Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Public libraries and social media: as local and as useful as your fingers

Social media is the ultimate seamless library service, not just a promotional tool The public are increasingly using social media to find the answers to questions rather than going on to a website. So anything that can be done to be part of their social media mix will give libraries a higher profile and is also a natural extension of the public library service. It used to be that people had to physically come into the building to ask a question but now they don’t even have to switch tabs on their browser. Read the full post at Public Libraries News


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Visions, Part 1: The Value of Blockchain Technology - Ethereum Blog

One of the questions that has perhaps been central to my own research in blockchain technology is: ultimately, what is it even useful for? Why do we need blockchains for anything, what kinds of services should be run on blockchain-like architectures, and why specifically should services be run on blockchains instead of just living on plain old servers? Exactly how much value do blockchains provide: are they absolutely essential, or are they just nice to have? And, perhaps most importantly of all, what is the “killer app” going to be? Read the whole article at


Monday, 13 April 2015

7 Classrooms: library as pedagogical incubator - The Ubiquitous Librarian - The Chronicle of Higher Education

Not only do we use these rooms to expand our teaching capacity, but they also enable us to observe and learn from others. Watching Jill Sible operate in SCALE-UP is inspiring. They help us become better teachers. Hosting courses and related activities invites spontaneous encounters and conversations that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. The added value is using these spaces for other purposes: workshops, seminars, symposiums, exhibits, showcases, media labs, meeting rooms, study rooms, group work rooms, tutoring rooms, and other activities. So there is a functional layer. We can teach more. We can teach differently. Other people can also teach more and differently as well. We can partner more with them on instruction and other projects. When the rooms are not “classrooms” they can serve a multitude of other needs. There is also a symbolic layer. The Library is committed to the teaching mission of the university. These seven spaces are not just more classrooms— each one is different. They encourage experimentation and new types of assignments and class interactions. Students and instructors feel differently when they meet here compared to most other rooms on campus. These classrooms are helping us become a pedagogical incubator.


Sunday, 12 April 2015

EFF Busts Podcasting Patent, Invalidating Key Claims at Patent Office | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Fantastic patent busting news out of the @EFF


Time, Timing and the Timely by Cameron Tonkinwise - Core77

Community-Partnered Courses are sometimes—not always, but more often than should be—excuses for courses that seem to involve less time, rather than more. The learning is thought to lie in the experience of learning to work with the wicked problems of community partners, so less prep is even occasionally considered better for this kind of sink-or-swim pedagogy. The DO-ference proved the reverse—that community partnered projects take much more time to get to the place they deserve. This makes community partnered projects very difficult for universities. Firstly, there is always the procrustean problem of wedging a community's problems into the arcane timetabling of a semester length class—"your problem needs to be only of a size that will fit a 10, 12 or 15 week class meeting twice a week." Secondly, and perhaps more significantly, there is the issue of how a university accounts for the prep time required of a community project. In effect, universities pay faculty to teach, and in some cases to do research and service; in which cost center then to put the time spent with community partners, time that will make for an effective learning experience (or conference) but which is not actually time spent in the classroom? This time is not well characterized as research (is new knowledge being created?) or service (normally meaning 'to the university')? Without solving this accounting problem, how can universities be incentivized to deploy their intellectual capital, including those int


IFLA -- New Use of the Public Library

IFLA - New Use of the Public Library — Claire Back (@calire) April 12, 2015


Monday, 30 March 2015

Video - Prototyping the Library of the Future - Today

With funding for libraries disappearing what is the role of libraries in the future? Annemarie Naylor believes that libraries need to evolve so that they function as trusted and impartial platforms for the production, exchange and consumption of knowledge and know-how in both tangible locations and virtual spaces. 

Annemarie is Director at Common Futures, Associate Director with Locality and is also a member of the Government’s Local Public Data Panel. Her work has involved supporting the acquisition and development of broad-ranging assets in community hands.

She’s also involved with a number of initiatives to transform the future of libraries and has established a national network for community libraries, which has culminated in winning the international OuiShare Award. 

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at