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Using Magic-Like Muti-Touch Tables in Libraries

Librarians who are looking for high-tech, wow-factor ways to excite and engage customers should check out what’s happening in the area of multi-touch tables. A session by two Dutch librarians showed off how they are using the tables now and what new applications they’re building into the next generation.

Multi-Touch Table Presentation

Jaap van de Geer (R) and Erik Boekesteijn (L) of DOK Lab in Delft, Netherlands, have been working with programming colleague Koen Rotteveel to create new ways for people to use these surfaces. Multi-touch tables act like the touch-screen or your iPads or smart phones, except they are larger & more functional. Already in DOK, the library concept center, they’ve been using multi-touch tables for projects like one with the Cultural Heritage Center of Delft, where they’ve taken 25,000 pictures that were “hidden away in a dusty archive” and put the digital versions in the table for people to explore. Here’s a video that shows how it works, although Koen has created many more advances since this time.

Jaap told the crowd, “We strongly believe in entrepreneurial libraries.” Projects like this one, which was developed for DOK and is now being offered for sale to other organizations, prove that librarians can be developers.

Video blog, blogs & Ustream channel @ #IL2009

Thank you so much Elise Brown for your wonderful contributions to covering the Internet Librarian 2009 conference through your vlog!  Don Hawkins did an earlier in depth story about Elise.  I was just checking out your coverage of Monday — terrific!  And did you see all the posts from bloggers here at the conference?  One of the most popular ways the conference is being covered is via Ustream channel by Erik Beokesteijn and Jaap van der Geer. Last night’s Rockin’ Battledecks was watched live by many who were not at the conference and they had lots of comments.  I’m sure even more people will watch the archived version.   And of course, the Twitter feed you find by searching #IL2009, is amazing.  Thanks so much to all for your coverage of the conference!  Great buzz.

Live Streaming from CIL

You have to hand it to our Dutch friends, Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap Van de Geer.  Not only are they Information Today authors and speakers as well as Library Journal Movers & Shakers for 2009, but they continue to push the envelope.  This year, while Erik is interviewing Paul Hodergraber of the New York Public Library in CIL’s Tuesday morning keynote presentation [for more info see earlier post], Jaap will be live streaming the event.  So if you can’t be with us here in DC where the sun is shining and the cherry blossoms are in full splendor, check out the live feed of tomorrow’s keynote from your computer.  There is a link to the right of this post — under Links, click on CILLive. Enjoy and let us know how it works and how you like it.

Jane Dysart, CIL Conference Program Chair

ShanachieTour Returns to Monterey, 1 Year Later

If this scene looks familiar to you, then you were at last year’s IL Tuesday evening session where these Dutchmen did a presentation about their "ShanachieTour," which was a 3-week road trip they took across America in a "campervan" (RV). Exactly 1 year later, they’re back in Monterey (where last year’s tour ended) to talk about that tour and others they’ve done around the world since. Once again, they filmed part of the presentation while they were doing it, which is why you see both the live Erik and the on-screen Erik above.

After showing some opening scenes from the movie they produced about the 07 ShanachieTour, Erik Boekesteijn, Jaap van de Geer, and Geert van den Boogaard settled into their own "welcome to our living room" presentation style. Nevermind that boring podium, they told the hotel’s room set-up staff — their talk took place on a cozy stage with a couch and chair, coffee table, lamps, plants, snacks, and even a refrigerator (used to chill beverages for the guests they brought up on stage to talk with).


The guests they interviewed on stage included Greg Schwartz (Uncontrolled Vocabulary) and Michael Sauers. They also Skyped in far-away colleagues and asked them about the libraries of today and tomorrow. Overall, it was a really innovative and entertaining presentation that kept the huge crowd in their seats until after 9pm.

You can keep an eye on future Shanachie adventures on their Facebook page and their web page. In a few weeks they’ll be touring across Australia, speaking at conferences and stopping at libraries. So stay tuned!

~Kathy Dempsey



Book Signing Bonanza!

Information Today, Inc., the company that runs Internet Librarian, had a number of new books come out just in time for this conference. So at the exhibit hall’s opening reception, there was a long table full of authors waiting to sign their newly published tomes.

Left to right:

Stephanie Gerding (and Madeline!) were signing The Accidental Technology Trainer.

Rachel Singer Gordon was signing What’s the Alternative? Career Options for Librarians and Info Pros.

David Lee King was signing Designing the Digital Experience.

Barbara Galik was signing Virtual Worlds, Real Libraries (which she contributed to) in place of absent editors Lori Bell and Rhonda B. Trueman.

The three Shanachies also signed their hot-off-the-press book/DVD movie combo called ShanachieTour: A Library Road Trip Across America. (L-R: Geert van den Boogaard, Jaap van de Geer, Erik Boekesteijn)

The Shanachies will also be doing the fun evening session tonight, and you can buy their book (and their way-cool T-shirts!) on site.

~Kathy Dempsey