Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Donating plasma

Donating plasma

My preferred type of gift-giving (considering I don't participate in the typical activities) at this time of year would be blood donation - except that I can only donate blood once every twelve weeks; so today for the first time I gave plasma instead. I can do this every fortnight. I guess I am 3/5 perceived typicality for a plasma donor (Bove, Bednall, Masser, & Buzza, 2011 [behind pay/study-wall]). I have the time available to give... others might find the time if it were recognised as a valid volunteer/participation activity (Is it recognised by Centrelink?).

I like and believe it is important that, in Australia, blood/plasma/platelets are *donated* (ie not *sold* by the human-producer).

I understand that if production of medicinal products from plasma is not in government hands (would that ever have been an option?) that a commercial enterprise would need to have a profit-motive - and yet I am curious as to the *level* of profit that stands to be made by such commercial enterprise [in Australia I understand this is CSL Biotherapies] from my donation. Can anyone suggest a way to discover that?

Another concern I've discovered stems from a threat to Australia's self-sufficiency in blood-product supplies from the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the United States of America. I read of this in a 2004 submission from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to the Australian Government - Where stands that threat now?

What would I think/feel if I found that Australia was importing plasma products from companies who buy plasma from humans (who do not then qualify as "donors")? It seems wrong, although I can't pinpoint why... is it just wrong for Australia to buy what we're not allowed, individually, to sell? I don't want that law to change, but so long as it stands, I think that restriction should be respected in the other direction - that others (government, doctors, companies) in Australia should not be allowed to buy products obtained through payment (or reimbursement) to the original individual human supplier.

(Behind pay-wall):
Bove, L. L., Bednall, T., Masser, B., & Buzza, M. (2011). Understanding the plasmapheresis donor in a voluntary, nonremunerated environment. Transfusion, 51(11), 2411-2424. doi:10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03168.x

Questions about Second Life experience engineering

Futura artistic outfit for Second Life Birthday 8!+
? What makes a great Second Life experience?
? Which answers to that could be applied by SL Libraries to enhance their/our projects?
? For that matter, how might LIS courses apply it to improve their classes about LISinSL?

-- no answers here --
please help me find answers

Small details made a recent Hunt an entertaining experience for me. Significant little event management strategies and differences I found between merchants' strategies made me wonder whether some might improve SL library services. Of course, many librarians* work innovatively in Second Life and some may already be demonstrating answers to these questions--if so I look forward to hearing (or googling up) about them.

In case serendipity does not favour me with answers I plan to continue:

Direct Observations

Does that sound like a great excuse to participate in more hunts; and visit featured Destinations?

I will keep using Flickr for noting positive and negative details of my experiences, although I suspect my detachment might make me too fussy?  However observing, noting and analysing observations takes time, particularly as I battle distractions (new clothes; editing; wanting to build; chatting).

Others have been around longer, participated more deeply, and will have actually tried and tested ideas, so:

Web searches

The answers are bound to be out there, however this method has its own distractions:

to which I was led by Pooky Amsterdam's defense** of Second Life against ignorant (inadequately investigative) journalism, to which I was led by:

Nevertheless, such distractions demonstrate that there is a great diversity of types of experience in Second Life. Will what counts as great, differ if the information comes from:
  • shopping experiences - Torley and his sources refer to some of the details I have witnessed: navigation, interesting and relevant decor, and even packaging (although disappointingly all the links there are deadends [found Suella's tips that he acknowledges; oh and the forum thread) [interestingly there has also been some academic research on positive influencers of SL shopping experiences - particularly spokes-avatar presence]
  • role play or game experiences?
  • exploration - (I've enjoyed sims' beauty travelling alone, but I've noticed guided tours available at times I wasn't - would anyone say they'd had a great SL guided tour experience--what made it so?)
  • interpersonal experiences?
  • artistic experiences - does the work of artists producing delightful art sims, photography, machinima and webcomics from and within Second Life suggest ideas? Could a visit to SL libraries become a more photogenic experience?

For thoroughness (but without sacrificing the excuse of value in my personal observations) I will look for more published views on Hunts***; however I will rely even more on others' views about what makes great in RP/gaming and social events - and how those might be applied to SL libraries.

Mundanely, I've frequently observed that maintenance is a massive issue for any set-up that expects their sim to support self-service.  In what ways are great experiences set up to minimise failures of maintenance?  Does the lack of Creation and modification dates in objects (and lack of distinction between creation and spawn in landmarks) bother anyone else?

The personal touch seems to be revealed as significant (Jin & Bolebruch, 2009), but people can't be there all the time - and I've found some avatars' profiles enhance my experience while others grate - do you agree? I haven't analysed the source of the difference yet - are there details for using profiles to help make a great experience? [Wow, Treacle Darlandes shared a great story which included the contribution of a profile to a great experience]

Is all this pondering - at least for the perspective of libraries in SL - a waste of time? Sometimes, like this moment, I lose sight (did I ever have one, I thought I did the other day) of what point a library really serves in Second Life (except as point of connection for librarians) -- tell me?

