An article in yesterday’s Observer discussed Science writing: how do you make complex issues accessible and readable? This is an a discussion with five writer on science – Steven Pinker, James Gleick, Brian Greene, Lone Frank and Joshua Foer – who debated “what makes good science writing in a technically minded age”. The discussion took place immediately prior to the award of the Royal Society’s Winton prize for science books 2012 (won by Gleick for The Information). As scientific theories and findings become more and more technical and data-driven, the “role of scientists and science writers [....] in turning this complex work into accessible, illuminating prose becomes trickier and more vital”.
However, I’ve recently purchased a book (with my own money – there is no product placement on this blog) that provides assistance for less noteable writers who are trying to get their message across. I am a long-time fan of Common Craft – whose strapline is “Our Product is Explanation”, providing explanation tools and resources. You may have seen some of their short videos offering succinct, comprehensible introductions to social media and other topics. Over the years this has won Lee LeFever and co multiple awards “for our ability to make complex subjects easy to understand”. Lee has now distilled his experience into practical, common sense approaches to communicating ideas, products and service in his new book, The Art of Explanation.
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My final external presentation of this year took place in Dublin last week: a Symposium on Mobile Technologies in Library Services organised by the Acquisitions Group of Ireland (AGI) and the LIR HEAnet User Group for Libraries. The event used the existing #mlibs hashtag.
My presentation can be found on Slideshare at: Mobilising e-content: scholarly information on the move, and videos of the talks are now online. As I was one of the first speakers, I was able to sit back and enjoy the remaining speakers: a home-grown speakers on Irish projects and two other British speakers (Andy Walsh on the gamification of library services and Jil Fairclough on MoMEd – Mobile Medical Education).
Over on the #MashDMU blog I have just posted a link to the Will’s World Online Hack event – - bringing together Shakespeare enthusiasts and coders to work on a Shakespeare Registry of metadata of digital resources relating to Shakespeare.
I am off to London later today to attend Internet Librarian International 2012. I’m looking forward to chairing a couple of sessions and speaking in track C202 – New skills, new learning, on the topic of Informal learning in the library workplace: the role of unconferences. Naturally I shall be talking about DMU’s #MashDMU lunchtime unconference meetings.
You can follow the conference on Twitter with the hash tag #ILI2012 and http://lanyrd.com/2012/ili2012/.
Bit of Monday morning fun via @LorcanD – Monsters University is a Halloween-themed spoof University website. Sadly, there is no link to the library (which has 89K books).
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Earlier this year I was invited to speak at a Symposium on Mobile Technologies in Library Services organised by the Acquisitions Group of Ireland (AGI) and the LIR HEAnet User Group for Libraries. This will take place in Dublin on November 22nd 2012. I’m discussing mobilising your e-content, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak alongside Andy Walsh (University of Huddersfield) on the gamification of library services and Jil Fairclough (Brighton & Sussex Medical School) on MoMEd – Mobile Medical Education.
I noted last year that DMU had purchased LibGuides to improve subject access to library resources and services. They have gone live this month with subject guides for all areas taught at DMU, as well as a new Welcome to Library and Learning Services guide. The latter is the first of a series of service guides which will be developed during this session. The guides are all accessible and optimised for mobile access.