Awesome Box at PLA next week

Anybody going to the Public Library Association conference next week?

Awesome Box will be there! We have a brand new look complete with stickers and bookmarks for folks who stop by and say hi.


new bookmark


AWESOME BOX stcker blue 1-01


We’re looking forward to meeting lots of new libraries and signing on more Awesome Box users.


We’ll be in booth 539.

Dan Cohen on the DPLA’s proposal to the FCC

I’ve posted a podcast interview with Dan Cohen, the executive director of the Digital Public Library of America about their proposal to the FCC.

The FCC is looking for ways to modernize the E-Rate program that has brought the Internet to libraries and schools. The DPLA is proposing DPLA Local, which will enable libraries to create online digital collections using the DPLA’s platform.

I’m excited about this for two reasons beyond the service it would provide.

First, it could be a first step toward providing cloud-based library services, instead of the proprietary, closed, expensive systems libraries typically use to manage their data. (Evergreen, I’m not talking about you, you open source scamp!)

Second, as libraries build their collections using DPLA Local, their metadata is likely to assume normalized forms, which means that we should get cross-collection discovery and semantic riches.

Here’s the proposal itself. And here’s where you can comment to the FCC about it.

Link roundup February 26, 2014

Marks for Books
Rugged bookmarks – Annie

Paramount Afraid Tweeted Stills Of ‘Top Gun’ Compete With Actual Movie
Top Gun tweeted frame by frame. Brilliant! – Matt Phillips

The Manual For Civilization Begins
If you built a library intended to be The Manual for Civilization, what would you include? – Matt Phillips

Portraits of librarians at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting
Portraits of librarians at American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia in January – Matt Phillips

The Beer Fridge That Only Opens for Canadians
A beer fridge that only opens for Canadians. Next up, library beer fridges that only open for cardholders? – Annie

Bill Bonner: The Archivist of Photographic Memories
Take a tour of the National Geographic photo archives. Amazing old photos. – Matt Phillips

Why did you come to the library today? Participatory Display
Easy feedback from users, shared with the entire community – Annie

Link roundup February 17, 2014

56 Broken Kindle Screens
A print on demand paperback that consists of found photos depicting broken Kindle screens. – Matt Phillips

7 Hand Gestures That Make You Look Like a Real Intellectual
Glossary of hand gestures to make you look like an intellectual. Highlights at – Matt Phillips

A web app that makes your writing bold and clear by highlighting long, complex sentences and common errors. – Matt Phillips

The Magic Of Libraries
A video. Books. A bicycle. Pretty colors. Libraries. What’s not to like? – Matt Phillips

An air hockey bot made of 3D printer parts
Air hockey for lonely people – Annie

The Book Cover Archive
Book cover design appreciation – Annie

Crosswalk wait provides an opportunity for pedestrians to play Pong – Matt Phillips

Link roundup January 31, 2014

Sense and sensorbility: the book that lets you feel your protagonist’s pain
A book that helps you feel what the character is feeling through light, temperature, and a body compression system. – Matt Phillips

From Yoda to Darth Vader with LEGO Bricks
A Lego mural that shows Yoda from one angle and Darth Vader from the other – Annie

Interface, Exhibition & Artwork: Geocities, Deleted City and the Future of Interfaces to Digital Collections | The Signal: Digital Preservation
Wait, Stanford acquired 4chan’s archives? – jeff

Github Guides
An set of manuals for Github covering common usage Github patterns. – Matt Phillips

Game of Clones
How the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is fixing link rot – Matt Phillips

Harvard Library Staff Picks
In December 2013, Library staff members uploaded recommendations from their 19-million-volume collection. – Matt Phillips

The New York Times’ Most Popular Story of 2013 Was Not an Article
The most popular NY Times piece of 2013? A web application. – Matt Phillips

Link roundup January 14, 2014

Simple chat program using inaudible sounds and a computer’s microphone and speaker. – Matt Phillips

The Year in Kickstarter 2013
Year in Kickstarter 2013. A pretty cool promo that could inspire a similar Year in the Library – Annie

Canadian Company Build Functional Truck Out of Blocks of Ice
An actual working truck made of ice. Maybe a book drop made of ice is next? – Annie

Print Starts to Settle Into Its Niches –
it’s so good – jeff

What Could Have Entered the Public Domain on January 1, 2014?
What could have entered the public domain on January 1, 2014? Under the law that existed until 1978, works from 1957. – Matt Phillips

TOP 10 libraries of 2013
Libraries are can be beautiful. Some examples in this top 10 list from 2013. – Matt Phillips

Soft Discipline and Open Libraries in Denmark
Surveillance is the cost of self-service. Open Libraries in Denmark. – Matt Phillips

Link roundup December 20, 2013

The CNN 10: Ideas –
CNN highlights emerging ideas in technology and related fields – Annie

Midday Traffic Time Collapsed and Reorganized by Color: San Diego Study #3
How did they do this?!? – jeff

NYPL | Children’s Books 2013
NPR best books of 2013 app, but for children’s books. – Matt Phillips

Book clusters produced “in the wild” at a public library. Documented through photography. – Matt Phillips

Rocky Morphology
Rocky Morphology analyzes the Rocky series in order to identify its key narrative elements. – Matt Phillips

Boston: Boston in Winter – a set on Flickr
Winter and holiday images from the Boston Public Library’s archive. – Matt Phillips

How to speak American
Harvard University Press delivers quirky treasures, in the form of digitla recordings, of our plainspoken language – Matt Phillips

Link roundup December 8, 2013

The Top 5 Reasons We’re Taking A Break From Lists
NPR best books of 2013, NOT a list. – Annie

A Backyard Library
If you don’t have enough room for all your books – Annie

Draw a Stickman
Seriously super cool interactive story – Annie

Smithsonian X 3D
autodesk – jeff

The Incredible Story Of Marion Stokes, Who Single-Handedly Taped 35 Years Of TV News
Marion Stokes built an archive of tv news, in her home, one tape at a time. The Internet Archive plans to share them. – Matt Phillips

Disruptions: A Digital Underworld Cloaked in Anonymity
You never know who you’ll bump into at your local library. – Matt Phillips

library card resin iphone 5 case
I don’t like phone cases, but if were going to buy one, this’d be it. – Matt Phillips

Link roundup November 19, 2013

MIT’s Amazing 3D Gizmo
Reach out and touch someone. For real. – Annie

Are Digital Libraries A ‘Winner-Takes-All’ Market? OverDrive Hopes So – Forbes
Overdrive! – David Weinberger

videoconverter.js – Convert Videos In Your Web Browser
amazing video processing in browser – jeff

GitHub’s Explore Email – interesting repos on GitHub
Daily, weekly, or Monthly email highlighting interesting repos on GitHub. – Matt Phillips

Race car game. No computer required.
The participant can drive the tiny car. Behind the screen the mechanics of installation are revealed. – Matt Phillips

BBC News – Bletchley Park WWII archive to go online
Millions of documents stored at the World War II code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, are set to be digitised – Matt Phillips

The Daily Tar Heel :: NC libraries put content online
Content from 100 institutions goes online – David Weinberger

Awesome Box at Watertown

The Watertown Free Public Library has fully embraced the Awesome Box. They have not one but two Awesome Boxes — one at the main circulation desk and one at the circulation desk in the children’s room.


The Awesome Box in the children’s room has a button that when pressed says “Awesome.”


In addition to the boxes, they’ve installed a display that oozes awesome. With the display, the boxes, and the button, it’s a full awesome experience.


Pop by the WFPL in person and checkout the things they’ve Awesomed on the Web.