Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Thursday, 16 September 2010

New Location for the Liaison Librarians Blog

As of September 2010 this is no longer the place to go for the UTAS Liaison Librarians Blog. Go here instead:


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Apple patent: helpful or restrictive of rights and privacy?

Apple has applied for a patent named:



Apple's justification for this patent is that installation of this proposed technology onto their devices will enable identification of unauthorised users, with, the idea that this will help the authorized user should the device fall into the wrong hands, as there is a lot of personal information stored on one of these things, of course.

However, the patent goes way beyond what is necessary to do this and in fact the technology would act as sophisticated spyware if installed on a device. You will see this if you read the application above and the commentary of the ETF:


IT geeks and hackers are justifiably concerned about this clause in the application:

"4 . The method of claim 3, wherein the particular activity comprises one or more of hacking the electronic device, jailbreaking the electronic device, unlocking the electronic device, removing a SIM card from the electronic device, and moving at least a predetermined distance away from a synced device"

I agree with the ETF that the application discusses technology that goes way beyond what is necessary for users to recover a lost iphone or ipad. I also think that attempts to prevent IT enthusiasts from breaking into Apple devices so they can potentially modify and experiment with Apple programs etc is a backward step.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Historious bookmarks

Historious has been touted as an interesting mix of Delicious and Google. Historius allows you to index sites into your own personal search engine to share or transport, then retrieve them by title and pages content. Try it for free.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Morris Miller redevelopments: almost there!

We're not far off moving into our new areas, as you can see from the photos below, everything has a space age, light feel and even if there are a few issues still to be resolved, it's looking great.
I might even come to miss the excitement of having a jackhammer just through the floor while I (try to) work and the unexpected network outages and strange smells we've come to enjoy over the last six months...

Peer Review V Wiki Review?

An interesting article in the New York Times on web based alternatives to the traditional peer review process that are currently being tested in a couple of journals. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/24/arts/24peer.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=technology

Is the slow but usually reliable peer review process in need of renovation or should it be torn down and replaced? How would academia respond? How would the gargoyles cope?

(The contributor of this photo is Callum Black)

Thursday, 19 August 2010

UTAS Stalkerspace

If you feel the need to comment on goings on around campus, or read other's comments there's a facebook page for you (You don't have to be signed up to FB to read it). It makes for hilarious reading:


This is interesting, as people spend less time on campus we are seeing these kinds of virtual groups take the place of groups hanging around outside lecture theatres, moving a sense of community online. It's also good to get a sense of what students are thinking about and how they feel about campus life, which we should definitely be paying attention to. And it's very funny.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Weeding Inspiration: Awful Library Books

Highlighting the importance of weeding to library collections is Awful library Books, it's public library stuff really, but continually amusing and interesting, even educational.

Image from "Dancing Disco", now discarded.


Thursday, 12 August 2010

The iPad is perfect for Liaison Librarians

After playing with an iPad for a few days I'm smitten, and I think they make an ideal device for a liaison librarian to have on hand to increase productivity at work.

Here's why:

-Increased connectivity means you can comunicate more easily with colleagues and academics from anywhere on campus (within WiFi range, which is just about everywhere).

-Unlike a laptop you don't have to worry about lugging it around, it's light and very portable.

-It's great to demonstrate our databases, eJournals and particularly eBooks on. EBL books particularly look great and work very smothly in Safari (The web browser) for the iPad.

-In meetings you can take notes and email them straight out to colleagues, or make a useless meeting (You know the ones I'm talking about) more productive by doing something useful.

-Unlike a laptop, it is on (or off) as soon as you press the button, saving time.

-For reference desk duties you can go to the student, sit anywhere and show them our online resources, or search the catalogue while among the shelves, or outside the library, much more convenient than being stuck at a desk.

It's not perfect yet, there are a few niggling issues that I've found so far, but it does just about everything I need 90% of the time very well, and I'm sure Apple are hard at work trying to make the next version even better.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Plagiarism Vid.

An entertaining explanation of academic plagiarism from The University of Bergen that I came across on Stephen's Lighthouse blog. I particularly like the SWAT team.