A Focus on Community at the IFLA Public Library Futures conference

The presentations and papers from IFLA’s Public Libraries conference 2014 held in Birmingham (August 2014) are now freely available online.

I didn’t attend all of the conference, so was pleased I could catch up with the presentations, as the tweeting over the two days it was held in August made it sound like some interesting and practical ideas were being covered.

Out of all the papers available, I thought the following were particularly interesting. I’ve copied the abstracts from the papers themselves.

Multimedia, creativity and new ways of learning: Vaikky, the new mobile library in Espoo, Finland

Välkky is a Mobile Library in Espoo, Finland, a city in the municipality area of Helsinki. The bus includes, among books and other lending material, interactive media technology such as ipads, a video projector and a screen and a big touch screen table. The space can easily be changed according to use. The mobile library Välkky, which started operating in the spring of 2013, is part of the so called Outreach services of Espoo library. These services are two mobile libraries, the other bus Helmi being a more traditional mobile library operating mostly in the afternoons and evenings, the home library , one small hospital library and the Espoo library logistics section. In the mornings the Mobile library Välkky visits schools and daycare centers as a modern children´s library. In the afternoons and evenings Välkky can be changed to a bus for different groups of children and adults, functioning as a writer´s bus, a movie theater, a multimedia workshop, a meeting place for a book club or a handicraft group.

Breaking down barriers between physical and virtual spaces in public libraries: leading practices in Guandong Province of China

The future of public libraries seems foreseeable through leading practices in Guangdong Province, of which the economy development is first ranked and Internet popularity third ranked nationwide. In new buildings, computers are placed in traditional reading rooms together with print collections. On websites, virtual visitors are able to enjoy lectures or exhibitions happening in physical spaces. In Microblog or WeChat communities, netizens not visiting library websites can also be informed. We find that barriers between physical and virtual spaces have been broken down; most of the resources and activities could be accessed by users inside or outside the library.

Let’s tear down the wall between physical and digital: ZLB Topic Room

The Topic Room of the Central and Regional Library of Berlin (ZLB) presents interdisciplinary material from the library’s collection concerned with a certain topical or cultural issue on a monthly basis. In order to cover current topics online information is integrated into the presentation of physical media via the ZLB Topic Room Application on iPads and a Twitter wall. The ZLB Topic Room is a project in which the ZLB cooperates with many different partners.

Bexar County BiblioTech – Bringing the library to the public

BiblioTech Digital Library is the first all-digital public library in the United States, located in Bexar County, Texas. Since the doors of the first branch opened on September 14th, 2013, BiblioTech has actively worked to bridge literacy and technology gaps in San Antonio and surrounding areas by establishing a community presence at the physical locations as well as an online presence through the digital collections and resources. (Taken from www.http://bexarbibliotech.org/)

Community building for public libraries in the 21st century: examples from The Netherlands

Community building is high on the agenda of the public library sector at this moment.
However, there is a lack of innovative examples of community building in the practice of
public libraries. In this article, we focus on two famous Dutch examples of innovative
community building in public libraries. The first example is The Stalwart Readers, a
community of readers, in Dutch called ‘Lezers van Stavast’, guided by librarian Hans van
Duijnhoven. The Stalwart Readers is not a traditional book club, but a community of
readers around a collection of (non-fiction) books selected by the librarian. Every
member is expected to read every week one book (but choice is free: not everyone reads
the same book). Once a month the group comes together and discusses the themes in
the books. The project started in September 2012 and lasted for one year. However,
because of the very positive evaluations by the group members, the community still
comes together. One of the innovative elements of the Stalwart Readers is the fact that
the community also looks outside the boundaries of the library; together, they visit
lectures or theatre plays if there is a relation with the themes in the books. The
community is an example of an innovative way of highlighting the library collection and
providing context around it.

The second example of an innovative public library community is a community formed
around a project called ‘Wisdom in times of crisis’, guided by librarian Marina Polderman.
Unemployed people came together for a period of seven months in 2013, to talk about the values for the 21st century as proposed by philosopher Alain de Botton in his manifest “10 virtues for the modern age” (2013). These values were linked to the library collection and people were asked to link stories to these values and discuss them together. This community shows the library in the 21st century as a place for good conservation.

The main thing that came through with many of these papers was the sense of community linked to these library services, and how those communities cut across both the physical and virtual worlds. In some cases those communities were already in existence, but in others the libraries helped build a community through the services, resources and activities it provided.


Qatar launches mobile library to promote reading among children

Reblogged: Qatar launches mobile library to promote reading among children

I thought this article about the introduction of a children’s mobile library service in Qatar was interesting, especially the emphasis that Qatar’s Culture, Arts & Heritage Minister puts on the value of reading. 

“… the ministry was keen on supporting projects that would develop abilities and talents, but singled out reading as a development of great value that the community must instill in children at an early age to help build a generation of enlightened intellectuals.”


“… the significance of the project will be obvious when children grow up and see that their creative work had reached the community.”


“… such projects will allow Qatar to have thousands of writers whose innovations were started when they were young.”

Radio 4: Start The Week: The Digital Future (7 May 2012)

In this episode of Andrew Marr’s “Start the week” radio programme, he spoke to a number of guests about how technology might impact on us in the future, raising issues such as:

  • How we can retain control of our interaction with the digital world.
  • Ethics of technology.
  • Inequality of digital access.
  • How technology has changed social interaction.
  • Augmented reality.
  • The changing value of games.
  • The idea that digital experiences may be more successful when presenting them as a “physical simple imminent experience” rather than a “complex informational one”.
  • Users seen as livestock – being coralled by those who control technology.
  • New technology developments.
  • The suggestion that most of society is not prepared for things that are just around the corner (some already here).
  • Who controls technology and what would happen if leadership changed in Microsoft, Apple or Google to a more traditional corporate style?

It’s well worth listening to, particularly with its focus upon the social impact of technology. One of the key things I picked up from it, was the idea that there are just as many opportunities for the individual to take control of their own experience in the digital world as there are opportunities for others to lead us down a path they want us to go.

Thoughts on: Richard Watson “In praise of public libraries – and librarians”

I came across this post on Richard Watson’s Top Trends blog today: In praise of public libraries – and librarians.

In it, Richard comments on the fact that he predicted the extinction of public libraries some time ago, “because, in an age of e-books and Google who needs them.” and since this prediction he has changed his mind.

“I got it totally wrong. Probably.

Whether or not we will want libraries in the future I cannot say, but I can categorically state we will need them, because libraries aren’t just about the books they contain. Moreover, it is a big mistake, in my view, to confuse the future of books or publishing with the future of public libraries. They are not the same thing.”

His blog post highlights why he believes public libraries will still be relevant in the future.

He emphasises the public library (and public library services) as…

  • A place that is “more than mere facts, information or ‘content’”
  • A social hub
  • An information resource that is accessible to all
  • An ideas hub where…
    • existing ideas are valued,  stored and made freely available to all
    • new ideas are created and developed
    • the right setting is provided to nurture ideas
    • librarians act as a catalyst in helping develop these ideas. They are “sifters, guides and co-creators of human connection.”
  • An information resource where personal/human interaction is an important part of the service
  • An influential method of delivering information – library services are still regarded as trustworthy information sources.

This quote about lack of use by younger generations really appealed to me:

“…admittedly many younger people still see no need to visit a library… But this could be because they still see libraries as spaces full of old books rather than places full of new ideas.”

And in summing up, Richard’s quote makes a clear point.

“There is a considerable amount of discussion at the moment about obesity. The idea that we should watch what we eat or we will end up prematurely dead. But where is the debate about the quality of what and where we read or write? Surely what we put inside our heads – where we create or consume information – is just as important as what we put inside our mouths.”

Thoughts From Internet Librarian International 2011 Conference #ILI2011

I attended Internet Librarian International 2011 a couple of weeks ago. It was a great event. Below are the tweets I sent out during the conference, just to give you a feel for the event.

Below them, I’ve also included some thoughts on the event itself.

