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Posts categorized "technology" Feed

Researchers have made cheap, strong concrete out of “Martian” soil|MIT

cred: MIT TechRev

"...once humans arrive on the red planet, they will require high quality buildings in which to live and work...The first colonizers will quickly have to find a way to build structures using the planet’s own resources. But how?

The key material in a Martian construction boom will be sulphur, says the Northwestern team. The basic idea is to heat sulphur to about 240 °C so that it becomes liquid, mix it with Martian soil, which acts as an aggregate, and then let it cool. The sulphur solidifies, binding the aggregate and creating concrete. Voila—Martian concrete." 

Martian trowel

Read the full article here: from MIT Technology Review   

There is also a good article that helps to 'translate' the MIT piece for easier comprehension: from Fast Company

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Teens/ Technology & Friendships | Pew Research Center

Not surprising data.
A little chilling for those of us who made friends on the playground and in class but true nonetheless and we have to deal with this in the library world and our daily lives 

How do we relate to our next generation ?






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How to Attract a Variety of Teens?

This is a clear little article that addresses some sensitive points about navigating your Teen Group dynamic. No challenge is insurmountable you only need some innovative action. 

Here are some excerpts. The full piece is worth a read.





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Noisebridge at ALA15 ~ HackerSpace explored

We had the chance to check out this amazing space and concept in San Fransisco today.


"Noisebridge is a physical space open and welcoming to all, providing infrastructure and collaboration opportunities for anyone interested in programming, hardware, crafts, science, food, robotics, art, and technology. We teach, we learn, we share. With no leaders, we have one rule: 'Be excellent to each other'."

at Noisebridge today


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what is happening to the U.S.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act

2015_P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act changes
screen grab/

Let me begin by clarifying something we all seem to have forgotten - or perhaps never knew.  The "Patriot Act" is accurately called the following: the US PATRIOT ACT which is a cleverly if contorted distillation of the following: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act.

What bent, cynical staffer thought that one up?

To get to the point the correctly referenced U.S.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act is being amended. Here's the scoop from in its entirety, which begins like this:

"You might have heard in the news that “the Patriot Act is expiring.” This isn’t technically true. The Patriot Act, as a whole, is still in effect. There are a lot of parts that are not controversial (or at least, not as controversial) and they will remain in place. However, certain provisions that give the NSA authority to spy on both Americans and foreigners were set to expire. At midnight on Monday, that finally happened. They’re probably going to return, but one thing at a time. Here’s what the provisions in question entail:

  • Section 215: Bulk metadata collection: 
  • Unidentified roving wiretaps: 
  • Lone wolf warrants: 

All of these provisions (as well as many others) have been set to expire multiple times over the last decade, but Congress and the President(s) have ultimately decided to extend the programs repeatedly until now. While some in Congress have tried to prevent reauthorization or tweak the law, all those attempts have failed. This time around, for the first time Congress has allowed the above provisions to expire, which means the opposition is getting somewhere. They’ll likely be back, but with a few key limitations.

Those limitations came in the form of the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill with an acronym so silly it sounds like Marvel made it up.(my emphasis - they've done it again!) In its current form, the bill makes some important changes to the Patriot Act, but most privacy groups such as the EFF and the ACLU don’t think it’s enough."

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Privacy. Giving it away. What that means.

ThermostatAll your (electronically) recorded information is up for grabs, making you (and your information) accessible to organizations you’ve never even heard of (and never will!).PhoneApps

Companies and governments realise that your electronic devices - mobile devices, lap tops, home appliances with links to the internet and even implanted biometric devices are "powerful data collection tools." 

ArBioscanEye-colpncle you a victim or a willing participant in sharing of information about your life?

Have a look at this short, clearly written article to learn more about things you probably don't want to know about but must ...3 Ways Technology Can Be Used To Limit Your Privacy & Freedoms, By Rick Delgado on 5th March, 2015 - on the makeuseof site

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FCC's Tom Wheeler backs "free and open Internet"

WheelerQuotePart14 Million comments on social media to the FCC led to this: WheelerSaveTheInternetScreenShot Obama netneut






Obama urges FCC support net neutrality, "the internet is an essential part of everyday life." Treat it as "a utility."

