29 June, 2009

Everybody's doing it now

In last week's Fairfax community newspapers there was a feature article on technology use amongst older people. One of our colleagues at Bayside library was on the cover and was interviewed for the article. Karyn pointed out that librarians are sometimes seen as a bit old fashioned but as far as take up of new web 2.0 technologies they are right out there, and are also helping lots of people get online to widen their social networks and keep in touch with family and friends.

At Yarra Plenty we run lots of classes for people who want to learn more about online services, from the online program called Taste of Web which you can work your way through yourself (its on our homepage); to one off classes on particular topics such as planning your next holiday or shopping online; to the regular Techno playgroup run at Ivanhoe library; to an indepth 2 day program held at Mill Park library that was fully subscribed to in a couple of days. All these programs can be found on our events calendar.

And I have to tell you about my 82 year old mother who has just got on the internet and is now connecting with her daughters and granddaughters on Facebook - good on you mum! I think that this really demonstrates the great opportunities that the new technologies offer and enable people to keep in touch in different ways.

How have you found the social networking sites changing the way you keep in touch? I'd love to hear!

23 June, 2009

Bedside reads program

We are launching a new bookclub concept called Bedside Reads next month with the inaugural Bedside Reads Booklovers Festival that will be held from Monday 27 July - Thursday 30 July.

Bedside Reads is an "un" book club. It gives you the opportunity to share your ideas about what you are currently reading, and is not structured around a particular program of books. For more details check out our events calendar.

The Bedside Reads Booklovers Festival invites all readers to partake in a week of interesting author talks, bookchats and offers the opportunity to meet other booklovers. Authors include Jacinta Halloran, Greg De Moore, Bette Sheils, Kate Holden, Arnold Zable and James Phelan.

What have you got on your bedside table at the moment? I've just finished a delightful book called the The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer that tells the story of a group of people on Guernsey Island following the German occupation during World War 2. It is presented as a series of letters and I can really recommend it as a bedside read.

17 June, 2009

LibraryLink Victoria

Did you know you can access the collections of nearly all the public libraries in Victoria easily through one portal giving access to more than nine million books and resources?
LibraryLink Victoria connects to the State’s entire catalogue, including books, CDs, DVDs and other items available for loan. It saves you from going through individual catalogues or driving from one library to another in search of a chosen item.

Library Link can instantly tell you where an item can be found and have it sent to your local library for collection. Simply go to the LibraryLink page and start searching!
As well as searching for physical items you can also search all the online databases at once. To do that you need to SIGN IN (just use your library card number and PIN) and go to Advanced Search, and then choose "Databases" in the Profile section. We will be working on making this easier to find and use over the next few weeks.
Happy searching!

09 June, 2009

Library does away with Dewey

The Library Journal (US) reports that

"The six-branch (plus bookmobile) Rangeview Library District, Adams County, Colorado, will be the first library system in the country to fully drop the Dewey Decimal Classification in favor of a system adapted from that used in the book industry. While Dewey has been dropped in some smaller branches, Rangeview’s biggest building will have 85,000 items." They are using a retail system that bookshops use to categorise their collection and this is being mapped to their library management system.

This is a very interesting development and is probably the start of a popular movement. There are branch libraries in Melbourne (eg Hampton, part of Bayside Library Service) that have done away with the Dewey system and shelved their non fiction by subject. It makes it much easier for patrons to find all the items when they are grouped like this, as the Dewey system can separate titles that would make sense to be together.

When I was in Brisbane they tried this in some of the small libraries, but interestingly the patrons didn't like it and we moved back to the straight Dewey system. One of our branches, Thomastown, is going to experiment with shelving items by subject rather than Dewey, we will see how that goes.

What do you think? Should libraries stick with Dewey or explore other ways of shelving their books?

02 June, 2009

BookCrossing at Rosanna Railway Station

Rosanna Railway Station

Andrea, the Branch Manager at Rosanna sent me this email on Friday:

"We have just finished a very successful Library Week activity at Rosanna railway station.

We set up a table at the station for four mornings this week between 8am and 10am. Joyce handed out library publicity and offered commuters a free withdrawn book - adult fiction or paperback - each one with a BookCrossing tag and a registration number.

The idea is that readers register their title on the BookCrossing website then read it and pass it on to a friend or leave it somewhere to be picked up by the next reader, who also registers on the website. The website tracks the book's progress around Melbourne or Australia or even overseas and we can also check out the readers' comments about the books (and the "friendly librarian at Rosanna station").

The feedback from both commuters and Connex staff has been extremely positive - Connex have asked if we can do this again during the next school holidays but some commuters have already asked if we could do this once a week.

Commuters were happy - not just to get something for free but they were intrigued by the BookCrossing idea and pleasantly surprised to see friendly library staff out and about early on a cold morning at the station. Perhaps having a book to read on the train and switch off was also a more inviting prospect than reading the daily news. We have been checking the website and it appears that many commuters have logged on to BookCrossing as soon as they got to work and registered."

If you were one of the people who got a book at Rosanna Station last week, we'd love to hear from you!