We still need libraries in the digital age | The Guardian

With the government axing public services, librarians are being forced to defend their existence against accusations of irrelevance in modern society. As one adviser on Newsnight put it during the BBC’s recent “mini-consultation” on the proposed cuts, why do we need libraries when everyone has broadband…[read more]

Love your librarian | ORG Zine

Libraries are facing an unprecedented assault from local councils up and down the country, and the government appears unwilling to intervene despite library cuts that may be in breach of the Public Libraries and Museums Act. Some 400 libraries are threatened with closure over the course of this year, with services in Doncaster, Gloucestershire and the Isle of Wight amongst many threatened with devastating cuts. Many councils seem to believe that volunteer run libraries are an adequate solution to funding issues. In the age of the digital library this is a gross error…[read more]

Shut-out | ORG Zine

Towards the end of last year, Ed Vaizey addressed a telecommunications conference in London organised by the Financial Times. In his address, he pointedly failed to give his support for ‘net neutrality’. In fact, although he has denied it, it would appear that he supports scrapping it altogether…[read more]

The danger of the Kindle lending library | ORG Zine

Amazon has recently announced that it would allow its ebooks to be available for lending via Overdrive and, consequently, Kindle owners would be able to borrow ebooks from their local libraries ebook service.  Of course, for those of us that have been keen to support ebook availability in public libraries, this was good news…[read more]

The Olympics Organising Committee Run Rings Around Transparency | ORG ZINE

The 2012 London Olympics is shaping up to be the largest sporting event ever held in this country.  Not only will it be the largest, it is also likely to be the most expensive sporting event hosted in the UK.  Current estimates place the overall public sector funding package for the Games at £9.298bn…[read more].

Using technology to explore new ways of working | Multimedia Information & Technology – Volume 38, Number 3, August 2012

An article on the Mobile Technology: Lending It, Using It And What To Do Next event I helped co-ordinate for CPD25.  Permission was kindly given to reproduce the full text of the article on this site.  You can access the full text here.

Sock Puppets: A Necessary Evil | ORG Zine

The revelations regarding authors using “sockpuppets” to post fake reviews and praise their own books, has sent ripples throughout the publishing industry.  Ostensibly designed to either enhance their own sales or damage a rival’s, the practice inflicts serious damage on the symbiotic relationship between reader and author [read more].

Voices for the Library – communicating impact | Information Today Europe

I would argue that a central plank in the amateurisation of the library service has been the failure of the profession to adequately communicate its value.  We have not become irrelevant overnight (indeed, our role is possibly more important now than ever), but we have failed to communicate our relevance effectively, coherently and in a way that challenges some of the myths that have been allowed to grow. [read more]

Europe’s digital divide | Information Today Europe

Although it is certainly encouraging that the digital divide is being treated seriously as an issue, current developments suggest that the divide will become more complex and entrenched for the foreseeable future. The divide within the EU between the strongest and the poorest economies is clearly at risk of growing…[read more]

Not everyone is on the internet, Iain Duncan Smith | The Guardian

It is unclear how widespread this practice is, or how many people have been affected, but the penalisation of those not online in seeking work is grossly unfair, punishing those without an internet connection for applying for jobs by other, legitimate means. Rather than eliminating the so-called “benefits trap”, this government’s overhaul of the benefits system is in fact creating a trap for thousands of job seekers. [read more]

Massive and Open – MOOCs and the transformation of HE | Information Today Europe

The growth of massive online open courses (or MOOCs) has certainly given the sector much to ponder.  MOOCs first emerged in 2008, offering students a unique opportunity to study courses with prestigious universities across the globe.  Hosted online, these courses enable thousands of students to take part in any course and encourage them to engage with a broad range of online tools to support their studies and broaden their learning. Furthermore, they empower students to engage in independent study, whilst garnering support from the online learning community rather than academic staff. It’s not difficult to see why they present a challenge for the HE sector. [read more]

Professional bodies in the information age | Information Today Europe

The recent debate within the profession regarding the proposal to rebrand CILIP got me thinking about how a professional body for information professionals could (and perhaps should) be structured in the information age.  Whilst I am not currently a member of the professional body, I wonder whether a different approach might encourage me (and others) to fully embrace and engage with such a structure and thus strengthen the profession as a whole. [read more]

UK Report Recommends Author Payments for Library Ebook Lending | Library Journal

Publishers worried about public libraries lending ebooks have not been restricted to the U.S. In 2010, the UK’s Publishers Association (PA), warned libraries that they were considering preventing remote borrowing of ebooks unless certain protections were put in place, an announcement which caused a great deal of concern on the part of librarians and library ebook distributors. [read more]

U.K. Libraries Offer Free Article Access to Walk-Ins | Library Journal

Public libraries in the United Kingdom are set to play a role in expanding public access to academic research via the recently announced “Access to Research” plan. Thousands of research journal articles will be made available for free: but only on computers located physically within a public library, not remotely. [read more]

Twitter at Canterbury Christ Church University | SCONUL Focus

An article about how Twitter was launched and utilised at Canterbury Christ Church University. [read more]

Future for Public Libraries | Russian International Affairs Council

Libraries across Europe are currently facing very serious challenges in the face of the wave of austerity sweeping across the continent. As governments sell people on the notion that public spending needs to be curtailed to overcome the effects of the 2008 economic crisis, public libraries are increasingly seen as an easy target, one that is unlikely to rally the people in quite the same way as cuts to other services where the outcomes of such cuts appear more immediately tangible. [read more]