Library Camp Australia – Melbourne 2012

After a week chock full of wonderful conference joy at VALA, it was a further joy and a bit of a relief to be able to attend Library Camp Australia 2012, at the Unversity of Melbourne on February 12th. Here are my assorted notes from the course of the day.

 1st session – Jason Griffey – GADGETS

 165,000 attended the new consumer electronics show in Las Vegas in January. One of the large company booths at this is more than ½ the size of the exhibition space at ALA. Awesome that librarians are attending these conventions.

One laptop per child – equivalent XO tablet – runs Sugar Linux or Android – supposed to cost under $100. Sugar is designed to show you how to program as you use it. Designed to be used in disadvantaged areas, so has a hand crank, solar power connection and much more. Uses mesh networking.

Parrot AR Drone, which includes a video camera. Low battery power (about 15 mins), but battery power is improving. Expensive versions have GPS and are programmable, have sensors which do obstacle avoidance. The military ones can have recharge themselves by attaching to powerlines.

Lytro digital camera – $300. No controls. Lens looks like a flies eye – lots of facets. A picture takes multiple everything all at once. The computer does all the work afterwards. You can’t be a bad photographer with this camera. (plenoptic lens). People have used these to create video – but takes a hugh amount of computing power to do this. Makes imaging of pages easier.

 Nest smart thermostat. Created by an ex-Apple engineer. Whole front is touch screen and dial is controller. The aim is to never have to use them. Sensors pick up when there is people in the house. You adjust for the first few days and then it learns. Has wifi, so can control it from elsewhere.

Local studies

NZ has Keta. Want to get people to create their own data. Partnerships need to be developed to ensure the library is not alone in creating and curating it.

 How do we scrape the information that is already out there. Needs to have geocoding, hash tags and tags etc. Storify does it well, but you need to manually create. Pinterest is also being used for local studies – Smithsonian. Need to also accept that these tools may not be permanent, so we need to have it safe elsewhere. ABC Open is doing some great stuff and will do free staff training.

Libraries can do great leadership in using tagging, so content is at least findable. Part of digital literacy skills. But also about leaving things open so that other people can tag.

Create an exhibition, to demonstrate the potential to users. It gives them a framework and an inspiration. LibraryHack was good in that it had an ideas competition so that people who didn’t have the skills could participate.

Also important to highlight the different groups within the community. What are the different ways we can be collecting the stories.

We are all interested in simple permissions process – form. Just using ‘good enough’ technology. You don’t worry about lighting, sounds etc.

Cowbird – online tool for storytelling.

Today is tomorrow’s history. We need to keep that in mind.

Sydney public library creates a Flickr group for local festivals and collects photos from it – then sometimes gets permission to re-use.

New content should be released under Creative Commons licences. Also need to say when things are out of copyright and can be re-used.

NZ Public libraries – looked at what kids are doing at school and then engaging them with the library on local history connections. They then ran sessions on creating oral histories – aimed at connecting with the school work requirements – from a human point of view.

Australian National curriculum bringing about opportunities for libraries to engage with their local schools.

Library Camp 2012 Lightning Talks

 Ben – Embedded metadata in digital objects.

 What are libraries and museums doing? Not much. Librarians are committed to their end users and embedded metadata is an end user benefit. We are obsessed with our catalogue, but don’t add metadata to our digital objects. There is a whole stuff attached to the image when it is online, but need to make it downloadable with the object. Yes, its difficult and extremely challenging, but it is possible and it is invaluable. – tells you what metadata is in an image online.

Julia – Shameless self promotion.

 Don’t talk about ourselves enough in a positive light. Doing so brings you to amazing places. The thing to remember is to use your strengths – particularly make use of your PLN. Don’t hesitate, go for it, you never know what you will get out of it. Use your community and your interests. Find out more about what you want and then tweet, blog or write an article about it. You are worth the time and effort to do so. Above all, remember it is all up to you.

 Leonie – Money

 Public libraries often have great project ideas, bur not the money to do it. She won the Barrett Reid scholarship for studying young people spaces. Its worth putting in proposals to do a study tours, education courses or programs within your library. Great for PD. Also Churchill Scholarships, ALIA grants and awards, as well as grant applications. Your networks will help you to do the applications.

Amy – Amanda Palmer

 Knew Neil Gaiman was going to be in town, so emailed him and asked if he could come to the library. He said yes. Amanda Palmer emailed them to ask if she could perform at their library (they have a grand piano). Both artists blogged and posted etc about it and they were crammed to the rafters. The lesson – Ask. Its OK to try and fail. Social media was huge, particularly as they asked the artists only tweeted about the event just before it happened. It also helped to improve their social media followings, as those they promoted, promoted them back.

Sara – supporting education in combating social disadvantage.

Digital literacy is going to be big for libraries. To be digitally literate you have to have comprehension literacy and reading skills. Smith Family supports disadvantaged children in their education and a number of components in helping children to help each other improve their reading.

Jennifer – 3D printing

MakerBot 3D printing. You feed plastic through the top and layer by layer it makes up a shape, using glue guns. You can find plans on the web or make your own. You can make just about anything that can be made in plastic. Limit to 10x10x10 centimetres, although you can print in parts. You can also print in multiple colours. Built by engineers. Public libraries can have a role in this. Can get a demo at her library.

Carolyn – Innovation

Tom Peters has a series of videos on innovation on YouTube. Innovation is risky, but risk is not bad. Quite often it is good. It should not be avoided. You should identify it and then work out how to manage it. Innovation can be hard to recognise – its not always gadgets. The companies that we think of as innovative, don’t talk about being innovative. Their goals are focused and innovation is part of the toolset that helps them to achieve that. Innovation shouldn’t be a goal.

You can also check out summary notes on the Library Camp Oz blog ( and tweets on the Library Camp Oz Twitter feed (!/LibCampOz).