The Tessera: a ghost story to spark computational thinking

From the DistrictDisptach.org website – a very cool ARG program for teens, or other fun-loving tech fans!

by Elizabeth Bonsignore, Katie Kaczmarek, Kari Kraus and Anthony Pellicone from the University of Maryland; and Derek Hansen from Brigham Young University

Vintage catalogue card
A card from the catalog, with the ISBN, page, line, and word location from a published book that will lead players to the “right word” for this particular Tessera puzzle.

 

The following scenario offers a glimpse into gameplay for ARG The Tessera:

Ms. Edmunds is a middle school librarian running a #ReadyToCode after-school club that has been playing The Tessera, an interactive online mystery that introduces teens to foundational computational thinking concepts and key individuals from the history of computing. Her 8th graders have just entered a room within the game world that contains materials curated by members of a secret organization called the Tessera.

Here, they discover an old library catalog whose cards contain “book ciphers” that, once decoded, will reveal a letter from Ada Lovelace, a Tessera leader who is known today as the author of the world’s first computer program. The teens must work together to find the books listed in the catalog cards, then follow the encoded clues to locate the words within those books that comprise the contents of Ada’s letter.

Ms. Edmunds helps her club members to find several of the books in their media center or online via resources like Project Gutenberg. They page through the books together, compiling a growing list of words that disclose the letter’s contents. Once complete, Ada’s letter rewards players with key details about the Tessera’s secret mission against the evil “S.” During after-school sessions, Ms. Edmunds shows her teens how they can share their questions, frustrations, and successes with others in-game, through the Tessera players’ forum. She also encourages them to contribute their own findings and musings on the public-facing Tessera community wiki.

Like the teens in her club, Ms. Edmunds has a player profile, which she uses to respond to players’ questions and share her own thoughts. Over the course of 8-12 weekly after-school sessions, Ms. Edmunds facilitates online and face-to-face meetups with teens in her media center as they tackle the multi-level computational thinking challenges in this interactive, multiplayer mystery.”

(Read the rest of this article here!)

CMLE Travel Bug Lands in a Member Location!

If you have been following the adventures of the CMLE travel bugs, you have noticed they have been quiet over the winter. Less hiking and exploring in the cold weather means less hunting for geocaches. But Spring is here (technically!), and our travel bugs are eager to get moving on their adventures!

This is the travel bug Library Fan #1, dropped into its first cache! As you can see in the photos, this is a very cool cache – big enough to hold some fun things, not too hard to find, and subtle enough that it blended into the scenery very nicely.

The cache is “Milo and Chevy’s Excellent Adventure!” hidden 2/26/2016 by Pink candy, Babeonbon. ” Milo and Chevy are our two fur babies. If they were dogs, they’d probably love taking walks when we’re out caching, but they’re both too lazy. Continue reading CMLE Travel Bug Lands in a Member Location!

Craig Billings wants to put a 3-D printer in every Louisiana school, library and museum

Felix 3D Printer - Printing Set-up With Examples
From Businessreport.com:

“When Craig Billings first heard about 3-D printers back in 2012, his first instinct was to buy one. As Business Report details in its new Entrepreneur feature, Billings, an engineer specializing in 3-D modeling, figured the machine would be a good professional investment, but a friend and colleague in a neighboring cubicle had another idea,

“Let’s build one,” said Robb Perkins, arguing it would be much cheaper to buy the parts and use their technical skills to make their own 3-D printer. They spent nights and weekends in Perkins’s garage and Billings’s kitchen building and testing.

Two years later—and for twice the amount they originally planned to spend—The Copperhead 3-D printer was born. By then, the idea that hatched in their cubicles had grown into a full-blown business venture.

“We were just designing a machine for us to use, but during the process—and certainly once we were finished—we realized we were onto something special,” Billings says. “No one else is doing this in Louisiana.”

Initially, Billings and Perkins hoped to manufacture and sell their printers to local businesses. But when Robb’s wife, Bree, saw the machine she immediately realized its potential in the education industry.

They formed Acadian Robotics in 2013, and by the following year they were working with schools and districts to provide teacher development and student preparation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, building lessons around The Copperhead.

“We made it as a kit so that we can easily repair the parts, but then we realized that the kit aspect was perfect for schools because students can assemble it, teaching them different aspects of engineering and electronics,” Billings says. “It’s STEM in a box.” ”

(read the rest of this article!)

National Library Groups Oppose Bill to Make Register of Copyrights a Presidential Appointee

Copyright- all rights reserved

From ACRL Insider,

On March 23, 1017, the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee introduced legislation entitled the “Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act of 2017.” The bill would make the position of the Register of Copyrights subject to Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. Under current law (17 USC 701), the Librarian of Congress selects the Register.

The Library Copyright Alliance, a group of national library organizations collectively representing more than 120,000 libraries in the United States and serving an estimated 200 million patrons annually, released the following statement in response: Continue reading National Library Groups Oppose Bill to Make Register of Copyrights a Presidential Appointee

Code4Lib Issue 37 Call for Papers

The Code4Lib Journal

The Code4Lib Journal (C4LJ) exists to foster community and share information among those interested in the intersection of libraries, technology, and the future.

We are now accepting proposals for publication in our 37th issue.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to share your ideas and experiences. To be included in the 37th issue, which is scheduled for publication in mid July 2017, please submit articles, abstracts, or proposals at http://journal.code4lib.org/submit-proposal or to journal@code4lib.org by Friday,  April 14, 2017. When submitting, please include the title or subject of the proposal in the subject line of the email message and the acceptance of the Journal’s US CC-By 3.0 license in the body of the message. The editorial committee will review all proposals and notify those accepted by Friday, April 21, 2017.  Please note that submissions are subject to rejection or postponement at any point in the publication process as determined by the Code4Lib Journal’s editorial committee.

C4LJ encourages creativity and flexibility, and the editors welcome submissions across a broad variety of topics that support the mission of the journal. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

* Practical applications of library technology (both actual and hypothetical)
* Technology projects (failed, successful, or proposed), including how they were done and challenges faced
* Case studies
* Best practices
* Reviews
* Comparisons of third party software or libraries
* Analyses of library metadata for use with technology
* Project management and communication within the library environment
* Assessment and user studies

C4LJ strives to promote professional communication by minimizing the barriers to publication. While articles should be of a high quality, they need not follow any formal structure. Writers should aim for the middle ground between blog posts and articles in traditional refereed journals. Where appropriate, we encourage authors to submit code samples, algorithms, and pseudo-code. For more information, visit C4LJ’s Article Guidelines or browse articles from the earlier issues published on our website: http://journal.code4lib.org.

Send in a submission. Your peers would like to hear what you are doing.

-Sara Amato, Coordinating Editor for Issue 37

-Code4Lib Journal Editorial Committee

We support libraries!