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Library Code Year Interest Group (LITA/ALCTS) [Community] Archived

In: ALCTS Interest Groups (Association for Library Collections & Technical Services), LITA Interest Groups (Library & Information Technology Association), Technology

New to the IG?  Welcome! 

Wondering how you can get involved?  Right now you can:

  • Join this Connect group (make sure to get updates via email or RSS to stay connected!)
  • Post to the group. Looking for help on learning code, collaborators on your mad software plans, et cetera?
  • Email the chairs for more info. (Emily King, Junior Tidal, Heather Klish, and Dana Miller)

Upcoming events:

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Discussion Meeting at Annual: what we're doing next

by Andromeda Yelton on Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 08:09 pm

Here are the things we'll be doing next, plus the people taking responsibility.  This doesn't mean they're the only people involved -- actually they'll all need lots of help -- so please get involved in anything that interests you!  There are things here for people at all levels of coding skill, and they'll need lots of non-code skills as well, so no matter your skillset there are places you can be helpful and learn more.

 

Here are the things we'll be doing next, plus the people taking responsibility.  This doesn't mean they're the only people involved -- actually they'll all need lots of help -- so please get involved in anything that interests you!  There are things here for people at all levels of coding skill, and they'll need lots of non-code skills as well, so no matter your skillset there are places you can be helpful and learn more.

 

Python preconference (to be run at a conference next year, based on the Boston Python Users Group's highly successful Python workshop for beginners) -- Shana, Margaret

A code project using OCLC's APIs -- Nick, Jason, Violeta

Pull together training & resources for people wanting to conduct a hackathon -- Jen, Margaret

Github how-to -- Andromeda, Eric

IRC how-to -- Jen

 

We also wanted to make a list of people's areas of expertise so we know whom to go to for help, like the code4lib office hours, but we didn't have anyone to take point on this -- maybe you?

 

Please comment with any way you'd like to get involved!  If the people taking point on these projects could also comment so that people can find each other, that'd be great too.

 

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Discussion PyCon

by Andromeda Yelton on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 08:03 am

(in case you didn't see it in the CodeYear forum...)

(in case you didn't see it in the CodeYear forum...)

Last night I heard Jessica McKellar, a big shot on the Boston Python scene who's going to be one of the PyCon keynotes next spring, tell us all why we should go to PyCon.  tl;dr if you can, you should go to PyCon!  It sounds like it'll be an awesome time if you're at all interested in Python -- friendly to people at all skill levels, and this year it's focusing on education, so I think it'll be especially good for beginners and for people running any kind of code events at their libraries.  It's next March in Santa Clara: https://us.pycon.org/2013/

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Discussion Idea involving OCLC, chat - seeking advice

by Marliese Thomas on Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:53 am

Hi all, 

Apologies for not being able to attend the Code Year meeting in Anaheim. Hopefully you can help me refine this idea, because I'm not actually sure what kind of coding it needs. 

Hi all, 

Apologies for not being able to attend the Code Year meeting in Anaheim. Hopefully you can help me refine this idea, because I'm not actually sure what kind of coding it needs. 

We have just moved to Springshare's LibChat. My idea is that if someone is in a database item record (WorldCat.org, for example), they could click on the chat launch button, and the basic data of that item record would somehow be translated to us, either in display or as a post in the dialogue box. Maybe title, author, persistent link? My first thought was this would need to be passed through by the WorldCat API but it might be accomlishable by OpenURL. Kind of like how you can have your ILL screen automatically populate with item data. Either way, the call could be embedded within the code for the LibChat widget, ideally. 

If this could work, I'm thinking it could be used with any chat service, possibly with any database provider, depending on if it's API- or OpenURL-based. 

Has anyone heard of something like this before? I'm not very code-savvy (mostly editing widget code and xml/html), but this could be a good place for me to get my feet wet, if you could point me in the right direction. 

Thanks much!

