Library time

What time or day do people talk about libraries, or visit them?
According to this it is unsurprisingly every day during general opening hours, with a slight preference for the middle of the week rather than later. graph showing correlations between library and visit and times

Conversely, people talk about or visit archives more frequently at the end of the week and at weekends.

Scott Golder of Cornell University has created a way of determinng what people (on Twitter) are doing or saying at what time.  This is done by running chosen text against a data set of millions of time coded Twitter messages. Go see

Use of Twitter

Interesting use of Twitter by a police force (!/QPSmedia). They have been attacked for this, I think actually it is a good example of how organisations should use the medium.
It is far better to respond and then if necessary apologise and correct, than to panic or ignore your followers.

Just as good are the tweeters at USyd (!/Sydney_Uni) who have been retweeting tweets supportive of the save Fisher library campaign, whom the University presumable wouldn’t actually support.

How not to use twitter

Very interesting post on The Nest blog on how to use and not use twitter, using as an example how the National Theatre (UK) failed to deal with an intemperate posting that occurred on its twitter feed.

Two guiding principles in social media, we believe, are to Be Human and Be Honest. Had the National Theatre adopted either policy, they might have done themselves a service.

To err is human, and ‘being human’ is increasingly what we respond to when bumping into organisations online. Social media differs from traditional marketing by asking us to ‘be human’, to drop our guard a little and be conversational – to get in amongst our audience and act like ‘real people’ (this shouldn’t be terribly difficult, we are ‘real people’ after all). Cutting and pasting marketing copy from a brochure does not, sadly, make us ‘real people’ – listening, asking, responding and entertaining are all good principles to focus on.

Fake RDA

First there was Fake AACR2 on Twitter, but, with the soon to be released and implemented RDA on the way, here now is Fake RDA to help you make sense of the changes. Take note of their useful suggestions such as:

Draft Wear 3D glasses when recording the extent of a three-dimensional resource.

This one could come in particularly handy to reflect upon after a hard day’s cataloguing:

Draft 5 Works & Expressions: Only when you’ve lost everything and hit rock bottom will you know the true meanings of Work & Expression.

Twitter archive questions answered

The Library of Congress has decided to put those burning questions to rest. Why are they archiving Twitter? What’s going to be included in the archive? And what is the Library going to do with all of that information anyway? Can we access it? Read their FAQ and find out.

Library of Congress to archive the Twitterverse

The Library of Congress have just announced that they are going to archive Twitter, and they used their own Twitter stream to make their original announcement. Starting with its inception in 2006 and with around 50 million tweets being added daily to the Twitterverse, that’s a lot of ground to cover!

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.

What are users doing in libraries?

See how users interact, and use libraries by following the search term ‘library’ on Twitter at

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.

Fake AACR2 on Twitter

Taking a look at the lighter side of things, Fake AACR2 on Twitter gives AACR2 the humourous treatment in an update it labels as the “2010 Desecration”. Well worth the visit for gems such as:

1.7A3. When making informal notes, use statements that present the information as briefly as clarity & grammar permit, ie: LyK tHiS LOL u C?


1.1F5. If a single statement of responsibility names more than 3 persons or bodies, use a single combination of their names ie “Brangelina”.

That’s good advice for us all.

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.

Australian author seeks copyright amendment

Leading Australian author John Birmingham has weighed in to the copyright debate with an article requesting that the government amend the 1968 copyright act to include digital works under legal deposit see:

Mr Birmingham would like to see archiving of Twitter pages that currently aren’t being gathered. Some Twitter pages for individuals such as the Australian PM  have been archived in Australia with permission, but the archiving of large swathes of Twitter on a theme or tag cannot currently occur as it would entail, as Birmingham says, contacting numerous authors.

Legal deposit is enshrined in most if not all countries laws, and it requires that a nominated National Library (and in some cases also some State or university libraries) recieve a copy, or have rights to recieve a copy of every work published in that country. The legislation in Australia only refers to paper works and so there is no requirement for digital works to be deposited.  Given that today a vast amount of material is published online only, there would appear to be a need to amend the legislation, if an adequate record of Australia’s cultural, intellectual and government activity is required.

On privacy

Where do you draw the line on privacy in a social media age? In the US, there is growing concern about what kinds of information the CIA might be collecting about it’s citizens who use various social media tools. There is even a court case in the works which is seeking to encourage the US Government to disclose just what information it is collecting and how this affects a person’s right to privacy. Information shared on social media sites have been used in criminal investigations. Recently, information shared on Facebook led to the arrest of a man who made death threats aginst the son of Columbian President Alvaro Uribe.

No matter what side of the law you fall on, users need to be aware that the information they share can be accessed by a range of people and may be used in ways they never intended. Depending on how comfortable you are with the information you’re sharing, you may want to share a little or a lot … like this couple in the US who stopped mid wedding ceremony to update their Twitter and Facebook statuses. Don’t believe me? Watch the video on YouTube!

Also in the works is a new camera device which a user wears and takes a picture every 30 seconds. Read what Mashable‘s Pete Cashmore has to say on this “life logging” device and the implications for privacy and social media over at CNN.

What’s all this tweeting about?

Twitter bills itself as “a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” In essence, Twitter is a microblogging tool which offers users a way of capturing and communicating bite size chunks of information (only 140 characters long) about themselves, others or issues of mutual interest. You can follow (subscribe) to other people’s updates tweets (updates), whether they be family, friends, co-workers or celebritites.

Twitter on Unshelved

Twitter on Unshelved

Still not sure what Twitter is all about? Watch this video at Common Craft to find out more. Ready to get started but still want to know more about the ins and outs of it all? Mashable have written a great Twitter guide book. Why not give it a try? You’ll soon get the hang of it.

Getting to know Twitter on Unshelved

Getting to know Twitter on Unshelved