libraries

Hackathon Winners

 

Over the weekend (Oct. 18-19) I participated in Marcato Festival's first Hackathon. I complain a lot about how few women are involved in technology in Cape Breton and, well, everywhere. Then my friend Leah Noble signed up, and I got all inspired, so I signed up, too. I know a bit of code, but I want to know more, and that's exactly why I signed up. To learn, and for the experience (and, ok, maybe the free beer helped to seal the deal).

So Leah, me, and Ardell MacKinnon, who's the software developer at Pure Project Relations, formed a team ahead of time, and decided we'd build an app for the Cape Breton SPCA. We called ourselves Team LOLCats. Our skills divided up quite nicely--Ardell took the lead on programming, Leah, who's a graphic designer, made the app look good, and I wrangled the data. I got to play around with Petfinder's API and plug in an XML file to the app (an Android app, built in Java). APIs are big in librarianship right now, so I have been really wanting to learn more about them. 

The Hackathon was a competition, but we honestly weren't in it to win. So when they announced our name, we were shocked. Happy, but really surprised. Turns out we were able to build an almost complete app in 2 days, and that really impressed the judges. 

I won't go into too many details, especially since Leah wrote all about the day and our win over at her Dream Big Cape Breton blog. We were also in the Chronicle Herald, and CBC Information Morning interviewed us very early Monday morning. 

Now we have a meeting next week with the CB SPCA and the app may get out into stores and onto phones very soon!

Update: The app is now avaialble at Google Play! Curious how to look under the hood and see the code? Check it out on GitHub!

Making a Difference on Cape Breton Island

Cape Breton's CBC Mainstreet has a series called "Making a Difference," about Cape Bretoners who are doing positive things in their communities on the island. Alyce MacLean, CBC's freelance reporter, interviewed me for the series. We talked about writing in New Waterford, east coast stories, working (as a woman) in technology, and revitalizing the economy of the island by supporting local businesses. Here's the link to the interview! http://www.cbc.ca/mainstreetcb/making-a-difference/2014/09/23/making-a-difference-nicole-dixon/

Confessions of a Reluctant Information Manager

The New Quarterly has posted their e-newsletter, which previews the upcoming issue (#113, due out in January, 2010). In it you can read my "e-exclusive," "Confessions of a Reluctant Information Manager: My First Semester of Library School." Want to know what I've been doing for the last 4 months? Read here!

And look for Issue 113, which features my story "You Wouldn't Recognize Me," on newsstands, in bookstores, and available online, this January!

"We will sample it judiciously!"

"When Olena was a girl, she had called them lie-berries--a fibbing fruit, a story store--and now she had a job in one. She had originally wanted to teach English literature, but when she failed to warm to the graduate study of it, its french-fried theories--a vocabulary of arson!--she'd transferred to library school, where everyone was taught to take care of books, tenderly, as if they were dishes or dolls."

--from Lorrie Moore's "Community Life," Birds of America (1998)