Submitted by Patrick Hogan on July 6, 2012 - 11:36am
I attended LITA's Mobile Computing Interest Group meeting at ALA Annual Conference and heard two presentations about library projects with mobile technologies.
Anne Burke presented on North Carolina State University's use of iPod Touches for a scavenger hunt to orient new students to the library, its staff, and resources. The creative, relatively inexpensive project makes a game of orientation, with group interaction and casual competition. The success of the program is evident in survey results as well as photographs of participating students, which you can view the slides on Mobile Computing Interest Group ALA Connect page. Read More »
Submitted by Patrick Hogan on July 5, 2012 - 12:21pm
Joe Murphy author of Location-Aware Services and QR Codes for Libraries is passionate in his conviction that location awareness is a gateway to future innovation. "The ability to associate activities, whether social or institutional, with a layer of location has really proved to be a foundation for all the major mobile and social technology initiatives of the past year," he says.
Library spaces will continue to be important, Murphy says. The technologies covered in the book will help libraries make their physical spaces relevant and meet the expectations of patrons with smartphones.
Joe had fun jumping into this topic early and looking at the practical applications for libraries. He describes specifics for a few of the book's projects, using: Read More »
Submitted by Sarah Ludwig on July 2, 2012 - 5:35pm
I am constantly struggling with the sense that I’m doing a lot of talking for nothing. I painstakingly teach kids how to use a database and they go straight back to Wikipedia as soon as I turn them loose. I show them how to use keywords and operators and they always fall back on their “ask Google a question” method.
I get frustrated. I’ve considered asking their teachers to require the use of databases. But lately I’ve been admitting to myself the deep, dark truth: I’ve got it backwards. I’m forcing students to use tools and search methods that are more cumbersome, more frustrating, and less successful simply because I, the librarian, think it’s the best thing to do. If students are going to spend the rest of their lives searching for information in the easiest, most natural way, I must embrace that. Read More »
Submitted by Patrick Hogan on June 29, 2012 - 9:25am
In this interview with Ellyssa Kroski, Michael Lascarides, author Next-Gen Library Redesign, notes that next-generation isn’t a checklist. “It’s about positioning yourself to exist in a world where the information landscape is constantly changing,” he says.
Lascarides describes a couple projects from the book. First, starting with the broad, is a methodological approach to looking at your library’s digital presence by taking a full inventory of your Web activities. Moving to the specific, the book describes how to set up and oversee a crowdsourcing project. Examples from the New York Public Library are digitizing maps and transcribing dishes of old restaurant menus into a foods database. "A small set of guidelines can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful project," says Lascarides.
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Submitted by Jason Griffey on June 18, 2012 - 9:25am
Once a year, Apple holds its World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco, the highlight of which for non-developers is the Monday keynote. In prior years, the keynote was the Steve Jobs show, where Steve got to be his most Steve-ish, taking digs at competitors and talking about how awesome things are and will be for Apple over the coming year. This year there is no Jobs, but there was an absolutely deluge of news from the keynote, hosted by CEO Tim Cook and starring the main players in Apple’s current corporate structure.
Practically every news outlet in the world will have a summary of the news coming out of WWDC, so I’m going to focus on the things that I think are important to libraries. Apple had three main announcements: updates to their laptop line, which is their most popular type of computer sold; and what to expect in the two new operating systems launching this year, OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6. Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on June 14, 2012 - 2:17pm
We just wrapped up the ALA TechSource Workshop WordPress Basics: What WordPress can do for Your Library with Polly-Alida Farrington and Amanda Goodman. The slides from the event, which contain some fantastic resources, are posted below.
If you want to go more in-depth with WordPress, go to the ALA Store and learn more about Polly and Amanda’s six-week eCourse, Using WordPress to Build Library Websites. This course gives you the chance to go way-more in-depth and actually build a website!
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Submitted by Patrick Hogan on June 14, 2012 - 9:08am
Series Editor Ellyssa Kroski interviewed Marshall Breeding, author of Cloud Computing for Libraries (11) and noted speaker, writer, and consultant on library technology and the library automation industry.
Note that since the recording of this interview, Marshall resigned his position at Vanderbilt University in order to free up time for what he calls "outside activities" in the interview.
Below the SoundCloud embed are a few highlights from the interview.
2:15 Marshall believes cloud computing is a major transition with "massive implications for libraries."
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Submitted by Patrick Hogan on June 8, 2012 - 10:53am
Amanda Bielskas and Kathleen Dreyer are reference librarians at Columbia University and authors of IM and SMS Reference Services for Libraries, #19 in The TECH SET. They believe that reference through IM and text messaging is not only a service librarians can offer, it's a necessary one. In this brief interview with Ellyssa Kroski, they discuss their inspiration for the book and a few how-to projects covered in the implementation chapter.