Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on October 17, 2008 - 8:57pm
Greetings from Cincinnati, the Queen City! After my bad flight experience in Anaheim, it was nice to be able to hop in the car and head to a conference that’s just a few hours away from home in a city that I know quite well (my fiancé grew up here, so I’ve been here a lot).
For those of you who might have experienced the accommodating but sterile environment at annual, LITA is a nice change of pace. We’re lucky enough to be here at the Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel, an ornate and absolutely breathtaking historic building. If you were intimidated by the size and scope of Annual, you’d be right at home at the Forum, which is the small town to Annual’s metropolis. From the moment I walked into the hotel, I began seeing a lot of familiar faces and names, and an introduction to an unfamiliar one required nothing but a friendly hello. Read More »
Submitted by Tom Peters on September 11, 2008 - 1:51pm
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 performance meetings and that some library-related meetings occur on weekends but the definition above will keep things in this context neat, clean and clear.
According to ALA calculations there are roughly 123,000 libraries in the U.S. Many of those are one-person libraries, so we can estimate that on each working day there are approximately 100,000 meetings involving librarians and library staff. Of course, at large libraries the number of daily meetings will be high. With approximately 250 workdays in a year, that yields an annual estimate of 25 million library-related meetings in the U.S. alone. Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on August 25, 2008 - 12:04pm
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 communities to lead them.
For public libraries, young patrons are particularly important. A young library user is likely to be a lifelong library user, so the library must be a place where children and teenagers can feel like their needs are going to be met. In Massachusetts libraries are taking some exciting new steps to ensure that teens have direct input. Libraries across Massachusetts will be served by advisory boards with teenagers that will help design and develop new facilities. Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on August 1, 2008 - 10:30am
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, declaring it “No Threat to Google”. As anyone who watches cable news knows, it can be tough to have a conversation when all you’ve got is two diametrically opposed sides screaming their heads off at one another. Read More »
Submitted by Tom Peters on June 28, 2008 - 5:07am
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, and several local charities were auctioning off David Cook memorabilia even as the memories were forming.
Until May I was a denizen of Blue Springs myself. It was surreal watching a national TV phenomenon play out locally. Even some of my local BBQ joints jumped on the David Cook bandwagon -- or chuckwagon. The whole thing got me thinking about the nature of fame. Even information technology seems to experience something like an idol syndrome.
The craze got me thinking about the nature of fame. Even information technology seems to experience something like an idol syndrome. We have our top tech trends discussions, which draw huge crowds yearning to learn more about the current tech idols. Read More »
Submitted by Tom Peters on April 22, 2008 - 6:42pm
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 some interest and enjoyment, then reminds the off-screen pitchman that the prunes still contain wrinkles. Cut to the punchline: "Today the pits, tomorrow the wrinkles. Sunsweet marches on." Read More »
Submitted by Tom Peters on December 12, 2007 - 7:19am
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 thousands of bloggers have commented on this device. Read More »