Editing Myself – a new song from me

As long-time readers of my blog know, I like to write and share music every once in a blue moon. I don’t know when the next blue moon might be, but it’s the end of the year, so here’s a song!

I’ve been working on a book for much of 2011, and will be doing more writing in 2012 … and I’ve been editing myself a lot … so I thought I’d write a song about editing myself.

Feel free to take a listen (song is embedded above)! I’m playing with Bandcamp too – here’s my Bandcamp page. If you REALLY enjoy the song, feel free to buy it for a whopping $.99 (plus tax, I think). Bandcamp is cool!

OK – the song…

Editing Myself (by David Lee King)

Drinkin lots of coffee, got my writer’s hat on
inkin lines on my laptop, typin into dawn
if it doesn’t measure up, if my copy don’t fly
I’m gonna click and drag it right into my trashcan pile

I am editing myself
I am editing myself
pullin my thesaurus off the shelf
cause I am editing myself

I don’t always scribble everything exactly right
all my words don’t rhyme and my letters seem to fight
I can highlight copy paste to my heart’s content
rewrite what i don’t like until my brain is spent

now i got a rhyming dictionary and I’m lookin up a word
I need three syllables that rhyme with bird
not sure how it’ll fit, it is probably absurd
but if you’ve listened this far, well, you might have overheard

Enjoy, and here’s for a wonderful 2012!


Content Creation, Media Labs, and Hackerspaces

Skokie Public Library's Digital Media Lab

I’ve been thinking about content creation and libraries lately. Right now, we collect content – hence our shelves of stuff. Yes, we do many other things too. But if you look at our buildings, they have been, by and large, designed for collections of stuff – for collecting content.

Some libraries are changing that focus (or at least adding on to it) by enabling customers to create their own content in a variety of ways … and it’s pretty interesting stuff!

I’ll lump what I’m seeing into three loose categories:

  • Digital Media Labs
  • Hackerspaces
  • Coworking spaces

Digital Media Labs: These spaces have content creation tools that allow customers to create and share video, music, photography, and design projects. Customers have access to computers with editing software, cameras, camcorders, microphones, and musical keyboards.

The best examples I’ve seen of this so far are Skokie Public Library’s Digital Media Lab and Chicago Public Library’s YouMedia project. Skokie’s lab has a greenscreen wall for video projects; Youmedia includes a small recording studio space.

Hackerspaces: “A hackerspace … is a location where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, or digital or electronic art (but also in many other realms) can meet, socialise and/or collaborate … hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things” (from Wikipedia).

Basically, hackerspaces tend to be public spaces with tools – 3D printers, drill presses, etc. And people make stuff there. Who’s doing this? Well, Allen County Public Library and Fayetteville Free Library are, for starters.

Coworking Spaces: Coworking is a pretty simple concept. Independent workers, freelancers, small business owners, etc. gather in a shared space to share ideas, team up on projects, and get some work done in a more social setting. It’s an alternative to meeting at home or a local coffee shop.

Libraries have unofficially done this for years (how many of you have heard of a patron who runs his/her business from the library? I’ll bet some of you have). But some libraries are going a step or two further by embedding librarians in these spaces, or even offering coworking spaces as part of their services. Meg Knodl, a librarian at Hennepin County Library, is doing this – here’s an article on what Meg is doing. Helsinki City Library has created some coworking spaces – read more about it here.

For more info, check out these articles:

Question – is your library doing something like this? If so, let me know in the comments!

Photo by Skokie Public Library

Library 101 – New Video, Song, and Resource has Launched!

Library 101 has launched! There are a few things you should know about the project:

But even better than watching the video, listening to the song, or reading an essay is this – please participate by commenting! Let us know what YOU think is a “Library 101″ for your library – what do you think librarians need to know to succeed? Tell us in the comments attached to each essay!

New Song/Video Announcement and Call for Participation!

Read all about it here! Or just read this … remember that song/video Michael Porter and I created last year? Well… we’re at it again – with Library 101!