Marliese Thomas, msthomas@samford.edu

Samford University, Birmingham, AL

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Discussion Meeting at Annual: resources

by Andromeda Yelton on Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 08:09 pm

During the discussion people mentioned a lot of good resources that y'all might be interested in -- I don't have those all offhand but I'm going to post a list here in hopes that the people who DO have them will chime in:

 

During the discussion people mentioned a lot of good resources that y'all might be interested in -- I don't have those all offhand but I'm going to post a list here in hopes that the people who DO have them will chime in:

 

  • answer key for Code Year lessons
  • the MARC viewer project (Codecademy offers a whole platform for making your own learn-to-code lessons, and this is a user-contributed one!)
  • catcode wiki, including a page of support groups for your area
  • local meetups for Ruby and Python (two beginner-friendly programming language communities)
  • Shana's post about real-life ways to apply code in your job & justify the time you're spending on it
  • github
  • catcode list of helpful resources
  • Carli's list of helpful resources
  • Eric's link to his space invaders bookmarklet, plus a folder of other cool stuff like that
  • Eric's articles about bookmarklets
  • Dave's Mashed Library links
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Discussion Meeting at Annual: discussion summary

by Andromeda Yelton on Sun, Jul 1, 2012 at 08:03 pm

 

A big thanks to those of you who were able to come to our meeting at Annual!  To those who were not, we definitely still want you to be involved and we've got lots of fun projects you can join.  I'll do a summary in this post of our discussion, and separate posts about resources we discussed and ways you can get involved with this group going forward.

We acknowledged that most of us have found it hard to keep up with the weekly Code Year lessons and talked about why it's hard.  Do you have any helpful tips for addressing any of these challenges?

 

A big thanks to those of you who were able to come to our meeting at Annual!  To those who were not, we definitely still want you to be involved and we've got lots of fun projects you can join.  I'll do a summary in this post of our discussion, and separate posts about resources we discussed and ways you can get involved with this group going forward.

We acknowledged that most of us have found it hard to keep up with the weekly Code Year lessons and talked about why it's hard.  Do you have any helpful tips for addressing any of these challenges?

  • problems you can't figure out how to solve on your own
  • feeling stupid/not confident
  • new way of thinking -- don't have tools for dealing with this independently
  • math phobia
  • without a project to apply the lessons to, it's not as interesting -- making stuff work is more fun
  • feeling guilty because learning code isn't really your job -- hard to devote time to it -- need examples of ways to apply it in real life to justify the investment of time 
  • sometimes there are bugs in the lessons and you think it's your fault when it's not (helpful tip: sometimes the lessons work better in Firefox than in Chrome)

Things that help:

  • having an answer key helps some people, feels like cheating to others
  • handholding/having someone to talk to (see resources post)
  • find a time every week to devote to learning code, no exceptions (...unless you're the sort of person who would rather binge on code for hours when you happen to be interested)
  • reading someone else's code and adapting it -- you don't have to know how to write it from scratch; you can do really useful things with existing code

 

Lightning talks:

  • Eric Phetteplace: bookmarklets in JavaScript
    • instead of http://, begin with JavaScript:
    • example -- Javascript:alert('Hello World!'); in your URL bar pops up a Hello World alert
    • any link you can store in your browser can now be a javascript program that interacts with the page you're on
    • examples: instapaper, Kickass (lets you play asteroids on any web site)
    • Eric is building one that lets you blow up your web site, Space Invaders style. Gratifying!
    • What else do you want to do? Harvest microdata? Prepend your proxy server prefix to all links on a page?  Evaluate page credibility according to some information literacy metric?
    • How do you write one? there are lots of templates.  He has bookmarklets point to code he hosts elsewhere so he can update it
    • tricky things: you don't know what page the user will be on and the bookmarklet has to work with all of them. can't make assumptions about context.  can't install bookmarklets on mobile browsers because there's no click-and-drag.  cross-browser compatibility can be hard. internet connectivity required for bookmarklets hosted elsewhere.
    • possibly helpful: test to see if jquery is available, load if it's not, use the options it gives you
  • Carli
    • lots of useful resources for learning code -- see resources post

Then we talked about various things we might want to do, and people volunteered to take point on those.  That doesn't mean they'll be doing them all alone -- please, get involved in any that interest you!  We'll all need lots of help to make these things work.  I'll put these in another post.

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Event Library Code Year Interest Group

by ALAConnect Helpdesk (staff) on Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 01:07 am

Timezone:
US/Pacific (-7)

Timezone:
US/Pacific (-7)

The inaugural meeting of the Library Code Year Interest Group will provide an opportunity for members to discuss how they have used what they have learned through Code Year in their jobs and to discuss roadblocks they have encountered along the way through a combination of lightening talks and roundtable discussions. Attendees will learn ways that the code they are learning can be used in libraries and have a chance to share their experiences learning and using code. We will end with a brainstorming session on how the IG can support members’ efforts to learn and apply code in libraries.

Did you attend this Interest Group meeting? Take our post-conference survey at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/alctsevents2012

More information about this conference session

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Discussion Call for Participation/Call for Speakers

by Andromeda Yelton on Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 08:27 pm

 

 

Based on our previous discussion in this group, we've put together an agenda for our very first meeting (so excited!).  It's on Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm, at the Doubletree Suites, Tuscany AB.  I hope to see all of you there.  We'll mostly be discussing the direction we'd like to take the group, but we're also looking for speakers for lightning talks:
Call for SpeakersWhat strategies, or roadblocks, have you found in learning to code? How have you used programming to improve library service models or workflows?
The Library Code Year Interest Group seeks speakers for lightning talks (5 minutes) on any aspect of coding and libraries, including projects you have completed, your experience learning to code or thoughts on projects you would like to see in the future.  Our inaugural meeting will be Saturday, June 23, 1:30-3:30 at the Doubletree Suites (Tuscany AB).  Speakers at all levels of coding skill and from all types of library backgrounds are invited to participate.Want to give a talk? Email me (or any of the chairs), or post your ideas here.  Constructive criticism and unbridled enthusiasm from the peanut gallery encouraged!

 

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Discussion Code Challenge

by Carli Spina on Sat, Apr 21, 2012 at 09:11 am

I happened across Code Challenge the other day and it seems perfect for the Library Code Year community! The idea is that you will challenge yourself to create a project (large or small) in a language or environment that is new to you. It is ok if you have tried out the language/environment a bit in the past, but the idea is to challenge yourself to learn something new and stick with it enough to complete a project.

I happened across Code Challenge the other day and it seems perfect for the Library Code Year community! The idea is that you will challenge yourself to create a project (large or small) in a language or environment that is new to you. It is ok if you have tried out the language/environment a bit in the past, but the idea is to challenge yourself to learn something new and stick with it enough to complete a project. I think this sounds like a lot of fun and it is perfect timing for Library Code Year members who plan to attend our meeting at Annual, because I'm sure we would all love to hear about your project!

More details on this challenge can be found here: http://fredboyle.com/codechallenge/

 

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Discussion Plans for Annual

by Andromeda Yelton on Tue, Feb 7, 2012 at 11:35 am

A big happy welcome to the 33 of you who have joined so far!

 

So: we've reserved meeting space at 1:30-3:30 on Saturday at Annual.  What do you think we should do with it?

Discussion Welcome to the Library Code Year Interest Group!

by Carli Spina on Sun, Feb 5, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Welcome to the ALA Connect Community for the new Library Code Year Interest Group! Jointly sponsored by ALCTS and LITA, this group is devoted to supporting members who want to improve their computer programming skills.

Welcome to the ALA Connect Community for the new Library Code Year Interest Group! Jointly sponsored by ALCTS and LITA, this group is devoted to supporting members who want to improve their computer programming skills. Whether you are a complete beginner who wants to learn your first programming language or an experienced programmer who wants to connect with other ALA members who program and build on your skills, this is the group for you.

And, don’t let our name fool you. We plan to do far more than simply follow Codecademy’s Code Year lessons, but we encourage you to do that. Our official purpose is "To help members at all skill levels learn to code/program and apply their developing skills for the benefit of their institutions and their own professional development," but our specific activities will be determined by our members. We want to encourage all of our members to actively collaborate with us in developing programs and events. Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Twitter with the #libcodeyear and #catcode hashtags.

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This will help members at all skill levels learn to code together and apply that knowledge

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