Thursday, 18 December 2008

New Librarians Symposium Links

A collection of links related to the New Librarians Symposium, held December 4-7 2008 in melbourne.
Vanessa Warren, Liz Badcock, Bess McArthur, Trevor Scaife, Katrina Dewis and Felix Wilson attended, and had a great time!

Conference homepage, with abstracts

Faceboook group for NLS

Flickr: a collection of images from the Symposium

Shanachie Tour

Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development Program

Athaneum Library

Mark Pesce's blog post 'The Alexandrine dilemma'

Sherman Young's blog 'The book is dead'

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Evidence Based Library Journal

I'm not sure if I'm the last person to discover this journal. On the off chance that I'm not I thought I should share it. Its called Evidence Based Library and Information Practice. Its peer reviewed and published by the University of Alberta Learning Services. Its definitely worth a look.

New current awareness tool

ticTocs is a free Table of Contents service

Here's what they say about it
  • ticTOCs is easy to use, and it's free.
  • Find 11,290 scholarly journal Table of Contents (TOCs) from 412 publishers.
  • View the latest TOC for each journal.
  • Link to the full text of 294,137 articles (where institutional or personal subscription allows).
  • Export TOC feeds to popular feedreaders.
  • Select and save journal titles to view future TOCs (Register to ensure your MyTOCs are permanently saved).
It might be a useful current awareness tool for those journals that are not indexed in a database that offers this serive, or for anyone who doesn't have access to databases post uni.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Measuring the value of academic libraries

This article looks at a quantitative study (claimed to be the first of its kind) on the return on investment in an academic library in terms of grant funding across the institution. For the University of Illinois there was a return on investment of $4.38 for every dollar invested in the library...... pretty interesting for us given the research strength here at UTas.

The Library as Strategic Investment: Results of the Illinois Return on Investment Study

Friday, 12 December 2008

NLA Digital Newspapers - you can help

The National Library of Australia is digitising a significant collection of Australian newspapers, I wasn't aware that the PDFs of the articles are also run through an optical character recognition program and made available as text. However, the quality of the print is poor, and therefore the text conversion is unreadable, so the NLA allow you to edit and improve the text of articles as a way of contributing to the project.

Nice idea I thought, no login required but you can create an account if you want to keep track of what you have done, like Wikipedia, and you are contributing to the sum of human knowledge, in a small way.

Very 'Web 2.0'

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Google digitize magazine archives

Google are now digitizing archived and current magazines, searchable via Google Books.

See their media release here

Monday, 8 December 2008

You may be familiar with the Horizon report, produced by the New Media Consortium, which identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have an impact on higher education.

They have just released a report specifically for Australia and New Zealand which identifies key trends, critical challenges and technologies to watch in the next 1-5 years. Each topic includes a description, a discussion of relevance to higher ed, examples of how it is being used and additional examples and readings.

It's at and it has a handy executive summary at the front.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Google Books Settlement and Libraries

From the Google Books Library Project page:

"Our ultimate goal is to work with publishers and libraries to create a comprehensive, searchable, virtual card catalog of all books in all languages [My italics] that helps users discover new books and publishers discover new readers".

So nothing too ambitious then...

Recently Google and the US publishers that sued them for their digitisation efforts agreed on a settlement.

There is a useful resource from the ALA and ARL called "A guide for the perplexed: Libraries and the Google Library project Settlement" available here. It isn't clear whether this agreement will apply outside the US, but the most relevant piece of information for me was this:

" Google will make available institutional subscriptions that will allow users
within an institution to view the full text of all the books within the Institutional
Subscription Database (ISD). This database will include the books in the in copyright,
not commercially available category. This access will continue only
for the duration of the subscription; access will not be perpetual, in contrast to
when a user purchases access to an individual book, as described above."

So, Google will be offering subscription access to the digitised version of some very significant Academic Library's collections, this could be big news for all academic libraries, allowing us to potentially expand our eBook collections to millions of volumes of scholarly material.

There is a lot more information in the ALA / ARL report linked to above, recommended reading.

Interesting times.

My favourite Library from the US

We visited many Libraries during our trip, public and academic, affluent and poorly funded. The New York Public Library was amazing for its scale and spirit, the large Academic Libraries like the University of Chicago and Vanderbilt were inspiring but this beautiful room is the Franke Reading Room, part of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries of the Art Institute of Chicago and it was my favourite.

