VALA2014 – Matt Finch – The Book of the World: crossing boundaries in culture and outreach

Was impressed by librarians response after Christchurchs quake. Librarians were engagin in the community.

Library activities for children and young people don't have to cost the earth and as libraries become hubs for all kinds of exciting media activity and they needn't always be bookish either. (quote from a forthcoming book)

Zombie event they have run - teens get attacked, but they are not alone, it is not digital. They are in the middle of a story where the end has not been determined. Was a great collaboration between a range of services as well as the locals.

Libraries have always done this because we are the portal for people to step into all the stories that have been created.

Libraries are a one stop shop to the universe.  Try to track down the script Book of theworld - unpublished Dr Who script from 2007 episode 6.01 by Lawrence Miles in 2007. Mustread.

Books in the library can take your mind anywhere in time and space.

Librarians are guides because we know the terrain better than our users, which makes us Time Lords. Not preachers converting or teachers who are preparing you for a career. He loves librarians because we offer inspiration - thinks our profession is heroic.

The shelves were supposed to be loaded with books, but were loaded with doors.

Author Connor Thomas wrote an article - a very quiet battle: librarians, publishers and the Pirate Bay. Worrying implications.  Matt boggled. Interviewed and debated him about this.  Chris _ if you have one or two central spaces for books and ideas in a city all the energy flows through those spaces and it has a catalysing effect.

There is a tension between outreach and control for libraries (image of the hub).
Talked about Cory Doctorow and his closed visit to SLV. Could have done events in the suburbs and beamed it back - made it more Makerspace.

British Museum did Hitchcock events in the area he came from. Awesome.

Tension is between prestige and outreach. How can we make a difference to the individual who can not get into the library? 

Unfortunately we have the tension of governance restrictions - eg. IT blocks, publicity. Can have external partners want to join us, eg. News type report of zombie run - see video on YouTube. (in Parkes)

Regardless of where you are born to, you deserve the best possible access to information.

Likes maker spaces because he hates 3D printers. Maker spaces can open the door to discussion. Libraries can become centres of creation and in getting content out there.

It's the little barriers that can change our future in a negative way. Need to be building relationships with local politics and local media. 

Go back and trade the hub for the periphery, solve the little problems and go out. Go into the communities which are most in need.

VALA 2014 – Concurrent Session 9 – Get creative

Tania Barry - learn to play and play to learn using public libraries for creativity and collaboration

Libraries as innovators With six focus areas: collections, spaces, staff, programs, technology and governance. Strategic direction.

All strands are under the direction of reading, learning and meeting. 

Obtained funding to create a Digital Hub and a Makerspace.

Digital hub program coming out of the NBN rollout. Their hub includes three banquettes for small group training and collaborative work space; collaborative work tools and a program of training.

The four topics were broken into six month streams. Currently in business sphere.  All the programs were popular and included topics that were requested by users via a survey.

Funding for 2.5 years, but first six months was establishing equipment, so they ran a bridging program of training.

Employed a full time trainer but needed to have more staff available, as backup and fill ins. Seven staff now fill that role and no sessions have had to be cancelled. Have exceeded the requirements for number and type of training sessions. This was on top of the programs that they were already running.

Public libraries have a strong role in supporting learning in our communities. So Tania did some of her own research and discovered there is no out of the box Makerspace for libraries that she could implement. Even the definitions vary.

Mill Park reinvented a space already in the library, with a combined focus of electronicand digital media. Tech included 3d printer, digital cameras, tablets, video editing andmore. Even without a dedicated space, you can utilise creative directions and make things available.

Geocaching - a treasure hunt using smartphones and GPSs. Have programs at Eltham and Watsonia. Eltham had preset caches for the community to join in. Watsonia ran workshops andclasses first before setting up the caches. Both gave chance for participants to learn about their local communities.

It was all done through grant funding, through creating and embedding partnerships and through staff professional development. Funding constraints are not necessarily a barrierto developing these sorts of innovations.

Why - complimentary to existing programs and vision and objectives, opportunity to enhance Mill Park, change library perception and build new partnerships.

Outcomes: Have created new spaces, more staff training and development, increased workplace pride,new programs developed, new partnerships, increased attendance  and loans and creative use of technology.

New devices are now available for public use as well as programs. Showcasing public libraries as innovative and forward thinking and strong advocacy for local councils.

Benefits anecdotally - big increase in collaborative and inter-generational learning, problem solving, knowledge learning and informal learning.

Need to understand your audience, ensure you have staff buy-in, recognise that programs continue to evolve, have own branding! have complementary links and challenge perceptions - take some risks.

VALA 2014 Plenary 3 – Gene Tan – National Library of Singapore – Singapore Memory Project

Got us to share favourite memories of Australia with each other to demonstrate the importance of memory.

This is what the Singapore Memory Project is about.

