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Cynthia Ng: Zipping Files for Distribution: on Mac & In a Batch on Windows

Thu, 2015-05-07 02:38
A lot of users don’t understand the sometimes lack of interoperability of zip files depending on how they zip things. In other cases, someone might know that automating or batch zipping is possible but don’t realize how easy it can be. The Problem: Using Compress on a Mac While Apple has made it really easy … Continue reading Zipping Files for Distribution: on Mac & In a Batch on Windows 

District Dispatch: Hundreds to gather in D.C. for 41st annual National Library Legislative Day

Wed, 2015-05-06 19:04

This week, hundreds of library supporters met in Washington, D.C. to speak with their legislators about the importance of libraries. From May 4–5, 2015, more than 400 library advocates met with members of Congress as part of National Library Legislative Day to discuss key library issues during the American Library Association’s (ALA) 41st annual National Library Legislative Day.

This year, National Library Legislative Day advocates asked their congressional representatives to fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and support programs that provide school libraries with needed funds for materials.

The Honorable Senator Dorgan greets the crowd.

Additionally, advocates asked legislators to support library policy issues, such as the restoration of reasonable expectations of privacy.

Former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) jumpstarted the opening briefing discussion by speaking about the importance of constituent advocacy. Additional speakers include American Library Association President Courtney Young and Patrice McDermott, director of

During the annual event, the ALA Washington Office awarded Mas’ood Cajee, a library advocate from Stockton, California, the 2015 White House Conference on Library and Information Services (WHCLIST) Award. Given to a non-librarian participant attending National Library Legislative Day, the award covers hotel fees in addition to a $300 stipend to reduce the cost of attending the event.

WHCLIST Awardee Mas’ood Cajee with ALA President CourtneyYoung.

Cajee is on the board of the Library & Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County, and serves as the chair for Strong Libraries = Strong Communities, a group working toward a ballot measure that will support his city’s county library system.

Join others in notifying the local press about your advocacy efforts! The Record recently published a feature article on Cajee for receiving the WHCLIST Award, while the News & Record wrote about the young students who joined the North Carolina Library Delegation during this year’s National Library Legislative Day.

Now that the annual advocacy event has ended, National Library Legislative Day participants are encouraged to use the following media template tools to notify local media outlets about their advocacy work:

The post Hundreds to gather in D.C. for 41st annual National Library Legislative Day appeared first on District Dispatch.

FOSS4Lib Upcoming Events: Webinar@AIMS, Fedora 4: Introduction and Overview

Wed, 2015-05-06 16:12
Date: Thursday, May 7, 2015 - 14:00 to 15:00Supports: Fedora Repository

Last updated May 6, 2015. Created by Peter Murray on May 6, 2015.
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The AIMS team is pleased to announce the webinar “Fedora 4: Introduction and Overview"

This webinar will represent Fedora 4 and the webinar addresses publishers, librarians, information management specialists, software developers, (agricultural) journal editors, related data providers and other interested people.

Open Knowledge Foundation: Announcing Open Government Fellows

Wed, 2015-05-06 13:06

Last December, Open Knowledge and Code for Africa joined forces to launch a new open government fellowship, a programme that seeks to empower open government pioneers by giving them the opportunity to test their ideas on how to best harness the power of digital technologies to improve the way governments and citizens interact.

Within weeks, we received over 450 applications from 34 countries to fill just four positions and today we are pleased to announce the selected fellows! We were truly amazed by the diversity, quality and creativity of so many of the applicants and are keen to support more fellows in subsequent iterations of the fellowship programme. Please do get in touch if you are interested in learning more about how you can support future fellows.

The fellowship will start in May and run through November, giving the fellows 6 months to develop their ideas into sustainable and impactful solutions to local challenges. Over the course of the fellowship both Code for Africa and Open Knowledge will provide support and mentorship for the fellows as they grapple with the challenges of taking an idea to fruition!

