Digital librarianship: the life of a systems librarian

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In this presentation for the BIALL, SLA Europe, CLSIG Graduate Open Day 2014, I discuss the growing field of 'digital librarianship' and discuss the everyday work of a systems librarian at a major academic library. The main focus of the presentation is the technology ethics and values of digital librarians and how these are impacted by open-source software, open access, and user focus.

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Digital librarianship: the life of a systems librarian

  1. 1. BIALL | SLA Europe | CLSIG Graduate Open Day Digital librarianship Simon Barron Systems Librarian – Senate House Library @SimonXIX
  2. 2. “Human beings now produce more than five exabytes worth of recorded information per year: documents, e-mail messages, television shows, radio broadcasts, Web pages, medical records, spreadsheets, presentations, and books…” Wright, A., 2007. Glut: mastering information through the ages. London: Cornell University Press, p. 6.
  3. 3. 5,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes 5,000,000,000,000 megabytes or
  4. 4. Hilbert, M., and López, P. (2011) The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information. Science, 332 (60).
  5. 5. Hilbert, M., and López, P. (2011) The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information. Science, 332 (60).
  6. 6. “Human beings now produce more than five exabytes worth of recorded information per year: documents, e-mail messages, television shows, radio broadcasts, Web pages, medical records, spreadsheets, presentations, and books…” Wright, A., 2007. Glut: mastering information through the ages. London: Cornell University Press, p. 6.
  7. 7. Hilbert, M., and López, P. (2011) The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information. Science, 332 (60).
  8. 8. Mathews, J. M., & Pardue, H. (2009) The Presence of IT Skill Sets in Librarian Position Announcements. College & research libraries, 70 (3). 72% of job ads contained at least one IT skill. From ALA’s online JobList over five months: 38% referred to a requirement for Web development skills. 57% of those required at least one more. Four ads required programming languages.
  9. 9. Mathews, J. M., & Pardue, H. (2009) The Presence of IT Skill Sets in Librarian Position Announcements. College & research libraries, 70 (3). “…significant inter-section between the skill sets of librarians and the skill sets of IT professionals.”
  10. 10. 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.
  11. 11. Nemeth, E., at al., 2007. Linux administration handbook. Second edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education. Essential tasks of the system administrator: Adding, removing, and managing user accounts Adding and removing hardware Performing backups Installing and upgrading software Monitoring the system Troubleshooting Maintaining local documentation Vigilantly monitoring securityHelping users
  12. 12. “…there is little to no evidence about the consideration of user needs and perspectives in the literature about the development of the early Online Public Access Catalogues (OPACS).” Christensen, A., 2013. ‘Next-generation catalogues: what do users think?’ In: Chambers, S., ed., 2013. Catalogue 2.0: the future of the library catalogue. London: Facet Publishing, p. 2.
  13. 13. Simon’s remarks do not reflect the views of either Senate House Library or the University of London. Though they really should. DISCLAIMER:
  14. 14. Doctorow, C., 2010. ‘Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either).’ Boing Boing, 2 April 2010. Available at http://boingboing.net/2010/04/02/why-i-wont- buy-an-ipad-and-think-yo.html. “…if you can’t open it, you don’t own it.”
  15. 15. The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0). The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2). The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this. The GNU four freedoms From: http://www.gnu.org/phi losophy/free-sw.html
  16. 16. lol my thesis, 6 March 2013. Available at: http://lolmythesis.com/post/78809120074/make-shit-easy-to-find
  17. 17. Chambers, S., ed., 2013. Catalogue 2.0: the future of the library catalogue. London: Facet Publishing. Christensen, A., 2013. ‘Next-generation catalogues: what do users think?’ In: Chambers, S., ed., 2013. Catalogue 2.0: the future of the library catalogue. London: Facet Publishing, pp. 1-15. Doctorow, C., 2008. Little brother. Available at http://craphound.com/littlebrother/download/ Doctorow, C., 2010. ‘Why I won't buy an iPad (and think you shouldn't, either).’ Boing Boing, 2 April 2010. Available at http://boingboing.net/2010/04/02/why-i- wont-buy-an-ipad-and-think-yo.html. Hilbert, M., and López, P., 2011. ‘The World’s Technological Capacity to Store, Communicate, and Compute Information.’ Science, 332 (60). References Mathews, J. M., & Pardue, H., 2009. ‘The Presence of IT Skill Sets in Librarian Position Announcements.’ College & research libraries, 70 (3). Nemeth, E., at al., 2007. Linux administration handbook. Second edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education. Wright, A., 2007. Glut: mastering information through the ages. London: Cornell University Press.
  18. 18. ‘Happy Binary Day’ by Flickr user: EJP Photo. 'dvds' by morgueFile user: hotblack. ‘Rise of the digital information age’ infographic from The Washington Post. ‘Newcastle City Library – Self Issue’ by Flickr user: ricaird. ‘iRiver Story eBook Reader Review’ by Flickr user: Andrew Mason. ‘Samsung Galaxy S3 – white, tilted’ by Flickr user: o2 in Deutschland. All images licensed under Creative Commons licenses 'Untitled' by Flickr user: naught_facility. Ranganathan portrait from Wikimedia Commons. Evil Windows 95 from Neil Cicierega, http://windows95tips.com 'Day 174: Amazing Push-Button Shushing Action!' by Flickr user: Laura Taylor. ‘exclamation mark’ by Flickr user: Leo Reynolds. ‘Fixing the big apple’ by Flickr user: kylethale. ‘Lock’ by Flickr usre: walknboston. Various screenshots from Simon Barron, Senate House Libraries. Kuali OLE screenshots from a presentation by Andrew Preater, Senate House Libraries. ‘Paper Sheets 3’ by Flickr user: dantaylr. ‘Polaroid Land Camera 1000 & Q- Light electronic flash (front)’ by Flickr user: Timmy Toucan.

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