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Reinventing libraries for the mobile flaneurs: The odyssey continues

by Paul Bentley


Article originally published in Online Currents December 2012 and reprinted with kind permission of Thomson Reuters.



Around the world, many were feeling the rug being pulled from under them. Cultural institutions were being stung by Government budget cuts on most continents. In London, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, had cornered himself at the Ecuador Embassy as ambiguous forces gathered around him. And, in Australia, the shedding of nearly 2000 members of its staff by Fairfax signalled information industry restructuring. 

As the winds of change gathered, the theme for this year’s Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) 2012 Biennial conference was "Discovery".[1] Senator Ursula Stephens opened the conference by giving assurance to the 500 delegates. Libraries are important. They house our collective memory. Technology just makes it easier. After the National Broadband Network is rolled out libraries will take their place as community hubs. As ALIA celebrates its 75th anniversary, it continues to be an important mechanism for promoting libraries and developing professional skill.


Five keynote speakers teased out the discovery theme by asking questions and offering solutions. 

How can we create a better digital universe?

Tom Chatfield, who writes about the digital age, began proceedings by taking us back to the past. In 1849, the British Parliament’s Select Committee on Public Libraries promoted the need for “creating a place of deposit, a local habitation for books.” The sentiment was echoed in 2011, when British author Alan Bennett, commenting on recent public library closures in England, asserted that “not enough emphasis has been placed on libraries as a place.” There was something concrete about libraries in the old days, Chatfield said. New digital spaces are places we enter in order to have an experience. We have to sign licences in order to enter them. Technology is creating behaviours that aren’t necessarily good for us. Do we control it? Or does it control us?  

We need to do more than what technology wants us to do. To create a better experience, we need better interactions with each other. To escape the echo chamber of information noise, we need better interactions with the technology itself. Otherwise we risk becoming consumers rather than citizens. Promote the value of discovery over aggregation, he urged. Consider the advice of Daniel J Boorstin, Librarian of Congress from 1975 to 1987: “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge.”

Don’t forget values in giving service

Doing more than what technology wants you to do was also a thread in a talk by Michael Kirby, who retired from the High Court of Australia in 2009 after a distinguished legal career. As detailed in three new books about his journey, his acute understanding of discrimination helped shake off conservative traditions in Australian laws.[2] 

He began his address by paying tribute to the librarians who have assisted him through his life. He named them. There was Mrs Godwin at North Strathfield Public School. There was Mr Trehearne and Mr Barnard at Fort Street High. There were the law librarians - Roy Jordan, Virginia Pursell, Lyn Pollock, Jackie Elliott and Petal Kinder. And there was Warren Horton, then at the State Library. They all went the extra mile in leading him to new ideas and other points of view.  

His acquaintance with information technology goes back to 1980, when as chair of the international OECD expert group examining the implications of computerised data, his legal and negotiating skills were instrumental in producing the OECD Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data. The privacy principles he helped codify were put to a test in 2002 when Senator Bill Heffernan cast unfounded aspersions about Justice Kirby’s use of Commonwealth cars. Heffernan’s claims were laced with bigotry about homosexuality. Although out-of-date and inaccurate, the story can still be found on the internet. Without knowledge of the context, the truth may not be apparent to the unwary.  

He recalled another personal experience illustrating the sometimes complex relationship of principles, politics and public opinion. The 1950s ushered in a period of fear and intimidation, now characterised as McCarthyism. His grandmother’s second husband, Jack Simpson, was national treasurer of the Australian Communist Party. When Prime Minister Robert Menzies attempted to ban the Communist Party, Simpson was forced to go into hiding. After the High Court struck down the Communist Party Dissolution Act 1950(Cth), Menzies attempted to change the constitution to accommodate his beliefs though a referendum. The Australian people turned down the Menzies’ proposition. How would this play out today, Kirby asked, in a world where political will is influenced by online megaphone conversations?  

