Last year I started speculating about a library mobile development lab at Virginia Tech, but I never fully developed the idea. Now happens to be a good time to communicate this idea to some of my colleagues in the library, and at other libraries, so I’m publishing some of my thoughts and will continue to revise them as things happen.
According to an April 2015 report from the Pew Research Center, 64% of all adults, and 85% of adults between the ages of 18-29 own a smartphone. In April 2014, analytics provider Flurry reported that the average U.S. consumer spent 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on a mobile device, including 2 hours and 19 minutes using apps. Banks, retail outlets, and towns have joined other organizations in developing and releasing mobile applications.
The popularity of smartphones among the typical college-aged population has created a demand for high-quality, native smartphone apps that provide access to educational resources and library services.
The lack of a centralized campus authority to provide I.T. services beyond basic network infrastructure, security, and mass software licensing needs has created an opportunity for the library to develop its own innovative mobile applications.
In addition, the status of the new library as the center of campus collaboration will allow the library to take a leadership role in helping other educators at the university to create learning technology tools that appeal to today’s device-wielding populace.
Today Patrick Murray-John, Omeka Director of Developer Outreach, is visiting Virginia Tech and hosting Omeka technical sessions and play dates along with Amanda French.
I’ve had a desire to learn more about Omeka for a while, as a pathway to work on interesting digital humanities projects. Today I dug up an experimental hack project that I put together in September, the ColorCodeSyntaxHighlighting plugin.
The ColorCodeSyntaxHighlighting Plugin for Omeka displays computer source code files inline on Omeka item pages, and performs color syntax highlighting similar to what you might find in your IDE.
On Friday, October 30th, 2015, Apple released the 4th generation of its Apple TV product, a device that’s built to stream internet video to high-definition televisions. Perhaps the most interesting change in this iteration is that Apple opened up the product to app developers.
Virginia Tech Library has a collection of library event and university related videos, courtesy of the event capture group. Many of the videos are stored in VTechWorks, our institutional repository. This seemed like an obvious choice for a library related video app.
I’ve been thinking about collaboration. I often prefer to work alone. It’s quieter and easier with my sensory issues, and for some types of projects the work is done sooner. These tend to be the projects where the work is complex enough for a group to feel justified in discussing options, but that are still simple enough that implementation doesn’t actually require a group.
I often work with my door closed, because for a time that was the only way that I could get anything done. I may have overdone things.
I drew a collaboration sketch of Virginia Tech presenters at ACRL 2013 using GraphViz.
Virginia Tech presenter collaboration, ACRL 2013
I’ve spent much of my fun time for the past week on a pilot project, trying to get our repository, VTechWorks, to allow videos stored there to play on new iPads and modern Android phones.
Video in VTechWorks
Today I spoke with developers, researchers, and repository managers attending the Open Repositories 2012 conference in Edinburgh and obtained valuable feedback on the idea of a device for automated transcription and deposit of audio files.