* * *
*librarian = person who runs a library (YMMV)
**while the arguments on investigative negligence, and contribution of the importance of customer service to my own question, may be valid, the motivation for defense is naturally biased by Pooky's investment in Second Life as a medium for her services.
***For example, but not linked above for unreliability (the author (unnamed) claims three years SL business (unnamed) success (unevidenced)) though the information on optimising business with hunts sounds sane.

+Photo Credit:
Nevery Lorakeet *LpD*'s Futura artistic outfit for Second Life Birthday 8! CC2.0:BY-NC-ND

Reference (I'll be interested to see how this appears, as dragged from Zotero):
Jin, S.-A. A., & Bolebruch, J. (2009). Avatar-based advertising in Second Life: The role of presence and attractiveness of virtual spokespersons. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 10(1). Retrieved from

Monday, December 19, 2011

SLExperience management: The Renaissance Hunt

--rambling, amateur & preliminary observations--
--actually, while I began with wanting to connect my experiences through TRH1 to ideas for libraries in SL... I realise I don't have enough knowledge at all, so if you've been tempted to visit expecting to learn something useful I apologise, though you might skip the following blather if you're willing to answer some questions--

Today visited the penultimate merchant in The Renaissance Hunt. As some were not ready when I began, I cannot claim to be "finished", but I have at least sorted through *all* of the gifts collected so far (and good heavens that is an undertaking for over 135 gifts!).

Early on we were asked through the in-world group to vote via notecard on a FAVE FIVE of locations (no mention of this in the blog that I can see) when we finish.  Yay: an additional validation for my new (since The Sinister Steampunk Hunt) practice of keeping a Hunt Journal. I figured a Hunt Journal would help me recall what I liked (or not) in case I'm ever asked for recommendations; it could support recall to help others on the hunt; it would help me keep track of where I'm at as a Hunt can be very long; but most importantly I'm under the impression that jotting notes helps me think straight - and wherever I go and whatever I do in Second Life I wonder "what if SL-libraries did things this way"?

Do any Hunts offer prizes for the first to finish? I can't imagine so, because a race would compete with the value for merchants of having hunters take time to browse the stores. Even so, I did want to FINISH the Hunt (I didn't finish SSH) (greed:pretties:free) and so I felt a self-imposed time pressure because time spent on hunt was time away from my projects; and guilt-time at the downloads it consumes.

On the other hand: this Hunt experience provoked thoughts about quality experience management that could give points of comparison to my analyses of SL Libraries, and yet I'm not sure I captured those thoughts adequately. Notecard journalling saves switching in and out of Evernote - however it lacks images because my frugality will not let me upload my snips* as images to inventory. So, I'm going back to the start to see whether, with greed out of the way, I can concentrate on a reasonable analysis.

With snips I tend to focus on things that could be better - but as I can't snip past instants, nor my passing psychological dispositions, nor the things I did not realise I was seeing, identifying the things that made the experience so positive will be harder. Particularly when returning just distracts me with beauty I didn't see first time around (the landscaping, Mike, is ... is ... "perfick" (thank you Pop Larkin)), and the postponed acorn-greed.

Actually I guess the acorn-hunt will be an aspect to consider, but I believe I will try not to take photos of the merchants at the Faire because, although Perryn's careful selection of them (as webspelunker Ghostraven mentioned) is an important contributor to the Hunt experience (and care in setting selection criteria is an important librarian consideration), it will just be too diverting.

OMG it is dawn already, the rest will have to wait

This is one of those posts I will probably edit over time.

*snip refers to my use of Windows Snipping Tool rather than the SL snapshot because even though I can send a snapshot direct from Second Life to Flickr, with Snipping Tool I can be more selective in what I capture, and because I am not an artist I don't need dramatic Meghogging resolution.

However, for the sake of comparison, the first picture above was Snipped, and this one Snapped:
Fall Field at Renaissance Faire

Sunday, December 18, 2011

They make me Happy tonight!
ABC Television | Going Postal via kwout

and then mad... to be continued?  aaargh
A day later: I didn't comment right away, partly because I was miffed to have the rest postponed (but which I now find great because it means more happy next Saturday, and I can think slowly about the first part); and partly because my nephew was visiting and we found Star Trek Voyager (which he hadn't yet seen) on another channel.

So: Characters convincing? Yes. Although Vetinari is physically darker in my imagination, his character was well done. Mr Groat's odour and self-medication didn't seem to be conveyed. Plot faithful? yes. Does the essence of Ankh Morpork transmit to non-AM-readers? Now how could I possibly know that?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Need clarification on steampunk?

Apparently its *not* just gears glued on:

(I hadn't thought it was, but then again some designs in Second Life labelled Steampunk do give that impression)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Continuing... Caledon Librarianship research: Reference collection

Can Google help me discover *why* this is the "Colonel Exrex Somme" reference collection?  It appears that the compliment was presented, with dramatic timing and visual presentation at the second Compliments Duel on May 11, 2008.

