Talk 1 – “Slope : Intercept” by Sara Hendren
A ramp is a machine. It’s a deceptively humble object—but it’s everywhere. From building the pyramids to industrial mechanics to the politics of skateboarding, the ramp—an inclined plane, one of Galileo’s iconic “simple machines”—has multiple lives with profound social consequences. It inspired an entire utopian architectural practice in 1960s Paris. It made the dramatic, controversial construction of large-scale highways possible in the last half century. And it’s been a way for people to move about cities in playful and political ways—on a skateboard, or using a wheelchair. Sara Hendren wakes the inclined plane as a sleeping technology, uncovering the ways this simple geometry has altered social and cultural history.
Talk 2 – “Ask Us Anything (No, really, that’s our job): the World of Public Librarians” by Meagan Parker and Colin Wilkins
Libraries aren’t silent book warehouses with card catalogs and dusty shelves. Instead, libraries are vibrant–and often loud–places of connection, technology, and collaboration. Public librarians Meagan Parker and Colin Wilkins reveal what it is they do all day (hint: it’s not reading), share bizarre but true stories from the library world, and discuss how libraries are evolving in the 21st century.
Meagan is the Programming and Community Outreach Librarian at Cary Memorial Library in Lexington, MA. A Wisconsin native, Meagan attended DePaul University and University of Wisconsin-Madison before moving to New England. Fulfilling librarian stereotypes, she owns two cats and wears lots of cardigans.
Colin is a Reference and Emerging Technologies Librarian at the Public Library of Brookline. A product of Springfield, VT, and a graduate of Davidson College and Simmons College, he is currently training to run the 2014 Boston Marathon to raise money for the Brookline Library Foundation.