The next #uklibchat will be on
The topic for our next chat will be one that is relevant to librarians and professionals who deal with visual resources, images, building plans, maps, videos and I’m sure there are more…
If you want to contribute to the conversation on this, #uklibchat will be running on
Tuesday 2nd April 2013 from 6.30pm – 8.30pm BST.
If you want to add questions to our agenda, you can do so here. A guide to taking part in #uklibchat is available here and you can always tweet us @uklibchat or email email@example.com with any questions.
We look forward to chatting with you!
The #uklibchat staff team are gathering for Saturday’s London Library Camp, and we will be proposing to run a session
Design your own LIS qualification
What should be studied in a modern librarianship and information studies qualification? What did you find most useful if you’ve done a Master’s, PGDip, or undergraduate degree, and what have you never used? What do current students make of the content of their courses? If it was up to you what would you bin and what would you include? Join us on Saturday 2nd March, either in person at the Camp or on Twitter, for opportunity to discuss what the core skills are across different sectors and what direction we’re heading in as a profession.
Due to the nature of Library Camp, we wont know what time our session will run, we will put out the information on Twitter on the day as soon as it’s confirmed, so follow @uklibchat or keep an eye out for our hashtag #uklibchat
We hope to run a hybrid in person and online session, so even if you’re not going to the camp you can still participate by following us on Twitter and adding your questions to our agenda.
Thanks to everyone who joined in on #uklibchat tonight about Librarians and Personalities. At one point we were so popular we become a trending topic?!
The next #uklibchat is on librarians and personality and will take place 6:30 – 8:30pm on Thursday 21 February.
The agenda is now available to view and add to here.
This chat will feed into and inform the Library Camp London session on librarians and personality, but you don’t have to be coming to Library Camp to join in.
We look forward to chatting with you on the 21st!
On the 4th of Dec we held a #uklibchat session on Innovative use of technologies in libraries, which was complemented by an article written on the subject a few days earlier by @ggnwed.
Things that cropped up were: further uses for RFID, acknowledgement of the usefulness of smartsm (automated stock management system), resistance to social media in organisations, use of new tech for marketing purposes, questions of whether library qualifications were fit for purpose, what skills librarians needs to develop to make use of tech, and perhaps a tech roadshow to give people the opportunity to see and use what is all the rage!
Many thanks to everyone who attended. Good effort was made to make sure info put here is correct, changes have been made to some text to make things read better. If you spot a mistake, or if we’ve miscontrued anything, we welcome corrections. Especially as some tweets were not numbered or linked to a question, and I had to make a few guesses.
For accurate quotes, please use the Searchable Twitter Archive
Q1 What new tech has your library introduced in the past few years?
- RFID, Self-service, staff roaming with tablets to help users @agentk23
- I’d say biggest new tech has been RFID – mostly been good too. PN compes that allow usb flash drives and wi-fi @poetryghost
- thin-client laptops for better access to institutional software. Thinclient is where the laptop is used to access things hosted elsewhere, works a bit like a Remote Desktop but a laptop. Bascially means the laptop runs faster cos there’s nothing on it, and a wider range of stuff can be available remotely @osmonkey
- We’re using thin-client at the business school so students can access things like SPCSS and similar, from anywhere @roogly
- There is quite a lot of interest in thin-client. There have been a few jisc projects e.g http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/greeningict.aspx @paulbrichardson
- We seem to have had most of the usual “new” stuff for ages, all we’ve done is upgrade our gear (on our 3rd RFID supplier etc) @pennyb
- E-book service, free wi-fi, self-service machines, digital display screens & use free online services to promote lib service @ggnewed
- nice new pod in the library – students love it. Whole ground floor refurbed Sept 2012 and proving popular http://t.co/hDHofjG0 @elstopbanana
- Is anyone using Smartphones with RFID? @mickfortune
- I”m not but seen it being used in France on a beta project. I believe ti was iPHone and iPad (seem to recall mainly iPad) @mardixon
