Calling all dyslexic entrepreneurs

12 July 2012

The Business & IP Centre is hosting a research placement for Sally Ann Clarke, an MA student from the University of Brighton. She is looking to find entrepreneurs and business people who are dyslexic. Below is her blog post about the project:

Sally Ann ClarkeMany thanks to the British Library for agreeing to host my research project.

First of all, something about me. I started my career as a qualified librarian in Manchester Public Libraries, and since then I have had a variety of roles including managing an independent bookshop. This gave me retail and business experience but also an interest in business information. I decided to return to the library profession and I am now studying for an MA in Information Studies at the University of Brighton.

For my dissertation I am researching dyslexic entrepreneurs and business information. My choice of research topic came from bringing various ideas together. I read the Cass Business School’s research by Dr Logan that entrepreneurs have a significantly higher incidence of dyslexia than in corporate management and the general population. I also visited the Business and IP Centre and noticed that many of their services are aimed at entrepreneurs. I then wondered if dyslexic entrepreneurs had specific business information needs.

I also have an insight into some of the issues dyslexic entrepreneurs have, as I am dyslexic myself. I understand that many people do not realize they are dyslexic although they may have an inkling that they are ‘different’. I didn’t find out myself until I studied for a part-time University Certificate in Creative Writing eight years ago. I am now aware of the difficulties I have, and have learnt some strategies to try and overcome them, but now I am becoming aware of some of the ‘advantages’ such as good verbal communication, lateral thinking and creativity. These ‘advantages’ are perhaps why someone with dyslexia becomes an entrepreneur in the first place.

Richard_Branson

And there are many examples of successful dyslexic entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson, Kelly Hoppen,  Duncan Bannatyne from Dragon’s Den and Tom Pellereau, winner of last year’s The Apprentice.

However, I need your help! If you are dyslexic and have used the Business and IP Centre, if you think you may be dyslexic or if you know a dyslexic entrepreneur please do get in touch. I would love to hear from you. My email is SallyAnne.Clarke@bl.uk


Do you know the IWR Information Professional of the Year 2011?

7 October 2011

IWR_logoAs the fortunate recipient of this award way back in 2003, I have an interest in who gets to win each year.

In 2009 I was pleased to see it go to Hazel Hall, who I have known for many years. And have always been impressed by her support and enthusiasm for her students at the Centre for Social Informatics in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University. She has also been very active in promoting the potential of the information and knowledge profession. And has lead the implementation of the UK Library and Information Science Research Coalition. Hazel also won the SLA Europe Information Professional Award 2011.

Dr Hazel Hall

Hazel Hall

Now in its 11th year, the international award recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession in the last 12 months.

A nomination could be for someone who has demonstrated best practice, led extensive project work, responded in an innovative fashion to commercial or economic pressures, or developed an information resource for an organisation and its users and clients.

The name of the winner will be announced at the Online Information Conference 2011 to be held in London in late November and the winner will be presented with the award at a reception at the end of the first day of the conference.

To nominate either yourself or a colleague, email editor Peter Williams. The entry, giving reasons why the nominee should win, should be no more than 250 words and include the name, job title and achievements plus contact details for the candidate and the nominee. The closing date is Monday 7 November.

The awards are organised by IWR magazine and Online Information Conference organisers, Incisive Media.


History in an Hour – another of our Success Stories

15 August 2011

History-in-an-HourAfter my post Here’s one we helped earlier – Seasoned culinary courses, I’ve heard from another client of the Business & IP Centre who has gone on to great success.

Even better, History in an Hour is the brainchild of a librarian.

Rupert Colley had the idea ten years ago, but with the encouragement of his partner Annabel and help from the Business & IP Centre, he finally made a success of it.

The value of the idea has now been recognised by international publishing house Harper Collins, who recently purchased the e-book series from the Rupert.

Annabel kindly sent me a note saying;

“… had it not been for the Business & IP Centre, I wouldn’t have had the idea or the confidence to know where to start in registering a trademark for “In An Hour”, which meant that this became also an asset purchase, not just a straight multi-book licensing deal.”

Rupert also sent me a note to say they are having a summer sale. For the month of August 2011 only, the apps are 69p –  iBooks 49p – Nook 99c and Kindle 98p or less.

History-in-an-Hour-wide

HarperCollins Signs History in an Hour Ebook Series

In a major new acquisition HarperCollins has purchased the History in an Hour e-book series from the company founder and author Rupert Colley. The deal was set up by Scott Pack and the books will be published by Arabella Pike at HarperPress.

History in an Hour is a series of e-books and apps that summarise key areas of world history in digest form, with each title taking no more than sixty minutes to read. From World War Two to Black History, from American Civil War to the Reformation, History in an Hour titles have been a permanent fixture in the Apple bestseller lists since September 2010, often with 3 titles in the top ten or five in the top twenty. They recently came out on Kindle as well. The History in an Hour website and blog can be found at: http://www.historyinanhour.com

Scott Pack says: “When I saw these e-books topping the Apple iBooks charts I was intrigued as I was pretty sure they weren’t from a major publisher. I downloaded one and was really impressed, it did exactly as it promised. I was amazed to discover that they were all the work of a librarian from Enfield creating them in his spare room. I was determined to snap them up before anyone else did.”

Rupert Colley comments: “History is fascinating but it can also be daunting – huge books, a huge choice and endless websites. My aim with History In An Hour is to make it less daunting and more accessible whilst still providing a quality read. I want to offer readers a starting place in their historical reading; a platform on which to build. Now, with HarperPress, we can take it to a new level and spread the word – that History is exciting.”

HarperPress will launch the series on 4th August with six titles. A further seven will follow in October. All existing books will be rebranded and an ambitious programme to grow the series will include titles on the fall of the Roman Empire, the Gunpowder Plot, the Vietnam War, Castro and the Wars of the Roses, as well as an extension of the brand into other subject areas. More than one year on, History in an Hour is still topping the charts with World War Two in an Hour currently number 15.

Arabella Pike comments: ‘This is an incredibly exciting venture for HarperPress. In just over one year Rupert has, single-handed, created a superb brand offering great history for busy people – short, sharp, informative books to be read on a phone or e-reader perfect whilst enduring the daily commute to work. As a leading publisher of history, we intend to work with Rupert to build this pioneering series to publish some terrific titles, show how historical content can be refashioned to suit the digital age, and open up a whole new generation of readers to the delights of history.’

