Tech Roundup

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.


Adobe Digital Editions and User Privacy

There’s a new thread of privacy discussions going on surrounding a recent uncovering of user activity data being collected by Adobe Digital Editions software. This software is used by most ebook platforms that libraries provide to their patrons. (TU has it installed on our public computers.) In addition to the privacy concern, there are also security concerns with the way this data collection is implemented. ALA released a statement criticizing Adobe’s current collection practices. What is interesting is that, while libraries uphold user privacy, we would also find the type of data being collected incredibly insightful for understanding the users’ ebook reading behaviors and experiences. It’s difficult to determine where data collection stops being helpful and starts becoming invasive. – David

Jeopardy-style Review Games

A quick round or two of Jeopardy can be a fun way to assess students’ knowledge at the beginning of a library instruction session or help them review what they’ve learned once an instruction session is over. While tools like Microsoft PowerPoint templates have helped librarians build Jeopardy games for a number of years,  Free Technology for Teachers recently posted “Three Nice Online Tools for Building Jeopardy-style Review Games” that librarians might also explore. Just remember to phrase your answer in the form of a question! – Kim

Google Releases Free Icons

As featured in Gizmodo, Google recently released a set of 750 icons via Github that are open source and free to use. Although intended for mobile designers and released as part of Google’s Material Design project, anyone can download the set of icons for use in other projects. Librarians looking for other free, open source or public domain icons should also check out the Noun Project. – Kim

“The 4 Flavors of Makerspaces”

Ellyssa Kroski at iLibrarian recently featured a run down (with examples) “The 4 Flavors of Makerspaces,” including FabLabs, Hackerspaces, TechShops, and Maerkspaces. As librarians continue to jump on the Makerspace train, it’s important to note that these spaces are not “one-size fits all” and fun to consider which iteration may fit our communities and our spaces the best. – Kim

 


What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!

Tech Roundup

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.


dripread

If the only reading you seem to be doing is via email, dripread might be for you. Send yourself a page a day to read, maybe to break up the monotony of meeting requests or just to serve as a reminder that you have a reading list that you should be trying to get through. There’s a selection of free books you can utilize, or you can sync the account to Google to connect ebooks you already own. Alas, there is no synchronization to Kindle books, but if you have the epub files for any material they can be uploaded to dripread to be dispensed in small doses. – Laksamee

ARLIS/NA Multimedia Technology Reviews

The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) recently published its latest bi-monthly collection of Multimedia and Technology reviews, which they describe as targeting “projects, products, events, and issues within the broad realm of multimedia and technology related to arts scholarship, research, and librarianship.” Included in the most recent review are projects and services like the reference manager ProQuest Flow, the mobile application Blek, and the Design Envy blog. – Kim

CamScanner

Tired of searching for a scanner to use at work? The solution might be right in front of you. CamScanner is an app that uses your mobile devices camera as a scanner, allowing you to scan and enhance scans on the fly. It’s not new, and I’m sure there are numerous other scanner apps available in your favorite app store. This one has worked for me, though – just enough functionality. I’ve even started using it to preserve my whiteboard scribbles during brainstorming sessions. The free version has been enough for me, but at $1.99 the paid app might be a good deal. – David

Data Analytics in Higher Education

This post from The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Wired Campus blog highlights trends in data analytics from the recent Educause conference. As colleges and universities find new ways to collect and use data about their institutions (and students, more specifically), what type of data are librarians interested in collecting? What do we want to know about our users? And what are the implications for privacy or other ethical considerations when collecting this so called “digital intelligence?” – Kim

 


What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!

Tech Roundup

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.


Hollywood’s Digital Archiving Dilemma

As the motion picture industry has shifted from analog film to digital, the process of archiving digital materials has been a challenge. Film can usually last for at least a century if properly stored in a temperature controlled room, but in a digital environment, formats continue to change requiring periodic transfer to new media. Additionally, there are multiple digital archiving systems in the market, as well as a variety of versions of digital storage technologies. Now, a new Archive Exchange Format (AXF), has been made a standard by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers in order to create “a robust mechanism for storing archival material on any physical medium that is recoverable with any other AXF-supported technology,” regardless of changes in digital archiving technologies. Various companies from within Hollywood and beyond were involved in the project, including the Library of Congress. – Armando

Tech Enabled Nap Rooms?

Although students will often sacrifice a good night’s sleep for a few more study hours, sleep is vital for health and learning. A few libraries across the country have started offering havens for sleep-deprived students, setting up napping stations to promote catching a few Z’s. While a cot and a quiet room is often sufficient for a power nap, some universities are investigating high-tech nap pods that include features like pre-programmed nap cyles. Now that’s next-level research relief! – Kim

Digital Paper

Smart pens have been in the works for a while, but they haven’t quite caught on yet. I know quite a few academics who treasure their moleskin notebooks. Well now those notebooks can work with the Livescribe digital smartpens. Maybe these will tempt you away from the uni-task ink pen – Laksamee

“What Do Schools Risk by Going ‘Full Google?'”

