Going to turn on Twitter2Blog for the extent of the ALA conference, to make it easier for me to post/keep up with things. If it falls apart and I don’t notice, someone let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚

Digital Culture

That word….

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.


Library Issues

Bigwig Social Software Showcase

bigwig social software logo

This would be the Super Secret Project that I’ve been alluding to for a few weeks now. Full press release and information available on LITABlog, and much, much more to come on the official Showcase site.

Why do this? Well, the guiding hands of BIGWIG (Michelle Boule, Karen Coombs, and myself) had grown increasingly frustrated at the formal requirements for “official” ALA presentation, especially as they relate to technology. A paper-based, formally structured, face-to-face conference is just not the right answer for the majority of librarians anymore. I have taken part in multiple virtual conferences (HigherEdBlogcon and Five Weeks to a Social Library), and I prefer them for actual content to the sorts of things that ALA puts on. That isn’t to say that F2F isn’t valuable…its just a different measure of value. Witness that we included F2F as something that enhances the content of the presentations, but I would argue no more than having open communication channels virtually. It’s all about conversation…that’s the heart of the social web.

Combine the above with the ridiculous timeline needed for presentation topics…12-18 months out for a technology presentation? I can list at least 4 things that have happened in the last month that would be interesting. Trying to predict what might be interesting in technology in 12 months is a losing game, and it does nothing to actually serve either librarians or our patrons. We gave our presenters a deadline of a week before the conference to give us their content….a week. It is possible to be timely and flexible with this stuff, if its done well.

Join us in the experiment! Follow the conversations on the wiki, join us at ALA to meet what we think are the cream of the crop of current library technology people. We’ve got movers & shakers, we’ve got OCLC award winners, we’ve got radical metadata pirates and the guy who made LibraryThing. Why wouldn’t you want to come along for the ride?

Library Issues

My CiL wrapup, in 140 characters or less

At CiL there was:


and this:


some of this:


a side of this:


with just a dash of this:


Translation: It’s all about the friends. And Twitter.

Digital Culture



Originally uploaded by griffey.

Does anyone else see the disconnect between having a physical message board at Computers in Libraries?

People still leave notes? Really?

Library Issues

Library of the Future

Darien Library

Three Principles

  • Covenant with our patrons
  • Stay ahead of expectations
  • First of the new libraries, not te last of the old

Two Goals

  • Design and Build an absolutely fantastic new library (NB: ummm…thats a goal?)
  • Use technology wherever it will make us more efficient and effective, and however it will meet our patron’s demands

One Rule

  • Tolerate Uncertainty

Continuing Vision

  • Eternal Values
  • New Technology

The library technology center is in the basement! The concept of a street-level greenway that continues into the building is really clever and forward thinking.

“We’re just a cute little public library in Southwestern CT”

Lots of spaces for collaborative work, together and with the staff.


  • Observe
  • Orient
  • Decide
  • Act

Technology Layers in the Library

  • Infrastructure
  • Administrative
  • Staff
  • Patron Indirect
  • Patron Direct
  • P2P

No Tech services, no Circ office…90% of the books are shelf-ready. They don’t care where a material comes from: the ups truck or a patron return, it’s the same workflow.

No cataloging

Outsource EVERYTHING related to Technical Services

What would a library be if it needed no booktrucks? A booktruck is full of things that aren’t in the hands of a patron.

  • Active item back on shelf in 20 minutes
  • Time from ordering a book to first Circ is 18 hours

NB: Holy. Shit.

No more defensive positions. Think of reference as a concierge desk.

Digital Culture

Future of OPAC

Tim Spalding, Librarything:

“The library is the most fun you can have with your pants on.”
“You are not better for being a mall…you can’t leave a mall”


  • Focus on the OPAC, the website and the opac are not seperate things.
  • Allow inbound links
  • Link outwards: Why wouldn’t you link to commercial service?
  • Link Around: ubiquitous hyperlinks..everything is a first level entity. Everything is massively linked, and this is where serendipity comes in.
  • Dress up your OPAC (syndetics): someone needs to create a free database of covers
  • Get your Data out there: including RSS, but people don’t want YOUR content, peope want THEIR content. How do you tell people what you are reading from your OPAC? OMGWTF: LibraryThing sharing data with OPAC, including tags and recommendations.
Digital Culture

Podcasting with a Purpose

Rachael Clemens, Cal State Fullerton

Focused on NURS 505, a nursing class with 40% of the students as distance ed

Modules developed:
What is peer review
and 10 others that I couldnt’ get because she swapped the slide too fast. ๐Ÿ™

Created PPT? Huh? *shudder*

Tools used: audacity, quicktime pro, sound recorder, digital recorder, Camtasia,digital camcorder, mediasite

Digital Culture

Cool Tools for Webmasters

Yahoo Pipes
Google MyMaps
Yahoo Design Pattern Library
What Is my IP?
The Rasterbator
Web developer/web accessibility toolbar for Firefox
Firefox: Linkify
Firefox: Link Checker
Trailfire – Web Tours

Google Webmaster Tools
Open source web design

Open Source Federated Search
DBWiz – Simon Frasier University
Keystone ILS – Index Data

Library Issues

Pimp my Firefox with Jessamyn West

Presentation and handouts available at

Firefox is open source, standards, compliant, cross platform

NB: Jessamyn is a great speaker…you can get some from the presentation, but she’s great in person

Demos how to install a Firefox add on: Google Favicon
Adding a keyword to a search field, allowing you to search the form/site from the address bar using only a keyword
Greasemonkey! Does as sorts of fun scripty stuff including removing ads and pressing buttons for you.