It started with a discussion of old playgrounds in Singapore. The library’s Facebook page got 100,000 hits in 24 hours.

The project is building a library of Singapore experience. It includes traditional library materials, but also singular contributions from the long tail.

(sidebar: According to Gene, our Prime Ministers look like movie stars – Had Jodie Foster for our first female prime minister and now have Hugo Weaving.)

The project looks at different perspectives on events over time. It’s not a linear collection, but a compilation. It seeks to find the complexity of each person and their experiences. It’s messy, but that’s what they want.

“This is the first time that somebody has shown interest in my treasured memories.” (participant in the project)

Students conducted interviews of seniors. “If I didn’t do this programme, I would just pass people on the street, without knowing the layers of their life or the layers of their stories.” (student quote)

Hands – Mothers Day campaign, took hand impressions and lovely literary pieces about mothers.

As Singapore is still young, they have an amazing opportunity to save their memories.

Every Singaporean has their own permanent Memory account where they can record anything about their life. They are also recording blogs and other content created both inside and outside the country and asking people to pledge their relevant content to the project.

Started publishing graphic novels of some of the memories recorded in the project. Also have merchandise, short films and more.

Next stage is the Collective Me. “Every citizen her book.” Aim to open a public library that will be a collection of books of every citizen. Wanted to take it outside the library, so are creating No place like home – the Singapore Memory public Library in the park 2016. It will have miniatures, digital experiences and more and will be refreshed regularly.

Libraries can be more than digital, it can be emotional and tactile. How can we make that happen?

Singapore Memory Project – giving the past a present.

VALA 2014 – Plenary 2 – Johann Bollen – Indiana University

Social media as an agent of socio-economic change – Johann Bollen – Indiana University.

Our world is not just physical but also subsists on a virtual array. World internet usage in 2012 – 7 billion people in the world, 2.4 billion online and it is growing – 35% of the world is online. Lowest is Africa, highest is North America.

Also amazing is the amount of content available. Johann likens the Internet to a brain, with the connections being the neural network. It’s not about government controlled broadcast, but about social collaboration and contact. 1 in 7 people are on Facebook, early the same on YouTube, 500 million on Twitter.

Social media is many to many, where people can generate their own content, establish social relations and collaboratively develop these. We have a tremendous amount of many to many interactivity happening. If you allow the masses to communicate openly, you will end up with an idiocracy?

This is a pessimistic view. Much of the world is being actively monitored by smart phones and twitter. Just goes to show there is no Loch Ness Monster, ghosts or UFOs……

People have been using twitter to monitor the world. Check out which monitors symptoms which could be a precursor to a health need.

Large groups collaborating online can be very beneficial. Haiti tweets helped to get emergency responses to where they were needed. Tweets followed the path of the Japanese earthquake.

“Wisdom of crowds” outlined why the many are smarter than the few. (Book). In who wants to be a millionaire, expert was right 65% but audience was right 91%. Vul and Pashler 2008, the guess within. Result was the average of the two guesses was more accurate than either of the two guesses. Galton’s fat ox estimate,found that with 800 guesses, the average of the estimates was within 1 % of the true value. Collective intelligence is widespread in the animal kingdom. Birds flock but there is no master. Ants always find the shortest route to food.

Need tools to study the very complex and one of those macroscopes is social media. We can examine this in more detail than ever before. Our macroscopes are network analysis, natural language processing and sentiment analysis.How do people feel about things that are happening. They have been able to analyse tweets using such tools, to judge the mood of the world at any given time or time period. As an application, they analysed tweets to make financial market predictions and correlated with the Dow. What they found is that the Dow had a correlation within three days. When people were anxious, the Dow went down a little three days later and when calm it went up three days later. Accurate about 85% of the time. These results have been confirmed by other studies.

Homiphily – is not contagion, but it is Birds of a feather flocking together. This was confirmed by research, they look for people of like moods on Twitter. Also did some research on twitter mentions and citations. Turned out there was a significant correlation. So get it out on Twitter! The total downloads and mentions are not as important as who mentions it. Media is the best source to get mentions resulting in successful citation.

VALA2014 – Concurrent Session 6 – Near Futures

USB Ubiquitous Superfast Broadband, the promises and perils of Australian libraries – Warren Cheetham – Townsville City Libraries (VALA Travel Scholar)

Warren suggested using the hashtag #NBN for twitter community.

There was lost of promise about what the NBN could bring to the home. Ads were showing demonstrating some of this promise, including video conferencing for health, large file sharing, music sharing across locations, virtual shopping etc. Would have done better to do reruns of the Jetsons.

One of their libraries was one of the first to roll-out with the NBN and life would all be wonderful. They could just grab stuff from elsewhere and make it work there. To find out what the stuff was, Warren visited 39 people in 23 organisations in 19 days at 5 locations. Talked to Co.Lab in Chattanooga – a think tank to help people make the most of the new fast speeds.

