Shiny toys, current tools, tech trends

Hmm. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to promote the two sessions I’ll be part of during OLA SuperConference, for Canadian readers I may have who’ll be there…

Shiny Toys or Useful Tools?

Friday, January 30, 3:45 p.m.
Session 1320

Blogs and wikis aren’t shiny new toys for libraries and librarians any more.  They’ve moved from toys to tools.  As with most tools, they’re not magic, they’re not right for everything or everybody, but they can be powerfully effective in many situations.  This talk will include a very brief introduction to the tools, some notes on when one or the other might make more sense and some cautionary  notes.  Then we’ll look at how they’re working our for libraries and librarians — some examples, but also the results of some informal study of library-related wikis and the largest studies of library blogs and blogs by library people.

Best guess at this point: That very brief introduction will take about two minutes, if that, and I’ll spend almost no time talking about wikis–there are articles at PLN on blogs, wikis and when to use which that are better than anything I’d say on the spur of the moment. I’ll devote some attention to updates on currency (and visibility) for library blogs and liblogs, based on a snapshot study done December 16-17. There are graphs–but since I travel without notebook, the graphs will appear in an article related to the talk, which will appear in the February 2009 Cites & Insights (when it appears). Lots of time for discussion.

Top Technology Trends–Balanced Libraries: Books, Bytes and Web 2.0

Saturday, January 31, 9:05 a.m.
Session #1700

What technologies and trends should you be watching? What’s the next big idea for libraries as we begin 2009? Join the experts as they discuss technologies to be aware of now and beyond. They will touch on planning, people and participation. Always one of Super Conference’s most anticipated sessions.

“The experts” in this case are Paul Takala of Hamilton PL, Anita Brooks-Kirkland of Waterloo Region DSB, and me. I’ve never met the others. We each get 20 minutes. Those of you who use PLN may already know my current “top half-dozen trends,” although the order of them has already changed slightly…and, of course, I’ll be making notes right up to the start of the session (and beyond!). Should be fun.


I’ll be at nearly all of the conference, although I may head out before Saturday’s luncheon so I have plenty of time to get to the airport and have a substantial late lunch/early dinner before the long journey home. My tentative schedule’s still here. Known changes:

  • I plan to attend John Dupuis’ session on Thursday morning.
  • I’d guess attendance at any plenary session is at most half-likely.
  • I do have dinner plans Thursday after the early reception, but no other social plans beyond the receptions noted. (I’m an early bird, which also means I’m not a night owl… And I’m guessing I won’t have a workable cell phone in Toronto.)
  • Otherwise, pretty much as it says.

This all, to be sure, assumes that the path of the big storm stays as currently anticipated. (I do have a nonstop flight from SFO to Toronto, to be sure.)

2 Responses to “Shiny toys, current tools, tech trends”

  1. I was excited to attend my first Super Conference this year and was equally as interested in the sessions. I am the children’s librarian in our small town library and I also take care of our library blog. Your session about Shiny toys or useful tools was interesting, and informative and I left there excited about trying to aspire to writing better blog posts for our library. We have had a great following so far, but I am always on the look out for new blogs to read. Thanks for the new favourite to add to my list (yours, of course!).

  2. walt says:

    Thanks for the kind words and good luck with your blog.