T h e U t o p i a n L i b r a r y

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TUL is on the move!

I’m in the process of moving The Utopian Library to it’s own domain, www.utopianlibrary.com. Stop by and help me paint the place!


10 September 2007 Posted by | change, progress, random, utopianlibrary | Leave a comment

surgery and recovery in the digital age

Hip Pinning Surgery for a Fractured HipA not-so-funny thing happened while I was trying to improve my fitness this summer. I broke my hip. My age, health, exercise routine, and presenting symptoms suggested hip flexor muscle spasms. No big deal. Muscle relaxants, NSAIDs, rest, a weekend in Sister Bay with friends. But then the pain got worse and I couldn’t bear weight on my leg. An all-day visit to the emergency room, a couple of x-rays, one very loud MRI, and a few exams by a team of good looking doctors yielded a textbook presentation of a fractured femoral neck. By 10:30pm I was in surgery and by 11:00pm I had three pins screwed into my hip… and they’re mine to keep!

And so began my Surgery 2.0 experience.

I was admitted to one of the nation’s 100 “Most Wired Hospitals” so yes, I brought my laptop. But duh… no wi-fi for me! The hospital does have a business center with free Internet access for visitors, but all that wireless technology and notoriety is for medical connectivity and other doctorly stuff. So I sent the laptop home with friends and used my cell phone to stay connected (even though the “use of mobile phones is not permitted within the hospital“). How on Earth did we keep our friends and family updated in the old days, when we couldn’t send text messages or upload photos to flickr?

  • Who needs a phone tree? I sent early-morning text messages in bulk to friends and family to let them know how I was doing. And then my phone would buzz throughout the day with return messages of support, encouragement, and love 2.0.
  • Why wonder if or how the flowers were delivered? I took pictures of my windowsill so family, friends, and library administration could see the beautiful arrangements they sent.
  • Which hip was it? (And yes, the surgeon did write his initials on my hip to make sure he cut the right one– not the left one.)
  • Will I have a big scar? It’s hard to tell until the dressing comes off.
  • Was the doctor cute? See for yourself.

Not only was I able to stay connected from the hospital, but I’m also able to stay connected with work while I recover at home. Our library LANMasters hooked me up with a VPN so that I can log in from my sofa to work on print and electronic publications, Web site updates, quarterly tasks in progress, and the L2 projects that Jenn and I are working on. I enjoy my work and being able to keep up with it is a very good thing. Recovery is already getting boring… and I’m only one week into my 6-week crutch crawl!

Connectivity rocks!

21 August 2007 Posted by | random, web 2.0 | 13 Comments

my apple store goes 2.0

Apple Store Old OrchardMy local Apple store closed for a week of remodeling at the end of July and reopened without a checkout desk! I asked a Genius if the missing register was a sign that Apple was going gratis. But no, it’s only going 2.0. “Anyone in a green t-shirt” could check me out. When I found a green t-shirt that wasn’t busy with a customer, she used a handheld device to scan my purchase, swipe my credit card, and send a receipt to my email. How 2.0 is that?! Out from behind the desk, mingling with the public, and not waiting for the work to come to her. The only hang-up was the bag. I was headed to lunch and, since I have a habit of dropping my food, I didn’t want to risk spilling anything on my sweet new canvas vertical sling before it ever held my MacBook Pro. It took the green t-shirt longer to run for one of those cool backpack-style Apple bags than it did for her to run my purchase.

I love my Apple store. I really like my new sling. And I’ve enjoyed telling people about my 2.0 experience with both. Now if we could just get that same thing going in more of our libraries….

12 August 2007 Posted by | random, trends | 2 Comments

the tuition bill arrived so it’s official: my fall class plans

I’ve been away from the GSLIS classroom for a year now. My goal to graduate by 2007 or ’08 was sidetracked by a few personal hurdles, but I think I’m ready to resume my educational plans. I’m registered for a new class at Dominican, Library 2.0 and Social Networking Technologies. I think I scored the last seat when I registered online while waiting for an afternoon session to begin at GLLS2007. That, the timely tie-in of the course content to my work life, and Michael Stephens as an instructor are a karmic trifecta.

The 2006-07 academic year was about registering for, and ultimately last-minute dropping, a class or two that I thought I’d be able to focus on. This term feels different. I look forward to the class with more confidence than I’ve been able to muster in a year. Of course, that confidence is of this moment… as I sit on my recliner sofa on an early August morning, resting a sports injury, drinking hot chocolate, and watching the replay of Jake Brown cheating death at the X-Games.

Class starts in a month. I have my school supplies (I love school supplies!). Let’s hope I don’t loose track of my brain.

6 August 2007 Posted by | random, school | Leave a comment

computers in cruise ships

Computers in cruise shipsJust when I thought I’d be completely (and pleasantly) disconnected for a full week, I board the Caribbean Princess and find a wireless computer cafe and library! I checked out the computer setup… impressive! Twenty or so private stations, card readers, headphones, laser printers, and human assistance. The satellite signal has been slow at sea, so keeping in touch can get expensive at 25 cents per minute. Unless, of course, you’ve sailed with Princess on five or more cruises… then you get a better deal. The wireless access extends out to the nearby lobbies, so I saw plenty of people sprawled in the atrium with their laptops. No twittering, though… at least not that I could see.

Me and My MonkeyheadI had every intention of checking out the library (at least to snap a photo) but my radar for the sun, the spa, and power shopping overtook my practical side. I didn’t get close enough for a really good look, but I could see from the bar that the library had books and chairs and decent lighting. I think the chairs were leather, though, which could be an uncomfortable match for a damp bathing suit.

I did have “library” on the brain, specifically the bindery. The sun was so hot on the ship’s deck that the glue binding of my book started melting!

See more pics here.

8 May 2007 Posted by | random | Leave a comment