Author Archives: Tim Tillack

About Tim Tillack

Coming soon...

5 Comments

In the words of Jim Morrison, “this is the end, beautiful friend, the end”. It’s been a roller coaster of a semester both professionally and academically. For the 14 weeks of semester, I spent at least 12 of those weeks away from home travelling for business. This put an inordinate amount of stress on my studies and prevented me from being able to participate to the degree I would have desired.

Looking back at my Week 2 post: Communities, collaborative thinking and the cyberflaneur – I was already cognisant that my professional demands would shape the type of contributor I would be in the community. I signed up for the CLA Toolkit and after a few teething issues I was able to start tracking my participation in the community. As you can see in the following pie chart, more than 55% of my contribution came from triggering, with 11% from resolution and 33% in the other category. I was an active user of Twitter throughout semester and completed all of my blog posts on time. Due to time I was not as active in reading and commenting on other student blogs, but did make an effort where possible.

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-3-06-49-pm

Looking at some of my peers’ blogs they were able to attract a lot more activity than I did with my blog. If I had of been more active in reading and commenting, then I’m sure I could have attracted a lot more traffic. However, saying that, looking at the data in the CLA Toolkit, my commented to created ratio was fairly evenly split at 55% to 45%, respectively. This data shows that I was an active commenter in the community. However, data aside, I personally felt isolated from the community and wish I had have been able to be more embedded and active in the online community.

screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-3-15-40-pm

I have been a user of Twitter in my professional pursuits for a number of years, so found it an easy platform to use in this course. What was new for me, however, were the Twitter chats. Recently, I used the skills I gained during Twitter chats to live tweet during the Liberact IV conference, which was a lot more effective to previous methods. It was also during the same conference that I realised the networking power of Twitter in being able to reach out to new contacts in the industry. I live tweeted during a presentation by Jane Cowell (SLQ), and then spent some time chatting with her during the break. It was only through the visibility of live tweeting that I was able to meet Jane. Now we are sharing articles and things of interest around data personalisation and digital librarianship. Because I follow a lot of LIS and GLAM sector related Twitter accounts, I have a constant stream of interesting articles flowing through my feed; therefore, I was easily able to quickly share items of interest with my #ifn614 class.

If I were to reflect on one take-away for the unit, it would have to be around Design Thinking and how this relates to the design of products, programs and services for libraries. I was able to see the impact of this discourse firsthand during the Liberact IV conference. At the time of doing the readings for Week 5, the concept was still fairly academic, so it was only through hearing and seeing at the conference how design thinking is being used in the design of information programs that I was able to situate the concept in real-world practical applications.

Whilst I may have preferred not to have the weekly blog post deadlines, this method of teaching and learning was beneficial for me. It forced me to do enough reading so that I could understand the topic and be able to write an informed blog post, which ultimately kept me interested week to week. Due to my professional obligations and continual travel demands (often in other time zones) I was not always able to join the Twitter chats or lectures; and in the case of group assignments, I was unable to work in a group. This has meant I’ve been at a disadvantage. Whilst lecture recordings are able to capture the content, because the sessions are designed around participation, catching up by watching the recording is not the same thing as being there.

Overall, I am pleased with the quality of my work. Even with all my challenges, I’ve been able to turn in high quality work that shows a satisfactory level of engagement with the content. It could be said that an obvious area for improvement is in time management, but no amount of time management can mitigate against the fact that my days on the road are filled from 6am to 8pm at night, leaving very little time for my studies. It’s only on the weekend that I’m able to get my work done. Because I work with libraries in my day job, and study about libraries in my studies, it often feels like I’m working non-stop! This is something I will have to re-evaluate next year and perhaps drop to one subject per semester so that I can continue to meet the University’s requirements.

Thanks to all my peers and the teaching team for a great semester.

PS. If you're at ALIA Information Online in Sydney, please drop by the EBSCO booth to say hello.

