Before you become too entranced with gorgeous gadgets and mesmerizing video displays, let me remind you that information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, and wisdom is not foresight. Each grows out of the other, and we need them all. —  Arthur C. Clarke

InfoVersed 001: The CRAAP Test

No library can escape the inevitable call to push media on using the CRAAP Test.  Here’s my attempt, as a test run for the premiere episode of InfoVersed, a show on being well-versed with information and technology. Upcoming episodes include interviews with uppity scholars on students using audiobooks as sources and how to write a…

Installing the Canvas LMS on Ubuntu 16.06

The Canvas LMS (Learning Management System) is an open-source project built in Ruby on Rails that I installed on my Ubuntu 16.04 desktop as a sandbox for personal use.  The following the steps I took, edited and adapted from Github, for a pretty simple installation on my local machine.  Note that Github rightfully warns, “The…

Leadership and Transformation

Leadership is leadership, but context is still king. I lead differently in church ministry than I do in my day job, but several principles superintend both contexts.  Two items have been particularly helpful in providing thought-fodder lately: 5 Voices: How to Communicate Effectively with Everyone You Lead, by Jeremie Kubicek and Steve Cockram.  I’ll review…

Installing Blacklight and Solr on Ubuntu 16.04

Academic Commons is Columbia University’s digital research repository where faculty, students, and staff, and alumni deposit the results of their scholarly work and research. Academic Commons is a Fedora repository with a customized interface built on Blacklight, an open-source Ruby on Rails application designed to offer a next-generation user experience, including faceted searching. Repository content…

Resetting a Lost Admin Password on Ubuntu Linux

I recently picked up a development project I set aside a couple years ago using an old Dell Optiplex and Ubuntu Linux 12.04, which is now outdated.  Problem was, though, I couldn’t remember the password for the only profile I set up those two years ago. Here’s the fix. First, hold down the left SHIFT…

Installing the Samgrah ILS on Ubuntu 16.04.1

Samgrah is a freely available integrated library system (ILS) developed in India as a project for students of Ruby on Rails. Let me say at the outset that Samgrah is NOT a professional ILS. It leaves quite a bit to be desired (MARC-record, anyone? Serials? Acquisitions?) for actual library use, and more resembles an archival management tool…

Still Converging: Information Services in the Library

This collection of case studies (see below) is now almost 10 years old and the studies it contains are at least that old if not older. The idea of convergence and collaboration in campus information services, however, continues to drive the current operations and future planning of most academic libraries even today, and probably rightly so. A cursory…

God Contracted to a Span: A Wesleyan Advent Hymn

Charles Wesley’s parents had 17 children before he came along. His premature birth was initially considered a still-birth because of his lack of vitality, a lack which continued through weeks of near silence.  There was no real reason for optimism. But, Oh, how he made up for that later in life! He preached twice to…

Compassionate Disfiguration? The Story of 16th C. Executioner Frantz Schmidt.

Frantz Schmidt was, for 45 years, employed by the state to extract confessions and execute criminals–361 of them, to be exact. He tortured, flogged, and disfigured hundreds more, the details of which are chronicled in his private journal with blunt matter-of-fact. Modern published editions of his journal reflect no moral confusion resulting from his numerous…

The English Puritan Thomas Brooks

Yesterday was the 326th anniversary of the death of Thomas Brooks (d. 1680), an non-conformist English clergyman. He preached a series of sermons on Lamentations 3:24 that were eventually compiled and published in 1662 as An Ark for All God’s Noahs in a Gloomy Stormy Day. I discovered this passage while I waited during a…

The iPad Pro and LaTeX

First, some backstory. When the Note Bene suite of tools for academic writing first crossed my workflow back in 2006 or so, I was stunned that there was a resource that not only provided a word processor that allowed me to (thankfully) move off of MS Word, but managed and formatted my citations (Ibidem), and—-now this really…

Good Historians Shoot Raw

So I just realized — the debate in the world of digital photography of raw vs. jpg for file format is the same debate that we have in ecclesiastical history and historical theology. Raw files are not necessarily image files. They are more like data files that contain information not always immediately visible in the…