Latest entries

Oct
7

Roly Keating Keynote Speaker at ALIA National

The first morning of the ALIA National Conference started with keynote speaker Roly Keating, from the British Library, who spoke of the challenges that the Library faced as it adapted to the digital age. Roly is Chief Executive of the Library, moving from the BBC in 2012 where he was Director, Archive Content.

Although the collections cover the vast richness of not only British but indeed world history the British Library itself, as a national library, is a relatively young institution, having only been established in 1973 (by the British Library Act 1972). The Library was recently relocated to a new purpose built building in St Pancras, an unpopular move in some minds as this area is located in undesirable disused railway yards. However, as Roly pointed out using a Google Earth map – Google themselves are now taking up residence next door and so the neighbourhood is not as “bad” as it once may have seemed.

Roly gave an engaging talk about the many different roles that the British Library has in collecting, conserving and preserving materials and information. Firstly the Library has a pre-eminent place in preserving British history and in presenting Britain to the world. Whether this is through collaborating with scholars on a guide for young people for discovering British literature or the acquisition of a scrap of paper upon which John Lennon wrote the lyrics that Paul McCartney would appropriate to write “Penny Lane” or the plan to begin saving all sites with the .uk domain to preserve the “digital memory” of Britain, the idea is to showcase British history, life and culture to its people and the world.
He also spoke about partnerships with outside organisations such as Google to digitise collections, and the future potential of crowd sourcing and open source labs to open up collections and materials for future use. 
Roly also spoke about the need for library staff to evolve in the way that we work. We need to rapidly develop new skills.  We need to collaborate/connect/digitise and work together for deep, rich, interconnected archive.
https://twitter.com/justine_hyde/status/511667856665092096/photo/1 embed
For more insights on Roly’s talk see:
http://connectinglibrarian.com/2014/09/19/alia-biennial-conference-day-1/
http://ireadthisthing.wordpress.com/2014/09/22/alia-melbourne-2014-conference-report-the-british-library-in-a-globalised-world/

Roly gave an engaging talk about the many different roles that the British Library has in collecting, conserving and preserving materials and information. Firstly the Library has a pre-eminent place in preserving British history and in presenting Britain to the world. Whether this is through collaborating with scholars on a guide for young people for discovering British literature or the acquisition of a scrap of paper upon which John Lennon wrote the lyrics that Paul McCartney would appropriate to write “Penny Lane” or the plan to begin saving all sites with the .uk domain to preserve the “digital memory” of Britain, the idea is to showcase British history, life and culture to its people and the world.He also spoke about partnerships with outside organisations such as Google to digitise collections, and the future potential of crowd sourcing and open source labs to open up collections and materials for future use. Roly also spoke about the need for library staff to evolve in the way that we work. We need to rapidly develop new skills. We need to collaborate/connect/digitise and work together for deep, rich, interconnected archive.

For more insights on Roly’s talk see:

Andrea Curr

Oct
7

Health literacy and consumer health information at ALIA National

This year at the ALIA National Conference I was fortunate to be included in an interesting panel discussion on health literacy and consumer health information initiatives centred around collaboration. The panel was entitled Collaborating on Consumer Health: Recognising Public and Health Library Capabilities and featured speakers from across different library sectors in Australia and the UK – public, hospital, academic and NGO libraries.

The keynote for the session was Kate Arnold, President of the Special Libraries Association, and Information and Support Program Lead at Macmillan Cancer Support. Kate posed the question “What’s the future for health information?” and put forth evidence from several reports in the UK that supported the need for information in patient care as research had shown that enhances patients' experience of care but that patients need information that is often very different from what doctors think they need. Kate discussed the service model developed by Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan produce information in a variety of formats about cancer types, tests and treatments, and living with and after cancer and deliver their service through face-to-face information centres, the web and information points in public libraries.

Jan Richards (Manager, Central West Libraries) discussed the Books on Prescription project which aims to help people with common mental health disorders as well as their families, friends and employers. GPs and other health professionals prescribe books from a list of high quality, self-help manuals selected by experienced mental health practitioners. The prescribed books are available for loan from the 14 public library services (44 service points) across Central Western NSW.

The aim of the project is to provide resources which deliver reliable information regarding mental illness, promote good mental health and wellbeing, and help build resilience. This project is funded by a Library Council of New South Wales Library Development Grant and is being developed in partnership with The University of Newcastle Centre for Rural and Remote mental Health. 
Representing the State Library of NSW my contribution to the panel was to provide an overview of the drug info @ your library service. This service provides up to date information about alcohol and drugs on a dedicated website and through local public libraries in New South Wales. drug info @ your library is a joint initiative of NSW Health and the State Library of NSW.
http://www.druginfo.sl.nsw.gov.au
Daniel McDonald (Darling Downs Hospital & Health Service, Queensland) spoke about a public lecture series that the library is in the process of organising. This series will allow local and invited clinicians to share information on topics of interest with the local community.
http://www.darlingdowns.health.qld.gov.au/
Mary Simons (Clinical Librarian, Macquarie University Library) discussed the creation of a patient information website, for patients, carers and families accessing the Macquarie University Cancer Institute services. The goal is to bring the best freely available online information together in one place. There are plans to set up patient information kiosks to host the website in the hospital and clinic waiting rooms, and to link the website to the internet screens provided to each inpatient of the oncology ward.
http://libguides.mq.edu.au/MCILibGuide

The aim of the project is to provide resources which deliver reliable information regarding mental illness, promote good mental health and wellbeing, and help build resilience. This project is funded by a Library Council of New South Wales Library Development Grant and is being developed in partnership with The University of Newcastle Centre for Rural and Remote mental Health. 

Representing the State Library of NSW my contribution to the panel was to provide an overview of the drug info @ your library service. This service provides up to date information about alcohol and drugs on a dedicated website and through local public libraries in New South Wales. drug info @ your library is a joint initiative of NSW Health and the State Library of NSW.

Daniel McDonald (Darling Downs Hospital & Health Service, Queensland) spoke about a public lecture series that the library is in the process of organising. This series will allow local and invited clinicians to share information on topics of interest with the local community.

Mary Simons (Clinical Librarian, Macquarie University Library) discussed the creation of a patient information website, for patients, carers and families accessing the Macquarie University Cancer Institute services. The goal is to bring the best freely available online information together in one place. There are plans to set up patient information kiosks to host the website in the hospital and clinic waiting rooms, and to link the website to the internet screens provided to each inpatient of the oncology ward.

Andrea Curr

Sep
30

A thousand unexpected journeys - ALIA National Conference Student and New Graduates

A guest post from Hiba Kanj, National Convener - ALIA Students and New Graduates Group

Students and new graduates were not the only people in the crowds to kick off the first day of the ALIA Conference Student and New Graduates Stream on Tuesday 16 September 2014. Many of the sessions available throughout the day were so popular were so popular that anyone who arrived late only had standing room as all seats were occupied by keen attendees.

Prior to the session starting, we encouraged our attendees to think about their Library and Information Services profession and where they see it in 5 to 10 years time or what they liked most about our profession. We received varied responses and it was very inspiring to see positive messages about our profession. 

Some of the key messages participants took away from the day centered on exploring our expectations of our jobs/careers versus the professional reality of what we do. We discussed some of the following questions: do librarians really read on the job? Is technology the biggest concern for librarians who come into the profession? 

Utilising mentoring and extending on personal learning networks (PLN) was a prominent message that new graduates discussed as being important in the profession. New grads were encouraged to extend their PLN through Twitter, as it allows for the development of fantastic networks and allows them to grow into social relations with shared interests, ideas and values. This type of PLN is particularly useful for those studying regionally, abroad, have day-to-day work/life commitments or who are studying online.

Another significant point highlighted throughout the day was recognising as librarians working in broader community settings, we are essentially in the business of developing networks and building capacity in communities in which we work. We were challenged to ask ourselves, what are our skills? How can we apply them widely across a variety of sectors and areas? How can we extend our skills and challenge ourselves by volunteering or moving around, even overseas? The idea of recognising and developing interchangeable, transferrable skills and interpersonal skills is crucial if we are to make our experiences work for us as much as we are working for our profession.

So how can a student and new graduate use their leadership skills effectively everyday? Lee Bess and Michellle Coxsen summed this up nicely and this acted as a wonderful point of reference for new graduates navigating the library and information profession. Their 10-point plan successfully outlines achievable goals and attitude to do from home and work.


It was an absolute pleasure to co-chair this stream, meet the incredible speakers who worked hard to deliver excellent papers and the participants who came along and made this event spectacular with their contributions.

From librarians at bars, librarians in the remote Northern Territory across sectors, online learning and librarians travelling to Papua New Guinea and Vietnam, the stream had me thinking about leadership, PLNs, networking, building capacity in the community and looking at mentoring from a new perspective. This rewarding experience has encouraged me to get back to work enthused and inspired for the challenges ahead. 


Sep
26

Minecraft and using social media in an emergency

The ALIA National program had many interesting sessions for public libraries.

Rachel Cilauro from North Melbourne Library gave some helpful hints about how to run a Minecraft day.  Minecraft is a popular computer game, which people were playing in the library. Library staff ran a day long Minecraft session, and are including Minecraft in regular library programming. The paper and presentation will be available from this link soonBlock by block is a planning site which used Minecraft to plan and design for real world solutions.

For those interested in Minecraft, the British Museum, and its exhibits, is to be recreated in Minecraft - the Museum is working with the Minecraft community for this. Darien Library runs regular Minecraft programs, as well as hosting its own Minecraft server. Minecraft will be on the program for the coming Local studies working group meeting in Ashfield.

Patou Clerc spoke about From leisurely posts to urgent tweets : what can we learn from using social media in an emergency. During the 2013 fires in the Blue Mountains the library was a key source of accurate information, which they provided through social, mainly twitter and facebook, and they started collecting images of the fires through a Flickr group (and you can see other Flickr groups managed by the library).  

Image thanks to Paul Pech

You can see the Blue Mountains social media chanels via this link.  There were also some excellent examples of other uses of social media during emergencies, including and evaluation of the use of social media during Cyclone Yasi. The paper and presentation will be available from this link soon.

Marie Ostergaard also spoke about how Aarhus Library is exploring maker spaces.  The library is an open, free public space for cross generational connections.  It is a democratic space, and these ideas are part of how maker spaces are birng interpreted. Aarhus Library has been working with other public libraries in Denmark.  Known as Folkelab, there have been different kinds of maker events and programs (see the website for more information).    

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