Launch titles:

  • World War Two
  • The Cold War
  • The Afghan Wars
  • The Reformation
  • Henry VIII’s Wives
  • Nazi Germany
  • October titles:
  • Black History
  • 1066
  • Hitler
  • Ancient Egypt
  • American Slavery
  • The American Civil War
  • The World Cup

Growing Knowledge – The Information and James Gleick

12 April 2011

Growing_KnowledgeWe have had a lot of interest since we opened Growing Knowledge in October – Growing Knowledge the Evolution of Research – the garden is open.

the_Information_James_CleickAnd tomorrow we are lucky to have James Gleick speaking at the library. He is the author of  The Information, a new book which shows how information has ‘become the modern era’s defining quality – the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world’.

The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanished as soon as it was born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long misunderstood “talking drums” of Africa, James Gleick tells the story of information technologies that, he claims, changed the very nature of human consciousness.

He will explore where the age of information is taking us, swept along by a deluge of signs and signals, news and images, blogs and tweets.

John Naughton also interviewed him in the Observer last weekend.


Business & IP Centre is five years old today

9 March 2011

BIPC logoWhile I am on the subject of birthdays (Escape the City is one year old), I would like to note that the Business & IP Centre is five years old today.

My colleague Isabel Oswell, who heads up our marketing activities, has come up with some helpful numbers to give an indication of what we have achieved in the last five years.

I should acknowledge the match-funding by the London Development Agency (LDA), which has enabled us to achieve so much.

I am proud to have been involved with something that has helped so many, and want to thank everyone who has helped to contribute to our success.

To date we have helped 200,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses, and given direct advice and guidance to over 30,000 people.

Fifty percent of these have been pre-start up, and 50 per cent have been post-start up and owners of growth businesses.

They come from a diverse range of backgrounds, with fifty percent women, and 37 percent from black and Asian minority ethnic groups, and 4% with disabilities.

Over a quarter of the Centre’s visitors are from the creative industries.

An independent evaluation by Adroit Economics, revealed that, between 2007 and 2009, the we helped to create 829 new businesses for London, and a further 786 new jobs for Londoners. The combined turnover for these businesses was £32 million and 89 percent of their founders say this success could not have been achieved without the Library’s help.

For every £1 that the LDA invested over the period, the businesses saw a £22 increase in turnover. Further, these businesses, supported by the Centre, have contributed £5.5 million to the public purse.

In addition, owing to its reputation and brand, the Library has also managed to leverage its funding through sponsorship, discounts, pro bono work, positive press coverage and other in-kind benefits at an estimated value of over £10 million.

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Cool infographics that tell a story

17 January 2011

Although I have never really believed in the old cliché a picture is worth a thousand words, I have been a big fan of effective illustrations for many years.

I started with the seminal works The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and Envisioning Information by statistician and sculptor, Edward Tufte. Although, I have to say I was always somewhat underwhelmed by his examples.

Thanks to a recent BBC series on The Beauty of Diagrams, I discovered that Florence Nightingale (who is best known as the nurse who cared for thousands of soldiers during the Crimean War), was the first to use statistical graphics as to illustrate the causes of mortality.

More recently I have discovered the Cool Infographics blog, and have seen some excellent examples of effective presentations of statistical information.

The Conversation Prism 3.0 for 2010 shows  the major players in each of 28 different online conversation categories.

Although not strictly speaking statistics related,  How Would You Like Your Graphic Design? gets an important point across very effectively.


Growing Knowledge the Evolution of Research – the garden is open

29 October 2010

Our Growing Knowledge – the Evolution of Research was officially opened by Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee last week.

Over the next nine months, we will be using a dedicated exhibition to explore what technological tools will shape the library’s future research facilities.

The exhibition aims to challenge visitors on how research is changing and ask what you want to experience from the library of the future.

I have volunteered to be a guide to the exhibition so do drop by and say hello.

Working with hardware partner HP and software partner Microsoft, the library is showcasing a range of research tools, including a prototype of Sony’s RayModeler 360-degree Autostereoscopic Display that uses gesture control to view static and moving 3D images and video.

At the end of the Growing Knowledge exhibition, the British Library will evaluate the tools and decide which have been most useful for researchers – a term the library uses to describe anyone using its resources.

Richard Boulderstone, CIO at the British Library, explained: “It’s about trying to explore what tools and services we should provide for researchers in future. What is the future of the library? What tools, spaces, technologies should we provide for researchers?”

Clive Izard, head of creative services at the British Library, added: “We are evaluating the way researchers will work in an area that is not hushed and quiet – where people will be more collaborative physically.

“At the end [of the exhibition] we will produce a report. JISC [independent advisory body providing advice on ICT use to higher education] is going to take the findings and incorporate them into our services.”

The exhibition, which is running on a thin client solution, is testing everything from monitor set-up – from a single touch screen monitor to four standard monitors – to audio search software developed by Microsoft.

These tools, which include map rectification software that reshapes old maps over current maps, and a Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts tool that enables users to digitally delve into Austen’s handwritten manuscripts, will be alternated with other ones in the British Library’s portfolio over the nine months.

Researchers can also experiment with a Microsoft Surface Table, on which the British Library is showing an interactive, digital version of the world’s longest painting, the 19th century Garibaldi Panorama. A set of dials, developed with (University College London (UCL), also measures Twitter activity across nine capital cities.

The Growing Knowledge exhibition will run until 16 July 2011.

Growing Knowledge – the Evolution of Research is open

Growing Knowledge – the Evolution of Research has been officially opened by Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee.

Showcasing some never-seen-before research tools, thought-provoking content and futuristic design in a fully interactive research environment, the exhibition aims to challenge our audiences on how research is changing and ask what they want to experience from the library of the future.

For more information watch this You Tube video for interviews with Library staff and further details about the exhibition.

Reuters have also produced a video piece on the exhibition.


Read or Die (R.O.D) and the coolest librarian in the world

22 September 2010

I’m wondering if my quest for the most exciting librarian in the world (Cool librarians, More cool librarians) has now ended with the discovery of Yomiko Readman, codename The Paper, an agent for the Special Operations Division of The British Library. Yes you read that right, but may have realised that Yomiko is a fictional character set in an alternative future, where the British Empire has managed to maintain its superpower status.

