Wednesday, 25 February 2009

The Library Web Site of the Future
This makes interesting reading with regard to the value (particularly as perceived by students) of library websites as portals to get valuable information.

Perhaps we need to turn it on it's head:
"pioneering libraries distribute the content across the institution’s network and beyond. They are putting the links where faculty and students can find them easily. It changes the library website paradigm from “you must visit our portal” to “we’ll be where you are.”"

so with regard to marketing the science portal - perhaps we should change our thinking a little....

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Law librarians want schools to stop publishing in print

On 7 November 2008, the directors of the law libraries at ten highly regarded U.S. law schools met in Durham, North Carolina at the Duke Law School. That meeting resulted in the "Durham Statement on Open Access to Legal Scholarship," which calls for all law schools to stop publishing their journals in print format and to rely instead on electronic publication coupled with a commitment to keep the electronic versions available in stable, open, digital formats.

Particularly now, with growing financial pressures on law school budgets, ending print publication of law journals deserves serious consideration. Very few law journals receive enough in subscription income and royalties to cover their costs of operation. The Statement anticipates both that the costs for printing and mailing can be eliminated, and that law libraries can reduce their costs for subscribing to, processing, and preserving print journals. There are additional benefits in improving access to journals that are not now published in open access formats and in reducing paper consumption.

Each of the directors who signed the Statement agreed to take it to the dean of their school for discussion and signature. It has also been signed by the chief information officers at top U.S. law schools. The Statement is being posted and publicized in hopes that more signatures can be gathered and that all law schools will begin to moving toward accomplishing its goals.


Thursday, 19 February 2009


M-Libraries conference banner

We are pleased to invite you to register for the 2nd International M-Libraries Conference 2009.

This conference aims to explore and share work carried out in libraries around the world to deliver services and resources to users 'on the move’ via a growing range of mobile and hand-held devices. The conference will bring together researchers, technical developers and library and educational practitioners to exchange experience and expertise in this dynamic service area.

The m-Libraries Conference features more than 30 international speakers and social events for an affordable early bird rate of $375 (Canadian dollars) if registered by May 15, 2009.

Our featured speakers include:
  • SIR JOHN DANIEL – President and CEO, Commonwealth of Learning
  • LORCAN DEMPSEY – Vice-President and Chief Strategist, OCLC
  • KEN BANKS – Founder of
  • CARIE PAGE – EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative Program Coordinator

June 22 is an optional pre-conference workshop day, followed on June 23-24 by a full program of keynotes, sessions, activities and social events.

To view the conference program and to register visit:
Space is limited so register early!

The conference is being held on the beautiful University of British Columbia campus, situated on the edge of oceans and forests in Vancouver, BC. Vancouver is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and is the host city for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Take advantage of this natural locale by participating in our ‘be mobile’ series of outdoor and cultural tours and activities.

A number of accommodation choices are available on the UBC campus starting at the very affordable rate of $49 per night.
For more information please visit the website or contact Maeliosa Griffin at

On behalf of the International Organizing Committee, we look forward to seeing you in Vancouver for M-Libraries 2009.
Nicky Whitsed, Open University
Leonora Crema, University of British Columbia Library
Conference Co-Chairs

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Who's messing with Wikipedia?

This diagram summarises the editing activity on the wikipedia page about Global Warming. I produced it by running the entry through an intriguing new web service described by Technology Review.

"Despite warnings from many high-school teachers and college professors, Wikipedia is one of the most-visited websites in the world (not to mention the biggest encyclopedia ever created). But even as Wikipedia's popularity has grown, so has the debate over its trustworthiness. One of the most serious concerns remains the fact that its articles are written and edited by a hidden army of people with unknown interests and biases.

Ed Chi, a senior research scientist for augmented social cognition at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), and his colleagues have now created a tool, called WikiDashboard, that aims to reveal much of the normally hidden back-and-forth behind Wikipedia's most controversial pages in order to help readers judge for themselves how suspect its contents might be.

Wikipedia already has procedures in place designed to alert readers to potential problems with an entry. For example, one of Wikipedia's volunteer editors can review an article and tag it as 'controversial' or warn that it 'needs sources.' But in practice, Chi says, relatively few articles actually receive these tags. WikiDashboard instead offers a snapshot of the edits and re-edits, as well as the arguments and counterarguments that went into building each of Wikipedia's many million pages."

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

What Talis did next

Talis, the UK market leader in providing academic and public library solutions, and LibLime, the leader in open solutions for libraries, are pleased to announce a partnership to make available over five million bibliographic records to the library community on the ‡ platform.

‡ is LibLime's free browser-based cataloguing service with a data store containing over thirty-million records. The database is maintained by ‡ and uses a similar model to Wikipedia. Cataloguers can use and contribute to the database without restrictions because records in ‡ are freely-licensed under the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication and License (

Talis is providing data from the Talis Union Catalogue; the open shared core of records from the Talis Base service, to ‡, including over 5 million bibliographic records, catalogued by public and academic libraries in the UK over the last 30 years. The Talis Union Catalogue is a treasure trove of rare, old and out-of-print items which will complement the existing ‡ database. The sharing principles of Talis Base, established over the years, are now being supplemented by reciprocal sharing with other open sources such as ‡

Interesting development. It highlights one of the strategic issues facing libraries from now on. What's best done at the local level? And what's best done at the network level?


Yale showing how it's done? found these from a prompt in the TRIP blog - they're pretty impressive.
Particularly liked the "5 things about the Medical Library" - the picture of the librarian holding a PDA is something I think we could all aspire to.