Harvard Library Lab Videos

Harvard Library Labs

How is it possible that I haven’t written about the Harvard Library Labs project here before? The Harvard Library Labs turn out a bunch of great open source library tools and now there are a http://opensourceils.com) for disseminating resources about OSS ILS. We appreciate the many responses we have had to previous calls for surveys and interviews and hope to hear from many librarians again for this survey. Participants will be entered into a drawing for 1 of 5 $20 gift cards for Amazon.com.

The survey can be accessed at http://oss-research.cci.utk.edu/ILS_adoption_survey and will be open for one month. Please feel free to forward this notice to other interested parties.

You can also direct any queries or suggestions to utk.ils.research@gmail.com with the subject “ILS Survey” in the subject line.

We really appreciate your time and support and look forward to reporting back the results from this study!

Macbook Vending Machine

Drexel Macbook Kiosk

I just learned that Drexel’s Hagerty Library is not only lending out Macbook Pros to those on campus, but is doing so via a vending machine type interface.

Drexel University introduced a 24-hour, self-service vending machine located in the W. W. Hagerty Library that will dispense MacBooks for use by students, faculty and staff. Drexel is the third university on the East Coast to introduce the kiosk, which holds up to 12 MacBooks that could be checked out free by anyone with a Drexel ID for five hours.

The kiosk provides a 24-hour solution to students who want to work on projects and assignments or study at the library late into the night.

Found via Gizmodo that pointed me to Drexel’s official release.

First bookless library

Bookless Library

For years librarians have been trying to say that the library isn’t all about the books … and while I of course agree … I’m not sure I would go so far as to remove all books from the library – or in the case of San Antonio building a library without any books.

Books, who needs ‘em? Libraries? Not anymore they don’t. The first public, bookless library is coming to San Antonio soon and, possibly, to a (dystopic?) future near you.

The new book-free library, called “BiblioTech,” is intended to open in the fall and is part of a an entire bookless public library system planned for the entire county of Bexar. And it’s not “bring your own device” either. The library will actually lend out e-readers (of an unspecified brand) for two weeks at a time. There will also be computers and the like, but no books, and presumably no card catalog (!) either.

Read more on Gizmodo.

MarcEdit to offer Direct Koha ILS Integration


MarcEdit, a free MARC editor/manipulator is going to offer Koha integration in its next release!

At this point, the program is primarily supporting search and update/creation of records. Essentially, users will select their ILS system from the list of supported ILS’s (at this point, just Koha) and MarcEdit will add a new option to the MarcEditor window. I’ve been working hard over Thanksgiving so that a first version of this function can be made available in the next update.

I’m pretty excited about this and can’t wait to play with it! Learn more from Terry Reese.

ProgrammableWeb Reports 49 Library APIs

Screen Shot 2012-11-06 at Tue, Nov 6 - 2.44 PM

Today I found a report from ProgrammableWeb that they list 49 library specific APIs in their database!

Our API directory now includes 49 library APIs. The newest is the Home Theater Backdrops API. The most popular, in terms of mashups, is the LibraryThing API. We list 3 LibraryThing mashups.

How many of the 49 is your library using?

Open Source Scare Tactics

Open Source Logo

I posted this originally over on my work site, but thought it bared repeating to a bigger audience.

I recently heard something a bit disturbing from a library friend and thought I should use this as a teaching opportunity. This library friend was doing research on ILSes and was told by a proprietary company’s sales person that with an open source system, such as Koha, if they don’t contribute to the community, the support vendors will charge you an annual “development fee” as a penalty. While I’m of course a strong proponent of participating in open source and so are my colleagues at ByWater Solutions we have no such fee in our contracts and I don’t know of any other Koha vendor who would either.

We have many partners at ByWater who have been using Koha happily for years without ever once having the need to contribute a development or the time to actively contribute in other ways (documentation, monthly meetings, etc). I hope that any other librarians hearing such things from friends, colleagues or sales people will take a moment to educate others both about what open source actually means for libraries and what choosing a support provider for that open source product entails. If we ever want people to truly understand what open source is and how it can be used in libraries we need to refute these types of scare tactics!

Participate in the Perceptions 2012 Survey


Every year Marshall Breeding conducts a survey of library automation, but he can’t do it without you.

It’s time to collect data for the 2012 edition of the survey. This is an opportunity for libraries to register their perceptions of the ILS product they use, its vendor, and the quality of support delivered. Is support getting better or worse? The survey also probes at considerations for migrating to new systems and the level of interest in open source ILS. While the numeric rating scales support the statistical results of the study, it’s the comments offered that provide the most insight into the current state of library automation satisfaction.

Please help your fellow libraries who might be in the process of evaluating library automation options by responding to the survey. Any information regarding vendor performance and product quality can be helpful when making strategic decisions regarding automation alternatives. A large number of responses strengthen the impact of the survey and the subsequent report.

Make sure that your library participates – and participates honestly because the results of this survey help your colleagues make decisions about their future automation changes. Participate here.

RDA Helper added to MarcEdit


The latest release of MarcEdit (version 5.8) includes an RDA Helper:

The RDA Helper is an in development tool that provides the ability to RDA’ize AACR2 records. The function allows users to select from a broad range of RDA field options. RDA Helper includes automatic GMD generation

Terry Reese (the genius behind MarcEdit) has done a video to show you this new feature:

Check out the latest version of MarcEdit for this and other new/improved features.