Shared posts

17 Mar 21:42

A Monochrome Pattern of Uni-Kitty

by missy-tannenbaum
Hello! This isn't going to be a very long post, since I was doing homework all afternoon and it fried my brain a little. I did, however, want to post my lovely monochrome pattern of Uni-Kitty from The Lego Movie! I made this pattern because I thought it would be cute, so some very deep thought went into my creation of this work. I know Uni-Kitty has other fans, though, so hopefully, I'm not the only one who stitches this.

This pattern is sized near identically to the Legend of Zelda monochrome patterns, so it should end up being a little smaller than Benny if you're going to make both Lego Movie patterns that I've posted. If there are any more characters that you guys would like, let me know! These were fun to make, and I think they'll look nice stitched up. For now, though, here is the lovely cross stitch pattern of Uni-Kitty.

With that posted, I have another WIP of my cross stitch of Kyubey (from Madoka Magica), which is the only cross stitch that I've been working. It's not very exciting to look at, but I'm getting really far on this project. I might have it done within a week!
I'm done blogging now, but I still have stuff to post and stuff I'm working on, so I'll be back pretty soon! Until then, have a good start to your week!
07 Feb 22:04

CFP: Journal of Creative Library Practice

by Corey Seeman
The Journal of Creative Library Practice (JCLP) is accepting papers and manuscripts concerning library instruction.  We know that many librarians employ creative techniques to teach library instruction sessions, so if you have had success implementing a new method or idea, we would love to hear about it.  Below are some other topic ideas.  Did you:

·         Teach elementary school students how to code?
·         Demonstrate how to use a 3D printer?
·         Implement board game concepts into a session?
·         Create a new way to assess learning outcomes?
·         Teach a class using an established technique but with a twist?
·         Have students use a unique piece of software?

JCLP is an open access journal that publishes articles, opinion pieces, and peer-reviewed research upon acceptance. We encourage submissions about creative practices in all kinds of libraries. For more about the journal, see

Barbara Fister
on behalf of the editors of the JCLP
03 Jan 14:37

A Place for Place

by Mita Williams
There has only been one department in the 375+ year history of Harvard that has ever been dismantled and that was the Geography Department.  Since then many other Geography Departments have been dealt a similar fate including the one at my My Own Place of Work which disappeared some years before I started my employment there. Some of its faculty remain at the university, either exiled to Sociology or Political Science or regrouped as Earth Sciences, depending on which of The Two Cultures they pledged allegiance to.

I have an undergraduate degree in Geography and Environmental Science and as such I sometimes feel that I'm part of an academic diaspora.

So after almost 20 years of librarianship I've made one of my sabbatical goals to ‘re-find my inner geographer.’ My hope is that through my readings I will be able to find and apply some of the theories and tools that geographers use in my own practice.

I think I have already found a good example to use a starting point as I try to explain in this post what sort of ground I'm hoping to explore and how it may apply to librarianship.

It came to me as I was browsing through the most recent issue of Antipode: The Radical Journal of Geography when my eyes immediately fell on an article whose topic was literally close to home. It was an article about migrant worker experiences in “South-Western Ontario”.

I had to download and scan most of the article before I could learn that what was being referred to as ‘South-Western Ontario’ was actually East of where I live. And that’s when I noticed that the official keywords associated with the article (migrant workers; agriculture; labour control; Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program) made no mention of place. And this struck me as a curious practice for a journal dedicated to *geography*.

But I know better to blame the editors of Antipode for this oversight. The journal is on the Wiley publishing platform (which they call the “Wiley Online Library”, huh) which provides a largely standardized reading experience across the disciplines. On one hand, it’s understandable that location isn't a standardized metadata field for academic articles as many papers in many disciplines aren't concerned with a particular place. On the hand, I do think that is telling that the within academia there is  much more care and effort dedicated to clarifying the location of the author rather than that of that of the subject at hand.

(I will, however, blame the editors for using the phrase ‘South-Western Ontario’ when the entire world uses ‘Southwestern Ontario” in reference to these parts. Their choice of spelling means if you search the “Wiley Online Library” for Southwestern Ontario, the article in question does not even show up.)

There is another reason why I'm concerned that the article at hand doesn't have a metadata field to express location and that is this: without a given location, the work cannot be found on a map. And that’s going to increasingly be a problem because the map is increasingly where we will live.

Let me explain what I mean by that.

You may know that Google became the pre-eminent search engine based on the strength of its PageRank algorithm which, unlike its peers at the time, created relevance rankings that takes into account the number of incoming links to that page as a means to establish authority and popularity and make it less immune to spam.

In those heady, early days of the Internet finding news and more from around the world was deliriously easy. Oddly enough one of the challenges of using the Internet back then was that it was hard to find info about the features of your small town. The Internet was wonderfully global but not very good at the local.

But now, in 2014, when I search for the word ‘library’ using Google and I receive my local library system as the first result.

This is because Google is now thought to incorporate 200 some factors in its page ranking.

And one of the most important factors is location.

In fact, I would go so far to say that, just like real estate, the three of the most important factors for search is location, location, location.

It's location because if you search for political information while in Beiing your experience using the Internet is going to be significantly different from that of Berlin because of government enforced filtering and geofencing.

It's location because if you search for Notre Dame in the United States you are probably going to get something related to football rather than a cathedral in Paris.

And it's location because so much of our of information seeking is contextual based. If I'm searching for information about a particular chemical additives while at a drug store, it’s probably because I'm about to make a consumer choice about a particular shampoo and not because I need to know that chemical's melting point.

(An aside: imagine if by the very act of entering a library space, the context of your searches were automatically returned as more scholarly. Imagine if you travelled to different spaces on a campus, your searches results would be factored automatically by the context of a particular scholarly discipline?)

While it’s difficult to imagine navigating a map of research papers, it is much easier to understand and appreciate how a geographical facet could prove useful in other interfaces. For example, if I'm looking for articles about about a whether particular social work practice conforms to a particular provincial law in Canada, then the ability to either pre-select articles from that province or filter articles to a list of results pertaining to that province could prove quite useful.

It's surprising how few of our library interfaces have this ability to limit by region. Summon doesn't. Neither does Primo. But Evergreen does and so does Blacklight.

There are other examples of using maps to discover texts. OCLC has been experimenting with placing books on a map. They were able to do so by geocoding Library of Congress Subject Heading Geographical Subdivisions that they parsed so that they can be found on a map on a desktop or nearby where you are while holding a mobile phone.

And there are many, many projects that seek to place digitized objects on a map, such as the delightful HistoryPin which allows you to find old photos of a particular place but of a different time visible only when when you look through the world through the magical lens of your computer or your mobile phone.

Less common are those projects which seek to make available actual texts (or as we say in the profession the full-text) accessible in particular places outside of the library. One of my favourite of such projects is the work of Peter Rukavina who has placed a Piratebox near a park bench in Charlottetown PEI that makes available a wide variety of texts: works of fiction (yes, about that red-headed girl), a set of city bylaws, and a complete set of community histories from the IslandLives repository.

When you think about embedding the world with a hidden layers of images and text that can only be unlocked if know its secrets, well that sounds to me like a gateway to a whole other world of experience, namely, games, and ARGs or alternative reality games in particular. Artists, museums, and historians have created alternative reality games that merged the physical exploration of place with narratives and as such have created new forms of story writing and storytelling.

Personally, I think its very important that libraries become more aware of the possibilities of in situ searching and discovery in the field and there are many fields worth considering.  Over the holiday break, I bought the Audubon Birding App which acts as field guide, reference work, includes a set of vocal tracks for each bird to help with identification, allows the creation of to store my personal birding life list, and a provides means to report geocoded bird sightings to eBird -- while being half the price of a comparable print work.  We, the people of print have a tendency to dismiss and scoff at talk of the end of the print book, but I don't see any of our reference works on our shelves providing this degree of value to our readers like this app does.

In my opinion, there’s not enough understanding of this potential future of works that take into account the context of place. Otherwise, why would our institutions force our users to visit the a physical library in order to access a digitalize copy of historical material that we might have already had in our collection but in microfilm?

So, as you can see, there’s a lot of territory for myself to explore during the next 12 months and I think I'm going to start by going madly off in all directions.

I do hope that by the end of this time I will have made a convincing argument to my peers that we have an opportunity here to do better.  I hope that one day the article in question that I started this train of thought - the one about migrant agricultural workers in South-Western Ontario -  should, when and if its included in an in a library maintained institutional repositories, have a filled out location field.

And then perhaps one day, those in the future who will work those fields in South-Western Ontario can discover it where they work.
04 Jan 12:59

TARDIS Gingerbread House

by AmyLynn98

It’s not too far past the holidays for gingerbread yet, is it?

No? Alright, then check out this gingerbread TARDIS by Reddit user Fortunekitty. She went so far as to post her own tutorial for other Whovians to make their own holiday treat.


Fortunekitty’s TARDIS is made from white chocolate mixed with blue food coloring for the icing, gingerbread, and edible sugar paper for the printed signs.

Would this count at all towards the Doctor someday being a ginger? Probably not, but what a way to try!

11 Jan 19:07

Tardar Sauce the Grumpy Cat Amigurumi Doll

by AmyLynn98

Everyone’s favorite internet cat, Tardar Sauce, aka Grumpy Cat, returns to Geek Crafts! Now, she’s been crocheted into a grumpy amigurumi toy.

grumpy crochet

Created by Npantz22, has Grumpy’s crochet pattern for sale at her Etsy shop. This pattern makes a doll about 6 inches tall.

