Thursday, October 08, 2009

(teaching a class how to embed video for their blog projects... Dave ended up as the example for some reason...)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

QR book to Web application: live

Via "Building Library 3.0" blog:

QR book to Web application: live

QR Library application -- this is very homemade, very "beta" -- actually very "delta".

I've described it before: QR code slapped on a book, a patron uses their phone to snap a pic, QR pic takes them to whatever online resource you want them to see.

Here's an example:
Imagine you've just picked up this book in the library, "Chess and the Art of Negotiation", and noticed a QR barcode on it.

You use your gizmo (to which you have already loaded Semacode or Kaywa, etc.) to load the barcode and are taken here:

Hosted resources -- online forums, chess resources, similar books, available e-books, etc. etc. Plus a place for patron comments, so they can add resources you hadn't yet found/ thought of / or approved.

This is a "proof of concept". Sorry I can't give the direct URL yet. Hope you'll work up something like this on your own. []

Also see:

Friday, August 07, 2009

cc open id

via bq:

""Says open source advocate Chris Messina in a recent blog post on CC OpenID:
"Creative Commons is redistributing the brand equity and social capital their members have accrued over the last several years by letting people show and verify their affiliation to the organization.

With this simple example, we can start to see the symbiosis of making an intentional choice about identity: Creative Commons finds a new revenue opportunity and members of the community have a way to express their affiliation and promote the brand."

heather liggett on npr

Here's Ms. H. Liggett's twitter page. NPR's M. Brand (?) interviewed her on Fri. afternoon. Go take a look for yrself at her activism-type work:

Some good old libertarianista type ideas there, but not often fully formed... I wouldn't trade a corporate oligarchy for a collectivist-leaning republic, I don't think... but maybe some "libertarians" would. What would Ron Paul do?

use yr infoskillz

Here you go, see if you can find problems with Maddow's logic here:

Maybe you can't. But who else is going to try? And who the frak else is dissecting the layers of oligarchy at

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

buildingthree blogspot wearable web

Following on from last post's comment on gendering of the Web... it occurs to me that the Web won't be or can't be successfully gendered by in the way I suggested. Just because feminine terms out-rank masculine terms, etc. Bibliometric brute force won't make the Web pink nor blue. Many reasons for this (maybe more on the subject later), but the main idea is that since we can't 'gender' the Web, it remains for the Web to increasingly disrupt basic identity categories of us... that is, the tabs that we use to build up identity (gender, race or ethnicity, languages, others) will be subverted and (forgive the term) fractalized by the Web's presence in/on our bodies. There's something important here about the body really becoming a proving ground now for Haraway's feminist cyborgs, but I haven't thought it through yet...

Libraries as repositories for gestural web choreography?
Librarians as break dancing cardboard kings, pulling up the ghostest in the machine with the mostest?
Library programs on new paralanguage affectations based on efforts to disguise covert face-to-face real-time tagging of your interlocutor?

Wild stuff on its way.

re: haraway more:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

cellphones libraries reminder, gee


quietman said...

Cell phones are not annoying in and of themselves, it is the abuse of cell phones that should be outlawed.

Unfortunately most people are too inconsiderate simply by nature to understand that a loud annoying ringtone or cell yell irritates everyone in their vicinity. They ruin it for everyone.

Until basic manners catch up with technology an outright cell phone ban is the only solution.

Anonymous said...

that's a buncha bull.

either you embrace the gizmos or yr patrons find elsewhere to be, man.

the gizmos are here to stay. yr library may not be.

and if it's human rudeness yr trying to change, hey, you'll be trying for a real, real long time.

good luck.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

google os based on chrome

NY Times has (

SAN FRANCISCO — In a direct challenge to Microsoft, Google announced late Tuesday that it is developing an operating system for PCs that is tied to its Chrome Web browser.

The software, called the GoogleChrome Operating System, is initially intended for use in the tiny, low-cost portable computers known as netbooks, which have been selling quickly even as demand for other PCs has plummeted. Google said it believed the software would also be able to power full-size PCs.

