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.

Tumblr’s Top 10 Tech of 2013

It’s that time of year again – the internet has begun to highlight the top technology trends of 2013! This rundown is based on Tumblr’s most popular technology posts and tags of the year. Although some of the tech trends are a stretch for libraries (see: robotic spider dress), others like the “Prototype Read/Digital Info Interface System,” the 3Doodler, or the Mataerial demonstrate innovative new ways people may interact with or create information. – Kim

RGB Colorspace Atlas

Does your library need a book with all the possible RGB colors? Well first you might want to test your color perception to see if you’ll even be able to distinguish all that variety. As more things become digital it’s interesting to see how the book is used as a format to express ideas in a different way. What other ways are books moving past their covers? – Laksamee

Amazon and the Drone-Delivery Revolution

This article rightly points out that Amazon is not the first company to put forward the idea of delivery by drones, and as the article suggests, possibly, this is more a marketing gimmick than a service in development. Think about the “wow” factor for libraries if books were delivered by drones; perhaps the checkout barrier of patrons retrieving books would no longer be an issue. Unfortunately, as with many things, by the time something like this would make its way to the library world, it would be an expectation rather than a stroke of genius. My guess is that no library has started even imagining drone-based delivery of library books. Even if the Amazon story is a marketing ploy, it is evidence of imagineering and R&D at Amazon. Hardly a fair comparison, but what’s our 10-year vision for resource sharing? – David

High Tech Librarian’s Holiday Shopping Guide

Suggestions for the high-tech librarian’s holiday wish list – Eric

  • Tablets: Apple iPad Mini with Retina Display – The iPad Air is very cool but the iPad Mini is a good mix of size and great features. From $399.
  • E-readers: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite – An inexpensive update to the black and white Kindle that includes a touch screen and built in reading light. $119
  • Caffeine: Bunn My Cafe MCU – Brews K-Cups, ground coffee, soft coffee & tea pods, tea bags, and loose tea. Coffee or tea in under a minute with 4 to 14 ounce serving sizes. From: 139.99. Pairs well with the Caffeine Molecule T-shirt 
  • For Under $10: Twiddle Desk Fidget Toy, $9.99.
  • Something just for you: Amazon Prime – FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items. No minimum order size. Unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video. A Kindle book to borrow for free each month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. $79 a year.

Formatting Rules for Tweets

As librarians continue to capitalize on social media to interact with our community, it’s important to not only understand the culture and purpose of various sites, but to also keep up with the structural differences between each platform. For instance, as this post from Lifehacker explains, did you know if you start a tweet with another person’s handle, only the users who follow you AND the other person will see it? Starting the tweet with a different character (e.g., putting including a period before handle) the will expand your reach! – 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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