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So in the last few days I have had some conversations about the reuse of tweets, whether it is ethical to quote them, have you published when tweeting and generally around the whole concept of privacy and ethics.  I have had a few thoughts which I am going to share. Feel free to leap in and let me know where you think I have got it wrong.  O, and I am putting this on my writers’ blog The Worlds of Michael J Parry and my library blog The Room of Infinite Diligence because of many intersections.

The first question I considered is: “Is tweeting publishing”. The OED first defines publishing as “To make public”, or in fuller “To make public or generally known; to declare or report openly or publicly; to announce; (also) to propagate or disseminate (a creed or system). In later use sometimes passing into sense.” Which makes sense to me although from that you could say the act of speaking is publishing.

To me the act of publishing is when you take a thought, which up until that moment is privately held within your mind, and you then express it in some way that makes the thought more permanent and transmittable to others by some form of media.

By this definition, and by my way of thinking, then yes Tweeting is a form of publication.

So then the questions become even more complex. What rights do you as the originator of the tweet have other how the tweet is used? What responsibilities do the reader and potential re-user of the tweet have to you as the content creator?

For me it comes down, as it often does, to context. Do you have an expectation of privacy around your tweet? If you are tweeting from a locked account yes. You control who can see and read it. If you have a public account I don’t see how you can. A public account is by its nature, public.

To my mind, if you publicly tweet something, you are publishing it and giving it to the world for free to read and then potentially reuse. We implicitly agree to this through using the service and through our acceptance of such functionality as the ability to re-tweet.

Does the reader have any responsibility or special ethical considerations for the re-use of your tweet? Should a journalist say ask you permission before quoting? I would say if you have publicly tweeted then no.  They have no ethical considerations beyond the usual they should have when preparing a story.

But what about copyright? Fair use? Is a tweet a work, or a part of a work? Especially if it is published! This is a bit of a grey area for me.  It seems to me there is an implicit release of copyright in the act of tweeting. Especially in a public feed.

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Dr Matt Finch tweeted a link to his interview with Connor Tomas O’Brien and Chris Cormack, Popcorn? Connor Tomas O’Brien and Chris Cormack on the battle for libraries’ future He originally promoted it as a discussion about e-books in libraries. Since I was intrigued by Eli Neiburger’s statement at #LIANZA13 – “ebooks are bullshit! This is the truth. They are a transitory format, they will only be here for a little while.”  I was pretty interested to read the interview. (Eli made this statement in the context of advances in technology that disrupt what libraries think of as part of their traditional business. He suggested a way for libraries to think about their future was “Don’t transition…diversify.”) Then it moved into the question of “What do you think a public library should be doing in 2013?” Suddenly I’m watching Matt write eloquently about the plight of rural communities, and the concerns he has around equity of service for people who choose to live there. (There’s been a further discussion on Twitter and if anyone Storifys it, I’ll link it.)

In the #LIANZA13 Library future workshop (based on the #ALIAFutures workshops) we discussed the likelihood of people moving to urban centres. In New Zealand that may translate to suburban sprawl instead. (Imagine that – one big city from Whangarei to Hamilton!) We floated the idea that librarians may not work in a library but may rove the country running programmes that engage communities in their local-ness – what makes them unique? What is their heritage? etc.) Matt’s concerns for rural Australia are also applicable to rural New Zealand – what are we going to do about that NZ librarians/libraries?

Matt has also been asking questions about 3-D printers in libraries. “My 3D printer worry is simply this: libraries are spending a lot of time talking about this one gadget, which I don’t see communities crying out for.” He’s been given one answer by Baruk from Auckland Libraries. Baruk has been working on the Auckland Libraries Maker Space over the last few months. His final line “Thinking of 3D printers just as ‘tech’ is like thinking of a wheel as ‘a round thing’” really matches with what Nat Torkington was talking about in his #LIANZA13 keynote ‘When you see people who are doing things with tech, or their services “you don’t become like them by buying the artifacts. [there is] an ocean of possible artifacts and toys.“ What we don’t see is the pedagogy behind it which is how to understand how and why it’s being used.(My emphasis.) It’s not the tech that’s important, it’s what your library believes its role is in providing that tech to its community.

I guess it’s also a good reminder to be aware of what the stories are that are being told about your library. Bill McNaught, National Librarian of the National Library, in his #LIANZA13 keynote said that he was was concerned about ‘The news stories that go out about lending new artifacts tell the wrong story. Anything that undermines the fact that we are in the knowledge business is really unhelpful.’

So, to that end, THIS is what Auckland is getting from a 3-D printer as part of a MakerSpace in its largest library. (Some of @feddabonn’s tweets from launch weekend)

And finally this one to sum up.

