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Tom Peters's Posts

Oh The Games People Play Now--In Libraries

Submitted by Tom Peters on July 23, 2007 - 8:09am

On the first day of the first ever ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium in Chicago yesterday, Scott Nicholson from the Library Game Lab at Syracuse University released a report on The Role of Gaming in Libraries: Taking the Pulse. It's already available online as a PDF file.

Games are big business. Nicholson's report cites an industry report indicating that sales of games have outpaced motion picture box office sales and should surpass music sales in the near future.

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Now THAT'S Rockin' the Stacks

Submitted by Tom Peters on June 28, 2007 - 11:48pm

Vintage signageThe ALA Annual Conference in DC, which just ended, was another energizing, informative event.  In a forthcoming post I will summarize the more substantial sessions and issues that came to my attention.  However, in the spirit of the adage, "Life's uncertain; eat dessert first," I would like to share with you the most fun I had at ALA in DC.

Vendor receptions are a time-honored event at these conferences, and the protocol is well-established: Read More »

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Music to My Ears

Submitted by Tom Peters on May 20, 2007 - 5:32am

A hush has fallen over the music industry.  It may be the hush of anticipation prior to the birth of an heir who will lead the kingdom to a new golden age, or it may be the calm before the onslaught of the perfect storm. 

DRM (Digital Rights Management)--which may be the baby, or it may be the bath water, it depends on who you ask--appears to be on its way out, at least for music.  First, Apple and EMI announced an agreement to sell DRM-free digital music files beginning this month.  Consumers will pay about 30 percent more for DRM-free music, but there already are many precedents where consumers prove willing to pay more to have something left out of a product.  Exhibit A:  bottled water.  I rest my case.    Read More »


Registration Now Open for Gaming Symposium

Submitted by Tom Peters on April 11, 2007 - 10:05pm

Librarians got game.  ALA TechSource, in collaboration with the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), is proud to annouce that the first annual Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium will be held on July 22-24, 2007 at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare, which is very accessible by planes, CTA trains, and automobiles.  Registration opened this week.  Read More »


Making the MUVE

Submitted by Tom Peters on March 22, 2007 - 4:55pm

dust devilWe live in an age in which social networks, online communities, and the wisdom of crowds are all the rage.  This rage may have all the superficiality and transience of a dust devil, which appears to contain the destructive beauty of a real tornado, but actually only kicks up some dust and leaves.  But I think this is an enduring rage with potentially profound and positive effects on humanity in general and librarianship in particular. Read More »

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Wooden Dominoes

Submitted by Tom Peters on February 6, 2007 - 8:51pm

Yesterday Princeton University Woodrow Wilson on $100,000 U.S. Noteannounced it has joined Google's mass digitization project, adding another million volumes to the maw. I reckon people will begin speculating what former president (of both Princeton and the U.S.) Woodrow Wilson would have made of Princeton's participation in Google's project. At least the speculative heat will be off Thomas Jefferson for awhile, who was invoked by University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman to defend this project from beyond the grave.
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My Phoner with Pogue

Submitted by Tom Peters on January 25, 2007 - 1:43pm

During the week leading up to ALA Midwinter, I received an email message from a publicist, stating that his client would be attending Midwinter, and wondering if I would like to conduct an interview. His client is David Pogue, the excellent NY Times columnist and blogger who writes about technology topics, especially handheld electronic devices. I jumped at the chance to interview Pogue, suggesting 10 Sunday morning as the appointed time.
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The Rustication of Expertise

Submitted by Tom Peters on January 11, 2007 - 3:35pm

In the days of yore it was not uncommon for universities in Britain and the U.S. to have a policy called "rustication." If a student acted up academically, he would be sent away from the university for a few months to think about his transgressions and, ideally, rededicate himself to the life of the university. As the term "rustication" implies, the concept in its pure form involves being sent down to the farm. John Dryden, after rustication I doubt that many rusticated scholars, such as the young Milton, Dryden, and Swinburne, actually slopped any hogs, but the thought of them knee-deep in muck provides some measure of solace and encouragement for us all.
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Microsoft's Live Search Books

Submitted by Tom Peters on December 12, 2006 - 12:14pm

After playing around for an hour or so with the recently released public beta version of Microsoft's Live Search Books (LSB), I have to admit—against some vague sense that my better judgment is failing me—that I like it.

Sure, others have reported that LSB does not work well—or at all—when using browser software other than Internet Explorer, but if you stick to the straight-and-narrow Microsoft path, the service works and shows potential.
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Have Laptop, Will Learn?

Submitted by Tom Peters on December 4, 2006 - 3:53pm

Last Thursday's New York Times contained an article (a no-cost subscription is required) that provides a progress report on the $100 laptop initiative, officially known as One Laptop per Child (OLPC). The project is based at MIT's Media Lab and was first announced in January 2005. Led by Nicholas Negroponte, the OLPC project proclaims its main outcome goal thus: “a unique harmony of form and function; a flexible, ultra low-cost, power-efficient, responsive, and durable machine with which nations of the emerging world can leapfrog decades of development—immediately transforming the content and quality of their children's learning.”
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