Libraries, Web 2.0 and other internet stuff seminar at SLV

Its been a few weeks now, and I am very sorry for the delay, but wow what a day it was. I’ll let my notes speak of the content, but all the feedback coming in has been positive and one of my managers who attended has encouraged our managers to check out the presentations, which are being posted to the State Library of Victoria (SLV) website.

I didn’t take many photos, too busy taking notes instead, so you’ll just have to imagine a lovely cosy 200 seat theatrette, packed with interested public librarians (and many more who couldn’t get in!). Here goes!

“Library 2.0: Transforming the library through the web” – Helene Blowers

NewsWeek (putting the WE in the WEb) – User generated sites are rocking the internet – April 06. Not just libraries trying to figure out Web 2.0 and how these technologies are affecting how we connect with our users.
Time – Person of the Year – YOU! You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world. No longer need to know HTML, free services are available for people to collaborate and share.

“Web 2.0 generally refers to a second generation of services available on the WWW that lets people collaborate and share information online – Wikipedia.
flickr, youtube, digg, my space, delicious

The tools are not what is important, it’s the connections that they are making possible.

Michael Casey – Library 2.0 article (and book) its about user-centred change.

Web 2.0 isnt a thing… It’s a state of mind. (Helene’s own quote)

It’s about:
Cultivating communities: Darien Library – blogs – webspace is a community portal
Pikes Peak Library District – Ning network – created a social community for the library
Mint Hill Public Library – Stitch In blog. (part of PLCMC). Stitching group meets in the library, blog allows them to add photos, follow up on their meeting. (meet twice monthly)

Encouraging Participation: Allen County Public Library – Photo Survey – loaded onto Flickr – A Day in Allen County Indiana 2007 (using same tag)
Princeton Public Library – Book Lovers Wiki
Hennepin County Public Library – Book Space – based on Amazon model

Human conversations: Ann Arbor District Library – website built on open source CMS using blogs, so can have conversations with their community.
Parma Teens blog – speaking in first person to teens.

Collaboration: Loudoun County Public Library – Loudounpedia – add, share, contribute info about Loudoun County. Asking for suggestions and content.
Danbury Public Library – they are including user generated tags with their catalogue records (searchable)
Hennepin County Library – comments on the library catalogue
Thomas Ford Memorial Library – local history project – each photo and description was a blog post which people can comment on

Being in their space: The Loft @ ImaginOn (PLCMC) – teens created a MySpace account for them – teen webpage is not heavily used, but this space is – 1080 friends – who all get notified about their events etc. Great PR.
Crossett Library – Facebook profile.
Second Life – new space to look at what we may be able to do with public spaces – blog for Info Island

Small pieces loosely joined: Lander University – meebo chat widget
Hennepin County Public Library – widget for MySpace and website, to search their catalogue
Harris County Public Library – created a toolbar which users can install on their browser at home/work etc.

Shifting the focus: New Jersey Libraries – 3 reasons why you love your library (on YouTube)
PLCMC – Asked users to generate their own motivational posters using their own photos and a website which does this
Denver Library – YouTube contest for their teens – “How I have fun in my library”.

Letting go!: we are more valuable and powerful when we empower users, than when we try to control.

You: What can libraries do to continually keep up with the changes?
1. Player – become an information player – one actively involved especially in a competitive field or process
Take 15 minutes a day to play! Read blogs, literature, explore, scan the magazine racks, subscribe to just 5 blogs (LiB, TechCrunch, What i learned today, Wired, Learning 2.1). Tag “play items” in (use 15 minutes to explore these). Create a learning blog. Give yourself and others permission to PLAY! Its the Learning 2.0 way.

“Learning for the future: using the Learning 2.0 program at YPRL” – Lynette Lewis
Internet is a moving target – constantly changing environment, new tech is readily availalble, staff need to keep up, familiarise themselves and be comfortable using it.

Learning 2.0 program – started with a roadshow taken around the region, blogs, mp3 files Google tools, wikis, podcasting, federated searching (LibLink).

Online learning program, designed to help staff explore Web 2.0, self paced, hands on discovery exercises, based on concept of lifelong learning, encourages exploration through play.

Developed by Helene Blowers at PLCMC, over 300 participants, now being used worldwide, licenced under Creative Commons.

Program – YPRL experience – 12 weeks, staff were encouraged to partake in 23 things (9 week program with 3 week catchup).
Allow for late bloomers (start at week 9!) Exercises set out on a blog, which guide staff. Most exercises include a podcasts, you have to set up a blog and use it as an online workbook to comment on each of the 23 exercises. (Lynette demoed how it worked).

YPRL added some extra content relevant to Australian libraries.

Learn about blogs, flickr, RSS, mashups, rollyo, wikis, podcasts, technorati,, image generators

Advantages – self paced, do as much or as little as you want, added links allowed the participants to explore further if they wish, it’s not restricted by a timetable or venue.

It can be accessed anytime, anywhere, via an internet connection.

Evalution sent to each participant. Questions included; initial reaction, most challenging part, most fun part, possible improvements, ways these tools could be used in the library.

How they could be used: Reference service (IM), wikis as staff manuals, RSS feeds and mashups to clients, podcasts of activities, podcast library tours, blogs as promotional tools, blogs as publishing tools, public classes on Web 2.0 technologies. Showed visual presentation – reflection of their achievements.

Running classes on Library Thing, blogging and Second Life.

ME NEXT! – Kathryn blogged me.


“SLV: Thinking it through” – Kelly Gardiner
Thinking about how to apply Web 2.0 principles to SLV. Its not just a blog. Dynamic dlievery of content and services. Fluid data that mix and flows where its needed. Networks of service and light-weight applications that grab content and data and deliver it to users fast. Adapts to users’s workflows, rather than forcing them to work around system constraints. It Really Is A Web!

Our systems are making our users jump from one system to another (ie. website to catalogue etc). Web 2.0 tools allow them to do it where they are.

Why does it matter? Its not just fun, its important! Find a problem to solve for your users and then finding a solution online. Its becoming large in terms of the industry and unavoidable in terms of our industry. Its changing our users expectations of the internet, of computers and of libraries. Need to live up to the expectations of Google. (see slide – its awesome). Example: dynamic search. Assumption – users want to constantly refine searches. Our task – help them to do that. What about expanding, exploring, discovery. Use our data to offer broader possibilities: facets and clustered results, suggested searches, other users’ recommendations, serve results in unexpected or useful places (widgets), offer results in unified discovery. eg. World Cat refine your search column. LibraryLabs from NLA – find in your library, related searches, topics by year, ISBN related book covers. book cover colour, characters, age search options.

Web 2.0 is about our users, not us. Understand our users’ tasks – find, analyse, annotate, publish, comment, cite, learn, organise, visit, collect/copy, collaborate, teach, share, explore, register, read, describe/review, organise, compare, enjoy.

SLV online – last redeveloped 2004 and expanded largely since. Catalogues, databases and applications are separate. Vicnet portal redevelopment underway. Legacy sites include “A place called Victoria” and “Victorians at War”. User focussed sites “Inside a dog” “Your treasures”. New sites – “Mirror of the world” “Learning zone”. Around 3 million users per year and rising rapidly. Well organised but bursting and expectations have changed.

SLV principles – consistently describe info and objects, view and present our many info repositories as a single source, provide users with many windows into relevant info and opportunities to contribute and interact, deliver online services and content dynamically.

Deliverables: network of content gateways,serivce oriented architecture backend, redesigned presentation layer, user testing, consistent user experience, user generated content, federated search, consistent taxonomy, accessible and reusable content with associated metadata, expanding suite fo easily deployed tools and applications.

Summary: how to keep current content, match our users tasks, make data accessible to be reused by others.

SLV slideshow widget – serves rotating images on Google homepage, depending on users specs.
Flickr account – not sure of implications (john328) – most images are nothing to do with State Library, user tagged
Your Treasure – tags and comments enabled
Wynlearn – RSS feed and Google Maps
Inside a dog – almost entirely user generated content, has downloads – interviews, screensavers, pdfs etc.
Tour of new acquisitions, presents cover images, click on them to go to catalogue covers

Structure: SLV Gateway, books and ideas,our community, learning zone, place called victoria, family history, research and resources (not finalised)

Share your thoughts, ideas, concerns etc. Launching things bit by bit.

“Virtual Libraries, real librarians” – Kathryn Greenhill
Cybrary City 2 – Murdoch University Library – Discovering your Second Life space. Resource which has an implication for Information services.

