October 23, 2017

Technology

Virtually There | Product Spotlight

Public interest in virtual reality (VR) technology is on the rise. People can view VR apps on the latest smartphones using headsets as inexpensive as the $12.99 Google Cardboard. And high-end, PC-driven head-mounted displays are now available for $600 or less, with a growing number of realistic games or educational “field trip” applications available to transport users from their living rooms and classrooms into immersive environments.

Mainland Libraries Aid Maria Victims with Money, Mapathons

Update: ALA president-elect Loida García-Febo told LJ that disaster relief organizations and library groups like REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking) are still assessing the damage. ALA has established contact with the University of Puerto Rico Library and the Puerto Rican chapter of REFORMA—the organization’s largest—she reported, and is just beginning to gauge their needs.

Google Directs Users to Library Ebooks from OverDrive

OverDrive is enabling Google to display library ebooks prominently in open web search results. Announced in a tweet last month by Google, and reported by media outlets including Slate, Fortune.com, and TheVerge, the new feature displays a “Borrow ebook” option highlighting the searched for title and linking to libraries within a user’s geolocated range.

Visualizing the Future | TechKnowledge

Academic libraries have always enabled access to books, monographs, journals, and other resources. With datasets emerging as a new type of content for collection and analysis, many libraries are not only helping students and faculty acquire datasets, and hosting those they create, but debuting innovative services that assist graduate students and faculty with expressing their findings effectively through data visualization. These, in turn, make those libraries increasingly relevant to departments campuswide.

Library Freedom Institute to Launch Train-the-Trainers Course on Internet Privacy, Security

This fall New York University (NYU), in partnership with the Library Freedom Project, will be seeking applicants for the Library Freedom Institute (LFI), a new program that will train 40 geographically dispersed librarians as “Privacy Advocates.”

How to Hot Spot | TechKnowledge

Wi-Fi hot spot lending can help bridge the digital divide by addressing a persistent problem: lack of Internet access at home among low-income families. Without such access, students are often unable to complete homework with an online component, and parents can’t effectively job hunt or apply for government and other ­services.

Carl Grant on Virtual Reality and How to Build an Interdisciplinary Hub

LJ recently caught up with Carl Grant, associate dean of knowledge services and chief technology officer for the University of Oklahoma (OU) Libraries, to discuss a few of the ways the library is helping faculty incorporate virtual reality and other emerging technologies into research and coursework, as well as recent remodeling projects, and how high tech and new collaborative spaces both play key roles in OU’s effort to make the library the “intellectual crossroads” of the university.

Oculus Virtual Reality Tech Rolls Out in California Libraries

Library shelves have long presented an opportunity for patrons to escape the real world in the pages of a good book. But at libraries all over California, visitors can travel into a whole new reality. Well, a virtual reality, at least.

Digital vs Print: Taking a Position as an Academic Librarian | From the Bell Tower

As collections transition to digital and print finds its way into remote storage sites, how does our profession respond to research that favors print over digital for reading comprehension, learning, and meeting student preferences?

Social Skills | TechKnowledge

In the second quarter of 2017, Facebook grew to more than two billion monthly active users, including 236 million in the United States and Canada—two-thirds of the combined population of those countries. According to a recent report in Forbes, Twitter’s growth has been slowing somewhat, but the number of average monthly active users on the platform grew five percent year-over-year to 328 million worldwide in Q217. According to a recent report in TechCrunch, Instagram has doubled its user base during the past two years, reaching 700 million monthly active users this spring. Social media is where people are online, so libraries need to be there, too.