Homework 2011

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Hilde Nelissen: Make information fun and available for everybody.

Although heavily advertised as such, the internet does not contain all information available. The library has become an alternative rather than the main source of knowledge. How can I inspire users to reconsider the printed paper ? Perhaps by promoting the hybrid solutions already in place like online catalogues and databases. How can we do that in a playful and attractive way ?

In many parts of the world people do not have access to libraries or knowledge in general. It is our responsibility to help and assist these people. This improves their life but and has also an influence on the western world in more ways than we can imagine. How can we do that ? But even more important: How can we bring and keep this fact in our awareness, because it is so easy to slip back in our own little patterns of life.

In India there is a word that perfectly describes my vision: “Acharia”. It means teaching by example. Distributing information is just one shackle. The manner in which we do that, our conduct, our philosophy, our respect for the ‘other’, our friendliness and openness, will have a far greater impact, especially on the young people we meet on a daily basis.

Which brings me to my final point. Students of all ages are rapidly becoming accustomed to a host of online technologies from web 2.0 to the many social networking platforms. How can we best plug-in these opportunities to interact with our users?

Hilde Nelissen
Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg, Media, Arts & Design Faculty Bibliotheek


Ilze Marga: connect with bibliotherapists

First of all, a great professional challenge for me will be communication in English, because I do not feel free yet to communicate in English. However, there is one issue I am very interested in – it is bibliotherapy. I would like to listen to colleague’s view on it. Do other colleagues have experience in this field? Is this method used in practice in libraries? Are professional psychologists involved in bibliotherapy? I would like to establish personal contact with colleagues who use bibliotherapy in practice.

Ilze Marga
“Sunny Days Library” Service Point of the Riga Central Library
at the Children’s Clinical University Hospital


Jukka Pennanen: libraries as producers and publishers

My 26 years of work in libraries has been very inspiring and it has given me much to think about. Not least about libraries themselves. Over the years my experience has increasingly confirmed the view that libraries compete with each other too much and cooperate too little, and this will lead ultimately to the detriment of the entire library field. That’s not all bad news. At the same time library education is losing touch with the everyday work in libraries  – supply and demand are not balanced, or there are different opinions about the needs and areas of development. Library work is very pragmatic, but where are the creative new people who manage the development of library work? Our creativity and our visions have proved to be quite modest despite the wide range of great things we have produced.

The mission of our field is also lost. When asked, we do not know how to fit the traditional role of “organizer of information” together with the needs of experienced users of new technology. I would say that we have lost touch with our customers while we are increasingly intertwined with technology, formats and standards. Many players of the field have also become competitors and enemies to libraries, and this can be seen for example in copyright legislation.

We are missing an overview of the nature of the problems we face, but we still dive into the depths of more specialized technical expertise and deeper knowledge of cataloguing and classification. We are some sort of curious and incompatible factor in the current publishing world. I just cannot believe that the core of the problem can be found in either direction. We have already tried these and we can clearly see that they are insufficient to keep us alive for another two centuries, if even two decades.

These are strong statements, but I believe they are true. However, my homework is to find at least one completely new and different task or role which allows libraries to respond to current change while maintaining functional ability and being able to take advantage of the centuries old tradition. In short, I would like to try to find an answer to a question whether libraries really can act as producers and publishers on a larger scale. At least the role must be somehow connected to the traditional role of libraries and deploy it and at the same time give us access from the current impasse.

Jukka Pennanen
The National Library of Finland / The Finnish Library Association (2004-08, 2010, 2011-12)


Yulia Gushul: Partnership between teachers, librarians and volunteers library and state power

I am Yulia from Russia. I am librarian and the teacher of the librarian higher school. I teach courses: bibliographies, data bases, information resources and so on. I am bibliographer too. I work with databases and prepare bibliographic indexes, especially about person.

I study problems of digital divide, of the information of the future, of the information security. I think about such humanitarian problems as psychology of perception information.

I see that me and my students need to know the English language. And I am happy that I can hear the English language and I will try to speak English. In Russia such a possibility little.

I want to find the answers to the following questions:

  1. Our professional future in the networked world.
  2. Open access journals in college library collection.
  3. Information policy, it content and challenges for an effective knowledge society.
  4. E-metrics and library assessment in action.
  5. Metadata practices

And I’ll be happy to invite all to Southern Urals where there are lakes, mountains, mountain bikes, rafting on fast rivers and I ;-))))

Yulia Gushul
The Chelyabinsk State Academy of Culture and Arts


Dace Ūdre: the role of new professionals within national library associations

Section of New Professionals in Latvia is implementing three main objectives:

  • Library advocacy and support of new professionals on a national and international level;
  • Organization of seminars, conferences and exchange trips;
  • Networking and international collaboration.

My aim is to ascertain how new professionals (LIS students and recently qualified professionals) can be involved in activities of national library associations, and whether national library associations support new professionals movement in their countries.

The main question is: What can be done to encourage recruitment and active involvement of new professionals in the library field and activities of national library associations?

Dace Udre
Library Association of Latvia, Section of New Professionals
Cycling for Libraries via Dace: http://udrite.wordpress.com/


Till Kinstler: understanding libraries for better software development

I do software development for libraries. I help them getting on the web, to become part of this great, global virtual library and be usable for people on the net.

Over the years I have built up a broad knowledge on technology, data formats, processes, work flows etc. in libraries. But sometimes I feel, I still don’t understand how libraries really work and what they really do 🙂 (beyond the obvious, like lending books, giving reference, helping to find knowledge resources etc.). How do libraries “see” themselves? What is their spirit, what drives them? In my daily work at a service centre of a library consortium I only get a limited and filtered view of libraries. So understanding libraries better, will help me making better software for libraries.

