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The personal blog of Al Stevens. Focus is overrated.

Archive for the ‘Library Things’ Category

ALA Midwinter Tech Showcase Slides

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In January, I gave a brief Technology Showcase presentation at the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference in Boston. The Technology Showcase is a forum for companies to “highlight the latest trends in library technology.” Our (Credo Reference Limited) slot was the last session of the last day, so attendance was a bit less than the numbers who showed up for Al Gore’s earlier keynote. It was still fun and some of those attending even took notes.

We announced “Topic Pages” at the conference — a new approach to presenting and organizing reference resources around a single topic — and the talk described how we select topics, select the content that goes with them and how we describe related topics.

Presentation slides are shared  from my Google docs account here: Presentation Slides

Written by Al Stevens

March 7th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Wednesday’s reads

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A summary of the  March 10th Union Square Ventures put on a conference called Hacking Education with the theme of re-imagining how education should look in a web 2.0 world.
From the summary: “If the transition from the current high touch, but high cost, learning environment to an efficient peer produced learning network is as abrupt and brutal as the transition we are witnessing in the music and newspaper industry, the social consequences are likely to be a lot more severe. [Brad Burnham on unionsquareventures.com]

A brief piece on the difficulty of explaining authority. [on ACRLog]

Written by Al Stevens

May 13th, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Wednesday’s reads

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Marshall Kirkpatrick  sees Firefox as a Facebook challenger. If the two technologies converge, Firefox will start with a lead.

Richard Bernstein argues that US immigrants continue to  make astounding contributions by creating new technologies and new companies.

Evgeny Morozov takes on Tim O’Reilly and argues that we don’t need to reinvent the book for the web age.

Written by Al Stevens

May 6th, 2009 at 7:58 am

Tuesday’s reads

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Peter E. Murray has posted a summary of the American Library Association’s legal brief of concerns about the Google  book settlement. The brief itself, in pdf, is here.

StevenB picks up on J. J. Abrams Magic of Mystery article in Wired and suggests that understanding the “spoiler generation” can lead academic librarians to help students find the joy of experiencing the process of discovery.

Julianne in Cosmic Variance describes two interview styles, one that looks like a way to find talent and the other a way to overlook it.

Written by Al Stevens

May 5th, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Monday’s reads

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Mark C. Taylor in the NY Times argues that we should abolish the university as we know it by restructuring the curriculum, abolishing permanent departments, increasing collaboration among institutions, transforming the traditional dissertation, expanding the range of professional options for graduate students, imposing mandatory retirement and abolishing tenure.

Scott Walter amplifies the Taylor article and argues that it’s time to change the current reward system.

Elyssa Kroski’s comprehensive overview of libraries and mobile technologies.

Elaine Jarvik’s review of David Wiley’s comment that universities will be irrelevant by 2020.

Nick Anthis’s summary of Obama’s address to the National Academy of Sciences pledging a major new commitment to science.

Written by Al Stevens

April 27th, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Friday’s reads

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Dean Dad writes about how libraries’ missions are changing, with young technies studying in groups and older students looking for a quiet haven. The discussion, particularly about how to choose the right set of resources,  is as insightful as the article.

Side-by-side timelines of the universe, one according to science and one according to the YEC’s (young earth creationists).

Pursuasive design for sustainability” summarizes the way that tools can pursuade.

Laura Devany describes why cost and flexibility are pushing libraries to use open-source library managment systems.

Another article about the potential of the semantic web, this time for e-learning. Written by Chris Daly. The more of these I read, the more I think that Tim O’Reilly has it right. The Semantic Web is a dead end.

A South Florida Times report on a new charter school with a heavy emphasis on computer-based individualized learning. Technology could yet do to education what it’s done to the news business.