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Mar 22, 2019
Mar 15, 2019
Feb 28, 2019
Are you going to build a community digital project, like a new online app or map for your city or region?
Feb 26, 2019
Feb 2, 2019
You can create simple online maps using free tools like Google's My Maps, but for serious collections of local landmarks, or historical/cultural resources, you'll need something more powerful, such as the custom platform that we built for Chicago Ancestors. I recently came across the open source platform "Arches," popularized by a digital history project in Los Angeles, that provides powerful geodata management capabilities perfect for digital humanities projects.
Jan 21, 2019
If you haven't visited the Data.gov website before, you'll need to wait until the federal government re-opens to check out the thousands of free public government dataset that used to be available to explore and download. And if your library or community uses that data for an application or project - you already know that you're out of luck! (In the meantime, you can still read our 2017 Public Library Quarterly article about open data in the library.)
Jan 8, 2019
Our last blog post about accessibility focused on making sure that your website was easy to access by people that use assistive technologies, such as screen readers, which read aloud what's on a computer screen to users with low or no vision. I recently attended a fantastic webinar on actual screen reader software itself by Kelsey Flynn of the White Oak Public Library District in Illinois, presented through the LITA webinar series. Kelsey covered some of the basics of accessibility software, including deep dives into the five most popular screen reader titles.
Some of my key takeaways:
Dec 12, 2018
Remember the famous viral clip of a Senator on the floor of the Senate holding aloft a snowball as proof that climate change was surely a hoax, or the meme-inspiring "the Internet is not a big truck; it's a series of tubes" quote from a different Senator? Well, those zany congresspeople were at it again during last month's Congressional hearings with Google:
This clip might be late night comedy fodder, and many people are correctly pointing out that the specific question isn't really answered by whether the device was an Android or an iPhone -- but it proves a greater point that our legislators are often woefully misinformed about the technology that they are quick to regulate. That wasn't always the case, and it doesn't have to be the case now.
Nov 28, 2018
As someone who has worked on community technology projects for nearly twenty years, it was always conventional wisdom that we had to reach people offline to bring them online. In other words, we couldn't solely do outreach via the Internet when we were targeting people that were, often by definition, completely offline. As librarians in an increasingly digital world approaching 2020, it can be frustrating to see low uptake of digital services or low participation rates in online programs, like summer reading. When studies show that Americans of all ages and economic groups go online in increasing numbers, why is the online use rate of our digital services not skyrocketing?
Aug 17, 2018