Here’s what Michael says:

“Getting into this video is actually really easy. Simply take and share a picture of YOU posing with a 0 and a 1! (Tagging it with library101 on flickr will be really helpful). We even have the flickr group linked above [ok, I linked it here] where you can put your 101 pictures. So c’mon! Do it and get just a little bit famous! Your family and friends will love finding you pop up in the video (and maybe even your coworkers?)! Put your kids in it! How about the family dog!? And you know grandma loves the library too, riiight? :) The most interesting your submission the more it will be featured, so get creative!

Look for the song and video in October of 2009 (debuting at a special “Connecting Through “Lights, Cameras & Action” session at the Internet Librarian Conference in Monterrey, California).”

Now all Michael and I have to do is this:

  • write words for the song
  • Create and record the music
  • Somehow fly Michael to Kansas to record the song and shoot some video
  • Get Michael back to Seattle so he can video edit like a madman
  • collaborate on a multimedia presentation for Internet Librarian like you’ve never seen before…

Whew! I’m already getting psyched!

Pic courtesy of Libraryman

The Beginning of the New Normal

change agentTwo posts caught my eye over the past couple of days, and they’re still rumbling around inside my head … let’s see if I can pull a couple thoughts out of the cacophony.

Both posts discuss how lots of industries are at the beginnings of huge restructuring/remaking themselves or are disappearing entirely, and how much of our lives will seem like upheaval until the “new normal” is reached. No one’s exactly sure what “normal” will look like (after the recession and remaking is over) – but everyone’s sure it will be completely different from now.

Here’s the first article, and the main one setting off thoughts for me: The Great Restructuring, by Jeff Jarvis. Jeff talks about our recession – first quoting Umair Haque calling it a great “compression … as an economy built on perceived value reconciles with actual value.”

Jeff also mentions this article from the New York Times and ends up calling our current recession a “great restructuring.” Then, he lists thoughts about quite a few industries and their future. Here’s a partial list of them:

  • America may well not be in the auto industry soon.
  • Financial services will have to be completely remade
  • Newspapers will vanish
  • Magazines are in worse shape than I would have guessed and many will go
  • Books’ channels of manufacturing, distribution, and sales will go through upheaval
  • Broadcast media will become meaningless, replaced by digital delivery
  • Large-scale retail will shrink and consolidate and then be transformed by a search-and-buy economy
  • The blockbuster economy in entertainment will become harder to support as more attention and money shifts to the tail.
  • We should be so lucky that elementary and secondary education will also face such pressure.

And that’s just a few (go read the article for the whole list and some great thoughts).

Here’s the second article raising a ruckus in my head: Big Music Will Surrender, But Not Until At Least 2011 from TechCrunch. This article mainly gives a music executive’s perspective of coming changes for his industry, and how they currently plan to figure it out. So it’s one industry’s perspective on how change will ultimately play out for them. Interesting take.

My question to you – are you ready?

Look at that list from the first article: books, magazines, newspapers, media. All going through huge changes, all going to be remade. And all stuff that’s near and dear to our librarian hearts!

Some of these changes are already starting, you know:

  • Newspapers and Magazines have already started going digital. It’s just a matter of time before more/most decide to stop printing that paper thing and go completely digital.
  • Books… {David quickly ducks} DON’T freak out! Of course I think people will still read books. That’s a given. But have you looked around lately and seen the Amazon Kindle? Or the iPhone ebook reader that millions of people are now carrying around? I have a book on mine to read right now. Those 300-page paper things will eventually turn digital – because it’s simply a container for the content – not the content itself.
  • Music and movies – think LPs/8-Tracks, Cassettes, CDs or super 8, 16 ml, vcr, DVD … and compare that to iTunes or Netflix emerging subscription models. Also going digital!

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for libraries – most of our huge buildings exist to primarily hold physical stuff. What will we do when there’s no physical stuff to hold? Will you still be able to justify that large building? That staff? (My answer to that is yes, you can … if you are planning for change now).

How are you starting to re-think your services and libraries? My library is in the middle of strategic planning, and we’re going to tackle that whole “re-think everything” approach. Looks like Darien Library has been doing that, too. How about you?

Closing thought – I live in lucky times – I get to see … basically … my whole life change before my eyes. And I get to help it change.

Bonus reading:

  • An interesting article on remaking education
  • This post is where I found the title of for my article … good post, too – focuses on economic stuff