yahoo pipes

Yahoo! pipes is one of the most interesting things I’ve seen lately. This new tool lets non-programmers create web mashups in a sandbox like environment. The tech barrier to making mashups is being lowered, just like weblogs pretty much smashed the barrier to putting content on the web.

The interface consists of easy to understand modules that are arranged through drag and drop.

I was super impressed when I put in an OPAC URL into the “URL Builder” module and it parsed out all of the URL’s elements:

No progress on doing anything useful with it yet though.

I did however clone a pipe already made and created a feed of Flickr photos related to keywords coming from LISNews posts.

Right now there’s a post on LISNews about Seattle Public Library and the “March of the Penguins” based “March of the Librarians” video, so in the photo stream there are pics of SPL and, well, penguins! The “March…” video, by the way, is entirely well done.

Yahoo! pipes could be an interesting tool in the kit of libraries’ web development folks. Mash away!

someday you’ll be an oak tree!

When LIS texts are about 15 years old, they discuss the advent of movable type in the 1500s (p131), not the release of Movable Type in 2001. I guess I should have expected this. When I first read the title Taxonomies of the School Library Media Program I thought, “How about Folksonomies of the School Library Media Program?”

I know I can’t indict all of LIS education from one lousy textbook, especially when I know that there are interesting projects taking place elsewhere. However, I do think acorn line drawings are closer to the rule than the exception.

Slightly unsettling, don’t you think?

everyone is invited!

How’s this for transparency? My welcome party is being held in the library during hours of operation. It isn’t just for the staff, volunteers, the board and the Friends, it is for library patrons as well. It is going to be a good opportunity for me to learn more about the people that make up North Plains. Granted, this is easier to do in a community of 1700 people than larger places, but it is a compelling idea no matter the size. It is a good step in continuing to make the organizational structure of the institution as flat as appropriately possible.

Oh, and if you happen to be in the area you can stop by too!

first 12 issues of “Thrasher” online for free

If you’re not familiar with “Thrasher,” it is a skateboarding magazine that has been around since 1981. In celebration of their 25th anniversary they’ve released some high res pdfs of their first 12 issues. You might not get the same kicks looking at them as I did, but they might come in handy for making a display in the teen section of your library.

Back issues of the magazine were one of the only reasons I went to the library in high school. Yeah, “Thrasher,” study hall, and occasionally using EBSCO on CD-ROM to look up articles about bands. I don’t think I’ve ever told this story here, so let me say it was a *proud* moment when I ran into my favorite librarians from high school and got to tell her that I turned out to be a librarian. She instantly knew my name after eight years had passed. Amazing!

The First 12 Mags.

beyond boring barcodes

Is there a place for library barcodes that go beyond their basic utility and exhibit something more? I’m not a fan of libraries sullying up the covers and spines of their items with barcodes and cataloging info, but maybe there’s a missed opportunity here. Could you grow your users affection towards the library by turning something otherwise unnoticeable into something clever and unique? If you do, just put it on the title page.

Check out the designs at Barcode Revolution, a Japanese design team. [via]

books and libraries on digg

Yesterday libraries got some love in a post titled “Librarians stake their future on open source” on digg. There is (only) one semi-contrarian comment in the bunch. In response to the comment

“Yes, there are a lot of people who work at a Library on digg. ;-)”

someone chimed in with

“i guess librarians have a lot more time to read digg since everyone else is at home reading digg too, rather than reading books.”

Then today this appears: Digg this story if you want a ‘Books’ section under Entertainment on Digg!!. Apparently this isn’t the best digg etiquette, but I found it funny nevertheless.

free wifi in portland!

Portland’s airport is one of my favorites. It is clean, attractive, and easy to get to the gate. And importantly, once at the gate, there’s free wireless.

Yesterday, Portland released a free, advertising supported wireless network throughout the downtown and nearby area east of the Willamette.

12 blocks and it’ll reach me!!


Tim Lauer imagines

teachers and students on class field trips taking along one of the laptops to blog the trip and upload photographs for the students back at the school.

Sounds good to me.


I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit of an office supply and writing instrument junkie. Index cards? Moleskines? Binder clips? Love ’em. If you’re ever in Japan (or on eBay) I suggest picking up some Pilot G-Tec-C4 gel ink pens. They are better than expensive fountain pens I’ve used. Amazing!

But this post isn’t about pens, it is about paper. In particular, wallpaper that consists of four layers of post-it note like squares. What’s even better is that the layers are different shades of grey (perfect), so shapes form as pieces are used and the wallpaper is peeled away.

Check out Duncan Wilson’s pixelnotes, a great example of taking something functional and turning into art. Now how am I going to DIY a small version of this…?

Reference Boy

I still have a few days to work, but since I’ll be busy heading to the County of Los Angeles Public Library to talk about weblogs and IM for their staff day, and Wright State University for a full day of tech in library goodness, the TFML already hosted a farwell party for me.

It was a nice event, perhaps highlighted by being serenaded by the matchless Claudia. You might get a kick out of the song she wrote:

To the Tune of “Soldier Boy”

Reference Boy!
Oh, my little Reference Boy!
I’ll be true to you.

You walked through the door,
And you wore a pompadour!
When they picked me off the floor,
I was smitten, too.
Though you know your books,
You display some funky looks;
Everybody overlooks
That you’ve got a tattoo. (And I know where…*wink*)

Reference Boy!
Oh, My little Reference Boy,
I’ll be true to you.

You’re no barbarian,
You’re a librarian,
And a vegetarian,
And a disciplinarian (ooh!)
All the things I like!
You’ve got brains to boast,
And would never eat a roast,
But what I admire most
Is you can ride a bike (No training wheels!)

Reference Boy!
Oh, my little Reference Boy!
I’ll be true to you!