Hardcore technology for softcore librarians #sla2013 #hardtech

Hardcore technology for softcore librarians

Kendra Levine, Amy Buckland

Google doc for sesssion


“Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.” — Alan Kay

Don’t be scared of it.

It’s not about the tools, fools. If you have a problem, look for tech to solve it. Not the reverse: you have a cool tech tool and look for a problem to use it on.

Moore’s Law: smaller chips, cheaper hardware.

Raspberry Pi: very small, very cheap Linux computer, very programmable. Size of a credit card, $35. Apps, video output. Transportation people thinking about putting them in public places to give info.

Arduino: microcontrollers, monitors. c. $20. Using as air quality monitors. LED displays.

Piratebox / Librarybox: lightweight server that shares files with the public. On WiFi, but not connected to the Internet. Could use it as a digital library.

All things mobile: smartphones, tablets. Smart watches connected to smartphones.

Some kids are disconnecting to get more privacy.

Google Glass.

3D printers.

Project Management (web-based, relatively cheap and easy):

* Asana
* Basecamp
* The old Gantt chart
* Jira
* Trello


* Google Docs (Back up your data, though)
* Dropbox
* Microsoft 365

Data analysis / visualization:

Have to have good, clean data

* R (programming language for statistics) + D3 (JS library that NY Times uses)
* Excel
* Many Eyes: See what others have done
* Voyant: Wordle on steroids
* Starlight: pinpoint maps (download, not free)
* Pro-cessing
* Google Charts

Civil War in Four Minutes


Social media: Use it as a professional to carve out your space on the Internet. Be genuine, be helpful. Make it more of a conversation. It’s OK to have it be a one-way medium, but make it clear that’s what you’re doing. Follow your users.

* Google Hangout / Skype / Facetime: meetings just got real

* 5A7: French-Canadian meet-up site. “Time to actually MEAT up.”

Make library a collaborative space. Only rule is you can’t have a formal meeting with projectors, etc.

Some libraries have couches and whiteboards.


* Tiki Toki
* Chronozoom
* Neatline for Omeka: GIS photos, works with WordPress


They don’t have to be:
* at your org.
* in your association
* in your industry
* in libraryland

Go to a non-library conference.

Associations: Shared brains are good things. Other folks have same problems, don’t reinvent the wheel, harness your network.

Conversations: The best thing ever. Especially if you’re a solo librarian in a big org.

Yer mama or other people in your life. The oldest researcher in your organization: they know the history.

You! You work with info everyday, you know what you need, sleuthing is fun, look to other industries for inspiration.

Bamboo DiRT – Suggestions for “digital research tools.”