- RFID is being used in conjunction with social media, intelligent sherlving etc, but rare in UK @mickfortune
- Is anyone using RFID in collections management (museum of art galleries)
- @mickfortune rec’d his blog http://ht.ly/fOVJo and website http://www.libraryrfid.co.uk/resources.html
- RFID Solutions for Libraries Group on Linkedin: http://t.co/YBVEEgUA @rugabela
- A lot of inaccurate misinformation on RFID Solutions for Libraries Group on LinkedIn though – treat it with caution! It’s very old tech but the JISC List on RFID is also helpful – sometimes http://t.co/EqjVZXVg @mickfortune
- LinkedIn terrible way to get good RFID info. Use Mick’s website. Also some on mine at http://t.co/g4TJw5hB. @galeciagroup
- Would you say smart sm is tech? It’s a stock analysis tool – prob software w[?] web interface I think. We’ve been impressed in some ways doesn’t replace stock knowledge. But given reduction of professional librarians and need for paraprofessionals to be involved, smartsm is a helpful tool. Interestingly except when we’ve over weeded, customers have liked the results and commented positively @poetryghost
- Smartsm has also been very helpful in my lib service too @ggnewed
- smartSM powerful tool to empower decision making @dave1lloyd
- We use the school VLE to host our digital resources so pupils can access them at home as well as anywhere in school @bishopwalshlib
- I like the software as service approach – software accessed anywhere via web, as a way to try to promote stock in new ways. W also have 2 apps. 1. Catalogue search, renewal reservation. 2. Ebook (Overdrive) @ggnewed
- We used tiki-toki for historical timeline, Woices for literary audio tour. All accessed via internet. @ggnewed
- how did you convince your libraries to use these new tools and offer to users? do you have the authority to decide to roll out a service via the organisation? or need to make business case? @uklibchat
- It gets agreed along the way – sometimes at beginning. Sometimes I tinker at home & it forms into something lib service can use. @ggnewed
- Starting to use new technologies for marketing new (and existing) library services more these days. Adding messages to self service welcome screens, public computer login screens, OPAC screens etc. @DRagsdell
Q2. Do you think the new tech has been beneficial (to library/staff/users)?
- In many ways yes, as full self-service is needed for 24/7, and users like that a lot. Staff rightly feel marginalised. Other tecnologies like social media more popular with staff, though still only a hardcore. Other stuff depends on courses . @pennyb
- Display screens have helped promote services, library events, different types of stock.@ggnewed
- Who puts together the content for your display screens? Is it easy to manage? @calire
- at my work it’s librarians who work on publicity some of the time, and they use Powerpoint mostly. Our screens also show (updating live with the joys of code) where computers are free, a godsend when it’s busy. @pennyb
- We use PowerPoint for a screen in one of our libraries. Have used digital photo frames to do same, but took time. @calire
- The simplest way to do it is as a Powerpoint slide. I believe screens we use also display standard media files. Library staff provide content, but one of our team members is responsible for making sure it runs smoothly. @ggnewed
- Some orgs hve done ‘available computers’. e.g. @rscwales funded project @GlyndwrUni http://t.co/x1mWiHO9 @paulbrichardson
- Ebooks attracted new users. @ggnewed
- the digital library on the VLE has been appreciated by teaching staff and by the students who’ve used it. @bishopwalshlib
- Think e-book market in libraries will take off next year when new library e-readers launch in UK? @mickfortune
- If more ebooks are released for library use. Ebook services seem to be moving to web browser based reading too. So tablet/wifi enabled access might be the way it goes @ggnewed
- Yes new 3M offer will use many many platforms for ebooks @mickfortune
- Twitter is definitely better for chats than the ‘can you hear me?’ routine of the webinar. I like it!
- RFID w self service staff : also hard to know as staff did restructure and reduce coincidentally at similar time. @poetryghost
- I wrote about this ‘coincidence’ on @alanwylie ‘s blog recently http://ht.ly/fP1Py @mickfortune
- Given govt cuts, staff reductions were inevitable as v big overhead. In a way could have been worse without RFID @poetryghost
- But libraries spent more on RFID than necessary. Rush to s/s means reinvestment will now be needed to keep up. @mickfortune
- I’m sure it happens but in this case were not related. One was brought in, restructure was part of a different process @poetryghost
Q3. Can you name some exciting uses of technology that you’ve seen in libraries?
