Google new search thingy

Are you excited about the new Google social search function +1.

It’s a way of ‘liking’ things on the web that others can see in their search results.

You need to have a public Google profile first.

It’s in experimental beta stage at the moment, and I can’t see the + option in my search results yet, so I can’t tell of its potential usefulness. However, just because someone else recommends something on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s good, they could be idiots, there are so many variables on this.

ALIA Library and Information week 2011

Get your headstart now for Library and Information Week 2011 (which runs 23-29 May) and check out the resources available for you to use on the ALIA website to  help promote your library. The theme this year: We find stuff!

We find stuff!

Library and Information Week 2011 logo from ALIA

What activities will you be planning to highlight the many and varied ways that library users can find stuff in your library? ALIA has a few helpful suggestions to highlight what it is that you do that helps users find stuff:

We catalogue stuff!
We look up stuff!
We research stuff!
We know stuff!

What other things will you be adding to your lists?

And what will you be doing to celebrate the events that are taking place over the course of the week? Events for this year include National Library Technicians Day (Tuesday 24 May), National Simultaneous Storytime (Wednesday 25 May- further resources are available for the National Simultaneous Storytime event via the website) and Libraries celebrate Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea (Thursday 26 May).

Life as a library technician

The latest issue of Associates : the electronic library support staff journal is now available and features a nice profile on Jennifer Dyer who is a library technician for Birrong Girls High School and the current convener of ALIA’s NSW Library Technicians Group.

Jennifer’s article serves to highlight just how diverse and rewarding a career as a library technician can be. As Jennifer sees it,

A Library Technician is a very rewarding career. My colleagues and professional association members have given me so many wonderful opportunities and I hope that those reading this article will reflect on their own learning and experiences and ‘Reach for the Stars’ (our school motto) as I am always trying to do.


LIS educators shock news!

A new study has found ‘shockingly’ that LIS educators are pretty much just the same as LIS workers, e.g. female and ageing.

Thank heavens we found that out.

This discussion paper has presented the preliminary results of a study aimed at establishing a more holistic profile and understanding of Australia’s information educators. Even the small snapshot provided here clearly illustrates that change is needed. Australian educators are ageing and this is a significant issue facing the future of the profession. Now is the time for action. Further analysis of the data will continue and be disseminated over time. This study is only one of several that are occurring within the research project Re-conceptualising and re-positioning Australian library and information science education for the twenty-first century.

Another airport library

Last year we mentioned the first airport library now we have another at the Taiwan Taoyuan Airport

It’s called an e-library and has been hailed as the first airport e-library, but it does have paper books too (apparently second hand ones though).

According to this article, however, the first airport library was actually in Nashville in 1962.

But wherever and whenever they opened, they are still a good thing and hopefully more will appear.


Image from World Interior Design Network

Screen Reading

Do you need a screen reader?

NVDA is Australian, free and open source, and this month is sourceforge’s project of the month

You can download the application to your computer and it will screen read with spoken or braille outputs. It even comes with a portable version, which you can keep on a memory stick and plug in anywhere you need to.

Why not put it on your public library terminals?

It’s Windows only! but honestly isn’t that good thing.

World Poetry Day

Today (of all days) is World Poetry Day

So why not have a look at the the UK’s Poetry Library website.

Or read this, you know you want to.


by: T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

    ET us go then, you and I,
    When the evening is spread out against the sky
    Like a patient etherized upon a table;
    Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
    The muttering retreats
    Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
    And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
    Streets that follow like a tedious argument
    Of insidious intent
    To lead you to an overwhelming question …
    Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
    Let us go and make our visit.
    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo.
    The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
    The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes,
    Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
    Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
    Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
    Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
    And seeing that it was a soft October night,
    Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
    And indeed there will be time
    For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
    Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
    There will be time, there will be time
    To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
    There will be time to murder and create,
    And time for all the works and days of hands
    That lift and drop a question on your plate;
    Time for you and time for me,
    And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
    And for a hundred visions and revisions,
    Before the taking of a toast and tea.
    In the room the women come and go
    Talking of Michelangelo.
    And indeed there will be time
    To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
    Time to turn back and descend the stair,
    With a bald spot in the middle of my hair–
    (They will say: ‘How his hair is growing thin!”)
    My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
    My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin–
    (They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
    Do I dare
    Disturb the universe?
    In a minute there is time
    For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
    For I have known them all already, known them all:
    Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
    I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
    I know the voices dying with a dying fall
    Beneath the music from a farther room.
    So how should I presume?
    And I have known the eyes already, known them all–
    The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
    And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
    When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
    Then how should I begin
    To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
    And how should I presume?
    And I have known the arms already, known them all–
    Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
    (But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
    Is it perfume from a dress
    That makes me so digress?
    Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
    And should I then presume?
    And how should I begin?
    Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
    And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
    Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? …
    I should have been a pair of ragged claws
    Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
    * * *
    And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
    Smoothed by long fingers,
    Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
    Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
    Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
    Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
    But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
    Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
    I am no prophet–and here’s no great matter;
    I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
    And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
    And in short, I was afraid.
    And would it have been worth it, after all,
    After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
    Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
    Would it have been worth while,
    To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
    To have squeezed the universe into a ball
    To roll it towards some overwhelming question,
    To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
    Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”–
    If one, settling a pillow by her head
    Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
    That is not it, at all.”
    And would it have been worth it, after all,
    Would it have been worth while,
    After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
    After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor–
    And this, and so much more?–
    It is impossible to say just what I mean!
    But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
    Would it have been worth while
    If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
    And turning toward the window, should say:
    “That is not it at all,
    That is not what I meant, at all.”
    No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
    Am an attendant lord, one that will do
    To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
    Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
    Deferential, glad to be of use,
    Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
    Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
    At times, indeed, almost ridiculous–
    Almost, at times, the Fool.
    I grow old … I grow old …
    I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
    Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
    I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
    I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
    I do not think that they will sing to me.
    I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
    Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
    When the wind blows the water white and black.
    We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
    By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
    Till human voices wake us, and we drown.
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” was originally printed in Poetry, June 1915. copied from

