Thursday, April 26, 2007

One Slide Podcasting Presentation

Idea by Aaron Schmidt at CIL 2007 speaker's reception. I'm actually using it. But not alone.

See also...Robert Rodriguez's 10 Minute Film School.

Uploaded by dwfree1967

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

ACRL Podcasting in Higher Education Webcast

On Wednesday, May 9th, I'm presenting a webcast for ACRL called "The Library Will Now Be Podcast: Podcasting In Higher Education and Implications for Libraries". Why yes, I was on a Gil Scott-Heron kick when I came up with the title. Here's the description:

Podcasting is an emerging technology that allows for the easy online distribution of media files. The use of podcasts for both personal broadcasting and as a media tool has grown greatly in the past couple of years. Many institutions of higher education are now utilizing this technology as a method of distributing promotional and educational content. This webcast explores the growing usage of podcasting in higher education and examines how academic libraries fit into the educasting environment. The session focuses attention on examples of podcasts as classroom and library instruction tools and examines how academic libraries can become more integrally involved in podcasting efforts on their campuses.
This Webcast will last approximately an hour and a half.

The registration fee is a fairly reasonable $50 for ACRL members. Please don't yell at me for doing something that isn't free.

If you are thinking about attending the webcast, please let me know what you would like to get out of it to take back to your library by Monday, April 30. You can leave a comment here or email me at dwfree{at}gmail{dot}com.

And really, even if you're not planning on attending (and that's OK), what would you want to learn in a session about instructional podcasting? Or podcasting in general. Are there issues that don't often get covered in these types of talks that you would like to learn more about? I'd like to hear from non-academic librarians on this too. Your feedback will help make my presentations a lot more useful!

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During our Podcasting and Videocasting Post Conference session at CIL, I had a couple of questions I wasn't really able to completely answer at the time about Podzinger. So I did a little research and hopefully this will cover it.

Podzinger is a audio/ video search and discovery tool that uses speech to text recognition to search the actual contents of online audio and video, not just metadata attached by creators. Each search result has a cool little player that takes you directly to instances of your search term(s) in podcast/ videocast episodes. Excellent tool for research and getting around the real time aspect of listening to podcasts.

The first question was how does Podzinger work/ store content? I couldn't find a direct answer to this question, as they probably don't want me to make my own Podzinger competitor. But in order to be included in Podzinger searches, podcasters have to register with the service. So I'm guessing they don't actually download and store audio and video, but use an algorythm to scan and index content housed elsewhere. Then pull and package the data just for you when you do a search. They do claim to get new content Zinged and available in around 8 hours, so pretty speedy.

The second question was can you search one specific podcast series? No and yes. There's not a function that I could find that allows you to directly search one particular podcast. But once you do a search, a drop down menu appears that allows you to find all the instances of your term(s) in each series displayed on a page of results. The content in the drop down changes as you navigate through results screens that have results from different podcast series.

(Sorry for the small screen shot! Medium messed up my pretty, pretty sidebar! Click it to see bigger version.)

Podcasters who register can also download a widget to place on their website or blog to allow listeners to Zing just their content. This could be quite handy for library podcasts, epecially those with instructional content.

Another cool feature I just noticed is RSS search alerts. Each search you perform generates an RSS feed and instructions for adding it to iTunes, Yahoo! Music Engine and standard RSS readers like Bloglines or Google Reader. So if I search for the term "library", I get a feed to have future content containing "library" automatically delivered. Again, great for research or current awareness on topics that are heavily featured in podcasts.

I hope this helps and let me know if there are other questions about Podzinger, podcasting, Belgian beer, or life in general.

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The Utopian Library

One of the best things about library conferences is meeting new people to add to your circle of friends to discuss and debate and commisserate and generally have fun. Among the great new folks I met at CIL this year were Ruth and Jenn from the Skokie (IL) Public Library. They're both very enthusiastic about implementing new programs and 2.0 tools at their library and generally making it better place for the community. Ruth is also a very good sport when it comes to actually doing silly stuff on camera in a workshop.

And now they have a blog inspired by their experiences at CIL. It's called The Utopian Library. I restarted this blog after CIL last year, so I think it is super cool to find another one born out of the same experience.

