Interview with Zoë Johnson

As some of you will know already, there’s been a few of us involved in “Mash Oop North!”, so today it’s the turn of my colleague Zoë…

Zoë, can you tell us a little bit about your job at the University of Huddersfield?

Subject librarian (predominantly English and Drama, but I dabble in all things Education too). I have the word e-learning (in brackets) in my job title, which permits me to explore and develop more ideas/ tools and technologies to enhance library information literacy/skills in the first instance. I admit to being a learner myself in the area of mashups and hoping “Mash Oop North” will give me some inspiration, ideas and confidence to explore further.

What’s new and cool at your library?

See anything Dave Pattern does! (Dave: thanks, the cheque’s in the post!) Plus we’ve got a Twitter account and have ventured into the world of online inductions which includes Flickr feeds and podcasts.

Can you remember where and when you first used a web browser?

Probably first/second year at university (1994/5) at this dear place of Huddersfield – remember being underwhelmed by the slowness – think it was a newspaper site… the oldest example I can find is here:…

Do you think libraries and librarians should adopt a cautious approach to new technologies, or should they be rolling up their sleeves and embracing it fully?

Embrace indeed but we can be a cautious lot, so need some coaxing. The whole web 2.0 thing (continuous beta) should be coursing through our veins now, but we still like some order and some structure in the chaos. I think sometimes we’re more aware of the customers on the frontline too, where too much change and “new stuff” can overwhelm the user. We may find a lot of this stuff intuitive, but our students are from all ages, backgrounds and cultures do not, so we must consider all types and skills of users.

Have you got a favourite mash-up?

As someone who collected quotes and bits of poetry in a cardboard folder for many years (often without citing the author – shockhorror), I’m enjoying – which collects top tweets, people can vote for them… rather pointless but creatively stimulating and often chuckleworthy.

Got a favourite beverage?

Currently milk (due to impending nativity in the autumn) but when drinking, Theakston’s Old Peculier for me 🙂


~ by Dave Pattern on 15/June/2009.

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