Tag Archives: ALA

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.

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 litablog.org, from ustream.tv, 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.

Kindle 2 on Techsource

Just a note for those that might have missed it…I’m one part of a three part post over at TechSource on the Kindle 2 and libraries. I’m pointing it out mainly because of the fact that I did the very first, I think, video for TechSource, showing off the Kindle 2’s Text-to-Speech feature. Go take a look, and let me know how you think it came out.

ALA and YouTube followup

My post from last week on the ALA presidential debates and YouTube seems to have struck a cord with some librarians, and I’m somewhat pleased with the results. At the same time, I definitely am guilty of what Karen Schneider says: “…he spent too long explaining how ALA isn’t “getting it” and not enough time talking about what’s right about this project.” This is completely the case. I did pick on the details of the announcement, without clearly saying “BRAVO!” to the ALA and more specifically (again, as Karen pointed out) to the Jim Rettig presidential task force that is continuing to do good things for the ALA. I do think that this is absolutely where the ALA needs to be going. But just because they picked the right destination doesn’t mean that I can’t critique their driving skills. :-)

With that said, I’m overjoyed that the ALA changed the rules to allow for non-member question submission! Thank you, thank you, thank you to whomever took that forward to the powers-that-be, and to all the non-members who might want some clarity on what the ALA is good for: here’s your chance to ask the presidential candidates your questions. Don’t waste the opportunity.

The other part of my suggestion, that anonymous submissions be allowed, wasn’t changed in the submission policies. Karen even says, in her post:

Besides, what would an “anonymous” YouTube film look like? Hand puppets? Mr. Bill? (”Budgets slashed, oooooooooh noooooo!”) Anyone who really had a burning question they couldn’t ask themselves could always find a friend willing to do it. I’ve fronted questions for people in all kinds of situations.

True that people could always find someone to front their question, but why should that be necessary? There are a million ways to do an anonymous question….not all videos have to be talking heads. A voice over a video of book stacks would work just fine, and creating a sock-puppet YouTube account is, needless to say, a trivial matter. Again, I ask: If these videos are being screened before being responded to (which they are) then why does identity matter?

I’ll admit this is a particular obsession of mine, but anonymous speech is important and necessary for the freedom of speech to be a real thing. Any time that I see the capacity for anonymous speech being held back for no particular reason that I can discern, I’m predisposed to push for it.

ALA Presidential Hopefuls and YouTube

So the ALA is taking a hint from the US Presidential elections and taking questions from YouTube…with some caveats. Here’s the email that went out to ALA members:

Members Invited to Submit Questions to ALA Presidential Candidates via YouTube

Do you have a question you’re dying to ask the candidates for ALA President?  If you can’t attend the Presidential Candidates’ Forum at Midwinter, why not submit a question on YouTube?  It’s fun, it’s easy, it’s the new ALA way!

•       Questions should be submitted as videos and posted to YouTube
•       Maximum running time is 90 seconds
•       ALA members or groups of members may submit questions using your true name(s) (anonymous submissions will not be considered)
•       Video submissions must be tagged as ALAelection09 in order to be identified as questions for the ALA Presidential Candidates
•       Submissions accepted from Dec. 8 through Jan. 16

Six questions will be selected by a jury of past ALA presidents and presented to the candidates.  Candidates’ responses will be posted to YouTube and AL Focus prior to the opening of the ALA Election on Mar. 17.  The candidates for ALA President for the 2009 election are Kent Oliver and Roberta Stevens.  Questions will also be posed to any petition candidates.

For more details, go to http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/governance/alaelection/index.cfm

ALA is trying to get social media, but failing in significant ways. Why is it that only ALA Members can submit questions? The ONLY way that ALA is going to pull in the next generation of librarians is to show them that there is a benefit to joining…and withholding participation is so completely the wrong way to do it. The ALA should allow non-members to ask questions, in the same way they should start pushing conference content to non-members in a more robust way. Inviting virtual participation is a huge step…don’t screw up by limiting your audience, ALA. Change this requirement.

I also have a significant personal issue with requiring names to be attached to questions. The questions are being vetted anyway…what’s the harm in allowing anonymous questions? For a profession that holds privacy as high holy writ, to then disallow anonymous speech seems a bit hypocritical. The US Supreme Court has held that the right to free speech and the right to anonymous speech are the same…that “identification requirements burden speech”, as Talley v. California is sometimes expressed. I would love to see the ALA Board reconsider this requirement as well.

Your BIGWIG

I’m very, very excited to announce the next step in the continuing attempt to take over the world illustrate modern communication methodologies and community building for the larger LITA and ALA types:

YourBIGWIG

This is a place for members and potential members and interested parties of the LITA Interest Group BIGWIG to gather, talk, and most importantly: do stuff. The site is open…anyone can create an account and participate in the site, add content, etc. It gives us a place to meet virtually, and a place where I hope good ideas are filtered and implemented. Consider it a BIGWIG-driven playground.

The site is Drupal based, and will be chock-full of open source goodness over time. We’ll also continue to experiment with Web 2.0 tools and hope that people use the site to do so.

So: Join us virtually, and then decide if you want to join us at conferences and such. Either way, we’re happy to have you participate in our playing. Come join us!

ALA Techsource

Well, it’s official. I will be writing for ALA TechSource over the course of the next year! A monthly column on the TechSource blog, with wide-ranging topics that I hope inform and make people think about technology and libraries.

I’m thrilled to be a part of the TechSource team, and can’t wait to get started. Thanks to everyone who made this opportunity happen.

Orson Scott Card: the author and the work

I’ve kept up with the recent Orson Scott Card controversy in libraryland, and I respect nearly everyone who has taken a strong stance against the decision by the YALSA to award OSC the Margaret A. Edwards award for adolescent literature for 2008.

But.

I’m not sold on the controversy here.

There is no denying that OSC is a homophobe…no, that’s probably not strong enough. “Fear of homosexuality” doesn’t approach his views. OSC is a heterosexist bigot, based on his own words, and does not deserve either our respect or our patience. But the two works that are being honored, Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow, are not homophobic. They don’t seem to speak with the same voice as OSC in interviews. They portray strong, smart kids doing incredible things, and should stand above and beyond the idiocies of the author.

The award is given, according to the description online, in order to:

…recognizes an author’s work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world.

The works do just that.

The author can be an idiot…hell, it could probably be argued that most artists of any sort are damaged in some significant way. Insanity, adultery, substance abuse, and yes, crazy beliefs…all crop up in the pantheon of artists. Just because the author is nuts doesn’t mean that the work is nuts.

Would I give OSC an award? No. Would I honor the work? Yes, I would. It’s a fine line, but otherwise I find myself having to question every piece of art by examination of the artist.