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planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-07-25 14:23

Beginning in August 2016, the Special Libraries Association (SLA) discontinued its traditional discussion-based listserv in favor of a new service: SLA Connect. If you click through to the post on Information Today, Inc. you can see the host of services and tools and enhancements moving to SLA Connect provides for SLA members. However, change is difficult and this change caught a number of members by surprise. We all know how difficult it is to communicate change to patrons. It’s no easier with fellow professionals.

The rollout was going to start July 1, 2016 but got pushed back a month because of member feedback. Since this is technology, of course there were compliant issues with the new server so some services that were scheduled for a slower transition got moved more quickly and old platforms were shut down. The whole enterprise is a complete change to how people were used to communicating with fellow SLA professionals. Small changes are hard, wholesale changes even more so. It looks like the leaders of SLA have a good plan in mind and are listening to member feedback which is great.

We recently went through a transition here in WI where the state-wide public library listserv was transitioned to Google+. The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) did a good job in getting the message out to people but the decision was not popular. I came to the discussion late because historically I would check in with broader reach listservs (CODE4LIB, LITA, WISPUBLIB, Polaris, etc.) about once a month. Sometimes even less frequently. We have local listservs that I check on a daily basis, but those impact my job directly.

I wasn’t thrilled about the move to Google+ for a few reasons. First, while I had a Google account, I try to keep my personal and work lives separated. This would mean creating a new Google account to use with work. Which meant all the work needed with setting up a new account and making sure that I’m checking it on a regular basis. Second, the thing I like about an email listserv is that I can create a rule to move all the messages into a folder and then when I scan the folder I can see which subjects had the most discussion. That disappears using Google+. I can get the initial post sent to my inbox but any follow-up posts/discussion doesn’t show up there.

This was a problem since instead of seeing twenty messages on a subject I’d now see one. I’d have to launch that message in Google+ to see whether or not people were talking about it. It’s also a problem as the new platform was not getting the traffic the traditional email listserv got so a lot of the state-wide community knowledge was not being shared. It’s getting better and DPI is doing a great job in leading the initiative for discussions. It doesn’t have the volume it used to, but it’s improving.

I needed to figure out a way to make myself check the Google+ discussions with more regularity. In comes Habitica. Our own inestimable Lindsay Cronk wrote about Habitica back in February. Habitica gamifies your to-do list. You create a small avatar and work your way through leveling him/her up to become a more powerful character. There are three basic categories: habits, dailies, and to-dos. Habits are things to improve yourself. For me it’s things like hitting my step count for the day or not drinking soda. There can be a positive and/or negative effect for your habits. You can lose health. Your little character can die. To-dos are traditional to-do list things. You can add due dates, checklists, all sorts of things. Dailies are things you have to do on a regular basis.

This is where Habitica helps me most. I have weekly reminders to check my big listservs including DPI’s Google+ feed. I have daily reminders to check in with the new supervisors who report to me. These are all things that I should be doing anyway but it’s a nice little reminder when I got bogged down in a task to take a break and get something checked off my list. I’ve set these simple dailies at the ‘trivial’ difficulty level so I’m not leveling up my character too quickly. I’m currently a 19th level fighter on Habitica but there are still times when my health gets really low. More importantly its kept me on top of my listservs and communication with fellow professionals in a way that I was not doing of my own volition.

What’s your favorite way to keep on top of communication with fellow professionals?

OCLC Dev Network: WorldCat Knowledge base API Outage

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-07-25 14:00

The WorldCat Knowledge base is currently experiencing issues where all requests to the API are failing.

LITA: Digital Displays on a Budget: Hardware

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-07-25 12:00



At the JPL Library we recently remodeled our collaborative workspace. This process allowed us to repurpose underutilized televisions into digital displays. Digital displays can be an effective way to communicate key events and information to our patrons. However, running displays has usually required either expensive hardware (installing new cables to tap into local media hosts) or software (Movie Maker, 3rd Party software), sometimes both. We had the displays ready but needed cost effective solutions for hosting and creating the content. Enter Raspberry Pi and a movie creator that can be found in any Microsoft Office Suite purchased since 2010… Microsoft PowerPoint.

In this post I will cover how to select, setup, and install the hardware. The follow up post will go over the content creation aspect.

Hardware Requirements Displays

Luckily for us, this part took care of itself. If you need to obtain a display, I have two recommendations:

  • Verify the display has a convenient HDMI port. You are looking for a port that allows you to discreetly tuck the Raspberry Pi behind the display. Additionally, the port should be easily accessible if the need arises to swap out HDMI cables.
  • Opt for a display that is widescreen capable (16:9 aspect ratio). This will provide you with a greater canvas for your content. Whatever aspect ratio you decide upon, make sure your content settings match. This graphic sums up the difference between the aspect ratios of widescreen and standard (4:3 aspect ratio).
Raspberry Pi Description

There are plenty of blog posts and documentation that cover the basics of what Raspberry Pi is and what is fully capable of. In short, you can think of it as a mini and price effective computer. For this project are interested in its price point, native movie player, and operating system customization prowess.

Selection Devices

There are three main iterations available for purchase:

Obviously I would recommend the Pi 3, which was just released in late February, over the rest. All three are capable of running HD quality videos, but the Pi 3 will definitely run smoother. Also, the Pi 3 has on-board Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, on previous versions this required purchasing add-ons and used up USB slots.

However, these prices are only for the computer itself. You would still need, at the minimum, an SD card to store the operating system and files, power adaptor, keyboard and mouse, and an HDMI cable. The only advantage of selecting the 2 is that there are several pre-selected bundles created by 3rd party sellers that can lower the costs. Make sure to check the bundle details to confirm it contains the Raspberry Pi iteration that you want.


Here are some recommended bundles that contain all you need (minus keyboard and mouse) for this project:

Keyboard & Mouse

Most USB keyboards and mice will work with a Pi but opt for simple ones to avoid drawing too much power from it. If you do not have a spare one consider this Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse Touchpad. The touchpad is a bit wonky but it’ll get the job done and the portability is worth it.

Physical Setup

Getting the Raspberry Pi ready to boot is fairly easy. We just need to plug in the power supply, insert Micro SD Card with the operating system, and attach a display. Granted this all just gets to you a basic screen with the Pi awaiting instructions. A mouse, keyboard, and network connection are pretty much required for setting up the Pi software in order to get the device into a usable state.

Software Setup

The program we use is the Raspberry Pi Video Looper. This setup works exactly how it sounds: the Raspberry Pi plays and loops videos. However, before we can install that we need to get the Raspberry Pi up and running with the latest Raspbian operating system.

Installing Raspbian Using personal SD

If you decided to use your own SD card, see this guide on how to get up and running.


If you bought a bundle, chances are that it came with a Micro SD Card pre-loaded with NOOBS (New Out of Box Software). With NOOBS we can just boot up the Pi and select Raspbian from the first menu. Make sure to also change the Language and Keyboard to your preferred settings, such as English (US) and us.

Once you hit Install, the NOOBS software will do its thing. Grab a cup of coffee or walk the dog as it will take a bit to complete the install. After installation the Pi will reboot and load up Raspi-config to let you adjust settings. There is a wide range of options but the two that should be adjusted right now are:

  1. Change User Password
  2. SSH – If you want remote access, you will need to Enable to SSH. For more information on this option see the Raspberry Pi Documentation.

After adjusting the settings, the Pi will boot the desktop environment. Because the NOOBS version loaded onto the card might be dated, the next step is to update the firmware and packages. To do this, click on the start menu and select the terminal and type in the following commands:

  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get upgrade
  • sudo rpi-update
  • sudo reboot

Once the Pi reboots we can continue to the next phase, installing the video looper.

Installing Video Looper

For a complete guide on installing and adjusting the Video Looper, see Adafruit’s Raspberry Pi Video Looper documentation. In short, the installation process is all but three terminal commands:

After a few minutes the install is complete and the Video Looper is good to go! If you do not have any movies loaded your PI will now display “Insert USB drive with compatible movies”. Inserting a USB drive into the Pi will initiate a countdown followed by video playback.

Using Video Looper

Now that the Pi is all set you can load your videos onto an USB stick and the Looper will take care of the rest.  The Video Looper is quite versatile and can display movies in the following formats:

  • AVI
  • MOV
  • MKV
  • MP3
  • M4V

If your Pi fails to read the files on the USB drive, try loading them on another. I had several USB sticks that I went through before it read the files. Sadly, most of the vendor USB stick freebies were incompatible.

Lastly, the Video Looper has a few configuration options that you adjust to best fit your needs. Of those listed in the documentation I would recommend adjusting the file locations (USB stick vs on the Pi itself) and video player. The last one only being relevant if you cannot live with the loop delay between movies.

Unit Install

               After the Video Looper Steup we can now install the unit behind the display. We opted to attach the device using Velcro tape and a 0.3m Flat HDMI cable. Thanks toe the Velcro I can remove and reattach the Pi as needed. The flat HDMI cable reduces the need for cable management . The biggest issue we had was tucking away the extra cable from the power supply, a few well placed Velcro ties. Velcro, is there anything it can’t solve?

Wrap Up

Well if you’ve made it this far I hope you are on your way to creating a digital display for your institution. In my next post I will cover how we used Microsoft PowerPoint to create our videos in a quick and efficient manner.

The Raspberry Pi is a wonderful device so even if it the Video Looper setup fails to live up to your needs, you can easily find another project for it to handle. May I suggest the Game Boy Emulator?

