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.

Unglue.It is a crowdfunding group focused on publishing ebooks in an open way. Authors accept a set amount of money for their work and then the ebook is made freely available in all formats to the world! is essentially Kickstarter for books, published or unpublished, allowing people to contribute toward a book they want everyone to be able to read. The money goes toward the author and creates an ebook which is released under a creative commons license. This means authors can take their book and make money off of it in other ways, it also means anyone can receive, read and share the ebook for free. The concept takes a bit getting used to, and Unglueit has not “unglued” many books yet. But it will be interesting to see as ebooks become a standard format how ideas like this one might take off.

One of the latest campaigns? Lauren Pressley’s So You Want to Be a Librarian.

Submitted by Laksamee

Portable Apps

If you often use different Windows computers — at home and at work, or a desktop and a laptop, or your house and someone else’s house — you may wish you could always have your favorite applications with you. Even better, it would be nice if each of those applications always had your favorite settings, like preferences and bookmarks. If you like to use open source or free apps like Firefox, Chrome, or Skype and if you can keep track of a flash drive, you could have all these apps with you and set up the way you like wherever you go — as long as you remember to bring your flash drive with you! Check out the variety of apps available at PortableApps.Com. You can download a single app to try it out or you can download a suite manager that lets you install, organize, and launch any apps you get from that site. All the apps stay on your flash drive so you can move from PC to PC and have things set up the way you like it.

Submitted by Paul

Let’s talk… Analytics

Analytics, specifically learning analytics, was recognized as a trend in the Horizon Report. Analytics, in its most basic sense, is using data to make decisions. In libraries we have tremendous amounts of data – web and e-resource usage, circulation numbers, gate counts, etc. – that get included in annual reports, reviews, and national surveys. The next step is to go beyond simply reporting these numbers to using them to inform decision-making and demonstrate how the library contributes to  the university’s mission. With the growing emphasis on analytics in higher education, this is the ideal time for libraries to address this trend and become part of the university’s solution.

Submitted by David

Google Maps Indoors

Google has expanded its Indoor Maps feature to the web-based version of Google Maps. Previously available to Android users, Indoor Maps allows for submitting and viewing indoor floor plans for select buildings. A list of the currently available maps (including libraries and museums!) is available from Google. Isn’t it fun to have another way to show people in your library where the nearest restroom is?

Submitted by 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!

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