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Tag Archives: Access

Transforming to a Library 2.0 ~ Part 7… finale?

Work with schools, Library for the Blind : visit of blind Bo...

cc lincensed and shared by New York Public Library

It is nearly the end of the school year and I am still going in and checking the Oliver program transition. We can safely say that is is now live and Athena is no longer needed. When I went in last week I spoke with the IT technician about where the link to Oliver is on the system and how visible it is to the school community. Currently, you can access the library beyond the walls of the physical library. Great as this was one of the aims. However, the process is not too straightforward as you need to bring up ‘programs’ and find the link to the OPAC to go into the library management system. Too cumbersome for our current ‘information now’ clientele!

I suggested placing a library icon as the link on the front page of the school website. This will increase accessibility and enable students, parents and teachers to be able to logon from their homes. Being able to ‘see’ the library link on the front page is what we all want after all. This is now on the list and I was informed it is not difficult to achieve. Fantastic!

Through this journey, I have mentioned often that there is no dedicated teacher/librarian at the school and it is an area I have been advocating for incessantly during my time there. The new system has a fantastic and simple newsletter template that only needs an update monthly. It provides links to new items in the library, information about the library, links to websites and featured authors for the month. With the featured author, it provides a wonderful avenue where students can email suggestions for authors thereby increasing student participation. Hopefully this can open up more avenues for student contributions including student publications online. However, unless there is a dedicated teacher that will focus on the library much of this wonderful potential will be difficult to realise. I continued with my constant advocacy in this area and yesterday, Mary informed me that Bec may be provided some allocated time next year to focus on the library. She will be responsible for updating the newsletter and will run PD with the staff about the new system and the importance of the library. Fantastic! Bec has come on board this term and spent a great deal of time familiarising herself with the new system, looking into electronic resources and reading up on all things library. There is still a long way to travel but every step counts in cementing the importance of the library and extending this beyond the library walls and into the school community.

As for the new library management system, Oliver, the interface is fantastic and a perfect choice for a primary school, especially when you click on Olly and access the visual search. Even searching a subject, the box where you type your word is quite large making it easy for little kids to read. None of the other programs researched had such a fantastic interface with this level of accessibility for very young children.

Currently, the library is shut down for lending and only open for returns. This has been instigated to enable the smooth transition and ensure any difficulties are fixed before the next academic year. It will further enable training in the new system for staff. Only last week I was working through part of the training module with Mary and we identified that a key component linking to Word has not been downloaded and set up yet. This enables the printing of labels, letters and reports. Very vital!… This has been forwarded to the IT department and hopefully the situation has been sorted. I am going back in later this week for a final check and hopefully this is the finale in transforming to a Library 2.0.

 

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Banned Book Week ~ 24th September to 1st October

BBW poster shared by American Library Association (ALA)

Courtesy of ALA TechSource I have been alerted to Banned Books Week. Following is the list of books challenged and/or banned in 2009/2010. You will notice that amongst the list is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Diary of Anne Frank and closer to home, The Twilight Series was “Banned in Australia (2009) for primary school students because the series is too

racy.”

To obtain lists of earlier years you can visit the ALA free downloads page where you find PDF lists from the years 2004-2005 onwards. It provides a snapshot of a trend in censorship. Mapping Censorship provides a visual geographical representation in the USA.

Banned Books Week is a celebration of the freedom to read, starting in 1982 and occurring as an annual event since. For more information visit the Banned Books Week site and the ALA Banned Books Week: celebrating the freedom to read page. You may even want to upload a reading of a passage from a banned or challenged book to the Banned Books Week youtube channel.

I’m off to reread Brave New World by Aldous Huxley!

 

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Open Access Journals

I came across the following article by David Rapp titled jSTOR Announces Free Access to 500k Public Domain Journal Articles in the Library Journal today and felt excited. However, if a work is in the public domain, it usually means that it is not covered by intellectual property rights for a number of reasons including the owner having forfeited the rights or the rights having expired. In that context the concept of ‘free’ seems to be cancelled out. The works being made available by jSTOR fall into the category ‘Early journal content’ and include works published before 1923 in the US and 1870 worldwide. Clearly, they fall in the category of copyright having expired.

You may recall the article ‘Free Culture’ Advocate may pay a high price  about Aaron Swartz, mentioned in my blogpost Who owns culture, the question who owns culture can be asked of jSTOR in consideration of their announcement of ‘free access’. In that light, I may stick with DOAJ ~ Directory of Open Access Journals.

The following clip provides more related detail.

 

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Encouraging the digital economy and digital citizenship

Critical Review:  Missingham, R. (2009) Encouraging the digital economy and digital citizenship, The Australian Library Journal, 58(4), 386-399

As a parliamentary librarian, Missingham, chronicles the development of Electronic Resources Australia (ERA) as a collaborative and coordinated effort addressing the availability of quality information sources and content without allocated funding. The role of public libraries is defined as being integral in the provision of services, quality information, providing skills development in information literacy, improving access and participation in the digital environment. The participation in the digital economy and environments is linked to active citizenship. Missingham highlights this as linked to principles of the Australian Government 2.0 taskforce launched 2009.

By inference, Missinham identifies a divide between rural and metropolitan regions. The National Broadband Network, (NBN) presents the promise of bridging the divide with the expansion of information infrastructure backed by $43billion of Government funding. No funding has been allocated for information as relevant content, skills development, equitable access in public spaces and training required for information literacy.

Missingham outlines the case for improved services and access to information pointing to a correlation between improved literacy outcomes with participation in digital environments. ERA launched in 2007 after consensus on the model was reached by a representative group of Libraries, Education, Health and Government Associations. ERA delivers digital content based on an opt-in subscription model sponsored by the National Library of Australia. At the time the article was written 8.5 million Australians had access to information provided by ERA.

Missingham identifies issues and barriers encapsulated in the three areas of connectivity, content and capacity and recommends a Federal coordinated effort including committed Government funding for content creation and preservation efforts, skills development, training and improved accessibility.

Missingham’s background in the library sector and extensive publications on digital environments adds credibility to her viewpoints. This paper, contributes to the evidence-based practice necessitated to channel support from the Government as is evident at a micro level with school libraries, (Todd, 2007) and Oberg (2006). Acknowledgement is paid to the limitations of this paper as its main purpose is to chronicle the development of ERA, bringing focus to the need for development of relevant digital content, skills, and equitable access for participation in the Digital environment whilst advocating for funding.

A key weakness is limiting the digital divide to a rural/metropolitan divide. Minimal attention is paid to socio-economic aspects with nothing mentioned of disparity between indigenous Australians and non-indigenous Australians as evidenced in remote communities in Central Australia, (Rennie et.al, 2010). Schleife (2009) points to individual determinants, such as education level, contributing to increased internet use in regional areas of Germany also supported by La Rose, et.al. (2007) in complexities of internet adoption in regional U.S.A. Hutley (2011) echoes Missingham but makes a point of extending the definition of digital divide to take account of socio-economic indicators, highlighting the existence of a digital divide in metropolitan areas. Unesco (p. 30, 2005) points to the digital divide as multifaceted and not a simple binary delineation between rural and metropolitan regions.

Metaphors such as ‘super highway’ help to channel support for governments in building the information infrastructure, Borgman (2000). Missingham alludes to these metaphors at the outset of her paper, however, her arguments strengthen in aligning the importance of the NBN with content, skills, accessibility and training, also supported by Unesco (2005). Hutley (2011) calls for a move away from the focus on the infrastructure and supports Missingham’s call for committed funding to ‘soft’ elements; content creation, skills development, access and training; noting that libraries are yet to be connected to the NBN.

Evidenced in this paper is the interplay between technology, policy and society in coming to grips with the challenges presented by the information Age, (Borgman, 2000), (Unesco, 2005) and (La Rose, et.al. 2007). The NBN is about open access, capacity and connectivity as well as a policy response to the restrictive trade practices of Telstra, (Mulligan and Neal, 2009) and (Morgan, 2010). It is yet to be seen whether the NBN will lead to adoption of broadband in homes and whether the most disadvantaged will be able to afford it, as questioned by Hutley (2011). The U.S.A experience indicates that adoption rates have remained low in rural areas and a significant divide continues to exist (La Rose, et.al 2007) and (Malecki, 2003).

This paper is an effective starting point to the important issues of access, participation, content creation, preservation and digital citizenship with a focus on the importance of libraries. It indicates a collaborative sector determined to contribute to the betterment of all people.

The following clip provides an indication of some of the work carried out by National film and Sound Archive. One of the branches carrying out the wonderful curation and content creation work in Australia.

 

Borgman, C. (2000) The premise and the promise of a global information infrastructure, Access to information in a network world, pp 1-31, Cambridge: MIT Press

Government 2.0 Taskforce (2009) Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0, Report of the Government 2.0 taskforce. retrieved from http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/gov20taskforcereport/doc/Government20TaskforceReport.pdf

Hutley, S. (2011) Where’s the strategy?, Incite, 32(1), 13-14.

La Rose, R., Greg, J.L., Strover, S., Straubhaar, J., & Carpenter, S. (2007), Closing the rural broadband gap: Promoting adoption of the internet in rural America, Telecommunications Policy, 31, 359-373.

Malecki, E.J. (2003), Digital Development in rural areas: potentials and pitfalls, Journal of Rural Studies, 19, 201-204.

Morgan, K. (2010), Hollow Victory, Dissent, No. 33, 55-57.

Mulligan, P. and Neal, C., (2009), National Broadband Network to impact more than just internet speeds, Law Society Journal, 46(7), 34-35.

Oberg, D. (2006) Developing the respect and support of school administrators, Teacher Librarian, 33(3), 13-18

Rennie, E., Crouch, A., Thomas, J. & Taylor, P. (2010) Beyond Public Access? Reconsidering Broadband for Remote Indigenous communities, Communications, Politics & Culture, 43(1), 48-69.

Schleife, K. (2009), What really matters: Regional versus individual determinants of the digital divide in Germany, Research Policy, 39, 173-185.

Todd, R. J. (2007). Evidence-based practice and school libraries: from advocacy to action In Hughes-Hassell, S. & Harada, V.H (eds) School reform and the school library media

Specialist, ch. 4, pp. 57-78, Westport, Conneticut, Libraries Unlimited.

 

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Indigenous Knowledge Centres

Visit Dot.Com.Mob for more information.

 

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