Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Saving our farms and our Documentary evidence

Last Saturday the Dominion Post newspaper and others published this full page advertisement from the Save the Farms group.  The issue of foreign ownership is big in New Zealand right at the moment.

At the moment our largest export commodity depends on farms, and therefore it is an issue for exporters and international trade since foreign owners may not wish to continue to use the land in the same way.  The big question is do we want to protect our golden goose and keep the proceeds in NZ. 

But there is also the issue for information specialists of how do we in the future find the documentary evidence within our media - is it likely that this particular advertisement will be indexed?  What are we doing about this?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Another Conference - FREE!

The 3rd International Koha Conference is being held in Wellington, New Zealand from Monday 25th October to Wednesday 27th October.  And like the software it is FREE - can you believe it?

If you are not familiar with Koha, the New Zealand School of Export uses this software for its catalogue - ELIScat: http://ets.kohalibrary.com/ and so do hundreds of other libraries around the world.
The conference speakers are also from around the world: UK, France, Nigeria, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand.   You can find the full programme here:
http://www.kohacon10.org.nz/2010/program/day1.html and registration is now open.  The Conference Organiser is Chris Cormack who works for Catalyst IT in Wellington.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

LIANZA Centennial Conference

At the Edge -- Te Matakāheru
LIANZA Centennial Conference
28 Nov – 1 Dec 2010
Dunedin, New Zealand

 The Conference Programme, the Conference Registration Brochure, and the online registration form are available on the Conference website – http://www.conference.co.nz/index.cfm/Lianza10 or at http://lianza.org.nz/ (click on the Conference logo).

The Centennial Conference theme is ‘At the Edge - Te Matakāheru’. This allows us the freedom to celebrate the many aspects of librarianship including history, innovation, space, integration and people. Matakāheru is the face of a Maori digging tool and the term is used figuratively in much the same way as the English ‘cutting edge’, particularly in relation to knowledge.

One hundred years ago the Libraries Association of New Zealand was formed. The Centennial Conference celebrates both our history and looks forward to the profession forever being at the [cutting] edge of the developing information landscape.
I have copied the above information from advertising for the LIANZA Centennial Conference but I did want to add a personal note.   I was a member of the Otago-Southland Branch of LIANZA (or NZLA as it was then), in the 1970s and 80s. Through that membership I became familiar with people such as Ada Fache, Dorothy Ballantyne, Mary Ronnie and Jock McEldowney.   All of them contributed so much to librarianship in Dunedin and in New Zealand.  I gave my first ever conference presentation at a LIANZA conference in Dunedin - on collecting posters in libraries.  My focus was of course on the Hocken Library collection which is where I was working at that time.  Michael Hitchings, who died earlier this year, was so encouraging and supportive of my efforts.  This paper was later published in New Zealand Libraries. 
 I am sure the Centennial Conference will be a superb event for everyone.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tātarihia tō Reo Pākihi - Assess your business reo - Kōrero Māori

Tātarihia tō Reo Pākihi - Assess your business reo - Kōrero Māori

If staff at your company or organization have asked about resources for Maori Language Week - here is one place you can recommend from the Maori Language Commission website. You can also try this quiz from Stuff:

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Adult Learners Week 6-12th September 2010

Adult Community Education Aotearoa

The Week is a UNESCO initiative to celebrate adult learners.
It also incorporates International Literacy Day, Wednesday September 8 2009. Exporters studying any aspect of international trade are of course adult earners par excellence and thus to be celebrated during this week.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Time to Celebrate

The Catalogue of the New Zealand School of Export has reached a milestone - it now has over 1000 catalogued items! This is a significant achievement, not only because each of these items has been manually described, but because each has been selected for what it can contribute to the international trade community and of course to the work of the School.

Over 10% of all the items in the Catalogue are digital resources: pdfs, html, php, or websites which are immediately available to the user's desktop. We hope that this proportion will grow as time goes on.

Besides being a unique collection, the thesauri used to describe the items are also different and a different combination. We have used the International Trade Center's Thesaurus of International Trade Terms and where a resource focuses on a Maori aspect of trade we have used the Maori Subject Headings which are hosted by the National Library of New Zealand.

