Sunday, October 14, 2012

Daily Thoughts 10/14/2012

Anne Brontë - drawing in pencil by Charlotte Brontë, 1845

Daily Thoughts 10/14/2012

I checked the Twitter and Facebook accounts for the library.  I also finished reading another chapter of Madrigal's Magic Keys to Spanish.  When I am done reading this book, I might go back and read over a few chapters.

This afternoon, I finished reading At the Mouth of the River of Bees Stories by Kij Johnson.  I especially liked the story, The Cat Who Walked a Thousand Miles, it is set in Japan and the cat character, Little Cat is compelling.  There are 18 stories in At the Mouth of the River of Bees.  I liked all of them.

I am also reading more of Makers.  Chris Anderson is writing about Kickstarter.  He also wrote about open source hardware which I find rather interesting.  Arduino is an example of an open source hardware.   In addition, he is writing about the idea of having open business models for companies that focus on online communities, web based business, and sharing of ideas.

I finished reading Makers The Next Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson.  It helped me understand some of the changes that are coming around the pike.  I really didn't understand how things like  123D Cad interacted with desktop printers like Makerbot 

The book also gave me a better sense how the value chain moved up to more complex services like Shapeways where people can request objects to be made.  or something a little more complex like

From Shapeways, it moves up to more complex spaces like Techshop   or marketplaces like Etsy where handmade products can be sold  where people sell the things they make or make things themselves.   What Chris Anderson never talks about is how much the focus is on art as wells arts and crafts.

From there it becomes even more complex, it goes to the serious inventors and people who are very into manufacturing as a hobby with Make magazine.   For me this is abstract, I am more interested in the idea than actually doing things.  There are also hackerspaces.  I have wanted to visit one, but have never got around to it.  Places like NYC Resistor  which are also magnets for computer programmers.

The next step up the value chain are people who have successfully made or invented products which are commercial in nature and have built communities around them.  These are places like Local Motors,  or Quirky

A lot of it seems more about art and creativity than manufacturing which is very interesting.  I don't see Kickstarter as a manufacturing hub, but as a place for creativity.  Still, there are some very interesting products being invented.

I can see how the creative side of things like Makerbot might be of interest to libraries.  Learning to be creative is part of education.

On a more serious level, there are industrial scale 3D printing which is described in this excellent New York Times article.

To bring it back home to the library world, there are of course devices like the Espresso Book Machine which can quickly print books on demand.

The Espresso Book Machines is of course in some libraries like Brooklyn Public Library.

There has been a push by some in the library space to bring in Makerspaces.  I find it a bit odd.
The idea has a kind of distant relatedness.   In some ways, it seems like a direction which is different than what I would expect.  In a way, it seems to change the purpose of libraries. 
In this library Westport library says it is a trend to have Makerbots.

There are a lot of ideas floating around about new technology in libraries. There was a demonstration of Makerbot at the New York Metropolitan Library Council recently.
I am not sure if this is a passing fad, or a meme which has kind of reached out and appealed to the more techically inclined librarians. 

To me, making is the same kind of meme which has brought Codecademy into Library Journal.   Somehow libraries have been pulled into this rather odd idea that everyone should be able to program and make things.  Libraries are an open forum where people often push ideas into.

 I don't think everyone should be programming, nor do I think everyone should be making things.  I learned some HTML and CSS from Codecademy which was useful.  Not everyone wants this, it makes a lot of librarians uncomfortable.  However, the people who want this should be able to take advantage of it.

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