CLA Poster: Apps for Libraries: Using App Inventor to Make an App for Instruction Registration


Apps for Libraries: Using App Inventor to Make an App for Instruction Registration

Poster Developed by: Nancy Young; Ontario Student Chapter

Apps and mobile devices are endemic to our society but few library personnel have the expertise to make them. So many libraries either do without or use expensive outsourcing. However, there are new tools that allow someone with minimal training to create an app. The Google-MIT collaboration, App Inventor, is free and open-source. The objective was to determine if a library app could be made by someone with minimal programming skills using App Inventor. An app was made and refined. Examples of code from YouTube users were incorporated with App Inventor Tutorials. The resulting app could be used to determine whether a professional app should be commissioned. App Inventor’s very ease of use decreases the creator’s freedom to add more functionality, more visual appeal and versatility. However, App Inventor is primarily intended as a teaching tool as a bargain apps go, you cannot get much better both for price and time spent.

IFLA 2013: Supporting KM – Tech & Tools


Here is the paper & slides Frank Cervone & Jane Dysart presented at IFLA’s( 79th World Library Information Congress in Singapore:

Paper: IFLA – Cervone-Dysart-KM Tools

Slides: Slides Cervone-Dysart-IFLA_KM_Tools

The presentation covers some open access and open sources technology and tools which can be used to support learning, knowledge sharing and team-based work in any organization. It covers knowledge management (KM) systems, business intelligence (BI) systems, document management tools, personal KM tools, some specialized application tools and social media tools. This list is definitely not exhaustive, but some to look at if you need some support for your initiatives.

SOFTWARE AND REFERENCE URLS ( OpenKM ( SpagoBI ( JasperSoft ( OpenDocMan ( TemaTres ( MediaCrawler ( OpenSearchServer ( PiggyDB ( Freeplane ( Kwok Information Server ( Plandora ( ( KM Today newsletter ( City of Yarra and Yammer ( British Library and Yammer

Confessions of a Former Book Lover


I love to read, always have — what a surprise right? And I always thought I liked the actual books but now I know it is really the content I love — the ideas, the puzzles, the stuff that makes you think and imagine. And I know this how? I am in love with my Amazon Kindle. I thought it would be great for taking a bunch of books away with me when I’m gone for several weeks or so. Less weight since air travel is such a pain these days. I wanted to try it out as I have always love to gadgets. I was amazed last November when a plane I was on had half the people using ebook readers.

So I downloaded a bunch of books to take away with a month ago. BTW, it is easy on the Kindle as it has wireless capabilities. I loved the feel of the Kindle, the weight, the ease of use as soon as I started using it. I could bump the font up so I don’t have to squint (yeah, I’m getting old!). I could take it anywhere; even on the bright sunny beach it excelled. The one thing I had not anticipated was that I could rest the reader on my knee, on the back of the seat in front of me on the plane, on a pillow and only flick the next page button — so almost hands free, amazing. The Kindle even passed the bathtub test

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What Were You Doing 11 Years Ago?


Can you beleive that Google is now 11 years old? Hard to remember the tools we were using 11 years ago to search and connect. What do you think we’ll be using in terms of tools in 2020 (another 11 years hence)?

ICT Tools in Parliamentary Libraries


Moira Fraser of the new Zealand Parliamentary Library is presenting the results of a 2009 survey on the use of ICT tools in parliamentary libraries. There were 32 responses from 27 countries, from Albania to Zambia. with respoect to the involvement in the organization of the contents of parliament website, 4 have no involvement, 4 are responsible for the whole website, but most (ww) are involved in some aspects of the website. Often parliamentary libraries’ involvement is with another group such as the Office of the Clerk, Senate, House of Commons. Although 17% of the libraries in teh survey were not involved in the creation of parliamentary data baes, 23% were doing so and making them accessible through the intranet, and 60% were doing so on both the intranet and internet. Not quite half of the parliamentary libraries are involved in teh application of mark up languages for indexingmetadata in parliamentary documentation. The majority of responding libraries classify and evaluate web resources to respond to the parliament’s information needs, and they mostly make them available on teh intranet. A range of tools are used to encourage collaborative work, including blogs, wikis, Lotus Notes, Google Suite, SharePoint. Although no libraries have social networking policies, many are encouraging the use of these tools, and Chile is leading the charge. All libraries have websites to inform citizens on the work of parliaments, but also in use: webcasts and TV, alerts & RSS, Twitter, YouTube (UK), blogs, Flickr and podcasts. Full details will be

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Visualization Chart


Thanks to Steve Barth for pointing out this definitely, as he says on Twitter/FB, “way cool” Periodic Table of Visualization methods. I love the way you can hover over one element and get a look at each method more closely!

