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Library Code Year IG: Tech Speed Dating at Annual 2014

The IG hosted a well-attended round-robin event. About forty attendees got a series of seven-minute introductions to the following topics:

  • MakerBot (Emily Thompson, Learning Technologies Librarian, SUNY-Oswego)
  • MongoDB (Emily Morton-Owens, Library Applications and System Manager, Seattle Public Library)
  • Wordpress and library websites (Chad Haefele, Emerging Technologies Librarian, UNC Chapel Hill)
  • Drupal and Islandora (Cary Gordon, President, Cherry Hill Company)
  • Python scripting (Harrison Dekker, Head of Library Data Lab, UC Berkeley)
  • Hardware and libraries (Jeff Branson, Sparkfun Educational Outreach)

Jeff Branson then led a discussion of the opportunities for libraries in machines which can learn, machines which are taught by humans. He compared the technological moment to the development of the printing press. The group discussed digital literacy, specifically code literacy, and the obstacles to that provided by code being seen/treated as a possession of a few. The group also discussed approaches to broadening that access, with mention of tech meetups in major cities like Columbus (Girl Code It), Boston (Boston Python Group), and elsewhere...with an important suggestion that libraries can fill the void in places which aren't large or wealthy enough to attract tech meetups.

Google panorama view of Speed Dating event

 

--Chris Strauber, co-chair