Which is cool on a number of fronts -- Being an open source system (?) it'll further the general 'biodiversity' of the web as it invites modifications. It'll knock MS hard which is good for all of our imaginations (I'm tired of walking around in a Windows frame of mind, forced to crunch my numbers and words in Windows ways).

But the mainmost possibility here is that a Google OS will really be better for organizing the world's information than a MS OS or a Mac OS is. That could be good for librarians and patrons and knowledge workers etc. etc. depending on the particulars of how it falls out. Somehow that an easier integrated e-book search tool for example might become as workaday and common as the Microsoft Paint application -- this is the kind of shift we might be looking at. Operating systems are powerful cultural devices. They really do start working as metaphors, and if you spend lots of time with a program (hours per day at work for example) you can start thinking in ways that enables you to get along better in the OS (Jaron Lanier's idea orginally I think? []).

So, if nothing else, a new OS is good for the cultural imagination simply because it's something new and different for your head to stare at for 60+ hours per week.

We'll see.


Also: Google's OS is mainly for netbooks, at least at first (?). Wired news --


Thursday, June 25, 2009

hunch, @ we blog


New work up at Information Today’s Newsbreaks.

“Hunch: Psycho-Social Divinatory Machine for the Masses”

(Thanks @ Chris Dixon for the dialog!)

Posted in info-sci, research, writing.

Monday, June 01, 2009

qik & sousveillance

Sousveillance is about us all 'at the bottom' observing what goes on around and above us in an intentional way.  Missteps by those in power (censorship, abuse, illegal moves of other kinds) can be recorded and cataloged just as well as the illegal moves of those 'below' -- us -- can be recorded and cataloged by those in power.

Qik may be a tool that takes sousveillance where it really needs to go -- live feed.  It's got some kind of Facebook app too that I haven't explored yet.  Camera phones can be confiscated -- but if the video is streaming live, then you can imagine that security may become reticent even to take said phone away, as long as doing so is an illegal act (or an embarrassment for the org or polis they may represent).

This could hold feet to fire.  This could be a real tool for The People to document grievances against their states.  "Equiveillance" is the term, I think.

They're watching, and we're watching too.

Friday, May 22, 2009

addictomatic re:

For my money, Addictomatic is still a great way to grok the 'tone of the web' on newsy subjects.

Listening: "Rejoice" U2, October 
Reading: 'library ala carte' faqs

Thursday, May 21, 2009

wolfram alpha semantic search

Wolfram|Alpha write up at InfoToday's NewsBreaks:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

new work by Reverend Doctor Hegwood

Jared Hegwood has new pieces out this year -- go read them:

“Like Fish” here at elimae

here at Keyhole Magazine

“Lately” forthcoming at
Night Train

Sunday, April 26, 2009

disinformation on education

If Mr Gatto is right, are librarians who really do equitably and on principle defend free access to any information for the common good systemically at odds with the system?  Are librarians acceptable enemies of the corporate state structure (that is, are we enemies that are necessary & have to be tolerated)?  What gives?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

disaster pandemic aid notes

Bill Gates on mosquitos, Vinay Gupta on ending poverty with open hardware.



And now we have the Swine Flu in North America.

Disaster relief, open design solutions, local control, growing food from your own garden, solar water distillation and solar UV purification... all sounds a little more suburan in light of these worries:

C> Understand what pandemic flu is and is not. Do some reading, not just the news, but the “flubie” sites - there are a number. You’ll see opinions from “end of civilization” through to “keep calm and carry on.” Prediction is difficult, especially of the future, but understanding the range of options and contingencies is critical at this time. You are an individual and community actor in a situation which is as threatening to your life as a car crash or an aeroplan crash in many ways. The fact that the threat is large and distant does not change that it is real. Your brain is poorly evolved to act rationally around large, remote threats but you can compensate by reading, thinking and acting.

D> Go out, today, and buy four things. Surgical or N95 masks, hand sanitizer, a gallon of bleach, and a week’s worth of groceries. You need these things not just to protect you, but to protect the people around you if you get sick. The surgical mask stops you breathing in infectious particles, but it’s even more effective at stopping you infecting other people. Hand sanitizer should be used immediately on returning home or arriving at the office: if everybody does this is really helps protect these spaces. Bleach is a contingency measure in case of things like water supply problems or a need to disinfect an area. The groceries trip is practice for social distancing by reducing your number of trips out, and gives you a little buffer. Social distancing is about avoiding unnecessary contact with crowds and public places to reduce infection risks. If you are in an area at risk, make one trip, not five. Pretty soon everywhere may be at risk at least some of the time.

All of these measures have two effects. The first is that they protect you. The second is that by protecting you, they protect the people around you, and if enough of us do these things, we all protect each other.

Right now, London has no reported cases. If you are reading this in Mexico, however, you should implement immediately. And if cases show up in London, we are on a war footing immediately: everybody does these things to protect everybody else, period.

Friday, April 24, 2009

building library 3.0

Amazon's US page for my book is:


Got a book due out soon.  It's with the copy-editor now, an able chap named Peter Williams.

Here, I'll summarize the book.  Libraries gotta get with supporting niche groups & 'communities of interest' with 2.0 tools now so that when Semantic (web 3.0) applications start spilling out and wowing our public, we stand ready as trustworthy midwives to help them manage and evaluate more information than they've ever had to deal with before.  Hope my pubisher don't mind me doing that (sorry Dr. J for spilling the beans!), but that's what it's about.  Maybe you'll still see fit to buy a copy.

I interview such luminaries as Jessamyn West, Lori Bell, Bruce Sterling... other good stuff from other good folks too.  Todd Humble talks RFID.  Ramona Holmes talks Metadata.

It should be out by June, maybe even late May, but it's already peeping at:

It's the best statement I could have made about these issues at the time I was writing it, and I can't say it any better now than I could have some months ago.

Hope you'll find something valuable there.

This thing is a sort of love letter to libraries, but I think now it's also a kind of manifesto.
We've got A LOT OF work TO DO.  As usual.  It's the future again.  Look for it soon.

off the facebooks

Facebook was fun.  I'll miss it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

infosthetics messing me up

like I know he can.

now I'm thinking abt customizability (why not infinite?) and control.  And how control is pyschosis.  Why not infinite psychoses for an Augmented Reality or VR world?  Huh?

Do we have psycho sprouts jumping up now in the seedbeds of MySpace?


lib inst cms's

Thinking about instructional CMS... Libguides looks might smooth, very nice. Austin Community College seems to know how to use the tools.  But is the brand worth the money?

Now looking at Library a la Carte from Oregon State...

Seems to get the same job done.  Free & free, too.

But I'll keep reading and looking at yr CMS ventures, looking for gaps, failings, and wonderful things.  We're starting to wake up after 13 years now, and so we be late somewhat to the libguides action and other things.  I hold out hope that we may still woo our peeps even coming so late to the dancefloor like.

The Thing seems to be to me right now that I need to talk about the web with the web.  I need to talk about web tools (and even our dustybooks are found with a webtool) with web tools.  McLuhan and wot-wot: it's not just steam and bluster.  The medium, the medium.  If I keep talking websearch technique with paper and ink my audience will pick up, rightly, on the mental disconnect at work that keeps me from really groking the tool I demo.

It is time to get a little further out in the pond (all this is in ref to instruction, btw), and show folks how to swim, float, paddle, play, move, traverse, in the... uh... water.  While in the water.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

judith krug, thankee sai

CHICAGO –Judith Fingeret Krug, 69, the long-time director of the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) and executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, who fought censorship on behalf of the nation's libraries, died April 11 after a lengthy illness.
Krug, who often said, "Censorship dies in the light of day," was the director of OIF and executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation for more than 40 years.  She was admired and respected for her efforts to guarantee the rights of individuals to express ideas and read the ideas of others without governmental interference...


Woody Evans
  Writing & Research for Hire

Monday, April 13, 2009

bird watchers, ah, twitter

A social networking site for bird watchers -- evidence / content driven.  Post vids, pics, comments, news items, and rate the work of others.

This is ground-swell amateur naturalism dosed with octane.  This is what the web is for.  Lovely.

(Thanks Jo!)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

patron granulation again, due date chance

This at LISNews ( reminds me of a previous thought ( maybe the very CONCEPT of due dates, or rigid & standard due dates, is kinda not-needed.  A flexible tiered style of 'account types' which gives different due dates, item number allowances, renewal limits, etc. is in order -- Netflix style.

For an additional $5 per month (ontop yr land taxes), get the 'supporter' library card which gives you an extra 10 items and an extra 2 days.

For an additional $10, get all the above, plus you can take up to 10 DVDs out at a time, etc. etc. etc.

...Different account types for different patron needs & styles.

reference is dead, quit yr kvetch

Rather than looking up the answer to your question, Wolfram|Alpha figures out what your question means, looks up the necessary data to answer your question, computes an answer, designs a page to present the answer in a pleasing way, and sends the page back to your computer.

Let me give three random examples.  If you enter the query, “3/26/2009 + 90 days” you’ll get a page that gives a date ninety days later than the first date.   If you enter “mt. everest height length of golden gate” you’ll get a page expressing the height of Mount Everest as a multiple of the length of the Golden Gate Bridge.  If you enter “temperature in los gatos,” you’ll get something like the current temperature, a graph of the temperatures over the last week with projections for the next few days, and a graph of the temperatures over the last year.

Wolfram|Alpha can pop out an answer to pretty much any kind of factual question that you might pose to a scientist, economist, banker, or other kind of expert.  The exciting part is that you’re not just looking up pages on the web, you’re getting new information that’s generated by computations working from the known data.  Wolfram says the response can be so speedy because, “We’ve found that, of all the things science can compute, most take a second or less.”


Librarians, this means it is now way way way past time you stop thinking about your profession in terms of what you have done at the reference desk, unless what you have done at the reference desk is get up and out from behind that reference desk and teach people how to find and evaluate information.

The game for librarians from here on out: teaching humans how to find and evaluate information.  Not delivering or gatekeeping information to humans (machines do that).

Bury the reference desk.

institute for the future, library


The Institute for the Future is pleased to offer the following reports to the public at no cost. A PDF of the report can be downloaded by clicking on the title through to the individual report. Please note that most of our recent reports are proprietary to our members. If you have a question about a particular report or our membership programs, please send your inquiry to

To purchase color printed copies of our public maps download the order form and fax the completed form to Kim Lawrence, 650-854-7850.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

band names 9

I make up band names and post them here.  You can use them if you want.

The Badassettes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

work is wot?

Yeah, so I don't write about work -- not directly.  Reading through all these here archives, you'll find none never no direct mention of where I spend my ten a day.  Alright.  Obliquely, maybe, you could reckon on out sudoku-like... but it don't matter.  What matters is: work is getting interesting again.  Work is getting able, agile, smart.  Work is getting will, and work is getting vision.  Suddenly the future has enablers who are oiled (if not well-oiled yet), and ready to flex horsepower for a set of taxpayers who need to know.

Ahhh, yes.  Ah, yes.

liblog landscape listing

Here Ishush got itself listed in Walt Crawford's Liblog Landscape for ought-seven through ought-eight:

Thursday, January 08, 2009

creativity in libraries, 3

All this is about 'creativity in learning in libraries', really.
But we've got some handicaps, from the start.

Library systems aren't built for wandering; libraries happen to be brilliant places to wander and bumble and bump into unexpected things -- but the systems of organization were not designed for wandering.  They were designed to minimize the need for wandering.  They were designed to move seeker to sought with zero wander betwixt seeking and finding.

Now our digital aides (and content) have inherited this interest in decrease wander.  Catalogs online, databases, these are built on the notion that the seeker knows what he's seeking.  Sure.  Helping people get to the info is the goal.  Libraries (well, good libraries) aren't antagonistic to wandering -- but if they were designed for it, there'd be no classificatory systems at all.  So.

We've got a heritage of 'get to business' here.  That's useful.  How, now, do we introduce the elements necessary to make folks feel like they can turn up and bumble without getting barked at by a crab (old, punk, or other)?  Mixed metaphor there, but.

You know -- welcome to the library, come in, ask questions if you want -- we don't care if you put the book down in the wrong place.  We don't care if you fall asleep reading.  We don't care if you write on the tables. (crabs note: these are simplified ex. of shift in attitude, not suggestions for policy.  and they're questions.  they're wonders.)  I wonder -- there's a 58 year old HVAC repairman in looking up info on 9/11 because his damn cousin was rattling off a bunch of hockey she heard on the Alex Jones show, and he wants to get some newspaper articles to prove her wrong... I wonder how to make a space that visibly and immediatley demonstrates it's okay to sit down and start TRYING THINGS OUT b/c he's not going to BREAK ANYTHING.


and then: how to bring such ambient cues to the direct and pointed activities of bibliographic instruction...

creativity in libraries, 2

It's more complicated, of course: here we got a slew of 19 year olds who want more than anything to get the girl or get the guy, to be cool, be tough, be famous.  God bless them.  Making mistakes in front of others, helpful though it might be ultimately in making them more confident learners -- that ain't high on anybody's list.

And the 'making of mistakes' is predicate -- it ain't what we or they will be trying for.  It will happen (and it's inevitable, it will happen) before things get learnt.  B4 they get learnt at all.  Because it's in the making of the mistakes (which comes after "trying things out" you know "to see if it will work or not") that we learn stuff.

I like what Robinson's on about -- it's not that some folks are 'more creative' than others, it's that some folks stifle it as a trade off.  You can look mighty foolish going around being creative about stuff.  You can fail.  That can sting.

So how we create a culture of 'softer blows' in the classroom, where the sting ain't so mean?  How to make a library classroom with padded walls? Haha.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

creativity in libraries

Ken Robinson's TED talk on creativity in education -- his main point being that creativity ought to be encouraged and valued as much as literacy in our schools -- has got me thinking how I can bring student/patron creativity to our library literacy sessions.  Again.  

I've made an important shift in my bibliographical instructionating in the last year.  Used to be (and this is mainly what I inherited when I joined the library subculture at the particular place I work -- though it's got roots in Air Force culture too) I did more of a 'presentation' style -- here is the database location, here is the search interface, here are the limiters, here is the syntax, here is a sample article, here is how you print it, here is how you e-mail it, et.c.  The shift has been towards more student participation and involvement in 'the presentation' -- I have always been open to questions during the instruction, but the 'shift' has made the whole affair more Q&A than Speech.  My instruction sessions are, like, 30% presentation, now, and 70% hands-on and questions.  I kinda knew there were multiple learning styles, but it's only in the last 3 years that I've seen this clearly enough in action to start changing my own actions in the instruction sessions.

So.  Taking it further, how to encourage the 'mistakes and gaffes' necessary for real understanding within the alotted hour?

A shift to 20% presentation, 80% hands-on?  A purely (annoyingly) Socratic approach?  More 'treasure hunt' and 'activities' and 'games' built-in?

Small teams working to find things, then presenting what they found to the whole class seems to be a really workable and useful format -- it lets the performers perform, the shy ones receed and watch, the leaders lead, and they're all on the spot and they all have something at stake because they know they've got to stand before the class and prof and librarian.  That tends to keen up the mind.

Classes will begin to roll into our library within 3 weeks.  I want to keep an open mind, and watch for what works.

Anyway, watch this: