Alan Harnum

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...

Some Reflections on the RSC Report

I’ve finished my first readthrough of the Royal Society of Canada expert panel report on libraries and archives in Canada. I think anyone working or considering working in the library profession in Canada should read the report (archives as well no doubt, but I’m less in a position to comment on this). It’s in the formal style of these sorts of reports, but it’s a pretty honest and wide-ranging overview of the current state of play in Canada. Read more...

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