home for the summer

And I’m home for the summer. Well except for ALA. This long weekend I went down to RILA and gave a talk, one of my favorites, about social software and intellectual freedom and privacy. Then I got to see my family, all of them, and then I went to a Connecticut Library Consortium meeting and talked about 2.0 stuff. Notes from that talk are here. I had a great dinner with some of the usual suspects which was a fun chance to swap brilliant ideas about out future perfect library world. Driving home from Hartford was like going back in time. First the tall buildings recede, then the roads get darker, then the billboards go away and finally I’m alone on the highway on a hot steamy night listening to a shrinking number of radio stations. It was a good trip. Thanks to everyone who hosted and helped and graciously listened to me.

One of my goals for the summer is to get over my user interface design issues with WordPress and start spending more time putting interesting things on librarian.net. I will probably ask MetaFilter for a nice way to interact with WordPress that is not directly via their [overbusy, overscrolling] form. If anyone has suggestions, please feel free to let me know.

quickie plug for an ALA event

Hi there. I’m heading down to RILA this rainy morning but I wanted to mention for those of you who are ALA-bound and looking for activities, my pal Kim Cooper [from SaveLAPL fame] will be leading a full-day Raymond Chandler bus tour heading through Los Angeles on Tuesday July 1st. More details on the website. I’m leaving the day before otherwise this is a bus I would be on.

This tour will dig deep into Chandler’s life and his fiction in downtown Los Angeles, featuring stops at the Oviatt Building, Lady in The Lake’s Treloar Building, the Barclay Hotel (aka The Van Nuys, site of the icepick murder in The Little Sister), Bunker Hill and Union Station.

A few links and a talk

I’m wrapping up the end of “talk season” here at librarian.net. I’ll be speaking at the Rhode Island Library Conference on June 6th and the Connecticut Library Consortium on June 9th. Then I’m done except for ALA. Yes, I’ll be going to ALA, giving a presentation with the incredibly talented Louise Alcorn for the MaintainIT people. It will be the first time I’ve been funded to go to a library conference… ever. Exciting times afoot at the Disneyland Hotel.

This afternoon I finished giving a talk online for the Education Institute. It was called Collaborative Information Systems & Reference Service and I’ve put a lot of notes and links online. Basically I talk about the changing nature of how people look for information and “Ask A” type services like Yahoo Answers and, of course, Ask MetaFilter. I have some statistics there that I think are sort of nifty. It’s very strange giving a talk online. I basically sent people to tmy website and then did a talk over the telephone. Except for the convenor, Liz Kerr, I wasn’t really aware of other people being present and it was unnerving. I know that continuing education is important and especially so for people who are too remote to go to standard talks or conferences, but I still feel like we’re trying to find a good delivery mechanism for this sort of content.

RILA and bellydancing

The talk I gave at RILA yesterday, a variant on my digital divide talk (though with the same name) is online here: The Information Poor & the Information Don’t Care. Small Libraries and the Digital Divide. I have a few pictures of the social hour afterwards including the bellydancing how-to session. Actually I have a short video of this event — librarians shaking their things to Wyclef Jean and Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” — which I may try to put on my MySpace account as I figure out how that all works.

While you’re at it, librarian MySpacers, read David King’s cautionary notes. I find the confusion he describes happens with my email students who use Yahoo email accounts. They sign up for an email account and the first thing that “Yahoo” tells them is that they need to lose a few pounds and get a mortgage. It doesn’t take much to explain the concept of banner ads, but it’s easy because I’m sitting right there. There are a very wide range of ways that people understand the web, many more than I would have thought of before I started working with computer newbies every day.