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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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The latest issue of The New Zealand Library & Information Management Journal was released electronically this week. There is some interesting reading in it, some of which will end up in my Revalidation Journal. It’s great to see New Zealand Library Research, and I would like to see more.

The trouble is, it just made me aware that over the last few months we have had a complete lack of professional news. The last Library Life was in April? Well the last one on the website is April. It was going to be replaced with a new electronic newsletter that “Library Life is the fortnightly electronic newsletter for LIANZA members. The newsletter highlights the latest news from LIANZA and the library and information profession as well as feature articles and details of events, conferences and seminars.” Yet I haven’t seen hide nor hair of it.

In the interest of constructive criticism this is what I suggest LIANZA do:

Ditch the idea of a fortnightly newsletter. Instead use the technologies available to have a rolling newsletter. Have everyone on the council each month write an update for their position, and then roll them out over the month. You will have about eleven pieces to publish each month, which is three a week. With that you can encourage others to write in, as used to happen with Library Life. Put them on the front page of the website, with pictures, and you will have a constant, and refreshing series of content.

Mixed in with that you can also have book reviews, and articles submitted to the journal. Have an open submission date, and publish as much as possible. Every six months you can then bind together a select number to make the “official published” journal. This would encourage research to happen. Within that you can also take the best pieces of research coming out of the Library School and publish them. There is a lot of research going on, and it should be useful to the profession beyond simply allowing someone to get their qualification.

How are we going to foster a profession that engages with research if we don’t publish it?

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I just had to post this link about the University of California refusing to pay a 400% increase in subscription to Nature and other titles:

U. of California tries just saying no to rising journal costs

Good on them! It’s about time journal publishers got the message that unwarranted price increases are no longer going to be tolerated, especially considering the dire financial straits many libraries are in.  They’ve had us over a barrel for long enough!  Below is an excerpt of details of the fight-back.

“The pressure does not stop there… faculty would also organize “a systemwide boycott” of Nature’s journals if the publisher does not relent. The voluntary boycott would “strongly encourage” researchers not to contribute papers to those journals or review manuscripts for them. It would urge them to resign from Nature’s editorial boards and to encourage similar “sympathy actions” among colleagues outside the University of California system.”

Good stuff!

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Another year has been set on its path, and we have started the downhill slide to Christmas. I think it must be a function of age, and having children, but each year seems to go past really quickly, and the speed seems to be increasing.

New Years is a time for reflection, navel gazing, crystal ball gazing and resolutions. For myself, I do not have much in the way of resolutions this year on the library front. But then does anyone? Do you sit down at the start of the year and make a list of library things you want to achieve in the year? This year I am focusing on study and writing, and that seems enough to keep me going.

It should be an interesting year though. With the centenary of LIANZA to look forward to, there will be numerous events to be held throughout the land by the various committees. It will also be very interesting to see what shape conference takes in this special anniversary year.

One thing that I am excited about seeing is the redevelopment of the LIANZA website, due for launching in the next couple of months. I liked the look of the usability shots that came around, and I am keen to see what they do, especially on the Social Media front. I understand the team want to introduce a lot of Social Media functionality which is one of my passions. The aim is to help enable the regional councils, sigs, etc to put up blogs etc. If LIANZA is hosting blogs in that fashion, I will be curious to see which platform they adopt, and how much use it gets.

I am also wondering how easy it will be to transfer the current Ikaroa Committee blog over to them if they are hosting, or the East-In-Sig Blog if they wanted to go that path. Also merging all the conference blogs into one big one I think would be a good plan as I have said before.

 Indeed I was wondering to myself, that if LIANZA is hosting blogs, would they host The Room of Infinite Diligence, and whether it would be worth transferring over to them?  Would we want to remain separate in ourselves or would there be advantages in leveraging off the LIANZA site?

Talking about writing, we asked late last year if anybody else out there in library land wanted to join our little community of writers, and nobody has put there hand up. Come on people, there must be more opinionated folks out there in library land! Do we as Kiwi library writers have nothing to say? Or are we all to busy working to contribute to an informal collegial conversation?

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I have a couple of questions for you.

How many people out there read the monthly LIANZA newsletter Library Life? I sometimes do and sometimes I don’t. I will print it out, but it’s just not the same. I miss the hardcopy put on the staffroom table, which was often browsed by more than LIANZA members.

Also how many people read the recently released  volume of the New Zealand Library & Information Management Journal electronically? How many people are waiting for the hardcopy? I browsed the content s page, but will wait to receive my copy in the mail before properly sitting down to read it. 🙂

If you think that’s odd for a technogeeky librarian, who is into digital publications, your probably right. But you see I don’t particularly like reading articles in PDF on the computer screen. I just don’t get as much from it. Which is  why I am hanging out for decent Ereaders to come to New Zealand.

Below is a poll, or leave a comment, but I would be interested to know what others thought about this. 🙂

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LibWorldLife is certainly interesting at the moment for me. I have started up-skilling my web skills by doing the Certificate in Web Design through the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, so whilst studying I may miss a post here or there. Or I may not, as I really love this blogging thing. The editor-in-chief and myself are looking at picking up our house like turtles and moving it out to the acreage we have planted a few fruit trees on.  There’s no broadband out there except for the satellite wireless stuff. Not sure I could handle going back to dialup so decisions will need to be made.  🙂

Professionally I am digging the Kete thing, and can’t wait to get our one up and running. There are plans and plans, and I need to nail the boss to her chair for an hour and get a programme up and running. One of the parts which has got me curious to explore more is the Creative Commons licences associated with the Kete. Up until now I hadn’t had much to do with, or a reason to think about them, but with the Kete using them heavily I have had to get my head around them. I quite like them. I think they strike a great balance for those who wish to put their creative output out there.

