Tuesday January 27, 2009

Digital convergence at the War Memorial

Mal Booth

Mal Booth presented an address on the use of 2.0 technologies in the modern library or ‘Digital convergence at the War Memorial’ as he called it. His bright and sarcastic demeanour led to some in the audience getting upset at his offhand remarks about metadata, but overall he made some very valuable points.

  • A social media policy at your workplace is something worth considering.
  • Focus on what is unique about your collection.
  • Find new ways to give your users access to your collection.
    For example the War Memorial’s digitised collection of photographs received over 100 times the hits after they put the images onto Flickr than in their own digital management system.
  • All staff should blog. This teaches all staff to write and encourages conversation which can lead to new ideas and processes.
  • Don’t lean on copyright as an excuse not to proceed.

He showed us the range of 2.0 technologies that they use – which Mosman Library, I’m pleased to say, uses most of them already – and gave examples of alternate uses for these.

Digital convergence is something that is inevitable and the sooner we focus on the technologies that our community uses, rather than those that are designed for libraries by IT specialists, the better off we all will be. He said

Most library management systems are cottage industries, 25 years out of date, which have not yet caught up with the digital age.

Mal Booth has also posted his thoughts about the conference on his blog.

Tim G, Library Officer – Lending &Information Systems, at Information Online #io2009

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