Unfortunately ‘it’ is not already built, which was a common expectation. It is up to us to build our future.

Changing political circumstances means that the situation is changing. NBN Co is rethinking what they are doing and it is likely that it will be 6 to 8 months before we see anything. US experience has shown that libraries need to have a place at the table and that we have to get ourselves there, involved in our government, talking with the telecommunications companies etc.

Partnerships are also important. And they can be with groups that are outside our comfort zone. Watch this site for Jon Gant’s research on this same subject -coming soon.

Urbana Free Library was considered the model by other libraries.  IN a very low socio economic area, with heavy reliance on library resources, particularly Internet. All libraries agreed that there will always be a digital divide and libraries would be the place to go for this access for many years to come.

In USA libraries and schools are the first to be connected, then homes. it is the opposite here. Interesting to see this difference in perspective.

Uni of Illinois has broadband everywhere, yet students still congregate in the library. The library as space is as important as ever. Students consistently used virtual services when the physical equivalents were close at hand.

Chattanooga Library – everything you read is true. They took a floor and filled it with presentations, workshops, dances, training. The content is in the people coming together, collaborating. You can get your hands dirty and do stuff. Where’s the broadband? Dance across the world – with performers both there and in other locations.

The technology will allow us to break down our geographic barriers and share around the world. We need to understand the telecommunication technologies, the politics and commerce, advocate and lobby for access, create and demonstrate our future.

Library of the future – Kiama library and the NBN – Michelle Hudson

64% of the community are members of their two libraries. Kiama only second as an NBN hub by 2 days – behind Townsville. In 2012 all computers and wifi were connected with 1000 hours in the first month.

Developed a digital hub, formed a partnership with Kiama Community College who provided group training. Also provided access to NBN technologies, Sound Domes and videoconferencing. Worked with ALIA and Public Libraries Australia. Digital Enterprise program provides training and facilities for small to medium businesses to help them to provide or improve business online. Digital Local Government program provided platforms and equipment for the community to engage with local government. People could login with their devices to join online Council programs.

Digital Hub program had an emphasis on NBN benefits in health, education, business and at home. Provided training for the community. This program was open to any organisation that served the community – as they had limited resources, the partnership with the college was logical and important. College ran the group training and the library the one on ones. Grant funding enabled them to provide equipment,eg video conferencing, sound chairs, mobile devices and employ staff to conduct training.

Skype now is amazing and instant, with everything working together as it should.

For the launch of the hub, they were hoping to connect to Townsville for a virtual story time, which didn’t happen due to Queensland weather. In the meantime, the story time went ahead with both a physical and a virtual audience who could interact. Needed special permissions for a digital story time, so as not to breach copyright. As it was live streamed so there were no copies and they used local authors reading their own stories. Also needed to be aware of lighting, sound and camera placement.

They worked with the Robot virtual guides at the Australian National Museum to provide virtual tours through the library. Had mental health consultations with Medicare via teleconferencing and some health consultations.

Kiama created a smart phone app of a walking tour of Kiama, working with the Powerhouse Museum, with historical photos,text and oral histories. Available for both Android and Apple.

Over 50% take up by their local residents of the NBN compared to 35% nationally.

Digital Hub program has finished, but they are still working with council on the Digital Local Government program.

Greg Rolan – Monash – Rolling out digital hubs in public libraries: the Mill Park story.

Presenting on research conducted in conjunction with YPRLS, investigating the impact of digital hubs on the role of the public library on local communities.

2008 – 26% of Australians did not use the internet. Mainly low socio economic, aged and CALD communities. 40 digital hubs as of 2014 – half of those in libraries. Mill Park was the first Victorian library to host a hub. This enabled them to buy equipment and employ a full time trainer.

Feedback was sought from Mill Park library users and South Morang residents. 80% were interested in learning more and in attending the library to do so. A range of topics were identified as being of interest. Training has been operating since early last year and has been particularly well taken up by seniors.

Research focused on the role of the library here. Had problems with getting a range of culturally diverse users, but still conducted a range of interviews with staff, users and stakeholders. One advantage of the library is that the library is a regularly used facility by the target audience for this program. The library has safety, longer opening hours and a reputation for trust.

Physical design for the Hub was important and it was designed to be open and non-threatening and not classroom like. The welcoming environment and sense of integration invites return visits and casual enquiries. Organisations embedded in communities act as a connectors with government and with other local community networks, providing social cohesion. The hub has also been a foundation for new digital initiatives, including a Makerspace which includes a 3D printer, robotics kits and more, in a partnership with LaTrobe University.

The inclusion of such programs has improved the vibrancy of the space and they have seen increased membership from program attendees. The most requested training topics has been Windows 8.

Digital hub program has increased user expectation of staff skills. Some staff have already feel stretched, but others have embraced it. In-service training has helped.

