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NCSU Libraries Goes to Washington for First Capitol Maker Faire

NRL News - Thu, 2015-06-11 10:59

NCSU Libraries’ own Adam Rogers and Dan Hawkins are traveling to Washington, D.C. today to participate in the first Capitol Hill Maker Faire, which is being held at the Rayburn House Office Building. The Faire is open to the public, members of Congress, and congressional staff. Rogers and Hawkins are scheduled to meet with Congressman David Price of North Carolina later today.

The Capitol Hill Maker Faire kicks off a nationwide celebration of making, and is being held in conjunction with the much larger National Maker Faire at the University of DC, on June 12–13. It will be followed by the White House National Week of Making, June 12–18. As part of the National Week of Making, NCSU Libraries will be opening their own Makerspace in D.H. Hill Library on Tuesday, June 16.

Hosted by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in collaboration with the Congressional Maker Caucus, Maker Media, and Nation of Makers, the faire will explore the new movement driven by hobbyists, tinkerers, crafters, and innovators that is breathing new life and innovation into American manufacturing. The movement is also changing the face of informal learning at community institutions with learning that is inherently experimental, inventive, creative, and project-based.

The Capitol Hill Maker Faire is free and open to the public. It runs from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and will feature approximately 30 exhibitors with hands-on displays, such as robots, crafts, 3D printers, and other new manufacturing tools. The faire will be preceded by a series of panel discussions, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, with leaders of the Maker movement discussing its impact on the economy, education, and community development.

For details, go to www.imls.gov/maker.

Life’s Little Dramas: Puppets, Proxies, and Spirits

NRL News - Tue, 2015-06-09 11:01

Life’s Little Dramas presents objects that were purpose-built to be used as puppets and only hints at a phenomenon that is as vast and varied as humanity itself. Puppetry has emerged in every inhabited part of the globe as one in the repertoire of activities that have made us human since the dawn of time. —Roger Manley, Director & Chief Curator of the Gregg Museum of Art & Design

The NCSU Libraries is pleased to host Life’s Little Dramas: Puppets, Proxies, and Spirits, an exhibit conceived and curated by NC State’s Gregg Museum of Art & Design. Culled from a recent gift from John C. Henry, along with key works on loan, the exhibit hosts a complete Edwardian-era ”Punch and Judy” troupe, Indonesian wayang kulit shadow puppets, and marionettes from India, Shri Lanka, the Czech Republic, and the earliest days of broadcast television, including America’s first TV “star”—any guesses?

For more information visit the Gregg Museum’s web site http://www.ncsu.edu/gregg/exhibitions.html.

The gallery is open during normal library hours: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/hours/hill/general.

NCSU Libraries Receives LSTA Grant to Digitize Transformative Agricultural Extension Documents

NRL News - Fri, 2015-06-05 10:18

The NCSU Libraries has been awarded a $98,997 grant to support the digitization project “Better Living in North Carolina: Bringing Science and Technology to the People,” a collaboration with North Carolina A&T State University’s F. D. Bluford Library. The project serves students, faculty, researchers, and the general public by digitizing and making easily available online an important body of primary agricultural extension documents that reveal the scientific and technological transformation of North Carolina’s agricultural economy during the twentieth century and the ways this transformation improved the lives of its citizens.

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. These federal funds are investments that help libraries deliver relevant and up-to-date services for their communities.

The materials digitized through “Better Living in North Carolina” document the advances of modern agricultural practices and their economic impact across the state. During the time period covered by the project, farming in North Carolina moved from subsistence levels to the production of global commodities–a shift driven in part by research and development done at NC State University. Throughout the twentieth century, as this shift occurred, Cooperative Extension programs–based at NC State and NCA&TSU–helped North Carolina farmers and agricultural businesses learn and apply new research in the agricultural and life sciences. Specific programs run by Cooperative Extension during this time have included 4-H, Family and Consumer Sciences (originally called Home Demonstration and Home Economics), various farm animal programs (such as poultry extension, swine extension, etc.), boll weevil eradication, soil conservation, rural electrification, plant disease clinics, rural development, and food and nutrition education. During the world wars, there was an emphasis on food production and preservation.

During the first year of the project, the NCSU Libraries will digitize up to 252,000 pages of Cooperative Extension annual reports from 1909 to 1983. North Carolina A&T State University F. D. Bluford Library will scan up to 5,000 pages of correspondence, pamphlets, andscrapbooks, as well as photographs, from collections of two prominent African American extension agents.

“Better Living in North Carolina” builds upon the success of other digital projects developed by the NCSU Libraries with the support of LSTA funds.  Most recently, the Libraries completed “Cultivating a Revolution: Science, Technology, and Change in North Carolina Agriculture, 1950-1979” http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/specialcollections/projects/cultivating-a-revolution.html). The project digitized 41,299 pages of archival documents, 2,741 photographs, and 161 videos and films. Previous agricultural digitization projects include the NCSU Libraries’ Green ‘N’ Growing (http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/specialcollections/greenngrowing/), which documents the history of 4-H and home demonstration in North Carolina from the 1900s to the 1970s.

The LSTA grant program administered by the State Library of North Carolina funds projects that help libraries deliver learning opportunities for a lifetime, support libraries in their mission to provide cost-effective access to the Internet and to information expertise, and make library resources more accessible to all users.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.

The North Carolina State Library has posted a list of all LSTA grant awards for 2015-2016. For additional information about “Better Living in North Carolina,” contact Brian Dietz, Digital Program Librarian for Special Collections, at brian_dietz@ncsu.edu.

Apple Watch Wrap-up

NRL News - Fri, 2015-05-22 16:01

So, in the last few days with the watch, I discovered that the Passbook actually keeps your tickets! I found old basketball tickets from last season with the QR code on the watch. This would be super useful if you forgot your phone, because you don’t need wifi to open Passbook. Also, since you can screenshot the watch, you could just save a photo of the code.

Overall, having the watch for the last two weeks has been a really cool experience, and I would definitely recommend that you try it out. It’s super useful if you don’t usually keep your phone on your person but have it nearby, or even if you have your phone on you, especially since phones keep getting bigger and bigger. Oh! And the handoff feature is really cool too! That’s when you ask Siri something, and she can’t answer on the watch, you can just switch it to the phone. You do this by enabling the feature in the Apple Watch app on the phone. And OMG, you can save music to the watch! This is a little complicated, and I recommend watching the video online on the Apple Watch website to figure it out, and you need Bluetooth headphones. But basically, link the music through the app, and then switch the source of the music from the phone to the watch. You can switch the source through the settings app.

I had a lot of fun with the phone, and I suggest y’all try it out!! Bye guys!

The Apple Watch Saga Continues

NRL News - Tue, 2015-05-19 16:35

It was an absolutely crazy weekend. As soon as I got out of class on Friday, my watch dinged informing me I had a text–my older sister was here to pick me up, and we were going to my dad’s job’s picnic. When we arrived to what was a food truck rodeo with perks, I immediately got a cupcake, waffle, and had a henna tattoo done. We spent most of the time walking around and eating. We left the picnic after we watching the trapeze show, which was amazing!

The next morning we hopped in the car and went to Wilmington! It was my cousin’s birthday celebration/family get together, and we went to Historic Wilmington and the beach. There was a car show going on in Historic Wilmington, and there was this beautiful old Porsche there. I also got pictures of an owl and hawk–they just looked cool. When we finally got to the beach, we relaxed and used the watch to take pictures! My favorite part was driving home (parents in the other car) and banging out to the music the watch and iPhone 6 were playing.

Sunday was the last day of Sunday School, and I said good bye to my first graders:( and then went to a 2 year old’s birthday where there was this gorgeous arrangement of fruit.

After what was a exhausting weekend, I stayed up doing homework. The watch and phone keeping me company and playing music to keep me going until I finished and dropped into bed. I woke up the next morning with the watch buzzing, informing me I had overslep,t and if I didn’t get up right now, I was going to be late to class and miss my quiz. I rushed to get ready, woke my sister, stole my brother’s keys, got dropped off, and was one minute late to class, but she hadn’t passed the quiz out yet. MADE IT! Shout out to the watch for waking me up just in time. I spent the rest of today in class, doing tomorrow’s homework, and playing catch up after the weekend. I did take a small break after class and sat in front of the lib by the wolf ears and took pics of the sky. It was a beautiful day.

