Category Archives: ALA

ALA Annual 2010 Battledecks Champ!

I am truly, honestly surprised and thrilled to be crowned (or tiara’d) the American Library Association 2010 Annual Conference Battledecks champion. I still haven’t seen video of my competitors, but I can say with authority that they are all smarter, better-looking, and funnier than I.

Somehow though, I pulled it off. The official ALA video below doesn’t include my entrance, complete with luchadore mask (which I think got me bonus points). I wasn’t going to watch myself, but I realized I was so completely out of it during the thing that I barely remembered anything except the cataloger joke.

NOTE: about that. I worked as a serials cataloger for the 2 years of my degree at UNC-Chapel Hill, and took every class in cataloging offered. I have great respect for catalogers. But sometimes, you just have to go for the obvious joke. Please don’t hurt me.

Goodreader & the iPad

EDIT: please check out my new post, with the real problem identified. This post contains old information that is not correct!

Goodreader is by far the best interface and app for handling different filetypes on the iPad…PDFs, doc files, images, etc. But this morning at the ALA Annual conference I discovered one really scary security issue with it. By default, Goodreader doesn’t require authentication or any warning to connect via Bonjour, and it allows you to browse AND DOWNLOAD any files that are so shared. Sitting in the Conference Center lobby, I was able to connect to two different iPads, view and grab files arbitrarilly, and push files TO the iPads as well.

Goodreader Security issue

Goodreader Security hole

This is INCREDIBLY SCARY. In the first 2 minutes, I saw files that had credit card information, passwords, bank account information, and more.

If you are using Goodreader and are connected to any public wifi point, make sure that you have gone into Settings, Other Settings, and make sure that Ask Permission Before Connecting is ON.

There's an app for that – OITP Brief on Mobile

The American Library Association Office of Information Technology Policy, better known as ALA-OITP, just released their Policy Brief on Mobile Tech, There’s an App for That! Libraries and Mobile Technology: An Introduction to Public Policy Considerations. Written by Timothy Vollmer, formerly of OITP and now working for Creative Commons, it’s a great “state of the union” brief on Mobile tech, and how it effects the library world in the current and near-future time frame.

I was honored to have been an early reader on this piece, and to have been able to give feedback to Timothy as he worked it up. If you have any interest at all about the future of libraries and the mobile world, this is a must read.

ALA Annual 2010 Unconference

If you didn’t get the chance last year, the ALA Annual Unconference was awesome, and it’s back this year for a return engagement. Whether you are a fan of the Unconference form, or just interested in what the buzz is about, the 2010 ALA Annual Unconference should be a really, really good way to spend the Friday of the Annual Conference.

One of the things that people say brings them to Annual is the opportunity to network, and attendees consistently say that they want more networking opportunities. This is the perfect networking opportunity, and I give you a money-back guarantee for the cost of the Unconference that you’ll meet interesting and thought-provoking people.

Go! Register! Attend! You’ll love it.

Creating a 21st Century Learning Environment

I and the amazing team from my place of work (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga) are leading a preconference for ACRL at the ALA Annual Conference 2010 in Washington DC entitled Creating a 21st Century Learning Environment. I’m incredibly excited about this, as we’ve worked for years to create amazing environments for our patrons, both in our existing building and in the planning for our new library building (opening in January 2012). I fully admit and embrace my bias for the way we do things (transparently, collaboratively, driven by data), I think that libraries who might not be as lucky could learn some things from us.

From the description of the preconference:

Successful 21st century academic libraries serve students holistically by meeting academic as well as other needs. This preconference will introduce participants to techniques and strategies for creating 21st century library environments and spaces, including the use of data-driven decision making and 2.0 technologies, the creation of broad avenues of input and partnerships, and the development of associated timelines and budgets. Examine library culture, services, technologies, and polices that enhance student learning, the benefits and pitfalls of campus collaborations, and address the nuts and bolts of renovation and building projects.

If you or anyone from your library is interested, registration is still open.

Gadgets & Gizmos

Gadgets & GizmosI am so thrilled that my issue of Library Technology Reports, Gadgets & Gizmos: Personal Electronics and the Library, is now available. Of all of my recent writing projects, this one was the one that I had the most fun with. I also think it has a ton of good information in it to help Libraries and Librarians make some decisions about gadgets that they should be examining. I spend a little time at the beginning talking about why I think that we need to be worrying about personal electronics in the library:

Libraries have always been the democratizers of content. We step in to distribute the economic burden of informa- tion and allow access to those who could not afford to own the information themselves. As our content becomes increasingly digital, these gadgets give us the delivery mechanism for the content. In the traditional library, the content and the delivery device were one and the same: the book, the magazine, the journal. In the digital world, the two are distinct, but that doesn’t give libraries the liberty of continuing to be interested in only one of the two pieces of the access puzzle.

I’m even more thrilled that it’s available electronically through ALA in a ton of formats (PDF, Epub, prc for Kindle). I’m reading through it on my iPad, and the ePub version looks great.

If you are interested, I am also doing a companion webinar on the topic THIS THURSDAY, April 22, at 2pm EST. Register for the webinar, and you’ll get $10 off the print version of the LTR!

As always, I’d love to hear from anyone that has questions or feedback!

Touch and User Experience

I just posted over at ALA TechSource on some of my thoughts after using the iPad for most of a week…I’m convinced that we’re about to hit a period where we will have to start thinking about reworking our user interfaces for Touch interaction. From the post:

We are used to mediated interactions with digital objects, using a tool as an intermediary or proxy. We’ve been interacting by metaphor, instead of directly. The mouse pushes a cursor around the screen, and the cursor interacts with the object (window, file, text) that we’re interested in. On a touchscreen, especially the modern touchscreen, you are interacting with the digital world directly. For those who haven’t had this experience, I can’t emphasize how much this changes the relationship between the information and the user.

Let me know what you think…do you think that libraries will move towards Touch-based technologies in the next year?

Vote Griffey!

I was nominated and chose to be on the ballot for two different offices at the national level this year. I’m running for Director-at-Large for LITA, which is a 3 year stint on the LITA Board of Directors. I am also on the ballot for ALA Councilor-at-Large, also a 3 year gig on the ALA Council.

The voting period for both elections starts the middle of March, and the members of LITA and ALA respectively will get instructions in their email as to how and when to vote. I’m not going to spend a ton of time “campaigning” per se, but I do think that I can, perhaps, do some small amount of good and help move both organizations in good directions if I’m elected.

I would appreciate any tweeting, friendfeeding, buzzing, blogging, or other attention you can draw to my candidacy, especially for ALA Council…a lot larger pool, and a ton more votes needed for that one. I’ve set up a website with a summary of why people should vote for me: Elect Griffey, also linked to in the image above.

ALA TechSource Trends Webinar

TechSource has posted the recording of the TechTrends Midwinter 2010 Webinar that I was a part of a couple of weeks ago, along with Sean Fitzpatrick, Kate Sheehan and Greg Landgraf. I’m really pleased with it…check it out, and let me know if there are any questions you’d like me to follow up on.

TechTrends: Midwinter 2010 Webinar Archive from ALA Publishing on Vimeo.

TechTrends: Mid-Winter 2010, an archive of the 2/11/10 ALA TechSource webinar. The ALA Midwinter meeting was discussed from a library technology perspective. Our panel of experts offered their own unique perspective, sharing what they learned from the conference and what trends they thought stood out, plus, a question-and-answer session with the panelists.