07 Dec 00:29

Educational Technology and Related Education Conferences

by admin

by Patrick R. Lowenthal, Instructional Technologist

Upcoming Educational-Technology-and-Education-Conferences (January to June 2014 and beyond)–including instructional design and technology and online learning conferences. The original list was prepared by Clayton R. Wright, November 13, 2013. I shortened it listing conferences that interest me (either due to the content and/or location).

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06 Dec 15:01

Get The Most Out of Tumblr: 20 Tips, Tricks & Tools


Tumblr is a social blogging platform that allows users to upload multimedia posts, follow other users with similar interests and be part of a community. It is an effective tool for bloggers who are into visual aids rather than lengthy text posts.

Tumblr Cover

As of November 27, 2013, the number of blogs hosted on Tumblr has broken the 151.2 million mark, adding up to 68.2 billion posts. With such staggering figures, it’s not difficult to see that one would need some specific know-how in order to really stand out from the Tumblr crowd.

To that end, we have got for you today 20 tips, tricks and tools to help you get the most out of your Tumblr blogging experience. Whether you are new to or familiar with Tumblr, these tips and tools should come in handy for you in growing your Tumblr blog.

Recommended Reading: 20 Tumblr Blogs For Inspiration

Tips & Tricks

Avoid Reblogging Long Posts As Links

Tumblr is programmed to reblog long posts as links. But some of your followers may want to read the entire post on the dashboard without being redirected to another page. The solution is simple: just reblog the post as Text instead of Link. The drop-down menu gives you the option to change the format of the post. Choose Reblog As Text to reblog the entire post.

Reblog As Text

Use Keyboard Shortcuts On The Dashboard

There is an efficient way of going through your dashboard that would save you both time and effort. Below are shortcuts you can use for browsing on your dashboard.

Shortcut Action
J Scroll forward
K Scroll backward
L Like the current post
N See the number of notes
Shift + E Add post to your queue
Shift + R Fast reblog
Z + Tab Quickly switch between dashboard and blog
Z + C Quickly compose a post
Space View photoset in a lightbox or start playing a video post

Allow Users To Reply To Your Posts From The Dashboard

Sometimes you may want your followers to reply to your post. To do that, just add a ? at the end of your post and an option of Let People Answer This will appear at the bottom (see screenshot). Enable that option by checking the box and your followers will be able to reply to your post.

Reply To Post With A Question Mark

Customize Follow & Share Buttons

Make it easier for your readers to share your Tumblr content just by adding a Share button. Go to Buttons to view the options for customizing the Follow and Share buttons. Once you have chosen a design, a code will be displayed. Now, open Tumblr on a new tab and go to Settings and click on Customize Theme. You will be redirected to a page that allows you to Edit HTML. Copy the code for the Follow and Share Buttons and paste it in your Tumblr Theme code.


Send Asks To Other Users From The Dashboard

Previously on Tumblr, to ask a user a question, you would have to go to their blog to do so. Now you can do it from the dashboard simply by hovering your mouse cursor over the user’s icon. Click on the gray figure and you’ll see 3 options – Ask a question, Send fan mail, Ignore. Choose the "Ask a question" option and a text box will appear for you to do exactly that.

Ask A Question

Recover Old Themes

Just click on this link to revert to any of the themes you have used in the past. Click on Revert and your blog’s theme will go back to how it was previously. You may have to spend some time playing around with the settings to get it right though.

Recover Theme

Mass Edit Posts And Tags

By providing the option to Mass Edit Posts, Tumblr has made it easy for its users to add a certain tag to all their posts. When you’re on your dashboard, look over to the right side of the page and click on Posts. Under Customize, a link that says Mass Post Editor will appear. Click on the link and you can edit/add tags and delete posts all in one go.

Mass Edit Posts

Queue Your Posts

Tumblr allows you to schedule your posts over a period of hours or days. It is an easy way to keep your blog active and consistent. Under Settings, you can edit the number of posts you want published from your Queue as well as the time settings.

Queue Your Posts

When you want to add a post to your Queue, click on the arrow next to Reblog Post. A drop-down menu will give you the option to Add To Queue. This post is saved to your Queue list and will be published later.

Queue Post

Delay Your Reply To Asks

There may come a time when your followers bombard your Askbox and you will be replying to them one by one. As a result, instead of having colourful posts on your blog, you will have a ton of gray boxes with your replies. So, what can you do? You can stop the replies from being posted one after another by delaying them. When you are answering a question, just press and hold down the Alt key for options to: Queue or Save As Draft. Choose Queue for your reply to be published at a later time.

Delay Your Replies

Play Around With Tumblr’s Logo

Ever wanted to use Tumblr’s logo on images, collages or as your icon, but searching for Tumblr’s logo on Google never seems to give you the right size or color? Tumblr is kind enough to provide its users with its logo. Click here to look at the different designs. You can now download the logo and use it on images, as part of your Tumblr theme, as your Tumblr icon, etc.

Tumblr Logo

Bonus: 10 Must-have Tumblr Extensions

Missing E

Tweak your dashboard, sidebar, shortcuts, mass editor, etc. with this add-on for Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Missing E


An extension package that includes various add-ons that can easily be added and removed from your blog. It is available for Chrome, Safari, Opera and Firefox.


Add A View Count

Curious to know how much traffic your blog is generating? Keep track of the number of people visiting your blog by using TotallyLayouts. Choose the "Tumblr" option and click on Create Counter to get the code.

View Counter

Add A Music Player

Add a music player from SCM Music Player to make your blog more lively and interesting. Choose a skin and proceed to Edit Playlist. You can add songs in 3 formats: MP3 links, SoundCloud tracks and YouTube addresses.

Music Player

Get A Dashboard Theme

Bored of your default blue dashboard theme? Download the Stylish extension for Chrome or Firefox and then visit UserStyles to view available themes.

Dashboard Theme

Endless Scrolling

It is always easier to browse through a blog and not have to press Next Page after every 10 posts or so! There is a way for your blog to automatically scroll non-stop. Visit Customize My Tumblr to get the code.

Endless Scroll

Add A Twitter Follow Badge On Your Blog

Visit Go2Web20 to link your Twitter account to your Tumblr blog.

Twitter Badge

Share Content Via Bookmarklet

Sometimes you may come across something you find elsewhere that you want to share on Tumblr but not exactly sure how to go about it. Just click on Apps (bottom right of your dashboard). Then, click and drag the Share on Tumblr oval up to your bookmark bar. Now whenever you would like to share content on Tumblr, you can just click on Share on Tumblr (which can be found on your bookmark bar), and the post will be displayed. Click on Publish and the post will be published on your blog.


Customize Your Mouse Cursor

Why go for the default mouse cursor when it can be any item you want! Browse for mouse cursors at TotallyLayouts and choose a design.

Mouse Cursor

Customize your Scroll Bar

Make your blog even more appealing to your followers by customizing your blog’s scroll bar at TotallyLayouts.

Scroll Bar


02 Dec 18:54

Awesome Fridge of Magnets

by Starrley

I love that all these perler magnets were planned out specifically for putting them on the refrigerator.


28 Nov 07:01

A Look Into: HTML5 Download Attribute

by Thoriq Firdaus

Creating a download link is usually an easy task. All we need to do is use an anchor tag <a>, and add the reference URL pointing to the file. But some file types pose a technical problem – PDF, image and text files will open in the browser instead of being downloaded when a user clicks on the relevant link(s).

In the past, complicated setups and hacks on the server side were required to download these files (PDF, image, text, etc) by force. For that reason, HTML5 has a new attribute called download, which is much easier to implement.

Recommended Reading: A Look Into: HTML5 <Article> And <Section> Elements

Using Download Attribute

The download attribute does two things: download a file by force, and rename the file with the name specified in the attribute upon downloading.

For example, we have here a PDF and an Image file that are named randomly.

 <a href="file/e4ptK9qd7bGT24e.pdf">Download PDF</a> <a href="file/KU7Ba93M7t7ghbi.jpg">Download Image</a> 

So, without the download attribute, these two files will open in the browser.

But when we add the download attribute like so:

 <a href="file/e4ptK9qd7bGT24e.pdf" download="10 Things You Should Know About Passion.pdf">Download PDF</a> <a href="file/KU7Ba93M7t7ghbi.jpg" download="wii.jpg">Download Image</a> 

The files will be downloaded and renamed, as shown in the following screenshot.

We have created a demo page for you to see this attribute in action.


HTML5 has introdued some new elements and attributes that make life easier for web developers. This download attribute is indeed a very handy addition. Unfortunately, the browsers are slow to catch up – it’s currently only supported on Firefox 20+, Chrome 14.0 and Opera 15.0.


29 Nov 10:01

How to Convert Photoshop Text Into SVG [Quicktip]

by Thoriq Firdaus

With the advent of high-definition screens, web designers now have to make sure that the images they use are optimized for HD. Skipping this process may render websites blurry or pixelated, leaving a not so good impression on visitors. One of the best ways to deal with HD screens is to use Vector Graphic whenever possible.

Vector Graphic is scaleable at any size, so it will look great on an HD screen. In this post, we would like to share a quick tip on how to convert your Photoshop Text into SVG. If you have, for example, a text-based logo in your design, you’ll probably find this tip very useful.

Recommended Reading: Scalable Vector Graphic Series

Photoshop Stage

For this example, we will use a simple text-based logo created using the Pacifico font family (screenshot).

On the the Layers tab in Photoshop, right-click on the text layer and select Convert to Shape (screenshot).

Then, save the file in Photoshop EPS format.

Illustrator Stage

Open the EPS file in Adobe Illustrator. You should see that the text is now a vector object.

