7 February 2014

LibraryBox: taking a feather from the pirate’s cap

My presenting duties at VALA2014 are all done. Yesterday I worked with Tom Edwards to run a bootcamp session on the LibraryBox developed by Jason Griffey.

We were very fortunate to be two of the very few people to get our hands on a BETA version of LibraryBox 2.0 and the participants were able to connect and explore some content we had prepared. Many thanks Jason.

On the librarybox we loaded some various content items for the participants to explore. Three of the files were keys to winning prizes. An audio file explaining how to win a pack of Cards Against Librarianship, and two images that had to be held up on devices. We gave away a LibraryBox Tshirt and a pack of printed optical illusion photographs for those two.

Then when participants understood more about how this device operated, we had a brainstorming session on how these portable, private file servers might be used, and I’m impressed with the ideas that came up.

  • TravelMate – aimed at grey nomads, and other’s on road trips to provide local tourist information at remote camping/caravan/rest area locations. Maps, info about services, facilities, hotels,  wineries and other local attractions, vehicle repairers nearby, emergency contacts for the local area, maybe clone the local council website.
  • Off-Track  – solar powered box at hiker’s huts in the wilderness with first-aid information, info about the location, maps, star chart, geocaching challenges, information to keep you safe. This group also wondered about the possibility of a form for hikers to privately upload their travel plan for rescue services should things go badly wrong.
  • In large buildings, battery powered boxes with safety information in case of emergencies eg. where are fire shelters, escape routes
  • Information points along walking trails in national parks  - about local vegetation, geomorphology
  • Course packs and information literacy tutorials for remote campuses where internet it patchy at best – eg. Thursday Island
  • Conference presenters – to package up their slides, papers, related resources for attendees to download immediately rather than request via email

I hope I haven’t missed any.. if there were others mentioned, please leave a comment.

And they had ideas for other features

  • streaming
  • tagging content
  • form for uploading travel plan – Lost hikers could leave advice about whether they were moving on from a hut
  • scripts that might run something from the interface

Thanks to all participants for sharing your ideas. One already has this on her forward plan to talk to government departments about for an alternative method of information distribution.

Visit LibraryBox website for more information about building your own, or purchasing one ready-made. And for the release date of the 2.0 version.


Here is a video I made while installing the BETA4 of LibraryBox 2.0…

… and finally I pulled together some tweets and images to summarise in Storify.