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.

Interactive Charts for Your Library Dashboard

This was an incredibly useful talk/demo at ACRL that has helped me make some progress on an issue I have been grappling with for some time – how to make our library data more available without a lot of manual updating and sharing of spreadsheets. Specifically, I’m interested in web analytics data, and Heather Rayl’s presentation addresses just that. Using the Google Analytics API, I can populate data in a Google Spreadsheet. Heather feeds that data into a separate script using Highcharts JS. For now, I’m creating charts within Google Spreadsheets and sharing/embedding them in a Google Site. Still in beta mode right now, but that’s more than I’ve had up until now! If you collect data, Google Spreadsheets might be something to look at to share that data with others in your library. – David

Video Notes

It is fairly common for academic libraries to provide online tutorials, screencasts, or other types of web-based instruction; one area for further expansion might include better support for students’ interactions with the video content. Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers recently shared a great tool called which allows users to simultaneously view YouTube videos and take notes, side-by-side on their screen. is also integrated with Google Drive, making sharing and collaboration easy. Students could watch an assigned video, sharing notes and questions with other students or the librarian, providing further support for use of video materials in distance, online, or “flipped” instruction. – Kim

7 Things Libraries Can Do with Google Glass

Google Glass continues to be one of the most common topics for writers on the web. Last time, we shared an article about West Virginia’s attempt to regulate Google Glass. But how could this technology be used in libraries? Ellyssa Kroski over at iLibrarian talks about just that, with seven different suggestions for how Google Glass could influence and enhance library services. – Kim

 Paper Touchscreen

If scanners or copiers are widely used in your library check out this new interface that can make a paper surface into a touchscreen! Fujitsu has created a “FingerLink Interaction System” that allows a user to point and select information on a physical object. This demo mentions using the interface for filling out government forms, but I can easily see this technology replacing scanners and copy machines. Rather than laying a book down and crossing your fingers that it’s in the right place, a user can see and use familiar gestures to choose what they want out of a paper book or any physical item. Additional possible library uses for the  technology are sparking my imagination! – Laksamee

Create Magazines in Flipboard

Last year, one of our awesome Library Tech Talk guest authors introduced you to Flipboard for staying current with your online reading. Recently, Flipboard released a new feature which allows you to create your own digital magazines. This post from The Digital Shift includes a screencast which shows you how exactly creating your own magazine works. I think it could be really fun to create a collaborative magazine with students during library instruction, perhaps in a session about resource evaluation in which students are asked to collect good (or bad!)  examples of sites they find when investigating sources for a class project – 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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