That’s where libraries and lawyers come in, he said. They are both in the values business. Discrimination persists. There is a tension between perfection and imperfection in finding common ground. Machines don’t present information in a neutral way. People still need librarians to ask the extra question – “have you thought about this?” Libraries and librarians have a secure future. But, in order to make the most of this new golden age, let’s not forget the values that have informed the past.

Give mobile users more than a catalogue

Tom Rhuven, Manager of Digital Library Development at the University of NSW, concentrated on two things - the growth of mobile technology and the development of user-centric discovery tools. He drew inspiration from the transformation of China in the Song dynasty. 960-1279, when the invention of woodblock printing and moveable type printing contributed to the spread of education, scholarship and knowledge.    

The rapid growth in the use of mobile devices is well documented. According to one report, tablets will replace textbooks within the next 5 years. Libraries need to gear up their services accordingly. Data mining offers the potential to amplify basic information in the catalogue. Extra data already exists about academic staff and students in the form of their articles, citations, CVs, grants, students supervised, course material, conferences attended, experiments, field trips, exam questions and other details. Useful data can be also found on the way people search for information – such as hourly search patterns, most used services, and the physical location of the searcher. By joining this information, they will be able to provide services at a much higher level. “There’s power in data mining way beyond AACR2.”

Think visually, be engaging

Mitchell Whitelaw, a Canberra-based academic, questioned theories about searching. Approaches to information retrieval, he said, have tended to be driven by two flawed assumptions: that it is possible for the user to specify precisely the information required and that information resides in a repository. Traditional searching seems to work fine, but it may not be the right approach in all circumstances. 

There are alternatives. The first is exploratory search, where the user is presented with the result of a search, but is given a little bit extra. Trove is a good example. The second alternative is browsing, a technique that is familiar to those who visit library buildings, but doesn’t seem to work as well in an online environment. And the third approach is to provide website interfaces to meet the needs of the information flaneur. The French word flaneur conjures up the picture of a man of leisure, an urban explorer and literary connoisseur in 19th century Paris. By thinking of some users as information flaneurs, we reframe them as curious, creative and critical. We could do well to follow the example of Flipboard, Pinterest and online retail sales catalogues. They offer experiences that are leisurely, browsable and beautiful. They are generous, but not overwhelming. They encourage exploration and engagement. 

Whitelaw is assisting two organisations to put these principles into practice. Manly Council, with support from the State Library of NSW, is experimenting with ways of searching more than 6000 pictures in its Image Collection by displaying results as themed clusters.[3] The National Gallery of Australia is working on a more visual approach to searching its Prints and Printmaking Collection. To make their catalogues more engaging, libraries could provide a rich overview and immersive experience, give samples, reveal relationships, and be delightful.

Be optimistic about the odyssey

The final keynote speaker was Alex Byrne, recently appointed State Librarian and Chief Executive of the State Library of New South Wales. After nearly a year in the job, he compared the challenges before him to those of Ulysses in Homer’s Odyssey and the richness of his daily life to Leopold Bloom’s experience on 16 June 1904 in James Joyce’s Ulysses.  

There are reasons to be pessimistic about the future. In the United Kingdom, government funding for libraries has been slashed and many council libraries have closed. Readers are shifting to ebooks. Newspapers and bookshops are under threat as publishers seek new business models.  

But there are also reasons to be optimistic. The general public is turned on to discovering information. New public and academic libraries are being built. Scholarly publications continue to grow rapidly.  

Libraries have not been standing still. They have been early adopters of technology. They fill many roles in their communities far beyond providing information and recreational reading. However, they need to be more lithe and responsive. They need to explain what they do. They need to engage much more wholeheartedly with both their multicultural and indigenous communities. And they need to stand up for civic virtues.  

Change will involve partnerships. At the State Library, a vital partner is the NSW State Government, which has just allocated $10.2 million to renew the library’s digital infrastructure and $55 million over ten years to digitise its heritage collections. Another is the network of 347 public libraries across the state. The statistics show that they are being used more than ever. In 2011 they attracted 36 million visits and lent more than 50 million items to nearly half the population of NSW.  

