I interviewed Jaron Lanier for Library Journal between Holidaytime and New Years. An excerpt of the interview is now in print and also available on Library Journal’s website: Jaron Lanier on the limits of Web 2.0, intellectual property, and libraries as a place of refuge. You can also read the unabridged interview with Jaron Lanier on my site.
To me there’s clearly something missing in the formula that we’re developing for civilization. There’s something missing and I think that the library will naturally come to fill that gap. And making the library into some sort of alternate facebook access point is exactly the wrong way to achieve that.
People at drop-in time who are just learning to use email have been asking me if I know what “the cloud” is lately. I assume the NY Times wrote something about it. I know it well enough to explain it to someone who also doesn’t know what Bcc is, but I wasn’t sure I understood it enough to be talking to other librarians about it. Here is a good First Monday article that spells out a lot of it: Where is the cloud? Geography, economics, environment, and jurisdiction in cloud computing. Some more discussion about how this affects libraries from the latest Library 2.0 Gang podcast. [thanks justin!]
I had been holding off on linking to the Web Tech Guy and Angry Staff Person video/blog post because I have mixed feelings about the idea generally even though I know it was a big hit when they showed it off at the conference. Then it hit MetaFilter and I found the discussion there helped me not only flesh out my own feelings about it but gave me a look into how other professionals from different perspectives saw it. Most notably, I was interested in this comment by Larry Cebula who works for Washington State and runs an award-winning northwest history blog.
I work for the Washington State Digital Archives. We have something like 80 million documents, mostly from Washington State counties, online and add millions more per month. After years of resistance the counties are really hopping aboard and have become great fans of our service.
But still we get these complaints and worries. It is even worse with archives than museums because so many county and local archives count on revenues for access to fund their offices. We are about to put up thousands of cases from county courts, some dating back to the late 1800s. But the county insists that we display only the top half of the first page of each record–and charge 25 cents a page for users to even view the records beyond that first half page! It is anti-democratic and eliminates many of the potential advantages of digital history, but there you have it.
Slightly related librarian topic over at AskMetaFilter, a question about questions: What questions do library users most often ask?
Sarah Houghton-Jan has written a great presentation that she gave as the keynote to the Arizona Library Association’s annual conference. It’s just a few MB pdf and you can get a lot of her points just by reading through it. It’s full of humor and good ideas. Go read: Sustainable Technology in a 2.0 World
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.