Second Life, libraries, universities and Murdoch University Library


Here’s a slidecast of my presentaion to the Queensland University Libraries Office of Co-operation‘s event on Wednesday 9th October – Social Software in Libraries. It is at Second Life, Libraries, Universities and Murdoch University Library. The audio is from my practice runthrough on Monday night.

The wiki I used as a handout for the “Doing more with your avatar” workshop in the afternoon is at Doing more with your avatar. Information about creating an avatar and education, libraries and Second Life is at the Murdoch University Discovering your Second Life wiki.

10 ways to find time for 23 Things


I’m facilitating a 23 Things /Learning 2.0 program at MPOW. I mentioned on twitter that I was emailing staff with 10 ways to find time for 23 things, and I was asked to share. Here it is. The reference to “mentors” is because some staff have agreed to be “go to” people during the program:

This programme will take different people different amounts of time, according to:

  • how familiar you are with this kind of stuff
  • how quickly you learn new things
  • how motivated you are
  • whether it matches your leaning style

– so it is hard to say “this will take exactly an hour per week”.

I can guarantee that by the end of the 13 weeks, you would be able to go back and do the first things in half or a third of the time. You are learning general skills about how to use web tools as well as 23 specific Things.

Where will you find the hour or so per week? Here’s some starting points dealing with understanding why, finding support and maintaining motivation.


  • 1.Why? Think about what will happen to libraries if we don’t understand these new tools
  • 2. How are they used? Do a bit of googling about to find out how other libraries are using these tools to be more productive. Here is a good place to start: Library Success: a best practices wiki
  • 3. Cheat club. Talk to people in your section about forming a “cheat club” to work through the tasks together.
  • 4. Buddy up. Ask one of the mentors to “buddy up” to cheer you on.
  • 5. A sign. Put a sign up on your PC saying “”23 Thinging” when you are working on it, so other staff know not to interrupt you
  • 6. Phone a friend. Arrange a “phone a friend” agreement with a teenager so you can ring them if you get stuck.
  • 7. Float you own boat. Work out what floats your boat – knitting, gardening, Ancient Egypt, trainspotting, photography, celebrity babies – and weave this theme into each activity.
  • 8. 15 minutes per day. Set aside 15 minutes a day each afternoon, or before you open your email each day.
  • 9. A week at a time. Commit to the program a week at a time. Initially, just commit to the first week. If you find time for that, commit to just the second week. If you don’t complete all you need to do, then commit to getting Week 2 done by the end of Week 3. This is not a race.
  • 10. Rearrange your workflow. This program has support from management. If you have tried the things above and still can’t find time, please talk to your supervisor about how you can re-arrange your workflow

YouTube and Libraries


I gave a half hour presentation at MPOW about YouTube and Libraries.

I spent about 5 minutes at the start looking at what made it a social site:

  • Ratings
  • Video Responses
  • Profiles
  • Goups
  • Community tab
  • Comments
  • Most linked, most viewed etc.
  • Citizen journalism and everyday folk
  • Copyright violations – take don’t ask
  • Favourites
  • Playlists

I then played clips that illustrated these uses:

  • Library promotion
  • Library events
  • Information literacy
  • For librarians – new ideas
  • For librarians – staff development
  • Libraries in the news
  • Library recruitment
  • To remind us just how far we’ve come.

Here’s the wiki page where I embedded the clips, YouTube and Libraries.

Below is the only one I played twice. Prizes if you can view it only once and work out why Fabio is in it.

[kml_flashembed movie=”” width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

Embedded video: Calgary Public Library’s Storytime clip

Library Emerging Technologies Group


Three weeks ago, our Library Emerging Technologies group began our weekly meetings. We divide the hour long session into halves:

  1. Hands on look at a new tool – all library staff welcome
  2. Project work by the “getting things done” group

Because we are focussing on new attitudes as well as tools, I’m telling my inner control freak to sit back and let the participants take ownership and decide the direction. My inner control freak tells me I’m being vague and wishy washy. My supervisor and I worked out the bottom line aims (Use this stuff to produce a useful project, create greater understanding of the tools for all library staff), then are leaving the rest up to the participants.

The first eight weeks involves learning about the tools (gmail, PBwiki etc) that we’ll use to run the project. I hope that after this, participants will start presenting about technology that has caught their eye.

I’ve booked all our meetings in PC labs, so everyone is sitting in front of a keyboard all meeting.

Here’s our terms of reference:


  • To discover, incubate and communicate new technological tools so we can provide better service to our clients.
  • To discover, understand and communicate new attitudes and expectations which come with the use of new technological tools.

This is done by:

  1. experimenting with using new web tools to run the business of the group.
  2. welcoming input and attendance by any member of library staff to any meeting/event
  3. maintaining current awareness of useful new technologies.
  4. assessing the potential of very new web tools, which may be unfinished or in beta, by hands on experimentation where feasible.
  5. accepting that some technologies assessed will be rejected after experimentation.
  6. experimenting with library service delivery in pilot projects using appropriate new technologies. (eg. podcasting)
  7. experimenting with library service delivery in pilot projects which accomodate new expectations brought about by new web tools (eg. allowing comments on an external blog)
  8. sharing information about useful new technologies with other library staff informally and by seminars and hands on workshops.
  9. identifying projects which could be better developed to full production by another area of the library, rather than remain the experimental responsibility of the group.