Personal perspectives on information science, the evolving Internet, delivery of public services online, Web 2.0, the Web of Data, the Semantic Web, communities, folksonomies and more. With an emphasis upon convergence between some or all of the above, and a UK slant.
I was there at the invitation of theirLibrary, and was very impressed by thebuildingthat they have moved to since my last visit.
Returning to my desk this evening, I was also reminded of the tremendous power of the feedback loops with which we now live.
From an audience of 25-30 people,atleastthreehave blogged their (different) views on the subject at hand, I learn from their comments, and grow better/stronger/wiser/whatever as a result.
All too often, we get so little feedback from an audience. Now, we get indirect (and, possibly, more honest?) feedback from anyone who wishes to give it, including those (only one, in this case) who - for whatever reason - didn't speak directly with me at the event.
It's great, whether they're positive (as all of these are) or not, and I look forward to the increasing prevalence of feedback loops such as this in conferences and the like as we move forward.
Travel was relatively painless (as painless as 8 hours in a very full confined space can be, anyway), and my previously dreadful (justifiably, I might add) opinion of our flag carrying airline has been somewhat mollified. Even The People With Guns at Dulles were moderately pleasant! The sun is shining down on Washington DC this morning and I am making the most of looking out of the windows, as the rest of the day will be spent deep in the troglodytic bowels of the hotel, in bog standard big hotel conference rooms with neither windows nor easy access to the outside world.
At registration, I picked up my bag (and umbrella!), and look forward to filling it (the bag, not the umbrella) with the gifts that my poor abandoned children deserve when I get back home on Saturday. It was good to see ourLibrary 2.0 white paperin the bag, and I look forward to seeing if its content generates much interest/discussion here.
As a registered blogger (!), I've got access to the press room here, where there's power and a network. It's good that the conference organisers are recognising the need to cater for those other than the more traditional media outlets in this way. There is also supposed to be a wireless network in the exhibition/registration space, to which I should be able to connect from time to time. But no power and no network in any of the rooms, which is unfortunate as it basically means you need to leave a session in order to be able to write about anything.
This new laptop seems to guzzle power, too, and extra batteries were impossible to come by before leaving the UK. I feel a quick call to the Apple Stores atPentagon CityandClarendonmay be in order, once they open... I hope they have some of the right batteries in stock...
Right. Time to read today's Program(me), and then think of more 'proper' and journalistic-ey comments to write forpanlibus...
The title of this post really should have been 'A slow boat to China', but as I'm not going to China and I'm not travelling by boat, it didn't really work.
Tomorrow, it's off toComputers in Librarieswe go. This involves a taxi about 0700 UK time, to get to the local railway station. Then a train to Leeds. Then a bus to Leeds/Bradford airport. Then a plane to Heathrow (most horrible airport in the UK, by a very long way). Then a plane to Washington Dulles. Then, depending upon how the flight was, either a cab or the shuttle bus and Metro combo to central DC, and a Washington hotel I've actually managed not to stay in before.
Estimated arrival time at the hotel? About 0100 UK time (8pm in Washington), 18 hours after walking out the door here. I think I'll need a drink, especially if the Department of Homeland Security insist on sticking me in one of those mile-long queues they so politely provide for 'Aliens'.
'Proper' blogging of the event over onPanlibus. Complaints about airlines, the price of wi-fi etc here. Take your pick.
Remember I wasreally pleasedthat my local public library was experimenting with Sunday opening, and running various events as part of the Sunday pilot?
Well, it was great.
Noisy pre-school children wereactively encouragedto laugh, shout, and enjoy themselves.
The library didn't justcondonefood and drink; it gave it out! (to the children, anyway. I'm still a bit cross that nobody would give me the smartie off the top of their cake).
The event was full, the story was fun, and everyone seemed to have a great time.
They're running a similar event next weekend, telling one of ourfavourite stories. Child and I were keen to go again, and this time we wanted to take her younger cousin, who will be visiting us that weekend.
Unfortunately, the library refuses to let the cousin attend, as neither she nor her parents live in the authority.
Another nice idea, wrecked by the pointless strictures of policy, procedure, and red tape.
Why do we keep doing this, and will we ever learn?
I'm now back to being disappointed by my local library, which seems a shame.
Regular readers of the various places in which I blog or have blogged will know that, from time to time, I have expressed a degree of dissatisfaction with both the opening hours and the OPAC of my local public library service.
It is therefore only fair to mention that I arrived home tonight to discover that the library is experimenting withSundayopening, and that they are holding special events for children on some of those Sundays, rather than sticking them all during the day on week days, as theyappearto have done in the past.
Needless to say, I'll be there. Now all I need to do is persuade the children...
“Once some technical challenges have been overcome, the 'digitised' books, journals, maps and manuscripts would be made available on the library's website and on a new MSN Book Search service which Microsoft plans to launch next year.”
This new generation of deals between content holders (such as the BL) and access providers (such as Microsoft or Google), in whichbothparties retain rights to exploit the resulting content, mark an important step forward from earlier arrangements in which content holders gave access providers exclusive distribution rights in exchange for money and other services.
“The Government has published 'Transformational Government - Enabled by Technology', a strategy for transforming public services using technology. The strategy sets out how effective use of technology designed around citizens' and businesses' needs can make a real difference to people's daily lives. It is not simply about the internet, but is a far more profound approach that goes to the heart of public services delivery.”
APress Releaseis available on the Cabinet Office web site, which lists the ways in which public services will be improved through the report's recommendations. Of these, the first two resonate particularly well with Library 2.0, and activities at Talis;
“Designing technology and services around the needs of the citizen improving the citizen's choice of interaction with public services.
Sharing services and information across public sector to achieve efficiency and reduce duplication for staff and the public.”
My article on Library 2.0, Web 2.0, and points between, was published inAriadneover the weekend.
Web 2.0: Building the New Librarytakes a look at some of the buzz surrounding Web 2.0 at the moment, and presents a set of high level principles that I feel the concept encompasses. It really sets the scene for a number of pieces to appear in the coming months, in which I shall explore the importance of 'the Platform' in more detail, and assess the fundamental shifts (in policy, outlook, technology and delivery) required of our sector if it is to reassert its value in a rapidly changing world.
“While as a fully paid-up cynic I could be forgiven for fingering the metaphorical revolver on sighting a technology evangelist, the evangelist in question has an excellent track record as Ariadne readers will know. Paul Miller in his article Web 2.0: Building the New Library would seem to lift our eyes above the merely technological and in a series of 'Principles' underpinning Web 2.0 provides us with a set of aims with which relatively few might argue violently - on the face of it. Irrespective of whether Web 2.0 becomes reality or yet another Holy Grail, the debate it has engendered over recent months, centred upon its usefulness to end-users, must be a welcome one. While cautiously recalling previous false dawns, Paul provides an overview of the potential Web 2.0 represents for us, as a concept at least.
In detailing his principles, Paul indicates, for example, the possible capacity of Web 2.0 to address the demands of the Long Tail which is already beginning to rival traditional market behaviours for the attentions of innovators and entrepreneurs alike. But it is the potential for what Tim O'Reilly terms an 'architecture of participation' which should interest us, (in particular the cynics). In an era in which every other politician on the stump bangs on about community values while (sometimes unwittingly) condoning measures which serve only to dilute them, Web 1.0, for all its sins, has fanned, however gently, the embers of community activity. It has provided a means of communication and information for concerned but increasingly isolated citizens who no longer have the time to operate along the traditional but rusting lines of community activity. The capacity of Web 2.0 through technologies such as blogging, file sharing, etc. to empower the ordinary user through more effective means of communication remains to be seen. But it could bring enormous support and even clout to consumer and pressure groups and those at the grass roots of the democratic process. If indeed small is beautiful, flexible, re-combinative, disaggregating, modular and sharing, then Web 2.0 might just be beautiful too.”