WA Secretary of State Blogs

Internet Librarian, Day 2 – Monday, Oct 26 2009 – #IL2009

image Vint Cerf started the day, and the beginning of the actual conference, with an amazing keynote. The interchange between Vint and Paul Holdengraber, his interview, was oftentimes hilarious as well as poignant. Vint talks some about the history of the internet, and taking off from there, where the internet may be heading. He touches on important topics like bit rot, privacy and user rights with e-materials, mobile technology, and the neutrality of the net. After the keynote, my day was pretty social networking heavy, but covers some interesting topics.

Sessions attended on Day 2 include:

  • Opening Keynote: Digital Publishing, Preservation, and Practices
    Vint Cerf, VP and Chief Internet Evangalist, Google
  • iGoogling with the Library: Customized Omnipresent Homepages
    Jason Clark and Timothy Donahue, Montana State University Libraries
  • Creating Connections and Social Reference in Libraries
    Margaret Smith, Physical Sciences Librarian, New York University
  • Cloud Computing in Practice: Creating Digital Services and Collections
    Laura Harris, Kendra Levine, Amy Buckland, Jason Clark
  • 2.0 Too: Web Services for Underfunded Libraries
    Sarah Houghton-Jan, LibrarianinBlack.net
  • Evaluating, Recommending, and Justifying 2.0 Tools
    Marydee Ojala, editor for Online Magazine, Information Today, Inc.

Other IL posts: Index | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Full session notes after the cut.

Opening Keynote: Digital Publishing, Preservation, and Practices
Vint Cerf, VP and Chief Internet Evangalist, Google

initial idea of internet was to find a way to get computers on a given network to be able to talk to the computers on a different network

Google was initially supposed to be Googol, but the attourney misspelled it when filing the corporate papers, and by then it was too late

why chief internet evangalist?
– only 25% of the world is actually online now
– still have to motivate people to build more internet (and still requires much technical assistance)
– some parts of the world actually don’t like people to be able to share information freely with each other

– creative commons is proof that there are people out there who are interested in simply sharing what they are doing
– though some people are still creating content to make $, but that’s okay too (it’s a big pool)

antidote for email?
– mci-net initially charged $1 per email, though that only lasted for a year or so
– now people pay you NOT to deliver email, e.g. spam protection

what does email do to our pattern of thought?
– [imagines someone going wacky and saying “Sorry, I’ve had too much email.”]
– there is too much email, generally, and people misuse it which exacerbates the problem

how does email affect our quality of life?
– email, blogging, tweeting, etc all tend to reduce the amount of time that we spend thinking about things
– our decision process is faster, now, and this may not be all to the good

– “Our culture is tending towards abstraction and brevity.”
— powerpoint is a symptom of this, that we need powerpoint in order to understand ideas as presented to us
— “power corrupts and powerpoint corrupts absolutely”

the “bit rot” problem
– as we build more and more digital archives of materials, we have to keep the capability to access these materials
– older files may no longer be properly interpretable
– could be hardware issues, OS issues, software issues, format and medium issues, etc…
— lots to consider!
– cloud computing could be a possible solution to bit rot
— instead of individuals needing access to the hardware, OS, software, it could be available through the cloud to provide access to the digital material

“Cloud computing is today where the internet was in 1973.”
– i.e. largely uninvented

rights with an ebook
– with a regular book you can resell, loan out, give away, destroy, etc …
— can’t do these things with an ebook, something missing in the equation
– does still enjoy reading ebooks, nice to carry around 1000 books on one device
– would like to see more interoperability with ebooks
— e.g. kindle and sony ebook files don’t play well with each other

ebooks vs books
– does NOT expect physical books to disappear
– however, the bulk of materials that we work with will be in digital form
— the book is static, the information we need to work with is, more and more, dynamic and therefore doesn’t fit in the medium of the book
— this will become more and more true in the future
— files like spreadsheets, videos, video games, simulation programs, etc … not viable in the physical book format

teaching vs learning
– advocates that we expunge the word “teach” from our vocabulary
— much more interested in the idea of learning and the ways in which people learn
— people learn by doing, not by listening to someone tell them something

does the internet make us more passive?
– believes quite the opposite
– the internet allows pretty much anyone to try pretty much anything
– internet inspires creativity and activity, and lets anyone share in the results

neutrality of net
– broadband access is very important, but we don’t have many choices on providers
— some people actually have no choice at all
– this could lead to broadband providers favoring access to their own applications
— legislation to help prevent this?