Here's the latest post from Democracy Now: (click arrow to play vid)



The FCC "Federal Communications Commission has unveiled what he calls "the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the [agency]." Tom Wheeler backed the regulation of Internet service like a public utility in order to uphold net neutrality, the principle of a free and open Internet. The new rules would prevent Internet service providers like Comcast from blocking access to websites, slowing down content, or providing paid fast lanes for Internet service. It would also extend such protections to Internet service on cell phones and tablets. The proposal comes after the FCC received a record-setting number of public comments — nearly four million, almost all in support of strong protections. President Obama also released public statements in support of Internet protections. The FCC will vote on the plan February 26, ahead of an influx of lobbying by the telecom industry, which has also threatened to sue if the measure passes."



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Internet of Things Privacy Index-79% of consumers concerned about personal data

79% of consumers are concerned

about the idea of their personal data

being collected through smart devices

2015_01_28_ScrnSht_IoT summit

Here are some detailed findings from 2015 U.S. Internet of Things Privacy Index:

“…research found that 79% of consumers are concerned about the idea of their personal data being collected through smart devices, while 69% believed they should own any such data being collected.

More than 1 in 4 (27%) mentioned concerns about the security or privacy of the data collected as a reason why they did not currently own a smart device.

When asked how concerned they were about specific privacy and security issues that smart devices connected to the internet can lead to, consumers showed strong concerns over the use and control of their personal data

  • with the highest concern being personal information collected and used in ways they were unaware (87%)
  • followed by identity theft (86%),
  • the concern that their device would be infected by malware (86%) and
  • concern that their location might be revealed without their knowledge (78%).

To address the privacy concerns of the IoT era, TRUSTe held the first Internet of Things Privacy Summit in Silicon Valley last July, which provided a forum for privacy experts, policy makers and innovators around the world to come together and define the privacy needs of the increasingly connected world. In response to the success of the event, TRUSTe will host the 2nd annual IoT Privacy Summit on June 18, 2015 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.

2015_01_28_ScrnSht_IoT summit venueIoT industry experts and privacy leaders who are interested in speaking at or sponsoring the summit should go to for further details.”

for more:Press

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there is no free anything ... ever

We aren't pleased that our warnings to our colleagues, friends and family are proving accurate.

The truth about 'free apps' for your Smart Phone has hit mainstream media and the news isn't pretty.

IPhone SamsungInformation is being harvested from mobile phones... information and money, out of bank accounts, all approved automatically because users are giving permission to access bank accounts and credit cards. We'd like to say that these people are victims and unsuspecting but more accurately one would have to say that they are willingly ignorant of warnings that have been common knowledge in a large chunk of web-time.

This willingness to guard our private information on our home computers whilst completely pretending that security isn't an issue on our mobile phones is inexplicable and perhaps lays somewhere in the area of cognitive dissidence.

Whatever the reasons, we have to sit up and take note. Our information is being mixed up with that of our places of business, compromising our and our employers' privacy, this information is a commodity. It is used legally (because we give them permission) by the app developers and of course, illegally by those people who will always be with us, stealing whatever and whenever, to make money at all costs.

This article - "As Facebook changes Messenger, 'risky' app behavior on the rise. A new report out says that the risks associated with mobile apps is continuing to rise, particularly for free apps on the iOS and Android platforms." by Jacob Axelrod, Staff Writer, The Christian Science Monitor, August 11, 2014, succinctly describes further the ways people are finally waking up to this theft of and permission to use, our private data.

We are particularly interested in the reports that parents are finally paying attention to privacy now that charges are arriving on their credit card bills from 'purchases' made by their children when they downloaded apps. If only we could understand more about about privacy because it IS an issue and not just because it hits us in the bank account.

Here's one of the links in the CSM article that is worth a look if you haven't the time to read the whole article now.

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Want your library's Digital Inclusion data on the map?

Library Stats Census Data overlay
screen shot

Quote from the article:

"Research from the Public Library Funding & Technology,1Opportunity for All,2 and Pew Internet3 studies show that libraries are vital digital hubs that provide access to public access technologies and digital content, and that millions of people rely on the public access technologies and services provided by public libraries. When taken together, these studies also show that success in an increasingly digital social and economic context requires a comprehensive approach to creating digital inclusion so as to ensure that there is opportunity for all communities and individuals regardless of geographic location, socio-economic status, or other demographic factors."

"Based on a national survey conducted in Fall 2013, our analysis provides insights into how public libraries help build digitally inclusive communities."

"Our map is now nationwide!

