New to Me Library Sites that I Like

Library News is a port of Hacker News for library content. It has potential to be interesting and it needs more people posting and voting. Consider contributing so we can all be smarter.

Library as Incubator Project. You’ll find articles about the intersection of art and libraries and programming. Visually appealing! Jessamyn wrote about it too.

Information Tyrannosaur. Andy was part of a panel at last month’s The Future of The Academic Library Symposium. I enjoyed listening to him so I checked out his site. I think is full of no nonsense writing for the sake of sharing and learning.

walking paper scraps

→ Need a way to format some text and capture the corresponding the CSS? Try CSS Type Set

It works rather well.

What everybody else is doing is irrelevant. Related to something I’ve been mulling over recently. What would libraries look like if they cut half of their services and concentrated on doing fewer things with greater excellence?

→ I don’t really collect anything but I do have a certain fondness for mugs. Including these.

The semiotics of signs vs fences.

walking paper scraps: pretty in your browser edition

→ Host your own muxtape style MP3 player with OpenTape. This is a .12 release, bit it works for the most part. I made walking paper music in about as much time as it took to upload three mp3s.

→ Make Google Reader easier on your eye with Helvetireader, a userscript for any browser that can handle it. You lose a bit of functionality but you probably aren’t using it anyways.

walking paper scraps

Don’t talk to strangers — scan them instead.
2D codes + fabric + mobiles phones = people wearing hyperlinks to their social networking profiles. Next up is RFID chips broadcasting your profile wherever you go. It could make for serendipitous connections!

Why Apple is great at interfaces when others are not
Short answer: Because they take fun and pleasure into account.

Rule of Thumb – Giving a Speech

When giving a public science lecture to a general audience, there will always be one weirdo who asks questions that have nothing to do with your lecture. There will also be one smart-aleck who asks questions to show how smart he is. The faster you silence both of them, the happier your audience will be.

Obama’s Victory Speech Does Well on BitTorrent

Within 24 hours of president-elect Barack Obama delivering his victory speech to the hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Chicago, another hundred thousand gathered in a BitTorrent swarm, to download a copy of the historic event.

Type Tester
A handy CSS tool. 1. Choose values for different elements and see them displayed. 2. Three columns let you compare. 3. Snag the CSS.

walking paper scraps

Planes fly into virtual doughnut
People flying virtual planes race meatspace pilots flying through virtual hoops.

Rules for Computing Happiness A few from the list:

  • Do not buy a desktop computer unless your daily computing needs include video/audio editing, 3D rendering, or some other hugely processor-intensive computing task. Buy a portable computer instead.
  • Do not use your phone/smartphone/PDA/UMPC for tasks that would be more comfortably and effectively accomplished on a full-fledged computer.
  • Use a Mac for personal computing.

Alphabet Bags
Librarians sure love tote bags!

walking paper scraps

Browse magazines with Google Maps controls. It actually works pretty well.

The hours of operation are perhaps not the sexiest aspect of a library website, but they are nonetheless a “killer app,” providing a small, crucial bit of information for your users. Great intro to the article Using Google Calendar to Manage Library Website Hours in the Code4Lib Journal

Line Game
My favorite time killer since Line Rider. I feel like a lab rat. Every time I fail I get so mad and have to try again. And again.

The importance of the mobile web
A fantastic post by Fiona Bradley. I like it because the content is valuable. I like it because she lays it all out in a clear and professional way.

Adidas no.74 concept store
Here’s a case of a company knowing their market. Adidas is connecting to their community, so to speak, through a low key and underground design aesthetic. Even before customers enter the store they’re being told that Adidas understands them and that they’re on common ground. What does this do? It increases brand allegiance. I’m not suggesting that libraries necessarily open up graffiti covered storefronts with no signage, but rather that we think about connecting with our communities – physical and otherwise – on this level.

walking paper scraps

Downloadable audio content from the library on iPods?!?! Holy smokes.

OverDrive MP3 Audiobooks will go on sale in May at and should be available to libraries by the end of June, to be followed with the release of OverDrive Media Console for the Mac.

OverDrive CEO Steve Potash said the policy change emerged from demand in the library market

Where does “Blue” end and “Red” begin?
Very attractive info display.

TV when you want it.
Interesting cube interface.

Nice gaming in libraries reporting from freep.
I’ve given a talk in the big room where the people are gaming! [thanks, jacob]

Apple mulls unlimited music bundle
Music rentals from iTunes? [behind lame Financial Times reg]

Paper Is Out, Cellphones Are In

Now, with 80 percent of passengers using these self-service options, the next step is electronic boarding passes, which essentially turn the hand-held devices and mobile phones of travelers into their boarding passes.

No printing paper boarding passes, not even for going through security. Cool and probably problematic.

walking paper scraps

Indiespensable. Small box retail from Powell’s

Powell’s new subscription club delivers the best new books, with special attention to leading independent publishers. Signed first editions. Inventive, original sets. Exclusive printings…. Every six weeks, another installment to read and admire. All titles are thoughtfully selected by Powell’s staff. PLUS: Every shipment is stocked with exciting surprises….

$40.00 per shipment. The latest package came with a cookie I think. Hmm, who else thoughtfully selects books?

who says librarians (and teachers) don’t like tags from the delicious blog [thanks, phil]

10 Emerging Technologies 2008 from MIT Technology Review

DropBox, a new online file storage/sharing app, looks really cool.

walking paper scraps

→ So many good things happen with a WordPress based OPAC. Like easily creating the ability to text item location information to your cellphone. So cool!

Google Book Search Adds a Social Layer

I Repeat: Do Not Listen to Your Users is a post that provides some real world examples of Jakob Nielsen’s first rule of usability:

To design an easy-to-use interface, pay attention to what users do, not what they say. Self-reported claims are unreliable, as are user speculations about future behavior

Mr. Mothball is a fun platform game with a pleasing soundtrack.