Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The End

The Internet Librarian closing session was great. Liz Lawley gave a presentation called "Technical/Tangible/Social" about how even though all the web tools we have are great, people still crave tangible connections and things. The first example she gave was the iPhone whose appeal is based not just on its technical abilities but also on the tangible, touchable, and even social properties that it has.

She covered a number of gadgets/websites that connect the digital to the tangible. For instance, botanicalls are little devices you stick in your plants so that they'll let you know via Twitter or text message that they need to be watered. (I should definitely get one of these if I ever decide to attempt to grow a plant again.)

She also talked about the cafe spaces that some libraries are installing, and how those spaces bring together the technology (wifi and power outlets), the tangible (books and materials from the library), and the social (working with or around other people).

I thought it was a great way to bring some of the conversations throughout the conference back down to a more concrete level and acknowledge the fact that just because we can do everything virtually online doesn't mean we want to. It tied nicely into danah boyd's point from this morning that teenagers would prefer to hang out with their friends in real life instead of online.

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