You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2007.

One of the problems of the whole 2.0 movement is that there are so many choices of software to do the same things – WHICH blogging software do you use?  Since this blog was on WordPress, I decided to try it to set up another (internal only) blog.  Then realised I was spending heaps of time logging in and out as different users.  So I’ve now set up an account for myself, and have added that user to both blogs as an author.  Neat.  No more logging in and out, and easy access to different blogs.  I can see that this could be incredibly useful and makes blogging heaps easier.  AND it should say who I am at the top of this post, so I don’t need to sign it!


There’s a really interesting piece in CIO Magazine at the moment about what they call the “Shadow IT Department” – users who are highly technologically literate, and who then want the same rang of services on their work PC that they have at home. Some may just be nice gizmos – like having a nice screensaver, or ITunes to listen to at work; but increasingly, people are finding tips and tricks at home that they want to use at work, as they make them much more productive. Sound familiar, anyone?? I’m not about to reveal what we do at MPOW, but if I went back to high lock-down on our PCs, I’d probably go completely mad. Our high-lockdown doesn’t even allow right mouse-clicks in the windows environment!!

I agree there’s a tension between the needs of the organisation to keep the IT under control, keep the network functioning, and the support calls manageable. But with SOEs in the past, we seem to have gone for the lowest common denominator. I really like the suggestions in this document – it places the emphasis on what users need to do their work, rather than what tools IT find it easiest to manage.  Sue Rockliff’s comment (below) on her hospital deciding not to support PDAs is a case in point.  If the Department is purchasing software for them, shouldn’t it flow that they should be supported by IT Departments throughout the system??  Mind you, I think we have the same problem here.

I thought it was just me, but I’m intruiged to see that this issue is becoming more widespread, and beyond libraries. I know that it’s one of the top comments / topics for discussion whenever L2.0 is mentioned, and that the fact that many tools are freeware and web-based has given us a lot of flexibility. But in a Web 2.0 world, what can we reasonably expect from our IT Departments?


Personal Digital Assistants (PalmPilots, PocketPCs, even Blackberries) are increasingly becoming prominent in hospitals in general, and hospital library (if it exists) tends to become one of the major support areas for the PDAs. The vast majority of the hospital and/or educational institution health/medical PDA support sites are run through the institution’s library; such as

There are a range of issues around the support and management of PDAs in hospital libraries, not the least of which being the requirement for librarians to suddenly become technical support gurus and knowledgeable about not only the different types of PDA, but able to differentiate between the various different pieces of health/medical software available for PDA (and the list is very extensive indeed). MIMS and/or DynaMed? – for eg.

I’ve only myself received a PDA for playing around with (Palm T5, in case anyone was wondering) and have contrived to crash it at least twice, which is some small record for me! PDAs don’t necessarily have a lot of inherent memory, so the first thing to learn (apart from things like “turning it on” and “installing software” and “how to find programs”) is that one can’t install everything at once, just to “try”. This means I’m learning how to uninstall stuff … and that’s how I’m causing the crashes. There’s more hand-holding to this than I originally realised …

I’m also of the firm opinion that within 10 years, really significant health/medical resources will be concentrated into portable medical devices and they’ll be essential, not “useful to some, regarded as a waste of space by many, essential to a very few”. Think Star Trek and their magical scanners that diagnose AND dispense … we’re not far from that, I reckon.

And in a related segue … the Canberra Hospital Library is hosting a PDA Info Fair on March 7, for hospital staff and students. All Canberra and area librarians, whether medical or not, are invited to visit – it runs between 11:30am and 2:30pm in the main hospital foyer. There will be various hardware/software suppliers on hand to provide information, and the Library will be promoting its increasing range of support services for PDAs within the hospital itself. Contact the Library for more information.

Hmmm … “Point Of Care IT”, or PocIT. I _like_ it …

I’ve just been reading David Rothman’s post about PubMed2Connotea / PubMed2CiteULik . This has got me wondering whether Pubmed is pulling away from Ovid and Ebsco when it comes to useful add-ons. I know that we all have to use Ebsco for CINAHL after 2008; and that an awful lot of people are used to Ovid, and that it’s commonly regarded as the gold standard in searching. But I like things like RSS feeds, the ability to search pubmed quickly from my Firefox search box, the links to journals – and now this. Apart from everything else, by being open, it allows other people to develop links around it.

So it looks as though I’m going to spend some time trying to work out how to add my journal holdings to PubMed, and make it a viable alternative for our clients. Mind you, they can’t use Firefox at work, either, but here’s hoping that will be overcome, too!


Information Online had a blog, and a number of librarians did blog their individual experiences from there. of which InfoRX was a satellite event.

But where was InfoRX’s blog? Should it have had one? Should it have been this blog?? Probably …

I did bring along a Palm T5 with a Wifi card, but as I was tagging along somewhat late in the day, I never did get to find out whether I could get a login to the conference centre’s wireless connection and so blogged live.

So I _could_ have blogged the conf, but I didn’t. I sat neatly and made lots of pen’n’paper notes instead (and sneakily, I prefer that anyway … I remember stuff that way).

A few thoughts are sitting on paper that I’m still letting percolate into my brain; several ideas for talks on the whole Lib2.0 thang itself, and quite a lot of ideas that could be implemented at the place I work.

In jest, I mentioned some of these to My Fabulous Boss: “We could turn ourselves into a showcase of health libraries 2.0, because we’re one of the few with close to complete control over our website, content, networks, and own computers”. Serves me right. “What a good idea!!”.

So … what is Library 2.0, in the actual flesh? Podcasts burnt to a weekly loanable CD? A central media server streaming relevant audio and video ripped from YouTube and Google Video to be watched on the wall-mounted plasma in a dedicated multimedia room? PDAs with health/medical software lent to staff on a weekly basis? A blog, wiki, and forum on the website?

And technical/searching/implementation concepts aside, we then have to promote this little lot and get it used … !

I’d love to hear people’s wild flights of fancy. They may not be as wild as you think …

Well, it was a great weekend in Sydney! The sun was shining, the beach beckoned … and we were inside a small room, but it was worth it. The presentations of the Health Libraries Forum on Saturday were great, challenging, and thought-provoking. More discussion on that later, but here’s the presentation that Graham Spooner and I did on Libraries 2.0 and health. We’ve already had people email and ask for specifics about the tools, so feel free to do so, if you’d like to know more. And if you’re reading this, I presume you’ve subscribed to the feed!

Gillian Wood

(NSW Health Department Library)

L2.0 and Health