Kickstarter a resource for libraries and librarians?

Woot!  Is school back in session, or what?  I am filled with solutions!

Are libraries using Kickstarter to fund projects?  I searched the site for “library” and got one truly library-related hit.  There’s a writing and publishing category, but it’s filled with people wanting to publish their books.

Does funding library projects contradict the “no charities” guideline?  Whether it does nor not, I think that rule is kind of dumb.  Maybe someone ought to come along and create a new and improved version of Kickstarter, for projects that benefit more than just the project creator.

Libraries and Subscription TV?

Somebody asked me about my interest in food, and I got to thinking about all the foodie TV shows I love to watch.  My family watches all of our TV online, and I’ve pretty much had to give up on Top Chef, because it’s been placed rather securely behind a pay-wall.  Fox has put Master Chef behind a pay-wall too, but not a permanent one.  You just have to wait an extra week to watch online.  I’m OK with that.  And Fox doesn’t go out of its way as diligently as Bravo does to remove copyright infringing material from YouTube.  You don’t have to look as hard to find Fox shows as you do for Bravo shows.  Not that I would ever go looking for anything like that, of course!

But I began to wonder – libraries maintain subscriptions to magazines, newspapers, and scientific journals.  They subscribe to research databases and websites, offering free access to patrons.  Are there libraries that subscribe to pay TV services and offer free access to patrons, the way they would subscribe to Ancestry.com?

Television access wasn’t such a big deal when you made one payment to one company.  You made a choice.  Either you watched or you didn’t, and if you chose to watch, you had access to everything that was available in your area.  But now, with television becoming available online from many different providers each requiring a separate fee, the library seems like the best way to obtain access to the widest variety of pay TV subscriptions, just as libraries provide access to the widest variety of journal subscriptions.

I’m not aware of any libraries offering access to television, beyond circulation of DVDs.  But that could be it, I’m just not aware.  I think it would be fun, though, visiting a community TV room to watch Top Chef with bunch of fellow foodies.

Has anyone else heard of subscription TV at the library?  And would you use such a service?

I was told, last week, that I’m a preferred paper-cutter.

It’s a skill, apparently.  When I started volunteering, I was sort of surprised to see the paper-cutter.  I hadn’t seen or used a one since elementary school, and I guess I just kind of assumed they had been replaced by something more technologically snazzy.

Then I was asked to do some die-cutting, and I was directed to one of these:

I’ve known people who scrapbook.  I know that fancy electronic die-cutting machines are pretty inexpensive, only about $200.00.  Everyone knows the card catalog has gone the way of the do-do.  But here are two examples of a library sticking with some pretty outdated technology, even though there’s better and more flashy out there.  Of course, these are things patrons never see.

But this is an example of one strength that public libraries have in competition with for-profit businesses.  Libraries can afford to be more cautious without rushing to fix things that “ain’t broke.”  I could be wrong, but I don’t think a business could get away with this.

Regardless, I got to wondering, what old-school technologies are other libraries still using?  Answer in the comments.

Wish I had known about this sooner.

Gen Con has an Educator/Librarian track on Trade Day, tomorrow, 8/3/11.  I’m not sure if you need any credentials to attend, or if all you need to do is buy the ticket.  But I don’t feel I can call myself either an educator or a librarian yet.  Future attendance is definitely one of my goals.  Anyway, more information is here:

http://www.gencon.com/2011/indy/sm/tradeday/default.aspx

Here’s the schedule.  It looks pretty good.

EDUCATOR-LIBRARIAN TRACK

  • 10:00-11:00
    Story Building Decks and a “Heroes Journey”
    Presented by Andrew Peterson
  • 11:00-12:00
    Building Your Game Library on a Shoestring Budget
    Presented by Kyle Overstreet
  • 10:00-12:00
    Game Lesson Plans and Ideas
    Presented by Jim Best
  • 10am -12:00
    Comic Book 101- Using graphic novels in your classroom or library
    Presented by Darren G Davis, Bluewater Productions
  • 1pm-2pm
    D&D for Kids in the Classroom
    Presented by authors Erin M. Evans and Susan J. Morris
  • 1 pm-3:00
    Game Design in the Classroom
    Presented by David Niecikowski, UofA LRC Doctoral student, Interactive Media Literacy
  • 1pm-3:00
    Games as a Pedagogical Tool
    Brian Mayer, Genesee Valley School Library System
  • 1:00-3:00
    How to Attract Patrons and Sustain a Library Gaming Program
    Presented by Beth Pintal, Juvenile Librarian IMCPL and Erin Murphy, Children’s Librarian
  • 3:00-4:00
    Game Standards and Assessment Expectations
    Presented by Shelley Arvin, Cunningham Memorial Library, Indiana State University
  • 3:00 -4:00
    Video and Online Games in the Library
    Presented by Beth Pintal, Juvenile Librarian IMCPL and Noah McCollam, Web Developer IMCPL
  • 3:00-5:00
    Role-Playing Games as Objects of Study: A Workshop on Ethical Criticism for Educators, Scholars, and Writers
    Presented by Dr. Mark Gellis, Kettering University