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.

 SpiderOak encrypted cloud storage adds drag and drop support with Hive

This story from Ars Technica can be of note to the library/academic setting in a couple of ways.  One, is that SpiderOak is another example of a cloud storage services that enables collaboration and sharing similar to other services librarians are already using (much like Dropbox and to some extent Google Drive).  Additionally, the focus on security and encryption is an important development, especially in an environment as open and inclusive as the library. – Matt M.

The Power of Stories through Technology

A great story can serve as creative inspiration for just about anything and some of the most imaginative stories I know came from children. Growing up my mother use to write little captions on all of my pictures as I waxed poetic about how my scribble was actually some epic depiction of my day. Providing the resources to fuel minds is a philosophical goal for most libraries. If there is one thing a librarian understands it’s the power of a story. In  a TED talk, Chimamanda Adichie, tells how dangerous it is to only have one story influencing you, and that we must have a diversity of stories to truly understand the world.  Today it is possible to spread stories in all sorts of ways, through video, blogs, photos, the list grows as people think of new ways to use technology such as Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr. Consider the following projects and consider how you could utilize the technology within your library to help spark creativity.

Written by a Kid – While you may not have the resources to recreate children’s stories into miniature movies, there are tools such as Xtranormal that could allow you to partner up to create a small animation.

Caine’s Arcade – The inspirational story of Caine building a cardboard arcade is a prime example of what is possible if the time, space and supplies are provided for a creative mind. Makerspace is a concept which brings people together to share and create and a library could be a prime location to hold a Makerspace event.

Here are a few other projects inspired by children that you can check out just for fun:


Create an All-iPad Class Radio Show with AudioBoo, Bossjock, GoodReader, & SoundCloud

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can create in-class activities during instruction sessions that are more challenging and more “fun” than a standard worksheet. This article from Moving at the Speed of Creativity caught my attention because it talks about using several different applications to create a class radio show, all using the iPad. Though the article is aimed more at a K-12 audience, I think academic librarians should also continue challenging themselves to incorporate creative, multimedia activities into the classroom. – Kim

Who’s Liable for Crimes Committed with 3D-Printed Guns?

3D printers are a hot topic in the library world right now, with many libraries enthusiastically starting to incorporate them into the library service. Academic libraries are also specifically exploring how providing 3D printing can benefit students or faculty. This article from Mashable brings up some interesting questions regarding how this technology should (or, at least, could) be regulated in light of the recent buzz around a 3D-printed handgun which successfully fired its first shots. As more libraries bring 3D printers into their spaces, there will also certainly be a continued discussion of when and how to monitor the materials users are producing. – 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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