Attention North Dakota libraries! The State Library now has a drone! The DJI Phantom 3: Drone Kit is available in KitKeeper. The kit includes a drone and an iPad for shooting and editing digital video. The kit only circulates to public and school libraries in North Dakota, and it be checked out up to 8 weeks. To reserve the drone kit or to learn more about it, visit KitKeeper at: http://www.eventkeeper.com/kitkeeper/index.cfm?curOrg=nodak
In September, I attended the NDLA annual conference in Jamestown. One of the sessions I attended was “3D Printing @ Your Library” presented by Greta Guck, the director of the Leach Public Library in Wahpeton. I thought it would be an interesting session, but it turned out to be considerably more inspiring than I expected!
Greta talked about how she was inspired to acquire a 3D printer after hearing Mick Ebeling speak at the ALA 2015 Midwinter conference. The founder of Not Impossible Labs and author of Not Impossible: The Art and the Joy of Doing What Couldn’t Be Done, Mick has used 3D printers to create prosthetic limbs for people in Sudan who have lost their arms due to violence in the area.
After the conference, I did some research and one of the articles I found about “Project Daniel” makes an excellent point: “To many people 3D printing can seem trivial or a bit silly, but for some this technology has the potential to transform lives.” Many people probably do think of 3D printing as something neat and cool, without stopping to think about the life-changing applications of the technology. Continue reading
State Historical Society of North Dakota, William E. (Bill) Shemorry Photograph Collection (1-28-46-1)
The governor will present his budget to the legislature today. One of the popular topics that has come up in recent years is oil revenue. This isn’t something new as demonstrated in the above photo from 1952. A Williston City Commissioner, Neuman Ditsworth, leads a protest against legislative action on a oil tax bill. You can read more about it on Digital Horizons.
Take a few minutes to explore the new Digital Horizons website and our new content! The North Dakota Memories collection has new items from the Pembina County Historical Society and the North Dakota County and Town Histories collection has a number of new books for your searching ease.
The promise of Virtual Reality (VR) has never really panned out the way pundits expected it would, but it remains an intriguing niche technology that often totters precariously close to mainstream acceptance. The Oculus Rift is the latest headline-grabber, but, it remains overpriced and (in my opinion) underwhelming.
Recently, there a new market emerged in open source cardboard enclosures that combine your smartphone and a pair of biconvex lenses to produce the first truly entry-level and easily accessible VR set. The best in class (if that term is even appropriate for something made of cardboard you wear on your face) seems to be the Dodocase.
There was a large of stack of these for sale when I was in Barnes and Noble last night, and they run about $25/each (you may be able to find some cheaper online). It’s worth noting that at this point there are only a handful of VR apps in either the Android or iPhone market, but all the ones I’ve found are free and fun to play around with. If you’re feeling ambitious, there’s Developer Documentation on the Google Cardboard site, to assist in programming your own Android apps.
A few caveats before you get started: a little DIY hacking is in order if you wish your raw cardboard headset to remain sturdy and hospitable and approximate the comfortable accommodation of human heads. Using some electrical tape, felt pads, or Sugru to shield contact points is a great idea, not just for comfort, but also because cardboard is easily besmirched in gross unsightly ways by our sweat exuding noggins.
That being said, you will not find an easier, cheaper, or more user-friendly approach to VR on the market, and I could definitely see patrons coming in to try it out if presented with the opportunity. Good luck and if you do try it out, I’d love to hear about your experiences with it!
Digital Horizons launched its new website last week! It now supports enhanced viewing and searching capabilities. For objects with many pages, you can switch to the Page Flip View and view it like an actual book rather than clicking on each individual page. You can browse all the collections or choose one collection and browse. There is also a handy feature that will send you updates on the collections that you choose to follow.
This is the County and Town Histories landing page. You can see recent additions on the right and subscribe to update.
In our collection of County and Town Histories, you can conduct an advanced search using counties or towns as your search term. There is also faceted searching on the left side of your results screen that will allow you to narrow your results. It is limited as it will only show you the top 10 items in each facet for the collection.
This is a screenshot of the faceted searching box that will appear on the left side of your screen beneath the collection boxes.
This is just a broad overview of some of the enhancements seen with the new Digital Horizons website. Happy hunting!
There has been a lot of news this past week regarding the manner in which Adobe Digital Editions was found to be openly transmitting reading records in plain text (re: sans encryption).
Many legitimate concerns exist regarding the privacy and intellectual freedom of the patrons for any library that is or has operated an ebook service reliant upon Adobe’s technology (and, in all fairness to Adobe, upon any DRM technology).
Here’s a roundup of this week’s news, rounded out with some related resources.
Updated 10/10/14 at 12:59 to include a link to the Hellman article.
I recently noticed that some new apps have been added to the DPLA site. This reminded me of a DPLA app that I had been meaning to try out that works with Wikipedia. I found not one but two apps available that pull relevant DPLA content into your Wikipedia searches.
FindDPLA pulls content that is directly related to your search and seems to be compatible with Windows Explorer, Chrome and Firefox. FindDPLA is easy to setup. You just have to follow the directions by clicking through. They are working on a fix for the step where you have to click the shield in your URL box in order to run the script successfully. It doesn’t appear that you need to perform that step in Explorer. You will see the results of your DPLA connection at the top of your Wikipedia page as seen below.
WikipeDPLA is a Google Chrome extension that pulls up similar topics to the one that you searched on in the form of links to DPLA. You just follow the links on the app library and may have to sign into you Google account for the extension. The results of the DPLA connections using this app are seen below:
You can read more about these two apps in the DPLA App Library. There are a number of other apps available as well including one that tweets out images of historical cats—Who doesn’t need an app that sends out historical cat images?
As you may or may not be aware–the North Dakota State Library (NDSL) began participating in Digital Horizons about a year ago. The previous link will take you to our current website where you can read up on the consortium if you aren’t familiar with the local institutions that are currently participating. NDSL is currently scanning county and town history books so that they are available online and are keyword searchable.
If you are a user of Digital Horizons, be on the lookout for some changes in the upcoming weeks. We will launch a new website that will be using the most up to date CONTENTdm software. This will make searches and viewing easier. There is also new content. We are hoping for an early October launch and I will keep you informed as changes occur.