Who uses Twitter?

According to PEW Internet,

Some 19% of [American] internet users now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves, or to see updates about others.

Alas, Patrick Stewart is not one of them, though he is apparently very fond of his iPhone and emailing.

Digital radio gaining ground

New research shows that Digital Radio is listened to by around 500,000 Australians now (via a digital radio). Considering that coverage is only currently available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, and there are few cars with digital radios that is quite a surprising figure.

It is not yet available here in Canberra, but the coverage will be getting broader, but not for a while it seems.

But when it does come, why should you bother to get a new digital radio, well according to http://www.digitalradioplus.com.au the reasons are:

  • Clearer sound and improved reception
  • Extra features such as extra channels, pause and rewind radio, downloadable music, more details about the advertised product, slideshows, scrolling text, Electronic Program Guides, updated news, sports and racing information. Just to name a few
  • Extra channels potentially doubles the number of commercial stations
  • Tuning by station name, not frequency, making it easy to find favourite stations
  • A wider choice of shows and program highlights better meets the needs of niche audiences

Meanwhile, there are many more who listen digitally via the Internet (which can be listened to anywhere you have a device or computer, except at work) . Catering to this there are a large number of Australian websites/radio stations online (see here for a list) as well as a vast number of overseas services, offering streaming radio spanning every conceivable interest.

Ada Lovelace day

As is required a blog post about Ada Lovelace

What do I know of Ada Lovelace, nothing as yet. But a Trove search http://trove.nla.gov.au/result?q=ada+lovelace will no doubt help. Who needs Google when you have Trove.


Oh interesting, daughter of Byron, first computer programmer.


From Dunechaser at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dunechaser/160405716/


If you’re interested in finding out some more about Australian women involved in science and technology, you should check out the list of women in the Encyclopedia of Australian science (which incorporates Bright Sparcs and Australian Science at Work).

Developments in scanning technology

Researchers at the University of Toyko have developed a new scanner that operates at a rate of 500 frames per second which means that you can simply flip the pages of a book in front of the scanner for it to work. Overlaying a grid on the pages being scanned means that you can leave it up to the computer to flatten out the curves of the page as it was scanned resulting in an augmented, though still fairly good, scanned image. What’s next? Drive by OCR? The only problem I can see is that the most likely candidates for this kind of scanning would be in copyright material – material that is out of copyright is usually a bit older and more fragile and probably shouldn’t be subjected to the flip treatment … but it’s still an exciting development!

Take a  look at how easy the process is in this video.

Etiquette for librarians

Being a librarian is hard work. Your skills are under constant scrutiny, whether you are on the front line dealing with clients or cataloguing your library’s newest works in readiness for circulation.

So how can you be the best librarian you can be? Take heart from the clever suggestions and observations over at A librarian’s guide to etiquette. Afterall,

Your proficiency as a librarian can be measured solely through your ability to un-jam a printer without getting toner on your hands.

Music for librarians

Matthew Moyer writing in the Library Journal gives us a run down of Goth Music at: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6716269.html. I don’t agree with his choices, but then music is subjective.

See also Matthew’s view of Krautrock at: http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/ca6719421.html. I can find no fault with this one.

Librarians – have a view on everything.

What are users doing in libraries?

See how users interact, and use libraries by following the search term ‘library’ on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#search?q=library

Yes, that post says “Yo momma’s so fat, I saw the back of her neck and thought I was in a library!”  What could they possibly mean?

The images don’t seem to view properly, you may have to click on to them and they will open up in a new page.

Vatican Library

Frescoes in the Vatican Library

There are libraries and there are libraries. The Vatican Library and Secret Archive (yes it is called Secret Archive) are about as impressive as you can get. There is little chance of this Library falling prey to the modish fashion of pointlessly renaming themselves as a ‘knowledge center’ , ‘Learning resource center’ or even more laughably ‘info hub’. They don’t need to rename themselves, already one of their buildings is called the Tower of Winds.
You can take a virtual tour here

The Secret Archive is now no longer secret, it never really was. It is just the repository for the documents of the Holy See, and as such was not public. Access is now granted to scholars, who may view the treasures within, and the wonders of the physical space.

Crowdsourcing – the new outsourcing?

Libraries are often faced with daunting challenges, seemingly insurmountable tasks which they take on for the good of their communities in order to share their collections and wealth of information. These tasks include undertakings such digitising collections of precious materials, cataloguing them and making the information available online so that the widest possible user base has access to this information no matter where they are. The sheer volume of collection material dealt with in such projects is more often than not too overwhelming for the institution to complete entirely by itself and that’s where crowdsourcing comes in.

The National Library‘s Rose Holley (who formerly worked on the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program and is currently working on the Library’s Trove discovery service) has penned an interesting article in the latest issue of DLib Magazine which looks at the ways that crowdsourcing can be utilised to assist libraries in adding to and improving digital content, whether it be correcting text, adding comments or tagging resources. Community engagement has long been of great importance to libraries. Giving users the ability to interact in a meaningful way with the library and its resources, as well as other users in the community, in a Web 2.0 landscape is no less crucial to the continuing success of libraries.

75 new Popular Penguins

The latest set of Popular Penguins is being advertised, although they don’t go on sale till July. This time there are 75 re-issued penguin paperbacks for $9.99. Congratulations again to Penguin for bring good books out at realistic prices, or what we could call normal prices that you would pay elsewhere in the world but Australia. But let’s not get into the Cheaper Books argument.

There are 75 new titles in this round, and the really good news is there are lots of really good titles this time, including: Howl and other poems, la petit prince, le grande Meaulnes etc etc.

Start saving your monies!

Australian Librarians

Wikipedia says there are only 7 Australian Librarians. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Australian_librarians
1 of them I am not so sure about.
And when I say Wikipedia I of course mean all of us, as we are all responsible in a way for maintaining the integrity of Wikipedia.
Add some more librarians, why don’t you.