In this fantasy world the British Library is an institution devoted to the promotion of literacy (so far so believable), but is also home to The British Library Special Operations Division who run operations around the world to fight book related crime and terrorism. Their slogan is ‘Peace to the books of the world, an iron hammer to those who would abuse them (I have some colleagues who would support this part), and glory and wisdom to the British Empire’.

Yomiko, the hero of the stories is a half-Japanese, half-English papermaster. This means she has the ability to manipulate paper in a wide variety of ways, including creating paper darts that can carry people, paper-rope stronger than steel, and samurai swords. As a result, she never goes anywhere without her case full of stationery supplies.

Although polite and friendly with very few exceptions, she does have a licence to kill, and does so with her deadliest technique, death by a thousand paper cuts!

Yomiko reports to Joker, a stereotypically stiff upper lip Englishman who needs a proper cup of tea in a china cup to help him in a crisis. He reports to Gentleman, an aged, one eyed man, who is the power behind the throne of the British Empire (no sign of the Royal family here).

Although not generally a fan of Manga comics, I greatly enjoyed watching the Read or Die DVD animated version of the stories last night (many thanks to colleague Matthew Shaw for the loan).

In particular I loved the way that Yomiko always asks so politely for her books to be returned to her. And the almost sexual excitement with flushed cheeks she shows when coming across a special book. Needless to say her apartment is piled high with books, to the extent that she is covered by them as she sleeps on her sofa.

Here are some links about this exciting (for a librarian) new discovery:

Please give back my book! Welcome, fellow readers, the newly revamped ReadorDie.org

Internet Movie Data Base

Wikipedia entry

Read or Die Wiki


My route into Libraryland

1 March 2010

My fellow SLA Europe colleague Woodsiegirl has created the Library Routes Project, a wiki set up in October 2009.

The idea is to document how people got into the profession, and the career path which has taken them to their present role.

I have been meaning to add my ‘story’ for some time, as I have always been fascinated by how people end up in this unusual profession. I went from being a motorcycle messenger with Pegasus Couriers, hurtling around the wintry streets of Thatcher’s London to become a cataloguer grappling with the delights of the Dewey Decimal Classification and AACR2 (Anglo American Cataloguing Rules mark 2)

My story begins a few years earlier. I left University in 1984 with a degree in Geography and Computer Science (the kind of thing possible then at Keele University). The logical thing to do at that time would to have become a computer programmer or something similar. However, during my last year at Keele I had something of a Damascene conversion whilst sitting in the Computer Lab one sunny Sunday afternoon. I looked around the computing lab and realised that with the exception of one other equally laggard student, I was the only there who had not completed the assignment due in on Monday morning. Some had completed it weeks ago. The shocking truth was that they preferred being in the lab with their computer terminals to frolicking out in the sun with their fellow students. I suddenly realised that I preferred being and working with people rather than cold inhuman computer technology.

This new found realisation left me at something of a loss as to a career path post University. However one faint possibility did occur to me at that key point. During my four year degree course (this was back in the halcyon days of full grants), there were just two options for paid work at Keele. The first was behind the student union bar fending off drunken scholars five deep demanding Pernod or Newcastle Brown Ale. The second was to work as an evening assistant in the Library. Both jobs paid the same, but the second involved working with attractive young library assistants who were local girls (surprise surprise there weren’t any young men at that time). The choice seemed obvious to me, and I greatly enjoyed spending time with these exotic creatures (you have to realise that after being surrounded by 4,000 students for weeks on end, spending time with a ‘real’ Potteries local was very appealing). As you can probably tell the spirit of Melville Dewey (or S R Ranganathan come that) did not enter me during this period.

I spent my first post University year working intermittently as a loft insulator – the period of my live I was at my fittest and most agile. The job involved heaving bales of fibre-glass through narrow loft hatches and avoiding putting my foot through delicate plaster ceiling panels. I then moved to London with my girlfriend and needed to find work quickly. I turned to my ‘trusty steed’, and became a motorcycle messenger. After a couple of months of risking my life in the cut and thrust of London streets helping to oil the wheels of the Thatcher boom economy, I decided this was not a good long-term career choice. So I wrote to thirty university and college libraries to see if they had any vacancies. I received two replies inviting me to interviews, and ended up on a six month contract at South Bank Polytechnic (as it was then known).

Within a few days of starting as cataloguer I began to think that this career could be the one for me. Having had 25 years to consider why this might the be case, I have decided on a combination of reasons. Firstly I had never been able to find one subject I could settle on to the exclusion of all others (the archetypal jack of all trades and master of none). At the same time I found I was interested in almost all subjects and had a desire to dig deeper to find out more about them.

At the end of my six month contract I was fortunate enough to be taken on as a Graduate Trainee, which allowed me to learn about a range of library jobs within the Polytechnic. Nothing I experienced during that year dented my enthusiasm for the profession, so I found a place at North London Polytechnic (as it was then called) and spent a year learning about the theory. This was actually the hardest part of my life in Libraryland, as I found the theory dry and boring. Many students actually gave up during the year, but my knowledge of how enjoyable of the actual work was drove me on and got me through.

This story is turning into something of an epic, so I am going to break it into two parts with the second exciting File:Sarcasm mark.svginstalment to follow in a later post.


Lynne Brindley appeals for UK web archiving

27 February 2010

https://i2.wp.com/www.webarchive.org.uk/images/ukwa.jpgI was somewhat surprised to hear Lynne Brindley’s voice in my bathroom as I was brushing my teeth on Thursday morning this week.

It turned out she was being interviewed on the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 talking about the lack of legislation which would ensure we don’t lose the vast amount of information only published on the World Wide Web.

The British Library has already managed to capture 6,000 sites in our UK Web Archive, but this is mere drop in the ocean compared to the millions of websites (past and present) in the UK alone.

It is reckoned that the average life expectancy of a website is less than 75 days, and that at least ten percent of UK websites are lost or replaced with new material every six months.

The problem is that until UK copyright law is changed, every website owner has to give permission to capture their site, and fewer than 25 percent of owners even reply to our requests.

In the meantime I suggest you nominate websites so we can capture more content.

I am rather proud of the fact that even this humble blog is being preserved for future generations of Infields to read. http://www.webarchive.org.uk/ukwa/target/7798801/source/search).