Open Knowledge Foundation: Towards the conformation of the Third Greek OGP Action Plan: Open Knowledge Greece makes three commitments

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-07-25 09:37

This blog post was written by Olga Kalatzi from OK Greece

On the 5th of July in Athens, the open dialogue on Greece’s Third National Action Plan to the Open Government Partnership commenced where Open Knowledge Greece presented its 3 commitments for the third action plan.

The commitments of OK Greece included School of Data for public servants, the Open Data Index for cities and local administrations and linked open and participatory budgets. All of them come with implementation resources and timetables and satisfy all the OGP principles.

The event has been supported by the Bodossaki Foundation and different stakeholders participated: OK Greece, Openwise (IRM), Gov2u, GFOSS, Vouliwatch, diaNEOsis, as well experts from OGP Support Unit and Mrs. Nancy Routzouni, advisor on e-Government to the Alternate Minister for Administrative Reform.
OK Greece was represented in the event by its President Dr. Charalampos Bratsas and Marinos Papadopoulos, while OK Greece OGP team in Thessaloniki participated remotely through Skype.

Tonu Basu from OGP Support Unit said that “Staff from the OGP Support Unit had some very productive meetings with representatives from both government and civil society. We were greatly encouraged to see that civil society and government are taking concrete steps to collaborate among themselves and with each other through the development of collaborative networks. Civil society and government collaboration is the key to the strengthening of the OGP process and to establishing a strong culture of a transparent, accountable, and responsive government”.

The discussion has been focused on the improvement of the third action plan and the importance of the collaboration between civil society and government on promoting and strengthening open governance and transparency in Greece.

“Bodossaki Foundation participates actively in the conformation of the Third Action Plan aiming to develop and act as an intermediary between civil society bodies and this cause. The goal is the conformation of the action plan with the participation of the civil society and its successful implementation through monitoring and evaluation”, comments Fay Koutzoukou, Deputy Program Director.

Among the challenges addressed in the meeting, great attention was given to the small ownership of the civil society groups in participating in the formation and implementation of the action plan that holds the process back. The suggestions made by the civil society organizations that participated were on monitoring closer the process with regular meetings and assigning specific commitments leveraging both people and government.

According to experts from OGP Support Unit, some of the potential commitments of the action plan, which include issues like subnational, open education, open justice, parliament and administrative reform, if implemented as scheduled, they could position Greece as a regional and global leader among the 70 OGP countries.

Nancy Routzouni, advisor on e-Government to the Alternate Minister for Administrative Reform, concludes the event by saying that: “We are very pleased to work and collaborate with civil society bodies as their ideas, knowledge, and feedback are crucial in the process of forming the national action plan”.

The third National OGP action plan had been discussed and approved by the Parliament last week, where the commitments by OK Greece were mentioned, as Nancy Routzouni said in the event in Athens.


Access Conference: We’re looking for Access 2017 hosts!

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-07-22 19:59

The Access 2016 Planning Committee is now accepting proposals from institutions and groups to host Access 2017! Bring Canada’s leading library tech conference (not to mention one of the best conference audiences to be found ANYWHERE) to your campus or city!

Interested? Submit your proposal to, including:

  • The host organization(s) name
  • Proposed dates
  • The location the event will likely be held (e.g. campus facility, hotel name, etc.)
  • Considerations noted in the hosting guidelines
  • Anything else to convince us that you would put on another fabulous Access conference!

Proposals will be accepted until September 2, 2016. The 2017 hosts will be selected by the 2016 Planning Committee, and notified in early September. The official announcement will be made on October 7th at Access 2016 in Fredericton!

Questions? Let us know at!

District Dispatch: Libraries cheerlead for fair copyright

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-07-22 18:11

I’ve written a lot about 3D printing on the District Dispatch. One of the most unlikely topics I’ve discussed in connection with this technology is cheerleading…That’s right. If you’re a loyal DD reader, think back to May. If you’re hearing bells ring, that’s because the first week of that month, I outlined a court case between two manufacturers of cheerleading uniforms. The case pits international supplier Varsity Brands against the much smaller supplier Star Athletica. Varsity Brands is suing Star Athletica on the grounds that the latter’s uniforms infringe on its copyrighted designs. Even though copyright protects creative expression and cheerleading uniforms are fundamentally utilitarian, Varsity Brands’ argument rests on a liberal interpretation of something called “separability.” If a utilitarian item has creative elements that can be clearly separated from its core “usefulness,” it may receive copyright protection. Varsity Brands says that the stripes and squiggles in their uniform designs represent these sorts of elements.

Photo by Peter Griffin.

The courts are divided on this argument…But the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and give Varsity Brands, Star Athletica and copyright junkies everywhere a final and – hopefully – clarifying ruling. So, what the heck does this have to do with 3D printing? Actually, a lot. If the Supremes were to come down in favor of Varsity Brands’ interpretation of separability, they would set a dangerous precedent: any design that’s not 100 percent functional – i.e., has one or more elements with even a whit of creativity – might be protected by copyright. Imagine the fear of infringement this might instill in an avid “maker.”…It would likely be enough to hamstring his or her creative potential. Thankfully, the 3D printing community thought of this early.

As I mentioned in my last post about this case, industry players Shapeways, Formlabs and Matter and Form already submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court warning of the “chill” an overbroad interpretation of separability in the Varsity Brands case might place on 3D innovation. Believing as we do in the importance of creativity inside and beyond library walls, the library community has decided to pick up its pom-poms and stand alongside them. ALA, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) have signed onto a similar brief penned by the D.C.-based public policy organization Public Knowledge. The brief argues that: “…copyright in useful articles ought to continue to be highly limited, such that a feature of a useful article may be copyrighted only upon a clear showing that the feature is obviously separable and indisputably independent of the utilitarian aspects of the article.”

Our argument on this case is in keeping with one of the basic tenets of our efforts to promote public access to information: that copyright should be limited and promote progress and innovation. Lucky for us, we have the Constitution on our side.

The post Libraries cheerlead for fair copyright appeared first on District Dispatch.

District Dispatch: OITP welcomes new chair, Marc Gartler

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-07-22 14:57

Marc Gartler, new chair of OITP’s Advisory Committee

I’m pleased to announce that Marc Gartler is the new chair of the Advisory Committee for ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), as appointed by ALA President Julie Todaro. Marc succeeds Dan Lee of the University of Arizona, who served as OITP chair for two years. We are deeply grateful for Dan’s leadership and service to OITP and ALA.

Marc Gartler recently chaired OITP’s subcommittee on America’s Libraries in the 21st Century, served on the advisory committee for ALA’s Policy Revolution! initiative, and served on OITP’s Copyright Education subcommittee. Over the past few years he has participated in policy discussions with representatives from the FCC, Google, the Gates Foundation, and other organizations whose interests dovetail with those of ALA. OITP, ALA, and libraries have benefited from Marc’s counsel on diverse issues from copyright to maker spaces.

Marc manages two neighborhood libraries for Madison (Wisc.) Public Library, a recipient of the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. He leads one of the City of Madison’s Neighborhood Resource Teams, which coordinate local government services and develop relationships among City staff, neighborhood residents, and other stakeholders. A former college library director, Marc served as a consultant for the Ohio Board of Regents and Colorado Department of Higher Education. He is a graduate of the PLA Leadership Academy, and holds an MS in Library & Information Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago.

We look forward to working with Marc.

The post OITP welcomes new chair, Marc Gartler appeared first on District Dispatch.

Open Knowledge Foundation: Announcing IODC Unconference

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-07-22 09:21

We all know the feeling of the end of a conference, where after long days full of content, you leave with more unanswered questions. Conferences are a great place for networking, learning different topics and sharing achievements (and sometimes even failures), but in their nature, they are organised in a way that is less participatory and more broadcast than an exchange of information.

The organising committee of the International Open Data Conference are aware of this, and try to use other ways to share ideas with people without stages and slideshows, that can complement the main event. This is why one of the pre-events to the conference will be an unconference that will give inputs to the main event.

Post its from the unfestival @okfest

An unconference is an open event that allows its members to propose their own topics for discussion. Just like last year, the unconference will enable people to discuss open data issues that are close to their heart with like-minded peers from across the world. We hope that by having an unconference, we can give voice to a broad range of different experiences and points of view.

We believe that this will help us ignite discussions and find new ways to continue the conversation during the conference. So even if you are not part of a panel in the main event, you can influence the IODC’s outcomes by participating in the unconference.

This year, Open Knowledge International will lead the efforts of the unconference for IODC, with the support of the IDRC, The Web Foundation, ILDA and Civica Digital, and we want to share with you every step of the way. The goals that we set are:

  • To offer a safe space to promote understanding and experience sharing from the open data movement across the world, to have honest and open reflection on how we create change
  • To initiate new relationships and build solidarity within the open data community.
  • To create an opportunity to dive deeper into topics and issues that are important to the community.

To do so, we want to invite you to take an active role in the running of the event. Firstly, we need to hear from you and to set the mood for the event. We opened this forum category, and we are looking forward to seeing what kind of topics can be explored during the unconference.

In the next couple of weeks, we will send more information and registration details. In the meanwhile, save the date: Tuesday, October 4th, at 9.30 at IFEMA, North convention centre.

We hope to see you there and share experiences!


Equinox Software: Johnston Joins NC Cardinal

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-07-21 18:15


Duluth, Georgia–July 21, 2016

Equinox is pleased to announce that Johnston County Public Library has been successfully migrated to Evergreen in the NC Cardinal Consortium.  The Equinox team completed the migration in late May.  Johnston County Public Library includes ten branches and serves almost 48,000 patrons with over 174,000 items.

Johnston joins Cumberland, Neuse, Henderson, Rockingham, and Iredell in the use of the Acquisitions module within NC Cardinal.  The addition of Johnston’s 10 branches brings NC Cardinal’s grand total to 153.  Equinox is proud to be a part of NC Cardinal’s continued growth!

