Free Open Source – Part 1

Free Open Source Software

Since the invention of the computer, humans have become dependent on the internet and software/applications. Buying software can be expensive, especially for persons who need access to multiple software to do a particular job.  With free open source software, the cost to do your job is drastically minimized.  Below are a few software you can use:


Software Description

 

GIMP

Gimp is a powerful image editing software and is a free alternative to Adobe Photoshop.

Download

INKSCAPE

Inkscape is a free multiplatform vector drawing software and is widely used by graphic designers for custom logo designs or vector drawings. Inkscape is a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

Download

XMIND

With Xmind you can create your own flow charts, and organization charts. Useful for your everyday meetings.

Download

OpenOffice

OpenOffice is a free alternative to Microsoft Office suite. The powerful all-in-one  software enables you to create and edit your documents.

Download

LibreOffice

LibreOffice is a productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux. It is a free alternative to the Microsoft Office Suite providing document production and data processing.

Download

CamStudio

Create your own video tutorials in a flash using this awesome screen recording software.

Download

PSPP

PSPP is a free alternative to SPSS. Perform descriptive statistics, run T-test, linear  regression and more. Designed to perform analysis as fast as possible.

Download

Organize and manage your projects using openproj. This is a free alternative to Microsoft Projects.

Download

LimeSurvey Using Limesurvey is a very easy and exciting way to create and upload online surveys using its built in PHP functions. Questionnaires are created with just the click of a button.

Download

Call for Experts to Building and Associated Materials Technical Committee

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica announces a call for experts to provide technical support to the Building and Associated Materials Technical Committee.

 

Scope of work:

 

The Committee is mandated to adopt, adapt international standards and review Jamaican standards relating to the construction industry for the purpose of ensuring that industry practices are aligned with international best practice and reflect the parameters that are applicable to Jamaica.

 

Eligibility requirements:

 

Interested persons should have extensive knowledge and experience in the construction industry, especially related to Structural Steel and Treated Lumber.

 

Interested persons are invited to contact Mrs. Sherieka Satchell-Knight at

Tel: (876) 632-4275, (876) 618-1534 ext. 3221, (876) 303-0818 or via email at ssatchell@bsj.org.jm

6 Essentials To Adulting After High School

If you are about to leave high school or you’ve already graduated, you need to get these six essential items, as they are critical to ‘adulting’. This is the number one channel for tons of great life skills information and advice. Here you will find life hacks and tips that will get you ahead. If this is your first time, thanks for dropping by.

Craig McNally maybe contact via email @ thetalktank@gmail.com

Jamaican Football Standards @StandardsJa

#FootballStandards Check out this amazing video about the Standards for Safety & Performance of Football Goals.

#JamaicanStandardforSafetyandPerformanceofFootballGoals #JS325 #FootballStandards #JamaicanFootballStandards

Contact the Bureau of Standards Jamaica for a copy of this standard:
6 Winchester Road, P.O. 113, Kingston 10, Jamaica
Tel: (876) 926-3140-5; Fax: (876)929-4736
Website: http://www.bsj.org.jm

Jamaica Customs Integrating Business Processes

Chief Information Officer of the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) Andre Williams (left) and Acting Operations Manager, JCA, Owen Gayle, observe data on a laptop in the JCA’s server room. The JCA is implementing the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), a web-based system designed to transform the agency to a paperless operation through the use of electronic documents.
Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson

A wide cross-section of entities are making it easier for Jamaicans  to receive the products and services they need in the most cost effective and less troublesome way.

This change is quietly taking place at the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) where the Automated System for Customs Data (ASYCUDA), a web-based system designed to transform the agency to a paperless operation through the use of electronic documents has been rolled out.  Full implementation of ASYCUDA is expected to be completed in March 2016.

The new automated system is in keeping with the Government’s strategy to improve trade facilitation and service delivery in customs administration and when completed will see customs declarations, shipping manifests as well as accounting procedures, and transit and suspense procedures all being conducted electronically.

The system is being implemented through a US$4 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Customs Broker, Junior Waugh, who has been using ASYCUDA since its pilot phase in December 2014, said he is pleased with the new processes being implemented.  He noted that the system is no longer paper-based and customs brokers do not have to print multiple forms to file declarations.

“So that is considered savings on our part and the importers as well,” he said. It is mandatory for all cargo agents, including Freight Forwarders, Non-Vessel Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) and Sub-Agents who submit advance cargo information to do so using the ASYCUDA world system.

“It is a good thing. It is basically what one would expect in 2016 for us to be working in a smarter environment…to use information technology to guide the process,” Mr. Waugh told JIS News during an interview.

He noted that during the initial roll-out, some brokers have had challenges connecting to the system and filling out their documents.

“From time to time, the complaints that we get from individual brokers, sometimes they are not able to go on, but in talking to JCA we realized that we have a number of issues, in terms of the connectivity, in terms of the band width that we get from our Internet service providers,” he said, adding that some of these problems are being remedied.

“It’s a new thing and one would expect that you will have some teething pains. The teething pains are there and they are real but based on discussions, I am confident that they will get it right,” he added.

Mr. Waugh who is also President of the Jamaica Society of Customs Brokers said  since the roll out, training sessions have been organized for custom brokers in Kingston and Montego Bay.

“They had a train-the-trainer initially for the customs brokers to train other customs brokers …but since the roll out they have had sessions with custom brokers to re-sensitise them on the whole ASYCUDA System,” he said, adding that the brokers were brought up-to-speed with the changes and improvements made to the system after the initial training was done about a year ago.

He said that members of the Society who are having challenges will be monitored “in terms of getting them up-to-speed with the new system.”

“It [The system] has improved and trust me if we can save time in our business, time is really money and so it should be a win for everyone,” he added.

Chief Information Officer of JCA, Andre Williams said the system has eliminated the use of paper, which has reduced the processing and waiting times at various stages and has resulted in cost saving.

“Based on the number of yearly transactions, where it concerns exports and commercial imports, there is a saving of $66 million per year just for the purchasing of forms,” he informed.

“There is greater efficiency, transparency and accountability on the part of our business partners as well as the JCA [because] there is an immediate electronic submission of the declaration and supporting documents,” he continued.

The Chief Information Officer said ASYCUDA has allowed the JCA to be fully integrated with the Tax Administration of Jamaica (TAJ) and receiving “real time Tax Registration Number and Tax Compliance Certificate data.”

“We have also been transferring motor vehicle details to the Automated Motor Vehicle System by TAJ, so once the vehicle has been cleared of all liabilities to the agency and to the port, that information is relayed in real time to TAJ for the registration of the vehicle,” he added.

The data from ASYCUDA is also being used by the Island Traffic Authority to issue fitness certificates for motor vehicles, as well as by the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica.

In addition, once a licence, certificate or permit has been issued by the Trade Board Limited or other bodies, including the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, the data that has been placed by them on their E-Trade System is automatically sent to ASYCUDA, eliminating the need for physical documentation and therefore allowing for the quick approval of declarations for processing.

As it continues to improve its business processes, the JCA will also be introducing an Electronic Single Administrative Document, which will integrate all forms currently used at the agency.

Commissioner of Customs and JCA Chief Executive Officer, Major (Ret’d) Richard Reese, said the form, which is being tested, allows for all the various types of entries to be made.

“In the past, we would have had a specific form for specific transactions. This combines all those forms into an electronic entry and [allows] you [to] select from a menu,” he explained, adding that the single form will save millions of dollars for the agency as well as its clients.

Under the ASYCUDA project, Major Reese said the JCA has completed implementation of the export and import modules for sufferance wharves. Additionally, he said the import module for personal shipments in Kingston and Montego Bay has been implemented.

“We will also be implementing the import module for commercial shipments, the incentive module and also the permits and licences. So at the end of the implementation programme all aspects of Customs operations will be fully automated and all payments, of course, will be electronic or by cash,” he added.

Since January 4, the JCA had mandated that all personal shipments will require the use of the ASYCUDA World System island wide.

“What this entails is the loading of that information by the various carriers whether by air or sea and the consolidators, so we will have that information in advance and when individuals come to clear their shipments it will make the process even faster,” he said, noting that personal shipments are being cleared within an hour and 15 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes.

“So that in itself is evidence of the level of efficiency when we compare to earlier periods when persons would travel to the warehouses or the ports and expect to spend a day or at least a half-a-day,” he said.

Changes at the JCA are being monitored under the Public Sector Transformation and Modernisation Programme designed to support the government’s priorities of improving ‘ease of doing business’ and public sector efficiency. Acting Principal Director, Public Sector Modernisation Programme Implementation, Cabinet Office, Wayne Robertson, said the Office has been working with all the entities that are involved in trade.

“We are currently working with the World Bank in terms of building out a sustainable programme of facilitating trade and we are not just looking at public sector entities, but also private partners and so all the entities that are involved in trade we work with them,” he said.

Mr. Robertson continued: “We are looking at how we can improve import and export service provision to MSMEs (Micro Small and Medium Size Enterprises) and so rather than making 10 stops, we are saying, listen, you need to make one stop.” He stated that one stop shop facilities will not only be implemented in the Kingston Metropolitan area but also in the second city, Montego Bay.

By

(Source: JIS)

Windows 10 Available on July 29

Yes! Finally. I have been waiting too long for this. I reserved my copy this morning!

Microsoft announced today that it will release Windows 10 on July 29.

The OS will be available as a free upgrade to all licensed Windows 7 and 8.1 users.

Windows 10 will feature Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana, the company’s all-new Edge Web browser and will run on desktops as well as tablets and phones.
————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Blog post by the Windows Team:

Today, I’m excited to share the availability date for Windows 10. In fact, I thought I’d let Cortana, the world’s most personal digital assistant, share the news. You can ask Cortana for the answer! You can ask Cortana for the answer, or if you don’t have a Windows phone or a PC running the Windows 10 Insider Preview handy – you can hear it for yourself here:

Through the feedback and testing of over four million Windows Insiders, we’ve made great progress on Windows 10 and we’re nearly ready to deliver this free upgrade to all of our Windows customers*.

Do Great Things with Windows 10

We designed Windows 10 to create a new generation of Windows for the 1.5 billion people using Windows today in 190 countries around the world. With Windows 10, we start delivering on our vision of more personal computing, defined by trust in how we protect and respect your personal information, mobility of the experience across your devices, and natural interactions with your Windows devices, including speech, touch, ink, and holograms. We designed Windows 10 to run our broadest device family ever, including Windows PCs, Windows tablets, Windows phones, Windows for the Internet of Things, Microsoft Surface Hub, Xbox One and Microsoft HoloLens—all working together to empower you to do great things.

Familiar, yet better than ever, Windows 10 brings back the Start menu you know and love. Windows 10 is faster than ever before, with quick startup and resume. And Windows 10 provides the most secure platform ever, including Windows Defender for free anti-malware protection, and being the only platform with a commitment to deliver free ongoing security updates for the supported lifetime of the device.

1

We’ve designed Windows 10 to help you be more productive and have more fun, with a range of innovations**:

  • Cortana, the world’s first truly personal digital assistant helps you get things done. Cortana learns your preferences to provide relevant recommendations, fast access to information, and important reminders. Interaction is natural and easy via talking or typing. And the Cortana experience works not just on your PC, but can notify and help you on your smartphone too.

Cortana in Windows 10

  • Microsoft Edge, is an all-new browser designed to get things done online in new ways, with built-in commenting on the web – via typing or inking — sharing comments, and a reading view that makes reading web sites much faster and easier. With Cortana integrated, Microsoft Edge offers quick results and content based on your interests and preferences. Fast, streamlined and personal, you can focus on just the content that matters to you and actively engage with the web.

Inking on websites in Microsoft Edge

  • Office on Windows: In addition to the Office 2016 full featured desktop suite, Windows 10 users will be able to experience new universal Windows applications for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, all available separately. These offer a consistent, touch-first experience across a range of devices to increase you productivity. Designed from the ground up to run on Windows 10, you can easily create and edit Word documents, and deliver PowerPoint presentations while annotating on the fly. With new touch-first controls in Excel you can create or update spreadsheets without a keyboard or mouse. You will also be able to enjoy new versions of OneNote and Outlook, which are included with Windows 10 at no additional cost.
  • Xbox Live and the integrated Xbox App bring new game experiences to Windows 10. Xbox on Windows 10 brings the expansive Xbox Live gaming network to both Windows 10 PCs and tablets. Communicate with your friends on Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One – while playing any PC game. You can capture, edit and share your greatest gaming moments with Game DVR, and play new games with friends across devices. You can play games on your PC, streamed directly from your Xbox One console to your Windows 10 tablets or PCs, within your home. Games developed for DirectX 12 in Windows 10 will see improvements in speed, efficiency and graphics capability.
  • New Photos, Videos, Music, Maps, People, Mail & Calendar apps have updated designs that look and feel familiar from app to app and device to device.  You can start something on one device and continue it on another since your content is stored on and synched through OneDrive.

