The road to change



If you still have my blog loaded into your RSS reader, you may be surprised to see some posts appear again. 2015-2016 has become more than a challenge – more like a hurdle and then a steep and winding road to change.

From Just another Bag Lady to walking relatively confidently 12 months later, to:  a decision to sell up house (what a ghastly exhausting job that was!); a new position for 2016 as Project Manager – Online Subject Enhancement in the Faculty of Education at CSU; and to two planned moves in 2016 (one to an apartment in Sydney and another to a still-to-be -built new home in country Albury.  Phew!  That’s different!

Well, life is too short to be static and unchanging. You knew that didn’t you?  So after all these years of writing here (more than 10 years), it’s time to begin to record a little more of the professional curios that come my way.

I hope your 2016 is filled with professional and personal adventures as mine certainly is!

flickr photo shared by heyjudegallery under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

Virtual representation of information

Watching Twitter (as you do) I was quite taken by this quick post from Michael Wiebrands about the use of Unity 5 Personal Edition, to test out an information idea in a virtual environment – I mean really virtual, not just online!

So the first test combining Trove and Unity, resulted in a cool looking Virtual Archive Using Trove API. The idea was to represent the data in a similar way to the visualisation scenes in the 1995 movie “The Hackers”. The content is Curtin University JCPML images pulled in realtime from Trove via their API and animated on the servers/buildings.

Pretty cool video of the virtual outcome to my non-IT eyes!

Copyright changes and Slideshare chicanery



There are many different ways to share the content of your presentation slides, but Slideshare has remained my ‘go to’ slide repository, as it aggregates all my presentations that I have chosen to share in the last eight years. Time warp almost!  These days so much goes on in social sharing processes that it’s easy to miss changes or updates.

Thanks to Ian Clark in his post on Slideshare closes copyright breaching loophole, I discovered a new service launched by Slideshare. It’s a highly relevant one related to images – a topic I always make sure to cover with any students that I engage with using images for social media professional or personal use.  I do this in the context of getting away from ‘death by powerpoint’ and moving to visual prompts to communicate, with limited/appropriate text etc. The slide-deck needs to be standalone, but also cannot (nor should it) reveal the depth of conversations had. It’s not  a lecture! So information rich and informative – tick.  Images – tick. Creative commons – tick.  Correct content attribution – tick.

I make it my business to use Alan Levine’s FlickrCC attribution helper as my totally favourite and only sane way for a busy person to get fab images, use creative commons, and meet copyright needs (as a way of acknowledging the creative work of others).  NO snitching!

I place the URL on each image page  – the simplest thing, and now the best thing to do, given the launch of Slideshare’s new clipping feature. Introducing clipping on Slideshare:

There’s so much information at our fingertips today – on LinkedIn SlideShare alone there are 18 million pieces of content. As a result, it can be hard to stay on top of everything that resonates with you. That’s why we’re excited to introduce our newest feature, Clipping,  a new tool designed to make it easier for you to conduct and organize research, and learn any topic quickly on LinkedIn SlideShare. You can now clip and save the best slides from presentations across LinkedIn SlideShare to view or share later. It’s is a handy way to keep everything organized in topic-based Clipboards. You can also share your great finds to benefit the whole community. Here’s how it works. As you’re combing through decks, you’ll notice a clipping icon in the bottom left corner of slides. So, if there’s one slide that you absolutely love, you can clip it. When you’re ready, head to your board, where all of the the individual slides you clipped will be saved. You can organize clips into boards based on topic or author. Once you’ve created a great board, you can share it with others or post it on social media.

So here’s the rub.  I’ve always made my Slideshare’s downloadable – in the spirit of being open, and making information accessible.  Sure, people can  do sneaky things with that download, but it’s a balance.

But this snip and make a new deck is a whole new bit of chicanery, as well as an issue of copyright.

There is no integrity associated with cutting and pasting other people’s creative and/or academic ideas and palming them off as your own – and this is what I fear this new Slideshare option allows. Also, if you don’t have the attribution of an image used in the actual slide (some people list them all at the end, or I add it first time used) you are also breaching the spirit of creative commons sharing processes.

This new Slideshare feature needs you to actively change a setting on each and evey presentation individually (it’s not defaulted to the option that protects you from a copyright claim). As Ian explains:

To prevent your slides from being clipped simply take the following steps.

  1. Click on “Edit” underneath the slide player:

2. Head to “Privacy Settings” and select “No” to allowing users to clip slides:

Ye gad – what a process – and how many of us have missed this important update??  Well there it is – now go off and get clicking!

