Tag Archives: LITA

The Case for Open Hardware in Libraries

Over a year ago, I was approached by Ken Varnum to write a chapter for a book he was editing, at the time called Top Ten Technologies for 2017. He was persuasive, and I had this crazy idea that had been bouncing around in my head for some time about libraries and open hardware. I told him my idea, and described the argument I wanted to make, and he told me to go for it.

So I did.

The book ended up being called The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know: A LITA Guide and my chapter in it The Case for Open Hardware in Libraries. I’m pretty proud of it, as it’s as close as I’ve been able to come, after a couple of years worth of thinking and speaking and writing, to distilling why I think this is an important thing for libraries to be doing.

Click the above link to download a copy for your very own, or take a look below for a quick skim. Either way, I hope that it starts or continues some conversations on this front in libraries. As always, if there are libraries out there that want to do this sort of thing, build their own hardware, create their own measurement tools, I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to help you. Just let me know.

3D printing video for Top Tech Trends

I was asked by the LITA Top Tech Trends committee to help them test out a new idea for TTT…having a Trendster talk about a single tech trend on video, and throwing it up on YouTube. I agreed, and the result (after a little editing on my part) came out really well. Take a look:

If this is the sort of thing you’d like to see more of from LITA, please…leave a comment! Let us know what you think.

LITA Top Tech Trends – ALA Annual 2010

Here’s the video of the LITA Top Tech Trends panel from ALA Annual 2010. My impressions of the panel were mainly “OMFG I’m on stage with Lorcan Dempsey” and “How big IS this room?”…was very hard to concentrate on the content being put forth while actively involved in it. But I think we all had very interesting things to say. I’ll see about cleaning up my notes and putting them up in a post in the next few days.

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.

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.

Interesting WP Spam Hack

A really interesting spam hack popped onto my radar today. Here’s the post from the LITABlog, as seen in browser:

LITABlog Spam Hack

Here’s the bottom of the post. Nothing unusual, right?

LITABlog Spam Hack

Here’s the same post in Google Reader:

LITABlog Spam Hack

Spamolicious! Where the hell did all that come from? From this little piece of code in the post:

LITABlog Spam Hack

A hidden bit of code in the bottom of the post. I hadn’t seen this before, but Joshua M. Neff told me it happened to him as well. In the comments there was a link to the wordpress developer’s blog about a similar issue…but not an identical issue. I don’t think this is necessarily a SQL injection issue.

So: anyone have any thoughts? How did that code get put into an existing post? LITABlog is running the latest version of WordPress, so it’s not that. I don’t see any more of them, but I won’t unless I look through the code manually or whip up some SQL-fu that greps for the hidden css string. Which I will do if I must, but I thought maybe someone out there had a better idea. :-)

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!

Heading out to LITA Forum

Tomorrow I’ll be hitting the road, heading off to LITA Forum in Denver, CO. I’ll be heading up the LITABlog blogging effforts, pushing posts through, editing like mad, and capturing audio for the ever-popular LITABlog Podcast series.

If you’re in Denver for the Forum, say “hey”. Myself, Michelle, Karen, and Jonathan of BIGWIG will be in attendance…if you’re interested in throwing your lot in with us in hopes of changing ALA and LITA for the better, definitely stop one of us. Our plans have slowed, but not stopped. We’ve still got some rebellion in us…and we never run out of good ideas.

Library Salary Database

So the ALA has launched a Librarian Salary Database, which collects (according to the email press release):

The Library Salary Database includes aggregated data from 10,631 actual salaries for six librarian positions in 1053 public and academic libraries.

The site itself, however, says:

The Library Salary Database has current aggregated salary data for 68 library positions from more than 35,000 individual salaries of actual employees in academic and public libraries in the United States.

So which is it? 6 positions, or 68? I’m certainly not paying to find out! Jenifer kindly clarifies in the comments…

As unclear as the actual sources may be, no one disputes that the data they are aggregating is collected from their own constituents. Who else is reporting this, if not ALA members. So the ALA is collecting the info, and then selling it back to us. For an annual rate of $150!!!!!

This is yet another of the absolutely insane things that come out of ALA. I might understand charging outside interests for the information, but this should be free for members. Then again, I think that the ALA should be operating in a far more open and free manner than it has for years (some of you might remember my Master’s Paper, which, flawed as I admit portions are, spoke strongly against the locking up of ALA content)

I’ve not talked at length about my individual issues with the organization yet, but if I could be a LITA member without being an ALA member, you can bet I’d go there. ALA as a whole is overgrown and needs a good weeding.

Now that I think about it, sets of facts really aren’t copyrightable. Anyone out there with the ability to scrape this database and produce a free version? I’ll pony up the $30 for a months access if it frees the data behind the scenes.