[15:29] JJ Drinkwater takes a deep breath
[15:29]-[15:37] JJ Drinkwater:
I am so stunned by the Colonel's politesse, as well as by his hats, that I am, for the moment, at a loss for words
pretends to think
It is true, sir, that in a land of magnanimous spirit, as this, our Caledon, we rise as we are able
And yet, it is not only those who are poor who are honest, nor yet only those of humble origins who exemplify Nature's Nobility
And, as I have repeatedly said, here today and on many another ocassion
Your love of learning do you the most irreproachable credit
As I am at a loss for words, I think I must let pictures tell, in the main, my story....
As you know, it is the custom of the Caledon library to name its brances and, when possible, its collections, after persons of note
viz the Marie Curie and HG Wells memroial branches
And the Ellen Throckmorton Etiquette collection
Now, the glory of the Caledon library (second only to its patrons and supporters) is its collections
And when we went to name our Reference Collection
We felt that we must name it for someone of suitably compendious learning, and widespread intellectual curiosity
Which is why, sir, we could do no better that to create....
The Colonel Exrex Somme Reference Collection

However, the decision won't have been made on the spot, so I wonder whether the whole compliment was planned long ahead... or ?

I love that the Colonel Exrex Somme Reference Collection is searchable with a Custom Google Search (sorry: Caledon Library Aetheric Search Gizmo).

As to browsing the collection (be careful this could take hours... I was drawn in to Roger Vaughan's Victorian & Edwardian Photography Collection, fascinated by the compilation and the sharing of information to trace old photos). But back to the Col. Exrex Somme collection, it is built within a blog with each category in a blog "post", and each resource is annotated. There are not too many categories -- what is "too many"? --  the compact presentation may avoid the appearance of "too many".  Perception of "too many" often prevents me browsing reference collections.  At each category, breadcrumb trail would be preferable (more easily recognised) for navigation over the "Click back" to main at the bottom of the category.

Of course I'm dreadfully curious whether the library uses aetheric means to track/quantify usage of those links; and whether Google feeds them an account of searches conducted?

Maintenance must be a nuisance, how big is the team maintaining it (and TheLibraryMilitant)? Among the browsables Caledon,
  • "SL Steampunk Blogs - Zoe Connolly's links and reviews of blogs covering Caledon..." no longer exists.
Cleverly, expansion of the collection is socially-enabled using WuFoo

All of this discovery followed from one sign amongst the Steampunk Collection up on the Dirigible. So what does it mean to my research into Second Life-ly librarianship?  It interestingly demonstrates:
and I still need to contemplate the in-world presentation.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Citing Web2.0 electronic references in APA style index

Piggyback ;-)
I'm having a ball considering how to cite references from new web media... but the posts are so long (sorry) its a pain to scroll through my APA style citing label, so this post will help me get straight to the one I want.

Citation issues that arise if you assign students online writing tasks:

Please note that better answers than mine below may be available at APA's referencing blog - more on that lower.
Is there some other kind of online source you've wondered how to cite?
If so, Please tell me about it so I can have fun with it too.

Indeed, APA's blogging about referencing is immensely helpful.  The referencing gurus at APA's blog are guiding wonderfully not just through their posts, but in their ongoing responses and explanations through comments.  The first bits I'd recommend woud be:
I'll be back to add links to more specific clarifications of citing electronic sources but one I haven't even considered and now don't need to is:
Photo credit: Piggyback ;-) by tony_s2008, on Flickr (CC2.0:BY-NC-ND)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Academic social media - citing and referencing expectations

Blogging Street Cred

Students: check what the teacher expects.
Teachers: are your expectations reasonable for the online publishing environment and spelled out?
Me: Try for a *brief* post for once.

Today I was browsing through the assignments and marking criteria in a friend's subject on social networking for information professionals.

YAY: Students would receive marks for their use of one of the social media tools, as an online journal. Excellent, if students are to use social web tools, their use of tools and their capacity to use such tools with increasing professionalism, should count (IMO).

Teachers ought to consider the best ways for students to learn about online publishing (it should be fun, step up gradually over time, and have clear signposts)... and very carefully how to enable that (in a pedagogically sound way) within a subject which requires online posting. One little point in passing: If the course is an introduction to social networking, expectations and marking criteria for a first post should *not* be the same as for final posts.

AND back on topic
Citation and referencing methods are different in online publishing. Teachers of courses that intend to incorporate online publishing should know very well the differences for different types of online tools, should teach them, adapt expectations of assignment content to suit the medium and teach how the students can meet those expectations within assignments in the new medium.

As Wilson [aka morgan] (2007) pointed out, in response to my ponderings (prior to the 6th edition) on how to cite new media in student papers, "All of these citation methods are optimized for printed media - how they spell out the URLs, which is cumbersome and unnecessary in an electronic publication." I agree, in the main, although the degree of truth to that depends what *kind* of electronic publication. (Although, even when submitting to academic publications who will both hyperlink and spell out references to enable printed versions, writers don't have to do the coding themselves).

At an undergraduate level, students are expected to have read widely in scholarly or industry literature and to cite suitable content using an institutionally selected Style. In my LIS courses it has always been with APA style. Yet APA style references should appear with hanging indents. How many novice bloggers have sufficient knowledge of html to produce hanging indents--and are they relevant?