Image: flickr photo shared by Skley under a Creative Commons ( BY-ND ) license

Social media and your library



Libraries use social media for a whole range of objectives these days, to communicate and promote information, events, and generally build community. How well this is done of course depends on a range of things – in particular the skills and knowledge of those who establish and drive the various initiatives.

It helps to have information to have a white paper to look at for general applications, as managers often respond favorably to evidence quantified this way.

A white paper from Taylor & Francis from back in October 2014, which I have just stumbled across, is one such useful document.  The white paper titled Use of social media by the library: current practices and future opportunities was researched and compiled to provide an overview of current practices relating to the use by libraries of social media, from a world-wide perspective.

Social media has the potential to facilitate much closer relationships between libraries and their patrons, wherever they are based, and however they choose to access library services and resources.

The document provides a useful benchmark, if you are still developing your strategy, and covers key areas, that I find are often missed in peoples thinking. Knowing not only social media objectives, but also how to choose channel applications, and co-ordinate approaches between them is critical for a social media presences. Good policy is also vital!

Visit the Taylor and Francis LibSite http://www.tandf.co.uk/libsite/whitePapers/socialMedia/ where you will also find visualisations of key findings from the white paper.  There is also a webinar to help you discover best practice (including a transcript of the session) and you can Read the Storify to see what the library community has made of the white paper results. But wait – there’s more.  You will just have to go and visit the Libsite!

Image: flickr photo shared by heyjudegallery under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

Your #remixvic – no more cobwebs!

Once again, we have the power of a digital collections providing a great new image source for remix courtesy of the State Library of Victoria.They have almost 200,000 pictures in our image pool, free of copyright restrictions or available to be used. So dive in and get creative – remix, reuse and share the results.

Pity they do not include attribution details with each image, to make remix more effective.

Anyway, let them explain about the initiative:

We’ve opened up our image vault, dusted off the cobwebs and sourced almost 200,000 images from our collection for you to reuse, remix and repurpose in any way you choose.

So let your imagination take flight – dive into our digital image pool, select and download your photos, then create something new. Start with a vintage paper lantern, make a 19th-century papercraft dog, or be inspired by some of the other remixes you’ll see here.

Share your creation on Instagram using the hashtag #remixvic – we’ll feature our favourite remixes here and on our @Library_Vic Instagram account.

Don’t use Instagram? No worries, you can share your #remixvic creations on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.

You can also submit your photos of the Library on our #libraryvicpic page.

Image: State Library of Victoria collection http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/dragon-thumbnail.jpg

Guidelines for Parliamentary Research Services

Guidelines for Parliamentary LibrariesThe Guidelines for Parliamentary Research Services, a joint publication between IFLA and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), was launched on 13 August at the Section’s pre-conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

A working group comprised by members of the Section on Library and Research Services for Parliaments, led by Sonia L’Heureux, Parliamentary Librarian for the Parliament of Canada, compiled the guidelines based on their experience and in consultation with other members of the Section.

These Guidelines for Parliamentary Research Services are a new step in the capture of our collective knowledge. Developed in response to a persistent demand from members of the Section for guidance in strengthening research services for parliaments, this publication is an example of how results can be achieved by working together and by mutually supporting each other in our professional work. The Guidelines are grounded in the work that librarians and researchers carry out every day, in the reality they face while serving the institution they work in, and in the collective expertise and knowledge grown in the Section through cooperation, collaboration and the sharing of ideas.

The result is a document that takes into account different realities and parliamentary contexts, capacities and levels of development, organizational structures and institutional environments. As underlined in the publication,

“many considerations can shape the design of a parliamentary research service. The observations offered here should not be construed as strict recipes to be followed. Ultimately, they must be assessed and pursued with deference to the culture and context within which the parliamentary research service is established”.

The IPU translated and published the guidelines.

NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Library Edition

2015-nmc-horizon-report-library-EN_pdfWhat is on the five-year horizon for academic and research libraries?  Always provocative, and worthwhile reading arrives again with the publication of the NMC Horizon Report: 2015 Library Edition examines key trends, significant challenges, and important developments in technology for their impact on academic and research libraries worldwide. This publication was produced by the NMC in collaboration with University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Chur, Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) Hannover, and ETH-Bibliothek Zurich. To create the report, an international body of experts from library management, education, technology, and other fields was convened as a panel. Over the course of three months, the 2015 NMC Horizon Project Library Expert Panel came to a consensus about the topics that would appear here. View the work that produced the report on the project wiki.

>Download the NMC Horizon Report > 2015 Library Edition (PDF)