This article from Anya Kamenetz at the KQED MindShift blog provides some important considerations as more schools rely heavily on Google tools for education. Along with the recently launched Classroom, Google’s free Apps for Education remain popular in K-12 and higher education (as well as their libraries). Should concerns like ease of adoption and student privacy give educators pause before taking their classroom “full Google?:”- Kim

 


What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!

Tech Roundup

We’re back with a new “Tech Roundup!”

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.


NPR: “How Long Do CDs Last?”

This article and story from NPR relates to technology obsolescence, specifically the use of CDs for long-term storage in archives, libraries, and other institutions. Have we placed too much faith in digital media as a solution for our preservation needs?  As the article states, back in the 1990s, a variety of institutions, such as historical societies, museums, and symphonies, began to transfer all kinds of information, from sound recordings to public records, to what was thought to be the durable medium of compact discs. But preservationists are now worried that there is a high risk of much of that precious data to disappear, due to their degradation. And this is especially true in places where the resources are limited to be able to adequately control the environment. There is also the factor of not all CDs being created equally, with a variety of manufacturing standards, depending on the year and factory. Other ways to store information for long-term preservation are now being adopted, such as archiving material on servers, but would these bring forth other unknown problems in the future? – Armando

Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition

Since 2002, the New Media Consortium Horizon Project has tracked emerging technologies poised to impact teaching, learning, research, and creative inquiry. Recently, the Horizon Project released their first ever “Library Edition” devoted to key trends, challenges, and technology developments that will affect academic and research libraries worldwide over the next five years. Check it out! – Kim

The University Library as Incubator for Digital Scholarship

This Educause Review article confirms a recent observation I’ve had: the number of university libraries that are creating spaces for scholars to collaborate, display, and extend their work is increasing.  These spaces take on a lot of different names – “Scholarship Lab”, “Scholarly Commons”, “Center for Digital Scholarship” – and, from the examples the article gives, are typically found at large research institutions. While Towson may not hold the same Carnegie Classification as some of the institutions where these labs are popping up, I do still think the concept has implications for the types of spaces that we might consider creating. The author describes three areas of focus for these spaces: (1) Data services, (2) Visualization techniques, and (3) Digitization, publishing, and sharing. I’m especially intrigued by the author’s hint at the digital scholarship incubator as a scholarly take on “makerspaces”. I’d encourage you to take a look at some of the examples of these spaces that the article mentions. David

Biobatteries

Researchers have developed a temporary tattoo that reads lactate levels in order to better understand what’s happening in the body during exercise. But what everyone is excited about is that this could be a way to gather power from your workout. Maybe your 15 minute break can be used to recharge your devices! – Laksamee

What Kids Students are Bringing Back to School This Year

Every year the major technology vendors offer various back-to school deals. Check out these links to see what kind of technology you might be seeing around the library this fall:

From Dell: Laptops with free tablets

From Microsoft: Will give students a $100 discount on eligible Windows computers, and $150 when they buy an eligible Windows computer and Office 365

From Apple: A student’s new Mac will come with $100 gift card, while a new iPad or iPhone will give them $50 credit to spend at Apple.

From BestBuy: Best Buy has a whole host of discounts via coupon for college students that can be found at this link

Eric

Free Resume Template Sources

Do you need to spiff up that resume for a job or internship search? Do just like knowing about free stuff out there? Lifehacker recently highlighted a resource that provides 275 free Microsoft Word resume templates for you to download. There is also a link to free Google Docs resume templates if you like writing in the cloud. Go on, and show off those skills! – Kim


What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!

Unless noted, neither Library Tech Talk nor our authors are affiliated with any of the technologies or technology companies mentioned on this website… we just share what we think is important, useful, or awesome.

Tech Roundup

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.


Wearables in Education

One of the current emerging trends in consumer technology is the variety of wearable devices not on the market and yet to come. Devices like Google Glass, smart watches, and fitness trackers are just a few examples of the ways consumers can now wear their technology. But how will wearable technology play out in education (and in libraries)? This post the AR at Mimas blog provides some interesting thoughts about the benefit of wearables in education and a preliminary example of how augmented reality through Glass may be used as an instructional tool. – Kim

Linked Jazz

I stumbled across the Linked Jazz project in this Educause Review article, and it seemed like a great way to understand more about the practical uses of linked data. The big benefit to linked data is the establishment of relationships between objects (in this case, jazz musicians). The project includes a fun Network Visualization Tool that allows you to see the relationships between various musicians. Linked Jazz 52nd ST allows you to participate in the formation of those relationships by interpreting the relationship between two musicians as described in interview transcripts. Try it, and get to know a little more about how linked data is constructed and works. (Warning: It’s more fun than reading the Linked Data Wikipedia entry.) – David

Flexible TV Screens

The technology for flexible, clear displays has been around for a while. But every time I see it, I think “I live in the future!”. Once screens like these become a regular market item, they could drastically change how your library computer lab looks, or even what you can put into your display cases. Maybe the transparent screens could make it easier to see if patrons are looking at appropriate things, or that your students are on task? – Laksamee

“11 University and Library Groups Release Net-Neutrality Principles”

In case you missed it, on Thursday, July 10th 11 higher education and library groups (including the American Library Association and Association of Research Libraries) released a document that outlines 11 principles of net neutrality, intended to inform the FCC decisions on new open-Internet rules. As reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s “Wired Campus” blog, the principles include “recommendations to prohibit the blocking of legal websites, ensure neutrality on public networks, forbid paid prioritization in the transmission of some content over others, and adopt enforceable policies.” Interested to read the full set off 11 principles? They are also available online. – Kim

 

 


What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!

