Tinkering in March 2010


I’m quite pleased with what I’ve achieved in March when it comes to tinkering outside of my day job. Most of the things are only small and uncomplicated, but I’ve either learnt from what I’ve done (no matter how little use or interest to others it is) or I’ve achieved something practical.

(1) Set up an events RSS feed for the Library service Twitter account. We had a general Council events RSS feed, so I had a look at how it was structured and realised I could pull out the library events as a separate feed via Yahoo pipes.

(2) Put together a ‘We Love Public Libraries’ page. It was put together using a Flickr slideshow and Collecta Widget looking for mentions of the phrase. I’m going to expand it to include other relevant phrases too, as it’s not picking up as many positive vibes about public libraries as I’d like 😉

(3) Using Run Basic I put together the basics of “Where’s My Chuffin’ Train?”. Put in your train details and it gives you a few lame excuses as to why it’s late. I need to do it properly, and work on presentation, add signs/symbols. Pointless I know, but I can’t help it.

(4) Using RunBasic I put together a basic URL convertor to feed URLs of book searches from the Library catalogue to Owen Stephens’ “Read To Learn” project. “Read To Learn” suggests courses you might be interested in studying if you were reading a particular non-fiction book/ or range of books. We were both interested to see if it could be of use from a public library point of view, along the lines of… public library users might be interested in studying if they could find courses that related to book they were interested in. My bit of programming needs tidying up. It’s basically got the code there, converts the URL and passes it to “Read To Learn”, it just looks dull and I don’t present the returned courses properly.

(5) As part of the Celebrating Surrey event in June, the library team I’m in thought it would be good to do something to support it from a Web2.0 point of view. So we have started putting together a “Surrey Fiction Bookmap” using Google My Maps. It shows locations that are mentioned in works of fiction. It’s early days and we adding to it as we go along. It will probably also include locations associated with fiction authors too. Each of the books mentioned link back to our catalogue and have a bit of a snippet about the book in the popup.

(6) Working on term extractor using Run Basic.

I had a bit of a frustrating time at the beginning of the month, not being able to decide what to do/ how to focus on things, but with a bit of advice from @chibbie and @ostephens I’ve learnt that it’s best to go for small goals and release things into the wild even if they aren’t perfect. Thanks for the advice.


2 thoughts on “Tinkering in March 2010

    • Thanks Aaron. I just thought that as (1) the information was there, (2) it was so straightforward to do and (3) we were manually tweeting some of our events anyway, that it was worth spending the little bit of time it took me to do it.

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