January 2011
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Month January 2011

Print Books as Niche Fashion Accessory

For another Starck project, in Dallas, Mr. Wine used black paper to wrap the 2,000 vintage books he picked for their “distressed edges,” so they could be displayed backward.

Read more about “book solutions” at Selling a Book by Its Cover.

Oregon Duck’s Uniforms

Football on Walking Paper? Yes. Well, sort of. I’d not seen these uniforms before and can’t get over how fancy they look and the incredible attention to detail:

Visually, the colorway of the uniforms is meant to bring your eyes to the fastest moving parts of the player’s bodies — the hands, and in particular the shins, which move twice as fast as the thighs do while running. The bright yellow socks, which blended seamlessly into the cleats, drew attention to that fact.

The final piece of visual flare is a custom font designed to make the players look, basically, meaner and more physically imposing. The numbers, are wider at the top and narrower at the bottom, thus making the player’s shoulders look wider and the waist look narrower.

The blackout face shield makes an intimidating player!

More at Co.Design

Letterpress with Dice

More on Etsy

Google’s Decreasingly Useful Search

Marco Arment has a good recap of some of the problems of searching using Google.

His conclusion?

Much of this will be (or currently is) solved the old-fashioned way: personal recommendations and trusted authorities. But these can’t cover the breadth of available information that web searchers need. I don’t know what will, or when, but it’s desperately needed.

Ensuring the Library’s Future

The Special Libraries Association has started a project called Future Ready 365 which features a blog post every day about libraries and the future. Many of them are nice little bits to chew on for moment or two.

Check out What does Future Ready look like for a UX Librarian? by Debra Kolah and Re-embracing the “Shush”–Can the Library be a Quiet Place in the Age of Social? by Greg Lambert.

I contributed a short piece that is sort of a recap of things I’ve been writing at LJ and here. I’ll paste it below:

Libraries have been following trends in the larger information world in an attempt to remain relevant. Libraries have strived to be nimble, flexible, and experimental, integrating popular tools and devices so that their offerings make sense to their patrons. Top Tech Trends panels at conferences prime librarians for what’s coming down the pike with the implication that libraries will gain some ground if they’re early adopters.

All of this is fine. Necessary, even. But it isn’t going to secure libraries a place in the future. Why?

This approach is reactive and it makes libraries beholden to the whims of industry. The current eBook quagmire is a perfect example of this. Most people that use commercial digital content are getting their needs filled outside of libraries. Some librarians cling to the notion of libraries as commercial content providers and are trying to fight over the remaining scraps.

This approach is shallow. It emphasizes matching library operations with people’s behaviors, not their motivations. It doesn’t matter, for instance, that some library users use Twitter. What really matters is that some library users want to broadcast their lives and read about other people’s lives. Libraries shouldn’t be concerned with using a hammer. They should be concerned with building something.

Instead of looking to technology for relevance, libraries ought to look at the lives of their patrons and the issues in their communities. Libraries user research budgets should be as big as their tech budgets. Libraries that do things like develop patron personas and conduct ethnographic studies will know not just what people do, but why they do it and what they’re trying to accomplish.

Those libraries can evolve into supportive, problem solving institutions, integrated into their communities.

The Atlas of New Librarianship

The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation in their communities.

I have a feeling this is going to be a great book. More info at Virtual Dave…Real Blog.

The Benefits of Less

Good content takes staff time to produce and arrange, and the navigational overhead can be a time expenditure for users.

I’m not suggesting that libraries shouldn’t try new things or add content to their sites. They should. Still, the library world needs to start a dialog about an additional way to prevent stagnation: subtraction.

That’s a blurb from my latest LJ column titled The Benefits of Less.

ANSWER: They will not.

Or we could save our energy and find untapped sources of content created by our local users and work together to create a single publishing platform and rights-management tool to allow easy creation and access to local content.

That’s the excellent ending of Kathryn Greenhill’s answer to her own question: How do we force publishers to give us ebook content that includes works that our users want and that they find easy to download to their chosen device?

This is such a compelling vision of a way forward for libraries. Not only is it more attainable than forcing publishers to do anything (or even compelling them) but it would result in a much more meaningful public library.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the posts in her series!

Introducing: Walking Paper Shop

Visit the Walking Paper Shop to check out the new Creating the Future for Libraries notebooks, pencils, and, for the first time, a calendar! As usual, free shipping. Orders of 30 or more get a price break. Contact me for arrangements.

CFL Calendar

These calendars work well on staff kitchen refrigerators, in staff rooms and by reference desks. 12 months of creating the future for libraries with lunar phase information and fun historical facts.

Measures about 4.5″ x 5″
Easy to hang. Valuable birthstone and birth month flower information.
Limited run of 250.
Featured typefaces: Tungsten & Milk Script

CFL Symbol Notebook

Do libraries really want to be associated with someone reading a book alone? I say “no” and here’s our take on the universal library symbol. People gathering around content! It feels a bit more active and alive.

32 blank pages.
Limited run of 250.
Made from recycled materials.
Featured typeface: Futura Bold.

Decisions Notebook

Embrace your role as a library user experience designer with this notebook. It’s ready for you to fill with user friendly ideas.

32 blank pages.
Limited run of 250.
Made from recycled materials.
Featured typeface: Ziggurat Black
Designed in the USA and Canada with Amanda Etches-Johnson and printed in the USA.

Patrons Pencils

Three pencils to help you and your coworkers remember that you should be arranging the library for patrons, not librarians.

For safety reasons these ship unsharpened. Plus, sharpening pencils is fun so I’ll save it for you.