How the Future Internet will Shape Libraries (Klaus Tochtermann, Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, University of Kiel and Professor of Computer Media)

  • Future internet. (3) Internet of things. Any item with an internet connection/IP address.
  • Future internet. (4) Internet of services.
  • Internet of services. Your services available wherever you have a presence – not just pull people back to your website to use them.
  • Put the book anywhere in Hamburg & geolocate them! Users find it via phone & share idea about book. What a crazy idea. I love it 🙂
  • Linked open data won’t replace marc. Catalogues are available immediately, but need to sync catalogues & L.O.D. service.

Visibility and Collaboration in Digital Domains (Linda Vidlund / Cecilia Petersson, Uppsala University Library)

  • Uppsala uni. – used qr codes around campus with temptation of free gifts from library. Also small digi screens on shelves with info
  • Qr-codes used to put references at end of physical books.

Visibility and Collaboration in Digital Domains (David McMenemy, University of Strathclyde)

  • Now listening to @D_McMenemy talking about collaboration in the digital domain. #ili2011
  • Digital libraries are moving on from content based – now greater interactivity.
  • Looking at processes in public libraries to see where collaboration could be put into place.
  • 98% UK public libraries don’t have a digital strategy.
  • If uk public libraries go down the fragmented volunteer route who will collaborate to provide coherent services?
  • Why are so many local authorities duplicating the same content?

New Ways of Analysing to Prove Value (Frank Cervone, Purdue University Calumet)

  • In session talking about how social networks work. How connections work.
  • How are nodes connected in social networks?
  • Measure of ties based on strength (frequency; duration; direction). Important because strong ties affect people & weak ties link…
  • http://t.co/kgIQDOQt is good for analysing social networks. Twendz is good. Twapperkeeper/summarizr is good for analysing…

New Ways of Analysing to Prove Value (Penny Bailey, Bailey Solutions)

  • RT @bethanar: PB: knowledge should not live in your email inbox #ili2011
  • Need to measure value of services where possible.

Innovations in Usage Analysis (Dave Pattern, University of Huddersfield / Bryony Ramsden, University of Huddersfield)

  • #lidp Huddersfield project – looked at library usage inc non-usage.
  • #lidp How does library borrowing affect user grades?
  • #lidp Needed to be aware of data protection and legal issues.
  • #lidp Found relationship between use of library resources and degree attainment, but not necessarily between visits and attainment.
  • #lidp More info about project at http://t.co/s2scvsOy

Innovations in Usage Analysis (Lisa Charnock, Intute / Andy Land, University of Manchester)

  • SALT project at Mimas. Library circ. data activity could help promote underused but relevant stock.
  • How do people select books they use? Serendipity; Anxiety; Trust concerns; Cynical about ratings & reviews
  • Mimas SALT. User evaluation of service to see whether recommender service would work. Amended thresholds to get accurate recomends
  • Will be testing SALT at John Rylands Uni. to see how it works across subjects.
  • John Rylands want to go live with SALT locally or nationally & also make it available in Primo.
  • MIMAS looking at how this can be developed – inc. aggregate more data; how could this help collection development?
  • Look at http://t.co/EPBBdx9n & http://t.co/wrm9HLFv for more info about SALT project.

Cutting-Edge Technology Projects (Terence Huwe, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California – Berkeley)

