Book reviews: Using Mobile Technology to Deliver Library Services; Location-Aware Services and QR Codes for Libraries; Information 2.0
Product reviews: HannsG HD LED monitor; Peli Urban Elite Laptop Backpack
Special focus: mobile technologies – m-library projects; real-time m-learning
History of the journal part three of four
Features: storing information overload; digitisation at The Wildlife Trust; HistoryPin digital history mashups; Research Data Management for academic librarians; wireless monitoring technology for curators and conservators
TechRoundUp: discover Snaggy; Tackk; ShowMe; JoinMe; and Hotspot Shield
Themes for Future issues:
February: Focus on cloud computing
May: Focus on ebooks and ejournals
August: Focus on data security, data management, SaaS
Linked Data is a pretty amorphous term that is sometimes used alongside if not interchangeably with open data, big data, semantic web and other behemoths of the new information order. It’s something that can be (relatively) easy to accept as a concept without digging too deep into the practical applications.
A current US project is looking specifically at training for Linked Data in a higher education context but I’m not aware of any formal Linked Data training in the UK and library and information studies programmes haven’t really delved into this area. Admittedly, this is based on a quick perusal of Information Management course curricula so please correct me if I’m wrong.
Let’s face it, there’s a *lot* of data held and managed by libraries and demonstrating the value of this data to our users (and our funders!) is increasingly important. Linked (and open) data adoption is key to publishing data in reusable ways and promoting library data more widely.
Have you had a look at the journal yet? Log in with your usual CILIP website user name and password at www.cilip.org.uk/mmit or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need a reminder. Institutional subscribers should visit: www.mmitjournal.org.uk.
Our August issue includes features on:
• Internet Librarian International Conference – get your 25% discount!
• Book reviews: Collection Development in the Digital Age; 25 Things You Need to Know About the Future
• Product review: Plustek Optic Film 8100 Film Scanner
• Special focus: future technologies – augmented reality, artificial intelligence, mobile technologies, 3D
• History of the journal part two
• Mobile malware – take steps to protect your data
• Digitising the British Newspaper Archives
• The new super virus: Flame
• Learn to program for the web: Codecadamy
• How to speed up your computer
• The Plextor Solid State Drive
Search tools are constantly changing and there are, let’s face it, a million ways to search for information online. There’s also a healthy debate around library search’s reliance on Boolean operators and other specialist (and often legacy) techniques. We still have a ways to go until we’ve found the perfect balance between simplicity and advanced techniques in web searching (and, incidentally, if you’re interested in this area I recommend Dave Pattern’s posts about University of Huddersfield’s experiences with Summon).
I used to use various search cheatsheets in training but lost track after Google’s umpteenth search update so I was happy to stumble upon a bunch of new guides to search engines. Like all lists on this blog, this is a work in progress and suggestions are welcome.
Daniel Russell is a research scientist at Google and recently gave a talk to a group of investigative journalists about smart Google search techniques John Tedesco, an investigative reporter, has written these up in a handy summary on his blog.
Wolfram Alpha remains a specialist search tool and I haven’t really seen a comprehensive starter guide to it in my travels. The knowledge base has a *lot* of helpful examples to refer to though. In my experience, the dictionary search results are far superior to the ones returned on Google and I’m sure there are plenty of other reasons to use it for non-statistical searches so I’m on the lookout for an introductory guide to add to the list.
Like I mentioned above, this is a list in progress so any new guides discovered will be added (there are plenty of search tools not yet covered). If you’ve found any guides that you’d like to share, feel free to add them in the comments.
Koha is an increasingly popular open source Library Management System (or Integrated Library System if you prefer) and KohaCon 12 was held at the University of Edinburgh from the 05 – 07 June, with an additional 2 day hackfest immediately following. This was a great event, jam-packed with information for both seasoned Koha users and those just testing the open source waters and with delegates from all over the world.
The event opened with Paul Poulain (release manager for Koha 3.8.) talking us through all the new features available in the latest version. This is a major release and includes such shiny new functionality as a new staff interface, improved acquisitions and faster processing.
Nason Bimbe from the British Library for Development Studies talked about their experience in moving a specialist library to Koha from a bespoke system.
Next up (after Elevenses, of course) was Chris Cormack, one of the original Koha developers and most active contributors. Chris talked about the various support mechanisms in place within the Koha community to cultivate an active and diverse community with a low barrier to entry for participation. This is a very newbie-friendly community and help is always available for those interested in getting involved.
Fittingly, next up Paul Poulain gave a demonstration of sandboxes. Sandboxes provide a way for users to get involved in the development process by removing some of the cumbersome technical barriers. There’s more information about the sandboxes on the Koha wiki.
Robin Sheat, who has managed quite a few migrations as a developer at Catalyst IT, lead a discussion on best practices for migrating an existing LMS to Koha and some of the gotchas to watch out for.
Nicole Engard talked gave a big-picture overview of the benefits and barriers to open source, drawn from her experience running training sessions on Koha and FOSS. This gave a nice segue into the panel discussion which covered some of the various ways migration is handled and how the Koha community addresses the barriers to both open source adoption and community participation.
Day two of the conference kicked off with Dianna Roberts from Opus International talking about how they use Koha in a multi-national special library context. Joy Nelson then gave another perspective on migrating a library to Koha from a proprietary LMS. Rafael Antonio followed this by talking about Koha in Portugal and how this fits with the a broader shift towards shared library resources.
Paul Poulain spoke about BibLibre’s experiences of using Mirabel, France’s shared database of journals, reviews and serials, with Koha. Afterwards, Joy Nelson gave another perspective on Koha migrations, focusing on specific migration heuristics
Next it was Marijana Glavica and Dobrica Pavlinušić from Croatia who have developed a way to import approximately 6000 scans of book covers (and the associated metadata) into Koha using their own ‘scrape-cataloguing’ technique.
Jane Wagner (Liblime/PTFS), presenting remotely, talking about how to troubleshoot Koha user support and Bob Birchall from Calyx in Australia discussed the importance of governance in ensuring the long-term survival of an open source project. This includes ensuring the software is shared under a suitable licence and that the intellectual property is protected in a sustainable way.
The final presentation of the second day was Adrien Saurat (BibLibre) talking about styling the Koha OPAC, using the SciencesPo Grenoble catalogue as an example.
I wasn’t able to say for the final day of the main conference and so missed some great presentations, including MJ Ray (software.coop and one of the organisers of the conference) talking about the future of Koha and demoes of various new developments, such as SRU, Solr, using a Drupal front-end and the off-line circulation module.
The London LibTeachMeet, held at UCL on Monday night, was a whirlwind of lightning talks, low-key networking and cake. Lots of cake. This event was sponsored by the Information Literacy Group and brought together a series of short talks around the topic of ‘supporting diverse learners‘.
It’s great to see library networks event such as this experimenting with different, less formal approaches to networking and skillsharing.
Topics covered include outreach and user engagement, curation, using audio technologies, cultural awareness, search preparation and skills days. The full programme is available on the LibTeachMeet website and I’ll update the post with links as soon as they’re available.
The hashtag for the event is #ldnlibtm and there was also some live tweeting via @ldnlibtm