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Gadgets, Makerspaces & Innovation @ Internet Librarian 2015

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Guest post from Brian Pichman, Director, Strategic Innovation, Evolve Project

There is still time to register at Internet Librarian 2015 in lovely Monterey, California; October 25th – 28th. If you haven’t registered yet, be sure you do to check out some of these Internet Librarian exclusive events:

This year join Nate Hill, Tod Colegrove, and Brian Pichman as they launch an entire interactive workshop on Makerspaces, Idea Labs, and Hackerspaces. Joining them are individuals from littleBits, Hopscotch, LightUp, Twenty One Toys, Brown Dog Gadgets, and more. Get a chance to not only talk about makerspaces, build strategies for success, but also get a chance to play with some leading edge technology that is featured in makerspaces around the world. Learn about code writing, engineering, learning by failure all in this full day jam packed workshop. This workshop offers an opportunity to collaborate with other start-ups and help build your library into an incubation space for start-up culture.

Looking for something to do Sunday night? Join in on the first ever Games and Gadget night hosted in part with Monday Morning’s Opening Keynote Panelists. Get an opportunity to talk to Ilana Ben-Ari, founder of the innovative way to learn empathy and failure from her company called Twenty One Toys. Have a chance to meet Erin Mulcahy who manages the strategic initiatives of littleBits education. Talk to her about prototyping and creating using circuits to help foster innovation in your library space. Explore programming with Liza Conrad, head of community and partnerships

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Confessions of a Former Book Lover

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I love to read, always have — what a surprise right? And I always thought I liked the actual books but now I know it is really the content I love — the ideas, the puzzles, the stuff that makes you think and imagine. And I know this how? I am in love with my Amazon Kindle. I thought it would be great for taking a bunch of books away with me when I’m gone for several weeks or so. Less weight since air travel is such a pain these days. I wanted to try it out as I have always love to gadgets. I was amazed last November when a plane I was on had half the people using ebook readers.

So I downloaded a bunch of books to take away with a month ago. BTW, it is easy on the Kindle as it has wireless capabilities. I loved the feel of the Kindle, the weight, the ease of use as soon as I started using it. I could bump the font up so I don’t have to squint (yeah, I’m getting old!). I could take it anywhere; even on the bright sunny beach it excelled. The one thing I had not anticipated was that I could rest the reader on my knee, on the back of the seat in front of me on the plane, on a pillow and only flick the next page button — so almost hands free, amazing. The Kindle even passed the bathtub test

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Gadgets for the Digital Nomad

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Some cools stuff in this article but my favorites are:

Print Shop to Go, Printstik PS910

Forget about waiting at a Kinkos to print out that hard-copy report. Planon’s Printstik PS910 is a go-anywhere print shop. At 1.5 pounds and powered by a lithium ion battery, the PS910 easily fits into a notebook bag, yet it can print from a smart phone, handheld or notebook, either through a USB cable or wirelessly via Bluetooth. The US$300 printer uses thermal technology; a package of three rolls of thermal paper costs US$25. It means that you only get monochrome documents, but if you need a quick sales letter, a map or a proposal, this could be just the thing.

Power Central, Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger So much work, so few power outlets — it’s the nomad’s nightmare. Belkin’s Mini Surge Protector with USB Charger turns a single AC outlet into three, delivering electricity to you and those around you (sharing that outlet may get you good karma, or even a free latte). It also provides a pair of USB ports for charging phones, handhelds or media players. At 6 ounces, the Mini Surge Protector is worth its weight in batteries, and it rotates so that it won’t block the second outlet on the wall. The device costs US$25, but is well worth it — not the least because it carries a $75,000 warranty against damage from a power spike.