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Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category


With the cuts to library staff in Auckland the future of libraries is in the media again. This morning there was a very good discussion on Radio NZ around this.

“Victoria University professor of library and information management Anne Goulding and Laurinda Thomas, a past president of LIANZA and a team leader at Wellington Libraries, join Wallace to discuss the future of public lending libraries.”

http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201838012

Laurinda and Anne were very patient with Wallace who seemed surprised that people still like to use libraries. *sigh*

Laurinda has done an excellent job recently in advocating for libraries and if you have missed her TEDX Wellington talk you should take the time to watch.

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Phoenix-FabelwesenA number of years ago myself and a number of colleagues starting this blog to write about library stuff. It was very much in the late early stages of Web 2.0 where we were all energised by the connectivity of the Internet. There was possibility in the air.

As you can tell by looking at the posts we had ran out of steam. Every now and then I come to the blog and read though and contemplate what went wrong. Did life just become to busy for us all? Was there nothing more to said? Is the library world that uninteresting? Or is it just we didn’t have anything to say.

Personally I am starting to blog again on my own blog, and as I do this I return to this blog. Is there things I can do? The answer is yes.

So I am going to attempt to blog once or twice a week again here. I’m not sure what I will write on but I’m going to turn my mind to it.

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Rebloging with update

The Room of Infinite Diligence

So the National Library has announced a fundamental change to its Services to Schools and it’s a terrible idea. The National Library is transforming its Services to Schools

Why is it a terrible idea? I’m glad you asked.

First up let’s look at what they are planning

Reading Engagement Lending Service

The emphasis of the new service will be on supporting students to read for pleasure, as a foundation for learning achievement. The content of loans will be quality fiction and high interest non-fiction resources to support reading for pleasure.

We’ll be supporting the whole school with a substantial loan that everyone can access, and you can keep the resources for a year. Loans will also no longer go to individual teachers and librarians.

So instead of sending teachers the books they need, they are going to send the school a whole lot of random books. Who at the school…

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So the National Library has announced a fundamental change to its Services to Schools and it’s a terrible idea. The National Library is transforming its Services to Schools

Why is it a terrible idea? I’m glad you asked.

First up let’s look at what they are planning

Reading Engagement Lending Service

The emphasis of the new service will be on supporting students to read for pleasure, as a foundation for learning achievement. The content of loans will be quality fiction and high interest non-fiction resources to support reading for pleasure.

We’ll be supporting the whole school with a substantial loan that everyone can access, and you can keep the resources for a year. Loans will also no longer go to individual teachers and librarians.

So instead of sending teachers the books they need, they are going to send the school a whole lot of random books. Who at the school is going to monitor and store these books?  Poor school librarians who already HAVE LIBRARIES FILLED WITH QUALITY FICTION AND HIGH INTEREST NON-FICTION RESOURCES! Libraries that are already faced with pressures to their shelving?

So no longer will a teacher be able to say “I need a class set of resources that help me look at beaches” which a school library can’t resource. Nope – instead they are going to try and supplant the work of the School libraries that already exists.

UPDATE:

After a large outcry the National Library has pushed back the timeline on the changes

However the substance of the changes remain – which in effect prolongs the assault on school libraries and can only impact negatively on student outcomes.

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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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If there is one lesson that I have “learnt” as an adult is that it is okay to ask for help. Yet that can be real hard, especially when the area you need help in is linked to your profession. Who want’s to admit that you struggle with something that is fairly important to your professional identity?

For me  this is framing search requests. It’s not something I have to do since I don’t work in the reference side of librarianship, but still, I don’t really like to admit that when it comes to working out effective search strategies I struggle.  This is doubly so when I want to do my own research.

One of the “things” I want to do this year is to do preparatory reading around a topic that I want to turn into a Master of Arts by thesis. I started earlier but my inability to find good reading material has caused me to let that slide. And so I am asking for guidance. Can any of you kind folks help me with developing search strategies?

The topic I am reading about is: What thought’s/planning around digital preservation, life cycle management, has gone into developing digital humanities web sites and resources. I am interested in finding research that discusses whether in the development stage of a project like the NZETC any thought was given to how long it should be maintained, how it would be preserved, what sort of development should be ongoing?

So far I have found oodles of research around digital preservation but nothing applicable to what I am looking for. It may be there is nothing out there but I am worried my searching is at fault.

My searches so far have encompassed “digital preservation” “Life Cycle Management” “Digital Humanities” “Digital projects” “website” “planning

 

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So my activity in this space has not proven to be very diligent in recent times. In 2014 I intend to change this.

One of the things I am looking to do is to prepare to apply for admission into a Master of Arts with Thesis. As part of this process I need to to do some reading and research. My intention is to reflect on that reading and research here as I go. This will act as a form of note taking but also might allow you gentle readers to give me pointers if you see something that might be of interest.

So the general form of the project at hand.

In my day job I am currently writing a Digital Preservation document and at the same time dealing with a platform (the NZETC a legacy Digital Humanities resource from before Digital Humanities was trendy) which is coming to the end of it’s viable life in it’s current form. By the end of the year the intention is to have transformed the NZETC into a newer and more robust platform.

This has raised my interest in the planning around resources like the NZETC. My rough idea for the MA is to do research into what planning has gone into the end life and life cycle of Digital Humanities projects/resources/platforms. My initial idea is that I will need to identify a number of such projects, contact the administrators and survey them around their plans.

I need to read even more around digital preservation, life cycle management, web site management, digital humanities research.

As the year goes and the research firms up in form I will post updates and also what I have been reading.

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