7 Comments

This week I was scheduled to be a Twitter champ for the #ifn614culturechat on Twitter. However, due to work commitments I was unable to join at the time, so have had to review the Storify archive and reflect on the discussion retrospectively. Reading through the archive I was interested in the responses to the first question, which posed the following:

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-11-38-04-am

Before I get into critiquing the question and the responses, it’s important to understand what we’re talking about. GLAM stands for the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums sectors. The GLAM sector in Australia is a diverse group of public interest organisations collecting and exhibiting cultural and environmental material. The combined collections contain over 100 million objects of which only 25% is digitised. Each of these institutions could be said to be concerned with preserving the cultural memories of their communities and society at large, so play an important role in providing access to the nation’s cultural heritage. This notion of GLAM preserving and sharing cultural knowledge was noted by @NuraFirdawsi.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-12-02-19-pm

The responses from quite a few of the participants identified the overlap in roles between the GLAM organisations and their need to more closely work together, and it was noted by @ChloeRPickard, in the case of State Library of Queensland (SLQ) and Queensland Museum there is already cooperation.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-11-20-03-am

However, @cdel1993, noted that she works in the GLAM sector and sees minimal co-operation between the various GLAM organisations that work in the Queensland Cultural Centre.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-12-07-39-pm

The centre consists of the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), the Queensland Museum, the State Library of Queensland (SLQ), the Queensland Art Gallery (QAG) and the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA). According to the artsQueensland website, ‘this collection of co-located cultural institutions on a single site is unique in Australia and rare worldwide.’ With so many GLAM institutions so close together, if what @cdel1993 has observed is true, then this suggests a lack in opportunity for these organisation to work together.

A Google search using keywords such as GLAM, cooperation, collaboration reveals some of the discourse surrounding the issues, challenges and opportunities for the GLAM sector. In a staff paper posted on the NLA website, Warwick Cathro argues,

Collaboration is not something we undertake for its own sake. Our collaborative activities should be a response to user needs, and should lead either to more content being available for users, to improved user access pathways, or to preservation of content for future users.

In the same way that libraries have gone through changes driven by shifts in digital technology, the GLAM sector has also undergone ‘profound shifts driven by a number of trends, chiefly those arising from the dramatic changes of how people access, share and engage in digital services and social media’. So, if the GLAM sector is charged with the responsibility of preserving the nation’s cultural heritage, as well as facilitating public access to it for research, education and inspiration; and for the various institutions to be better used as creative spaces or spaces for cultural research (thanks, @JasmineD_R) then better collaboration is clearly required.

screen-shot-2016-10-30-at-12-00-35-pm

I’ve been building up to a point about access that was missed in the chat, but for which I’ve run out of time, so perhaps I’ll leave with some final questions: what can GLAM do to better facilitate better access and discoverability of its various collections? How can over 100 million objects be un-siloed so that GLAM can meet its collective responsibility in facilitating research, education and inspiration of its combined collections?

7 Comments

dice
Source: nerdtrek.com

One of my fondest memories of teen library use goes all the way back to the late-80s when my friends and I were into Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) 2nd edition and other role-playing game (RPG) systems. This was the Golden Age of pen and paper RPGs with weird-shaped dice, a dungeon master and daring adventure! Our school bags weren’t heavy with school books, but with all the manuals, folders and other handbooks required to play the game. My friends and I would skip sports class and head to the library where we would create our characters for the coming weekend’s adventuring and debrief from any previous campaigns.

advanced-d-d-lot-dungeons-dragons-2nd-edition-7-books-1-box-set-1-binder-9c88f0ab5784f55f0b8af20bd957dbe2
Source: terapeak.com

As you can imagine, my fellow nerds and I were a minority in the school population, so were often bullied and picked on; it was only in the school library that we could find sanctuary. I also recall seeing a flyer at the public library for the local RPG Society meetings – a group of other kids, young adults and societal weirdos who shared the same passion. We would meet at the public library for Society meetings and also play our games.

