Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Is it online, digital or electronic information? mine Google data to find out

I love playing around with new Web tools. This week I had a look at the new Google Books Ngram Viewer which is a tool for comparative analysis of word usage. Google Books Ngram Viewer lets you enter words and phrases and then it does an analysis and displays a graph showing how often those words phrases have occurred. The data set being interrogated is a particular corpus of books on Google Books generated in July 2009.

We often have discussions about the terms: "online information", "electronic information" and "digital information". When you do a comparative analysis of those three phrases on Google Books Ngram Viewer from 1940 onwards, you get the graphs above, showing that "electronic information" (red line), is the most commonly used term, followed by digital information" (green line), while "online information" (blue line) has definitely plateaued.

Here are a few blog posts explaining more about the new tool: The Google Books Ngram Viewer from +Datavisualization.CH and Charting the Epic Battle of “Geek” vs. “Nerd”

Will this sort of analysis will be a boon for linguistics' scholars, or will it just remain a fun tool to explore?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

ANDS, data management and libraries

Slides from my presentation this week to library staff on ANDS (the Australian National Data Service) and data management and libraries.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Slides from data management roadshow in Bath

Our university is about to commence an ANDS Seeding the Commons project on research data management.

These slides look very relevant to what we will be embarking upon.

Facing the Data Challenge: Institutions, Disciplines, Services and Risks
View more presentations from LizLyon.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

23 Things program, follow up article published

The Electronic Library (TEL) has just published our follow up article on the 23 Things program at our library. It seems like it has been a long time coming. We submitted it in early 2009, but there were many other articles in the pipeline at TEL, so we had to wait.

Thanks to my co-author, Lyn Leslie, and all involved.

The full citation:
Julia Gross, Lyn Leslie, (2010) "Learning 2.0: a catalyst for library organisational change", Electronic Library, The, Vol. 28 Iss: 5, pp.657 - 668

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe “what happened” with round two of the implementation of Learning 2.0 with a large and diverse group of library staff at Edith Cowan University (ECU) Library during 2007/2008.

Design/methodology/approach – A previous paper reported on a study of the suitability of the 23 Things Learning 2.0 program for a small group of early adopters in the ECU Library. This follow-up paper reports challenges that library management faced when the remaining staff were given the 23 Things Learning 2.0 program. All remaining library staff members were encouraged to undertake the program, but take-up was not strong and only 25 per cent of staff completed the program. At the conclusion of round two of Learning 2.0, all staff were surveyed to find out reasons for completion or non-completion, what types of technologies they needed support with, and how they wished to learn about the emerging/Web 2.0 technologies.

Findings – From the observations and survey responses in this study it was found that while Learning 2.0 was a suitable program, some staff required extra time and a more hands-on approach to their workplace learning.

Originality/value – The paper is unique in that it follows up on previous research at the same institution, and reveals new findings.


The Electronic Library is one of the Emerald Insight journals:

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Sharing a Google Doc

This year with our 2010 Book Club votes I have decided to share it on the Web as a Google doc. Here it is above with the embedded code. Google also makes a separate web page version for shared docs and also gives you a link to the doc on the Web. The doc contains our votes for 2010 rating the books from 1-7.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Story telling using Make Beliefs Comix

The October digital story telling challenge was started by RestructureGirl in her blog post. For Week 4 of I have done a comic using

The key to story telling is to simply your message and get the story told in a few images. Comics are good for that in that you can pick characters, change their mood and gestures and add text as words or thought bubbles.

I can see many applications in a library setting, even in academic libraries. The story is told in my comic is aimed at postgraduate students promoting our library's open access repository and the comic is called How does you research find an audience ?

The direct link to it is:

You can't save this work on their website, but have to print a copy, do a screen capture or email the link. It's dead easy to do one.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Joan Sutherland tribute using Google Search Stories

For a wrap up of Week 2 in the October Show and Tell, digital story telling challenge go to Restructuregirl's latest blog post.

The digital story telling challenge was organised by Restructuregirl I'm having some fun with it!