- Libraries are keen on creating their own websites using startpages such as Netvibes. They can take control quickly/easily
- going to be looking at NetVibes to create a startpage for jobseekers @calire
- http://www.socialmediacaster.org/smc-en also looks quite innovative @mickfortune
- the use of the GoTo suite of product to induct and teach distance learning students. Also used to create instructional vids. @roogly
Q4. Have there been times when it hasn’t worked, and why? [tech that bombed or didn't do what you thought it would]
- I remember the bloomsbury ebooks offering and overdrive for public libraries. So clunky I did not like using it at all. ebook platform with limited content is a fail. Users check once, and may not check again. @agentk23
- Think Overdrive may have improved, but had a nightmare a few years ago showing my mum how to download an audio book. @calire
- *Shakes fist angrily at Yahoo pipers for letting me down too many times* But saying that, things like Yahoo pipes are good for getting idea off ground if you are trying proof of concept. @ggnewed
Q5. Are there any technologies you think we should give up on?
- The VLE? ! VLE is too often simply a repository for lecture notes. conversation happens elsewhere, e.g. twitter, facebook, bar… @Paulbrichardson
- I think that it’s too easy to internalise & try and control, rather than go out into 3rd party resources. (re VLE) @philbradley
- Agreed. Q5: Re VLE Need to re-visit the purpose of the whole thing sometimes i.e. supporting learning! @paulbrichardson
- are there any good alternatives to using VLEs @uklibchat
- Can think about a cluster of apps, as in Personal Learning Envmt (PLE). Some might use Google Apps…. @paulbrichardson
- PLE is a generic phrase. Everyone creates their own PLE using own tools for own purpose. @philbradley
- Phil is right. PLE is conceptual – you can’t buy one! http://t.co/wnTg20SJ @paulbrichardson
- Shouldn’t the focus be on the activity, rather than the tool? Always plenty of tools, so can essentially forget them. @philbradley
- Tech is only as good as how you use it sometimes? (VLE case in point maybe) @uklibchat
- Possible data protection issues? If you use cloud services, your data is elsewhere. @agentk23
- Sure, have to take DataP into account, but should not define what can be done. Should be exception. PLE is really about individual, how they can keep up to date etc. Dragging info in from elsewhere, so datap not so much an issue @philbradley
- (re PLE) Data protection? Absolutely it’s an issue. Policies needed @paulbrichardson
- I suppose it’s difficult to give up on some technology if you’ve invested £££££s in it. Also sometimes entire services are built around services [tech?], making the implication of changing it all a huge task.@ggnewed
- Yes, but that’s from a mistake culture. Agree if its physical item, but if software, should maybe use free stuff? @philbradley
- I suppose if you pay for software you are also paying for a level of support from supplier. @ggnewed
- Disagree. Supplier can go bankrupt. Developer may want to support/develop to improve their product. @philbradley
- I’d say that’s what holds people frm free stuff – I’d be using Linux if I knew I could get support easily @poetryghost
- I’m thinking about rubbishy experiences I’ve had with a couple of free services I thought were great & developers messed up. I’d have happily paid for access if they’d offered it to keep services running well. But I agree that some paid services are just as bad. @ggnewed
- Also, despite govt policy on using open source, we’re very limited to what we can download due to int[?] costs @kosjanska
- I use free stuff a lot – it works for me, but might not be okay for lib service with 600+ employees. But then again, some of it might well be useful. @ggnewed
- Yes, fair point well made. Both need to be included in a healthy mix of products @philbradley
- Interestingly @NickDimant says Open Source systems need commerical support to work as business model @mickfortune
- Check out IFTTT to replace Pipes. Lori Ayre just popping in. Library Consultant from USA. @galeciagroup
- I’d say playaways are a dead end (type of audiobook device), and inevitably libraries will need to give up on CDs and DVDs. They were basically an audiobook device that only holds one book. You lend device, customer adds batteries n earphones http://t.co/CAbX6KR9 @poetryghost
Q6. How much time is needed to learn and develop innovative tech in libraries? [may be good to have concrete examples?]
