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One New Thing
Tuesday, December 21, 2004
 
Well, it's that time of year again! Since I am away from work now until the New Year, I'll be taking a break from the blog too. Thanks for reading this year: it's been very exciting for me to know that there is an audience out there, just as interested in learning One New Thing as I am.

Have a great holiday, and I will be back in early January!

I'll leave you with my favourite Unshelved! strip for 2004. (We should all get one of those for ref desk...just in case.)

;)

Friday, December 17, 2004
 
One New Thing: I-wish-worked-there phenomenon.

Two pieces of news from LISnews: the first being an article in Library Journal, Library Buildings 2004 -- Great Libraries in the Making. Institutions that are building new libraries (or doing major refurbishing of existing libraries) are coming up with such fantastic ideas! The trends I have noticed in recent literature and local libraries include opening spaces to get more natural light, paying greater attention to the visual impression at the entrances to libraries, and wiring (or should that be wireless-ing?) for better access to technology. I’m glad that we are now hearing more and more about library spaces being designed specifically for their user groups; I think it demonstrates that the profession is highly committed to serving each community as best it can. I’ll bet every librarian reading this post is looking at the first library in this article and thinking, wow, I wish I could work there!, because although all the ideas are being used in other contexts in other service industries, it’s something groundbreakingly new for a library. (Teaser: there will be no circ desk!!)

This Friday link is something that caught my eye because it is another wonderful and beautiful way for libraries to draw the external community in. Barks of approval for literacy explains how Douglas County Libraries have a program where children have the opportunity to come into the libraries and read books – to dogs. The kids love the chance to entertain the dogs by reading to them, and the dogs never complain when someone gets words wrong, or goes too slowly, or reads the same book over and over and over again. The kids are improving their reading and speaking skills as well as seeing the library as a fun place to be. What a great idea!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004
 
One New Thing: How to rove.

Roving reference was being discussed on Libref-L over the past few days. The consensus seemed to be that roving is a great idea, as long as you aren’t pushing too much in people’s personal space. I agree with the person that said you don’t even need to walk around asking everyone if you can help – you can just go past and say, how are you going, or is that working ok for you? Or even just walk past and check the paper in the printer, as long as you don’t look too busy to be asked anything. I’ve found tidying things up works pretty well – walk around and straighten things, push in chairs, pick up the bits of scrap paper with call numbers on them – no one thinks you’re too busy to interrupt when you’re working hard at lining up the edges of the pamphlets!

Monday, December 13, 2004
 
One New Thing: IM / Email.

I realise this article sounds a bit too much like an advertisement, but I found that the gentleman from ICQ quoted in E-Mail And IM Get Closer is right in suggesting that email and IM can and should become more converged. Speaking from the point of view of someone who is used to talking to and working with people located in different geographical areas: email is what you use when the person you want isn’t online. I notice the article mentions instant email translation: imagine a world where you could IM someone who doesn’t speak your language and have instant conversations with them – now that would offer some amazing possibilities for collaboration! (I found the link to this article on TechnoBiblio.)

Friday, December 10, 2004
 
One New Thing: Library toolbar!

Librarian in Black pointed to this: the Jackson Library at Stanford Graduate School of Business has its own library toolbar. How fantastic an idea is this! We’re always thinking of the best way to place links to resources in places where students will learn to find them, or in places they are likely to use them, and a toolbar is a fantastic way to accomplish this. I’d like to download it to try it out but I don’t think it would work well for me (not being a student): however, it looks like you can search the library catalogue from the toolbar, link to lots of resources and services, and there’s a link straight to Ask a Librarian. Wow, I’d love one of these for my library! :) Even better would be if there was search functionality built in for databases as well as the catalogue (yes, that would require a bit of federated search technology) - and it would also be great to have it compatible with more than just IE.

Friday link: someone on NewGrad this week pointed to My Favourite Book, an Australian Top 100 list from the ABC (that’s Australian Broadcasting Corporation). It’s different to any other Top 100 book lists I’ve read lately – I'm not sure how they collected these titles, I was a bit surprised by number 16, but then I’m not a public librarian, so what would I know? :)

Thursday, December 09, 2004
 
One New Thing: Free Trade Agreement amendments to the Australian Copyright Act.

Just when you thought you were beginning to grasp copyright, The Free Trade Agreement results in amendments being made to the Copyright Act, mostly to bring it in line with the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the World Intellectual Property Organization Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT). You can read an overview of the changes in the Free Trade Agreement amendments - Information Sheet G85 from the Information Sheets of the Australian Copyright Council. We’ve probably all found out by now that the copyright term is, generally speaking, increasing, because works take longer to come into the public domain. Something I’ve just learned is that there are now sanctions against the use of devices that circumvent technological protection measures (TPMs), but apparently there are provisions for libraries and other institutions to use such devices for certain activities.

Thanks to those people leaving nice messages in my comments this week. And I hope all those who went to NLS in Adelaide had a fantastic time: I wish I could have been there! I’ll have to track down some papers and see what I missed - if you guys could just provide incriminating photos from the social events, that would be great. ;)

Sunday, December 05, 2004
 
Apologies for the lack of posts in recent days: I have some things happening that are going to make it hard to keep the blog updated. So please check back in a week or so when I should have more time.

Thanks for reading!