“Everyone will tell you how overwhelming South by Southwest (SXSW) can be. It’s easy to dismiss this as an exaggeration until you’ve actually set foot in the Austin Convention Center for the SXSW Interactive Festival. This year’s event was held March 13–17 in Austin, Texas. With hundreds of sessions, more than 10 official venues, and plenty of meetups and special events, the SXSW experience is best compared to a trip to Walt Disney World: Be ready to walk everywhere, wait in long lines, and make peace with the fact that you can’t possibly do everything. Despite the crowds and numerous programming choices, plenty of activities can be accomplished in the 5 days of Interactive, during which technology companies and industry leaders show off the newest tech and trends. It’s no wonder libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) are a growing presence at the conference. The lib*interactive group (lib-interactive.com), originally called sxswLAM, hosts its own meetups and rents a house to serve as its home base. There were 11 LAM-focused sessions in 2015, and someone at the EveryLibrary-sponsored meetup remarked that this year’s event was the largest LAM gathering yet. Here are some highlights from conference sessions that LAM attendees could use to bring fresh ideas back to their institutions.” (via SXSW)
“Hello from the quiet profession. Hello to all you beautiful dreamers, you benders of time and space, you visionaries of the bright technological future. We love your leaps forward, we love the things you have made possible and we love you for the barriers you will lift away in the days to come. We welcome you to our journey, the great shift of information and entertainment to people, every people, all the people, everywhere, for free. You create games, design communications interfaces, make work go faster and smarter. You find ways to parse data for the next generation. You make information and entertainment accessible for people.” (via Christian Zabriskie)
“This week I had the great opportunity to moderate a panel discussion, “Culture Hack: Libraries & Museums Open for Making,” at the 2013 SXSWi conference. For the uninitiated, South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) is one of three conferences (Film and Music are the other two), held annually in Austin, Texas. Interactive is the largest of the three, with more than 40,000 participants.
That is not a typo. Forty thousand people descend onto Austin for a crazy, energetic five days. Some say it is where the Internet comes to meet. Speakers range from Al Gore to Rachel Maddow, Elon Musk, and Matthew Inman. At the panels you can meet bloggers, hackers, entrepreneurs, artists, and other creative people. As you might expect, there are not a lot of librarian type”
“A LibraryBox is an open source, portable digital file distribution tool based on inexpensive hardware that enables delivery of educational, healthcare, and other vital information to individuals off the grid. Folks have been using them to distribute digital content (books, movies, audio and more) and provide access to digital resources to communities of users that do not have access to the internet or where internet access is limited or censored. At SXSWi the SXSWLAM group, working in conjunction with the UT iSchool are planning to load and distribute 10 LibraryBoxen throughout the SXSWi venue. A portion will be mounted on pedicabs, others will be carried around by volunteers, and others will be placed at the IdeaDrop house (http://erl2013.sched.org), at the Culture Hack panel, and other places where we want to inspire the SXSW participants to check out the “library” and interact with the resources we are making available.”
The Atlantic – “Tech for tech’s sake is over. In a year when social media is helping inform our coverage of everything from political upheaval in the Middle East to the unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan, your app better do something more than be cool.
I kept coming back to the librarians as I talked to people at SXSWi because this micro-track mirrored what I saw tweeted and written about the conference as a whole. Interactive didn’t feel blindly focused on discovering the killer app. Tech didn’t feel like an end unto itself — rather, it was about processing data with a purpose; data for a greater good.”