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Summer blog break

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This is to inform you that due to other summer leisure activities, The Aardvark Speaks will take a summer break starting today. Blogging will resume in late August. Twitter updates will most likely continue. See you then.

I love metadata

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For those who haven't noticed it yet, I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that ever since the relaunch, each blog posting on The Aardvark Speaks has come with a Dewey Decimal Classification® number.

Dewey is here...
What do you think about the fact that each blog entry now comes with a Dewey classification number? (multiple answers possible)

It's cool, and I even know what it means.
It's cool, even though I don't know what it means.
It's stupid because nobody knows what it means.
It shows that you're a nerd.
It shows that you're a librarian.
It shows that you're a nerdy librarian.
Yay! Dewey rules!
Ugh. Dewey is boring.
Who is Dewey?
It's about time.
Who cares?


Everything you always wanted to know about the Dewey Decimal Classification® system but were afraid to ask can be found in The Dewey Blog. Other than looking at current events from a Dewey point of view, The Dewey Blog also intends to help libraries and cataloguers with cases where the correct classification may be doubtful.

Building Dublin Core metadata in blogs with Movable Type templates

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This article is related to one that I published a long time ago, Using Dublin Core in RSS feeds. A lot of time has passed since then, and Movable Type has been enriched with numerous additional features that make it fairly easy to assign complete Dublin Core metadata headers to pretty much every page created with Movable Type.

Here are the necessary lines of code that you need to add to your Movable Type Main Index and Entry templates to generate an extensive amount of DC metadata for your blog; I will explain what each of them is doing, but for a detailed description what the DC terms mean, I would refer you to my earlier article, the DC-ASSIST tool from UKOLN, or the Dublin Core website, including their article on Expressing Dublin Core in HTML/XHTML meta elements.

Is Twitter killing blogs?

| 1 Comment | 006.7

Returning to my regular blog after a self-imposed, fiction-filled hiatus, I noticed that many people whose blogs I used to read from time to time are now blogging significantly less, whereas they seem to have pretty active Twitter accounts.

Are microblogs the new blogs? Have former bloggers finally realized that their lengthy entries could also be condensed down to 140 characters? Or are people no longer interested in investing in time-consuming tasks such as blogging?

Weblogs as communication tools for libraries and librarians

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As this happened during the time when this blog was on a hiatus and its space occupied by a fiction blog, I should perhaps draw some attention to the fact that I published a library- and weblog-related book back in March.

Weblogs als Kommunikationsformat für Bibliotheken und Bibliothekare is the print edition of my MSc (LIS) thesis, and it deals with using weblogs in the institutional context of a library, and how they can (and are) used by librarians as personal communication tools.

The book starts with a brief introduction into the functionality and possibilities of weblogs as a communication format; point out what uses and potentials they are offering as tools in general and in a library context, both for library-user interaction and for internal communication. It should be noted that weblogs need to be implemented as part of a larger communications strategy, and that a content policy is required, as weblogs do not automatically improve communication.

The book illustrates how 22 Austrian libraries were using weblogs or weblog-like tools on their websites and also includes a number of examples from libraries in the US and the UK to show what additional uses and applications are possible.

The book is available through booksellers in Austria and Germany, or from As the title suggests, it is written in German language.

Horst Prillinger: Weblogs als Kommunikationsformat für Bibliotheken und Bibliothekare: Potenziale und Praxisbeispiele - Norderstedt: Books on Demand, 2009. - 140 S. - ISBN 978-3-8370-5070-7 - €15.

The colour

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I chose this template for my blog thinking that the dark parts in the header and sidebar were actually a black-ish gray, but on a different display I noticed they're actually brown. I'm not sure what to make of this. What do you think?

Layout of this page
What about the brown background on this page?

It's awful - change it.
It's not so bad, I don't mind.
It's nice - keep it.

Mr Singh Has Disappeared has disappeared

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As you noticed, the fiction blog that temporarily filled the space usually occupied by The Aardvark Speaks is gone again. I hope that the few people who read it enjoyed it, but contractual obligations forced me to remove the online version now that the print version is available. Comments and feedback on the novel are still welcome in the comments of via e-mail to

The Aardvark Speaks has returned for now, with less effervescence and appearing more like your average lame librarian blog. Having managed to reduce my readership from several hundred to just a handful through months of not updating it and having failed terribly to attract new readers through Mr Singh Has Disappeared, I have no revolutionary new concept about what I'll be doing here other than filling space and time until my next fiction project.

The page layout is still temporary. The picture at the top is very temporary. All of this may or may not change in the near future.

Mr Singh - progress report

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104 chapters published, 46 to go. This means that I should be done with it and The Aardvark back online in mid-June.

The Austrian liblog landscape

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Will be talking about library weblogs and weblog-like online publications by Austrian libraries tomorrow, May 18th, 4pm during the VÖB meeting at the Wienbibliothek.

The liblog landscape 2008

| 3 Comments | 006.7
The Aardvark Speaks still appears in Walt Crawford's annual study of librarian weblogs, or liblogs, although, due to my wildly irregular posting frequency, in a somewhat infavourable position (5 posts, down 44% from the previous year).

Unfortunately, Crawford collects his data from blog entries published from March through May, which happens to be the time when I was particularly inactive last year (for some reason August, the month when most of my readers are on holidays, was my most active month during the last few years).

At least, thanks to faithful commenters, I have one of the most densely commented liblogs in the study. So thanks to everyone who keeps writing.

Anyway, I admit openly that I am only writing this post so that I'm still included in Crawford's 2009 study, as this blog is currently still dormant due to my writing project Mr Singh Has Disappeared, which is currently occupying this web space, but doesn't count as sufficiently libloggy and will also be removed soon after the novel's print version is available.