September 18, 2014

Augmented Library

VIRTUAL LANDMARKS Pointing a smartphone at LAPL’s lobby ceiling initiates an interview with Renee Petropoulos, the artist who designed its mural. Aiming at the clay torch statue (top) that sits off the Central Library rotunda triggers local news footage of the Central Library’s 1986 fire, along with interviews and a photo gallery

In early April 2013, digital journalism professor Robert Hernandez, of the University of Southern California (USC) Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Los Angeles, was driving by L.A.’s Central Library downtown while thinking of ideas for his experimental augmented reality (AR) storytelling and journalism course when he had an aha moment: Why not focus a project on augmenting the Central Library?

New Frederick County PL Library Card Doubles as a Visa Debit Card

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Following four months of discussions with SirsiDynix and a brief pilot test this summer, Maryland’s Frederick County Public Libraries (FCPL) on September 5 officially launched the “I Love My Library” prepaid Visa debit card. Developed by SirsiDynix in partnership with Visa and Card Limited, the new affinity cards double as a patron’s library card and aim to help libraries achieve three goals.

SLJ Reviews LEGO StoryStarter: Using the classic brick, plus software, to foster narrative skills

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Is there a student on Earth who doesn’t love LEGO? StoryStarter, from LEGO Education, taps into that enthusiasm with a language and literacy product that combines an inviting tub of LEGOs with thoughtful lessons and user-friendly writing and comics software.

Streamline Your Workflow: Five Time-Saving Tips

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Advice from Richard Byrne on streamlining tasks, from managing email via spreadsheets to harnessing IFTTT (If This Then That).

What You Should Know About Banned Websites Awareness Day, September 24

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The fourth annual Banned Websites Awareness Day makes excessive filtering an intellectual freedom issue in K–12 learning.

Michigan State Launches SearchPlus for Ease of Use, Interdisciplinary Research

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In an effort to cater to the growth of interdisciplinary research while also simplifying the search experience for undergraduates, the Michigan State University Libraries (MSU) this month debuted Summon from ProQuest as its first web scale discovery service. Branded as SearchPlus by MSU, the discovery layer will offer students and researchers a single entry point for searching the majority of the library’s resources.

Penn State’s One Button Studios Now Used 4,500 Times Per Year

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The two “one button” simplified video recording studios at the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) Library’s Tombros and McWhirter Knowledge Commons have proven exceptionally popular and are now used for about 4,500 recording sessions per year.

Texas Superintendent Adopts Digitized Early Learning Program

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Using a community-wide digital reading program, Superintendent Ruben Alejandro of Texas’s Weslaco Independent School District has made literacy a priority for not only his school district, but for all kids in the community ages zero to three.

California Administrator Creates Digital Stopgap After School Librarian Cuts

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When school librarians began to disappear in this Camarillo, California school district, Jay Greenlinger, the district’s director of instructional technology, found a way for students to find books and information online.

With All “Big Five” Ebooks Now Available, Ebook Vendors Assess the Road Ahead

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Shortly after Simon & Schuster’s June 26 announcement that it had concluded a 15-month pilot test and would make its entire ebook catalog available to all U.S. libraries, Macmillan last week announced that it will make all frontlist ebook titles available to U.S. libraries as well. These moves mark a milestone in terms of the availability of popular ebooks, as Macmillan and Simon & Schuster became the final two of the “big five” publishers to allow U.S. libraries to license and loan all titles in their ebook collections.