A few weekends ago I gave a talk at the KU Diversity Summit, an online conference that took place virtually, but also physically at the Kansas University School of Journalism in Lawrence Kansas. As you know, I have a soft spot for Kansas. As you may or may not know, I usually don’t do online conferences because I have a hard time dealing with the technical and social snafus that usually accompany them. I like to give talks, not be told I have to install Windows-only software or register for a site with sketchy privacy policies just to interact with listeners. I know other people can deal with this stuff gracefully and I happily recommend them when I’m saying “Thanks but no thanks” to people. I may be getting a little cranky in my old age, but I’m also just interested in giving higher quality talks less frequently. This is a goal for 2012.
Anyhow, the team from KU charmed me and assured me the tech issues would be minimal; I could do everything over Skype, have slides or not have slides and they’d field questions from the live audience and from Twitter. It went well. They had a tight schedule so asked me if ten minutes was okay. I said “Fifteen?” As it was I managed to do it in about twelve. The full video, all five hours of the conference, is available online here, but I’ve trimmed out the part that I did, short talk, short Q&A session afterwards and links to more information are at librarian.net/talks/ku. It think it’s a pretty concise summary of the major digital divide issues that I think are facing people and libraries.
“With the need for a new state-wide ebook contract looming, [Kansas State Librarian] Budler began negotiations with current vendor, OverDrive. The contract she received shocked her. â€œIt was the price increaseâ€”700% over the last contract that floored me,â€ says Budler. â€œI explained that this wasn’t acceptable.”
Information Today outlines what is happening in the state of Kansas as they contemplate moving away from OverDrive with content that their 2005 contract says that they actually purchased. A really fascinating story. Budler admits that OverDrive isn’t the villain here, but that she needs to advocate for her libraries which means getting a better deal for them than OverDrive was able to offer.
I put this on Twitter last week while I was trying to figure out how to get permission to post one of these photos. The link got buzzed around really speedily and the photos were everywhere. I figured I’d drop it here for posterity too. Aren’t these trucks great looking? Another neat thing from Johnson County Library System (KS).
I gave a talk and did a little chitchat breakout session at the South Central Kansas Library System on Thursday. I’m in Colorado today so this is just a quickie update to say that slides and notes from my talk are available here: Technology and Libraries: What are we DOING? As always it was a pleasure to get to come to Kansas again.
Kansas is too far from my family, and from the ocean. That said, I love my travels to Kansas and while I try not to pick favorites I think they are doing some great things with libraries and technology statewide. I just got back from a flyby visit to Lawrence where I gave the keynote presentation at a NEKLS’ Reaching for Excellence Training Program. Much love to the NEKLS people, they let me give a keynote in the afternoon. I also got to eat a ton of BBQ with Josh Neff and family which was another trip high point.
The notes for my talk are here. They are available in Keynote slides, PowerPoint slides, and printable pdf format. I made a custom theme for Keynote so the slides might look weird, the pdf might be easier to read. As with the last talk, I have also included hyperlinks to most of the websites that I discussed, and credit links to all the photos that I used. My talk was beamed to two other sites using an HDTV setup and while it was a little tough getting all the bugs worked out, we persevered and I think it went really well. Big thanks to Shannon from the state library for inviting/hosting me and Heather for doing all the awesome tech work.
You may have noticed that I’ve been travelling at a breakneck pace this year. Since my drop-in time and teaching were curtailed thanks to budget cuts, I’ve been spending more of my free time on the road. I enjoy travelling a great deal and think that getting the word out about sensible new technologies is really a good use of my time and efforts. It’s always a balance between staying put and working within your community and travelling to tell other communities about what works in your own community. I’ll be back in Kansas in a few weeks.