Dispatches, by Marshall Breeding

Protecting Patron Privacy

May 31, 2016

Secure communication on the web provides two important benefits: identifying the website authoritatively enabling encrypted communications between the user’s browser and the server that provides the resource Encryption algorithms transform the data into a seemingly garbled form that, if intercepted, cannot be deciphered. The use of a secure communication protocol (HTTPS) provides the best approach … Continue reading Protecting Patron Privacy


John J. Burke and Beth E. Tumbleson: Dispatches from the Field

Learning Management

May 2, 2016

The largest LMS companies in the United States in terms of numbers of institutions served are (in ranking order) Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas, BrightSpace (D2L), and Sakai, as reported in an October 22, 2014, post in the e-Literate blog. Blackboard currently is the market leader in the US, even without including installations of ANGEL Learning, a … Continue reading Learning Management


Erik Mitchell: Dispatches from the Field

A Linked Data Landscape

January 4, 2016

Data licensing. The common practices that LAM communities have created to develop open source tools and support of open access are now influencing how we publish open data. Even though institutions are choosing different open-use licenses, open data is supporting new and broader uses of data. The Getty Museum, University of Pennsylvania, and University of … Continue reading A Linked Data Landscape


Rebecca K. Miller, Heather Moorefield-Lang, and Carolyn Meier

Embracing the Future

October 30, 2015

Char Booth’s 2009 report, Informing Innovation: Tracking Student Interest in Emerging Library Technologies at Ohio University, cautions against experimenting with too many programs at once. She argues that decisions should be grounded in insight into local library, information, and technology cultures—a policy that we call “intentional integration.” A 2014 Pew Research survey indicates that 64% … Continue reading Embracing the Future


Robin Chin Roemer and Rachel Borchardt

Altmetrics, Bibliometrics

September 15, 2015

For practical purposes, the best-known definition of altmetrics, “the creation and study of new metrics based on the Social Web for analyzing and informing scholarship,” comes from altmetrics.org, a website set up by Priem and three of his colleagues. Since then, others have questioned the definition and the methods of calculating alt­metrics in various scholarly … Continue reading Altmetrics, Bibliometrics


Walt Crawford

Idealism and Opportunism

June 22, 2015

OA journals—categorized as “gold OA” to distinguish them from content placed in an institutional or subject repository (“green OA”)—make all of their peer-reviewed articles freely available online, in the final version and layout, as soon as they are published. DOAJ is the key directory for OA journals, with increasingly robust standards as to what can … Continue reading Idealism and Opportunism


Andromeda Yelton

Learning to Code

May 15, 2015

For my Library Technology Report, I reached out to the LITA-L, Code4Lib, and LibTechWomen discussion lists, as well as my own network, to survey librarians on how they use code in their jobs. I looked for people who are not primarily developers and who could share examples of short scripts. I also asked for recommendations … Continue reading Learning to Code


Bohyun Kim

Gamification as a Tool

March 13, 2015

If we can experience game aesthetics in real life, as well as in front of a video console or a computer screen, why wouldn’t we? If everyday drudgery, dull learning experience, and stressful tasks can be ameliorated with the application of game dynamics and mechanics, wouldn’t that be a great thing? In discussing Chore Wars … Continue reading Gamification as a Tool


Nicole Hennig

Writing App Reviews

February 24, 2015

Often when you are deciding whether to purchase an app, you’ll see a number of reviews for it in the app store. Have you noticed how uninformed many of these reviews are? Anyone who has purchased an app can contribute reviews. Often people will dash off something without understanding what the app was meant to … Continue reading Writing App Reviews


Amanda Goodman

Digital Media Labs

December 31, 2014

Where in a library can families share their stories? Where can teens create music videos and upload them online? Where can a veteran revisit his Army buddies? The answer is in the library’s own digital media lab (DML). A DML consists of equipment for either creating original digital content or converting older media to digital … Continue reading Digital Media Labs


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The Case for 3D Printing

September 16, 2014

When I talk to librarians about 3D printing, the most common question I hear—after the question about printing a gun—is “Why provide this service?” Of the many answers, the most straightforward is “We’ve always done this sort of thing.” The library is, at its core, an engine for the democratization of knowledge and information. Conceptually, … Continue reading The Case for 3D Printing


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E-Content and First Sale

July 14, 2014

Music is the best market for forecasting potential trends. We can confidently assume that the last physical format for music, the CD, is in its twilight stage—soon to be replaced entirely by digital formats and niche markets like LPs. Starting in the late 1990s, the music industry experienced a downward sales curve that continued until … Continue reading E-Content and First Sale