Category Archives: iPods in Libraries?!?

NCSU Learning Commons

NCSU Learning Commons Originally uploaded by mstephens7

There’s just so much good here! Take a look at North Carolina State’s Learning Commons Web presence:

  • Live computer availability
  • Web cam of “The Brickyard”
  • Flickr photos
  • “We want your Ideas” for eboards
  • Commenting form
  • Borrow laptops, cameras, iPods, GPS units, etc

I’m incorporating this and the Loyola Information Commons into my new talks. 

iPods & Training for Staff

Rob Coers, my Dutch partner for presentations at Internet Librarian International, just posted about iPod training he recently completed:

He translated the post as well:

In september 2007 the Spijkenisse Public Library in The Netherlands won the 4th IFLA International Marketing Award with their campaign “We miss you”. Library director Huub Leenen awarded his staff (21 people) with a iPod Nano. I had the honour to do a hands on training to help the staff on the way.

Altough usage is very easy, managing your music on iTunes is sometimes a pain. Specially for those who are not used to be downloading music and working with a new program like iTunes. Subjects we covered:

iPod as phenomenon
iTunes, iTunes Library, playlist and organizing your media
downloading music
finding and subscribing to podcasts
examples of podcasting libraries.

What a fantastic way to make your staff familiar with current technology and motivate them in their job!



Ohhh…sweet technolust…

Driving back to Illinois this week I caught up on my Mac podcasts, including one of my favorites Mac Break Weekly. The podcast included loads of news about Apple’s new product the iPhone, and I realized that my personal technolust will surely get the better of me. I want this phone!

That said, I wonder how many geeked out folks will doing just what I did:

T-Mobile Rep: “T-Mobile Customer Support, how can I help you?”

Me: “Yes please, when does my contract expire with T-Mobile?”

T-Mobile Rep: “August 2008.”

Me: (Ouch) “And how much is the fee to break contract?”

T-Mobile Rep: “$200.”

Me: (Ouch) “Good to know…”

T-Mobile Rep: “May I ask why you are asking about the contract?”

Me: “I want an iPhone!”

T-Mobile Rep: “Well, T-Mobile has a wide selection of phones that will play music…”

Me: “..But those phones aren’t the iPhone…thanks for your time!”

T-Mobile Rep: “Have a good day.”

I will, especially when cradling the sleek lines and smooth surface…. sigh..

Anyway, Aaron discusses how libraries will have another menace to stop at the front door (humor, folks) and I wonder if library technology departments or emerging tech groups might want to get in line for one, to understand what it means for service, access and the possible impact on the way the world communicates. Seems most logical to me — and fun!

Finally, David Pogues gives us some FAQs:

More on ITunes in Libraries

The Ubiquitous Librarian ponders using iTunes in academic libraries in some pretty darn cool ways:

How can libraries use this? Let’s put information literacy to the side for a minute, because sure, you could host tutorials and content about the library (itunes plays videos) but let’s think bigger. Last week we had Maya Angelou give a talk on campus, why not dump that video or podcast into an iTunes library—as well as other speakers and events? How about a weekly student interview series or alumni talks? How about sporting event replays or the coach’s talk show? How about short commercials highlighting different clubs, organizations, or services on campus?

And my favorite bit, TUL ties it to the bigger picture:

This hits two of my big themes: target the niche and immerse the library within the community.

TTW Mailbox: Sharing iTunes & Copyright

iTunes Macs: 49,000 songs -- Every CD ripped!

Joshua Zehner, Assistant System Administrator at the Fulton County Public Library in Rochester, IN, writes:

Hey, I was surfing you flickr account and I found those pictures from Cherry Hill Public Library in NJ. I was really interested in the three or four photos of their “Listen Before You Borrow” station. Our library would love to do this expect there is one issue my boss has with it, copyrights. Is it legal to rip your collection onto a pc for everyone to listen to, but yet allow those same CD’s to be checked out at the same time? We would love to implement this station into our library, as long as we can get past this one hurdle. Any information about this would be very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

Thanks Joshus for writing! It seems that Cherry hill has been doing this service a while, it’s very friendly and no one seems to be complaining. That said, i’m really at a loss about whether or not this violates copyright. As a try before you borrow service, it just make the process easier than getting a CD off the shelf, popping it into a listening station player and trying it out. I think iTunes actually protects the music more than haviung folks bring their laptops into the library for a massive ripping session into itunes from CDs in the collection.

I confess: copyright confuses me. I am learning more as I prep for classes and Dr. Kate Marek is guesting in my class in a few weeks to present on the topic (I’ll be all ears), but in my mind, it seems ok. I’d love to hear from others who might help my thinking…

Some links:

Chris Kupec uses iTunes at his library:

John Blyberg on making iTunes work in networked settings:

And Chris Kupec also reports this week: I discovered that the Windows version of my iTunes to OPAC script works with info from the iTunes Store too, not just your own personal library. The AppleScript version doesn’t allow me to get info out of the store. Very strange, but a plus for PC-centric public libraries! Might be a way to push teens to use the library more, if they could play with iTunes at home, and order up the CDs from the library. I also have a version of the script that I modified to help me with CD and movie ordering. Check out Chris’ blog at