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Ian Anstice Named IWR Information Professional of the Year for 2011

Congratulations go out to Ian Anstice.  He has been named as IWR Information Professional of the year. The judges gave Anstice, a branch manager of a public library in Cheshire, the honor for his dedication and hard work recording and explaining the changes taking place across the public library sector as a whole.

Ian Anstice

Ian Anstice

Ian Anstice is Librarian in Charge of Winsford Library in Cheshire, he operates Public Libraries News and is a a member of the Voices for the Library team.

Presenting the award at Online Information, editor of IWR Peter Williams said: “Ian’s work is a stirring story of how much can be achieved and how knowledge and information really is power. A well deserved winner. I would urge you to go take a look at his work.

Anstice said: “In a time of cuts to library services and being aware that knowledge is power, I was surprised to see there was no publicly available site to show what was going in each authority. I started the blog in October 2010. This includes all news articles on public library cuts, doing a map of the cuts, and producing a tally of cuts and proposals by authority.

You can follow Ian’s work at Public Libraries News on Twitter at @publiclibnews or on Google+.

About the Award

This international award offers recognition to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession in the past 12 months. Nomination could be for an individual who has demonstrated best practice, led extensive project work or developed an information resource for an organisation and its users and clients.

Ian Anstice joins the ranks of previous winners including last year’s winner Dave Pattern, Library Systems Manager, University of Huddersfield and Hazel Hall, Director of the Centre for Social Informatics, Edinburgh Napier University, who won the award in 2008 award.

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NFAIS: The Eroding Subscription Model Event

Books and GlobeOn November 10, 2011 NFAIS held an event titled The Eroding of the Subscription Model and Emerging Alternatives:

In the current economic climate libraries have limited purchasing power. Academic budgets are declining while the need for access to digital information is increasing on today’s wired campuses.

As a result, innovative librarians are seeking alternative methods to access and acquire the content required by their faculty, students, and researchers. Is resource sharing the answer? Will purchase on demand work for books and journals? Is the subscription model no longer viable – even for scholarly materials? This workshop will take a look at what new business models are emerging, their success, and what the future holds for the subscription model in the distribution of scholarly and scientific information.

The event covered the following topics:

  • An Overview of the Current Landscape – Dan Tonkery
  • An Overview of Library Budgets: The ACRL Environmental Scan – Lisa Hinchliffe
  • Erosion of the Subscription Model: the Librarian’s Perspective – Betsy Appleton and Ann Okerson
  • Erosion of the Subscription Model: the Publisher’s Perspective – Linda Beebe, M. Scott Dineen, and Amy Pedersen
  • Emerging Alternatives to Subscriptions – Jason E. Phillips and Rebecca Seger

If you missed this event  you can read the summary of each session online and NFAIS has made the slides available as well at NFAIS — The Eroding Subscription Model.

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Thanks for the birthday wishes

Thanks to all of you for all of the birthday wishes — they reminded me of  how much I have to be grateful for. Thanks, and God loves you all!!


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Technology Advances and People Talk at Charleston Conference

The annual Charleston Conference is a gathering of librarians, publishers, electronic resource managers, consultants, and vendors of library materials in Charleston, SC. Every November folks gather to discuss issues of importance across all their fields. Begun in 1980, the Charleston Conference has grown from 20 participants in 1980 to over 1,100 in 2010.

Charleston ConferenceThe Charleston Conference has always been a egalitarian gathering of individuals from all different areas who wish to discuss topical issues in a non-threatening, friendly, and informal way. Business executives discuss and debate with library directors, acquisitions librarians, and others. This was the conference’s 31st year in Charleston and its focus was on Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition. This is an event that Unlimited Priorities would hate to miss.

Looking back, the organizers note in the program:

Back in 1980 when the Conference started there were no Facebooks, no Twitters, no RSS feeds, no QR codes, no Wikipedias, no open access, no smartphones, no Kindles, Nooks, iPods or iPads, no reality TV, no eBooks, no aggregators, no Against the Grain or Against the Grain News Channel, no big deals, etc. … Now, by contrast we have all of the above and more!

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Pick up the phone

At Unlimited Priorities, we make it a point to talk a lot with each other and with our clients. We use the phone or Skype to call each other, have frequent conference calls and get together as often as possible.  With the convenience of email and increasingly other forms of electronic communication, making live conversation part of an organization’s culture isn’t  always easy.

