Library and Information Science Miscellaneous

This weblog in the field of Library and Information Science contains news, comments and everything that its bloggers think could be useful for LIS professionals and students. It is maintianed by a number of students mainly Research students and Iranian. Our email is lismisblog at Yahoo dot com.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Library managers

Today for a research project we had a meeting with the director of LIS at LSBU university. I just realised that the guy was really uptodate and if i didn't know what his job is i would think that he is a researcher or auniversity professor. But in fact most of the directors of Libaray and information services of Universities inUK are like this. They study the LIS journals and are informed about the progresses in library technologies and services. Many of them have publication in the field. This is one of the reasons that UK universities are usually pionior in providing library and information services. And that's why there is a relatively good relation between service providers (libraries), LIS researchers and the industry section.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

A good service of the Library of UQ is providing many laptops for students and other members. If you have a presentation, you can borrow a laptop from the library. This service is free of charge. However, they will charge you for a delay, damage or lose. click here for more information.


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Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Nice Feeling

Following the recent entry posted by Reza I just would like to add a point. In fact, this is a very nice feeling when we can get together to hold our cultural and religious ceremonies. I can feel what Reza said very well. In fact, attending such ceremonies provide us with an opportunity to jump from one world to another one in a few moments. This is a nice feeling and I like that very much particularly in Ramadan evenings.

London's Majma-e Eslami

There are a few Iranian islamic centres in London which are active. one of them that is non-governmental is Majma-e Eslami. It was founded before revolution by Ayatollah Haeir (if i remember properly) near Holland Park. They have program every evening during Ramadan and many people go there. when you are there, you don't think that you are in London. You cannot find a difference between them and people in Iran. Iranians who still try to keep their culture and religion are similar everywhere.Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Sunday, October 24, 2004

ILI 2004, Presentations

Now, The presentation files of the speeches of Internet Librarian Internationa 2004 are available online. Also streaming broadcasts (films) of the some of the talks are available. To see the list of the presentations click here
Open Access Forum at ILI2004
(picture: open access forum session at Glucester Hotel)
to see full size click here
Some of the interesting slides are about:
destroyed libraries of Iraq during the recent war. link
Open access. link
New Technologies in Library. link

Friday, October 22, 2004

Learning English in 3 months!

There is a belief within people in Iran that just being 3 months in an English speaking country is enough to be perfect in English. This belief is right just in some cases. For example when you are single and live with non-Iranian people and you have to speak English.

As I have noticed, the wife or husband of an Iranian scholar student come abroad with this belief and a sweet dream that after a while they can get a good score in IELTS English exam and enter the university. But because they are not in a real English environment it takes a long time (at least 1 year) to get an acceptable score in IELTS. Apart from this, there are other obstacles. In Australia, high quality English classes are very expensive and are not affordable with student salary. They offer discount for some kind of visas (for example migrants) but not for temporary student visa holders. When you go there, at first they check your visa and its sub class and then tell you: sorry, you are not eligible (I, myself have heard this sentence several times).

Another obstacle is having a child under school age. Childcare fee is more than $200 per week. If you are lucky to get childcare benefit from the government it decreases to $75 per week. Every childcare has a long waiting list and it takes time to find a place and put your child there.

Overcoming these obstacles and get an acceptable result in IELTS is just the first step. Getting a scholarship from foreign universities is not an easy task and without scholarship how you can afford the high tuition fee of English speaking countries universities.

I strongly recommend people to improve English before going abroad to save time and money.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Federated Search

One of the presentations at ILI 2004 was about Federated Search. I will write later about it. but does anybody know about it?
(picture of lunch time at Glucester Hotel ILI2004)
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Click here to see full size

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Iranian News Agencies

It seems that there is a strong desire in Iran to establish new journals, newspapers, Weblogs, NGOs etc. In the recent years, we have seen emerging of different News Agencies too. The two traditional main news centers, IRNA and IRIB are the major source of information for many of these currently developed agencies. ISNA is another well-estabilshed agency. Here I have listed several Iranian News Agencies. There are many other names which could be added here if we want to consider Web news websites both inside and outside of Iran:

IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) link
IRIB News Department link
ISNA (Iranian Students’ News Agency) link
ILNA (Iran Labour News Agency) link
IPNA (Iran Pas News Agency) link
IQNA (Iranian Quran News Agency) link
ITNA (Information Technology News Agency) link
CHN (Cultural Heritage News) link
Fars News Agency link
SHANA (Oil and Energy) link
Moj News link
Mehr News link
SNN (Student News Network) link
Baztab link
SYNA (Society of Iranian Youth News Agency) link

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Knowledge management and librarianship: part 5

Some commentatores believe that one of the main barriers for LIS professionals to engage in high level of knowledge management is their personal attributes rooted from their educational culture. Abell & Oxbrow (2001) state:

" People in senior positions were not born with an innate understanding of their industry or organization. They acquired it throughout their career, jast as information professionals do-or do they? Is that the difference-that those reaching top management positions never saw any barriers to doing so? Their training as an accountant, engineer or HR professional didn't somehow set them apart from the business of their organization. They expected that there would be opportunities for them and they were ready to take them.
How many information professionals set out with the same attitude, or are ready to look for opportunities to extend their experience and influence? How many expect that they could and should succeed at senior management level?"


Also, librarian stereotype dosen't encourage employers to employ LIS professionals at high levels of management. As breen & Farragher (2002) state:

"Few people, if asked to describe a librarian, would include the adjectives "risk-taking" or "ambitious". Neither are librarians perceived as being "creative".
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  1. Abell, A. and N. Oxbrow (2001). Competing with knowledge: The information professionals in the knowledge management age. London, Library Association Publishing.
  2. Breen, C., A. Farragher, et al. (2002). "New information management opportunities in a changing world." Library Review 51(3/4): 127 (12p).


Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Search Engine Industry

In the billions $ industry of search engines there is a sever competition. Google has 36.8% and Yahoo has 26.6% of US search engine market. but as search provider the share of google is 54% and yahoo's share is 41%. (some search engines are not search provider, they use other search engines' facilities for doing the search). In this competition every search engine tries to add more features to its services to absorb other engines' customers. Besides big search engines there are many small and specialized search engines which has interesting features. for example for personalizing the search results, ujiko.com has an interesting Love & Hate feature, a9.com has some other personalising fatures, groxis.com visualises the search results, mooter.com visualises the results in another way, clusty.com presents the results with clustering.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Open Access Forum

I attended Open Access Forum at ILI 2004. there was an interesting discussion about Open Access journals there. Two good news (specially for developing countries) that I heard there were that:

1) there is an argument in UK government about making all publicly funded research accessible to everybody online free of charge. It’s legislation will be passed hopefully by the parliament.
2) US House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations recommended that all NIH-funded research be made freely available 6 months after publication. NIH or National Institute of Health is the greatest research funder in the field of Medicine in US.

Aussie's Election

Last Saturday, Australians vote for their Prime Minister and Federal Parliament seats. Irrespective of excellent lessons for us in cases such as campaigning rules among different parties and fair election, fast circle of information is notable too.

One month ago, I received a formal letter from the Election Bureau of Queensland Government indicating that because I am a resident of West End suburb, I should vote in this electoral node etc. Of course, I had to reply them immediately that as an international student I am not eligible for voting.

The Federal Government has a comprehensive database containing details of all Australian people and they use this data for many purposes. In voting places, they have printed list of all voting-eligible people of that electoral. So, when you go to vote, they ask your ID card and mark your name in their printed list and give you election forms. That is it! They have other online lists. Therefore, if you’re in another suburb or city in that particular day, they find your information easily and you can vote. It is impossible to abuse e.g. to vote several times.

The first T.V program about the election started just at 6 o’clock when the election was finished without any postpone. Primary results were issued within 30 minutes and final detailed results were determined at 9 o’clock - that is only after 3 hours!

After several days, I have not heard yet any complain from anybody about the election correctness and all people and parties have trusted the vote-counting method. This is a good example of information control.

By the way, voting in Australia is a duty not a choice. Don’t go to vote and you’ll get a bill – punished financially!

