The 4 1/2 types of people I met on job interviews

Great blog post from Jacob Berg (@jacobsberg) about different types of applicants in library interviews. It’s a really good look at the hiring process from behind the desk and well worth a read 🙂 It’s also fun seeing some of yourself in these different types, but I’m sure there are infinitely more types as well (or mixtures of the types).

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Twitter Mentoring Research – Calling all librarians for your ideas!

Hi everyone,

 Just a heads-up that I’ve posted a discussion topic on Mentoring and Twitter as a seperate page on this blog.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic for my research; please be assured that I will keep your details confidential and will not identify anyone by name. There is no geographical limits; if you are a librarian on Twitter I would love to hear from you! If you have any questions about this research, please send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing your perspectives!

Thank you very much,

Abigail Willemse

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What’s the future for e-books in libraries? Part 2.

Last week, I reported on a panel discussion organised by LIANZA about ebooks.

This report is the conclusion, a summary on the presentations by Ksenija Mincic-Obradovic from Auckland University and Martin Taylor, director of Activity Press and founder of the Digital Publishing Forum.

What’s happening with e-books in the Academic space?

Ksenija mentioned New Zealand academic libraries have been in the e-books space for a long time. Currently, e-books account for 30% of Auckland University’s collection. But there’s still a persistent issue with some users not knowing about their e-books collection.

A solution in tackling this issue is to use proper cataloguing standards. Ksenija mentioned by using the MARC standards, the library can dramatically increase the item’s usage by 50 times. Therefore adopting new standards like MARC and RDA has a tremendous affect on the items visibility.

Ksenija also showed libraries are developing and moving beyond the traditional form of customer engagement, an example could be seen in this video about The Underground Library:

Neat huh? We can now develop new ways of engaging with our customers through new technologies. Libraries have to think outside the traditional concept of lending and that e-lending doesn’t necessary need to be a reflection of how the real world works.

Ksenija concludes with listing a few areas for improvements that includes:

  •  more standardisation of purchase models, content formats, and ways of access
  • high quatlity metadata for discovering e-books
  • more recommended NZ texts
  • better ways of e-lending
  • better collaboration between vendors, publishers, and LIS developers
  • and libraries should work closely together and explore best practices, workflows and business models.

Views from the outside

Martin Taylor next spoke on the changing paradigm for libraries.

He began his presentation about a story from the NZ Herald about how the Government has decided to outsourced the task of providing access to books and resources to Amazon. Although the story isn’t true, the possibility is not too far-fetched.

Currently, Amazon already has an e-books lending service and with the recent acquisition of Goodreads, has increased it’s power in the books review market. Therefore an important question was put forward in what role can libraries play in this changing paradigm.

Martin noted there is still space for libraries. Libraries can be a counter balance to the commercialisation of the review market. From a publishers point of view, libraries are great vehicles to discover new books and for the public, a good authoritative source for recommendations.

There is a market for libraries in providing an unbiased source of authoritative reviews, but this will require them to become content creators on top of their traditional roles. We have to see ourselves as a media business, providing and pushing content to our users.

This is an interesting observation.

What do you think?
Do you see us moving towards a media business model?
If not, where do you see us heading?

Love to hear your thoughts, observations or ideas, comment below.

Want more?
Come and join me in future events.
Hope to see you there.

Signing out.

Mark Huynh
Learn more about me on LinkedIn:

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What’s the future for e-books in libraries? Part 1.

On Monday night, I had an opportunity to attend a panel discussion organised by LIANZA.

Wow, my very own first professional event.
It was a surreal feeling to be around real professionals even though I’ve been working in many libraries for over 10 years, but once you’ve got that qualification under your belt, things do start to take on a totally different perspective.

The event was held at the Manukau Institute of Technology and around 20 professionals attended.

For those of you who missed this event, fear not I’m here to tell you all about it. But prepare yourselves it’s going to be long. So continue reading at your peril, but I hope you’ll gain something by the end of it.