To enhance their capacities and capabilities, the State Library and its network must speak with one voice. To enable them to speak with a more effective voice, the State library has commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to update earlier studies on their value. Findings from studies in 2007-2008 estimated their economic benefit to the state to be $1.216 billion: for each dollar spent on public libraries, $4.24 of economic benefit was generated.


The rest of the conference acted as a counterpoint to the keynote addresses.  

A panel of suppliers anticipated constant change in an uncertain future, based on further supplier-library collaboration in search of productivity, new business models to support e-content and web-scale discovery, more emphasis on patron-driven acquisitions, and securing the future of librarians in the face of budget cuts and closures.  

Another group of suppliers, a panel of writers, expressed their appreciation as customers of libraries. Richard Glover, Anita Heiss, Melina Marchetta and PM Newton use libraries to help produce their books. For Anita Heiss a borrowed video on Paris offered the dubious benefit of giving her a feel for the City of Light without the cost of an air ticket to get her there. Matthew Reilly undertook much of his research for Ice Station in Willoughby Library. “It’s an illusion that everything is on the internet.”  

Other speakers in concurrent sessions covered organisational change, return on investment, library design, research practices, document delivery, reading and literacy, use of social media, customers and communities, collaboration and advocacy, among other topics. This commentary teases out some of the threads in the sessions I attended. 

Responding to mobile users

The National Library of Australia has given thorough consideration to the mobile universe by developing a strategy to deal with it.[4]  

Librarian of Digital Services at the National Library, Sarah Schindeler, laid out information industry trends. Libraries face increased competition from search engines and other services. Publishers are generating content and services that circumvent librarians. More and more people are using mobile devices to connect to libraries. Australian libraries are responding by developing mobile websites or apps. Efforts to date have focussed on proving access to catalogues, mobile tours, SMS services, social media and mobile-optimised content. Staff at the National Library have used the National Library mobile catalogue app on acquisition trips. Researchers have used mobile devices to monitor the status of the collection items they have requested. Mobile tour apps have been used in conjunction with its Treasures exhibition. 

These strategies have been based on the assumption that users want a mobile equivalent of core services. Although online users are not in favour of games as a development proposition, they do want an online experience that is enjoyable. The National Library’s major focus over the next few years will be on a Digital Library Infrastructure Replacement Project aimed at increasing its capacity to manage digital resources and support different forms of mobile delivery.

Making the most of more speed

City Libraries Townsville was the first public library service in Australia to be connected to the National Broadband Network. Susan Cocker gave delegates the benefit of her experience at Townsville and sketched out opportunities for reshaping public library services elsewhere. 

Digital strategies by the three levels of government vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure and Communications report captures input from ALIA on the value of libraries as complementary facilities for broadband in the home.[5] The Federal Government’s latest Digital Economy Strategy has eight broad goals that signal opportunities for libraries.[6] The Queensland Government’s Queensland NBN strategic plan 2012-2016 made scant note of the potential of libraries, she said. It is now under review by the Newman Government. On the other hand, the Townsville City Digital Economy Strategy 2012 acknowledges the key role to be played by its local library service.  

The Australian Government’s National Broadband Network program has provided funds to the 40 communities in the first phase of the rollout to assists the development of services by local councils, small businesses, not-for-profit organisations and digital hubs. CityLibraries Townsville’s digital hub consists of a smart lounge with internet-enabled TV, multi-user skype licences and other equipment available to individuals and small groups.[7] Teacher groups have used the lounge for children with special needs. Wollongong University has approached the library over a potential partnership in delivering courses on community journalism. A local GP network will use one of the branches to trial in-home monitoring of diabetes patients. Discussions are underway about possible streaming of programs from the State Library of Queensland. There is long-term potential for libraries to broadcast programs to residents in their homes and other libraries.