My friend, co-presenter and PC to my Mac, David Lee King, wrote the other day about how to change the unchangeable, how to take what you learn at conferences or online or wherever and actually make it work at your library, often in the face of chage averse co-workers or administration. (There's a great discussion in the comments too.) I know this isn't a solution in all cases, but really just do it! Here's a great example: Ruth and/ or Jenn went to a session by Hal Kirkwood and got a good tip on a free tool to make customized tool bars. And they went home and made a customized tool bar for their library. How cool is that?

So congrats Ruth and Jenn on your blog. I'll look forward to reading about what you guys are up to. You both rock!

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Monday, April 23, 2007

CIL2007: Podcasting and Videocasting Post Conference Redux

Both the podcast and awesome straw whistling videocast created by the audience at the CIL post conference are linked from my wiki page for the session. As is David Lee King's videocasting presentation.

We had a request to list the equipment and settings used for podcasting at the session. So here we go:

1. I record using a Blue Snowball USB microphone and Audacity. Output is saved as 96 kbps MP3 files. Make sure to download the Audacity LAME encoder when you download Audacity so you can save your content as MP3! I showed the libsyn file size chart in the session if you are interested in comparing file sizes for different compression rates.
2. I host the files for both of my work podcasts on liberated syndication, which is a sliding scale pay hosting service. This was the best solution for me when I started doing podcasting. As I said in the session, I highly recommend hosting your files on a local server if at all humanly possible. Or a free media hosting site like or OurMedia. I host personal and presentation podcasts and video on
3. The RSS feed for work podcasts is created automatically by lib syn and then Feedburned.
4. I post work podcasts on our news blog and a page on our website.
5. Our podcasts are included in iTunes, Yahoo Podcasts and a variety of other podcast search and discovery tools.

Hopefully that helps.

There was also a request for a screencast of exporting in Audacity. I promise I will get to this as soon as I can with a busy week at work. In the meantime, Audacity has a page of tutorials that will go over exporting and other Audacity features.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

CIL 2007: Podcasting and Videocasting Postconference

Originally uploaded by dwfree1967.

Thanks to everyone who came to the Podcasting and Videocasting Postconference at CIL this week. I had a great time talking about podcasting with you. The conversation kept going over lunch, in the shuttle and at the airport too!

My presentation is vailable on SlideShare(the embedded player was acting weird,so I'm just linking to them). Additional information on podcasting tools and resources and links to the podcasts we talked about are available on the session wiki page. And there are pics on Flikr.

We made a great podcast and a great videocast during the session too! The audio is available on or in a previous post here. I'll post a link to the video when David King gets it up and running.

I thought the session went really well. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and learning at the same time. I'll post responses to a few of the questions over the weekend or early next week.

Thanks again for coming. I had a blast. Let me know if you have further questions as well!

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CIL2007: Podcasting and Videocasting Postconference Podcast

Created for the Podcast class at Computers in Libraries 2007. Featuring Louise Alcorn and David Free.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

CIL2007: Landscape of the Future Library

Darien Library folks

Library should be place in town that everyone wants to go

Goal 1: Build fantastic new library
Goal 2: Use tech to be more responsive to patron demands

Tolerate uncertainty

Eternal values/ new technology

{Showing plans for new library, looks cool. Hopefully slides will be online}

Collaborative work space

Technology change drives changes in space and services {or something like that}

Trying to do something different, not just put new tech on top of old style library

Library for patrons

"We need library failures wiki." - learn from mistakes as well as successes

Get it right, finally, and then keep changing to stay ahead

what is voice of library? not editorial omniscience (we know better than patrons), bardic voice that tells story.

tech layers: admin/ staff/ patron indirect/ patron direct/ p2p

RFID materials handling system - designed building around materials handling system (3m/ FKI)

Skip RFP process

No tech services or Circ back office/ no catalogers/ ts=workflow managers and not clerks - want to be indifferent to how materials get back to lib

Active items back on shelf in 20 mins, want to double circ and half cost per item

Supply chain - fast second order/ direct ship/ same day delivery { Griffey says wal-mart supply chain model, most definitely}

Everyone out in front of desk, circ staff readers advisory, info staff at remote ref points, virtual library, tech staff work with patrons - learning commons style environment in PL setting

Concierge desk style ref desk - not a bunker! {awesome photo of ref desk bunker}

no security/ gaming/ no data ports {how is that responsive to needs? everybody w/ laptop has wireless?}

Plugs under all chairs in conference room!! {yes!}

{This talk was really interesting! Debate about what they're doing in room and on Twitter!}

All private money for building.

