Monday, March 24, 2008

NZSOE at VALA 2008 (3)

Kathryn Greenhill, Murdoch University, WA. Do we remove the walls? Second Life Librarianship.

  • This was one of the conference sessions which was most surprising and challenging for me. How could it relate to a Trade Library and Information Service?

  • Kathryn had created a whole world - 'a cultural archipelago with 40 islands' - a consistent fictional world

  • curating an Australian Libraries Island

  • Avatars, Islands, Buildings, Objects

  • Could we have exporter avatars? Lucy Commodity and James P.Roduct?

  • Could they go to a building to get information on exporting to Sweden where is a SL Embassy?

  • Could LIS set up a building? At what cost?

  • In following up Second Life, I found there is already the concept of businesses and organization in second life

  • Wikipedia article at:


Photo: Outside the New Zealand School of Export, Aokautere Park. Autumn morning 25 March 2008 / Graeme Siddle.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

NZSOE at VALA 2008 (2)

Peter Johann Lor, Sec-General of IFLA. International dimensions of Web 2.0 and Library 2.0

These are some of the points Peter Lor made which were particularly applicable to International Trade Librarianship:
  • Modern ICTs have brought a shift from economies of things, to the economies of information - the weightless economy concept cf. David Skilling of The New Zealand Institute
  • physical controls are eliminated in the weightless economy - logistics?
  • information is being commodified therefore knowledge is a strategic resource
  • new Enclosure Movement cf. Britain 1700s - we are now seeing the enclosure of intellectual property via digital locks (fences)
  • Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are also locking up information and in some case forcing developing nations to adopt policies for information and intellectual property which are more appropriate for a developed nation.
  • FTAs have been responsible for affecting the affordability of school textbooks therefore access to information - a negative impact cf. Costa Rica.
  • Free Trade not necessarily fair trade.
  • Web 2.0 will speed up the process of disintermediation or deprofessionalisation
  • Lor introduced his paper by showing us a Library 2.0 Meme map attributed to Bonaria Biancu (Wikipedia 2007c). - I really liked this as a guide to Library 2.0.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

For Easter

Two letters X and P I saw set down
in order, clean and white as bones
upon a neglected earthpage covered with fungus
like grey moss but the propelling letters shone through
and a thumb-nail nicked corner of the sky
while human heads leaned dark across the mountain.

from the poem 'A Painting by Colin McCahon'
written by Janet Frame published in The pocket mirror
published Pegasus, 1968 pp.105-6

Monday, March 17, 2008

NZSOE at VALA 2008

Schubert Foo: ‘Going Virtual for Enhanced Library Experience’
VALA 2008 Conference Wednesday 6 February 2008

One of the new terms that Shubert Foo used in his presentation was the notion of ‘information-object’ as ‘info-concierge’.

Foo says on p.2 of his written paper that when the information object is discovered it becomes an info-concierge ‘with the ability to connect the information seeker, to other content, both within and outside the library, or other information seekers. Each information object in the library thus serves as an info-concierge, connecting people to content, people to people, and content to another piece of content. ‘

The concept of concierge has an inherent notion of guarding in it, although the meaning he was keen to use was ‘the opening up’ or ‘letting through to’. Wikipedia (16 March 2008) says that: ‘a concierge is often expected to "achieve the impossible", dealing with any request a guest may have, no matter how strange, relying on an extensive list of personal contacts with various local merchants and service providers.’ I liked this information source concept and it certainly fits with what he writes:

‘An information object, as an info-concierge, connects through various means. These include:
(1) simple hyperlinks within an article [an information object]
(2) putting own content on different platforms [information objects that presents information in a different context] for discovery
(3) ‘push’ information to suggestion for exploration of other related categories of Resources’[1]

The ELIS Pathfinder on Country Information could be seen as an example:

· Hyperlinks point to other sites of country information Content to content
· If this was linked to one of the exporter blogs where the country information has been discussed then this would be Content to People linking
· If within the blog exporters had been commenting on the usefulness of the information in the Pathfinder then this would be People to People linking
· If those exporters then pushed or suggested another information source or website then would be People to content

His implication was of course that the librarian and information professional should be exploiting this ‘info-concierge’ role of information objects.
[1] Foo, Schubert, (2008) paper from VALA Conference, p.16


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

MarketLine database

Are there professionals working in International Trade Library and Information Services who use this product? What do you think of it? What do your clients think of it?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

LIS for trade professionals

It is quite surprising that large organisations which are either promoting international trade or educating for international trade don't appear to provide a library and information service to their clients. I visited Melbourne in February 2008 and hoped that I might be able to visit the local office of Austrade. I was not able to as there is no office in Melbourne. The World Trade Centre in Melbourne didn't have a library and information service either. I hope that through this blog those of us who are involved in this specialist area will be able to share ideas, thoughts and tips on how they serve their clients in the area of international trade.