Funding end will likely see the end of the current program, although they are keen to continue with it.

VALA 2014 – Concurrent Session 3 – Cloud Gazing

Zan Li – First experience of implementing a cloud computing SaaS application – Melbourne Library Service

Challenges – more systems and equipment to support and more help needed by the public. Aim to resolve these enquiries in a timely manner, utilise resources better. Looking to manage this process with software. Collected requirements researched solutions and customised and configured the resulting solution.

Two user types set up – reporters and support staff. Those who record the problem and those who resolve and record the solution for discovery in the database by both support staff and end users.

New ticket requires requester, subject, status, type and priority, assignee, branch and category. These can be updated as the request is worked through. Trialled Zendesk for one month and received positive feedback from staff, so they took a subscription and support contract.

Launched in 2012 after staff training, but still took some time for staff to realise the benefits. Benefits are it is accessible from any device, it’s cost effective – if and when they exit, they just stop paying the subscription and there are no capital costs required up front. It can be scaled up or down depending on demand – Melbourne has added more users so has had to upscale. The system has a high up-time 99.871%. It has also been value-adding for IT staff, in that it works as a database for all staff on policy, solutions and more.

Pitfalls – heavy reliance on the internet, browser dependency – some new features of Zendesk don’t work on older versions, you can’t control the updates which seem to happen often, introduced features aren’t always best for them, and the every-present concern for security of data which resides outside the organisation – although the data is hosted locally and they have a good service level agreement and good security.

When using the cloud, you need to know why you are using it, what you consider a successful outcome, the service level agreement must be solid, the support must meet your needs and you must know what you get on exit. Make sure your data and security concerns are addressed and you know all of the costs.

I was the next speaker – Residing in the cloud: what is the forecast now and into the future.  I will post the slides to my presentation page soon and the paper will be available on the VALA 2014 website.

Derek Whitehead – Swinburne – Cloudy future for libraries

Cloud is a metaphor, fluffy, far away and nothing to be afraid of. Can be threatening to some people, but interestingly no storm clouds are used to illustrate. Cloud computing is basically outsourcing. It is a technological tool, it contains content, it is personal and it has legal implications.

Swinburne is already in the cloud in a big way with Blackboard, Ex Libris, email, Kaltura, OJS (publishing) Primo and HR systems in the cloud.  They have taken up opportunities to move or upgrade their software to the cloud. Moving towards a more systematic approach of moving to the cloud and fully expect to have majority of all IT services operating in this manner.

Hosted software is purely recurrent as opposed to capital expenditure. Combine services to ensure they work together, but must be efficient, reliable, high quality, fast access and cost-effective. Why do it? Cost minimisation, economies of scale and efficiencies, flexibility, scalability, security, business continuity and stability.

Collaboration is also important. Referred us to read Matt Goldners paper for OCLC –

Most clouds are proprietary, but libraries can be different because of the sharing. Cloud can give greater opportunities, There are security concerns, not just for data but for job security. Need to make sure you get your contracts correct, if no expertise in-house to do this, get it in.

Libraries don’t need to be afraid, we have been at the forefront of change for decades. Swinburne was 95% print in 1990s, but now 90% is digital. It’s been a dramatic change overall, but has happened gradually, so has been generally widely accepted. As a result we have been able to provide significant advantages to our users. Libraries work better, have seen clear savings which have been rolled into better service, more space has been freed for users and we have greater collaboration opportunities. It’s not scary at all.

VALA 2014 – Plenary 1 – Christine Borgman – University of California

Christine Borgman (UCLA) – Big data, little data, no data: scholarship in the networked world

Information has moved a long way, from oral communication,  cumulatively to virtual. We use them concurrently and in different ways. Need to think about how we work with traditional materials and ‘data’. We need to think of new types of infrastructures to manage the morass of data.

The rest of the world is looking to Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and to the UK for direction and ideas on this. Australia is the only place where the Code of Conduct requires researchers to manage their data well. US is moving to follow in our footsteps.

Data are not publications, not natural objects, they are representations, and sharing and reuse depends on knowledge infrastructures. We have already begun to see the different ways that data is managed. Open access publishing, repositories and more.

Publication legitimises the work – it gets it’s authority from peer review. It disseminates the work. It provides access and preservation. The only thing that has changed in the digital age is that the access is now wider.

Scholarly communication is on average a three year process, the public part of which is only a small proportion of that time.

Open access publishing, is digital, no cost, online, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. Copyright is owned by the author and they write for impact. (Suberin, P. Open Access.)

ANDS vision – more Australian researchers reusing research data more often. ANDS is aiming to facilitate this by improving data management.

There is no standard for what makes data open as information is messy. One of the problems is working out who owns the data. Nobody can agree on what data is in the first place. Data could be anything from a list, but there is no true definition – even OECD only has a very narrow definition.

Data can be so complex – how do you catalogue it?

Social scientists are having trouble getting data as people aren’t answering their phones or doors, so they are now looking to Twitter.

Data are representations of observations, objects, etc used as evidence for the purposes of scholarship. As they are representations, they can look different in every place you put them. Just like the MARC format is the boundary around library data, other disciplines are creating their own boundaries around their data. Which makes interoperability and sharing all the more difficult.

Data infrastructure are not something you build once and you are done. It is an ongoing process, working with the data and data collectors on protocols, provenance and more. Data management is difficult. Reuse is very low because researchers themselves have problems with reusing their own data, let alone someone else doing it.

You can release data by contributing it to an archive; attaching it to a journal article – but may be missing data or context sensitive; post on local website; license on request; release on request…. Degrees of reuse, by anyone, by groups, at any time now or into the future? Need to decide on this before making data available.

Libraries are common pool resources – limited resources which must be governed. Data does not become a common pool resource until the researcher releases it. Open access is trying to make toll goods – something to be bought or sold, into common pool goods.

There are more than scholars and libraries who have a stake in data. Others include scholars, students, readers, universities, funders and more. They all need to be involved in the process of creating these knowledge infrastructures. Need to know what to keep, why they are being kept, how to keep, for how long, who will govern them and what kinks of expertise are required.

Knowledge infrastructure has technical fabric, social fabric and trust fabric.

VALA 2014 – L-Plate Series

Today I had the honour of chairing the L-Plate series, a schedule of short talks giving an introduction and foundation to topics that will be a focus of the VALA conference itself in the next three days.

Being capable at multi-skilling, I managed to chair as well as take notes, so here are those notes from the seven wonderful speakers today in the L-Plate series.

Web standards incorporating HTML 5 – Tom Edwards – Wyndham Library Service

Web standards are formal, non-proprietary and other technical specification for the world-wide web. (Wikipedia)  He showed the original www page from CERN, created by Tim Berners Lee –

HTML doesn’t need extra special software, emulators or plug-ins – it just needs a browser and it’s backwards compatible.

WC3 is responsible for administering HTML, accessibility guidelines, the SVG format and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). ECMA international has the standard for the base of Javascript. Other standards required for the Internet are controlled by a handful of other companies. There are also lots of engineering standards for data transfer etc.

So what is HTML? Hypertext Markup Language – Code that abides by WC3 that allows us to access content through a browser.

Internet Explorer 6 is famously not standards compliant eg. no CSS 2, png images not displayed properly. Showed an example of how Internet Explorer 6 didn’t display something which met the standards.

HTML 5 is still a recommendation but is due to become a specification in Quarter 4 this year. HTML 5.1 is due in 2016. HTML 5 has less reliance on plug-ins and is device independent.

Includes an element called canvas which allows you to embed real time information in animation etc. eg. New York transport info in linear lines and strings sound.

Video element to allow you to embed video into a website – various levels of browser compatibility however.

Web storage – allows you to cache games etc. in browsers, offline storage related to individual sessions, like cookies but more secure.

All the HTML 5 capabilities demonstrated visually –

Digital Rights Management may appear in HTML 5.1, which is a concern for libraries.  For more information on this and other privacy and rights on the web information, check out Electronic Frontier Foundation –

“This is the year that machines will generate more info than humans.”

Tom briefly gave an example of Web standards in action: It uses a Content Management System (CMS) called Omeka which uses Dublin Core metadata, into which they catalogued their items. Made their site a repository for OIA-PMH (Open Internet Archive – Protocol for Metadata Harvesting).  As a result, they now have a weekly harvest to Trove and their information can be found there.

“Chuck Norris doesn’t use web standards as the web will conform to him.” – Max Pool.


Internet of Things – Bart Rutherfold – Wesley College 

“Internet of things” as terminology has been around since 1999 – with QR codes and RFID tags. These technologies enabled companies to track items through the net. We are now moving towards IP 6 which means we can put an Internet address on anything – ridiculously extreme amount of internet addresses available through IP6.

Scenario 1 – wake up early, get ready and go to work.

Scenario 2 – bad start to the day.

“In our houses, cars, and factories, we’re surrounded by tiny, intelligent devices that capture data about how we live and what we do. Now they are beginning to talk to one another. Soon we’ll be able to choreograph them to respond to our needs, solve our problems, even save our lives.” Bill Wasik.

With regards to the scenario 2  above, what if we had devices which could work out when the best time to wake us and then start to wake you. This is linked data and the internet of things. If this, then……

A device could monitor my petrol situation and could remind me the night before that I had a need and the price was optimum. So no need to top up fuel in a rush.

Ninja bot thermometer sends you a message you set when the temperature reaches a set threshold.

Machines have been talking to machines for a while, but now we have cloud systems and the ability to talk to different platforms and through different standards.

