September 2, 2015

Game Design Proves Popular at Orange County Center

Since its grand opening in February 2014, the Orange County Library System’s (OCLS) Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center for Technology, Innovation, and Creativity has offered patrons access to high-tech tools ranging from 3-D printers to flight simulators. In the past year and a half, the center, located in the library’s central branch in Orlando, FL, has become a locus of creativity within the community, helping patrons connect and collaborate with others who share their interests. Ormilla Vengersammy, Melrose Center manager and Technology and Education Department Head for OCLS, described the center’s growing video game design program as one such example.

Six Back-to-School Goals for Teacher Librarians | Tech Tidbits

Librarians can jump-start the school year by setting some essential goals. Here, teacher librarian Phil Goerner tackles his top six objectives and lays out a plan for achieving these goals, which range from creating new maker space projects to engaging teachers in professional development.

“Toca Nature”: “A Perfectly Pixelated World” | Touch and Go

Many readers know Toca Boca’s “play studio” apps designed for preschoolers. Here is something from them that’s a little different. It combines sandbox activities with a subtle ecological message.

A “Completely and Utterly Disgusting” Game, Among Others | Touch and Go

With only a few weeks left before summer is over, it’s time to download a few playful apps. While fun and games rule, you’ll discover that planning, strategy, and skill also come into play. Oh, yes, and then there’s that “completely and utterly disgusting” game for fans of Roald Dahl.

OverDrive Working on PDF Conversion, Faster Cloud-based Platform

OverDrive is working on a project that could ultimately enable the company to convert PDFs and other file formats into the industry-standard EPUB format for ebooks, without significant loss of formatting and functionality, CEO Steve Potash said during his “Crystal Ball” presentation, which concluded the company’s biennial Digipalooza user group conference in Cleveland, OH earlier this month.

Professional TV Studio Launches in Brooklyn Library

In partnership with local nonprofit arts and media organization Brooklyn Information & Culture (BRIC), the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) in July opened a state-of-the art, three-camera television studio in its Coney Island branch. Outfitted with equipment including HD cameras, a TriCaster switcher, a green screen, and professional lighting and audio gear, all provided by BRIC, the studio will serve as a set location for BRIC’s community access television network, as well as a classroom for regularly scheduled, hands-on studio production courses.

Biodiversity Heritage Library Launches Crowdsourcing Games

The Purposeful Gaming and BHL project recently launched its first two browser-based video games, Smorball and Beanstalk. Both are designed to offer players a fun online diversion while helping the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) enable full-text searching of digitized materials. Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which was awarded in December 2013, the project is exploring how games might be used to entice people to participate in crowdsourcing efforts at libraries and museums.

A Place To Feel Smart Again | The Digital Shift

Gerontologist Debbie Dodds developed a tablet-based workshop program with the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, CA, for people with early-stage memory loss. She and library representatives will present on the pilot at LJ’s all-day virtual event The Digital Shift this October 14. In the run-up to the conference, LJ caught up with Dodd to learn more.

School Librarians Want More Tech—and Bandwidth | SLJ 2015 Tech Survey

IPads, maker spaces, 3-D printers, and coding skills top the tech wish lists for 1,259 school librarians across the country, according to School Library Journal’s 2015 Technology Survey.

Colorado State Library Expands Online Training Site

The Colorado State Library (CSL) is continuing to build out its Library Creation & Learning Centers website, a free online resource where libraries throughout the state and beyond can access interactive technology and customer service training modules for staff, Maker space programming ideas, curated links to digital creation software, and more. While the site currently focuses primarily on tech-related topics, there are plans to expand it to offer resources and training materials for a range of subjects.