Ambient Findability: Librarians, Libraries, and the Internet of Things

Slide 1 MorvilleAlthough not a LITA event, the ALCTS 50th Anniversary President’s Program, held on Monday, June 25, 2007, in the Renaissance Hotel Grand Ballroom South, should be of interest to many LITA members. Peter Morville, author of Ambient Findability and co-author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, provided an overview of his work to a standing-room-only crowd in an engaging and enlightening 90 minute presentation.

One of the things I really admire about Morville’s writing is his ability to concatenate a variety of different subjects and show how they’re all related to information management, and he does this just as well in The Land of Powerpoint. The talk covered gadgets like David Rose’s ambient devices, Microsoft Surface, the iPhone, RFID implants, and child-tracking wristwatches; websites including Neighboroo, Where’s Tim, Etsy, and the usual web suspects like Flickr, Amazon, and LibraryThing; as well as more philosophical stuff such as information anxiety, faceted classification, David Brin’s concept of reciprocal transparency in The Transparent Society, pace layering, IA and Web 2.0, search as a system, and Julian Bleecker’s “A Manifesto for Networked Objects”.

If you missed it: check out the presentation, read the books and Morville’s “UFOs: Ubiquitous Findable Objects”, and visit the Semantic Studios website and Morville’s findability blog.

See also: Jennifer Lang’s detailed write-up.