Librarians of the future discussed at the Online Information Show

21 December 2009

My fellow SLA Europe Board member Marie Madeleine Salmon went to a lot of trouble to organise three international events during the recent Online Information Conference.

I spoke at the first of these on the Tuesday, and had been planning to write up a summary until time slipped away from me.

Fortunately an excellent summary was written by Penny Crossland, and appears on the Resource Shelf blog here. A longer version is published on the VIP LiveWire blog here.


What’s not to like about LIKE?

17 December 2009

LIKEIn a year that has seen cuts in commercial library and and information services resulting from the UK recession, and the sad demise of the City Information Group in the summer (CiG – RIP), it is good to have something new and positive to talk about.

LIKE (London Information and Knowledge Exchange) is a networking group for Library, Information, Knowledge and Communication professionals, who meet on a monthly basis to share stories, learn and exchange knowledge in an informal and relaxed setting.

According to one of their fans: “The best thing about LIKE meetings is that they attract interesting and friendly people. It’s rather like a very good dinner party.”

They are already up to their tenth meeting, to be held on 28 January in The Perseverance in Lamb’s Conduit Street, featuring Liz Scott-Wilson Head of Information Management at Tube Lines talking about Information behaviour & culture change.

At their previous get together in December they looked forward to the coming year, and recorded some LIKE members’ New Year Resolutions.


SLA name to stay SLA

16 December 2009

The last few weeks have seen what must be the most hotly discussed library profession related topics since the (UK) Library Association changed its name in 2002 to CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals).

The results of the electronic voting was finally announced on 10 December on the SLA Blog SLA Name Will Stay: Alignment of Association to Continue. The vote against the new name was fairly convincing with 2071 voting yes and 3225 voting no.

Although I initially felt a bit deflated by the result after all the efforts those in favour, I was all too aware that the proposed new name was not particularly engaging. Although I wonder if we could ever find one that would be. At the previous failed name change vote in 2003, the choice was Information Professionals International, which to my mind is equally anodyne.

Perhaps the biggest mistake in the campaign was to give the impression we were moving away from the ‘L’ word rather than creating a bigger ‘tribe’ (to quote Seth Godin) in which librarians would be a big and welcome part. Many traditional librarians in the United States seemed to feel it was something of an either or situation.

Also the heat of the discussion has shown that although the stereotype of information professionals is of a shy and retiring middle aged woman wearing a bun, if they feel strongly about an issue, they are prepared to ‘storm the barricades’. I am reminded of the acknowledgement from Michael Moore, after librarians saved his book Stupid White Men from being pulped in the wake of the 9-11 attacks in America:

“I really didn’t realize the librarians were, you know, such a dangerous group.
They are subversive. You think they’re just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They’re like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn’t mess with them. You know, they’ve had their budgets cut. They’re paid nothing. Books are falling apart. The libraries are just like the ass end of everything, right?”


Hazel Hall wins Information World Review Information Professional of the Year 2009

9 December 2009

Dr Hazel HallAs the fortunate recipient of this award in 2003, I was very pleased to see it go to Hazel Hall this year. I have known Hazel for many years and always been impressed by her support and enthusiasm for her students, and at promoting the potential of the information and knowledge profession.

She has published and presented widely in international journals and at conferences including keynote presentations, plus numerous publications in the professional press and books.

She has also been in the vanguard of adopting social media activities such as Twitter, and trying to persuade  resistant information professionals of their benefits.

Hazel is Director of the Centre for Social Informatics in the School of Computing at Edinburgh Napier University. She is also leading the implementation of the UK Library and Information Science Research Coalition.

The awards are organised by IWR magazine and Online Information Conference organisers, Incisive Media.

Peter Williams, Editor of IWR magazine, described Hazel during the presentations as an energetic and enthusiastic information professional whose work invigorates the professional landscape, both within and beyond the UK.  2009 has been an outstanding year of achievement for her and one on which future success will be built for the profession as a whole, as well as on a personal level.


TFPL Connect International – Monday 30 November

3 December 2009

I managed to force my flu wracked body along to this Monday evening pre-Online Exhibition discussion organised by TFPL. As well as the impressive panel listed below, I noted the room was full to bursting with 80 of the great and good of the information world. Many had flown in early for the Online show from the United States and Europe to be able to attend this event.

As something of an old stager at these kinds of events, I recognised quite a few faces around the room. These including three previous winners of the SLA Europe Information Professional Award (which was previously called the European Special Librarian of the Year); the current holder Gimena Campos Cervera , Annabel Colley and ex-Surrey Policeman Kevin Miles who I nominated for the award way back in 1999.

https://i0.wp.com/newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42459000/jpg/_42459482_natarchine_203.jpg

Natalie Ceeney

The panel consisted of Natalie Ceeney (NC) the CEO of The National Archives, Doris Springer (DS), Manager Information Services at Bain & Company in Germany, and Morten Nicholaisen (MN), the Executive Director of Dialog.

Although I enjoyed the evening, somehow it didn’t quite live up to it’s billing. I think part of the problem may have been that it was a Monday night. Also, although Natalie was as controversial as her reputation predicted, the other panellists were not able to match her, and so the sparks did not fly.

The questions for the evening included:

How can we improve Britain’s economy?
NC. By making more effective use of knowledge. We should treat it as the third big asset after money and people. We should encourage mashups and innovation, and allow public access to the data and let them work out what to do with it, and to question its accuracy. She pointed out that the Welsh government already has a policy covering every document and how which element they will make available on the web.
MN. We should encourage better and more creative use of published information.

How can we improve personal use of information as exemplified by the Scandinavian countries?
MN. Recent surveys have shown that part of the reason why Scandinavians are statistically some of the happiest people in the world, is because they are happy to share personal information. The older generations do not understand how the younger generation think and works with online information. For example the fact they don’t look beyond Google when searching for information. He finds showing a product like Dialog to young consumers is difficult. It does not look cool compared to free web products. And this is coming from the boss of Dialog.
NC. Felt the culture was different in Britain and the public would not accept sharing of personal data. We draw the line between private personal data and public access much closer to home in the UK to compared to Scandinavian countries. She thought that UK citizens are coming increasingly concerned about how much personal information is open via social media sites such as Facebook..

