Category Archives: Computer programming

Go To

Go To: the story of the math majors, bridge players, engineers, chess wizards, maverick scientists and iconoclasts – the programmers who created the software revolution by Steve Lohr (Basic Books, 2001).

As the title indicates, this history of programming languages by Steve Lohr, a technology editor for The New York Times, focuses on the people who created the languages. The term “software” was first used in 1958, so this book really tells the entire story of software from the late 1940s up to 2001. In most cases there were one or two main creators, often working for research labs in companies or universities, and a few assistants. The story is told chronologically, so readers can see the context in which each language developed and how they built on each other. Covering all the major and minor programming languages, from COBOL and FORTRAN to BASIC and Pascal to C++ and Java, Lohr provides valuable documentation of recent history that might otherwise be lost. It is also a very interesting book about some fascinating personalities, many business successes and some failures, and the story behind our software-dominated present.

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Web Service APIs and Libraries

Web Service APIs and Libraries by Jason Paul Michel (American Library Association, 2013).

This useful and clearly written manual explains how to use Web Service APIs (application programming interfaces) to make library widgets connecting library users to web applications such as Twitter, Flickr, Google Charts, Google Books, LibraryThing, GoodReads, HathiTrust, and OCLC. All the examples are geared to a librarian with some web programming experience, and provide enough detail to implement them.

Mentoring and Managing Students in the Academic Library by Michelle Reale (American Library Association, 2013) .

This is a very down to earth guide for supervisors of student workers in college and university libraries. It includes advice about hiring, training, and engaging student workers; teaching students professional behavior, motivating them to do quality work, and what to do when things derail. It’s not just about supervision in a library though; Reale explains how librarians need to mentor student workers as they evolve during their college years in what is usually their first job.

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