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


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.