Two days ago I received a pleasant surprise: IFLA’s Professional Committee (PC) has started its own blog site.
Picture: informal gathering of Finnish library activists (2010)
In Helsinki many people expressed an active interest in strengthening the flow of information and communication back and forth among us all. Anna Maria Tammaro proposed a working group to encourage dialogue about communication issues during the next few weeks.
The new IFLADIAL group has just posted an opening statement (English, Spanish) on the web and invites participation through different channels. The discussion will be linked through the use of a shared hashtag (#ifladial). We plan a proposal for the next PC meeting, in December.
The IFLA conference in Helsinki demonstrated that communication patterns on the web are changing. Ordinary blogging is strongly down – compared with earlier conferences, while twittering is way up.
Less than fifty blog posts (with the wlic2012 tag) were published from April 1 till August 15. More than fifty tweets were published (or republished) during the last four hours, from 11.30 AM to 3.30 PM (Helsinki time).
This year’s IFLA Express was nicely designed, with main articles in the middel and RSS streams from both channels on the side: blogs to the left and tweets to the right.
The normal way of keeping up to date with the news flow is now to follow the relevant hash tag(s). Using Flipboard – or similar aggregators – I can select any hashtag and scan the global web for input. The results are presented in a magazine format, with a nice mix of pictures, text and tiny information boxes.
This paper will be presented at the main IFLA conference in Helsinki:
Picture: From the LATINA Summer course in Oslo 2010
The LATINA approach
The LATINA Lab is a training and development unit within the Learning Centre and Library of the University College of Oslo and Akershus in Norway. The Lab develops, demonstrates and provides intensive training in teaching and learning metods that are based on the current state of – and emerging trends in – user-oriented ICT. This paper will summarize what we have learned from LATINA about using libraries as centers of e-learning, with Maklib and East Africa as an illustrative case.
The LATINA approach is not lecture based, but centered on student, group and production activities. We emphasize the importance of team-work between teachers as will as between students or participants. We generally use software that is free and widely used. Our work is increasingly web-based, cloud-based and multi-media oriented. We access, produce, edit and curate resources through a variety of devices, such as portable computers, touch tablets and mobile phones. The materials we develop before and during our courses are normally published on the open web with a CC license.
Social media allow scattered individuals to mobilize.
In December, the first calls for papers for next year’s IFLA (in Helsinki this time) are published. This time, people started to complain about the high conference fees that IFLA charges. The original issue had to do with members of the IFLA sections – who are (s)elected for four years and have to find money for five consecutive conferences.
The debate has moved from the IFLA mailing list to a website change.org, which organizes petitions of all kinds. I just added my signature to the petition, with the following comment:
I am glad this debate has started – supported by the power of digital technology
At the IFLA Statistics and Evaluation Section we are discussing our theme for next year’s session in Helsinki.
We use Linked-in as our discussion forum. The contributions are internal to the group, but not terribly secret. And I can publish my own comments, of course.
The idea of calling for outcome studies has been brought up. I am quite sceptical to that (see below). Ugne Lipeikaite (Lithuania) suggested the alternative heading “How to survive in difficult times”.
Please estimate the number of persons in the queue ….
My response: ”How to survive ….” sounds like a good heading. Real outcome (rather than output) studies hardly exist (does anybody have examples to the contrary?).