CIL2009: Help your library be omnipresent without spending a dime

Speaker: Nina McHale & Curt Tagmeier ?


the embedded, widget-ized library – iphone app for the catalogs, chat widgets, igoogle gadgets

She wants us to share the love – get our code out there so others can reuse

give it away! any place where you can have/show cut&paste stuff – provide the HTML for others

This is easy – copy/paste stuff. So even your patrons can do this

Everyone will start using our stuff! Check with your IT folks first, but it’s ok.

Authentication stops others from using your stuff – but they can copy and adapt your code.

Creating a steal this code tool

decide what kind of widget code chunks you want to offer

Cool – her library IS sharing stuff.

Showing some examples



build your own mobile website with this tool
We’re building one live …

Gave example of building a widget with this tool.

CIL2009: A Super Searcher Shares 25 Search Thoughts

Speaker: Mary Ellen Bates

links are at

  • online magazine rack
  • she’s comparing alltop to early yahoo, just add rss!
  • rss aggregator
  • built by “2 guys and a gal”
  • highly selective, well-done

Think about how you can use this in your own organization…

  • visualization and clustering and metasearch…
  • one of those silly swirly visual search thingies (not a fan)
  • claims it’s more immersive feeling
  • You eventually DO get text
  • gives you a choice – viaual, clustered, text, etc… good.

  • adds lexical variants
  • on the fly, you can get:
  • synonym suggestions
  • singular/plural
  • translate terms into other languages
  • does clustering, but only in German
  • interface a bit squirrely

  • a way to skim across web 2.0
  • query example – she did a GTD search…
  • ok. sort of a metasearch for 2.0-ish sites like blogpulse, youtube, twitter, technorati, etc

  • clustering on demand
  • with a choice of sorting algorithms
  • and a choice of search engines
  • cool graphic display
  • looks like the old northern lights search engine! With the folder clustering thing
  • but allows you to choose HOW you want to cluster

  • add prefer:word to query
  • ranks these search results higher
  • a cool way to change the relevance ranking – doesn’t narrow the search

awesome highlighter

  • highlight text on a page
  • saves a copy of the page with a new URL
  • then you can direct others to that page with the highlighted text

textrunner search

  • looks for assertions
  • information mining
  • ex: what kills bacteria in google – lots of stuff. In textrunner, it looks for a sentence with an answer.
  • so it’s looking at the web in a different way. It’s looking at sentence structure instead of focusing on different words

Google Translate

  • translates text into other languages
  • shows text side by side
  • so you drop in search results, it translates your words into words in other languages, then shows the results side by side

Twitter Venn

  • compare frequency of words in twitter
  • generates venn diagram
  • visual way to see this

  • searches all wikipedia articles
  • does a more visual search of it
  • it structures the wikipedia article in a more user-friendly way
  • gives a tag cloud for similar articles
  • lists out recommended articles
  • gives a visual mindmap display of related stuff


  • another visual thing
  • it’s doing clustering

  • federated search (she sped through this one)


  • a tutorial
  • learn to love social media
  • can you:
  • ID the most popular blogs on a topic
  • rank the blog posts
  • eliminate content overload
  • check out the hotness of each post
  • etc
  • Cool – I’ll have to find this and pass it around

How to build a social media cheat sheet for any topic

  • also from readwriteweb

Legal Research Engines

  • cornell law library
  • google custom search engines
  • searches legal stuff


  • aggregated the front pages of newspapers around the world
  • [me – hee. this won’t last much longer]


  • makes a visual tag cloud from text
  • good way to visually see the underlying message or tone of soemthing you read

Google’s search wiki

  • you can comment on search results
  • you can move things around
  • it’s public – your annotations, anyway
  • you can customize your search of google…


  • skipped it


  • it automatically clusters and starts asking you questions


  • looks at wikipedia
  • it’s a sense-making search engine
  • does clustering, looks for sentences similar to your search

  • beta search engine
  • lets you weight your search results
  • looks like a search/tag cloud – you can change the weights visually by changing the weight of the font. Nice.

get conference buzz

  • bloggers live blog, live tweet, etc
  • So check those things out – technorati, google blog search, twitter search, etc

Google audio indexing

  • speech to text indexing

Google Maps Mashups

  • very interesting map mashups!

CIL2009: Friending Libraries – the newest nodes in people’s social networks

Speaker: Lee Rainie

Talking about Twitter …

  • he asked “who’s tweeting this session?”
  • Showing his year in twitter, how people interact with him. Funny stuff

The internet is the asteroid: then and now

  • 2000 – 46% of adults use internet, 5% with broadband at home, 50% own cellphones, 0% connect to internet wirelessly, 10% use the “cloud” – slow, stationary connections built around my computer
  • 2008 – 75% use internet, 57% with broadband at home, 82% use a cell phone, 62% connect wirelessly, 53% use cloud = fast, mobile connections built around outside servers and storage

Ecosystem changes:

  • volume of information grows
  • variety of information increases
  • velocity of info speeds up – more stuff coming at us, stuff we care about – things in “our world”
  • times and places to experience media enlarge – we have our own playlists, can watch media whenever (ie., on the bus, read news on our laptops or cellphones, etc)
  • people’s vigilance for info expands and contracts – we can dig deeper when we want to – ie., health searches. We can get up to speed quickly when we want to.
  • immersive qualities of media are more compelling – and we ain’t seen nothing yet
  • relevance of info improves
  • number of info voices explodes and becomes more findable – he claimed about 1/2 of adults are now content creators
  • voting and ventilating are enabled
  • social networks are more vivid

Behold Homo Connectus:

