Monday, 6 January 2014

Interesting summer reading

Happy New Year to you.  I hope that 2014 delivers all that you're working towards making a reality.  For some libraries this will be joining the One Card consortium & for all consortium members we will see the completion of the roll out & the consortium moving into a new phase.  But more about this in future posts.

There is always such a wide range of professional reading which comes across my desk & much of it doesn't get the attention it deserves.  But over the slightly quieter Christmas break there are opportunities to revisit the saved weblinks or pick up professional journals which have been sitting in the corner of the office.

For those of you interested in the library profession I thought I'd pass on a few links which may be of interest.  And of course if you have read anything which you'd like to share then by all means post a comment with a link to articles of interest.

I should also note that one piece of professional stimulation has been provided by subscribing to Seth Godin's blog. Small, usually interesting & sometimes challenging comments appear as an email almost daily.  Godin comes from the world of marketing, and sometimes the comments are not relevant, but those that are relevant are great.  Take a look - you too may be inspired by much of his work.

Articles which you may be interested in include this one with a fairly lengthy and dry title: Cost of and benefits resulting from public library e-government service provision: findings and future directions from an exploratory study.
Here is the abstract of the article. As the public trusts the library to provide access and support to use computers and the Internet, much of the burden of e–government service provision has shifted from government agencies to public libraries. This unfunded mandate contributes to libraries’ financial burdens in a time of radical public library funding cuts. Public libraries need to be able to identify the precise costs of this service provision, as well as its benefits, in order to justify additional financial or other resources to support these services, especially high–speed broadband connections to facilitate access to and use of e–government services. This paper presents the findings of an exploratory study designed to identify the range of costs Indiana public libraries incur in their provision of e–government services, as well as the benefits of that service provision. The multi–method research design employed in this study offers one possible approach by which other states might develop a comprehensive perspective, including costs, of their public libraries’ e–government service provision.

While it is a study from one US state, I believe that there are some interesting parallels for us here.  One thing I like about the study is how it briefly documents its multi-method approach to the research - perhaps this is something that can inform future research work that we do.

Having done a study tour through Scandinavia and seen their excellence public libraries I've continued to be interested in how they achieve what they do.  So this short article called Working together is the key to success about the Vaasa library in Western Finland took my eye.  This article is from an interesting journal called Scandanavian Library Quarterly which I try to look at a few times a year.

Of course the IFLA conference was in Singapore this year & this made it more affordable for Australians to attend.  Heather Brown of the State Library and Teresa Brook of PLS presented papers at the conference, Heather's being about integrated digital and physical preservation while Teresa presented on Wilbur: a multi-lingual picture book for new arrivals and migrant families.

IFLA released their trend report which is well worth seeing. The trend report brings together a variety of strands and different papers, all of which are worth looking at. They can bee seen from the trend report link I have posted just above.  There is also a "digest" report on public libraries from IFLA which has links to various interesting papers.

Interestingly ALIA decided to write a "scenarios" paper to stimulate discussion and as the basis for consultation.  The paper entitled Library and information services - the future of the profession; themes and scenarios 2025 can be found here.  I attended the Adelaide workshop as well as the final Sydney summit which were part of ALIA's consultation mechanism & am now interested to see what ALIA will do with the information they've gathered.

I figure that this is enough for one post.  I will revert to some One Card news & other information in coming weeks.


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