I think, cycling for libraries will be a great opportunity to get more insight into these questions.

Till Kinstler
Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund (GBV)


Patrick Otton: 5 questions to the libraryworld

Questions for the library world. Here are some that I like to think about:

  1. Since I work for a library software company that is vigorously trying to emulate the google experience in their primary discovery tool: Primo, why not just let Google purchase Ex Libris and let Google develop a library app? Call it GoogleLibrary: All content, all the time, in an interface that works! Google knows how to index, Google knows hardware and software, why should Ex Libris be doing this task? I would not mind a few adds. The only possible downside would be the supremacy of google.com. But, why couldn’t google.com become google.gov?
  2. We all live in a democracy. The basis for democracy is the freedom of access to information. Why not install a wikileaks app on all library home pages. An automatic feed of all the information that we should know about, the hidden agendas of the corporate world, the secrets of governments, the power of lobbyists, whatever the military doing? etc, etc.
  3. How can libraries be agents of change? Especially, at this time of global environmental change. Can libraries be a grassroots groundswell demanding the end of the corporate dominance of our existence? End advertizing, (adverse teasing), consumerism, single stream consumption, and our present environmental disasters?
  4. Libraries are dying. What is the future of the library?
  5. Libraries are single modal: primarily addressing the needs of the rich, educated, mobile, northern white society. Maybe at best addressing a small percentage of the global population which by September will hit 7 billion people. So, what about the non library user? Those people who do not even know that a library exists but are perhaps the most in need in terms of access and knowledge. We’ll pass non-library users on our ride. What can we do for them?

I don’t have any answers. Looking forward to sharing some ideas.

Patrick Otton
ExLibris


Arto Teräs: How can libraries collaborate with museums and archives in the digital domain?

The Finnish National Digital Library public interface will offer a uniform view to digital content in libraries, museums and archives. Custom views for various purposes can also be created. On a wider scale, Europeana provides access to content on European level. This offers great new possibilities for collaboration between participating organizations.
I am interested for example in the following questions:

  • Which challenges (especially related to digital content) are common between libraries, museums and archives, and which are unique to libraries?
  • What can libraries give to museums and archives and vice versa?
  • How can we best take advantage of the new user interface? What kind of custom views could be useful?
  • What kind of new experiences can we offer to customers by combining the content and knowledge of libraries, museums and archives?

Arto Teräs
CSC — IT Center for Science Ltd


Ann-Christin Karlén: identify 3 ways for cross-sectoral networking

I am a law librarian and as a solo librarian it is very important to network with other colleagues. For the  last 9 years or so I’ve been quite involved with SFIS, The Swedish Association of Information Specialists which has been a great way of networking with colleagues. But my goal is to interact more with colleagues from other libraries, like public libraries, and as my homework for Cycling for libraries, I’ve chosen to try identify 3 ways of reaching this goal. Obviously just participating in cyc4lib will count as a big step towards my goal so I’m not counting that 🙂  Also have recently joined the Swedish Library Association.

In december I attended an interesting session at Online 2010, Helping The Hybrid: Leveraging Personal Networks to Support Changing Roles. Sara Batts, Senior Research Librarian, Reed Smith LLP, UK and Olwen Walker, Information Services Manager, Kirkland & Ellis International, discussed among other things the importance of externa networks and being open to new ideas and  new challenges. I think that cyc4lib encompasses both in a great way.
You can download the paper here.

Please connect with me through linkedin and let’s discuss more ways of networking and breaking donw the barriers between different types of libraries during our ride towards Berlin.

Ann-Christin Karlén
Advokatfirman Vinge KB


Mace Ojala: find 4 game mechanisms at libraries

Mace looking for game-mechanics

As my homework for Cycling for libraries, I’ve chosen to try identify four (4) game-mechanics that operate in the library. I think people are challenge-oriented and reward-driven, and all sorts of games are great tools for thinking about this.

I am strongly inspired by Jane McGonigal’s work, her book Reality is Broken: using games to improve the world – Boing Boing, her presentation at TED Gaming can make a better world, and by the critique she is receiving.

In an earlier conversation on Facebook i have said the following (edited):

I’ve tried to look at the library user regulations as a sort of a game… how we give feedback to users via fines, anxiety etc. I would love to spar this thinking with somebody, i’ve done some comparison on the rhetorics of the user regulations and i think at least many finnish libraries could do a whole lot better!

I’m not sure what i’m talking about but, but i’m spitting this out anyway: are students “gaming the system” when they are borrowing out books for their exams? The sooner they get their books, more likely the books will have reservations and they start running a fee (which they propably want to pay off) before te exam. On the other hand, if they hesitate too long, the books might run out if the libraries they use don’t have enough copies for everybody.

One other thing i’ve notied that library cataloguers delay cataloguing of materials in the hope that somebody else in the library consortia catalogues them first, and then they can just copy them. I’ve witnessed this in especially materials that are “annoying” to catalogue… “The best of Frank Zappa (20 cds, two leaflets, a book, DVD, a popup-book, accesscode to a website plus a poster… you know what i mean). The “damage” from an individual cataloguers point of view is the boss, who nags if library patrons have reservations for the material.

Here are some game mechanics i’ve seen at libraries. What else? I want to look at libraries with a gamer’s mindset?

Mace Ojala
Turku City library, Cycling for libraries etc.


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