First sale doctrine – still important

Librarians must stand rock solid against any proposition that would imperil the libraries’ unlimited circulation of e-books.

The principle that has always applied to printed book purchases must be applied to e-books. There is no reason we can’t subject e-book licenses to that condition.

I urge all librarians to not enter into licenses with Harper-Collins or any other publisher that wants to limit the number of library circulations.

- fmr ALA President, Maurice J. Freedman on LIS News

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence

Today is the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s key messages for the day are:

•Don’t be a bystander—report for your friends.
•What kind of friend are you online?
•Protect, take a stand, support!

Seems pretty fair advice to me. Of course nowadays people are concentrating on online or ‘cyber’ bullying, but lets not forget that bullying happens in every environment. Online communication and video only captures and preserves bullying, and so it can seem more prominent. Hopefully online bullying can be contained better than physical bullying by education and peer support.

The websites available are aimed at young people, but unfortunately bullying happens at every age and in every institution, and is just as likely in an old person’s home as in a school. Libraries are certainly not immune, and as this old news story shows, library staff can be the subject of bullying by scum.

So let us all fight bullying, by doing what the day advises which is ‘stand up and speak out’

What books should you read?

David McCandless, of Information is Beautiful, has taken the hard work out of trying to figure out which Top 100 book list you should base your own reading on by using the data in a selection of prominent lists to create a “consensus cloud”. The result, while visually interesting, is useful, too.

100 books everyone should read

100 books everyone should read

C&RL on open access

The College and Research Libraries journal is going open access.

Whereas ACRL supports open scholarship and access to scholarly work; Whereas ACRL publishes C&RL, the premier journal for academic librarians; Whereas ACRL has made successive changes to increase access to the research found in C&RL; Whereas ACRL member groups support making C&RL an open access journal; Be it resolved, that ACRL provide open access to the electronic version of College & Research Libraries journal as of April 2011; and, Be it further resolved, that ACRL,
through this action, continues to play a leading role in advocating for new models of scholarly communication in all of the disciplines. -
Joseph Branin, Editor

So what about the Australian Academic & Research Libraries journal doing the same? The arguments supporting open access would be the same as would be the economic imperitives.


Since the rise in popularity of this blog, there have been occasions where things have gotten a little out of hand.
Therefore we are now (reluctantly) having to institute these etiquette guidelines (stolen from a sci-fi convention)

1. Do not ask for hugs or kisses.
Not only is this an invasion of bloggers personal space but it’s not fair if you get one and everyone else misses out. It is simply too draining for the bloggers to give them to everyone. Please do not think, “Oh it won’t hurt if I just ask, its only one person…” There are no exceptions for this rule. Be considerate!

2. No inappropriate touching of the bloggers whatsoever
e.g. grabbing them on the bottom etc. This is unacceptable on many levels and once again, anyone caught doing so will be removed.

3. Do not ask self-centred questions
Ask questions that everyone (including the blogger!) will find enjoyable, interesting and entertaining. Asking for hugs, telling stars we love them, giving gifts and getting into long personal stories etc is not acceptable in these kinds of blogs. It is, in fact, quite self-centered when you are in essence “representing” all of fandom to a blogger.

4. Please refrain from asking the bloggers questions about the following:
Sex, finances, politics, personal religious beliefs or personal relationships. These are very touchy and personal subjects and can make the bloggers uncomfortable. Also, should you ask a question and the blogger seems uncomfortable about it, or dodges the question, then please leave it alone. They do not have to discuss anything that they do not wish to.

5. Please do not ask the bloggers to remove their shirts or any other item of clothing. We know they are very pretty and look good shirtless but this is inappropriate.

6. Try to keep the questions as short and as clear as possible and speak clearly so as to not confuse the bloggers. Make sure that the question you ask is about something that everyone will enjoy hearing about. Make sure you don’t repeat questions. Think of something else or let someone else have a turn.

7. Please do not ask the bloggers for autographs and photographs outside the official autograph and photographs sessions as this puts them in a difficult position. They probably just want to have lunch, a chat or a rest without ‘working’.