The room is decorated with works of art from the collection of the Art Institute, which is Chicago's main gallery and has a great collection.
It isn't on the scale of the reading rooms of the New York Public Library or The State Library of Victoria, it felt much less grandiose and intimidating, and the rules were quite arcane (pencils only please!), but it was such a beautiful, intimate space I wished I had more time to sit down and study there.
More information here

Monday, 24 November 2008

Collaborative searching

Search together is a new product from Microsoft that is in the testing phase. People can collaborate on searching, storing results in a repository to be accessed by group members at a later time.
You need to have a Microsoft Live ID and it runs in Internet Explorer 7 so at the moment it mightn't be practical for us but I thought the possibilities for both us as a librarian team and our Schools are quite exciting.

Found via ResourceShelf

Friday, 21 November 2008

Information Literacy Assessment

ePrints contains the articles and presentations on the Science Information Literacy Project that I mentioned yesterday.

This project was led by academic staff from the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET).

Our questions were:
How effective is our embedded teaching of information literacy?
Do students show enhanced learning outcomes as they move through the Zoology undergraduate curriculum?

We compared years and undertook a longitudinal study of a single cohort across the three years of their course.

The results were positive for both questions.

Mapping Generic Attributes

This project was initiated by keen academic staff in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology (SET). The main aims were to motivate and to assist schools in integrating generic attributes (GAs) into their curriculum. "Champions" from each of the SET schools were identified and recruited to simplify our communication and broaden our impact. We hosted several workshops with the champions, achieving another of our aims, to promote a cross-disciplinary community. The key outcome of relevance to Liaison Librarians was the design of a set of tools to a) map aspirations for developing specific attributes within each unit b) map the current practice of addressing/teaching these skills and c) map current practice for all units across an entire course - gap analysis. I'm hopeful that this set of resources, which I have on CD, may be applied to our Information Skills agenda.

Assoc. Prof. Sue Jones, Zoology Head of School, presented a paper on the project at UniServe in 2007.

Please contact me if you're interested in more details.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Lorcan Dempsey (OCLC) post on info lit

Lorcan Dempsey's blog this morning has a post quoting Paul Courant on info lit and scholarly literacy. There's a link to Paul's article/chapter in which he's arguing that "our most important audience is already information literate and then some. [3] Our interest should be in ensuring the production of something that we might call "scholarly literacy", by which I mean the understanding of sources, methods, and their use that is at the heart of knowing what one knows and does not know."

Jazzing up information/scholarly literacy

Thought you might be interested...


Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Information Literacy in Disciplines

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) have grouped together information literacy standards, articles and curricula resources by discipline. Worth a look if you haven't seen it already.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Online tutorials

Here's something that might be useful - online tutorials contextualised to subject areas (!!!) . They focus on finding information on the internet (including subscription databases but not in detail) and obviously have a UK bias, but I found them useful particularly when thinking about the discipline specific information skills and knowledge students will need in their lives beyond university.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

New place to confess all

More Web 2.0 developments.......Ning have just launched 30 applications to enhance social networking sites including Confess which is apparently a place to confess your inner most secrets anonymously. This might have a cathartic use for those with more colourful lives and hence interesting secrets to tell...I guess the rest of us will just have to make them up!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Jay Walker's amazing library

On the Libraries Interact blog today they linked to an article in Wired magazine about Jay Walker who built himself a library (and a house) to showcase not only his books but also his collections of artifacts. The article is worth reading and the photos are out of this world.

Monday, 13 October 2008

ALIA Dreaming 08 Conference paper

I thought the following paper was the best at the conference for Liaison work " Turning 'cold sellers' into 'must haves': marketing unsought library products" by Julie Badger Swinburne University of Technology.
If you are interested the link to the paper is below:


Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Odd endnote issue when opening word

I have dealt with this endnote issue twice in the last couple of weeks. The issue occurs when opening word, an error message comes up "The specified Word library can not be unloaded because it is in use" and CWYW cannot be used.

There is a solution on the FAQ page here which involves going into Help>About MS Word> Disabled items, and enabling any endnote related items.

First mass adoption eBook reader - iPhone

Richard Wallis from TALIS discusses the iPhone as an eBook reader on his blog here

I've been using the Stanza software for a few weeks on an iPod Touch, and it is very nice, you just touch one side of the screen to turn a page, and the display is quite readable. There is a pretty good selection of free books (out of copyright classics mostly) to download via wireless, and you can download software to turn other documents into compatible files. You can also get some newspapers for free. I haven't read a whole book on it, yet, but it is quite comfortable to read newspaper articles on. I like it, but I haven't stopped borrowing Library books yet.

The official website of the Stanza software is here

What does this mean for libraries? Should we be promoting software like this to our users? Could this be the ebook application that reaches a critical mass of people and changes the book market for good?

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Endnote and Refworks

We had quite a chat about whether we should buy RefWorks in MML yesterday and agreed that there is no hurry to rush into it. A higher priority is to do a better evaluation of EndnoteWeb (ENW), which we already have access to at no extra charge.
I have been working on a helpsheet for ENW for some time and have sent it out to most of you by email.
I have put at at:
N:\PVC-T&L\Library\Functional Documents\Information Services\Guides_2008
I would be good if a number of LLs could give ENW a really good test and feedback to me.
We really need to answer these questions:
  • Is ENW a viable and reliable enough web based bibliography system for undergrads?
  • Could we transition most undergraduate training and support to it rather than traditional EndNote?
  • Is there any prospect of shifting our labs to ENW rather than continuing with the complex two yearly upgrades of labs to a new version?
Answers to these are needed. We should be thinking about what to do for semester 1 next year.

Postscript: Linda Forbes sent this extra useful information:
Yale have a table comparing EndNote Web with EndNote and Refworks - - thought it might be useful in your present discussions.

UWashington has one too - - which has references at the end to others.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Yes this is a web search engine!

Is this really the future of "Search"?
You've got to 'check out' MSDEWEY.
...and don't foget to try the "Best of.." button a few times.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Great short Web 2.0 tutorials

Have a look at the wonderful short tutorials " Plain English", all made by the same folks at Common Craft:

These clever videos are all shorter than 4 minutes but pack in a lot of information.
The Common Craft site has other interesting things to offer as well.

Most importantly, thanks to Juliet, who alerted us to a useful tutorial on how to avoid a zombie attack (Zombies in Plain English).

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

EBooks and University presses

Some university presses are now releasing e-books for Amazon's portable reader Kindle two weeks prior to the print release date. Princeton University Press apparently unsuccessfully experimented with e-distribution in the past but reckon the time is now ripe for scholarly material to be disseminated in this way.

Read more

Evaluating Information Skills Training

Karmen and I are currently doing an interesting and potentially very useful course called 'Evaluating Information Skills Training' delivered online by the University of Sheffield, UK.

I'm sure you will hear more about this in the future but in the meantime here's the bibliography for the course

Thursday, 11 September 2008

What researchers want

"What I would really like to see here is a way of pivoting my view of the literature around a specific item. This might be a paper, a dataset, or a blog post. I want to be able to click once and see everything that item cites, click again and see everything that cites it. Pivot away from that to look at what GoPubmed thinks the paper is about and see what it has which is related and then pivot back and see how many of those two sets are common. What are the papers in this area that this review isn’t citing? Is there a set of authors this paper isn’t citing? Have they looked at all the datasets that they should have? Are there general news media items in this area, books on Amazon, books in my nearest library, books on my bookshelf? Are they any good? Have any of my trusted friends published or bookmarked items in this area? Do they use the same tags or different ones for this subject? What exactly is Neil Saunders doing looking at that gene? Can I map all of my friends tags onto a controlled vocabulary?"

from Science in the open

Sounds good, I don't imagine it would be all that difficult if Scopus, WoS etc wanted to cooperate with other vendors and create a product. Perhaps Google are listening.

Maybe when this happens computers can start publishing their own literature reviews too.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Google puts papers' archives online

From The Guardian:

Speaking at the TechCrunch 50 conference in San Francisco late yesterday, Marissa Meyer, the vice-president for Google search products and user experience, said the company had been working with the New York Times and Washington Post since 2006 to make their full archive available through Google News.

Google has been working with 100 newspaper partners, including the 244-year-old Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph and specialist firms Heritage and ProQuest, which integrate news archives on microfilm.

more here

Monday, 8 September 2008

Information Literacy Logo

An official logo to represent information literacy has been established. It was designed as an entry in a competition run by UNESCO and IFLA to produce a logo which can be an internationally recognised symbol to be attached to organisations and particular project dealing with information literacy. You can read about the competition and download the logo from here.