Mary Jinglewski, Equinox Training Services Librarian, worked closely with Johnston during the transition, providing training on Evergreen.  She remarked, “It was a lovely experience training with Johnston County Public Libraries. I believe they will be a wonderful addition and community member of NC Cardinal.”

About Equinox Software, Inc.

Equinox was founded by the original developers and designers of the Evergreen ILS. We are wholly devoted to the support and development of open source software in libraries, focusing on Evergreen, Koha, and the FulfILLment ILL system. We wrote over 80% of the Evergreen code base and continue to contribute more new features, bug fixes, and documentation than any other organization. Our team is fanatical about providing exceptional technical support. Over 98% of our support ticket responses are graded as “Excellent” by our customers. At Equinox, we are proud to be librarians. In fact, half of us have our ML(I)S. We understand you because we *are* you. We are Equinox, and we’d like to be awesome for you. For more information on Equinox, please visit

About Evergreen

Evergreen is an award-winning ILS developed with the intent of providing an open source product able to meet the diverse needs of consortia and high transaction public libraries. However, it has proven to be equally successful in smaller installations including special and academic libraries. Today, almost 1400 libraries across the US and Canada are using Evergreen including NC Cardinal, SC Lends, and B.C. Sitka. For more information about Evergreen, including a list of all known Evergreen installations, see

About Sequoia

Sequoia is a cloud-based library solutions platform for Evergreen, Koha, FulfILLment, and more, providing the highest possible uptime, performance, and capabilities of any library automation platform available. Over 27,000,000 items were circulated within the Sequoia platform in the last year.  It was designed by Equinox engineers in order to ensure that our customers are always running the most stable, up to date version of the software they choose.  For more information on Sequoia, please visit


David Rosenthal: QLC Flash on the horizon

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-07-21 15:00
Exabytes shippedLast May in my talk at the Future of Storage workshop I discussed the question of whether flash would displace hard disk as the bulk storage medium. As the graph shows, flash is currently only a small proportion of the total exabytes shipped. How rapidly it could displace hard disk is determined by how rapidly flash manufacturers can increase capacity. Below the fold I revisit this question based on some more recent information about flash technology and the hard disk business.

First, economic stress on the hard disk industry has increased. Seagate plans a 35% reduction in capacity and 14% layoffs. WDC has announced layoffs. Unit shipments for both companies are falling. If disk is in a death spiral, massive increases in flash shipments will be needed.

Flash vs HDD capexThere are a number of ways flash manufacturers could increase capacity. They could build more flash fabs. This is extremely expensive, but as I reported in my talk, flash advocates believe that this is not a problem:
The governments of China, Japan, and other countries are stimulating their economies by encouraging investment, and they regard dominating the market for essential chips as a strategic goal, something that justifies investment. They are thinking long-term, not looking at the next quarter's results. The flash companies can borrow at very low interest rates, so even if they do need to show a return, they only need to show a very low return.Since then the economic situation has become less clear, and the willingness of the governments involved to subsidize fabs may have decreased, so this argument may be less effective. If there aren't going to be a lot of new flash fabs, what else could the manufacturers do to increase shipments from the fabs they have?

The traditional way of delivering more chip product from the same fab has been to shrink the chip technology. Unfortunately, shrinking the technology from which flash is made has bad effects. The smaller the cells, the less reliable the storage and the fewer times it can be written, as shown by the vertical axis in this table:
Write endurance vs. cell sizeBoth in logic and in flash, the difficulty in shrinking the technology further has led to 3D, stacking layers on top of each other. Flash is in production with 48 layers, and this has allowed manufacturers to go back to larger cells with better write endurance.

Flash has another way to increase capacity. It can store more bits in each cell, as shown in the horizontal axis of the table. The behavior of flash cells is analog, the bits are the result of signal-processing in the flash controller. By improving the analog behavior by tweaking the chip-making process, and improving the signal processing in the flash controller, it has been possible to move from 1 (SLC) to 2 (MLC) to 3 (TLC) bits per cell. Because 3D has allowed increased cell size (moving up the table), TLC SSDs are now suitable for enterprise workloads.

Back in 2009, thanks to their acquisition of M-Systems, SanDisk briefly shipped some 4 (QLC) bits per cell memory (hat tip to Brian Berg). But up to now the practical limit has been 3. As the table shows, storing more bits per cell also reduces the write endurance (and the reliability).

As more and more layers are stacked the difficulty of the process increases, and it is currently expected that 64 layers will be the limit. Beyond that, manufacturers expect to use die-stacking. That involves taking two (or potentially more) complete 64-layer chips and bonding one on top of the other, connecting them via Through Silicon Vias (TSVs). TSVs are holes through the chip substrate containing wires. Although adding 3D layers does add processing steps, and thus some cost, it merely lengthens the processing pipeline. It doesn't slow the rate at which wafers can pass through and, because each wafer contains more storage, it increases the fab's output of storage. Die-stacking, on the other hand, doesn't increase the amount of storage per wafer, only per package. It doesn't increase the fab's output of bytes.

