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Last Build Date: Fri, 03 Oct 2014 04:57:33 +0000


Ex Libris Day - Digitool

Mon, 31 Jul 2006 06:07:00 +0000

On Monday, 17 July, my colleague Peta Hopkins and I attended a workshop in Sydney hosted by Ex Libris. This photo was taken by Peta after the workshop when we had a quick dinner at King's Cross (my first visit there!) before rushing to get a taxi to the airport.

Ex Libris took the opportunity to showcase their digital assets management solution, Digitool and obtain feedback from current Australian users as well as users of other similar products like us.

It was very interesting to hear what is being done at a number of institutions around the country and we will be watching with interest as Ex Libris unveils its plans for an ASP version of Digitool. I am sure they also picked up a few good tips from the feedback and discussion.

The Successful Repository

Sat, 01 Jul 2006 02:28:00 +0000

This APSR event on 29 June in Brisbane was really excellent. Besides listening to top quality local and international speakers the day also afforded the opportunity for the relatively new Aus/NZ users of Digital Commons to get together for the first time, at the end of the day.

It was particularly satisfying to listen to Susan Gibbons from Rochester University in the US and reflect that Digital Commons is an excellent product as it allows us to do all the significant things she mentioned, such as creating Personal Researcher Pages. Hearing the other speakers from UQ, QUT etc. highlighted again that we have all gone down similar paths with respect to policy matters, selling the idea of the repository to researchers, etc - and will continue to move down similar paths and can learn a lot from each other. Hence the importance of the Aus/NZ DC users keeping in touch.

An interesting point made by Susan was that when talking about the institutional respository, librarians need three distinct "voices" and that it is important to focus on the issues that are relevant to each audience and not to mix them: institutional voice, faculty/academic staff voice and library voice.

A concluding observation - it seemed to me that both locally in Aus/NZ and in the US, that self-archiving is just not taking off and the academics simply prefer the Library to do it for them. Again - this was gratifying to hear as it is a strategy purposefully chosen at Bond University.

AVCC Library Conference, Adelaide, 22-23 June 2006

Wed, 28 Jun 2006 09:14:00 +0000

I was fortunate enough to attend this conference last week and found the interactive nature of the conference that included a number of group activities to be both beneficial and interesting. I came away with increased knowledge in a number of key areas as well as some useful practical tips. Being in Adelaide for part of the week also gave me the oppportunity to visit Golden Grove where we used to live. The weather definitely reminded we why we moved to the Gold Coast!Next time I will blog daily so that I don't have to do a long summary like this, but anyhow, I will just mention some of the highlights and I hope my style will become more bloglike with practice!The conference was opened by Prof James McWha, VC of the University of Adelaide who spoke about current issues in the higher education sector and specifically highlighted the importance of the Library as part of the competitive advantage of the University.Eve Woodberry, current CAUL president contextualised these sector issues as relating to libraries and mentioned five main areas in which libraries will need to respond:Academic student support - varying student cohorts, changing teaching practices and the contrast of the shifting student population with static library staffUnreliable and fluctuating competitive fundingResearch support - OAI, RQF and institutional repositoriesCultural sensitivity issues relating to international studentsIncreased cooperation and collaboration through bilateral agreements between universitiesCraig McInnis from the University of Melbourne gave a very insightful presentation on trends and issues in undergraduate teaching and learning. An interesting emerging trend seems to be that social engagement is a major contributor to learning and of course we are seeing evidence of this in academic libraries and all around with the increase in social computing. The most significant point in this presentation was, I think, again emphasising that universities must fit with our students' lives and expectations.One of the highlights of the conference for me was Kym Adey's talk on What I expect from the Library and University Librarian. He stressed that the Library plays a major role in the intellectual health and wellbeing of the university but that a University Librarian needs to win the support of their line manager and not assume it. Kym gave some useful hints about preparing clear, precise arguments that are justified and explained and importantly, pitched in terms of contextual awareness of the broad priorities and plans of the university.Along the same theme of skills and knowlege required to become a University Librarian, Catherine Harboe-Ree left me with these useful thoughts:Do your current job wellLet people know what you are doingStep forward, take risks, leadBe passionateMentor and be mentoredChoose your referees carefullyFocus on the jobSee work life balance over a career (not a point in time)Snippets from other speakers:Jeff Murray - Libraries need to remember that the price of a product they provide is not necessarily related to what it costs to produceHelen Livingstone - Cross institutional mixing and matching of courses poses challenges for libraries; Today's students are strategic learners who only need what they need when they need it - the next generation may not care too much about information literacy.Ray Choate - When creating redundancies due to budget cuts, take a vertical slice of the organisation and move sidewaysAndrew Wells - Among many other things when planning a libray on a greenfields site, be aware of local standards and ensure local partnershipsAnne Horne - Libraries need money not only to build put to "plan to build"; key steps to success in a shared resource/service are communication, commitment, consistency (of services) and a cost-benefit case.Finally, some insightful points made by Catherine Harboe-Ree when she presented on eResearch and Librarians:libraries have a role to play in the entire research life cylelibraries should not underestimate their abili[...]

Welcome to Libvaria

Wed, 28 Jun 2006 00:54:00 +0000

Welcome to Libvaria. This will be my "work-related" blog and I hope to post on many and varied topics related to libraries, technology and related areas.

Coming up ... my first main post will be on the recent AVCC Library Conference I attended in Adelaide.