I’ve really enjoyed this class! I used Piktochart to create a graphic summarizing some of my takeaways from this semester.
Here it is!
I had trouble deciding one a topic for this project. Initially I was going to talk about how/why to encourage autonomous patron use of library creative spaces, but that was way too big of a topic. So I narrowed it down to autonomous patron use of library 3D printers. But it turns out I didn’t have all that much to say about that topic. And then I remembered the One Button Studio project at Penn State!
You literally just put your flash drive in the machine and press a button and the studio turns on the lights, camera, and mics, records your video, and saves it to your flash drive! Seriously, how cool is that?
My library has money in our budget to revamp our studio spaces this year, so when I was writing this brief, I got really into it because maybe it’s something we can ACTUALLY do!
Anyway, here is my Director’s Brief! We’ll see if anyone else that I work with is interested in this…
This tutorial video could benefit from some editing, but despite its somewhat scattered presentation, it contains a lot of valuable material. Most helpful to me was the tip that you can copy/paste a block of code from one sprite to another by dragging it from the working area of the first sprite onto the image of the second sprite. Aside from that, the video steps through the process of creating a menu screen and a ‘play’ button in Scratch by utilizing the broadcast blocks and ‘when this sprite is clicked’ block. It shows how to hide and show different sprites and how to change the background when ‘play’ is clicked.
Blank Editor. (2013, September 2). Maze – invent with Scratch 2.0 screencast [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YXwcx0rSlY
This resource is a step-by-step tutorial video explaining how to create a maze game using Scratch. I chose this video because I found it was a concise, yet informative introduction to many elements of game-making with Scratch. It shows how to edit the sprites, add new background images, and have the sprite interact with the background. The logic required for this game is fairly simple, so even if the user is unfamiliar with programming, they should still be able to construct a maze game by following along with this video.
Lewis, Colleen. (2013, July 25). Broadcast: programming in Scratch 2.0 [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnYbOCiudyc
This resource is a practical explanation of how to use the broadcast function in Scratch to animate a conversation. I chose this video because I found it to be very helpful in creating my cartoon for the assignment this week. Understanding how to use broadcast is essential when doing animation work with Scratch. Especially useful was the side-by-side look at the ‘broadcast message’ / ‘receive message’ blocks while concepts were being explained.
Paget Teaches…. (2014, February 21). Using the clone blocks in Scratch [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHrkUsrv9p4
This tutorial video covers the basics of using clones in Scratch. When I was thinking about how I was going to code my collectables project, I came across the idea of clones. This video talks mostly about using clones as a substitute for coding many identical sprites with very similar behavior. Clones allow your program to do the same thing, but much more efficiently. I ended up using clones differently than he does here, but I still found this information valuable and would like to share it.
Radhafille [Screen name]. (2013, September 8). Make a block – Scratch 2.0 [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ert5PtU6Zjk
This video is a very helpful step-by-step walkthrough of how to create a custom block in Scratch. It includes answering the basic ‘why bother with custom blocks’ questions by showing how custom blocks can actually make your code easier to understand and easier to modify. At the 6 minute mark she jumps to a demonstration of a specific Scratch plug-in (called LeapScratch), but the first 6 minutes have great info about custom blocks.
Schafer, Ben. (2016, May 28). Unit 6, lesson 2, how to create functions in Scratch [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqyukTJB8-c
This video is a great introduction to using functions in Scratch. He uses a very simple example of drawing a half-circle to explain the advantages of programming with functions, aka a piece of code you can call over and over again. Although it can seem like more work up front to create functions, but the payoff comes later because changes and troubleshooting your program are going to be much easier.
SchoolPlusScratch. (2013, March 14). Scratch 2.0 – more blocks tutorial [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jM2SIDKM0Q
This video goes through the process of how to send variables to a function using the example of making a sprite jump to different heights, depending on the button pressed. The speaker has a slight accent, so if English is not the viewer’s native language, it might be a little harder to understand the commentary, but every step is clearly outlined in the screencast, so it should be possible to follow along.
Skeletons888. (2014, March 15). Scratch tutorial – making a home screen [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL6UUPdeTw0
The tutorial in this video starts about 30 seconds in, so be sure to skip ahead if you are in a hurry. Also the user in this video is programming with an older version of Scratch, so some things may look a little different. I included it here because it clearly shows how to switch backgrounds when clicking a button (aka a sprite). In this older version, the block that is used is called ‘When <sprite name> is clicked’ and in the current version the block is now called ‘When this sprite is clicked’, but the idea is still the same. It also shows how to hide menu buttons during game play and how to introduce sprites after the menu screen.
TheLogFather [Screen name]. (2014, April 22). Removing ask-and-wait [Scratch project]. Retrieved from https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/21056899/
When I was first putting my project together, I was frustrated that there seemed to be no way to get rid of the ask box (the blue bar across the bottom of the screen) without quitting the program. Obviously if the user enters input, then the ask box will go away, but sometimes you might want to remove it (or give the player the option to remove it) without entering information. This project shows how you can ‘hack’ the timer feature in Scratch to remove a lingering ask box. It’s a pretty neat trick that I didn’t actually end up needing this week, but I thought it was worth sharing anyway.
York, Ryan. (2014, March 30). Broadcasting in Scratch [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v1OFTKaTGc
This resource demonstrates another aspect of the broadcast function — cause and effect relationships between different sprites. It uses a simple example to show how utilizing ‘broadcast message’ / ‘receive message’ is the most common way to facilitate communication between sprites. This video was also helpful in that it mentions the importance of defining a starting position for sprites that move throughout the course of the animation.
Warren Harding (seriously!)
I know that might be depressing if you are in charge of your library’s web design, but honestly that number seems a little high to me. I’m surprised that ANY people at all are using the library as their initial avenue to finding information.
I’m an avid library user and library employee, and yet if someone comes up to me wanting to see if we have the newest Baldacci novel, I’ll typically google ‘newest Baldacci novel’ to find the title, and then search for the title specifically in our library catalog. …hope that doesn’t make me a bad librarian 😉
Our web team has been working on trying to get catalog results (or our general library page) to show up in google search results — if someone is geographically close to our libraries when they are googling for books (or other materials we may have) — as a way to remind users that we exist and to try to bring some of that google traffic to our page.
We opened a makerspace at one of our branches about two years ago and it’s been really successful, both in terms of patron participation and staff enthusiasm.
Some of our more expensive and dangerous machines (laser cutter, CNC mill, 3D printers) have traditionally only been operated by trained library staff. As you might imagine, this restriction limits the availability of these machines to patrons. There have been a few of us tech staff who have been advocating for the start of a program to train members of the public to become ‘certified’ to use this equipment — which would allow them to use it outside of the limited hours when staff are available to help.
Predictably, this proposal has caused some MAJOR handwringing and worry on the part of administrators. However, after about a year of pestering them, we are being allowed to proceed with a pilot test of certification for our 3D printers. So far, so good (fingers crossed!). Hopefully you won’t all read in the news that Castlewood Library in Colorado has been destroyed due to rogue 3D printing!