  • Meaning Based Computing: How do you modify your beliefs based on new facts available?
  • Bayesian analysis uses inc. breaking the Enigma code; handwriting and speech recognition; military uses…
  • Market success must take into account unstructured data as well as structured data. Social media interaction is unstructured data.
  • Many Fortune 500 organisations recognise they need new tools for managing structured & unstructured data. 15:23:04
  • Autonomy’s Meaning Based Computing tools http://t.co/tuo6zid8
  • New York Times article talking about how cheap software might replace lawyers. http://t.co/JxeFEmkq #savelawyers
  • Meaning Based Computing & Taxonomy based search might co-exist in future.
Cutting-Edge Technology Projects (Alexandre Lemaire, Ministry of Culture – Department of Public Libraries / Jean-François Füeg, Ministry of Culture – Department of public libraries / Christian Ducharme, W3line)
  • Samarcande – union catalogue of French speaking libraries in Belgium
  • Political issues slowed down development of Samarcande catalogue.
  • RT @ostephens: Depressing and almost unbelievable refusal by libraries and/or their political masters to share bibliographic metadata in Belgian #ili2011
  • RT @bethanar: Catalogue: http://t.co/RMacayzD. Comes frm union cats of provinces, harvested by OAI. Also supports SRU & z39.50 #ili2011
  • Tools for librarians for Samarcande – Getting bib. descriptions – z39.50; SRU;OAI / MoCCAM for ILL’s / Getting stats
  • Not a real-time catalogue – need to develop availability functions
  • Samarcande – FRBR; Web2.0; Users contribute with Web2.0 functions; Sharing/monitoring tools. Want to develop social media presence.
  • Bring in external data to Samarcande.
  • W3Line http://t.co/dxhbCh3Y were responsible for technical development of the Samarcande union catalogue.
Simply I love you
Simply I love you (c) Wasfi Akab (Painting) / Flickr

Library Users in Turbulent Times (Kayo Chang, Bahrain Polytechnic)

  • Talking about Bahrain demonstrations and effect on Bahrain polytechnic
  • Effected library service. Facebook and Twitter use was banned because this was seen as part of reason why disturbances started.
  • Commenting or liking picture taken at demonstration could lead to suspension of student.
  • Had to make more use of library blog than Twitter and Facebook after social media was banned.

Library Users in Turbulent Times (Feda Kulenovic, Peace Support Operations Training Centre BiH and Reading for Ubuntu (www.citanje.org) )

  • Potential roles of libraries in post-conflict societies: Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Libraries can transform. The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation and information.
  • Librarians need to be the person people go to for reliable information in times of conflict were misinformation is prevalent.
  • Created a library wherever he could – embedded librarian. Beyond the walls of the library.
  • “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” (Helen Keller)
  • RT @kulinba: #ili2011 My latest SlideShare upload : Potential Role of Libraries in post-conflict… http://t.co/bAulqRBn
Library Users in Turbulent Times (Maria Cotera, African Prisons Project)
  • Maria talking about African Prisons project (mainly in Uganda)
  • Literacy is a big problem in the prisons.
  • Moderator highlighting similarities and differences between the situations of 3 speakers situations.
  • Most important role in social change is providing information. Librarians have the power to progress social change. #savelibraries
Innovative Services to Engage Users (Joanna Ptolomey, Joanna Ptolomey Information Services)
  • Now on stage talking about health information content.
  • Old model is that health information is pushed out to users/patients, but can’t push information back in.
  • How do you manage the finding, collection, sharing of health content that is relevant to you?
  • Librarians will be very important as chaperones/stewards for helping others to curate their own health collections.

Innovative Services to Engage Users (András Kardos, library.me.uk)

  • Project http://t.co/o1UFoWBh developed in Hungary. Central portal for all libraries – contains all info. for all libraries.
  • Want to develop it for UK libraries too.
  • Contains info re. library services; catalogue; news for libraries in Hungary
  • Similar projects in UK. http://t.co/crLAhtb8; http://t.co/QU8DgtXJ
Innovative Services to Engage Users ( Dave Puplett, London School of Economics)
  • I’m a lefty librarian and proud of it.
  • “People first, Content second” is a new social model.
  • Areas of opportunity – marketing; widening communication; user feedback; 2 way communication
  • RT @calire: #ili2011 Social design – Services designed around people. #b202
  • LSE Library use social media to be part of the conversation and engage with users.
  • 4square is a great marketing opportunity – people saying publicly that they’ve used the library to their friends.
  • Flickr – people are tagging photos; parts of photos
  • People will interact with social media accounts if they think it’s a real person they’re talking to.

Developing ourselves (Julio dos Anjos, INCITE: Associação Portuguesa para a Gestão da Informação)

  • 23 Things is now being run in Portugal.

