Thanks for starting this conversation Ellen! Lots of fun. I learned about wireless Arduino  - (should go well with my NerdKit),

And I think I'm 300,003 on the waiting list to get a Raspberry Pi. I love it!

Thanks all,

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ellen K. Wilson
Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 9:25 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] whimsical homepage idea

Thanks to all of you for great suggestions! I'm definitely going to check out some of the tools you mentioned - I think it would be a fun side project to implement.

On 5/1/2012 3:00 PM, Peter Murray wrote:
 > Sounds like a neat idea. I wonder if you could get electrical engineering students to build DIY sensors from kits and make a real educational project out of it.

Kevin J. Collins wrote:
 > I just wonder whether you could find one of the programming students to actually work on something like for a project. The student would be doing it for some type of class credit - but the library might get something usable albeit frivolous (until you use it for an evidence based effort to get the AC fixed....)

I love this idea! I'm going to look into it.

Stephen McDonald wrote:
 > Hm.  And if you collected and recorded the data for some period of time, you might be able to use it to convince Building Services (or
whoever) to try to fix the problem.

Hope springs eternal...

Ralph LeVan wrote:
 > If this doesn't meet the definition of "Geek the Library", I don't know what else would.
 > +1 OCLC Approval

Yay! Also, bacon.

Paul Cummins wrote:
 > You could nail digital thermometers up and point webcams at them then run that through OCR.
 > ( sorry, I was thinking about what might actually get approved in the


Michael Friscia wrote:
 > I like the idea. I'd also like to experiment with microphones that can detect the noise level in reading rooms so when a student is looking for a quiet one, they look at the "heat map" of the reading rooms and avoid the ones that are red and go to the quieter light blue ones...

Ooooh, I like that.

Ben "Otter Fan" Florin wrote:
 > How about a just javascript that randomly spits out temperatures around 70 Fahrenheit? That would cost less and have the knock-on effect of stifling student dissent.

We've been tossing around the idea of just redirecting the library homepage to since that really might meet student desires better, thus avoiding dissent. However, some think the Cheezburger network is a better choice, and there's a small but vocal contingent advocating for

Kyle Banerjee wrote:
 > Technically, I don't think it would be difficult or expensive. But given a sufficiently large population, you should expect people with a juvenile sense of humor to tamper with the sensors.

Good point. The university had a webcam on the roof of one of the buildings here to track the construction of our new CIS/Engineering building, and I kept moving its view to the dead cockroach on the nearby roof.

Maryann Kempthorne wrote:
 > Why not a cardigan checkout?

I have proposed that we have jaguar-print (our mascot) Snuggies available for checkout, but thus far my efforts have been for naught.

Julia Bauder wrote:
 > On the one hand, I love the idea of displaying the temperatures to students on the Web site ("Too cold on the 60 degree 4th floor? Take a break in the 80 degree computer lab in the basement!"), but on the other hand, I don't want to discourage them from studying in the library....

Good point!

Thanks, all!

Ellen Knowlton Wilson
Instructional Services Librarian
Room 250, University Library
University of South Alabama
5901 USA Drive North
Mobile, AL 36688
(251) 460-6045
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