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Wednesday, 8 May 2013


The past few months with the ICT lectures has been one of discovery. The lectures have provided us with insight as to where libraries should be in  the 21st century.
We were shown that from blogging , to Wikis, to QR codes, to Podcasting, to Tweeting  and all other aspects of social media, all form a very important part of the library environment now. We as librarians need to take this knowledge forward now an implement these technological aspects into our libraries. As stated before we need to get out there where our patrons are. The virtual world is a place they are frequenting now.

The QR project which was completed showed that it is not impossible to put together an exercise of this nature. Currently it is only a paper exercise but we are hoping to make use of it in the June vacation with the children. The project had to do with an information hunt in the library making use of QR codes. Children would need to scan the various codes and find the clues behind it, to answer the questions.

The Wiki and the Blogg are also valuable exercises in getting your library out into the virtual world. The patron community will have direct contact with the library and see what is happening at your library. In making use of this technology, libraries can also create a network which can stretch to the different corners of the world. In the virtual world there are no boundaries.

As mentioned the knowledge acquired during these past few months has been valuable in ensuring that we as librarians are in the position to take our libraries forward.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

QR Code Assignment

QR Code Assignment

A descion was made to  do the QR Code  as a project. It is coming across as interesting and challenging. To decide as to what should be incorporated into the QR code was the real challenge. It was finally decided to the treasure hunt or rather hunt for information QR code.

Let's first delve into what the QR code is. The Quick Response codes are 2-dimensional bar codes which contain text, numbers, +URL. The URL will link to a particular website which contains information which is referred to as “mobile tagging”. The code could contain various types of information from places, to products or even services. In order to gain access to the information contained in these codes one will be required to have a camera phone with a QR code reader.
QR code generators are freely available on the internet via some of the following sites Quick QR, QRify. Here is a link to other QR code generators.

While trawling through the internet looking for ideas for the project, it was picked up that libraries overseas have really grasped technology and are applying it. Some the uses are displaying new titles with links to reviews, doing treasure hunts with children, providing details about the library such as open hours and staff contact details. Yes, there are various uses for libraries but here back home we still need to grasp this technology.
Some of the uses of QR codes in libraries:

Dispaly with QR links 
Library assistance via QR codes

Children's fun via QR codes

QR Codes Explained on Youtube


Wednesday, 24 April 2013


It was interesting to note during the lecture that none of the City of Cape Town Libraries have a Wiki. It is something that libraries should look at considering doing, as the saying goes; there need to be a presence out there.While trawling through the internet looking at various Wikis, this particular information popped up in one of the websites ( . It provides a good overview of Wikis, including the pros and cons.

Introduction To Wikis


Wiki technologies are increasingly being used to support development work across distributed teams. This document aims to give a brief description of Wikis and to summarise the main challenges to be faced when considering the deployment of Wiki technologies.

What Is A Wiki?

A Wiki or wiki (pronounced "wicky" or "weekee") is a Web site (or other hypertext document collection) that allows a user to add content. The term Wiki can also refer to the collaborative software used to create such a Web site [1].

The key characteristics of typical Wikis are:
·       Ability to create and edit content within a Web environment without the need to download any special software.

·       Use of a simple markup language which is designed to simplify the process of creating and editing documents.

·       Ability to easily create and edit content, often without need for special privileges.

Wikipedia – The Largest Wiki

The Wikipedia is the largest and best-known Wiki – see <>.
Wikipedia is a good example of a Wiki in which content is provided by contributors around the world.
The Wikipedia appears to have succeeded in providing an environment and culture which has minimised the dangers of misuse. Details of the approaches taken on the Wikipedia are given on the Wikimedia Web site [2].

What Can Wikis Be Used For?

Wikis can be used for a number of purposes:
·    On public Web sites to enable end users to easily contribute information.

·    In teaching. Wikis can provide an opportunity to learn about team working, trust, etc. A good example is provided by Queen’s University Belfast [3].

·    By researchers. Wikis are by Web researchers to make it easier to develop collaborative documents e.g. the FOAF Wiki [4].

·    On Intranets, where departmental administrators with minimal HTML experience may be able to manage departmental content.

·    Wikis can be used at events for note-taking e.g. in discussion groups [5].

Wikis – The Pros And Cons

As described in [6] advantages of Wikis may include:
·    No need to install HTML authoring tools; minimal training may be needed.

·    Can help develop a culture of sharing and working together (cf. open source).

·    Useful for joint working when there are agreed shared goals.

Disadvantages of Wikis may include:

·    The success of the Wikipedia may not necessarily be replicated elsewhere.

·    There is not (yet) a standard lightweight Wiki markup language.

·    A collaborative Wiki may suffer from a lack of a strong vision or leadership.

·    Can be ineffective when there is a lack of consensus.

·    There may be copyright and other legal issues regarding collaborative content.

·    It may be difficult for Wikis to gain momentum.

Further Information

1      Wiki, Wikipedia, <>

2      Wikimedia principles, Wikimedia, <>

3      IT and Society Wiki, Queen’s University Belfast, <>

4      FOAF Wiki, FoafProject, <>

5      Experiences of Using a Wiki for Note-taking at a Workshop, Ariadne 42, Jan. 2005, <>

6      Making the Case for a Wiki, Ariadne 42, Jan. 2005, <>

Wednesday, 17 April 2013



Sitting back an observing the other class members doing their presentation was enjoyable because this time one could fully focus on the presentations. On the previous occasion when knowing that you must present, one tend to be a bit distracted. It was also good to observe how these students took heed of the errors made by some of the first batch of presenters. They were able to provide improved presentations. 

In thinking about all the presentations and how one can improve, I trolled through some sights on the Internet and came across the one below. It provides quite a bit of detail as to how to do presentations. The presentation is looked at holistically, from the body language to listening to the actual presenting. There is even an entry on presentation and nerves.

Below is a clip which can also assist with doing presentations.

The more insight we obtain in doing presentations, the better we can become at doing it

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Presentation Time

This was one of those nervous moments which came and went. When you are done you are glad it is over.
The realisation is that it is one thing to set up the presentation and another thing to actually to do the presenting. It becomes a learning curve for the individual when peers provide comments on the presentation, be it good or bad. The criticism can only contribute to an improved presentation the next time round.
The topic of "Social media in libraries" was not too difficult to grasp in the essay but doing a presentation on it became another challenge. In setting up the presentation one is never sure if you are putting in sufficient information or if you are actually over doing it. The 5 minutes was also a bit of a challenge in trying to convey all the information.
Generally the first group done fairly well in presenting their topics and it was good to see the different approaches to the same topic.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013


To filter or not to filter, that is the question?  There is a lot of discussion around this particular issue. When we talk about internet filtering, it can be said that one of the main areas of concern is probably trying to protect the children from unsavory material.  Yes, in this aspect filtering is definitely required but it also requires parents to be vigilant when their children go online.  
Over blocking again can lead to certain sites of relevance being blocked. It is like a win / lose situation, where filtering is required but it must not be overdone.
At the library with the free internet access for the public which is provided via the Smart Cape Facility, filters are built into the system. Patrons still however occasionally get around these filters; staff still need to be very much vigilant. The question that can be asked then is how effective are these filters if people are able to get around them?
In going onto You Tube to see what is available on the subject; it was amazing to see the amount of clips on how internet filtering works, which one works best and yes, there are also clips showing how to get around these filters. Therefore it can be said again that it is basically a win / lose situation; there are filters but there are also the workarounds.
There is a very interesting article that deals with the subject on the following website:

The article looks at the approach of various countries around the world towards internet censorship.
There is another article on the below website which looks at how internet censorship works:

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Open Access and Institutional Repositories

Open Access and Institutional Repositories
One can only perceive this lecture to have been a very academic one, if one is to compare it to the previous lectures on Social Media.
It was like getting down to the serious side of ICT applications but a very relevant and useful side.
Open access should become the norm for sharing knowledge in order to empower other students, researchers or academics. The gold road would be the way to go to ensure the information is made available freely to all. As mentioned by Jill Claasen, by doing this, publications gain greater exposure and the readership of them is broader. A continent like Africa can only benefit from Open Access. With this sharing of knowledge and research, it can only have a positive impact in the academic environment.
This website provides a good overview of the concept of Open Access:
This website contains information about Open Access which was compiled by Peter Suber who is a Research Professor of Philosophy at Earlham College. As he states he also wear many other hats and one of them is being the Director of Harvard Open Access Project.
Institutional Repositories
This can only have a positive impact in academic environments, knowing that that the legacy of the institutions academics can live on to certain extent. What is also positive about it is that different forms material can be retained in repositories, such as audio and visual clips, images, conference papers and many other forms. The result is that the university's research gains more exposure which results in better usage.
There is an interesting article on the Information Today website dealing with Institutional Repositories;
In both instances there are always concerns about copyright but there are procedures in place to ensure the creator remains the owner of the work.