Created in partnership with Community Attributes Inc. as part of the Digital Inclusion Survey, our data visualization tool maps all public libraries using the FY2011 Public Library Survey data file released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for library locations. The tool overlays Census data (demographic, economic, health, and education) from the American Community Survey (ACS) 5-year dataset (2007-2011). The map also includes selected Digital Inclusion Survey data from participating libraries, thus showing the roles that libraries play regarding digital inclusion in their communities.

Want your library's Digital Inclusion data on the map? Participate in the 2014 survey, set to launch in September 2014."

Digital Inclusion Survey screen shot


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Canada's top court upholds users' privacy

Good news America - there is sanity in the North.

Internet providers in Canada can't provide customer names and addresses to police without a warrant. 2014_13June_CanSuprCrtPrivDecis

The Canadian Conservative Government must rewrite it's proposed bill to limit our right to privacy on the net.

Link to the following excerpt: article here.

"Canadians have the right to be anonymous on the internet, and police must obtain a warrant to uncover their identities, Canada's top court has ruled.

The landmark decision from the Supreme Court Friday bars internet service providers from disclosing the names, addresses and phone numbers of their customers to law enforcement officials voluntarily in response to a simple request — something ISPs have been doing hundreds of thousands of times a year."

The decision has law enforcement people scrambling to ensure that there are lawful ways to track those who prey on victims of internet crime.





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Hardcore privacy & DuckDuckGo

Co.LABSCheck out this article at by John Paul Titlow, the Associate Editor for Fast Company's FastCoLabs

I've lifted some points out of the article to pique your interest...


When Gabriel Weinberg launched a search engine in 2008, plenty of people thought he was insane. How could DuckDuckGo, a tiny, Philadelphia-based startup, go up against Google? One way, he wagered, was by respecting user privacy. Six years later, we're living in the post-Snowden era, and the idea doesn't seem so crazy.

In fact, DuckDuckGo is exploding

In 2008, launching a search engine seemed like a crazy idea. Here's how Gabriel Weinberg proved the critics wrong. 

But t DuckDuckFastCohings didn't start out that way. Weinberg, who says he has "always been a privacy-minded person," wasn't particularly concerned with search privacy issues when he first started building the service. In fact, he knew very little about the matter at all. Then early users started asking questions.

When you do a search from DuckDuckGo's website or one of its mobile apps, it doesn't know who you are. There are no user accounts. Your IP address isn't logged by default. The site doesn't use search cookies to keep track of what you do over time or where else you go online. It doesn't save your search history. When you click on a link in DuckDuckGo's results, those websites won't see which search terms you used. The company even has its own Tor exit relay, allowing Tor users to search DuckDuckGo with less of a performance lag.

Simply put, they're hardcore about privacy.

Like any company with a mostly remote team, DuckDuckGo experiments with all the latest online collaboration tools.

Skype. Yammer. HipChat. Asana. "We've tried everything that we know of," says Pappis.

Lately, they've been toying with Sqwiggle, an online collaboration tool that uses persistent video and periodic screenshots to let coworkers see each other--or know who's away from their desk."

We are early users of The Duck, won't leave home without it. Give it a try, you'll be pleased (and secure) that you did.

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Understand the privacy risks associated with public access computing

Choose privacyThis is Choose Privacy Week.

So many of us are completely unaware of the easy-to-use strategies that will help  guard our personal information from theft or inadvertent disclosure.

A new tip sheet, from ALA -" Public Computers and Wi-Fi Privacy, helps individuals understand the privacy risks associated with public access computing and outlines how they can protect their privacy while using public computers and public networks.  The tip sheet is available here at as a free, downloadable PDF file."

Here are the main tips you should be aware of and practice in your day to day life on line in public places and while using Wi-Fi:

  • Delete your browsing history
  • Log out
  • Do not enable "remember me" on a public computer
  • Look for the 's".  https:// and shttp:// sites make sure your information is secure.  An http:// site is NOT secure.
  • Do not conduct personal transactions  that request personal and sensitive information (bank account numbers; home address; SIN etc.) on Wi-Fi hotspots or public computers.
  • If you have any doubt about your ability to guard your privacy on line anywhere and in your library - ask your Librarian!
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DIY in your Library? Shakin' it up in Indianaoplis

Check this out and maybe join the discussion at ACRL 2013, Indianapolis today through Saturday @libraryleadpipe   #diylib  

In library lead pipe logo


"DIY projects are shiny and exciting (and time-consuming), but to what end? For academic librarians this DIY culture is closely tied with professional development and scholarship, but what does it say about the future of the academic library profession? This is a question we propose to answer in a panel session at the ACRL National Conference this month."

We have always changed to meet our readers and clients' needs, is this a fad or a shift?  Librarians are asking how shifts in our technology and shared media culture are effecting librarians and how they do their work.


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73% of Americans are 'likely' to ask an on-line librarian for research help.

That's a lot of people who want to use our libraries.

Gather your data while ye may!

In a new survey of Americans’ attitudes and expectations for public libraries, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project finds that many library patrons are eager to see libraries’ digital services expand, yet also feel that print books remain important in the digital age.


The availability of free computers and internet access now rivals book lending and reference expertise as a vital service of libraries. In a national survey of Americans ages 16 and older: 

80% of Americans say borrowing books is a “very important” service libraries provide.

80% say reference librarians are a “very important” service of libraries.

77% say free access to computers and the internet is a “very important” service of libraries.

Moreover, a notable share of Americans say they would embrace even wider uses of technology at libraries

Read the entire report here.

Here's the summary graph. It is interesting to read in the report about how the answers are split among different demographics.

Library_services_infographic PewInternetorg_March2013

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QuickReport: Print Books vs. E-books

Is there a difference in how much a child understands and retains a story depending on the format of the book they share?  You may be surprised by recent findings, or maybe not. [CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE]No. of story details recalled_e-books vs. print

Researchers at the A Cooney Center  [ CLICK TO LINK],QuickReport by Cynthia Chiong, Jinny Ree, Lori Takeuchi, and Ingrid Erickson have completed a study to find out using "three book formats: print books, basic e-books, and enhanced e-books." investigating three issues:

1.  Parent-Child Conversation

2.  Story Comprehension and

3.  Engagement


1.  The enhanced e-book was less effective than the print and basic e-book in supporting the benefits of co-reading because it prompted more non-content related interactions. When adults prompt children with questions pertaining to the text, label objects, and encourage them to discuss the book contents in terms of their own experiences and curiosities, this elicits increased verbalization by the child and can lead to improved vocabulary and overall language development.

2.  Features of the enhanced e-book may have affected children’s story recall because both parents and children focused their attention on non-content, more than story-related, issues.

3.  The print books were more advantageous for literacy building co-reading, (BUT)...the e-books, particularly the enhanced e-book, were more advantageous for engaging children and prompting physical interaction.

The study leads to recommendations:

1.  For designers: Exercise caution when adding features to enhanced e-books, especially when those features do not directly relate to the story. E-book enhancements should also be designed in a way that allows parents to access and control settings to customize the co-reading experience with their children. 

2.  For parents and educators: Parents and preschool teachers should choose print or basic e-books to read with children if they want to prioritize literacy-building experiences over ones intended “just for fun.” Some of the extra features of enhanced e-books may distract adults and children alike from the story, affecting the nature of conversation and the amount of detail children recall. However, given that appeal is an essential building block for early literacy development, enhanced e-books may be valued for their ability to prompt less motivated young readers toward engagement when they might otherwise avoid text altogether.

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Google and Facebook Might Completely Disappear - Next 5 Years

For Librarians already in the center of controversies about the survival of the idea of the 'Physical Library', this piece from Forbes by Eric Jackson, Here's Why Google and Facebook Might Completely Disappear in the Next 5 Years will give you even more to worry about.  It touches on how "Baby Boomers behave differently from Gen X’ers and (now we are seeing) additional differences with the Millennials."

FB on screenMr. Jackson starts to think about the differences and possible future when looking at:

Web 1.0 (companies founded from 1994 – 2001, including Netscape, Yahoo! (YHOO), AOL (AOL), Google (GOOG), Amazon (AMZN) and eBay (EBAY)),

Web 2.0 or Social (companies founded from 2002 – 2009, including Facebook (FB), LinkedIn (LNKD), and Groupon (GRPN)),

and now Mobile (from 2010 – present, including Instagram). Instagram on smrtphn


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good design is named, flavour of the decade - LEED

Who would do good, sensible design if it weren't named other than a rose? 

I would, I do, but I gather the rest of the world needs a catchy handle. 



As a person who did her design education in the 70's I find this 'already-done-and-got-the-high-heels-like'.   Perhaps some building owners and trustees still haven't heard of any of this so here goes.


International Interest Grows in Green-Building Certification-By,Kate Galbraith. New York Times. Published: March 7, 2012

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we just flip a switch. how does the rest of the world read at night?

"Solar Lantern Project" aims to provide rechargeable solar lanterns to rural Indian areas where electricity is still not available - Institute for Global Environmental Strategies.

Terrin lead

"TERI (Energy and Resources Institute) campaign uses solar lanterns that have CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) as well as LEDs (light emitting diodes) for dual purposes.  Each solar lantern in its useful life of 10 years replaces the use of about 500-600 litres of kerosene, thereby mitigating about 1.5 tonnes of CO2.  Rural entrepreneurs are trained to manage and run a central solar lantern charging/distribution centre where lanterns are rented. This creates financial opportunities for the entrepreneur. hostels for tribal children, funded by the government's universal education programmes, are equipped with solar lanterns to help children study at night."


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Get socialized-Grow Your Community @ Your Library

SirsiDynix® launches their 'Social Library solution'... and it just might keep people happy that they use your library.

Here's their blurb:
Get socialized
Take advantage of the viral marketing network by putting your library in the social dialog. Join the 40+ public and academic libraries already using Social Library! 
Grow your community
Increase user registration and circulation by providing easy access to the library for current and prospective users, right from your Facebook page.
Check it out for yourself here.


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show the world what your environment means to you




Check out this link to theUnited Nations Environment Programme logoUnited Nations Environment Programme UNEP environment for development.


They have teamed up with musicians and artists, treehugger and piictu. Here is a link to the page where you can sign up with  piictu on your iPhone or iTouch  to submit photos of the environment around you.


Add your 'insights', good or bad to the photo record.  Show others around the world what your environment means to you.  Piictu

Green economy UNDon't limit your photos to ones of the outside. The interior environment in your library is as important as the one outside your walls.

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ALA Goes to New York, Things Don't Get Violent | American Libraries Magazine

This week, ALA leadership met with senior management from Penguin, Macmillan, Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Perseus publishing houses to discuss ebooks and libraries.

this is the link to the on-line article:  ALA Goes to New York, Things Don't Get Violent | American Libraries Magazine.

In March of last year, Librarian in Black Sarah Houghton took ALA to task for being too timid with HarperCollins. “Speak out and speak out now, ALA. Reassert libraries’ rights to lend materials. Reassert libraries’ responsibilities to the public good. And reassert libraries’ roles in our communities as cultural and thought leaders… Please, say something to the world–or the rest of us will keep talking loudly, angrily, and unofficially.”

...assertiveness is what many librarians want from their organization.

Submitted by Christopher Harris on Fri, 02/03/20 E-12 - 09:34
ALA blog-banner_e-content   ALA logo

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High-Tech 'Hackerspaces' in Libraries - the Maker Station

There's a 50-foot trailer in the parking lot of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN.

Inside you will find what Library director Jeff Krull says is "a resource to the community that individuals would not be able to have access to on their own."

Maker-station-interior_wide Fort Wayne Allen Co LibHe's right on the money!  In this trailer he is walking the talk - demonstrating his philosophy about today's libraries. 

Mr. Krull shows his community what he believes...that a "library as not being in the book business, but being in the learning business and the exploration business and the expand-your-mind business."

We love this!  Check out just what is inside this trailer - here's the whole article from NPR, 11 December 2011 audio of interview included.

Our thanks to NPR and  Viral Optimism, for their article

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New Enery Efficient Building Code - Best in N.A.

December 2, 2011
New Energy Efficient Building Code in Ontario—Best in North America!


This news just in from the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance:

CEEA has been an active participant on the Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing's, Building Code Energy Advisory Council, whose mandate is to provide strategic advice to the Minister on energy conservation issues related to the Building Code and the Building Code Act, 1992. As a member of the council, we are very pleased with the introduction of the new energy efficiency requirements. Effective January 1, 2012, all new homes will have to achieve an EnerGuide 80 rating! These enhancements put Ontario at the very top of the list in North America, and will serve as a model for the rest of Canada.

Click here for a brief .pdf overview of the new Code.

Thank you: to Building Green, a Sustainabilty Group on Linkedin

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Dynamic glass technology - SageGlass electronically tintable glass.

Builiding a new library or addition? 