So, why all this reminiscing? In a similar way, there have been taboos and moral panic about both Dungeon & Dragons (D&D) and video games throughout the history of each form. D&D was supposed to promote Satanic themes and teen suicidal tendencies; and video games have had to bear the brunt of societal outcry as being responsible for encouraging violent behavior – even to the point of being blamed for the mass shootings at schools in the USA. I wrote about the morality of video games in my undergraduate studies.

youngstown-3
Source: youngstownlibrary.ca/

Throughout the history of gaming in the library, board games and card games have generally been accepted, but video games due to their violent reputation have only recently been embraced. Libraries that started to offer electronic gaming programs approached it as a strategy to attract a wide audience of teens, especially boys. Whilst there is no denying that there are video games that are violent, the library can choose to make available games that are sociable and fun (for example, driving games); or games that teach valuable skills (for example, Minecraft), which helps kids develop spatial and problem-solving skills, collaboration and creativity. And with the current trend towards makerspaces in libraries, Minecraft is practically a virtual makerspace. Video games are also subject to classification, which can be used as a guide to determine their suitability for particular audiences.

Gaming can be a fun social activity, and as places that bring people together, libraries can provide the space for these kinds of activities. Having these sorts of programs in the library helps to promote the role of libraries as central meeting places and reinforce the library’s value as a cultural centre for the community. They also attract patrons who may be non-users, and generally not interested in the library as a place to borrow books, or other items in the collection. Libraries also provide equity of access, so teens from disadvantaged communities who may not be able to afford electronic gaming equipment at home can come into the library, socialise with others and have fun gaming in the library.

The following blog post provides a review of QUT Library’s approach to research support services within the wider context of the University’s research priorities, as well as consideration of the professional skills and knowledge required by librarians working in this increasing area of demand for academic and research libraries.

The latest iteration of QUT’s institutional strategic plan, Blueprint 5, sets out the University’s research priorities, which positions the institution as a university for the real world of today and tomorrow. In 2011, Borchert & Callan, noted that universities were ramping up their research capacity, capability and reputation. This effort can be seen in a selection of QUT’s research aspirations, as identified in the Blueprint:

  • increase the number and scale of collaborations with end users, and significantly enhance QUT's research income from business and international sources (capacity)
  • renew focus on research potential and quality in staff recruitment, with a particular emphasis on building productive research teams in our areas of strategic advantage (capability)
  • aim for 'top-two' position in national competitive grants in at least five areas (education; creative industries; applied mathematics/statistics; information technology; and robotics, avionics and automation) (reputation)
  • aim for all research disciplines at QUT to achieve an Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rating of 3 in the medium term and to achieve an ERA rating of 4 and 5 in the long-term (reputation)

Whilst the Blueprint doesn’t make any mention of the library, there is an important and implicit role for the library in providing services so the institution can reach its goals. Over time, QUT Library has developed an integrated model for the delivery of a range of research support services and systems designed to enhance the research capabilities of the University. The library’s management structure also reflects the strategic importance of providing research support services as indicated in the following snippet taken from the QUT Library Organisational Structure May 2016.

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-1-06-17-pm

Looking at the Research tab of the QUT Library website, the services offered are divided across four areas as can be seen in the screenshot below:

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-1-11-43-pm

It's apparent that research support covers a wide range of services including open access, citation analysis and altmetrics, research data management, data storage, funding, research tools, research skills training, plus much more. Aside from perhaps, training and assistance, none of these services fit into what you would call traditional librarianship. Whilst university libraries have always been in the business of supporting researchers by acquiring materials, and assisting with information searching, the research support demands of librarians have changed in recent times due to both research funding and technological factors.

It quickly becomes apparent that librarians working in research support require new skills and training to be able to develop expertise in this emerging area of importance for academic libraries. With research support becoming a strategic activity in Australian academic libraries, the increasing demand for services in this area poses new challenges for the profession. QUT has recognised the need for more formal training, so has introduced a short course: Research support services in academic and special libraries. The aim of the course is to support the development of the necessary knowledge and skills to provide a firm foundation for library and information professionals to provide dedicated research support services within academic and research institutions.

Internet
Internet [digital image]. Retrieved from https://flic.kr/p/eemsYg
Putting aside arguments of technology mix, costings and delays with the National Broadband Network, as the service is rolled out, more Australian households are being connected to the Internet. Whilst this progress can be seen as narrowing the digital divide, there are apparent disparities between different groups that use the internet. In the Foreword for the latest report from Australian Digital Inclusion Index, Professor Linda Kristajanson states the situation:

A digital divide exists in Australia, and with it comes the risks of deepening, social, economic, and cultural inequalities. As digital technologies become ever-more central to public and private life, the disadvantages of not being connected increase.

Australia’s OECD ranking on broadband penetration also continues to fall away when compared to other countries, dropping from 18th to 24th place in the latest data. The Australian government projects that, ‘by 2020, Australia will rank in the top five OECD countries in the percentage of households that connect to broadband at home.’ Note that this metric only considers penetration and not speed, which has been a key factor in arguments against the efficacy of the NBN. Indeed, one expert has noted that the NBN is ‘already out of date’. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that,

while the digital divide continues to narrow, persistent and significant differences remain between different groups of Australians in relation to both access and use of the internet. These differences are related to attributes including income, age, employment status, education levels and location.

The ABS report shows that in 2014-15, the number of households with access to the internet increased from 83% to 85% for a total of 7.7 million households. However, whilst home internet access is increasing, it still leaves 1.3 million households without internet access at home.

Nationally, the Australian Digital Inclusion Index identifies several groups who are most digitally excluded:

  • People aged 65+
  • People with disability
  • People with less than secondary eduction
  • Indigenous Australians
  • People with low income ($10,000 to $24,999 per annum)
  • People not in paid employment.

There is a role here for libraries, and in particular, public libraries to fill the gap and provide access to those who are digitally excluded. With digital inclusion a key consideration, a report by Public Libraries Victoria Network investigates ‘the potential of the NBN for public libraries and the prospective risks if libraries fail to capitalise on this opportunity.’

The report defines digital inclusion, which ‘includes physical access and the skills necessary to use the technology.’ The groups with the highest digital exclusion also have the lowest levels of digital literacy, so require the most support in getting connected. ALIA sums up this important role for public libraries with the statement:

not only is high speed broadband required for regional Australia to support improved education, health, social and economic conditions, it is critical that high quality information be made available with local support, particularly through public libraries.

So, whilst the NBN can help to narrow the digital divide, there is still a long way to go on OECD standards in closing the gap on digital exclusion in Australia.

 

8 Comments

On Friday night, I attended the Victorian State Final for Australian Poetry Slam 16. The event was hosted by State Library Victoria (SLV), and whilst attendance was free, I had to book my tickets online through the library’s website weeks in advance. Arriving on the night, we were ushered by library staff into the Experimedia room, which can hold up to 350 people. The space is a mixture of modern and traditional, featuring the original bluestone wall from the 1850s and is fully integrated with audio-visual equipment and technicians to record the event. You can see the Victorian winner and runner up for 2015 on the State Library Victoria YouTube channel, which makes the event accessible for the world to see.

So, what’s a poetry slam and what does it have to do with reading and literacy? According to Gregory (2008), a ‘poetry slam is a movement, a philosophy, a form, a genre, a community, an education device, a career path and a gimmick…[it] is a kind of oral poetry competition in which poets are expected to perform their own work before a live audience.’ The rules stipulate a strict two minute limit, which is timed from the poet’s first word. Judges are chosen from the audience and the event is hosted by a poet-MC, which on this occasion was Michelle Dabrowski, performance poet and slam champion. The description of the event on the SLV website described it as ‘a live literary performance competition where the audience is the judge.’

