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By: Library Staff

(Raleigh, N.C.)—The North Carolina State University Libraries is making available a free, open-source solution that allows libraries and other organizations to quickly build, moderate, administer, and display collections of photographs posted to Instagram.  A great way to capitalize on the enthusiasm of library supporters, to build special collections based around a topic or event, or to invite participation in evaluating a library program, lentil provides an easy-to-deploy software package to capture and put to use the power of today’s smartphone cameras and social media tools.

Hunt Instagram WebpageWhen the James B. Hunt Jr. Library opened in January 2013, the NCSU Libraries wanted a way for NC State students, researchers, and community members to share their reactions to the new building, a “library of the future” designed around collaborative spaces and visually inspiring work areas.  In a building created to spur collaboration, it was natural to let library users themselves tell the story of the new center of learning and research on campus.

My #HuntLibrary allowed visitors to show their pride in the Hunt Library by photographing their favorite spaces and activities in the building and then vote as a community on their favorites through “likes” and a “battle” feature.  In a great testament to the new library, over 2,500 photographs were submitted to the site.  Some were beautiful; some were playful—and every one was obviously fueled by an awe and joy about a space that has moved the community and helped set great expectations about education and research.  Created with responsive web design principles, the software allowed users to view the collection on screens ranging from four inches to the huge large-scale visualization walls that dominate the Hunt Library.

MyHuntLibrary ImagesIn addition to providing a great way to engage users in exploring the new space, My #HuntLibrary allowed the NCSU Libraries to crowdsource the documentation of the Hunt Library opening and dedication.  The collection of images will be preserved in the University Archives held by the NCSU Libraries Special Collection Research Center, giving students and others the honor of adding their work to the official history of NC State.

The core of the code for the My #HuntLibrary project is now available in the lentil package, giving users a simple, inexpensive way to create similar projects.  The lentil Rails Engine framework can:

  • harvest image files and metadata from Instagram
  • allow an administrator to moderate and add items into the collection
  • create an interactive, responsive browsing platform with multiple browsing alternatives
  • allow users to select their favorite images by “liking” photos or voting them higher in the image stream by comparing them in a “battle” vote tool
  • submit agreements to contributors to get their permission to reuse images for additional promotional or research purposes

Lentil-based applications can be quickly customized and deployed to any Rails-capable web server, including Heroku.

You can obtain the free lentil software at https://github.com/NCSU-Libraries/lentil. For more information, please contact Jason Casden (jason_casden@ncsu.edu), Lead Librarian, Digital Services Development, at the NCSU Libraries.

By: Marian Fragola

Wednesday, August 28 at 6:00 p.m.

College of Veterinary Medicine, 1060 William Moore Drive
Main Building C120 – North Theater

Dogmen are the workers behind the sport of greyhound racing: they care for, breed, train, and race these unique dogs.  Gwynn Thayer, author of Going to the Dogs: Greyhound Racing, Animal Activism, and American Popular Culture, will discuss the dogmen’s historic role in the sport as well as their role as animal caretakers. Not only is Gwynn the author of this well-received book, but she is also the associate head and curator of the Libraries’ Special Collections.

Free and open to the public. For more information, contact Marian Fragola at 919-513-3481 or marian_fragola@ncsu.edu.

By: Marian Fragola

Friday, August 30 at 11:00 a.m.
James B. Hunt Jr. Library, Auditorium (1st floor)

3D printing is pushing the boundaries of how faculty and students interact with some of today’s most innovative technology. Join faculty members Dr. Ola Harrysson (Industrial and Systems Engineering) and Dr. Michael Dickey (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering), along with NCSU Libraries’ Adam Rogers, for a discussion of how 3D printing is transforming the way NC State brings ideas to life, both inside and outside the classroom.

Free and open to the public. This event is presented by NCSU Libraries.

For more information, contact Marian Fragola at 919-513-3481 or marian_fragola@ncsu.edu

(l to r) Adam Rogers, Ola Harrysson, Chuck Hull, Michael Dickey

For a video of the panel, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL0gQ7WmeTg.

By: David Hiscoe

Higher Ed Tech Decisions explores how the Hunt Library creates “a digital playground that inspires research and innovation.”

By: Library Staff

Students studying at the Hunt LibraryNeed to amp up your computer, web, or design skills—at no cost and at your own convenience?  The NCSU Libraries has lynda.com available on computers in the Hunt and the D. H. Hill Libraries, making available almost 2000 courses in over 140 specialties for you to explore.

Over the past decade, lynda.com has become the method of choice for students and professionals to go online and bring themselves up to speed on:

Both the D. H. Hill Library and the Hunt Library each have two computers set up to let you log on and start learning without any charge.  Just stop by the Ask Us area in the Hunt Library or the Learning Commons desk in the D. H. Hill Library and we’ll help get you started.

By: David Hiscoe

Over the next few weeks through the rest of July and into early August, technology consultants will be in the Hunt Library to take the final steps to configure our group study rooms up to their full potential.  Unfortunately, this means that we will need to close many of these spaces to complete the work in time for the fall semester.

We regret the inconvenience, but it’s a necessary step in making sure that you have access to the most powerful facilities around for your collaborative work.

Many of the building’s more specialized, reservable rooms such as the Media Production Studios, Music Rooms, and Presentation Practice Room will also be unavailable for a short time.

What alternatives are available to you?

We planned this work for the summer when the building is least busy.  We hope that the many movable whiteboards and movable furniture in the learning commons and reading rooms of the Hunt Library will give you a way to gather and create your own impromptu collaboration areas. Spaces like the Idea Alcove on the second floor can also help meet your group study needs during this period.

How do you find out which rooms are available?

The group study rooms will be re-opening one by one or in batches as soon as the technology consultants finish them.  You can quickly see which ones are available at any given time at http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/huntlibrary/reservearoom.

Ask Us if you need help finding an alternate space

Please contact us in person at the Hunt Library Ask Us area or online at http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/askus if you need help finding a suitable space for group collaboration.

Jul 15 2013

CSI: Hunt Library

By: David Hiscoe

NC State offers one of the top-ranked academic video game development programs in the nation, and the Hunt Library’s Game Lab provides a powerful tool to enrich work on simulated environments or other video game work that depends on large scale visualization, immersive colors, or other technology-rich capabilities.

Fox 8 highlights the Game Lab as it explores how NC State software brings crime scene investigation into the 21st century.

By: David Hiscoe

José ParláAlready widely acclaimed as a bold, visually dramatic space that architecturally embodies the future of libraries and educational innovation, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library is adding a new centerpiece facing its main entrance.  During July, José Parlá—recently profiled in the New York Times for his signature pieces that celebrate the essential need of humans to “assert their existence in a place and a time”—will be creating a large mural to anchor the south end of the library’s second floor.

Known for his essential credo that powerful art “makes us aware that we are not mere passive bystanders, but active participants in the world we see,” Parlá’s piece, Nature of Language, will not only complement the building’s light-filled grandeur and inspiring use of color, but its spirit will capture the essential goal of the Hunt Library to encourage and enable anyone in the building to engage passionately in learning and discovery.

Parlá’s art has appeared in major exhibitions in New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Paris, and he has recently completed high-profile commissions in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.  His paintings and other works also reside in The British Museum, The Concord Project of the City of Toronto, the POLA Museum of Art in Hakone, Japan, and are held in the private collections of Eric Clapton and Tom Ford.

“In the six months the Hunt Library has been open, we have been incredibly gratified to receive a wave of international attention from educators, students, researchers, the architectural community, and others for how well the building’s design creates a sense of passion, ideas, and vision,” says Susan K. Nutter, Vice Provost and Director of the NCSU Libraries. “We could not be more grateful to the private donors who have given us the treasure of a bold, beautiful José Parlá piece to bring the excitement and joy of his art into this iconic space for NC State University.”

“Where’s Walter?”: Added bonus if you’re on campus

Much of the power of Parlá’s work comes from creating a seemingly abstract painting from—if you look closely enough—actual words.  José crafted the Hunt Library piece from words that inspired him in his time in Raleigh and in the new library.  Can you find “opportunity” (a word he says he especially put in for the engineers he talked with on campus), “Sir Walter Raleigh,” “James Hunt,” “nature of language,” or “bookBot”?

By: David Hiscoe

The NCSU Libraries has recently completed a two-year project to digitize and make accessible over 40,000 pages of documents critical to understanding the history of agriculture in North Carolina.

“Cultivating a Revolution: Science, Technology, and Change in North Carolina Agriculture, 1950-1979” serves students, teachers, researchers, and the general public by documenting the development of modern agricultural practices and their economic impact across the state of North Carolina.  The industry currently generates $70 billion in value annually in the state. Drawing from thirteen different archival collections held by the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center, “Cultivating a Revolution” provides primary source documentation and valuable historical information about the evolution of modern agricultural practices in North Carolina and the southeastern United States at large.

Highlights of the collection include drawings by Dr. William Johnson, Dr. William Splinter, and their graduate assistants in the College of Agriculture and Life Science of their designs for tobacco harvesters and bulk curing barns; correspondence with the international academic and business community regarding developments at NC State on bulk curing and mechanized harvesting of tobacco and other crops; and documentation of research into pesticide development, plant disease prevention, and genetic modification of crops.

In addition to the text and photographic materials, over one hundred and fifty 16mm films from the University Archives Film Collection and the Department of Biological and Agricultural Records at NC State are now available online.  The films include interviews with scientists, engineers, extension workers, and farmers who developed and applied innovative agricultural practices, as well as footage of the application of these practices around North Carolina. The films include interviews with the creators and users of the newly developed bulk curing barns in the mid-1960s, a visit to the NC State Dairy Farm in the 1950s, and test runs of sweet potato and cucumber harvesters at the university’s research stations.

The funds to support this work were awarded by the State Library of North Carolina and are made possible through funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

The “Cultivating a Revolution” website at www.lib.ncsu.edu/specialcollections/projects/cultivating-a-revolution.html provides more information on the project and links to the digitized materials. The NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Materials website at go.ncsu.edu/cultivatingarevolution also makes it easy to access the digitized materials from the project.

If you have questions or would like to learn more, please contact the Digital Program Librarian for Special Collections, Brian Dietz, at brian_dietz@ncsu.edu.

By: David Hiscoe

Does the Hunt Library promote a type of learning in which books are “lost in the shuffle”?  Or does it “serve its patrons in fostering reading and learning [with] a humane understanding of just what books are for”?

In “The ‘Bookless’ Library” and “Are Libraries for Books or People?” two writers (one a recent NC State grad) for The American Conservative produce dueling articles to explore the role of the Hunt Library in the future of reading and research.