February 26, 2015

Ending the Invisible Library | Linked Data

Ending the Invisible Library | Linked Data

To explain the utility of ­semantic search and linked data, Jeff Penka, director of channel and product development for information management solutions provider Zepheira, uses a simple exercise. Type “Chevy Chase” into Google’s search box, and in addition to a list of links, a panel appears on the right of the screen, displaying photos of the actor, a short bio, date of birth, height, full name, spouses and children, and a short list of movies and TV shows in which he has starred. Continue typing the letters “ma” into the search box, and the panel instantly changes, showing images, maps, current weather, and other basic information regarding the town of Chevy Chase, MD.

Flipped, Blended, or Stirred: Using Video to Enhance Learning in the Classroom | Tech Tidbits

Flipped, Blended, or Stirred: Using Video to Enhance Learning in the Classroom | Tech Tidbits

Video in the classroom is a promising, effective tool for student and teacher learning and education. Colorado teacher librarian Phil Goerner shares some tips on how to use digital video resources in the classroom.

OCLC Works Toward Linked Data Environment | ALA Midwinter 2015

OCLC Works Toward Linked Data Environment | ALA Midwinter 2015

In an effort that parallels and complements the Library of Congress’s Bibliographic Framework Initiative (BIBFRAME), OCLC is using schema.org to help facilitate this discoverability using linked data, explained Richard Wallis, technology evangelist for OCLC and chair of the W3C Schema Bib Extend Community and his colleague Ted Fons, executive director, Data Services and WorldCat Quality Management for OCLC during the “OCLC Links and Entities: The Library Data Revolution” session at the American Library Association’s 2015 Midwinter conference in Chicago.

SLJ Reviews LittleBits: These bright, appealing sets encourage tinkerers to explore electronics

SLJ Reviews LittleBits: These bright, appealing sets encourage tinkerers to explore electronics

Imagine if building a flashlight was as easy as stacking blocks, or that you could build a robot with a shoebox, nine-volt battery, and a pile of components small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Enter LittleBits, a modular, à la carte electronics prototyping platform for users of all skill levels

LITA Members Talk Tech Trends | ALA Midwinter 2015

LITA Members Talk Tech Trends | ALA Midwinter 2015

Five experts discussed the latest in library tech during the Library Information Technology Association (LITA) Top Technology Trends panel at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter 2015 conference in Chicago. In front of a full house despite the snowstorm outside, the lively discussion of trends ranged from coding classes for girls to the growing infrastructure demands of open access publishing.

IPad Games Blend with the Physical World | SLJ Reviews Osmo

IPad Games Blend with the Physical World | SLJ Reviews Osmo

“Osmo is part app and part iPad, with a little physical hackery thrown in,” writes Chad Sansing, who considers the new gaming platform’s potential for the classroom in his review.

DBW 2015: Amazon, Publishers Look to Ebook Subscription Services as Discovery Platform

DBW 2015: Amazon, Publishers Look to Ebook Subscription Services as Discovery Platform

Officials at Amazon believe subscription-based ebook consumption is an inevitability, and will continue to invest in and build the company’s Kindle Unlimited service as part of an effort to stay ahead of the emerging trend, Russ Grandinetti, senior VP, Kindle, at Amazon explained during a candid general session interview on January 14 at the Digital Book World Conference and Expo 2015. In a separate panel, publishers expressed enthusiasm for Oyster and Scribd as discovery platforms.

OverDrive: Ebook Checkouts Up 33 Percent

OverDrive: Ebook Checkouts Up 33 Percent

Public and school libraries that are part of OverDrive’s global network circulated 137 million ebooks, digital audiobooks, and other digital media in 2014—a 33 percent increase compared with 2013, according to statistics released by the company. Ebook circulation rose 32 percent, to 105 million, while digital audiobook circulation grew 38 percent, to 32 million. The OverDrive network also recorded 401 million visits to public library and school library websites powered by OverDrive, a 77 percent increase.

Meet the Tabletarians | Mobile Services

Meet the Tabletarians | Mobile Services

In March 2011, the Boise Public Library (BPL), ID, used $3,300 in Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant funding to purchase four iPad 2 tablets and all of the trimmings. As it turned out, BPL may have been a couple of years ahead of its time. This conversation is now coming full circle. Technological advances continue to make tablets lighter, faster, and more affordable. Vendors have recently launched interfaces that make it possible to use a staff tablet to perform tasks ranging from weeding books to signing up new cardholders. Also, applying lessons learned about these devices during the past five years, many libraries are rebooting or enhancing the way tablets are integrated into roving reference, off-site programs, and other workflows.

“Beacon” Technology Deployed by Two Library App Makers

“Beacon” Technology Deployed by Two Library App Makers

Library app developers Capira Technologies and BluuBeam have separately announced the launch of micro location information services that will enable libraries to send highly targeted, location-relevant messages to Bluetooth-enabled Android and iOS smartphones.