Found via ResourceShelf

Friday, 5 September 2008

Interactive whiteboards

Here's a rare article on the use of Interactive Whiteboards (which we now have available for use in Morris Miller Rm 1.1).
It comes from the free online journal Communications in Information Literacy.
I say 'rare' because there has been little research reported on the use of this technology in higher education (mostly K-12) and only one known simple study (reported in this article) on its use in Library instruction.
Worth a read if you are thinking of using the IW.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Great business infolit tutorial

The Beginner's Guide to Business Research is an award winning infolit tutorial from Baruch College, City University of New York.
I found it so good I did the whole tutorial and quizzed out as a "research guru" at the end!
This would be a great template or model to adapt for an Australian business online infolit resource.

Future of reference - Stephen Abram's scenarios

Stephen Abram has created a list of possible scenarios for the future of reference services. I found it a worthwhile addition to our ongoing discussion about this topic.

article here

Monday, 1 September 2008

Libraries and e-Learning Master Class

This was a great seminar presented by Robyn Tweedale from USQ, who has experience in implementing elearning projects. Although this covered no new territory for us at Utas it pulled together many ideas and gave the tools to plan and think about our elearning intiatives.

Main Points

  • Importance of stakeholder buy in from the beginning of any project, particularly from academics. Students won’t use eLearning unless compelled to, or recommended to
  • Spend time determining the scope of eLearning intiatives, what is appropriate for your users, what can you achieve in terms of time and budget
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel (we certainly know about this point!), use collaboration and piggy backing wherever possible
  • eLearning is learning, that is it should follow sound pedagogical principles
  • eLearning should be a balance of technological innovation and pedagogical innovation
  • eLearning is most effective at point of need or integrated into curriculum

To elaborate on “don’t reinvent the wheel” – Robyn stressed the value of looking for opportunities to share and borrow and emphasised the value of quick wins. USQ has adapted the original QUT Pilot tutorial ( which is freely available), added some content from University of Washington Library’s Research 101 tutorial. Robyn’s team is still working on adapting this and asked the group if any team would be interested collaborating to make Pilots better. Could this be an opportunity for Utas?

Robyn made clear that she did not see the tutorial being used in its entirety by students, but rather something that could be used to create learning objects, saved in Equella, that could then be adapted quickly and easily for specific courses and units, be placed in MyLo etc.

There are many examples of eLearning used in libraries currently listed on the Wiki for the course

If you want to look at these I can give you the user name and password.

Much of the day was spent looking at our gaps in services, our strengths and weaknesses and how to plan an eLearning intiative. Materials to assist with this are also on the Wiki. I feel that we have lots of expertise in the content of elearning but at the moment no clear direction in which to head. There is also a lot of expertise in the Uni to draw on, CALT and flexible learning units in the Faculties.

I think our next eLearning project should be small in scope, tailored very specifically to a course and lets have a quick win we can build from!

Other useful tips from the day:

  • Robyn preferred to use Adobe Captivate over Camtasia as she said it was easier to make changes when you need to update material.

  • Don’t give your elearning products fancy names. After using focus groups USQ decided to call their product “Finding Information Tutorial”, and their multiple database search product is called “multiple database search”.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

ABS Blog

I've just come across Statistically Speaking which is the ABS blog. It contains information about new releases from the ABS as well as highlighting things we might be unfamiliar with. The blog is primarily targeted at librarians.

Found via Libraries Interact.

Thursday, 21 August 2008

CRIG Report August 15 2008 -Roger Carter

I attended a CAVAL Reference Interest Group Forum on the Reference Collection: print, electronic or the dumpster? August 15 2008.RMIT University Swanston Library.

The Forum took the form of two formal papers, a case study Reference collection rationalization at Swinburne Hawthorn Campus (Emilie Johnson); and a discussion of the development of a Ref collection policy to go with the larger Collection Development policy. (Annette Sullivan, RMIT).

This was followed by four short (5 min.) talks from people from different institutions.

The day was concluded with a short “sharing” of favourite reference resources and closing comments.

Em Johnson- Swinburne

Emilie was charged with radically reducing the Reference collection. Her approached recommended retaining a “classic” print reference collection and discarding or relocating the rest. The result was 31% retained in Ref (1007 titles); 33% relocated to stack (1058 titles) and 36% discarded (1154 titles). She made a good point: We need to be able to answer the question, “What is a Ref Collection?” (& why do we need it etc). PS: They have NO store of any kind.

Annette Sullivan-RMIT

RMIT had a large print Ref collection – 16000 items in 6 branches. (Most of these at their main Swanston Library. They also have “lots” of etitles. The stats show the etitles are being used. The selection and weeding decision making is done via committee like our CMCG. The Policy is a “work in progress” and not complete yet.

The policy sounded like a good idea but the description of the process made it sound like a lot of work. A suggestion that came up here and elsewhere on the day: --You can relocate to stack and still make items “not for loan”. (We are already doing this quite extensively – at least in MML.)

Here are some points from the 5 minute talks:

Jane Miller –Victoria Uni.

  • VU reduced the Ref Coll by 75%.
  • She asserts that relocating to the general shelves has increased the use of the former reference resources.
  • She says “To the client they are all just books!”
  • VU cancelled Britannica Online because of low use
  • “Ready reference” may be the only really useful reference collection
  • Our LMS’s and interfaces are lacking and reference resource discovery is difficult

Colin Bates- Deakin

  • Deakin favours a small “ready reference” collection of “core titles”
  • Small footprint, low-rise shelves
  • No reference desk
  • Increasing etitles, but
  • LIMIT the number to 6 most relevant resources in each topic area (this was an interesting approach)
  • Oxford Reference Online Premium is useful in providing quality scholarly ereference titles for this purpose (See Deakin’s eReference page)
  • Lack of a good federated search system for diverse reference tools is a major problem –I also think this is a key issue

Roy Kennaugh –Uni of Melbourne, Engineering Library

  • They have put their entire research collection into store because of a central planning direction to move to a smaller space
  • It has had little use since then
  • They are left with an undergraduate collection
  • They have all the major eReference tools

A PDF of the Powerpoint for Annette’s talk can be downloaded from

Other presentations may appear at this site later.

The seminar was followed by a tour of the Swanston Library. They have lots of “jellybean” furniture and seem to like them generally, though they have a different leg system to ours which probably makes them better. A notable feature was a floor with three different level of “quiet”. There was a total-silence area completely enclosed in a glass wall!

The day was informative and indicated that we are pretty much in line with thinking of other CAVAL libraries and have most of the same problems of relentless pressure to rationalize flor space, difficulty in evaluating print reference resources and deciding what we really want to do with reference.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

LibGuides and fiction books at UTAS

Today I spent some time investigating LibGuides. While looking at some sites from other universities I came across a LibGuide produced by Drury University in Missouri.

Its purpose is to publicise the Library's quest to encourage students and faculty to read.

The Read campaign asks students and staff to identify their favourite book and talk about how it changed their life.

We could do something similar and tie it in to our existing fiction collection.

Monday, 11 August 2008

FYI, there is now a report on the web with recommendations for the establishment at UTAS of a new Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).

This is extremely likely to eventuate and will have significant impacts upon our schools and even the Faculty of SET as it will sit outside SET and be in partnership with the State Government. TAFI will be devolved as will the ACE (CRC).

It is intended that IMAS will include all teaching and research in the marine and Antarctic areas so will have implications for the way we offer IL, our collections, and it may affect services we provide, particularly as collaborations with external organisations are central to its structure.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

How much times does web 2.0 take?

This article might be interesting

Liaison Day Blog presentation

My presentation on blogs can be found here if anyone is interested in reading more.

Librarian Too

Apologies if you have come across this one before but have a look at this workshop run in Brisbane late last year, looking at some of the web 2.0 technologies that were discussed at yesterday's meeting.

Under 'Meetings and Events', select Social Software and Libraries - Seminar blog and presentations.


Friday, 25 July 2008

Google launches Wikipedia rival

This ITworld article  is pretty interesting.
Google has launched Knol, its user-generated online encyclopedia, which it announced in December but had kept under wraps in private testing.
They will be encourage authors/editors names to be public, (like Citizendium).
Is this the real beginning of the free-encyclopedia wars?

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Research Publications Online: Too Much of A Good Thing?

Apologies to those who read this at Stephen Abram's blog, but I thought it was worth sharing.

