Tag Archives: libraries

VALA – keeping me engaged with library trends

27 Oct

Just been to a great VALA general meeting “There’s an app for that”. I enjoyed the presentation a lot (see Twitter under #VALA for my notes).

However what has me hooked and going back to regular meetings, is the informal setting always offered before and after these meetings. Here I get to catch up with old friends, meet f2f with Twitter friends and talk to new people with an interest in emerging trends in libraries. A true measure of my enjoyment in these events is that tonight I actually paid an annual membership (yes I know my own faults) even though it only lasts for 6 months.

Basically VALA is becoming the f2f version of my wonderful Twitter support network.

And in the same way as my Tweeps, in these meetings not everyone agrees with me, or is polite and understanding. Quite the opposite: it means that a range of people speak and ask questions at a range of levels of understanding about emerging trends in librarianship. Opposing viewpoints get airtime and assumptions are repeatedly challenged. Repeatedly people bring topics that have gone off tangent back to – what can this mean for libraries? – without aiming to close the conversation, but because that’s our central focus. I feel stimulated, challenged, and ENGAGED. Wonderful really.

Tonight we learnt about apps, iPhone v Android v iPad usage – on topic. However conversations during and after ranged all over the place, including my love for circulation improvements. It’s amazing what I have missed happening right here in Victoria. Apparently Altona North already has ARS working. And interstate apparently Adelaide Council had RFID placed on the roof above their exit doors (removing the need for exit gates – a sad but real dream of mine). So next week (would be tomorrow but just a few more meetings tying up this week) I’m going to call the contact I’ve been given and see if I can tap into a recently run tour for public librarians for some of us academic library staff too. And get inspired with some of the fabulous staff I work with.

And then after that I’m going to think about talking to @haikugirlOz [ in her VALA elPresidente hat] I want something like a day, perhaps a “seminar” before VALA conference.  Where we have one a big room, and every library that wants to has a stand that shows what they’ve done that year (from basic circ policies up to RFID), and we all go around and talk to each other. Cause it’s where the real strategic planning starts … at the chatting with others stage.

We’re just trolleying along …

24 Oct

Very exciting this week – in the small world of Library circulation automation that is an integral part of my existence : – )

On Wednesday QLS arrived to install our new automatic trolleys on the ERC Library 5 bin ARS (Automated Returns Sorter). It’s been working for awhile now happily with bins, however some funds were made available to trial a trolley that loads itself. Will be good to do some actual real evaluation on time savings, manual handling benefits, staff feel etc as opposed to emptying bins onto manually loaded trolleys.

We bought 2 trolleys and a stacker (bit you plug them into on the ARS) and will be using it only on 1 return slot, alternating trolleys whilst one is being taken downstairs to be unloaded. Remaining 4 slots will have bins.

Automatically loading trolley next to a automatic raising returns bin on ARS at ERC Library, University of Mebourne

Pro’s: Don’t have to load from bin to trolley; it works! no books on floor yet.

Con’s: Only 1 shelf – as opposed to when manually load trolley can have 4 shelves – so more trips up and down in the lift; Fairly loud bang when a heavy book drops onto the shelf (will try and get some sample video next week); you can’t have a trolley where the exceptions bin is. (We had planned to use it there, but are trialling it on another section now : – ))

Anyone want to come and see it let me know : – ) r.baxter@unimelb.edu.au
I’ll make sure the estimable Robert (poor guy I draft in as my implementer for my flings with technology) is available to answer technical questions, whilst I dance around going “Look, look, it’s new, so cool, press this button”.

See my Youtube for a video of how the trolley raises with books on it.

I thought I had a video of the books actually coming out of the return slot and landing and stacking but apparently not. Will get one next week or go check out the QLS webpage on the unit we bought – the Libretto ARS

#Octshowntell Week 3

24 Oct

Well I only just made it this week.

cartoon of 3 panels about purse being lost & returned by kind woman

Been a bit hectic. Still a bit of discipline is good for me, and I’ve been inspired by everyone’s efforts all week. Google Search Stories has had a bit of a trial from some of the members. This has to be a tool we can use to connect with undergrads if you’re still doing Info Lit out there!

Jaygee http://t.co/9e6kj9A or http://bit.ly/av5wXN or http://bit.ly/9GTXDh

Peta http://inn0vate.glogster.com/fairytale/ and http://goo.gl/fb/4yUdL

Sally http://www.pixton.com/comic/pwd0hsho and http://bit.ly/bDKotZ

newgradlib https://sites.google.com/site/octshowntell/newgradlib

Polyxena http://animoto.com/s/Q0zf9EmQrBWhvU2G47bjvg and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-VmuuY2mu0&feature=youtu.be&a

restructuregirl http://www.toondoo.com/View.toon?param=2266850

dpgreen http://storybird.com/books/stress-poem-10/

Ceridwyn http://storybird.com/books/mummys-weekend-away/

Now – apparently the twitter #Octshowntell search is not working well, so PLEASE, PLEASE let me know if I have missed your creative piece this week so I can put it up for more to see : – )

New tools:

Google Search Stories

** Don’t forget others talking about #Octshowntell or digital storytelling:



I learn technology

#Octshowntell gets it’s groove

13 Oct

Thanks everyone for coming on board with #Octshowntell

Seems to be developing nicely. For myself, finally, after staring at iMovie for many years considering it, I jumped in, tried it, and discovered it was (of course) easy. Now have a nice free babysitting video that no parent can claim is too commercial : -)

Week 2 –

things we have learnt so far

  • Week 1 was about just having a go; Week 2 is about actually planning some of it : – )
    Jaygee is learning about layout and embedding.
    I’ve struggled with uploading in the right compression format to YouTube (otherwise your video that looked so great on your desktop looks extremely pixallated on everyone else’s screen)
    and lots of others are matching music to content, or information to format with more confidence and flair
  • there is nothing fun that cannot also be used as a library learning aid (see Sally or Jaygee or Ceridwyn examples)
    As haikugirloz points out, some of these will be useful tools to add multimedia content to library classes
  • Silent movies or voiceovers are a good starting option
  • if you want to get a lot of information into a sign a cartoon could be clever (see bonitoclub example)
  • iMovie is easy
  • there are great sites for copyright approved music
  • vimeo and google groups are not that easy to open to others
  • storybird doesn’t let you embed anywhere else unless your settings are public #encouragingopenaccess
  • you only get 30 sec free on animoto
  • storybird will remove your offering if you mention commercial products eg E**note
  • everyone who has joined this is fantastic, and is experimenting away with interesting results across a full range of topics
  • An Art Gallery has used the idea of digital storytelling to integrate with the wider community

Examples can be viewed at –

Ceridwyn http://animoto.com/s/C23OarK69DwO0v0cdt20mg

Peta  http://storybird.com/books/an-excellent-adventure/

bonitoclub  http://www.toondoo.com/cartoon/2185447

haikugirlOz  http://haikugirloz.com/my-first-animoto-for-octshowntell

jaygee http://jmcgblogging.blogspot.com/2010/10/week-2-october-show-and-tell.html

restructuregirl http://bit.ly/9KhLAe

Jo http://animoto.com/play/w0H824YYrhJXmJqAnyeRiQ

sally sets forth http://storybird.com/books/the-helpful-librarian-aka-the-green-fairy/

newgradlibrarian https://sites.google.com/site/octshowntell/newgradlib

kalgrl http://ferallibrarytales.blogspot.com/2010/10/happy-birthday-to-andrea_12.html

@stephmcg http://www.toondoo.com/cartoon/2187531

And if I have missed anyone (due to tiredness only) please remind me in comments!


New resources include:


31 digital storytelling sites care of @petahopkins



8 Oct

Thanks to everyone who is joining in #Octshowntell.

If you don’t know what this is read my blog entry on the new challenge.

