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library 2.0 March 22, 2007

Posted by john wright in Uncategorized.

I’ve just subscribed to a new mailing list called lis-bloggers. It’s a list for people to share and discuss their library/information-science blogs. One that I found interesting is called ‘Information Literacy meets Web 2.0’ (see my blog links). Web 2.0 is defined fairly reliably on Wikipedia as “a perceived second generation of web-based services—such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools and folksonomies — that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users.”

Of course what Web 2.0 is isn’t nearly as important as what it can do. For a long time I’ve been trying to decide if Web 2.0 had any real practical application in the library world. Now I think the answer is a definite ‘yes’. In fact it must be because the term ‘Library 2.0’ has already been coined as a direct spin-off! This also has a Wikipedia definition.

So what are the potential benefits of Library 2.0? Library 2.0 technologies allow for an increased flow of feedback and participation from users within a fairly informal framework, which in turn allows services to be frequently evaluated and updated to meet changing needs. Anything which facilitates increased user collaboration must be a good thing, it’s just a question of deciding what technology to use and how. There are lots of articles on this, most of which I haven’t got around to reading, so it’s an area I’ll have to revisit. I’m starting with the articles in Ariadne ‘Web 2.0: Building the New Library‘, and in the Library Journal ‘Library 2.0: Service for the next-generation library‘.

Tommorrow I am going to Granada in the heart of Andalucia, for a week’s holiday. I’m very excited. Granada is of course famous for the Alhambra Palace, built by the Moorish monarchs primarily during the 13th and 14th centuries. As well as being a city steeped in culture and history you can also (according to my friend) buy a very nice almond milkshake thingey there too – the best of both worlds!

“Always the more beautiful answer who asks the more beautiful question.”  E.E. Cummings


journals, phones, and dogs March 9, 2007

Posted by john wright in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

I went to the National Library of Wales last week for an Advisory Board meeting of a project called ‘Welsh Journals Online’. Over the next 2 years the project will digitise around 90 of Wales’ most significant journal titles published since 1900. The full-text content will be available via a free searchable web interface – an extremely significant resource for students, teachers and researchers in a number of disciplines including welsh, welsh history, celtic studies, politics, sociology, english, music, theology and cultural studies. The web interface will also allow users to post comments and cross-reference to related works. This interactive element is particularly interesting to me, it will potentially stimulate new ideas and generate new research. Exciting stuff.

Unlike mobile phones – I can’t get excited about those at all. Call me old-fashioned but I just want my mobile phone to allow me to phone people up whilst I am mobile, that is what I would define as the very purpose of a mobile phone. I don’t want my phone to take photos, film movies, send emails, or indeed wash my laundry. I have at my disposal other purpose built devices that already allow me to perform all of those functions. Getting a free upgrade is not always a good thing if it means getting loads of additional functionality that you didn’t want in the first place. For example imagine you are walking your dog and someone comes and takes away your dog and replaces it with a free wolf, the additional functionality being that it bites your leg off! Makes you think doesn’t it…

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.” Margaret Fuller

Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant hapus! March 1, 2007

Posted by john wright in Uncategorized.
1 comment so far

I saw the film ‘Pan’s Labyrinth‘ at Theatr Gwynedd last Sunday, an event notable for 2 reasons:
1. It was sold out – that never happens at film showings in Theatr Gwynedd
2. When the film ended there was a spontaneous round of applause, I’ve never experienced that response for a film before.
It was well intentioned applause of course, but it kind of seems pointless unless the director of the film Guillermo del Toro was in the audience – and I for one am prepared to stick my neck out and suggest that this was extremely unlikely. Anyway it was an incredible film – thanks Guillermo if you’re reading this…

You’ve all heard the song ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’ by the popular irish boy-band U2. Ask yourself a serious question – does this describe your predicament when it comes to finding information for your research? If so, please please please get in touch – whether you can’t find current research using the library database and e-journal collections, or you’re just having trouble locating print materials, I’d like to hear from you. I can recommend sources relevant to your subject area, suggest search strategies and also help you to evaluate your search results for relevance and quality. I can do this in person or via email, it’s your call. My contact details are under the photo. Cofiwch hefyd os wyt eisio cysylltu yn y gymraeg mae croeso i ti wneud.

Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thoughtAlbert Szent-Gyorgyi