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Archive for February, 2010

Darien Library in Connecticut-an example of a good public library website

One of the reasons why many public library websites look a bit dated, lack user friendliness and often feature irrelevant content is because they have to sit within the myriad constraints of the wider Council website.

I’ve spoken with lots of librarians from different authorities across the UK over the years and many of them have voiced concerns that they are unable to fulfil user needs and expectations because IT and legal departments either don’t understand what public libraries are trying to do or are just too busy juggling multiple projects from other council departments to invest time and energy into developing the public library website into something fit for 21st century users.

That’s why I’m looking forward to the publication of an article by Margaret Adolphous in the March online issue of Update. Margaret first contacted me back in July 2009 to ask my own opinions about the state of public library websites in the UK. I also met up with her for a brief chat following my presentation with Liz McGettigan at the Internet Librarian International Conference in October. Margaret has invested a lot of time and energy into investigating this topic and has sought opinions from a variety of people within the profession so I’m sure it will be a great read. Hopefully she’ll offer us all some solutions for the future! ūüôā

In the meantime you might find this article, appropriately titled “How to STOP writing rubbish copy on your website”, useful if you’re currently involved in upgrading your public library website.

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Aye Write Book Festival organisers

Only 11 days to go until one of my favourite times of year – the Aye Write book festival at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow! ūüôā Although some of the big names, like Germaine Greer, have already sold out there’s still plenty of time to grab tickets for a range of ¬†thought-provoking and amusing author events.

I’ve had a look through the catalogue and cherry picked a few for myself, not necessarily because I’ve been a life long fan of these authors but because I feel like I’ll learn something/have some fun by attending their events:

Alain de BottonThe Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

Greg Milner Perfecting Sound Forever

Christopher BrookmyrePandaemonium

Tim Blott (my old boss!) – The Herald Debate on the Future of the Media

For the full line-up check out the programme on the Aye Write website.

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© Christine Rooney-Browne

In just over two weeks time I’ll be heading through to Edinburgh to attend The Edge 2010.

I’m really excited about this conference because I think it’s unrivalled in Scotland. ¬† Quite often, when I attend conferences in Scotland it’s a mix of the ¬†‘same old faces’ talking about the ‘same old issues’, which is fine…but it’s nice to see something new and exciting on the calendar¬†for Scotland.

Normally I have to head South or across the water to attend a conference of this scale; but this time it’s just a 50 minute train journey away! ¬†And one of the most exciting things about this conference, in addition to it’s line-up of speakers, is that it’s looking at the public sector as a whole and the vital role that libraries can play within this sector. ¬†With such a wide remit, the conference is appealing to a remarkably wide audience. ¬†Liz McGettigan, Head of¬†Edinburgh City Libraries reports that the conference will be attended by delegates from across the UK, Europe, North America and New Zealand and from fields as diverse as journalism, policy and strategy, education, leisure, universities and health.

Sounds like the perfect¬†opportunity¬†to communicate the value of libraries to an audience that extends well beyond those of us already working within libraries.I’m sure there will also be some unique opportunities to share ideas, network, build¬†partnerships; and ultimately communicate our value and relevance as a public service to a non-traditional audience, thus enhancing our profile and extending our potential to make a positive impact in the 21st century.

If you’re interested in finding out more about The Edge 2010 then why not check out their blog?

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