The evening was designed as a panel discussion with open floor input and conversations – though from this experience, it was mostly presentations presented by the panel.

The panel consisted of Corin Haines from Auckland Libraries, who spoke first, followed by Ksenija Mincic-Obradovic from Auckland University and finally Martin Taylor, director of Activity Press and founder of the Digital Publishing Forum (now part of Digital Publishing New Zealand).

The topic – e-books.

What are libraries doing in this space?

For those who have completed your studies and those in it, you’re probably aware that there are constant issues with getting access to the right e-books and licences to distribute them for a long time. Well guess what, it still exists.

Corin Haines spoke about a standing committee formed to tackle the issue relating to overcoming legal, economic, and technical barriers to e-lending, and the provision of digital content, in order to promote the provision of equitable access to digital content for all New Zealanders.
Quite a mouth full, that sentence. This is Corin’s words not mine, honest.

But what Corin Haines have highlighted, libraries are still encountering issues such as:
– we can’t get the content our customers are demanding
– contracts offered to libraries are unreasonable or even overriding the rights given to libraries by law
– no certainty of supply.
Check these pictures for more issues:

The issues with ebooks

The issues with ebooks 2

What are librarians doing to address these issues?

Globally, the Canadian Urban Libraries Council is developing it’s own platform so as to have a consistent user experience and provision of e-books, but they are still encountering content issues.

Another example is the Douglas County Model – where Jamie LaRue:
– helped setup their own e-book platform and search engine,
– created content access similar to browsing a shelf
– establish relationships with over 800 different publishers
– with 10% of budget spent with Overdrive.
The aim was to expose people to new content.

What are our efforts here in New Zealand?

Public libraries in New Zealand have already got a strategic framework.

The APLM plans on using new technologies to deliver content and services anytime, anywhere.

One of their priorities is to work with New Zealand authors, publishers and booksellers to develop a whole-of-country approach to deliver an e-book solution. This is a National Library led initiative.

Auckland Libraries is currently developing a business model for assessment of e-resources which will look at:
– Content
– Supply model
– Ease of use
– Support
– Price.

So all in all, Corin has shown librarians are in the midst of tackling these issues. It is a slow process, but someday we’ll hope to achieve our goals.

I think we all need to be aware about this, as at some point in our career, we’ll encounter this issue either in a smaller role or in a larger one.

So this ends part 1.
I’ll report more in part 2.

Did you enjoy it? Find it too detailed? Too boring? Learnt something?

Comment below with your thoughts, observations, musings, whatever.
I’m hoping to bring more reports back on future events I’m attending, so feel free to give feedback.

Signing out.

Mark Huynh
Learn more about me on LinkedIn:

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Life of #NewProfNZ hashtag (14th March – 11 April, 2013)

A great visual representation of the activity of #NewProfNZ hashtag on Twitter in the past month. Pity this one doesn’t show the tremendous start it had in early March! 😛

Life of a hashtag New Prof NZ

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Poll for timeframes for “23 Mobile Things”

Hey everyone,

if you are interested in doing the 23 Mobile Things as part of an New Zealand/Australian cohort, please vote in the poll to let us know which time-frame would suit you best for doing the course. 23 Things has been run over time periods as short as 10 weeks (which averages about 2 Things a week which is quite a lot!) and as long as 23 or 24 weeks (one thing a week).

You can see the full list of the 23 Mobile Things here.

We hope to start the course at the beginning of May, which means that if we took six months, we would be finished by the end of November; if we took four months, we would be finished by the end of September. Please vote and let us know which time-frame works best for you! If you have another suggestion, please vote “Other” and leave a comment.

Please also fill in the contact form for 23  Mobile Things so we can get some indication of how many people (and from where) are keen on doing the course.

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Contact form for “23 Mobile Things” Cohort

If you’d like to be part of the NZ/Australian/International cohort completing 23 Mobile Things, please fill in the form below. We hope to start in May. Please also vote in our poll about what time-frame for completing the course is best for you.

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