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Archive for the ‘public libraries’ Category

The Edge 2010 is a two day conference taking place on February 25th and 26th at Edinburgh Castle.  The conference, which is being organised by Edinburgh City Libraries, promises to “push the boundaries of public service delivery” in the 21st century.  Their impressive line-up of speakers include Susan Benton, President and CEO of the Urban Libraries Council;  Michael Porter, otherwise known in library circles as ‘Library Man’; Ewan McIntosh, renowned emerging and social media expert; plus lots more fantastic speakers from around the UK.

Further details, including a list of costs, payment options and accommodation, are available via their online booking form.

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Public Libraries in the 21st Century (C) Christine Rooney-Browne

Public Libraries in the 21st Century (C) Christine Rooney-Browne

Just thought I’d share a couple of presentations that I delivered at two different conferences last week.

First up is my keynote presentation from the SINTO lecture in Sheffield;  “A Look at the Role of Public Libraries in Times of Recession

And secondly, a joint presentation between myself and Liz McGettigan from Edinburgh City Libraries at the annual Internet Librarian International Conference in London; “A Joined Up Approach to Social Media”.

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One of my favourite parts of any conference is always the poster sessions.  This is the time when you get an opportunity to experience (all in one place) the wide variety of library projects and research initiatives happening all over the world.

Poster sessions are always very busy so I made sure that I arrived early in order to speak to as many presenters as possible.  There were some stunning posters on display, but it’s not until you get a chance to speak to the presenter about their project that you get a proper feel for their research or the work that they’ve carried out over the last year.

The three posters highlighted below really caught my attention:

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Marvel Maring, USA

Casting a Net from Nebraska to Nicaragua – highlighting the impact of a project between the University of Nebraska library school and a library school in Nicaragua.  This project is an excellent example of the role libraries can play in building social capital; and their potential in delivering value through partnership working. Presenter: Marvel Maring (USA).

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Máximo Moreno Grez, Chile

Chileans Networking towards the Bicentennial – an inspirational project about citizens from small communities in Chile creating their own websites by uploading user generated content via PCs provided by the local library. Presenter: Máximo Moreno Grez (Chile).

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Tina Mortensen, Denmark

Read it, Show it, Promote it – provided some quirky ideas for public libraries to reach non-users, increase visitor numbers, and make the library a fun and interactive, rather than passive experience. Presenters: Michael Larsen and Tina Mortensen (Denmark).

Please note that it was quite noisy and very busy during the poster session, so apologies if I’ve misinterpreted any of these posters. Apologies also for the quality of the photos, which were taken on my iPhone3G.

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Speaking at the IFLA pre-conference: Libraries as Space & Place

Speaking at the IFLA pre-conference: Libraries as Space & Place

Following a fantastic pre-conference session in Torino, I’ve arrived in Milan for the main IFLA conference. It’s a few degrees cooler here so the Scottish skin is coping slightly better with the heat! 😉

I had a free day on Saturday to explore the city; and what a wonderful city it is!  Milan is so much more beautiful than I expected as I’d heard from others that it was quite an ugly, industrial city.  Nothing could be further from the truth! Since arriving I’ve had the opportunity to explore some beautiful green spaces, cathedrals and even participated in a salsa music festival in the park!

Today, however, I’m spending the full day at the conference venue.  The programme is jam packed full of sessions that are relevant to my research area.  Unfortunately, the three sessions I’m most excited about: Public Libraries and Metropolitan Libraries; Statistics and Evaluation; and Management & Marketing; are all on at the same time, so I’m dipping in and out of each one.

This afternoon there’s a keynote speech from Alistair Black, in the Libraries for Young Adults and Library Buildings & Equipment section…I think this might be a conference highlight for me! 🙂

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National University library, Torino

National University Library, Torino

This week I am in Torino, Italy for the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) pre-conference.   The theme for this meeting is Libraries as Space and Place and there are speakers from all over the world attending; check out the full programme here.    The pre-conference is split into three sub-themes:

Wednesday 19 August 2009
New libraries, new spaces with new challenges

Thursday 20 August 2009
Libraries as a Third Space

Friday 21 August 2009
Finding New Design Solutions

I’ll be speaking tomorrow about the public library as an impartial space in the 21st Century; discussing whether or not this is a realistic or romantic notion.

We’ve just completed a tour of the Royal Library of Torino, which is a fascinating place.  Not only does it house the majority of the Italian Royal Family collection, but the archives are home to some of Italy’s treasures, including original sketches by Leonardo Da Vinci, which we got to see!:)

I’m looking forward to this afternoon’s sessions, which features speakers from Italy, Australia,  Singapore, Birmingham and Canada:

  • 14.30 Session 1: The Turin Library System and the City.
    Paolo Messina, Director, Turin City Library System, Italy
  • 15.00 Session 2: Beyond co-location: designing and managing new model library spaces and services to reflect trends in convergence and integration.
    Sue Boaden, Director, Australia Street Company P/L, Sydney, Australia and Carina Clement, Cultural Programs and Audience Development Team Leader, Library Museum, Albury City Council, New South Wales, Australia.
  • 15.30 Session 3: The UnLibrary – library within a library.
    Damien Wang, National Library of Singapore.
  • 16.00 Session 4: The Library of Birmingham – Hub of the Knowledge Economy
    Brian Gambles, Assistant Director, Culture, Birmingham City Council and Francesco Veenstra, Partner Architect, Mecanoo, UK.
  • 16.30 Session 5: In the Words of the Users: The role of the urban public library as place
    Francine May, Librarian, Mount Royal College, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

And now, for a spot of lunch before the real work begins! 🙂

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iliThe full programme for this year’s hotly anticipated Internet Librarian International (ILI) Conference is now online.    I haven’t been to this conference before but I’m really looking forward to it as lots of people have recommended it to me.

