Monday continued with some of the same themes—it seems like the hot topics at this year’s conference were zine-making and data-driven decision-making! By now, everything is starting to blur together (what’s today, today?) but I’m going to try to wrap up what I’ve learned!
While the morning was mostly spent helping out at the morning poster session with Dana, I also managed to poke around some of the other poster offerings. It was a weird mix—a lot of international library cooperation, with some posters dedicated to ebooks and other global digital solutions kind of jammed in. There were two more rounds of poster sessions, each with a different focus: building connections in and out of the library, and library infrastructure (including physical space, resource management, and technology). All of the poster sessions were jam-packed, but I managed to talk to quite a few other librarians about their projects, our projects, and everyone’s goals for the future. We covered a lot of ground, and I want to share photos of some of the posters—some were exciting, useful, and relevant and some were kind of weird, but let me know if any look particularly interesting and I'll go into more detail on them!
Our very own familiar poster!
I spent the morning in a session called DiverseZineties; Promoting Diversity and Self-discovery Through Making Zines with Teens, a talk about encouraging educators and students to collaborate, create, discuss, and share their own diverse stories. Cathy Camper's talk focused on workshops created to help teens explore their own backgrounds, practice self-expression, and even learn mainstream job skills. It seems like something that could fit into our own library space quite easily if we want to give our own students (especially future teachers) opportunities to teach hands-on workshops to gain practical teaching experience!
Michael Erard's recent essay on designing metaphors is worth exploring for anyone, but it seems particularly relevant for the team of designers, developers, and stakeholders currently working on mSchool. Erard talks about building metaphors powerful enough to change people's minds, and he takes a psycholinguistic research approach to design, rather than a philosophical one—which is to say, he focuses on how people actually encounter and process new metaphors.
It's an interesting essay, and one takeaway for mSchool might come from how we answer a few of the questions Erard poses:
"Do people interpret new metaphors more easily when the comparison between two domains is apt—that is, when the two elements seem to fit with each other? ... Or do we grasp metaphors more readily when at least one of the concepts is very familiar? [And] to what degree is the aptness that you perceive in the metaphor just a measure of how long it’s been around?"
The New Yorker posted an article on Moleskine notebooks and the startups who love them yesterday, and it's an interesting read. It starts out talking about how just when we think something might be obsolete (like physical, printed materials), it seems to pop up everywhere.
I won't give away the whole story, but there are some compelling reasons why hi-tech places might benefit from using low-tech solutions.
The part I think is most interesting, though, comes at the end, in a description of how Evernote uses physical materials to keep everyone in the office in the loop on their products and designs:
"Before, Evernote’s design department did almost all of its work on computers, with the result that no one knew what anyone else was working on. Now staff members print out designs for both physical and digital products, which they pin to a wall that spans the length of the office. “It gives the product and software designers a new frame of reference … a physical manifestation of the brand. They get three hundred and sixty degrees of feedback that’s not just limited to how it is on a screen,” Zwerner said. “The policy is: get stuff up so it takes flight.” "
I think we definitely have the potential to share things in a similar way at EdLab, once we're back on the 5th floor—especially if we end up using dividing walls in interesting ways.
Check out this fashion plate from Belle Northrup's A Short Description of Historic Fashion, part of the Teachers College faculty collection! Northrup was an Instructor in Fine Arts at TC throughout the 1920s-30s, and taught courses in Costume Arts. In fact, the sketches in Mary Elizabeth McNeeley Cost...
So far, I'm liking the demo layout for D&R. After last week's presentation from the environment team, I can't stop thinking about plant walls! Here's a few that I've seen around town:
This wall lives at Atrium in Dumbo:
And this wall, located at Colonie in Brooklyn Heights, includes edible herbs mixed into the decorative plants:
From the institutional archives, this little model dates from the early 2000s:
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It's not the most detailed architectural model (it's missing the beautifully arched entryway to Zankel, for one thing), but the bones are there, and Russell Hall looks as winsome as ever!
To offset all the focus on tiny books, today we're exploring the library's largest books.
Today's discovery looks to be part of the Liturgy of the Hours—prayers, Psalms, hymns, and other readings in Latin to be used throughout the day. There's no title page, but the entire book is ...
Many food historians attribute the modern sandwich to the 18th-century Earl of Sandwich, but the idea of wrapping filling in some kind of bread definitely extends much farther back into history. The wrap sandwich, for example, was first documented by Hillel the Elder, who wrapped lamb and herbs in soft matzah during Passover.
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Mrs. Rorer s...