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I wanna check you out… from the library

24 Aug

Or, a library has a great new program and I have terrible new jokes

Library by ellen forsyth

Photo credit to ellen forsyth

Most of the time when libraries are covered in new media circles, it’s because of stories like, “Library adds new computer wing” or “Local library creates Facebook page”.  I’ve seen them, I’m sure you’ve seen them; they’re a dime a dozen.  So, that’s why I was so surprised to see a library branching out in a new (non-tech) way – and getting coverage in social media for doing it.

PSFK is reporting that a Canadian library is now letting you check out “human books”, living experts on the topics that you seek to study.  The library will arrange for you to meet with an expert on the topic of your choice over coffee.  …And this is the place for a really bad joke about checking people out at the library.  Awkward pickup artists have just gotten an infusion of new material.  Get ready for “That looks like a good book, but I’d rather check you out.” Continue reading

Customs — on getting by in physical and digital spaces

31 Jul

Customs LinesRecently, I was traveling internationally and got stuck in a crazy long Immigration, Baggage, Customs maze of lines.  An hour and many crying children later, one of my travel companions admitted that when she was a child, she had thought that Customs was where they told you about the customs of the county that you were going to be entering.  (Here we drive on the left side of the street, here we take siestas, here we run with the bulls…)  Customs would be a kind of very brief download of the cultural information that you needed to get by in your new place.  You’d know what behavior was expected of you and of everyone else.

Actually, Customs is just a place where you wait in a line, turn in a form, and maybe get your bag searched.  It’s really not that exciting.  I think I like her way better.  It’s nice to know what you’re getting yourself into. Continue reading

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