IL05 – Day 2: What’s Hot & New in RSS, Blogs, & Wikis – Steven M. Cohen

There’s lots of mention (Steven included) about things being in constant beta (GMail, Google News, Flickr,, etc). The reason? Someone stated that these companies are changing so fast, trends are popping up left and right, they simply can’t keep up. The person said the continuous beta trend will most likely continue.

Wikipedia – pointed out:

  • no one used the World Book to look up info about Hurricane Katrina
  • errors in the Encyclopedia Britannica

Netvibes – allows you to create your own webpage. Webmasters – why build your own My Library type of personalized site, when these companies are already doing this, for free, for our users? (I think Sarah Houghton said much the same thing yesterday during a question/answer time after the public library website presentation – awesome idea!).

Mentioned reddit and ratings systems

Library Thing – includes MARC records… user reviews, catalog your own book, RSS feeds for books you read, etc. Free acct – up to 200 books.

IL05 – Day 2: Social Computing & the Info Pro, Elizabeth Lane Lawley

She has a friend that works at Technorati – cool…

She also mentioned the idea of the “long tail” – something about a curve, links, and blogs… I’ll have to look into that some more.

Yahoo’s My Yahoo helps her find what she wants. Her trusted contacts in My Yahoo help color her search results so she finds the stuff she really wants. This model works much better than simply typing a search into Google. works a similar way – people can follow their interests through finding feeds of interest.

She showed La Grange Public Library’s feed.

  • staff can get to the bookmarks
  • patrons can get to the bookmarks (and follow the bookmarks through the RSS feed)

Searching is better when you can filter your search results through people you trust – human filtering rather than automated filtering.

Idea for web dudes: With your Subject Guides and category names for links: when you want to see what customers call things, go to and see what real people are calling them. Then use that term for the guide.

Look at the ESP Game – it’s a good excersize in tagging.

“Just brecause it doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean it’s bad for everybody.” – her thoughts to librarians that are wary of constant partial attention.

Read “meet the lifehackers” found in the New York Times

an aside – she called this the Continuous Computing Generation

Pay attention to social bookmarking and tagging.

IL05 – Day 1: Summary

I’m looking back over my notes from Day 1 at Internet Librarian 2005 – if I had to pick one thought that hit on everything I heard today, it’d go something like this:

“Change is coming… no change is already here, and it’s going to speed up even more. Instead of holding onto your hats, strap on your goggles and shift into high gear!”

I spent all day in the Public Libraries Technology Trends track (awesome track, by the way). Here’s a summary of what was discussed:

  1. Public library websites are changing – they’re incorporating social interaction types of applications
  2. Public Libraries are changing – they’re incorporating new services (ex: iPods)
  3. You need staff buy-in for any of this to work
  4. You need to train staff if any of this is going to be successful
  5. Things our customers want are free (flickr and as examples)
  6. We can make our Public PCs work for the customer in this new age

IL05 – Day 1: Future Tech Trends for Public Libraries

Sarah Houghton, Joe Latini, Ken Weil, Jenny Levine, and Aaron Schmidt

Opening up public computers
– drives are locked
– limited software
– very locked down

Use DeepFreeze

OPACs should work just like Google – just as fast, just as relevant, etc.

Citywide wireless – very cool

Serving the information poor

E-ink and E-paper are right around the corner for libraries

Risk taking is good
Wants to get young people involved – Rock concerts
New technology needs to be experimented with (like iPods)

Take the initiative and do something!
Charge a fee if needed – it will still be cheaper for customers
Become a distributor – we’ll even come to you
Staffing – use staff correctly
PR and Marketing – we’re weak in those areas
Targeted emails to customers
Get out from behind the reference desk!
We have to be willing to fail – so try new initiatives
They tried mailing DVDs to homes – it didn’t work for them

The two way web
the read/write web
the participatory web
web 2.0

In a library – connecting, collaborating, communicating, etc – just like what we already do

within our four walls

Community involvement with local history –
– picture of old house
– comments from the community

– comments
– don’t premoderate comments
– Director has a blog so she can communicate directly with the community
– 73 comments on the debugging the catalog post
– they have nothing to hide – it’s very transparent
– over 400 comments on one post

ProQuest RSS feeds – content changes on the library website – cool

Put entire library IT support in a wiki!!!!!!!

IL05 – Day 1: Smart Computing at Your Library, Aaron Schmidt, Thomas Ford Memorial Library and

Interesting stuff:

Be prepared for:
– saving files to the desktop
– USB storage devices
– IM
– CD burning
– Multimedia content
– Playing games
– Trying to look at TIFFs
– Installing Programs!

If we’re not helping our users, what are we doing?

Have a regular maintenance schedule

Use ghosting software… DeepFreeze and Norton Ghost – wipes the PC clean at each reboot