{Audience concern w/ quality control with all the outsourcing of TS etc}


CIL 2007: Podcasting Cyber Tour

Originally uploaded by dwfree1967.
This was the greatest session in the history of...

Oops, what I mean is thanks to everyone who came to my cyber tour yesterday. It was a way bigger crowd than I expected for the middle of lunchtime! I hope you all learned at least a little bit about podcasting. Make sure to take a look at the wiki page for the presentation for lots of hopefully helpful links and such. I'll have the presentation slides up as soon as I can too.

I thought the session went pretty well. I did manage to do it in around 20ish minutes and had time for a couple of questions before Janie Hermann was up. Mission accomplished.

4/20 Update:
The presentation is available online on the wiki and SlideShare. Just joined SlideShare today and it rocks! Will post post-conference slides here this afternoon when I get my pics up on Flickr.

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Take Me Down To The Crystal City...

...where the buildings are gray and the streets are windy.

In case you haven't figured out by the live session blogging, I'm in beautiful Crystal City, VA for Computers In Libraries. The conference has been going pretty well so far. All of the sessions I've been to have be very good. I especially enjoyed Helene Blowers' talk on Learning 2.0 yesterday. I'd never seen her speak before and she was great. She walked all over the room w/ her wireless presenter and was very interactive. I couldn't get online for some reason during her session but will post notes to that and the podcasting for library instruction session sometime today.

The space is a little (OK a lot) more crowded than it was at the old hotel, but that's about my only gripe. There have been overflow rooms for some sessions and a room with a pole in the middle too. I had to sit in the floor in the back in a couple so no notes from those.

As always, the best part of the conference is hanging out w/ old friends and making new ones. Talking libraries and Internets or just non-work fun stuff is the highlight for me for sure. And I actually managed to escape to DC for a bit last night for a couple beers at the Brickskeller. And the Twittering. Always the twittering.

One more day and post-conference to go!

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Monday, April 16, 2007

CIL 2007: Gadgets x3

Barbara Fullerton, Sabrina Pacifici, Aaron Schmidt

1. treos! lots of new models.
2. shredding scissors. {cool}
3. TI projector phone
4. iPod 5th generation
5. iCharge for iPod - small ipod charger w/ 9v battery
6. nano battery - flexible, see through battery (not available yet)
7. iPhone - pricey but cool!
8. cube world digital stick people
9. cord indentifying stickers
10. jawbone bluetooth headset
11. collapsible chopsticks
12. - voice to text tool, phone to email or sms {cool!}
13. virtual keyboard
14. waterproof flexible keyboard ($27) - virtually indestructible
15. rear view computer mirror ($13)
16. dvd walkman - 5.5 hour battery life
17. palm sized microcopter
18. no more crt tvs
19. wireless convertible headset
20. targus wireless media presenter
21. ibm opitcal transceiver
22. usb missile launcher
23. usb vision and posture reminder
25. google's dodgeball - find people in same area to meet-up {dont really see the point}
26. next gen robotic vacuum (vaporware)
27. cordinator - manage cords from 10 devices ($60) {word!}
28. trillian
29. world's smallest mp3 player
30. meebo {woohoo}
31. LED flashlight (june 2007)
32. usb toaster {awww yeah, but not real}
33. international ac travel adaptor
34. fireplace idock - where aaron draws the line ($3,650)
35. clocky the alarm clock
36. retro phone handset
37. picnic photo editor - free online photo editor {very nice}
38. chocolate gadgets! (blog/ website)


