AndyW's blog

The slow march towards ALA Annual 2010

Today, I registered for my first ALA Annual conference. It went along smoothly for the most part, save for when I went to pick a hotel. I had to scramble to get a map to figure out what was where from the slim pickings left. Even then, I ended up doing a virtual eeny-meany-miney-mo and selecting a hotel. As it turns out, according to Google Maps this hotel is right next to the building that houses Fox News. I personally really don’t have anything against Fox News, but I’ll be able to tell my fellow conference attendees if the presence of thousands of left leaning socialist ‘give away the materials for free on taxpayer dollars’ librarians has any effect on the station. Or maybe the proximity of the conservative network will mask my liberal presence in the city the same way that the cave that was strong with the Dark Side of the Force hid Yoda’s from Darth Vader and the Emperor on Dagobah. In any event, I found the registration for the ALA website to be a bit stranger.

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Tuesday Night Deep Thought: Information Future?

Today I found myself pondering the following question:

“Where will information content be in five years? Ten years?”

And after a long bout of deliberation this evening, I couldn’t really come up with an answer. I think that’s part of our professional problem, really. I can’t think of one person who has more than the most speculative of an educated guess. I’m sure there are some who might read this and take umbrage at this statement, thinking that they are or know someone who could provide an answer. But my guess is that if we were to take the answers, seal them in an envelope, place them in a time capsule, and open them in five or ten years, they would be mostly (if not completely) wrong. (There could be a wager in this, I reckon.)

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Deconstructing Library 2.0

I realize I’m relatively new to the library scene as a second career librarian, so some of what I’m asking may have been covered somewhere already. I’m fine with being corrected in the comments (since there is no better way to learn than to question), but I’m still going to ask.

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My Library Route

(This entry is part of Ned Potter’s Library Routes Project. The idea is to write an entry detailing how you got into the profession along with what made you decide to do so and/or the career path which has taken you to where you are today. I’ve been wanting to write this entry for a long time.) 

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The Library Reloaded: Library Cards

Photo by NJLA/Flickr While I was taking a break working on a blog entry, this post by Patrick Sweeney about getting rid of library cards showed up in my Google Reader. He talks about replacing library cards with user names and passwords, with authentication control happening at the library locations. I thought this was such a different take on the one traditional part of the library experience that I started to write a reply. What I wrote grew beyond what felt like a simple note so I decided to drop my current post and craft this one.

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"I can quit Googling anytime, man!"

On the heels of last night’s post, I saw this older article come across Twitter entitled “100 Things You Should Know About People: #8 — Dopamine Makes You Addicted To Seeking Information”. Apparently, it would appear that librarians are not simply the kind, educated information philanthropists that society and culture has caricatured us.

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The Body of Information

I just finished reading a New York Times article entitled “Abstract Thoughts? The Body Takes Them Literally” that came out a few days ago. Librarians certainly talk about how information is organized and how it can be accessed, and so I thought this article relates well in talking about how the brain (our ultimate end user) perceives information. It is part of an psychological field called embodied cognition.

Notable quote:

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Re: Nothing is the Future, ctd.

Some of the commenters to Wayne Bivens-Tatum’s post “Nothing is the Future” seem to be under the odd impression that his post is an response to Library 2.0/101. It could be one till you get to the last paragraph of his post.

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Re: Nothing is the Future

This is a reaction post of “Nothing is the Future” by Wayne Bivens-Tatum (Academic Librarian).

While my astute professional peer makes excellent points concerning the hyperbole in library technology trends, I feel that there is an excellent lesson to his post: while librarians can and should act as leaders for their patrons, they should also be followers and listeners.

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Dismantling the Echo Chamber

Picture by Warthog9/Flickr

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Sunday Night Ponderance

What would a transliteracy READ poster look like? Would it be someone holding a laptop? A smartphone or other mobile device? Or seated at a computer? Or a wifi router? Or e-reader? And, more importantly, why haven’t we seen one yet? I want to take a picture of me with my laptop with the banner page of my favorite blogs. That’s my READ poster.
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Friends of a Friend's Group

I need your help.

A few months back, after an exchange of emails with Steve Lawson following his fundraiser for the Louisville Free Public Library, I was trying to think of a way to help libraries in general. I am hoping that what I am going to propose right now will do just that.

Friend of a Friend’s Group is a wiki set up to collect information and resources for everything dealing with a “friends of the library” group. From starting a friend’s group to fundraising and advocacy, I’m hoping to harness the combined knowledge and expertise of the library community for this important purpose.

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Information Access in the Balance

There were two items that came out today that I just felt compelled to write about. The first is about the New York Times and the second is about the database service company EBSCO.

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ALA Midwinter Meeting 2010 Recap

4289596648_e2ebdef4b5_b[1] 2010 ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall panorama composite (click to see the original size)

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The Library Ecosystem

Late Saturday night, after the various bar socializing trip during the 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting, I was sitting on the bed in my tiny hotel room (more on that when I do my recap post tomorrow, hopefully) thinking about the different types of libraries and how they might be interdependent. I grabbed my notepad and sketched it out (this is a cleaned up final version of that idea).

4286696021_e2f26a2572_b[1]Please allow me to explain a few things about the chart.

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set sail for fail!

setsailforfail

Have a good story of a program, event, or service that didn’t work out the way you thought it would? We want to hear from YOU!

“SET SAIL FOR FAIL” is a Networking Uncommons event on Sunday January 17th at 2pm. This moderated discussion/commiseration will be lead by Karen Klapperstuck (Virtual Branch Manager, Monroe Township Library, NJ) and Andy Woodworth (Librarian, Burlington County Library System, NJ).

What we are looking for are additional volunteers to shares their stories of programs, events, and services that ended up in the FAIL bin. Without additional people, this will probably end up with Karen and Andy talking about how an impromptu discussion group about failing… failed. (In case of an epic fail [NSFW link], they will be talking about it just to each other.)

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Blatantly Berry Bumbling

This morning, while I was reading through the latest issue of Library Journal online, I had the distinct displeasure of reading John Berry III’s article entitled “Don’t Muzzle Librarians”. While watching David Rothman’s reaction vlog provided some levity for my irritation (a must watch for the purposes of this post), there are some outstanding points that Mr. Rothman did not touch upon that I feel should be addressed.
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The actual future of the library

This past Saturday, Buffy Hamilton sent me the link to Seth Godin’s new post, “The future of the library” as well as some reaction blog posts. (I’ve put the links at the bottom of this post.) It’s the opening line that really started the ball rolling on this post and has lead me to take issue with Mr. Godin’s post (hereafter quoted in blue).
What should libraries do to become relevant in the digital age?
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#fyifriday

fyifriday

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Library Day in the Life Round 4 Announced

Bobbi Newman announced on Thursday the start of the 4th round of her Library Day in the Life Project. Like the title suggests, it is a blog post detailing the day in the life of a librarian.

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