Alan Harnum

Joseph Bloorg Gets a Publication Credit

I’m pleased to report that another poetic collaboration between myself and semi-famed Twitter bot / poet Joseph Bloorg has garnered a publication credit from Unlost, a journal for found poetry. It is reproduced below, but if you have any interest in found poetry I recommend checking out Unlost, which publishes a lot of interesting poems in the genre. As Boys and Girls Settled Down With Armouries 1. Waiting for the Races “Kill as you go” former street chess wizard Read more...

My Site Now Includes User Interface Options

A quick note to say that I have implemented User Interface Options as part of this site, one of the projects we work on at the Inclusive Design Research Centre. It can be accessed through the “Show Display Preferences” tab in the upper right. The framework of the research community I am part of is best articulated by the Three Dimensions of Inclusive Design. To quote a part of that that I think particularly applies to UI Options: Read more...

Toronto Poetry Map Code Open Sourced

I’m pleased to be able to announce for National Poetry Month 2016 that I’ve worked with my former colleagues at Toronto Public Library to release the code that runs the Toronto Poetry Map launched around this time last year under an open source license for anyone interested in studying the code or using it in their own projects. I was part of the team that worked on the map and had hoped from the start we’d be able to open source the code, so it’s nice a year later to be able to announce the open source release. Read more...

*.inlibraries.com

Since Access 2015 I have owned the inlibraries.com domain after a lot of joking with other attendees there about a Certain Kind of Library Discourse™. I have now built a full-on fake library conference generator using Python’s Flask framework and hosted it at the domain, allowing for endless (or at least a limited amount of) merriment as you browse conferences such as: http://dogs_with_tiny_hats.inlibraries.com/ http://the_robot_annihilation_of_humanity.inlibraries.com/ http://buzzwords.inlibraries.com/ The magic of inlibraries. Read more...

The Journals of Joseph Bloorg

If you’re uninterested in background you can simply skip to the poems I made from the tweets of a bot. Preamble The Joseph Bloorg Twitter bot that tweets random items from TPL’s digital collections has been live for about three months now. Bloorg himself isn’t a very complex bot - he just tweets a random item and the text of his tweet (minus the link) is the item’s title as recorded in the item metadata. Read more...

The Annonated Joseph Bloorg (or, How To Use an RSS Feed as an API)

Background Last weekend, I mentored at Toronto Public Library’s first Hackathon. It’s the first significant thing I’ve done with the library since I stopped working there in June, and while not exactly odd to go back in this way, it’s also clear I still haven’t transitioned to being “outside” the library (I caught myself again and again saying “we” in reference to TPL or the library world in general when discussing why something was the way it was / worked the way it did). Read more...

Speech to 2015 Master of Incusive Design Intensive

In June 2015, I left Toronto Public Library after nearly ten years there to take a position as a Senior Inclusive Developer at the Inclusive Design Research Centre at OCAD University. In July, I was invited by Jutta Treviranus to talk to the students of the Master of Inclusive Design program during their two-week summer intensive about “something I was passionate about”. I chose libraries. These are my speaking notes, with occasional inline commentary. Read more...

Y U Hate Open Data, Liberries?!?!?

Historical Context 10:02 AM, OLITA Digital Odyssey 2015 Dare I do suggest doing a lightning talk / panel on institutional/professional culture barriers to open data in libraries? #olita15 — Alan Harnum (@waharnum) June 12, 2015 ( intervening work over lunch / in snatches during other sessions) 3:30 PM Additional Things I Said, From Imperfect Memory, Based on a Spontaneously-Given Talk Minus the parts where I just read from the slides, and probably making myself sound more articulate than I was when I actually did the talk. Read more...

Thinking About the Cloud for Canadian Libraries

I’m a pretty big advocate of libraries using the public cloud, by which I broadly mean running some or all of your applications and/or infrastructure outside your own data centre via AWS, DigitalOcean, Heroku, whatever. In short form: I think the concerns about data security, loss of control and migration are addressable, and the risk is no greater (and may be substantially less, in some circumstances) than running everything internally. Read more...

Thoughts from Chris Bourg's 2015 OLA Super Conference Talk

Chris Bourg was the OLITA spotlight speaker at this year’s Ontario Library Association Super Conference. The full text is already available and should, I think, be required reading for anyone working in libraries in this era. Bourg is an incisive writer and speaker about the structures of power in the “neutral” library world, and I think it says good things for MIT’s libraries that she’s going to be the new director. Read more...