Photos app in Windows 10

  • Windows Continuum enables today’s best laptops and 2-in-1 devices to elegantly transform from one form factor to the other, enabling smooth transitions of your tablet into a PC, and back. And new Windows phones with Continuum can be connected to a monitor, mouse and physical keyboard to make your phone work like a PC.
  • Windows Hello, greets you by name and with a smile, letting you log in without a password and providing instant, more secure access to your Windows 10 devices. With Windows Hello, biometric authentication is easy with your face, iris, or finger, providing instant recognition.
  • Windows Store, with easy install and uninstall of trusted applications, supported by the broadest range of global payment methods.

In addition to these innovations, we will continue to update Windows 10 over time with new innovations to help you be more productive and have more fun. Like Windows 10 itself, these updates will be free for the supported lifetime of your device.

You can see these features in action in this video.

Get Ready for Windows 10

On July 29, you can get Windows 10 for PCs and tablets by taking advantage of the free upgrade offer, or on a new Windows 10 PC from your favorite retailer. If you purchase a new Windows 8.1 device between now and then, the Windows 10 upgrade will be available to you and many retail stores will upgrade your new device for you.

The Windows 10 upgrade is designed to be compatible with your current Windows device and applications*. We are hard at work to make this upgrade process a great experience. You can reserve your free Windows 10 upgrade now through a simple reservation process. Look for this icon in your system tray at the bottom of your screen, simply click on the icon, and then complete the reservation process. You can find more details on how this works at Windows.com.

Reserve your Windows 10 upgrade

Thank you for choosing Windows. We are designing it for you, so you can be more secure, more productive, have more fun.

Terry

* Initial release will be for PC and tablets. See Windows.com/windows10upgrade for availability and other details.

** Specific features may not be available in certain markets, some features require specified hardware, and Continuum for phone available on select premium models at launch.  More details at Windows.com/windows10specs and xbox.com/windows-10.

Why Microsoft is calling Windows 10 'the last version of Windows'

“Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10.” That was the message from Microsoft employee Jerry Nixon, a developer evangelist speaking at the company’s Ignite conference this week. Nixon was explaining how Microsoft was launching Windows 8.1 last year, but in the background it was developing Windows 10. Now, Microsoft employees can talk freely about future updates to Windows 10 because there’s no secret update in the works coming next. It’s all just Windows 10. While it immediately sounds like Microsoft is killing off Windows and not doing future versions, the reality is a little more complex. The future is “Windows as a service.”

IT’S ALL ABOUT WINDOWS AS A SERVICE

Microsoft has been discussing the idea of Windows as a service, but the company hasn’t really explained exactly how that will play out with future versions of Windows. That might be because there won’t really be any future major versions of Windows in the foreseeable future. Microsoft has altered the way it engineers and delivers Windows, and the initial result is Windows 10. Instead of big releases, there will be regular improvements and updates. Part of this is achieved by splitting up operating system components like the Start Menu and built-in apps to be separate parts that can be updated independently to the entire Windows core operating system. It’s a big undertaking, but it’s something Microsoft has been actively working on for Windows 10 to ensure it spans across multiple device types.

While we’ll witness the results in the coming months, Microsoft is already in launch mode for a number of its apps and services that power Windows 10. The software company is testing preview builds of Window 10 with willing participants, and apps like Xbox and Mail have been engineered for regularly monthly updates. Even Office for Windows 10 will also get regular updates, much like a mobile version, instead of the big bang release every few years.

WINDOWS ISN’T DEAD, BUT THE IDEA OF VERSION NUMBERS COULD BE

When I reached out to Microsoft about Nixon’s comments, the company didn’t dismiss them at all. “Recent comments at Ignite about Windows 10 are reflective of the way Windows will be delivered as a service bringing new innovations and updates in an ongoing manner, with continuous value for our consumer and business customers,” says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “We aren’t speaking to future branding at this time, but customers can be confident Windows 10 will remain up-to-date and power a variety of devices from PCs to phones to Surface Hub to HoloLens and Xbox. We look forward to a long future of Windows innovations.”

