Unconference Time!

We held an unconference recently with students from varius departments coming to talk and learn about LaTeX, Raspberry Pi computers, and more!



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January 2015 Makerspace!

Minutes? News? We don’t have any of that! But here are some photos from the pop up Makerspace we held on January 16th.






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Meeting Minutes, November 12th, 2014

Date: Nov 12, 2014

Start time: 1:15 PM end: 1:35 PM

Attendees: Hedda Monaghan, Krista Parham, Eka Grguric , Rebecca Lahr, Micky Byrnes, Matthew Murray, Monica Swamiraj, Maggie Faber, Rob Hamaker, Stephanie Fan, Bonnie Paige

* Eka stepped down as Co-chair as she took up a position with ASIS&T proper

* ASIS&T recap meeting

   ** ASIS&T @ UBC to potentially host a conference session where ASIS&T attendees will present their posters and discussions
   ** Goals: publicize good work done by students, motivate and inspire other students, talk about how to publish in a conference, prep for a conference, etc.
   ** Formats to conduct the recap meeting: similar to research day? piggy-back on unconference in Jan?
   ** Krista will ask if faculty members who presented at ASIS&T would also like to participate
   ** Location: Trail room? Or piggy-back on unconference in Jan
   ** Dates: last week of November? But everyone will be busy. Potentially combine with unconference.
* Eka voted for no meetings on Wednesdays
* Krista will ask for reimbursement from LASSA
* Hedda provided an update on Beginner’s Excel workshop
* Makerspace
   ** Krista will share a google doc that contains a list of things that ASIS&T @ UBC proposes to buy with the ASIS&T grant for makerspace
   ** Next makerspace will take place on Friday (Nov 14).
** We will also have knitting supplies there
   ** Krista will send photos from previous makerspace to Matthew
* Hedda proposed “Cool Tools unconference” to be held in January, potentially the first Friday of the term. She emphasized the need to start planning early
   ** Hedda can be a host
   ** Matthew suggested creating a wiki for topics
   ** Krista suggested getting speakers from outside SLAIS (like Rama from VIVA who came last year)
   ** We still need to decide on: volunteers, food, logistics, advertising
   ** Hedda will shoot an email for volunteers

* Anna could not make it to the meeting but had following information, which Krista read out:

“[Anna] was approached by someone who wanted to know if the ASIS&T at UBC chapter would be interested in mocking up a simple MP3 player for use by disabled patrons. Generally the buttons/touch screens on many MP3 players aren’t usable by disabled populations. She was interested in a simple device that could be made by her own library via various components that are generally readily available.”

“The SIG ED (that’s the Education SIG) is interested in working with ASIS&T chapters. They’d love to help us do events or learn new skills (for instance, they do a lot of webinars and would be happy to talk with us about how to put together a webinar) [Anna doesn’t] have many details yet, but [will] be attending their next meeting virtually in a month or so and could suggest things. If we’re interested in working with an ASIS&T SIG and building closer connections to the organization, this is a chance to do so.”

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ASIS&T Conference!

Recently the ASIS&T conference happened in Seattle. Several of us had posters accepted in the conference, so we decided to head down!


Krista and Anna showing off our poster.


Stephanie and Eka showing off our poster.


Elise showing off her poster.

(From left): Krista, Matthew, Eka, Anna, Stephanie.


Our poster! Here’s a PDF version.


Our award! (Given to us by the fabulous Sara Chizari.)

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Meeting Minutes, 2014/10/15

ASIS&T Meeting – Oct 15
Start time: 1:05 PM
End time: 1:28 PM
Chair: Eka

Attendees: Eka Grguric, Matthew Root, Samuel Dodson, Monica Swamiraj, Matthew Murray, Micky Byrnes, Krista Parham, Maggie Faber, Bonnie Paige


1. Events
a. Conference – who has been in touch with others? Place to stay?
b. SLAISers who code: 5 PM tonight Trail Room
Mickey – signs ready!
Wednesdays works best for others
ASIS&T wiki has list of resources/tools/resources
2. Makerspace report
a. Can we have more faculty members? Nice to meet with real person behind faculty. BUT, might cause people to shut down. However, we did not reach a consensus at this point.
b. Our last makerspace went well!
Nail polish – we painted nails
Felt puppets – Krista & Anna
Video game emulator – Matthew M
c. Stuff available for people to work on
d. People should add projects to the wiki
e. Make makerspace wiki more findable!!
f. Tweet coffee pot – with power switch tail – everyone’s excited about this project!
g. Krista – to make a list of things we need for the makerspace because Eka says that “as long as we have a list, we can ask ASIS&T for money”
h. Matthew/Bonnie will look into the campus grants for our stuff
3. Treasurer report
a. We have enough funds
b. LASSA is giving money this week
c. Krista has receipts – to be filled in by Krista herself! She will submit to Michael Wynn, who is the LASSA treasurer
4. Excel tutorial
a. Maggie – has taught basic stuff before, but knows how to do cool stuff. Has handouts for basics, will prep for advanced.
b. two sessions – so people can start with basics and move to the next level.
c. Tuesday: lunch hour – 2 Tuesdays in November: 4th and 18th 12noon to 1 PM
d. Krista: Snack and ?: Coffee and Eka: promotion. Send to listserv and ask for volunteers
e. Send signup sheet – full event
5. ASIS&T report
a. Hedda and Eka are working on the report.
b. Krista will send the list of things needed for makerspace, so they can be included in the report
6. All you can eat SUSHI – ideas?
7. Funding issues
a. AMS group – do we have more funding opportunity? Bonnie to look
b. Grants from GSS, access to signage etc.
c. Money in AMS bank that needs to transfer to ASIS&T

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Meeting Minutes, 2014/09/11

Here’s a re-cap of our last meeting and a few important links! Our next meeting is on Wednesday, October 15th at 1pm in the Trail Room!
ASIS&T@UBC Information and Resources
  • The research group will be meeting this Tuesday, September 16th at 5pm. To find out more please get in touch with Krista or Anna.
  • SLAISers Who Code will be meeting on Wednesday, October 15th at 5pm (same day as our next meeting!)
  • The Raspberry Pi / Maker Faire group will be getting together soon; meeting time TBA. If interested in getting involved, get in touch!
  • Traditionally we have “Cool Tools Days” but over the past year we’ve tried to increase attendance by having a “Cool Tools” Unconference. We’re looking for volunteers to help coordinate this!
  • We are planning an Excel Workshop (intermediate to advanced, here’s some background on what we’ve done so far). If interested in participating either though organizing it or helping to lead it we’re definitely looking for volunteers!
Upcoming Conferences
  • The ASIS&T Conference is in Seattle from October 31st to November 5th. If you are interested in going, contact Eric Meyers (our group’s faculty adviser) – we can get a group discount if a bunch of us sign up together (and e-mail soon, early bird ends on September 19th).

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Push it at VMMF

Aw yeah! Maker Faire!

I think we can say that it went great! We gave out lots of book recommendations to people, met lots of librarians, were able to enthuse about raspberry pi computers, and apart from the “small” problem of no children’s books in our machine everything went great! (Who would have thought that children would want to push a mysterious button?)

DSCN1857(Krista and Stephanie at the booth.)

Here’s an article on the Georgia Straight’s website where they interviewed me about the project and makerbrarian stuff in general. Unfortunately they failed to mention ASIS&T at all! : (

(Thanks to our faculty adviser Eric Myers for the first three photos in this post.)


Check out this awesome skull we borrowed from another booth.


And our raspberry made out of balloons!

So what’s next? I’ll be taking the machine to the ALA conference in Las Vegas, we’ll be giving a talk at the UBC Library Camp on July 25th, Koerner Library has expressed interest in having the machine in their library in September, we’re in the process of sending in a poster proposal for the ASIS&T conference in Seattle this fall, and who knows what else!


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Maker Faire!



Check it out! That’s our box! It prints things! It’s amazing!

You can come and see it (and use it!) at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire this weekend (June 7th-8th) at the PNE! More info here. We’ll be in booth B10 (hopefully the one with a giant raspberry made out of balloons) and we hope to see you there!

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Raspberry Pi Construction (part 2)

Last time we showed you how we set up our Raspberry Pi and managed to print something on our thermal printer! This post will show you the rest of the process for building our Readers’ Advisory machine.

Here we are watching the Eurovision semifinals on the projection screen.

Here are all the snacks we had (this is important).

Here are our wires! And the button we had (that didn’t work, more on this later).

Monica working on the code.

Wires plugged into our breadboard. The red button was missing a key component so we couldn’t actually wire it in. Oops.

Wires and cables everywhere!

Monica and Stephanie finishing off the code for the printer.

And it works!

Here’s a video if it in action.

We wrote up a bunch of reviews which are randomly pulled from a CSV file.

If you look carefully you’ll see the spacing and other issues we dealt with for the printer.

And that was all we could accomplish on that day! We’d have to come back on Saturday to finish everything off.


Thankfully the Eurovision finals were on, so we could still watch those.

Whoops. Turns out we also bought the wrong resistor thing, but thanks to our extra long bread board we were able to wire stuff together.

All the wires in action.

Our shiny new button!

Hooking everything together.

It’s alive, alive!

Just a few hours later was the Maker Faire social. So we hauled our gear downtown to the Mozilla office and set everything up for people to see what we’d been doing.

Of course (of course!) it didn’t work. Why didn’t it work? We don’t know.

We double checked how all the cables were hooked up.

And it worked! Right now we still need to hook it up to a monitor to get everything running, but we’ll soon have that fixed.

Here’s the sign we made to explain what the machine was.

Krista, Monica, and Stephanie Basking in the delight of having a working machine.

Some of the other people at the social. We met a person from UBC Rapid who will hopefully be making a case for us!

Next up is the show and tell in the SLAIS lounge at 5pm on Wednesday the 21st, and then the Maker Faire on June 7th and 8th! (And if you can’t make either of those, the machine will be around at other events too.)

Don’t forget to write us some reviews for the machine!

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Raspberry Pi Construction!

So we bought a Raspberry Pi recently in order to make a rad RA fortune telling machine for the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. This week a bunch of us got together in order to get everything working and installed, and hook it up to the rest of the machine.

It looks like this! It’s pretty tiny.

Installing stuff!

Stripping wires for the printer.

Screwing wires into another thing!

Stuff is happening! Wait, should this be happening?

Apparently not. We goofed up and had to reinstall the operating system.

This takes a long time. So…

We played Pirates of the Caribbean Life! It is really terrible and poorly made. But it was hilarious!

Meanwhile, Stephanie, Monica, and Eka (she took this photo) are actually doing work. Thankfully they fixed things.

We take the lid off the Pi (this took too long and too many people) and hooked up the printer. And things didn’t work.

Guess what! You have to plug in the HDMI cable for things to show up on screen. We forgot to do this multiple times. Grad school!

Oh my gosh! It’s working!!!!

Next time we’ll get our button to work, and get the software that will print the readers’ advisory information to print. Hurray!

Thanks to Eka, Stephanie, Monica, Anna, Krista/Eva, Irina, Robert, and me (Matthew).

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