What is Second Life – webpage for Second Life, run in San Francisco (Linden Labs). “3D online digital world, imagined, created and owned by its residents.”
MUVE – Multi User Virtual Environment. Each island is a server, uses avatars, has buildings, can interact with objects.

Access – free! Freebie stores give away hairdos, clothes etc. There are system specifications – video card is of particular importance. Family name, first name. Choose family name from drop-down list, choose your own first name. Download client software to your PC, not accessed on the internet. Open software which connects to the Second Life servers.

Isn’t it just a game? Yes, graphic user controlled interface, avatars, inventory, interact with environment and others
No, no rules, no points, no strategy, no win/lose, no start and end.

Who is in Second Life? 8 million registered. 33k online at once. Individuals, organisation, companies, educators, Australian (RMIT, Film, Radio and Television school, Big Pond, ABC)

What can you do in Second Life? Avatars: talk (chat and IM), modify, move (walk, fly, swim, animate)
Objects: build, upload, buy-sell-trade, animate, script (can open external websites)
Environment: streamed media, join groups and networks, attend events

What do librarians do there?
InfoIsland has 6000 visitors a day. Information – Has reference desk with Questionpoint software. Open 56 hours per week. Outreach programs – writer’s talk, visits from historical figures, book discussions. Collections – external links, web tools accessed within SL, items especially made for SL (aetheric novels and collections) – can also link to the electronic book (Ebsco is doing database trials in SL) Classes and Seminar – for librarians, for everyone, using SL tools, getting your avatar together.

April 2006 started as shopfront. July 2007 over photo islands. One island per server. 16 acres in size. Non-profit $837 and then maintenance fee. Sirsi-Dynix sponsors the Alliance Library System and teen Eye4You. Talis as well as other private sponsors. Alliance Library System – 260 libraries in Illinois. They coordinate the library presence in SL. Eye4You is administered by PLCMC. Library Services – some paid librarians and a lot of voluteers. Problem with burnout.

8 story reference library with dance club on roof for librarians. Hanuted house for Gothic literature. Genealogy room, Script library. World Bridges – educational podcasts are streamed there. Science Fiction portal. Imagination Island – including Rachelville “a magical place with displays and environments relating to children’s literature”.

Ten ways you can join in. Play! Attend a class. (virtual world librarianship course). Run a class. YouTube video. Join the Google Group and read the blog. Take a tour. Volunteer on the reference desk. Use the Australian Libraries building. Dance with librarians. Every second Saturday 12 noon AEST. Bell Library, Information Island. Run a group. Create your own branch. Kathryn then took us on a tour!

“Libraries Building Communities Demonstration Project recipients” – John Cain
Library Board published the LBC report in 2005 – how public libraries make vital contributions to their communities. Also identified gaps and challenges in meeting their vital roles in their communities. Funding allocated to support these initiatives over the next three years. Demo projects – InfoSkills (murray), Wyndham Portal, Hume Global Learning Village Learning Advocates, Goulburn Valley – Koori project. Many applications this year, ranging from $31, 000 to $120,000. Ranging from LOTE, local history, pre-schoolers, teens programs. Winners 2007 – Libraries Demonstration Projects: East Gippsland – Building on the Bookie. $81,900 to utilise a ute to provide new services to remote users – meeting needs of non-traditional users – kicking off in September this year. Test new ways of serving their users. Moreland City, YPRL and Darebin – Wikinorthia – $50,000 to use a wiki to gather the stories and images of the residents in these areas. WMRLC – Cruise and access to skills for young people – $60,000 to develop a program for teens – cruising VCE, cruising life and cruising virtual life, in collaboration with youth agencies in these areas.

“Virtual Gateway, real challenge” – Kerri Sidorow and Tom Edwards
Wynlearn – brings together info about local learning opportunities. Increase awareness of and participation in life-long learning. Planning for combined libraries/communities centres in the next 10 years in Wyndham Vale, Tarneit and Pt Cook. Objectives for the portal: single focal point for libraries and learning, increase awareness of and accessibility to learning opportunities, increase participation in these, facilitate connectedness amongst partners, invite community dialogue about learning in Wyndham.
Partners: Library Board, Wyndham Education Committee, Vicnet, Community Centres, Volunteers Network, Wyndham Connected, Council and Library Service.

Portal was built from the ground up. Working with education providers to build the database on which the portal would be based. Included maps, accessibility issues, thesaurus for course descriptions. (inspiration: Short Courses Victoria, EDNA, Hotcourses (UK)).

