VSL & NSWSL Presentations ( ... & other thoughts)

My feet are killing me tonight. After delivering two sessions today at the New South Wales State Library, I walked all over the Sydney harbor area taking a last look before my flight home tomorrow.

My visit to Australia has been indeed memorable. But what has made the visit especially wonderful has been the feeling that I’ve encountered several times on this trip as I met folks like Lynette, Denise, Christine & Kathryn in person for the first time. It’s hard to describe to the feeling; the best way I can is to say that it felt more like a reunion between old friends. And I guess in a way that’s one of the biggest benefits of all these web 2.0 technologies. Because of blogs and social networks, I already knew these individuals virtually. So when meeting them IRL there was already a foundation and familiarity that made it feel more like a home coming then an encounter with new acquaintance.

Anyways, enough on my visit. If you’re interested in my travels, you can check out my pics in Flickr. In the meantime, for those in attendance for my presentations during the last two days, here are my slides in pdf.

Victoria State Library, Melbourne

New South Wales State Library, Sydney

PS: Thanks All! Looking forward to seeing many of you at VALA.


20 Reasons ...

I’m doing a bit of catch-up tonight and am thrilled about the opportunity to meet Kathryn Greenhill this weekend and also see Michelle McLean again before we all speak at the Victoria State Library (along with Lynette Lewis & Denise McLarty, aka Australia's L2 Divas) on Monday.

In browsing through my feeds tonight, I came across Kathryn’s post 20 reasons why learning emerging techologies is part of every librarian’s job. Kathyrn offers up a great list of reasons for library professionals to keep on top of emerging trends. Among my favorite is #18 –Can’t predict the future, so need to experiment.

Be sure to take a look at the full post, it’s well worth the read and while you’re add it, why not add Kathyrn’s blog Librarians Matter to your RSS feeds? Just following her blog, helps you achieve numbers 1, 4, 15, 16 & 20. :)

Public Libraries – A Cultural Pearl Presentation

If I've learned anything so far during my visit down under it’s these two things:
  1. The Aussies are fabulous hosts
  2. Wireless access can be expensive (see proof)

Of course the first item more than makes up for the second. :)

Anyway, I’m half way through my trip and after spending the last few days in Merimbula on the Sapphire Coast with no wireless accesss, I’m actually staying tonight at hotel in Lakes Entrance that offers 24 hours of wireless access for only a mere $5 – yay! (Hmmm... perhaps I was wrong on item #2 after all. But I've yet to find free wifi anywhere like it is in the US -- Although I'm told public libraries here in Australia do!)

Anyway, for those in attendance yesterday for my talk at the New South Wales Public Libraries conference, here are my slides. Thanks for a wonderful conference and good conversation. I had a great time!

Library & Learning 2.0


Future of Libraries

DegreeTutor offers up a great set interviews on the Future of Librarians from a sampling of voices among the profession.

I have to be honest and tell you that with all that’s been going on lately, I had completely forgotten that they had talked with me too! -- I think it was only two months ago … uggh! I’m forgetting things too easily. Help!

Anyway, there are lot of great interviews to digest here, including Jessaynm West, Sarah Houghton-Jan, Michael Stephens, David Lee King, Nicole Engard, Meredith Farkas, Steven Bell and others.

My interview contribution can be found here. And my favorite question among the bunch is …

What are the greatest advantages of libraries today?

Libraries have great legacies as community gathering places, and as more and more information moves online, people are finding greater value in personal connections. Today's flourishing libraries are dramatically different from the libraries of even two decades ago. They are lively places of collaboration, conversation, education, leisure activities and even casual dining. As information repositories, libraries have easily been surpassed by the Internet, but as community learning hubs, libraries rock!

It’s true … Libraries Rock!!!

Still tracking web page views? Perhaps it’s time to think again …

The rise of ajax has changed the landscape of web statistics. No longer are web pages views the standard for tracking web traffic. With ajax, that allows pages to refresh content without reloading, Neilson is looking at a new standard to measure web site stats -- length of time spent on the site.

While this change may account for ajax, it doesn’t seem to do anything to address the rise and growing popularity of widgets. And as websites funnel and make available more distributed content upstream, I can’t help but think that even “length of time” might be short sited.

It’s hard to gauge what the future will bring, but in last decade we seen the standard change from “hits” (individual file loads) to page views to now, length of visit. As the websites become looser and more distributed in their content, I think it will be interesting to see how this measurement evolves and changes.

Nielsen Revises Its Gauge of Web Page Rankings


Bound by Law

I'll be honest, the issue of fair use and copyright is not one of those platforms I jump on top of very often. But in today's digital age, it's neat to see this topic being covered in creative ways.

