April 16, 2015

Library Explorers - Wearables in the library

Last edition we highlighted the value of surfacing slices of your collection. This week we’re thinking about wearables in the library. 

The Pebble watch is by many measurements the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever. And Apple’s upcoming watch has lots and lots of interest. Smart watches might be a big thing. How might they help the library?

An easy-to-see point of integration is the Apple Pay technology — when I checkout at the self-service station I simply hold my watch up to the reader before I scan my books. My watch display pushes the new items on top of a list of my already checked out items and I never have to search my bag for my library card.

A more imaginative integration might be an application for a smart watch that connects folks that share an interest in the same library resource. What if I have a bunch of things on a to-read list and when I get near a reference librarian, my watch starts to vibrate? Maybe along with the vibration I get a message on the display, “Librarian Y (and here’s their picture) read X last week.” If I feel like it, I might walk up to Librarian Y and ask “is X good? What else should I be looking at?”

Maybe this extends beyond the reference librarians, and connects me with anyone in the library that’s opted in. Imagine a system where I can indicate that I want to talk to folks browsing the stacks about a set of things I’ve read or want to read. They do the same. If we’re near each other, our watches vibrate and display the title we have in common on the screen. Peer to peer reader’s advisory meets impromptu bookclub. Social stacks.

Cool Links
A few fascinating links we recently discovered.

Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson: Recipes for Innovation from IBM & the Institute of Culinary Education
Recipes developed by a supercomputer and its algorithm. Judged for Pleasantness, Surprise, and Synergy.

The Invention & Dissemination of the Transparent GIF: Traces in Web Archives
The diaspora of the 1x1 gif. 

Yo: Let’s Make a Book of This on Vimeo
These folks are not making eBooks

A British Museum Is Displaying the Guardian’s Smashed Snowden Laptop
"enables us to focus on often difficult-to-grasp questions about ... the right to privacy around material fact"

Subject Headings
Subject headings are interesting. Here are a few from our recent readings.

Survival -- Fiction.
Mars (Planet) -- Fiction.
Utopias -- Fiction.

Let's Build This Together
We hope you connected with this Library Explorers newsletter. If you have friends and colleagues you think might be interested, please send them to the subscribe page. Thanks for reading. Talk to you in a couple of weeks.