Now, Chris Mellor at The Register reports that Good gravy, Toshiba QLC flash chips are getting closer:
3D TLC flash is now good enough for mainstream enterprise use. ... QLC could become usable for applications needing read access to a lot of fast, relative to disk and tape, flash capacity but low write access. Archive data, on the active end of a spectrum of high-to-low archive access rates, is one such application.

Back in March, Jeff Ohshima, a Toshiba executive, presented ... QLC flash at the Non-Volatile Memory Workshop and suggested 88TB QLC 3D NAND SSDs with a 500 write cycle life could be put into production.QLC will not have enough write endurance for conventional SSD applications. So will there be enough demand for manufacturers to produce it, and thus double their output relative to TLC?

Exabytes shippedCloud systems such as Facebook's use tiered storage architectures in which re-write rates decrease rapidly down the layers. Beacuse most re-writes would be absorbed by higher layers, it is likely that QLC-based SSDs would work well at the bulk storage level despite only a 500 write cycle life. It seems likely that only a few of the 2015 flash exabytes in the graph are 3D TLC, most would be 2D MLC. If we assume that half the flash from existing fabs becomes 3D QLC, flash output might increase 8x. This would still not be enough to completely displace hard disks, but it would reduce disk volumes and thus worsen the economics of building them. Fewer new flash fabs would be needed to displace the rest, which would be more affordable. Both effects would speed up the disk death spiral.

District Dispatch: Young Women Rising: The Atlantic at the RNC

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-07-20 20:35

Who are millennial voters, what do they want from government and what does this increasingly powerful demographic mean for public policy? These are questions that The Atlantic’s panelists discussed during their Republican National Convention (RNC) event, “Young Women Rising.”

As a research associate for ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) based in Cleveland, I am attending several of the policy events being held in conjunction with the Republican National Convention. Yesterday, I participated in this “Young Women Rising” event.

Panelists discuss electoral values of millennials at Republican National Convention

Kicking off the event, Harvard University Polling Institute of Politics Director John Della Volpe highlighted the importance of authenticity to young voters. In this cycle, young voters see Bernie Sanders as an authentic leader, but have clear reservations about Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton.

The statistics on millennials’ relationship to government are dour: 75% do not trust government; a strong majority doesn’t trust capitalism in its current practice; and over 50% don’t believe the American dream is accessible to them personally. Della Volpe provided context for this when he said, “Millennials are seeking a compassionate capitalism, a little Teddy Roosevelt ‘break up the banks’ and a little Franklin Roosevelt ‘provide a social infrastructure.’”

The panel of female Republican journalists, activists, and leaders expanded on the issues of including young people, especially young women between 18 and 35, in the platform. In a party dominated by male voices and often criticized for its policy views regarding women’s issues, it was interesting to hear from a group of female leaders who support the party and Donald Trump. They emphasized that in engaging millennials, the party message needs to connect with the young voters through original, authentic channels and not the forceful, dated methods typically used in political advertising and rhetoric.

Columnist Kristen Anderson emphasized that studies show that kindness towards people from all walks of life and policies that promote equality are the most important values young voters look for in leadership. In addition, young people are more likely to volunteer and become involved in their communities than previous generations, and due to low trust in traditional government institutions, are seeking to become involved in their communities through non-profit, non-governmental organizations.

Anderson also suggested that young Americans today are delaying traditional transitions to adulthood – marriage, home ownership, having children– until their 30s, allowing many of their early adulthood policy positions and values to solidify. Many 18 year olds will vote in 3 or 4 election cycles before they reach typical milestones of adulthood, suggesting that many of their political inclinations will become a strong part of their generational voting identity.

What can policymakers do now to empower young voters to again trust in the power of government as a force for social good and leadership in America? A question from the audience concluded the discussion on a thought-provoking note: who are we really talking about when we discuss millennial, particularly young female, voters? Where do lower income women, people of color, and young immigrant voters aged 18-35 fall? For a group that is concerned largely with equality and inclusive politics, looking at the issues that affect young Americans across more than partisan lines may be a good place for policymakers and influencers to start in building relationships with millennial voters.

How does this discussion affect technology policy and libraries? Young voters are a key demographic to study and educate about the issues that affect technology policy and libraries because libraries appeal to millennials’ desire for services that promote equal opportunity. Focusing on how the library provides a service for the whole community, is a safe space for people of all walks of life, and provides programs to create equal opportunities would be the key to influencing millennial voters through authentic and compassionate policy proposals.

More to come!

