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penaccess A newsletter from the West Midland branch of CILIP October 2009 Vol. 52 No. 3

ISSN 0048-1904


Online professional networking SPECIA WEB 2.0 using Web 2.0 tools ED

Professional networking is an important part of any career and can be used to get expert advice, exchange ideas, get a second opinion, obtain a reality check, test new ideas, gain moral support and engage in collaborative problem solving (Ramsey, 2004). In addition, professional networking can also be used as a form of marketing yourself and your skills to other professionals, including potential employers, colleagues and collaborators. In recent years, online networks have changed networking capabilities; Nielsen Online (2009) demonstrated that social networking and blogging are more popular online activities than e-mail. The growth of these online networks enables professional networking online as well as face to face.

How can you network with information professionals online? Blogging A blog is a type of website with regular entries (called posts) arranged chronologically. Blogs can be used in a number of different ways; to share resources, experiences or views; to report on new services or ideas; as a news tool; or as a reflective tool. Open source blogging tools such as Wordpress (www. wordpress.com) and Blogger (www. blogger.com) now enable users to set up blogs with minimal technical knowledge. Reading blogs Subscribing to the blogs of other information professionals can provide insight into the profession, enable learning from their experiences, and lead to conversation in blog comments. I use a feed reader (e.g. Google Reader) to aggregate the blogs I follow so that I only need to visit one place to read all the new posts. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of reading feeds on a regular basis so that you don’t fall behind and feel overwhelmed by a large number of unread posts. This also ensures that you keep up to date with new developments as they happen. Writing blogs Writing blog posts can help organise thoughts on a particular issue, share

points of view on a topical debate, share knowledge and experiences, or act as a repository for commentary on useful websites/articles. I write my own blog, Joeyanne Libraryanne, which I use to jot down any thoughts about the profession as well as charting the progress of my career and my distance learning course. I particularly enjoy the conversations that take place within the comments. People engage in debates on topical issues, or offer advice and potential solutions to any problems mentioned on the blog. Blogging has expanded my network as other professionals read and comment on my blog posts or contact me via the blog. Key West Midlands library/librarian blogs CILIP West Midlands blog http://communities.cilip.org.uk/blogs/ cilipwestmidlands/ Joeyanne Libraryanne http://www.joeyanne.co.uk Katharine Widdows http://kwiddows.blogspot.com/ David Viner http://dviner.blogspot.com/ Amelia Luzzi http://outsidelibraries.blogspot.com/



From the Editor 29 April 2009 will go down in history as the day that librarians took over the internet. Well, albeit for a few hours at least! If you don’t know why or what for, then I could ask where have you been? That date saw an Open Session of CILIP Council held at Ridgmount Street on the use of Web 2.0, setting the internet ablaze with comments, opinions and suggestions on how our professional body should make its web presence felt. To highlight this topical area we have decided to dedicate this issue to Web 2.0 and its many uses throughout libraries in our region. I hope that you enjoy this special edition of Open Access, and as always your feedback is much appreciated. Don’t forget you can comment on any of the articles by visiting our blog, Facebook or Twitter pages. And if you want to explore what you can achieve by utilising various web tools, you can join internet guru Phil Bradley at one of our Web 2.0 Workshops in December, see page 12 for more details. David Viner dviner@solihull.gov.uk

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In this issue... Outside libraries: Using Web 2.0 for professional development.......................3 A practical guide to using Web 2.0 tools.........................4 Technically Speaking: Has the Semantic Web’s time arrived at last?.......................................6 Web 2.0 projects at Warwick University Library: A brief overview.....................8 Stories from the Web............9 Web 3.0: How will we react?.....................................11 Committee News................12 Continued from page 1

Microblogging Microblogging is similar to blogging, but uses short pieces of text up to 140 characters. Microblogging can also be used for a number of purposes such as sharing links, points of view, current work/ideas, or as a conversation tool. Microblogging tool Twitter has gained popularity recently, and with careful selection of choosing who to follow, Twitter can be an extremely useful tool for professional networking. I tweet as joeyanne; my network grows almost every day as I discover more librarians and information professionals. I find Twitter incredibly useful for networking; it gives an insight into both professional and personal lives of fellow librarians, and is another way of keeping up to date on new developments as they unfold. Recently, I participated in CILIP’s Web 2.0 Open Session via Twitter. The aim of the session was to discuss ways in which CILIP could use Web 2.0 technologies, and in order to engage with the community, members were encouraged to follow and participate in the discussion via Twitter. Twitter



posts from the community were fed into the event via a screen, so that they could form part of the discussion at the event despite the geographical distance. Key Twitter accounts There are lots of librarians based in the West Midlands using Twitter.You can view a list of people to follow by visiting: http://tweepml.org/?t=1128 Social Networking Social networking sites (e.g. Facebook, LinkedIn, Academia.edu and Ning) are used in a more traditional network building way. Each user has their own profile page which includes items such as general/career information, photographs, links to other online accounts (e.g. blogs, Twitter), and updates of activities. Contacts can be added as “friends” to keep up to date, and groups can be created/joined to share resources and encourage conversation. At the time of writing, Facebook is the second most visited site in the UK (Alexa, 2009). Key Social Networking Groups CILIP WM on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/group. php?gid=31273999486 Librarians and Facebook group http://www.facebook.com/group. php?gid=2210901334 CILIP on LinkedIn (unofficial group) http://www.linkedin.com/ groups?gid=1730267 Conclusion Blogging, microblogging and social networking all help build and expand a professional network. I learn a lot from my network of contacts; keeping up to date with new developments, collaborating to solve problems, discussing topics within the profession, and gaining moral support as well as knowledgeable advice. One of the great things about networking within the information profession is the willingness to collaborate and share ideas; I enjoy contributing to the community, but also feel that I get a lot back from it; “[t]he main feature of a good network is that it is mutually beneficial” (NACM Communications Dept., 2006).

Ten top tips for using online tools for professional networking 1. Build a brand identity 2. Think about the purpose of each of your accounts 3. Decide on a professional/personal balance 4. Link your online identities 5. Find key people to follow to get best use from each tool 6. Use the tools regularly, even if only for short updates 7. Integrate the tools into your routine 8. Engage with your followers/ readers/friends 9. Don’t become too wrapped up in the tools themselves; give new things a go 10. Most of all - enjoy! For more information about any of the topics discussed in the article, please feel free to contact me (via email, blog comment, Twitter or social networking)! References Alexa (2009) facebook.com – Traffic details from Alexa [Online] Available from: http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/ facebook.com (accessed 30/05/2009) NACM Communication Dept. (2006) Make Every Connection Count, Business Credit, 108 (2), 54. Nielsen Online (2009) Global Faces and Networked Places: a Nielsen report on social networking’s new global footprint [Online] Available from: http://blog. nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/ uploads/2009/03/nielsen_globalfaces_ mar09.pdf (accessed 23/05/2009) Ramsey, R. D. (2004) What’s new in networking, Supervision 65 (4), 6-8. Jo Alcock is Resources Librarian at the University of Wolverhampton.

jo@joeyanne.co.uk www.joeyanne.co.uk www.twitter.com/joeyanne

Outside libraries: Using Web 2.0 for professional development Four years ago I went from working in a library to managing information for a university careers department, and I nearly lost all touch with my profession. I wasn’t expecting that to happen. To me, librarianship meant information management; going for an information management job outside a library didn’t seem like any great leap. I assumed – naively I now realise – that I would continue to be involved in the concerns of the library world and that the careers service would “get” the information profession as much as libraries do. But the careers profession is more focused on advice than information and the opportunities to meet other librarians was scarce. In all fairness to my employers, they did their best to support me, but I still felt isolated from a profession I love and looked for ways to regain the sense of identity that being around other librarians had given me. I wanted to keep informed about library concerns, to connect to others who share my interests and to feel that I was contributing something to the profession. Given the amount of time I spent in front of a computer screen, it seemed natural to turn to the web for solutions. I was already aware of tools such as blogs that made it easy for web users to post their thoughts and interact with each other online. I’d tentatively looked for blogs by other librarians and read one or two on a semi-regular basis. I now began to look for professional reading in a more systematic manner. RSS feeds, which allow you to subscribe to new content posted on a website, were the first tool I used for my professional development. Practically any blog or online news source has an RSS feed you can subscribe to. I spent some time looking for interesting library websites, subscribed to their feeds in Google Reader and had myself a tailored professional reading list. I now subscribe to and read 40-odd feeds across a range of professional interests from marketing, to library blogging to web design. I don’t always have the time to read everything in my feed reader, but even scanning the headlines helps me feel in touch with what is going on in the profession. Meanwhile, I was trying to connect with other people working in information roles, in or outside libraries. One of my attempts was setting up a wiki – a shared website that any attendee could write on and edit – for a careers information conference I was going to. I’d seen wikis work really well with library conferences, both as ways for people to interact before and during the conference and as a record of the sessions afterwards. In the event, the wiki lost momentum once we were all at the conference, but was used as a preconference meet-up tool, with people adding profiles of themselves and arranging for shared travel on it. A worthwhile experiment in connecting with people, but clearly not a solution for the longer term.

people can sign up to read your snippets of wisdom, and you can reply to and re-post what other people write. I’d had a Twitter account for about a year (and was wondering what it had that Facebook status updates didn’t) when it hit me how great a tool it was for meeting like-minded people. Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn’t require you to share vast amounts of personal data alongside your updates and, unless you protect them, your updates are open to the world at large. This gives it the feel of a big room buzzing with thousands of conversations, any one of which you can listen into, join, and leave with a minimum of hassle and risk.You can search all of Twitter for a topic - “academic libraries”, “cataloguing”, “social media”- and see who’s saying what about it. And if you like what they’re saying, you can follow their updates regularly and interact with them. One excellent feature of Twitter is its use of hashtags, which are essentially keywords for your updates. These are being used, among other things, to mark updates from specific events like conferences, so that you can see everything that is being said at or about the event. Coupled with Twitter’s real-time search function, it means that you can keep an eye on a conference as it is happening. Earlier this year, I used this trick to attend, from the comfort of my own desk, the CILIP 2.0 session in London. More than just being able to follow the events at the session as they unfolded, what I enjoyed was being able to interact with other “virtual” attendees through Twitter. The session introduced me to other twittering librarians and gave me a real sense of belonging to the profession. Twitter also works well with the professional blog I’ve started, Outside Libraries, to which I post about my professional interests and my experience of being a library-less librarian. After the 140-character limit on Twitter, I’m glad of the space to stretch out my thoughts and get into the reasons behind what I do. Once a post is written, I use Twitter to get the news out to the people who follow my updates. After my initial isolation, it’s great to have ways in which to be in touch with other librarians, to read and comment on their thoughts and to share mine with them. Web technologies have given me all this. I still miss libraries, but I’m back in touch with the profession. Amelia Luzzi is Web Coordinator, Student Life Division, University of Birmingham amelialuzzi@gmail.com Blog: http://outsidelibraries. blogspot.com

That solution turned out to be, much to my surprise, a microblogging tool called Twitter. Like blogging, micro-blogging involves posting your thoughts. The catch is that you only have 140 characters with which to express your thoughts. Other



A practical guide to using Web 2.0 tools ‘Another email alert from a research organisation – this is really good stuff but I’m not the one who needs the information...’ ‘I want to reach those users who aren’t coming in to the library building – what’s more, I want to put my mark on the services I offer. I want to give the library a face’. ‘I want to build up my subject knowledge – I don’t just want to save bookmarks, I want to share what I find and offer something extra to users’. Recognise any of the above scenarios? When I was asked to write a short article for Open Access, I thought I would try to come up with something practical. Since I first wrote about my Ning, Delicious and Netvibes websites in CILIP Update, I’ve had lots of positive feedback from colleagues in the library profession. What’s more, it was interesting to note how many people agreed with me – sometimes you feel there’s a lot of talk about using Web 2.0 tools, but not much action.You never know until you try, after all. So, here’s my guide to setting up your own websites...

Ning:The Education Network focus on Education and Early Childhood information and resources. Then I built up my network to incorporate the answers they needed for the most common questions and problems, resulting in it becoming what I like to call the ‘first stop for information’. If I have a query about using the British Education Index, or finding educational evidence, or just logging on to the library resources, I can refer the library user to the network if appropriate. What’s more, I’m giving users the option to find that information for themselves, and a lot more besides – the network is 24/7, I’m not! Ning (or ‘n[etwork]ing’) is just one option for setting up your own social network: a place for you to personalise what you offer to your users, and encourage two-way communication through your blog, and chat forums.You can add RSS feeds, videos, notes, photos and events.You can use text boxes to add widgets and Twitter feeds. Once you’ve got the basics set up, you’ll probably spend hours playing with your features and the appearance of your network (I did). Keep your URL simple, for example: http://ednetwork.ning.com. First of all, make sure you know exactly why you are creating your network. What issues do you want to address – and is a network suitable for your situation? As an Academic Liaison Librarian, with a specific role in supporting students and staff in the Institute of Education (as well as other library users), the purpose behind the Education Network was simple: I wanted staff and students to get to know me, what I offer, and what the library can offer, with a particular


Secondly, promote it whenever you get the opportunity. Meetings, course committees, noticeboards, handbooks, enquiries, appointments. Whenever I have something useful or important to blog, I’ll also send the link to the blog post out to academic staff and ask them to promote and pass this on to students. I know if this has worked because there will be a ‘spike’ on Google Analytics, which monitors usage of the website. Such promotion builds your profile and it all helps in getting people to engage with the resource. If you have members on your network, use the ‘broadcast message’ facility to share information. Thirdly: make it attractive. When I blog or create new notes, it’s always nice to include photos or logos as appropriate. Flickr Creative Commons is great for this, or you can press ‘print screen’, cut out the bit you need in Paint, save it, then use that file in your Note or blog post. This is great for picking out logos to promote a website or resource. Use your own photos too – it adds that personal touch. Finally, consider whether you need people to join as members to see certain content. Most content can be viewed without having to be a member on my network;


in my opinion, it’s more important that users get the information, and membership can be a barrier. However, people have to sign up if they want to post in the chat forums. I have made it compulsory to answer two questions when joining: degree or course of study, and at which institution (we have a number of partner institutions). Of course, members can be lecturers, other librarians or people at different universities. The questions indicate who is using the site – great for finding out if you are reaching your distance learners – but also gives me something to refer to when I choose to accept or decline the membership. I’ve had a significant number of suspicious looking applicants, who will put ‘Not Sure’, ‘fkjhhrg’ or ‘Tell You Later’ as answers to the questions. I won’t tell you what the profile pictures look like! Use the Privacy settings to control who can view and comment on blog posts and other features. Don’t forget to add a couple of links to any related websites, such as Delicious and Netvibes, somewhere on your network; the top left corner of your main page is a good place.

Delicious: share your bookmarks

This began as a place to save my own bookmarks, then expanded as I wanted to develop my subject knowledge when I started in post. I receive a lot of emails and alerts from various organisations, associations and publishers, and I wanted to share these. I often add news items, research and reports from Ofsted, DCSF, QCDA, NFER and others. It’s easy if you add the Delicious toolbar to your browser, and you can import your existing bookmarks too. Remember: Delicious is not the only bookmarking tool out there. The bookmarks are organised using tags, and tag bundles. Some tags relate to areas which I know students focus on in assignments, e.g inclusion, childdevelopment, creativity, everychildmatters, and speceducationneeds. You can then organise tags into bundles. For example, my ‘Subjects’ bundle includes tags for science, PE, RE and so on. It is easy to share the URL for any of your tags or bundles. For example:

Bundle: http://delicious.com/sarahoxford/bundle:IoE Charities and Organisations It’s also easy for your Delicious site to get cluttered after a year or so of adding bookmarks; you’ve got to maintain your web tools! I felt the need for a new place to collect together the key websites in a more visual way so I set up a Netvibes public page.

The Education Network Netvibes Page I can’t recommend this highly enough, even if you only get as far as creating a personal page! My own contains widgets such as a URL shortener (useful when Twittering!), a list of my most-used bookmarks, a To Do list (getting longer by the day), a Twitter feed, a feed for my Hotmail account, and a Facebook status feed. I have set it as my homepage on my work and home computers, as it acts as my own little portal to all the resources that I find useful on the Web on a day-to-day basis. But I digress. Back to sharing... I only have one public page at present – you can add more. It’s at www.netvibes.com/sarahoxford. I’ve organised it into a series of tabs for Education and Early Childhood websites and feeds. I market the site as a collection of key websites which I know students and staff find useful and are expected to use. I find it useful for keeping up to date with National Curriculum publications and reports. Often students don’t know what is current, and tutors aren’t always there to ask.

A final tip: I recommend using Firefox rather than Internet Explorer (IE). For whatever reason, I have page errors on Ning and Netvibes when using IE, and these problems are not apparent in Firefox. Okay, one more: Get stuck in! Encourage users to engage with the websites from the very start and mention them whenever you get the opportunity. What’s more, enjoy it: it’s your chance to show what you can do for your users.

Delicious site: http://delicious.com/sarahoxford

Sarah Oxford is Academic Liaison Librarian (Institute of Education), University of Worcester.

Tag: http://delicious.com/sarahoxford/ChildrensSociety




Technically Speaking: Has the Sem The [World Wide] Web as we know it today is only half of Tim Berners Lee’s vision. He initially envisioned a web of on-line documents containing [hypertext] links to other documents or locations within those documents. At the time the concept of hypertext links from one document to another was not new, but his radical concept of those links pointing to documents on other computers out across the Internet was radical. The concept was so powerful that it was not long before the web of documents was so wide spread and understood, that the ‘World Wide’ and ‘hypertext’ prefixes became assumed and dropped. In the early days,Yahoo! and others tried to catalogue the web with the effect that all documents were of similar importance regardless of their content. Then along came Google, who realised that the number of links to a document could be used as an indication of it’s relevance, utilising the collective intelligence of thousands of web page designers to effectively relevance rank the web. Until the emergence of so called Web 2.0, the web had been a read-only experience. The major characteristic of Web 2.0 is the ability to be able to create content by adding reviews on Amazon, or publishing thoughts in blogs, or co-operating in wikis. Wikipedia being the obvious example of this trend, with it’s massive co-operation brought to bare on producing the most comprehensive and detailed source of human knowledge. Like the web itself, Wikipedia is not perfect but nevertheless has to be acknowledged as an iconic example of networked co-operation on a global scale. In 2001, Tim Berners Lee co-authored an article in Scientific American in which he described the other half of his vision - a web of data to supplement and enhance the web of documents. This he named the Semantic Web. When looking at a document containing a link to another document, humans can possibly glean some context about, and therefore the semantics of, the link. Computers have little chance of deriving the semantics of a link. In the semantic web of data, links have semantics associated with them. For instance book data could be linked



to person data with an ‘authored by’ link, or event data could be linked to a map reference with a ‘located at’ link. In the same way that hypertext came in to its own, once applied to the Internet to create the web, the semantic linking of data also delivers its full potential when applied at a global scale between sets of data published across a web of data. The web took off because standards such as HTML were used to encode document content. Web browsers could then be built to display any web page regardless of the server on which it was hosted. Unsurprisingly, the semantic web has it’s own set

mantic Web’s time arrived at last? in their first twelve months. The open publishing of this data is already stimulating innovation. The BBC links to data published by Musicbrainz and DBpedia to add value to the data it provides. Interestingly the BBC has recently embarked on a trial of publishing its programme and music review data as Linked Data in the Talis [Semantic Web] Platform. It is early days for the Semantic Web in the form of Linked Data, but it is already being taken seriously in the data rich world of libraries. Talis is using its Semantic Web Platform to underpin its new range of products, dispelling early concerns that these technologies could not scale to provide services capable of supporting high volume public access applications, such as OPACs, Community Information and Student Resource List systems. The National Library of Sweden is also an early adopter of Linked Data, both publishing its own data in this form and linking to the Library of Congress Subject Heading and Authorities data, published in the same way. The benefits of this linkage are obvious, with the team in Stockholm being able to reliably display LCSH data without having to maintain it itself. So to answer my question - yes, under the guise of Linked Data, the time of the Semantic Web has arrived, and with Tim Berners Lee’s appointment as a Data Tsar for the UK Government, we will increasingly see its effects spreading both in and around libraries. Richard Wallis is Technology Evangelist with Talis. richard.wallis@talis.com

of standards such as RDF, RDFa, XML, and SPARQL, but as with the web so far only those that need to publish data have to understand them. Helpfully the W3C, the body that looks after web standards, has published recommendations that pull these standards and a few others together under the more friendly label of Linked Data. It is under this Linked Data initiative, that the principles of the Semantic Web are now being realised in practice. Many groups across the world have published openly licensed data as part of the Linked Open Data Project. As can be seen from the diagram they have been very successful



Web 2.0 projects at Warwick University Library: A brief overview from Katharine Widdows About two years ago our senior managers encouraged Academic Support staff to really explore Web 2.0 technologies and find out if anything particularly lent itself to supporting library work or marketing. We were given free reign to find out what worked and what suited the library, and what didn’t. The following brief overviews cover only four of the projects that have been running since then. We have also investigated much more, including Twitter, Google Documents, wiki reading lists,YouTube and more, but we couldn’t possibly fit it all in here. The brief articles below are just to give a taste of the kind of projects that we have worked on. There are many more members of staff involved and many more web 2.0 adventures underway... Interactive Web Applications Charlotte Brown: Assistant Subject Librarian for Psychology c.l.brown@warwick.ac.uk

since then and currently has 1282 fans (as of 21 August 2009). Approximately 60 new fans are attracted to the page every month, both in and out of term time.

An OCLC report on social networking has reported that the use of social networking sites is going up whilst the use of library websites and catalogues is going down. Given the popularity of social networking sites and other online services, such as Google and Wikipedia, the question is posed: can we present our library content within this domain to assist these users in discovering valuable library resources? And can we offer this in a way that appeals to users of these popular services?

The Wall has been set up (through the use of Yahoo Pipes to aggregate a collection of RSS feeds) to receive information from a range of Library blogs and news feeds, so we don’t have to add a lot of content directly to it. This means that the time required to maintain it and keep the content fresh is minimal. Now that Facebook sends updated Page content direct to user accounts, our fans get the information we post when they log in, they do not have to visit the Page itself to read our updates. But even so, our Pages are viewed between 25 and 50 times per day. As well as the Wall content, the Page also has photos and videos. We have also added applications to assist users in accessing some of our subscription databases via Facebook (for example a JSTOR search).

The Warwick Library iGoogle search application puts our library content within this domain. Functioning as an intermediary between iGoogle and the Library Catalogue, it allows access to our library resources from the interfaces that many students are using. The application can be found from the directory list of applications in iGoogle and added to an individual’s iGoogle homepage. Continuing the theme of pushing out useful content to our users, applications containing RSS feeds can also be embedded into popular social networking sites and online services such as iGoogle. They can also be embedded into an appropriate section of an online information skills tutorial containing links to useful blogs for example. Blogs are an increasingly popular reference resource for psychologists and therefore, embedding an application containing RSS links to engaging blog articles in an online tutorial webpage, can be a useful way to push out useful and relevant content to these users. Developing these applications is a constant iterative process that requires trying new things and seeing in which direction we are taken! Warwick Library In Your Face(book) Katharine Widdows: Science Information Assistant k.widdows@warwick.ac.uk In 2007 I set up a Facebook Page (now called a Public Profile) for Warwick University Library. It has been active



In addition to the Page we also offer a Catalogue Search application which Facebook users can add to their personal profiles, but so far it has only attracted 65 fans and 6 monthly active users. However it requires no maintenance so the low uptake is not a problem. There are various entries about our Facebook developments on my blog at: http://kwiddows. blogspot.com which will give further information if you are interested. A “delicious” subject resource! Jess Duffield: Assistant Subject Librarian for Arts jessica.duffield@warwick.ac.uk Some time ago I set up a Delicious.com subject resource for the Centre of Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies postgraduate students. The idea was to enable users to both search for useful websites using tags, and to promote collaboration between students. Potentially useful web pages relating to Translation and Comparative Cultural Studies were saved in http://delicious.com/CTCCS and using simple html code, a tag cloud was generated on the Library subject web page. This project was designed to replace the traditional linear list of useful website links with a more interactive searchable web page. In addition users are able recommend and add additional resources to the delicious

The resource was promoted in the 2008 induction sessions, and a training guide and session was put together earlier this year to show how the resource could be used. So far informal feedback has been positive, students like the idea of delicious as a resource to bookmark web pages and access resources from anywhere and at anytime. The collaborative aspect still needs a little work, but the resource is being used, and in several instances suggestions have been made to add websites to the collection. A new subject resource for French Studies has been put together for next year, and it will be interesting to see how these results compare. Useful Links: CTCCS Trial Subject Resource - http://www2.warwick. ac.uk/services/library/main/tealea/arts/transcompcultstudies/ trialresource CTCCS Delicious Account - http://delicious.com/CTCCS French Studies Subject Resource - http://www2.warwick. ac.uk/services/library/main/tealea/arts/french/usefulwebsites/ French_Studies Delicious Account - http://delicious.com/ French_Studies Instant Messaging: putting the “me” into Meebo Ross Connell – Assistant Subject Librarian for Politics and International Studies r.connell@warwick.ac.uk Surveys in recent years by OCLC [1] and JISC [2] have reported high levels of instant messaging (IM) usage by current and prospective higher education students. As part of an initiative to raise my profile as Assistant Subject Librarian for Politics and International Studies, and to improve subject enquiry support, I used the free service Meebo [3] to trial IM communication with students. Meebo allows accounts on different IM services to be monitored through a single web-based interface, so accommodating enquirer preference. My Meebo account was linked to personal accounts on the popular Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo! messenger services, with my usernames on these services advertised on the Library subject webpage. A Meebo chat widget was also embedded on this page, facilitating oneto-one communication without students requiring their own IM account. While IM chat may sound an easy, even childish option, from my experience and evaluation it is a challenging medium for enquiry support. Staffing is a key issue, even at the microlevel of the pilot. Initially specifying four hours during each week when I would be available, practice has shown it is difficult to isolate these times from other work engagements. Furthermore, this works against the synchronous, instant nature of IM, with immediate student needs not fitting well into preset slots. By comparison, a parallel initiative, piloting my pre-existing Facebook [4] Profile as a means of subject contact, has proved considerably more popular. My best advice is not to view such services as replacements for face to face, telephone or email enquiry support, but as additional, complementary options for students to obtain support in the way most convenient for them. Indeed, direct email notification of Facebook enquiries has been a key factor in the effectiveness of this initiative, avoiding the imperative to be online, which is intrinsic to IM.

[1] De Rosa, C., et al. College students’ perceptions of libraries and information resources: a report to the OCLC membership. [Online]. (URL http://www.oclc.org/reports/ pdfs/studentperceptions.pdf). Dublin, Ohio: OCLC, 2006. (Accessed 28 July 2009). [2] Ipsos MORI. Student expectations study: key findings from online research and discussion evenings held in June 2007 for the Joint Information Systems Committee. [Online]. (URL http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/publications/ studentexpectations.pdf). London: JISC, 2007. (Accessed 28 July 2009). [3] http://www.meebo.com/ [4] http://www.facebook.com/

Stories from The Web Enabling libraries to engage children and young people in creative reading and writing activities through Web 2.0 and online applications Stories from the Web (SfW) has now been running for over ten years. An innovative web based project, it combines conventional literature promotion with computer-based activities to engage children in creative reading and writing activities. History of the project The original project was innovative, being one of the first to explore ways in which public libraries could make use of the internet to enhance their provision. In particular ‘to explore how [public libraries] could integrate internet services into their traditional literature and literacy services’;1 even though the infrastructure to support public library access was not in place until 2002, through the People’s Network project. SfW wanted to use the emerging technology of the internet to encourage children and young people to read more and provide a forum for engagement with authors and books. It also aimed to enhance the IT skills of children and young people through exploring and interacting with the content on the site. The project launched initially as a pilot project, changing and developing over the next ten years to its present form. Today the site is offered on a subscription basis as part of the MLA Reference Online programme to all library authorities within the UK. Web 2.0 There is an abundance of definitions of Web 2.0 available but many include terms such as ‘participative’; ‘Web 2.0 is about communication and facilitating community’; ‘built upon Trust’.2 From its inception SfW has focused on building an online community of children and young people, engaged in creative Continued on page 10



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reading and writing activities. The notion of trust pervades the site, with all contributions being fully moderated before being made live, and the need to ensure that children and young people who use the site are safe at all times has always been a guiding principle. After the dot com crash it was suggested that those companies which survived had: certain characteristics in common; they were collaborative in nature, interactive, dynamic, and the line between the creation and consumption of content in these environments was blurred (users created the content in these sites as much as they consumed it).3 Long before these definitions were generated the SfW site was providing opportunities like these to the children and young people who used the site. A Sense of community From the outset one of the vital aims of the project was to encourage child users to feel like they were part of a community. This has been achieved by:

making the site child focussed – information for adults is to be found in the ‘boring adult info’ section not on the main site

providing opportunities for children to contribute and interact with the site including story based activities, reviews, creative writing activities providing an opportunity for feedback: on the site, the authors, each others’ stories

publishing submitted work in a gallery which includes first name and age of the child

The feedback sections have been well used and dialogues have been established between children who visit the site; with children and young people discussing a range of issues and commenting on each other’s stories. A result of providing the opportunities for interactive engagement has been that children and young people have develoed a sense ownership of the site: “I think it is a beautiful website I could live in it I like it that much.” Laura As well as the whole community of site users, smaller communities also exist for example, within local libraries where the site is used as part of structured sessions or between children and young people with similar reading tastes. The communities can be local, national or international with children from around the world contributing to specific areas of the site. The Library offer SfW started as a site to support libraries and to encourage children to borrow books and use libraries beyond the website. Mechanisms are built into the project to allow this, for example children and young people have to visit their


local library to gain access to their login details. They are also encouraged to borrow the books promoted on the site with a direct link to their local library authority’s catalogue. A core value of the site is to support public libraries in their delivery of a range of key agendas around children and young people; literacy, reader development, books and reading as well as writing and the use of the internet. This is achieved through a range of engaging creative reading, writing and craft based activities; book related games and quizzes and the chance for children and young people to see their creative work published online. Developments on the site, which have been locally funded by Birmingham City Council, but are available to all, support the delivery of ECM outcomes for example, the Stay Safe area and a new Be Healthy area. The offer to subscribing authorities also includes a one day comprehensive training session as well as a collection of ready prepared, themed session plans aiding delivery of exciting and meaningful holiday and after hours activity sessions for children and young people. There are opportunities to promote library events and activities and encourage children and young people to provide online feedback on these events. As in previous years, the SfW site links directly to the Summer Reading Challenge website. This year it provides direct access to Quest Seekers for children and young people to review books. A contribution can be made to performance management data gathering by the detailed statistics which the SfW team can offer to participating authorities. Although specific areas of the site are open to everyone, there are significant benefits for libraries which subscribe to SfW, in particular access to all the locked activities and opportunities for children and young people to upload their creative endeavours to individual galleries. Developments In addition to constant additions of new materials to the site 2009/10 will see a number of significant new developments. These include:

enhancing the staff area with more downloadable and customisable publicity materials as well as more detailed session plans developing staff forum pages enhancing opportunities to provide information on local library events redesigning the 11-14 area

In the same way that buying into a national Summer Reading Challenge can provide cost benefits, a subscription to a national site such as SfW can result in significant savings for local authorities. It enables the delivery of ICT and reader development initiatives to children and young people by using economies of scale to provide access to interactive materials far beyond the capacity of any individual library authority. Within regions, libraries can achieve significant savings by buying as a regional consortium. If you would like to discuss the opportunities, obtain a trial login password or arrange for a presentation at regional or local meetings, please contact me.



3. Maness, Jack M (2006) Library 2.0 Theory: Web 2.0 and Its Implications for Libraries, Webology,Volume 3, Number 1. Everall, Annie; et al (2000) Stories from the Web: A Project 2, June investigating the use of the Internet in Children’s Libraries to Available at: http://www.webology.ir/2006/v3n2/a25.html stimulate creative reading among children 8-11. Accessed on 19th August 2009 Resource: London Debbie Mynott is Manager - Stories from the Web. 2. Dr Paul Miller (2005) Web 2.0: Building the New Library, www.storiesfromtheweb.org Ariadne, issue 45, October

Available at: http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue45/miller/ Accessed on 19th August 2009


Web 3.0: How will we react? I’ll always be grateful for the Web 2.0 wave of applications for one reason.While Facebook,Twitter and Wikipedia may have snatched the headlines for the last few years, the world of libraries has seen a revolution of its own, but one which is based around something we have already on the quiet.Web 2.0 tools and libraries have the same goal at heart.They engage with people.They are about collaboration, about access and about community. But most of all, they are about communication. So, I and countless other librarians like me, have seized the opportunity of the Web 2.0 bubble, to reaffirm our commitment to really talk to our various communities.To get our human voices across in ways which have previously been out of reach, and to position that communication back at the very forefront of our roles. For that reason (and for some which are far more geeky) I am a dedicated 100% fan of Web 2.0. So, with this in mind, I look with real optimism to the next wave. My experience in libraries so far has shown me that library staff are completely underestimated in their ability to adapt new technologies and techniques to the advantage of their users. Is it a coincidence that so many library communities have been built up around Twitter, Facebook and Ning to share ideas and experiences? Does the traditional image of the librarian account for the wealth of library blogs, podcasts and mashups? Unlikely. This openness to opportunity, as ever stands us in good stead as the evolution of the web takes its next tentative steps – Web 3.0, the Semantic Web. Call it what you will, but I and others like me will pick the useful parts and use them to enhance our services, and that ever-important need for engagement. Web 3.0, as those who are far more technically blessed than I will tell you, is focused around a number of concepts, but two of them immediately strike me as being very exciting for libraries, with the second of them being strangely familiar. First up, there is the giddying prospect of a truly meaningful mobile web, and the advances which allow this to finally permeate our lives.We’ve spoken in the past about the future of our collections, and I really don’t feel that this debate has reached its conclusion, but isn’t it already true that the book, in its traditional form, is now just part of a literature search? Wouldn’t it be nice if that book, when found on the library’s shelves, could be the beginning of another strand of that search? If our mobile devices could allow us to connect to a book and take us down a new path of investigation for newer, richer sources of information? If we as librarians can help guide through this with our own devices out and about in our buildings, perhaps harnessing RFID to make