– privacy is expected by most users of the internet, but isn’t necessarily happening
– there needs to be a balance between anonymity, privacy, protection, and the ability to enfore laws on the internet
– privacy is important, as is anonymity, but strong authentication is also desirable
— would be nice to have tools available that would allow people to deliberately and strongly authenticate themselves when necessary

Google Wave
– people have many ways of interacting: email, blogging, tweeting, IM, etc…
– what if all these tools were put into one application?
— and if everyone were not using this application, how would Wave push the content out to them, and allow them to interact from their own mediums
– side effect: will make things we thought were ephemeral (e.g. IM), saved

mobile technology
– having mobile technology has provided numerous media options available at a mass-market level
– now everyone has the ability to create and edit videos with ease
— so how do we use (and misuse) this power?
– no matter where you go and what you do, your activities can now be easily documented and shared
— both for the good and for the bad, depending

Vint Cerf rereads The Lord of the Rings every year (and in physical book format)!


iGoogling with the Library: Customized Omnipresent Homepages
Jason Clark and Timothy Donahue, Montana State University Libraries

MSU has a lot of google user students
– they all get gmail addresses
– so they assumed they also had a lot of iGoogle users
– decided they would make a number of gadgets to provide to their students via igoogle
— bringing people bits and pieces of our site in their own environment
— let people use library resources in their own environment
— gadgets really fit the bill for this discovery

– discovery doesn’t happen in the library, discovery happens OUTSIDE the library

– a set of 9 core gadgets that are downloadable
— highlighted on the MSU website (before ever get into igoogle)

– what do you achieve by putting a Google logo on the library homepage?
— serves as a message to students, they recognize google as something relevant and familiar
— invites them in and shows them the library is relevant, fresh, and keeping up with information

– don’t expect their students to FILL their igoogle with library gadgets
— but they could have a “library” tab filled with these gadgets

– tried to go as multimedia as possible
— which is then incorporated into the gadgets

– gadgets serve as both push technology but also a hook back to the library website

– stacks map, mouse over stack to see subjects, select call number and stack is highlighted

– lots of gadgets just run a flash URL within the gadget
— so they develope the flash app, and then the gadget runs it in igoogle

– gadget reads list of databases and displays them in igoogle
— allows students to be their own pathfinders, gadgetizing their favorite databases

– igoogle concept has everything to do with choice
— the more we let students make their own choices, the better our role as teachers becomes

– streetview gadget
— basically streetview of campus, but also of the library proper

– igoogle for developers, where to go to start developing your igoogle apps

– search for gadgets, e.g. “flickr”, and see all the gadgets that are there
— grad the code, tweak it, and specialize it
— or use the google gadgets editor to create from the bottom up

– code available at jasonclark.info


Creating Connections and Social Reference in Libraries
Margaret Smith, Physical Sciences Librarian, New York University

reference is usually:
– a one-to-one kind of affair

answer sites change this model:
– yahoo answers, askville, wikianswers, vark.com, askmefi, etc …
– make reference more of a one-to-many kind of situation
— one person asks a question, many people answer (or can answer)

not all the hives are equal
– some provide better quality of “answerers” than others

askmetafilter – ask.metafilter.com
– q&a site for metafilter, the community
– moderated by Jessamyn West (of librarian.net)
– has very strict guidelines for posting questions
— post a question that has an answer, and one that you don’t know – also no surveys
— can’t ask “am i hot?” etc …
– still has a variety of questions
– searchable records help create a knowledge base, good place to search for questions that may have already been answered
– Use AskMefi as a knowledge base of questions already asked (and answered) to find existing answers for your patrons.

library society of the world friendfeed room
– if you’re a collection developer, what do you wish you had learned in library school?
— has answers from a dozen very smart librarians
– kind of like the stumpers list (Project Wombat)

Wikipedia Reference Desk
– a place where people can ask questions of wikipedia
— generally they’ve already looked on Wikipedia and have not found their answer
– can serve again as a knowledge base for questions
– even though a wiki, people still enter their answers individually
— so you end up with multiple answers

– not the best model for questions, e.g. not many good reference questions
— e.g. what is your favorite brand of underwear?
– provides a single, crowd-sourced answer to the questioner

q&a blog
– create a blog where people can post their questions (and they can do it anonymously)
– can subscribe by email or RSS to see when new questions and answers arrive
– Bobst college, Baruch College (started by Stephen Francoeur)

What content do you want in our hive?
what is the scope? research, about the library, about the community, etc?
what reward or motivation comes out of working on this?


Cloud Computing in Practice: Creating Digital Services and Collections
Laura Harris, Kendra Levine, Amy Buckland, Jason Clark

amy buckland

– grid computing?
– utility computing
– internet-based applications…
– everyone has a different idea

it’s about data
and it’s about storage

– massively scalable it-related capabilities provided as a service
– available convenient on-demand network access

“everything now lives in one place”

5 components
– on demand
– self service
– requires broad network access
– resource pooling
– rapid elasticity (scales)
– measured service (metrics for everything)

kendra l

makes it easy to liberate yourself and collaborate
infrastructure is messy
– expensive to create, maintain, setup
– a way to contract out the infrastructure part of things
– let’s you not worry about how things work in the backend

nothing to lose
– can’t lose the thumb drive, hard drive won’t die, data is redundant
– mediums will migrate to new formats, always be available
— e.g. solution to data rot

problems with cloud computing
– connection issues, pretty pointless without internet connection
— broadband isn’t widely accessibly everywhere
— even at work, if the network is down, you’re screwed
— if the cloud networks go down (e.g. Google on 9/1), you’re also screwed
-privacy issues
— who can access your content, some people don’t want their data out there
— some stuff is too accessible; you don’t want hacker barbie to get in there and steal all your patron records
– nothing last forever
— so long, geocities …
— what if google docs fails in 5 years, where will we go?

laura h

are libraries already in the cloud?
– where do we store our ILS data?
– ILL is all on another server
– citation management
– libguides
– institutional repositories

points to ponder
– should we be worried about our vendors making money from us on a recurring, perpetual basis
— repeatedly paying for a service; vs buying something you hold in your hand
— same problem as with ebooks?
– losing the unified face of the library; do your users realize that it’s a library service when they look at it?
– are we receiving reliable services for what we’re paying?

other ways libraries can use the cloud
– data storage — duraspace and dropbox
– common business applications
— word processing via google docs or etherpad
— presentations vis prezi or google docs
— surveys and forms via google spreadsheets

– use existing CMS
– Google Wave
– the whole enchilada, e.g. the ENTIRE operating system (iOS)

presentation available at icanhaz.com/cloudylibs


cloud computing is also very GREEN!
– running servers is very detrimental to the environment
– better to share these servers

40-50% cost saving when using the cloud over owning your own data centers

– use common sense!
— if you put a picture in google docs, that picture (and then the document) becomes searchable
— if it’s just text, then you’re okay
– don’t put your most sensitive stuff in the cloud

ownership issues?
– google sort of owns everything now
– does it open you up to liability?
– read your TOS

