Saturday, 23 November 2013

Last day

Yesterday was the last day of my professional placement.  Actually the last two days were a rather nice treat as I was allowed to join in a 2-day PD (Professional Development) workshop run by Follett Destiny which is the cataloging system that the school uses. This was more about the "back-end" type of thing of managing the system and the authorisation levels, how to get things in and out of the system, including reports for collection management and quite a bit on the whole ebook thing.

I'm not entirely sure that that ebook thing is rising and soaring as vendors would like.  I'm ambivalent on the whole matter.  As a user, I was an early adopter of the Kindle and still buy most of my "immediate gratification" books on the Kindle. I'm not so keen on ebooks for non-fiction - having tried my best to adapt without success.  I use Overdrive for borrowing books from the public library (NLB) and it's been great while on holiday,  it's a little bit of a pain on the downloading and the constant requests for log-in, not to mention the whole saga around when Apple upgraded to 7.0, but they're useful.

From the other side of the fence - that of libraries and librarians I can see good reason for the reluctance to rush to adopt the technology.  From what I've heard in the corridors, there are all sorts of management and user education issues, platforms, technologies and not to mention the whole ownership / copyright thing.  And that's not even touching on the question of the continuity and ongoing viability of the vendors.

There was some chat about Playaway as a product, where libraries have a technology sitting there that's not being used much but can't substitute it for anything newer (tablet / online) without paying again.  Sunk costs and all that.  Yet, in a sense one would weed old books, so too I guess you need to weed old technology and its contents.  It's a bit of a mindset thing I guess, thinking if you have the digital file it should be forever.

I need to now write up my report and submit it.  In the mean time, I've started with my next two subjects, so today I'm trying to catch up with last weeks readings and tasks.