Highlights from Computers in Libraries 2007

I might still post some more raw notes, but these are the things that stood out as high points of the conference for me..

Possible projects inspired by the conference:

Make library widgets/badges like librarything/flickr/etc. Bloggers, MySpace users, etc. want to share what they’re doing/thinking/reading with other people; make it easy for them to share the way they use the library.

Make Google My Maps for Academic Libraries of Brooklyn and for Metro. UPDATE: I’m making one for ALB. Next step: annotate and add photos, then see if I can mash it up with onNYTurf.

Look at relevant Greasemonkey scripts and maybe make some.

One possible useful way for libraries to use Twitter: library account that im’s twitters to public workstations for quick, spur of the moment instruction sessions (e.g. maybe assignment based when you get a bunch of students in a row asking the same question)

Presentations that were particularly inspiring:

Jesse Andrews gave an awesome talk: The Social Web (on the importance of happy robots). This was the highlight of the conference for me.

Chad Boeninger had some very cool suggestions for using web2.0 technologies to increase active learning: meebome widgets instead of clickers for in-class feedback, del.icio.us feeds for reference, using wikis for instruction instead of handouts.

Tim Spalding reminded us: “The library is the most fun you can have with your pants on,” and encouraged us to link around, both within and without our OPACs to foster serendipity and increase traffic. In another talk he suggested that Books aren’t just items of commerce—they’re conversations, identity, exhibitionism, integral to our perception of ourselves (if we’re book lovers). They create a network of shared mental space (think of the one book one city programs), so why not let people find them and use them in a way that reflects that?

Derek Willis gave a great presentation on implementation of Django at washingtonpost.com. He talked about “bringing beauty out of the data” and creating emotional investment in data, particularly by supporting browsability, not just search.

Marshall Breeding posed some good questions to keep in mind when looking at ILS’s: What’s the impact of who owns the company? Is it operated for long-term or short-term profits? Who’s making decisions? A board interested purely in profit, or people who know the library world? Can they understand libraries as business customers? Organic growth or growth via mergers and acquisitions?

Cool stuff I hadn’t heard of before (or had forgotten about):

From Jeff Wisniewski:
Yahoo Design Pattern Library
whatismyipaddress.com
Rasterbator— turn any image huge and print it out on multiple sheets of paper for a giant poster.

From Darlene Fichter:
Many Eyes— data visualization and sharing

From Frank Cervone:
openclipart.org
dbWiz— database selection wizard

From Steven Cohen:
opencongress.org
Citebite

From Mary Ellen Bates:
Kosmix—very beta, specific search areas are strongest (politics, health, video games—weird selection), can screen politics by leaning (left, conservative, etc.), satire, blogs, etc.

Exalead—lists search tools on advanced search screen, phonetic search, approximate spelling, adjacent words (near operator up to 16—only search engine that allows this?!) database not as large as google

Srchr—results on one page, creates rss feeds of searches, stores buttons, so you can revisit searches easily. Good for remembering complex searches.

Scandoo—metasearch, screens for hate sites, malware, etc.

Yahoo Search Builder—Search box builder. can limit results to specific sites, append keywords behind the scenes, creates search cloud to show what words have been used to search your engine,

Swicki—builds custom search engine, but then as people use it, swiki remembers what people click through to. As more people use it, sites gain weight.

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2 responses to “Highlights from Computers in Libraries 2007

  1. whee! the ALB map would be so awesome and a great resource. I want to hear more about the “happy robots”. I loved a robot once…

  2. Hi Caroline–I admire so much your learning attitude. In fact, I blogged about you! I wish more people blogged like this during and after conferences, as I think they’d get a lot more out of what goes on. Thanks for sharing your resources and modeling lifelong learning.

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