February 27, 2017

Technology

Western Sydney University Offers No-Cost Digital Textbooks

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Australia’s Western Sydney University (WSU), in collaboration with ProQuest, announced on February 12 that it will begin providing first-year students with no-cost access to digital textbooks through WSU’s library.

DIY Usability: First-Click Testing | The User Experience

Emily Mitchell and Brandon West

Although every library would benefit from running usability studies, not every library has a dedicated staff available to conduct those studies. Anecdotally, librarians seem to feel incapable of undertaking usability studies for reasons including time, budget, and expertise.

Easy Pass | Product Spotlight

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Many libraries work with local cultural institutions to provide patrons with free or reduced-cost access. These print passes can be checked out in-house by patrons just like other resources, complete with circulation limits, due dates, and fines. Some software companies are simplifying pass management with web-based tools to help patrons discover and check out museum passes and event tickets or make reservations.

AR, VR Lead Top Tech Trends Discussion | ALA Midwinter 2017

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The LITA Top Tech Trends panel at ALA Midwinter covered augmented reality, virtual reality, trends in teaching and technology, gamification, community driven technology innovation, and more.

Introducing VR | Field Reports

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To support the changing needs of faculty and students researching mass media, popular culture, and video games, the University of North Texas (UNT) Media Library, Denton, began developing a game collection in 2009. This collection first included console games and in-house access to gaming PCs and then grew to include tabletop games in 2010. Because virtual reality (VR) headsets and devices are a natural fit, we included VR equipment on our wish list until 2015, when we finally had funding for an Oculus Rift DK2 ($350).

Setting the Standards for Saving Email

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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the U.K.-based nonprofit Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) in November 2016 announced the formation of a Task Force on Technical Approaches for Email Archives.

NYPL, Macmillan Launch Publishing Partnership

Will Schwalbe
Photo credit: Josef Astor

New York Public Library (NYPL) and big-five publisher Macmillan have reached an agreement that will see Macmillan release children’s and adult books inspired by and sourced at the library, making NYPL’s famed collection available to a broader audience.

WhiteSpace Project Could Grow Rural Broadband Access

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Leveraging TV white space (TVWS)—unused, license-exempt portions of the radio spectrum that have been traditionally allocated to television broadcasters—could expand broadband Internet access in rural areas. The San Jose State University (SJSU) School of Information, in partnership with the Gigabit Libraries Network (GLN), has been assessing ways to do so through the Libraries WhiteSpace Project.

Adopt or Adapt? | Office Hours

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“I already feel behind. I’m not an early adopter and do not want to be. Is there a place for those not drawn to the newest and shiniest tech?” read an email from an LIS student expressing concern about finding her way through the discussions and applications of emerging technologies in the field. There is a place for you, I replied, but it requires shifting perspective a bit and looking beyond technology.

American Museum of Natural History Hackathon Tackles 21st Century Library Challenges

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On November 18–20, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) hosted “Hack the Stacks,” a solution-building event where over 100 developers, programmers, and others with a passion for computer science worked overnight to develop innovative solutions for the challenges faced by modern libraries and archives. The goal was to animate, organize, and enable greater access to the increasing body of digitized content produced by the AMNH Library.