23 things

This session explained how different libraries had experimented with the 23 things program originally created by Helene Blowers for the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County.

23 Coisas

Julio Anjos (INCITE, Portugal) had tried to get his fellow LIS stidents to participate in his 23 things program. He tried to get them to do all 23 things in 8 weeks which proved too short a time for most and assessed how much they could remember and still used after the program finished. 23 things was originally written in English ,using tools in English. Finding portuguese equivalents wasn’t always easy.

23 Saker

Harriet Aagaard (Stockholm Public library, Sweden) talked about their 23 things program aimed at all front line staff. Lessons learnt included:

  • Learners did better when there was someone around to encourage and advise
  • 23 things is a lot.  Choosing 10 or 20 may work better.
  • Awareness was raised in all staff not just those participating in the program as it was talked about.
  • More people did the earlier tasks. Participation dropped off.

Unfortunately this is where I had to catch my train….


October 24, 2008 at 8:03 pm Leave a comment

Collaborating for Information literacy

Angela Repanovici (Transilvania University, Romania) and Ane Landoy ( Bergen University, Norway) explained how they worked together to create an online information literacy tutorial that worked for both universities. The Bergen version of the tutorial is freely available on the university website

October 24, 2008 at 7:27 pm Leave a comment

Lingnan University using You tube

On day two I flowed with the information literacy stream….

Tommy Yeung from Lingnan University in Hong Kong explained how when they put their orientation video on the library website they recieved a disappointing number of hits and how this led them to experiment with You Tube. You Tube was chosen because it was already familiar to university staff and students, it provided viewing figures, ratings and the opportunity for users to provide feedback. Over 100 people viewed the video in the first week.

The success of this initiative, lead the library to think about it’s collection of videoed lectures from visiting speakers. Rather than put an hour long lecture on You Tube they copied the first 3 minutes of 19 lectures and placed these on you tube with a link to the full lecture stored on the University website. This time they didn’t advertise these, but people did discover them and the viewing of the full lectures on the library website went up significantly. This is a good example of taking the library service to where the users are.

The next initiative is to create short instructional videos to answer FAQs such as how to use the printers and photocopiers in the library. This reminded me of the instructional video from Physics that we were shown as part of the web 2.0 course this summer.

October 24, 2008 at 6:36 pm Leave a comment

Creating and funding new initiatives

This was two talks in one. The first by Terence Huwe from the  University of California who spoke about  2 community sites. The IRLE eScholarship Repository that used the METS metadata schema to produce a really nice repository where a thumbnail of the document sat side by side with bibliographic metadata and The Living New Deal Project, which involved interested local people and retired academics to help create the site.

The second talk was by Matie van Deventer (CSIR South Africa) and Heila Piennaar (University of Pretoria) who were very enthusiastic about creating a virtual research environment for researchers working on Malaria. To get money for this project, they created a demonstrator system that was close to what they wanted using free open source software so that management could see what they might be buying.

Mentioned was HUBZERO, an open source VRE from Purdue University, that can be customised to meet diffent researchers needs.

October 24, 2008 at 6:07 pm Leave a comment

Return on library technology investment

Ken Chad worked on a recent JISC study looking at the Library Management Systems (LMS) landscape in the UK with particular reference to higher education (HE) and it was this that he discussed. JISC have summarised his findings  much better than I can do justice to.

JISC LMS report.

October 24, 2008 at 5:47 pm Leave a comment

Preservation for the next generation

This was a lively talk by Marieke Guy from the JISC PoWR project and she has posted the slides on the project website. She spoke about preserving an organisation web pages as a resource for the future.  Unlike books there is only one copy of a web page, so delete this and it is gone forever. PoWR have produced a handbook of best practice. Their case study at the University of Bath was written up as an article in Ariadne.

October 22, 2008 at 1:49 pm 1 comment

Search Tips

Karen Blakeman discussed the comings and goings of various web search features of the major and not so major search engines. The sort of thing she regularly blogs about (see Karen Blakeman’s blog). She mentioned that Google finance was much improved and now rivals Yahoo finance and recommended trying new MSE360 and Silobreaker or search visualization tools such as Quintura, all + and Cluuz.

screenshot of MSE 360

screenshot of MSE 360

She then moved on to search tips.

  • Search engines will search for all the words in the search box unless told otherwise.
  • MSE360 and Exalead still allow boolean searching.
  • Using the site: command is helpful for large sites that are hard to navigate.
  • Change the order you enter keywords to get a different set of results
  • Use more than one search engine. Google, MSN live search and Yahoo will all give you a different set of results. Firefox add on, Customise Google, allows you to re-run a Google search in Yahoo
  • State file format. PDF for documents and PPT for slides. Conference slides can sometimes be found on slideshare and authorstream Conference proceedings are sometimes placed on YouTube.
  • You can year range search on Google which auto truncates all search terms.
  • MSN Live, while more consumer orientated can be more up to date than Google.
  • Yahoo indexes the first 500K words of a document compared to Google’s 10k.
  • Mentioned metasearch engines zuula and intelways.
  • For news search try silobreaker and chipwrapper which trawls 15 UK sites. Google news is only the last 30 days so for older news you need to search the archive.
  • If you want to know what bloggers and twitterers are saying about your organisation, check out blogsearch, blogpulse, twitterment or tweetscan.
  • If you want to find people try pipl. if you want a profile of them try zoominfo, but be warned all the info may not be accurate.
  • According to Karen there are lots of facebook suicides and people are moving to linkedin.
  • Remember you can always use Google custom search to create a search that is right for you.
  • For old versions of web pages try the internet archive ‘wayback machine’.

The slides should appear on slides share soon.

October 22, 2008 at 1:23 pm Leave a comment

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