Tech Roundup

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.


Security and Reliability of Research Data Storage

Jonathan Rochkind recently posted a spot-on reflection on a Chronicle of Higher Education post about research data being lost during the crash of a cloud storage solution. His assertion that non-trivial tasks like providing reliable and secure cloud storage require professional specialists in order to get it right can be extrapolated to other technology services/solutions. In harmony with this is Mark Dehmlow’s ITAL editorial that people are one of our most (if not the most) important technology asset. As technology tasks that once required specialists become more consumable by the masses (an amazing thing!), the realization that other equally challenging tasks arise often gets lost. It still takes people with specialist skills and high emotional intelligence to keep the system together. I hope libraries and higher education remember this and don’t wait for IT disasters to remind us. – David

“Google, the fight to forget, and the right to remember”

This recent post by Jeff John Roberts over at Gigaom discusses possible long-term implications of a recent court ruling in the European Union which could give people the power to have search results removed from Google. The article mainly focuses on other examples of selective “forgetting” in European history. Although the ruling does not require the information be removed from the web, removing search results from one of the most popular search engines can relegate information further into the “invisible web.” – Kim

Internet of Things Will Thrive by 2025

Pew Research Center released a report about the “Internet of Things” last week, boldly predicting in its headline that “The Internet of Things Will Thrive by 2025”. We’ve already seen the emergence of consumer products that fit in the Internet of Things (IoT) category – fitbit, Nest Thermostat, etc. Security is a growing concern with the consumerization of “smart” (read: network connected) stuff. Ten years isn’t very long. How will we make our resources part of it? – David

Inventory Wand 

This piece of technology I saw at a recent conference reminds me of the television remote control – so easy, every librarian would want it! If your books are tagged with an RFID, the wand allows you to wave it over multiple books, in a bin, on a shelf etc.  and voila, on a computer screen a list will appear of the items. The list can be customized, allowing you to check in multiple books, find lost items on a shelf or weed the collection of books which fit a specific parameter. I have three words for you: I need one. – Laksamee

Cataloging your home library

 In case you can’t get enough information organization at work, the lull of the summer months could be a great time to catalog your home collection of books. This post from Emily VanBuren over at Inside Higher Ed’s Grad Hacker column briefly reviews 7 apps that can help you on your way! – Kim

 


What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!

Tech Roundup

Technology Committee members here at Towson University’s Cook Library are always on the hunt for new technology applications to bring into the library or technology-related issues our library should be addressing.  As we scour the internet for important, interesting, or just plain cool examples of technology applications, issues, or news, we post links and  summaries with our take here to the blog.


A Renewed Focus On Net Neutrality

Several recent court rulings have may change the way the FCC regulates the internet. These are seen by some proponents of Net Neutrality as steps toward a more closed and corporately controlled internet.  You can read more from Reuters. Confused as to what “Net Neutrality” is? Check out this video and article from CNBC.

Still having trouble deciding which is the best way for internet regulation to go, check out these videos* in favor of Net Neutrality and against Net Neutrality/

*Note: Given this is a hot political issue, these videos of course may be seen as biased.

- Eric G.

Code4Lib 2014

The 2014 Code4Lib Conference took place in Raleigh, NC just about a month ago. I wish it was a conference that I could attend more often, but I’m grateful to the conference planners that they make a point of making the conference content available to those who cannot attend. While some of it may be a little “techie” for general consumption, I think it is a great reminder of how much we can do without investing in the latest gizmos and gadgets but instead investing in skilled individuals with great ideas. Take a look at the conference schedule and check out a couple of the video recordings. There are also some nice write-ups about the conference experience from scholarship recipients. – David

Google Drive Tips

Google tools remain popular with many academic librarians for a variety of tasks. With continual changes, it can sometimes be tough to keep up with all of the neat tricks built in to Google apps and Google Drive. Mashable has a rundown of eight quick tips on some recent updates. – Kim

DIY Holograms

This awesome video produced by PBS Digital Studios and featured on Gizmodo demonstrates how to create a 3D hologram using the “Pepper’s Ghost” technique. Using some 19th century illusions and modern technology, the library can become a campus host for some unique hologram creation and display events. – Kim

 


What do you think about some of the issues or technologies presented?  Have you found anything interesting online this week? Share in the comments!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers