Top ten for 2010 and 2011

Top 10 things good and bad for 2010 of some librarianship importance

  1. The closure of public libraries around the world due to funding cuts (especially in the UK)
  2. The building or renovation of hundreds of school libraries under the federal government’s Economic Stimulus Package
  3. The inexorable rise of the e-book
  4. The inexorable rise of Trove
  5. WikiLeaks
  6. The Internet filtering debate
  7. The Australian declaration of open government
  8. The appointment of the Australian Information Commissioner
  9. The retirement of Jan Fullerton
  10. Justin Bieber

What would be nice in 2011

  1. A change in worldwide government policies to protect library funding
  2. The person to be appointed DG of the National Library to be a librarian
  3. A proper role for libraries in the NBN implementation
  4. E-book readers for sale below $100
  5. RDA to be adopted
  6. A federal coordinating body created to oversee libraries and library funding
  7. Public lending of e-readers to become widespread
  8. Er…
  9. That’s it

future of journalism

A new report:
Life in the clickstream : the future of journalism has just been published by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.

The report confirms that newspaper websites continue to be the main online source for news, which shows that newspapers are not dead, it’s just that the print medium is no longer where the readers are.

It is also interesting to note that online sources are now more trusted than print media.

With the continued decline of readers of print newspapers and the continued growth of online news readership, newspaper websites will become of ever more importance. For reference or deposit libraries that are required to retain newspapers, it thus becomes ever more important to collect not only the paper newspaper but also the online version. Since June 2009 the National Library has been doing just that with the Sydney Morning Herald see:

The report has many points of discussion on new, digital and social media that any organisation interested in aggregating or delivering information (such as libraries) should take note of.

One other interesting statistic, especially for Rupert Murdoch, is that 91% of those surveyed said they would not pay for online content, 6% were undecided and only 3% said they would pay. Whether 3% is enough of a demographic to make financial sense we shall see.

Librarianship is not a building, or a collection

What will kill this profession is not ebooks, amazon, or Google. It will be a lack of imagination. An inability to see not what is, but what could be. To see only how we are viewed now, but not how that is only a platform for greatness. Librarianship is not a building, or a collection. It is a conversation you are having. A conversation that has lasted over nearly three millennia. A conversation handed down from generation to generation, culture to culture, great society to great society, epoch to epoch. Librarianship only ends if we stop this conversation – set in stone, transfer practice to golden idols. It only survives if we, librarians and the communities we serve, take it up, renew, refresh it, and constantly engage in what is next. It is in that conversation that we find what a triumphant librarian is. Someone who wakes to see a better day for their community, and works to make the next even better, and the next day after that.

- R. David Lankes

NLA Christmas Party video – Puttin’ on the Writs

Once again the NLA staff have produced a wonderful dance routine, as part of its Christmas party celebrations.

The theme this time is ‘Puttin’ on the Writs’ and as you will be able to see the video gives a vivid portrayal of the hoops that copyright law forces librarians to go through.

Help – from the government

cybersafety help button

The DBCDE has produced a help button that you can download to your computer/device. The button is mainly aimed at children and young people who feel under threat online, but it could be useful for everyone as a quick means of reporting illegal content.

It seems to be a variation on the UK’s ‘panic button’ developed by facebook and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

When a user double-clicks on the downloaded cybersafety help button while connected to the internet, it will open the cybersafety help and advice page to provide assistance to:

  • talk to a counsellor about cyberbullying or anything else that is worrying or upsetting them
  • report cyberbullying, inappropriate or offensive online material, scams and fraud, or unwanted contact
  • learn how to stay safe online with tips and information on a range of cybersafety issues

It is to be commended that the government is putting tools into people’s hands to help them counter online threats and abuse. It is a shame that the previous government’s home filter system, which allowed users to choose to filter if they wanted is no longer supported. Giving people the choice and the tools to protect themsleves is in theory always a far better approach than direct blanket censorship.

The US Appeals Court Holds that Email Privacy Protected by Fourth Amendment

It doesn’t mean that email can’t be seized by governments, it just means that they need a warrant to do so.

Why should you care as an Australian? Because like most Australians you probably have an email account in the US with Microsoft (hotmail), Yahoo or Google.

supposedly kickass Librarian

This supposedly humourous video, seems to me to be talking to one stereotype but is actually just offering up another one.

What I find also problematic is that the librarian gives reference answers but doesn’t check them first. It’s all very well having a good general knowledge and being able to answer queries, but really it is a responsibility to check your facts with another source before giving the library user your answer. I did reference for a number of years and would just provide the answer, but one day in 1997 I confused Tagalog with Bahasa and gave the WRONG answer to a query, because I didn’t check – NEVER AGAIN.

I Love My Librarian

The  2010 I Love My Librarian Award Winners (US) are announced here 

The nominations from happy library users make great reading. Paul Clark shows us how to do advocacy by his saving of the library budget in Florida and I was especially impressed by the work of the School Librarian Mr Doug Valentine – his websites and work with students is really exemplary.

It is always good to hear positive stories about how librarians can make a difference.

What did your 2010 look like?

Google has the answer, at least in the form of what people wanted to find out more about, in their annual year in review – the Google zeitgeist. The Google zeitgeist 2010 website has a few nifty gadgets you might want to have a play with that let you narrow down the most searched for results by region and includes a timeline which graphs by global event as well as a range of statistics (in comparison to last year).