Thursday, 11 December 2008

Online Conference, Olympia, Dec. 2008

I've been quiet lately because I was at the Online Conference in Olympia. The Key Note speaker on Day 1 was Clay Shirky (author of "Here comes everybody") and it was inspiring. When asked about librarians he recalled the quote of us as "happiness engines". So, we are about increasing the happiness of our patrons, helping them to find the next thing to read or watch. This can be done by joining up groups of people who should be talking to one another. Later on he talked about the social origin of good ideas and putting experts and amateurs together which improves both groups. This reminded me of the potential power of a Library OPAC which could combine taxonomies and user tagging. I must read the book! If you want a full version of the talk see Jenny Levine's report in The Shifted Librarian.

Jenny also gave an excellent presentation "New Channels New Media and New Approaches for Libraries." I remember her emphasis on the importance of users as "collaborators" with user generated content becoming more important. Librarians need to become more nimble in approaches to their users : Yale University for example invite users to text a science librarian, and use Twitter and Facebook. She believes we are ahead in the use of Bloglines and iGoogle and therefore should be pushing these to our users. She made some of the same points in her presentation at Bridging Worlds 2008 and I can highly recommend this.

Marydee Ojala gave an interesting paper "See it, hear it" highlighting the inadequacy of the subscription services in keeping up with multimedia content. There is no single source. However, I picked up several sites to follow up including
Voxalead, (lets you search through multimedia content like audio and video podcasts).
Podscope,(lets you search the spoken word for audio and video that interests you)
Blinx (World's largest video search engine).

Anne Morris (Dept. Information Science, Loughborough University) presented aboput a survey undertaken about student perceptions and use of Library 2.o applicatioons. Main message to me and IL practitioners is the warning that publicity and awareness of the services by the user is crucial.

Guillermo Lutzky speaking about the ORT Argentina Virtual Campus project (which I chaired) showed how powerful Web 2.0 can be in schools to increase collaboration and community> The use of blogs there had produced over 250 active blogs since June 2007. ORT Argentina currently holds two educational complexes, two technical high schools and two post-secondary junior colleges with over 7000 students.

Fiona Lennox (Ofcom, UK) gave an interesting presentation about recent Ofcom reports
Media Literacy Audit: Media literacy of UK adults from ethnic minority groups

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