Just under 1,000 library professionals gathered in San Francisco from April 24-26 eager and curious to learn about the latest product news from Innovative Interfaces and also to hear the company’s new leadership articulate the firm’s direction after a year of upheaval.
During a visit to Egypt two years ago, George Kerscher, Secretary General of the Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) Consortium, found that the country’s major libraries had only a very small collection of books available for print-disabled patrons. And while staff and volunteers were working to make more books accessible, output was limited to only a handful of titles each year.
Discerning this as an outsider, Kerscher (who is blind himself) realized that it was very much a microcosm of how the process of producing accessible books has traditionally functioned in the United States.
Library conferences can be great places to pick up new ideas, with roundtables, seminars, and sessions filled with stories of successful projects from peers, vendors, and professionals from other fields. Information from these sessions can help other libraries get started on new initiatives without having to reinvent the wheel.
But all projects involve some degree of risk, and some projects can fall apart as the result of preventable problems. At the recent Code4Lib 2013 event held at the UIC Forum at University of Illinois at Chicago, a group of librarians found during their Fail4Lib pre-conference workshop that discussing failed or problematic projects can be as constructive as discussing success.
SIrsiDynix, one of the largest ILS companies, is poised to roll out a new system later this year that the company says will integrate its product lines in a cloud architecture.
Various aspects of the BLUEcloud Suite (BCS) have been discussed previously, and some products that it comprises–such as Enterprise, BookMyne, and Social Library–are already on the market. But, at the Cosugi conference held in Salt Lake City March 14-16, BCS was announced as a re-engineered technology stack and holistic brand that company officials say will become the architecture upon which the company will build its products in the future.
In recent TV ads for Samsung Galaxy smartphones, two actors exchange a music playlist simply by tapping their phones together. This quick and easy method for exchanging information is enabled by Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. It isn’t a particularly prevalent feature on smartphones yet. But given NFC’s functionality—it is particularly useful for applications like secure contactless payment—it seems likely to be a ubiquitous feature on smartphones in the future.