Victoria Ginnetta – we have seen much more flexible working as a way of responding to the recession likely. How likely is this approach to carry on in the future?
DS. Full time workers are still key to Bain in Germany.
MN. This recession has been the worst he has seen in forty years. 2010 will be better, but perhaps not by much.
NC. The UK public sector will see a delayed response to recession, they are now heading towards a spending recession. The result will be more outsourcing, the growth of long delivery chains. We won’t be able to rely on long term employees.

Liz Blankson-Hemans – What attributes does the profession need to help break out of traditional roles?
MN. Info pro’s in corporates need to be better at sharing critical information with more people in their organisations. Desk top info does solve this problem as it leads to information overload. An info pro can determine what information is critical.
NC. By being the people who are best at getting the most out of information.
DS. Info pros have not been good at internal marketing.

Steven Philips – Given the pressures on publishers income streams can we expect to see a divergence in Business to Business (B to B) and Business to Consumer (B to C) revenue models. Will the B to B begin to subsidise consumer access?
MN – Not much experience of publishers selling directly to consumers. Currently very protective, but need to be less risk averse.
NC. Admitted she had not successful when at The British Library, but felt it is happening in Government publishers such as in Met Office free public information is used to get people to trade up to charged content.
SP. Publishers may have shot themselves in the foot by giving too much away for free. This makes life difficult when trying to charge corporates.

Is Stephen Fry a social media saint or sinner?
None of the panel are users of Twitter and admitted that they didn’t really get it.
Hazel Hall felt they were missing out on something important and explained how it took her eight weeks to really get Twitter. If Facebook is suburbia then Twitter is the city centre. She reminded the audience that when email first came along we had much more time to get used to it than with these new social media technologies.
Mary Dee Ojala pointed out that even if you don’t Tweet you must be monitoring what people are saying about your organisation on Twitter.


Information Law with Charles Oppenheim

16 November 2009

 

DSC_0021 by OneIS.

Picture from OneIS

A late night last Thursday due to attending an excellent talk by Professor Charles Oppenheim on information law. The event was the second in a series of talks organised by the wonderfully entrepreneurial information professional Jennifer Smith and sponsored by her OneIS company. Charles generously agreed to make his slides available on the One IS website

For his talk Charles cantered through a range of important and controversial topics, which was described as a chocolate box taster approach rather than an in depth analysis due to time constraints.

Having known Charles for many years I was already aware of his amazing ability – not only to bring what could be quite dry topics to life with amusing examples, but to explain really quite difficult subjects with clarity and brevity.

The topics covered were data protection, personal data, cloud computing, protecting your reputation online, disability discrimination, contracts and last, but by no means least, copyright.

OneIS

Data protection

This is a notoriously difficult and worrying topic for information professionals, and in fact anyone whole collects data about people in the United Kingdom. It all stems from the Data Protection Act of 1998, and covers information about individuals ranging from the innocuous to highly sensitive. One curious exception to its provenance is financial information, and we spent some time during the lengthy questions and answers session at the end pondering why this might be the case. My theory is that the UK banks recognised the law would have a disruptive impact on their activities, and used their considerable influence to ring-fence this area.

The Data Protection Act is based on the following eight principles, all of which have legal status (either civil or criminal), and is regulated by an Information Commissioner:

  1. Personal data must be obtained fairly, and for a bona fide purpose.
  2. It can only be used for one or more purpose, which must be clearly specified.
  3. The data obtained must be adequate, relevant and not excessive. Charles gave a wonderful example of a town council who included a question on chest size on their form for all new employees. The reason they asked the question was to help them keep their stocks of overalls correct for those staff who did ‘dirty jobs’, such as dustmen and women. However, when a secretary complained about the question the council (and the vast majority elsewhere in the country) were forced to change their policy.
  4. The data must be accurate and up to date (where relevant).
  5. It should not be kept for longer than necessary. (This led to a discussion of the recent news story about the UK police being forced to delete their DNA records of innocent civilians after six years, instead of keeping them forever).
  6. The data should be processed in accordance of the rights of individuals, who retain the right to sue for inaccurate information.
  7. It must be protected from loss, damage or destruction.
  8. It must not be transferred outside the European Economic Area. (This led to a discussion of Google and Amazon data servers which are based in the United States).

Charles then went on to give brief overviews of five more information law topics:

1. Cloud Computing – In particular the risks of exporting or storing data outside of the European Economic Area. Many organisations are not aware that by using Google or Amazon S3 servers their data is being stored in the United States, and so in breach of UK law.

2. Protecting your reputation online:

–       This topic was about slander (temporary) and libel (published) where the reputation of an individual is harmed by false statements, to more than one ‘third’ party.

–       It only applies if there is a reputation to be harmed. So saying Jeffrey Archer is a crook would not be libellous.

–       An email to an individual is not libellous, but if it leaks out to others, then it becomes so.

–       This is a particularly thorny topic due to the big differences in libel law between countries, in particular between the United States and the UK. We currently have the strictest libel laws in the world.

–       Charles recommended regularly ‘Googling’ yourself to see what has been written about you online.

3. Disability discrimination – How you must make reasonable adjustments to cater for those with disabilities.

4. Contract law – This consists of five key elements. Offer and acceptance, consideration, intention to create legal relations, legal capacity and formalities. Charles reviewed the three levels of formality. 1. A verbal or email agreement (unlikely to accepted in court). 2. An email with a digital signature (generally accepted as binding). 3. An email with a signature and full encryption (full legal strength).

5. Copyright – Charles ended on this most complicated and controversial topic which led on to a lengthy question and answer session. He wanted to ensure we were all aware of the fact that just because content was freely available on the Internet, this did not mean it was not covered by copyright law. He recommended using sites such as Flickr which are covered under Creative Commons licences.


Free vs Fee – the Future of News – SLA Europe meeting 3 November

4 November 2009

Another successful SLA Europe event this evening, this time at the swanky venue of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, five minutes away from Blackfriars station.

The hot topic was Free vs Fee – the Future of News. And stemmed from the fact that most newspapers have offered their content via the Internet for free with the expectation that display advertising would create enough revenue to cover the cost of creating and distributing their content. However, with the continuing decline in physical newspaper sales and the softening of the display advertising market, news organisations are exploring new ways to charge for their digital content.

On the panel were Jeremy  Lawson  VP Sales, EMEA, Dow Jones & Company, Andrew Hughes – Commercial Director for the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA), Laurence C. Rafsky Ph.D. – CEO of Acquire Media and Laurence Kaye – Principal at Laurence Kay Solicitors. The panel was excellently moderated by Donald Roll – Managing Director, Europe for Alacra.

