Latest entries

Nov
17

#exploreyourarchives - United Kingdom archives promotion

Last week there was a lovely promotion about archives in the UK, called #exploreyourarchives.

As you can tell with the hashtag they made great use of social media. There was excellent cooperation between different archives. There are also some very good examples of the use of Storify.


You can find out more here from the National Archives and the collaborative site

 

Nov
4

Parkes Library is ready for International Games Day

At Parkes Library, we've always been interested in bringing games and play to the community. For us, libraries have never just been about shelves; they're a place where people come for learning, entertainment, and adventure on their own terms. In 2014, we decided to celebrate this by sharing a free tabletop game with libraries around the world. It's out this month, in time for International Games Day @ Your Library on 15th November.

 In previous years, we've pushed the boundaries of librarianship to include messy play with paints and puddingssteampunk time travel, and live action zombie roleplay in the spooky setting of a rural showground. This October, we had the opportunity to create Australia's first Fun Palace, connecting to an international network of public spaces offering people the chance to explore art and science.

 Our Fun Palace featured a range of activities, including many designed by local kids and teens. Our play consultant Matt Finch had spotted an article in the "Dungeons and Dragons" magazine Gygax,written by author, journalist, and activist Cory Doctorow. He adapted the article to create an all-ages game that could be played anywhere, using paper superhero characters, Lego bricks for health points, a few dice and a tape measure.

 We approached Cory Doctorow and Gygax Magazine for permission to distribute our remixed game. They kindly added a Creative Commons Licence to the original article so that we could share our adaptation and give proper credit. The game was then featured on technology and culture site BoingBoing.

We serve a community of just 15000 people in Central West New South Wales, but we wanted to show that with a bright idea and a bit of tenacity, even the very smallest libraries can create activities and resources with huge potential impact.

 You can download the Tabletop Superheroes game from our town's website for book lovers, Dog-Eared, www.dog-eared.me.

A guest post by Dr Matt Finch and Parkes Library Team 

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

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