Tagged With libraries

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


Summer is the perfect time to catch up on reading -- the days are longer and many of us are on breaks. Whether your personal reading goal is to stimulate your mind and learn something new or get lost in an adventure or romance, here are a few helpful tips for curating your perfect reading list this summer.


We've already mentioned the excellent ElectionLeaflets.org.au as a resource to share election 2010 pamphlets and other marketing materials, but the National Library of Australia is collecting the actual physical documents as part of its role in documenting Australian history. Hit the link for details of how you can help out by mailing election ephemera to the library.


It's disappointing to haul a book home from the library or shell out hard-earned cash at the bookstore only to settle in at home and find you don't enjoy it one bit. Stock your reading list with these five great recommendation services.


When you bop between your work and home computers all the time, it's tough keeping your favourite music at your fingertips ("Which computer has my Once More, With Feeling soundtrack on it?") AudioBox lets you listen to your music from anywhere.


I'm a big fan of libraries - one of my favourite ways to be frugal is to make up a list of new release books I'm  keen to read, head on over to my library and put in requests for each one. Sometimes it's free to put a book on hold, sometimes it'll cost a dollar or so - but that's a lot less than the $25 or so you'll pay to buy the book new! (And, before you ask, libraries do pay royalties so the author still gets some benefit from people reading their books through libraries rather than buying them.)But just borrowing books isn't the only way to save money - Wise Bread has published a great post which celebrates the many and varied cool and usually free things which libraries offer to their community. This includes borrowing DVDs and CDs for free. There's usually free or very cheap computer access - and often there's wireless as well (recently we told you about 10 Sydney libraries offering free wireless). Depending on the needs of the local community, libraries often host story time for children, or computer tuition for seniors -so it's worth checking out what's on offer at your nearest library.And finally, no post extolling the awesomeness of local libraries would be complete without mentioning Melbourne's own City Library at 253 Flinders Lane. If you check out the link you'll see they're trialling free wireless access from now until the first week of April, they have a speaking event with Max Barry coming up, and they have acoustic music sessions at lunchtimes. They also have a really cool gallery space which showcases local artists.And do I need to mention the lure of the sexy librarians? Go on, you know you want to get shushed. :)

Duh - Libraries


The next time you need to find something at your local library, try searching through WorldCat, a ginormous network of libraries, library content, and library services. You can use WorldCat to search for everything you would search for at your local library, find free content (downloadable audiobooks, for example), articles and citations, historical documents, and many more kinds of information from libraries all over the world. You can also use WorldCat to check out items directly from libraries you have an active membership with (this can vary by library). AU - I already posted about Worldcat here.



The venerable British Library will put more than 100,000 old books - previously unseen by the public - online in a mass digitisation program focused on 19th century books.  Approximately 30 terabytes of storage will be needed to accommodate all the books, which will take 2 years to be scanned and placed online.

British Library books go digital 




Via the Cool Tools weblog I came across library nerd nirvana in the form of WorldCat. This Beta aims to let you search the catalogues of 57,000 libraries to find the closest library that holds the book you seek.

I had a quick zip around it, and I'm guessing that a few more libraries in Oz need to get on the bandwagon before it's much use to us. I looked up David Allen's "Getting Things Done" and it returned two Australian results - both Queensland libraries which doesn't help me much here in Melbourne.

I also entered several more obscure Australian authors (Larissa Hjorth and Cameron Rogers, both of whom I know have titles in Australian libraries including the National Library in Canberra) and the search found their books in overseas libraries but no Australian libraries.

In the meantime, I guess one helpful thing we can do is tell our local libraries they should be participating with World Cat by sending them here.

WorldCat - search 57,000 libraries