Librarians are awesome

Tell us something we don’t know, Wil Wheaton. Or, better yet, add your voice to the growing numbers of people advocating for the future of libraries and tell us exactly why you think librarians are awesome.

If you’re a librarian today, you probably don’t hear this very often, but thank you. Thank you for making a difference in people’s lives.

And thankyou, Wil, for speaking up! Read more here.

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

Twitter and Facebook make you MORE productive! according to this article in WIRED

…for knowledge workers charged with transforming ideas into products — whether gadgets, code, or even Wired articles — goofing off isn’t the enemy. In fact, regularly stepping back from the project at hand can be essential to success. And social networks are particularly well suited to stoking the creative mind.

The article talks about aiding creativity, but I would think that especially with Twitter, among librarian and techie users there is a huge amount of information and link sharing that goes on that is of enormous benefit for keeping up to date with tools and technologies. You just have to Twitter follow the right people.

Counter terrorism

I see the government’s Counter-Terrorism White Paper : Securing Australia – Protecting our Community has been released and note that yet again there is no stated role for librarians in the defence of the country. This is a shame because whilst covert intelligence and surveillance has a primary role, the use of librarians with their skills in technology, classification and primarily Open Source Intelligence could yet win this war. Let us not forget it was the many Librarians in places like Bletchley Park who substantially shortened WW2.

As with all things, if you need something sorted, you need to call on a librarian. For if, as Shelley said, ‘Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world’ Librarians then are the unacknowledged soldiers.

Twelve theses on libraries and librarians

Check out this blog post on Libraries at:

..there is nobody more conservative than a librarian. Their enthusiasm for constant change and reinvention springs from an even deeper commitment to what has been received from the hand of the past. The library is an angel whose wings are spread out in fierce and loving protection of the past, while its face stares deep into the eerie light of the future

Library of the future

The library of the future as seen by the UTS Library staff. Not all of the issues are relevant to us as a National Library, which is the case with most thought and discussion on the roles of most libraries. Being a national library we have a different usership and responsibilities and thus we don’t fit within larger groups (such as university libraries, public libraries, etc.) which makes trading experiences and learning of new ideas hard.
The only really relevant people in our sector are librarians who work in other national libraries and at home in our state libraries. But there is no fora in which our state and national librarians here can frequently meet or exchange ideas. Well there is NSLA, but I have had no involvement nor have other staff I know, and it appears to be only for quite senior staff.
This does not mean we are not innovative, we are, most assuredly and we provide great services to our users, but we are less assured in the way we operate with regards to staffing – we don’t have staff working from home, although technology allows it and comparable staff in state libraries currently do so, we also have a very firm hierarchical structure and whilst we push new technology to our users we are hesitant in allowing staff to use it in some regards. So maybe there are lessons from the library of the future video, namely trust.

Librarians unite with Google, Yahoo on censorship

ALIA, on behalf of librarians in Australia, has produced a statement here on Internet censorship in conjunction with the big Internet players.
It is worth reading it all, it’s quite short.

Here are the recommendations:

According to a large body of peer-reviewed research on the matter the most effective way to protect our children on the internet is achieved by adopting a strategy containing the following three Core Principles:

* Education: Properly funding a national comprehensive cyber-safety education program for children and parents on how to avoid inappropriate material and stay safe online. If any element of online safety is to be mandatory, it should be education.
* Policing: Significantly increasing and funding the level of oversight by the government and federal police focused on the locations, such peer-to-peer, where child sexual abuse materials are disseminated.
* Technical Measures: If the government and the broader political system are determined to implement technical measures as part of online safety efforts, then we believe Australia can learn from the approaches adopted in peer countries, particularly in Europe. The strong consensus internationally is for ISPs, police and government to work together in partnership targeting a clearly defined and narrow band of child sexual abuse material.

Under this filtering regime:

* there would be little to no impact on the internet.s performance or greatly increased costs to users;
* there would be an environment in which adults are able to choose whether to have their service filtered or not.

Library Lovers Day

Coming soon, don’t forget Library Lovers Day on the 14th of February and brought to you by ALIA and Public Libraries Australia

Remember it’s about loving as in appreciating your Library, and not your librarian, that’s a separate day, sometime.

here we have an example of what not to do

ALIA New Librarians Symposium


The 4th Symposium was held in Melbourne last week, the website is here and the photos are here

It is worth keeping a watch on the website for when the papers go online.