The post Young Women Rising: The Atlantic at the RNC appeared first on District Dispatch.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: ArchivesSpace - 1.5.0

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-07-20 17:45

Last updated July 20, 2016. Created by Peter Murray on July 20, 2016.
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Package: ArchivesSpaceRelease Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2016

OCLC Dev Network: Bib It: Choosing a UI Framework

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-07-20 15:00

Learn about the UI frameworks used in Bib It, a simple application for allowing non catalogers to add data to WorldCat.

Tim Ribaric: Another hot take... This time about Library Holdings

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-07-20 14:23


I came across another grad school Library use dilemma

read more

LITA: Wearable Technology Resources

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-07-20 12:00

The world of wearable technology (WT) is fascinating, but a little overwhelming. Last month I attended the Digital Humanities Summer Institute where I completed a week-long course entitled “Palpability and Wearable Computing.” We engaged in movement exercises, experimented with sensors, learned about haptics, and critiqued consumer wearables including the Fitbit, Spire, Leaf, and Athos. I expected to walk away with some light-up sneakers, but instead I left with lots of questions, inspiration, and resources.

What follows is a list of books, videos, and project tutorials that I’ve found most helpful in my exploration of wearable technology.

Textile Messages | Edited by Leah Buechley, Kylie Peppler, Michael Eisenberg, and Yasmin Kafai

  • Textile Messages is a great primer; it includes a little bit of history, lots of project ideas, and ample discussion of working with WT in the classroom. This is the most practical resource I’ve encountered for librarians of all types.

    Textile Messages: Dispatches from the World of E-Textiles and Education

Garments of Paradise | Susan Elizabeth Ryan

  • The history of WT goes back longer than you’d think. Chapter 1 from Garments of Paradise will take you all the way from the pocket watch to the electric dress to Barbarella.

Atsuko Tanaka models the electric dress, 1956.

MAKE Presents

  • If you want to make your own wearables, then you’ll need a basic understanding of electronics. MAKE magazine has a fantastic video series that will introduce you to Ohm’s Law, oscilloscopes, and a whole slew of teeny tiny components.

Wired Magazine

  • If you’re interested in consumer wearables, Wired will keep you up to date on all the latest gadgetry. Recent reviews include a temporary tattoo that measures UV exposure and’s smart watch.

    My UV Patch from L’Oreal is currently in development

Project Tutorials

  • One easy and inexpensive way to get started with WT is to create your own sensors. In class we created a stroke sensor made of felt and conductive thread. If you’re working with a limited budget, Textile Messages has an entire chapter devoted to DIY sensors.  
  • Adafruit is a treasure trove of project tutorials. Most of them are pretty advanced, but it’s interesting to see how far you can go with DIY projects even if you’re not ready to take them on yourself.
  • Sparkfun is a better option if you’re interested in projects for beginners.

My first attempt at making a stroke sensor

What WT resources have you encountered?

pinboard: The Code4Lib Journal – Metadata Analytics, Visualization, and Optimization: Experiments in statistical analysis of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-07-19 22:12
RT @chrpr: Hey so I published a thing about visualization & predictive analytics of #DPLA metadata in the #code4lib journal.

Mita Williams: The Observer or Seeing What You Mean

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-07-19 20:43

If you are new to my writing, my talks and work tends to resemble an entanglement of ideas. Sometimes it all comes together in the end and sometimes I know that I’ve just overwhelmed my audience.

I’m trying to be better at reducing the sheer amount of information I give across in a single seating. So for this post, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to say briefly before I tell you what I’m going to say in a more meandering fashion.

In brief, libraries would do better to acknowledge the role of the observer in our work.

Now, true to my meandering style, we need to walk it back a bit before we can move forward. In fact, I’m going to ask you to look back at my last post (“The Library Without a Map“) that was about how traditional libraries have library catalogues that do a poor job of modeling subject relationships and how non-traditional libraries such as The Prelinger Library have tried to improve discovery through their own means of organization.

One of the essays I linked to about The Prelinger was from a zine series called Situated Knowledges, Issue 3: The Prelinger Library.  The zine series is the only one that I know of that’s been named after a journal article:

Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective
Donna Haraway
Feminist Studies
Vol. 14, No. 3 (Autumn, 1988), pp. 575-599
Published by: Feminist Studies, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/3178066
Stable URL:
Page Count: 25

I have to admit that I struggled with this paper but in the end I was glad to have worked through the struggle. To sum up the paper in one sentence: we need to resist the idea that there is exists ‘god-like’ vision of objectivity and remember that our vision and our knowledge is limited by location and situation. Or as Haraway puts it:

I want a feminist writing of the body that metaphorically emphasizes vision again, because we need to reclaim that sense to find our way through all the visualizing tricks and powers of modern sciences and technologies that have transformed the objectivity debates. We need to learn in our to name where we are and are not, in dimensions of mental and physical space we hardly know how to name. So, not so perversely, objectivity turns out to be about particular and specific embodiment and definitely not about the false vision promising transcendence of all limits and responsibility. The moral is simple: only partial perspective promises objective vision. All Western cultural narratives about objectivity are allegories of the ideologies governing the relations of what we call mind and body, distance and responsibility. Feminist objectivity is about limited location and situated knowledge, not about transcendence and splitting of subject and object. It allows us to become answerable for what we learn how to see.


