Monday, 24 September 2007

CILIP Promoting Blogging

A little while ago I had an email from CILIP asking if I minded having this blog aggregated to a CILIP blog called CILIP members blog landscape. At the moment there are 15 blogs aggregated here, all by members of CILIP. Although it's only a small percentage of the UK library bloggers it is an interesting overview of what is being blogged about. Unlike the forums on the CILIP communities site it doesn't require you to login with a CILIP membership to view the blog so it's open to everyone.

In addition to the CILIP blog, this month's edition of Update (CILIP's monthly journal) contains what I hope will be a regular column LIS Blogwatch. Matthew Mazey scans over 100 blogs for this column and it's a great round up of some of the hot topics although publishing deadlines mean that the 'October' issue has hot blog topics from August so most bloggers will have come across them already. I think it's more a way of bringing the conversations from the blogosphere into the consciousness of people who haven't really got into the idea of reading blogs. Hopefully some people will follow the links and find their way into the online conversation. I'm glad to see this column is available online and I hope it will continue to be published online in future.

And finally... check out another Update article online - Dave Pattern's 'Are you Happy with your Opac?' reports on his survey of OPAC satisfaction and the University of Huddersfield's approach to upgrading the catalogue. A must read for anyone who every considered that their OPAC might suck...

Library WiFi and iPhones

`This week Apple announced the date for the iPhone to go on sale in the UK. Now I'm a pretty basic mobile phone user, but I'm starting to get very tempted by smartphones and as a mac user I'm especially tempted by an iPhone. Having read the release information what interested me most however was the WiFi announcement - the UK contract has gone to O2 and they include unlimited connection to The Cloud network of hotspots, including our library! I don't know what the take up will be of the iPhone in the UK, I expect some smartphone fans will be put off by the lack of 3G connection and the rather limited camera, but I'm intrigued by the possibility of people coming into the library to use their iPhone. Now I'm wondering how well our library information displays on a mobile browser...

Monday, 17 September 2007

Working on the web - a Flickr meme

There's an interesting meme going round at the moment that involves people who use the web posting a picture entitled iworkontheweb and there have been some great library ones posted. I've just read the notes on Lee LeBlanc's photo and it's another thought provoking take on the role of the library. My favourite part is "I have a vision of libraries as these special places where people connect, as these great halls of free inquiry, as these local forums for social/political events, as a connector through the web, as a place to be lazy and chat online or off." I recommend having a look and a read and a think about why you work on the web and in a library.

Going to the user

Librarian In Black has spotted a number of libraries using IM to offer help to users in the library. She links to an example at the University of Alberta and someone from Alberta has left a comment explaining how the service came about and how it fits into some major service changes at the library. This is a very simple idea using something that a number of libraries are already using to communicate with users outside the library - IM reference - to solve a problem inside the library. We ask users not to leave their bags unattended, we warn them about thefts in the library and we set their computers to time out if they leave them for too long, then we expect them to come and queue at an enquiry desk if they need help with their PC. A simple chat box on the screen enabling you to 'talk to a librarian' allows you to report faults and ask questions and staff can respond by chatting or by physcially going to the user. I really like this idea but there are some obvious problems it doesn't help with such as 'how do I logon' and 'how do I use the chat box'?! Has anyone heard of this being used in public libraries or in libraries in the UK?

Answers in a comment box...

Blog Guilt

Any readers out there may have noticed that I haven't blogged for quite a while. I'm also rather behind with my RSS feeds and feeling rather web 1.0 at the moment. As all this is meant to be enjoyable and useful rather than something else to feel guilty about I'm declaring the past 3 months a summer holiday, guilt-free! If you've missed me, I'm back but I'm not going to attempt to post about all the things that may have happened while I was offline, this is a new term and I'm back with new posts! If only chocolate guilt was so easily written off...

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