Category Archives: Robin

Collaborative Writing – Concrete tips from Rachel Vacek

Rachel Vacek has put together a slide show that gives some excellent advice to those who want to collaborate on a writing (or presenting) project with another person/organization. She points out both the pros and the cons and provides some advice on finding and working with others in a collaborative writing project.

Collaboration, the Hive Mind and Women

In a recent Read/Write/Web article called The Hive Mind Needs More Women, the author discusses the state of collaboration over the Internet and how the lack of women in the conversation is hurting collaborative efforts (Wikipedia and eBay were two examples given in the article). The author’s point is backed up by a recent study by MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence that found that collaboration can be immediately improved by adding more women’s voices to the mix.
As librarianship is a field dominated by women, this reads to me as a call for us (men and women both, really) to get involved with collaborative efforts both within and outside of libraries. Our voices are important and necessary for the new “hive mind” of the Internet!

Thinking of federal and special libraries

Collaboration requires, by definition, more than one person on a project. Why don’t we branch out and make that other person (or other people) librarians from different types of libraries? Kendra K. Levine, in a recent blog post, writes passionately about the fact that federal and special libraries seem to be off of many librarians’ radar. She points to a FriendFeed discussion where a question was asked about Federal libraries and no responses were forthcoming. The point of her article is that we (meaning public and academic librarians, of course…) don’t think of special librarians; not their needs or their unique skills and resources. Those skills and resources could be a big help to your next collaborative project, so consider what a federal or special librarian could do for you!

Web Worker Daily’s coverage of Net:Work 2010

Web Worker Daily (WWD – has done a nice job of grabbing the sessions from the recent Net:Work 2010 conference and writing them up for us. The first post, the one with the links to all the other posts, is at Net:Work 2010: Live Coverage and includes links to all (22!) of the Net:Work sessions that WWD covered. Lots of great reading here with lots of collaboration tips and tricks that would be relevant for everything from the enterprise to the library.

Collab-orama at the Adventures In Library Instruction Podcast

This episode of the Adventures in Library Instruction Podcast, a monthly podcast about teaching information literacy in libraries, contains all kinds of information about collaboration among and within libraries. The 54 minute podcast’s “blurb” is:

Rachel, Jason, and Anna talk collaboration — with faculty, with graduate students, with community organizations, with other librarians, etc.

and it’s chock-full of interesting talk about collaboration in libraries!

Collaboration and teamwork in libraries

Kendra Levine, the Research, Outreach and Web Services Librarian from the Institute of Transportation Studies Library, University of California Berkeley, has posted an excellent blog post about teamwork, collaboration and how librarians can make use of less formal collaborative opportunities. Her main point? We should be sharing what we are doing – even the minutia of our day-to-day work, more readily in order to make other librarians aware of possible collaborative opportunities. My favorite point in the whole post is

If you value the community, you need to be a part of it. Networks need nodes to have value, so be a good node!

Go ahead, read the whole post and then give some thought to what it is you share about your work and how you can do more sharing so that we can all get more opportunities to collaborate on our work!

Collaboration in the Enterprise

Read Write Web has an article geared toward businesses and the fear of collaboration called “Playing Well With Others: How Entrepreneurs Benefit from Collaboration“. While the article discusses the fear of collaborating in a for-profit environment, with the attendant fear of financial loss if a collaborator steals an idea, the need to share freely – without fear of idea-stealing – is one that is perfectly applicable to libraries. While our culture is one of sharing information and providing access to data, I’ve personally witnessed librarians who are fearful of their ideas being stolen by someone else. The article provides solid reasons why we shouldn’t be afraid to collaborate with our peers – whether we are starting a business or running a library.

Government Collaboration

Munigov 2.0, a collection of government folks dedicated to fostering the use of Web 2.0 tech in government, is the focus of a new article on Collaboration in Government. The article was published in the Government by Collaboration newsletter and was reprinted, in its entirety, on Bill Greeves’ blog (he’s one of the founders of the Munigov 2.0 site). The article discusses the ways that Munigov 2.0 can be used to help collaboration efforts in the government arena. Most libraries are some soft of governmental entity, so we should be participating in this and giving the government agencies around us the benefit of our insights and information. Of course, by doing this, we can forge new relationships with organizations that might benefit our libraries, too!

The article is a nice introduction to what Munigov 2.0 is doing for government agencies that are trying new ways of collaboration and can be a wake-up call for librarians who need new partners in these tough economic times.

Subversive Collaboration from O’Reilly Webcasts

April 13th, from 10-11am PT, O’Reilly will be offering a free webcast on “subversive collaboration”. You can register for the webcast here. This webcast talks about the way in which modern technologies have changed work so that we are all “subversive” collaborators, working with others without (necessarily) formal support from our organizations. It looks interesting!

Email as collaboration tool?

Yesterday Read/Write/Web ran a story about collaboration services in email, focusing on a new service that makes sharing documents through an email system more reliable. The idea behind YouSendIt is that many people try to send big documents through an email system that was not created to handle files of that size. This service gives you a way to store the document “in the cloud” and use the YouSendIt features to make the document available to download to your collaborators – without having to actually send the document in the email. They have a close relationship with Exchange and Outlook, for libraries who use that sort of email system. Libraries who use Gmail can use the new Google Docs functionality that lets you store (and share) any type of document on Google’s servers (again, “in the cloud”) to get many of the features that YouSendIt offers. Either way, using cloud services to share big documents with other librarians is becoming easier – and is always more reliable than trying to figure out if the document you are sending is small enough to work with your teammates’ email services!