Let's go back to the purposes of initiating students into writing using social media: is one of those purposes to encourage familiarity (and hopefully expertise) that will prepare them for professional applications? For the kinds of use to which your students should be able to put social media after graduation, is academic referencing appropriate, particularly APA? On the one hand academic references are rarely used in blogs for patron audiences; but might be in blogs for inter-professional communication if usually only when cited sources are not online. On the other hand even wikipedia requires references and teaches its users how to enter references appropriately, and you'll note it uses a discrete footnoting system.

ALMOST DONE, but first
The particular online journalling assignment I mentioned above? It could be produced in any of the social media tools.  Can you imagine academic referencing in posts to Facebook?

  • Don't set the bar too high on first posts ... encourage multiple familiarity posts with each showing a new desired attribute to gain comfort with the tool ... prior to the first basic assessable post.  Make its assessable criteria much simpler than final posts.
  • Don't ask boring questions.
  • If you want to see academic citations:
    • give an amount (why should they have to guess?);
    • provide information about and discuss how they are used differently online;
    • choose an online-suitable style;
    • if you're going to insist on APA, consider explicitly waiving the hanging indent;
    • *first* show how you expect to see it--in your own post to each of the tools at which you are accepting assessable posts (not in the closed learning system).
Oops distracted, just before the end: imagining how one might keep and share a learning journal within Second Life which would not be the net taken in or SL stuff sent out--can't do hanging indents in notecards.  And then, what about Twitter, if people can write novels with Twitter, why not a reflective learning journal?
Photo credit:
Blogging Street Cred by Gideon Burton, via Flickr CC:BY-SA-2.0
and, just because I can:


Wilson, M. (2007, June 1). [comment to blogpost: How does one cite a blog post in APA style?]. Retrieved 27 November, 2011 from

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Goodbye Anne McCaffrey

Dragon flaming by Joshua ©
Dragon flaming by Joshua

The reason that I saw a dragon in my son's painting is Anne McCaffrey. Or it would be the years I spent reading every dragon fantasy novel upon which I could lay hands after being stimulated by the Dragonriders of Pern. To be more precise it would probably be the influence of the particular artists that decorated the copies of the Dragonriders of Pern that were out when I began reading and buying them.

Tonight I heard that Anne McCaffrey has died.

Over the years I have read and reread so many of Anne McCaffrey's novels. Not just the dragonriders, but the brainships, the crystal singers, the Talents and the Catteni sequence. Her collaborations led me to other great writers. Her recommendation of a story would convince me to give it a try when the blurb had not.

This dragon keens.

Anne McCaffrey Books ~ Explored
photo: Anne McCaffrey Books ~ Explored by Theen Moy,
via Flickr with CC:by-nc-sa/2.0

I own the original and digital photograph of Dragon Flaming by Joshua. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference #lib2011

It can be hard to keep up with the multitude of industry journals.  Today I was considering just deleting Kevin Dudeney's aliaLIBTEC announcement that the latest Associates was up.  I knew if I went to have a look at the contents I might be tempted to read a few articles and that would eat up my evening--as it is doing.

Still... to the reasons for my post:
  1. Julanna Hennessy found it odd that there was a lack of involvement by Australians and other countries in our time zones. I want to assure her that I was registered and although a family crisis prevented my real-time attendance I've been catching up since. The conference website is still in my open tabs, I've viewed two sessions (both of which have added to my professional knowledge) and I just need to find the spare hour each to view more. Sometimes more than an hour because I like to take notes too. It is not easy to "rewind" the Blackboard Collaborate sessions - sometimes they would completely restart.
  2. I'm super-impressed that the Library 2.011 conference is free. Therefore, though this post may remain obscure, I wish to publish my thanks to the founding conference sponsor: School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San José State University; the co-chairs Sandra Hirsch and Steve Hargadon, and to all of the presenters.
About the individual sessions, so far, I can recommend:
  • Melanie Metzger's session I've noted as "Treasure Hunt Training for Library Staff" although its title is Training Core Knowledge Skills by Finding Treasure [the recorded session]
  • Reina Williams' session: Virtual Reference and Instruction: What is it really like? -- might be useful if you're new to the topic, or are still considering it [recorded session]

I concur with Julanna's conclusion:
"I got a lot out of the conference, some new sites to explore, a stronger understanding of how changes in technology is affecting our industry and how our industry is rising to the occasion, and the fun of playing with technology I hadn’t used before. If anyone gets the chance to attend one of these in the future jump at it."

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Aiming to interview JJ Drinkwater: 1st day of research

AlexLib Subscribeomatic sign

So, yesterday I dreamed of eventually (after background research) interviewing JJ Drinkwater (who I've repeatedly over time noticed doing terrific things in librarianship in Second Life). Today serendipity set me out on the journey:

Once-upon-a-time, I had subscribed to the AlexLib Subscribe-O-Matic Gizmo. It sends notifications (which SL can send to email) of events such as today's:

Join us Wednesday at 4pm SLT for "Voices from the Civil War" and a discussion of Walt Whitman's poem "The Wound Dresser"
What a good time to progress this research ... let's see ... if I log in there will be a notecard and/or a landmark and I can begin my inspections ...

