Life After 2.0; ALA Annual Conference 2009

(presented by PLA)

Lori Bell, Director of Innovation at Alliance Library System in East Peoria, IL, came to this session to demonstrate her library’s amazing Second Life virtual library project, “Info Island Archipelago.”  Second Life libraries are great meeting places for people who want to use avatars to meet from a distance.  Virtual libraries don’t even have to look like buildings — they can look however we want them to look.  They don’t have to be constrained by walls, and the weather can be perfect every day.  And, just like the Info Island Archipelago, your reference librarian can be. . . Yoda.

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Technology in the Developing World; ALA Annual Conference 2009

(presented by LITA)

OLPC3

Randy Ramusack, the United Nations Technology Officer for Microsoft Corporation (Research4Life), came to this ALA session to talk about Microsoft and “Creative Capitalism.”  The undisputed star of the show, however, was Matt Keller, who is the Director of Europe, Middle East & Africa, One Laptop Per Child program.

Although you might recognize OLPC for their cute little XO laptops that began the Netbook craze, Keller stressed that OLPC is an education program instead of a technology program.  Based in the U.S., OLPC is a non-profit organization that sets up and supports laptop-distribution programs in developing countries.  The programs are  then run by independent organizations (such as NGOs) in their home countries.  Continue reading