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One of the resources for which I am responsible at the library is the New Zealand Electronic Text Collection [NZETC]. Over the last couple of years we have tinkered around the edges giving it a new url, rebranding and shifting to a new server environment. We are now however due for an overhaul of the site from the bottom up.

We have a number of aims with this overhaul:

  • Presenting our information in a better more user friendly manner.
  • Making the site more responsive to corrections.
  • Ensuring the future of the environment so that the underlying core infrastructure is robust and flexible.
  • Enhancing the usability of the resources.
  • Engaging with the users through the ability for community annotations and comments.
  • Ensuring that the site delivers metadata in a way that engages with the semantic web.
  • Better integration with the library web presence

So nothing too ambitious there. 🙂

What I am looking for with this post is twofold.

Firstly I am looking for comments from users about what they currently use the NZETC for and also what they dislike about the NZETC.  What would users like to see the NZETC do?

Secondly, as I am researching our options for the NZETC, I am interested in other sites that are doing similar things.  If you know of any cool sites let me know. Also I would be interested in hearing about people’s experiences with different types of infrastructure.

If you don’t want to leave a comment my email address can be found here: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-NZETC-About-contact.html. 🙂

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This is a way cool. It’s my happy work win of the week 🙂

There are many advantages to the digitisation of important collections. One such advantage is the acquisition of new materials. That’s not something that often occurs to folks as they plan the digitisation  projects.

We have had just one such example with Heels. Heels is the magazine of the Victoria University of Wellington Tramping Club. We thought it started in 1968 and we digitised our complete run: http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-corpus-heels.html.

Well it turned out we were wrong. A colleague had been in communication with a member of the Victoria University of Wellington Tramping Club and it turns out he had earlier editions of Heels. Putting the word out to other members of the club it looks like we will be getting one physical copy of a issue we don’t currently hold and digital copies of around 6 other issues we don’t hold. In fact since the emails started flowing yesterday I already have two digital copies of issues in my inbox!

This is made of win.

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One of the activities my team at Victoria University Library recently has been carrying out is  the digitisation of the Robert Stout Pamphlet Collection.  We have been steadily working through uploading them into the NZETC and now nearly forty volumes are available. If you want to spend some time heading down a rabbit hole then have a browse.

An example of the eclectic mix of Pamphlets in the collection

An example of the eclectic mix of Pamphlets in the collection

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout

This project aims to digitise the Sir Robert Stout Pamphlet collection currently held by the J. C. Beaglehole Room. The Stout Pamphlet collection contains around 1000 early primarily New Zealand pamphlets collected by Stout and donated to the Victoria University Library. The pamphlets were then bound into their present volumes.

The collection represents Stout’s interests at the time which included evolution, land reform, law and the temperance movement.

To complement the pamphlet collection we have digitised K. A. Coleridge‘s catalogue with indexes. This catalogue contains valuable information on the history of the collection, the process of binding the collection and Stout’s relationship with the Victoria University library. You can find the catalogue here.

Some notable ones I have read:

Is Man An Automaton? A Lecture Delivered in The City Hall, Glasgow, On 23rd February 1875

Science and the Soul Telepathy Scientifically Demonstrated

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I thought I’d share this post with you. Its from Dick Eastman, an extremely tech-savvy genealogist. 

He responds to an email from someone who is horrified that alot of the books in the FamilySearch Family History Library are being digitised so they can be put online, and the original hard copies aren’t being replaced on their shelves. 

This Library/Research Centre is “Mecca” for someone in my field (along with The Fred J. Reynolds Historical Genealogy Department in Allen County Public Library.)

For those who don’t know, FamilySearch is the genealogical organisation owned and run by the Church of the Latter Day Saints. Although they have their own reasons to do with their faith for genealogical research, they offer their resources/services worldwide free, to anyone regardless of their beliefs.

In their Granite Mountain vaults, they have millions of microfilms that are being digitised so they can be put online on their free website, and their books and serials in the FamilySearch Family History Centre are also being microfilmed so they can be OCRed. They are said to be running the world’s biggest digitisation project.

Anyway, have a read of this post and see what you think, and how it may relate to us as librarians (or researchers) in the future:

http://bit.ly/OULrqU

As a researcher, I am excited about the possibility of being able to access such richness online. As a librarian, I have subdued mixed feelings about the “destruction of books”, even if it is for the “greater good”. I’m sure they have a preservation process for their most precious titles.

I thought the points discussed were thought provoking and not dissimilar to discussions we’ve all had – you might be interested in his opinions about the digital versus “real” books debates that we are hearing and participating in!

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