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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: New Library World, Volume 109, Issue 3/4.
The results of a brief and informal web-based survey about OPAC satisfaction and feature importance suggest that many professionals feel that their OPAC is not offering the right features for the Google generation. The first set of questions asked for a rating out of 10 for happiness (librarians and library staff) with their own OPAC, with the average response just 5.2 out of 10. One of the questions in the survey about OPAC features attempted to find out just how far behind “cutting edge” respondents felt their OPAC was. Only 4 per cent felt that their OPAC was completely up to date, with 78 per cent feeling that theirs was at least three years behind (Pattern, 2007). The article from Li and Deng considers dynamic mapping of holding locations to the animated maps in a library catalogue, which aims to resolve complex shelving situations. This enriches the OPAC by integrating external programming into the library system and also improves the user experience in locating library materials. Dynamic mapping, and its methodology and implementation, can be applied to different ILS systems in various libraries.
New in the October 2007 issue, Library + Information Update has been running a regular column “LIS Blogwatch”, which “looks for hot topics and opinions in the LIS blogosphere and beyond”. Each column contains a number of different areas, and the December 2007 issue notes CILIP Chief Executive, Bob McKee’s new “From the Chief Executive’s Desk” blog (tinyurl.com/2chxdp) running full stream ahead. Another mention is the Australian Library and Information Association’s blog (tinyurl.com/393qaz) about the Australian comedy series, The Librarians (LIS Blogwatch, 2007). Schrecker’s article details a range of innovative uses for blogs in an academic library setting and provides constructive resources. Schrecker demonstrates that blogs are versatile platforms for presenting information to academic library patrons, and that, when combined with academic library web sites, they are capable of enhancing existing web presence and providing opportunity for conversation and communication.
The Diversity Group of CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) has announced the title of their 2008 conference “Access all areas?: Disability issues in Libraries”, with Commissioner Ziauddin Sardar from the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights as the keynote speaker. Delegates can choose two of four workshops:
Communicating with deaf people in the library.
Disability audits of libraries.
Disability and social inclusion at the V & A.
You open a book, you feel warm a new way for libraries to engage with people affected and isolated by stress, depression and anxiety.
The conference will be held in the Victoria and Albert Museum on 9 June 2008. The article from Winston discusses the profession’s focus on diversity. However, research outside the profession is also considered to provide further context regarding the ways in which diversity and race have been equated and diversity fostered, connected to limited progress associated with diversity goals.
At the recent Umbrella conference, the session “Teachers, trainers, educators, enablers: what skills do we need and where do we get them?” featured a survey of teaching skills among librarians. The session identified a mismatch between the skills needed and the training on offer now that teaching, in some way or another, has become part of a librarian’s role. In this context, the article by Wang is of interest. It discusses how the Long Island Brooklyn Campus Library created instructional spaces through the use of smart technologies and provides a contribution to the experience of academic libraries regarding needs assessment, space planning, and utilization of technology to support library services. Wang provides feedback from library faculty members, who have expressed enthusiasm about using the NetSupport School software, SMARTboard technology and state-of-the-art workstations in two new instruction laboratories.
A planning application has been submitted for the University of Aberdeen’s £57 million flagship library. The building will provide facilities for 14,000 students and will replace the current Queen Mother library, which was built when the university had 5,000 students on campus, and which will be demolished when the new building is completed. In her article, Hunt discusses the Open University library building project. Various factors contributed to the success of this project, including the partnering ethos, structured workshops integrated into the project schedule from the start, a clear project structure, and detailed brief owned by the client and the user.
Scottish higher education is ready to set up a shared digital library as each institution would benefit from a common information resource particularly in access to more content and saving money. Such collaboration between libraries is becoming a familiar approach, as is the concept of establishing presence in other people’s space. Among the topics at the recent “Managing Content, Community and Commerce in a Web 2.0 World” seminar, was the new online “Buzz Director” role, which is a proactive role, involving going outside the organisation’s online space to establish its presence in other people’s areas. Mahaffy’s article provides insight both into two approaches to collaboration and into to how two different departments moved into other spaces (physical rather than online) to expand services to their patrons. This article considers the collaboration between library reference departments and writing centres, demonstrating that close collaboration can pave the way towards co-instruction or a cross-pollination of services.
LIS Blogwatch (2007), “LIS Blogwatch”, Library + Information Update, Vol. 6 No. 12, p. 17
Pattern, D. (2007), “Are you happy with your OPAC?”, Library + Information Update, Vol. 6 No. 10, pp. 324