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Archive for January, 2010

List Serve Versus Blog Comment


When I sent the link to the post below (on Tauranga City library charges) to NZ-Libs, I had hoped that people would comment here ūüôā Alas it didn’t seem to work that way…

I have since sent the following email to the listserve:

As an aside, when the last few days discussions started, I posted a link to the blog where I had written something about the topic.

I had hoped that people would comment there as A: I didn’t want to clog people’s inbox’s with emails, and B: It’s nice to have comments on your blog ūüôā

While we had a vast number of hits to the blog, we had very little comments, especially compared to what people sent to the list. I thought it was quite interesting as to where and how people are commenting. I wonder if this is a Kiwi Librarian thing, as Internationally library blogs are often full of comments.

Is it a matter of convenience or a lack of buy in to blogs?

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Yesterday I spent most of the day on the library catalogue. We’re updating our website and I’m trying to pre-package some searches so that customers just click to find the results. I thought it would be neat to have category searches for the magazines. Each branch has their own titles and not all titles are held by each branch – the usual story in a library system with more than one library building.¬†¬† Our magazine supplier also supplies us with a hardcopy list of magazine titles which assigns each magazine to a category.¬† I wanted to match the online list as close as possible with the hardcopy list.¬† You can see where this is going…

I’ll use as an example “Current affairs”. There are 12 titles listed in the ¬†“Current affairs” category.¬† Consumer, the Guardian weekly, Investigate, Mana, Metro, New Internationalist, The New Yorker, NZ Today, North and South, Spectator, Time Magazine, Vanity Fair.¬† A diverse range of titles.¬†¬†¬†I didn’t expect to get them all in the first couple of searches.¬† What I didn’t expect was the number of irrelevant results that would come up as well.¬†¬† My first search gave me over 100 results for a grand total of about 6¬†titles from¬†the list.¬†

6!!

Picture me sitting in front of the monitor.¬† Gobsmacked. Alternately puzzled and frustrated by the inscrutable workings of the catalogue.¬† Each iteration of the search gave me slightly different results for a net gain of 0.¬†¬† (I would gain some titles from the category list and I’d lose about the same number.)

Just before 5pm I cracked it.¬† At least, I cracked one part of the search.¬† I didn’t have to be¬†limited by the number of boxes that the interface¬†was offering me – I could create the searches in the boxes.¬† So, rather than politic** or world**¬† or socia** in the three boxes I could do politic** or world** or socia** in one box then¬†or econom** or histor** or consum** in the next.¬† It was a revelation.

I’m sure someone is going to say “I could have told you that.”¬† I’ve probably even read it somewhere.¬† It never hurts to share it again though – you don’t have to be limited by the number of search boxes!

If you’re interested, my final search string is¬† (politic or ¬†worl** or socia** or econom **or ¬†consum** or ¬†moheni) + and not (geneal**or arach**or trav**or agri**or cycl**or brit**) +¬† and not (bank** or ¬†budg** or ¬†region** or teen** or transp** or rodney or bbc)¬†+¬†limited by Magazine format.¬† It’s not perfect.¬†¬†There are¬†vagrant titles appearing and it doesn’t get everything (in some cases I can’t figure out why.¬†)¬† It’s the best I can do.¬† (I came up against a character¬†limit otherwise I would have added more.)

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More developments since yesterday. I was glad to see the strong response put out from LIANZA last night, and to see Barbara on One News.

Also I was glad to hear us on National Radio this morning.

Library And Information Association Of New Zealand Opposes Library Charges

27 January 2010

LIANZA, The Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, opposes Tauranga City Council’s current proposal to charge for adult loans in an effort to reduce the rates contribution to library services.

LIANZA believes that public libraries have a fundamental role in the development and maintenance of a democratic society supporting culture, education, and economic and personal development.

Barbara Garriock, LIANZA President is concerned that other public libraries may also be facing increased charges and budget cuts.

‚ÄúIn hard times Council officers and elected representatives need to focus on services that will provide¬†the most benefit to their community.‚Ä̬† Ms Garriock says.

Recognising that in times of economic stringency there is a tendency to look for ways of raising funds for public services other than by taxation, the Association asserts that it is essential that a basic level of public library provision be retained in accordance with its Standards for Public Libraries, 2004:

1. Public libraries should be free and universally available.

2. Public library services should be available free of charge, except such charges as defined in the Standards.

The UNESCO Public Library Manifesto (1994) states that ‚ÄúConstructive participation and the development of democracy depend on satisfactory education as well as on free and unlimited access to knowledge, thought, culture and information.‚Ä̬†

Public library usage in this country is amongst the highest in the western world and LIANZA opposes any limitations on access to collections by New Zealanders due to user charges.

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A Not So Surprising Move


In a move that is not really that surprising except for the timing Tauranga City Council is proposing lending charges to adult the adult collections. I was sort of expecting one of the councils to look at this, however I was thinking next year, since this year is an election year. Maybe the council there thinks that the bad press from increasing, and creating new library fees, will be offset by not having to increase rates?

