Ear to the ground
A go-around is one way to keep you awake at the end of a long journey*. Listening to the radio on the way from the airport is another. Development workers like to make a lot of asking taxi drivers about politics, whether commending or scoffing at the idea. On field visits, environmental knowledge picked up through newspapers, informal conversations on the way from one meeting to another, and the radio can fill in a lot that might be difficult to glean from formal meetings alone.
Extending the life of personal technology
A lot of my personal technology (desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone) is approaching end-of-life, at least according to the manufacturers. My laptop is not eligible for upgrade to OS 10.8 Mountain Lion, my phone stopped receiving updates almost as soon as I bought it, and other technology is generally slowing down. One of my criteria for purchasing technology is the expected lifespan. My previous iBook was still working perfectly when I sold it 6 years after purchase, but by then Apple had moved away from PPC.
Fitter, happier, more productive
Sometimes, it’s the simplest of things that can become the greatest burden. In the mid 2000’s, a flurry of articles in journals appeared about the virtues of Personal Information Management (PIM), and how librarians could help with that. The idea being that as the amount of information in our lives continued to increase at a seemingly exponential rate, the anxiety faced to organise it effectively also increases until we are left with disorganised files, badly named files, and a lot of time wasted on trying to find things.
Friends of Knowledge work for Copyright Limitations and Exceptions for libraries and archives
Mr. Chairman, we welcome the presentation by the distinguished delegates of Brazil on the treaty on limitation for Libraries and Archives as well as the modified proposals of IFLA and other like-minded organizations and for want of a better expression, Mr. Chairman, permit me to just refer to them as friends of knowledge.
Nigeria delegation, 21 November 2011 at SCCR23, Geneva
There’s been a lot of discussion over recent years in our profession about what we can do to change copyright.
Happy Open Access Day!
Today, October 14, is the first Open Access Day. A synchroblogging event is being held asking bloggers to write about what Open Access means to them. You can track posts at Google Blog Search, Technorati, and the Open Access Day FriendFeed room.
Open Access is something I have been interested in for several years now, and written a couple of papers on. It’s a movement I believe is so important, not just for people like me who have access to technology and excellent libraries, but those who live and work anywhere, who need access to knowledge.
Internet Librarian International 2009
Internet Librarian International 2009 is being held in London next week. I will have a presentation at the conference, but unfortunately due to a work travel commitment I am not able to attend myself. Instead, this gave me an opportunity to find a co-author/presenter and explore some ideas about the role of the catalogue in discovery. I’ve called it, “Adaptability, aboutness, and authenticity: Towards discovery platforms with next-generation catalogues and Linked Data” -
Linked Data and libraries
I’ve spent the past few months completely absorbed by the catalogue as we built a new interface. It’s been exciting and frustrating all at once to get to grips with the possibilities of what we can do with the concept of a catalogue, and what options there are now to expand it (and what options aren’t yet there) and make it more relevant for library users. If you’re not already a subscriber, an email list I recommend is NGC4LIB, the mailing list that discusses ideas about the future of the catalogue as well as some of the software options out there.
Any librarian that thinks that libraries move at a slow pace should try standing outside them sometime. In the past two years alone we’ve seen the the eBook market grow from virtually nothing in non-US markets to dominate conversation, a huge increase in the amount of legal streaming content (and simultaneous geolocking), copyright term extensions, new organisations like Library Renewal spring up, attack and defence of libraries whether by word, or by physical will.
Meet the Press
“I am a librarian, and I have no shame for that” Cameroonian librarian
After two days of meetings in Yaoundé, today the last BSLA workshop kicked off with a focus on libraries and development, Cameroon Vision 2035, and stakeholder relations. Access to information is a crucial issue here, affecting everything from compliance with copyright to free and fair elections. Should you allow students to copy an entire book, if they have no other way of accessing the information?
More library futurism - my one post in 30 days
As someone who no longer works in a library (but for libraries), I feel that I’ve had more space than ever in the last year to think about the future of libraries, removed from the daily grind of library work. Irony, much? This month, there’s been an absolute flurry of content by Australian library bloggers who are completing a 30 blog posts in 30 days challenge. Not something I could contemplate with much of my June to be offline, but they’ve inspired me to post some of my thoughts after reading their posts.