Category Archives: ALA

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.

Wave upon Wave

In a little more than a week, on March 2nd, I’ll be doing an online webinar for ACRL entitled Wave upon Wave: Navigating the New Communication. The goal is to explore and explain Google Wave, and look at use cases for libraries. Wave lost a lot of luster immediately after the launch, but I still think there’s a ton of promise and potential there. Here’s the learning outcomes that we’ll be trying to get to:

Participants in this webcast will come away with an understanding of the basic functionality of Google Wave. As well, they should be able to envision multiple communicative uses for Wave within their library, including both internal and external communications.

We’ll probably also talk a bit about Buzz, and the ways in which the various Google properties relate to one another. I hope to see you there!

Top Tech Trends – ALA Midwinter 2010

I just realized that I had yet to post my Trends from Midwinter 2010. I will say that I was incredibly pleased with being on the panel with such a great set of librarians, and was overly nervous about the whole thing right up until we started talking. I know it’s silly, but Top Tech Trends is the event that I’ve been attending since my first ALA, and it immediately became a personal career goal to someday be a Trendster. The fact that I actually got to do it still hasn’t really sunk in, especially so early in my career.

I was planning on linking out to a ton of stuff, but this amazing page of links collects pretty much everything that anyone talked about…awesome job putting that together!

Without further ado: My trends, exactly as written before the panel started. I went off the tracks a bit once I started talking, needless to say.

The Year of the App
2009 was the year of the Apple iPhone/iPod Touch App Store….over 1 Billion Apps were downloaded in the first nine months of the App Store, the second billion only 5 months later, and only 3 months from that for Apple to announce 3 billion downloads. 2010 is the year that Apps show up everywhere…small, specialized programs that do one thing in a standalone way are going to be everywhere: every phone, printers, nearly every gadget is going to try and leverage an App Store of some type. Libraries have started down this road with the OCLC Worldcat iPhone App, the DCPL iPhone App, and more coming.

The Death of the App
2010 is also the year of the Death of the App. Many developers are using Apps because they allow functions that were non-existent in other ways. Many of the reasons to program stand-alone Apps disappear when the HTML5 and CSS3 standards become widespread. HTML5 allows for many things that were previously only available by using secondary programming languages or frameworks, like offline storage support, native video tags, svg support for natively scalable graphics, and much, much more. As an increasing number of web developers become familiar with the power of HTML5, we’ll see a burgeoning of amazing websites that rival the AJAX revolution of the last 2-3 years. No less a web powerhouse than Google has said that they won’t develop native apps in the future, and will instead concentrate on web development.

The Year of the eReader
This year will see the release of no less than a dozen different eReader devices, based around the eInk screen made popular by the Amazon Kindle. While Sony and Barnes and Noble launched new readers in 2009, the choices available in 2010 are going to be dizzying. How libraries handle this shift to electronic texts remains to be seen. New and exciting eBook technologies like Blio and Copia are going to revolutionize electronic texts.

The Death of the eReader
Early 2010 is going to be the height of the eReader, and late 2010 will see their decline, as the long-awaited Tablet computing form factor is perfected. The heavy hitters of computing are all producing a form of Tablet system this year, and with a wide variety of customized User Interfaces. With the rise of the Tablet form factor, we’ll see a slow decline of the stand-alone electronic reader, especially as display technology and battery life extend the usability of the Tablets.

Gale vs Ebsco

I find it really interesting that this whole Gale vs Ebsco blew up literally days after the Top Tech Trends panel at ALA Midwinter 2010. Responding to David Walker talking about discovery layers, I made a comment that I was surprised that more content aggregation companies weren’t fighting over exclusive content. I had expected this sort of thing to happen immediately. Good to know that I wasn’t completely off my rocker.

Perpetual Beta

Since this seems to be the week of announcements, I’ll announce my new experiment with American Libraries:

Perpetual Beta

From the introduction post:

This space will be a place where you will be able to find the very edge of new technologies, as well as tips and tricks about how you can do interesting things with existing technologies. I’m going to try and introduce technologies that libraries and librarians should be paying attention to, and at the same time give you tips and tricks to make better use of the technologies that you may already be playing with.

I”m very, very excited about being a part of a new part of American Libraries…this is the first official American Libraries blog that’s not written by staff members, and I’m thrilled that they are allowing me to be a part of it. Please check it out, and let me know over the next few months what you think!

Top Tech Trends @ ALA Midwinter 2010

Well, the cat is out of the bag at this point: I’m going to be a Trendster for LITA’s Top Tech Trends at ALA Midwinter 2010! And doubly cool, I’m with an amazing group of librarians, all of whom I admire. I’m honored to be included with them.

From litablog:

It’s that time again, folks; the semi-annual Top Technology Trends conversation is upon us. This year’s midwinter has us enjoying the history and chill of Boston, but like the last midwinter Top Tech discussion in Denver, you can participate from the warmth of your living room or from wherever you may be, a week from this Sunday.

WHERE: Boston Convention Center (BCEC-162A/B), here at, from, or via Twitter (#alamwttt) links to follow soon!
WHEN: Sunday, January 17, 2010, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. E.S.T.

The start of the second decade of the century starts with five Trendsters who are new to the Top Tech Table:

Amanda Etches-Johnson, User Experience Librarian at McMaster University
Jason Griffey, Head of Library Information Technology at University of Tennessee, Chattanooga
Joe Murphy, Science Librarian, Yale University
Lauren Pressley, Instructional Design Librarian, Wake Forest University
David Walker, Web Services Librarian, California State University System

Join us for a fun and casual discussion, moderated by Gregg Silvis, LITA Top Tech Trends Committee chair.