CIL 2007: Gaming & Libraries - Engaging Strategies

Jenny Levine, ALA

average age of gamers is now 33, middle aged women largest % of online gamers

wii allows physically challenged to play games often for first time

super monkey ball - {looks kinda cool}

cultural issues in interacting w/ gamers - understand lingo etc

engaging gamers in library: collections (easy)/ support culture of gamers (game night - can include video and old school games)

orange county lib sys
- lots of cool game stuff, let kids review games on website {ocls rocks!}

gaming as readers advisory tool: ask kids what games they like and match genres up to book genres


kids love ddr! {cool pic of older kid and younger kid playing ddr together} open play

gaming blog - aadl=good, very popular w/ lots of comments


Orange County has game pods where kids can come in and play in library

sponsor gaming tournaments - big hits lots of places (public libs, uiuc), ninja tag night at ga tech

gaming as info lit tool: unc-greensboro, arizona state game project

teaching how to make games: gwinnett county pl has taught classes

confronting the challenges to participatory culture (pdf) - good report

think about demographic groups other than teens in planning gaming

brain age

gaming in libraries provides communal experience that gamers can't get at home

{can't really hear questions, but seems like a little antagonism towards gaming in libs, not "real" service. ridiculous! providing a service to library community and gets people in the door. they might find a book or 2 they like if you want to connect it to "real" services}

CIL 2007: Millennials and the Library

Marshall Breeding, Vanderbilt University

frenetic multitasking/ highly interactive style of working

forrester - "the millennials are coming" {usual demographic generalizations about millennial characteristics}

"things we're trying to do to satisfy millennials are things we should be doing anyway" {right on} - also hard to bridge gap between millennial and older gen styles in some regards

build collections that include media other than text: ejournals + ebooks {but everyone hates ebooks in reality!}/ lecture podcasts/ stock footage video libraries/ news archives/ data sets (census etc)- tool for mash-up and remix type projects

provide library search and discovery tools on level of commercial web

library websites don't match mil gen user expectations - mostly status quo, not intuitive, have to go to too many places to find different types of info

finding time magazine video from penn state {awesome}

metasearch "fundamentally bankrupt?" - very shallow results

redefinition of library catalog - have to redesign to capture attention

need to work on more comprehensive search, more like open archives initiative but better! problems with cooperation from commercial db providers - deep search capabilities

web 2.0 tools just a start in solving problem

xml api/ajax/microformats/ open search are support tools that can make lib stuff more like wider online world

replacement opacs: endeca/ aquabrowser - alternate search engine and interface on top of catalog data

extensible catalog - thinking about what library catalog should/ could be in future

interface expectations: more intuitive, get good stuff first, faceted browsing, rich visual info, navigational breadcrumbs

don't count on user starting at library site - know who they really search and guide them to resources/ collections, expose content through non-library interfaces (courseware etc)

global discovery vs local resources: discovery global, delivery local {good ideas, but how to do it well?}


CIL2007: Student's World - Photo Diary Study

Nicole Hennig, MIT Libraries

Presentation available online

Usability testing only tells you how well stuff works

contextural research - figure out what people want and how they work

cultural probe: can't follow all day - students user cameras to record what they're doing

students kept diary of info seeking behavior over a week, follow-up interviews

photos jog memory of what they did

wikipedia used often as basic starting point for research

in general both grad (86%) and undergrad (93%) thought they were successful, librarians thought grads successful 77% of time and undergrads 85% {interesting that this is higher for undergrads}, less effective in searching for info on specific topic

rely on sources recommended from trusted network (librarians not included in this)

librarians don't always think of all the tools that people use outside lib sources: use topical discovery in non-lib tools (amazon to find books, then search opac to see if in lib)

students had trouble knowing where to look and using lib sources effectively

users want search simplified, too many starting points {huge issue in general! how to consolidate search in way that works}

worldcat local project - upcoming, has faceted browsing features

bookmarking/ tagging: students want to know what others are using, don't necessarily have to know who reviewers are specifically, just general info about them is OK

LibX firefox extension: puts catalog links in things like amazon, makes isbn etc live links to catalog from websites, highlight text on website to search google scholar or library catalog

mit libraries beta - place to experiment with technology like google labs

"successful systems extend the users' work practice" - ? {missed name}

"design works best when it models user behavior" - joshua porter

Q: did you compensate?
A: yes, $50 amazon gift card

Q: have to get permission to do?
A: yes, had to have training on doing human studies. had to get permission to use photos outside study


CIL 2007: Web 2.0 And What It Means to Libraries

Lee Rainie - Pew Internet and American Life Project

{Very crowded}

"I adore librarians"

Showing Ask a Ninja video "about" podcasting {doh, can't use that one now!}

Web platform for computing

6 hallmarks of web 2.0 world:
1. Internet has become computer (broadband, wireless growing, people online a lot, 62% under 30 watch youtube vids)
2. Lots of people, especially young, creating and sharing content online (most blogging personal info for small audience)
3. More people are accessing content created by others {got Dooce confused w/Queen of Sky, but got point across}
4. Many sharing what they know and feel online
5. Contributing knowledge through sharing (peer to peer stuff - grid computing)
6. Customizing content (myyahoo etc)

5 Challenges for librarians
1. navigation
2. context
3. focus (best thinking, ideas in relaxation mode)
4. skepticism (learn to evaluate info)
5. ethical behavior (understand rules of cyberspace, privacy, when to disconnect)

Showing machine is us/ing us. {i love that video!}


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dowling College Library Poetry Month Podcasts

As I was posting about the Princeton PL poetry podcast I remembered Chris Kretz mentioning that the Dowling College Library Omnibus was producing some National Poetry Month content too. They have three programs that they're releasing weekly for the rest of the month. In keeping with their focus on content local to Long Island, the first podcast features a reading/ interview with the local poet laureate. Nice.

I'm really looking forward to the April 23 edition, The Exquisite Corpse-cast!
There are many methods and techniques to help stimulate the creative process. Exquisite Corpse is one such, in which participants succesively contibute to a work of art (be it poem, painting or podcast) knowing only a fragment of the preceeding segment. In this case, we asked seven poets with connections to Long Island to collaborate via voicemail in a surrealist poetry/podcast experiment.

How cool is that? Another great example of topical podcasting.


Princeton Public Library Poetry Podcasts

The Princeton (NJ) Public Library is celebrating National Poetry Month with a podcast series featuring a reading by a different poet every day in April. Their blog for the project features pics and a little bio of the poets along with the text of the works read. What a great use of podcasting to highlight a cultural event. Hopefully they'll keep it up beyond this month.

Janie Hermann has a post on Library Garden with a little more detail about the project. One cool thing I learned is that the online hosted version of WordPress has free Flash audio players available for your podcast blog. Something to consider if you're looking at blogging solutions. I think Janie is doing a CIL cybertour right after mine next week so I might have to pick her brain about the project while she sets up. I promise I won't talk for more than 18 minutes Janie!


Sunday, April 08, 2007

Academic Library Podcasting Survey

Do you work in an academic library setting? Does your library produce podcasts? If so, could you please take a few minutes and complete the following online survey? It'll be a great help in doing research for my book on podcasting in academic libraries.

Academic Library Podcasting Survey

Please pardon any duplication/ spam of the link if you're on any of the listservs I sent it to! Thanks for your help.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

ACRL 2007 Wrap-Up

I've been super busy this week so haven't had a chance until now to post more about ACRL 2007. It's probably old news by now, but here goes. Probably the best session I went to was a discussion of how the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign reconfigured their undergraduate library to meet the needs of millenial students. They didn't spend a lot of (or really any) time talking about the demographics of millenials so they were able to go into more detail about what they're doing at their library. They did a lot with the physical space and with things like gaming collections (complete with consoles).They showed a promotion video they made about the library too. Very cool. The video was pretty new and I couldn't find it online, but I'm sure it'll make the rounds at some point.

During the Q&A one person asked how they handle providing services to older students. Fortunately UIUC has about 40 libraries on their campus so they can afford to take one space and direct it pretty much solely to the traditional 18-23 year old undergrad demographic. But this is a big issue for those of us who work with more varied student bodies and have few physicial resources to work with. In my library we have to try to appeal to everyone from 18 year olds to 70 year olds, and all the different learning styles and needs in each group. In 6,000 square feet. But I did get some good ideas from the session about trying to make small changes in our space and for the glorious day when we have more. Great job.

