Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Jason Griffey on conferences, library blogging and the death of the library

I decided to do a quick 30-minute podcast with Jason Griffey (member: griffey), the Head of Library IT at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and one of my favorite Library 2.0 people.

Jason was the organizer of this year's BIGWIG Showcase, an innovative "camp"-style session at the American Library Associations conference in Anaheim. He is also the co-author of the recent Library Blogging, with Karen Coombs (who gets the first-author love).

It's my plan to talk with interesting people from all parts of the book "world." Casual blog readers should be aware, though, that this is a very library-focused talk.

We spent the first 14 minutes talking about BIGWIG and about library conference talks generally. Then we got into his book and I tried to stir things up a bit by challenging him on library blogging. We closed with the death of the library—and what can prevent it.

I may need to sit down with Library Podcasting to figure out the best way to make podcasts available. Until then, I'm just going to throw the file up as a MP3 here (here) and through this nifty flash plug-in.

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Blogger griffey said...

Small correction (that I actually made immediately after): Tim says that I am the Head of IT at UTC...I'm actually the Head of LIBRARY IT, not the whole Uni.

Just for clarity. :-)

7/01/2008 12:56 PM  
Blogger Michael Sauers said...

Is there a feed so we can subscribe to the podcast in a podcatcher?

7/01/2008 12:56 PM  
Anonymous merriwyn said...

Regards something you said in the interview about 'web2.0 for idiots talks' - I know that it seems crazy but there is such a huge level of difference between those who are at the bleeding edge, those who are up to their proverbial knees in web 2.0 and those who have hardly even heard the term and are indeed yet to discover del.icio.us. At this point I do think there is a definite need for that kind of discussion, but at the same time I think there is a great need for productive discussion of web 2.0 things at a deeper level than 'social bookmarking for dummies'. I personally want to discuss more about the why and when to use things (in my librarian context) than just the nuts and bolts of how.

7/01/2008 12:58 PM  
Anonymous merriwyn said...

If I thought that libraries and librarians would disappear in my lifetime I would go out and shoot myself now. Seriously. I just can't express how depressing the thought is because of the implications that has for peoples literacy and (dare I say it) information literacy. Want better literacy results? Put a decent library with a Teacher Librarian in every school. Have a well stocked and well staffed public library system. We have the research that tells us what to do, but will we put our money where our mouth is? Not to mention the issue of print materials. I read some research recently that suggested that there is no reason to suppose that just because something can be made available digitally doesn't mean people will prefer to read it that way (I just noticed that my eyes are starting to hurt having been staring at this screen for a few hours straight). I do think that there is a legitimate role for libraries to play in society regardless of the format of information because it is the information that librarians are working with, not the delivery method. The only reasons that I can see that would result in the extinction of libraries are
a) the society had developed to a point where everyone was capable enough to be their own librarians and information was sufficiently available that libraries were no longer needed as a social equaliser (think star trek), or
b) the total reverse was true and no-one could even see the need for information, and thus did not need any assistance to access information, either through expertise or direct provision of materials.
Given that I can't currently see us getting all Star Trek, i'm thinking the more likely option is social apathy towards knowledge which scares and depresses me, thus I would have to go and drown myself in custard.

7/01/2008 1:43 PM  
Anonymous merriwyn said...

ok, I promise after this one thing i'll stop commenting.

re option b: I also meant to include in this that the predominant cultural view of information had developed to the stage where people (at any level within the society) don't see the need to differentiate between different sources of information. Where nobody sees that maybe we need to teach kids (and adults too sometimes) that not every source is an unbiased parallel of trustworthiness. That maybe we should think before assuming that what a source of information says is correct. That is what frightens me about everything I keep hearing about the supposed death of libraries. It makes me think that now no-one recognises that libraries have a role to play in educating people. I guess the fact that it is often coupled with declining respect for education (in those fabulous indicators of respect, funding and prestige) leads me to the somewhat grim conclusion that if libraries die, then the whole of the society is indicating a lack of interest in learning. That really would scare me.

Ok now I promise I'll shut up.

7/01/2008 1:52 PM  
Blogger Greg Schwartz said...

Yes, you'd best go consult a book, because I can't imagine you'd know anyone with any knowledge or first-hand experience with podcasting. Eh?

7/01/2008 2:49 PM  
Blogger griffey said...

First off, re: Greg. LOL.

Second, re: Merriwyn. I don't think I said anything about librarians disappearing, even if I do think our roles are going to change remarkably. I also don't necessarily think that libraries will by default go away, but I do think that the real need for them will be in Archives and Special Collections.

I think that you are thinking too much about the future as "like now, but later". Technology, by default, gets cheaper and more ubiquitous as we go...how many people do you know without a cell phone now? 20 years ago they were ridiculously expensive, and 10 years from now they'll be given away in cereal boxes. That's how _most_ of the world gets their information these days, and that's where, eventually, we'll end up...tapping the cloud of all of human information with some form of mobile technology.

7/02/2008 9:51 AM  
Blogger lucy tartan said...

oh, my god, I HOPE mobile phones and the like do not become disposable technology, that sort of cavalier wasting of resources is exactly how we ended up in the present mess...
personally I hope that the current sustainability crisis means we go BACK to doing things like borrowing books from libraries.

7/07/2008 11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

> how many people do you know without a cell phone now?

Me. I have land lines in my home and on my desk at work. Rarely do I want a telephone or telephone call at any other time.

7/09/2008 2:39 PM  
Blogger Hillary said...

will this podcast be transcribed? I am Deaf and I really want to know what to "hear" the interview also. :-)

7/10/2008 5:45 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Yipes. Not by me. Wish I could help you.

7/10/2008 5:47 PM  
Blogger griffey said...

Anonymous: If you look at a cell phone, and still see "phone call" in its primary function, you might need to revisit your perceptions.

If I were to list the things I use my cell phone for, actually calling someone would be at least 3rd on the list, and possibly 5 or 6.

7/14/2008 9:18 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Checking the time is #1 for me...

7/14/2008 9:26 PM  

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