October 2001

Identifying and Responding to User Needs at the National Library of Australia

A paper delivered at Victoria University\’s recent symposium Revelling in Reference:

Growth in Internet usage, a continuing increase and availability of electronic resources and changes to the delivery of information continue to have a huge impact on libraries and the expectations of our users. There are both similarities and differences in the provision of reference and the delivery of information to onsite and offsite users. The National Library has recently undertaken three focus groups of onsite users and in 2001 will undertake a survey of our remote users in an effort to identify the changing needs and expectations of library users in the digital age. A change from mediated reference involving personal interaction between librarian and user is being supplemented and in some cases replaced by unmediated reference through the provision of guides, subject gateways and online catalogues. It would seem that one thing is certain – users are becoming ever more demanding of libraries to provide electronic resources, in full text, at no cost and with no wait.

More. Thanks to The Virtual Acquisition Shelf and News Desk.

Milestones of Academic Librarianship

The ALA (Actually The ACRL) has put together Over 100 years of progress, a list of milestones of academic librarianship.

They run from 1876

• American Library Association founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Among its founders were three major figures in American librarianship: Justin Winsor, William Frederick Poole, and Melvil Dewey.

Up to 1998

• Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and Copyright Term Extension Act.

They seem to have missed, Nov 2 1999, LISNews is launched

Net-porn law applies deadline pressure

Business 2.0 is kind enough to Point Out Schools and libraries have until Sunday to show they\’re taking adequate steps to block access to online pornography on public computers, this because of Children\’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

\”The Internet is an amoeba,\” said Owen Seitel, a partner at the law firm Idell Berman & Seitel, which is not involved in the lawsuit. \”It\’s always changing, so it\’s hard to have a good filter.\”

Pro-filtering site gets a taste of its own medicine

If you go to the SafeSurf website, you\’ll see a link to Breaking News: SafeSurf warns of Stealth Censorship. Click through, and you\’ll see a press release about how Mail Abuse Prevention System, LLC, unfairly included SafeSurf on a list of spammers, thus preventing some netizens from gaining access to its site.

Excuse me, but isn\’t that one of the strongest arguments against filtering in the first place?

Ask The Bookshare Folks

The fine folks from Bookshare have agreed to an LISNews interview. Share is a service that helps Stanford students coordinate sharing their books, movies, and music across campus.

Seems like a nifty idea, which may or may not be Reinventing the Wheel, but I\’d like to see what kinds of questions the LISNews audience has for them.

This is the first interview we\’ve run in awhile, so I\’ll expalin how it works. I gather your questions, and send them along, the answers come back, and I post a new story, with the questions and answers.

SO if you have questions, ideas or comments on BookShare, you can email them to me[], or use the Contact Us form, or just post them below. I\’ll send the question collection along to BookShare on Friday, and post the answers as soon as I get them.

Dispute over land planned for Clinton Library Complex

The Nando Times among others has this story on the dispute between the City of Little Rock and the owner of the land slated to be leased for the Clinton Library. The landowner\’s lawyer charges that the current plans for the library, including a private residence, are outside the bounds of the stated plan for a public park. If the Supreme Court of Arkansas decides in favor of the landowner, the library could be \”delayed indefinitely.\” The Clinton Foundations\’ plans for the land include an amphitheater and \”urban fishing grounds.\”

Valuable books recovered from university fire

Charles Davis passed along This One on some valuable books and scientific equipment feared lost when fire swept through an historic university building have been saved.

Glasgow University had quite a fire, but recovered materials worth thousands of pounds, some of the materials recovered are damp and are being frozen at the university library.


Looking at weblogs

Over at LLRX there is an interesting feature by Cindy Curling, A Closer Look at Weblogs. It includes some background to the \’blog phenomenon, a look at different types of weblog as well as tips on creating your own. There is a list of recommended library-related weblogs (LISNews is not there but many of my other favourites are).