I’ve also been selected to speak at this year’s conference, which is even more exciting!  I’ll be presenting with Liz McGettigan from Edinburgh City Libraries.We’ll be talking about Edinburgh’s Tales of One City Project; a joined up approach to social media, which includes blogging, microblogging, social networking, social bookmarking and streaming media.  Here’s the listing for our talk; don’t forget to bookmark it if you fancy popping along!

And here’s some additional details about the conference:

Internet Librarian International Conference 2009
15 &16 October 2009 (Workshops 14 October)
Novotel London West, London, UK

Hope to see you there! 🙂

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A few months ago I blogged about my experiences of trying to access social media websites at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow.    After that, I was invited to write an article on a similar topic, for Information Scotland.  The article appeared in the April 2009 issue but has just been published online.  You can access it here.

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At every conference I’ve ever attended there always seems to be questions raised about how we can better promote our libraries.  Here’s a couple of ideas to help inspire those of us involved in developing advocacy campaigns:

New York Public Library campaign: “Shout it Out for your Library”:

OCLC (& Leo Burnett USA) campaign: “Geek the Library”:

Geekthelibrary

Both campaigns are excellent examples of how to promote the value of public libraries, simply and effectively; I’d love to see more stuff like this coming out of the UK too! 🙂

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It’s that time of year again; I’m gearing up for a summer of library conferences and I’m so, so excited!   

First up there’s the CILIPS conference (Branch Group Day) on 3rd June at Peebles Hydro, featuring sessions with Jay Jordan (OCLC), Richard Boulderstone (British Library), Brian Kelly (UKOLN) and David Potts (MLA)…plus lots more; check out the programme here.  

Then the next day I’m heading down to Warwick for the Society of Chief Librarians Conference, which I’m presenting at on the Friday.  I’ll be discussing “Social Value: identifying, measuring and sharing some of the less obvious ways that public libraries contribute to economic regeneration”.  

A few weeks later it’s off to Turin, Italy to attend the Pre-congress satellite for the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (2009) to present a co-authored paper on “Public libraries as impartial spaces in the 21st Century” .  The programme for this looks amazing; check it out here.  Then it’s a quick train journey through to Milan to attend the 75th IFLA General Conference and Assembly!

Phew!  Will be a busy few months but I know I’ll have a fantastic time! Drop me a line if you’re planning to attend any of these conferences and we can arrange to meet up in the hallways! 🙂

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Glasgow Libraries Barred Website Message

Spent the weekend at The Mitchell Library in Glasgow; soaking up the atmosphere from the latest Aye Write Book Festival.  Attended a couple of really good events too.  However, despite enjoying both of these events immensely they’re not what I remember most about my visits…

I had thought it might be a good idea to tweet about the events I attended but when I tried to access Twitter on The Mitchell Library’s public access computers I was informed that Twitter was considered to be an ‘unacceptable website’. Surely not, I thought, so I tried again, on a different computer.  Same message again.   Made me wonder about what else would be blocked.  Attempted to login to Facebook and although the ‘unacceptable website’ message did not pop  up, a strange login screen did and when I attempted to type in my user name and password I realised that nothing was appearing on the screen. Seemed to be locked out of that one as well.  Tried MySpace, same thing! Okay, they’re blocking social networking websites I thought….but then something happened that made no sense whatsoever.  I was able to login to Bebo no problem.   I also tried to access Flickr and YouTube but they were inaccessible too.  Stranger still was what I found out later.   Glasgow City Council had been using Twitter to help promote the Aye Write festival, and there were buttons on the Aye Write website encouraging users to visit their profile on both Facebook and MySpace…  

Confused and annoyed I asked a few different Library Assistants why I couldn’t access these websites and they all gave me the same answer; “all social networking sites are banned in the library”.  I asked each one  why  social networking had been banned and also, if there was a ‘blanket ban’ like they were suggesting, why was I able to access Bebo?  None of them could answer this question but they did invite me to write my queries on a customer comment card, which I did.  I’m looking forward to receiving a response because I really do want to know why Glasgow Libraries have taken this stance against social networking, especially when they appear to be using social networking themselves to promote their own  book festival.

I know that Glasgow is not alone in their approach to social networking but I am also aware that a growing number of library authorities are using  these new technologies to promote awareness and engagement outwith the constraints of the ‘walled garden’; providing users and staff with an opportunity to learn web 2.0 skills; educating users on how to effectively manage their virtual lives; and encouraging participation and collaboration.  

I understand the need for AUPs in public libraries and I am also aware that social networking is sometimes presented negatively in the press but instead of banning these websites wouldn’t it be more beneficial, for both the library service and the users,  if more public libraries took on the role of educator rather than censor?  

obamafb3gordonbrowntw3After all, when two world leaders, Barack Obama  and Gordon Brown, start using these very websites to communicate with citizens and promote awareness,  is it not about time that we stopped banning access to them in our public libraries?

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