  • a different species with a different sense of …
  • expectation about access to into
  • place and distance
  • presence with others
  • opportunities to play
  • time use
  • personal efficacy
  • social networking possibilities

New tech-user typology

  • new survey of 3300 adults
  • 39% are motivated by mobility, 61% are tied to stationary media
  • the 39%: being drawn into deeper use thanks to mobile connections, wireless connections prompt them to use the internet more, self expression and networking matters to them
  • the 61%: don’t feel the pull of mobility, might have lots of technology, but it is relatively peripheral in their lives, they have plateaued in internet use, or are on the outskirts of digital life

10 groups – 5 motivated, 5 not so much:


1. digital collaborators (8%)

  • use their tech assets to work with and share their creations with others
  • they lead the pack in every dimension of our analysis: assets, actions, attitudes towards tech
  • always-on broaband, etc
  • 56% male
  • ge n x group – median age is 39 (oh yeah!!!)
  • diverse racially
  • 61% college + … pretty well off
  • They are early adapters – people listen to them.
  • libraries can serve them by having a place to jack into the internet. give them a place to collaborate and share. Enlist them in giving you coaching and feedback on the experiments with tech you want to try

2. ambivalent networkers 7% of pop

  • they have folded mobile devices into how they run their social lives
  • they tie in first place
  • they want a break from it once in awhile
  • younger – median age is 29
  • funky facts – 30% are students, 34% are NOT email users, 83% are cell texters
  • Libraries can serve them by being a sanctuary, and a place where they can go offline. offer a gaming haven, help them figure out the new etiquette of online social networks, help them navigate info overload

3. Media Movers 7%

  • very social group
  • they move media – find, create an info nugget, and pass it on
  • love their cameras
  • 34 is median age, 56% male, well-off
  • Libraries: help them find outlets for sharing their creations, help navigate to material they can pass on to others, info sharing is a social currency – show them how to do it and support it

4. roving nodes 9%

  • active managers of their social and work lives using their mobiel device
  • 56% female, late 30s, well off, educated
  • 100% have cell phone, heavy internet use at home and work
  • librarie: help them be efficient, give them access to tech to they can check in, more efficient parents, teach them about using the cloud apps (calendaring, social bookmarking, etc)

5. Mobile newbies (85)

  • really liek their cell phones
  • they are new converts – getting a cell phone was like a conversion experience for them
  • 55% female, median age 50, slightly less educated and lower income, weighted to minorities a bit
  • libraries: coach, mentor, give them how-to material. offer tech access and support, offer pathways to the wonders of the web – they’re just getting their feet wet and don’t know about the useful and fun stuff they can find online

6.Desktop veterans 13%

  • older veteran online users, use it at work
  • happily connected and stationary.
  • Their cell phone is for making phoncalls
  • 55% male, 46 is median age
  • libraries: offer them access, good connections, they are self-sufficient and don’t need alot of handholding

7. drifting surfers

  • female 56%, 42 median age
  • not into it so much – their husbands and kids use the net more than them and will help them find stuff
  • libraries: don’t force tech on them, your traditional services are what appeals to them, etc

8. information encumbered

  • male 67%, early 50s
  • they feel overloaded, it feels like a burden
  • libraries: sympathize with them, help them navigate, don’t force tech on them, be their filters for information

9. tech indifferent 10%

  • 55% female
  • they can take it or leave it
  • 59 median age
  • libraries: basic tutorials, libraries might be their only access to tech

10. off the network (14%)

  • they don’t have access to the internet, no cell phones
  • they love their old stuff – their landlines, their TVs
  • 57% female, oldest – 67 is median age
  • they tried internet, didn’t work out for them
  • libraries: the traditional stuff, computer 101 classes

5 things when friending libraries:

  1. pathways to problem solving info. we’re the aggregator to our communities
  2. pathways to personal enrichment – we enhance people’s lives
  3. pathways to entertainment in new ways
  4. pathways to new kinds of social networks built around people, media and institutions – ie., you can friend an institution and a media outlet
  5. pathways to the wisdom of crowds, so you fill your own future here…

My Book was Spotted in the Wild!

I left it this wayMy book, Designing the Digital Experience, has been spotted in the wild! Or more appropriately, I spotted it at the Barnes and Noble in Topeka, KS.

Which got me to thinking … if you ever happen to see my book in your local bookstore, please take a pic and send it to me (or send me the flickr link), and I’ll post it here – that might be fun (or it could be really embarrassing, if you can’t find the book anywhere … :-)

And for some related book-ish news: I’ll be at Computers in Libraries next week. CIL always puts on a great conference – lots of new emerging trends and practical, “use it tomorrow” tips, all focused on libraries and info professionals. If you are one of those, you should try to get to this conference!

I’ll be speaking a time or two as well – on Tuesday, I’m talking about designing digital experiences, and on Monday night I’ll be doing a book signing at the InfoToday booth.

Make sure to stop by and say hi!

Facebook Catalog App

app on my profileMy way cool web team recently built a Facebook app for our library catalog! If you’re interested in trying it out, simply search for tscpl catalog in Facebook and our app will appear.

Not necessarily a new thing (do an app search in Facebook for library catalog and you’ll find quite a few) … but very useful, nonetheless.

Why haven’t we built an iPhone app like the DC Public Library? Our big goal is to focus on our local community, and build for them. I’m guessing that DCPL has quite a few iPhone users already (or at least potential library users that are also iPhone owners). Topeka? Not so much. I’ve been watching our web stats – last month, we had 63 iphone visits … about .18% of our total web visits. Not enough to design for (yet).

But Facebook use in Topeka? Judging by a quick walkthrough of our building (and peeking at what patrons are doing) – huge.

More Facebook app screenshots: