A Library Manifesto, Part 1: Kill the Romance

Here’s the thing about libraries:  almost everyone still considers a library to be a place, or maybe a collection of some sort, and almost everyone seems ready to admit that libraries played a vital cultural and informational role in decades past (even in their own decades past), but very few people are willing to recognize…

Editing MARC Records and Ingesting into Solr on Ubuntu

Several months ago I wrote a post on installing Solr for indexing MARC records, and installing Blacklight as a search/discovery interface, both on Ubuntu Linux.  I promised to follow-up with a post on ingesting additional MARC records but never did. So here goes. To get MARC records for Solr to index, I exported my LibraryThing…

InfoVersed 001: The CRAAP Test

No library can escape the inevitable call to push media on using the CRAAP Test.  Here’s my attempt, as a test run for the premiere episode of InfoVersed, a show on being well-versed with information and technology. Upcoming episodes include interviews with uppity scholars on students using audiobooks as sources and how to write a…

Installing the Canvas LMS on Ubuntu 16.06

The Canvas LMS (Learning Management System) is an open-source project built in Ruby on Rails that I installed on my Ubuntu 16.04 desktop as a sandbox for personal use.  The following the steps I took, edited and adapted from Github, for a pretty simple installation on my local machine.  Note that Github rightfully warns, “The…

Leadership and Transformation

Leadership is leadership, but context is still king. I lead differently in church ministry than I do in my day job, but several principles superintend both contexts.  Two items have been particularly helpful in providing thought-fodder lately: 5 Voices: How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone You Lead, by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram.  I’ll review…

Installing Blacklight and Solr on Ubuntu 16.04

Academic Commons is Columbia University’s digital research repository where faculty, students, and staff, and alumni deposit the results of their scholarly work and research. Academic Commons is a Fedora repository with a customized interface built on Blacklight, an open-source Ruby on Rails application designed to offer a next-generation user experience, including faceted searching. Repository content…

Resetting a Lost Admin Password on Ubuntu Linux

I recently picked up a development project I set aside a couple years ago using an old Dell Optiplex and Ubuntu Linux 12.04, which is now outdated.  Problem was, though, I couldn’t remember the password for the only profile I set up those two years ago. Here’s the fix. First, hold down the left SHIFT…

Installing the Samgrah ILS on Ubuntu 16.04.1

Samgrah is a freely available integrated library system (ILS) developed in India as a project for students of Ruby on Rails. Let me say at the outset that Samgrah is NOT a professional ILS. It leaves quite a bit to be desired (MARC-record, anyone? Serials? Acquisitions?) for actual library use, and more resembles an archival management tool…

Still Converging: Information Services in the Library

This collection of case studies (see below) is now almost 10 years old and the studies it contains are at least that old if not older. The idea of convergence and collaboration in campus information services, however, continues to drive the current operations and future planning of most academic libraries even today, and probably rightly so. A cursory…

God Contracted to a Span: A Wesleyan Advent Hymn

Charles Wesley’s parents had 17 children before he came along. His premature birth was initially considered a still-birth because of his lack of vitality, a lack which continued through weeks of near silence.  There was no real reason for optimism. But, Oh, how he made up for that later in life! He preached twice to…