SXSW Edu Recap — Book picks!


As always, my taste at #SXSWEdu run towards an eclectic mixture of topics – from library related to teaching to technology to policy to…..well, you get the idea! I love browsing the SXSWEdu bookstore for ideas since it’s an amazing curation of all the authors speaking at their conference!  Here’s a couple I picked up(and a few more that are on my future shopping list!)


The first title is Nonobvious: How to Predict Trends and Win the Future(Rohit Bhargava).   I love reading about trends that might impact libraries and thinking about how to translate them into practical ideas.  The book is not only a list of new trends for 2019, but even more valuable, it provides suggestions for how to do your own “trendspotting.” It also suggests how to apply trends and then the appendix shares Bhargava’s lists of past trends.

And yes, though it’s a business book, how could I fail to love a book that starts out mentioning the Dewey Decimal system, and later adds that “curators add meaning to isolated beautiful things”?


The second book I picked up was Mindful by Design(Caitlin Krause).  I met Caitlin at a session at SXSWEdu with Steve Dembo – they led a great campfire discussion called “VR is Visceral” which was a fascinating discussion of what is real and how to navigate the moral and ethical questions that face us with AR, VR, and MR development.  I was surprised(at first) to learn that she was the author of Mindful by Design which shares mindfulness activities for teachers and for their students.

She defines mindfulness and makes suggestions for space design, too.  For teachers, the goal is to offer practical exercises that can be helpful as we try to maintain balance during stressful and overcommitted times.   The last section is on mindfulness in the classroom(and community) and again, offers a series of very clear exercises that can be practically used with students in the classroom. Krause sagely points out that “meaningful exchanges in a classroom are build upon a firm foundation of trust and respect.”

(A related book I wanted to share is Calm(Michael Acton Smith)  We’ve been exploring the tremendous CALM app recently, which is now free for educators (a bargain). They also have a book entitled Calm, which shares wonderful ideas and inspirations that could be incorporated into any classroom or library. It’s great in combination with Caitlin’s book.)

Three other books that grabbed my eye at the SXSWEdu bookstore were Team Human(Douglas Rushkoff), The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for it Every Time(Maria Konnikova), and Making & Tinkering with Stem: Solving Design Challenges with Young Children.(Cate Heroman).  And for you geeky designer types who like to venture away from education types of titles, I fell in love with the Product Field Reference Guide(Klaus-Peter Frahm) — sort of a field book for design in a drafting format.

There were of course so many other titles, and not enough time in the bookstore (as always)!  Now I just wish I could get into the main #SXSW bookstore too!



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