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Posts by Tom Peters

The Maxie Awards

Submitted by Tom Peters on June 26, 2006 - 7:09am

In other posts to this blog and elsewhere I have expressed my optimism about and appreciation for online conferences, workshops, and other online events, coupled with a growing sense that in-person conferences may gradually decline in frequency and importance as more librarians become acclimated to meeting online.

Personally, I find myself traveling less and meeting online more. Nevertheless, the joy of travel and attending large, energetic in-person conferences such as the ALA Annual Conference remains strong. There are certain aspects of in-person conferences that are difficult or impossible to replicate online.
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The Eternal Note

Submitted by Tom Peters on June 24, 2006 - 7:35am

The skies were relatively clear—but hot and humid, of course--when I flew into New Orleans midday on Friday. Even from the air I could detect something different about New Orleans. Quite a few of the homes and businesses still have bright blue tarps covering part or all of the roofs. I Read More »

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Submitted by Tom Peters on June 6, 2006 - 10:36am

Samuel Johnson About 250 years ago, soon after his dictionary of the English language had been published, Dr. Samuel Johnson was asked by a woman how the incorrect definition of a pastern had crept into the final, published product. According to James Boswell's biography of Johnson, "…instead of making an elaborate defence, as she expected, he at once answered, 'Ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance.'"
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Loose LIPs

Submitted by Tom Peters on May 19, 2006 - 1:49pm

Usually I have a terrible memory. Once, in high school, I forgot the name of the young woman I was dating at the time—in her presence. Oddly, I recall her name very clearly now, thirty-three years later.

Whadda set of LIPS! Even my addled pate, however, is capable of creating and maintaining vivid memories. I remember very well the sight of Charles Bailey poking his head into a crowded room just prior to the start of an ALA Annual Conference presentation—probably in June 1989—asking, at the top of his lungs, if people wanted to be able to communicate online with colleagues about professional issues. Like a union organizer, he frantically handed out printed leaflets to the eager, huddled masses describing how to subscribe to PACS-L.

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Napster Awakes

Submitted by Tom Peters on May 2, 2006 - 11:40am

Tom Peters points to why librarians might want to consider Napster.Earlier this week, after years of a court-induced coma, the Web site became live and free again. This time, the Napster executives claim they are too legit to quit.

Here's the new deal. Napster claims to have two-million songs in its master collection. If an individual fills out a no-cost Web registration form, he or she is then allowed to listen to any and all of the tunes up to five times. You do the math.
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A Library for Avatars

Submitted by Tom Peters on April 17, 2006 - 9:52am

Avatars need libraries, too, you know. An avatar—in this context—is "an icon or representation of a user in a shared virtual reality." Last Thursday, the Alliance Library System officially announced that this summer it plans to begin offering library services to avatars who live and work in the 3D virtual space Second Life. Second Life has significantly more than 100,000 registered avatars, but at any given time a few thousand are actually online and active, so this global virtual village currently is about the size of Vegetable City, Iowa. You can set up one avatar for free, but the real folks at Second Life do ask for a credit card number or Paypal info. for verification purposes.
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Collaboration 2.0?

Submitted by Tom Peters on March 30, 2006 - 11:13am

Paul Miller

Near the conclusion of the Computers in Libraries Conference in D.C. last week, Paul Miller (pictured at your left) from Talis, a United Kingdom-based library-automation vendor, presented an interesting session about the challenges of Web 2.0 to libraries.
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Measuring My First CIL

Submitted by Tom Peters on March 25, 2006 - 8:35am

Lee Rainie from the Pew Internet and American Life Project gave Friday's keynote address. He's a very lively speaker—mentally I started referring to him as Peppie le Pew—and he has lots of data and facts about how Millenials (those born between 1982 and 2000) think, use the Internet, search for information, communicate and form communities, and believe in themselves and the technologically and media rich lives they lead. If Stephen Abram wants facts, Peppie has 'em.

Rainie organized his talk around eight key realities of the Millennial generation: Read More »

At CIL: The Future, Innovation, and Visiting the LOC

Submitted by Tom Peters on March 25, 2006 - 8:12am

Thursday—The second day of the Computers in Libraries Conference in DC was packed with sessions. Megan Fox from Simmons College started it all off with her keynote presentation about planning for a handheld mobile future. She encouraged the conference attendees to understand both the possibilities and limitations of offering library content and services for use on handheld information appliances (cell phones, PDAs, MP3 players, portable media players, GPS devices, smart watches, gaming devices, ultra PCs, etc.) with small screens. If you've ever heard Megan speak on this topic, you know she packs in a lot of tremendous information in a small amount of time. Read More »

CIL in DC: Day One

Submitted by Tom Peters on March 23, 2006 - 10:56am

Tom is attending his first Computers in Libraries Conference this week.Wednesday—The first day of the Computers in Libraries Conference in Washington, DC. It's the 21st annual, but my first. I was up at 3:00 a.m. to catch my six-a.m.-red-eye flight from Kansas City. After I stumbled out of bed and dressed, I called Max to go for a walk, and he indeed got up off the sofa, but he had a quizzical look on his face as we headed out into the frosty night.

After the walk, off to the airport.
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