Bound by Law is a online digital comic (you can also buy it on Amazon) by Keith Aoki, James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins which is available through Duke Law's Center for the Study of Public Domain.

The online version is available for free in many formats.

Could libraries be born today?

There's an interesting discussion over at Freakonomics today about public libraries which basically asks the question... 'if libraries didn't already exist, could you start one today?"

"But here’s the point I’m (finally) getting to: if there was no such thing today as the public library and someone like Bill Gates proposed to establish them in cities and towns across the U.S. (much like Andrew Carnegie once did), what would happen?

I am guessing there would be a huge pushback from book publishers. Given the current state of debate about intellectual property, can you imagine modern publishers being willing to sell one copy of a book and then have the owner let an unlimited number of strangers borrow it? "

And the discussion comments are even more interesting.

PS: Thanks John for sending this one my way. :)


Understanding 2.0 using 1.0

Wrapping up the conference in Tutzing last week, a participant asked a really good question… “What 1.0 tools (ie books) can you recommend to become familiar with 2.0?”

It was a great question and for those just becoming familiar or trying to catch up, books (Yes 1.0 tools, so to speak) can often provide the best depth and understanding about the shift (both culturally and informationally) that is taking place and thus are a great place to start.

When the question was asked at the end of the three day conference, the good news was that my colleagues sharing the platform with me at the front of the room had already named several among my top five and it wasn’t long before the four of us had the blackboard behind us filled up with titles in both English and in German - and still the audience was asking for more.

Anyway, here’s my list of at least the top four. The 5th place position is a toss up for me between Smart Mobs or Wikinomics.

  1. Cluetrain Manifesto
  2. The Long Tail
  3. Convergence Culture
  4. Everything is Miscellaneous
  5. Toss Up: Smart Mobs or Wikinomics.

I'm curious … what titles would you recommend for those looking for books to help understand the shift better? Would you agree with my list? Or is there something else that you’d recommend?


Shhh Happens

I've had ToonDoo on my "play" list for awhile now, but just haven't been creative enough to come up with something funny to illustrate. But today, I happened upon this little gem created by Poesy Galore (aka Emily Lloyd)


Emily, in fact, has a whole series of Self Check cartoons created on ToonDoo and a blog to support it too!


Tutzing, Berlin & Frankfurt Presentations

It's been an amazing week of conversations and good company. Each and everytime I spoke with either an individual or a group of German librarians, I walked away with not only a wonderful feeling that the world has indeed grown smaller, but also that the issues facing libraries are more global then ever.

It was such a pleasure to talk with librarians, teachers and journalists from all over the Germany in Tutzing, Berlin & Frankfurt, and while the speaking schedule that the American Counsulate set up seemed a bit packed at times, I've enjoyed my stay in throughly.

I finally was able to get FTP to work tonight from my hotel in Frankfurt. So for those of you that who wish to have a copy of my talk, please feel free to grab it.

Library 2.0: Transforming the Library through the Web (ppt)

Also a special thanks to Joerg, Patricia, Marianne, Renata, Nancy & Miriam for making my stay fantastic!

And for those fo you looking for a German version of Learning 2.0 (or are willing to help translate it) be sure to touch base with Patrick over at Bibliothek 2.0 und Mehr ... ( Patrick - u rock!)

UPDATE: A wiki has been setup for the German version of Learning 2.0. You can find it here.

Related link: America@your library



If I seem a bit absent around here for the greater part of the month of July, it’s for good reason…

  • July 5th Presentation & discussion: Web 2.0 - Library 2.0 – Learning 2.0, US Embassy in Berlin, Germany

  • July 6th Presentation & discussion, Library 2.0: Transforming the Library ( & other information agents*) through the Web, Frankfurt University Library, Frankfurt, Germany
  • July 24 – Workshop: 2.0: Libraries, Learning & the Web, New South Wales State Library Workshop, Sydney, Australia

It’s a real privilege to be speaking and representing PLCMC at an international level. But in looking ahead, I know I will be most happy to see the last part of the month come 'cause it's going to kill me to be away from David & the girls for so long. In the meantime, we've synchronized a Skype schedule so we can touch base daily. (thank goodness for Voip) And once I get back, I’ve assured them that I’ll be home for a long, lonng, lonnnnng time. ---->> I’ll have to be, cause I'll be out of vacation. :)

Anyway, if you happen to be among those attending any of these events, please be sure you stop me and say hello. The best thing about the social web is that it provides the ability to make acquaintances, connections and friends all over the globe. :)

* "information agents" - I love this term they use, don't you? It connects so wonderfully with the "change agent" badge I picked up at ALA. It kinda makes me feel like I need code name or something ... :)