All of which is a real cause for celebration with some export quality New Zealand beverage!!!

Do take a look at our Catalogue http://ets.kohalibrary.com/ and if you want to see how a Maori suubject heading has been used - try "tauhokohoko"

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Five Principles of Trade Librarianship

Looking back to the previous post, I see that there seems to be a very philosophical trend emerging! It was clearing out a folder of filed photocopies and course notes that uncovered Maurice Line's five laws of librarianship which lead me to thinking... So here are my five principles with a short intro:

Various notable librarians have set forth laws of librarianship: Ranganathan 1931, Line 1996, Gorman 1998, and in 2008 librarian Carol Simpson recommended that editing be done to Ranganathan's law because of the current richness of media available within libraries.

Ranganathan’s original five laws were:
1. Books are for use
2. Every reader his or her book
3. Every book its reader
4. Save the time of the reader
5. The library is a growing organism

Simpson suggested the following variations:

1.Media are for use.
2.Every patron his information.
3.Every medium its user.
4.Save the time of the patron.
5.The library is a growing organism.

Recently I re-read Line’s five laws of librarianship in The Library Association Record 98 (3) March 1996, and decided that it would be useful to enumerate some principles for the very specialised section of librarianship which I call ‘trade librarianship’. I use the abbreviation LIP here to mean a “Library and Information Professional”.

Principle 1
The LIP will serve the organisation in which he/she is working by the provision of a wide range of evaluated, high quality resources in whatever format is most appropriate. This may be through a digital information portal for example such as the one we call ELIS on the website of the New Zealand School of Export: http://www.export.ac.nz/library.html.

Principle 2
The resources will for the most part be digital in nature and available to the desktop. The LIP will ensure that appropriate help in using various media is available to all clients, and that the principles of information literacy are integrated into each transaction.

Principle 3
The LIP will use traditional methods such as subject headings in the catalogue and recently developed social networking tools, such as blogs, Twitter and facebook, to make links between related pieces of information and between information and users.

Principle 4
The LIP will be committed to his/her organisation’s ethos and will play a full part in achieving its goals while also ensuring that information sources used, and knowledge disseminated retain balance and integrity.

Principle 5
The most immediate focus for the LIP will be the provision of accurate and timely information that meets the needs of usersw. However he/she may also need to store and promote the preservation of information and knowledge produced by their organisation, through archiving, knowledge management and transfer.

What do you think? Any need for principles 6 or 7 or...?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Strands of international trade information

This photo taken by James Siddle is of some living weaving. It is harakeke or flax found near Paritutu, New Plymouth, and is still on the plant.

This reminded me of all the strands of information that might be needed to answer a query within our organisations. To fulfil the need for information on exporting to a new market for example, we may need to gather cultural and 'doing business in' information, phytosanitary guidelines, competitor lists and so on.

It is also information that needs to be refreshed and updated or 'kept alive' for the time of the project.

Appropriately Paritutu is a volcanic rock which is located near Port Taranaki, New Plymouth - a port with a lively international trade.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bibliotheca Alexandrina || The Library of Alexandria

Photo: Plaza of Bibilotheca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt.  Bibliotheca Alexandrina 24 Sept. 2007 Creative Commons image.
The BA or Library of Alexandrina http://www.bibalex.org/home/ built in 2002 and is regarded as an attempt to rekindle of the brilliance of the ancient Library which was partially destroyed in 48 BC and completely destroyed by the the 6th century AD.  From the photographs it appears to be a stunning building, and although it does not have a dedicated trade libary or collection, I thought it was worth posting about.
Wikipedia suggests that it will never be funded properly and will always be subject to censorship.  Certainly the trade resources seem a little dated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibliotheca_Alexandrina
It has four objectives and aspires to be:
  • The world's window on Egypt
  • Egypt's window on the world
  • A leading institution of the digital age
  • A centre for learning, tolerance, dialogue and understanding
In accordance with the third of these objectives the BA has developed a Digital Assets Repository (DAR) to create and miantain the Library's digital collections.   There are over 115,000 books available through the DAR.  These include 178 titles in Arabic on 'foreign trade'.
Tomorrow the BA will host a conference entitled: The Legal and Economic Aspects of the Development of Seaborne Trade in the Euro-Med Region.  This is being held on the occasion of the establishment of the Free Trade Area for Euro-Med based on the Barcelona Process and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP).

PS.   There is a tribute to Paul Reynolds  on the Exportersblog posted yesterday: http://exportersblog.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 21, 2010

Mineral export index

Can any information specialist out there help with finding a "Mineral export index"?   There are lots of energy indexes but a search hasn't produced a mineral export index.  Any ideas?

And BTW following on from the Quiz post, here's a question for you?

Q. What is  the world’s largest harbour for supplying coal?

A. selaW htouS ni tsaoc tsae eht no eltsacsweN troP s’ailartsuA

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's in a name?

Obviously plenty when it's 'trade'.   The word dates from the 14th century and it came from the Old English tredan = to tread.   It is a little like the Old High German trata meaning track or course.
There are so many uses of the word trade or trades:
  • the rag trade meaning the clothing industry
  • terms of trade as in the ratio of the prices a country pays for its imports to the prices it receives for its exports
  • 'vast crude finds excite oil trade' - presumably all the people involved; drillers, venture capitalists, oil companies etc.
  • international trade - the selling and buying of goods across national borders
  • trades - used on the stock exchange
  • a trade as in bricklaying
  • trade wind - one of the prevailing winds which facilitated the passage of ships carrying goods for trading.
There are almost certainly lots more with slightly different shade of meaning, and you can see that some have a core of that original meaning.  For example when you choose a trade like bricklaying, you choose a path for your immediate employment future.  Or even in 'international trade' there is a track to follow conforming to the rules, Incoterms and so on.

Just thought I would share with you some of my random thoughts...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Country Quizzes

Ever needed country quizzes for your colleagues as an activity at a Professional development session? Or even for a party?  Go no further than this page on the New Zealand School of Export website:


It is being added to each week or fortnight and eventually will be a compendium of Quizzes, or a Quire of Quizzes!   The latest quiz is on Greece - very topical given Greece's current woes.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Industrious Kiwis: Archives and Industry

Records and Archives Week May 1-7, 2010

This is the stunning poster that has been produced for RAW 2010.  You can look at it by going to: http://www.aranz.org.nz/Site/events/RAW.aspx

The theme for RAW 2010 is archives and records of industry. New Zealanders are renowned for our ingenuity and clever ideas (our No.8 wire mentality). Archives and records are an important means of preserving our history of industry, innovation, trade, enterprise, research, science, technology and economic development. This is particularly relevant in the current economic state in helping us to reflect on our history of enterprise and ingenuity.

The organisers have suggested that these themes are considered:

  • Retaining our archives and records of industry is important to our economic and social history.
  • The economic development of New Zealand has been based on our primary industries, such as agriculture and horticulture.
  • Our sense of pride and national identity is linked to industry; from the first export of frozen meat from Port Chalmers in 1882 to the Lord of the Rings film trilogy in 2001-2003
  • The industries that New Zealand is engaged in is widening and changing from predominantly primary industries into more secondary industries.
  • We need to be aware of the risk to these records that may be lost to future generations if these records are not retained
Exporting companies - of both merchandise and services are vital to this country.  This is a week when you might think about where your archives are, how they are being preserved and whether you should be asking for help from your local library or archival repository.   As you can see from the poster, photographs are so important as a record of what has happened in our international trade history.  Perhaps you have photos from when you went on a Trade Mission, or when you received an export award.  Or maybe you still have design materials from when you were developing your marketing for your overseas markets.  Better still do have the packages or containers?   All these are a very important part of our heritage and exporting companies are a part of that.

Company archives and records - THINK and ACT this week - 1-7 May 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Expo 2010 Shanghai - NEW Pathfinder

Looking for material on Expo 2010 - here is a short guide/pathfinder for you and your colleagues.   I would have liked to use the logo of the Expo which now starts in 9 days but haven't had any joy from the Expo people about using it!!

