Archive for the 'gadgets' Category


Gadgets? Presentation? Free?

Yes to all three!

I’ll be presenting a new online gadget centric presentation via WebJunction on October 6th that you are now invited to attend. Registration is free and here is a handy link for you to sign up!

It’s called: “Gadget Checklist 2010: For library staff, users and our future” And as with all the fab WebJunction webinars you can register for, it is free.

Here’s a description to nudge you along in case you are on the fence about registering and attending:
Do you need a gadgets orientation covering types, brands, features, functionality and answers to why gadgets are so popular with your patrons? Join us for this webinar with Michael Porter when he presents a checklist-filled session also covering how users are consuming and accessing content on gadgets and how libraries are purchasing and lending gadgets to host this content. It’s time for you to complete your checklist and to explore the implications gadgets have on the future of library services.

I hope to see a bunch of you there! And hey, if there are things you would like to see covered, let me know. I’ve been presenting about gadgets and libraries for years and am mostly building this one from the ground up. So fire away!

The real quandary here is, do I get rid of the ubiquitous USB gadget slides at the end (including my collection of food shaped USB drives)? Sadly, I think they’ll have to go so we have time for questions, but here’s a taste of what that part would have looked like. :)
SPL Gadget Presentation USB Fun Slide 1
Fake Food 4gb Flash Drives

In doing presentations of the years, I’ve been really lucky to make friends and stay in touch with a few folks out there doing the real work in the libraries I visit. We’ll occasionally exchange emails and ideas and just keep track of each other. Today I got a message on facebook from one of those friends who is now preparing to teach a class in his library that will be somewhat similar to the session I presented to their lib a couple of years ago. How cool is that?! :) At any rate, this person asked if I had any suggestions or topics that are top of mind for me lately that they might be interested in using too. But of course! Here is the email I sent my friend. Maybe you’ll find it interesting too? Or perhaps you might have other/different ideas? We’d love to hear them here if you have any different ones to share!

Oh, and ______, if you want to do a conference presentation like this *with me* some time just say the word, k?

Hey _______,

Always good to hear from you and glad we are keeping in touch as you keep things rolling with your library career. Super cool, man! :)

At the moment, I am especially keen on these things/concept. Not sure if they all fit your class, but they are all sparkly in my brain:

1. Ubiquitous computing
2. Mobile computing (not now but in 10-15 years)
3. (and its ilk like
4. freiendfeed as a model for the next iteration of social networking trends (this piggybacks on RSS in a way as I see aggregation being the thing will see this will all come together. I’ve been hollerin’ about aggregation being “it” for years, but until it get wrapped up in the right package it (and isnt called aggregation) it isnt gonna REALLY happen imo.
5. WebJunction, boyeee! lol
6. Acceptance of tools by wider society. It’s like the movies….before there were movies there was more live theater, right? The wider adoption of online tools is a similar sea change…but with serious implications for libraries in relation to:
7. Electronic content distribution and ACCESS. Media companies didn’t want libraries to circulate VHS tapes back in the day, right? Now they are finding and have found some ways (via,, itunes, etc, etc) to effectively cut libraries out of the content distribution model on this “new” intwebs based platform. It is very disturbing and not being talked about or addressed sufficiently by our industry (and its something I hope to work on actually). Again, all my opinions here.

Hope that helps or at least sparks some thoughts. Always great to hear from you.

PS-I’m gonna blog this now. lol! :)”


hi-fi sci-fi library: The Presentation

(Maybe) You’ve heard the song and seen the video. Now you can see the presentation that inspired them both!

-Hi-Fi-Sci-Fi-Library: Technology, Convergence, Content, Community, Ubiquity and Library Futures.
LITA National Forum – keynote – October 18, Cincinnati, OH

So you think its an interesting time to be a librarian now? Just wait! Through an examination of past trends, current tech, emerging tech, academic futurism and a dash of pop culture, well take a realistic peek at where library technology is headed. Well then take this information and start planning what we can do now to ensure that libraries not only continue to offer our vital service, but that our role and positive contributions to society increase – perhaps quite dramatically.

The presentation is stuffed full of multi media, special effects and lots of realistic, yet fun and thought provoking surprises designed to get your mind chugging along as is contemplates the future of Libraryland. A future populated with hi-fi sci-fi libraries!

These two intro slides will be running at as people are filtering into the room (they are slightly clipped here, click to see the whole slide):
hi-fi sci-fi library: LITA 08 Intro Slide #1

hi-fi sci-fi library: LITA 08 Intro Slide #2

Hope to see some of you there!

If I do a gadget presentation in a library and it is a paying gig, I usually take part of the payment and:
1. Buy a new gadget (gotta stay on top with experience, right?)
2. Bring a give-away for one or two lucky audience members.

Recently I saw some food shaped USB drives; high quality too, the kind you see outside some restaurants in Japan, and thought “Best Gadget Presentation Giveaway Ever”. Well, a new laptop would be better, but c’mon. At any rate, the new drives arrived today and man, they are pretty sweet. These are 4gb examples and yes, they really do work. They smell like plastic, but they LOOK delicious:
Fake Food 4gb Flash Drives

Its a plastic strawberry 4gb flash drive

Now playing: Prince – Rebirth of the Flesh
(Unreleased Prince song btw. Soooo good!)

Gadget presentation intro slide from tomorrow’s event sponsored by the Pierce County Public Library. This presentation’s angle is on the 55+ set. And this is just one of the many presentations that will be held as a part of this event. It’ll be fun and you can come if you’ll be around!

You can come watch this tomorrow in Tacoma if you like



Gadget Saturday: Animoto Test

Sure it was sunny and 70 in Seattle today, but I had a high old time indoors, configuring my new Chumby:
Configuring Chumby
After spending a couple hours with this (literally) squeezable little computer, I am convinced that libraries could get some serious value from Chumby. A few of them, configured with promo jazzy promo material and carefully placed in public areas would have some real impact. Sure, you’d have to chain them down, but it would really get serious attention. I mean, these little things are COOL!

I’ll likely post more Chumby related things soon, but for now, check out this video and imagine what you could do with your own spiffy library promo video. Their videos play on Chumby or a web page, was free, required no coding on my end, used pictures from my flickr account and was up and running with about 30 mins of work and waiting. Pretty sweet, eh?:


Chumby Is Here!

My new Chumby just arrived today. It matches my new living room color scheme, but I digress… Oh, I just can’t wait to get home and play with it! It is basically a small wireless open source computer displays widgets, cams, pictures, RSS feeds and also has speakers to play web tunes (even works with another fave of mine, Pandora). I may use the countdown clock, the moon phase clock and of course, this is now my new alarm clock. So long bacteria laden hotel room alarm clocks. Hello bacteria laden Chumby! Ha ha!

The 2008 gadget of the year? Wonder if *you* will be asking for one as a gift at the end of the year? Hmmm…..

Chumby time!