Australian librarians and their copyright dance – puttin’ on the writs

Video of staff from the National Library of Australia performing at their 2010 Christmas party. Fun! [thanks iain!]

music to my ears

“See https://code.nla.gov.au/ for open source code from the National Library of Australia” [thanks roy]

holiday antics from the National Library of Australia

“Staff from the National Library of Australia performing Thriller at the 2008 staff Christmas party”

the digital dark ages? machines of loving grace?

While I find that using my computer for more of my communication and cultural creations works for me, it’s more of a concern when we think of this as the model for large-scale cultural products. The National Library of Australia tells us/warns us that cultural production in Australia is predominantly in digital form. They’ve made a bold statement about the role of the library in maintaining and preserving these cultural products. It’s a strong but hopeful almost-manifesto ending with Investing in Australia‚Äôs digital heritage is an investment for the future. Well done. With that said, here’s a poem I’ve always liked from Richard Brautigan. [thanks gwyn]

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace

I like to think (and
the sooner the better!)
of a cybernetic meadow
where mammals and computers
live together in mutually
programming harmony
like pure water
touching clear sky.

I like to think
(right now, please!)
of a cybernetic forest
filled with pines and electronics
where deer stroll peacefully
past computers
as if they were flowers
with spinning blossoms.

I like to think
(it has to be!)
of a cybernetic ecology
where we are free of our labors
and joined back to nature,
returned to our mammal
brothers and sisters,
and all watched over
by machines of loving grace.

caught up on my RSS feeds

So five days after getting back to the US, I am caught up on my RSS feeds. This is mostly because I prioritized things like getting pictures on Flickr, going food shopping, getting to the pool, arguing about Twitter, and making this little YouTube movie. Here are some things I read that I think you might like to read.

  • Chris over at Libraryola does some actual investigating into the hubub surrounding the WaPo article about the library’s weeding policy. He gets a much more well-rounded answer from Sam Clay, the system director, than what the newspaper published.
  • Walt asks if SecondLife and social software networks are where our patrons really are. I love the idea of SL, and the immediate potential as a place for geographically spread out people to come together is great (free teleconferencing!) but not a single person I’ve talked to out here uses it… yet. So, for me there’s a difference between going where my users are and trying to make them go someplace I like. I’ll evangelize about the usefulness of the Internet generally, especially for poor rural populations who can use it to save money and save gas, but I’ll wait a little before diving whole hog into SL. The comments seemed to have turned into a Walt vs. Jenny debate, we’ll see if they stay that way.
  • Casey (that’s Mad Scientist Mover and Shaker Casey) has reprinted the Ten Commandments of Egoless Programming with a caveat about copyright. My favorite: Treat people who know less than you with respect, deference, and patience, that’s gotten me further than most of what I learned in library school.
  • Jenny points to a cool opportunity to be a virtual scholar for the Urban Libraries Council. It’s a little outside my usual interest areas of services to rural populations, but it might be just perfect for someone.
  • Rachel at LISJobs ruminates on why online publications still charge for classified ads by the word, and uses the opportunity to mention how LISjobs is still free as in beer.

Some Australian Libraries

I’m done uploading my photos and while an errant picture of me or my sister may have crept into my Australian Libraries photostream, I think you’ll still enjoy it. Note: a few of these are from 2004, but most of the libraries don’t look too terribly different.

A little more from Australia

Hi. Sorry to everyone who tried to access my 2.0 talk and found that it dropped out after the Cluetrain part. A little embarassing, talking about new tech and not being able to get your old tech to work… In any case, it’s fixed now. I’ve also been able to pop in a little and see some of the blogosphere responses to my talks and thought I’d list them here. I’m going to meet with some new librarians from ALIA in Melbourne tomorrow for lunch (thanks for arranging this Michelle!) and then I’m off to Sydney for two days and then home. So, I haven’t been online much — not at all in the past two and a half days — so not much else to report except that I have a sunburn and I plan to have been to four state libraries on this trip by the time I get home which I think is half of… all of them. It’s been a great trip and a real vacation; I’ll be back regular-link next week.

My two Australian talks

I’m making use of the wifi here at the Convention Center to make sure my talks are online. Both have been updated, these versions are shorter than similar versions I’ve given before. Thanks to everyone at the LocLib conference for your hospitality, attention and collegiality.

on the road

I’m on the road for a few weeks, starting pretty much now. I usually don’t even bother saying “won’t be posting here” anymore, since with RSS you don’t even have to care. However I am giving a few talks, two at the LocLib Conference in Perth Australia on March 2nd and one in Adelaide at the State Library on March 6th. I will also be going out to lunch with some librarians in Melbourne on the 10th and attending a MetaFilter meetup in Sydney on the 11th. If you are in any of these places, please try to come by and say hello. I’m also vacationing with my sister, so other than these professional and semi-professional activities, I’ll be away from the keyboard. I return on the 14th, though if the trip is anything like last time, my mind will stay in Australia for several more weeks.

happy lovers day, LIBRARY lovers day

The Australia Library and Information Association and Public Libraries Australia are rebranding Valentine’s day.

Forget Valentines’ Day, 14 February has been re-named “library lovers’ day”! Take the opportunity to celebrate those who love and support us and to remind decision makers how “loved” we are.

And in other 14feb news, I made this:

Happy Valentine's Day