According to an article in Science, as a result of increasing electronic availability "scholars are actually citing fewer papers in their own work, and the papers they do cite tend to be more recent publications"

Read the story here


What do you think this mean for Librarians?

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Understanding Statistics!

I found this new ABS publication very useful, it gives concise, well written explanations (and diagrams) of terms like median, mode, time series etc.
For those of us who are mathematically challenged (like me) it provides a good introduction to statistical terms, and if we are going to be helping students with ABS data at the reference desk, it will come in handy.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Quick Guides

I have recently found this Quick Reference Guide page. It contains two page summaries of Microsoft applications plus Adobe and Firefox. I like the Firefox Guide because it lists all the keyboard shortcuts.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Google Sites

In case you have not seen it... Google Sites allows you to create web sites on the fly. Nothing special in that, but the examples they give show promising applications in areas like Project Management. Like their blogger application, (used for this blog) GS web sites are rediculously easy to set up and maintain, are free, and have several levels of "openness", that is, you can have a completely public website, a completely private one that no one else can see, or several options in-between. These include an intranet type page or a page just for a selected project group.
Could this have a use in managing our small projects? Perhaps it could even work under the PRINCE2 system ??
Here's an example of a PM website created by GS.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

The Library in the New Age

I have just read an interesting article by Robert Darnton published recently in the New York Review of Books.

The first half outlines the rise of information and how it has been recorded and distributed to society throughout history.

The second part of the article analyses the Google Book Project and discusses how this Project may or may not impact on the role of the research library. I quite enjoyed reading the article as many of the author's points reflect my opinions of Google's project to digitise the worlds' book collection.

You can find the article here

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Future of Academic Libraries

I came across an interesting article about the future of academic libraries the other day, and reading over it a few times I thought it might be worth sharing, to get other peoples opinions on it, and hear what their feelings about the trends they think are important for us as a profession.

The article is written by David Lewis, Dean of the IUPUI Library and it was presented at a conference called “visions of change”, you can get a copy here:

As someone starting out in this profession the direction of academic libraries over the next 25 years are obviously of more than passing interest, but I have found a lot of future predictions for libraries are either mired down in specific technology which has just appeared and seem to be the new big thing or are so broad as to be merely tautologies. Lewis gives us broad trends, gives us background to them and discusses them in detail, outlining 5 parts of the model for academic libraries:

1.) Complete the migration from print to electronic collections

2.) Retire legacy print collections

3.) Redevelop the library space

4.) Reposition library and information tools, resources, and expertise

5.) Migrate the focus of collections from purchasing materials to curating content.

I think the most interesting thing about these predictions is that we can see that we are already moving in these directions, the future is now, and I think he manages to give a good account of how we will need to face the challenges that pursuing these directions further will give us. His appraisal of the challenges is balanced and he seems to have a great deal of common sense and genuine concern for academic libraries and their future within institutions. Please have a read and share your thoughts.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

EBSCOHost 2.0 coming

Several LLs from Morris Miller attended a live webinar on the new Ebsco interface this morning. Because of "technical issues" we could only have a one way telephone link and see the presenter's slides and commentary. (The beta should be available on 9 June and the final release in July).
Here a few points of interest.
  • The new interface is more visual with bigger icons, embedded images and very visual clustering and limiting tools.
  • Addition of "Visual search" which allows you physically move and rearrange search elements
  • "Smart text" searching allows you to paste a whole block of text (usually from another highly relevant article) and the software will interpret it, create a strategy and perform a search to find similar articles. (I thought this was quite clever).
  • the "cite" feature gives clear guidelines on how to reference the results you find in a number of styles like APA, Chicago, Vancouver etc. There was some indication that we may be able to add our Harvard style as well.
  • All articles have persistent links and our EzProxy wrappers can be added if we request it. These persistent links will be relocated from the body of the record to the browser URL bar for easier bookmarking. Lecturers can easily embed these in MyLO.
  • Users can register and log into their own portal. They can save item to their own portal and access them from home or elsewhere.
Most of the features presented are available for you to view via the EbscoHost 2.0 link on the Ebsco Support centre, and most of the new feature are neatly summarized on this page in the Support site.
Our concensus was that not a lot was changed, but it is presented in a more user friendly way.
Viewing the tutorial is highly recommended (only 6minutes)
(Thanks to Juliet for organizing the demo).

Thursday, 29 May 2008

CHOICE as a new publications alerting tool

We used to have a subscription to Choice (Academic reviews) and circulated it as a selection tool. The advantage of Choice is that it only includes selected quality academic publications (and web resources by the way!).
A few years ago it was cancelled with the view to subscribing to the Choice Reviews online database. This never went ahead but Choice has been available for some time as an ejournal via Proquest.
I have just been experimenting with this and notice that Proquest has a good RSS feature now. This means that you can theoretically set up RSS alerts for topics from Choice.
I have tried this out and it seem to work OK, so this could be another tool to add to our list that clients could use to be notified of new books in their field.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Librarians teaching publication strategies?

Knievel, J E, 2008, ‘Instruction to Faculty and Graduate Students: A Tutorial to Teach Publication Strategies’, portal: Libraries and the Academy, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 175-186.

I recently came across this article on teaching publication strategies to junior faculty and graduate students - kind of like our "Getting Cited" session, but going a whole lot further.

My initial reaction to the idea was "Blimey! I'm not sure this is really the Library's patch", but Knievel's argument is that while graduate students/new academics know their field, they often do not fully understand the publication cycle.

The online tutorial that University of Colorado Libraries created to teach publication strategies to researchers seems to have been a wild success, and you can access it at

I think it's great (although a bit text dense) and I learned quite a lot - being in a profound state of ignorance to begin with.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Measuring and articulating the value of the Academic Library

Richard sent me the link to this paper by Lyn Bosanquet, Transforming the Academic Library - the new value proposition

You may not agree with all she says but it is interesting to note the section "Where to next?" which starts with the sentence: "It is imperative that the library understands what the university values" - and then she goes on to suggest that the value should be more weighted towards library support for research.

Anyway, she does identify some of our challenges for the future, and documents how things have changed.
Karmen asked me to post this and add some comments I made. She would love you all to comment too!


Friday, 2 May 2008

EndnoteXI Word 2003 toolbar problem on XP

Problem: Endnote XI installs properly on XP, but Word 2003 toolbar does not appear/ or EndnoteWeb toolbar appears instead.

Solution:The method described on the EN FAQ site gives 2 methods which did not work for me. It did mention the following pathway however:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Thomson ResearchSoft\Cwyw
This folder contains several files. One is EndNote
If you double-click in this is should activate the Word toolbar. WE had to close and open Word for it to take effect.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Endnote XI whats new

There is a very good, if slightly technical, overview of What's new in EndnoteXI.
Viewing this clip is highly recommended for all LLs before our proposed launch date in May.
In fact I think we all may want to view this more that once as there are quite a lot of important changes from EN9, many of them requiring some restructuring of how we advise clients.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Found History

This interesting article called "Sunset for Ideology, Sunrise for Methodology?" is from the Found History blog.
There is a good discussion, not only about the methodological future of history as a discipline, but a surprisingly positive view of the importance of libraries in that changing scene.

Friday, 29 February 2008

Libraries Interact

The Libraries Interact site was mentioned in the latest Link-up session.
This is the best Australian library scene "keeping-up" site I have seen and has lots of useful things in it. For example, one of the latest postings is about the RQF replacement (called ERA, you can read the article to find what that means!)
I have RSSed it, so keeping up with new posts will be easy via my RSS reader.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

a couple of things you might find useful

I know everyone is very busy at the moment (me too - nervous breakdown seems to be the default state at the moment!) but i have been working on a couple of things you might find useful once things settle down.

The first is a video editing/presentation tool called "jumpcut" (, which i have used to make a "fun little video" about how to interpret reading lists. i can email it to you if you are interested. it lets you make funky slideshows with sound and captions and things. mine is just a bit of fun, really, to break up the monotony of undergrad classes.

The second is another presentation tool called "vcasmo" ( Using this you can upload your ppts (or whatever other format) into a web format for easy sharing, editing etc. I have only really started looking at this tool today (not a lot of time for "playing" with these things at the moment), but it looks like it has potential.

Anyway, both of these are worth looking at once life goes back to some semblance of normality - if it ever does!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Academic Database Assessment Tool

ADAT is is a great new free tool from JISC in the UK, allowing us to make cross comparisons of database coverage .
This is a must see! Compare the coverage of Business Source Premier with ABI/Inform as an example...very interesting.
You can compare e-book platforms as well.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Libraries and Facebook

This case study explores the use of the social networking site Facebook ( as a tool for libraries and librarians. The case study was in response to the growth and popularity of this social networking site. Many librarians have now joined Facebook for purely social reasons, however it can overlap into the professional world as it is being used by several professional library groups and for promoting library related events. Facebook also has a number of library related tools.

Comments? Ideas?

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Launch of OnlineSocialNetworks Majordomo List

Hi all,
This might be a good blog to keep an eye on regarding social networking and libraries:

"This list is intended to serve as a forum in which individuals of any and all interests can discuss Any and All issues relating to Online Social Networks, most notably their current and potential use by libraries/librarians and/or their current/potential use within institutions of higher learning".

Friday, 18 January 2008

Information behaviour of the researcher of the future

One more for the week - what the future might look like!

"This study was commissioned by the British Library and JISC to identify how the specialist researchers of the future, currently in their school or pre-school years, are likely to access and interact with digital resources in five to ten years' time. This is to help library and information services to anticipate and react to any new or emerging behaviours in the most effective way. In this report, the authors define the 'Google generation' as those born after 1993 and explore the world of a cohort of young people with little or no recollection of life before the web".

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Education Blog List

"A list of the top 100 (or so) educational blogs as at January 2007 compiled by Aseem Badshah. All blogs listed had a Technorati rating of at least 50 or higher".

For those of you interested in blogs following Roger's presentation. I think a lot are for primary and secondary education, but still worth a squiz!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Ten things that will change your future

"So Google and Wikipedia took you by surprise? Nick Galvin looks into his crystal ball and explains what you need to know to survive the next decade".

This article was especially relevant considering today's discussions re how the Liaison role will change in the future!
I want a chumby! It's like something out of Harry Potter. Though I am secretly scared they will one day take over the world, in the manner of Triffids etc. ...

Friday, 11 January 2008

Postgrad Information Literacy

I happened upon this interesting study via the Morris Miller new book display:

Newton, A. (2007). Reaching out to research students: Information literacy in context. In E. Connor (Ed.), Evidence-based librarianship : Case studies and active learning exercises (pp. 119-140). Oxford: Chandos. (yes I used Endnote to create this reference!)

Author is from Leeds Uni in the UK but surveyed practice in four major Australian unis as well as her own researchers. Her 14 point student needs survey is interesting in its simplicity. (Asks questions like "I have a strategy for keeping up to date with the latest publications...". (p.128)

Also interesting is that we are already doing most of what she thinks is needed in postgrad sessions but adds "copyright" as an essential component and "locating and accessing theses" (p. 136)

Probably most interesting to me was her suggested session structure: a half day workshop in 2 parts:
Part 1. Effective literature searching...
Part2. Information use, following academic discussions, avoiding plagiarism, managing info (i.e. Endnote)

I will certainly follow up these suggestions with the Morris Miller Team...

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Liaison Planning Day January 2008

It would be great to have some post-planning day discussion on the blog

Thursday, 3 January 2008


Have a look at this transcript which refer to E. Morris Miller and his apparent opposition to the DDC!

Two quotes:

“one of Henry Laurie's star pupils, Edmund Morris Miller”

And further on:
“Several of Laurie's pupils, in terms of outreach into the community, were active in the cultural life of the city. One form of this activity was in the area of libraries. Both Morris Miller and another philosophy graduate, Amos Brazier, worked at the Victorian Public Library, and Miller published the first Australian monograph in librarianship called 'Libraries and Education', as well as being influential in founding the Library Association of Victoria in 1912. Miller and Brazier were involved in lengthy, internal disputes with the Chief Librarian, a man called La Touche Armstrong, over many things, including the building of the famous Reading Room dome, and the introduction of the Dewey decimal system. The philosophy graduates were hotly opposed to the Dewey system. Much of their opposition seems to have sprung from the fact that philosophers were long regarded as the ideal people to classify and categories books and were employed all over the place to do so. And the Dewey system would put most of them out of an enjoyable job, of reading and classifying endless numbers of books. Miller's opposition was so strong that when he became Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Tasmania in 1928, and later Vice Chancellor of that university, he used his influence to keep the Dewey system out of the university library, until the 1950s”