It's now up to Week 3. This week I had a go at Google Search Stories Video Creator, which is available on a YouTube channel. The final video story gets uploaded to YouTube.

It's straightforward once you nut out a story sequence. Essentially you tell a story using a combination of Google searches. Start by getting the script down and then decide if you want the search to be of: text, images, maps, blogs, books etc. Then choose the music. The choice of music is pretty ordinary, but I settled on some cello music they list under "Drama". Of course the whole deal results in shameless advertising for Google, but you can have some fun with it!

I can see an educational use for this and I'm sure you could turn it into something related to learning and information skills.

So this is my little tribute to "our Joanie", world famous Australian soprano, Joan Sutherland who died this week, 12 October 2010. If this video is not the best quality when embedded in the blog, try going to YouTube direct for my Tribute to Joan Sutherland.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Open Access Week 2010

Visit Open Access Week

Open Access Week is on next week: October 18-24 2010. It's a global event, now in its 4th year and it is promoting open access as a new norm in scholarship and research.

The themes are: Learn Share Advance

There are many activities happening in Europe and North America, all listed at and follow the Twitter tag #oaw2010.

There's even some OAW haiku my favourite is:

It's the online age
You're losing research impact...
Make it free online

From what I can see the awareness in Australia seems to be pretty negligible. But well done to Deakin University for an interesting program of seminars.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Week 2 October show and tell

Create your own video slideshow at

I decided to stick with Animoto to make a promotional video for Open Access Week, which is coming up 18-24th October 2010.

What have a I learned? Well, this time I spent more time on arranging the images and text in some coherent sequence. The images I've used should be a bit larger to get a better resolution. Selecting images and music takes an inordinate amount of time, I find. And, don't copy the embed code into Notepad, but take it straight from the Animoto website.

I think the text function that Animoto includes could make this a useful tool for library promotional type videos.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Week one of October show and tell

RestructureGirl has a wrap up of week one with links to all the learning activities. Animoto has been a hit, but there are many more approached to vblogging to try out.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

October Show and Tell challenge

Create your own video slideshow at

There's a challenge on again from a group of librarians on Twitter. The October challenge is to explore digital story telling and video blogging — for more info in Restructuregirl’s blog post.

Here's my entry for week one. I decided to do Animoto as we had a presentation on that at our staff Library 2.0 day in July and it looked interesting. Then I saw an Animoto video done by BonitoClub which was a picture tour through Japan using some Flickr photos and Animoto.

So this is my first attempt using some of my bird photos taken in Australia and Bali. You need between 12 and 16 photos for this short video and you can pick the music from Animoto's selection.

Animoto allows you to make a short 30 second video with their free Animoto account. Anything more costs you only $30+ something a year. You can embed the code in your blog, as done here, or share it on Twitter, Facebook, etc. I haven't done any editing to this, but will play around more with Animoto maybe for next week's challenge.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

It's on again - Perth Library Camp (AKA Perth Unconference)

Once again there is going to be a library Unconference (Library Camp) in Perth. It will be held at the Grove Library on October 25th 2010 from 9.30 to 4.30.

The registration for library Unconference 2010 is now open.

To register just go to and add your name to the list.

Please be quick these things usually fill up fast.

If you have something you'd like to see a session on, even if you don't want to do the session yourself, please add it to the sessions ideas page.

The Twitter hashtag for the day is: #lcp2010

Monday, 6 September 2010

Delving into military history and a sad story of two brothers

I stumbled across this sad story of two brothers, killed in action on the same day during the Australian North African campaign of World War Two.

Recently I attended an excellent family photo workshop at Wanneroo Public Library run by Julie Martin. I brought along some family photos taken by my uncle. They are a collection of photos of the Australian 9th Division during the North African campaign of World War Two. Julie was interested in the collection and also commented on the photo shown here that my uncle took in 1942. The photo is of the grave of two men with the same surname.

Thanks to all the online records available on the Australian Army World War Two Nominal Roll and the Australian War Memorial, I have been able to do some detective work and have pieced together a story that is more local than I expected. My uncle was from N.S.W., but the grave photo is of two Western Australian brothers. These two brothers were killed in action on the same day: 23 October 1942. The names are visible if you enlarge the photos, so I have been able to track down some records.

They were both Gunners in the 2/7 FD REGT RAA, so were probably killed during the battle of El Alamein. 23 October 1942 was the first day of the battle of El Alamein. The Allied victory at El Alamein was a critical turning point for the Allies in the North African campaign and for World War Two generally.

I just came across this photo, pieced together a likely story, but I have no experience in military history, so I am contacting a journalist to see if they wish to write up this story. Obviously effort would have to be made to contact possible relatives who may be out there. The terrible impact of this on the family can barely be imagined.

This photo is precious to me so please don’t use it without my permission. Thanks!

Friday, 27 August 2010

Our students take to web scale discovery

Library OneSearch

Earlier this year we did a usability study of our new web scale discovery product, Summon.
This is a very brief presentation I did on the study's findings during ECU Research Week in August 2010.

The full paper detailing all the findings, has been submitted by Lutie Sheridan and I and is expected to be published by Emerald Publishing later in 2010
View more presentations from Julia Gross.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Art Exhibition launch in the library

The Mount Lawley Campus library has an lovely exhibition area called "Breathing Space", which is an ideal spot for showcasing local art from our students and staff. This week there was a launch of art works from visual artist, Catherine Gomersall entitled "Body Bags: I am a Trash Bag"

The series of colour photographic prints explore the “trash bag” as a metaphor for a particular category of emotion: “bad” ones.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Library Day in the Life 2010, post two

Julia Gross. Faculty Librarian for Education and Arts at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia.

This is my second post for Library Day in the Life 2010.

Tuesday is my day at Joondalup, our growing northern campus. This is a view from my office. Pines tress you see are left over from when there was a pine plantation on this site. Alas, there also used to be a group of kangaroos wandering around on campus, munching the grass. But the place is so built up now that they have vanished…wonder where to?

It is always a good day for catching up with faculty people as I have an office in the faculty teaching and learning area on Tuesdays. Had some good corridor discussions with academic staff today about Research Week and research in Education.

Another big project we are in the midst of is the new TRIM Records Management system that is being rolled out across the uni. The library is next cab off the rank, so we need to get our act together with how we manage our records. So.... I met with Records Management staff and went through the Classification Model and securities that have been set up for each work area. All very interesting and it strikes me that records managers and librarians have some things in common: classifications systems, making order out of chaos. Also some of what we are looking at is similar to the research data management area.

I starting to prepare my Research Week session on our institutional repository which is managed by the library. Despite some of the whiz bang new presentation products out there like Prezi, I think we will have to use the standard uni Powerpoints they have prepared for Research Week.

Last week 58 boxes of new Education books arrived in Acquisitions. I went over to the library and met with one of the librarians in my team and we checked out the new materials. Looks like some great stuff coming through. We have been ordering lots, through a type of approval plan.

We are also planning a library display for Children's Book Week on August 21-27 2010. One of my staff has been some ordering some merchandise which looks great.

Caught up with a couple of library colleagues over coffee and lunch during the day. Discussed some glitches in last week's Orientation program and how to avoid them next time.

All in all a pretty busy day!

Library Day in the Life 2010, post one

Julia Gross. Faculty Librarian for Education and Arts at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia.

This is my first post for Library Day in the Life 2010

Started the day at home catching up on Twitter, while listening to the glorious striated pardalote peeping away in the neighbours old gum tree. They are a glorious little birds, but you hardly ever see them as they spend most of their day way up high in the canopy. I'm a bit of a bird nut!

Today is the first day of semester and I came in later as I’m doing the evening shift. I have been flat out, because I’ve been away on leave for 10 days there is lots of catching up to do: socialising speaking to the team and getting through the mountain of emails.

There are a couple of big projects on the horizon, one is the university's Research Week and I’m on the university committee for this. The library is planning some displays and a series of research seminars. We have the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) on my home campus and they come within the Faculty of Education and Arts portfolio, which is pretty exciting. So I spoke to a library staff member about doing a music installation display for Research Week, using work from one of our Music academic staff members. The WAAPA research in the creative areas challenges the library in all sorts of ways, such as how to store creative research on our institutional repository.