Monday, October 11, 2004

LIS job market

Although the LIS job market has been extended, it seems that LIS professionals haven't seized the new opportunities. The results of Breen (2002) shows that many of the jobs which were taken up by non-LIS graduates, were compatible with the skill-set of LIS graduates. What's the problem?
I think one of the main problem has rooted from LIS education. It is not up to date and it is doesn't provide students with the required skills for the job market. Just have a look at following job advertisments:

1. Job title: Information management officer
Experience & Qualifications:
Recognised information management qualification
High level of proficiency with computer-based information systems (including database and website) and word processing packages and their organisational application.
Skills:
Strong interpersonal skills and well developed oral and written communication skills.
A keen interest in training on systems and procedures
Sound research and investigative skills
Experience in data manipulation and analysis using computerised systems
Strong problem-solving, organisational and time management skills
Aptitude
Demonstrated ability to work effectively as a team member
Ability to assimilate and work with information across the organisation’s programs
Ability to liaise and work with staff from another programs as member of a team, or to work independentlyAbility to set priorities, meet deadlines and achieve specific objectives.

2. Job title: Information Management Consultant:
Seeking a Technical Consultant that possess a strong background in KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT and information managementsystems.The preference is for experience with DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT, ELECTRONIC RECORD keeping and library management systems.A sound ability to provide process mapping and workflow design is required.Further skills in requirements gathering and planning is necessary.The person must be sharp and be able to show initiatve to run with projects, coordinate activities and work closelywith others.DOCUMENTUM experience is highly regarded as are Tertiary qualifications.A background in a Consulting role or knowledge management role is preferred.

3. Job title: Junior Database / Document Administrator
-strong understanding of business processes and quality management
-advanced user of Microsoft applications including Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint and Visio
-previous experience in the application administration of a database -document management
-the ability to identify, investigate and analyse problems including bug fixing and troubleshooting
-the ability to create and generate Crystal Reports -knowledge of Oracle, SQL and Access
-act as liaison between the client and external service providers You will be a professional individual, with excellent communication and client facing skills as well as relevanttertiary qualifications.
You will be proactive and be able to work independently, including working to strict deadlines.Any additional knowlege of Quality Management Systems will be highly regarded.
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Breen, C. [et al]. (2002). "New information management opportunities in a changing world." Library Review 51(3/4): 127 (12p).

Friday, October 08, 2004

Social Network Analysis

Just to complete the last post about network analysis software, those who want find out more about this kind of software and their features can go to this web site.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Pajek

Recently I was informed by a student who is doing a research in Geogrphic Information Science about a free software called Pajek. It is actually a software for network analysis but it can have many applications in information science particularly in Bibliometric studies for example for analysis of co-citation or co-authorship networks.

Postscript: It seems the weblog's members are very busy these days as I don't see new posts as frequently as before. maybe because of the beginning of the new academic year.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Islamic Finder

The holy month of Ramadan is on the way. I am sure all of you have Moslem societies in your cities. However, if you don’t have a good access to them, you might visit the IslamicFinder Website.

This is a comprehensive website containing a huge spatial database of all countries information. For example, they have geographical information for over 150,000 towns and villages of Iran (Actually I am not sure whether we have such a big number of populated places in Iran!).

You can find your favourite place and see many interesting information among them the daily praying time (Azan) is more important for Ramadan month.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Iraq's Libraries

I was reading the book “Lost Libraries” edited by James Raven (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) that I came across a quotation from Robert Fisk about the destruction of the Iraq libraries. He was present in Baghdad when Americans entered the city in the recent war. This is the translation:

دیروز روز سوزاندن کتابها بود... آرشیوها و کتابخانه ملی، گنجینه ای بی نهایت ارزشمند از اسناد تاریخی عثمانی، از جمله آرشیوهای قدیمی سلطنتی عراق، در 3000 درجه حرارت تبدیل به خاکستر شدند. سپس کتابخانه قرآن ها در وزارت اوقاف طعمه حریق شد. من سارقان را دیدم... و آمریکاییها هیچ اقدامی برای پیشگیری از این وقایع نکردند. آنها همگی حدود 50 متر پایین تر بودند... این برای عراق سال صفر است. با نابودی عتیقه های موزه باستانشناسی در روز شنبه و سوزاندن آرشیوهای ملی و سپس کتابخانه قرآن ها، هویت فرهنگی عراق محو شد.چرا؟ چه کسی این آتش را برافروخت؟ به خاطر کدام هدف جنون آمیز این میراث نابود شد؟...نوه چنگیز خان در قرن 13 بغداد را سوزاند و گفته شده که رود دجله از جوهر کتابها سیاه شد. دیروز خاکستر سیاه هزاران سند باستانی آسمان عراق را سیاه کرد. چرا؟