Course providers input their course info and teachers set up forums for their students. VICNET did the training. Portal created so that bookings can be taken online and so that data can be exported for reporting requirements. Look and feel to promote community goals. Use mouseovers to give a more detailed description of links. Find learning can do keyword search, provider, time of day search. Result tells you course details and includes a Google Map of the location. For those who have transport difficulties, they can access courses by geography.

Engage in learning provides a forum to feedback. Not much takeup at present. RSS feeds for news and announcements on the site. You can register your interest in an event, or if there is nothing, you can set up a profile and when a course that matches your profile, you are notified.

Portal uses personalisation – saved searches and tailored RSS news content (using Yahoo Pipes), forum (social software) and content syndication (alerts).
Portal launched in May. 81 registered users who register interest in events. 75 hits per day. Traffic coming from Wyndham Council, Libraries, Vicnet and Victoria’s Virtual Libraries website.

Challenges- to be able to develop it in a way which is developable and sustaininable – expand to schools and universities
to develop documentation on what the purpose of the site is (not for events like community markets)
to keep it current
to keep it progressing to meet user needs and new functionality

“Darebin Historical Encyclopedia: an online local history resource” – Katrina Knox and Jackie Goddard
More than a simple catalogue/database
Over 8000 entries – info from original source amteirals, photos, newspapers, articles and other documents
24/7 access

Darebin Libraries has a strong commitment to local/family history study
Provide public access to a wide range of materials in one place
Access with preservation
Capacity for ongoing development
Allow for community interaction and participation

Developing: review of comparable projects, development of project plan – scope and content, funding, potential users, design format and functionality, contracted out the development of the public interface and site administration.

Content developed by library staff – researched topics, scanned images (shelvers did), brought the research and images together in individual entries. Scoped project in 2004,launched in April 2006. Jackie did a live demo of the site. People have seen articles on the website and offered their own images for inclusion. It covers people, places and events and links to websites and pdfs of records eg. Northcote Cemetery list. Images are shown in small size, but can be clicked to open larger in a new window. Includes digitised newspapers and Northcote First World War database – taken from the original enrolment cards, oral history transcripts (interviews taken in 1970s – not the actual audio yet).

Challenges and lessons: larger than envisaged – revisit the scope, redesigned the structure, extend the delivery timeframe; information technology issues – IT plan was required within the project plan; allocation of time and resources – being done whilst doing other work, so took longer. What to include: driven by patron queries and staff interest and availability of maerials. Visual look, design and ease of navigation are critical – extensive usability done especially with older people who are key users.

Achievements: accessibility with preservation, reference tool for students, public and researchers, staff; increased awareness of local history; positive reaction from both the local community and beyond. Received questions and contributions from locals and beyond. Further developed Darebin’s community connections. Well received at Council. Commendation in Victorian Community History Awards 2007.

Ongoing development: new topics and updating existing entries (now up to 800), customer feedback and involvement. Refinement of site structure and design. Second stage planned for 2008 – increased interactivity and community through wikis, blogs, podcasts and e-postcards.

“ImaginOn” – Helene Blowers
Partnership with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte – first collaborated a quarter century ago. Each organisation has their own staff, but also shared staff working for total organisation. Both organisations work under the same mission, vision and core values. Staff has to be creative – Library Manager hires creativity. The library is about delivering experiences, not services. Some of the labs in the loft are used for dance classes as well as computer related activities. Upcoming generation is creating content, mashups etc. Studio i – students create stop animation, which then are displayed through screens throughout the library. Also have low tech stuff – dolls houses, building blocks, nooks and crannies to explore. Helene’s daughters love to go to ImaginOn for the experience – one of their favourite places – don’t really use it to borrow books. Check out their Flickr account. Use it as a focal point for community festivals in an arts area. Word Play Saturday – street festival at end of October. Exhibits.


    • Kathryn Greenhill on August 14, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Nice summary.

    I feel guilty now…well not so bad becuase it took you this long…but I can see it will take me longer to post my notes from your session. Will fish them out. If I don’t do it in the next two weeks, then make a post headed “Kathryn still hasn’t blogged me”. πŸ™‚

    • Stephen Barnett on September 26, 2007 at 4:54 am

    Where can locate”Libraries, Web 2.0 and other internet stuff seminar at SLV “
    at a quick glance I could not find them!

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