It’s actually been more challenging finding an easily accessible single point of storage for our efforts, than it appears to have been to try the new tools. So we have a Vimeo group, a Google group thanks to @newgradlibrarian and then all your own various blog sites. For the latest offerings just search twitter for #octshowntell

Anyway in the interests of keeping some sort of record for the future I’m going to list as many of the efforts as possible here too. Please just add a comment with any new ones you try.


Week 1.

Jo at http://storybird.com/books/four-day-weekend/

Tony at  http://animoto.com/play/zplIYseCt6LH1PH0umWgwQ or http://bonitoclub.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/october-showntell-octshowntell/

Jaygee at http://jmcgblogging.blogspot.com/2010/10/october-show-and-tell-challenge.html

HaikugirlOz at http://haikugirloz.com/storybird-digital-storytelling-tool-octshowte

Sally at youtube.com/​watch?v=psLIT786zJA or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgMoATMOWZI&feature=youtu.be

Ceridwyn at http://prezi.com/js8coo04jcfs/the-copyright-story/

bookgrrl at http://storybird.com/books/if-music-be-the-food-of-love-play-on/

Greengecko29 at http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Comix/?comix_id=2983763C313427

MissSophieMac at http://misssophiemac.blogspot.com/2010/10/digital-storytelling-with-voki.html?

KatieTT at http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Comix/?comix_id=26532238C313409

Greengecko29 pixton.com/​uk/​comic/​lz04c3u4

restructuregirl at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCR11bwsgjg

David at http://animoto.com/play/AwfDzcUjfRf0Vbnyu01ulQ

pmcgowan at http://www.toondoo.com/View.toon?param=2183953

Peta at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AU6Lbk4et-w


Intro to vlogging – http://twitcam.livestream.com/24a1t orhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7Z7OJxnSoQ

Digital storytelling tools – Storybirdanimotoxtranormalglogster,voicethreadanimashermakebelievecomicsvuvoxprezi
Example : http://prezi.com/7okmswx_ex40/power-of-storytelling/

Copyright approved music you can use –

Also new resources have been trialed:

pixton.com or toondoo.com for making your own comics

And now for some fun – with pirate hats

9 Sep

Yesterday Mal Booth got a little restless up at the UTS library. He chatted to some colleagues. He decided to do something silly just because he could. Discussions with his staff and his Twitter group led to a challenge for next Wednesday 15 Sept. We’re spreading the challenge through social media and seeing how it goes. For those of you who are asking, the reason we are doing this is #noparticularreason The reason it’s in a library is because some of us are librarians or work in libraries. It’s really simple and it is about having fun : – )

Wear a pirate hat next Wednesday 15 Sept in a library.

Then share your frivolity, silliness, playfullness with the world, by exploring social media and using the tag #piratehatsWednesday

You may want to put up a blog post or make a statement on Twitter/Facebook/Myspace

You may choose to add a photo of your or other’s hats to the Flickr group http://www.flickr.com/groups/1472829@N25/ or get carried away and do a Youtube video or a quick video snapshot on http://12seconds.tv/

You might get inspired and bake pirate hat goodies (all contributions for tasting can be sent to Mal Booth, UTS, Sydney)

Instructions on how to make pirate hats can be found here and here and here

This activity already has celebrity engagement (although we’re happy to hear about more)

Library … on trust

23 Jun

One of the things we are about to try is a library on trust!

Spine label on book

Our Engineering Faculty upgraded it’s student study facilities last year, and moved their branch library out to gain more student space. Library hub for them is close by and it was felt that students wouldn’t need books anymore in a subject where lots of the material has been purchased electronically.

Of course, textbooks are the last evil holdout on this, and the students were soon looking for textbooks close to hand, whilst working in these lovely new 24/7 swipe card access rooms and computer labs.

So the Faculty is trialling using some of their annual allocation to buy items and store them in a swipe card access room in the new area.

No exit gates, no borrowing, no security cameras, no watchful librarians. Library on trust ….

Both the Faculty and the Library are hoping for positive results.