Indeed, while I began jotting notes in a draft blog post, it seems I wanted an image for everything, even wished I had videographic skills.

During my first round of camming I was Distracted by the profile of Eleanor Anderton (picked up from her creation of a sign [a help sign - one worth discussing, I'll link it in later] on the skyboat display of resources [that to me seem should be IN the library?]) which I followed to her blog where she wrote about BareRose's Antonia

Back from that distraction, I began capturing photos of the meeting room's exterior signs and interior exhibit, uploading to Flickr, linking images, discussing notecard contents. A slideshow only shows the photos, it doesn't capture my annotations, so if you're curious, you can see my notes over at Flickr beginning with Once-upon-a-time, if I continue this method of note-taking it will all be in a collection I'll call Caledon Librarianship.

OOPS again

Currently interrupted because: while photographing the Discussion Display Wall (Whitman discussions) to identify the variety of content I realised that the train passes by the door and the photo would be improved by having the train in it!
But when is the train?
See Steampunk Wiki for Caledon National Rail and I notice that this (wonderful) wiki could do with some data linking; but back to the train time ... this meeting room is close to Victoria Station (which is just North/left from this door)... four different routes (are they the same train?), 3 stop at Victoria ... Northbound might be best angle on the engine, so before 04, 15, 26, 56 of the hour, while southbound is 20, 44, 52, 55 of the hour.  Of course I missed two trains while I was trying to work that out, and I've noticed that there have been some dramatic lighting changes so I've been wondering how that will affect the shot.

Eating cold tea I missed two more passes, but now two scheduled trains haven't passed at all.  So even in the virtual world, when one is waiting for a train--it will be late?

Back on track, I have dozens more photos, and still need to upload describe and link them. I'm going to have to become a little more efficient, take fewer photos, or forget about using Flickr for note-taking. It seems my inner researcher and inner tourist compete for function time.

What have I achieved so far?
  1. I've admired the meeting room - not sure if it is considered one of the branches of the Caledon Libraries; discovered through in-world exploration that just across the park from the meeting room are at least two library facilities and behind/above the meeting room is a special collection. I could probably investigate such details faster by perusing wikis/websites. While googling a suitable link to acknowledge Eleanor above I discovered the Caledon Library Volunteer HQ which (at least historically, it was last updated in 2009) in addition to the site for visitors: The Library Militant will probably answer all the little questions I have.
  2. I've seen:
    • evidence of a current discussion series; and past discussions (social activities are a fundamental attribute of virtual world experience I think, although I also believe we seek meaningful social activity); 
    • begun identifying qualitative distinctions between objects for display, information storage and access, and preferences; 
    • continued reflecting on the importance of consistency with a well-defined environmental theme (ie: I believe that my enjoyment of Caledon Library for its thematic consistency as well as its quality library functions would be typical for anyone in-world).  I think that although we like a pretty library in the real world, its prettiness is way less important than its services. But then longevity of the Second Life library might also rest in how well services meet users' needs/desires -- unless the Second Life library is content to exist as an art exhibit.
  3. Not found a relevant group - one day in.
  4. Oh yes, documenting instances of advertisement - that was about discovering the nature and extent of Caledon's liaison. 
  5. Looking forward to exploring the Caledon catalogue/database, but want to see what is what in-world first.
  6. I believe that my download limits, and/or needing to avoid excess distractions, and/or the fact that even if I could concentrate in-world the Flickr note-taking method is so time-consuming -- could sooner rather than later send me to read Drinkwater's pages.
  7. I think my original questions are so far still good, but it is only one day in. I am noticing the uber-importance of a team of volunteers, remembering the joys and challenges of managing volunteers, and wondering how Drinkwater's experiences of volunteer management would compare.
  8. So much for being the final step - testing out that phone for the sake of an imaginary newbie audience to my photoset - I leaped into making a tentative first contact.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hoping to interview JJ Drinkwater: Planning preliminary research

I'm a dreamer. 2-365I'm a dreamer. 2-365 by Chelseaography. CC: BY-NC 2.0

Today, I finally tagged as questions I would ask a page that has been hanging around in my open tabs for goodness knows how long:
So, its 2.5 years since EppieBlack interviewed JJ Drinkwater and I'm wondering whether any of JJ's views have changed since (at the time he had been through 3years conversation about libraries roles in SL)?  For example: Does he still think that SL is a good environment for making collections accesible - interest-wise and creating inspiration? How does he evaluate the success of an event and/or an exhibit?  On what does he currently invest his time in SL now?  They touched on qualitative measures ("use a lot" - which?) and what is not possible to count/track - has any of that changed?  He mentioned building the online catalogue (and I recall being impressed recently, must look again) - has that been worthwhile, what was most important with it and what would he recommend for others? How did he land the director's role at Caledon libraries?  He managed volunteers, orchestrated exhibit schedule, ran events -- what kind of learning did that involve? what mistakes? 
While I do search my tags, I don't tend to find time to check it for things to do, but I do see my blogger drafts.

So, to be sure my questions would be the best I can ask, if I find an opportunity, I figure:
  1. First I would want to run around and check the Caledon Libraries, 
  2. see and analyse current exhibits. 
  3. Join the group/s perhaps - and from now I should 
  4. document all instances where I see adverts of Caledon Library events. 
  5. Definitely explore the online catalogue and 
  6. read more of what Drinkwater has written.  
  7. Then refine my questions and 
  8. seek an interview
We have a Plan!

We Have A Plan!
by lucyb_22. CC:BY-NC-SA-2.0

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Second Life Bookstacks, LibraryThing and SLISonline

Thinking about CVL's catalogue, I wondered whether Library Thing might be useful. At LibraryThing's dormant Second Life group, Athanasius Skytower offered copies of his LTcatalogue-displaying bookshelf. Given that other LibraryThingers are also Second Life residents, next was to discover the Library Thing group in SL - I wonder if it is active?

A 2009 message about events at a place called Bookstacks (SLURL) made me curious, and in-world I discovered that it is a Pub apparently popular with writers.

Back at LT, there were many current talk results in the search for "Second Life" and of those there were many labelled with the curious codes "SLIS-Indy" and "Fiesta". As SLIS is a typical acronym for schools of library and information science, I was pleased to find the Indy part falling into place with Indy referring to Indiana or Indianapolis (or both). Bravo SLIS-Indy for learning and sharing publicly. From them I've now learned more than a thing or two. Thanks to Sara PorterI now have two new SLURLs to check out. Sean Robinson's comments about his library's patrons writing reviews with Library Thing for Libraries was a pleasure to read, I hope to one day work in a library that socialises their catalogue.

(in a gesture of reciprocation I ask: how strongly do other forum/discussion_board users feel about such matters as "subject-ness" of subject lines for posts; and one-topic-per-post-liness?)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Do I need THIS device?

Ceccy once explained the "plot device" to me.  I didn't imagine anything like this. (Discovered via Storm Bear, and his comment "Kids these days and their digital gear…")

Plot Device from Red Giant on Vimeo.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Community Virtual Library in Second Life

Facing off the library pigeon by moonflowerdragon, on Flickr
Facing off the library pigeon

Since my last assignment for the year was submitted, I've had more time for Second Life. Over the years I've regularly checked LIS literature and the biblioblogosphere to keep up with LIS and educational activity in Second Life, and observed broader opinions expressed through twitter. While I have not tallied or coded the variety of articles (and only recently began collecting some with Zotero), my general impression was that many, while positively justifying their experiments, appeared to conclude that technical barriers and initial learning curve limited its overall usefulness for ongoing purposes. However some reports within the last couple of years claimed to be continuing and abundant higher education sims still exist so I intend to discover, if possible, what kinds of programs continue.

Naturally I checked out the changes at Community Virtual Library. It was looking strong and healthy, but I was curious how librarians were thinking about the future of CVL and coincidentally a meeting was planned to discuss where CVL would go from here. Abbey Zenith's prelude to the meeting, published in the aforelinked Rez Libris, included comments that have me curious:

"Perhaps we have not yet realized the potential we envisioned" I can't remember how the original vision was framed.

Abbey reports that reference, exhibits, collections, programs all continue to be successful as services to Second Life residents - so I was curious about statistics, how it is determined who is using CVL and what counts as successful. Abbey's concern was for a loss of "momentum we had in providing professional development opportunities to librarians, library staff, and students". What does Second Life, let alone CVL, offer librarians, library staff and students? Has it changed since Kathryn Greenhill's (2007) 10 reasons? Have librarians moved to other virtual worlds or is the role of information professionals in virtual worlds not so much of the 'librari'ness? Are libraries in virtual worlds role play sims? If so, I don't mind the RP.

Unfortunately the meeting was on at 4am Eastern Daylight Time, and it was one of my late nights so when my alarm rang I was asleep again a few minutes later. Thankfully the meeting was logged so I could catch up the next day.

It appears that aside from the normal imperative to look forward and continuously evaluate, part of the reason to ponder the future is that in 15 (or now 14.5) months the tier fee payments will see a dramatic increase because the initial non-profit arrangement no longer exists. Ah, fundraising discussions :-) that brings back memories from my days in the Australian Breastfeeding Association. So I need to keep my eyes and ears open for: grants, donations, visitor-attraction (no-one mentioned Hunts - they don't *all* focus on shops - I've been on two that didn't - and I'm not a shopper) and the visitor attraction thread raised some interesting ideas - sounds like fun ahead.

It is really hard to glean the key points of meetings from a conversation log - I wonder whether anyone has used an interactive web screen at such a meeting to track brainstorming and keep agenda/minutes?

Friday, July 22, 2011

The University-feel when studying online

Online study lacks the community-feeling one might experience in tutorials or group study sessions. Efforts to replicate that through discussion forums and group assignments are unlikely to completely succeed until technologies get a whole lot smoother for more people. Even when they do (get smoother) the asynchronous advantage of online study can still lack the belonging feeling of synchronous interaction.

So, today while I learned from something Sheila Webber was sharing, I clicked over to a view of Sheffield University's Information Commons. The images sent me on a tangent of wondering whether a background image of a University space or group scene would enhance feelings of belonging and participation when in a forum screen?

Perhaps a warmer image from Wake Forest University:

Or to emphasise the study feel too perhaps a lecture theatre?

Hm, I'd like to lay a forum screen over such images to give an idea of what I'm thinking, but it would take too much time to desensitise personal details when I should be studying. If someone else gets what I mean and has the time to sketch something up, could you link it in comments?

In some software (Interact?) there is a separate issue of dissociation presented by separation of study discussion forum from the LMS unit module, but that is enough complaining for now.

Monday, July 18, 2011

When Google+ is open for organisations...

Are libraries geared to leap in?

So many lessons have been learned through experimentation with MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc - are we ready to roll out our circles when the big one is opened for organisations?

David Lee King asked two questions in one: "Google Plus - Should you and your Library be there?" Separate feedback was received at his blog and his pluspost.

Whether "you" should be there is a personal and professional decision - a separate question.  Although, if your job at all involves for the library: marketing, community outreach, public relations, then I'm guessing it would make sense to be exploring Google+ right along with all of the other top social  media.  Even if your job is technology or reference services.

As to the Library: Well, the circle is not yet open. But when it is, will your library be ready? I must get back to study, so I'm going to jot down a few guesses about things I'd have to consider if it were my job; and then wait to see the advice roll in on the next question. David, *how* should your library be there (when Google+ lets it in)? Actually, I think the answers are in DLK's blog posts of the last few years, but I'll be interested to see whether any of the suggestions he has made over the years would be varied for Google+).
  • People - the library will need people who've been playing and working with social media for a while, and preferably have been playing with Google+ personally (to be able to implement the features productively and the relationships positively). 
  • Culture - Now, guessing from the word on the blogs, those people will need a library culture that supports experimentation with social media. This includes things like: 
    • mistake tolerance - being able to respond (not react) constructively and humanly when mistakes happen; 
    • playtime
    • transparency - being willing for procedures and disputes to be aired publicly.
  • Audience - DLK identified one of the mistakes libraries made in the early days, of "friending" other libraries and librarians rather than their target audience; and then he gave solutions - examples of the "friends" that the library needs. (He referred then to Facebook, but I'll bet the same applies to Google+)
  • Conversation - now this one is a big challenge.  There is a theme amongst many opinions (links later perhaps) that the important thing in social media is connections, and conversations, which takes time (although time might be inversely proportional to skill/talent) and therefore money.  The assumed promise is that open conversation increases familiarity, trust, positive feelings and attention, which is hoped to translate into word-of-mouth marketing.
    • There is sometimes a disdain for "Push" uses of social media technology. I can see the latter applying in Google+.  Will libraries post everything publicly and risk losing listeners for whom most of the push is not relevant, or selectively disseminate through circles and risk missing others who might like to hear but wouldn't.
  • Hangouts - focus groups? library-sponsored clubs? community outreach meetings? reference? I haven't tried a hangout yet.
  • Appearance - Sean Percival has shared an idea of how google+ business profiles *might* look, and features businesses might find useful. 
Amazing serendipity (and decision to catch up on Twitter before studying (thanks flexnib, sallyheroes)):
Schrier, R. A. (2011). Digital librarianship @ social media: the digital library as conversation facilitator. D-Lib Magazine, 17(7/8). doi:10.1045/july2011-schrier

Under five principles (listening, participation, transparency, policy, and strategy), Schrier gives "concrete strategies for successfully integrating social media into a digital library's overall strategic plan", including Google Alerts, social media searching, interaction advice.

The rest of my thoughts have faded away, could you add your thoughts? 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to cite a Google Plus post or comment in APA style - a guess

Mind this is a guess, I'm sure APA will come out with guidance if it becomes a big issue, as they've touched on Twitter and Facebook already, and this follows the same principles.

At the time of writing it will have to work differently for a google+ post than a comment to a g+ post because only the time of a post provides a permalink.

For a google+ post:
Author, I. (year, Month, day). [Constructed title, perhaps "Google+ post about..." or the first few words of the post...]. Retrieved day month year from >permalink from timecode<

Meerbach, M. (2011, July 13). [Google+ post: "Uses for empty circles. 1. Bookmarks. / {kwout in google+ test}..."]. Retrieved 13 July 2011 from

Challenges to citing a comment to a google+ post are: the comment doesn't have a permalink (yet?); that neither have titles; no globally reliable way to easily locate one comment if it is amongst potentially hundreds/thousands. I'm guessing that the "time" google shows me for any post or comment will be different to the time it shows someone in a different timezone.

Still, perhaps this would work:

Baltzell, J. (2011, July 12). [Comment: "You're a member of every circle you create..."]. To [Google+ post by Jenniffer Baltzell: "Using the bejeebers out of my "Read Later" circle"]. Retrieved 13 July 2011 from
Which is the closest I can get to this particular comment:
And that is a title composed completely by the kwout tool - I wonder where they got the "Reader Later" bit?

  • This would only work with public posts
    • As posts can be deleted, if continued access to the material you cite is important, it might be worth taking a screenshot and archiving the image.
  • Dates will be relative to the viewer, but as the variance will only be within a day it is still more useful than not giving a day at all.
  • If those permalinks get really long, perhaps your readers would appreciate a shortened link

In-text citation issues:
  • location: 
    • not necessary in short posts? 
    • use para or ¶ in longer posts
  • Use the name as given.
    • Quite early on disputes have arisen about the use of pseudonyms with Google+ with at least one account (that to me appears to have been for a valid online identity) suspended. While I hope that the policy is changed, not all such accounts have been removed, and the author would be however they identify themselves.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Zotero does more than I thought...

Get Zotero

What have I been missing?

I've used Zotero for several assignments so far, gathering citations into sub-collections and creating bibliographies (grumbling at how many times I have to fix the title field).
! But fancy, I had not picked up that I could Shift+drag to create an intext-citation!

I've even created notes, although I don't remember whether I've looked back at them. It just occurred to me: if I could somehow Show in the middle ONLY my notes - that might help somehow, but AFAIK not yet possible.

But notes! there's more:
Standalone notes - I guess I could create some for questions, keywords yet to search, passing thoughts to pursue later ... How do YOU use them?


When I heard "annotation" before I assumed this meant either editing the Abstract field or creating notes - but no, those snapshots I've been ignoring can be highlighted and sticky-noted. Now this might be useful IF I can export such annotations for mixing, how?

Hm, for a sub-collection I think I might like to export reference + abstract + my Notes + sticky notes + "highlighted bits". Why? Well, until I get a super large monitor or interactive projection or interactive table display upon which I can spread my individual notes to physically shift and shuffle, probably to print for that process.

What about reports? No, neither highlights nor annotations appear in reports.

Please tell me: How / does Zotero's highlighting and sticky notes work into your study process?

But ... reports with the excess stuff excluded by Jason Priem's fix; offers a way for me to gather notes to print and shuffle perhaps. Unfortunately, I can't work out why the author sorting wouldn't work.

Other filetypes like images

Aside from snapshots and pdfs that don't come with good metadata (I really want to learn more precisely how metadata storage and grabbing works with pdfs) - I haven't stored anything in Zotero. The above makes me wonder whether the option has productive value? For example, I'm thinking IF my research involved obtaining/using images + IF I attached it to metadata = could I then drag both image and metadata over to my document with Zotero styling the metadata as caption the way APA likes?

If nothing so fancy, it doesn't seem worthwhile, afterall Dropbox offers more storage for free. It now occurs to me that this "automatic snapshot" is what has filled my free Zotero storage - even while I haven't been using the darn things. If I switch that off, would I remember to take a snapshot when it would be useful to do so?


I'm finding the automatic tags a real nuisance. They can be hidden. Even so, I haven't been using tags ... @Zotero users: how do tags help with your study processes?

Sorting! Ta Da: Research Diary!

Wow, Finally I discovered what I can do with
Sort by Date Added and include Standalone Notes and we could have something on the road to a research diary.

Saved Searches

Thanks to people sharing their libraries like Paolo Cardullo, I got the word from Lincoln Mullin on how Saved Searches (and Tags) in Zotero can help with research workflow. (He also mentioned the value of Collections, but I thought that'd be obvious).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Maybe research diary online

What online tool, or easy ways to combine tools might optimise my study?

I've enjoyed keeping a notebook before - particularly using marginalia that help remind, reflect, review, rediscover, save time.

But these days when I use so many digital (on and off line) tools for study I can't help feeling that the old pen and notebook might not "sync" very well.

So I've begun exploring what others do with online research diaries (other keywords: learning, study, search, log, journal, notebook, scrapbook...?).  So far, I haven't seen anyone using a tool or combination of tools in ways that would achieve all I would desire from a digital system for tracking my [research, learning, study, thinking, notes].

As I couldn't work out where to begin my jumble of thoughts I tried a new (to me) online mind mapping tool that I heard offered embed-ability.  Unfortunately Mindomo took a long time to load, so I'm guessing its embeds would too.  It doesn't contain all the notes I have in my diary yet, perhaps I'll add them later - but I'm curious how it will look, so:

Right, so I'd have to edit the width parameters to get the vertical scroll bar perhaps?  I tried fiddling with the html for that, but couldn't work it out - any suggestions?

(Dan Stillman reported progress on "formatted references" from the API (of which I have a bare glimmer of comprehension) but which I guess is approaching embeddability?, if not yet for me. If embeddability ever arrives I hope it will let abstracts be used so I can embed an annotated bibliography)

Update: I've since discovered that Zotero could serve, with standalone notes, although it would not offer the potential for direct feedback that a blog would.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crocodoc - could be useful?

Crocodoc looks like it could be useful for collaborative editing? I wonder if hyperlinks are possible in comments or annotations? In any case, with thanks to Creative Commons Australia and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation for making the following material available (CC BY 2.5), this is how embedding a crocodoc looks:

So, I got to play with highlighting, drawing, text and commenting; and discovered that the decision whether to include annotation options in an embed happens at the point of getting embed code.


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