The Future of Reading

Clive Thompson has a small little piece in Wired this month about the Future of Reading. It’s a topic that I’ve been having lots of conversation around these days, especially after some of the trends I highlighted in my Finding the Phoenix talk.

There’s been a lot of rumors lately about Apple creating a new killer device for the ebook to rival the Kindle, and I think if they do (and it has full color screen and an extended battery life) then I think the E-Ink days are numbered. The evolution of the ebook will explode into a full blown cultural revolution.

I’ve played around with several ebook readers over the last few years (remember the rocket reader), but in the last few weeks I’ve taken even more notice. What got me most excited though was not the Kindle or even the new Sony reader, but rather the free Stanza iphone app. I loaded on my iTouch over two months ago. I love this little free reader (which btw way was acquired by Amazon and just a few weeks ago) that provides easy access to both free domain ebooks and popular pay-option titles, but what has been missing for me in any current portable device option out there is the ability to connect with the thoughts of others who are reading the same book. is a website that does exactly that by allowing you to both interact with the book annotations of others and also engage in online chat. I played around with the site today and I have to say that I’m really impressed. Although it took me a bit to figure out how to read the annotations and comments, I really like the ability to see what other people bring to the text. I think once the Kindle or Sony (or rumored iBook) incorporates this type of functionality into their ereader app, then the competition will be over, period. The future of reading will have been born.

Here’s some more screenshots and images related to this post:

PS: Don't forget to read Clive Thompson's piece, The Future of Reading (lots to think about here as to the impact on libraries)


My 49.5 hr tour of the Netherlands

I just realized this afternoon after telling the umpteenth person about the fabulous libraries that I visited turning my world-wind tour of the Netherlands -- 49.5 hours to be exact -- that I hadn't created a post about what I saw.

The trip was packed - seriously PACKED! In 49.5 hours I managed to visit and tour 3 libraries, deliver the keynote address for the UGame ULearn conference, visit the headquarters of Media Labs (creators of AquaBrowser) and exchange ideas with lots of great folks. It definitely wasn't a relaxing trip and to be honest there wasn't even 15 minutes to spar. I didn't even have time to shop for a few small souvenirs for daugthers. Thank goodness the conference gave us colorful aluminum water bottles and that I was coherent enough to grab two. :)

Anyway, as you might guess it's not the type of trip I would recommend to anyone traveling to Netherlands. But even when my schedule necessitated the trip be a tight turnaround, I'm still so glad I went.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the three libraries I visited. I've grabbed Roy Tanck's great Flickr widget to display them.

Roy Tanck's Flickr Widget requires Flash Player 9 or better.

Get this widget at

Here's the flickr sets to each library individually:

Innovation Starts with "I"

Every time I do this talk, I change things up slightly or add something new. Here's the most recent version of Innovation Starts with "I", a webinar I presented for Project Play this morning.

PS: Enjoy the long weekend


__________ can change the world

I discovered this short, but inspiring, video via thinkpublic and it got me thinking ...

... about how libraries support not only entrepreneurs, but how we can also be them.

"Remember when you were a kid and everything was in reach ... it still is."

PS: What's my fill-in-the-blank for the title above ? I have two. If you need a clue, here's two hints ... the 1st is a 9 letter word that starts with a "L" and the the 2nd starts with a Y (3 letters) :)
Care to guess ?

What's your fill-in-the blank?


"Play date" this Friday from Project Play ...

... & it's free!

Excuse me for this shameless plug, but my reasons for sharing this actually have nothing to do with my talk this coming Friday and everything to do with sharing this wonderful collaborative model and open learning opportunity.

Project Play is a collaboration of South Central Library System, Outagamie Waupaca Library System, and Winnefox Library System in Wisconsin that encourages the on-going exploration of new technologies. The collaboration, as you might guess, started out as combined effort to support 23 Things and has successfully grown beyond the original objectives into an on-going commitment to staff development.

This Friday, I happen to be the guest speaker for one of their popular "play dates" (aka webinars) and will be doing a talk about innovation. Registration is free and I'm told open all. So if you're in the mood for a "play date", why not join us!

Innovation Starts with "I" - webinar, Friday, May 22, 11am est

Special thanks to South Central Library System, Outagamie Waupaca Library System, and Winnefox Library System for creating such a great model to follow.

PS: & don't you just love their tag line ... "Play more. Learn more. Fear less."


What’s your digital footprint?

That digital content is exploding is not earth shattering news. But what I found interesting according to this recent white paper from IDC, is that you only personally have control less than half your total digital footprint. Your “digital shadow” is actually much greater.

"In 2007, the digital universe contained 281,000,000,000 gigabytes, which works out to about 45 gigabytes per person on the planet.

Yet in 2007, when IDC developed the Personal Digital Footprint Calculator, launched this month,vii we discovered that only about half of the digital footprint would be related to individual actions — taking pictures, making VoIP phone calls, uploading videos to YouTube, downloading digital content, and
so on.

We called the remainder “ambient” content. It is digital images of you on a surveillance camera and records in banking, brokerage, retail, airline, telephone, and medical databases. It is information about Web searches and general backup data. It is copies of hospital scans. In other words, it is information about you in cyberspace. Your digital shadow, if you will."

Interested in calculating your own digital footprint? Download the ticker app here.

Here’s a snapshot of mine:

Read the full report, The Diverse and Exploding Digital Universe.


Filed under "Inspired"

In my travels tonight, I stumbled across this great community building project...

Photos by January Jones/WFIU
The “Writing on the Wall” project made a week -long stop at the Monroe County Public Library. People were asked to write their hopes for American Democracy. The wall will next be at the Indiana University Wells Library on the IU-Bloomington campus.

View the full flickr set here.

So simple in design and execution, yet so powerful in impact and community building!

Unleash the Users

Aarhus Public Library does it again with another great video exploring new ways to engage library users. This time in user driven innovation ...

Video found here.

Trending terms ...

A few months ago I blogged a bit of rant about the term social media not quite fitting the medium or the movement. As a follow-up I found this Google trend map interesting. If you didn't know already that the term "web 2.0" was out vogue, here's your proof...

... though I'm still hoping that another term for the movement gains better traction soon. :)


Many Stories from Many Voices

Most libraries and organizations produce an annual report highlighting the accomplishments of the previous year. This year, we've decided to scrap the paper and just go digital, as both a cost cutting measure and in support of "green". I think the results are pretty effective and engaging...

CML Annual Report - Many Stories from Many Voices

PS: Congrats CR&D


Slide 13 says it well...

It's been a draining week and half for me. Lots going on, both professionally and personally, and lots to plan and help pave the path for. I know, lots of Ps in that last sentence... If my brain was functioning fully, I'm I could come up with a much 'punnier' title. But alas, the brain cells are a bit spent tonight and besides it late. So I'll leave it at that. :)

Anyway, with a fatigue pattern setting in, the theme of resilience couldn't be more appropriate. If you've been feeling the same, then I'm sure you also appreciate this recent find from 23 Things n'@, a joint program of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny County Library Association.

Slide 13 really says it all! I won't reprint here. You'll have to take a look for yourself :)

Thanks Beth Mellor for tonight's inspiration and happy learning ACLA and CLofP!


Mindspotting in Aarhus

Next month I’m going to have the pleasure of keynoting the Next Library international un-conference in Aarhus, Denmark. The conference is shaping up to be a two and half day mega-engagement event and what I’m most looking forward to are the conversations and visioning about how the library is evolving in this new knowledge economy.

Today, I was forwarded a link to Aarhus’s most recent project and exploration, called MindSpot. If your not familiar with the Aarhus Public Library, they are the well know for their innovative Transformation Lab.

Related Links:

Past posts about the Transformation Lab:

PS: Thanks Lisbeth N. for the link :)