, Wikidata, Knowledge Graph: strands of the modern semantic web

Posted on Sun 12 February 2017 in Linked Open Data • Tagged with coding, libraries, structured data

My slides from Ohio DevFest 2016:, Wikidata, Knowledge Graph: strands of the modern semantic web

And the video, recorded and edited by the incredible amazing Patrick Hammond:

In November, I had the opportunity to speak at Ohio DevFest 2016. One of the organizers, Casey Borders, had invited me …

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Concerns about copyright term extensions proposed for TPP

Posted on Thu 27 October 2016 in misc • Tagged with Libraries, libraries

I just sent the following email to the Government of Canada's Consulting Canadians on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) email address:


As an academic librarian, software developer, and occasional author, I would like to state my opposition to the proposals contained in the TPP text that would extend the term …

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Google Scholar's broken Recaptcha hurts libraries and their users

Posted on Fri 02 September 2016 in Libraries • Tagged with coding

Update 2016-11-28: The brilliant folk at UNC figured out how to fix Google Scholar using a pre-scoped search so that, if a search is launched from the library web site, it will automatically associate that search with the library's licensed resources. No EZProxy required!

Screenshot of a broken RECAPTCHA preventing Google Scholar from working

For libraries, proxying user requests is …

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PHP's File_MARC gets a new release (1.1.3)

Posted on Thu 01 September 2016 in Libraries • Tagged with Coding, PHP, coding, php

Yesterday, just one day before the anniversary of the 1.1.2 release, I published the 1.1.3 release of the PEAR File_MARC library. The only change is the addition of a convenience method for fields called getContents() that simply concatenates all of the subfields together in order …

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Chromebooks and privacy: not always at odds

Posted on Sat 11 June 2016 in misc • Tagged with Coding, coding

On Friday, June 10th I gave a short talk at the OLITA Digital Odyssey 2016 conference, which had a theme this year of privacy and security. My talk addressed the evolution of our public and loaner laptops over the past decade, from bare Windows XP, to Linux, Windows XP with …

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Library stories: 2020 vision: "Professional research tools"

Posted on Sun 08 May 2016 in Libraries • Tagged with Coding, coding

For a recent strategic retreat, I was asked to prepare (as homework) a story about a subject that I'm passionate about, with an idea of where we might see the library in the next three to five years. Here's one of the stories I came up with, in the form …

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Querying Evergreen from Google Sheets with custom functions via Apps Script

Posted on Fri 15 April 2016 in Libraries • Tagged with Coding, Evergreen, coding, evergreen

Our staff were recently asked to check thousands of ISBNs to find out if we already have the corresponding books in our catalogue. They in turn asked me if I could run a script that would check it for them. It makes me happy to work with people who believe …

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FibreOp PVR update (late 2015) causes Slingbox "Weak or no video signal" problem (SOLVED)

Posted on Sun 03 January 2016 in misc

TLDR: Set the HDMI output resolution on your PVR to 1080i instead of 1080p, and the component outputs on your FibreOp PVR will start working again, and therefore your Slingbox will start working again.

I purchased a Slingbox 350 a few years ago for the rare time I want to …

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That survey about EZProxy

Posted on Thu 19 November 2015 in Libraries • Tagged with Coding, coding

OCLC recently asked EZProxy clients to fill out a survey about their experiences with the product and to get feedback on possible future plans for the product.

About half-way through, I decided it might be a good idea to post my responses. Because hey, if I'm working to help them …

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"The Librarian" - an instruction session in the style of "The Martian"

Posted on Thu 29 October 2015 in Libraries • Tagged with Coding, coding

I had fun today. A colleague in Computer Science has been giving his C++ students an assignment to track down an article that is only available in print in the library. When we chatted about it earlier this year, I suggested that perhaps he could bring me in as a …

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