Digital media and libraries of the future?

ebook reader

A few recently published articles about the role of digital media in the library that you might find interesting…

Welcome to the library. Say goodbye to the books

Boston Globe, by David Abel.

A private preparatory school in New England  has done away with it’s collection of  more than 200,000 printed books in one of its campus libraries, in order to implement a digital learning centre (ie. library) that contains no printed material whatsoever.  Scary? Just a little.  The way of the future? Maybe not yet..

This Could Be the Year of E-Textbooks, if Students Accept Them

The Chronicle of Higher Education, By Jeffrey R. Young

Discusses the pros and cons of e-textbooks, and whether they’re really set to replace the printed text.  The Arizona State University is participating in a  e-textbook experiment supported by Amazon, using the Kindle e-book reader, and the results to date have been mixed.

The future of libraries, with or without books

CNN, by John D. Sutter.

A  fairly general  article about different initiatives being undertaken by public libraries in the U.S.,  and how the role of the library (and the librarian!) is changing in the face of new technologies.  Hardly exhaustive, but it’s an interesting starting point for discussions about digital medias in the library.

The image of the ebook reader above is from Flickr creative commons.

Man Booker Prize Shortlist announced!

[Drumroll please] … and the shortlisted titles for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2009 are:

A S Byatt The Children’s Book (Random House, Chatto and Windus)
J M Coetzee Summertime (Random House, Harvill Secker)
Adam Foulds The Quickening Maze (Random House, Jonathan Cape)
Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall (HarperCollins, Fourth Estate)
Simon Mawer The Glass Room (Little, Brown)
Sarah Waters The Little Stranger (Little, Brown, Virago)

Click on the title links above for plot synopsis and author bios, or see the official Man Booker Prize website for more details.

SCIS staff out and about this month!

NZ Lake Paringa between 1923-1929

SCIS staff will be visiting the land of the long white cloud and also travelling to Adelaide this month for  conferences held by the New Zealand Aotearoa and South Australian school library  associations respectively.

SCIS manager Leonie Bourke will be in Adelaide next Monday to give an update on new features in SCIS to attendees of the SLASA Library Support Staff conference in Adelaide, as well providing an introduction to The Learning Federation’s digital resource bank, Scootle, and discussing how best to integrate it with other library resources.

Leonie will also be giving a talk on how the Schools Online Thesaurus (ScOT) supports resource discovery in Scootle at the SLANZA conference in Christchuch between the 28th and 30th of September.

SCIS will also be represented at the SLANZA conference by New Zealand cataloguer, Bruce Moir, formerly employed by the National Library of New Zealand as a Library Advisor, who will be giving a seminar on using successful cataloguing in schools and using SCIS, and SCIS director of marketing Tricia Nathan will be giving a seminar on making the most of SCIS in your school library, as well as running SCIS training workshops in Auckland on the 24th of September.

The image above is a panoramic shot of Lake Paringa, on the West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand, taken some time between 1923 and 1918, and can be found as part of the National Library of New Zealand’s photostream on Flickr.

Indigenous Literacy Day, Wednesday September 2 2009

David UnaiponThe Indigenous Literacy Project (ILP) is a partnership between the Australian Book Industry and The Fred Hollows Foundation to supply schools, libraries, early learning centres such as crèches, women’s centres and other identified institutions with relevant books and other culturally appropriate learning materials.

Indigenous Literacy Day is the annual  major fund-raising event for the ILP and  aims to help raise urgently needed funds to address the literacy crisis in remote Indigenous communities.  For information about how your school can support Indigenous Literacy Day go to the schools page of the Indigenous Literacy Project at

The image for this post is of  David Unaipon (1872-1967), the first Australian Aboriginal writer to have a book published in Australia. From the photographic collections of the State Library of New South Wales:

For those of you wondering about RDA and SCIS…


As you may be aware, initial testing of RDA is to be undertaken by the U.S. National Libraries (The Library of Congress (LC); the National Library of Medicine (NLM); and the National Agricultural Library (NAL)).  The testing period was due to begin in July this year after the release of the online version of RDA and was projected to take approximately nine months.  However, there been have unforeseen delays in releasing RDA and so testing has not yet commenced.

At this stage SCIS (along with other national agencies) is still awaiting the outcome of the U.S. testing. We’re also closely monitoring the implementation plans of the national libraries including the National Library of Australia. Naturally before committing to a course of action regarding RDA, SCIS will need to consider the impact of any such changes on our users very carefully, and will also need to confer with library system vendors to ensure that any changes will be supported by school systems.  If you’re worried about RDA affecting the library records you download from SCIS, please don’t be – we won’t be making any changes until we are certain that our users will be able to support the new standard!

Those of you interested in undertaking a bit more research on RDA’s development and implementation might find the following sites interesting: – Created by the  joint steering committee for the development of RDA, this page contains background information and FAQs about the and projected implementation of RDA. – The National Library of Australia’s RDA information page contains information about the projected implementation of RDA by the National Library, as well as links to some interesting presentations on RDA and the conceptual models on which it has been based. – The Library of Congress’s RDA testing page gives information about progression and methodologies of the testing being undertaken by the U.S. National libraries.

The gorgeous image I used for this post is of a book fair on the Thames, and is by Jasoon, whose images on Flickr Creative Commons  can be viewed at:
/ CC BY 2.0

Share your tips for student blogging at the Edublogger

Those of you who have Edublog accounts are probably very familiar with this excellent blog set up by  the team at Edublogs and edited by tertiary educator and passionate blogger Sue Waters – and for those  of you who are considering dipping your tootsies into the blogging waters it’s an excellent source of tips, tricks and links to information on how to go about setting up your own Edublog.

At the moment the Edublogger is running a competition to see who can post the most useful advice on using blogs with their students – and giving away sixteen Edublogs supporter 12 month subscriptions as an incentive for you to contribute your wee mite of advice for the masses!  Those of you are considering how best to implement web2.0 technologies in your libraries and classrooms should also stay tuned to see some of the great ideas that come out of this competition.

For more information see:

Fiction Focus at

Teacher librarians might find this fantastic blog created by the CMIS staff at the Department of Education and Training in WA to be a useful source of regular fiction news and reviews.  Recent posts include the World Fantasy Awards nominations for which fabulous Australian picture book author Shaun Tan has picked up 2 nominations.

Follow them on Twitter at: