B Sides Remix

B SidesThis is my first tournament season living in Lawrence, KS, and I’m getting the vibe that everything else grinds to a halt here in March, to make way for March Madness and Spring Break.  All my work meetings and appointments for the coming weeks seem to take these two things into consideration.  And today all the cute little old ladies at the library were wearing their knitted Jayhawk sweater vests.  Sounds good to me!

Meanwhile, back in Iowa, things are going full speed ahead.  In less than two weeks I’m headed to Iowa City to give a keynote talk with my co-presenter Angela Murillo at the University of Iowa for the B Sides conference, Unpacking the “Library”: Exploring Works in Progress Across the Field of LIS.  I’m also going to sit on a fun panel on information literacy and instruction with Megan Conley and Katie L.D. Hassman.

B Sides is a project that Angela and I started last year as a labor of love as a vehicle for “unauthorized” voices in library and information science to be heard and recognized.  We were listening to Public Enemy one day, and got a few ants in our pants about restrictive academic publication models, and the rest is history.  Although B Sides started as an online journal, it’s now evolved into a conference and then some.

For our keynote, “Remixing the Library,” Angela and I have some pretty killer visuals that we’re excited to unveil.  I’ll embed those for you here once we’ve had a chance to put on the finishing touches.  Many thanks to the B Sides editors Julia Skinner and Katie L.D. Hassman, and everyone else who’s making this fantastic event happen!

Readers’ Advisory 2.0

I’ve already written about why I don’t like Readers’ Advisory here on this blog.  Yet I was still pleased to get a lot out of Jody Wurl and Michele McGraw’s presentation — “Readers’ Advisory 2.0” — at last week’s Library Technology Conference at Macalester College.

Wurl and McGraw kicked off by asking “why should Readers’ Advisors care about Web 2.0 anyway — what does the Internet have to do with books?”  Trick question!  On the Internet, Librarians can go where the readers are and connect with them there.  The Hennepin County Library system, where both Wurl and McGraw work, has developed an online presence called Bookspace (powered by Adobe’s ColdFusion software) where Librarians can do just that — and for popular titles, the conversation often starts before the book comes out, from the moment it’s been cataloged.  Here are some of the other tools they like:

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One Tweet at a Time

Twitter can help library users draw the connection between pop culture, current events and library services.  This is what Rudy Leon argued last week during her presentation — “One Tweet at a Time: Developing Critical Thinking, Library Connections & Information Skills with Twitter” — at the Library Technology Conference at Macalester College.  (Her presentation slides are available here.)

Leon is a Learning Commons Librarian at the Undergraduate Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).  Earlier this decade, UIUC conducted a study in which they learned that: Freshmen are totally smart! And they will circumvent the system in order to work around whatever they can’t figure out at the Library.  At the time, the Undergraduate Library (UGL) system was extremely decentralized, and Leon and her colleagues were trying to figure out how they could revitalize their services and help students.  Fortunately for Leon, her predecessors had already embedded a Twitter feed for @askundergrad into the front page of the UGL Website, and she was able to repurpose this feed in order to centralize information about the Library in a highly visible location.

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Librarians Can Wear Superhero Costumes, Play World of Warcraft

Spock, Playing the Harp

Spock may be half Vulcan and half Human, but he definitely knows what’s up with the Library Computer Access Retrieval System (LCARS) and the Personal Access Display Device (PADD).  This was the crux of Michael Porter’s keynote talk — “Libraries, Technology, Evolution, Change and Success” — at last week’s Library Technology Conference at Macalester College.  Porter, aka LibraryMan, argued that although librarians love serving our communities, we often do a terrible job with electronic content distribution!  He urged us to glean a little inspiration from Star Trek and to actively develop digital strategies for electronic content access.

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Quick Links to LibTech 2010 Write-Ups

Last week I had the privilege to attend and present at the 4th Annual Library Technology Conference at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, on March 17-18!  Check out write-ups of the following sessions right here on Librarian in a Banana Suit:

Twitter Cheat Sheet

Totally psyched to have my Twitter Cheat Sheet ready to go for next week’s Library Technology Conference at Macalester College! So psyched, in fact, that I’m making it available to you, right here, right now. (Just click here for the pdf.)

RACHEL’S TWITTER CHEAT SHEET

Basic grammar:

@username = reply / mention
“@bananasuit Nice bananasuit!”

d username = direct (private) tweet
“d bananasuit Want to meet up and go bananasuit shopping?”

RT @username = retweet what someone else said
“RT @bananasuit 5% of Americans now own bananasuits”

#keyword = hashtag
“I think I’m ready to take the plunge and get a #bananasuit”

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Library Technology Conference 2010

My colleague (& partner in crime) and I are currently putting the final touches on the workshop we’ve been preparing for the Library Technology Conference at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, in little over a week.  We’re giving a 90 minute hands-on workshop called “Second Life and Twitter for Librarians: Virtual Tools for Building Local and Global Networks.” Angela will be speaking about Second Life,and I will be speaking about Twitter.

I’m excited, but also pretty nervous!

I’m really looking forward to visiting Macalester, which is where I earned my undergraduate degree.  Sad, though, that my most favorite professors have all already retired or moved on to other Universities.  It really wasn’t that long ago, guys!

Anyway, I will surely be posting more about the conference before, during and after the fact.  Next Wednesday March 10, SLIS is hosting a dry-run of our workshop at noon in the U of I Main Library Computer Lab 3092, with cookies!

(click here to see more links for LibTech 2010)

ICPL Technology Petting Zoo 12/11/09

The Iowa City Public Library put on a fantastic Technology Petting Zoo today!  ICPL’s Emerging Technology Committee offered an inservice session to expose library staff to new gadgets, including the Sony eReader, Overdrive eAudio, iTouch, the CanoScan Scanner, and eeePC.  I presented on Flip Video, which I’ve used with ICPL teens in Teen Tech Zone to help them produce their own YouTube videos.  You can check out my Flip Video presentation notes below, or you can click here to download the pdf.

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“Understanding Open Source”; ILA Annual Conference 2009


Karen Schneider gave a lovely pragmatic talk on understanding open source at the Iowa Library Association 2009 Annual Conference (which was a welcome change from the sometimes cult-ish “Open Source is good, Open Source will solve all your problems” rhetoric).  I hope to be able to link to her slides on slideshare as soon as I can find them, but here it is in a nutshell:

I. What is open source?
Schneider started out with a definition of open source from Wikipedia (I love it when librarians aren’t afraid to use Wikipedia!):  “Open source software generally allows anyone to make a new version of the software, port it to new operating systems and processor architectures, share it with others or market it.”  She pointed out that sometimes you don’t even know when you’re using open source:  Audacity, WordPress, Firefox, and lots of in-flight movies are just a few examples of open source software in action.

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