UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

MashSpa: the Latest in the Mashed Library Series

Posted by Brian Kelly on 12 October 2010

About Mash Spa

Mash Spa, the latest in the series of Mashed Library events, will be held in Bath on 29 October.  I’m looking forward to meeting a number of Librarians whom I’ve met on Twitter but not in real life.  I should add that there are still a small number of place left, so if you’re interested sign up quickly.

“Sixty Minutes To Save Libraries”

I have put my name down to run a session entitled ““Sixty Minutes To Save Libraries”: Gathering Evidence to Demonstrate Library Services’ Impact and Value“. In this session, which I’ll be running jointly with Nicola McNee, participants will have the opportunity to identify ways in which evidence can be gathered which can be used to demonstrate the value of Library services and the impact which such services have. The intention is to develop specifications which could be implemented by developers. And although the session is scheduled to last for only an hour I intend to cheat by inviting suggestions here, so if you have ideas on ways in which evidence can be gathered and analysed (or even better, if you’ve already implemented ideas which you can share) please leave a comment on this post.

I should add that Nicola has created a Diigo page with bookmarks of an initial set of resources which might provide Library data which can be analysed.

The Mashed Library Series of Events

Mash Spa is the sixth in the series of Mashed Library events. The original idea was made by Owen Stephens in a post  entitled Mashed Libraries? Would you be interested? which he wrote back in July 2008. Following the overwhelmingly positive responses the first Mashed :Library event, Mashed Libraries UK 2008 was held at Birkbeck College, London, on 27 November 2008. Dave Pattern, another driving force behind the events hosted Mash Oop North at the University of Huddersfield on 7 July 2009 which was followed by Middlemash held at Birmingham City University on 30 November 2009. There have been two events this year: Liver and Mash at Liverpool on 14 May and Chips and Mash which returned to the University of Huddersfield on 30 July.

The Mashed Library Web site supports networking and discussions. Of particular interest is the list of ideas for mashups and I would like to add to this list with a proposal for the provision of data about participants at Mashed Library events.  How many people have attended previous events?  How many from academic libraries, from public libraries? How many from commercial organisation?  In addition to such metrics it would be interesting to have details about the participants (such as Twitter IDs, links to blogs, etc.) and their host institution.

In a post on “Linked Data for Events: the IWMW Case Study”  I have described how such information can be used to have a better understanding of a community based around an event.  The IWMW SYNOPTIC application developed by my colleague Thom Bunting was focussed primarily on institutional information, with institutional data being harvested from DBpedia.  Might there be an interest in development of a similar application for Mashed Library participants?  If so, I wonder what might be the easiest way of getting participants to provide the structured information which would be needed? The Mash Spa Lanyrd site has been set up so that attendees at the forthcoming event can register their participation but this only provides Twitter information. Any thoughts on other approaches?

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