Monday, 4 February 2008

Melbourne - Day One - pre VALA

My ongoing love affair with Melbourne continues unabated. I arrived here last night from Auckland. I'm here with John Truesdale the Director of the New Zealand National Library Digital Library.

Adjunct Director
If you recall last year I was offered a more formal relationship with the NZ National Library, and am now an Adjunct Director to the newly formed Digital Library , with the brief to work with John and his team pushing forward the new directions of the next generation library strategy for the New Zealand National Library.

I'm there a set number of days a year. Last week I spent the morning in a session with the digital services team. There were some really impressive people in the room: better still, there was a palpable energy which quickly surfaced and engaged with the critical issues of all collection based institutions - how to safegaurd the treasures, maintain the contract of responsibility with the doner, and engage with the new world of digital co-creation. In short, it's a brilliant space to be in, especially right now.

I have never been to VALA. I've also never done the blogging thing from a conference, so I'm hoping to change that this week. The programme is here.

The sessions I am interested in are - who would have thought - re-imagining the library space to encompass 21st century digital literacies, and that naturally includes how user generated content frameworks and web 2.0 methodologies can be taken forward from their current doldrums.

Web 2.0 doldrums
By that I mean I'm more and more conscious that some organisations are a bit stuck in phase I of the web 2.0 space - i.e. putting up organisational blogs - planning some collection tagging possibilities, and maybe, for the brave, commissioning big federated search stategies and/or personalized pages for their customers.

There is nothing wrong with all this. Far from it. All of it is to be encouraged. However, like others, I think more bravery is required. We need to think harder about the issues and opportunities and for sure the problems] involved in building compelling digital places to match the benchmark physical places [qv last post on Queensland State Library] that are emerging inside our big state, national, and local libraries.

There is plenty on offer in the VALA programme that fits this agenda. So it should be fun.

Meanwhile Melbourne calls - I have a day to play truant - and a whole bunch of some of the best institutions in Australasia to go playing truant in - so here we go!

Barbican Cafe - Centre Place - Off Flinders Lane
I am currently blogging this in the Barbican, one of the lovely cafes in Center Place, off Flinders Lane - the breakfast is due any minute, the coffee is just fab, and the wifi connection seems to be free? What more could a Scotsman want.

More later.


Unknown said...

As a fellow Scotsman now living in Melbourne who married a kiwi lass frae Dunedin, Can I say Ki ora.
I hope you find lots of lovely cafe's and great food places, we love it here. Unfortunately I cannot attend VALA this year as I'm needed at the coalface in the ARROW project. I look forward to reading more of your posts from the conference.

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