Q7. Do we need additionals quals to librarianship in order to develop innovative tech or can they learn at work?
- all depends how fast tech moves and how fast your org is willing to let you move – see social media in local govt services @poetryghost
- Would like someone to tell me what are important things to learn outside of libqual when working with online /e /digital @agentk23
- I think it’s a question of mind set, not qualifications. Have to be ok with unknown and being uncomfortable. @philbradley
- I think more people should learn about things like Human-Computer Interaction – it’s not very techy, but it IS important. @pennyb
- Library schools are where the failure is. Curriculum for our profession needs to change. @galeciagroup
- disagree it’s not the curriculum it’s the culture @poetryghost
- Probably so. If culture changed, so would curriculum. @galeciagroup
- I learnt about a lot of things because it was of interest to me anyway. @ggnewed
- Some people aren’t keen on techy ideas eg Twitter, but when they actually use it, it makes sense as to why it’s useful. @ggnewed
- My tech learning has been problem based. I want to do X, how do I do X? And I ask that on twitter @agentk23
- Org Culture can make big diff. Creating a culture of risk-taking, encouraging ideas from everyone, flatter org – all help. @galeciagroup
- Libraries need more coders. No brainer. @mrnick
- social media management poor – staff not empowered to make use of when at work @dave1lloyd
- I think use of social media depends on how overall organisation views it. @ggnewed
- agreed -personal experience is I’m not aware of many orgs that encourage all staff to make use of social media @dave1lloyd
- But sometimes when new social media site pops up it may be necessary to justify using it again!! @ggnewed
- Or just do it anyway and then apologise later @calire
- would be nice – my org doesn’t allow for library staff to access social media unless on break, not part of job @dave1lloyd
- I did a lot at home or on my own devices. Still only person in library who can access SM at work. @calire
- has anyone argued for a change? May just need someone to make a business case ask @tomroper. @uklibchat
- that’s a big prob in many orgs People at top older and suspicious of new tech treat each new 1 separately @poetryghost
- That social media business case in full: http://www.ksslibraries.nhs.uk/procollect/ (use the drop-down menu) @tomroper
Q.8. Have you used any advisory services e.g. JISC, CILIP, other to advise on what tech could be helpful? Where else?
- Not tended to use services such as jisc, cilip formally- but will have used policy documents, briefings & papers by them. @ggnewed
- No promises, but would people find CILIP info service helpful if were able to offer access to play with ipad/kindle etc? Something I’d be keen to make happen, so thanks for enthusiasm. Does £££ so no promises, but will work on it. @philbradley
- sounds interesting, may depend on how long we could ‘borrow’ for? think also may need support on use?
- Yes, yes, yes – but not just in London please @bishopwalshlib
- We have done this for library staff & public. Hopefully organising a gadget day for library people to play & learn @calire
- Just FYI, US group did a Tech Petting Zoo that worked well. Focused on how to learn devices in general. It was a hit. See http://t.co/1hui6SIJ for ideas. @galeciagroup
- No much point showing kindles though Phil, as not allowed to loan them out etc! Perhaps kobo better? @libwithattitude
- could attach to existing regional events. @karjg
- Good idea. We ran public drop in sessions here showing library users various ereaders and tablets – it worked well. @ggnewed
- we’ve done something similar to a tech roadshow. Lets folk see it in action and play @kosjanska
Q9. Where are the places to look to get funding if lib can’t afford tech dev wanted?
- Arts Council England are keen on funding innovate/creative ideas. Good opportunity to take a chance & do something “Wow!” @ggnewed
Greetings all! The agenda for the next #uklibchat session is now available
Topic: Innovative use of technology in libraries!
If you’re interested in talking about the exciting things you’ve seen happening in libraries tech-wise, or want to discuss what more can be done, and whether it’s worth it – why not join us for #uklibchat on Tuesday 4th December at 6.30 pm – 8.30 pm GMT. To view and add to the agenda, please click here.
To participate in the conversation use the #uklibchat hashtag on Twitter next Tuesday evening. If you are a Twitter or #uklibchat novice, please visit this page for advice on joining our chats.
If you have any queries please consult the uklibchat team via Twitter (@uklibchat) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We look forward to chatting with you!
On 24th July, #uklibchat’s discussed Open Source and Open License Content.
Read on to find out more…
A thank-you to all the participants. We sometimes alter and combine tweets for the sake of flow, but endeavour to accurately reflect the views expressed. The searchable twitter archives for #uklibchat contains the actual tweets.
Please note – Adrienne moderated this chat but Sarah and Ka-Ming have summarised it, so we would particularly welcome comments and corrections!
Q1 Does your library use open source software?
- Not for major systems (e.g. LMS/ILS) but a lot of the bespoke glue between those systems uses OS software … but we are evaluating VuFind as a replacement OPAC. For major systems like an LMS/ILS, I think you need serious buy-in and support from library director & staff to be successful. Many libs have had their LMS/ILS for 10+ years, so it’s deeply embedded in the workflows & psyche of staff @daveyp
- Yes -need to start with considering what we are here for (e.g. enabling learning & research) & how technology can enable @lizjolly
- Depends, I think. The tech can be outsourced to service provider; the library retains benefit/responsibility of community #uklibchat @DataG
- It’s the cultural shift required (rather than the tech) I’m thinking about. ..and same cultural shift is needed if the next gen of (non-OS) LMS replacements (Intota, Alma, etc) are going to succeed @DaveyP
- This is spot on, easy to imagine a traditional-style OSS LMS having an easier time than a nextgen system @preater
- Agreed. OSS adoption done right (IMHO) means that the library actively participates rather than passively receives @DataG
- Pretty much Open Office for now. This has proved quite beneficial in the rural community. @SHelmick
- I was giving a webinar on open source recently. At the start I asked what percent of libraries used open source; it was 50%. When I reminded them about Firefox and Chrome and WordPress and Drupal and Apache and Linux it jumped from 50% to 90% @DataG
- Yes, we use koha in HaltonPublic Libraries! @afeitar
- How were the results? @rugabela
- What would you say the main benefits are for your users? @lizjolly
- It has improved the online services, eg we send email notifications, etc, but it has had difficulties too @afeitar
- We’ve had Koha as our LMS for 18 months and I’d say it’s settled in quite well. First few 3-6 months were hard though! @afeitar
- Trickle down $ advantages. I appreciate how #opensource prepares users/staff for updates/adapts @SHelmick
- We rely on the usual open source software behind the scenes, but so far no major OSS implementation (e.g. the LMS; discovery). @preater
- Dare I mention Shibboleth as a widely adopted piece of open source software in libraries? @nicoleharris
- LMS now part of discovery landscape should also be seen as part of creative landscape – rhizomatic learning? @DaveParkes
- I wrote a blog post which may be of interest: “Open-licensing your images. What it means and how to do it”: http://t.co/1yM7hE01 @pigsonthewing
- Libs using open source LMS +other stuff -HE SCONUL’s HELibTech http://t.co/dOuY0mgP publics http://t.co/nNx5tabc @kenchad
- University of Staffordshire were (I think & correct me if I’m wrong!) 1st HE library in the UK to move to an OS LMS @daveyp
- As far as I’m aware, Staffordshire are still the only UK HE library to use open source for their LMS @joeyanne
- Yes, Staffs still the only one – but NHS & research are growing. LMS part of info landscape- not just discovery but part of creative and remix @daveparkes
Q2 What is the most popular #opensource software in libraries?
- Popluar OSS in libraries? For *major* systems probably Institutional Repositories (Eprints etc) -almost all are OSS? @kenchad
- I think you’re right. Content repositories are where there is not penetration of commercial options (with notable exceptions) @DataG
- Not exactly libraries but Moodle VLE seems strong @kenchad
Q3 Do you have any experience implementing open-source software? If so, what were the pros and cons?
- As a developer, OS software is much more hackable and it’s easier to add in extra functionality @DaveyP
- Open Source software is really about spending money in a different way, not especially cheaper … @edchamberlain
Q.4 Do you think that open-source software can replace commercial licensed software?
