Libraries and little blue penguins – Getting closer all the time

November 7, 2016

I had a phone call today from Professor John Cockrem who is in Oamaru carrying out research on the town’s unique little blue penguin colony. It’s been in the news recently because it sits right on the waterfront and has for many years shared the road with local motorists. Recently the council – who have woken up to the tourist potential of the penguins – have built a tunnel under the road so that the penguins can return to the colony in safety each night. You can see it here.

Anyway, John described to me how he was working in a café about 100 metres from the nearest nesting box, using Web of Science to find references and download papers and to update his EndNote files for when he came to write the work up and publish. He had just come across an item in the media about the use of geolocators to track seabirds and was following up the possibilities for using them on penguins.

I can’t say I get a lot of calls from Oamaru (or anywhere within earshot of a penguin) so I waited for the inevitable report of a problem with his library access and eventually I asked (as one does!) “So what can I help you with?” Nothing, he replied, he just wanted to tell someone from the Library how well all our stuff was working for him and how wonderful he found it to be able to carry out fieldwork and search the literature from the same space. I asked him if I could share this and he was very happy for me to do that.

So there you go! Libraries are working for little blue penguins too.

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