Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Public Art

If I read previously about the amazing digital art in the Mixing Chamber at Seattle Central Library, I forgot about it. It looks and sounds awesome. The flashing up on LCD screens of call numbers and titles of works just checked out makes "a real-time living picture of what the community is thinking." I'd like to think it's educational, that people would watch 917s and see that they were travel, and notice that 741.59ish are cartoons -- but I bet the Dewey numbers don't really speak to people. I wonder that it doesn't trip off the Privacy alarms of librarians. It sounds like it's "safe," that it's not near circulation desks: you can't see who's checking out Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul or other possibly embarrassing titles.

I read somewhere -- I'll try to find where and link to or quote it -- that it may be time for librarians to revisit how we feel about privacy. It may be that the shared spaces of Web 2.0 make (some) people less concerned about privacy, less prone to assume they have a right to expect privacy.

I didn't just do professional reading yesterday. I hooked people up with: the table feature in Word, books on remodelling, a copy of Eldest, a class on basic computer skills, another copy of Eldest, and online resources for a research project on green building. I taught a woman how to attach a document to an e-mail, a skill I have now taught so often that I know exactly where to look for the "attachment" button in all major e-mail programs.

Reading: Blue Highways, by William Least Heat-Moon. This morning I stood with him on Manteo and looked over to Nags Head at the new Ramada Inn, and agreed when he said "I hope you're not going to put highrises here, too. ... Overwhelms everything out there -- no harmony between it and the land. Architecture without regard for place or history. They've been Jersey Shored, if you ask me." Twenty years on, and a few name changes later, and I don't know which I wonder at more: that the Atlantic has yet to reclaim it, or that it didn't collapse of it's own shoddy draftiness, sand-weighted shag carpets, and crappy towels.

Capital City weather: cold and clear

1 comment:

Georgi said...

Thanks for supervising my last exam with Penn State! I'm so glad it's over. Sorry that I was tired and not too talkative last night. Long days at the hospital are catching up with you. Hope you and Phil are well.