Goodbye Georgia Tech Library

May 13, 2009, 6:14 am

So this is it—today is my last day. I’m excited about the work ahead, but I wanted to take a minute to reflect on the past four and a half years.  The Georgia Tech Library has been very good to me. The culture is well suited for someone with big crazy empathic ideas. Thanks to the Information Services Department for hiring me and to Admin for trusting me with this whole “user experience” thing. I was definitely in the right place at the right time, and I appreciate it.

Looking back there is only one project that stands out as a disappointment: The Library Blimp. I was talking with a robotics professor about using a roomba as a mobile advertising-bot. He shunned the idea and instead suggested using a blimp. This moved forward and he had a class working on the project. (He used his budget which was nice!) Essentially, the plan was to have a small blimp with a webcam floating around the library (during special occasions, like events or the first week of school) that could be controlled by viewers online. The page would have a chat room or message board, as well as a guided tour feature. But one thing led to another—there were server issues, driver problems, etc and now the blimp lives somewhere over in the College of Computing. I wish we could have gotten it to work, even if just for one day. A student wrote an academic paper about this project—if you want to read it drop me an email.

Those are the type of crazy ideas that I’m talking about that are possible here. I wish the best of luck to whoever gets my job next. The only advice I can offer is to leave library-thinking aside and let your imagination take over. (Also, read my book.)

While packing for my move I donated 316 books from my personal collection to the GT Library. Like many libraries we have a book swap shelf (take one, leave one) that is always in need of more books. I am keeping most of my good stuff, but there are a few interesting titles: The Music of Chance, The Conquistador, Cryptonomicon, and Pattern Recognition. Hopefully they will end up in good hands. Our students need more fun stuff.

There are many people here that I have enjoyed working with, but I have to give a big thanks to Dottie Hunt. She is a fabulous multimedia designer and a big picture thinker. Many exciting ideas were brewed in our humble offices. Thanks for everything .e

I also have to say that the students at Georgia Tech are really incredible. They made my job very easy.

Ok, I’ll leave it at that for now. I’m off to California. My blog will be on a short hiatus, however if you feel really compelled to know what I’m doing follow me on Twitter. I have to warn you though– it is probably nothing very exciting. If you want to learn more about the type of work I was doing head over to Designing Better Libraries and read: Designing the premier group study experience on campus: The Georgia Tech Library, 2West Project.

Thanks for reading. See you in June.

(Also, pardon the mess while I revamp my blog. It could be an RSS nightmare, but it has to be done.)

Brian_students GT_ticket_football  

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