Issue 13, 2011-04-11

Editorial Introduction: Ride On, Mighty Warriors

Code4Lib Editor

I joined the fellowship of the Journal only one year past. In the time since I have helped to caress into sonnets the grunts and mutterings of paladins near and far. But forgive my crude tongue, for I do not wish to offend. You who share your drunken yarns are the font, the wellspring, of all that you see here.

GroupFinder: A Hyper-Local Group Study Coordination System

Joe Ryan and Josh Boyer

GroupFinder is a system designed to help users working in groups let each other know where they are, what they are working on, and when they started. Students can use the GroupFinder system to arrange meetings within the library. GroupFinder also works with the phpScheduleIt room reservation system used to reserve group study rooms at the D.H. Hill Library at NCSU. Information from GroupFinder is presented on the GroupFinder web site, the mobile web site and on electronic bulletin boards within the library. How GroupFinder was developed from the initial concept through the implementation is covered in the article.

ISBN and QR Barcode Scanning Mobile App for Libraries

Graham McCarthy and Sally Wilson

This article outlines the development of a mobile application for the Ryerson University Library. The application provides for ISBN barcode scanning that results in a lookup of library copies and services for the book scanned, as well as QR code scanning. Two versions of the application were developed, one for iOS and one for Android. The article includes some details on the free packages used for barcode scanning functionality. Source code for the Ryerson iOS and Android applications are freely available, and instructions are provided on customizing the Ryerson application for use in other library environments. Some statistics on the number of downloads of the Ryerson mobile app by users are included.

Using Web Services for a Mobile OPAC

Denis Galvin and Mang Sun

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the creation and intended evolution of the Rice University mobile online public access catalog (OPAC). The focus of the article is on how SirsiDynix’s Symphony Web Services can be used to create a mobile OPAC.

iRoam: Leveraging Mobile Technology to Provide Innovative Point of Need Reference Services

James MacDonald and Kealin McCabe

The University of Northern British Columbia’s Geoffrey R. Weller Library can boast of a healthy and stable reference service. While statistical analysis reveals that patron use of this service is on the decline, this is not unlike current trends experienced by many libraries today. The library averages a total of 6300 reference transactions per year, a significant number for a small, research-intensive university serving 3500 FTE. The unanswered question is why are the numbers dropping? One theory is that providing research and reference assistance in a traditional manner is affecting the number of transactions. Reference service is traditionally provided in a stationary manner, whereby patrons are required to visit the reference desk of their own volition. Recognizing that a stationary librarian cannot reach a stationary patron, UNBC library began an innovative roaming reference pilot project in September, 2010. Combining the power of wireless networks, tablet computing and chat services, 5 librarians provided point-of-need, face-to-face and virtual reference services during peak reference hours over the fall 2010 semester. This article outlines the project and technologies employed to make it happen (iPad, apps, instant messaging widgets and wireless networks).

Implementing Time Travel for the Web

Robert Sanderson, Harihar Shankar, Scott Ainsworth, Frank McCown, and Sam Adams

This article discusses the challenges and solutions discovered for implementing the Memento protocol in a variety of browser environments. It describes the design and deployment of the client technologies which have been developed: a web application that functioned as a browser, an add-on for FireFox called MementoFox, a plugin for Internet Explorer and an Android-based client application. The design and technical solutions identified during the development will be of interest to those considering implementation of a Memento based platform, especially on the client side, however the interactions are also important for building conformant server-side systems.

Look What We Got! How Inherited Data Drives Decision-Making: UNC-Chapel Hill’s 19th-Century American Sheet Music Collection

Renée McBride

Have you inherited a digital collection containing valuable, but inconsistent metadata? And wondered how to transform it into a usable, quality resource while accepting that it can’t meet your idea of perfection? This article describes such an experience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University Library with its CONTENTdm-based 19th-Century American Sheet Music Collection, addressing issues such as field construction, the use of controlled vocabularies, development of a project data dictionary, and metadata clean-up.

From ISIS to CouchDB: Databases and Data Models for Bibliographic Records

Luciano Ramalho

For decades bibliographic data has been stored in non-relational databases, and thousands of libraries in developing countries still use ISIS databases to run their OPACs. Fast forward to 2010 and the NoSQL movement has shown that non-relational databases are good enough for Google, Amazon.com and Facebook. Meanwhile, several Open Source NoSQL systems have appeared.

This paper discusses the data model of one class of NoSQL products, semistructured, document-oriented databases exemplified by Apache CouchDB and MongoDB, and why they are well-suited to collective cataloging applications. Also shown are the methods, tools, and scripts used to convert, from ISIS to CouchDB, bibliographic records of LILACS, a key Latin American and Caribbean health sciences index operated by the Pan-American Health Organization.

Applying Lessons from 8 Things We Hate About IT to Libraries

Timothy M. McGeary

Book review of 8 Things We Hate About IT with commentary on how Susan Cramm’s points can be applied to libraries.

Book Review: HTML5: Up and Running

Mark Cyzyk

Mark Pilgrim’s HTML5: Up and Running was one of the first books published on the subject. If you’re looking for a really good, well-written, entertaining, concise overview of what’s going on right this very minute with HTML5 technologies and techniques, this is a good book to have.

Conference Reports: Code4Lib 2011

Bohyun Kim and Elias Tzoc

Conference reports from the 6th Code4Lib Conference, held in Bloomington, IN, from February 7 to 10, 2011. The Code4Lib conference is a collective volunteer effort of the Code4Lib community of library technologists. Included are two brief reports on the conference from some recipients of conference scholarships.