Open Platforms and the Anti-Fragile Library

Earlier this week I gave a short talk for IFLA's New Librarians Global Connection: best practices, models and recommendations webinar series. They had asked me to talk about my ideas on 'technolust' and antifragility, but of course my thoughts have moved on a little since my first blog posts on…

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Antifragile Libraries pt 2: Antifragile librarianship

In my last post we considered the idea of Antifragility and how libraries might consider making our collections more anti-fragile. Today I'd like to discuss how we take the antifragile concept further by considering an antifragile approach to discovery, as well as exploring librarianship as a tool for antifragilism. Arguably,…

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Technolust - the fifth column of the information counter-revolution

I'm going to start with a story about growing up in Tasmania in the 1990s. The economy wasn't great, with unemployment at around 11%, no economic growth to speak of and a high State debt. In these formative years, I was surrounded by both the defeatists and the hopelessly optimistic.…

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Not just an Academic question: Why Open Access matters for public libraries

I’ve been thinking about writing a post on Open Access for a while. The recent tragic death of Aaron Swartz seems like an appropriate time to do so. I didn’t know a lot about Aaron Swartz before his death. I’d read about him ‘stealing’ millions of JSTOR…

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Mission creep - a 3D printer will not save your library

So you think your library needs a 3D printer. You’re going to be modern, ahead of the curve, futuristic, not-your-mother’s-library. Congratulations. But why exactly is it appropriate for a library service to provide 3D printing? Cargo cults and technolust “We have 2D printers, 3D printers are just the…

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A failure of imagination - the problem with format neutrality

I often hear librarians promoting their ‘modern librarian’ credentials by saying “it’s about the information, not the container”.  By this they tend to mean that librarians in a world of instantly downloadable ebooks, subscription journal databases and multiple other formats for audio, visual and written works should be format-neutral.…

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