Friday, July 18, 2008

Temporary Hiatus Because I'm on

Next-Gen Bookmobile?

Nah...It's the Cruzin Cooler!

4 Day Work Week for Librarians?

Check out what Dan Gould has thoughtfully stitched together from Treehugger and 37 signals.

Would this pertain to libraries too? The hot trend is to move libraries into the next "third place." I'm doubtful that libraries would or should close. Instead, I say bring on an extra librarian (easier said than done--I can imagine the extra librarian would be at the cost of the other librarian's wages).

For the library-as-third-place concept, check out the Idea Store.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Billboards Never Looked So Good

Billbards no.01 (2008), Branislav Kropilak

Making the mundane beautiful...there is no such higher art.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wikipedia as the "Rest of the Library"

I don't promote the use of open encyclopedias like Wikipedia for information that can be obtained through sources that use a traditional editorial process. However, I do promote the use of such sources when they cover what Jimmy Wales terms "the rest of the library."

Wikipedia is particularly useful for pop culture subjects. As Wales indicates in a recent article in New Media Age, "there are few highly reliable sources" in this arena.

Additionally, institutional wikis and blogs that are selectively open have great potential for the documentation of what would otherwise be tacit knowledge.

Nutely,M. (2008). Open to Ideas. New Media Age.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Let our Congress Tweet!

Social networks subsidized by advertising and our elected officials make strange bedfellows--or at least that what the policies say.

NPR: Congress Members Fight For The Right To Twitter

Via: The Marketing Technology Blog

Standardization Followed by Innovation

Stefano Maruzzi indicated in his interview with Ed Dorrell (NMA) that his strategy for turning Condé Nast into a profitable digital business revolved around "standardization followed by innovation."

Maruzzi goes on to say that in order to innovate, information delivery must be standardized.

Of course, libraries have been standardizing information for ages. However, information delivery (OPACs) has been relatively un-innovative because they lacked user-centric designs. That is starting to change.

There may also be an argument to the siloing of information within our profession. Maruzzi has the ability to restructure his organization because, in the end, financials all lead to one entity. Publicly open libraries (public and academic [to a degree]) are tied to thousands of city/university purse strings. Still I'd argue that the user doesn't see the library in their hometown as any different than a library halfway across the US. The library is the brand regardless of format.

Dorrell, E. (2008, June 5). World vision. New Media Age

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Innovation Without Permission

In a comment on using Web 2.0 technologies for higher ed, Rob S. introduces innovation without permission.

Following the adage, "It is often easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission," innovation without permission navigates a tricky stance between efficiency, productivity, intellectual property, and privacy.


My last post Wordlized.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Know Your User or Be Crowdsourced

The UK government is turning frustration into empowerment by asking groups and individuals to improve how public information is communicated.

Information literacy goes beyond what the library provides access to. Findability, critical thinking, and adaptive reuse/sharing are just some of the skills necessary for info literate citizens. However, the burden should be on us to provide user-centric systems. These systems must foster info lit growth in a non-obtrusive, almost silent way. Thus, automating information literacy instruction.

Show Us a Better Way


Bryan Loar: Librarian and President

To make your own video or to spoof a friend, please visit News 3 Online!

Via: ToddAnd

Gigi Cifali

In her "Absence of Water" series, Cifali has masterfully documented the disappearing bath houses and lidos of London.

Via: Brandflakes

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Age Guidance Labels on Books

It appears that the UK divisions of Random House, Hachette, Scholastic, Penguin Books and Harper Collins have decided to begin labeling books much the same way electronic games are labeled today. Instead of using a coded system as with games, the book labels will give suggested age ranges.

Of course, bookstores already segregate titles according to reading level (Borders uses Beginning Readers, Early Readers, Young Adult, etc.), but labeling the book is a thorny subject.

The folks at No to Age Banding argue that "accurate judgments about age suitability are impossible" and that "it’s also likely to encourage over-prescriptive or anxious adults to limit a child's reading in ways that are unnecessary and even damaging."

Author Phillip Pullman wrote this for the Guardian:

You simply can't decide who your readership will be. Nor do I want to, because declaring that it's for any group in particular means excluding every other group, and I don't want to exclude anybody. Every reader is welcome, and I want my books to say so.

So shall we expect the "industry standard" to reach our shelves?

Via: Design Week

Clive Boursnell

Boursnell has been getting some press for his new book Covent Garden: The Fruit, Vegetable and Flower Market.

Now overrun with tourists and the enterprises as well as the design that caters to them, Covent Garden is a shadow of its former utilitarian self. The photographs that I've seen in the Guardian and especially in Design Week are reminiscent of Venice--a connection that is especially strong when considering Venice's history.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Information Smugglers and Photography

Foto by Richard Wilhelmer

We gave up on art as being a window into our world a long time ago. Photography, for a short period, took up the slack. Images on a solid medium like paper (photographs) or images displayed via an electronic screen still contain some of their power of authenticity. Pre-photoshop manipulation was an arduous task usually not performed unless you were a professional. Today, authenticity sits precariously on the question is it real or photoshopped.

Of course, manipulation is somewhat tricky. Through composition, the photographer manipulates the scene. The camera manipulates color and perspective. Atmosphere manipulates objects. And so forth.

However, there is this notion that when we press that button whatever results will be a relatively accurate visual record--sans intermediation.

Everything will change with "Image Fulgurators." Ad creep, protesters, and general revellers will find innumerable applications. Imagine ad placements in your photographs. Imagine political diatribes in public squares. Imagine obscenities on public monuments. Sure, these examples may create dialogue, but it does so from a position of stealth. In an age of transparency, I would argue that the above examples are ill advised.

Although it is hard not to think about its use in negative terms, maybe there are uses that I've not considered. Maybe we'll stop taking so many darn pictures and become better story tellers--eliminating the overuse* of visual artifacts. Or maybe the practice will allow us to enjoy the moment without being a documentarian.

*yes, I note the irony that this post uses an image to illustrate the story. I'm not sure how to reconcile that one :-S