ALA TechSource Blog

By Jason Griffey | Way back in mid-2010, Gina Trapani (founder of Lifehacker, host of This Week in Google, all around brilliant awesome coder) announced that she was developing a piece of software then called ThinkTank, the purpose of which was to archive and analyze her twitter stream. Since Twitter doesn’t give you unlimited access to your own tweets, she wanted to ensure that she had control of her own content and could analyze it any way she wished. Now, over a year later that project is called ThinkUp, is being developed by dozens of coders and the help of Expert Labs, and is being used by the White House to analyze it’s social media presence. ThinkUp just came out of Beta, and the 1.0 is really an amazing piece of software. It installs on your LAMP server (or on Amazon EC2) with about as much effort as a Wordpress install: unzip, upload, enter some database information, and hit go. It’s a bit more work to get the various websites feeding your database. ThinkUp currently has built-in connections for Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, but in order to connect them to your ThinkUp install you have to follow some simple directions that create a link between your install and the API in question. It’s not difficult, and if you can read and push buttons there shouldn’t be any issues.

Read more | 11/21/2011 - 09:01

By Kate Sheehan | Anyone who has watched even a few minutes of one of the disturbing number of hoarding shows on television and immediately felt the urge to clean house will be familiar with the panicky feeling one's own belongings can engender. Librarians on twitter are devotees of Unclutterer and Zen Habits and nothing brings librarians together like talking about weeding. Except, perhaps for collection development. Ownership is a fraught proposition.

Read more | 11/07/2011 - 22:51

By Daniel A. Freeman | We just wrapped up David Lee King’s ALA TechSource  Workshop Facebook in the Library: Enhancing Services and Engaging Users. We had some great discussion during the event--here are some more questions to discuss. Whether you attended or not, feel free to join the conversation! Questions from Today’s Event:

Read more | 11/02/2011 - 15:35

By Daniel A. Freeman | On December 7th and 14th, Sarah Houghton will be facilitating the two-part ALA TechSource Workshop E-Books and Access: Upholding Library Values. Regardless of whether or not you plan to attend, you should check out the preliminary reading list that Sarah put together for the event. These materials underscore what Sarah will show in more detail during the workshop--that you can build a big, vibrant e-book collection for your library without violating widely-accepted library values and pricipals.

Read more | 11/01/2011 - 08:29

By Patrick Hogan | Excerpted from the Library Technology Reports August / September 2011 (vol. 47, no. 6) “The Transforming Public Library Infrastructure,” ALA Office for Resarch and Statistics. Chapter 6 “Digital Literacy Center Stage, Larra Clark and Marijke Visser. Learn how to use the data from from the study in a free WebJunction webinar November 1, 2011. See the archive and resources page. While information literacy has been well defined over the past two decades in our school and academic libraries, public libraries are newer to formal instruction in this arena. For many public libraries, teaching basic computers skills—in classes or as needed—has become a requirement as critical interactions with employers and government agencies demand it from those seeking resources and opportunities and as these individuals come to the library to access such resources. With computer skill classes now a regular part of the library landscape, it is time to raise the bar and expand patrons’ digital fluency and evaluation skills.

Read more | 10/30/2011 - 18:56

By Jason Griffey | With the upcoming Kindle Fire tablet, Amazon isn’t just launching another new LCD-based tablet into the marketplace. It’s also giving us yet another ebook filetype, Kindle Format 8. This is the first departure from the longstanding Mobi filetype that Amazon has been using for its Kindle books thus far, and it looks like KF8 is being designed and implemented specifically to compete with the functionality found in the ePub format.

Read more | 10/25/2011 - 08:21

By Daniel A. Freeman | We just wrapped up the second session of the ALA TechSource  Workshop Integrating iPads and Tablet Computers into Library Services with Rebecca Miller, Carolyn Meier and Heather Moorefield-Lang. We had some great discussion during the event--here are some more questions to discuss. Whether you attended or not, feel free to join the conversation! Questions from Today’s Event:

Read more | 10/20/2011 - 15:17

By Patrick Hogan | This summer we ran a special offer of $99 for our ALA TechSource online subscription -- access to Libary Technology Reports and Smart Libraries Newsletter. We’ve extended the deadline another couple of weeks to October 31, 2011. This unprecedented offer is hard to be beat. You’ll receive 8 Library Technology Reports and 12 issues of Marshall Breeding’s Smart Libraries Newsletter, plus access to an archive. To place an order, use this form.

Read more | 10/18/2011 - 12:14

By Michelle Boule | Last week, ECAR, the EDUCASE Center for Applied Research, released their most recent study on undergraduate students and technology. Some of the findings were quite astounding--a majority of the students own over a dozen technology devices--and some were common sense, like the finding that technology is not being used strategically in the academic lives of students. The report is only 35 pages, and its worth taking some time to look through.

Read more | 10/17/2011 - 10:35

By Patrick Hogan | OverDrive released 3rd quarter 2011  traffic and ciruclation statisics a few days ago. Through September 30, the 15,000 libraries in the OverDrive network showed nearly triple the number of eBook checkouts versus all of 2010, as well as more than 2 million new users. Below are details.

Read more | 10/14/2011 - 12:39