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Report from Information Online looking at research and disasters

This is part two in the Public Library Services blog posts about Information Online. You can read Part One on the blog.

Presentations, papers, and videos (of some of the keynote presenters) are available online. You can search by presenter name.

David Woodbridge demonstrated Aira which is an audio description service.  The person who uses the audio description service has their mobile phone suspended on a lanyard, near their throat.  The phone has a headset which is worn as part of glasses.  There is a service  where a person (yes a real person) sees the images which the camera at the back of the phone streams and the person provide a description, which can involve questions and answers.  People can have an individual subscription and organisations can also subscribe so that when people visit their library, gallery or museum they are able to use the corporate rather than the individual subscription.  I am not describing this well, but it was amazing to see and hear this demonstration.  Tools like this can open up a wide range of library services and programs meaning that people who can't see can participate in ways which may have not been previously possible.

Mike Jones (you can see his slides here) talked about the the importance of linked data and accurate data. He provided the example of how the Tate brings together a range of information about an artist – see the example of Francis Bacon. Scroll down so you can see how it helpfully bringing the information together.  Imagine if this was possible in your library catalogue. You can watch Mike Jones give his presentation

Lynn Silipigni Connaway – you can watch her talk here – raised some very useful ideas about research, including about knowing your library clients. You can participate in some research on digital residents and visitors.

Watch the talk by Daniel Hook for some big ideas.

University Librarians Roxanne Missingham (ANU) and Janet Fletcher (Victoria University of Wellington) spoke about a flood and an earthquake and how their libraries were able to continue services despite significant disruption.   These examples showed the need to keep your emergency response information up to date.

As well, with Ngarie Macqueen from Richmond-Upper Clarence Regional Library and Daniel Nitsikopoulos a web developer at Icelab in Canberra I presented on the topic Contemporary collecting: collecting Instagram for local studies.  You can read our paper to find out more about this project.

— Ellen Forsyth