November 27, 2015


Mesa County Libraries Launches Kickstarter for Colorado Wildlife App

Wild CO My Collection

Colorado’s Mesa County Libraries (MCL) last week launched a Kickstarter campaign in support of Wild Colorado, a mobile app that will help users identify Colorado mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles, use geolocation information to notify users what types of wildlife are likely in their vicinity, and personalize their experience by adding notes, taking photos, and sharing their sightings on social media.

Always Watched | The Digital Shift 2015


At Library Journal and School Library Journal’s October 14 virtual conference, The Digital Shift: Libraries Connecting Communities, “Always Watched: How Being Surveilled Online Impacts Us All and What Librarians Can Do About It” , attendees were reminded that government and commercial surveillance is an issue of increasing importance for libraries and users alike, and librarians need to consider issues of privacy more than ever.

Q&A With Kelvin Watson, New CIO for Queens Library

Queens Library Chief Information and Technology Officer Kelvin Watson

Kelvin Watson last month was named Chief Innovation and Technology Officer for Queens Library (QL) in New York. In addition to his prior position as QL’s VP of digital services and strategy, Watson’s background includes positions at companies and organizations including The Library Corporation (TLC), Ingram, Borders, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He is also the current president of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA).

Whizz! Bang! Pow! Making an Impact with Digital Signage | The Digital Shift 2015


If you were put in charge of the digital signage at your library, would you know where to start? Laurel Eby, web wervices librarian at San José State University’s (SJSU) King Library, was tasked with implementing three digital signs. “In the beginning I had no idea what I was doing,” Eby said in her “Whizz! Bang! Pow! Making an Impact with Digital Signage” presentation for Library Journal and School Library Journal’s online conference The Digital Shift: Libraries Connecting Communities, held October 14. “What should I put on the signs? How big were they, anyway? And how long could I reasonably expect students to stand there staring at them, reading content on them?”

The Human Connection | The Digital Shift 2015


Libraries may be going digital, but librarians still bring—and need—that personal touch. On October 14, Library Journal and School Library Journal’s virtual conference, The Digital Shift, Libraries Connecting Communities, aptly demonstrated this in a wide range of offerings throughout the day-long event.

Syracuse iSchool Social Media Tool Used to Track Elections

BITS Lab at Syracuse University iSchool Github graphic

Researchers at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) are using the open-source Social Media Tracker, Analyzer, and Collector Toolkit at Syracuse (STACKS) to collect and analyze social media posts and traffic related to the 2016 presidential candidates as part of an interdisciplinary digital politics project, according to a campus publication.

With Privacy Pledge, Library Freedom Project Advocates for HTTPS

Library Freedom Project Screen

The Library Freedom Project (LFP) is urging libraries and library vendors to ensure basic online privacy protections for patrons by implementing HTTPS for websites, catalogs, and all other online resources. The HTTPS protocol tells web browsers to encrypt data that is transferred between a browser and a server, preventing third-parties from eavesdropping or tampering with that data.

On Demand | Academic Streaming Media


Whether the topic of discussion is electronic resources, collection development policies, or patron-driven acquisition, academic librarians have a history of giving media and video short shrift, argues deg farrelly, media librarian and streaming video administrator for Arizona State University Libraries (ASU).

Judy Siegel on UX for All | The User Experience


UX designer Judy Siegel likes a good challenge. For the past six years, she has been helping a wide range of tech companies, startups, and nonprofits find design thinking solutions to their user experience problems. Currently director of user experience at MSNBC, Siegel has brought her design skills to, the Information Architecture Institute, and recently the Data Privacy Project, a Knight Foundation–funded prototype project for an online technical support network that will help librarians set up secure digital services and educate their communities about privacy issues.

Fewer Dollars, More Sense | Field Reports

SCLS’s Richard Loomis installs a Chromebox in the Bridgewater Library. Photo by Kevin Henegan

Managing library computers for staff and the public can be a daunting task. Keeping track of licenses and equipment and maintaining them can be difficult, especially in a ten-branch system with a couple of hundred machines. But smaller, less expensive computers have been coming on the market lately, and at the Somerset County Library System (SCLS), NJ, we have been using these solutions to assist our staff and patrons with daily functions. Whether it be a Raspberry PI for a digital sign, a Chromebook/Box/Base for the public or staff to use, or a ZBOX for checkout, they all cost less, run faster, and work just as well as their costly counterparts.