ILS in the cloud?
– no 3rd party companies would allow them to put their ILS in the cloud
– protecting via a proxy server can help with this kind of problem

jason clark

a way to store, convert, and share data

a look ahead (what he’ll cover)
– cloud as smart outsourcing
– reasons to move into cloud
– video apis and mashups
– demo and walkthrough of code
– next steps
– questions

demos and downloads
– terrapod
— teach k-12 students how to make science films and then share those out on the internet
– conversion — kids upload directly to terrapod (via blip.tv) and then can set a btach conversion process

cloud = infrastructure
cloud = web scale

– via the administration
– flickr, blip.tv, youtube, delicious
– specifically about cloud computing FOR the government
— use the tools available within the cloud to build the applications like terrapod without having to do the background work

slides available at jasonclark.info


2.0 Too: Web Services for Underfunded Libraries
Sara Houghton-Jan, LibrarianinBlack.net

talk with your customers
– be awake, listen to your customers
– make sure they’re awake to the services you have
– use email, IM, chat, voip, video, sms, social networks, etc …
– if you have someone monitoring these, have them monitor all of them!

use gmail to answer email questions, use labels to categorize them
meebo and plugoo for chat widgets
skype for voip, audio/video

put chat windows where people get mad at you
– so they’re presented to speak with a staff person at their point of frustration

interact with customers
– make sure they’re able to communicate with you
– welcome comments on anything and everything your patrons could possibly comment on
— it won’t hurt!
– when you respond, act like a human being
– use blogs for recommendations
— make sure it’s easy for your staff and the public to enter
— make sure it is easy to solicit participation

– be social, be out there in social networks
– yes, your users are probably on facebook, but where else
– where do you connect with your younger users? e.g. is there a place for the library in club


– use ping.fm or hellotxt.com to simultaneous update social networks
— also atomkeep

– filterbox – monitor social networks in real time

– buzz monitor – hear what people are saying about you

– eventful, upcoming.org, going.com, craigslist

use multimedia
– photos and images
– podcasts
– videos
— don’t forget to let them participate!

– exploit image generators
— generatorblog.blogspot.com
— imagegenerator.com
— imagechef.com

podcasting and videocasting
– podcasting needs a digital microphone, audacity, ourmedia
– videocasting needs digital video camera, axidemux, youtune/blip.tv

learning multimedia
– screencasts with wink, camstudio
– class websites with wordpress, blogger
– live office hours with freeconferencecall
– live webcasts with ustream.tv

offer treatsies
– people like shiny things
– staff avatars (a la nashville PL)

surprisingly free stuff!
– exploit the free
– gimp, yousendit, polldaddy, surveymoney, statcounter.com, imageafter, openphoto, webmonkey,


– tap the google wonderland
— google calendar, docs, picasa, groups, et al

marry free and paid content
– cease snobbery about paid content
– find the free stuff and promote it
— gnucash, open office, gimp, typefaster typing tutor

free ebooks
– project gutenberg
– audiobooksforfree

free databases
– articlesbase.com
– findarticles.com
– free language learning sites
– free practice test sites

respect customers
– expect the best, not the worst
– treat them with respect regardless of age and what service they’re using
— it shouldn’t matter!

offer choices to your users
– on how to contact you
– on how you will communicate back to users
– on how they will find and encounter your services
– on what’s online in terms of your content and the format of your content delivery
— libraryelf, library lookup bookmarklet, libX toolbar

good catalog
– vufind, librarything for libraries, aquabrowser, bibliocommons, endeca, worldcat local

keep on trucking!
– make the changes even though it’s tough
– try new things, push the people in power to make change
— but in a smart way
– rejoice in failure, because that means to were pushing against some wall and trying to be

— you do your best work when you’re pushing those resumes


Evaluating, Recommending, and Justifying 2.0 Tools
Marydee Ojala, editor for Online Magazine, Information Today, Inc.

new technologies
– all about empowerment, sharing, communication, and unifying themes
— the main real theme is COLLABORATION

not that new!
– blogs, rss, tagging, mashups, social bookmarks
– flickr, youtube, facebook, etc …

what does it mean for info pros?
– does your mgt appreciate the power of social
– does your staff?
– what about your users?

some social tools are very useful for research purposes
– okay to use linked, digg, furl, technorati for research purposes
– if downloading software or using java, could be an issue
– keep your personal life out of worklife
— blogs, tweets, facebook commentary
— but understand that people do it

– is it internal or external?

social in the workplace
– evaluation

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