Miss Letting-Go-Getting

Post #3: Play
October 28, 2007, 9:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,


“An activity which proceeds within certain limits of time and space, in a visible order, according to rules freely accepted, and outside the sphere of necessity or material utility. The play-mood is one of rapture and enthusiasm, and is sacred or festive in accordance with the occasion. A feeling of exaltation and tension accompanies the action.”

-Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture

It has been a week since my LIS 753 class was blessed with a visit from a trio of vibrant and brilliant librarians from Delft in the Netherlands. Their library, the DOK is a stunning public space combining art, music, books, and technology. In form and in function, their innovative library completely embraces the concept of play–a space devoted to imagination, creativity and celebration.

Since their visit, a stop on their cross-country tour of the USA dubbed the Shanachie tour, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about “play” and what it means to us as a society, and as a profession.

Though most public libraries have abandoned their quiet mausoleum like spaces, we can still do more to encourage play, collaboration, teamwork and pure unbridled joy. Offering gaming in the library to patrons of all ages, is just one way to encourage everyone to lighten up a bit, have some fun, and enter this rapturous realm of imagination.

Too many pressures–work, school, money, day-to-day living often take priority over play time, and much to our detriment. Restoring and maintaining a sense of play for all should be a new role for librarians in an ever increasing fast-paced, info bloated world.

Of course, we should all experience vigorous, active, play–but I think reading is play as well! Check out these books that explore play in all of its glory!

The Art of Play: An Adult’s Guide to Reclaiming Imagination and Spontaneity by Adam Blatner, M.D & Allee Blatner

Deep Play by Diane Ackerman


Thank you Erik, Jaap and Geert!


Post #2: Do the Mash!
October 6, 2007, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

In my humble opinion, mashed things are pretty fantastic. Mashed potatoes, the Monster Mash, M*A*S*H the t.v. show and movie, and last but not least, my favorite Web 2.0 technique the mashup. Mashups, to put it simply, enhance, combine or manipulate existing web applications (APIs) to create a completely new thing. For example, do you love shopping on Craig’s List, but hate having to click on each post to only find that the coffee table is definitely not the one you’re looking for? Listpic is a mashup using Craig’s List images to create a visual Craig’s list search. Feeling indecisive and can’t decide where to go for lunch, spin the Wheel of Lunch! Looking for a new apartment, but don’t want to live next to another crazy neighbor, take a gander at Rotten Neighbors.

There are thousands of mashups on the web, ranging from the incredibly useful and informative to the completely fun, ridiculous and purely entertaining. Mashups are built on applications such as Google Maps, Flickr, Amazon, E-Bay and Yahoo (just to name a few). David Berlind, executive director of ZD.net gives a great explanation of mashups in this Youtube video and states that at a rate of 10 new mashups per day, they have become the fasted growing application ecosystem online. Even better, with just a little bit of know how and a great idea, anyone can develop a mashup and put it on the Internet. If you’ve got a few minutes check out what Mr. Berlind has to say…

Libraries can harness the power of this really cool and creative Web 2.0 technique to enhance catalogs, to get where patrons are on-line and last but not least to make the on-line library an exciting and visually stimulating experience. What do you think? Have any mash-tastic ideas for your library?

More about Mashups:

Mashups and Libraries: Resources, Articles and Links

Mashups, a little bit of this a little bit of that

Programmable Web

The Library 2.0 Mashup Gang: Podcast

Examples of Library Mashups:

Hot Titles Info mashed with Syndetic Book Covers

Book Delivery Route Info mashed with Google Maps

Go-go-google-gadget (winner of the Talis Library Mashup Award)

Post #1: One-half Librarian Trading Card
September 20, 2007, 3:00 am
Filed under: Fun Stuff | Tags: , , ,

deck71587531.jpgTrading cards rule!