Monday, December 10, 2007

Brown bag lunch

Irene and I are talking about our travels on Tuesday 18th at 1pm and I wanted a spot to place some useful links.

The events I visited were:

The presentations I gave were:

Bits and pieces I picked up:

Overall theme from all events - libraries are trying to use the tools that users are already using, (eg. google docs, CE6 ) and integrate library content into these.

QULOC and TAFE followed similar format - presentations to everyone before lunch, break into smaller groups after lunch. QULOC's focus on hands on workshops was great. The unconference was less formal than the WA unconference, with many sessions being "sit around and talk" sessions. Like WA, it was a useful sharing of information across library sectors.

QUT Creative Industries have use delicious tag cloud embedded into a web page as subject guide - and have embedded this into Blackboard / CE6 Learning Management System

Yarra Plenty Library System incorporates LibraryThing tags in its catalogue. See this example for Tim Winton's Cloudstreet.


University of New England - received funding to create a social network for students, but beginning to conclude that it is not necessarily a case of "If you build it they will come". May be better to use an Open Source network or to tap into something pre-exisiting like Facebook - especially by making widgets to tap into this. Cameron Barne's presentation slides are here,:

Gina Velli is a young librarian working in legal deposit at the State Library of Queensland. She gave a presentation about MySpace / Facebook and concluded that MySpace is not what it once was and Facebook is preferred by more mature library users.

Andrew Bennett from UQ talked about using Web 2.0 tools as part of the IT Standard Operating Environment, citing the advantages of single sign-on, standardisation of tools, "light-weight accesss to heavy weight tools". Disadvantages - bakups and repository, scalability. **. Focussed on Zoho and Google docs.


I went to those sessions I was most unfamiliar with at the unconference - so learned about how to offer services to youth, and a bit more about using chat reference.


Deb and Pim also presented about the Learning Common.

UWA Library have integrated their information literacy into Blackboard / CE6, but wanted to ensure their course content was more portable. At the moment it is very hard to reuse material from course to course. They are experimenting with using HIVE to store learning objects that can be access from different learning modules.

Kay Schneider's igoogle presentation was excellent.

Jody ex-Curtin's "start with google" information literacy classes. Demonstrated a search on google giving tips about using the + and site: operators. Then took same search to google scholar. Then went from google scholar into library databases...all the time talking about accessability, search strategies and academic validity of the sources.

The event she attended and presented about at the Brown Bag Lunch is the Learning Futures Symposium .

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Here's a meebo chat box

Here's a meebo chat box as an example of how it can be embedded in any web page. I'm sometimes logged into meebo to access the Library Society of the World chat room, but more often am offline.

The chat box won't show up in an RSS reader. I have also embedded one into the sidebar of this blog

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My other blog nominated for an Edublog Award

My other blog, Librarians Matter, has been nominated for “Best Librarian/Library Blog” in the 2008 Edublog awards.

To vote for me, click here, Best library / librarian blog 2007. Or, you may prefer to vote for one of the other nominees:

Previous library blog winners have been:
Library Stuff - 2004
Joyce Valenza’s NeverEnding Search - 2005
Hey Jude - 2006

I’m chuffed to see that West Australian Sue Water’s blog, Mobile Technology in TAFE has been nominated for three separate awards, and that Australian Jo Kay’s Second Life Island, Jokaydia, has been nominated for Best Educational Use of a Virtual World .

I'm hoping to attend the awards ceremony on 8th December in Second Life.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Blogs in Plain English

Yes, it's another Commoncraft explanation - this time about blogs. Did you realise you were creating alternative news sources and community just by blogging?

Blogs in Plain English - when I looked at it on Friday at about 9:30pm, I was the 78th person to view it. Would love to know where it was at when you looked (you'll need to click through to YouTube see those stats ).

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Social Networking in Plain English

I didn't use this one in the Facebook/ Twitter section of the 23 Things - mainly because I forgot .

It's rather short, and talks about social networks connecting you to a great job or a fantastic partner. I don't use my online social networks for either of these, but every day I use them to get information that I need to do my job better...and to find out about what is happening in Perth and hundreds of quirky little things that make me smile or think.

Here's the CommonCraft video - Social Networking in Plain English

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

CSI 2.0

Okay - a couple of weeks ago CSI set an episode in Second Life and I didn't mention it because I didn't want to seem THAT geeky.

But last night's episode of CSI where they showed Twitter just had me wondering what's going on with them. Quote of the night: "These people don't care about privacy, they value openness".

Has all this stuff become mainstream now? Is US commercial television cutting edge?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

A place for organisations in Facebook

According to the Facebook blog , they now encourage and have a place for organizations - Facebook Pages.

The "and more" bit mentioned below includes a category called "Library/Public building" that you can select when you create a Facebook Page .

We've launched Facebook Pages, which are distinct, customized profiles designed for businesses, bands, celebrities and more to represent themselves on Facebook. We noticed people wanted to connect with their favorite music, restaurants, and brands; but there was no good place for these types of affiliations to exist. Now, there is a place for them and you can become a fan of whatever pages you choose in order to interact with your passions in new ways. You can post reviews for a local restaurant, buy tickets to a new movie, or be the first to get a heads up about new promotions.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Should libraries be in Facebook?

Maybe not libraries, but definitely librarians - it is a useful way to network.

Should we try to offer our library services there? I wasn't so sure in July 2006, when I wrote:

Our younger users are definitely there. The question is “should we be there too?”. Or would we come across like a little kid following the big kids around, yelling “wait for meeeee?”.

I guess it’s a bit like blogs. If there is a need for them, then they are great tools. A couple of times recently I’ve heard of organisations considering starting blogs “because there’s an expectation”, but without really knowing what they’d post. Same applies with some of the social web sites. If there is a need that they fill and we enjoy using them, then we should do so. If we are just doing it to join our users on their own turf, I’m not sure it is a good enough reason, and that we won’t come off looking like prats.

Today I would answer the question "Yes - we should offer services there" - but the operative word is OFFER - not coerce, demand, stalk, or invade. This doesn't necessarily mean setting up a "library friends" group (unless users want one) or even using a Facebook profile at all. I'm much more interested in offering a starting point to our library content, which users can install or ignore as they want.

Since August this year, it has been possible to create small applications that Facebook users can choose to add to their profile. There are currently over 5000 on offer. It is easy to create a small application with a searchbox for the library catalogue, a searchbox for the library portal and a link to the "Ask a Librarian" service.

If staff or students spend a large amount of time hanging out in Facebook and prefer to search our library from an application they have chosen to add to their profile, then it is a win/win situation. They are in control and can choose instead to go straight to the library web site, or straight to google Scholar.

I remember the debates that librarians had about whether we should put our library catalogues online - it wasn't just "How soon should we divert resources and do this necessary thing?", it was "Should we be online at all ? Is this really space that it is appropriate for us to occupy?".

Last Thursday google announced OpenSocial, where google gadgets can now be embedded into other social sites like Open Social partners Orkut, Ning, MySpace, Friendster and LinkedIn. This is aimed directly at weakening Facebook's market share - users can now embed these cool little aps at other places where they hang out, not just inside Facebook. Google gadgets are easily created by the layperson who knows a bit of html.

The implications of these little aps is that successful web sites will morph into successful web presences.

I agree with Karen Coombes who is the Head of Web Services at the University of Houston Libraries, who had this to say in The future of Web Services isn’t the Library website:
meeting your users where they are isn’t about making them come to the library website. In considering our long term virtual presence plans, the library website is a given. People who come to the site know we exist and want to use our services. To truly be successful we have to get our content into the path of the people who wouldn’t walk through our door (physical or virtual)...

...[some issues with potential website redesign ]....would be resolved if users had alternate ways of accessing our data. Does the typical mobile user want the library website or a specific piece of information or tool from the library site? If faculty could do their searches without coming to the library site would they? I think the answer is yes. Focusing on content rather than look and feel will allow us to provide these different types of services. It will also allow different types of users to potentially selectively access content.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thing 14: It's about growing your own garden

Just the kind of reminder I need right now.

Thing 13: Flickr: 23 things participants

23 things participants
Originally uploaded by sirexkat
I thought that maybe if I posted it on a social site, some people would appear in the picture, so I posted it to Flickr

Thing 12: Photo of everyone who turns up for Tuesday 2pm sessions

Here they all are.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 tag cloud

I cheated and set an "IF YOU WANT MORE" task that I didn't know how to do. I think the QUT tag cloud in their Creative Industries Subject Guide is the bee's knees, but want to work out how to do it.

Karen at Peel emailed me to ask how, so... here's what you do. Under your account settings, find tag rolls. Or go straight to this tag rolls page. Fiddle with the settings, then copy the embed code from the bottom into a post, using the "Edit HTML" tab.


Sunday, October 21, 2007 as a search engine

I had fun trying out different search engines for Thing 10. Like Sue, I found kartoo gave the most distinctive looking results. I really like the way tagging sites let me trace the origin and "brothers and sisters" of a link by seeing what other things a person also tagged.

My friend Peta jokingly suggested that she'd try as her search engine of choice after I posted the Information R/evolution clip on . She gave it a burl this weekend and has blogged extensively about it over at Innovate, Yummy searching ?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Essential viewing anyone working with students

I found this when I used another one of their videos for the Social Tagging section of 23 Things next week.

This clip was made for the Kansas Digital Ethnography programme. 200 students collaborated on a document and designed their own survey about what they do with their time and how it relates to their uni studies. They made this 5 min video clip showing their findings.

A Vision of Students Today

Monday, October 8, 2007

Doing the happy dance on

Out of the hundreds of slide sets uploaded to each day, my slides that I made about "What is Library 2.0?" is's Slidecast of the day today. It's the one I linked to from the Week 5 post on 23 Things.

A slidecast is an audio track with slides synchronised to change at cued places during the talk.

Last night I was practicing my talk for Thursday, to make sure I could say what I needed in 20 minutes, and I had Audacity open as I did it. I edited out a few umms and errrs, published it as an mp3 on the server and linked it to the slides. A bit of cueing later and I had a slidecast ready to give the link out to participants on Thursday.

Except someone at obviously liked the cut of its jib and published it on the front page. Erk! That's my 15 minutes of fame done for this lifetime.

Here is the slidecast. Press the little green arrow to play.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Voki, Year Ones and blogging in education

I fiddled with Voki, which is an online tool to create a cartoon character that appears to speak an audio track that you record. I discovered it at the 1M Little Gems Blog which I discovered in turn via Tama Leaver’s excellent post about blogging in education: Reflections on the Australian Blogging Conference and Blogging in Education . If myVoki doesn’t show in your aggregator, you can go here .

Get a Voki now!

I love the Year One’s blog. As a parent, I would really appreciate a web page for the class that lists what is happening each day, what the kids need and significant dates - as they have icluded on the sidebar of the blog. I can see that they have used online graphing software to embed the kids’ graphs in the blog. The Voices of the World project in which they are participating is very cool too - kids around the world are using the same software (in September it was Voki) to record the same information. I love the voices of the Scottish kids featured on the blog.

Tama’s post outlines the pros and cons of blogging in education and is really worth a read.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Still it comes....

I made a slideshow with music, copying an idea from a Central TAFE 23 Thinger - and embedded it into a post here on the blog. I'm too tired to work out whether there is a way to stop the jolly thing from playing, but every time I open the page now I hear the "chi chi chi, chi chi chi" soundtrack I added.

Driven to distraction, I have changed the date on the post so it is pushed off the front page. If you want to hear those "chi chi" sounds, you can still click through tothe Slideshow of the Library 2.0 unconference.

Sorcerer's apprentice

In an attempt to stop the slide show from loading automatically because it is embedded in the first post, I'm adding this emergency, band-aid post. Please stop.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Gee there's some really good reflective posting going on at the moment. I'm checking the browser for libkat a couple of times a day and feeling a little sad when there is no new post. The time to check seems to be just after hometime - people seem to be winding down a bit by blogging. Nice.

I've realised that I'm going to have to go back again a subscribe to comments feeds for all the blogs if they are available. Bloglines seems to have better autodiscovery of feeds, so maybe I'll try pasting the URL into adding subscription there, then export the whole bunch into google reader. Still playing with that one.

There are varied levels of skill at all this, but overall I've been very pleasantly surprised that people are doing more sophisticated blogs than I expected. I'm writing weeks 6 and 7 today, and I feel much more confident that people will cope with it easily.

I've noticed that the 23 things are progressing from tools you can use for yourself (blogs, gmail) to tools you can use to collaborate with small groups (wikis) through to the outrageously social in later weeks. I'd like to pretend it was deliberate.

There are a small number of people who have registered who haven't started at all - and a few I know have done tasks but not marked them on the wiki. I'm wondering whether they'd appreciate a bit of help, and the best way to offer it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

My workflow with RSS

I read a lot of feeds, but most of the folk in my online network would read the same amount as me.

According to the "Trends" in my google reader, I subscribe to 230 feeds and in the last 30 days, I read 1395 items. I would guess that maybe 4 of these items per week are emailed out to someone else at work.

I have about 30 feeds in my "00 I read this" folder, that are at the top of my list of feeds and I tend to watch daily. There are another 50 or so in my "01 I sorta read this" folder. I read these weekly. The rest are categorised into folders like "51 Library techie - hot " , "53 Library techie - warm" or "31 - Australian library " - they get a look in every fortnight or so.

I subscribe to blogs by people who read other blogs - by following their links, I read excerpts from more than just 30 blogs each day.


I'm not too fussed about being notified when there is an update or having to "go" to a different place. I have so many windows open at once, that to me, all of these sites ARE already in the same spot - in my browser on the web. It doesn't feel like another place to go - just different facets of the same place.

Right now, I have 34 Firefox tabs open on my home PC and another 3 open in Internet Explorer. On my work laptop, where I'm writing this, I have 10 tabs open.

Each morning when I switch on my home PC I open up:
1. Firefox
1.1 Gmail for sirexkat
1.2 Twitter
1.3 My blog, to check who has linked to it overnight
1.4 to check whether anyone had contributed a post that needs publishing
1.5 Sitemeter to see hits on Librariansmatter
1.6 Google reader to read my feeds
1. 7 My Facebook account
1.8 My "Remember the Milk" account so I can see my To Do list

2. Internet Explorer
2.1 Webmail for work - as it being a Microsoft product it works best in IE
2.2 Gmail account for libkat (as I can't log into two on the same browser)
2.3 Google reader for libkat

3. Thunderbird mail reader
3.1 For my "running the household" email account with my ISP

4. Outlook calender
4.1 Our central "running the household" calendar that Co-Pilot and I sync our PDAs to.

Within a few minutes I also have open:
5.1 Several posts from my reader upon which I comment
5.2 Several links that friends have thrown out on twitter
5.3 that I have used to bookmark the most useful lot from 4.1 and 4.2 .

Using the ALT TAB key sequence, I give all of them my continuous partial attention.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Two otters holding hands

Well, Ruby Tuesday over at Blog 1 posted a cute animal clip, so I just couldn't resist. It's not a Lion Hug like she posted, but it is very, very cute. Keep watching, because they drop hands and then do it again....


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Spam filter and gmail

I just found a whole lot of emails in the spam filter for my libkat@gmail account. I thought maybe eveyone had gone all coy and wasn't emailing me their blog addresses.

Problem solved and I'll add the big bunch of blogs to the list when I go into work today.

Monday, September 17, 2007

69 Things marked off

Wow! There are smilies or dates or checks in 69 boxes on the chart already.

Some people have not emailed me their blog address, but have ticked off their blog on the chart, or entered the blog address there. I'm not sure whether they are ready to have it added to the list of participant blogs yet. Probably they are - but I'd hate to post a link to something that people don't want others to know about yet. I'll add a note about it when I send out the next two Things.

I'll also send a note out asking people who work ahead to find my "libkat" profiles rather than my real profile. Someone has already friended the Facebook libkat one, and another person has friended my real twitter account. I guess I don't mind..but it feels kind of funny.... As one of my twitter friends said last night after he found his mum and sister on Facebook - "The real world is beginning to invade Facebook and I'm not sure I like it".

If anyone is reading this, the twitter account to friend is and the Facebook one is

I have the first workshop tomorrow. Mr9 is going into Princess Margaret to have his teeth done under a general anaesthetic, so I'm not sure I'll be 100% focussed on the task at hand. Poor kid has to be there from 10 - 6 :(

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Two blogs already !

Two people have already created their blogs, and we are only 4 days in.

Someone else was asking about how to upload an image to the sidebar. You just use the "Picture" page element on the "Page Elements" tab. Yes, it does automatically resize. To get the image from your PC, you need to use the "browse" option.

With 60+ people registered, next week is going to be very, very interesting as I am deluged by new blogs to put on the participant's blogs page and to subscribe to. I have folders ready in my email box for "blogs notified", "blogs done" etc...and have been working on tags for google reader so I can keep the feeds in some kind of sensible order.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Central TAFE library are doing it - me too !

I'm a shameless idea pilferer. For their image generator week in their 23 Things, one of the TAFE librarians played with to make a slideshow about their trip to the New Norcia Lecture.

I nosed over to the site, pointed to the Flickr set I uploaded on the day of the "Library 2.0 on the loose" unconference, chose an effect, whacked on a soundtrack and copied the code to paste here. If I hadn't had so much fun tinkering with the different effects, I could have done the whole thing in 3 minutes, max. Is fun. I like. Can be useful?

UPDATE: Is a bit too flashy for me - soundtrack is overkill and I can't work out how to stop the jolly thing once it is playing in the blog page - without refreshing the page.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Goals / obstacles / toolkit


1. To learn better how to accomodate people of different abilities in hands on workshops.

2. To read every post made by every participant (if we get 20 and they post only the minimum of 12 posts, then that would be...let's see...240 posts ...over 3 months, this is managable. 30 - 360. 40 - 480 0r almost 500...hmmm...).

3. Not to rush each post on the 23 things blog.

4. To provide something comprehensive enough to be worthwhile reading, but not so full of detail that it wastes people's time.

5. To have some fun and try to play along with the participants at the same time in this blog.


1. Time. Need to be very disciplined to focus on the core tasks involved.

2. Perfectionism. I need to accept that some weeks I'll not be able to do the perfect job I'd like to do - that I'm still getting something out of it anyhow

3. Desire to please people. I want it to be fun and a postive learning experience for people, but I also need to sit back and let paticipants take responsibility for their own learning.

4. Other tasks I need to prioritise my 23 Things work for the next 3 months, but I have other projects that I need to do too. Sometimes I will need to cut back a bit on the 23 Things work to get the rest done.


1. Headphones
2. Quiet space
3. Time to think about each tool before I post
4. RSS feeds for each participant blog and a well organised feed reader
5. Separate accounts in my libkat user name for the duration of this project
6. Digital camera
7. Timetable of weekly goals
8. Mindfulness

Friday, August 24, 2007

I made a meez

Looking through the Learning 2.1 blog, I found the post about making a meez at, and I just had to have one. Here it is.

Oh yeah, I've done Thing 1, too - I have a gmail account - libkat at gmail dot com. I wonder whether this would be useful for joining sites where I have to give an email address and don't want to give one I actually USE.

This post means I have done Thing 2. I'll go and update the mullet23 wiki, and then I will have done Thing number 3. I'm glad it has rollback, so if I accidentally stuff it up I can just make it go back to the previous version.