#CityMash 1 – #MashLib Always fun and always useful

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I attended #CityMash at City University yesterday. It was a Mashed Libraries unconference. Mashed Libraries events focus on the sharing of ideas about technology in libraries, and whenever I attend one it is always fun and it is always useful. Yesterday’s event was no exception.

The day was split up into short 1 hour sessions, with generally more than 1 session running at a time. Some of them were practical how-to sessions, others were discussions.

Here’s a brief run-down of the sessions I attended.

UX for the Win! (Andrew Preater & Karine Larose): This was a practical session focused on a specific methodology of interviewing users about their use of a library system (specifically the search functionality and identifying useful resources), identifying key themes that occur and making use of that information to develop the system. Once I’d got my head around the concept I could see that this would be a useful tool for developing my own library service catalogue.

So you want to be a systems librarian? (Anna Brynolf): This session focused on Anna’s experience of becoming and being a systems librarian. Even though my job focus doesn’t lie in that direction it was interesting to listen to, and it opened up the discussion about routes to becoming a systems librarian and the changing focus of systems librarians over the years, as well as how this role might develop in future in different types of libraries.

Death and burlesque (Matt Finch): This session focused more on the creative side of libraries and related themes eg reading, literacy, community and collaboration. Matt talked about his work with libraries throughout the world. Things like Zombie fights in the library; short stories on coffee cups; @FunPalaces initiatives (ie getting the public in to make creative responses about library, museum and archive collections); collaborations between libraries and book shops on comic store day; wine-tasting sessions in a library, including a discussion via the web with the wine-maker. I have to say Matt shared so many ideas that I just thought “Wow! We should be doing this in our library service.”

Maker Cart (Carlos Iszak): Makerspaces in libraries is an idea that has been around for a few years now. It gives people the opportunity to create, learn and develop skills collaboratively – this might involve things like building robots, developing IT skills using creative and fun tools, 3D printing. The Maker cart concept fits in with the idea that some libraries might want to run makerspaces, but don’t have the space or financial resources to do this. The Maker cart is a set of resources on a small trolley that contains kit for I suppose the equivalent of a pop up makerspace, along with resource books to help people create/make things. I really like the idea of being able to set aside space in a library as a temporary makerspace, encourage people to come in and then you just wheel out the maker cart and away you go.

I also ran a session on using games for digital storytelling and am really pleased with the feedback I received a bout it – there’ll be another blog post about that after this one.

As well as attending the sessions, it’s great to be able to share ideas with others who attended and I always feel there is a great buzz at a Mashed library event – lots of people making new connections and getting inspired by it all.

I spoke to Owen Stephens while there – he came up with the idea of the first Mashed Library event – and I was reflecting on the fact that if I hadn’t been to my first Mashed Library event in 2009 (I think) I wouldn’t be doing half the things I’m doing now in both my day job and my life outside of work. Mashed Libraries actually gave me the confidence to get out and do stuff instead of just thinking about doing it…. Mashed Libraries, you have a lot to answer for. 🙂

More Library Mashups now published #mashlib

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Nicole Engard has published a new edition of her Library Mashups book (More Library Mashups). It includes chapters on tools people can use to create data mashups for libraries and information services, as well as examples of a wide range of actual library data mashups and details about how they were created.

The full run-down of the chapters appear below, so you can get an idea of what is covered. I’ll include a disclaimer here and say I’m fortunate to have a chapter about ifttt.com included in the book too. In fact, it’s also included as a free sample chapter.

  • IFTTT Makes Data Play Easy (Gary Green)
  • The Non-Developer’s Guide to Creating Map Mashups (Eva Dodsworth)
  • OpenRefine(ing) and Visualizing Library Data (Martin Hawksey)
  • Umlaut: Mashing Up Delivery and Access (Jonathan Rochkind)
  • Building a Better Library Calendar With Drupal and Evanced Events (Kara Reuter and Stefan Langer)
  • An API of APIs: A Content Silo Mashup for Library Websites (Sean Hannan)
  • Curating API Feeds to Display Open Library Book Covers in Subject Guides (Rowena McKernan)
  • Searching Library Databases Through Twitter (Bianca Kramer)
  • Putting Library Catalog Data on the Map (Natalie Pollecutt)
  • Mashups and Next Generation Catalog at Work (Anne-Lena Westrum and Asgeir Rekkavik)
  • Delivering Catalog Records Using Wikipedia Current Awareness (Natalie Pollecutt)
  • Mashups and Next Generation Catalog at Work (Anne-Lena Westrum and Asgeir Rekkavik)
  • Delivering Catalog Records Using Wikipedia Current Awareness (Natalie Pollecutt)
  • Telling Stories With Google Maps Mashups (Olga Buchel)
  • Visualizing a Collection Using Interactive Maps (Francine Berish and Sarah Simpkin)
  • Creating Computer Availability Maps (Scott Bacon)
  • Getting Digi With It: Using TimelineJS to Transform Digital Archival Collections (Jeanette Claire Sewell)
  • BookMeUp: Using HTML5, Web Services, and Location-Based Browsing to Build a Book Suggestion App (Jason Clark)
  • Stanford’s SearchWorks: Mashup Discovery for Library Collections (Bess Sadler)
  • Libki and Koha: Leveraging Open Source Software for Single Sign-on Integration (Kyle M. Hall)
  • Disassembling the ILS: Using MarcEdit and Koha to Leverage System APIs to Develop Custom Workflows (Terry Reese)
  • Mashing Up Information to Stay on Top of News (Celine Kelly)
  • A Mashup in One Week: The Process Behind Serendip-o-matic (Meghan Frazer)

I’m looking froward to receiving my copy and I’m sure I’ll be reporting back on some of the ideas featured in it.

List of Library and Book APIs on Programmable Web #mashlib

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List of Library and Book APIs on Programmable Web #mashlib

Programmable Web have published an article about the library and book APIs/mashups listed on their site – 49 APIs in total are listed. It gives details of what each of the APIs do and the data formats and communication protocols they use. Handy information for the Mashed Library community.