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3D printing: replication or innovation @ your library?

Yesterday I sat down with a colleague who works at a public library where there is a Central Library construction project well underway. In her role as the Emerging Technologies Manager she's attending both to current community needs and library resources and the steep planning toward features of the new facilities and services on the horizon. She's been amassing and working with staff around 3D printing equipment, of course.

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The one best thing

Author Maureen Johnson is a big fan of libraries. Recently she posted this tweet:

twitter screenshotLibrarians quickly hit the keyboards in response. The winning suggestions: Use the library. Check out books. Participate in programs. Tell your local politicians how important the library is. Use the library some more.

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Embed 'Em Where the Action Is: Watering Holes

Every week, I have the opportunity--often the opportunities--to provide on-the-spot reference services at a local coffee shop. Among other morning caffeine inhalers on hand as I make use of my own most portable electronics, some shyly ask about the rudiments of choosing and/or using specific creation-enabled tools (iPad, smartphone) . Others ask for help altering the settings on their ereaders. Another kind of query relies on my ability to connect them to online resources when they've been stumped by their own efforts to find the very specific information they'd like to uncover.

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Questioning Paradigms

Yesterday Forbes published the first of a proposed two-part examination of the Big-6 book publisher/library contretemps around digital book files as collection offerings.

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Prepping the Public Library's Page for Thanksgiving's Closure

Thanksgiving may be one of the least controversial of closed days that most American public libraries take. It's the civic occasion that is more likely to find public support for workers who are required to forfeit their own holiday at the demand of employers; life support service providers--fire fighters, police, hospital staff--choose to take the holiday shift at increased compensation, or to forego the extra compensation and take the holiday.

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Apps for Librarian Productivity

Caveat! This post isn't intended as technical review, but one busy librarian's experience!

A few days ago, I received another in a growing line of requests for a list of iPad apps that I find most useful in my workaday life. While the list does, of course, go through the necessary evolution that is part of contemporary tech, maybe sharing a current snapshot list here is in order.

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Lessons from Learners

"Where there is an open mind there will always be a frontier."
—Charles F. Kettering*

Learning and teaching go hand in hand. Recently I taught “Promote, Inform, Educate: Creating Effective Materials for Your Library Community,” one of a series of courses on communications I’ve created for Infopeople. Although my official role was to be a learning facilitator for participants, I learned some lessons too. In fact, I think many of us involved with the course learned things that weren’t on the official agenda, things that apply to the workplace as much as the classroom.

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Why Nations Fail

My mother, who knows about the work I do in libraries around culture change to produce vibrant organizations, sent me an article from the New York Times Magazine online called “Why Some Countries Go Bust” (http://tinyurl.com/79vylps). The article reviews a new book by Turkish M.I.T. professor Daron Acemoglu and his collaborator James Robinson called “Why Nations Fail,” What seems obvious to me is that the principles they present apply not only to nations but to organizations, as well. As the author of the NY Times article says,

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