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I’ve been neglecting the blog about lately as I’ve had my attention diverted elsewhere. This week has been taken up with the Internet Librarian International Conference in London. It seemed to be a well-recieved conference (apart from lots of muttering under the breath about the ridiculous cost of wifi – I mean, honestly, in this day and age a hotel that charges £10-$20 per day for wifi!?), with lots of attendees from the UK, the Netherlands, Scandanavia and more.

There were a number of repository related events, including a pre-conference Masterclass on Sunday morning presented by Frank Cervone from NorthWestern University in Illinios in the States. Frank covered the whole gammit of repository development which was useful although he lost me a bit on the OAIS Model and Objects and Behaviours – that’s going to be homework..

If you’re interested, many of the presentations are available from the conference website, including the presentations from Brian Kelly and myself in the ‘Blogging Inertia and 2.0 Scepticism’ slot. Nice to see the conference wiki, which is a great place for finding all those clever people who were blogging or twittering throughout the event.

There are photo’s from the event collected via Technorati available here.

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Here’s our presentation from the LWW7 conference, reported on below here and here:

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Yes well my apologies, it’s been a little quiet around these parts. Still have to figure out how to write a post to be posted at a particular time. I’ve been at the Libraries Without Walls 7 conference, held on the Greek island of Lesvos in the Aegean sea. Fortunately I’m not easily distracted by sunshine, beaches, ancient hilltop castles, boat trips, swims in the sea, etc., so I was able to concentrate fully on just the conference papers. No really, and as proof here’s a brief rundown on papers of relevance to this blog:

Prof Christine Borgman spoke on the emerging roles for libraries in the scholarly information infrastructure – the goal being linking up data and documents and the competing pressures and rewards on scholars, i.e. rewards for publishing, not for data management.
Chris also made a very interesting comment on Margaret Markland’s talk about usage statistics for institutional repositories, as comments were raised about sending monthly reports of downloads to authors and whether you make that information available to authors who have NOT submitted their papers to the repository to raise awareness of impact and distribution gained by deposit.

Jane Secker and Gwyneth Price from LSE and the Institute of Education spoke on their LASSIE project, and the exploration of social software to enhance the experience of distance learners. Very interesting stuff..

I enjoyed Susan Robbins presentation on their integrated library enquiry environment, Information Central, and was facinated by Maitrayee Ghosh’s description of outreach services to ‘the rural masses’ in India, particularly their use of rickshaws laden with IT equipment that could be take out to villages and used by farmers to gain access to everything from agricultural market prices to health information – absolutely amazing!

Virpi Palmgren and Jouni Nevalainen from the Helsinki University of Technology Library spoke about their work using dialogue and concept mapping tools for their information retrieval programs – and I’ve just spoken today with a staff member from the Mechanical Engineering department who explained a similar method he’s interested in for knowledge management on his desktop! Great stuff for those for whom spacial and relational organisation of information is easier to digest than the usual hierarchial systems we use day to day.

Well really the list goes on. So many interesting presentations, and a wonderful opportunity to meet with colleagues from around the world.
And a little bit of dancing too… :)
Conference Dinner at LWW7, Greek dancing

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Yes, me going on about blogs again.. I’ll put these on Slideshare eventually, but as I’m working through my ILI presentation I’m focusing on why I’ve got a blog about setting up our repository (although most of these posts lately are about blogs and conferences, sorry..)

So why blog about my repository experiences – here’s a few reasons:

Sharing good practice

Relating our experiences – perhaps these can be of use to someone else?

Engaging with the community

Using new technologies

An informal record of my activities – and showing a path of progression

A place to record and hopefully answer the questions that I had when I was starting out…

I really would like to add to my list of repository blogs and feeds. Send details if you have one..
Worth checking out on this topic, a slideshow from Robert & Maryam Scoble:

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My husband is getting irate because I keep saying ‘while I’m on holiday’ instead of ‘at the conference’. Freudian slip, I’m sure.

The LWW7 conference is held in Molyvos on the Aegean Island of Lesvos. The conference theme is: Exploring ‘anytime, anywhere’ delivery of library services, with an international line-up of presenters on a variety of topics. I’m looking forward to Margaret Markland’s paper on ‘Publishing, Policy and People; three constraints upon institutional repository development’ and Jane Secker and Gwyneth Price speaking on ‘Libraries as a social space: enhancing the experience of distance learners using social networking tools‘, along with a raft of other papers that look good.
I’ll report back after the jump.

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We’ve recently launched a small collection of book records on the library catalogue that offer library users to add comments, reviews and recommendations. Our clever systems librarian Laurence has hooked up the collection to a wiki, where users can leave comments which are then fed back into the catalogue.

We did a lot of thinking about this, with issues like moderation, risk management, the authority of the catalogue, seeding the conversation and more to be decided on. The collection itself, called ‘Around the world in 80+ books’ is a selection of world literature, chosen by our international students and staff so already it’s very personal. By adding a comments function to the catalogue records, we’re hoping to gather thoughts or conversations. For example, I chose the Australian book selection which includes Dirt Music by Tim Winton, A True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey and Down Under by Bill Bryson – but just a flamin’ minute mate, Bryson isn’t Australian? Well, no, but Down Under is a really good reflection on Oz, and on Aussies.. IMHO. I’d welcome a bit of controversy to say there are better choices.. but that’s all part of the process.

Since this is just baby steps for us, only University of Bath users can log into read comments (safe for moderation purposes), but I believe they can be read by anyone who access the catalogue record.
Is there any point offering a comments function on the repository? As much as I value the communication benefits provided by comments, my presumption is that people will still operate by email should they want to comment on a pre-print – actually I’d like to find out whether any repository managers have heard of whether pre-prints do actually garner much interest or response from peers of the author? Sounds good in theory but does it happen?

Anyway, we’ll wait to see what happens with the catalogue reviews. My manager Kate and I are presenting on this next week at the Libraries Without Walls Conference (which *unfortunately* happens to be in Molyvos, on the Aegean Island of Lesvos, Greece – what a sacrifice!). The written report with the discussions behind our decisions will be in the conference papers. I’ll put the powerpoint up on Slideshare soon-ish.

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The Internet Librarian International Conference in London, October 8-9 has a repository masterclass. Run by Frank Cervone of Northwestern University, USA it’s called ‘Repositories and Digital Initiatives’. The class is on the Sunday 7th October, before the conference. It looks very practical and the blurb says ‘through this step-by-step road map and by looking at examples of repositories that have been implemented in many different countries, you’ll leave the session ready to plan your own’. I like the idea of looking at existing examples, that’s my learning style..
Another quick plug – on the Sunday afternoon is the session ‘Using blogs effectively within your organisation’, run by Brian Kelly and myself.. Quick, sign up!.. :)

The turret

Our newly re-slated turret and re-painted finial.. a sizable architectural quirk on our otherwise tiny house! A work of art really, by Dan and Jay – roofers extraordinaire…

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