Read on to learn more about the 2015 cohort of Open Government Fellows and discover the exciting projects that they will be working on!

Suhuyini Salim Shani

Suhuyini Salim Shani currently works at VOTO Mobile where he is the lead implementer on a project being rolled out in 4 districts in Ghana called Mobile for Social Inclusive Governance popularly called “All Voices Matter”. The goal of this project is to amplify the voices of marginalised groups and bring them to local government officers for informed decision making. Prior to joining Voto, he was an Assistant Development Planning Officer for one of the District Assemblies in Northern Region of Ghana.

Through the fellowship, Suhuyini will launch a project that is aimed at collecting on-the-ground information from citizens in the worst performing district (Karaga District) according to the Districts League Table (DLT) and engage them in a sustainable dialogue aimed at the development of the district. His work will establish baseline information on residents’ satisfaction with their performance and also figure out how to improve upon the development of the district from the ordinary citizens’ perspective.

Salim also wishes to learn from his co-fellows; “I know my colleagues in this fellowship will also come with brilliant ideas and I hope to learn and exchange ideas from them.”

Irene Ikomu

Irene Ikomu is a Ugandan lawyer who has been running Parliament Watch Uganda for over a year and a half now and has always been keen to find new opportunities to develop her knowledge and network around access to information, transparency and accountability.

While the work Parliament Watch Uganda has done so far has been focused on tracking the institution as a whole, over the course of the fellowship, Irene will conceptualise and develop a model for tracking individual Members of Parliament. At the moment, tracking MP performance using technology is challenging given that key data, such as voting and attendance records, are not made readily available. Irene will therefore be using the opportunity to work with other data and technology experts to make this valuable data on Members of Parliament available to citizens in way that enables them track the performance of their representatives effectively and efficiently.

Irene is looking forward to exploring and experimenting with various ways of improving the dialogue between government and citizens. She is keenly aware that uploading data to a website is not going to transform the relationship between governments and citizens; as such, Irene hopes to learn from the experiences of the other fellows as well as the international open government community to ensure that she continues to focus on the end users and the objectives of Parliament Watch Uganda.

Claude K. Migisha

Claude Migisha K. is a Technologist with over 6 years of experience working at the intersection of Technology and human development. He pioneered the inception of The Rwanda Tech Innovation sphere by being the Founding Manager of kLab – a tech innovation hub and implementing THINK – a Millicom owned tech incubator, both based in Kigali, Rwanda. He worked as ICT4D expert in sectors ranging from education, health and youth empowerment with international organisations like; Jhpiego, World Relief, Kepler and GirlHub Rwanda. In 2013, representing tech entrepreneurs, he took part in the Open Data Readiness Assessment for Rwanda conducted by the World Bank and the Government of Rwanda, immediately realising the importance of having an open exchange of data between the government and citizens.

As a result, Claude and colleagues launched, an access to information/data website in Rwanda, just a few weeks ago that seeks to foster open governance, transparency and accountability. It’s a citizen empowerment tool that lets anyone interact with government and private bodies to request the release of information/data. Claude will be taking advantage of the fellowship to continue to develop the platform, raise awareness for the platform with citizens and strengthen the relationship with the Government in order to ensure that the platform is useful to Rwandan society in general.

Over the course of the fellowship, Claude hopes to acquire new skills and experience on how to best use new technologies to open up government, increase transparency & accountability and most importantly strengthen citizen engagement. He is keen to learn from the experiences of his peers in other countries developing similar platforms. By the end of his fellowship, he would like to see a large number of Rwandan citizens and government officials engaging on Sobanukirwa.

Seember Nyager

Seember Nyager is currently based in Nigeria and has spent the better part of the last decade promoting increased disclosure of information pertaining to the utilisation of public resources. Her expertise and interest lies in the utilisation of the law, media and technology to promote and push forward inclusive governance in Nigeria. She began her career a decade ago at the African Radio Drama Association where, among other radio programs, they tested the efficacy of the radio as an ICT tool to improve access to information for young rural women farmers.

Currently, she runs Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC) where she coordinated the development and deployment of the 1st version of a robust ICT procurement monitoring portal in Nigeria which won the Global Procurement Innovation Challenge in 2012. She was one of 17 other open contracting practitioners convened by the World Bank Institute to author the 1st edition of the Open Contracting Guide. Additionally, as part of her current role at PPDC, she pioneered the ranking of FOI compliance among Nigerian public institutions, pioneered the constituency projects platform ,conducts legal research on FOI, and coordinates FOI litigation.

Her primary objective of the fellowship is to advocate for an increase in proactive disclosure as well as the the development and deployment of data standards, especially the open contracting data standard, across public service. She shall initiate discussions around available platforms through which open contracting data can be customised and used across public services with the goal of linking data on public resources (from budget appropriations to budget releases to individual projects). This would enable every interested party, including community members, track the utilisation of public resources.

By the end of the fellowship, she hopes to acquire new skills in articulating the benefits of open governance in a way that pushes people in public service to partner with civil society as champions the cause.

In the Library, With the Lead Pipe: As the World Turns So Do We: A New Publication Strategy

Wed, 2015-05-06 13:00

In Brief: Announcing an update to In the Library with the Lead Pipe’s publication strategy.

In the Library With the Lead Pipe began in the fall of 2008 with lofty publication goals. Six librarians launched the site as a peer-reviewed blog, with plans to publish an article every Wednesday. In their introductory post, they even mentioned the idea of increasing publication to twice weekly.

Five months later, the editorial board announced that they would be moving to a bi-weekly format and opened up submissions for guest post proposals. The board found that writing lengthy peer reviewed articles every week was challenging, and readers (while enjoying the content and conversations) were having a difficult time keeping up with that amount of output. Starting in the spring of 2009, members of the editorial board contributed articles on a rotating basis, with guest proposals sprinkled in when available. The editorial board was essentially filling dual author/editor roles.

Since 2012, Lead Pipe has moved away from a group blog model and toward a journal model. While many readers may still consider Lead Pipe a blog based on our history and format, our editorial board is transitioning the language we use and our approach to publishing. We have ISSNs, index in research databases, publish long-form articles, and participate in the peer-review process. Because of these efforts, we have come to see Lead Pipe as a scholarly journal.

With these changes have come shifts among our roles as editorial board members. Although originally in dual author/editor roles, over the course of the last several years, editorial board members have steadily moved away from authorship. Instead of writing content for Lead Pipe, we now focus on soliciting guest proposals, developing our website, serving as internal peer reviewers, recruiting external peer reviewers, replying to website comments, and coordinating social media.

What this means is that the editorial board of Lead Pipe is no longer regularly contributing articles for the journal, but is instead focused solely on editorial responsibilities. We do contribute through irregular editorials (usually filling in when our standard, bi-weekly publication schedule would require an article to be published on a holiday) and news updates like the one you’re reading now. Editorial board members are still welcome to submit a proposal for a Lead Pipe article, but editors are not expected to write articles.

Taking the editorial board out of the publication rotation has decreased the amount of content we have to publish. As a result, we are relying more heavily on submissions. In the past, most author submissions were recruited by Lead Pipe editors—writers who we knew or whose work we admired. With a submissions-focused model, we are now working with more unfamiliar (and often emerging) authors. We feel that our peer review process is particularly supportive of new professionals, and we enjoy working with that demographic, though it often takes more time to get articles publication-ready. We currently do not have enough content on a regular basis to reliably publish a brand new, long form, peer reviewed article every other Wednesday. After much discussion, we have decided to change our publication strategy once again.

We will publish an article every 2 weeks—either on Wednesday (a brand new article) or on Thursday (a “Throwback Thursday” article pulled from our archives of over 170 previously published articles). This strategy will allow us to promote some of our older, yet still relevant articles to readers who may have missed them the first time around.

Lead Pipe believes that libraries and library workers can change the world for the better. We improve libraries, professional organizations, and their communities of practice by exploring new ideas, starting conversations, documenting our concerns, and arguing for solutions. We are always looking for submissions. We encourage creative thinking, envelope-pushing, and constructive criticism. Authors can send in a completed article or an idea for consideration, and we are eager to work with new professionals or those without prior publishing experience.

We look forward to hearing from you.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: Vivo - 1.8

Wed, 2015-05-06 12:00

Last updated May 6, 2015. Created by Peter Murray on May 6, 2015.
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Package: VivoRelease Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2015

FOSS4Lib Upcoming Events: 2015 Koha North American Users Group Conference

Wed, 2015-05-06 11:54
Date: Wednesday, August 5, 2015 - 08:30 to Saturday, August 8, 2015 - 15:00Supports: Koha

Last updated May 6, 2015. Created by David Nind on May 6, 2015.
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The second annual meeting of the Koha North American Users Group will be held at the Bayfront Convention Center in Erie, Pennsylvania, overlooking one of America's greatest natural freshwater harbors.

Whether you are new to Koha, or are just thinking about migrating, come meet some friendly and dedicated people already using Koha at their libraries. Friendships and connections made at a conference can be a benefit for a lifetime.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: Koha - Maintenance releases v 3.14.15, 3.16.10 and 3.18.6

Wed, 2015-05-06 09:52
Package: KohaRelease Date: Thursday, April 23, 2015

Last updated May 6, 2015. Created by David Nind on May 6, 2015.
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Monthly maintenance releases for Koha. See the release announcements for the details:

LibX: Documentation of LibApps

Wed, 2015-05-06 06:22

We have added a page under the Documentation tab that contains user documentation for the LibApps in the LibX Core Package.  Here is a link to that page.

The documentation includes information on the following packages:

  • The Book Vendors package of LibApps includes LibApps that work on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble sites.  On the item’s page, these LibApps link the user to their library’s search catalog’s results for the item.  If the edition uses Summon as its primary search catalog, the edition will also be able to utilize LibApps that display the item’s availability in the edition’s library directly on the page.
  • The LibX Core Autolinking LibApps package includes LibApps that link a page’s DOIs, ISBNs, ISSNs, PMIDs, and RFCs to the library’s search result for the corresponding resource- provided that the primary search catalog is Summon.
  • The Full-Text Linker package of LibApps insert Full-Text URLs in the web-content of journals in ACM Digital Library, IEEExplore, and

The Process COinS LibApp, which finds OpenURL COinS on a page and inserts a cue that will link users to the library’s search for that COinS’ resouce, is also documented.

Library Tech Talk (U of Michigan): Using Connection Security Rules in the Library

Wed, 2015-05-06 00:00

How to secure connections regardless of which network the clients are on.

David Rosenthal: Max Planck Digital Library on Open Access

Tue, 2015-05-05 21:00
Ralf Schimmer of the Max Planck Society's Digital Library  gave a fascinating presentation (PPT) as part of a panel entitled What Price Open Access at the recent CNI meeting. He, and co-authors Kai Karin Geschuhn and Andreas Vogler have now posted the paper on which it was based, Disrupting the subscription journals' business model for the necessary large-scale transformation to open access. Their argument is:
All the indications are that the money already invested in the research publishing system is sufficient to enable a transformation that will be sustainable for the future. There needs to be a shared understanding that the money currently locked in the journal subscription system must be withdrawn and re-purposed for open access publishing services. The current library acquisition budgets are the ultimate reservoir for enabling the transformation without financial or other risks.They present:
generic calculations we have made on the basis of available publication data and revenue values at global, national and institutional levels.These include detailed data as to their own spending on open access article processing charges (APCs), which they have made available on-line, and from many other sources including the Wellcome Trust and the Austrian Science Fund. They show that APCs are less than €2.0K/article while subscription costs are €3.8-5.0K/article, so the claim that sufficient funds are available is credible. It is important to note that they exclude hybrid APCs such as those resulting from the stupid double-dipping deals the UK made; these are "widely considered not to reflect a true market value". As an Englishman, I appreciate under-statement. Thus they support my and Andrew Odlyzko's contention that margins in the academic publishing business are extortionate.