I emailed the faculty team with some catch up news. There are staff on two campuses, so it’s important to keep everyone informed. Had some casual conversations wiht colleagues about staffing and a new librarian’s induction. We also have two librarians about to join a web2.0 leadership project which is a federally funded collaboration with three local Perth unis, so I spoke to people about that.

I met a new PHD student who is doing Creative Writing. He’s coming to see me later this week to get started with the library research part of his PHD.

Today I have also been getting ready for going to research data management training at ANDS in Canberra and have been doing some prior reading up for that.

And finally I did one desk shift til 7pm. Good just to keep my hand in.

It is interesting, looking back over all this and it’s clear a lot of my job these days is concerned with support for research.

PS the photo of the big crane is the construction site of our new engineering building.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Now a parody of the Old Spice library ad

Here's a fantastic parody of the Old Spice library ad done by the Multimedia Production Unit for Harold B. Lee Library on YouTube

Do you want to be a scholar? Then study at the Harold B. Lee Library. Do your research here, study here, and be a scholar!

Old Spice add goes viral with library version

Old Spice add has gone viral this week.

On Twitter, @wawoodworth wrote "ATTN LIBRARIAN TWEEPS: Need help getting @oldspice guy to say a few words regarding libraries. RT plz. Thanks.

this is the result:

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Spreadsheet comparing ebook readers

My brother in law has done this useful spreadsheet comparing various ebook readers and their capabilities: inputs, size, battery life, storage capacity, price in US and/or Aussie dollars.

He has looked at the Kindle 2, Kindle DX, Sony PRS-700, Barnes and Noble Nook, Borders Kobo, AcerLumiRead, Pico Life W960, IRivers Story.

Here's a link to the spreadsheet

Monday, 28 June 2010

WISE library session on giving presentations

On Friday the Perth universities WISE group held its mid-year get-together, this time at the University of Western Australia.

In case you are wondering WISE stands for WAGUL Information Sharing Exchange. And WAGUL is the Western Australian Group of University Librarians.

For the mid-year meet up Lisa Cluett ran a terrific session on giving presentations.

Lisa is an experienced presenter herself and a member Toast Masters.

It was the type of session that gave us some tangible ideas to help us make changes to how we present, and to rethink bad habits.

What I took away from it was:

1. Focus on your audience not what information you want to get across. Don’t think about what you want to tell them. I think I have been guilty of that in the past, especially in library skills session when we have so much to get across. But how much can students really absorb in one session. If you don’t know you audience do a bit of research. This applies not just to presentations but in a number of other settings: writing this blog for example.

2. Prepare your presentation outline on paper rather than launch straight into getting your Powerpoints done and don’t use someone else’s Powerpoints and adapt. Oops I have done that too!

3. Start strongly so your initial impression grabs the audience’s attention and avoid slipping into clich├ęd intro lines. I have heard this before too, but we all need reminding.

4. To improve your presentations get some honest feedback from friends and colleagues

I’m preparing a short session for our ECU Library 2.0 training day on ebook readers, so I will focus on what the staff might want to know about these devices. I know already that most of the audience don’t already have an ebook reader, but some are interested in buying one. Staff will also want to know what the library is planning to do and if our existing ebooks could be made available to students, with a loan of an ebook reader for example.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Ebook readers the story so far

Mike Oetting, Reference Librarian from Hinsdale Public Library provides these slides on Slideshare which outline the state of the eReader market after the entry of Apple’s iPad.

This relates to the state of play in the U.S. Here in Australia not all these devices are available, however the iPad has just hit the market here.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Battle to save Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Libraries in North Carolina

There's a crisis at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Libraries in North Carolina. The Library Board plans to lay off 148 staff and close 12 libraries by 3rd April, due to a massive US $2million budget hole.

This seems incredible that the libraries that brought the Learning 2.0 (aka 23 Things) to many libraries around the world and changed so many lives are now battling to survive.

American Libraries magazine has a report of the public rally over the weekend to help raise funds to alleviate the impact of budget cuts.

What can you do to help? Go to Save our Libraries and also Lori Reed 's website for more information. The Twitter hash code is #cmlibrary

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Singing in the Rain, Hong Kong library conference

There’s an exciting library conference on in Hong Kong this week, with some local and international presenters.

It’s the Academic Librarian 2: Singing in the Rain conference held at Hong Kong Polytechnic University March 11-12, which is all about the future of libraries and the library profession.

This conference is the second "Academic Librarian" conference in Hong Kong and is an extension of The Academic Librarian: Dinosaur or Phoenix Conference held by the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2007.

The major themes are:

  • Librarians of Tomorrow
  • Quality Enhancement
  • New Tools & Culture
  • Collaboration & Networking
There will be some presentations on how libraries are embedding Web 2.0 and training staff in this area.

conference summary is:

“Academic Librarians face unprecedented challenges to their role, to how they manage their collections and how they interact professionally with their academic colleagues. They require different professional and personal skills as well as different ways of interacting with their communities, both in the academic, publishing and other vendor communities. In the current context of a global recession, without doubt, it is going to be a future full of challenges and opportunities. What has changed and what needs to change? As suggested by the Conference subtitle "Singing in the Rain", a new generation of academic librarians cannot survive without an optimistic, positive and thoughtful attitude towards the future.”

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Moira Bent's visit to Curtin University

A special event was organised at Curtin University Library, Perth last week.

Moira Bent, National Teaching Fellowship recipient was visiting from the U.K. Moira is a Science liaison librarian from Newcastle University and one of only 5 U.K. librarians who have received a National Teaching Fellowships. Her blog posts about the fellowship are here.

Having the fellowship has given Moira the opportunity and time to undertake research and publish in a number of areas which she spoke about:

  • Facilitating research roles and opportunities for librarians. This is one area that Australian librarians can (and are already) be involved with in providing research support with the ERA and imperative to publish. (The Newcastle University library has a useful “Writing for publication brochure”
  • Librarians framing information literacy as a set of learning attitude or behaviours, rather than just as a set of skills.

At the tea discussion she talked about librarians getting out to conferences in non-library areas. I totally agree. We need to collaborate with academic and teaching and learning colleagues.

There's lots more to explore here. These are links to the articles and activities Moira has been involved with.

Perceptions of Information Literacy in the Transition to Higher Education. NTF Final Report.

Providing effective library services for research (book)

Information Literacy in a researcher's learning life: the Seven Ages of Research (article)

Integrating information literacy as a habit of learning (article)

SCONUL Report on Library Services for International Students (report)

Vale Jillian Beswick, Lake Macquarie librarian

The Perth library community was saddened to hear of the recent death of Jillian Beswick, who passed away in Brisbane on February 15th 2010, after a long battle with cancer.

Jillian was a qualified teacher and had worked in school and public libraries in Tasmania and the Northern Territory prior to moving to Western Australia.

She completed an MBA at Murdoch University in 1993 and we remember her fondly at Edith Cowan University Library where worked in a number of management roles from 1994-1997.

Jillian was active in ALIA during her time in Western Australia and was also an ABN trainer.

Her interests ranged widely and she was involved in the local community and stood for local government in the Shire of Cambridge, W.A.

She left Perth in 1997 to take up a senior position in charge of public libraries and cultural activities at the City of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales.

Jillian was a keen flyer and had her pilot’s licence. While in Lake Macquarie she took up sailing and enjoyed the lakeside lifestyle.

She remained in NSW until she became ill a few years ago.

The Australian library community has lost an active, committed and passionate member.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Teaching & Learning Forum 2010 program is out now

The program for the 2010 Perth Teaching & Learning Forum 2010 is up on the website now:

This year the Forum will be hosted by Edith Cowan University and will be held at the Joondalup Campus on Thursday/Friday 28-29 January 2010.

It looks to be an interesting and varied program centred around the theme: Educating for Sustainability.

Keynote speakers are: Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, PVC Teaching & Learning, Monash University and Professor Jan Herrington, Professor of Education, Murdoch University