Monday, April 15, 2013

The Cyrus Cylinder, Digitization, Innovation & a #CILDC wrap-up

Before attending the Computers in Libraries (CIL) Conference, I went to the Sackler Gallery to view the Cyrus Cylinder, which is from 500 BCE.  The cylinder was important then because it communicated King Cyrus' decree to free those that Babylon had held captive.  Because it also proclaimed religious freedom and a respect for different cultures, it has been important to many since then.  Viewing this 2600 year old clay cylinder was a nice precursor to attending the conference, where we discussed technology, while each of us carried and used technology.  During the conference, I kept thinking about what we are leaving behind now as evidence of our existence and decisions, and whether those items will last.

Broadband Access - Internet access at CILAmerica’s New National Pastime: The Innovative and Competitive Internet Marketplace, Capitol Hill 10 April 2013 was the best that it has even been, thanks to the Washington Hilton's updated Internet connection.  However, we recognize that there are still areas of the country that do not have good, reliable high-speed Internet access.  On April 10, Michael Sauers (Nebraska), Heather Braum (Kansas) and Patrick Sweeney (California) left the conference and went to the Broadband of America meeting on Capitol Hill.  Heather blogged the meeting (here and here).  She was able to ask about the role of libraries, and remind those in attendance that we - libraries and librarians - have an important role to play in our communities in terms of Internet access and training people how to use that access. And while this was not related to the conference, I think it is an excellent example of taking advantage of where you are physically, as well as a great example of advocacy.

Digitization - I attended two sessions that were related to digitization.  The session on "Digitizing Archives" included one speaker who talked about our personal archives.  For those involved in digitization, this was a good reminder of what we know.  For those who are not involved in digitization (or still newbies), there were likely helpful tidbits, especially in regards to creating a personal archive (a topic that libraries can be teaching their patrons about).

The second session that was related to digitization was "Build-a-Book Workshop: Starting eBook Publishing at Your Library."  How do you create your own digital books?  One way is to digitize text created on paper by the library or users, or in the public domain.  Douglas Uhlmann didn't spend a lot of time on that idea, since his session needed to cover a lot of ground, but it would good to hear that mention.

Innovation - [This is a follow-up to my previous blog post on  this.]  The CIL Sunrise session hosted by Heather Braum, James King and I generated ideas on innovative actions that could be taken this year in order to remain relevant with a library's target audiences.  We captured some of the ideas generated with my iPhone, while other ideas where tweeted (and then captured using SearchHash.com and turned into a PDF).

 


CIL Sunrise session CIL Sunrise session

CIL Sunrise session

Addendum (4/21/2013): James King captured these notes from the wrap-up of the brainstorming session:  
  • Personalize the web site for each user
  • eContent vending machines
  •  open database access to the community with no authentication required
  • Give up classification systems and let patrons shelve books where it makes sense to them
  • Adjust culture to “yes” as a default, rather than “no”
  • Kill failing projects rather than letting them linger
  • Loan mobile devices
  • Optimize to ePubs formats
  • Provide iPod based content
  • Make site and service more personal rather than institutional (apply a name and a face to the services rather than a generic organizational name)

SU iSchool students
#CILSU - 17 library and information science students from Syracuse University (SU) attended CIL.  This is the third time I've been with a group of SU students at a library conference, and I can tell you that each time brings me joy.  I enjoy hearing what is attracting their attention and what they are learning.  I like watching them as they get excited over everything!  I also like hearing from the other attendees, who often get jazzed from interacting with LIS students.  Most of all, I like knowing that these emerging professionals are making connections that may impact the rest of their lives.


Wrap-Up - I need to mention some people, topics and things that caught my eye.
  • Michael Edson, who did slam poetry has his presentation Tuesday evening.  (A version of it is in YouTube.)  Michael, who spoke Monday afternoon and delivered a keynote at last year's CIL, has a lot to say and is worth listening to.
  • Forrest Foster, who spoke on using Blog Talk Radio to interview people about learning commons.  His programs helped him learn about the topic and have been accessed thousands of time by others. 
  • Robyn Andrews, who told a compelling story about how her academic library received iPads and how they have loaned them out.
  • Brian Pichman, who is using really cool technology with teenagers and who brought some of it, so we could play with it!  (I'm sure the hotel could not have envisioned night-time laser tag on their patio.)
  • Backdraft - a Twitter tool that allows you to write tweets in advance and then release them on demand.  This is great for speakers, who might want to tweet specific tidbits during their talk.  I could also see this for tweeting during an event.  Backdraft works on mobile devices.
  • SearchHash - This is an online Twitter tool that allows you to search for and save tweets. You can see an example of it above. 
  • Brent Leary, who was Monday's keynote and who spoke on community engagement.
  • Daniel Rasmus, who was Wednesday's keynote and talk about the future.  He said that even though we can't predict the future, we should be able to have a robust conversation about it...and I like that!
  • The future - Besides Daniel Rasmus, there was an important mention of the future in a humorous presentation on Tuesday evening. Yes, there will be a librarian uprising in 2017!
I'm amazed that I wrote 21 blog posts in three days.  These were mostly "live blogging", which means that I was really taking notes that could be published online.  My custom blog template does not allow you to view all of them at once, so here is a list for your convenience.

April 8 (Monday):
April 9 (Tuesday):
April 10 (Wednesday): 

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