Libraries (and librarians) are evolving rapidly. Thus a week or so ago one of our dynamic librarians here, approached some PhD students and academics to ask them how they used “Web 2.0” (thanks Jenny!). The result was edited (thanks John!) and uploaded, where you can see it below (embedded in this post, I might add, using HTML5). No doubt there is more of this genre to come. Libraries nowadays it seems, are not just about books and journals, but about the full digital experience (not to mention sustenance; ours is now one of the more popular places for students to eat!).
In another initiative, several of our research lectures will shortly be recorded, with slides, audio and video interleaved and the result expressed via our iTunesU site (in fact, I also tried a project along those lines in 1999, and the lectures are still visible here). Lecture podcasts are on the increase (inject directly into iTunes here to see/hear talks I gave on the topic of Wikipedia and iPads) and I have previously noted on this blog my thoughts about the future of (e)Books. A common theme of all this digital content is to maintain a balance between purely visual entertainment, whilst trying to also create re-usable and semantically-rich components. The movie above, informative as it might be, is largely meant to be entertaining (or engaging; I leave you to judge whether it succeeds in either endeavour). These blog posts (until this one), have concentrated more on the content than the style (although do note that I have been assiduous in running this blog with a mobile-device plugin so that it can be at least in part viewed in such a manner), delivering the former via Jmol models (and perhaps more of HTML5 in the future), with data-oriented information supplied via links to digital repositories.
I am struck by the ever increasing contrast between “chalk-n-talk” (the photo below pertains to my office blackboard, and as you can see I do still love my chalk, thanks Greg!) and the (probably bewildering) variety of additional digital outlets we now have. How on earth does one cope?