I don't have much of a background in programming, but I do have a bit of one in libraries. This was my final paper for a graduate course from last semester. I'm curious to hear from other people in the library and programming fields about the viability of the idea. Is it useful, feasible, doable? The basic idea is to automatically attach search terms to library items that end up being used because of those search terms. I'd love to hear what you think!
We're doing a program to complement summer reading in the Vermont, the Passport to Vermont Libraries. The Vermont Library Association designed a passport and made 1000 of them to give to patrons at participating libraries. Vermont has about 200 libraries (if you count publics and academics and others) and almost 100 of them signed up. You all helped me get started! [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]
This is [indirectly] Jessamyn's fault. :) [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.
We're constantly digitizing new material at my library, which is Harvard's largest for rare books and manuscripts. I post about larger collections on our blog, but I wanted to have a place to put interesting single images as well. Right now, I plan on posting one new item per day. Each image links to the record in our online catalog, for anyone who wants to know more about the source or come in to see it in person.
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.
In 1962, John R. Platt predicted a personal microfilm library of all the world's written records would soon be installed in every home. In essence, he hypothesised a pre-digital Internet powered by photographic film, optical lenses and the postal service. [more inside]
The Publication Standards Project campaigns for free and open standards for digital publishing, for the benefit of readers, writers, libraries, and publishers alike. We started with a two-part essay by nickd on A List Apart. Last month's campaign concerned DRM, and this month we're focusing on libraries. We hope our supporters will embrace Monday, July 16 as Information Access Day and take the opportunity to open a conversation on issues of information freedom, literacy, and access.
I'm one of the contributors to the blog of Houghton Library, Harvard's primary repository for rare books and manuscripts. This year we've inaugurated a new feature called You've Got Mail, which highlights a letter from Houghton's collections every Friday. Posts so far have included letters from Ben Franklin, Herman Melville, Rene Descartes, and the conjoined twins Chang and Eng.
It occurred to me that some of the best conversations I’ve had lately revolve around the question - why are you a librarian? I thought it would be fun to collect these stories in a central place so that we’d have a snapshot of all the different reasons people join the information science profession but more importantly, why we’ve stayed in libraries. I’m collecting anecdotes from Twitter (tweet with hash tag #ilibcause), via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and via a submission form on the website ilibcause.com/submit. More information available at ilibcause.com/about. [more inside]