October 1, 2014

Next Generation Tech Solutions Could Help Readers and Librarians

It wasn’t too long ago that people thought reading books on a computer could never replace the real, ink-and-paper feel of a good old-fashioned book. And while people continue to appreciate books in their traditional form, sales of Amazon’s Kindles topped $4.5 billion last year, according to research by Morgan Stanley. More telling, though, is how normal it seems to read a book on an electronic device. But scientists and developers haven’t stopped there. New technology continues to challenge our notions of what we read, how we read, and who has access to reading.

Getting Hands on at ISTE’s Digital Age Library Playground | ISTE 2014

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For three hours at ISTE’s Digital Age Library Playground, teacher librarians excitedly milled from station to station, absorbing knowledge, connecting with colleagues, and exploring new strategies. At any given time, hundreds of people were not only taking in the presenters’ shared knowledge, but trying out the resources being discussed.

Tennant’s Simple Guide to Programming Languages

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A colleague recently pointed out that IEEE Spectrum had an interactive tool by which you could explore the top programming languages in various areas (e.g., mobile, web, enterprise, and embedded). Besides noting that my favorite web programming language barely made it into the top ten for the Web (Perl, which they mistakenly called PERL), I […]

Newport News PL Launches Open Source Usage Software

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Virginia’s Newport News Public Library System (NNPLS) launched StatBase, an open-source usage statistics program that enables libraries to track and visualize data on circulation, patron registration, door counts, reference, acquisitions, instructor-led courses, and more. The application is available as a free download on SourceForge.

Self-Check Solutions | Product Spotlight

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Few things can be more frustrating to library patrons—or staff, for that matter—than a self-check system that’s ill-suited for its setting. But when such a system runs smoothly, it increases efficiency, protects materials, promotes library programming, and instills confidence in patrons, which translates into increased circulation and a staff with more time to focus on things like programs and services.

ER&L Conference Sees Rapid Growth

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The ninth annual Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) conference this year hosted more than 650 attendees from 40 states and six countries, representing a spike in attendance of more than 20 percent compared with 2013. Online viewership of the conference’s sessions rose significantly as well, with more than 50 U.S. academic libraries registering for ER&L Online.

The Thing About Programming

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Sometimes I’m shocked to realize that I’ve been writing software for over 30 years — longer than some of my younger colleagues have even been alive. And people who know my code are shocked as well, that so much time could pass and my code still sucks. But I have an excuse: programming does not […]

When You Free the Data From MARC You Are the Roy

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Code4Lib is a unique place. I don’t know of another space like it in the library world. It has inside jokes all over the place, from the love of bacon, to the poking of fun at OCLC as an organization and me as an individual. Both myself and my employer (OCLC) are good for it, […]

What Google’s Acquisition of Nest Labs Really Means

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Today’s news of Google acquiring Nest Labs, which produces one of the more expensive but also most advanced thermostats for the home, has been all over the place. As you might imagine when Google buys anyone, there has been a lot of speculation about what it might mean. I have a variety of opinions on […]

The Future of Computing: The ISE (“eyes”) Have It

Recently thanks to a colleague I’ve been playing around with iPython. iPython is an interactive version of Python that many people are beginning to use to teach Python, to create and run simulations and visualizations, and to just generally have a richer environment within which to work while coding. This investigation led me to Xiki, […]