Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cultural Discovery

Last year saw the launch of Europeana, a fantastic collection of digital content from museums, libraries and archives across Europe.  It was so popular it crashed almost immediately and had to relaunch a little while later.  In addition to searching collections, users can also register and then save items, tag them and also save searches.  They are now encouraging people to share the content they find by creating communities, although there is only a demo version available at the moment it will be interesting to see how the communities idea develops.

Now, thanks to a post on Lorcan Dempsey’s weblog I have discovered a similar project in Australia.  At the moment it has the not so catchy title of SBDS Prototype but don’t let that put you off.  Much like Europeana this is a fascinating project bringing together content from different sectors and in a variety of formats including digitised newspapers, maps and even archived websites.  They are currently encouraging people to have a play and give feedback on the prototype so why not have a try.  Both Europeana and SBDS Prototype are great examples of different organisations working together to make their collections accessible online and, although there are some UK resources on Europeana I’d love to see something similar for the UK bringing together all the fantastic collections we have here.

Anyone know of any similiar projects out there?


Interlend08 – Keynote Speaker

These are my rough notes on the first speaker of the conference, hopefully we will be able to load the powerpoint onto the website and I’ll add the link once it’s available.  Apologies if they make no sense!

Derek Law, University of Strathclyde

ILL has been an extraordinary feat – moving books from one country to another is a feat of diplomacy but that is the past

Failures of libraries: making technology work too well, keeping our hard work secret and making the job appear too easy.  Delivering materials without any branding to show that the library was involved in the discovery and delivery eg articles delivered to reader with no library branding

An obsession with licenses and digital oddities – building cabinets of curiosities rather coherent  bodies of collections

Referred to the OCLC College Students’ Perceptions report ; the Great Expectations report (JISC) ; the CIBER report (UCL)

Trust metrics have a new significance – can involve something published by Cambridge University Press or by Cambridge Students’ Union.  Librarians have a role in applying trust metrics. Students believe that the Google brand equals quality

Nintendo over logic – a new learning style of trial and error.  Computer games have a learning process of trial and error rather than learned logic.  Digital natives and digital immigrants.  Digital overlap strategy (keeping your fingers crossed!)  🙂

A-literacy not illiteracy but choosing not to read and write.

Prensky 2001 – digital content, legacy content and future content.  We need to address future content! See for Digital Natives, Digitial Immigrants article

Too focussed on content produced by publishers rather than material produced by people eg wikis, blogs, podcasts, research data, streamed lectures, images and email

Quoted Mike McGrath

Digital asset management needs to be happening and we should be doing the management!

There will always be a need for human intervention in organising and storing material but are we choosing the wrong material??  (Legacy content vs future content)

Document supply librarians are becoming searchers and finders rather than fetchers and carriers

Interlend Day 1

I think this wins the prize for post written in beautiful place!  I’m at Interlend 2008 which is taking place at Peebles in the Scottish borders and the hotel has a fantastic view across trees with the hills in the background… expect some Flickr pictures to follow.

Although today is the first day of the conference, some of the committee arrived yesterday for the preparation which mainly involved collating papers and stuffing conference packs.  We may have worried some tourists in the process as our packing involved laying the papers out on a round table and then walking around the table to collate.  From the car park all you could see was four people walking round and round with various pieces of paper in their hands, a new version of Morris dancing maybe??  At one point we did stop and wave to the bemused man standing and watching us, he didn’t wave back but he did leave rather swiftly…

I’ll be covering the conference over on the Interlend blog but will probably summarise here as well so if you’re interested in interlibrary loan and document delivery, stay tuned

RSS feeds into email

Thanks to David Lee King I’ve found out how to offer email notifications for my blog! Obviously RSS is great and I love my feed readers but it’s not always the best way to communicate with people who have only just worked out how to send an email. People reading this blog may not come into that category but as more libraries start using blogs to share library news and alerts it is useful to offer more than one way for people to subscribe to that information. We had a lot of people sign up for email notifications for our conference wiki, probably because email is a familiar tool and not too scary. Being able to offer RSS feeds and email notifications makes me feel much more comfortable about suggesting that we offer our conference news in a blog format in future, yes I’ll post about feed readers and promote them at the conference but people who want to stick to email won’t be left out.

I used Feedburner to set up my email notifications (free service) and have added the subscribe link underneath the RSS option using a widget.  (FeedBlitz appears to offer a similar service.)  Feedburner also appears to offer a pretty comprehensive stats service and there are some other interesting options mentioned such as mobile versions of feeds and a BuzzBoost option for displaying feed content on other sites.

Tree in the Wind

Tree in the Wind
Originally uploaded by swashford

Today was rather windy!

Holiday snaps

Aghios Nikolaos coast
Originally uploaded by swashford

Just come back from a fantastic week in Crete and started uploading photos to Flickr. The first few are up and more will follow later in the week. We went to Aghios Nikolaos which is a beautiful town with beaches, harbour and a bottomless lake! Do I really want to go back to work tomorrow…?

London Boat Trip

London Sunset
Originally uploaded by swashford

On Tuesday we had a lovely trip down the Thames on the London Rose. I’ve uploaded some of my photos to Flickr as promised!