With Windows 10, it’s time to start thinking of Windows as something that won’t see a big launch or major upgrade every few years anymore. Much like how Google’s Chrome browser gets updated regularly with version numbers nobody really pays attention to, Microsoft’s approach will likely result in a similar outcome. This is really the idea of Windows as a service, and the notion that Windows 10 could be the last major version of Windows. Microsoft could opt for Windows 11 or Windows 12 in future, but if people upgrade to Windows 10 and the regular updates do the trick then everyone will just settle for just “Windows” without even worrying about the version number.

Source 

45 Most Exciting Apps For Librarians

By Robert

Thank you for all your great feedback! We updated our list to include even more great apps!

Although this is the information age, one of the most common places for people to seek information is still the public library. Fortunately, modern libraries have kept up with technological advancements and have integrated computers, the internet, and other important tools as a normal part of this dynamic hub where paper media meets electronics. In fact, many people view the library as the central information center of the city, and in order to retain this title, librarians now find themselves faced with the need to utilize smartphones and tablet apps to complete their tasks and perform jobs more quickly and efficiently.

There are various applications on the market for librarians, each with their own uses, and although not all are helpful in the library, you might be surprised to learn of how many do serve a literary purpose.

Check out this list of 45 of the best apps for librarians:

For Better Reading:

1. Kindle – The Kindle is by far the most globally popular e-reader and e-reading app on the market, and was created by Amazon. Due to its connections with Amazon it has a huge selection of books to choose from in a multitude of categories.

2. Nook – Similar to the Kindle, the Nook is featured by Barnes and Noble, and has many new releases for sale as well as a small selection of free reading materials.

3. Kobo – Kobo is an e-reader company that was established in Toronto, Canada, and is the second most used e-reader in the world after the Kindle. It’s most commonly used in Canada, and hosts a large assortment of books.

4. Free Books – The Free Books app provides 23,469 classic titles for your selection, and allows for highlighting, notes, dictionary support, and bookmarks, which make it an asset for any library.

5. iBooks – iBooks is an iTunes app that includes access to the iBookstore for a wide variety of reading materials.

6. Good Reader – The newest Good Reader application is called Good Reader 4 and it’s more of an academic tool than some of the other e-reading apps on this list. It allows you to access scholarly articles and other documents and save them to your mobile device for later viewing.

7. Bookviser – This application was specifically designed for Windows-based mobile devices and is used by over 700,000 Windows phone owners to browse and read their favorite books.

8. Audiobooks – Not everybody can enjoy a book on the go, or has the time to sit and scan a page; luckily, the Audiobooks application offers free books that you can listen to for multitasking and hands free enjoyment of books.

9. Readu – This application reads EPUB and TXT files and allows you to download books from other places and sites, as well as translate text.

10. Freda+ – Freda+ is a customizable reading application that allows for changes in font and color, and accepts text formats like EPUB, HTML, TXT, and FB2.

For Boosting Productivity and Organization at Work:

11. Box – Box provides secure access to cloud storage and collaborating on a multitude of mobile devices.

12. Outliner – This application assists with the organization and maintaining of the appropriate structure for projects and planning while at the library.

13. Pages – Create documents for many purposes including library newsletters, documents for handouts and other pages that may need to be printed later with this mobile word processor.

14. World Book: This Day In History – This app is perfect for posting a history fact of the day on a library webpage or in individual library departments.

15. iNapkin – iNapkin is an app for iOS devices and allows you to take notes, organize them and access them later.

16. CalenGoo – CalenGoo is made for mobile Android devices and can be used to sync Google calendar and other Google apps with your phone.

17. Evernote – This free note making app organizes and saves ideas by giving you the opportunity to snap photos, take notes, make voice reminders, and even scan business cards.

18. Things 2 – Things 2 is available for iPad, Mac, or iPhone, and manages tasks by planning your day, saving important dates, customizing workflow, and organizing e-mail.

19. LanSchool Teachers Assistant for iOS – This is a free classroom organization and management software that allows librarians to block certain content and monitor patrons in a digital loan setting.

20. History: Maps of World – This app is perfect for libraries to have on hand during presentations or children’s learning events where geography is being discussed.

21. Dropbox – Dropbox is a cloud app that allows you to share files between your tablet, mobile phone and computer wherever the app is installed.

22. Docs Anywhere – As the name suggests, this app allows librarians to take their Word and image documents anywhere. This is done through USB transfer and it works with Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF and other kinds of files.

23. Keynote – For librarians who make group presentations for management purposes or during patron events. Keynote supplies animated charts and many other features.

