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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

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 …

Continue reading

"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 …

Continue reading

We screwed up: identities in loosely-coupled systems

Posted on Sun 04 October 2015 in misc • Tagged with Coding, coding

A few weeks ago, I came to the startling and depressing realization that we had screwed up. It started when someone I know and greatly respect ran into me in the library and said "We have a problem".

I'm the recently appointed Chair of our library and archives department, so …

Continue reading

Research across the Curriculum

Posted on Wed 15 April 2015 in misc • Tagged with Coding, Libraries, coding, libraries

The following post dates back to January 15, 2007, when I had been employed at Laurentian for less than a year and was getting an institutional repository up and running.... I think old me had some interesting thoughts!


The author advocates an approach to university curriculum that re-emphasizes the …

Continue reading

Library and Archives Canada: Planning for a new union catalogue

Posted on Tue 03 March 2015 in Libraries • Tagged with Coding, Structured data, coding, structured data

Update 2015-03-03: Clarified (in the Privacy section) that only NRCan runs Evergreen.

I attended a meeting with Library and Archives Canada today in my role as an Ontario Library Association board member to discuss the plans around a new Canadian union catalogue based on OCLC's hosted services. Following are some …

Continue reading

Library catalogues and HTTP status codes

Posted on Mon 29 December 2014 in Libraries • Tagged with Coding, Evergreen, coding, evergreen

I noticed in Google's Webmaster Tools that our catalogue had been returning some Soft 404s. Curious, I checked into some of the URIs suffering from this condition, and realized that Evergreen returns an HTTP status code of 200 OK when it serves up a record details page for a record …

Continue reading