Librarians — in their own words

I’ve spent the last couple of days being inspired by Brendan Dawes‘ book “Analog In, Digital Out“, and playing around with ImageMagick and PerlMagick.

This evening, I felt like doing something for Kathryn Greenhill to commiserate with her for not winning the “Best Librarian/Library Blog” Edublog awards, so here’s what you get if you take ImageMagick, 30 minutes of furious Perl coding, a little bit of random font rotation, a suitable JPEG source image, and the RSS feed from Kathryn’s blog…


I thought Jessamyn West‘s photo might also make for a cool textual mashup too…


In other news, Michael Stephens has gone a little dotty…


  1. This is really nice… are you planning on sharing the code anytime soon?

    If not, do you fancy doing a series of these (say 10) on high profile library bloggers which we can put up as an exhibition on Eduserv Island?


  2. Hi Andy

    That’s a cool idea — feel free to send me the images and blog links!

    The code is a little ugly and quickly hacked together, but I’ve uploaded it to here:

    You’ll need ImageMagick and the PerlMagick Perl module installed. You’ll also need an input image (“input.jpg”) and a file of text (“input.txt”) which could be the text from an RSS feed.

    The code isn’t commented, but the basic flow is…

    1) read in the text file and do a quick and dirty regex to remove tags (this isn’t perfect, but I don’t mind that)

    2) resize the input image to a max width or height of 100 pixels

    3) generate a text file containing the RGB data of the resized image

    4) for each pixel, take the RGB value and use that to decide the fontsize for each letter (white = largest), and use a little randomness to jiggle the letters position and rotation

    6) output the final PNG image (“output.png”)

    The final image will probably need to be cropped manually.

  3. Hi Dave,

    Thanks very much for working your magic. Another “laugh hysterically while reading Dave’s blog” moment.

  4. Fiona said:

    I can imagine lots of techie librarians are now thinking furiously about how to turn these into Christmas cards… šŸ™‚

  5. Heh heh — I want my 10% from the sale of the cards! šŸ˜‰

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: