I was honored today to be a part of the LLAMA Thought Leader Series for Libraries, talking about innovation. I focused on my own career in libraries, and the aspects of things I’ve done that I considered innovative…efforts and projects that I thought were interesting. The conclusion of the presentation was talking through what the commonalities are in those projects, what I think is necessary for innovation in libraries, and how leadership can support said innovation. If you’re interested in downloading the video or slides, you can find those on the LLAMA website, or watch below.
On Wednesday, Sept 16, I will be doing a webinar for the Library Leadership & Management Association, known in library circles as LLAMA. This particular webinar is part of a series called the LLAMA Thought Leaders, which has been host to a ton of amazing librarians that I look up to: Ben Bizzle, Susan Hildreth, Barbara Stripling, Sari Feldman, with fantastic upcoming episodes with Rebecca Smith Aldrich, Steve Teeri, Tod Colegrove and Tara Radniecki. I’m honored to be included in such brilliant company.
I will be talking about innovation in library technology and leadership, and how I’ve managed to carve out the career I’ve had, from leading the technology team at at academic library, running a successful open source project like LibraryBox, building a new way to understand how our patrons use our buildings and resources with Measure the Future, and now as a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. I’ll be taking questions from the audience and I hope to have a great conversation with the attendees. Come and ask me questions!
Register and join me! 12noon until 1pm Central Daylight Time (1pm Eastern, 10am Pacific) on September 16th.
This is a keynote that I delivered at the MOBIUS Consortium conference in Columbia, Missouri on June 2, 2015. I talk about why library technology is terrible, why technology is a unique thing, the speed of change, what technological futures are near, and the broad strokes of how I think libraries need to respond in order to suck less at tech. It’s a fun time for everyone.
There’s one little technical glitch in the middle where Keynote decided to crash, but otherwise I’m pleased with the way this came together.
Just a few hours after I gave my presentation, in which I talk about the rise of voice interfaces to machine learning algorithms that act as personal assistants (a la Siri, Cortana and others), SoundHound drops this bombshell of a demo on the web:
That is ridiculous stuff, right there. But at least it shows I’m not wrong to be paying attention.
Spring and Summer are bringing another round of speaking appearances, all of which I am very excited to be doing. I’m heading to some great conferences and am really excited to meet awesome librarians across the country. If you are going to be attending any of the following, please say hello!
- April 20-22 – New Jersey Library Association Conference, Wednesday morning Keynote
- April 26-29 – Computers in Libraries 2015, Cybertour on Measure the Future on Monday at 1pm and the Decades of Innovation panel on Tuesday evening (OMG I get to be on a panel with Jan and Meg and Darlene and Marshall SQUEEEEE)
- May 20 – Keynoting the Lyrasis eGathering virtual conference
- June 1-2 – Keynoting at the MOBIUS consortium conference
- June 5 – Keynoting and attending Make-It-Palooza at the Snake River Community Library in Blackfoot, ID
- June 25-30 – ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco
If you are planning a conference in the Fall or Winter and are looking for someone to talk libraries, technology, the failures of the present and the promise of the future, or the promise of the present and the failures of the future, get in touch. I would love to speak for your libraries and librarians.
Photo credit: Cindi Blyberg
Way back in March of 2012, I debuted the very first proof-of-concept for the LibraryBox Project at Computers in Libraries in Washington DC. It was the first time a LibraryBox was tested in public, and the reactions and feedback were integral to moving the project forward to where it is today. The first one was actually embedded in a real book (I liked the irony of the presentation).
Where it is today is amazing! We are polishing the v2.1 release of the open source code that lets anyone in the world build their own offline digital file sharing device, which includes a really improved interface, better performance, built-in text translation of the interface into 8 different languages (with an easy framework for adding more), and support for even more hardware.
Back in 2012 at Computers in Libraries, I couldn’t have begun to predict the success that the Project has had. LibraryBoxen are sharing files to those without reliable Internet connectivity all over the world at this point:
View LibraryBox Around the World in a larger map
On April 26, at Computers in Libraries 2015, I will be giving a half-day workshop on the LibraryBox Project and how it can be used by you and your library for outreach, serving the underserved, and more. I will walk you through commonly-requested customizations (how to customize the look and feel of the interface, add your own logo, etc), walk through an installation so that you can see just how quickly you can build one yourself, and demonstrate all of the more advanced tricks you can do with these hyperlocal networks (from using one as a bridge for controlling presentations to using LibraryBox as a LAN for sharing files privately between computers).
One lucky participant will walk away with their very own prebuilt LibraryBox…I’m going to give away the one we build and work with during the workshop to one of the workshop participants.
If you are anywhere in the DC area and just want to learn about LibraryBox, it is possible to register just for the preconference, full attendance at CiL isn’t necessary.
Come and join me! After this workshop, you’ll be a card-carrying LibraryBox expert.
Thanks to a fantastic suggestion from Nate Hoffelder, if you wish to attend the workshop and build your own LibraryBox to tinker on, we’ll do a “build your own” at the very beginning of the session. Here’s a quick list of the things you’ll need in order to do so:
- TP-Link MR3040 router
- A USB drive to use in the LibraryBox. I recommend the SanDisk Cruzer Fit line, and the sweet spot for price/GB looks to be 32GB right now. This is the Boxen’s hard drive, so the larger capacity means more things can be shared.
- A laptop with Ethernet capability, for flashing the router, and the ability to SSH, in order to connect to the LibraryBox you build if you want to further customize it.
Monday and Tuesday of this week I had the opportunity to attend the 2014 Code4LibDC Unconference, where I had been invited to lead an introduction to hardware hacking workshop. Thanks in large part to the generosity of SparkFun Electronics, whose Education arm let me borrow the hardware necessary to run the workshop (15 sets of the Sparkfun Redboard Arduino clone, breadboards, wiring, LEDs, and sensors).
I decided that I wanted to try and reverse the normal order of pretty much every “Learn Arduino” workshop that I’d seen, so rather than start with a blank slate and have the students build a circuit to blink an LED, I decided that I wanted them to start with a working circuit that was a bit more complicated and then deconstruct it. As a result, I spent most of a day late the week before building out a dozen or so circuits that would light a series of 4 LEDs dependent on the value of a potentiometer, and then packing them up and hoping the TSA didn’t find them “interesting”. The idea was that the participants would immediately have a working thing, and then could break it, alter it, change it, and they would have something that was immediately useful rather than struggle to make it work from the outset. Judging from the reactions I got, I think that was a good call…the participants seemed to have a grand time deconstructing why the circuit did what it did. It also provided an example of how something very simple could be useful in a library…you could, with very little change, basically replace the potentiometer with a thermistor and have a temperature gauge, or with a microphone and have a noise indicator for “too loud” rooms.
We weren’t without problems (no hardware session ever is) but overall I felt like it went well, and I can’t wait to work on making this particular workshop even better. I really want to teach more and more librarians how to hack on hardware to benefit their libraries. A few of the participants really had a field day, with one group altering the simple 4 LED series to instead be a 4-bit binary counter, and another working out an algorithm that allowed for soft fades instead of simple on/off of the lights.
If anyone is interested, below you will find my slides from the workshop. They need work before I try to give this again, but I think they are a good start.
Starting Wednesday, I’m heading out for a couple of really exciting events. The first is an IMLS Stakeholder meeting in San Francisco, CA on May 15th that is dedicated to a discussion of how library spaces are changing. From the press release:
The San Francisco meeting will focus on current trends, challenges and opportunities to consider for framing future investments in this area. The discussion will cover the following:
- The Shift to Participatory Learning
- Approaches to Technology and Space
- Staffing and Mentorship Models
- Connected Learning
- Community Engagement: Partnerships and Programming
- Measuring Success: Evaluation
I’m really excited to be a part of this discussion, and can’t wait to meet everyone involved. The event is going to be livestreamed, and they are looking for lots of community involvement, so please join in. The twitter hashtag is #imlsfocus and if you’d like to tweet me directly at @griffey, I’d be happy to ask questions on your behalf.
The incredibly awesome side-effect of being in San Francisco on Thursday and Friday of this week is that Saturday is Maker Faire Bay Area 2014, the largest Maker Faire in the world. This will be my first time being able to attend the grand-high-holy of maker faires, and I’m completely excited. I will of course have a few LibraryBoxen with me, and will be hanging out with Sparkfun showing it off when I can. Sparkfun is going to be located in the Intel booth, so come by and say hello, or just download some free books from the LibraryBox that will be stationed there.
And to round out the awesome week, I’m going to be heading over to Bozeman, MT for the Montana Academic Library Symposium 2014: Makerspaces, DIY Culture, and the Emergence of the Smart Library Building, where I’ll be delivering a keynote about…Library Spaces! I’ll be talking about how the digital devices that are coming over the next 5-10 years will impact the use of our physical spaces, how we can react to that, and how we can bolster our efforts in appropriately marketing ourselves to stakeholders regarding these issues. I’m really excited to meet the fantastic librarians in Montana, and talk about the future of our spaces.
As always, if you’re going to be at any of these events and want to meet up, drop me an email at griffey at gmail.com, or send me a message on twitter. I’d love to continue any of these conversations, or if you just want a LibraryBox demo, I’ll be happy to do that as well. Let me know!
Presentation I gave a couple of months ago here in Chattanooga as the first event in the Code & Creativity series from Easy Designs. Think it turned out pretty well, if you’re interested in LibraryBox, take a look.
Jason Griffey talked about his current passion: the LibraryBox Project, an open source wifi file sharing device that recently had its v2.0 funded on Kickstarter to the tune of $33,000. He discussed the genesis of the project, his ongoing goals for v2.0, and why receiving 1000% of his funding goals via Kickstarter keeps him up at night.
Recorded at Code & Creativity on August 27, 2013.
So over the next 10 days I will be doing talks in two different states, but also on two different continents. Here’s the details, if anyone is interested in coming to say hello!
Tomorrow I am driving up to beautiful Louisville, KY for the Kentucky Library Association Conference. I’m speaking twice on Thursday, once on mobile devices in libraries and once on the future of technology and media. As a native of that fine Commonwealth, I am very excited to be able to be a part of KLA. I’ll have a LibraryBox with me, sharing files as I go…if you have questions or just want a demo, find me and say hello!
Unfortunately, I am not able to stay as long as I wanted at KLA, and I have to head back south on Thursday evening and spend all day Friday packing like mad because on Saturday I leave to give a keynote at the New South Wales State Library in Sydney, Australia. I’m in Sydney all of the following week, and would very much like to have a meetup with all the awesome librarians there. I was thinking of something maybe Wednesday night, Sept 18, but I’m open to suggestions as to where…any natives want to speak out for their favorite pub? I’ll plan something, and send it out to the LibraryBox discussion group as well…maybe we can get some librarians and techies together in Sydney for a few rounds. Email me (griffey at gmail) if you have suggestions, or throw me a message @griffey on twitter.
I’m very excited to get to meet new librarians and talk technology…if you are attending one of the above events, please find me and introduce yourself.
Starting Monday, May 13th, I’ll be starting one of the more unusual speaking gigs of my library career: a roadtrip through the state of Mississippi. I’ll be traveling with a couple of members of the Mississippi State Library Commission, doing training sessions in 4 different cities in 4 different parts of the state in 5 days. Starting in northern MS, I’ll be going from Booneville to Greenville to Flowood to Bay St. Louis, north to south for the distance of the state.
I’ve done plenty of workshops and trainings and presentations before, but this is the first time I’ll be doing the same training this many times this quickly. I’ve also never really been through Mississippi before, and I’m excited to see the state from my car, and have the ability to stop and look around if I’d like.
So: if anyone out there is in MS and wants to say “hey”, come be a part of the training in question. Or give me a yell and maybe we can have a drink one of the nights I’m driving through your area. It’s gonna be interesting.