Wearable Electronics

This could be very cool! The Age of Wearatronics (posted on medGadget, August 3, 2012)

Wearable electronics, Google glasses, augmented reality contacts, RFID chips and circuit boards embedded in our bodies… Kinda changes the scope of operations for a mobile digital library, doesn’t it?

Here’s the Bloomberg video that’s embedded in the medGadget article:

There’s a line in this video that bothers me. The interviewer, Sheila Dharmarajan, asks if having circuits that can monitor you installed in your skin isn’t all a bit Big Brother. The interviewee, John Rogers, an engineering professor at the University of Illinois, responds that most people realize that it’s really no different than carrying a Blackberry.

Yeah, except that I can put down my Blackberry and walk away from it anytime I want to.

Multiple Intelligence – Conclusion

This is the conclusion of my project to explore different examples of multiple intelligence that I’ve encountered and how these incidences affected my approach to everything from customer service to working with colleagues. Read Part One, Part Two, Part Three & Part Four.


So what have all these experiences taught me?

  1. Keep an open mind.
  2. Recognize the ways that other people are intelligent – and acknowledge that it may not be the way you’re intelligent. It may not even be a form of intelligence you easily recognize.
  3. Understand that someone else’s way of seeing things is no less valid than your own.
  4. Don’t expect anyone to speak to you in your language – it’s your responsibility to do your best to understand theirs.
  5. Never assume you know what someone means before they’ve finished talking. And always ask questions before responding to make sure you understand them as they intend.

Reading through this list, it occurs to me that I’m pretty much describing a good reference interview.
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Multiple Intelligence – Part IV

This is Part Four of my project to explore different examples of multiple intelligence that I’ve encountered and how these incidences affected my approach to everything from customer service to working with colleagues. Read Part One, Part Two & Part Three.


I spent a few years in my mid-20s working in the records room of a healthcare organization. When I started there, they were still using paper records and physical file folders for their data storage and retrieval. One of my co-workers was a lady in her early 70s, who had been working full-time, in one job or another, since she was 14 years old. She’d never gone to college – come to think of it, I’m not sure she ever even graduated high school.
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Multiple Intelligence – Part III

This is Part Three of my project to explore different examples of multiple intelligence that I’ve encountered and how these incidences affected my approach to everything from customer service to working with colleagues. Read Part One & Part Two.


In the public affairs department where I currently work, it’s our responsibility to create promotional materials for the library’s events and programs. When another department has something going on that they want to promote, they contact us. We have certain requirements when people contact us for these things, certain pieces of information that we must have in order to do our job properly.

Of course, there are always some people who never provide us with the necessary information, no matter how many times we tell them what we need.
Continue reading “Multiple Intelligence – Part III”

Multiple Intelligence – Part II

This is Part Two of my project to explore different examples of multiple intelligence that I’ve encountered and how these incidences affected my approach to everything from customer service to working with colleagues. Read Part One.


At a previous job I held at a non-profit organization, I worked on event-based fundraising initiatives and managed the campaigns online. For this, we contracted to use a third-party online fundraising CMS. This system could generate a fully functional, socially-based fundraising website in 15 minutes: fill out all the fields and select some settings on the back-end, and voilà! Your website is up-and-running. Of course, we weren’t satisfied with that – we wanted our site customized and branded to the fullest extent possible. We found every tweak and hack and work-around we could to make our site look and feel like it wasn’t an out-of-the-box CMS. Within a couple of weeks of signing our contract with the vendor, we’d already been upgraded to “super user” status and, thanks to us, they’d filled out pages of ideas for improvements and expansions to roll out with future updates.
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Multiple Intelligence – Part I

I’m a firm believer in the Theory of Multiple Intelligences. In part, it comes from my father, who spent his life as an educator; in particular, he specialized in the history and philosophy of education. But my own experiences bear out the general truth of it – different people are intelligent in different ways. The world can make perfect sense to one person in a way that makes no sense at all to someone else. This doesn’t make either person wrong, and it doesn’t mean that either sense of things is invalid. Our traditional understanding of intelligence recognizes only a very narrow scope of potential human intelligence that has been historically valued by one particular culture.

This fact lies at the heart of almost everything I’ve ever done. I’ve worked an incredible variety of jobs in my life and all of them required some understanding of how other people (co-workers, customers, etc.) see the world.

As a librarian, I’m especially aware of this reality. Our job is to help people access and use information. Success in this endeavor is entirely dependent on being able to relate information to an individual’s personal paradigm – or, in some cases, helping someone to open their mind to other paradigms entirely.
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Thoughts on the Future of Technology

I’ve developed a passion for UX and I do my best to keep up with the professional literature on the subject. There’s one blog in particular that I keep coming back to: A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design by Bret Victor. It’s almost a year old at this point, but I think the critiques it offers are universally relevant.

This post encourages me to think deeply about the future, and more generally about how we approach technology. I think Mr. Victor is absolutely correct – both in his critique of the currently popular vision of the future, but also, and more essentially, in his argument that our technological future isn’t something that just happens. It isn’t inevitable. We can choose where we want our technology to go – what we want to design and build and pursue.
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