Here are my notes from the evening:

Don Roll introduced the evening by talking about the steep decline in newspaper circulation, the recent arrival of the first free quality newspaper in the form of the London Evening Standard, and how the NLA wants to ensure newspaper publishers receive payment for web content.

Andrew Hughes – NLA initiatives

NLA are moving towards creating a set of licences for commercial use of newspaper websites.

UK newspapers spend £1b a year in creating this content, which is quite different from paper published information. For example 31% of newspaper websites has never appeared in print.

The plan is that for those who charge for access to newspaper content will be charged by the NLA, who will also charge end user clients for access to content.

Existing licences will be extended and new ones created where necessary

e-Clips Web – Working to improve access to content by using newspaper CMS systems.

Laurence Kay – The legal view – 10 key points

1. Professional journalism, ‘trusted content’ and UGC (user generated content)

2. Change takes time! Business models and culture takes time to change.

3. Global Media / local copyright?

4. If content is going to be free, why does copyright matter? Provides the framework for access and usage rights.

5. B2B versus consumer copyrights

6. ‘Effects-based’ approach to copyright. Helps to work out how to apply rules to the real world. Look at the commercial impact of activities.

7. ‘Legal’ versus ‘Illegal’ content. When to take action or technical measures over infringements.

8. Who are the ‘intermediaries’ in the value chain? E.g. Where does Google fit in? Searched for or ‘scraped’ conent?

9. ‘Fair Use’. Big variations across Europe. United States has a broad definition. If the use is commercial is that no longer fair use?

10. We are still lacking 21st century infrastructure to cope with licensing and payments for use.

Laurence C. Rafsky – What do we mean by free?

Once freedom has been tasted there is no going back.

Value chain –

  1. professionally produced but given away selectively – e.g. advertiser supported
  2. Non-professional content
  3. Gifted professional content. E.g. Stephen King novel
  4. Free to some but not others
  5. Content that should not be free.

Two enemy camps

  1. Information wants to be free – the hippies
  2. Corporate suits who want to charge for everything

The solution will need to be  a compromise.

A question for the NLA to consider:

Do you use copyrighted material for commercial gain without payment to content owners?

Do you use copyrighted material for commercial gain without permission from the content owners as we understand it?

The crux of the debate is between these two viewpoints.

Can we separate business use from personal use? Google don’t distinguish between the two.

Jeremy  Lawson – Supporting publishers and their right to monetise their content.

Questions from the audience:

Did the newspaper industry start digging its own grave by giving away content?

New York Times started with some free and mainly fee access. They ended it because when compared pay per click ads versus pay for access would give ten times the revenue. But as ad revenues fall they may go back to first model.

Should be driven by economics.

Do you think news aggregators are a serious threat to publishers?

Links are fine, but extracts complicate the issue as readers may not link through to content. But as web content grows and newspaper content becomes a smaller fraction, increasing hits to newspaper sites lose their economic value to the publishers.

85% of newspaper traffic comes via Google. So should Google pay the majority share?

Is the Kindle from Amazon a potential future model for subscription access to newspaper content?

Disagreement – ability to break news up into selected streams for readers counts against Kindle model.

When will paper newspapers die?

Laurence C. Rafsky predicted that by 2030 newspapers would cease to exist in paper form as a  mainstream product.

He compares their future to candles today – they will become a decorative only production.

As he pointed out, if you had a choice, why would you use paper for something that only has a value for a few hours, and then you need to scan it to create a digital version which can be archived.

B2B vs B2C

Issues about consumers within a business environment – now that the genie is out of the bottle, how do you get individuals in a corporate environment to accept paying for information.

The event was kindly sponsored by Dow Jones.


The Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals

23 October 2009

I had a feeling my last post (Would a librarian by any other name smell just as sweet) might not be my final word on the subject.

What I hadn’t anticipated was just how much heat the name change vote would generate. It is quite rare to see information professionals in ‘passionate mode’, but this issue has brought plenty out of the woodwork on discussion lists, blogs, facebook and twitter. Here are links to a selection; Am I a Strategic Knowledge Professional, ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy

As I mentioned before, the membership of SLA contains 2,000 different job titles, what I wasn’t aware of was the fact that only 25% of members use the title librarian. So already the term is a minority within the organisation.

Amongst the passionate comments attacking the new name have been a few calmer rational ones which I include below:

  • If we were not called the Special Libraries Association I believe many more people who are in the information profession would find a professional home with us.  The new name is meant to be broadening and inclusive.
  • But I want to be fair: it’s easy to criticise and far harder to take a leadership role and come up with alternative ideas which pedantic old cynics like me might take a shine to and approve!
  • SLA leadership has been between a rock and a hard place on this issue for some time and it’s to their credit that they have been trying to do something, even if I don’t hugely like the result.
  • I think the old name is life-expired and something new is indeed needed.
  • Imagine trying to find one name to cover everyone who works in the medical profession. Doctors, consultants, surgeons, nurses, secretaries, hospital managers. All quite different jobs all supporting patients either directly or indirectly.
  • As a member, I wouldn’t feel that we’re obliged to call ourselves Knowledge Professionals.  That certainly doesn’t describe what I do, it would sound a bit pretentious – for me.
  • Having read up, I realised that “new-SLA” wants to embrace folk like KMs and CIOs, not just the librarian/info. pro community.  So the focus is broadening, but not changing to exclude librarians.
  • My feeling is:  if that’s the case, well so be it, “librarian” won’t do for a KM or CIO.  The natural response to that is, of course, well “knowledge” won’t do for me!
  • I wouldn’t mind being a librarian member of a “strategic knowledge professionals” association.  It doesn’t mean I have to change what I call myself or what I do, in fact it would probably send the message to anyone reading my CV that I’ve a broader remit than might be implied by the title “librarian”.
  • Being Europe-based, if I’m going to be a member of another professional body it’s easier to justify and better for my career and CV if it has a less CILIP-duplicating slant.

Hopefully the excitement will calm down as we move towards the name change vote in November, and we can start planning for the next 100 years of the association confident in the knowledge that knowledge (sorry couldn’t resist) will still have resonance and meaning in 2109.


