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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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Last Thursday I met up with Steph (from the Repositories Support Project) in Loughborough to check out the University of Loughborough Institutional Repository. Originally I’d contacted them after reading articles written by Jo Barwick and placed in the repository. We met with Jeff and Kate, who explained how they’ve set up their repository installation and their experiences. Kate gave us a run through of depositing an item in their DSpace account – they’ve a completely mediated service. It was tremendously useful to see and well worth the three and a half hours each way on the train. I’d written about twenty questions, including the following (with answers):
Q. What kind of statistics do they collect?
A. They use Google Analytics at the moment but interested in the stats plug-in from DSpace (which reminds me – are DSpace stats counter compliant?)
Q. Does the repository interface with their Research Expertise database (our PIP)?
A. No, but potentially that’s where they’re going. I’d like to know if anyone has managed this?
Q. Have they ever had anyone make a copyright complaint, coming in from their Notice and Takedown Policy?
A. Nope.
Q. What is checked in the mediation stage?
A. The journal/publisher policies for self-archiving, the file, all metadata is input, LCSH info added, and their Creative Commons license page is added to the front of the pdf.
Q. How long to deposit an item?
A. About ten minutes if all is in order..
Q. Staffing?
A. Outlined in the docs by Jo Barwick – originally a Repository manager to set up, now two years later there is deposit support from their technical services department, systems support from their Library Systems people, and the repository management is part of a Support Services Librarian post.

It was great to actually look under the bonnet of their repository, thanks again to Jeff and Kate and Jo for writing up her experiences.
White cliffs along the Jurassic Coast near Poole, UK.
White cliffs along the coast near Poole and Swanage.. completely the wrong direction to Loughborough but nevermind. Jelly-knee material when you’re up near the edge looking over.

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Blogging

Over at the social networking site Ning there’s a Library 2.0 community. Brian Kelly from UKOLN has established a little group within this to gather thoughts and ideas for a Blogging Masterclass that we’re presenting at the Internet Librarian International conference in London, 7 October 2007. Brian has a phancy new phone with a camera, so muggins here was caught off-guard this morning and has been roped doing a short promo for the masterclass and Ning pages. It won’t embed in this page so here’s a link:

http://www.vcasmo.com/video/ukwebfocus/314

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If the entertainment blogs are to be believed, the Britney Spears approach to sharing means splitting your half-finished lollypop with the new man in your life (I’m not linking to my sources – *this* is a quality blog..!).
I’m not sure generosity should extend that far, but the following is certainly a much better example of sharing. I’ve just found a pre-print by Joanna Barwick in the Loughborough Repository. It’s entitled Collecting Loughborough’s research: the story of our Institutional Repository. The handle, or link is http://hdl.handle.net/2134/2992.
This stuff is like gold dust, and reading about the experiences of repository development at Loughborough is invaluable. Well played, Joanna and the Loughborough team.

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