VALA Tech Camp 2019 Diversity Scholarship, sponsored by Linux Australia

VALA proudly announces the successful applicant of the Tech Camp 2019 Diversity Scholarship sponsored by Linux Australia is Corinna Baerhold, Moranbah Library Supervisor at Isaac Regional Libraries.

Corinna has an interest in community engagement possibilities inside as well as outside the library space and was selected largely based on her intention to bring the knowledge she gains at tech camp to her community – via email and the Isaac Library Wiki page in the SLQ wiki, and through blog writing for SLQ.

This scholarship enables individuals facing barriers such as geographical isolation, financial or under-representation, to participate in library and technical events, with the financial support to help them achieve their career goals. Corinna will receive free registration to Tech Camp 2019 in April, as well as flights and accommodation up to the value of $2,000.

Congratulations Corinna. We look forward to welcoming you to Tech Camp 2019!

Video interview with Corinna Baerhold

Read Corinna’s report below and view the video interview:

Despite the cold, when I got off the plane in Melbourne I was really excited about the opportunity given to join the Vala Tech Camp 2019, funded through the Diversity Scholarship by Linux Australia.

The mix of short talks and workshops gave participants the opportunity to hear about myriad technology related topics in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums sector. Workshops, run on both days, allowed participants to try hands on solutions to data, coding and electronics challenges.

Short talks were presented by a variety of speakers from various backgrounds giving a comprehensive overview of the topics and the areas they can be applied in. The focus of all talks was on forward thinking, preservation in all areas of GLAM and a “hunger” for exploration, outlining new ways of supporting our communities.

While it was difficult to choose from the range of workshops, I decided to attend the “Introduction to programming with Python” and “Make a gadgety … thing?” workshop. Python as a versatile programming language is vital to programming the NAO robot, which is why I attended the workshop. Starting at an introductory level, the workshop was example based and focused on problem solving, giving a general overview of the basic coding structure with Python.

In the “Make a gadgety … thing?” workshop participants were able to build and learn about using electronics to solve issues in the library environment through a NodeMCU, the program Arduino, creating an API and RFID. Within an incredible two hours participants had created an RFID reader, connected to an Excel spreadsheet via Wi-Fi and API, reading out data. This was an experience I will have to recreate to make sure I can replicate the result and use the acquired information for my library service.

I would like to encourage anyone who might be thinking about applying for the Diversity Scholarship in the future to do so and to share the information with anyone who would otherwise not be able to attend. I have been inspired by the individuals I was able to meet and I am grateful for the connections made, allowing me to further discuss challenges and possibilities in GLAM.