24. eClicker Presenter – Another presentation application, eClicker doesn’t just provide standard presentation guides and tools, it also gives librarians the ability to send out questions to the audience with the click of a button.

25. Moodboard – Moodboard is a way to put together all of the events and interests going on around the library into one neat display. Print your page and post it up in the library, or have it uploaded to the library website so that patrons can see what’s new and interesting.

26. Offline Pages Pro – Although most libraries have wi-fi, there isn’t always access on the journey between home and work. Offline Pages Pro will give you the opportunity to take information and webpages with you to read or work on while you’re not connected to the internet. It also includes PDF reader support.

27. Dictionary – Reading is no fun if you don’t know meaning of all the words that you are reading, which is why having a dictionary on the go is a great tool for a librarian. This app also works as a thesaurus and offers a word of the day for each day of the week to strengthen your vocabulary and keep things interesting.

28. Wikipanion – Wikipedia may not always be 100% guaranteed correct information, but it’s an excellent resource for librarians in a pinch who need to look up an answer to a question of a patron. It is one of the largest online information sources across the globe, so it has a little bit of everything, and Wikipanion was designed to easily access the information in Wikipedia.

29. Osfoora 2 – Twitter is a huge method of communication for many people globally, so tweeting to patrons from a library twitter account is a perfect way to keep in touch. Osfoora 2 lets you use more than one account at a time to send tweets for work.

30. Quickoffice – Quickoffice combines Word, Excel, and Powerpoint into a great mobile app for librarians who need to open, edit, and send documents on the go. This is wonderful for presentations, reports, and other paperwork that have to be processed from time to time.

31. Wolfram Alpha – This multi-functional application can help answer questions through a variety of educational tools for math, history, geography, and more. Different features of this app work with different subjects, which could help to better understand various subject matter within the library.

32. ReferenceUSA – This application is only available for iPad at the moment, but it’s a wonderful app for librarians who need real time access to research databases across North America. You must have a registered library card to use this app, which is highly convenient if you happen to work at a library.

33. ArticleSearch – This is a free app that, like ReferenceUSA, gives you access to a wide selection of scientific papers, academic journals, and other publications. It is great for research related to academic projects going on within the library, and it is also helpful as a library patron aid for those who come to do school work.

34. Farlex – Farlex provides a free and professional level dictionaries for librarians and other users who not only want to look up words and find their meanings, but also listen to their correct pronunciations. As a librarian there are always going to be kids and young adult readers who have questions concerning book titles and other difficult words throughout reading material, and this can really help.

35. Mango Mobile – The Mango Mobile Library Edition helps with language learning and is free for both iPhone and Android users. With this app you can take cultural lessons and hear the proper pronunciation of words by native speakers. This is a wonderful way for librarians to enjoy books with other languages featured throughout them, and also to share those books with children in reading programs and other events held at the library.

36. TurboScan – This application gives librarians an edge by allowing them to scan multiple documents using their mobile devices. This works well for receipts and business cards and also for other reading resources that you might like to store.

37. CamDictionary – CamDictionary lets you translate text into different languages and also provides the correct pronunciation. This app is particularly neat because you don’t need to type the word with text, but you simply point and click, and a photograph will be used to determine the meaning in other languages.

38. Google Goggles – This is an Android application that can be great for librarians who want to look up a certain person, place, or item, but can’t think of the name. You simply take a photo using your mobile device and then Google Goggles will search for it in its database and give you some information about it if it is found in its database.

39. Adobe Reader – This app works for most mobile devices and helps read pdf files without any of the trouble that some pdf readers cause. This is available for a large selection of handheld phones and tablets.

40. iAnnotate PDF – This is another pdf reader that gives librarians the added advantage of editing their pdf files from their mobile devices.

41. Offline Pages – For librarians working without access to the net, Offline Pages will store entire web pages so that you can look at them while out of the reach of wi-fi. This is a great way to store info on the go to look at while in transit, or even just when you need a quick glance at something, but don’t want to wait for the entire page to load online.

For Staying Up To Date On The News:

42. The Guardian Eyewitness – A very well-known European news source, The Guardian has developed this application to connect users with the world on a whole new level. Unlike other world news programs, this application is designed to bring you strikingly beautiful images from across the globe that visually reflect current events. There is an image of the day, as well as a themed archive of photos that can be sorted through.

43. CNN – CNN reports important, up to the minute headlines from around the world. From this application a librarian can stay in the loop of different global subjects and factual information that might be required for later projects and for personal knowledge.

