Saturday, February 25, 2006

Librarian 2.0

Yesterday, I drove two and a half hours so that my balding, talking head could be digitized for a library e-learning module about MPOW. Five hours in a car requires an audiobook. I've been wanting to listen to Sarah Vowell's "Assassination Vacation," but no store had it in stock and no library had it available. Not being in the mood to fight the digital rights management battles required to download audiobooks from the library (it's totally not worth it), I was going to settle for what I could find on the local library shelves. Then I remembered that iTunes sells audiobooks. In seconds, I found Assassination Vacation on iTunes, bought it, and downloaded it to my computer and Nano.

The book comes in three parts, each part 2.5 hours long, exactly the time it took to drive from my apartment to the regional library system studio where I was taping. It's like it was Meant To Be.

If I ran a library, I would be looking to see what I could do with this. Not just following the Shifted Librarian's suggestion to buy some iPod shuffles to circulate. How about a public iTunes download station? Let library users set up their 'pods on the station and download a title or two to their own devices? The library could even rip their own CD's to the public iTunes station. Look, you know that iPod owners check out the CD's and rip them to their devices; why don't we just save them the trouble? This isn't total anarchy -- we're librarians: we'll find some way to impose rules.

So it was a "good librarian" day for me. I helped create training for new library workers, I was able to explore new media consumption and imagine how it can be brought into the library environment, and I got to wear my new "Don't make me shush your ass" t-shirt out in public.

1 comment:

Mel said...

I bought "Assassination Vacation" for our trip to the big alpaca show in Columbus last fall, and I was laughing halfway through the first paragraph of the foreword. I've always loved Sarah Vowell's style.

You are going to bring your librarian t-shirt on your next trip to Maine, aren't you? I want to see it!