The [library] world is flat – too!

We have a central library catalogue (SirsiDynix Unicorn) serving 77 schools K-12 plus some specialist libraries, which allows for individualisation and sharing of information – we can search our own library or all libraries across all our schools as well as the specialised support libraries.

Unicorn’s architecture makes it easy to change databases and to implement new functionality. We have ‘content enrichment’ – book jackets, reviews, teacher notes and more also added to our basic catalogue. We could extend our services to include electronic packets (learning objects) and electronic files, provide federated searching of our resources, which includes an excellent range of subscription databases such as Britannica and EBSCO.

We could launch an enterprise portal solution, or implement any number of excellent options that SirsiDynix offers to revolutionise access to digital knowledge resources, as well as bibliographic resources.

At this stage, we have not rolled out the really effective enhancements that makes this system of delivery revolutionary…….. information anywhere, anytime.

We ‘stand out‘ in the school library sector in Australia for having implemented this system – yet we are hindered in making further developments because ………the potential of the innovation goes unrecognised! Urrrrggghhhh – so frustrating! Such Web 1.0 thinking. So yesterday!

The Information Network for Ohio Schools has done much of this, and is worth exploring to see some of the possible ways of supporting learning and teaching across schools.

I am delighted that at least a public library in Australia is leading the way in Web 2.0 using the same platform as our own (Unicorn), though obviously for a much smaller group of libraries.

The SirsiDynix WebSeminar “Hopping into Library 2.0: Experiencing Lifelong Learning” will be presented by Christine Mackenzie —Chief Executive Officer, Yarra Plenty Regional Library, in Melbourne, Australia. She will talk about why they decided to implement Learning 2.0 and how this has equipped them to get bold in their thinking about social networking. They’ll discuss 4 themes for their Library worker 2.0 staff development program in 2007 – getting information, enabling learning, creating content and celebrating culture; and how they are encouraging an environment of lifelong learning within the organization. Grab the podcast if you can’t join in the conversation. Of course there is also an excellent Yarra Plenty Library Blog, currently promoting great summer reading.

Singapore National Library shows an interesting MashUp with BookJetty. Some nice Web 2.0 enhancements, and a curious blend with Amazon. Can’t borrow the book? I guess you can buy it! My test searches provided pretty interesting results – in some cases, only providing Amazon information. Port the same search across to WorldCat – and get a very comprehensive result – all the information leads you could want for collection development, research sources, or unusual collections. Why not put the WorldCat search box on your site?

In terms of nice innovation, I love what MIT libraries have done! MIT Libraries now have RSS feeds for new additions to their catalogue.

Of course, they have lots of other nice things too, but RSS feeds for new resources is a cool Web 2.0 touch for keeping informed!

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One thought on “The [library] world is flat – too!

  1. Hey Jude, thanks for your review on BookJetty.

    The Worldcat link up idea seems to be great, coz it returns a wide range of medias and links up to different libraries in the world.

    My concerns are the results returned do not show the availabilty of the books in the library immediately and you have to eventualy click on a link back to individual library catalogue website for the book availability; which what BookJetty is doing at this moment tapping directly from the library catalgoue, currently with Singapore NLB.

    The idea of BookJetty is slightly different. At the first place is to tap on Amazon book search result (which is really good, first 10 books shown on the first page most likely has the book that you want) and with/without a click you know if you should just buy it or borrow it from the library (mouse over the catalogue number, the popup shows the available library locations).

    I also try to keep it bloated like Worldcat, which makes it really a challenge to design a user-friendly UI. Thus the limitation is a blessing in disguise too.

    I would probably link up to more libraries in the future, with the option that a user can select which library to do the match with, probably a library at a time. Do you think library users in Australia would love something like this? :)

    Thanks for the suggestions Jude, feel free to email me if you have more, feedbacks from someone are just really precious. And you have a good day!

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