Wifi parcel tracking – find out where your parcel is and get it to open the cat flap to receive it. Then you can be contacted when it arrived, or if flap used when not expecting a parcel can prompt to call the police.

Use Blue-tooth trackers to find where people are going in your libraries.

Night-time relaxation is moving to personalised TV via the web. Internet connected light globes with different colours and working on moods that can be programmed for the day.

Showed a landscape of the Internet of things image from Tech Crunch.

New technologies include Ninja Spheres, which give you control over your environment with the swipe of your hand.

Voice control coming next giving you question and control ability over your environment.

Showed the Technology of things Roadmap. –

If your interested in learning more, check out Bart’s Flip book – .

Visualisation – Kate Davies QUT

Visualisation is Visual sense making – make sense of the world and good communication devices. Help to unravel complexity, make things simple and clear and make them accessible. Helps clarify.

Mind interprets visual information easily. We are all geared to process visual info. See for more information on this.

Images transcend the divide of language and in fact transcend language. They are the language of thought. Consider the power of using images with or in place of words.

We are drowning in a sea of information. As we exist online, we are in a flow of information and work with and through that, which can be difficult to do in light of the amount. And the amount is only going to get bigger with open data. Big data gives us a point of comparison for our data. Now lots of tools to help us visualise all this data.

Visualisation is graphical representation of data. Helps us to communicate data in visual forms, bring together different data sets to create something new.

Eg. Spreadsheet of 400 rows and lots of columns. To get an impression of what’s happening across the entire data set use visualisation. Tag cloud gives overarching view. (see Information is beautiful – for examples).

Showed video of 200 countries, 200 years, 4 minutes.

Info-graphics are overloading us but still have value, they tell a story and are self contained and complete. Lots are being created due to a proliferation of tools.

Info-graphics can be images, videos and interactive. Showed an example, but there are plenty around.

Information design Is the practice of designing information in a way that supports the transfer of meaning. Focuses on informing, although aesthetics is important.

We don’t think linearly. When we break out of linearity, we can discover tangents of value.

Visualisation is great for thinking as well as communication. Visuals are important to help communicate ideas.

egs. Sketch notes, diagrams, mind maps, info-graphics and visualisations.

Want to know more? There are lots of good YouTube videos on the topic.

UTS Sydney is doing some good work in this area.

Creating infographics – Piktochart website. Can create them in Power Point.


Cloud – Corin Haines Auckland Libraries

The Cloud enables a lot of what was presented earlier.

“A model for delivering information technology services in which resources are retrieved from the internet through web-based tools and applications, rather than a direct connection to a server. Data and software packages are stored in servers. However, cloud computing structure allows access to information as long as an electronic device has access to the web. This type of system allows employees to work remotely.” Investipedia.

The Internet itself is a cloud which is connecting data. We can use that cloud to deliver various things.

Started with dumb terminals and the server did all the work. Cloud kind of does the same thing. Moving away from fat clients which do all the processing, to a server workstation relationship, similar to old dumb terminals.

Cloud computing allows us to access from multiple sources in multiple ways.

Proliferation of cloud services – iCloud and Google Drive are biggest. Also Skydrive, Dropbox, SoundCloud, Amazon.

Cloud computing moves admininstration such as backups and upgrades offsite and is potentially scalable. Accessible from anywhere with potentially lower overheads. Shifts from up front cost to subscription, but this has budgetary implications.

Pros include lower cost of infrastructure, mobile and web access, removes reliance on corporate IT.

Cons include reliance on connection speeds, trust with vendors, knowing where your data is and legal issues.

Has huge potential for libraries in serving customers.


3D Printing Andrew Kelly – Town of Victoria Park

Read Andrews paper on the topic from NLS 2013 –

3D printing is additive process, building things up layer by layer. It has been around for a long time. 3D printing also covers subtractive where you start with a block and pieces are removed.

(Andrew had a Replicator 2 actually printing a bracelet while he was presenting.)

Technolgoy is similar to dot matrix. Commercially it uses powder which melts it together. Makerbot Replicator 2 here is a home version and uses plastic on a spool.

Auto magical thing which looks more amazing than it is. PLA plastic comes on reels which feed into the printer. It is fully biodegradable, softer and melts at 230 and more malleable. ABS is used in higher end machines and more permanent pieces. 3D printer is just a vehicle.

Plastic feeds through via a reel, it is pushed to a heated tube to melt it and then the print head moves on an XY axis. Can also have set print heads with movable bases.

Can 3D print it’s own replacement parts.

You can make anything. Andrew doesn’t tell his library users what they can do because he doesn’t want to stifle creativity. There are rules though. If it has angle of more than 45 degrees, it needs support. It can only be as big as the print area on the printer itself. You can get around limitations by printing in parts and you can also build connectors.

You can print a pattern from Thingiverse, scan an object which is a bit more difficult or you can create from scratch using various cad programs. eg. Tinkercad, a 3d designer which works in a browser.

