Back in 2014, I wrote a Library Technology Report for ALA entitled 3D Printers for Libraries (Creative Commons licensed version found can be found here). In the past 3 years, much has changed in the world of 3D printing: they exploded across libraryland, became cheaper and more useful, and the number of printer makers has grown like mad. So when ALA asked if I’d update the LTR for 2017, I said yes.
In it, I cover many of the changes in the 3D printing landscape, including the huge variety of new filaments and their properties. Tons of new printers, new types of control software that’s emerged since the last Report, and lots more that can help inform libraries and librarians about the possibilities for 3D printers in 2017.
I hope people find it useful and informative!
I’ve got a few things going on this Spring that I felt I should promote here on the blog, just to tie together some interesting content that people might be interested in. So here’s a quick look at what I’m either doing or working on over the next few months.
This coming Monday, April 16th, I will be speaking at the Southern Illinois University LIS Spring Symposium about the Post-PC Era, which should be a lot of fun. I’m always excited to meet with new librarians, so this should be fun.
Coming sometime this month is Gadgets & Gizmos II: Libraries and the Post-PC Era (link forthcoming), a Library Technology Report from ALA TechSource that is a followup to my 2010 LTR on Gadgets and Personal Electronics. In it, I take a look at how the world of personal electronics has changed in two years (TL;DR version: A LOT) as well as some new tech that libraries are either just starting to implement (3D printing) and some trends that I see coming in the next couple of years (health and other personal data tracking, drones).
The thing that I am maybe most excited about is that this is the first Library Technology Report that will be Creative Commons Licensed. It will be published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which is a big experiment for ALA publishing. I intentionally asked to allow derivatives, because I’m very curious what might spring from that. I’m also very interested in how a CC license will effect sales of the LTR…most LTRs rely on subscription sales for the vast majority of their volume, but I wanted to try to reach as many people as possible. But it still makes ALA Publishing a bit nervous, I think, to have the CC on it, at least if you judge from the amount of time it took to get it ok’d.
And then finally, I’ll be doing a webinar for Techsource based on that very same tech report, a 2 day online workshop on May 10th and 24th titled “Gadgets in the Library: A Practical Guide to Personal Electronics for Librarians“. The workshop is going to be a great mix of practical advice for the management of tablets and eReaders (and other personal electronics…leave a comment if you want me to cover something specific!) and a look at some of the newly-affordable hardware coming down the road in the next year or so.
In June I’ll be attending the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, and will be meeting with various LITA groups, as well as the Library BoingBoing/LibraryLab Members group. I’m also hoping to catch up with the LITA CodeYear IG, which has some cool things starting to come together. Exciting stuff happening at Annual, I hope you’ll come join me!
I’m really priviledged to be a part of the latest ALA TechSource Library Technology Report, Privacy and Freedom of Information in 21st-Century Libraries. When I was given the opportunity to contribute to an issue with Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Sarah Houghton-Jan, Barbara M. Jones and Eli Neiburger…well, I said yes.
I wrote the chapter entitled “Social Networking and the Library”, and the general thrust of the chapter can be seen in this excerpt:
The central tension between libraries and social networks is simple: a social network gains usefulness when you are identifiable (people know who you are) and you share information about yourself (people know what you like). Libraries have, for years, operated under the general guideline that both of those pieces of knowledge are no ones business but yours….Taken at face value, as they relate to social networks, library ethical policies can be interpreted as directly contradictory with…privacy statements. Libraries have chosen, at times, to value privacy over access to social networks when these are in conflict. If the privacy of the patron is compromised via social networks, one possible answer is to attempt to limit access to those networks, which flies in the face of open and free access to information.
If you’re interested in the topic of Freedom of Information and how difficult holding on to library’s traditional values becomes in the 21st century, this issue is a great read. Head on over to Techsource and pick it up.
I 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 doesnâ€™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!
I’m in the middle of writing an issue of Library Technology Reports on Gadgets in your Library, focusing on personal electronics (eReaders, personal media players, cameras, audio recorders, etc). I’ve been drowning in electronic readers lately, starting with the Barnes & Noble Nook finally shipping and going all the way through a myriad of hardware vendors that are jumping into the eReader space. A few of the eReaders that might not be on everyone’s radar: