ALIA Access 2010

Look what’s new at the forthcoming ALIA Access 2010 conference in September.

•Multi-sector conference (including public, health, specials, TAFE, new generation professionals)

•Program streams include interlibrary lending, LIS education, acquisitions, library leadership, information literacy

•Live video streaming for some sessions

•No plenary speakers

•Conference dinner voucher for local restaurants

•Bring-your-own satchel

•Complimentary Wireless Broadband Internet for all attendees and exhibitors

See that above, bring your own satchel, which is a polite term I am sure for – No free bag. What is the library world coming to when you can’t get an ugly free conference bag, where the strap fails after 2 weeks. I’m so not going now.
To find out more here’s the blog.

And here’s some suggestions for them.
Or maybe I shall just go buy my own, which will totally show them. Except I need to buy a minumum of 30, does anyone else want to go in on this?

More on Facebook privacy

What is all this hullabaloo over Facebook and privacy? Want to find out? Hear from the people on the inside (including Chris Cox, Facebook’s vice president), as well as a few tech experts. You can watch the full interview which appeared on PBS, read the transcript, or even listen to the MP3.

Google newspaper search

You do know that there are other Libraries doing newspaper digitisation work, especially the British Library, but our friends Google also have a large amount of digitised newspapers available for searching. They have been digitising for 2 years now and have a strong collection of US newspapers but have many from all over the world as well.
There is one drawback, there does not appear to be a list of the newspapers digitised. But anyway check out the service at:

Here is an interesting little thing from The Age of 1963.

Note the wages!

NLA at Senate Estimates

Proof Committee Hansard
(Budget Estimates)
TUESDAY, 25 MAY 2010

CHAIR—I do not think there are any further questions. Thank you very much, Mr Froud. We now move to
the National Library.
[8.42 pm]
National Library of Australia
Senator FISHER—Your KPIs, please? How are you going?
Ms Fullerton—In general we are on track to meet our KPIs. We feel there is no area of major concern.
Senator FISHER—On notice, can you please give me more information. You feel there is no concern, but
on notice can you give me more information as to what you have achieved in terms of delivering your KPIs as
enumerated in the budget statements.
Ms Fullerton—Certainly.
Senator FISHER—Thank you. Ms Fullerton, I think it was budget estimates last year when you talked
about the new gallery that you were in the process of building. How is the building going and are you on time
and on budget?
Ms Fullerton—We are. I will let my colleague Mr Linehan answer that question.
Mr Linehan—Yes, we remain on track and within budget. We hope to have it ready towards the end of
Senator FISHER—What is the final budget?
Mr Linehan—We are still working on a budget of under $10 million—what we identified at the last
Senator FISHER—What is happening with your staffing levels for next year?
Ms Fullerton—There is a slight reduction in our staffing, mainly due to completion of one-off projects or
projects that are funded with off-budget money.
Senator FISHER—Has that not been a result of the efficiency dividend?
Ms Fullerton—The efficiency dividend does have an effect on us. Our budget is reduced by between
$600,000 and $700,000 as a result of the efficiency dividend. We do plan for that in our year’s operations to
ensure that it has the least effect.
CHAIR—I do not think Senator Lundy, who unfortunately cannot be here tonight, would forgive me if I
did not ask how the digitisation program is going.
Ms Fullerton—Exceptionally well. The National Library has massive online use. Our collection is largely
used online now, although very heavily used in the National Library as well. We have use of the order of 160
million page views a year on our website.
CHAIR—Is the program complete or are you still—
Ms Fullerton—It will never be complete. No, we move to do more of our business online because it
enables a much wider audience to be able to have access to our collections.
CHAIR—Do you also have social networking site access?
Ms Fullerton—Social networking is a very large and successful part of the National Library’s online
operations. We are often cited as a model for how you engage the community in activities. Our digitised
newspapers are an example of that where the community has corrected millions and millions of lines of text.
CHAIR—Thank you very much for appearing before us.
[8.46 pm]

Library Hotel

Thinking of somewhere to stay in New York, of course you are. Why not consider the Library Hotel where you can choose your room according to the Dewey Decimal System.

I suppose it will have to do until we get the much promised but never actually appearing Libraryland theme park.

In the meantime, check out this site

National simultaneous storytime

What will you be doing at 11 o’clock this morning? Does it involve reading about a little white dog?

National siultaneous storytime

Yes, that’s right – today is national simultaneous storytime! All around the country, librarians and community members will be pulling out all the stops to promote reading and literacy in children by simultaneously reading from Bruce Whatley and Rosie Smith’s book “Little white dogs can’t jump“. Join in at a library near you!

Digital divide

There are still over 20% of Australians who have not ever used the Internet.  10% is due to factors such as age (too young) and cannot be ameliorated. But 10% are not using the Internet because they do not have computer or Internet access or more importantly the skills to go online. These people are the socially and economically excluded and are missing all the benefits we take for granted from the online world.

This is particularly hard for the economically disadvantaged as Internet access has been shown to create substantial economic savings to users.

Libraries have always been the prime location for challenging this digital divide. Those who do not have work or home access have been able to use the Internet and in some cases been able to take free classes on its use.
In the UK, there is a new charity called Race Online 2012 which aims to 

give Britain’s socially and digitally excluded equal access to the life-changing power of the internet. Our goal is a 100% online and networked UK.

One of the ways they help is to get people to assist other people online. Even if it is just to take someone who hasn’t used the Internet before and put them before this online tutorial.

In Australia, we need to keep addressing this issue also. There are still far too many elderly Australians who feel excluded by technology. Considering the advantages of participation online to assist with loneliness, isolation and lack of mobility (even if it is just online shopping) they are the group most likely to benefit from the Internet.

If you know someone who doesn’t have access to or skills in the Internet, why not find a way to help.

Concerned about facebook Privacy?

  • The social and moral panic over facebook seems to never end. Considering that now 7 million Australians, that’s a third of us, are subscribers it is not surprising that there are some issues and safety worries. However, considering its size, there are actually very few really bad things that have happened there. If 7 milion of us were out in a public place together you could be sure there would be far more actual danger.

There is danger in all human transactions, but at least in the online world we can limit our exposure to the dangerous. We can do that by use of the available tools out there. And if you can’t manage the privacy settings on social media websites, maybe you shouldn’t be on social media.
But anyway, luckily there is now a service for facebook users that will do it for you at:


facebook has redone its privacy settings so there should not be the problems that some users were worried about.

The founder of facebook in a piece for the Washington Post  has also stated:

Here are the principles under which Facebook operates:

  • You have control over how your information is shared.
  • We do not share your personal information with people or services you don’t want.
  • We do not give advertisers access to your personal information.
  • We do not and never will sell any of your information to anyone.
  • We will always keep Facebook a free service for everyone.

The problem of what to share and how to share it is resolved as far as facebook is concerned. The responsibility of how you use your content and who you choose to share it with is yours. As in anything reasonable precautions need to be taken.

YouTube’s 5th birthday

YouTube is now 5 years old and has 2 billion visits a day.
To celebrate they have a page where people tell their YouTube story and some celebrity mentions.

Here is Pedro Aldomovar’s choice of favourite content.

If you are not a Spanish speaker this video will give you a chance to play with the new Captioning that YouTube has installed (to access and alter the settings you will see a little CC image on the bottom right of the video, click on it).
Google/YouTube is now closed captioning a number of videos, and also allowing users to create captioning on their or (with permission) other’s videos. This is being done for 2 reasons. Firstly, by creating captioning transcripts videos will become textually searchable by Google, thus incredibly more accessible and, secondly, because laws to make content accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing are in the offing in the US.

closed captioning on YouTube

The service is still in Beta form and many of the YouTube automatically created captions (using speech to text software) are not accurate, but it is getting there.
Closed captioning on YouTube

What does this mean for us in Australia, well as public servants we will also have to make accessibility for all Australians a priority as the Government has agreed to the WC3’s WCAG 2.0 (see

So if you are a librarian putting up videos on your Library website, you had better start captioning too. As usual Google has the tools to make captioning simple and the capacity to do it online see here

Parliamentary Paper Series online

Been looking for Parliamentary Papers online, the Parliamentary Library has been working on making them available. To see what is in the ParlInfo Repository, go to the Advanced search and select the Tabled Papers Register. Not everything is there yet, but hopefully someday ..

Parliamentary Paper Series search screenshot

Google Wave says hello to the masses

As of yesterday, Google Wave has emerged from it’s beta coocoon. You no longer need an invitation to use it and start collaborating, just log in with your regular Google account! All you need to do is visit.

If you’re unsure where to get started, or need some tips on how to use it, you might like to check out The complete guide to Google Wave.