Can print in low res, standard res and high res. Low res is fastest, high res slowest.

Infill is usually honeycomb – not wasting material and is still sturdy. At 10 percent infill, you get 1 kg of print outs from 1 kg of plastic. Can build supports for you and will offer it to you. They can be removed once the print has finished. Some models allow you to print in two colours or two materials (eg. Soluble supports).

In libraries, it’s not about the printer, but about the community. If you don’t have the community, then it’s just a bright shiny thing. If you have a creative community, school kids, maker culture etc., then this could be for you.

Your library does not need one – read Hugh Rundle’s blog post ( It can not be put out and forgotten, it’s not a copier. Combine it with programs and partnerships and it could do great things for your library.

Open publishing – Rebecca Parker – Swinburne

Publishing is the activity of making information available to the general public – Wikipedia.

Started with clay tablets, the papyrus, the Romans had the book and the Gutenberg printing press made books available to the common man.

Some of the biggest developments in publishing have happened in the last 20 years. The web, e-books and more.

Open publishing is about the open access movement. A worldwide effort to make all scholarly output free to access.

Barriers to access include cost (of research, staff, subscription to journals that publish this research etc.), infrastructure – only open if you can access it as it is online – not really mobile accessible yet, reuse – must be available for this, language – English and European languages still dominate, which is a barrier in itself.

Berlin Declaration on open Access has been made. Open humanities mandate is still in progress – humanities tends to be more book publishing.

Repositories are supported by libraries, use the rights owned by the author to make the articles more accessible. Born open access means that the author makes it available. Some libraries are publishing open access journals at no cost to the authors.

Open access articles are harder to access as they are not in discovery tools.

Hybrid access is both published and open access although the latter costs around $3000 to release if published first.

Growing momentum for open access movement in books and tools available to facilitate this.

Open standards – PDF is standard. ePub is platform independent.

Challenges: there are so many different types of open publishing – very confusing. Vanity publishers are mimicking open access journals.

Open publishing change is very slow. Gradually pushing to 50 percent open access. Publishing is still expensive, even after going online.

There is more support from funders and institutions for those who publish in mainstream journals and are indexed in commercial indexes, making it harder for people to make the switch.

Librarians can take up the challenge of curation of research output in their institutions.

Government now is saying you must publish open access if you receive funding from them.

Copyright and digital rights -Constance Wiebrands – Edith Cowan University

Copyright is the rights given to the owner over their material. It does not protect an idea until it is recorded in some way. Copyright Act 1968 is Australian law and we have different clauses to support libraries of different types, which gives us a range of rights regards copyright.

We don’t have fair use in Australia, that is from USA. We have fair dealing which gives exceptions to places like schools, libraries, museums, archives etc. Australian Law Reform Commission has a review currently before the government, which recommends a form of fair use. If this is adopted, it will change how we work with copyright in Australia.

Lots of info available from Copyright Agency Limited website.

Internet has made copyright more challenging. Copyright Act is about screen and print rights. Technically the internet is broadcast and when you look at a web page you are copying and therefore in breach of copyright.

Technology now allows you to do so much. Law is not keeping up with what technology enables. Digital rights management is an attempt to control how their publications are used. Digital rights management (DRM) makes it difficult for libraries to do things like preserve items. A licence overwrites Copyright Law. Should try to not allow contracts to overwrite copyright.

Creative Commons is a way of making content available through a licence, which loosens copyright restrictions.

Can ask for permission but you may not be given it.

Twitter is a great place to learn about copyright – lots of copyright lawyers on Twitter and they are good at answering questions in not legalese.

Electro Magnetic Radiation Testing on RFID equipment at Port Phillip Library


EMR Testing at St Kilda Library – Alan Butters


When Port Phillip Library was introducing RFID, there was a lot of staff concern regarding electro-magnetic radiation. Australia has standards for this from ARPANSA – the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.


This was the first time that this had been explored in a library environment (to their knowledge). Does RFID meet the appropriate standards in the workplace? The standard for limits on electrical devices is ARPANSA RPS-3. Public limits are stricter and apply to both library staff and users.


Multi-stage testing program was conducted at St Kilda library. They used the independent test house, EMC Technology, to do the work. All FE Technology components were tested.


Stage 1 – testing before the RFID equipment was totally installed and in use.


State 2 – detailed analysis with readings taken at many points within the angles and surrounds of gates, pads, kiosks, completely in and around the devise.


The final report came out in November 2012. The result was that all equipment complied with the requirements of the standard when installed and operated according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. If these guidelines are breached these results are void.  The report is available on the FE User Group website.


Kenneth Harris (formerly of Port Phillip Library)


Kenneth was IT manager at Port Phillip at the time and reported that that when they went to RFID Tender, they knew they had a lot of staff angst. Their previous 3M gates had never been turned on because of the concerns of radiation. The RFID tender required that the vendors meet safe emission levels and all said they did, but there was no real evidence.  Staff were involved in the selection process and chose FE but they were still not happy with the due diligence.