I discovered that you can take screenshots with the apple watch! You just have to press the digital crown and the messages button at the same time. I took a screenshot of the face, which is customizable by the way. I have mine set to a traditional clock face with shortcuts to apps in the corners.  I have the date in the top left, moon phase in the top right, timer in the bottom left, and temperature in the bottom right. I really like this feature, because if (and when) I get bored of the face, I can change it. I originally had a butterfly face that would become a different butterfly every time the watch woke up, but that face didn’t have as many shortcuts. I changed the face by firmly pressing on the screen of the watch and then waiting about 3 seconds until the other options showed up, and I scrolled through them.

Apple Watch: Days 7 & 8

NRL News - Fri, 2015-05-15 16:09

Rubia Arfeen, a senior in Biological Sciences and a Libraries employee, will be blogging about her experience with the Apple Watch–a technology new to the NCSU Libraries lending pool.

DAYS 7 & 8
I have a new found appreciation for the music app on the watch. When you are a lazy person (like me), and leave things to last minute (again me), it is amazing what technology can do for you. The iPhone 6 was sitting across the table, and since I had already sat down and started on my hw, I was not about to get up to turn on my music. Lo and behold–there’s an app for that! I will admit I had to turn the shuffle on manually, but after that the watch did all of the work. When my iTunes started playing U2’s Iris–and I have no idea how that song got on my phone–it was easily skipped by pulling up the shortcut to the music app and replaced with Bad Blood by TS. Overall, for the procrastinating and lazy student, the watch is super helpful.

Also, in my summer class, my professor is super against phones. So when I need to text I can quietly talk into the watch, it’ll write out the text for me and be sent off. I have only done this once and wasn’t caught! So hopefully my professors aren’t reading this.

Lastly, I cannot emphasize how great the camera app is! It does take a minute to get used to, but look at this shot of the library. I also took a pic and (failed) selfie with a fellow coworker.

Okay, that’s all for now!

Apple Watch: Days 5 & 6

NRL News - Wed, 2015-05-13 16:25

Rubia Arfeen, a senior in Biological Sciences and a Libraries employee, will be blogging about her experience with the Apple Watch–a technology new to the NCSU Libraries lending pool.


I went to lunch with my sisters and a couple of friends, and one of them was not at all impressed with my watch, while the other is thinking about about getting one! He really likes technical gadgets, and he loved the watch. My twin sister is thinking about getting one too. She’s a Nutrition Science major and wants to become a Registered Dietician and really likes the idea behind the activity and workout apps. The activity app reminds the wearer to move about and reach the daily activity goals and actually gives awards when achieved. The watch might be a good way to help somebody who was interested in getting healthy.


Quiet day on the Apple Watch front. The activity app keeps track of how many calories you burn, how many mins of exercise you do, and if you stand every hour in a 12 hour cycle. If you go more than an hour sitting, it’ll suggest you get up or stand and move around. So, I spent most of the day listening to it tell me to stand, because I’ve been watching Netflix and doing homework.  Oh..also, here is proof that Siri thinks I’m my twin sister, Maria. I can change it in the settings, but I might just leave it because I think it really funny. : )

Apple Watch: Day 3 & 4

NRL News - Tue, 2015-05-12 15:37

Rubia Arfeen, a senior in Biological Sciences and a Libraries employee, will be blogging about her experience with the Apple Watch–a technology new to the NCSU Libraries lending pool.

Okay, so I think I am finally getting a hang of this. I was able to send and receive texts without too much trouble! The watch also saves the last couple of texts in a conversion on the iPhone 6. The handoff feature is also pretty handy. One thing that I noticed is that whenever the watch would send me a notification about getting up and moving around and reaching my activity goals for the day, I would get up and move around. I know we are interested in possible research uses, so maybe the watch could be used for health benefits. That’s all for now, good night!

I linked my email to the iPhone 6, and the fact that I can open my email on the watch is pretty cool and officially my 3rd favorite thing. But when you get a long email, it isn’t practical to read it on the watch, especially if it has attachments.
At that point it’s smarter to switch to your phone or laptop.

I volunteer as a teacher at the Islamic Association of Raleigh’s Sunday school, and my first graders LOVED the camera on the watch and kept asking me if they could play with it! I ended up letting one of my students hold the iPhone 6 while I took a selfie of him from the watch. He basically thought it was the coolest thing ever.

One thing I’ve noticed about the watch is that the iPhone has to be pretty close by if you want to use Siri to search for something. I would say the phone has to be within 20ft. Also, I have no idea how this happened, but the watch keeps calling me Maria. Even technology gets me and my twin sister confused! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Lastly, I noticed that the watch tends to get a little warm after a while, and I just take it off for a few minutes whenever that happens. I don’t normally wear a watch, so I don’t know if this is particular to this watch or if it happens with all watches. Besides that, it’s pretty comfortable and doesn’t cause any friction to my wrist or decrease mobility.

Apple Watch: Day 2

NRL News - Mon, 2015-05-11 16:50

Rubia Arfeen, a senior in Biological Sciences and a Libraries employee, will be blogging about her experience with the Apple Watch–a technology new to the NCSU Libraries lending pool.

I woke up with my Apple Watch buzzing on my wrist, informing me that it was time to get up. I set the alarm by pushing in the small wheel on the side, known as the digital crown, and activated Siri! While Siri does not speak back to me, I ended up using her frequently throughout the day. In particular, when I was using the Maps app on the watch, I had to speak into the watch to give her the address. It did take a couple of tries before she got what I was saying, but the app gave me walking instructions to a building on campus. This would be a really useful app for new students trying to find their way around campus and a way to reach your activity goals for the day! Siri also helped me send text messages, but those took a couple of tries too.

One thing I really liked was the music app. I synced my tunes to the watch app on the iPhone 6, and I was able to use the watch to play music from the phone!

Lastly, I put a passcode on the watch. But this doesn’t seem very practical, as the screen is very small, and it mostly stayed on my wrist for the day. It’s a cool feature, but I ended up disabling it later.

Now Lending: The Apple Watch

NRL News - Fri, 2015-05-08 15:45

Known for its role on NC State’s campus as a technology incubator, the NCSU Libraries lent it’s first Apple Watch yesterday afternoon to Rubia Arfeen, a senior in Biological Sciences. Much like it has for a range of technologies—from laptops to iPads to Arduinos to 3D scanners—NCSU Libraries is again leading the way.

When asked about the Libraries’ interest in lending Apple Watches, David Woodbury (Associate Head of User Experience) simply explained that “the students asked us to, and it is our goal to respond, in student-time, to their interests and research needs.” Woodbury also pointed out that the students and faculty at NC State are they themselves creating the technologies of the future, and giving them access to the latest tools and devices inspires and facilitates their innovations.

Arfeen, who is on the pre-med track, recognized immediately a connection to her field: “I absolutely love the fact that I can check my heart rate at any point in the day. I’m interested in cardiology, and I check my pulse periodically throughout the day anyway, and this made it a lot easier.” But lending such devices is not meant solely for academic use, a fact not lost on Arfeen: “The camera app is my second favorite! You can use the watch to open it, and it’ll transmit what is showing on your phone’s camera! You can use the watch to take pictures!”

“This is an extension of what libraries have always done,” Woodbury noted. “Libraries democratize access to technology, making tools that may otherwise be difficult to afford available to students. We want as many students as possible to experience what these various technologies have to offer, and we love hearing from them about the exciting and creative ways they put these tools to use.”

Arfeen has already provided valuable feedback about the Apple Watch’s intuitive usability: “The face was easy to customize, and Siri works fine, as long as I’m connected to Wi-Fi.” For more about her experience with the Apple Watch, follow her blog posts right here all next week.

Learn more about the NCSU Libraries technology lending program here.

Coffee and Donuts!

NRL News - Tue, 2015-04-28 08:25

Coffee and donuts during final exams 
(Starting the night of April 28th)
D. H. Hill Library and the Hunt Library

Long after the cafes have closed for the night, University Dining will be providing free coffee and the Friends of the Library will be supplying donuts in the lobbies of the D. H. Hill Library and the Hunt Library throughout final examinations (except for Saturday and Sunday mornings).

So put down the books for a few moments, take breath or two, and meet us after midnight to throw off the stress and boost up the energy.

Our thanks go to University Dining and the Friends of the Library.