Amplifying local history

Daniel Rozas gave good advice on how to amplify local history using as a case study a four-year digitisation project at the City of Joondalup Libraries in Western Australia. Picture Joondalup is the result.[8] Associated developments include Picture Joondalup YouTube Slideshow Videos, with sound bites from its digitised oral history collection, a library e-newsletter and monthly radio programs that help market the library. Picture Joondalup is now a core function of the Reference and Local History Library. There are plans to digitise the library’s cartographic, archive, ephemera and newspaper clipping collections. 

Publicising a niche

Local libraries can surprise. Wendy Ford and John Taggart talked about the Manly Library Artist Book and Zine Collections, the first such collection to be established by a public library in New South Wales. Artists books and ezines are mediums for independent self-expression and offer “spectrums of ideas and unfiltered interpretations of the world that we might not otherwise be able to access.” The Manly Library collection is derived from a range of sources, including local artists and art students. They are part of the cultural history of the local region and they introduce library users to less processed or less mainstream media. 

Dealing with a crisis in school libraries 

Digital developments can produce unexpected consequences. Judy O’Connell from Charles Sturt University explored a perceived crisis in the provision of school library services. Evidence of a crisis can be found in the recent House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment report.[9]  The report assessed government expenditure on school libraries and the impact and potential of digital technologies in the school environment. It concluded that that there is a mismatch between the rhetoric about the value of school libraries and the reality. School libraries are under-resourced, they employ under-qualified staff, and services are declining.  The Australian Government has essentially left it to those responsible for funding and managing school libraries to address concerns. 

A number of organisations have contributed significantly to promoting new directions. These include the NSW Curriculum and Innovation Centre, the NSW Department of Education and Community, the School of Information Studies at Charles Sturt University and the State Library of Victoria through its Personal Learning Network program. But teacher librarians, often working alone, continue to be faced with the challenge of learning how to deal with the changing media landscape in circumstances over which they sometimes have little control. Strategies are needed to equip teacher librarians to deal with this environment. The Australian School Library Association is preparing a paper picking up these threads to be published at the end of 2012.

Being inspired by others 

Librarians can learn a lot from chefs. Gordon Ramsay in Kitchen Nightmares gave good advice on running any kind of business. Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food revolution is an excellent advocacy model for promoting the importance of cultural heritage. Ellen Forsyth, from the State Library of NSW, in her presentation about the technical expertise of librarians, drew attention to another Jamie Oliver enterprise, Barbecoa, a restaurant and butchers shop that he runs with Adam Perry Lang ( Barbecoa’s motto - feel good, inspire, respect, and evolve – and the way it promotes in-house skill and supplier expertise are beacons for libraries.  

Librarians can learn a lot about creativity and collaboration from other organisations within the sector and outside it. The smorgasbord of enterprises includes Fayetteville Free Public Library’s maker space in which 3D printers and other equipment is used to encourage people to make new things. Strategies by the Royal Shakespeare Company, New York Public Library, Ann Arbor District Library, Monstrum (a Danish playground design firm) and Scottsdale and Phoenix public libraries demonstrate new ways of providing services and highlighting the skills of staff.


Maryanne Hyde at Geelong Regional Libraries Corporation has been inspired by Dancing with the Stars in delivering services to children and young people. The television program offers the following tips for selecting a dance partner: compatibility, flexibility, commitment, creativity, patience, and passion. These principles have been applied in developing a number of partnerships in Geelong. Story Time in the Park is a partnership with Parks Victoria to encourage people to read, anywhere, anytime. It offers sessions at a wildlife sanctuary, the coastal foreshore and parks around the region. Kaleidoscope involves collaboration with the Geelong Gallery, Geelong Performing Arts Centre and Courthouse ARTS to provide experiences across the curriculum for students in Years 5 to 8. 