Kenneth advised that you don’t get caught in arguments over what standard to use. Some staff tried to push for the European standard, which is stricter than the Australian. However, they didn’t move forward until they agreed to the Australian standard.


Stage 2 testing took into account overlapping fields and duty cycles . These were tweaked to give both maximum efficiency and safety.


Alan presented them with a summary report (without all the jargon) and  a one page overview which all staff read.


There was a long term concern that duty cycles may change over time resulting in a change to these results. Rama was going to get some devices to monitor this – not yet happened.


Equipment was OK but there was a variation in levels. Some were at the higher end, others lower. They expected that the smart bin would be an issue, but unless you were sitting in the bin itself for any length of time you were fine. They put rubber on either side of the gates and there is requirement that staff don’t sit or work within ½ a metre of them.




Near Field Communication Smart Phones and Library RFID

I recently attended the FE User Conference – FE is an Australian company providing RFID to libraries. One of the speakers was Alan Butters who is an Australian RFID expert and was invited to the Conference to talk two projects. This was the first one and is well worth knowing about.

Near field communications (NFC) is a form of RFID – contactless communications built into smart phones.

There are three modes: (he showed short video clips to help demonstrate each)

Reader/Writer mode – (this is of interest to libraries)

Card Emulation mode –

Peer to Peer mode –

NFC has lots of interesting applications and has been installed in smart phones to enable all these applications. It’s not new – the first phone came out with it in 2006.

Why the concern now? Standards. NFC originally was based on ISO 14443 – the standard for proximity cards. This standard is designed for close operation and is used by Melbourne’s public transport Myki system.

The standard for library RFID is ISO 15693 – vicinity cards. This gives the range of up to 80cms, but has little inbuilt security. A 2006 phone couldn’t access tech using this standard as it used the ISO 14443 standard.

There is also ISO 28560 – the data format standard, which is how information is recorded on library tags. It uses the tag’s Application Family Identifier (AFI) for security and is contained in the system memory of the tag. Eg. A value of C2 – circulating is toggled with a value of 07 which is on-shelf. All other RFID systems ignore this because it is not one of their AFIs.

What has changed for library RFID?

NXP, the largest manufacturer or NFC Controllers (and also RFID tags), decided to include support for ISO 15693 (our RFID Standard) in their controllers. This gives them the potential for long read applications and is now supported in Read/Write mode. Apps have also begun to appear using their capability.

People have been unable to interfere with library tags until now, unless they could source the necessary hardware, understand the technology, get the software and isolate the tags. A process that is both too time consuming and expensive.

The threat context has changed. There are now millions of devices that now have RFID hardware in them, it only takes 1 person to write an app, which could be rapidly distributed, resulting in widespread incidents.

Potential threats:

· Change the security status of an item

· Lock an item (security – denial of service)

· Overwrite library data

· Delete data and lock user memory (denial of service)

The threat is now more real. Nine out of the ten most popular phones support NFC. (does not include the iPhone 5). The means is there, but the motive?

NFC Apps and what people can do now.

From Google Play you can download:

· TagInfo app. If you touch a tag to the phone, it will provide you the maker of the chip in the tag, the application type and what the AFI is set to. Tap the tech button, then list and you will get a Hex list of the tag. There are 28 blocks of information on a 1024 tag and we usually only use 10. Could use this app to check if security is working and is advisable for libraries to use this app.

· NFC-V Reader (which supports our standard) app. Is a reader/writer. Open the app, put next to a library tag and the first block displays the item ID.

Apple phones don’t have NFC at this time. Banks are particularly upset about this because they have a range of services ready to go that use NFC. However, you can buy an NFC case for the iPhone. Eg. iCard off eBay, comes with the iCarte Reader app (cost $10).

What do we do? It depends on your threat assessment. We need to protect some or all of our ISO 28560 data, need to protect the integrity of the AFI value or must use a different item security system, as we don’t want to lose the interoperability benefits of ISO 28560 – being able to read other library’s RFID Tags.

Not all RFID tags have the same features – the chip type determines what you can do.

The Standard recommends that you:

· Lock the user memory – or at least the primary ID (item no). You can choose to select one or more or all, whatever you choose will not be able to be overwritten.

· Encrypt the memory – however this is not supported by the standard.

· Use electromagnetic (EM) for security.

· Use passworded EAS (electronic article surveillance – the RFID security) and AFI – can only be done on SLIX chips only. Alan recommends that libraries purchase SLIX tags, so others can not change the tags in any way.

Threat assessment has to be local, consider current and future trends, must be balanced by interoperability requirements and the cost of the response should reflect the risk. New vendor apps such as Mobile Circ, could increase the risk of tag interference.