Gregory (2008) also notes that ‘slam amongst young people is the fastest growing area of the movement’ and that ‘young poets occasionally take part in adult slams’. This was perhaps best exemplified on the night with the opening support performance by the John Monash Science School Poetry Slam team, who recently won the Outloud event at Melbourne Writer’s Festival (see image below). According to the Terms and Conditions for the Australian Poetry Slam, entrants under 18 years must have written parental or guardian consent.’ Taking a guess based on observation, I would say that most of the finalists were between 18 to mid-20s. The audience, on the other hand, was quite mixed with a distribution of ages and backgrounds.

Victorian State Final - Australian Poetry Slam 16

Timothy J. Tillack (Photographer). (2016, 2 September) Victoria State Final - Australian Poetry Slam 16. John Monash Science School Poetry Slam team at State Library of Victoria. Retrieved from: https://twitter.com/deathbycodex/status/771640396292038657

ALIA’s Statement on libraries and literacies asserts the following principles

  • Libraries must actively commit time and resources to coordinating literacy activities at all levels to promote literacy among all members of their community, users and non-users alike.
  • Libraries are part of the solution to many community problems. Libraries help children and adults become literate, productive citizens and help people of all ages lead more satisfying lives.

In hosting the poetry slam, SLV was adhering to both of these principles. The event also supports the library’s vision, of which one of its aims is to, ‘be the cultural and knowledge centre of Victoria through our collections, programs, events and debates.’ The tagline on the library’s marketing material poses a call to action to the community: ‘What’s your story?’. A poetry slam gives voice, and as observed at this event, in particular gives voice to marginalised identities for them to tell their story and for the audience to hear them. From a literacy point of view, the argument is best summed up by Michelle Dabrowski (MC-poet), who on the night said that at a poetry slam, ‘you don’t have to be an academic to have an opinion about poetry’. So, in making poetry more accessible to the audience, and breaking down the hegemony of academia’s ivory towers, these events are important in supporting reading and literacy in the community and demonstrate a desire to commit time and resources to support literacy in many different forms  - including emerging forms like slam poetry.

Note: follow up communication with Melb Spoken Word via Twitter. In response to my question, was there an age limit on poet entrants and/or audience?, the reply was, "no age limit, lots of school kids there and I think at least two teenage finalists."

11 Comments

It was interesting to read the Library Journal article in this week’s reading, which discussed a number trends and issues around the use of Wikipedia in conducting academic research. Wikipedia is often regarded by librarians and academics as the bête noir of sources when it comes to producing scholarly work. Academically, Wikipedia is generally not allowed as a source for students to reference in their papers.

However, whilst this is the case, students are still drawn to Wikipedia because of its familiarity, organisation, and presentation of information on topical subjects, plus it also sometimes provides links to scholarly articles, which the student can legitimately use in their research.

Based on reports from Project Information Literacy (PIL) from the University of Washington Information School, Frank Menchaca from Cengage Learning, noted that, “What I’ve found interesting to read in the last two reports is that when students get an assignment, they search on the open web. They’ll go to Wikipedia for a couple of links, but they don’t know what to do next.”

This information-seeking behaviour was similarly cited in research undertaken by Kate Lawrence, VP User Research at EBSCO. In her Slideshare presentation, “Student Researchers: The Reality Show”, in her ethnographic study into understanding how US college students go about their research, Kate also cites the work of PIL, pointing out that Wikipedia sits alongside Google as a source that students turn to in the “presearch” phase of their research process (Slide 9). On Slide 12, Kate suggests that students turn to Wikipedia, “because users like an overview they can understand.” She then breaks it down further, noting the particular elements of Wikipedia that students like:

1. The overview is in “layman’s language”
2. The table of contents provide a “preview”
3. The references and external links at the bottom

In this regard, one can start to understand why students turn to Wikipedia to fulfil their information needs when starting an assignment. This is perhaps out of scope (and out of time) for this post, but similar research conducted in China, revealed a different student experience – see Slide 25 for more.