In a bit of a segue, using the CC licence is LibWorld: Library Blogging Worldwide Edited by Christian Hauschke, Sarah Lohre, & Nadine Ullmann. By the terms of the licence I can download, share or even adapt, as long as I do so non-commercially and properly attribute. You can still purchase a hardcopy if you like. This is cool for the amount of work that has obviously gone into the work.

I downloaded this to read the chapter on New Zealand library blogs, written by Simon Chamberlain. What struck me was the danger in attempting to write and publish something on a topic as transient and developing like blogging. At the time of writing library blogging in New Zealand was fairly limited, so Simon had to bulk out his chapter with non library blogs. A number of the blogs mentioned have obviously folded with no content added in a while, and Simon’s own blog seems to be inactive. That being said it was an interesting read, I just think trying to write a book and then publish it was using the wrong format. Maybe somebody could develop the ITSig Wiki list of New Zealand blogs. It’s a great resource, that could do with some descriptive elements, and is missing a number of kiwi blogs. I would, but all my time looks booked for the next six months. . . 🙂 

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The still empty library slowly darkened, behind the desk stood the librarian, lost in thought, quietly contemplating the days work. He reviewed his day, feeling pleased with his effort and what he had achieved. Yet, he wondered, as he took in the small library where he worked, what next? What more was for him? Were his friend’s right and was he in a dead end job?

Last month a link to the New Zealand Library & Information Management Journal – Nga Pūrongo arrived in my inbox. The first article is A Good Read: Library Management Journals Useful to Managers of New Zealand Public Libraries / Graham Baker.  Below is the abstract for that article:

This study explores the use of journals on the topics of library practice and business/management by managers of public libraries in New Zealand. Previous research on library journals has focused on academic journals published in the USA, ranking them on the basis of their perceived academic “prestige”. This study researches the relative “usefulness” of journals and publications on the topics of library practice and management/business. Using a self administered questionnaire the research probes the perceptions and behaviours of managers of public libraries in New Zealand on the use of academic and practitioner journals in their work. The report concludes that managers of public libraries are active users of journals on the topics of both library practice and business/ management. Those library managers who participated in the research have a preference for practitioner publications over academic journals. Survey respondents ranked APLIS the most useful journal. The highest ranking academic journal in the study was The New Zealand Library & Information Management Journal.

So I sat and had a long think. I then discussed my thinking with my better half, which gave me more things to think about.

I read Graham’s article and thought Ok, that’s useful information for library managers, but what about the professionals in smaller libraries that don’t have access to some of those journals through their institutions? Are they or their libraries going to have the necessary funds to subscribe?   APLIS is not very expensive at $45.00 per year, and most people will receive The New Zealand Library & Information Management Journal through LIANZA membership. And yet in today’s economic climate $45.00 can be a large sum, and the $100.00 for LIANZA might seem a lot too. So how are library professionals going to access literature? There are some resources out there for example INTERNET LIBRARY FOR LIBRARIANS has some links to free full text articles, but many of the links are to databases, where you still need to subscribe.

There is also the question of whether it is useful to read articles? How much relevance is there in academic literature for practising professionals? Also to consider is that we have adopted Professional Registration with the aim of creating a “graduate” profession.  I can see the value of both. Research and the literature it generates gives a range of resources from which the practising professional can draw inspiration from to innovate in their work. At management level it also gives evidence to back up arguments when challenged, especially when challenged about budgets in this fiscally dangerous time.

The following is a snippet of a conversation, or more accurately recollections of several conversations, merged into one, which I have had.

“Why should I join LIANZA”

“Um, it gives you access to a community of professionals, and involvement will help with your career development”

“Yeah that’s all well and good but what else?”

“Cheaper CPD opportunities”

“Work pays for those anyway”

“That’s lucky, but did you know you also get Library Life and NZLIMJ with your membership”

Which leads to this point: Maybe LIANZA should provide access to one of the full text Library Management databases, like Library Literature & Information Science Full Text, for members.

Then the following email came though from NZ-Libs

“I have been interested in the various posting to the NZ Libs listserv about Tui Smith’s article. I read the original article and was quite surprised at her findings and wondered about her sample. I come from a science background where everything has to be peer-reviewed and there is a lot of concern about achieving unbiased results but hadn’t really considered whether the articles in the LIANZA journal were peer-reviewed or not. As a general rule, I think letters debating issues raised in articles should be published and that, where possible, articles should be peer-reviewed. However, this article was written by a student and should be judged on that basis. When it comes to assignments, one is restricted by the parameters set by the tutors. If a research study is required this is usually fairly limited in scope. Students don’t have the knowledge, resources and time to set up large, comprehensive studies. As a student myself, I can imagine how I would feel if one of my assignments, that I wrote using the best of my knowledge and ability, was published and then was the subject of letters of criticism. Obviously this article was published because it won a prize so I am concerned about the awarding of a prize to an article that relies on a study with such a small (and possibly biased) sample without this being acknowledged in the article. Maybe it was the best article that met the criteria of the prize. The terms of the prize state “The winning paper may be published in an appropriate LIANZA publication” (emphasis added). Perhaps this article shouldn’t have been published.”

It made me consider the nature of Library publishing and research in New Zealand. We don’t have a strong history of research and published literature. The MLIS is only thirteen odd years old, and how many Doctoral students have we had, or have currently? If we look back through the copies of NZLIMJ we will find a small group doing the research and publishing. Surely as a burgeoning graduate profession we need to be encouraging research and literature? So yes this article should have been published and so should more. How many useful pieces of research are buried in the vaults of Victoria University read only by the author and marker? I think more student works should be published. I would like to see a piece of student research published in every NZLIMJ, and I think the top ten pieces of research could be published in a separate journal yearly.

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