We recently came across a blog post, by Anthony Tjan on the Harvard Business Review blog network that we’re all reading: Don’t Send That Email. Pick up the Phone! His advice is summarized in the final paragraph:

The next time you experience an issue over email, ask yourself if it is something that would be better served by a real conversation. Then have the courage to stop emailing and pick up the phone. Or even better: have a meeting.


We encourage you to follow the link and read his post.

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Google’s new “Freshness Algorithm”

Last Thursday, Google announced major changes to the way they present search results. The changes are expected to affect up to 35% of all searches. While relevance and currency have always been important in how high web sites appear in search results, this makes them even more so.

As explained by Amit Singhal in a post on the Official Google Blog, Google is making these changes because:

Even if you don’t specify it in your search, you probably want search results that are relevant and recent. If I search for olympics, I probably want information about next summer’s upcoming Olympics, not the 1900 Summer Olympics.

Google is basing the new search on their Caffeine web indexing system, introduced last year, which allows them to crawl and index the web in near real time.

These changes are obviously good for users. The implications for website owners will become clearer after some more usage and the algorithm will likely be tuned by Google, but several things are already obvious. Fresh content, including frequent updates, will be even more important. RSS feeds of your content and date-modified tags will help Google find the updates.

If you’ve been putting it off, now would be a good time to get a comprehensive analysis of your website.

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Digital Public Library of America Video Update

The Digital Library of America (DPLA) is a one-year old project that grew out of a meeting of 40 library leaders held in October, 2011. It’s goal is to create a large-scale digital public library to make the cultural and scientific record available to everyone. The DPLA received two significant donations last week with The Sloan Foundation and Arcadia Fund each contributing $2.5 million to the project.

Last month Maura Marx, Director of the DPLA Secretariat, was at the Europeana Tech Conference, held at the Austrian National Library, where she gave a short update on the DPLA. A video of her presentation was posted on the DPLA website on Wednesday. It’s just over 12 minutes long and well worth watching.

She describes the DPLA as an American project that seeks to provide coherent access to content from a variety of institutions — from museums, from libraries, from archives, and to do it in a way that will encourage participation from users and that will encourage innovation and new development. She goes on to say that it will do so by providing content on the most open platform possible, subscribing to the most open principles possible. The goals are ambitious. They are trying to build a useful, functioning, open digital library. By April 2013, they expect to have a working prototype.

The Secretariat is at the Berkman Center at Harvard, which coordinates the project’s activities.

The most recent developments were six awards to groups submitting Beta-Sprint proposals – code and concepts for how the DPLA might operate. The awards included:

  • Digital collaboration through one unified search tool by the National Archives, the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution.
  • A search tool for the DCC’s collection of cultural and scientific heritage resources, by the Digital Library Federation and the University of Illinois.
  • A multimedia-library-without-walls through an open source, HTML5 platform by metaLAB (at) Harvard, the Harvard Library Lab, and Media And Place (MAP) Productions.
  • A coordinated effort to digitize and enhance government documents using crowdsourcing and linked data by the University of Minnesota, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, and HathiTrust.
  • A web-based platform to enable the aggregation of diverse cultural heritage content and metadata by MINT at the National Technical University of Athens.
  • ShelfLife, intended to provide users with a rich environment for exploring the combined content of the DPLA, discovering new works, and engaging more deeply with them via social interactions by the Harvard Library Innovation Lab and multiple partners.

More detailed descriptions of these projects are here: DPLA Beta Sprint Results

The momentum surrounding the DPLA is increasing and we expect to see many more developments in the near future as they move forward on these and other projects.

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Library Linked Data Final Report from the W3C

One of the organizations that we pay attention to at Unlimited Priorities is the MIT-Based, World Wide Web Consortium (often referred to as the W3C). This is the group that oversees standards for the Web. The W3C has several incubator groups working on new and emerging standards. Their Library Linked Data Incubator Group, which includes people from OCLC, LYRASYS, the Library of Congress, Talis and several major universities, has the mission to help increase global interoperability of library data on the Web.

This group has just published a final report in which they characterize the current state of library data management, outline the potential benefits of publishing library data as Linked Data, and formulate next-step recommendations for library standards bodies, data and systems designers, librarians, archivists, and library leaders. These recommendations are focused on helping make the information that libraries create and curate more visible and re-usable outside of their original library context on the wider Web

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Developing Opportunities with Archival Collections

Internet Librarian International 2011 took place on October 27 and 28th in London.

Unlimited Priorities’ Howard Stanbury presented in the B204Driving Collaboration with Repositories session and explained how information repositories of all kinds are being challenged to adapt to a changing paradigm in facilities, resources and services.

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