In this stage, you can make a few adjustments such as removing unnecessary layers, changing the background colors, or resizing. To resize the document in Illustrator, just go to File > Document Setup and select Edit Artboards.

You can use your mouse to resize the Artboard, or specify the size more accurately by filling in the Width (W) and the Height (H).

Next, save the file in SVG format, which is the default option. And that’s it.


The act of converting the font into Shape is to ensure compatibility across multiple computers – when you are working remotely, different fonts installed on different systems may cause the "Font missing" error. This may also happens with different versions of Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop. Turning text to SVG will help minimize or eliminate issues to do with compatibility.


26 Nov 17:51

Google scholar adds citation management

by jrochkind

Thanks to Clarke who pointed out in a comment on a recent post here, that Google Scholar now has a “saved citations” citation management feature.

I haven’t done any experimenting with it; anyone have a review? What do you think, is this going to end up drawing a significant portion of our patron’s use away from other citation management alternatives (including some we pay for)?

Google Scholar Library. 

Today we’re launching Scholar Library, your personal collection of articles in Scholar. You can save articles right from the search page, organize them by topic, and use the power of Scholar’s full-text search & ranking to quickly find just the one you want – at any time and from anywhere. You decide what goes into your library and we’ll provide all the goodies that come with Scholar search results – up to date article links, citing articles, related articles, formatted citations, links to your university’s subscriptions, and more. And if you have a public Scholar profile, it’s easy to quickly set up your library with the articles you want – with a single click, you can import all the articles in your profile as well as all the articles they cite.

Filed under: General
22 Nov 01:56

Juxtaposing random Tweets with unprotected IP-based CCTV intercepts

by Cory Doctorow

Michael writes, "When working on SurveillanceSaver (a screen saver displaying random unprotected IP cameras) in 2008, I placed early Twitter messages on the surveillance cameras' images. The results ranged from hillarious to Ballardian.

Random Twitter messages on surveillance cameras’ images (Thanks, Michael!)


22 Nov 12:01

Be A Web Developer From Scratch Video Course [Deal]


Although there are plenty of great services online that let you build without knowing code, there is always a limit to what the service (and hence, you) can do. However, if you know code, you can step out of that box and let your creativity take you to places where you have never been. But let’s not get to far ahead of ourselves.

Want to learn to code? You might like what we have for you in this Deal.

Become a Web Developer from scratch with this video course which contains more than 230 video lectures and over 40 hours of actionable content. You will learn:

  • CSS
  • JavaScript
  • PHP
  • XML
  • jSON,
  • AJAX
  • jQuery
  • MySQL database
  • HTML5 / CSS3

The instructor for this bundle is Victor Basos, web developer and designer with 6 years of experience, having worked with developmental companies in various countries.

At the end of each chapter, Basos will show you how to put what you’ve learned into practical use – in building an app from scratch! Better yet, the source code is yours to keep and can be downloaded.

Along with that you have a support team who are at hand to answer your questions within 24 hours, as well as an awesome community to bounce your ideas off. The course is accessible on the iPad, iPhone and computer and is now available at $39.99 (79% off).


20 Nov 23:56

Foxgloves - gardening gloves that don't dull your sense of touch

by Cool Tools

I have a very hard time keeping gloves on my hands when I’m gardening, my fingers seem to long to skip and go naked in the dirt. Foxgloves are the exception to the rule, in part because of their extraordinary sensitivity. You can feel the texture of the dirt, grab remarkably fine weeds for pulling, and when you’re done, the skin on your hands is not dried, dirty, or cracked, and there is no dirt under your fingernails. They protect your hands from blisters, and provide a modicum of warmth. Best of all, they’re gloves I actually wear!

That said, these are not the gloves for dealing with spiky thistles or blackberry vines. The thorns pass right through these gloves as though they aren’t even there. But for grubbing in the dirt and weeding everything that doesn’t have spikes, these gloves are excellent. -- Amy Thomson

Foxgloves Original $21


21 Nov 03:03

Because is a new, Internet-driven preposition, because grammar

by Cory Doctorow

The English language has a new preposition, driven by Internet conventions: "Because." It's not clear where this originates, but I like the theory that's it's a contraction of "$SOMETHING is $MESSED_UP, because, hey, politics!"

However it originated, though, the usage of "because-noun" (and of "because-adjective" and "because-gerund") is one of those distinctly of-the-Internet, by-the-Internet movements of language. It conveys focus (linguist Gretchen McCulloch: "It means something like 'I'm so busy being totally absorbed by X that I don’t need to explain further, and you should know about this because it's a completely valid incredibly important thing to be doing'"). It conveys brevity (Carey: "It has a snappy, jocular feel, with a syntactic jolt that allows long explanations to be forgone").

But it also conveys a certain universality. When I say, for example, "The talks broke down because politics," I'm not just describing a circumstance. I'm also describing a category. I'm making grand and yet ironized claims, announcing a situation and commenting on that situation at the same time. I'm offering an explanation and rolling my eyes—and I'm able to do it with one little word. Because variety. Because Internet. Because language. 

English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet [Megan Garber/The Atlantic]

(via Making Light)


21 Nov 15:38

library vendor wars

by jrochkind

We libraries as customers would prefer to be able to ‘de-couple’ content and presentation.  We want to be able to decide what content and services to purchase based on our users needs and our budgets; and separately to decide what software to use for UX and presentation — whether proprietary or open source — based on the features and quality of the software, and our budgets.

To make matters more complicated, we want to try and take our content and services — purchased from a variety of different vendors — and present them to our users as if it were one single ‘app’, one single environment, as if the library were one single business.  This makes matters more complicated, but it also makes this ‘de-coupling’ of UX layer from underlying content and services — even more important. Because if the content and services we purchase from various vendors are tied only to those vendors own custom interfaces and platforms, there’s no way to present it to users as a unified integrated whole. (How would you feel about Amazon or Netflix if they made you use one website for Science Fiction, and a completely different website that looked and behaved completely differently for History?).

Of course, our vendors have different interests.  A vendor of content and services could decide that the more places their content and services can be used, the more valuable those content and services are — so they’d want to allow their content and services, once purchased, to be used in as wide a variety of proprietary and open source UX’s as possible. Or a vendor could decide that approach dilutes their brand, instead they should use their content and services as ‘lock in’ to try and ‘vertically integrate’ and get existing customers to buy even more products from them. You want these journals to be available in your ‘discovery’? Then you better buy our discovery platform, because that’s the only place these journals are available, and besides we’ll cut you a ‘big deal’ discount when you buy our discovery product too.

I am honestly not really sure which approach is better for the vendors. But I know which approach is better for the libraries. Library and vendor interests may not be aligned here, at least in the short- and medium-terms. In the long range view, certainly our vendors need us to survive as customers, and we need some vendors to exist to sell us things we can’t feasibly provide in-house or through consortium alone.

The attempt to ‘lock in’ by various vendors will make it impossible for us to present services in the integrated UX that is necceasary for us to remain credible and valuable to our users. We’ll have vendor-purchased content and services available only in a number of separate vendor ‘silos’ or ‘walled gardens’.  It’s not actually a question of purchase costs, it’s an issue of pure technical feasibility.  We’ll either start limiting our purchases to one vertically integrated vendor (which every vendor would be happy with, as long as we pick them),  or we’ll continue to deliver content and services as a patchwork of different pieces fitting poorly together, confusing our users and further degrading the perception of the library as a competent organization.

Here’s an email sent out today from Ex Libris, I don’t know of any reason I would not be allowed to share it publicly, I hope there’s no reason I am not aware of.

Dear Primo Central Customers,

This is to inform you that Thomson Reuters has decided to withdraw its Web of Science content from Primo Central starting January 1, 2014. We understand this decision encompasses all the major library discovery solutions.

Thomson Reuters informed us that they are not planning a broad market communication of any sort; rather, they will communicate through their representatives on an individual customer basis. The message below is adapted from the information that Thomson Reuters is sharing with individual customers:

“Thomson Reuters has decided to focus on enabling customers and end users to use the Web of Science research discovery environment as the primary interface for authoritative search and evaluation of citation connected research. For this reason Thomson Reuters will no longer make Web of Science content available for indexing within EBSCO, Summon, or Primo Central. Thomson Reuters will, however, continue to support Web of Science accessibility via integrated federated search tools that are available in Primo or other systems.”

The impact of this decision on your end users will be limited because the vast majority of the Web of Science records are available in Primo Central via Elsevier Scopus and other resources of similar quality. The Scopus collection is now fully indexed in the Primo Central Index and is searchable by mutual customers of Scopus and Primo Central.

If you have any comments or additional questions, please feel free to contact [omitted]

Kind Regards,

Primo Central Team


Filed under: General
06 Nov 16:30

Local News Report On Ghosthunters Includes Ghost Who Allegeldy Wrote 'The Cake Is A Lie' On Chalkboard

the-cake-is-a-lie-ghost.jpg Because apparently nothing else happens in Tulsa, Oklahoma, this is an almost five minute local news report about Jim Pace and his merry band of ghosthunters who "use technology to see the other side." What kind of technology? Real advanced stuff: video cameras, microphones -- shit you've probably never even heard about before. The sad news reporter quote associated with sign:
Other paranormal signs, Jim says: a message on a chalkboard, which was once part of that basement jewelry business. Someone or something, he says, wrote this message. "The cake is a lie." Which historically, Jim Says, means the promised reward never happened. Meaning somebody down here, isn't very happy.
If I were a news reporter and found myself assigned to this story I would quit and vow to never report again. I mean, just watch it. I knew local news was bad, but this? They ought to be ashamed. And this is coming from the guy who writes Geekologie and can literally work his penis into any article. See? Take it from a pro. Hit the jump for the whole video (including spooky sound and video effects!), all of which is worth a watch, but skip to 2:35 if you just want to see the Portal reference.
05 Nov 16:00

User-Friendly Advice for Accessible Web Design

by George Williams

Logo for WebAIMHere at ProfHacker we’ve published a number of posts over the years about accessibility and digital environments. One of my favorite resources for learning more about how to make digital resources usable by the greatest number of people possible is WebAIM (@WebAIM), a non-profit organization based at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. I really like their “Introduction to Web Accessibility,” for example.

WebAIM, in my opinion, provides well-written and very user-friendly advice and instruction for those who want to learn more about accessibility. Below, I’ve selected a few of their resources that explain some of the most common issues concerning this topic.

Alternative Text: “Adding alternative text for images is the first principle of web accessibility. It is also one of the most difficult to properly implement. The key principle is that computers and screen reader software cannot analyze an image and determine what the image presents. As developers, text must be provided to the user which presents both the content and function of the images within your web content.”

Accessible Images: “Most people know that you need to provide alternative text for images. There is much more to the accessibility of an image than just its alt text. There are many additional accessibility principles and techniques regarding images.”

Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions: “Captions are text versions of the spoken word presented within multimedia. Transcripts allow anyone that cannot access content from web audio or video to read a text transcript instead. Audio descriptions provide additional information about what is visible on the screen, allowing video content to be accessible to those with visual disabilities.”

Creating Accessible Tables: “There are two basic uses for tables on the web: data tables and layout tables. A table is a data table when row headers, column headers, or both are present. As for layout tables, it is sometimes suggested that layout tables are bad for accessibility. In reality, layout tables do not pose inherent accessibility issues. People with all kinds of disabilities can easily access layout tables, as long as the tables are designed with accessibility in mind.”

Creating Accessible Forms: “Forms are used for many types of interactions on the web. When we talk about the accessibility of forms, we are usually referring to their accessibility to people who use screen readers or keyboard-only navigation. It should be noted, however, that everyone benefits from a well-organized, highly usable form, especially those with cognitive disabilities.”

How about you? What are your go-to resources for advice about creating accessible digital resources? Please share in the comments.

28 Oct 13:00

5 Steps to a Killer Conference Proposal

by Liz Homan

gh - puzzleLiz Homan is a doctoral candidate in the Joint Program in English and Education at The University of Michigan. Her research focuses on secondary teachers’ digital practices and social networks. You can find her on Twitter at @lizhoman or on her blog, Gone Digital.

In my field, it’s conference proposal season. Time to think about what conferences you would like to attend this year, what work you would like to discuss with others in your field, and which aspects of your various projects are ready and ripe for feedback. Time to practice writing about your work really concisely.

Conferences are a fun way to further your own knowledge of your field, to network with prominent individuals in your field, and to inspire your research. Other GradHackers have discussed how to network at conferences and have even provided tips on writing solid conference proposals. This post extends these by adding a few more tips, tricks, and anecdotes to the mix in a five-step process that has worked well for me, and that I hope will work well for you!

1. Pick a conference

Obviously, right? Many of us have our “big conference” – the one most people in the field attend, the one with a conference program that rivals the size of your Webster’s dictionary. These are wonderful to go to, but they can also be expensive to attend and a little bit nerve-wracking, especially if you’re as socially shy as I am. So don’t forget the small regional conferences, the state-based divisions of larger research groups, and even conferences going on at your university, often hosted by your fellow graduate students. These are great ways to meet local collaborators, who might even help you out with #2 on my list. Check out WikiCFP or CFPList, as well as postings in your discipline and field, and try mixing it up a bit!

2. Find some friends

Many conferences, at least in the humanities and social sciences, allow you to propose symposia or full panels instead of individual presentations. My colleagues and I have always had the most luck proposing panels of presentations with a few friends. This works best if you have friends from other universities whose work is similar to yours, because it brings in perspectives from multiple institutions. Not only does this approach help you network with your future colleagues, it makes the job easier for the conference review committee because they don’t need to go looking for similar presentations to form a cohesive panel.

3. Know the theme, but don’t rely on it

Think about it: how many times have you attended a conference and opened up the program to find the same words in the titles of half the sessions? Don’t get me wrong – themes are important. However, a wise professor (who has sat on many conference committees) once told me that an over-reliance on the conference theme might cause a proposal to get lost in the mix. So while it is certainly important to keep the conference theme in mind, it is not necessary to speak directly to it throughout the proposal (or in the title) – propose your own work, with a nod to the conference theme in a sentence or two. Your passion for what you are doing will shine through, making your proposal stand out against others that sound somewhat alike.

4. Either define or omit the lingo

As graduate students—and I know I’m guilty of this—we sometimes worry that we won’t sound like we know what we’re talking about unless we use field-specific vocabulary. This isn’t a problem when done in moderation, but because we have so little space in conference proposals, it can often lead to paragraphs that are packed with verbiage and literature review and are, as a result, vague, confusing, and cryptic. My go-to rule, handed down from a senior graduate student when I was in my first year, is simply this: if you don’t have the space to define the term, then don’t use it. This rule works. It gives you the space to use the terms that really matter to your argument and presentation and forces you to be more clear and direct in the rest of the proposal.

5. Explicitly state an audience takeaway

Conference organizers like to know that conference participants are going to get something out of attending each and every session on their program. Sometimes this is a tangible resource—access to a website or wiki you’ve developed or resources they can use in their classrooms, for example. Sometimes it’s more conceptual or inspirational—ideas for new methodological approaches or a deeper understanding of a theoretical construct. Whatever it is you’re providing for your audience, make sure this is clearly stated in the proposal, along with what you will argue and accomplish during your session. This approach shows that you’re not only thinking about the value of your own work, but also about how your work will contribute to the work of others in your field.

Conference proposals can sometimes prove difficult to write, because they require you to condense a complex, long-term project into a few hundred words while still being thorough. Doing some of the heavy lifting for the conference organizers by stating your purpose and argument in plain language, clearly describing takeaways, and forming your own panels makes this process a little more straightforward, and in my experience, enjoyable.

What have you learned about writing successful conference proposals? Add to my ideas in the comments!

[Image by Flickr user Scott Maxwell and used under Creative Commons License.]


28 Oct 12:00

WordPress Accessibility Team

by George Williams

Here at ProfHacker, we’ve written a great deal about WordPress, and we’ve also tried to emphasize the importance of accessibility, the need to make digital (and other) environments as usable as possible to the widest range of people possible. In a combination of these two topics, a couple of weeks ago, I drew your attention to the handy-dandy WordPress Accessibility Plugin, an almost-all-in-one tool for making your WordPress installs more accessible. Just this week, I saw the following announcement (from @WPAccessibility on Twitter):

Welcome to the Make WordPress Accessible Team

— WPAccessibility Team (@WPAccessibility) October 23, 2013

If you are interested in learning more, the following links are a good place to start:

  • Get Involved with the Make WordPress Accessible Team: “This page explains a bit about what the team does, and how you can help by getting involved.”
  • Guidelines: Accessibility (Draft): “The Theme Accessibility Audit provides an optional theme review for themes submitted to the Theme Repository. Submitted themes (or theme updates) that contain the tag accessibility-ready will undergo an independent, accessibility review after they have been approved for inclusion in the Theme Repository.”
  • WordPress > Codex > Accessibility: Easy-to-understand, user-friendly explanations of the steps you can take to ensure the accessibility of your WordPress site.
  • Useful Tools: Links to plugins, development tools, and validators

Finally, there is a weekly IRC chat devoted to these issues:

Where: #wordpress-ui
When: Wednesdays, 19:00 UTC

These developments are great news that will, with any luck, help make more accessible the software that runs WordPress sites, and the themes that are used for their design. Accessibility should not be an afterthought: rather, the core, default code for content management systems like WordPress should be as accessible as possible right out of the box.

How about you? What steps do you take with your WordPress sites to make sure they are accessible? Alternately, what challenges have you encountered in doing so? Please share in the comments.

12 Jul 18:28

Motivation Follows Action

by Iris

the practice of setting tiny mandatory goals works amazingly for me. she's right, if you force yourself to do that one little thing, you always end up doing more. something something inertia.

This has really been my first week of “summer.” School runs through mid-June here, and then there’s Reunion to keep us busy, and then sophomore portfolios to read and annual reports to write. Then I always need a week of down time before my brain can shift gears from Interruption Mode to Project Mode, so I spend that week sweeping up the crumbs from the school year, reading things, filing things, tossing things, and generally resetting my brain and my work space. Then comes the equally important week of vacation with my family during which my goal is to be as boring as possible.

Which brings us to this week. This week kicks off the summer projects. Some are really interesting and some are just necessary, but somehow I have to motivate myself to get through them all. So this year I’m trying a new approach: Motivation Follows Action. I say that all the time, and I find it’s true for me, so now I’m trying to put it into practice in a more systematized way.

Here’s the plan. I’ve posted my list of big summer projects on my wall in big letters. Each day, I have to touch at least two of them, no matter how minor the touch. There will be other things that crop up (there always are) so this leaves me plenty of wiggle room, but at least I’ll be making progress for sure.

So far, this is working well. So far I’ve pretty consistently thought, “I don’t really want to work on x but if all I do is figure out where the old file is on the server so that I can update it later, that’ll be a step,” and then find myself doing a morning’s worth of work on the project.

Motivation follows action so far. Fingers crossed that it continues!

15 Jul 13:53

On the language of comic strips

by Rob Beschizza
Since moving to Fast Company's, John Brownlee's been on a roll: everything he's written for them is ace. The latest is Quimps, Plewds and Grawlixes: The Secret Language of Comic Strips, a review of Mort Walker's obscure 1980s Lexicon on Comicana.
To Walker, understanding the design language of the comics was important. Cartooning is usually one of the first means of written expression a child learns, and for Walker, understanding the language of cartooning was the key to communicating with other people in an increasingly international world.

11 Jul 15:07

Categorization of user-reported broken links in SFX

by jrochkind

Kasper Løvschall from  Aalborg University in Denmark posted the following to the SFX user’s listserv. I thought it was interesting enough to deserve wider publication, so reproduce it with his kind permission here. The following text and the work it reports is not mine. 

Two months of broken links reports

by Kasper Løvschall with Lone Ramy Katberg
8 July 2013

Between April 22nd and July 5th we have been going through each and every broken link report reported from our SFX menu to Ex Libris (cc. to us) and have analyzed what was wrong – why did the user report the link as broken?

468 broken links were reported and it breaks down to the following scenarios:


SFX Admin error (6%): The error was corrected by us within SFX admin interface (target/portfolio was enabled/disabled or threshold changed from global to local)

Publisher (16%): The error was reported directly to the publisher (aggregator was informed that the publishing pattern was wrong, that an article was missing, that our access to Taylor and Francis was lost, that we for a period of time had limited access to Lippincott, that we were out of slots for Safari Books, that Ebsco had problems with a new version of Acrobat Reader, etc. etc.)

Insufficient reference (13%): Most often from Google Scholar so SFX is unable to guide the user to the reference or there is information regarding supplement/addendum which SFX is unable to handle

Remote access (5%): It failed (either we forgot to enable proxy in the SFX admin or the resource was missing or insufficient in the proxy configuration)

Pivotal PC (14%): Reported to Pivotal (most often Primo Central records with wrong information unable to guide the user to the correct resource)

Pivotal KB (7%): Reported to Pivotal KB (wrong URL to journal, wrong global thresholds, or journal just isn’t free)

Unknown (39%): We were unable to identify the problem (including links not linking directly to the article page but requiring user to search for the article, pop-up blockers, single-sign-on trouble, users lost overview of the landing page, etc.)

So what can we learn from all that then?

Many errors relate to local (mis) configuration and can be corrected right away. It takes a hell of a lot of time to check up on these errors but it could be well worth the effort as errors do exist on our side. References from both Google Scholar and Primo Central can be problematic and they are not easy for us or others to fix. Only 7% of errors were related to the actual SFX knowledge base. Also 39% of the errors looks as false negatives – e.g. users do not read our notes when SFX are unable to link directly to the article (they expect direct linking). We might be able to provide a better user interface experience or prioritize the targets we present better. We could hide free targets when paid are available but we would seriously disservice users outside the paywalls. So for us this is really not the solution.

Also when we enabled the report broken link functionality in SFX we saw a decline in the number of error reports by mail directly to us. If we just let Ex Libris handle this functionality and don’t look into the issues ourselves we will miss a lot of user requests. The user probably expect that things get fixed when clicking on the link which probably isn’t going to happen (at least within the foreseeable future). This could lead to some negative user experience with our electronic resources as they in these cases do not get fulfilment for their information request and at the same time we are unable to contact and help them directly.

Well, these are our immediate thoughts as of now. We hope that some of them could be of use to you.

Filed under: General
06 Jul 00:35

20+ resources for learning web design & development

by admin

By Cameron Chapman, WebDesignerDepot

There are tons of blogs, tutorial sites, and other resources out there that can teach you about web design and development. But what if you want something a little bit more formal, without actually having to go back to school? That’s where resources like the ones below can come in handy. These sites offer courses modeled after those you’d find (or actually from) leading colleges and universities. They’re a great option if you’re not sure where to start, or if you want to bridge the gaps in your current training. They can also be excellent options if you’ve taken courses in the past, but want to make sure your knowledge and skill-set is completely up to date.

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21 Jun 10:01

CSS3 Regions – How it Works [Web Design]

by Thoriq Firdaus

i would love, Love, LOVE to do a library website magazine-style.

One of the best advantage of print media, like a magazine or a newspaper, over the website is the full flexibility on arranging the pages and the paragraph layout. For example, print media has been able to gracefully flow the content in more than one columns, and even rather complex ones as shown in the following screenshot.

Image Credit: Atelier Martino & Jana

However, due to the way content on the Web is structured, trying to mimic a similar layout in Web content is very tricky.

In order to make the Web layout more flexible like in print media, a new CSS3 Module was introduced – CSS3 Regions. Rather than placing the content within multiple elements, this module allows the content to flow in the specified areas (regions) on the page.

Let’s see how this module works by example.

Enable Experimental Feature

This module is still in its experimental stages, and it is currently only supported in Google Chrome and Internet Explorer with prefix. If you are using Google Chrome you need to first enable the experimental feature. To do so, go to chrome://flags/ and set the Enable experimental WebKit features to Enabled.

Basic Usage Example

In this example, we will have two types of content: main content and complementary. We will place the main content in Region 1, 2 and 4, while the complementary will be displayed in Region 3, as illustrated in the following figure.


Let’s start off with the HTML markup.

The CSS3 Regions module is not restricted to the content structure, thus we can simply add the complementary outside the main content, like so – though, as we mentioned above, we actually will display it in the middle of the main content.

 <header class="cf"> <h1><span>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,</span> consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut.</h1> <h2>labore et dolore magna aliqua</h2> </header> <article class="cf"> <p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.</p> </article> <aside> <p><img src="img/stat.jpg" width="500" height="300"></p> <p>Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.</p> </aside> 

Then, we need to add the regions markup where the content should flow. It does not matter whether we add the markup above or below the actual content.

 <div class="regions cf"> <div id="region-1" class="region cf"></div> <div id="region-2" class="region"></div> <div id="region-3" class="region"></div> <div id="region-4" class="region cf"></div> </div> 


In the stylesheet, we specify the width and height of the regions. The height is necessary to specify the content breakpoint, otherwise the content will not flow to the other regions.

 .demo-wrapper #region-1, .demo-wrapper #region-4 { width: 100%; height: 250px; } .demo-wrapper #region-4 { height: 400px; } .demo-wrapper #region-2, .demo-wrapper #region-3 { width: 50%; height: 700px; margin-bottom: 25px; } 

To add the content in the regions, we use the new CSS properties flow-into and flow-from. These properties are used to bridge the content and the regions. To flow the content across the regions, we can write the style rules this way.

 article { -webkit-flow-into: article; flow-into: article; } .demo-wrapper aside { -webkit-flow-into: aside; flow-into: aside; } #region-1, #region-2, #region-4 { -webkit-flow-from: article; flow-from: article; } #region-3 { -webkit-flow-from: aside; flow-from: aside; } 

With some additional decorative styles, we will get the following nice result in the browser.

You can head over to the demo page to see it in action.

Further Resources


23 Jun 10:01

20 Lifelike Pencil Drawing Masterpieces

by Humza Mehbub

some of these are truly amazing. i had to look twice to prove to myself they were pencil drawings and not photos.

Artists can work on different surfaces like on Starbucks cups, pavements and walkways, walls on buildings, and even on coffee. All it takes is creativity and the need to make something awesome. Even with the humble pencil, an artist with the talent to run the strokes in the right angle can really produce simply amazing masterpieces you won’t believe were drawn.

In the age of Photoshop, many artists have fallen back on tricks and tools to cover up flaws, and enhance the cosmetic side of their results. This makes the following pencil-drawn artwork all the more amazing. Mistakes don’t get an undo button in these circumstances but this isn’t a problem for the perfectionist: they don’t make mistakes.

Here are just some of the incredible artworks of extremely talented pencil sketch artists, that will make you question what you see.

Recommended Reading: 40+ Mind-Blowing Photorealistic Paintings

The Artworks

Check out the amazing pencil sketches by the following artists:

Daan Noppen



Osm Productions


Zindy S. D. Nielsen

little kitten


day dreaming

Vimal Chandran

hide and seek

Mihalyi Anita

native american

Linda Huber

no idea

water splash



Paul Cadden


Diego Fazio


the eyes



Lucie Culkova



hugh laurie

Ileana Hunter

liz taylor

half series


katy perry


09 Jul 15:01

Top 10 Websites to Learn Coding (Interactively) Online

by Alvaris Falcon

Gone are the days when programming languages could only be mastered programmers like Bill Gates, who later got to dominate the world by storm. Now everyone holds the same potential, and the chance to learn and even master programming language easily. Today, we will show you 10 interactive websites that will help you do that.

interactive code learning site

That’s right, forget about complicated setups and black, cold command prompts that make you want to quit before you start, and say hi to 10 educational websites with instant and interactive lessons that teach you programming languages like HTML, CSS, PHP, Ruby and even iOS. Pick up tips, screencasts and even best practices from industry professionals.

Recommended Reading: Getting A College Degree Or Self-Learning?

Kickstart the beginning of your new path into programming today!


Codecademy is indisputably the most famous website to teach you to code interactively, thanks to its helpful interface and well-structured courses. Upon visiting the main page, you can already start tasting the programming right away, with its motivating on-screen console. Pick a course that Codecademy offers from Web Fundamentals, PHP, JavaScript, jQuery, Python, Ruby and APIs.


Inside each lesson is a panel that explains necessary code and instruction. Another panel allows you to get your hands dirty by writing acceptable code, then checking if you are doing the right thing. Don’t worry about making mistakes, as both instruction and code panels will warn you of errors, and provide hints. It is as if there’s a kind teacher right beside you.

Code Avengers

Code Avengers is designed to make you love programming. Though it only offers HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript course for now, each of the courses is carefully designed to truly entertain you while leveling your programming skills painlessly. At the end of each lesson you also get to play a mini game to release your cumulated stress, and keep you going for longer.

code avengers

Code Avengers has a gradual approach to interactive learning. It does not explain too much knowledge that isn’t essential for beginners, just a bit of code and playful instruction, making things very easy to digest. You also get to play with the code, then see the impact of the changes immediately. It is carefully crafted with the beginner’s comfort in mind.

Code School

After you finished courses in Codecademy or Code Avengers, and you are ready to further expand your capabilities, Code School is the next quality website you should land on. Unlike most interactive learning sites, Code School offers more in-depth courses to train and turn you into an expert with the industry’s best practices.

Overall, the courses are categorized into 4 main paths, and they are

  • Ruby
  • JavaScript
  • iOS

code school

Almost all courses are aggressively polished with impressive design and informative screencasts, though the challenges after the screencast might bit a bit hard for amateurs. Luckily, there are hints and answers to refer to. While most of the offered courses are free, certain ones will require you to spend $25/month to access the entire course including all screencasts and challenges, and also all other courses in Code School.


Treehouse courses are more project-oriented than language-oriented, so they are perfect for novice programmer with a planned purpose, such as building a website, or an application. For example, the Websites course is all about building a responsive website, interactive website or even WordPress theme – a very practical and efficient way to master related languages. Nonetheless, they have released a plethora of foundation courses with a video-then-quiz approach.


For Treehouse, every course is divided into different stages or modules, and beyond every first stage the learner will be invited to pay a monthly subscription fee of $25 to access all courses with 650+ videos, and an exclusive Treehouse Members Forum as a bonus. If you are serious about your programming future, you could subscribe the $49 monthly plan to obtain in-depth interviews with leading industry pros and cutting-edge workshops.


If you are that kind of personnel who do not fancy playful design and prefer to deal with cold hard codes, LearnStreet is probably your thing. It currently offers JavaScript, Python and Ruby courses at beginner level. With a click on the ‘Start Course’ button you will start the lesson with an exercise, a code interpreter and a glossary panel (for new programming terms).


LearnStreet adopts command prompt-styled code interpreters with human language to explain function and encourage you whenever possible, the kind of command prompt you want for your own local machine. However, the code interpreter could be as rude as standard command prompt, as most of the times it requires you to type in the absolute same code and content it asks for.

Other than that, it’s truly friendly and enjoyable, and most importantly, free.


Udacity is the unification of insightful video lectures and improved quizzes to achieve the interactive feel for students, so it’s ideal for those who don’t like to read but rather get explanations from industry professionals such as Google employees.


You will be given a screencast from pros discussing the topics and instructions, then you will take either logic or programming quizzes to strengthen your understanding or forge it into a skill. The good thing about Udacity is it provides more videos than any other site, and the instructors are either real-life professors or industry veterans.

The only pitfall here is most courses are not much related to each other, so Udacity is probably not your starting point, but a virtual university to further your study.


At this point all websites you read here are mainly dedicated to web development and computer science, but CodeHS is one with simple and fun game programming lessons that involve problem solving, JavaScript, animation, data structures, game design and puzzle challenges.


The advantage of CodeHS is it teaches you to think, and solve a problem like a programmer with its first course, Programming with Karel. The lessons are fun as you will learn how to use the code to move the dog, Karel to complete given tasks and puzzles like picking up ball and building a towel. It plants a solid concept of programming and the way it solves the problem systematically in your mind.

Other than the course mentioned above, you must sign up first with $25 per month to continue your learning journey, but it’s a perfect site to learn basic game programming effectively.

Khan Academy

Although Khan Academy’s courses are not as structured as CodeHS, it serves as an open playground for both novice and amateurs particularly interested in learning drawing, animation and user interaction with code. It does not preach any specific programming language, but the code pattern it adopts can be applied anywhere, as a majority of languages share the similar programming pattern.

khan academy

You can first join the Programming Basics course to watch and learn basic concepts, then explore the given code after the video tutorial to validate your doubts. With Khan Academy, you can save your modification as a Spin-Off for everyone to enjoy and customize. There have been hundreds of spin-offs just from one lesson in one course, so imagine the community size, and the lesson’s effectiveness.

Scratch 2.0

Think CodeHS and Khan Academy are still too hardcore for your child, who has no comprehension beyond basic English? No worries, there is something even easier for your aspiring next-gen programmer, and it’s called Scratch. Previously an offline software that allow kids to create, upload and share their projects proudly, Scratch is now fully online with its 2.0 successor.

scratch 2.0

It’s not about programming though, but a combination of visual blocks of commands that tell assigned objects how to behave, such as telling the cat to move 10 steps, or yell ‘meow’ when it touches the owner’s leg. By using this visual programming method, the young programmers will form a habit of breaking a problem into smaller blocks, and solve them one by one logically.


Structured Query Language (SQL) is just a language purely designed to store and retrieve data from a database, so imagine the boredom you will experience when programming a warehouse. Yet SQLZOO wants you to learn SQL happily with its interactive interface and smileys.


Since there is really nothing too deep to explain for a straightforward language like SQL, the site will only ask you to replace the variables like city names or population number, and raise the difficulty from that level. One huge let-down will be the shortage of hints, answers and forum, so you are probably doomed if you fail to solve any one of the quizzes, just like old times.

Comparison Chart

Here’s a comparison chart for you to get a bird’s eye view of all these awesome places to learn how to code.

Website Course Feature Pricing Difficulty
Codecademy HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, PHP, Ruby, Python, API Code Interpreter, Progress Saver, Project, Forum Free Easy – Intermediate
Code Avengers HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript Code Interpreter, Progress Saver, Project, Note Free Easy
Code School HTML5, CSS, CSS3, jQuery, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, iOS Code Interpreter, Screencast, Progress Saver, Forum Free, $25/month Intermediate – Hard
Treehouse HTML, CSS, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, iOS, Android, UX, Database Code Interpreter, Screencast, Progress Saver, Project, Forum Free, $25/month, $49/month Easy – Hard
LearnStreet HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, Ruby Code Interpreter, Progress Saver, Project, Forum Free Easy
Udacity Web Development, HTML5, Python, Java, Computer Science, Algorithm, AI Code Interpreter, Screencast, Progress Saver, Forum Free Intermediate – Nightmare
CodeHS Problem Solving, JavaScript, Animation, Game Programming Code Interpreter, Screencast, Progress Saver Free, $25/month, $75/month Easy – Intermediate
Khan Academy Programming Basics, Canvas Drawing, Animation, User Interaction Code Interpreter, Screencast, Progress Saver, Project, Discussion Free Easy – Intermediate
Scratch 2.0 Visual Programming Visual Editor, Project, Forum Free Easy
SQLZOO SQL Code Interpreter Free Easy – Hard

Have you studied at any website we showcased above? How’s the experience? Or have we missed certain interactive learning sites with rich assets for budding programmers? Let us share our experiences and resources to help and inspire each other then!


09 Jul 15:47

Alerting on twitter feeds - now that RSS output is dead - IFTTT & Google script, Zapier & Mention

by Aaron Tay
On July 1, 2013 Google reader was retired. This was high profile news that was covered heavily online.

This wasn't the only blow to RSS usage, a lesser blow was struck when Twitter announced permanently retiring the Twitter API v1.0 which allowed Atom and RSS feeds output. The current Twitter API 1.1 only allows JSON format and requires authentication to access. This took effect, June 12.

For most people, this did not make a difference. But for me it was a blow, because I was pairing RSS output from Twitter feeds with IFTTT to filter and  alert me only if a certain keyword appeared in the feed.

To backtrack a little, I've written many times on this blog about techniques on how to proactively scan for tweets about your library.

There are 3 ways to figure out if a tweet is about your library even though the person tweeting does not @mention your library.

1. If the  tweet contains the keyword (e.g NUS Library)

2. If the tweet contains keyword (e.g. Library)  and is within say 1 km of your library

3. If the tweet contains keyword (e.g. Library)  and is from people you can identify as your user

In general, my current technique involve, pulling out the results from Twitter in RSS & putting them into IFTTT which will then alert you when that occurs

In fact, before the retirement of Twitter API v1.0, IFTTT could even pull directly from Twitter results without RSS for search terms but this is no longer an option and now IFTTT can no longer trigger on Twitter but can work only as an action.

You might wonder why I use IFTTT, when Tweetdeck is capable of tracking such items including location alerts. 

IFTTT is pretty handy because 

1. It can filter and alert on a specific keyword only - eg You could put in a RSS of a twitter group of people who are presumably your users, but get alerts only if the word library is mentioned.

2. It provides a host of alert options, from email to SMS and more.

But now that Twitter does not provide results in RSS, what can be done?

1. Use a third-part service to provide Twitter output in RSS

Digital Inspiration has posted a tip on how to use Google Script to setup rss feeds from Twitter

"What we really need is some sort of a parsing program sitting between Twitter and our RSS Reader. The parser would fetch updates from Twitter at regular intervals and convert them from JSON to RSS which we can then subscribe in our favorite RSS Reader."

Follow the instructions,  then convert the existing RSS feed url to the new URL.

If you have no idea of the syntax on how to grab Twitter results in RSS in the first place see this for the syntax.

Using that, you just need to replace the portion before the q=xxxx with the new URL from the Google Script. 

For example if before you were doing

You just need to replace the part in red, with the new Google Script url given to you via email once you have set it up, eg.

Below shows one IFTTT Recipe I setup that will SMS me, if certain keywords are tweeted.,

This works like a charm, but for some reason I couldn't get it to work with location alerts, though I wonder if it is due to the length of the rss string.  

IFTTT itself polls every 15 minutes, Google script itself only pulls from Twitter periodically, so this creates even more delay, so if you want close to real-time alerts this isn't ideal.

2. Use Zapier - a IFTTT alternative

Gary Green who is a bit of a IFTTT expert blogged about IFTTT alternatives and Zapier was mentioned.

It's very similar to IFTTT but it seems to be a lot more powerful in particular for Twitter and a bit more customizable.

The first few parts are similar to IFTTT, you select Trigger and actions. Here I select Twitter as a trigger and to email myself to Gmail as action.

Select the specific accounts

The Twitter options look promising because unlike IFTTT you can directly pull in Twitter search results without RSS

The basic options allow location searches, so you could pick a Latitude and Longitude and a radius around for tweets to be alerted on. 

But it gets really interesting if you click on Add custom filters

I soon realised the basic options just scratches the surface, Zapier is apparently capable of filtering on pretty much every piece of metadata available from a Tweet, and it is a very long and complicated list. 

So for example, you could setup alerts on favourited tweets, whether they are retweeted, how many times and much much more. 

The downside is, you pretty much need to be an expert on Twitter API to know what each field means.

Setting up the action can be also quite customized.

Unlike IFTTT which has defaults for Zapier, you are expected to set your own, some are pretty obvious. But others are not.

The text in Orange are actually dynamic based on the metadata from tweets. It takes some experimenting to know what you want. But the "live preview" helps by showing what the data will be like. Below shows for example what "User Created At" field will show.

I found this part of Zapier a bit buggy, occasionally it won't show any data (because there is no real tweet to draw on) which is normal, but occasionally some fields just wont appear, even though I know they are available for selection, but if I reload the pull down again after several tries the option appears?

But in general it works. Here's an example.

Compared to the RSS->IFTTT method, Zapier sends out the alert faster, based because there is only a 15 minutes delay for the free version, while IFTTT also boasts the same 15 minute polling time, there is additional time delay due to the additional of the Google Script to pull in Twitter results.

The free version of Zapier is also limited because you can get up only 5 such tasks and receive a maximum of 100 alerts per month for the free version, while IFTTT has no such limits.

3. Use Mention

For some different, try the Mention Service, this covers not just Twitter but also blogs, facebook etc and pretty much everything. It does not allow location based alerts, and is limited to 250 alerts per month for free. I use the ios app mainly but there is a desktop version, Chrome 


This is a somewhat geeky post, though I have been using such techniques since 2010 and have found them invaluable in keeping on top of news I am interested in. 
29 Jun 20:46

Free Library Continuing Education Events for July

by HelenL

Listed below are FREE programs American Management Association, Booklist, Effectiveness Institute, GrantSpace, Infopeople, Library Journal, Lyrasis, Montana State Library, Nebraska Library Commission, Nonprofit Webinars, O’Reilly, School Library Journal, TechSoup, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, United States Census Bureau, VolunteerMatch, Washington State Library, and WebJunction will be webcasting during July.

In the event that you aren’t available during those times, or you would like to check out past webinars, here are the links to archived events:

OPAL Webinar Archives
Common Knowledge
School Library Journal
Tech Soup
Library Journal
eSchool News Webinars
SirsiDynix Institute Webinars
TL Virtual Cafe
Washington State Library First Tuesdays
NonProfit Webinars
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Colorado State Library: CSL in Session
Lunch Lessons with CLiC (Colorado Library Consortium)
ALA Tech Source Makerspace Webinars


July 3 (10-11 am)

What You Should Be ‘Subjecting’ Your Teens To: The Nonfiction Switch (Nebraska Library Commission)

There has been a lot of debate recently over “weeding” out the Dewey Decimal System in exchange for a more patron- and browsing-friendly Subject Classification System. Can this really work? What are the pros and cons of such a dramatic change? Join us to discover how the Teen Advisory Board of the La Vista Public Library implemented such a change in their teen department. This session will be presented by Lindsey Tomsu, the YA librarian, and Sarah Kreber, a member of the La Vista Public Library Teen Advisory Board, who played a huge part in making this project successful.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 9 (12-1 pm)

Events for (Almost) Everyone (Washington State Library)

Events can be an excellent way to connect with patrons, volunteers, your partnering organizations, and your surrounding neighborhood. They build good will, educate about your services, and add to your list of annual successes.  This presentation will share the rudiments of low- or no-cost events for which the idea and spirit behind them are as important as the successful execution.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 9 (1-2 pm)

How to Build Websites Like Hollywood Builds Movies (O’Reilly)

In this webcast, we’ll look at the lifecycle of various Web development projects through the lens of Hollywood storytelling. Learn how to deliver successful projects that are on time, on budget, and meet customer expectations through a comparison of how the narrative structure of various films compares to different process models for site development. Not only will you come away with a better understanding of how to approach your next Web development project, but you’ll also gain a greater appreciation for the life lessons taught by some of your favorite Hollywood films.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 9 (2-3 pm)

Grantseeking Basics (GrantSpace)

Gain an introduction to the world of foundation fundraising. Are you a representative of a nonprofit organization? Are you new to fundraising? Do you want to learn how the funding research process works, and what tools and resources are available? Learn how to become a better grantseeker! In this class we will cover: what you need to have in place before you seek a grant; the world of grantmakers; the grantseeking process; and available tools and resources.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 9 (2-3 pm)

Libraries, Children and Families: new research and policy recommendations on role of libraries in early reading (WebJunction)

The importance of early childhood education was underscored by President Obama in his most recent State of the Union address: “Study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road.” Join us to hear Susan Hildreth, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, present on a recent report, Growing Young Minds, developed with the Campaign for Grade-level Reading, that highlights the role of libraries in early learning. The report also offers a plan of action for policy makers to build on current research and include libraries in early learning strategies. Attendees will learn about best practices for enhancing reading programs and how to participate in your community’s efforts to address literacy concerns. In addition, Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, will describe the Project’s newly released report about the special role that libraries play in the life of families with children. Attendees will learn what matters to parents about their library experiences with their children, and how library programs and outreach can address those needs.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 10 (12-1 pm)

Kiss Your BUT Good-Bye to Achieve Professional and Personal Success (American Management Association)

Joe and Bob Azelby are seasoned business executives who believe that a career stalls because an individual lacks a certain skill or has a behavior that makes them a less qualified candidate. We all have weaknesses, which the Azelby brothers refer to as “BUTs.”  For example: Bill is a hard worker BUT he can’t influence people and Larry is a great producer BUT he is a lousy manager.  Most people do not have any idea how their BUTs are inhibiting their career advancement because their colleagues and even their managers are unwilling to provide much needed candid feedback. This webcast will help you identify your BUTs and provide the tools necessary to shrink them. In addition, they’ll explore the importance of strong managers and demonstrate how a manager’s BUT can have a negative impact on his or her team.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 10 (4-5 pm)

3D Printing for Everyone: What you need to build your own 3D printer (O’Reilly)

In this webcast, I will introduce you to my open source 3D Printer that I built from a kit. I’ll share my experiences of both joy and tears, from assembly and tuning, to modeling and printing. We’ll cover the kinds of open source models, compare their commercial counterparts, talk about heat, plastic types and potential. If you are curious about 3D printing, but don’t know much about it, I hope to cover all of the basics. If you have been doing your research, but have some pointed questions that will get you off the fence, I hope to answer those too. By the end of the session, my hope is you will all want to build 3D printers of your own, and have all of the information you need to get started.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 10 (2-3 pm)

Engaging Pro Bono and Skilled Volunteers (VolunteerMatch)

Integrating skilled volunteers into your existing volunteer program is both exciting and scary. If you’re thinking about adding skilled volunteers to your program, or if you’ve just started, this seminar can help you make the experience successful for both the volunteer and the organization. Navigating the introduction of the idea into your organization, developing the art of delegating work to volunteers, and setting achievable outcomes will be covered.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 10 (3-4 pm)

Five Clicks (or Fewer) to Census Data: Navigating the latest release of the American FactFinder – Part 1 (InfoPeople)

Linda Clark, data dissemination specialist for the U. S. Census Bureau, will guide you through the latest version of the American FactFinder database. At the end of this one-hour webinar, participants will be able to: Quickly find the most current population for any city or county in the U.S., Obtain basic counts of people in specific categories, Drill down to find rich topical data for your community at low levels of geography, Locate tables that cross-tabulate broad subject areas with local race, ethnic, and tribal groups, and Answer most user inquiries in five clicks or fewer!

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 10 (3-4 pm)

Hire Like A Pro: How to Avoid the 4 Fatal Hiring Mistakes That Almost Everyone Makes (NonProfit Webinars)

Hiring the right people is absolutely critical to the success of any organization. Your team dictates your ability to execute your organization’s mission. Unfortunately, so many managers are using old hiring strategies that are not effective any longer. They ask the wrong interview questions and they make poor hiring decisions. The result? An inadequate team, or a lot of bad turnover. The team suffers, the manager suffers, and no real work gets done. In this webinar we will describe the 4 most common hiring mistakes and how to stop them immediately.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 11 (1-2 pm)

Location, Location, Location: Mastering HTML 5 Geolocation (O’Reilly)

Do you know where your users are? The HTML 5 Geolocation API is a JavaScript-based interface that allows you to programmatically get access to a user’s approximate latitude and longitude. You can get a snapshot of their location or even continuous updates. The best part is the API is now built into many of the latest generation of browsers. In this hands-on webcast presented by Andy Gup, he’ll step you through how the API works, as well as take an in-depth look at the data it provides and how to use it effectively. We’ll nail the key things you need to know to implement this API into your existing systems right away. You’ll learn that not all data is created equally. To hit home the concepts we’ll demonstrate using the API in several real world scenarios and show how this information can be successfully integrated into a backend system for analysis.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 11 (1-2 pm)

Using Census Data to Apply for a Grant (United States Census Bureau)

Practice accessing statistics from the decennial census, the American Community Survey and economic information from American FactFinder in order to complete a grant scenario.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 12 (2-3 pm)

Making Difficult Conversations Easy (Effectiveness Institute)

Do you shy away from conflict? In organizations across the world conflict is avoided. Expectations go unmet, values are violated, and overall under-performance exists because people do not know how to effectively resolve issues without resorting to the use of power. This one-hour session introduces you to concepts that enable you to begin to “integrate conflict” – to walk into it and effectively handle it – rather than avoid it.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 16 (2-3 pm)

Book Group Buzz (Booklist)

Leading a book group can be a lot of work, from finding new titles to searching for discussion questions. In this free, hour-long webinar, Rebecca Vnuk, Reference and Collection Management Editor for Booklist, will be joined by representatives from HarperCollins, Random House Library Marketing, and Sourcebooks for a discussion of upcoming and backlist titles that are a perfect fit for adult book groups, as well as a whirlwind tour of must-know websites for book discussion leaders.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 17 (1-2 pm)

Leading Organizational Change (NonProfit Webinars)

In a rapidly changing world, every leader needs to understand how to effectively guide organizational change. Change may be necessary for many reasons, such as meeting new customer demands; implementing a strategic plan; upgrading technology systems; or coping with challenges. Leaders often wonder how to promote buy-in and engagement during what is sometimes a difficult process. This webinar for staff and board members will focus on: principles of change; understanding how people react to change; common mistakes and how to avoid them; working with resistance; and maintaining open communication. You will learn practical tips and be introduced to resources for further learning.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 17 (2-3 pm)

Library Social Media Use (WebJunction)

Over half of the world’s 2 billion internet users interact with social media tools to create, share, and exchange information and ideas while online. Libraries are using these tools to market programs and services, and to connect and engage with their communities beyond the library walls. Join us as we explore Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest as examples of tools that are being used successfully by libraries. The webinar will cover how to create, administer, moderate, and leverage your library’s online presence. Some basic security settings for each social media tool will be discussed as well.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 18 (11 am-12 pm)

DIY Options for Mobile Websites (Texas State Library and Archives Commission)

Are you interested in do-it-yourself options for developing a mobile website for your library?  The Texas State Library is planning on offering training on this topic, but we need your input.  Christine Peterson of Amigos Library Services is conducting a 1 hour webinar, showcasing the following common DIY mobile options: Google Sites mobile templates, Kurago Kurogo Mobile Platform, jQuery Mobile, and Responsive Web Design using CSS media queries.  In conjunction with the webinar, you will have an opportunity to vote via survey for the solution you would like to receive training on.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 19 (1-2:30 pm)

Information Literacy Assessment: What Works? What Doesn’t? (LYRASIS)

During the last Polite Debate Society, we addressed Information literacy from the teaching perspective… How to teach the Hard Stuff (Recording:  In part 2 of the series, panelists from the information literacy community will spend 90 minutes discussing key issues in information literacy assessment. The teaching landscape for IL librarians continues to evolve rapidly. Assessment strategies used previously in the traditional classroom environment are challenging, if not impossible to implement in an educational setting where we use both the physical and virtual classroom, where technology dictates our approach to teaching so heavily, and where many deal with the pressure cooker of the “one shot” class.  Still others are learning what kinds of assessment strategies are most effective in the semester long credit bearing information literacy course. In our Polite Debate Society session, our panel will review and critique some common assessment strategies, discuss what works and what doesn’t in a variety of settings, and share ideas for best practices in information literacy assessment.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 23 (2-3 pm)

Localize, Mobilize, and Spotlight Your Library Services and Outreach (WebJunction)

Libraries play a critical role in their communities that goes beyond their collections, focusing on events, outreach and library as place. In an increasingly digital and mobile world, libraries need new ways to reach out and engage. Now with the new OCLC Library Spotlight program (, you can set up a dynamic mobile view of your library and dramatically extend its visibility into many popular web services—in just 10 minutes. Learn about this free service, available to all, that will make it easier for your library to be found on the web and through highly trafficked services like Yelp. Hear how one library focused its messaging and engagement through coordinated efforts at a local level to maximize their web presence and reach.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 24 (11 am-5 pm)

School Library Journal Summer Teen (School Library Journal)

SummerTeen presents popular YA authors talking about their writing experiences and current and forthcoming titles in a conversational panel format, including Q&A sessions with the audience. Presentations led by school and teen library experts will address the hottest trends in YA literature including mystery/thriller, historical fantasy, technology and diversity. And you’ll hear directly from publishers about the newest books you’ll want for your teens this year. SummerTeen is a free, must-attend online event for teen and young adult services librarians and educators from public and school library settings, as well as teen advisory groups, book clubs and anyone who loves YA/teen literature.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 24 (12-1 pm)

5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity (American Management Association)

Attend this webcast and learn about FranklinCovey’s program called “5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity.” The program, supported by science and years of experience, will give you an overview, key concepts and elements of a process that has helped countless individuals yield a measurable increase in their productivity. It will also give you hope, a renewed sense of engagement, and show you how implementing these tools and concepts can make or break your ability to achieve the most important outcomes in your work and personal life.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 24 (1-3 pm)

Accessing Employment Statistics Using “OnTheMap” (United States Census Bureau)

Uncover a wealth of information available on U.S. workers in an overview of this online mapping and reporting application. See where they are employed and where they live with companion reports on worker characteristics and optional filtering by age, earnings, or industry groups.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 24 (1-2 pm)

Building Social Capital to Enhance Collaboration (NonProfit Webinars)

Typically when people think about social capital, it is associations, networks and relationships that result in a gain. I believe that organizations tend to build partners with those who are similar (bonding social capital) instead of bridging, another form of social capital with those who are different. In this workshop, participants will learn more about social capital and how to leverage networks that can increase program partners and potential funders.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 24 (3-4 pm)

Early Literacy Programming in the Digital Age (InfoPeople)

Check the Infopeople website for more information on this program.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 25 (9-10 am)

An eBook Publishing Primer – what librarians need to know to help local authors (Montana State Library)

Where do local authors go to find out about self-publishing an eBook? Why, they should go to the library, of course! Jo Flick of the Montana State Library and Jodi Christophe of the Missoula Public Library’s Web-On-Wheels branch library will introduce librarians to several epublishing options that they can share with local authors interested in self-publishing.  Jodi and Jo will explain the issues and decisions that authors face when choosing which service they use to self publish, they will provide links to many resources available to authors from epublishing to researching copyright issues. Participants will leave this session with a working knowledge of how epublishing works.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 31 (10-11 am)

Tech Talk with Michael Sauers (Nebraska Library Commission)

In this monthly feature of NCompass Live, the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Michael Sauers, will discuss the tech news of the month and share new and exciting tech for your library. There will also be plenty of time in each episode for you to ask your tech questions. So, bring your questions with you, or send them in ahead of time, and Michael will have your answers.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 31 (12-1 pm)

Keys to Improving Project Team Performance Using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (American Management Association)

If there weren’t people involved, my project would have been delivered on time and under budget! Sound familiar? Unfortunately, the reality is that people are involved in the execution of every project and not even the most sophisticated software or project template can change that fundamental truth. Communication, interpersonal skills, and an understanding of team dynamics are a project manager’s greatest asset for driving optimal project performance, and the MBTI tool can fast forward that competence exponentially. This webcast will present an overview of personality type and how the different types can be leveraged to form a team that harnesses the best of all of them.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:


July 31 (1-2 pm)

Accountable Fundraising: You Can Integrate Achievement, Long-term Success and Stewardship (NonProfit Webinars)

Suggested practices in this webinar will significantly improve your bottom line as you gain better results for your cause, increases loyalty from staff and board, and deepen the level of appreciation from those who support your mission.

For more information and to register for this program, visit:

05 Jul 14:25

Facilitating Access to free online resources: challenges and opportunities for the library community

by cmlinar

Webinar: Facilitating Access to free online resources: challenges and opportunities for the library community
The digital world has exploded over the past 10 years. How are librarians adjusting to the management of the existing free online resources alongside paid for content? Taylor & Francis wanted to explore the key issues and challenges librarians face in facilitating access to free online content.
We would like to share the key findings of this research with you via our webinars.
Four sessions will be available— be sure to register by clicking on a link below:
Monday 29 July, 1000 GMT (1100 CET).
Tuesday 30 July, 1500 GMT (1600 CET; 1000 EST).
Wednesday 31 July, 1000 GMT (1100 CET).
Thursday August 1 1900 GMT (2000 CET; 1400 EST).
The webinars will explore the following key themes:
• The growth and value of free content
• Resource challenges for librarians
• Identification and selection of content
• The role of the library
• Information literacy
• User needs and expectations
• The role of publishers
Resources- In the meantime, you can access the White Paper and download the report and analysis of results from our survey here.
Can’t Make It? No problem! We will be scheduling more webinars to accommodate all time zones. Simply email us and we will let you know when new sessions are made available.