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Author Archive | JD Thomas

Show Us Your Card Library Photos

Visit @atyourlibrary

There are some great photos being added to the Show us your library card! Flickr group.

Today Bobbie Newman / @librarianbyday over at her Librarian by Day blog has even offered to add photos for folks who are not already on Flickr.

This is the most recent five additions. Be sure to check out the full slide show at the @yourlibrary website or follow them on Twitter via @atyourlibrary (I think the second “at” is silent.)

QR Codes on the Fly

At Computers in Libraries 2010 and for the upcoming Internet Librarian 2010 conferences we have provided links to the attendee blogger’s websites via QR Codes. We have discussed QR codes in the past here in a post called QR Brain Dump. That post links to a very comprehensive QR Code guide by Mark Sprague.

When I first implemented the codes in primitive days of early 2010 I actually created each graphic, stored it, and added them to posts and pages via normal html <img> tags. Jump ahead to this week and as I was setting up the bloggers page for Internet Librarian 2010 I had one of those AH HAH! moments when you realize you have been ‘doing it wrong’ all along.

In the last year the Google Charts API has both greatly expanded in functionality and received a lot of Google Love in the form of  better documentation and easy to use end-user tools to make using this powerful system easy for web developers.  The single biggest boons to end users have to be the Live Chart Playground for advanced users and the Chart Wizard for everyone else.

While a QR code is not a chart, per se, the Google Chart API can create URL QR codes as easily as it makes a pie chart.    You can use the Chart Wizard for this but after I break down a URL for you it may not be necessary.

This is the QR code for Polly-Alida Farrington’s site.

I picked her’s because I messed it up on my first try yesterday.  She DM’d me on Twitter and let me know I had encoded it as http:///   That third slash was not desirable.

Before switching to this method, fixing it would have meant generating a new image, uploading it to the server or changing the page to point to the new image URL.

This time, all I had to do was remove the extra slash from the URL I use to embed the QR Code.

The URL looks like this:

It breaks down like this:

Chart API Base URL:
Specify Chart Type as QR Code: cht=qr
Specify Chart Size: &chs=200×200
Specify URL to Encode: &chl=

So you can just save:×200&chl=

In your bag of tricks and tack on the URL you want to encode in realtime.  For regular use on a website this works fine.  If you need to store this in a database, JavaScript, or using a mechanism that may mangle the URL &chl= parameter you should encode it safely.

Using the above info you can adapt it so the URL is in this form:'

This is needed on because I use the images in a Javascript based on-click event so they pop-up in the little windows on

Internet Librarian Topics 1997-2009

As suggested by Kathy Dempsey, author of The Accidental Library Marketer and one of the fine bloggers at The ‘M’ Word – Marketing Libraries blog, here is a collection of Wordles based on the final program for each of the Internet Librarian conferences from 1997 to 2009.

In the course of compiling this information I was struck, once again, by how far we have come. Currently the Internet Librarian and Computers in Libraries conference programs are published using XML and XLST so if we make a change to a session title or description or a speaker’s bio, its pushed out in the XML file and instantly the site s up to date everywhere that information is used. Going back in time for this information was like an archeological dig through the the history of web development all the way back to the days before CSS and to when ITI hand coded the entire program in plain HTML.

When it comes to working with data on the web, there were no “good old days” to look back on with fondness in my opinion.

As requested, here are the source files I used – minus the year seedings:

For a full size animation of the sort below, visit Internet Librarian Through the Years.

Year by Year