 This dynamic glass (as in not passive energy technology) tints automatically or on demand to control sunlight, without shades or blinds. SageGlass® - SAGE

It takes less electricity to operate 2,000 square feet of SageGlass than it does to power a single 60-watt light bulb.  I think, if you have the will and the resources, this option is well worth a good hard look. 

SageGlass’ electrochromic coating consists of five layers of ceramic material. Applying a low voltage of electricity darkens the coating as lithium ions and electrons transfer from one electrochromic layer to another electrochromic layer.  How it Works - Technology - SAGE

Reversing the voltage polarity causes the ions and electrons to return to their original layer, causing the glass to return to its clear state

This solid-state reaction is controlled through a very low voltage power supply (less than 5V DC). A darkened state enables SageGlass to absorb and radiate away the sun’s unwanted heat and glare. A clear state allows you to maximize daylight and solar energy.

SAGE Electrochromics that can be switched from clear to tinted with the click of a button. The glass can also be programmed to respond to changing sunlight and heat conditions.  

Zoning is also an option, meaning that panes that are hit by direct sunlight can tint, while ones receiving indirect sunlight can stay clear. (ref: 4 High-Tech Projects Making Cities More Energy Efficient )

West holiwood library_sageglass

Here is an photo from the SAGEGLASS BLOG: Architecture Review: West Hollywood Library among top works - Uncategorized - Sustainability - Glass in Architecture - Daylighting benefits - Brilliant Views - SAGE



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there's a whole world in there - gaming, can we play and have a future too?

There are three mags that fuel my mind, one I haven't cracked open in decades - Popular Mechanics - but I've substituted well I think, with Scientific America, Science News and WIRED.

I know no essentially nothing about gameing except that many, many people 'play' and learn through participating in games together and individually on and off line.  I've been reading an article in WIRED - August 2011 pg. 097, about Jason Rohrer's 'Chain World' that describes how people are pushing at the edges of the definition of what gaming is.

But I do know a potential trend when I spot it and I think that library use through gaming is something that is worth considering as a very real possibility.  At the very least it is a notion that is being carefully and seriously considered by some librarians as a way to truly engage a generation who carry their lives on a USB flash and a cell phone.  A group of people at the University of Huddersfield in the UK are determined to find out how to capture the imaginations of a highly imaginative generation.

Nod to Locan Dempsey for: Gamification: services and libraries - Lorcan Dempsey's Weblog

Case in point...LEMON TREE LemonTree_25July2011 a project out of University of Huddersfield in the UK

Here's that text so you can read it easily:

"Lemon Tree seeks to increase the use of library resources through a social, game based e-learning platform. Users will register with the system and be able to earn points and rewards for interacting with library resources, such as leaving comments and reviews of library books. Integration with other social networks such as Twitter and Facebook will be built into the system."

To see your potential library future demographic look here: Game Developers Conference | February 28-March 4, 2011 | Moscone Convention Center | San Francisco, California.



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What love can do! ShelvAR - augmented reality app finds books - are you ready for this?

Augmented Reality Library reshelving finding Are you ready to incorporate augmented reality (AR) apps to keep titles in order on the shelves in your library? 

The iPhone app, called ShelvAR, scans a dozen book spines at once and detects errant titles. Viewing the shelf through a tablet PC, the user sees incorrectly filed books highlighted, and on-screen arrows point to their correct place on the shelf. One Per Cent: Augmented reality app keeps libraries tidy.

Is the time and cost of placing labels on all the titles off set by the time wasted searching for mis-shelved books worth it?  Automatic sorters do this in large libraries that have automated book drop sorters.  Would this be worth it for your smaller library with volunteers or interns reshelving your titles?

Bo Brinkman is an associate professor of computer science and software engineering at Miami University, in Ohio. A specialist in augmented reality and computer ethics, he happens to be married to the university’s art-and-architecture librarian. Hearing his wife talk about trying to motivate student workers to do more shelf-reading got Mr. Brinkman thinking about creative solutions to the problem. The app he came up with, tentatively called Shelvar, relies on special tags—kind of like QR codes—attached to the books’ spines. Each tag “exactly represents the call number” of each book.

See video of Dr. Brinkman's demonstration at this link. Augmented reality - library tasks  

Information on this post taken from:

 The Chronicle of Higher Education website, "the No. 1 source of news, information, and jobs for college and university faculty members and administrators.    Based in Washington, D.C., The Chronicle has more than 70 writers, editors, and international correspondents.   Online, The Chronicle is published every weekday and is the top destination for news, advice, and jobs for people in academe. The Chronicle's audited Web-site traffic is routinely more than 14 million pages a month, seen by more than 1.7 million unique visitors."


NewScientist, OnePercent Blog.

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we need to talk...

How are you going to plan the spaces in your new library when the very concept of a 'library as a physical place' is being redefined by how your community uses technology?

Steelecase area computer station 2 Librarians are talking.  In journals, newsletters, on LinkedIn, at conferences about how they can manage the demand placed on them, their staff and library buildings by patrons who expect their library to provide them the capability to use technologies to help them with research and homework, job searches and internet connectivity. 

Librarians are engaged in conversations about the future of libraries and the future of librarianship and recruitment of new people into the profession; people  who are equiped to deal with ever changing technological advances.

Central_lounge "There’s a cadre of LIS students coming up who would jump at the chance for jobs in digital media labs or the Information Commons. Before that can happen, however, library leadership must move beyond the lending/reference model to a broader view of what’s possible in a community-based space focused on helping people." (LJ, Apr 2011)

In a recent Library Journal article, Stuck in the Past | Office Hours, By Michael Stephens, Apr 15, 2011, about the reasons people want to become librarians, Mr. Stephens asks some hard questions about the roles and 'evolution of ...(the) services' provided by librarians of the future.  

Teenareaopen In our facilitations and webinars, we have been emphasising the importance of marketing libary services in communities and providing felexible spaces in library buildiing plans.  These concepts are also brought out strongly in Mr. Stephens' article.

"We need a course in library school devoted to teaching people to build spaces both physical and virtual (my emphasis) for constituents to come together. We need to prioritize marketing and branding these spaces and services consistently. Doing so will help us in creating, maintaining, and evaluating the Information Commons."

How do you see your library building and your staff meeting these needs, not in five years, not in two but next year at this time?

credit: steelecase multiperson workspaces

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

To ad or not to ad...what will be the answer?

Miguel Helft of the New York Times asks, "Is the tantalizing dream of a universal library dead?" (Published: April 3, 2011).

Is it? Maybe not.  In March of this year, a New York federal district court judge, Denny Chin (now sitting as a judge in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit), acknowledged that “the creation of a universal digital library (by Google) would benefit many,” but said that the proposed agreement (by Google) was “not fair, adequate and reasonable.” because, "it would have granted Google a “de facto monopoly” and the right to profit from books without the permission of copyright owners". NYT 22 March 2011

Europeana_think_culture_logo_top_5 There are those who do want to have a universal digital library - without commercial advertisers.  Europe is already far ahead of the United States in an effort to digitize information to be read in a commercial free web site, Europeana, Europeana that already has some 15 million "works of art, books, music and video held by the cultural institutions of member countries".

"Unlike in Europe, where national libraries are usually centralized and backed by governments, the United States has a disparate network of independent institutions that have different missions and serve different populations", and is playing catch up in this field.

"...the settlement (with Google that) was rejected in federal court last month, in part because it turned copyright law on its head, giving Google the right to profit from a book unless its author or publisher objected. This was a particular problem for “orphan books,” out of print titles whose authors and publishers cannot be easily found. Since no one else would be able to obtain a license to those books, Google would have a de facto monopoly on millions of texts.

The digital public library will face the same problem" NYT 3 April 2011

No matter what happens, who does it or how fast this project evolves, the affect on our libraries as we know them will be profound.  I suggest that we will be well placed in our communities when we plan properly for and develop spaces for people to read and be together in our libraries.  The delivery system for knowledge and information will change but we humans will always seek each other out for company and discourse.  Libraries are already here and changing to meet these human needs.


Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Green Your Library BLOG in American Libraries Mag - check it out!


Check out the American Libraries on line Mag on line!  For specifics on green design and on the 'Blogs' drop down menu at the top of the page - go to Green Your Library for the latest updates on what's happening in the US. or go directly... Green Your Library Blog

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.

Be current with developing ideas and future trends

Author-abram Stephen Abram - Library Thinker / Future Ideas Guy

Stephen's Lighthouse

If you have not yet found Stephen's blog - do so now.  We heard him speak three years ago and he's right on the money when offering to librarians glimpses of what the trends are and where we are going with technology and possible ways information will affect our lives.

Helping you achieve the library design you need through experience and architectural programming.