Click on the title to go to the Pathfinder.

TraLIS will be harvested in May

The National Library of New Zealand will be running its second harvest of the New Zealand internet from May 12th to 25th. As the National Library exists to preserve New Zealand's social and cultural history, this includes the Web. All internet sites with the .nz country code will be harvested. Other sites and blogs which have New Zealand content but which don't have the .nz code have to be nominated. Accordingly I have nominated this blog to be included.

The Library estimates that 130-140 million URLs will be captured. Click on the title to see more on the Web Harvest from the National Library website.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beehive - Groser Welcomes Release of ACTA Negotiating Text

Beehive - Groser Welcomes Release of ACTA Negotiating Text

The text of the ACTA negotiations will be released tomorrow in the US Eastern STandard time.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Wellington Declaration

The Wellington Declaration which has arisen out of the PublicACTA Conference held on 10 April 2010, makes some important points for the business or international trade librarian/information specialist.  For example it says and I quote one only:

We recognise that the Internet has enabled creativity and innovation, the sharing of knowledge, citizen engagement and democracy, and is an engine of economic growth and opportunity.

Brenda Chawner has alerted the New Zealand library community to the Declaration on nz-libs and this morning LIANZA  has issued this statement:

LIANZA supports Wellington Declaration regarding trade agreement on copyright

LIANZA, the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa / Te Rau Herenga o Aotearoa, supports the points made in the Wellington Declaration (http://publicacta.org.nz/wellington-declaration/ ), which is addressed to the parties negotiating ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, meeting in Wellington this week.

LIANZA firmly believes that one of the principal purposes of copyright law is to encourage the dissemination and sharing of information, and is strongly opposed to any measures which inhibit these.

ACTA is a trade agreement being negotiated in secret.  LIANZA considers that any agreement relating to intellectual property should be negotiated openly and transparently, so that all potential stakeholders have input to the process. 

The Internet has become a vital tool for communication and dissemination of knowledge, and LIANZA believes that any measures, such as peremptory disconnection as envisaged in the now-abandoned section 92A of the New Zealand Copyright Act, that have potential to damage the open principles of the Internet should be avoided.

LIANZA also considers it is essential that exceptions currently included in copyright law, such as copying for research or private study, fair dealing, copying for educational purposes, and copying by libraries for library users and the users of other libraries, must be retained.

These and other exceptions are vital in maintaining an appropriate balance between encouraging creativity and protecting the rights of authors, publishers and other creators of literary, musical and artistic works, and providing for the needs of society to benefit from and make use of the ideas and knowledge incorporated within publications and other artistic works.   Maintenance of this balance is fundamental to good copyright law.

We recently had Richard Stallman in New Zealand and I posted about his talk in Levin (see below)

Op-Chart - How Green Is My iPad? - NYTimes.com

Op-Chart - How Green Is My iPad? - NYTimes.com

Here's a slant on iPads from the New York Times which I picked up off the nz-libs list.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Smartphones again - Love at First Touch

Ever since I attended the m-libraries workshop in January, I have been mulling over the potential benefits of a smartphone.   The December quarter issue of Exporter Magazine p.13 has an article by Mary McKinven in which she gets some feedback from users on the Blackberry versus the iPhone.  New Zealand Trade Minister Tim Groser uses a Blackberry!

Two of her key points were:
  • the iPhone is simple to use and is like a personal assistant
  • the Blackberry fits nicely into a suit jacket pocket
Well since then we have had the launch of iPad which from what i can gather it does not fit into a suit jacket pocket.   Has any one out there who reads this blog, bought an iPad?  Care to share your thoughts?   They  aren't available in New Zealand yet so any advice on how you are using your iPad, and how you are finding it  would be great.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Internet in New Zealand 2009

The World Internet Project New Zealand Team has published its reports on The Internet in New Zealand 2009.   You can find the full report and an Executive Summary at the AUT website:


As most of us are aware from the what is happening in our information services, the Internet is rated very highly as an information source.  In this report the Internet comes out on top as the most important information source in New Zealand in 2009:  65% rated the internet as important whereas libraries rated only 45% .  Libraries were less important than TVand newspapers.   I guess it highlights our role in making sure that the internet sources our clients use are the best!

