Tame the Web has a great article up, summarizing 12 tech-related issues and practices librarians should be on top of. I’m to to speed on most of them, and I find the idea of iPods in libraries particularly intriguing.
A few years back the library I worked at experimented with offering audiobooks on 64mb Rio 500s. It didn’t really catch on and the Rios were tossed in the bargain bin at the annual book sale (and thus one became my first mp3 player). I tried out the audiobook service the library offered on them, and the sound quality was the real issue for me. I don’t know what bitrate was used, but it was artifacting all over the place. With an iPod though… the extra storage space really opens up doors for such a loaning program to be successful (including a car adapter would probably help as well). The only stumbling block might be what to do when a patron breaks an iPod accidentally… replacement charges would be rather high.
I also love the idea of libraries creating custom browser toolbars. I wonder how hard that is to do, cause I’m tempted… Or even to figure out how to add a library system’s catalog to Firefox’s plugin type search engines. Hmm, thinking to do!