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The second day of the MSU LEETS conference focused on emerging technologies. These presentations overlapped more with each other so I’ll just give some general impressions. The main speaker was Nicole Hennig from MIT.

  • NUIs (Natural User Interfaces) to replace GUIs
  • Libraries creating “hackerspaces” or “makerspaces” which feature 3-D printers. Our own Dr. Atala got a shout-out in the context of 3-D printers (look at 11:05).

We watched the video “What is a MOOC?” by Dave Cormier. The narrator highlighted “distribution” as a key component of MOOCs (starting at 2:50). He mentions “pockets and clusters” of information like blogs, tweets, tags, discussions posts, etc. Later, in the context of user experience studies, a major theme was “Fragmentation Hurts.” What is “fragmentation” but a negative way to say “distribution”? Hennig mentioned another of her presentations on this topic, and I followed it up more thoroughly. I learned that “fragmentation” was used in several contexts, such as the annoyances of e-books (e.g. platform proliferation; some work on certain devices but not others). Fragmentation was also mentioned in light of the cloud and one’s personal cache of information. I know I have work information on Google Docs, Evernote, Gmail, acad1, my hard drive and the wiki. I feel the pain when a needed piece of information isn’t in the first (or second) place I look for it. I also think about distribution/fragmentation in light of the library sharing information with patrons. We currently use Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, (multiple) blogs, ZSReads, Pinterest and maybe others. In some cases, the various outlets point back and forth to each other. I understand that some patrons are on Facebook but not Twitter and vice versa, and we certainly want to reach them all. However, it’s a constant challenge to make sure that our information sharing is aptly described as “distribution” instead of “fragmentation.” What I’m describing is just “events” type info. Don’t get me started on the fragmented sources for research, a problem only partially solved by Summon.

Resources to follow up on:

Augmented Reality Apps that I might consider:

  • Layar
  • Tagwhat
  • Google Goggles
  • LeafSnap

Apparently, MSU LEETS was the first library conference to have an official Instagram feed.

MSU On-Campus Guest House, Dwarfed by Football Stadium
MSU On-Campus Guest House, Dwarfed by Football Stadium

The folks at Mississippi State practiced pleasant hospitality and treated their speakers royally. The MSU community clearly loves its football.

The stadium backed right over the on-campus hotel where I stayed. (By contrast, I never found the basketball arena.) They also got me a guest pass to their fabulous fitness center. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and would recommend this conference to others.