Twitter Trending & “Mesh09”


Wishing I was there.

Unfortunately it has been a few years since I have been able to attend the Mesh conference in Toronto with key themes: conntect, share, inspire. I decided to check in with the conference via Twitter today and found it was a top trending Twitter topic, just as Computers in Libraries 2009 was last week! And I discovered an interesting presentation by Bonin Bough, Global Director, Digital & Social Media, Pepsico. I thought I’d share what I learned from watching other people’s comments and see if I could blog about the session even though I wasn’t there.

Bough emphasized that “It is all about the story telling” whatever the medium — the best will succeed. “You can no longer stand on a hill & talk to people, you have to come into their homes and share.” You can’t be disruptive, you need to add to the experience — be an enabler. “If you drive passion, interest in the product follows.” “Have a digital strategy board and be focused in a digital direction.” “We are shifting from impressions/perceptions to connections –listening, understanding, conversing.”

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Buzzin’ CIL 2009


Great conference!

I hope all the 2000+ attendees, speakers, and exhibitors enjoyed Computers in Libraries 2009 as much as I did. Three terrific keynotes: Lee Rainie, Paul Holdengraber interviewed by Erik Boekesteijn, Michael Edson. Almost 200 terrific speakers. A fabulous Dead & Innovative Tech evening. Follow the coverage by Information staff and other bloggers at the conference. And, of course, the Twitter feed (#CIL2009) which was a top trending topic for several days of the conference as well as the hundreds of pictures on Flickr which are still being loaded. And I just got the link to Michael Sauers’ highlight video — 4 days of CIL in 11.5 minutes. Thanks everyone for making it such a great experience — filled with learning, laughing, conversations, networking, and so much more.

The cloud has lifted


I finally get it – I think. There’s nobody better to learn from about cloud computing than Roy Tennant and Andrew Pace. At their session at CIL 2009 today they explained that cloud computing is a “style of computing in which dynamically scalable & often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Net” (thx Wikipedia), but really it means that someone else, somewhere, is running the servers and the operating software so you – or your library or organization – doesn’t have to. Phew!

Why would you want to do this? Seems obvious —- you don’t have to know how to install things, or keep the servers cool, or suffer all the other headaches caused by server hardward and software. Of course the downside is that you also lose some control over these operations. Oh well.Life is one long trade-off.

What was even more interesting was how WorldCat is using cloud computing to enable libraries to do some innovative things — like the fact that you can look for a book on your cell or pda and the search results will show you the nearest Borders with the book (I’m in the US remember), AND the nearest library with the book — and map the locations for you. Cool

Roy also talked about the WorldCat Hackathon – not a coughing contest, but rather where coders (I love that term) gather to develop new codes to keep pushing

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Women & Technology


After spending many years in the information industry with a focus on information technology and information management, I’m wondering if these areas are as cyclical as the real estate biz. In the early 90s when I was involved in Mecklermedia’s Internet World events, I was one of a small number of women which mushroomed very quickly along with a number of associations and career paths. I attended the FASTForward ’09 conference last month and looked around at the very few women in the audience. Very disappointing. I’m hoping that we can encourage more young women to find rewarding careers in the information technology and computing world. I’m really pleased that my daughter is one of them!

I am focusing on a woman of influence in the information technology world for Ada Lovelace Day that I met a few years ago. Ada Lovelace was an intersting lady. And so is Beth Unger, Vice Provost for Academic Services and Technology and Dean of Continuing Education, Professor of Computing and Information Sciences, Kansas State University. Beth is a technology pioneer who influenced computing at Michigan State University and spoke at their 50th anniversary of computing. In fact, Beth is a mathematician and a computer scientist and as a young woman from 1959-1961 she worked with IBM on such projects as the first automation of the assembly line of Oldsmobile, resulting in a custom-built car every 13 seconds. She has been honoured for leadership in distance learning and instructional technology. One awesome lady!


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