- There needs to be a variety of support models (commercial and community) available and a shift in procurement processes but yes. @nicoleharris
- Think this is most interesting if we consider ‘big’ systems like an OSS LMS, cos there’s no doubt OSS is already pervasive… @preater
- For the LMS etc. I reckon this is a question of business model (how to support the system) than development model (OSS vs closed). @preater
- yes, at least in UK HE…along with all those other cultural change issues @liz_jolly
- It does come down to a change in culture — one that I think is more aggressive in taking control of its own destiny @DataG
- Commercially produced software usually has the advantage of big capital investment, so it is easier to do big things @DataG
- There is an important distinction to remember between commercially supported OSS and commercially licensed proprietary systems @DataG
- Always be a mixed economy – OSS and commercially produced landscape – we all use google 1st! Analogy with gold and green in OA? @daveparkes
Q.5 Do you know of any successful experiences/projects involving open-source software?
- Maybe worth mentioning that some commerical solutions are built on top of OS code – e.g. Summon built on top of OS Solr/Lucene @daveyp
Q.6 Do you know of any unsuccessful experiences/projects involving open-source software?
- Kaywa and Open Office develop to meet the needs of creators more than users. Many updates without much benefit.@SHelmick
Q.7 Is open-source software better than the commercial ones? Are they worse?
- OSS definitely rivals commercial software and can be better – easier to customise – but have to be choosy @amycrossmenzies
- I believe so. Very open to feedback and adaptation @Shelmick
- In general, I’d say “yes”. I feel the key thing is to have open systems & OS normally more open than commercial lib products @daveyp
Q8 What are the main advantages and disadvantages of running open-source software in libraries?
- No answers to this, but it is covered to some degree in the answers to other questions (Ed)
Q.9 Have you contributed to open source software? Or open licence resources e.g. Wikipedia?
- Depends what you mean, but I’ve written open source s/w and written extensions to open source products @ostephens
- We’ve released library usage data sets with an open license http://t.co/1GXcmK1w @daveyp
- Released large amounts of data under and open license and tools to publish and manipulate it http://t.co/hDEmieEV @edchamberlain
- Yes – all LIS/HE related – quite a few bits on http://t.co/vinPsm8P @ostephens
Q.10 If you could develop any piece of free software for your collection (or any other), what would it be?
- Moodle and WP plugins (latter to grab library account data into WP) @ostephens
Other questions asked
Do you think OSS is still primarily creator, rather than user, focussed?
- Not so much as well meaning developers @SHelmick
Do we have to pay for OSS software? Or Are all OSS free of charge? @rugabela
- There’s nothing to stop a company selling OSS, or more likely, selling support for OSS e.g.http://t.co/sRCwxQbx@daveyp
- Not all OSS is free but there’s a lot more choice and can usually get a similar thing free @amycrossmenzies
- We pay for hosting and development small charge – no licence @daveparkes
Do you know WEBLIS developed by UNESCO? http://t.co/g1KzvguI @rugabela
- @rugabela I’ve heard of ISIS, which I think is/was the most widely implemented ILS/LMS in the world? @daveyp
- WEBLIS is based on CD/ISIS. There was a free database software known as CD/ISIS @rugabela
- CD/ISIS was implemented in small libraries/documentation centres in Spain. It was quite popular in mass media. But I’ve never worked with it. @rugabela
- I did some practice with it on a course and I didn’t like it. Found it rather strange and a bit complicated @rugabela
Does anyone have comparison of benefits of open source lms over others? @imrana_g
- It’s an appalling example (since most of it was bullsh*t), but http://t.co/KTXuXQgw came to mind! … well worth reading, if only to peek into the collective mind of a commercial company threatened by Koha/Evergreen @daveyp
Other points made
- Open source is rhizomatic in sense part of the ecology -part of roots and shoots that allow the plant to propagate itself,creativelearning tool @daveparkes
- @daveparkes Yes. Teach how to think/create vs. what to think/create.@shelmick
- Yes. This is why I think we are seeing many leaving OSS SEO. http://t.co/egou61m9 @Shelmick
- Koha ILS Users & developers Group on Linkedin http://t.co/lsJShOi2
- ‘Hype cycle’ proprietary software hits a wall where owner relies on lock-in. OSS goes through the wall if the community is strong @c3iq