Author Archives: Jennifer Koerber

Emerging Technologies – a forthcoming book!

Exciting news! This May, Michael Sauers and I have a book coming from Rowman & Littlefield. It’s based on our work talking about and training on emerging technologies in many fields, not just libraries. We had a lot of fun writing it, and even though it’s a textbook, we think you’ll enjoy reading it!

Emerging Technologies - Final CoverEmerging Technologies: a Primer for Librarians
Jennifer Koerber & Michael P. Sauers
Rowman & Littlefield, May 2015

Jim DelRosso of the Catherwood Library (Cornell U) gave it a review that sums up exactly what we were going for:

“Koerber and Sauers bring a vision of library technology that is engaging, refreshing, and above all, practical. Those in search of more fads to embrace or empty platitudes to quote will need to look elsewhere; this book is full of the kind of useful information and actionable advice that will not only get you excited to tackle new projects in your library, but also help those projects succeed.”

If you order before Dec 31, 2015 and use the discount code on the flyer below, you’ll save 25% on the cover price.

Emerging Technologies information & discount flyer

Site Updating in Process

Hi, there. If you’re visiting me for the first time, I’m in the middle of switching my site over to a new domain. Welcome to my new home – make yourself comfy, I’ll be here in a little while.

ETA: And, we’re good. All the old content is here, I’ve arranged the furniture and hung curtains, though I’m definitely going to change the paint and artwork soon. Thanks for reading, and there’ll be more new new to come.

Thank you for being a part of Learning for Life Online

Over the past year and a half, Learning for Life Online at the Boston Public Library has showcased dozens of different tools and ways of living, being, and working online.

However, Learning for Life Online will go on indefinite hiatus as of January 2013. Past entries will remain available as an archive and a resource.

Thank you all for following along and contributing to the program. Be safe, have fun, and enjoy Life Online!

Apologies for a month of silence

We’re sorry for a lack of posts this past month, LLO-ers. We’ve been reviewing the Learning for Life online program and will be making changes to the format in the new year.

During December, we’ll do a few last big resource roundup posts, then will give you a preview of what’s to come in 2013.

If Learning for Life Online has been helping you learn how to live life online, please leave a comment below and tell us how.

Thanks, and we’ll see you in December!

Soundcloud and DIY music

Keeping on with our DIY theme, let’s look at site for musicians, sound technicians, and vocal artists of all kinds.

What Is It?

Soundcloud logoSoundcloud is a place for anyone who has created any kind of sound to upload that audio file to share with the world.

And that’s it – it’s like Flickr for audio files instead of photography. Any kind of sound that can be saved digitally and uploaded can be added to Soundcloud: music, singing, sound effects, talking, symphonies, or anything else. Then, it’s available for anyone to listen to and comment on, giving you feedback on how good (or not-so-good) your audio is.

How Does It Work?

If you just want to listen to the sounds already on Soundcloud, all you need to do is visit the site and search for something you might be interested in. You won’t find popular music here, but you will find millions of tracks by independent DJs, sound technicians, sound effects artists, vocalists, and other sound creators.

You can search for Tracks, for People, and for Groups. Most likely, you’ll be searching for tracks, and the easiest way to do that is just to type in a few words about what you’re looking for into the search box at the upper right corner. You can also go to the track search page and choose from the advanced search options to be more specific.

Soundcloud Track advanced search

Use words to describe the style of music (instrumental, vocal, electronic, acoustic), the feeling of the music (downtempo, some number of beats per minute), or other kinds of audio (sound effects, comedy recordings, podcasts). Then click on Search and you’ll get a list of track results.

Sample Soundcloud track

On the site (not in this image), just click on the Play button to listen to the track. At different points, you’ll see comments that other users have added about the music, good and bad. Then you can either search again, click on the track’s creator to hear more by them, or click on one of the tags off to the right for other tracks like this one.

If you want, you can also create an account to leave comments, or even upload your own files.

How Is This Useful?

For listeners, Soundclound is a free source of all kinds of sound. It’s a great way to discover DJs you enjoy and may want to see live, or for theater and filmmakers to find sound effects for their productions.

For sound creators, Soundcloud offers a free and easy-to-use way to share your work out to the world, and help bring together lots of different styles and kinds of sound art in one place.

Help & Resources

The best place to go is simply the Soundcloud help center. You can search for your questions, look at the existing questions, and even ask a support person for help.

Ravelry, a DIY knitter’s paradise

A short but important DIY post this week, LLO readers. This one’s for the fiber artists out there.

What Is It?

Ravelry logoRavelry is a social network and online community for fiber artists: knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers. Once you set up an account, you can post your projects from pattern to finished piece, and get all sorts of suggestions on yarn, technique, and great resources.

You do need to be a member to use Ravelry, but setting up an account takes only a minute or two. Just visit their main page and click on Join now!. Enter your email address and click on Send a signup link. In a few minutes, you’ll receive a link from Ravelry to finish creating your account. Click on the link and then enter all of the information they ask you for.

For more information and Ravelry news, check out their blog.

How Is It Useful?

My usual answer to this applies – “You can keep everything about your projects in one place, online, accessible at any time from anywhere” – but there’s more to Ravelry than that.

  • Connect through comments and discussion forums with other fiber artists from around the world
  • Find technique help, pattern suggestions, and yarn recommendations
  • Get encouragement and support for your projects – post updates and photos as you work and when you’re done
  • Use the growing number of mobile apps that work with Ravelry to update and work with your account wherever you are
  • Check out Ravelry’s video tutorials for more walkthroughs of their features

Next week on Learning for Life Online, we’ll take a look at some DIY sites for musicians, sound engineers, and special audio effects artists of all sorts. See you then!