This is not a good thing. ūüė¶¬†

My library, Tararua¬†District Libraries, has managed to talk the council into proposing the end of the “Annual Card Fees”, although at the cost of a corresponding¬†drop in the book budget. This is good, but with the way budgets are being formed¬†and the continued pressure¬†on council spending, I worry that we will be asked to look at increasing our revenue stream.

Below is the press release from the website.

Proposed Charges on Library Books.

Published: Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010 11:00 by Tauranga City Council

 

A paper outlining proposed revenue increases for Libraries was presented to Council in December last year as part of the annual plan budgeting process.

The report, requested by Councillors, outlined how the Libraries could reach the required target by doubling their revenue over a five year period.

Councillors voted to go out for consultation on charging $0.50 for all adult loans (those not already subject to charges) for the next three years. After three years the charge is proposed to increase to $0.80.

It is not proposed to charge for children and teen items.

A further report was presented¬†to Council yesterday (26 January 2010) by the General Manager of Libraries. This report was for Councillor’s information regarding savings that could be made in the libraries budget over the next three years.

After some discussion, Councillors’ accepted the report and the proposed savings will be incorporated¬†in Council’s annual budget which is consulted on as part of the annual plan process. The proposed charges for adult loans was not discussed again at yesterday’s meeting.

The elected members are looking to community feedback on ‘charges and savings’ through the Annual Plan submission process to assist them make decisions about this proposal.

Frequently Asked Questions About Proposed Library Charges

Why is the Council proposing to increase library charges?
At the request of the Mayor and Councillors, in an effort to reduce the rates contribution to library services, library staff were asked for a paper outlining proposed revenue increases for the libraries. This paper was presented to Council on Thursday 3 December 2009 as part of the annual plan budgeting process.

Currently the libraries are 90% ratepayer funded, Council has requested that this decreases to 80% over the next 5 years. This means the libraries have to double their revenue over a five year period.

How much will I be expected to pay?
Councillors voted to go out for consultation on charging $0.50 for all adult items (those not already subject to charges) for the next three years. After three years the charge is proposed to increase to $0.80. It is not proposed to charge for children and teen items.

When will the proposed charges take effect?
If the proposed charges are approved as part of the Annual Plan process next year they will take effect from July 2010.

How can I express my opinion about this Council decision?
In March as part of the Annual Plan submission process you will have a chance to formally comment on the proposed charges. If you want Council to listen to your opinion you need to make a submission.

Formal submission forms will be available in March.

If you would like to contact someone now you have a choice of ways:

  1. Go to the Tauranga City website http://www.tauranga.govt.nz and type ‚Äėelected members‚Äô into the search box. All elected members‚Äô contact details are listed here.¬†
  2. If you would like to send an email to the Mayor and all elected members please use the following email address:
    ElectedMembers@tauranga.govt.nz 
  3. Or you can always call the customer call centre on 577 7000.

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M-Learning/M-Libraries Seminar


I attended an M-Learning/M-Libraries Seminar on Friday 22 January at Massey in Palmerston North, given by Professor Alley of Athabasca University, Canada.

These are just my thoughts and not a complete breakdown of the session. For the session outline see the pdf on the  Massey Library site.

For the uninitiated (from Wikipedia ūüôā ) “The term mLearning, or “mobile learning”, has different meanings for different communities. Although related to e-learning and distance education, it is distinct in its focus on learning across contexts and learning with mobile devices. ” Basically it’s about using a mobile device such as a cell phone, iphone or ipod touch to access the web, and other resources that have been optimized for viewing via such a device. The point is that you can access these resources, anytime, anywhere, on a bus or a train, for as long or as little as you want. Usually the resources are between 5-15 minutes long, so they are learning ‘bites’ rather than a whole module’s information.

Professor Alley who gave the seminar was from the University of Athabasca which is Canada’s open university providing tertiary education for students at a distance. They had implemented some pilot mobile learning initiatives including second language learning materials that could be utilised from mobile phones. Prof Alley’s powerpoint slides will be up on the Ako Aotearoa site shortly.

Professor Alley stressed that there was a “sense of urgency” with the application of mobile technology to learning and libraries. He insisted that mobile learning was happening *now* and that if we didn’t begin to implement this ourselves we would be left behind.

He said that third world countries were overtaking some industrialized nations because they were skipping the desktop computer and going straight to mobile devices, for example nations in Africa and South America. Even places like Macedonia which had complete wireless coverage of the country via satellite. And the Middle East he claimed was very keen on m-learning especially to enable females’ education. No choc fish for guesses why it would be popular there.

This brings me to my next point, that IT infrastructure was crucial to m-learning and m-libraries. Prof Alley seemed to be unaware of the constraints within NZ on this issue. Overseas you pay per month for unlimited data plans whereas in NZ you pay per minute or text. This would need to change for serious uptake of m-learning/m-libraries in NZ.

Prof Alley encouraged NZ to form a m-learning association with collaboration among all interested parties, and he also said that the third m-learning conference was being held in Brisbane in March 2011 for those interested.

And for those who haven’t seen it, Prof Alley supplemented his talk with several video clips, one of which some may have seen before. But this one is of Patti Maes presenting at TED, presenting the future in wearable mobile devices and their application:

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The Librarian in Black recently wrote a post called 13 Ways (and 147 Tools) to Help Your Library Save Money on Technology highlighting all the ways libraries can save money by utilising freeware. I was impressed by the list, and looking down it [Some reproduced below] and I can see how a library could in fact run its entire IT infrastructure utilising freeware.  I am not going to hold my breath however as to seeing a library do it, especially in New Zealand. Most of us are tied to organisations where the IT departments are reluctant to move in that way. Most often they are worried about the ability to employ support people who will have the technical skills to administer such an environment. Also within the public library sector, we are linked and run from our local councils, and there is no free software option for Local Government Management Systems. The IT sections don’t seem to want to run two IT environments. I think that it’s doable, it will just need someone brave enough to do it!

Free Software for Public & Staff Computers

Рword processing (like Word), spreadsheets (like Excel), presentations (like PowerPoint), databases (like Access), desktop publishing (like Publisher), and calculator (like, errr…, a calculator)

Free Website Management Tools

Free Staff Scheduling Software

 

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I know. Another LIANZA¬†post, but when your on one of the Regional Committees, there comes a time for promotion. ūüôā

Anyway, the call for nominations for the Professional Awards has come out. So if you know anyone who you think deserves a fellowship, or one of the other awards¬†put them forwards. Contact your regional council for help if you need it.¬†And if you think your ready to take the next step and apply for the Associateship, then¬†start getting your supporting documentation ready ūüôā ¬†

LIANZA is once again calling for nominations and applications for LIANZA Professional Awards and now is the time to think about:

  • Putting yourself forward to be recognised as an Associate;
  • Noticing the achievements of others and support them to put themselves forward¬†for the recognition of Associate;
  • Working with others to nominate your colleagues for an award of Fellow, Letter of Recognition or a Merit Award; or
  • Nominating yourself or a colleague for the NEW Award of Merit ‚Äď Digital Services¬†

The closing date for these awards is WEDNESDAY 31 MARCH 2010.  Follow the links below to read the full criteria and download application forms information for each award.

ASSOCIATESHIPS

An Associate of LIANZA is awarded to a personal member of the Association of 5 years who has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, judgement, attitude and commitment of a professional Librarian or Information Manager.

http://www.lianza.org.nz/development/awards/professional/associates.html   

FELLOWSHIPS

A fellowship is the highest level of professional attainment awarded by the Association. It is only awarded to a personal member of the Association of 10 years who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of librarianship and/or information management through a sustained record of achievements, or who has demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership, teaching or research.

http://www.lianza.org.nz/development/awards/professional/fellowship.html

LETTERS OF RECOGNITION

The recipient of a LIANZA Letter of Recognition is an individual or organisation who/which has rendered a significant and special service to the Association, or demonstrated continuing service over a period of time to the Association, or made an outstanding contribution to librarianship, libraries or information management New Zealand. A certificate is awarded to the successful nominee.

http://www.lianza.org.nz/development/awards/professional/lor.html   

JOINT LETTER OF RECOGNITION FOR BICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT WITHIN NEW ZEALAND AOTEAROA

The recipient of the Joint Letter of Recognition for Bicultural Development within New Zealand Aotearoa is an individual, group or organization who has rendered a significant and special bicultural service to the library and information profession within New Zealand, Aotearoa, or demonstrated commitment to biculturalism over a period of time to the profession, or made an outstanding contribution bi-culturally to librarianship, libraries or information management in New Zealand. The recipient need not be a member of LIANZA. http://www.lianza.org.nz/development/awards/professional/jlorbiculturaldev.html   

AWARD OF MERIT MARKETING

Awarded to personal members of the Association who has contributed in an outstanding manner to library and/or information services in the area of marketing in New Zealand. http://www.lianza.org.nz/development/awards/professional/meritmktg.html   

AWARD OF MERIT MANAGEMENT

Awarded to personal members of the Association who have contributed in an outstanding manner to library and/or information services in the area of management in New Zealand. 
http://www.lianza.org.nz/development/awards/professional/meritmngmt.html   

AWARD OF MERIT DIGITAL SERVICES – NEW AWARD

Awarded to a personal member of the Association who has contributed in an outstanding manner to library and/or information services in the area of digital library service development in New Zealand.
http://www.lianza.org.nz/development/awards/professional/meritdigital.html

The closing date for all awards listed above is WEDNESDAY 31 MARCH 2010, if you have any questions about any of the above LIANZA Awards or to check the length of your membership please contact the LIANZA Office: office@lianza.org.nz or 04 473 5834

OTHER LIANZA AWARDS

Applications and nominations for other LIANZA awards are also open, closing dates are below. Further communications and details will be emailed to remind you of these closing dates over coming weeks.

Monday 31 May 2010 РEdith Jessie Carnell Travelling Scholarship, Ada Fache Fund, John Harris Award, Rua Mano Award

Wednesday 30 June 2010 Р3M Award for Innovation in Libraries, YBP / Lindsay Croft Award for Collection Management, Nielsen BookData Research Award, Paul Szentirmay Special Librarianship Scholarship 

For further information visit – http://www.lianza.org.nz/development/awards/index.html

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