Liz Lawley – Technical/Tangible/Social – Closing Keynote
Liz sees libraries moving to being just “behind a screen” – we need to embrace the tangible as well as the virtual. “social proprioception” – term that Clive Thompson used (Liz loves his skills as a tech journalist) in regards to Twitter – it’s the general sense we have of ourselves in the world. Twitter, Facebook statuses, etc. do this for us. Location is important because we still care where things are – tangible stuff is still important to us. She then talked about ambient information (much of the same stuff that Michael Porter talked about yesterday) and said that this background info helps us to keep track of information around us – not necessarily in the forefront of our attention, but keeping us aware. Home Joule from ambient devices – it’s all cool. Avialabot ( it falls over when your buddies IM status becomes unavailable and stand up again when they come back. She showed video and it was hysterically funny. She continued the ambient, but tangible, gadgets with a Chumby.
Nebaztag – smart rabbit that can keep track of your stuff and talks to you, glows, and is way cool. Next came the mir:ror – an RFID tag reader with an USB interface. It does specific tasks when it encounters an RFID tag – and they sell stickers with RFID tech embedded within it. “give powers to your objects”. Next is botanicalls – stick the sensors in a plant and it will Tweet you when they need watering and thank you after it’s done. Check the “pothos” twitter account – 441 followers getting updates about that plant. The Arduino is an USB circuit board that is open source, programmable and comes with a community to support – lets you build your own *stuff*. It can sense humidity (used in the botanicalls above), light levels, etc.
She then showed us the Make: and Craft: – 2 magazines that all libraries should be subscribing to. She showed – a knitting social networking site – and which is a marketplace for handmade stuff. She next went to Moo cards – tangible representations of our Flickr/websites/other web stuff. Lulu – self-publishing, create book portfolios of websites you have done for an interview.
Social hardware – little, travel-sized power strips – social in a tangible way, not necessarily a social way. Libraries can play a role in bringing people together in a geolocal way around tangible objects.
She finished up with a couple of library cafes and the fact that a welcoming, physical space that is technologically enabled (wifi,etc.) and social –these are popular spaces!

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