The World site is to be found at: http://www.worldinternetproject.net/ so you can check reports for other countries.   It could be useful for the marketing department as well.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Export strategies

Export strategy documents are often hard to find especially on national governement websites.  Today I located one for a single industry: the Textile Industry in New Zealand. .  Therefore I thought it was worth sharing.   It includes a SWOT analysis and an implementation plan.  It doesn't include too many dates however and I can only conclude that because the website is current that the strategy is also current.

It is entitled Natural Fibre Export Strategy and you can find it at:


Your international trade department might find it useful!

By the way Happy Easter to all readers of this blog wherever you are!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Aokautere Park, Autumn 2010

Having posted a photo of fungi growing on a tree in the grounds of Aokautere Park outside the New Zealand School of Export in June 2008, I couldn't resist taking a photo of this one:

Different tree, different fungi and earlier in the year!   March 2010.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Joann Ransom - Congratulations

The American Library Association has honoured Joann Ransom of the Horowhenua Library Trust (New Zealand) as one of the Movers and Shakers for 2010. This is the first time a New Zealander has ever been nominated. Joann is the inspiration behind Kete Horowhenua, software which has been picked up and used by hundreds of libraries in New Zealand and around the world. For the full story go to The Library Journal.com at:


When I attended the VALA 2008 Conference Joann spoke about Kete and Kete Horowhenua.   It was very inspiring and it sparked in my mind the possibility of having an Export Kete, or an New Zealand Trade Kete.   There is so much information available about our export/import trade out there which needs to be brought together so that it can be used in the future.  When our exporters go into their markets they must have heaps of prepared resources and information about their products, photos of their company premises and factories - all of which could go into a Kete.  And then there are the interviews and reminiscences that could be recorded from exporters.

Hopefully some of this information is being kept in company archives and going into local and national repositories for safe-keeping.  

Not far from the School are the buildings which remain from the East Fitzherbert Dairy Factory located at the turnoff to the Pahiatua Track.   Perhaps that could be a starting point...

By the way the link to the Horowhenua Kete is: http://horowhenua.kete.net.nz/

Thursday, March 11, 2010

From Library Automation to Library 2.0...

Paul Sutherland's paper presented at VALA2010 is worth reading for anyone trying to come to terms with Web 2.0 and Library 2.0  in the international trade environmen, even although it foucuses on the experience that he has been a part of at the Christchurch (N.Z.) City Libraries.   Paul is the Digital Innovation Librarian at CCL and a frequent contributor to nzlibs.

If you were only to look at the ground rules for blogging on p.7 and the bullet-pointed strategy for Web 2.0 on p.17 it would be useful.

Here is the record from the New Zealand School of Export catalogue:

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Historical Trade Stats for New Zealand - BLUE Books

Yes this is a Blue Book - in fact the Blue Book for New Zealand for the year 1842.   Archives New Zealand have digitised the 23 books of national statistics for the period 1840-1855.   They are known as blue books because of the colour of their covers (most are blue!) and they contain statistical information including trade.  They take a while to download but be patient - they contain some fascinating handwritten information.

Photo: Archives New Zealand | Te Rua Mahara o te Kawanatanga

Monday, February 22, 2010


Has anybody out there use the resources on scribd.com?   A quick search on 'exporting' retrieved a lot of hits.   The first resource I looked at was on 'export finance' and was a student paper from an Indian tertiary institution.   But as well I located a recent World Bank publication on Mongolia.

This is the first time I have looked at it - the help screens and support appeared to be useful.  If you have used in your company or trade library please share your thoughts with us.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

m-learning Symposium

Professor Mohamed Ally.  Photo from Athabasca University website www.athabascau.ca

Professor Mohamed Ally’s symposium held at Massey University Library yesterday was really worthwile.   You will notice that the title has changed between posts and that now I have called it m-learning.   The Symposium highlighted the fact that the boundaries between m-libraries and m-learning are very blurred and that in effect m-libraries are really only the library that supports m-learning.   This blurring also seemed to obscure any divisions between the library and academia.
Professor Ally surveyed the developments from the e-words to the m-words: e-learning to m-learning, e-libraries to m-libraries, and e-training to m-training.  In the course of these sessions he covered some really notable and noteworthy areas: the ‘hole in the wall project’ in Mumbai run by Sugata Mitra, the Millenium Development Goals (which most other people have forgotten), the $100 laptop for developing countries and of course the way in which his own institution Athabasca University in Canada is moving into mobile delivery.

In developing mobile learning and preparing materials for mobile dissemination Professor Ally listed four requirements:

  • ·         Break your content into chunks (chunking information)
  • ·         Design material as learning objects with clear learning outcomes
  • ·         Share in repositories for easy access
  • ·         All learning objects should be meta-tagged for retrieval and re-use.

He also suggested that each piece=chunk should have no more than seven pieces of information, and that Advance organisers or summaries were vital.

For the exporter studying the course at the New Zealand School of Export, I could imagine him/her being able to search ELIS and downloading Sample Contracts at the point of need, checking country information, reading Module materials and completing activities specially designed for m-learning.   A great deal of food for thought!

In trying to come to grips with my own personal computer/cellphone needs/wants, the symposium clearly pointed the way forward to some kind of mobile device – smartphone.  By chance the Dominion Post’s Indulgence magazine iDom page today covers E-readers, Smartbooks and Nexus One.  Neither Nexus One nor dedicated e-readers are sold in NZ.  Next week it the iDom column will cover NZ iPhone applications.
Professor Ally has recently edited the following book: Mobile Learning: Transforming the Delivery of Education and Training published by AU press in March 2009.   It is available in e-book format and can be freely downloaded from this URL: http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120155   Professor Ally and Athabasca University have a policy of open access to information which they produce.

Monday, January 18, 2010

m-Libraries: Planning and Implementation

On Friday of this week I am attending a Symposium with the above title which features international speaker Professor Mohamed Ally, from Athabasca University in Canada.   There are three sessions in the Symposium which is being held at Massey University Library in Palmerston North and I am particularly interested in Keynote 2 presentation which plans to look at 'Effective practice with m-learning in tertiary and vocational education, trends, measures and remerging resources', to see whether it is something that can be incorporated into our programme here at the New Zealand School of Export.

Have any other trade librarians/information specialists had experience with m-learning which they could share on this blog?  It would be great to hear from you before January 22nd and before I post you with further thoughts after I have heard Prof Ally.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Design without Computers

Librarians and information specialists, including those in trade libraries and information centres, are often called upon to produce reports which need a well thought-out cover design, or to produce brochures and pamphlets to advertise services.   We don't usually have the services of computer design people to help with this and so fall back on our own resources!  This short pdf (5 pages) may give you some ideas or confirm the ideas and principles that you already work with.   Have a look at it on the Learning Connexion site: http://www.tlcstudents.ac.nz/onlinelearning/index.html  It is by Elidh McDowall.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Slow learner and Dashboard

I am a slow learner - have just come across Google Dashboard which was launched last year!   Found it when I was trolling through some of the many emails that I receive in nz-libs list.   If you haven't come across it before either - it brings together all the Google tools which you may have subscribed to.   If you are like me, you subscribe because you think better to do it now knowing that you won't do it later!!  Then of course your subscriptions are lost in the mists of time...   By logging into Dashboard you can see all the tools you have subscribed to, what activity has taken place and you do get the opportunity to change settings and the information you have provided.

For the busy trade librarian, this could be really useful.  For example if you had forgotten that you had set up alerts for "exports to Liberia"  and "illegal arms trade", checking your Google Alerts may be just what you need to refresh your alerts for 2010.

The Dashboard site does have a short video explaining what it does.  BTW you need your Google account and password

Thursday, January 7, 2010

11 Of The Coolest Bookcases (PHOTOS, POLL)

11 Of The Coolest Bookcases (PHOTOS, POLL)

If you would like to arrange your Trade Library Collection by colour and in an interesting bookcase, have a look at these photos! For growing collections I liked the Platzhalter...