Reference bookmarks

Lorcan 1 min read

When to use general network level services to get library work done, and when to develop library-specific approaches?: this is a question that now comes up in several places.
Here is an interesting intiative from the National Library of Australia, using to support collaborative virtual reference.

AskNow librarians need to balance the time necessary to search for reliable and freely accessible web-based resources, with user expectations that they will receive relevant information instantaneously. The challenge lies not only in searching for, but also evaluating websites, in a short space of time. Librarians involved with the AskNow service ( recently started using the social bookmarking tool, (, to help them meet that challenge. [AskNow’s Useful Resources – GATEWAYS – National Library of Australia]

AskNow’s webpage, at, assists librarians in finding relevant websites and online resources quickly, whilst also satisfying user expectations and matching their information needs. When a question is received the librarian can search within for an appropriate website and share it with the patron. [AskNow’s Useful Resources – GATEWAYS – National Library of Australia]

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So-called soft skills are hard

So-called soft skills are hard

So-called soft skills are important across a range of library activities. Existing trends will further amplify this importance. Describing these skills as soft may be misleading, or even damaging. They should be recognized as learnable and teachable, and should be explicitly supported and rewarded.
Lorcan 12 min read
The technology career ladder

The technology career ladder

Library leaders should be drawn from across the organization. Any idea that technology leaders are overly specialised or too distant from general library work is outmoded and counter-productive.
Lorcan 7 min read

Lorcan Dempsey dot net

Deep dives and quick takes: libraries, society, culture and technology

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