those connections? We can already do bits of this by printing QR codes in our physical items, but it just feels so limited. My mantra when it comes to adopting a new technology is that it has to be inspiring (or just plain cool) but more than that, it has to be useful. We might have hit stage one, but I don’t know about stage two yet. I want to be always connected, and always a step away from information that I can use and interact with.Technology and what we are terming Web 3.0 can give me this, and it isn’t far off. The second stream is the one which rings a lot of bells, takes a concept which is second nature to us and gives it a spin which will expand the web in countless directions.Try a Google search for the semantic web, and you’ll find a lot of talk about RDF and the complexities of technically making a computer understand and learn from the data it stores. In essence it’s about ensuring that machines can make links between chunks of information that are more meaningful than they’ve been in the past. Items, maybe books, are described structurally, allowing them to be linked to other stores of information out there on the web, and not maintained by us. Can a database (a library catalogue?) use a search carried out by a user to pull in additional data from elsewhere, maybe from a store of author information, a collection of user-created videos online, a set of sequels or a BBC documentary? Well, it can if it knows how to describe what that book is in a uniform, structured way. I refer you to the experts when it comes to how this is achieved, but make no mistake about the fact that it is happening now, and that it is creating an ever more rich, textured environment of information. One where understanding of this environment and how to navigate and evaluate it will be essential. One where librarians again need to connect with their communities. So, I look to the next stage of the web with real enthusiasm for our profession.We won’t abandon Web 2.0 – it’ll be around in some form from now on in – but the future gives us a chance to flex those communication muscles once again, take our collections and fit them into the wider picture of the vastness of information ‘out there’. I know I’m not alone in finding that a challenge, which I can’t wait to meet. Bring on Web 3.0 and let’s see how many uses we can find. Paul Williams is Team Leader for Systems and Access Services, University of Worcester. p.williams@worc.ac.uk



Committee News

CILIP West Midlands Forthcoming Events

Good ideas deserve recognition and sharing - and CILIP WM can help! Has one of your good ideas – or those of your colleagues - brought a particular benefit to your users? Or perhaps you know someone who has overcome all odds to achieve the seemingly impossible for their library or information service? If so, the Trustees of the Thacker Woods Award would like to hear about it. The Thacker Woods Award was established in 1996 by the amalgamation of the Francis J Thacker Scholarship and the Victor H Woods Award. The Award seeks to provide a regular prize to any person living in the West Midlands for outstanding achievement in, contribution to, or innovation in, the field of librarianship and information science. We have made £250 available for prizes this year. The last two awards were made to the part-time undergraduate student achieving the best performance at the School of Information Studies, UCE. With the discontinuation of the school, we are opening the nominations to any CILIP member in the West Midland Branch area. All you need to do is let us know, in no more than 200 words, why you or your nominee should be considered for the award by 15 November 2009. The Award will be presented at CILIP WM Annual Conference and AGM on 9 February 2010. Please send your nomination to CILIP WM Chairman, Margaret Rowley, email: margaret.rowley@worcsacute.nhs.uk or post to: Margaret Rowley, Rowlands Library, Charles Hastings Education Centre, Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Charles Hastings Way, Worcester WR5 1DD).

Branch Elections - Call for Nominations Nominations are now being invited for election to the Committee of the West Midlands branch of CILIP. This is your chance to have a key role at a crucial time in the development of your Branch. So, what’s involved? There are six general committee meetings a year, currently held at Birmingham Central Library. With plenty of roles up for grabs, we’re looking for keen, enthusiastic people able to make a commitment to the future of our profession.

Web 2.0 Workshops When: 17 December 2009 09.00 - 13.00 & 14.00 - 17.00 Where: New Technology Institute in Birmingham Cost: CILIP members £113.85 Non-members £143.75 A highly practical course looking at Web 2.0 technologies that library and information professionals can use to work more efficiently and effectively. Course leader Phil Bradley is an information specialist and well known Internet Consultant. Download more information: http://bit.ly/sfgHH

Libraries - Building for the Future A One-day Conference on Library Design When: 9 February 2010 09.30 - 16.30 Where: Birmingham Library Theatre Cost: CILIP members £17.25 Non-members £34.50

As well as the officer posts of: Chair,Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, elected on an annual basis, we are looking for someone to represent CILIP Affiliate members and at least one other committee member to serve a term of three years. Committee work is great for professional development, you get to meet some really interesting people and do things that may not be part of your usual work routine. Whatever stage in your career you are at we could use your help. Maybe you are thinking of chartering or revalidating and want to boost your portfolio of evidence and a stint on the committee could help you.

This one-day conference will include an update on two of the most significant new builds taking place nationally. The Library of Birmingham will set new standards for libraries in the 21st century, and in Worcester, a partnership between the Council and the University will create the Worcester Library and History Centre, the first fully integrated public and university library in Europe.

A nomination form can be found at: www.cilip.org.uk/wm and must be returned by Friday 27 November 2009 to:

Download more information: www.cilip.org.uk/wm

Margaret Fuller, Hon. Secretary CILIP WM, The Fire Service College, Moreton in Marsh, Glos. GL56 0RH. Email: mfuller@fireservicecollege.ac.uk Tel: 01608 812069

Contact for both events: David Viner cilipwm@wm.com

Join us on



Open Access Publication of the West Midland Branch of CILIP. Views expressed are not necessarily those of CILIP WM or of the Editor.

Editor: David Viner Solihull Central Library Solihull B91 3RG Tel: 0121 704 8534 Fax: 0121 704 6907 Email: dviner@solihull.gov.uk Copy date for next issue: Friday 5 February 2010

Profile for CILIP West Midlands Member Network

Open Access - October 2009 - Vol.52 No. 3  

Newsletter of the West Midland branch of CILIP, delivered as a printed supplement to Library + Information Gazette. ISSN 0048-1904

Open Access - October 2009 - Vol.52 No. 3  

Newsletter of the West Midland branch of CILIP, delivered as a printed supplement to Library + Information Gazette. ISSN 0048-1904


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