This month’s event

The next geek night will be on Tuesday 8th April, as usual at The Outlook (formerly Copa), 76-78 Kings Road, Reading, RG1 3BJ. We’ll starting at 7:30 pm, and trundle on until 10  or so. The lineup is as follows:

Keynote Talk

British Library Labs: Exploring new ideas and methods to better understand the cultural and historic heritage held in digital form by the British Library.

Hundreds of thousands of digital items and objects are being created and collected for researchers to use such as digitised manuscripts, sheet music, newspapers, maps, archived websites, radio, performances, TV news broadcasts, and artworks, as well as the more expected items like scanned versions of books.

This wonderful cacophony of content is having a significant effect on how institutions like the Library support the research needs of their users. Will people discover new information when they are no longer restricted to viewing a single page from a single book at a time? How can the Library build systems that provide a coherent route across its content, regardless to whether it is a televised news report or a unique signatures drawn in the margins of a map? How can we use crowd-sourced information, computer vision and machine-learning techniques to provide people with better tools to better judge and interpret the context of illustration or work? How can we exploit animations and interactive infographics to better convey the information bound in our holdings? This is the research space that British Library Labs (BL Labs) explores.

The BL Labs Project Manager, Mahendra Mahey will talk about the British Library Labs project which is about getting scholars to use the British Library’s incredible digital collections for their research, through various activities such as competitions, hack events and projects. He will highlight some of the work that we and others are doing around digital content in libraries and talk about potential projects we would like to encourage researchers to work on and promote our current competition which closes on the 22 April 2014.

T-shirt Night

Let’s face it, many a geek loves a fine t-shirt. Do you haver a funky t-shirt that is funny, carries an interesting meaning or is simply dam cool, that you’d like to say something about? If so, come on down to geek night in your favourite t-shirt and impress us all. That’s not all t-shirt night has to offer though, the other way yo get involved is the match the geek to the t-shirt competition: come along in plain dress but bring a t-shirt with you, and the audience will attempt to match a line up of geeks to their t-shirts. There might be prizes, for whom and what I’m not sure yet …

Lightning Talks, or Ask a Question

If there’s time, or t-shirt night bombs, the rest of the evening will be taken up with lightning talks – up to 10 minutes on the subject of your choice. It can be about anything you like, even something as brief and simple as ‘here’s a cool website I came across recently’ . You’ll be able to sign up to do a talk on the night. On the other hand, if you have a thorny question about something geeky, you’ll have the chance put that question to a room (hopefully) full of clever, knowledgeable people.

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