Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Print on Demand for Out of Print Books

I was alerted by LISNews.Org about this "Amazon's print-on-demand division "BookSurge". It is not so much of the content of the story, it is not new, that I want to write here as I could foresee this happening in the industry. Obviously there is a good business case and model for this kind of thing and Amazon, if not Google, is big enough to sustain it.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Malaysian Libraries and Librarians: a state-of-the-art

Well the title above is meant to be a joke and not meant for anybody. When I was in college the phrase state-of-the-art had always been in whatever papers or articles that we read in fact even our own papers most of the times were titled with ‘state-of-the-art’ as on component. If my friends reading this I am very sure they would be smiling. Joking aside what I am going to share would probably have some truth to it when you look closely to the state of our profession in Malaysia. My observations are derived from two things that I was part of not too long ago.

The first event was the gathering of local librarians under the ‘skim gunasama’ Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia and the second was the launching of the Perpunet Portal at MMU. The main issue in the first event was still basic which was more or less how to provide more innovative services in the wake of the challenges that are facing us. Why I say basic because the issues raised as well as the questions asked were basic questions how to be get buy-in from the management, how to provide better services, how to utilize the technology that they have, how to be proactive and to look beyond the obvious. It is still very much a mentality issue to me. In between complacent and not confident lies certain degree of incompetence as well.

In the second event I witnessed that we are ready to move ahead and willing to take the risk more. The majority it seems understands what we need to do and I just hope we can stay focus a bit more. However, my colleague sitting next to me mentioned to me on his experience during one KM local conference recently. He said the kind of questions asked during the conference were so basic similar to questions that I explained when I started out on this KM journey 10 years ago. It is sad but that’s the reality and after all the conferences it is still remain the same. Something is wrong somewhere and I hope somebody in relevant places would do something about it. As for me, frankly, I am already tired talking and speaking about it. Thinking aloud however I could not ignore it and although I am more on a doing mode now I still need to do some talking still.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Immersive Learning Environment

I was really tempted to apply when I read this piece . But then again why not we do the same here in Malaysia?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

A library should be a Living Organism

A library should be a Living Organism

In another new development the Palm Beach Atlantic University library 'will have a cafe, an outdoor patio, more than twice the number of books, and 653 study spots, up from 115. Students will be encouraged to take their coffee and pastries throughout the library, apparently an important perk for collegians. '

Findley, who is designing the library said. "A library should not be a rusty, rigid and boring place. It should be a living organism."

The impact on us is we have to embrace continuous change.

Public Libraries Going Private

Public Libraries Going Private

Very interesting development from the US concerning the privatization of public library. Do you think we can do this here? What is interesting about this is that they have bidders/proposals from their current outsource service providers already. Below are the reasons that gave.

  • Private management brings solid corporate business thinking to the table. That means working hard to find the most efficient way to do things. It means looking for innovation and finding ways to get more productivity out of existing resources. It means knowing how to get the most out of every dollar spent. Corporations know how to do this.

  • LSSI brings significant library management experience to the table. It already operates four public libraries in Tennessee and about 50 nationwide. It operates some very large public library systems such as in Riverside County, Calif. It also does work for the Library of Congress and for the Smithsonian Institution.

  • Corporate management of the library will bring new resources to the library. LSSI has a nationally known advisory board including some of the top library officials and library science educators in the country. These resources will be at our disposal.

  • Successful corporations know how to manage change. Change is difficult, but those who don't change with the times fall behind.

  • A private management contract would be performance based. Benchmarks and performance standards would be set by the board and agreed to by the contractor. If the goals are not met, a management change could again be made. LSSI has an outstanding record of meeting its performance goals for the public libraries it manages.

  • The LSSI proposal is reasonable and includes taking quick action to open a North Jackson branch, something that has only been talked about for too many years.

  • Corporations understand the concept of living within their means. LSSI has been successful at finding new non-taxpayer sources of revenue in other libraries it manages

What I am interested to find out is their business model.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Librarian's Blogs

In the recent CONSAL in Manila a Filipino Librarian presented a paper on Blogging 101 for Librarians. The librarian cited few well known examples out of the US but what surprise almost nothing form this region. Well, it could be there are somewhere but not traceable or we do not blog down here. Is that means we do not write as well? I dreaded to ask ‘do we read’? Do not get me wrong I am not celebrating technology for the sake of it but it si the issue that we are always late at embracing technology to be an effective part of our daily being. Technorati is tracking around 3.3 million blogs now and although most of them a personal opinions a lot of these personal opinions are opinions that matter. Simply because these blogs are written by prominent people in their field. Blogs are no doubt a good reference sources now. I love to see a lot more of us to start to blog. One interesting blog by a librarian, he said he is, that I have discovered is Munmon’s Stories as I see it. Having a blog doesn’t mean that you have to update or write everyday. Once a week will do and it would be meaningful if you write something more pertinent. Of course some of you are blogging already but hiding under different names. Come out!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Information Sharing through Blogging

I am quite disappointed that almost nobody blog the recent CONSAL XIII. Is this means that not many librarians blog in this region. The reason I am disappointed is the fact that not many people could be in Manila and blog is one of the best way to make us ‘attend’ the conference. Sort of extended conference. So many people are doing it now at various conferences. The other best part is of course someone could comment on what presented immediately and also could seek feedback from their colleagues or anybody else online. Probably technically it was not feasible to do but a few hours late should be ok as well.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

More on social software

The cover story Putting The We in the Web in the latest Newsweek is a nice read to explain what I have written about social software before. Again to me in the end the question is how can we make these tools relevant and useful for our organization and us? We can look at them from two perspectives, firstly, as tools to enhance capability and capacity among us and secondly enablers to enhance our services my incorporating them as part of our service to value add our offering. If you want to discover what other libraries in the west have done with these technologies. Read the latest blog written by Sarah Houghton commenting on a paper presented at PLA 2006 conference Community Building On Your Website: Library Blogs and RSS Feeds There are several examples mentioned that could trigger us to think of something new for our users.