GetGlue and LibraryThing got me thinking about how we could make the library an even neater place if we could somehow integrate these services into what we do. Imagine going into a library and heading for the catalog. You start your search and because of LibraryThing you can read other library members thoughts on that item. The stack map then will help you locate what you’re looking for. Imagine if we took that a step further and GetGlue made a product called GetGlue for Libraries. Members could opt in to the program and check in to what they’re checking out at the library. Library stickers could be unlocked and shared. Even better yet, the conversation and recommendation part of GetGlue could make the entire library experience even more social and community driven.
Now you’re not just borrowing stuff, but you’re talking about it with your community as well.
I bought a Kindle for these reasons and for the past few days, I’ve been using it in a few different ways. I bought two books from Amazon totalling $6.99. But most of the space on my Kindle is taken up by a collection of PDF’s. Yes, this is how I’m hacking a Kindle. It’s my PDF collection device.
Does your library subscribe to some databases? Chances are, they do, and this will be where you will start your hacking. My current topics of interest include empowering patrons to create “stuff” in the library, user experience, teens and technology, and The Beach Boys. I dove into these topics pretty deeply one night and searched for PDF’s that interested me.
If I couldn’t find an article in PDF form, I turned to Google Chrome extensions to help convert that text into a PDF.
Once I downloaded the articles, I sent them to my Kindle account using my Send to Kindle email address. The next time I turned on my Kindle, I synced the device and viola! My PDF’s showed up, ready to view, highlight, share, and cite.
At first, the process may be a bit cumbersome (and there may even be better ways to do it!), but once I got into the groove of searching/saving/uploading PDF’s, I had quite a collection in no time. I highly suggest that if a librarian has a patron that has a Kindle and is interested in collecting their research that they at least think about using this way to aid the patron.
UPDATE! I got an email from @verbivoria last night (thank you!) that explained how to use Instapaper to send web articles to your Kindle:
You can use Instapaper to save web articles you like, convert them to Kindle files, and then import to the device.
The neat thing is this: you install a “Read Later” button on your browser, and when you find something that you want to peruse later, you click the button. I find this invaluable.