutional alliances to practice their craft and communicate their practice? Open, collaborative enterprises based on not making money, but often on increasing social capital or extending knowledge?”

It’s about DIY librarianship – using freely available web tools and mashing them up with proprietary systems to facilitate discovery of and access to information and social networks relevant to your field. E.g. David Pattern‘s OPAC hacks which provide recommendations, ratings and comments (and much other functionality too); and the provision of access to information services within social and personal spaces (e.g. Facebook, Ning, iGoogle, Pageflakes etc.) via api’s and rss feeds.

EduPunk has been around for a little while longer than LibPunk. According to Wikipedia, the term was first used on May 25, 2008 by Jim Groom in his blog. Martin Weller’s EduPunk video inspired me to create a LibPunk slidecast:

Primarily just for fun, but I will probably use it at work to generate discussion around the directions that we should be moving in (not that we all need to be colouring and spiking our hair). It includes screenshots of our newly launched “Library toolbox: Externally provided tools list” (powered by delicious) and references to “Everything is Miscellaneous” by David Weinberger. It is set to the song “All the Small Things” by Blink 182. It’s a DIY dub; you need to run the song (e.g. on YouTube) at the same time as the slides.

I decided not to embed the song with the slides due to potential copyright issues. I did try automating the slide transitions in powerpoint but gave up because I couldn’t get it to sync to the song on re-play. The table below should help with the timings. Unfornately slideshare can’t cope with the punk-kid font, and this shows up capitalisation errors here and there. I will hopefully get around to editing it and posting a better version 😉

Libr’y tool box All the, small things
Web tools, for you True care, truth brings
[someone in the lift reading EiM] I’ll take, one lift
Edu use, tool tips Your ride, best trip
Users, their view (or “describe tools”?) Always, I know
[Screen shot of toolbox tag cloud] You’ll be at my show
Tagging [humn, this should have been “rating”], commenting, recommending Watching, waiting, commiserating
Filter on out, not as I go, turn the rules off, give up control[screen shot of del.icio.us/Librarytoolbox]

[Other screen shots too… ending with fireworks]

Say it ain’t so, I will not go, turn the lights off, carry me home
Na, Na…….
LibraryThing, delicious Late night, come home
Pageflakes, Zotero Work sucks, I know
Ev ry thing is Miscellaneous metadata She left me roses by the stairs
[Picture of tool box with a rose in it.]Categorisation is now dead. Surprises let me know she cares
Filter on out, not as I go, turn the rules off, give up control[Screen shots in here ending with b of the bang]

Filter on out, not as I go, turn the rules off, give up control

Say it ain’t so, I will not go, turn the lights off, carry me home
Na, Na……

Say it ain’t so, I will not go, turn the lights off, carry me home

Place each leaf ’till most branches you fill, the tree will go on, it will evolve [book tree pic] Keep your head still I’ll be your thrill, the night will go on, my little
redmill
Filter on out, not as I go, turn the rules off, give up control Say it ain’t so, I will not go, turn the lights off, carry me home
Place each leaf ’till most branches you fill, the tree will go on, I.T. will go on, it will evolve
[two tree pics and then credits whilst music is fading.]
Keep your head still, I’ll be your thrill, the night will go on, the night will
go on, my little redmill
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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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eBook Readers and Libraries

Posted on March 5, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

A selection of blog postings re eBook readers and Libraries: 

Kindle and libraries see: http://rochellejustrochelle.typepad.com/copilot/2008/01/never-mind-lega.html

http://freerangelibrarian.com/2007/11/19/kindle-doesnt-light-my-fire/

http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/12/olpc-and-the-kindle.html

The I-phone: http://radar.oreilly.com/archives/2007/01/the-iphone-as-an-ebook-reader.html

…any phone: http://alibraryisalibrary.blogspot.com/2008/02/3845-cell-phones-novel-sources_17.html

Apple eBook reader speculation: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/03/reading-steve-jobs/

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