I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the power of the observer recently.

On my other blog, The Magnetic North, I wrote about how a world-weariness brought on by watching tragedies unfold on social media has led me to spend more time with art. I go on to suggest that being better versed in observing art without the burden of taste might help us better navigate a world that shows us only what we chose to see and perhaps even bring about a more just world.

But on this blog, I want to direct your attention to a more librarian-focused reason to be concerned with the matter of the observer.

You see, after I published my last post about how our library catalogue and how it poorly handles subject headings, I received a recommended read from Trevor Owens:

@copystar @shannonmattern y’all read Murray & Tillett’s “Cataloging Theory in Search of Graph Theory”

— Trevor Owens (@tjowens) July 11, 2016


I found the paper super interesting. But among all the theory, I have to admit my favourite takeaways from the paper was that its model incorporates business rules as a means to capture an institution’s particular point of view, restraints or reasons for interest. It is as if we are recognizing the constraints and situation of the observer who is describing a work:

Following the scientific community’s lead in striving to describe the physical universe through observations, we adapted the concept of an observation into the bibliographic universe and assert that cataloging is a process of making observations on resources. Human or computational observers following institutional business rules (i.e., the terms, facts, definitions, and action assertions that represent constraints on an enterprise and on the things of interest to the enterprise)5 create resource descriptions — accounts or representations of a person, object, or event being drawn on by a person, group, institution, and so on, in pursuit of its interests.

Given this definition, a person (or a computation) operating from a business rules–generated institutional or personal point of view, and executing specified procedures (or algorithms) to do so, is an integral component of a resource description process (see figure 1). This process involves identifying a resource’s textual, graphical, acoustic, or other features and then classifying, making quality and fitness for purpose judgments, etc., on the resource. Knowing which institutional or individual points of view are being employed is essential when parties possessing multiple views on those resources describe cultural heritage resources. How multiple resource descriptions derived from multiple points of view are to be related to one another becomes a key theoretical issue with significant practical consequences.

Murray, R. J., & Tillett, B. B. (2011). Cataloging theory in search of graph theory and other ivory towers: Object: Cultural heritage resource description networks. Information Technology and Libraries, 30(4), 170-184.

I’ll end this post with a video of the first episode of Ways of Seeing, a remarkable series four-part series about art from the BBC in 1972. It is some of the smartest TV I have ever seen and begins with the matter of the perspective and the observer:

The first episode is based on the ideas of Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, which I must admit with some shame that I still have not read.

Art takes into account the observer.

I’m not sure that librarianship does.

But perhaps this observation is not sound. Perhaps it is limited by my particular situation and point of view.

District Dispatch: There’s a reason why we complain

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-07-19 20:39

Image from Pixabay

The Social Science Research Network (SSRN) could be called the “academic version” of user-generated content on the web. Scholars and academics generate content in the form of scholarly papers and post them on the SSRN for all to see, read, and comment on.  Often, academics who post their forthcoming papers or “pre-prints” intend to eventually publish them in scholarly journals that research libraries and academic societies acquire. But in the meantime, academics want to quickly share their works in a pre-published form on the SSRN.  It’s a valuable and heavily used resource with over 682,100 scholarly working papers and forthcoming papers freely available.

After the scholarly publisher Elsevier acquired the SSRN in May, people thought, what the h***?! Many were inclined to think that Elsevier would develop a way to monetize SSRN because Elsevier does that sort of thing, they have a history. They sell journal subscriptions to academics at lunatic prices — their current profit margin more than 40% — by re-selling content produced by scholars who work at publicly funded higher education institutions. Then libraries have to find the money to purchase the journal…you know the story. (if not, see SPARC) Elsevier assured those concerned that SSRN would remain unchanged – specifically that “both existing and future SSRN content will be largely unaffected”

The Authors Alliance, whose members want to facilitate the “widespread access to works of authorship” and “disseminate knowledge,” were particularly concerned because SSRN is one of the primary venues for sharing works of social science rapidly and freely. So they asked Elsevier to accept principles that acknowledged its willingness to accept open access preferences of scholars.

Well, they did not. Surprise!

Last week, several authors noted that their papers had been removed from SSRN by Elsevier without notice. Apparently Elsevier wants to remove all the papers whose copyright status is unclear. Ahh…come again? Elsevier is asking authors who have written an unpublished paper and have not transferred their copyright to submit documentation proving that they are the rights holder! What kind of world do we live in?

Now there is a movement by scholars and academics to drop SSRN.  Luckily, a new pre-print archive is under development. It is called SocArXiv. Stay tuned to the District Dispatch for more information.

The post There’s a reason why we complain appeared first on District Dispatch.


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