Moving into the future

February 26, 2007

This blog has been idle for a couple of months, but not because we haven’t been busy (rather the opposite!). The TechAtlas team at WebJunction has now grown to four full-time members, and our plans for moving TechAtlas for Libraries forward continue.

WebJunction and OCLC have recently concluded an agreement with NPower to acquire the TechAtlas asset (lock, stock and barrel!) from NPower, and we’ll soon be re-locating TechAtlas homebase from Seattle to Dublin, Ohio.

Now that TechAtlas is even more a part of WebJunction than ever before, we have decided to discontinue this separate blog, and integrate our future postings into WebJunction’s own BlogJunction. If you’re not already reading BlogJunction on a regular basis, please do so to keep up with the TechAtlas for Libraries project!


TechAtlas 2.3 launch date

November 6, 2006

We are busily working away to prepare for the launch of the new TechAtlas version 2.3 software late in the evening of Friday, November 17. The actual update will occur after 5 p.m. Pacific time, so we expect the impact on our users to be minimal. This will be an update to the TechAtlas interface only, and will not impact data that you have stored in your TechAtlas account, nor will it require you to download any new software to your own computer.

We’ll be posting links to additional training and documentation resources for TechAtlas version 2.3 soon – watch this space for more details!

Libraries, from a kid’s view

October 6, 2006

On the way to school today, my 7 year old daughter told me what she wanted for Christmas — her own copy of a book about the adventures of giants, and her own library card. I told her we just may be able to get her her own library card even before then (our library gives children under 12 a Children’s Library Card). “Really?!” she said. I said we can get one just by asking the librarian.

“But doesn’t a library card cost a lot of money?” she said.

“No, it’s free,” I answered.

“I though it would have to cost way more than free,” she said.

This conversation reminded me of the high value gifts we as a society give our citizens and children. Last night while reading, my daughter came across the word “sacrifice,” not knowing what it meant, in a story about what Odin had to give up to look into the pool of memory. The mere act of looking it up “sacrifice” in the dictionary, and seeing it’s meaning reflected in a story and in the understanding in my child’s eyes, thoroughly refreshed me of the importance of words, books, and libraries.

Previewing TechAtlas 2.3

October 4, 2006

As we begin planning for a TechAtlas update in mid-November, we’re going to schedule a couple of free webcasts to preview some of the new features in this next release of the software. These events will be conducted using the Microsoft Live Meeting service, and will be one hour in duration.

Our first event is scheduled for Wednesday, October 18 from 1-2 pm Eastern time (10-11 am Pacific). During this event, we’ll be presenting two new features in the next version of TechAtlas: the Computer Upgrade Wizard, and the Software License Inventory tool.

If you’re interested in joining us for this webcast, you can register and find additional details on WebJunction’s TechAtlas Online Learning Materials page. Additional webcasts will be scheduled soon and announced on the same WebJunction page.

TechAtlas in the news

September 26, 2006

WebJunction recently received permission from the good folks at Information Today to post a copy of a great article from Computers in Libraries magazine. Stephanie Gerding and Pam McKellar authored a great article for the July/August edition of Computers in Libraries entitled Wishing Won’t Work: 10 Things You Need to Know and Do When Applying for Technology Grants. This is a wonderfully comprehensive article that places technology planning (and TechAtlas!) in the larger context of applying for library technology grants. Click the article title above to take a look at this great resource on WebJunction.

TechAtlas and the Rural Library Sustainability Project

July 27, 2006

WebJunction’s Rural Library Sustainability Project (RLS) is a nationwide initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to help those managing libraries in small communities fight the good fight. The energy, ideas, and enthusiasm generated by this program are infectious, are we’re glad to see that TechAtlas for Libraries is lending some value to project participants.

While there is lots of great RLS content on WebJunction itself, some of the state coordinators for the program have found innovative methods of keeping the momentum going. The Building a Sustainable Future blog in Kansas is a great example, and not just because it mentions TechAtlas!

Live chat coming to TechAtlas

July 21, 2006

Beginning on Friday, 7/28 TechAtlas users will be able to chat with other users, and with the people who maintain and support the tools. We’re planning to offer 3 hour blocks of time for chat each week, hosted by WebJunction and TechAtlas staff. We’ll consider expanding the availability of (both hosted and unhosted) live chat based on results of our initial attempts. If you have any comments or thoughts on how to best manage live chat for TechAtlas, please let us know — we’d welcome any suggestions as this is our first attempt at this. Hope to chat with you on Friday.