Would a librarian by any other name smell just as sweet

15 October 2009

Many apologies for taking extreme liberties with Bard again (To Blog or not to Blog? That is the question). This is all part of my attempt to come up with magnetic headlines to bring in readers.

Anyway on to the meat of this topic. The SLA (formerly The Special Library Association) has just (10 minutes ago) proposed a name change for the one hundred year old association.

I should immediately declare my hand and say that I was involved in (perhaps scarred by would be a more appropriate description) a previous re-branding task force which ultimately led to a name change vote at the Annual Conference in New York in 2003. Needless to say the name did not get changed on that day, although it was a close run thing, falling short of the two-thirds majority required by just a few votes.

Since then the information world has become even more fragmented with all kinds of information roles that don’t have the ‘L’ word in their title. Knowledge Manager, Intranet Manager, Competitive Intelligence Manager, Information Resources Manager are just some examples of the 2,000 different job titles held by SLA members. This new breed of information professionals need to feel that the SLA is a suitable home for them as well, of course, librarians working in specialised organisations.

Even more import are the research findings of a two year project lead by Fleishman Hillard (a leader in international marketing and communications). They tested a range of information profession related concepts and words and showed conclusively that anything with the ‘L’ word such as librarian or library were not perceived as valuable by senior managers. To quote Janice Lachance from her recent Sticks and Stones article in the latest issue of Information Outlook ;
Like detergent, the word ‘librarian’ is an accurate description of function, but not a value proposition. It says what you do for living, but it does not say what you can do for your organisation. Moreover, the research shows that ‘librarian’ is perceived as being dusty and antiquated-two words that should not be connected with either a profession or a professional association that prides itself on being ahead of the curve.

Working as I do at the British Library, which under the leadership of Lynne Brindley has established itself not only as a forward looking organisation engaging with cutting edge technology such as the award winning Turning the Pages, but has also proved itself to be of significant cultural and economic importance for Britain. To which the Business & IP Centre by supporting new businesses has contributed in its own small way.

However, from my previous sixteen years managing a specialist information service in a corporate environment, I recognise the problem of using the ‘L’ word in a commercial and business context. In my experience senior managers and directors are far more impressed with colleagues who are providing insights and identify trends, creating competitive advantage, anticipating industry changes, facilitating good decision making, providing value-added intelligence, sharing knowledge and using innovative technologies. Needless to say these were all terms which tested positively in the Fleishman Hillard research. And although in many many cases this is exactly what specialised librarians are actually doing, unfortunately their senior colleagues are likely to be judging them on their job title instead.

Below is the full text of the email anouncing the proposed name change:

Dear Neil:

John Cotton Dana, who founded SLA a century ago, wrote, “The name Special Libraries was chosen with some hesitation, or rather in default of a better…”  We, as special librarians and information professionals you have elected to SLA’s Board of Directors, believe that validated research has identified a better name, one that will help all of us communicate our value in the workplace.

We are excited to propose that SLA change its name to the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals, or ASKPro.  We encourage all SLA members to voice their opinion on this proposal by casting an electronic vote in a special referendum that will begin on 16 November and end 9 December. The result will be announced on 10 December.

The choice of this proposed name began when the board concluded in June that the alignment research conducted over the past three years revealed a clear challenge posed by SLA’s name:  executives who make hiring decisions and allocate budget dollars do not understand what it means.  Furthermore, they do not recognize or appreciate the contributions that special librarians and information professionals are making now or the potential they hold for building more successful organizations in the future.  This disconnect endangers the jobs of our members, and we are determined to act.

The proposed name is the result of the same rigorous process used in the Alignment Project research .  We began by compiling words, terms and critical concepts that both information professionals and executives agree best articulate the value and potential of the information profession and the association.  We also received and considered input from members around the globe via Twitter, blogs, e-mail, FaceBook and listservs after the annual conference.  The result was a long list of potential names. We then began eliminating names if they caused confusion, were too close to names already in use, posed legal difficulties, or could have different meanings in various countries. We also eliminated names that did not have good acronyms or shortened versions associated with them.

We feel that the name that emerged, the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals, strongly ties special librarians and information professionals to the strategic goals of their organizations, increases the perceived value of their services, and stresses their professionalism.  We also want to emphasize that by changing our organization’s name, we will not change the name of our profession.  It is important to note, that in fact, SLA members have more than 2,000 different job titles.

Before settling on our proposed name, we subjected it to a survey of U.S. and U.K. information professionals and executives in  human resources, marketing, information technology and strategic planning in the corporate, academic, healthcare and government sectors.  The results prove that the proposed name will help us accomplish some important objectives:

  • It was well liked, fit well with a description of the association, and was judged relevant and credible.
  • Executives felt it promotes our members as invaluable assets to their organizations; information professionals said it made them more likely to join the association.
  • The abbreviated form, ASKPro, was very well received and also fulfilled the desire frequently stated in member discussions for a name with a meaningful acronym or shortened form.

The topic of changing SLA’s name has been much discussed in recent months in a variety of SLA chapter and division listservs and other forums, and board members have heard individually from many members.  We have compiled a list of some of the most frequently stated questions and opinions and responses to them.  In some cases, we have borrowed heavily from the words of members, and we thank all of you for your input.  We hope you will take the time to read this document before continuing the conversation.

You will receive notification on 16 November that the e-vote system is open and have until 9 December to cast your vote.  Please note especially that when and if the new name is approved, it will be a matter of months before the association can put it into use because of various legal requirements, the need for a new “look,” and other technicalities.

As your representatives, we are dedicated to your success, and we firmly believe that adopting a new name for SLA will further that goal.  Ultimately, however, it is up to you to vote on a new name for SLA– the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals (ASKPro)–and launch us into our second century.

Sincerely,


Gloria Zamora, President, and the SLA Board of Directors

To view this email as a web page, go here.Dear Neil:

John Cotton Dana, who founded SLA a century ago, wrote, “The name Special Libraries was chosen with some hesitation, or rather in default of a better…”  We, as special librarians and information professionals you have elected to SLA’s Board of Directors, believe that validated research has identified a better name, one that will help all of us communicate our value in the workplace.

We are excited to propose that SLA change its name to the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals, or ASKPro.  We encourage all SLA members to voice their opinion on this proposal by casting an electronic vote in a special referendum that will begin on 16 November and end 9 December. The result will be announced on 10 December.

The choice of this proposed name began when the board concluded in June that the alignment research conducted over the past three years revealed a clear challenge posed by SLA’s name:  executives who make hiring decisions and allocate budget dollars do not understand what it means.  Furthermore, they do not recognize or appreciate the contributions that special librarians and information professionals are making now or the potential they hold for building more successful organizations in the future.  This disconnect endangers the jobs of our members, and we are determined to act.

The proposed name is the result of the same rigorous process used in the Alignment Project research .  We began by compiling words, terms and critical concepts that both information professionals and executives agree best articulate the value and potential of the information profession and the association.  We also received and considered input from members around the globe via Twitter, blogs, e-mail, FaceBook and listservs after the annual conference.  The result was a long list of potential names. We then began eliminating names if they caused confusion, were too close to names already in use, posed legal difficulties, or could have different meanings in various countries. We also eliminated names that did not have good acronyms or shortened versions associated with them.

We feel that the name that emerged, the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals, strongly ties special librarians and information professionals to the strategic goals of their organizations, increases the perceived value of their services, and stresses their professionalism.  We also want to emphasize that by changing our organization’s name, we will not change the name of our profession.  It is important to note, that in fact, SLA members have more than 2,000 different job titles.

Before settling on our proposed name, we subjected it to a survey of U.S. and U.K. information professionals and executives in  human resources, marketing, information technology and strategic planning in the corporate, academic, healthcare and government sectors.  The results prove that the proposed name will help us accomplish some important objectives:

It was well liked, fit well with a description of the association, and was judged relevant and credible.

Executives felt it promotes our members as invaluable assets to their organizations; information professionals said it made them more likely to join the association.

The abbreviated form, ASKPro, was very well received and also fulfilled the desire frequently stated in member discussions for a name with a meaningful acronym or shortened form.
The topic of changing SLA’s name has been much discussed in recent months in a variety of SLA chapter and division listservs and other forums, and board members have heard individually from many members.  We have compiled a list of some of the most frequently stated questions and opinions and responses to them.  In some cases, we have borrowed heavily from the words of members, and we thank all of you for your input.  We hope you will take the time to read this document before continuing the conversation.

You will receive notification on 16 November that the e-vote system is open and have until 9 December to cast your vote.  Please note especially that when and if the new name is approved, it will be a matter of months before the association can put it into use because of various legal requirements, the need for a new “look,” and other technicalities.

As your representatives, we are dedicated to your success, and we firmly believe that adopting a new name for SLA will further that goal.  Ultimately, however, it is up to you to vote on a new name for SLA– the Association for Strategic Knowledge Professionals (ASKPro)–and launch us into our second century.

Sincerely,

Gloria Zamora, President, and the SLA Board of Directors

Send questions or comments to the SLA Board of Directors.  You can also follow the discussion on Twitter or Share your thoughts in the Express section of the Alignment Portal.

——————————————————————————–

If you have any questions or comments about this communication, we would like your feedback. Please share your comments with nsansalone@sla.org.

This e-mail was sent to neil.infield@bl.uk.

This email was sent by: Special Libraries Association 331 South Patrick Street Alexandria, VA, 22314-3501, USA

©2009 Special Libraries Association. All Rights Reserved.

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SLA Europe event – The Google-isation of [Re]search

8 October 2009

I’m just back from one of the most popular events I can remember in my many years membership of SLA Europe. I’m not sure if it was the catchy title, the interesting speakers or the recent sad closure of the City Information Group that resulted in nearly 100 information professionals gathering in the Balls Brothers rooms at Minster Court this evening.

Kathy Jacobs the Library and Information Manager at Pinsent Masons,  Professor David Nicholas Director of the Department of Information Studies at University College London and Professor Roger James Director of Information Services at University of Westminster talked about how Google is influencing our research behaviours, the challenges this brings to information professionals, as well as the opportunities new search technologies offer.

I should point out that as a rather hastily appointed Chair for the event, my view of the evening might be somewhat skewed. For a more balanced view from the audience I recommend you check out the Organising Chaos blog review. Melanie Goody has also written a short review on the TFPL blog. Sara at Uncooked Data has a more in depth review which I recommend reading.

https://i0.wp.com/www.ucl.ac.uk/infostudies/images/dave_n.jpg

Dave Nicholas was as controversial as I remember from way back when he was my lecturer at North London Poly (as it was then). He concentrated on the ‘D’ words of dis-intermediation and de-coupling caused by the Internet in general and Google in particular. He pointed out how we as information professionals can’t see what is going on in the digital space. Which has led him to monitor how researchers behave in cyber-space. His evidence shows that consumers want to dive in and out quickly, snatching bits of information. They want everything short and bite sized, preferring abstracts to full content. They scan web pages vertically, zooming past headings and sub-headings, instead of reading horizontally taking in the full text of every paragraph.

One of his most memorable points (which I have only just remembered four days later) was the views of consumers of a health information screen located in a Tesco branch. People seemed to assume that the information came from Tesco and were happy with that trusted brand as a source. However, when informed the content was actually coming from the National Health Service their confidence plummeted. As David put it, Tesco don’t make mistakes, wherease the NHS regularly lets its customers die.

Kathy Jacob reported on her real life experience of going from a meeting with a new manager who wanted to know why they needed a research library when ‘everything could be found with a Google search’, to building a federated search tool for her current firm. The lessons learnt were that the new system must have an equivalent usability, design and speed to Google in order for staff to even try it out. Kathy had the advantage of working in the legal sector, which enabled her to scare researchers with horror stories of cases which had collapsed due to relying on Google searches. In some cases the cost to the law firms involved and subsequent negative impact on the careers of the lawyers concerned were high.

Roger James

Roger James began his session by asking the audience some provocative questions such as ‘who does the work for Google’? And ‘what is the next big search technology coming down the line’. The answer in both cases is ‘we are’. Every time we click on a link in Google we help them refine their search capability. He wanted to know how many members of the audience were applying this approach in their workplace. Or were they still relying on the old fashioned concepts of surveying their customers? His view was that unless we all join the Google ‘arms race’ we are doomed.

The speakers were followed up with a lively question and answer session from the audience. Which was followed by some intensive networking aided by tasty food and wine sponsored by EBSCO Information Services.

(which Sara at Uncooked Data also picked up on – incidentally I’d highly recommend reading her summary of Wednesday’s event, it’s a lot more considered than mine!