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Tech Trends

Slow News Month

August is traditionally a slow month for technology news. It’s too early to begin the announcements for the 4th quarter holiday season, but too late for the back-to-school announcements. Generally speaking, there’s just not a lot to talk about in technology in August. Well, this year shot that...

Meeting Technologies

How many meetings do you think occur every weekday in the United States involving staff members from libraries and library-related organizations? For our purposes, let’s define a meeting as a real-time interaction between three or more people for a stated purpose. Two people have a conversation; three or more people have a meeting. I realize that excludes two-person meetings like annual...

Tech-Savvy Teens Can Help Design Your Library

I think one of the coolest things about a library is that in addition to the service that it provides directly, it is also a forum. Each library serves a community and in turn, that community uses the library to discuss and learn more about who it really is, what its needs are and how they can be addressed. Libraries are the leaders in serving their communities, but only because they allow these...

Librarians Exploring Cuil

In the culture of the Internet, the sound byte and 24/7 cable news networks, as soon as something is praised, it gets torn down and trounced. This process has accelerated so quickly that it sometimes seems like the two things are happening simultaneously. This has definitely been the case with Cuil As soon as Cuil developed a mainstream media buzz, the mainstream media was there to kill the buzz...

American Tech Idol

Remember David Cook? He was the guy who won the American Idol competition last month. Throughout the merry month of May the citizens of Beautiful Blue Springs, Missouri were all a-twitter (in the pre-Twitter sense of a-twitter) about David Cook's candidacy, because he is a graduate of Blue Springs South High School. Most of the local businesses had "Vote for David" signs prominently displayed...

Today the Users, Tomorrow the Objects

About forty years ago Sunsweet Pitted Prunes ran a famously funny TV ad, written by Stan Freberg.  It featured a stuffy British character actor complaining about the fact that prunes contained pits and were wrinkled.  Once you have a prune pit in your mouth, there is no graceful way to extricate it.  All wrinkled fruit is abhorrent.    Then he is offered a new Sunsweet pitted prune.  He displays...

Down the Organization: Disorganized Librarianship

This morning, while Max my dog and I were out for an early morning stroll, a truly cockamamie idea dawned on me. It began as I was contemplating the recent feeding frenzy involving bloggers, reporters, and columnists over the commercial release of the Kindle ebook reader from Amazon.  A quick search in Technorati for the keywords "Amazon Kindle" pulled back over 3700 posts.  It's amazing that...