44. NewsRack – NewsRack is an RSS reader for global news which include crucial top stories from many countries and can be used by librarians to stay informed on an abundance of subjects. This is a great way to connect with the news before work or to look up a top story for research purposes.

45. USA Today – For news affecting the United States, the USA Today app is available on nearly any handheld device or mobile unit. This news app also follows world news and includes subjects like money, sports, travel, life, tech, and weather.

Each of these applications has some really great qualities to offer librarians at work or at home to stay organized, up-to-date, and, of course, do some reading. Although some apps might have similar attributes, each individual tool tends to have its own specific advantages to look forward to.

If you can think of any other applications that might make life as a librarian more convenient, interesting, or fun, leave a comment.

How Libraries Are Integrating Effective Technology

by: 

tecnhology-integration

With so many rapid changes occurring in technology and social media, librarians need to maintain their role as technology leaders more than ever. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to be the first adopters of new tech, but in being early users of the most effective technologies. In order for librarians to help students learn how to analyze information, apply it in different contexts and pinpoint potential areas for growth, technology should engage and encourage students to construct and build knowledge rather than being an arbitrary, sporadic, or rarely used instruction tool.

Some libraries require librarians to spend an allotted portion of their weekly schedule networking and posting events on social media sites, news portals and the like. Technology integration requires librarians to spend more time using tech to learn rather than spending time learning to use new tech. Logically, this is why it is advantageous to stick with the tools that are tried and true — the tools that are intuitive and useful — rather than to jump on each and every trendy bandwagon that comes along as technology shifts. Of course, it’s also important to keep an ear to the ground for evolving tech as well as newly popular tech, so librarians should reserve short blocks of time solely for the purpose of visiting their favorite online haunts and social networks to research and seek recommendations from experts, even if it’s off-the-clock.

When a certain technology becomes widely-used by fellow contemporaries and institutions, it’s important to at least keep abreast and carry a basic understanding of its functionality and purpose, even if you decide not to implement it yourself.

When a particular site or new technology becomes popular with the general public, it’s often beneficial for librarians to adapt and interact with users rather than underestimate or dismiss new trends. For instance, a librarian who actively uses sites like Pinterest or Facebook to post creative content with a focus on community has greater potential to reach a broader target audience than locally posting flyers or mailing printed newsletters.

Determining which platforms will perform most effectively in the ever-changing and always-evolving world of digital technology is part premonition based on experience and part luck. The public won’t always flock to the most intelligible, intuitive, or advanced technologies available. Sometimes, great resources are entirely overlooked. Useful little start-up companies with great ideas can’t compete with the big dot coms and eventually fall by the wayside. Other times, masses of reference material and data exist within an entirely unnavigable site or under a poorly visible domain. Essentially, finding and utilizing technology in a way that facilitates collaboration and invites the community to participate may be just as important as technology designed simply to instruct or deliver information.

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Jamaica Library Service gets grant to boost ICT resources

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Jamaica Library Service (JLS) received a grant of US$2 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation based in Seattle, United States of America, which will, along with co-funding of US$1.1 million from the Jamaican Government, help the JLS to boost Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources in public libraries.

The funds will also enable JLS to provide additional training for staff and users, enhance programmes and services and support a comprehensive advocacy and marketing campaign.

In July the foundation advised the JLS of the granting of the award for the charitable purpose to enrich lives and ultimately contribute to the achievement of the country’s Vision 2030, Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.

The ICT project will boost access with the installation of hardware and software, including the addition of approximately 843 state-of-the-art computer systems, as well as provide library staff and users with training. One hundred and twenty seven public libraries and six mobile libraries will benefit from the project.

Education Minister Ronald Thwaites welcomed the award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation noting that in a new release from the ministry that “the project will facilitate the use of technology to support major social change on the Jamaican landscape through public libraries to impact the areas of education and digital inclusion”.

In his comments, Paul Lalor, Chairman of the Board of the JLS, said that “as the largest single provider of free access to computers and the Internet to Jamaicans, JLS anticipates an exciting three-year implementation period which will not only change the face of public libraries in Jamaica, but also ultimately positively impact the lives of individuals and the development of communities and the country on a whole”.

The announcement of the award by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Libraries initiative completes the selection process that began in March 2012 following a letter of interest for Grant Funding sent by the foundation to the JLS.

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