The Case for Open Tools in Pedagogy

Academic libraries support certain software by virtue of what they have available on their public computers, what their librarians are trained to use, and what instruction sessions they offer. Sometimes libraries don’t have a choice in the software they are tasked with supporting, but often they do. If the goal of the software support is to simply […]

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Outernet: A Digital Library in the Sky

  To me, libraries have always represented a concentration of knowledge. Growing up I dreamt about how smart I’d be if I read all of the books in my hometown’s tiny local branch library.  I didn’t yet understand the subtle differences between libraries, archives and repositories, but I knew that the promise of the internet and […]

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Embracing Modularity with the Unix Philosophy

Unix, the ancient operating system that powered mainframe computers in the 1970’s, couldn’t have been easy to design. Computers of that era were unbelievably expensive and slow compared to what we have today, and this put extreme limitations on the software that they could run. Programs had to take up as little disk space and […]

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Don’t Go Chasin’ Waterfalls

Fellow LITA blogger Leo Stezano has been knocking it out of the park lately with his insightful posts about Agile Development. Agile is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the tech world, and while many people in the library world may have a kinda-sorta understanding of what it is, far less have […]

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Teamwork and Jazz

Jazz is a pretty unique genre that demands a lot from musicians; a skilled jazz artist must not only be adept at their instrument, they must be highly skilled improvisors and communicators as well. Where other styles of music may only require that a musician remember how to play a piece and run through it […]

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In Praise of Anaconda

Do you want to learn to code?  Of course you do, why wouldn’t you?  Programming is fun, like solving a puzzle.  It helps you think in a computational and pragmatic way about certain problems, allowing you to automate those problems away with a few lines of code.  Choosing to learn programming is the first step […]

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Leveraging MOOCs for Fun and Profit

  Let’s Talk about MOOCs If you are a current or recent graduate student or work in higher ed, you have heard of the disruptive tech du jour, Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs). While MOOCs are in their infancy, they are being scrutinized pretty heavily because of their potential to drink academia’s milkshake. While […]

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Virtual Machines in a Nutshell

Many of you have probably heard the term “virtual machine“, but might not be familiar with what a VM is or does. Virtualization is a complicated topic, as there are many different kinds and it can be difficult for the novice to tell which is which. Today we’re going to talk specifically about OS virtualization […]

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Why Learn Unix? My Two Cents

There’s an conversation shaping up on the Code4Lib email list with the title “Why Learn Unix?”, and this is a wonderful question to ask. A lot of technical library jobs are asking for UNIX experience and as a result a lot of library schools are injecting bits and pieces of it into their courses, but […]

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