You are here

planet code4lib

Subscribe to planet code4lib feed
Planet Code4Lib -
Updated: 1 hour 28 min ago

John Miedema: Categories? Tags? Pffft. Words are the true pit of chaos. Or not.

Tue, 2015-03-31 23:31

Categories? Very eighteenth century. Tags? So Web 2.0. Pretty cryptic stuff. What will Lila do differently? Let’s take another step.

Tags are messier than categories; I called tags evil. But tags are easier to manage than the next level down, the words themselves. Tags are messy when left to humans, but tags can be managed with automation. Many services auto-suggest tags, controlling the vocabulary. Lila will generate its own tags, refreshing them on demand. Tags can be managed.

Words are the true pit of chaos. People conform to the rules of language when they write, or they don’t. People make up words on the fly. Down the rabbit hole. But is it so bad? It happens time and again that we think an information problem is too complex to be automated, only to analyze it and discover that we can do a good chunk of what we hoped following a relatively simple set of rules. One mature technology is keyword search. Keyword search is so effective we take it for granted. Words can be managed with the right technologies.

Another mature technology is Natural Language Processing (NLP). Its history dates back to the 1950’s. The field is enjoying a resurgence of interest in the context of cognitive computing. Consider that a person can learn basic capability in a second language with only a couple thousand words and some syntax for combining them. Words and syntax. Data and rules. Build dictionaries with words and their variant forms. Assign parts-of-speech. Use pattern recognition to pick out words occurring together. Run through many examples to develop context sensitivity. Shakespeare it is not, but human meaning can be extracted from unstructured text in this way for many useful purposes.

Lila’s purpose is to make connections between passages of text (“slips”) and to suggest hierarchical views, e.g., a table of contents. I’ve talked a lot about how Lila can compute connections. Keywords and NLP can be used effectively to find common subjects across passages. Hierarchy is something different. How can the words in a passage say something about how it should be ordered relative to other external passages? We can go no deeper than the words. It’s all we have to work with. To compute hierarchy, Lila needs something different, something special. Stay tuned.

DPLA: DPLAfest 2015: Dive into the DPLA Hub network

Tue, 2015-03-31 18:30

The DPLAFest schedule is packed with interesting sessions–everything from ebooks, to project management, to digitization, and education, has a space in the lineup. A set of those programs is related to the DPLA Hubs and the work that they do. In addition to showcasing the incredible work being done by institutions that are part of the DPLA Hub network, it’s a great way for attendees from aspiring Hubs to find out more about the application process. Here are some Hub Highlights from this year’s fest:

Best Practices for Establishing a DPLA Service Hub in Your State/Region: Gear up for the 2015 Content Hub or Service Hub open calls by learning more about what it takes to be a DPLA network Hub. Session speakers include DPLA’s Director for Content Emily Gore, Assistant Director for Content Amy Rudersdorf, and Data Services Coordinator Gretchen Gueguen.

Best Practices for Digitization Training: Want to know more about designing a digitization training program curriculum? Join this session led by two members of the DPLA Hub Network and participants in the Public Library Partnerships Project.

Newspapers and the DPLA: Extra, extra! Learn all about it in this session exploring the potential to integrate newspaper content into the DPLA. Speakers include Head of the Digital Scholarship Center, University of Oregon Libraries, Karen Estlund, and DPLA’s Emily Gore. We’d love to hear your ideas and expertise as we explore this new opportunity.

DPLA Hubs Showcase: The Hubs Showcase will combine a lot of learning with a little bit of fun as we give nine speakers five minutes each to talk about the innovative and unique work they’re doing at their institutions across the US. Topics will range from geospatial metadata best practices in the Mountain West to Fedora/Blacklight systems aggregating South Carolina content, image sharing via the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), access to digitized newspapers in North Carolina, and much more. Set your timer for an information-packed hour.


SearchHub: Speak at Revolution 2015: Call for Papers open through May 8

Tue, 2015-03-31 17:08
As 2015 whizzes by (seriously, March where did you go?), the team at Lucidworks is busy preparing for another exciting Lucene/Solr Revolution, the largest conference dedicated to open source Lucene/Solr, taking place this year in Austin, TX October 13-16. The Call for Papers is now open and we are looking forward to seeing this year’s speaking proposals. The speakers at Lucene/Solr Revolution really are the heart of the conference and provide attendees with an opportunity to hear about so many different ways Lucene and Solr can be used, implemented, and optimized. Last year, we had speakers from companies like Apple, Bloomberg, LinkedIn, Twitter, Airbnb, and more share how they are leveraging Lucene and Solr to better their business. Amazon Web Services, Sematext, Cloudera, Basis Technology, and others shed light on best practices for data visualization, scaling, log management, multilingual search, and more. This year, we want to hear from you! Whether you are a developer, business leader, Solr committer, or someone who just loves search and open source, and have something interesting to share, submit your proposal today. Don’t miss out on the chance to teach, innovate, motivate, and share your experiences with the Solr community and engage with the best and brightest across the industry.  Speaking submissions will be accepted through May 8. Registration for the conference is also now open! Early bird registration is in effect through May 31. Register today to save up to $500 on Conference-Only and Training + Conference packages. For all things Lucene/Solr Revolution 2015, follow us on Twitter @lucenesolrrev and join us on Facebook.  

The post Speak at Revolution 2015: Call for Papers open through May 8 appeared first on Lucidworks.

District Dispatch: Net neutrality battle continues in new venues

Tue, 2015-03-31 17:00

Tom Wheeler. Photo by Adweek.

In the month since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to approve an Order to Protect and Promote the Open Internet, the American Library Association (ALA) and its allies have been wading into the details published by the Commission March 12 to better understand the implications for libraries and higher education. It’s also been a busy time with Congressional hearings and the first lawsuits filed, so an update is in order.

As coalition partner EDUCAUSE notes in a recent blog, the new Order references our coalition’s ideas and proposals nearly 20 times, indicating the impact and value of our engagement in this far-reaching proceeding.

First, and most importantly, the new “bright line” rules adopted protect against internet service providers (ISPs) blocking, degrading or prioritizing legal internet traffic align with the key concerns of the library and higher education coalition, as we wrote earlier. These rules apply to both mobile and fixed broadband, which our coalition has consistently advocated for since 2009. The Commission also strengthened transparency requirements to include the duty to disclose prices and fees, as well as network performance and practices.

The Commission also laid out a standard for future conduct to address concerns that may arise with new technologies and practices. The Order establishes that ISPs cannot “unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage” the ability of consumers to select the online content and services they want and the ability of content providers to reach these consumers. Here again, the FCC cites the higher education and library comments proposing an “internet reasonable” standard that would protect the unique and open character of the Internet.

Our coalition also sought to ensure libraries and educational institutions are again explicitly included in network neutrality protections and to differentiate between public broadband internet access and private networks. The Commission explicitly affirmed both of these points.

Finally, ALA raised concerns about how forbearance from some Title II regulations might impact Universal Service Fund (USF) programs like the E-rate program. We are pleased the Commission recognized that “Even prior to the classification of broadband Internet access service adopted here, the Commission already supported broadband services to schools, libraries, and health care providers and supported broadband-capable networks in high-cost areas.” As a result, the FCC determined that broadband Internet access services would be subject to Section 254 USF protections, but not immediately required to provide USF contributions. It is expected that the contribution question will be addressed in a separate FCC proceeding. The Order also preempts any state from imposing any new state USF contributions on broadband at this time.

Congress has been busy on the network neutrality front, as well. Over the last two weeks Congress has held a series of hearings—including directly questioning FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and fellow FCC Commissioners—that concluded in the House Judiciary Committee last week. While these hearings were contentious—and, at times, contentious among the commissioners themselves—it’s fair to say no major shift in policy by the commissioners was detected nor were minds changed in Congress.

ALA joined (pdf) 137 other groups and companies in a letter thanking Chairman Wheeler, Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel for their leadership in protecting the Open Internet. It was read into the record at the March 17 House Oversight hearing by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) introduced legislation earlier this year that would codify some network neutrality protections while also undermining FCC authority to regulate broadband internet access. Together these two elements leave a gulf between Democrats and Republicans in finding a legislative solution that would truly protect network neutrality and potentially forestall years of litigation. A bipartisan (and non-binding) budget amendment expressing support for network neutrality rules did manage to clear the Senate last Friday, perhaps signaling room for compromise. Republicans are apparently targeting Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), who has indicated openness to discussions but is unwilling to accept language that would usurp FCC authority and oversight powers, for a compromise deal.

As of March 31st, the FCC Order had not yet been published in the Federal Register, which begins the true “shot clock” for Congressional and legal action on the Order. Trade association US Telecom (which includes AT&T, Verizon, Frontier and CenturyLink among its members) and Alamo Broadband couldn’t wait that long—filing suit in two different appeals courts on March 23. Using language all of us are likely to hear a lot more about, US Telecom argues (pdf) the FCC decision is “arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion.” FCC lawyers have argued the suits were filed prematurely and should be rejected.

Expect more drama but likely little immediate resolution. Carrying our message to Capitol Hill about why network neutrality is so vital for libraries and all of our users will be essential. I hope many of you will join with us on National Library Legislative Day to amplify our voice and impact.

The post Net neutrality battle continues in new venues appeared first on District Dispatch.

District Dispatch: The Washington Pest: National Library Legislative Day news

Tue, 2015-03-31 16:56

SCOOP!  ALA Washington Office Encourages Inter-Chapter Fight

Washington, DC – the ALA Washington Office has confirmed that it’s actively pitting state chapter against state chapter in the run up to National Library Legislative Day 2015 (NLLD). In the latest in a record-shattering string of 4,268 reminders about the event, held on May 4 – 5 in the nation’s capital, the Office of Government Relations publicly admitted today that they are actively encouraging competition between the state chapters. “It’s true. We want every state library chapter in the nation to fight tooth and nail . . . to bring more people to NLLD per capita than anybody else, that is, and we plan to reward the winner handsomely,” says OGR Director Adam Eisgrau.

Not-so-secret memoranda leaked to The Pest confirm that all members of the largest state delegation registered for and attending NLLD (as a percentage of the state’s total population) will receive a guided, behind-the-scenes tour of the incredible United States Capitol building.  “We need heroic turnout from every state this year,” added Eisgrau.  “It’s time to take the registration gloves off!”

Register for NLLD today and be sure to book now for a special Capitol Hill hotel room rate; the offer ends this week! The deadline to register online for NLLD is April 24th.

For more information or assistance of any kind, please contact Lisa Lindle, ALA Washington’s Grassroots Communications Specialist, at or 202-403-8222.


The post The Washington Pest: National Library Legislative Day news appeared first on District Dispatch.

HangingTogether: Round of Eight: Peaches and Pumpkins

Tue, 2015-03-31 16:47

OCLC Research Collective Collections Tournament


In December 1891, Dr. James Naismith rigged up an elevated peach basket in a Springfield, Massachusetts gymnasium – and the game of basketball was born. Now, nearly 125 years later, we celebrate Dr. Naismith’s innovation with the third round of the OCLC Research Collective Collections Tournament. We are down to four conferences … did yours make the cut?

[Click to Enlarge]

Competition in the Round of 8 goes to the very roots of basketball: which conference collective collection has the most materials published in the birthplace of basketball, Springfield, Massachusetts?* The Atlantic 10 came through as the big winner, with more than 2,300 publications originating from Springfield. Conference USA was close behind with more than 1,900 publications, winning handily over our erstwhile tournament Cinderella, Big South. After bracket-busting victories over the mighty America East and Big Ten conferences in earlier rounds, Big South could not get past Conference USA in the Round of 8. So the clock has struck midnight, and Big South’s fairytale tournament run has turned back into a pumpkin. Summit League and Missouri Valley join the Atlantic 10 and Conference USA in the next round.

Springfield, Massachusetts boasts much more than the honor of being the birthplace of basketball. Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, was born there (visit the Dr. Seuss Collection at the University of California, San Diego’s Geisel Library). Merriam-Webster, Inc., publisher of the eponymous dictionary, is headquartered in Springfield (visit the Warren N. and Suzanne B. Cordell Collection of Dictionaries at Indiana State University’s Cunningham Memorial Library, to which Merriam-Webster donated 500 volumes). And the Milton Bradley Company, maker of such classic games as Chutes & Ladders, Twister, and Candyland, was founded in Springfield in 1860 (visit the George M. Fox collection of rare children’s books at the San Francisco Public Library, which began as the archives of a publishing company acquired by Milton Bradley in 1920).

Needless to say, the works of Dr. Seuss, Merriam-Webster, and yes, even Milton Bradley, are part of the conference collective collections competing in this tournament!

Bracket competition participants: Remember, if the conference you chose is now watching the tournament from the sidelines, there is still a ray of hope! If no one picked the tournament Champion, all entrants will be part of a random drawing for the big prize!

The tournament semi-finals are next! Results will be posted April 3.


*Number of publications in conference collective collections that were published in Springfield, Massachusetts. Data is current as of January 2015.

[Click to Enlarge]

More information:

Introducing the 2015 OCLC Research Collective Collections Tournament! Madness!

OCLC Research Collective Collections Tournament: Round of 32 Bracket Revealed!

Round of 32: Blow-outs, buzzer-beaters, and upsets!

Round of 16: The plot thickens … and so do the books

About Brian Lavoie

Brian Lavoie is a Research Scientist in OCLC Research. Brian's research interests include collective collections, the system-wide organization of library resources, and digital preservation.

Mail | Web | LinkedIn | More Posts (11)

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: Koha - 3.16.9

Tue, 2015-03-31 16:01

Last updated March 31, 2015. Created by Peter Murray on March 31, 2015.
Log in to edit this page.

Package: KohaRelease Date: Sunday, March 29, 2015

Hydra Project: Hydra 8.0.0 released

Tue, 2015-03-31 13:18

Version 8.0.0 of the Hydra gem has been released!

To use hydra 8.0.0 add the following line to your Gemfile:

gem ‘hydra’, ‘8.0.0’

Then bundle install.  To test things out try the Dive into Hydra tutorial archived in the /doc directory inside the gem which is also on the github wiki:

This release is the first in the line of 8.x releases which are the last supporting Fedora 3.  Hydra 9.0.0 which supports Fedora 4 was previously released.

hydra-head v8.1.0
active-fedora v8.0.1
blacklight v5.10.0
rubydora v1.8.1
om v3.1.0
solrizer v3.3.0
jettywrapper v1.8.3

For full details, please see the individual dependency release notes.  Many thanks to all involved!

Hydra Project: Sufia 6.0.0 released

Tue, 2015-03-31 13:15

We are delighted to announce that Sufia 6.0.0 has been released. It’s been quite an undertaking:

* over 451 commits
* 402 files changed
* 17 contributors from 6 institutions, across the U.S.A and Canada

Some of the new features include:

* Fedora 4 support
* Some optimizations for large files including using ActiveFedora’s streaming API
* New metadata editing forms (inspired by Worthwhile and Curate)
* Store old featured researchers in database
* Support for the latest Hydra components, Blacklight, Rails, and Ruby versions
* Easier overriding of Sufia’s controllers
* Dozens and dozens of bugs squashed, and lots of UI/UX tweaks
* Lots of work on the README

You can read all about it in the release notes, including instructions for upgrading:

We’ve also created a sample application that outlines the steps of upgrading to version 6 and migrating the data from Fedora 3 to Fedora 4:

Penn State has tested this code against their Scholarsphere application where they will be using it to launch their new Fedora 4-based version and migrate its data in April. You will notice that Sufia 5.0, the final Fedora 3-based Sufia version, is still in release candidate status. We hope to have this rectified soon.

Many thanks to all the developers who have made this release possible, and to the leadership at each of their institutions for recognizing the value of this project.

Mark E. Phillips: Metadata Edit Events: Part 4 – Duration, buckets

Tue, 2015-03-31 12:29

This is the fourth in a series of posts related to metadata edit events collected by the UNT Libraries from its digital library system from January 1, 2014 until December 31, 2014.  The previous posts covered when, who, and what.

This post will start the discussion on the “how long” or duration of the dataset.

Libraries, archives, and museums have long discussed the cost of metadata creation and improvement projects, depending on the size, complexity and experience of the metadata creators,  the costs associated with metadata generation, manipulation and improvement can vary drastically.

The amount of time that a person takes to create or edit a specific metadata record is often used in the calculations of what projects will cost to complete.  At the UNT Libraries we have used $3.00 per descriptive record as our metadata costs for projects, and based on the level of metadata created, workflows use, and the system we’ve developed for metadata creation, this number seems to do a good job of covering our metadata creation costs. It will be interesting to get a sense of how much time was spent editing metadata records over the past year and also plotting that to collections, type, formats and partners.  This will involve a bit of investigation of the dataset before we get to those numbers though.

Here is a quick warning about the rest of the post,  for me I’m stepping out into deeper water for me with the analysis I’m going to be doing with our 94,222 edit events. From what I can tell from my research is that there are many ways to go about some of this and I’m not at all claiming that I have the best or even a good approach.  But it has been fun so far.


The reason we wanted to capture event data when we created our Metadata Edit Event Service was to get a better idea of how much time our users were spending on the task of editing metadata records.

This is accomplished by adding a log value into the system with a timestamp, identifier, and username when a record is opened,  and when the record is published back into the system the original log time is subtracted from the published time which results in the number of seconds that were taken for the metadata event. (a side note,  this is also the basis for our record locking mechanism so that two users don’t try and edit the same record at the same time)

There are of course a number of issues with this model that we noticed, first what if the users opens a record and forgets about it and goes to lunch then comes back and publishes the record.  What happens if they open a record and then close it, what happens to that previous log event, is it used the next time?  What happens if a user opens multiple records at once in different tabs,  if they aren’t using the other tabs immediately they are adding time without really “editing” the records.  What if a user makes use of a browser automation tool like Selenium,  won’t that skew your data?

The answer to many of these questions is “yep that happens” and how we deal with them in the data is something that I’m trying to figure out,  I’ll walk you through what I’m doing so far to see if it makes sense.

Looking at the Data Hours

As a reminder,  there are 94,222 edit events in the dataset.  The first thing I wanted to take a look at is how they group into buckets based on hours.  I took the durations and divided them by 3600 with floor division so i should get buckets of 0,1,2,3,4,….and so on.

Below is a table of these values.

Hours Event Count 0 93,378 1 592 2 124 3 41 4 20 5 5 6 8 7 7 8 1 9 4 10 6 11 2 12 1 14 3 16 5 17 3 18 2 19 1 20 1 21 2 22 2 23 2 24 3 25 1 26 1 29 1 32 2 37 1 40 2 119 1

And then a pretty graph of that same data.

Edit Event durations grouped by hour

What is very obvious about this table and graph is that the vast majority with 93,378 (99%) of the edit events taking under one hour to finish.  We already see some outliers with 119 hours (almost an entire work week.. that’s one tough record) on the top end of event duration list.

While I’m not going to get into it with this post,  it would be interesting to see if there are any patterns to find in the 844 records that took longer than an hour to create.  What percentage of that users records took over an hour,  do they come from similar collections, types, formats, or partners?  Something for later I guess.


Next I wanted to look at the edit events that took less than an hour to complete,  where do they sit if I put them in buckets based on 60 seconds.  Filtering out the events that took more than an hour to complete leaves me 93,378 events.  Below is the graph of these edit events.

Edit Event durations grouped by minute for events taking under one hour to complete.

You can see a dramatic curve for the edit events as the number of minutes goes up.

I was interested to see where the 80/20 split for this dataset would be and it appears to be right about six minutes.  There are 17,397 (19%) events occurring from 7-60 minutes and 75,981 (81%) events from 0-6 minutes in length.


Diving into the dataset one more time I wanted to look at the 35,935 events that happened in less than a minute.  Editing a record in under a minute for me takes a few different paths.  First you could be editing a simple field like changing a language code or a resource type,  second you could be just “looking” at a record and instead of closing the record you hit “publish” again. You might also be switching a record from the hidden state to the unhidden state (or vice versa), finally you might be using a browser automation tool to automate your edits.   Let’s see if we can spot any of these actions when we look at the data.

Edit Event durations for events taking under one minute to complete.

By just looking at the data above it is hard to say which of the kinds of events mentioned above map to different parts of the curve.  I think when we start to look at individual users and collections some of this information might make a little more sense.

This is going to wrap up this post,  in the next post I’m hoping to define the cutoff that will designate “outliers” from data that we want to use for the calculation of average times for metadata creation and then see how that looks for our various users in the system.

As always feel free to contact me via Twitter if you have questions or comments.

Meredith Farkas: True confessions

Tue, 2015-03-31 04:43

When my brain was completely full on Thursday at the ACRL Conference, Jad Abumrad’s keynote felt like a spa for my brain. For those who don’t know, he is the co-host of Radiolab, a very cool and innovative show on NPR, and the recipient of one of those fancy schmancy MacArthur genius grants. Good call ACRL planning committee! His keynote was brilliant and it was coming at a time when I’ve been reflecting on where I am in my career now that I feel like I’m not in survival mode anymore.

For those who missed Jad’s talk, here’s another one he gave two years ago that covered some similar territory:

Jad Abumrad: Why "Gut Churn" Is an Essential Part of the Creative Process from 99U on Vimeo.

I have such admiration for people who are confident. People who are poised. People who are strong advocates for themselves. People who are quick thinkers. People who are energized, not anxious, when in a crowd of people. People who can be politic. People who are brave. I have a lot of friends I wish I was more like. But I’ve also learned over the years that many of the people I thought were all those things were actually just as big a ball of neuroses as I am. That a lot of people I thought were so confident were actually overcompensating for major insecurities.

People you admire are probably more than meets the eye too.

There are people who say they admire me. I’ve always been uncomfortable with that because I don’t think I deserve it. I’m also uncomfortable because I worry that it creates this false expert vs. novice dichotomy that might make them think they can’t achieve what I have. Anyone can do what I’ve done.

I know a lot of people who are afraid to take risks in their work and/or are in difficult work situations that are killing their passion for their work. In the interest of encouraging other people who are struggling, and inspired by Jad’s talk (though not nearly as eloquent), I’m going to share a bit here.

I am a big ball of self-doubt.

Have you let doubt keep you from trying something or pursuing an idea? Well, screw that! I have never felt certain about anything I’ve done while I was doing it. The entire time we were working on Library DIY, there was a constant voice in the back of my mind telling me “this is crap. There’s a reason no one has done something like this and that’s because it makes no sense.” I’ve cringed when hitting publish on the vast majority of blog posts I’ve written because I think most times that the ideas I have are stupid.

Jad talked about how “gut churn” is an essential part of the creative process. That feeling of anxiety and doubt and panic when you’re trying to do something really creative and different is very normal and very necessary. I’ve always believed that talented, accomplished, and creative people feel really certain about their projects and path (á la Steve Jobs), but it was a relief to know that I’m not alone in feeling the “gut churn.”

So many of us are stopped in our tracks by fears that our ideas are not innovative or even good. Sometimes we’re right and sometimes we’re wrong. I’ve had projects fail and I’ve had projects succeed beyond my wildest dreams, but I’m always glad I went for it because I learned from every one of them.

I’m starting to realize that “gut churn” is better than certainty, because it leaves you more open to making changes and improvements based on what you hear from others (colleagues, patrons, etc.). The more stuck you get on the perfect rightness of your original vision, the less likely you’ll be to accept feedback and make improvements. I’ve learned to develop some amount of detachment from my projects, so that when my work is criticized, it doesn’t feel like a criticism of me. Becoming defensive isn’t productive, and I regret times when I was defensive about stuff in the past.

I’m more of a beginner now than I was before.

One of my favorite former colleagues sent me an article entitled “The importance of stupidity in scientific research.” What I initially thought was a joke actually was a fantastic editorial about seeking out opportunities to “feel stupid;” where you can’t easily find an answer and have to struggle, learn, and make your own discoveries.

Productive stupidity means being ignorant by choice. Focusing on important questions puts us in the awkward position of being ignorant. One of the beautiful things about science is that it allows us to bumble along, getting it wrong time after time, and feel perfectly fine as long as we learn something each time. No doubt, this can be difficult for students who are accustomed to getting the answers right. … The more comfortable we become with being stupid, the deeper we will wade into the unknown and the more likely we are to make big discoveries.

I was a high achiever in high school and, at the elite college I attended where I felt perpetually out of my depth, I avoided taking classes that scared and challenged me. What a waste. I’ve come to love the anxiety of doing something new that I’m not necessarily a natural at. Public speaking was something that used to terrify me, but over time, I became increasingly comfortable and found my voice as a speaker. Moving from a university to a community college put me back into the beginner role, and I’ve grown so much as an instructor over the past few months because of it. Feeling ignorant (as I did in my first term here) is not a comfortable thing, but it makes you struggle more and learn more to get beyond that beginner state.

I don’t consider myself an expert at anything. There are some things I’m better at than others, but in my teaching, my writing, my speaking, and everything else I do professionally, I am a work in progress; a perpetual beginner. Having that attitude leaves us open to learning and growth.

Haters gonna hate, but don’t let them define you.

I’m one of those people who just wants to be liked. I’m a people pleaser. I remember in my sophomore year of college, I lived in a house where most of my housemates were always fighting with each other. My buddy Dan Young and I were like Switzerland where everyone bitched to us about other people and we just tried to stay neutral and sympathetic.

I’ve always gotten along with people in the workplace, so when I had what I can only describe as a “nemesis” in one of my jobs, I had no idea how to handle it. This was someone who had been up for the management job I got. I tried to connect with her and be friendly, but she did everything in her power to undercut me in meetings and make me look bad to our superiors and colleagues. I constantly heard from colleagues about her saying bad things about me behind my back, as if I was some kind of horrible person, which made me wonder if I was. I hate that I let her get to me so much. But when she started alienating other people at work, I realized it wasn’t all about me.

The good thing that came out of this experience is that I’m now more ok with not being liked, especially when I’m pretty sure there was nothing I did to deserve it. Sometimes it’s not really about you, but about a situation or the fragile ego of the other person. Sometimes you’re walking into a context that dooms you from the start. It’s always worth starting from a place where you examine your own behavior to see if you somehow caused the problem, but you shouldn’t hang your whole sense of self-worth on whether or not your colleagues adore you.

Even my painful experiences have led to valuable learning.

I spent a big part of the past four years feeling like a failure. Every time I started to feel good about the work I was doing, something or someone came and smacked me down. Still, I’ve learned so much about myself and how to handle difficult work and political situations because of the experiences I had.

In the talk I shared above, Jad talks about reframing awful things that happen; using them as an arrow to point you toward the solution. That’s what led me to my current job, one that was not at all what I’d envisioned as my future when I was at Norwich five years ago. Yet it fits me like a glove. When I was feeling horrible about work, I thought a lot about what the right job would look like. And it looked quite a bit like what I’m doing now. Pain has a way of sharpening your focus and showing you the right path.

I deserve good things. So do you.

I’m not perfect. I’ve made mistakes and I’m sure I’ll make more in the future. I’m a work in progress, but I’m always striving to be better. I want to be a supportive colleague and be good at my job. I want to be a good wife and mother. I want to feel like I’m contributing to the profession beyond my library in useful ways. I’m working on getting used to the happiness I feel now that I’m in a job I love. I’m trying to be nicer to myself. I’m trying to feel like I deserve these good things that are happening for me.

We all deserve good things. We are all works in progress. Don’t let your own doubts or the stories you’ve got in your head (or that people tell you) about what you can and can’t do prevent you from taking risks and growing. Try. If the worst thing to fear is failure (and recognizing that you will learn from it either way), it doesn’t seem like such a huge risk to take.

Image credit: Gut churn, by Dreadful Daily Doodles

DuraSpace News: Call For Sixth Annual VIVO Conference Papers–Open Through April 24

Tue, 2015-03-31 00:00

Boston, MA  The Sixth Annual VIVO Conference will be held August 12-14, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, overlooking Boston. The VIVO Conference creates a unique opportunity for people from across the country and around the world to come together to explore ways to use semantic technologies and linked open data to promote scholarly collaboration and research discovery.

DPLA: Sharing Data for Better Discovery and Access

Mon, 2015-03-30 21:00

The Internet Archive and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) are pleased to announce a joint collaborative program to enhance sharing of collections from the Internet Archive in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The Internet Archive will work with interested Libraries and content providers to help ensure their metadata meets DPLA’s standards and requirements. After their content is digitized, the metadata would then be ready for ingestion into the DPLA if the content provider has a current DPLA provider agreement.

The DPLA is excited to collaborate with the Internet Archive in this effort to improve metadata quality overall, by making it more consistent with DPLA requirements, including consistent rights statements. Better data means better access. In addition to providing DPLA compliant metadata services, the Internet Archive also offers a spectrum of digital collection services, such as digitization, storage and preservation. Libraries, Archives and Museums who chose Internet Archive as their service provider have the added benefit of having their content made globally available through Internet Archive’s award winning portals, and

“We are thrilled to be working with the DPLA”, states Robert Miller, Internet Archive’s  General Manager of Digital Libraries. “With their emphasis on providing not only a portal and a platform, but also their advocacy for public access of content, they are a perfect partner for us”.

Rachel Frick, DPLA’s Business Development Director says, “The Internet Archive’s mission of ‘Universal Access to All Knowledge’, coupled with their end-to-end digital library solutions complements our core values.”

Program details are available upon request.


FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: ArchivesSpace - 1.2.0

Mon, 2015-03-30 20:43

Last updated March 30, 2015. Created by Peter Murray on March 30, 2015.
Log in to edit this page.

Package: ArchivesSpaceRelease Date: Monday, March 30, 2015

Nicole Engard: Bookmarks for March 30, 2015

Mon, 2015-03-30 20:30

Today I found the following resources and bookmarked them on Delicious.

Digest powered by RSS Digest

The post Bookmarks for March 30, 2015 appeared first on What I Learned Today....

Related posts:

  1. Encyclopaedia Britannica Goes — Gasp! — Wiki
  2. Can you say Kebberfegg 3 times fast
  3. Are you backing up?

John Miedema: Tags are the evil sisters of Categories. Surprising views, sour fast. Lila offers a different approach.

Mon, 2015-03-30 20:26

I’m a classification nut, as I told you. In the last post I told you about the way I organize files and emails into folders. Scintillating stuff, I know. But let’s go a level deeper toward Lila by talking about tagging. Tags are the evil sisters of categories. Categories are top-down classification — someone on high has a idealized model of how everything fits into nice neat buckets. Tags are situational and bottom-up. In the heat of the moment, you decide that this file or that email is about some subject. Tags don’t conform to a model, you make them up on the fly. You add many tags, as many as you like. Mayhem! I’ve tried ‘em, I don’t like ‘em.

Tags do one thing very well, they let you create surprising views on your content. Categories suffer from the fact that they only provide one view, a hierarchical structured tree. Tags let you see the same content in many different ways. Oh! Look. There’s that short story I wrote tagged with “epic.” And there’s those awesome vacation pics tagged with the same. Hey, I could put those photos on that story and make it so much better. But the juice you get out of tags sours fast. The fact that they are situational and bottom-up causes their meaning to change. “Bad” and “sick” used to mean negative things. As soon as people get about a hundred tags they start refactoring them, merging and splitting them, using punctuation like underscores to give certain tags special meanings. Pretty soon they dump the whole lot of them and start over. Tags fail. What people really want is, yup, categories.

Lila is a new way to get the juice out of tags without going sour. Lila works collaboratively with the author to organize writing. Lila will let writers assign categories and tags, but treat them as mere suggestions. The human is smart, Lila knows, and needs his or her help, so it will use the author’s suggestions to come up with its own set of categories and tags. Lila’s technique will be based on natural language processing. Best part, the tags can also be regenerated at the click of a button, so that the tags never sour. You get the surprising views and the tags maintain their freshness. Sweet.

I’ve been pretty down on tags in this post, so I will say there is one more thing that tags do quite well. They connect people, like hash tags in twitter. They form lose groupings of content so that disparate folks can find each other. It doesn’t apply so much to a solitary writing process, but it might fit to a social writing process. I will think on that.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: Sufia - 6.0.0

Mon, 2015-03-30 20:03

Last updated March 30, 2015. Created by Peter Murray on March 30, 2015.
Log in to edit this page.

Package: SufiaRelease Date: Friday, March 27, 2015

Roy Tennant: Want To See More Women in Tech? Mentor Someone

Mon, 2015-03-30 16:50

I was not much more than a newly-minted librarian when my greatest professional mentor gave me a chance at something that would launch my career beyond the confines of my institution onto an international stage. It was in the early 90s, when the Internet was just beginning to take off at large research libraries around the United States. If you can, and I know it’s difficult, imagine libraries without the Internet. Imagine society without the Internet.

Anne Lipow was entrusted with developing and delivering technology and bibliographic classes to both staff and faculty at UC Berkeley, and she took the responsibility very seriously. She would prowl the halls of Doe Library looking for young turks like myself, to pull us in to developing and delivering courses on how to connect to the newly-online library catalog or how to use this new thing called Gopher. I almost started ducking into doorways when I spotted her coming down the hall. And now I’m really glad I was more stupid than cowardly. Because I could never have predicted what would come next.

Anne retired from Berkeley and started her own consultancy: Library Solutions Institute. She began planning her very first event — an all-day hands-on workshop on how to use the Internet timed to coincide with the ALA Annual Conference to be held in San Francisco in June 1992. She signed me up to help, as well as John Ober. Clifford Lynch agreed to be the ending keynote of one group and the beginning keynote of another, thereby allowing us to sign up two cohorts over two days.

We began work on a set of handouts that soon led to a binder to hold them all and the dawning realization that we had a book on our hands. Anne changed the name of her business to Library Solutions Institution and Press and we were off to the races. Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook was published later that year and it took off, and my speaking career took off with it. Before long I was traveling to foreign countries such as Romania and Hungary, giving workshops based on that text. Between the royalties and speaking fees, my wife and I were able to financially weather the impact of twins born in February 1993. Without it, I shudder to think.

So you will not find a stronger advocate for mentorship than me. That’s why I have tried to focus on finding young female professionals interested in library technology to mentor, so as a profession we can increase the number of women in tech librarianship. I know that a diversity of perspectives, skills, and abilities is by its very nature a good thing. And the more of us out there increasing diversity of all kinds in library tech librarianship, the better off the entire profession will be.

Anne, I miss you. But your example and inspiration is alive and well.


Islandora: Islandora Foundation: Meet the Partners

Mon, 2015-03-30 14:45

The Islandora Foundation has been very fortunate to welcome six new Partner-level members in the past few months, due in large part to enthusiasm over our ongoing Fedora 4/Islandora 7.x upgration project. I'd like to take some time in this week's blog to highlight those new members, and all of the Foundation supporters who have helped us to get where we are today. Which is a pretty good spot for a non-profit of less than two years: we are on the verge of our third community-led release, upgrading to support the latest in Fedora, holding Camps all over the world, and planning our first conference.

So let's take a look at the Partners who are helping the Islandora Foundation to thrive:

When we launched in July 2013, it was with the backing of two initial partners who have always been a part of Islandora's story: UPEI and discoverygarden, Inc. Islandora was born at UPEI under the guidance of University Librarian Mark Leggott, who continues on at the current Chairman of our Board of Directors.

Discoverygarden, in this context, is sort of like the Foundation's older sibling who went to work in the private sector. By providing services to install and customize an open source software platform and donating many of their developments right back for public use, it developed alongside Islandora while making huge contributions to the codebase, and developers at dgi continue to produce and refine a lot of the core functions that make Islandora work.

The next institution to step up to the plate as a Partner is LYRASIS. One of the Foundation's first Collaborator members, LYRASIS is a non-profit membership organization committed to the success of libraries and cultural heritage organizations. It partners with members create, access, and manage information with an emphasis on digital content. In the Islandora community, LYRASIS has had an active presence on the Roadmap Committee, the Board of Directors, a number of Interest Groups, and most Islandora Camps (to the point where we feel a little bereft when there's no one from LYRASIS in attendance).

When they renewed their membership this year, LYRASIS decided to bump up to Partner to help support the upgration. This is a common theme with our new Partners. Fedora 4 is a great step forward and it is awesome how many in the community have committed to seeing it happen.

Their Assistant Director for Digital Technology Services, Peter Murray, was already a member of the Islandora Foundation Board at our request, and will be continuing in this role.

The University of Manitoba is a public university in Winnipeg, Manitoba. A founding Member in the Islandora Foundation, they also bumped up to Partner to help the Fedora 4 upgration. Their Web Application Developer, Jared Whiklo, has been an active participant on the front lines of the project, working with Nick and Danny to get the prototype off the ground. The library's Head of Discovery & Delivery Services, Lisa O'Hara, is joining the Foundation's Board of Directors.

McMaster University is another long-time Collaborator in the Foundation. Like LYRASIS and the University of Manitoba, their new Partnership helps to support the future of Islandora with Fedora 4. Already a a big help to the community through member's participating in Interest Groups and the Roadmap Committee, we are looking forward to having McMaster represented on our Board of Directors by Dale Askey.

York University makes the move to Partner from Collaborator through their very generous in-kind donation of a resource that has proven absolutely vital to the Fedora 4 upgration: Nick Ruest's time. They are also piloting a migration from Fedora 3 to 4 that will most likely serve as the framework on which the entire community can base such migrations in the future. 

Adam Taves, Acting Associate University Librarian for Collections & Research, will be joining the Board of Directors on York's behalf.


Simon Fraser University is one of two new Partners who are joining the Foundation for the first time this year - although it has long been an active contributor to the Islandora community through the efforts of members like Mark Jordan and Alex Garnett. Indeed, Mark Jordan was already a member of the Islandora Foundation Board of Directors and will be staying on with us.

We were very fortunate to be able to first announce SFU's Partnership right on their downtown campus at Islandora Camp BC last February.


Our very newest Partner is not quite our first European member (that distinction belongs to to digiBESS group in Italy), but it is our first European Partner. The University of Limerick joins us in part to support the Fedora 4 upgration and will be represented on the Board by Caleb Derven. And maybe, if we are very lucky, we'll get to invite you all to an Islandora Camp in their fair city. Because this:

Photo by: William Murphy

ACRL TechConnect: A Video on Browser Extensions

Mon, 2015-03-30 13:00

I thought we’d try something new on ACRL TechConnect, so I recorded a fifteen-minute video discussing general use cases for browser extensions and some specifics of Google Chrome extensions.

The video mentions my WikipeDPLA post on this blog and walks through some slides I presented at a Code4Lib Northern California event.

If you’re looking for another good extension example in libraryland, Stephen Schor of New York Public Library recently wrote extensions for Chrome and Firefox that improve the appearance and utility of the Library of Congress’ EAD documentation. The Chrome extension uses the same content script approach as my silly example in the video. It’s a good demonstration of how you can customize a site you don’t control using the power of browser add-ons.

Have you found a use case for browser add-ons at your library? Let us know in the comments!