Category Archives: blog

CILIP Sub Branch Blog

My local CILIP Sub Branch has a blog! One of the committee has been inspired by Karen Blakeman’s talk to set up a blog and Hampshirelibrarian has already posted on internet browers and search engines. Unfortunately the comments are restricted to members of the group and there is no obvious way to send a message asking to join in but I’m in the process of emailing the committee to find out more. If people get involved I think this could be a great community blog for folk working in libraries in the region to discuss 2.0 technology and share general library ideas and problems.

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A challenge for UK library bloggers!

Brian Kelly of UK web focus has written another post on the subject of UK library bloggers and he’s now on the lookout for volunteers to join in his experiments and this is his challenge…

“Well I’m still carrying on with the experiments (especially the experiments which relate to the needs of the smaller libraries, museums and archives – such as my current experiment in email delivery of blog postings).
But I’d be even more keen to carry out a community experiment – perhaps with a small group who would be willing to contribute their experiences using a Wiki, could be presented at ILI 2007.”

I think this is a great idea and a good opportunity to build a UK library blogging community sharing ideas and thoughts about 2.0 things – if you’re in the UK please consider joining in!

Simple Ideas, Great Results, Library 1.0

I think that sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the exciting ideas of Library 2.0 and online services and forget that there are simple, good ideas out there completely unconnected to computers! Michelle McLean, an Australian librarian, has written a post about Improving User Service which is all about libraries making users happy by changing loan limits and dropping reservation fees. Probably the most radical part is their change to print loans, from a maximum of 20 items across all categories to unlimited print loans, yes that does read unlimited! They do limit AV items with a rather low limit on DVDs but their unlimited print loans do include audio books and CD Roms.

The part that interests me is the reservation fees – they dropped them from $1 to free. This is the fee for placing a hold on books at other branches or out on loan. I love this part of Michelle’s post…

“Now that’s a good thing. Although it creates more work for us, its amazing what good will it has expressed. The people who wouldn’t place holds because of the charge, love it because they don’t have to pay and the people who were used to paying love it, because they no longer have to. They would not necessarily have thought of suggesting that as a service improvement, but they love it!”

She goes on to talk about other positive results such as people coming in more often and her reassuring final statement is…
“And despite fears, we haven’t had anyone place holds on everything in sight, yet!”

It’s so good to hear someone blogging about simple, effective ideas like this that help to give users a great service. It’s always difficult to sell something to management that will cost the library service money, such as giving up a source of revenue, however small the amount. So congratulations to the staff at Michelle’s library for doing this and I will be forwarding her post to my library manager in the morning…

My 100th RSS Feed on Bloglines

Today I subscribed to my 100th feed on Bloglines! Number 100 is a UK blog by a senior library assistant working in HE in Kent who is studying for a librarianship qualification. Check out The Singing Librarian who describes himself thus…

The Singing Librarian is not, technically speaking, a librarian. He has been working in a higher education library in Kent (UK) since Autumn 2000, but does not yet have a librarianship qualification and is therefore only a quasi-librarian. His job title is ‘Senior Library Assistant’. The library he works at is known as the Library of Doom due to the various problems it has encountered over the years, including floods, near-death experiences and rampaging wildfowl.

My favourite posts so far have been Singing Librarian Flashback: S Club Library which made me laugh and sing out loud and Good librarian, bad librarian comparing good responses to stupid reader questions and the responses we would all love to be able to give:

Student: Do you have that blue book my tutor recommended?
Bad librarian: Yes, we do. It’s kept with all the other blue books in the blue room, between the green and purple rooms. Once you get to the room, you’ll find them arranged in order by how much the tutors like them, with books written by members of staff at the very beginning.
Good librarian: I’m afraid I’ll need a bit more information than that. Can you remember what it’s called?
Unfortunately, the student often fails to remember the author or title, sometimes forgets which course or tutor it was that suggested the book, but always knows that it’s very important that they read it. At this point, the bad librarian manifests himself in the form of steam coming out of the good librarian’s ears.

I’m currently on the lookout for more blogging UK librarians and library students so The Singing Librarian fits in nicely.

Think I’m going to need a bigger blogroll…

UK Library Bloggers

Working my way through the handouts from last night’s event I’ve just come across this post from Brian Kelly on Where are the Blogging UK Librarians? I think this is an issue that will be discussed more and more this year as blogging becomes less “something geeks do” and more a useful tool of everyday life. Reading the blogs from US library folk you get a real sense of community and I think this is something that will develop over here too. I’d like to see more mention of blogging as a CPD tool too – CILIP’s new framework is very much about reflecting on what you have learned and showing your professional reading and writing this blog has pushed me to do this and keep doing it over the last few months. Can’t let my subscribers down! Huge thanks by the way to those people who have commented on my posts, I still can’t believe people read this and it’s fantastic to get feedback and suggestions. Isn’t this what a professional community should be?

Life as I Know It’s Library 2.0 Roundup

Jennifer Macauley in her excellent blog Life as I Know It has created a comprehensive list of sites and citations on library 2.0. Library 2.0 Roundup was originally posted in October 2006 and it is a pretty huge list to work through. Thanks to Jennifer I’ve discovered a wealth of posts and ideas that I hadn’t previously come across and I’m only about a third of a way through. I imagine it would also be a really useful resource for anyone wanting to chart the development of the library 2.0 idea from autumn 2005 to the present. Just don’t blame me if you stay up all night reading the posts, I’m finding it rather addictive reading…

OA, public libraries and distance learning

Many thanks to Heather Morrison who has taken the time to write a comprehensive comment on yesterday’s post about open access articles. She has included some interesting links and a reference to her blog The Imaginary Journal of Poetic Economics which has been added to my Blogllines subscription for updates on the open access world. I’ve also read a few posts recently about distance learning and how students can feel a little abandoned by their institution and library service when studying from afar. I wonder whether this is an issue that public and academic libraries should be looking at together in more detail? We tend to focus on offering support for Open University students but distance learning seems to be an increasingly popular option for other HE institutions. I’d be interested to know how easily distance learners access library services, both remote access and locally and whether public libraries could do more to help with this.

This week seems to be my random thought week, please feel free to add your random thoughts to the mix!