The Library of Congress contains vast troves of digital resources. LOC Serendipity is a website that simulates the experience of exploring a library and skimming eye-catching or interesting titles. From books like, "Dainty dishes for slender incomes," which contains a delicious recipe for beignets, to the oddball early-1800's "Memoirs of the notorious Stephen Burroughs of New Hampshire" to "The forgotten book," published in 2018, this tool enables serendipitous and deeply engaging discovery every day. [more inside]
As part of Open Data Day DC, I began the Books for DC (aka 'booksfordc') project with the goal of increasing user engagement with the DC Public Library's many wonderful resources. Last month, I wrote a web scraper that publishes a Twitter feed of new additions to the DCPL book catalog. And I just released a Chrome browser extension that lets you know what books and ebooks are available at the DCPL when browsing Amazon, Goodreads, or Barnes & Noble. [more inside]
You're The Expert is a live show and podcast that makes academic research fun and accessible through comedy. I appeared on a special episode taped at the Boston Book Festival in my capacity as a rare book and manuscript librarian at Harvard's Houghton Library. Also available from Stitcher or as a direct mp3 link.
Recently, I've been using concordances of poems in my teaching and presenting, and have been surprised at the new poems that emerge from the rearranged works. I started a single-topic tumblr to document some of my favorites. [more inside]
Our default display interface for digitized books and manuscripts uses frames (I know) and worked very poorly on mobile devices. We've just released an interface that autodetects visits from these devices and routes them to an alternative interface that is much more usable, and offers orientation awareness and gesture based page-turning and zooming . To try it, follow this link on your touchscreen device. Try it out, and please leave me any feedback you have about your experience.