Serving regional users

North Coast TAFE (NCTAFE) Library is challenged by distance and demography. It serves 17 campuses connected by 700 kilometres along the north coast of New South Wales. Those who use its services include retirees, Indigenous learners, farmers and agriculturalists. Andrew Blundell, Janelle Everest, and Kerry Watson outlined work by the library to maintain its relevance. An integrated Library, Information and Learning Technologies Unit has been established. A team from the unit is assigned to each faculty. Services are supported by a suite of software programs to facilitate administrative, learning, information management and publishing functions. These include Moodle, Adobe products, Equella, Sharepoint and  LibGuides. NCTAFE has worked with universities and schools in the region to share services and campuses. Although there are issues to resolve – use of different library management systems and different opening hours for example - the partnerships have ensured that professional currency is maintained. 

Redesigning interfaces

Mal Booth, Belinda Tiffen and Josh Vawdrey backed up Mitchell Whitelaw’s advice about the nature of information retrieval in talking about developments at the University of Technology Sydney. Preparations are underway for a move to a new library building and plans to store 75% of its physical collection in an automatically-served adjacent repository.  

Current library catalogues, discovery platforms and web-scale discovery services, they said, fail to cater to users with ill-defined information needs. While search has its place, there is a need for a process that encourages exploration of a range of possibilities. Discovery is more about the journey than the destination. In looking at future options for human-mediated services, UTS Library has used design thinking and user research. It has employed a design consultancy firm to assist. It has launched an artist-in-residence program. And it is encouraging serendipity and exploration through its readers’ advisory services.  

It’s new single-search catalogue uses Endeca Technology’s Information Access Platform. Development work has focused on four inter-dependent areas. Aggregated resources such as electronic readings, exam papers, university research output and publications from the UTS e-Press suite are now searchable in the Endeca catalogue. To facilitate recommendation functions, it has employed the OpenCalais service ( to automatically generate rich semantic metadata in Resource Description Framework format for all content on its website. Data mining techniques have been used to analyse borrowing patterns, search data and enrolment data in order to point users to appropriate resources. The Library is making greater use of social bookmarking and tagging on web pages and in user-submitted content. The new interface is expected to be launched mid-to-late 2012. 

Educating librarians

Professor Helen Partridge from Queensland University of Technology led a panel of speakers -  ANU’s Roxanne Missingham, Innotecture’s Matt Moore and Central West Libraries’ Jan Richards - on the subject of library and information science (LIS) education, prompted by a recent report by the Australian Teaching and Learning Council. [10]  

As traditional roles continue to be challenged, the report considered qualifications in an environment that is underpinned by the Australian Government’s 2009 report Transforming Australia’s Higher Education Systems. In recent years the number of LIS students has declined. Lack of incentive in professional pay levels, alternative prospects in the information and communications technology arena, and the blurring of boundaries between professional and paraprofessional roles have generated new complexities. In a changing e-landscape, the curriculum has become a moveable feast. There is an imbalance between the number of courses being offered and openings in the marketplace: more LIS courses per capita are offered in Australia than elsewhere. As a niche discipline, LIS programs often find their identity, autonomy and survival under threat. Course recognition by ALIA is being challenged by multiple pathways to credentials.   

The report makes 11 recommendations. These include the adoption of a broader and more inclusive nomenclature to reflect the expanding field, the establishment of a self-directed body representing teaching and research within the information discipline and further research. Strategies are needed to ensure the relevance of the profession and create more flexible professional development delivery options. 

The panel and its audience discussed the rapid and profound change that has occurred in libraries since 1995 and the new roles being adopted in many contexts. Life-long learning strategies are essential in a profession in which most understanding is gained from experience. There is a challenge in persuading young people to choose librarianship over alternatives. Suggestions about a change of name and a fresh image were countered with reminders that existing names such as librarian and archivist were well understood. Although librarians need to evolve, they have solutions. Standard educational models will not serve libraries well because not all libraries are the same. The profession could be strengthened by traineeships, recruitment of people from other types of jobs and encouraging mature people to join the ranks.   

Kate Byrne, from the University of NSW Library, addressed the role of associations in the providing professional development programs. Associations, she said, have had a mixed record in this area. The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in the United Kingdom and the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa have recently adopted compulsory professional development schemes. But debate continues about the effectiveness and practicality of such schemes. Changes are needed for associations to effectively support the industry. 

She has been the catalyst revitalising an ALIA group by applying two concepts - social learning networks and communities of practice. ALIA Sydney emerged from ALIA NSW, after the latter group had run out of steam. Initial work involved matching expectations with capacity, based on the recruitment of a committee of ten, position descriptions and surveys. The new group has operated successfully for two years, with an injection of new blood to ensure the momentum is sustained. 

Association membership is now less compelling because of the proliferation of social networking tools. ALIA Sydney’s experience has reinforced the view that “people now are looking for access to other people instead of access to content as sources for new information.” Associations need to support this demand otherwise the “communities may support themselves and ultimately do without the association.” Associations, employers and individuals need to work together to create learning communities within the sector. Training programs by employers and the commitment of individuals are important elements in the mix.   


In drawing these themes to a conclusion, do we need to introduce more notes?

Changing contexts

Technology continues to drive all before it.  

Time Magazine in a recent 30-page spread reinforced signals at the conference about mobile technology’s anticipated transformation of democracy, industry and society.[11]

Social media are making us cross-eyed. Larry Rosen, an American psychology professor, says they are increasing psychiatric maladies and are taking their toll on our propensity for deep thinking.[12] Former science minister Barry Jones goes a step further by claiming that stupidity is on the rise. The technology is sophisticated but the ideas generated, he said, are banal and naive.[13] Sydney Morning Herald columnist, Richard Ackland, reckons the zeitgeist is captured by one of Mitt Romney’s operatives who recently said “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”[14]

The WikiLeaks saga, photographs of a topless Kate Middleton and a secret recording of a speech by Alan Jones have prompted debates about personal privacy and public secrecy. According to Simon Jenkins, opening up public transparency through freedom of information legislation has undermined sensible government. But there can be no going back to secrecy in the public sector.[15]  

The information revolution may have stalled.  

John Naughton, reviewing a book by the American legal scholar Tim Wu, writes that the internet now seems to be in a state of inventive stasis. It has spawned utopian dreams and surprises, but all we see now is an endless stream of incremental changes and copying. There is an epidemic of patent wars. The intellectual property regime is obsolete. Business models encourage "free" services in return for massive intrusions on privacy and swindles. “We may be the first civilisation in history that invented a golden goose – and then strangled it.”[16] 

On the other hand, Henry Blodger, in State of the Internet: 2012, says it is just a phase. After a period of high growth in the market, expectations are likely to return to reality. Internet companies may experience years of “multiple compression” followed by steady growth – or death. It is the way of the world.[17] Mathew Ingram reckons the internet is eating up our history as web pages and links rapidly disappear.[18] 

Clay Shirky is more laid back about it all. Revolutions, he says, take a while to play out. Collaboration doesn’t necessarily lead to innovation. Innovation needs incubation. The internet has made it possible for more disagreement, which is good for innovation. Cooperation without coordination, as exemplified in the development of the Linux open source operating system and use of the distributed version control system Git, is a good example of how collaboration can work in a way that fits in with the ideals of democracy.[19] 

Changing libraries

Libraries continue to be responsive to change. It has been nearly 25 years since the Librarian of Congress James Billington, at the ALIA biennial conference in 1990, talked about the promise of digitisation as embodied in the American Memory Project. More than a decade later, ALIA designed its 2002 conference to explore future necessities in response to the World Wide Web. Ten years further down the track, the long revolution rolls on, but for libraries the basic issues remain much the same.  