Putting my vendor hat on for a moment, EBSCO has designed functionality with EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS), which provides a Wikipedia-like experience, but with content that is high-quality, scholarly and citable. Similar to how Google integrates Wikipedia at the top of the search screen, these are called “Research Starters” and there are entries for over 60,000 topics. When looking at global search logs for EDS (source not available due to commercial sensitivity), unsurprisingly, the data shows that over two-thirds of the searches undertaken by academic users are topical in nature; in other words, these are short one or two keyword searches (for example, global warming) - the "Google effect".

So, when a student types their topical search query into EDS, they are presented with a placard at the top of the search interface, which provides a Wikipedia-like overview of their topic. For an example, see screenshots below.

Screenshot: Research Starter example in EDS

Screen Shot 2016-08-15 at 4.46.58 PM

I think this is an interesting example of how Google and Wikipedia influence how libraries and vendors adapt and respond to information-seeking behaviours. It also demonstrates how research is important in building new products that respond to how users, such as the Wikipedia generation, go about interacting with various reference technologies. In this way, library technology and services should be responsive and adapt to user behaviours rather than be prescriptive or prohibitive. Taking this approach ensures that the user will always remain at the centre of the service model for both libraries and vendors.

If I've gone too vendor-heavy on this post, please let me know, and comment below if you think this perspective is insightful.

1 Comment

When engaging in communities, especially communities in which I hold a high degree of knowledge, my natural instinct is to provide information (usually by opening discussion about readings, theories, what we’ve learnt in class, etc) and also seek to help to resolve or answer problems of other community members. Of course, this is time dependent as it takes additional time beyond what is usually required in participating in a course, and in past studies, online participation has been voluntary. In most cases, as I was an off-campus student, I relied upon the discussion forums to test my knowledge and engage in the coursework in a discursive manner. Disappointingly, I was often a lone voice in the wilderness and the discussion was generally two-way between myself and the lecturer. Sadly, there was no collaborative thinking.

 

Throughout my personal, academic and professional experiences I’ve been involved in a number of different communities, including underground music communities and Usenet communities (eg. rec.music.rave or alt.music.techno) in the early days of the internet. These were online communities before the advent of chat services such as Yahoo, etc – and these were the days of the “cyberflâneur” when the internet promised a bright digital future, where you could explore the virgin territory of cyberspace void of government or corporation colonisation through the comfort of anonymity, and through that, create your own identity.

 

If time allows, I’d like to continue with the sort of online profile I’ve maintained in the past when studying in online communities, but from the looks of things, with the CoI framework there will be greater opportunity for constructive engagement. So long as I am keeping up with my readings and coursework, I also see myself as contributing as a resolver of problems. More likely, however, due to extreme demands on my time from my professional obligations with EBSCO, I suspect I’ll slip into a question asker as I lose the capacity to keep up with university work and find it quicker to ask questions rather than seek the information myself.

 

As with all communities, when participating in a professional online community, members should behave in a manner that is respectful to others. Online communities should avoid falling into toxicity by agreeing to a code of conduct or ‘netiquette’ to ensure that all participants feel safe and welcome in being able to freely participate and share ideas, concerns, or even to simply sit back and observe what others have to say.

 

Given my previous long history of involvement in online communities, I don’t see myself having to drastically change my behaviour to accord with the expectations of the IFN614 community. I welcome the opportunity to be able to support my fellow peers and contribute to a productive and healthy discourse where we can all learn together through collaborative thinking.

 

I believe that the manner in which I have responded to the questions in the task brief clearly illustrate and embody the characteristics I hope to display in the community this semester. I also don’t see too much variance between my “real self” and online identity, except that I am far more articulate (and verbose!) with the written word over oral communication. I also have a penchant for literary, philosophical and other cultural references, but will always do my best to explain or provide links, so I don’t leave people confused and in the dark. I’m looking forward to this!

3 Comments

Apologies for the rather late post, but I've been overseas on annual leave and have only recently returned to Melbourne from a wonderful European summer holiday. After two weeks in Berlin, I really, really want to live there!

I’m currently in the second semester of my MIS(LIP), which I am studying part-time. I am also currently employed as a Regional Sales Manager, Academic Libraries for EBSCO Information Services, so have primary responsibility for all academic libraries in Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia and Northern Territory - I even look after QUT Library! I'm sure most, if not all of you, are familiar with EBSCO. For the uninitiated, EBSCO is a global leader in the supply of research databases, ebooks, journals and library technology.

I love my job because I get to engage with librarians at universities across Australia; and really love the challenge of matching information resources solutions to customer needs. In that way, there is a lot of crossover between my profession in sales and the role of librarians in matching resources to client needs.

Naturally, I see myself working with academic libraries – either in a new capacity with EBSCO, or as a librarian in a university library. I’m interested in collection development, acquisitions and workflows, so probably not on the client side.

In the context of Information Programs and access to information (as per ALIA’s Statement on public library services), I would like to explain a little more about why I like working for EBSCO.

One of the things I like most about working for EBSCO, is that as an aggregator of electronic journal content, we make it much cheaper for libraries to purchase high-quality peer-reviewed journal collections for their patrons. If libraries were to buy individually all of the journals in a database, they would need to pay over US $1 million to acquire the same content, but often pay a fraction of the total cost (eg. $40,000) in an aggregation. EBSCO also provides heavily discounted pricing for libraries in developing nations, which means that those who can least afford content have equitable access to information.

EBSCO also fully supports initiatives like Open Access that are seeking to disrupt traditional business models; in fact, EBSCO indexes over 11,000 open access journals in EBSCO Discovery Service. We use real-life actual subject specialists (librarians) to index free content!

And more recently, EBSCO has become involved in one of the most exciting technology projects in the history of library automation, which is set to revolutionise the way libraries go about acquiring Library Services Platforms (LSPs). The project is a community collaboration to develop an Open Source LSP designed from the ground up. This will ultimately encourage innovation in libraries, which before now has never been seen. Libraries will be able to deliver services the way they want to deliver those services, and not be restricted by the generally closed, monolithic technology of vendors. The project is called FOLIO (Future Of Libraries Is Open) and you can read more about it on the site managed by the community.

But, I'm not here to proselytise about EBSCO.

My job keeps me very busy, so you'll often see bursts of me and then I tend to disappear for a while. Whilst I endeavour to join online classes, most of the time I will be working away in my hotel, or catching up on lectures on the plane!

When I'm not working, studying or organising our wedding!, I'm curating and organising my ever-growing collection of vinyl (mostly electronic music - ambient, techno, etc). My cover photo was recently taken from one my days of digging for vinyl in Berlin – it was heaven! I'm also academically interested in the idea of community-driven curation and cataloguing - particularly as it applies to the online vinyl collecting community (for example, Discogs). I also like to unwind by hitting the decks (turntables) and mixing records - I'm currently teaching myself how to mix on 3 turntables. I started in the early 90s in the nascent rave scene and it's a passion that I can't let go. Thankfully, my fiance shares the same passion for the music.

This is becoming quite long, so on to my superpowers! My superpower is organisation. A bit boring and banal, but without it I would not be able to manage all the projects in my life and remain sane. My friends would say that my superpower is being able “to rock a dancefloor”. I love DJing and the privilege of sharing my music collection and making people dance. If I could choose a superpower, it would be something that would allow me to play around with temporal adjustments – go forward in time, go back in time, pause time - because time is always running against me. I forget the author of the quote, but a mentor once described time as a winged chariot snapping at my heels, so then, how to outrun time?

I look forward to working with you all this semester.

Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @deathbycodex

Tim