I purposefully didn't go to any social software/ web 2.0 related sessions. But I did notice a big surge of librarian related Facebook activity after coming back. New librarians groups on topics like first year experience have popped up and I have more librarian friends now. So some session or sessions on social networking must have been very inspiring!

Cyber Zed Shed Audience My Cyber Zed Shed quickie talk about what we're doing with podcasting went OK. I thought my similiar Internet Librarian talk was better but hopefully folks got something out of this one too. The folks from Palinet recorded interviews with all of the speakers from the Cyber Shed and those should be available soon through the Palinet podcast site.

Other reflections: Poster sessions were crowded as usual. But most of the ones I looked at were really good and informative. Nina Totenberg was scattered and seemed somewhat distracted. The conference reception at the National Aquarium was fun. Sharks are scary. ACRL staff folks are nice. A decent bar across from a conference center is a plus.

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John Waters Interview Podcast

The ACRL podcast interview with John Waters I mentioned a few days ago is now available on the ACRL podcast blog and presumably in iTunes. I just did the introduction and threw in a couple of questions, but it was fun to be involved and get to meet him. He was very pleasant, laid back and funny in person. I think the interview went pretty well, and he does actually talk about library issues some.

One more thing I need to add to the list of things I've learned from podcasting though: If you get to be involved in a podcast with someone famous or interesting, give your camera to someone to take a pic or two before you start working. That way you won't have to hope you eventually get sent pics from the official photographer.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Music For Podcasts

I had a couple of questions at my ACRL Cyber Zed Shed session about where to find music that is OK to use in podcasts. And a couple of emails after the session. So I thought I would post the info here. This is by no means a complete list, but a good place to start.

The main music site I mentioned was the Creative Commons audio site. It has links to several online labels that release music under Creative Commons licenses that are safe for podcasting. I've used lots of stuff from the Magnatune label.

There's also another CC site called CC Mixter where people can upload songs, beats and remixes that are podsafe. It's mostly electronic and hip hop but there are other genres as well. People do some cool stuff with remixes there.

They also have a new CC search page that links to CC specific searches from Google etc. I haven't tried out yet, but it looks interesting.

The Creative Commons Podcasting Legal Guide is a good resource of copyright issues that relate to podcasting.

As long as the work has a CC license it should be fine to use in both audio and video podcasts. Just make sure to read the licenses for a particular work and follow the guidelines for attribution etc set out in the license. This FAQ gives info for people who want to use CC licensed content.

The Pod Safe Music Network is another good place to find audio content you can use in your podcasts.

There are many more sources for podsafe music out there but these are a good place to start.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Happy Blog-o-versary To Me!

I just realized that I missed the one year anniversary of being peer pressured/ shamed into blogging at CIL last year! It was March 28. Ok, so I really started to see if I actually could do it for a while and apparently I can. So I guess I'll keep it up. I've got a couple more ACRL posts and a few other things in the works, but crazy busy work (plus presentation planning and writing other things) and crazy bad Internet access at home are going to put them on the backburner for a few more days.

I'd also like to sincerely thank all of you for reading/ skimming/ keeping me in your feedreader or bookmarks. I had no idea that I would ever have anything to say that anyone would find remotely interesting. And hopefully I can keep posting at least semi-useful random stuff for some time to come.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

ACRL Day 2

Why yes, I am just getting around to posting an update on the second day of the conference. The couple of sessions I attended in the morning were OK. I did manage to get a few tips on gaming and getting training on library resources to distance learning faculty, but neither session really held my attention. The content was there but the presentation styles were somewhat lacking. I’m certainly not a stellar public speaker but I really do think that as academic librarians, we can do better than we do in this area, whether at a conference or in the classroom.

John Waters did a keynote luncheon which wasn't completely library relevent (although he did talk about libraries and reading some) but very entertaining. It was pretty much what I expected and was great! I got to meet him afterwards for the ACRL podcast (I'll post more about this when I get home)and he was very gracious and funny.

I spent the evening exploring the Fell’s Point neighborhood about a mile or so from the conference center. I ran across a great little indie record store and had a great dinner of tapas and sangria followed by a couple of pints at a great low key Irish pub. Unfortunately, I didn’t note the names of restaurant or pub. But there are lots of great choices for both in the area.

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