With limited control over their destinies, labour intensive libraries continue to be reliant on government funds at a time when public spending on libraries, archives and museums is unpredictable and sometimes perplexing. Alex Byrne’s announcement of State Government support for a major digitisation program at the State Library of NSW coincided with budget cuts that have led to staff reductions at the State Library and the closure of the city reading room of State Records NSW. In North America, the razor applied to Library and Archives Canada is indicative of tough times being experienced in other parts of the world. The promise of whole-of-government thinking is often followed by decisions that suggest one hand of government doesn’t know what its other hand is doing.  

Libraries value collaboration, but serious collaboration in the cultural heritage sector has been difficult to muster. The idea of regional hubs appeared to have disappeared when the Federal Government pulled the plug on the Collections Council of Australia, but it has resurfaced in a different form as part of the National Broadband Network program. The National Digitisation Information Infrastructure Program in the United States demonstrated the difficulty of collaboration in diverse environments. Managing institutional interests is not easily transferable to sector-wide, multi-jurisdictional programs. Solutions are not necessarily found by looking for silver bullets.

Changing associations

Kate Byrne rightly observed that library associations depend in large part on the efforts of committed catalysts and voluntary committees to make them work. Answers to perpetual change, though, are likely to come from business solutions. Ways of doing business in The Race for Relevance will no doubt prove to be necessary partners for communities of practice.[20] Successful strategies will be defined by the amount of money associations make. Increased income will improve their capacity for advocacy and improving professional practices.   


Discovery, supported by visualisation and data mining, were worthwhile themes to fire up those attending the conference. Reinventing libraries for the mobile flaneurs will no doubt involve more than rediscovering serendipity. Underscoring the point by Ellen Forsyth, OCLC’s Lorcan Dempsey wrote in a recent blog that libraries must make their staff more discoverable: “if libraries wish to be seen as expert, then their expertise must be visible.”[21]

If the internet is a new City of Troy, the time may have arrived for the librarians to emerge from their Trojan horses. Let the odyssey continue! 

All webpages citied were viewed October 2012

[1] For information about the ALIA 2012 Biennial conference

[2] Dellora, D. Michael Kirby: Law, Love and Life (Viking, 2012); Brown, AJ. Paradoxes & Principles (Federation Press, 2011); Kirby, M. A Michael Kirby - Private Life: Fragments, Memories, Friends (Allen & Unwin 2011).

[3] "Exploring the Manly Local Studies Image Library"

[4] National Library of Australia. Mobile Strategy, 2011. Accessed via

[5] Australia. Parliament. House of Representatives Committee on Infrastructure and Communication. Broadening the debate: Inquiry into the role and potential of the national broadband network, August 2011

[6] Australia. Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. National Digital Economy Strategy, May 2011.

[8] See

[9] Australia. House of Representatives Standing Committee on Education and Employment. School libraries and teacher librarians in 21st century Australia, 2011.  

[10] Australian Learning and Teaching Council. Re-conceptualising and re-positioning Australian library and information

science education for the 21st century (2011).

[11] "10 ways mobile technology is changing our world."  Time, 27 August 2012:21-51.

[12] Kunzia, R. "The antisocial network." Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum, 28-29 July 2012: 19

[13] Jones, B. "Stupidity is on the rise in our age of enlightenment." The Age, 9 August 2012.

[14] Ackland, R. "Sometimes it takes a troll to know one." Sydney Morning Herald, 14 Sep 2012.

[15] Jenkins, S. "For the digital revolution, this is the Robespierre moment." The Guardian, 10 July 2012

[16] Naughton, J. "Has the internet run out of ideas already?" [reviewing Tim Wu’s The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires]. The Observer, 29 April 2012.

[17] Blodget A and Cocotas H. "The state of the internet".

[18] Ingram, M. "The disappearing Web: Decay is eating our history" Bloomberg Businessweek, 20 September 2012.

[19] Shirky, C. "How the Internet will (one day) transform government."

[20] Coerver, H and Byers, M. The race for relevance: 5 radical changes for associations. (ASAE Association Press, 2011).

[21] Dempsey, L. Space as a service and full library discovery, 31 August 2012

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