Category: Resource

What are emerging tech librarians into this year?

This week, I attended my favorite committee meeting, the LACUNY Emerging Technologies Committee, which I co-chair with Allie Verbovetskaya and Steve Zweibel. We planned out a great semester of workshops and hackathon-style work days by referring to a long list of topics we’ve been compiling. While we wish we could cover everything in a semester, we could only pick a few. But perhaps you’d find it interesting to see this list! What kinds of emerging (or emerged) technologies are librarians into?

Bold italic = we did this last semester.
Bold = we’re doing it this semester.

  • 3D printing
  • Augmented reality: Oculus Rift, Google Glass
  • AutoHotkey
  • Backup best practices
  • Clojure
  • CMS tours: behind the scenes of Drupal, Omeka, &c
  • Collaborative tools (e.g., Google Docs, Editorially)
  • Data structures, normalization
  • Data viz hackathon (ft. Gephi, R, D3)
  • eResource mgmt: SFX, SerialsSolutions
  • Gaming software
  • GIS
  • Google Analytics, beyond SEO
  • HTML & CSS for library web services
  • LaTeX
  • Legacy computing/computers
  • LibGuides API
  • Makerspace tour + happy hour
  • Mapping your library
  • MARCedit
  • Microcomputing: RPi, Arduino, Makey Makey!
  • Pedagogical design software for teaching critical information literacy skills
  • PHP
  • Preparing to accept digital archival materials
  • Python & MARC
  • Python hackathon (ft. CSVs, regexes)
  • R
  • Raspberry Pi
  • Regular expressions
  • Responsive web design
  • RFID
  • Ruby
  • Semantic Web/Linked Data
  • SPSS
  • Tacit knowledge (e.g., keyboard shortcuts)
  • Twitter bootstrap implementation
  • Usability testing
  • Version control (Git, SVN)
  • Video tutorial creation & editing
  • Web frameworks: Node.Js, Twitter Bootstrap, HTML5 Boiler plate
  • Wikipedia: sponsoring edit-a-thons and/or generating traffic to your library’s resources
  • WorldCat API
  • XML (simple editing)

We also held a popular Demo Day last semester where any CUNY librarian could share a digital project they’ve been working on, big or small, finished or in progress. We’ll be doing that each semester.

What’s missing from this list, readers?

Suggested by Rob Sanderson: linked data

Google educational materials

As I loitered in our systems manager’s office, I noticed he had a great Google poster up on the wall:

Better searches, better resultsIt’s kinda old, but the tips still work! I did some googling when I had a minute to find out if they offered that posters for downloads, and lo and behold, there’s a whole trove of educational material from Google. Their ‘lesson plan search‘ page has a handful of posters like the one above.

However, it seems like a lot of that information is pretty outdated. You can tell both by the logo and by the text itself. I updated one of the posters by pasting in new screenshots and adding a paragraph to tip #4:

Anatomy of a google searchThe PDF (2 MB) prints out to 17×22 inches.

I’m hoping they’ll update their educational collection, but in the meantime, I might go ahead and revise/recreate some of the other useful posters.

New toy: Raspberry Pi

So, first, let me just say that this toy is new only in that it is newly in my possession. I know I’m behind the game by quite a while. When my software engineer dad excitedly told me he’d gotten on the Raspberry Pi waitlist many moons ago, I said “cool” and that was that.

But then I became an Emerging Technologies Librarian almost entirely by accident, through a series of improbable events. I was caught off-guard but am now diving enthusiastically into technologies both emerging and already emerged, including the Raspberry Pi. What’s nice about being late to the game is that others have blazed forth with inspiring projects.

PiAfter perusing the Adafruit Raspberry Pi tutorials, I got so excited that I bought myself the Raspberry Pi starter kit for a hundred bucks. I went through the easy Gmail LED notifier tutorial and am working on getting sound-making buttons operative. Both mini-projects are introducing me to how the RPi works and what the heck a breadboard is even used for and what resistors do. If there’s one thing I’m enjoying, it’s learning how utterly ignorant I am about such non-complexities as press button, make beep sound. Here I should mention that the RPi was originally designed for children.

And what do I plan to do with this? It usually takes me a while to get confident enough with a new skills set, but I hope to find a handful of fun uses within our Library. I’ve got my eye on a Little Printer, particularly after attending a delightful Library APIs workshop.

But first, to master fundamentals. Press button, make beep sound.