Author Archive: Carrie Smith

Blockchain Reaction

March 1, 2019

That year, Alman, a lecturer at SJSU, and Hirsh secured an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to facilitate a national conversation on blockchain’s potential in libraries. By the time they hosted a national forum in summer 2018, cryptocurrency markets had soared and then tumbled, and the news had shifted to “crypto winter.” But … Continue reading Blockchain Reaction


Total BooX keeps lending costs down by charging only for pages that are read.

Ebooks Made Easy

March 1, 2019

Total BooX Total BooX offers patrons unlimited access to ebooks on its platform and a unique payment model: Libraries pay only for material that’s read, whether that means a page or an entire book. By transferring ownership of the book directly to the patron, this model bypasses the high prices libraries sometimes have to pay … Continue reading Ebooks Made Easy


Estelita's Library founder Edwin Lindo speaks at the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Seattle.

A Tiny Space for Big Issues

January 29, 2019

Estelita’s Library opened only eight months ago in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood with a goal to be a community space where people feel at home enough to have the kinds of tough conversations that typically don’t happen in coffee shops—on social justice topics like race, poverty, and gentrification. Edwin Lindo, the library’s founder, spoke about … Continue reading A Tiny Space for Big Issues


Kate Deibel, inclusion and accessibility librarian at Syracuse University, speaks on disability access issues.

Always Use the Microphone

January 28, 2019

Kate Deibel opened her session, “Pushing on the Frontier: Disability Access and the Future of Libraries” on Saturday, January 26, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Seattle, with this all-too-common question to make a point: “Always use the microphone. It’s one of the most important and easiest things you can do.” It helps … Continue reading Always Use the Microphone


MetroNaps EnergyPod reclines and plays soothing sounds for 20-minute power naps.

Pod Help Us

January 2, 2019

MetroNaps EnergyPod MetroNaps EnergyPods were designed for power-napping, and while they’re most often seen in corporate offices, some academic libraries have adopted them for students. The EnergyPod has a built-in timer that cycles through a 20-minute nap sequence, a length some sleep studies have shown to improve alertness and possibly benefit learning. Through the built-in … Continue reading Pod Help Us


Unions 101

November 1, 2018

Librarians realized this when their union, the University Council of the American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT) Unit 17, filed grievances against the UC administration regarding disciplinary actions for such things as managers reprimanding librarians over product assessments and conference presentation titles. Their grievances were rejected. The union’s contract expired September 30, and at press time … Continue reading Unions 101


Maschine

Local Music Remix

November 1, 2018

Maschine Maschine is a music controller and sequencing software package by Native Instruments that can be used for creating and performing musical arrangements. It includes 16 pressure-sensitive pads for live performance or sequencing, as well as a “smart strip” that enables slides and pitch bends. The Maschine controller can function as a stand-alone device to … Continue reading Local Music Remix


Students at Overlook Middle School in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, built a pyramid with EverBlock bricks.

Ready, Steady, Build!

September 4, 2018

EverBlock EverBlock took the typical plastic brick toy and made it larger—almost the size of a cinderblock. The bricks fit together with lugs and can be used to build modular furniture, walls, and even small buildings. As a free-play tool, the possibilities are vast, limited mostly by the size of the play space and number … Continue reading Ready, Steady, Build!


Why the Janus Decision Matters to Library Unions

July 24, 2018

Library workers in public, school, academic, and other libraries who are employed through state and local governments in the 22 states that are not already right-to-work states are affected by this decision. Those who are not union members will no longer have agency fees deducted from their paychecks. More than a quarter of librarians (26.2%) … Continue reading Why the Janus Decision Matters to Library Unions


Carvey uses CNC technology to mill wood, plastic, circuit boards, and other materials.

Make It 3D

July 18, 2018

Carvey When Inventables launched Carvey in 2015, it was one of the first fully enclosed desktop computer numerical control (CNC) carvers, solving a problem many other subtractive manufacturing machines posed: They were large, noisy, and produced a lot of dust. Billed as a “3D carver,” Carvey works within many of the same design principles of … Continue reading Make It 3D



2018’s Top Tech Trends

June 26, 2018

Independent technology consultant Marshall Breeding moderated the discussion, which focused on upcoming technological shifts such as: Quantum Computing Jason Bengtson, assistant director of library IT services at Kansas State University Libraries, kicked things off by explaining quantum computing. While traditional, digital computers use bits (which store a 1 or 0), a quantum computer uses qubits, … Continue reading 2018’s Top Tech Trends