Developing ourselves (Jo Alcock, Birmingham City University)

  • Heeeeeeeeres @joeyanne talking about productivity #ili2011 & #cpd23
  • Get things done: Record ideas so it’s not clogging up your head space; prioritise & do it; create trusted storage space…
  • Inbox flowchart for organisation. I wonder if this can be translated into automated actions using http://t.co/TJGca8wN
  • Some really interesting productivity tools coming from @joeyanne
  • Huzzah. Ifttt gets a mention by @Joeyanne
 Searching without Google (Karen Blakeman, RBA Information Services)
  • Looking at search tools beyond Google, inc. specialist search.
  • Google is launching its “standout” tag which will allow publishers to highlight a number of their articles to improve their ranking
  • Login to your Google dashboard and see what info they know about you.
  • Yeeeeeeeees. @Karenblakeman mentions mild beer. 🙂
  • Google sometimes thinks it knows what you really want when you search, rather than what you actually want.
  • What are Yahoo playing at? Seems as if they just can’t be arsed developing anything any more!
  • Search tools: Duckduckgo; Blekko (also shows who else has linked to site);Wolfram alpha (I still don’t get it!); Zanran (charts)
  • Silobreaker for news searches.
  • Specialist searches: chemspider; biznar; techextra; philpapers; mednar; scirus; pubmed; healthmash; offstats; guardian data store
  • Social media search: topsy; socialmention; blogpulse / Create search engine – blekko / zuula
The New Normal Needs a New You
  • Ulla de Stricker says expand definitions of what we do in a time-scarce economy.
  • @Chibbie Talking about how TEDx would be great for inspiration.
  • Michael Stephens: Libraries have the potential to be anywhere and everywhere.
  • @chibbie Says if you look for roles to take on don’t look for the word ‘librarian’ in description. Our skills go beyond the name.
  • Surprisingly even though conference is technology based, there has been a great focus on people interaction.
Thoughts on the conference

I really enjoyed the whole event, including meeting friends/people I know on Twitter and plenty of other library/information based people from so many different countries.

Even though they weren’t always of direct relevance to my current role, most of the presentations I sat-in on were of interest to me. They helped me put my job and library service into the wider context of library and information services in general. It’s useful to attend an event like this to remind yourself where your place might be in the grand scheme of things and how librarians and information specialist throughout the world are working towards common goals.

The key themes that came across during the conference were:

  • Library and information services and our information skills don’t have to be constrained by the walls of the library or the title “librarian”.
  • We need to share resources and knowledge with each other – by either collaborating with others to share the load or by pulling together isolated silos of information.
  • Libraries are key to developing social change and improving society – they open up access to reliable and relevant sources of information to everyone, and we are the chaperones of that information and those who want to access it.
  • We can help improve ourselves and our services by making sure we use the most appropriate tools available.
  • We are in an age where people are just as much content creators as information consumers and we need to understand how this impacts on the provision and management of information services

Even though it was a technology based conference, there was just as much emphasis on the human side of things, which appealed to me. Maybe within this area there’s a suggestion here that technology in information and library work will still need a reasonable amount of human input and not just steam along like a Google search engine, without anyone there to say “Hold up! Are you sure this information is correct?”

As I say, I really enjoyed the conference, and hopefully I’ll get the chance to attend again some time in the future.

SurreyCamp Event and Digital Surrey

Last week was Digital Surrey week, part of the “Future Surrey” initiative. What is Future Surrey? The following quote taken from the Future Surrey site will explain…

Surrey County Council is working with FutureGov to design and deliver Future Surrey: a programme that combines service design and social technology to bring about organisational change.

It’s based on the principles of open government, open leadership and service design with and for users. Together we’re focusing on core services, like highways and adult social services to develop new ways of delivering services, with the help of technology.  We’re also working across the council and with partners to help highlight where innovation and user-led  service design are already happening, and help the adoption of these principles more widely in Surrey.

As part of this, I attended “SurreyCamp” – an event that connected Surrey County Council, local businesses, innovators and residents in an attempt to develop Surrey within a digital context.

During the event I tweeted a lot – summarising what was going on and things that were being said. The bullet points below are basically the tweets I sent out.

  • At #surreycamp Part of Digital Surrey week.
  • Andrew Povey introduced the day, indicating that Surrey residents are already online and the County Council need to ensure we are experts there too.
  • David McNulty says we need to engage as many people as possible in Surrey to get involved in developing the county.
  • We need to harness the passion and skills of the people of Surrey to develop it.
  • Build our networks of partners in Surrey
  • Surrey’s Big Vision – SCC we want to be leading edge & ensure we will be effective in rs time.
  • Be open & ready to react quickly as new possibilities emerge.
  • Currently trying to upgrade systems in Surrey County Council.
  • Will be publishing ideas generated from the event today.
  • Dominic Campbell from FutureGov speaking about the event. This event is part of a bigger piece of work – “Future Surrey” & “Digital Surrey Week”
  • What can web do to help us in our work? Want new structures; challenging; new processes; new ways of thinking; innovation
  • Want performance improvement and efficiency.Get citizens involved. Surreywide programme. Not just SCC
  • Surrey social services currently trialling apps
  • Need to move away from introverted design and move to working with users and partners.
  • Spectrum of project is from staff collaboration to social innovation.
  • Need to get more people involved. Need the enthusiasm to make it work.
  • Mary Baker. Founder of DropBy. Social networking site for over 60s to connect people who feel isolated.
  • Provides: interaction; video chat between family members; online games room (keep the brain cells going)
  • Just decided that she was going to do something herself, rather than waiting for others to do it.
  • Louise Bircher. Customer Services & communications Mole Valley District Council.
  • Redesigned website. Easier to use; accessible. Site ranking improved and have been shortlisted for award.
  • Use Youtube, Twitter, Flickr, QR codes, Facebook (in a targetted manner)
  • Alana Blair. Campaign Communications Officer, SCC. ion Facebook, 5.5mill visits from Surrey postcodes
  • Surrey Matters magazine. Has been introduced as digital format early in 2011
  • Social media offers residents the chance to interact with Surrey County Council.
  • Sign up for Surrey Matters e-newsletter at surreymatters@surreycc.gov.uk
  • Nigel Biggs. Software developer background.
  • Runs social enterprise. Connect people to co-create ideas & implement something new.
  • It’s okay to talk about ideas, but you also need to act on it too.
  • Need to create a new vision. Communilab – forum that includes local councils, Universities, businesses.
  • Public sector has a fear of failure.
  • John Woods. Assistant Director for Adult Social Care. Surrey County Council
  • New ways of working with partners.
  • Paul Brocklehurst. Head of IMT, Surrey County Council
  • IMT support customers. Don’t want to be a blocker of resources.
  • Working with services to look ahead a lot more; supporting SCC digital policies.
  • Concentrating on replacing the “plumbing”; creating new data centre; involved in “modern worker programme”; making a difference
  • Helping to transform services
  • Gavin Stephens, Surrey Police.
  • Communication about the services you provide are going on in these social media places. You need to be there too
  • Social media. Evidence can be taken from social media.
  • Community engagement. How can we put Surrey police into people’s pockets? Have created an app.
  • It can improve the policing in Surrey.
  • Not “why?” “Why not?” ie why not try new ideas anyway.
  • Helen Leech. Virtual Content Manager, Surrey Library Service
  • Virtual visits to library site have increased by 25%
  • We are training staff via 23 Things; QR codes; looking at comments via social media
  • “I hate this book” campaign on our Facebook page.
  • We have staff blog for sharing info related to libraries; Library2.0 wiki; doodle event organiser; Webex online meetings
  • Communities of practice website – great for discussing issues amongst wide groups of people.
  • Currently in sessions rapping, eating yoghurt and making boats. It’s great. Like being back at playschool. 🙂
  • RT @simonjchughes: #surreycamp the future of public services in a yog pot. http://t.co/MdznWic8
  • Part of the ideas board from #surreycamp http://t.co/OHurZuZp
  • Future Surrey sweeties! http://t.co/1q8qn8Aa #surreycamp
  • Future Surrey “Thinking caps & creativity trousers.” http://t.co/xL3oakA8 #surreycamp
  • This afternoon is about coming up with ideas for web solutions.
  • Developing ideas to address issues about isolated people. How can they be supported?
  • What is your idea? What difference will it make & to whom? How could it save money/make money? How will it help Surrey people to do things for themselves? What do you need to make it happen?
  • Internet portal via TV type interface to provide comms.
  • Isolation idea covered possible telecom. Bundle inc software; software itself; options needed; delivery options.
  • Roundup of all group ideas
  • Ideas (1) How to engage with businesses. Need to map existing solutions and make connections between them.
  • (2) Volunteering. To promote existing volunteering to encourage more people to volunteer. Make one stop shop for info.
  • (3) e-learning. Bring together all info. of resources inc. library info; packages for home safety; online courses; booking system
  • (4) Meals on wheels. Combine meals on wheels and school meals service. Use volunteers to help & get money of meals
  • (5) Localism. How to solve local problems. Network communities together. Give 1/2 money saved back to comms.
  • (6) Isolation. Get systems to houses – superfast broadband. Need simple app. -TV; internet
  • (7) Looked after children. Joined up comms for children. Only have to say things once. Child could provide status updates.
  • (8) Emergencies. Web/mobile app. Get clear official info feeds out to people. Opps. for people to help out based on your skills
  • (9) Collaboration/ways of working. Multi agency workspace. Internal web chats between staff & external resident discussions
  • (10) Elections. App timeline for elections. Who’s standing in the area. Webchat with MPs/councillors
  • (11) Search facility across all council – C.C. ; borough; parish sites.
  • (12) Roads & transport. Highways app. Multifaceted. Log your pothole! Real time travel info. Efficiency of journey info
  • (13) Carers. Review and evaluate services and service providers. Allow residents to decide on who their care provider will be
  • (14) Waste & recycling. Collection day alarm- “Don’t forget to put your bins out tonight.” Recycling service. (Idea) Scan items – can you recyle them?
  • (15) Politicians. Training sessions for members to use social media
  • (16) Engage with young people. Advice on careers, health, education, activities; vouchers for young peoples activities.
  • (17) Tourism. Harness spending power in county. “Locate me” using geoloc. Inspire me – chooses random idea. Combine resources
  • (18) Parents. Enable parents of disabled children to access support services. Improve web access.
  • (19) Rural. Encouraging visits to countryside by using social media. Set up blog. Get people to share experiences. Use Flickr map
  • (20) Engagement. AskSurrey. Pull all convo into 1 place from places like Twitter Facebook- respond there & push replies out…
  • FutureGov @dominiccampbell @carriebish Hi. Archive of #surreycamp tweets here. http://t.co/EqEX1f0p – Fri Sep +011
  • Summary of #surreycamp tweets following yesterday’s great @FutureGov event. http://t.co/eF4MesRb – Fri Sep +011
  • Interesting Surrey Police app, mentioned at #surreycamp yesterday. http://ow.ly/6w7H9 More info. http://ow.ly/6w7IB Thanks to @csuptstephens – Fri Sep +011
I really enjoyed and felt inspired by the whole event – about 10 quick presentations at the start highlighting what people in Surrey (inside and outside the council) were getting up to; creative sessions afterwards, trying to get a focus on selling/developing your services; and final sessions attempting to get people to think practically about digital services that could be created to improve the lives of people in Surrey.
It reminded me of the mashed libraries events I’d been involved in – people there who really wanted to make use of the technology/software they had and develop services creatively for the residents of Surrey.
The key things that came out of the whole event were…
  • If you want something to happen, you need to help make it happen and not sit back and twiddle your thumbs
  • A lot of the information people want is out there – it may be hidden… it may be in silos, but it’s out there and if you can bring it together in one place and tell people that it is there, it is going to be so useful for them.
  • People in Surrey have the imagination and skills to develop these services.
It will be interesting to see where we are in a years time with all of this. Hopefully we can see some of these ideas will have been turned into practical and useful services.