Below the fold, I look at some of the details in the paper.

Having established the global picture that there is more than enough money, they look at the breakdown by country, and point out that:
For good reasons, multi-authored papers will be captured in the bibliographies or institutional repositories of all their home institutions, but in terms of cost-relevance each of these multi-counted papers needs to be paid for only once. For the time being, the dominant model is that the corresponding author is responsible for picking up and settling the invoice. Therefore the various national and institutional publishing lists must be de-duplicated to reflect the corresponding author papers only, in order to make accurate budget forecasts.They show a consistent pattern whereby only 65-70% of a country's output has a corresponding author from that country. Countries with a higher output tend to have a higher share, and vice versa.

At an institutional level, the share is lower. Between 40-60% of an institution's output typically has  a corresponding author from that institution. Their own experience shows this:
For instance, as the current annual journal article output of all Max Planck Institutes is in the region of 10,000 papers, we anticipate the APC-relevant share to be a maximum of 6,000. Hence our projected costs for a complete transformation scenario would be no more than EUR 12 million. The Max Planck Society is a heavily output-oriented research organization and, at the same time, a big buyer of research information. Our current spending on journal subscriptions is already substantial enough to make the big open access transformation possible without having to ask for extra money.I don't doubt that there is enough money in the system to support a wholly open-access system of scholarly communication paid for by APCs. My concern is that the transition from the current system to this nirvana is difficult precisely because there is in fact way more than enough money in the system.

Back in 2008 I served as a judge for Elsevier's Grand Challenge. Even then, conversations with Elsevier management indicated that they regarded open access as inevitable, but that they would do whatever they could to delay its onset. So my expectation would be that during the transition Schimmer et al propose Elsevier would continue their successful strategy; they would be the last publisher to switch.

There is way more than enough money in the system, so that as each publisher switches, money in library budgets is freed up. Elsevier has a long history of knowing exactly how much libraries can afford to pay for access to their journals, and charging it. So my expectation would be that as other publishers switched, Elsevier would raise prices just enough to absorb the funds freed up. The end-point would be a system in which Elsevier would be the only remaining subscription publisher, and would be vastly more profitable than it is today. It would have both more resources to delay open access, and more motivation to deploy them.

Before embarking on the suggested transition, some means of preventing this disaster needs to be developed.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: Evergreen - 2.8.1, 2.7.5, and 2.6.8

Tue, 2015-05-05 20:00

Last updated May 5, 2015. Created by Peter Murray on May 5, 2015.
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Package: EvergreenRelease Date: Friday, May 1, 2015

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: Piwik - 2.13.0

Tue, 2015-05-05 19:56

Last updated May 5, 2015. Created by Peter Murray on May 5, 2015.
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Package: PiwikRelease Date: Thursday, April 30, 2015

LITA: Learn to Teach Coding and Mentor Technology Newbies – in Your Library or Anywhere!

Tue, 2015-05-05 19:39

Attend a free one hour webinar to discover what learning to teach coding is all about, and then register for and attend the LITA preconference at ALA Annual. This opportunity is following up on the 2014 LITA President’s Program at ALA Annual where then LITA President Cindi Trainor Blyberg welcomed Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code.

The informational webinar is free and open to the first 100 log-ins:
Tuesday May 26, 2015 at 1:00 pm Central Time
Enter as guest. The webinar will be recorded and the link to the recording will be posted to these same resource spaces.

Register online for the ALA Annual Conference and add a LITA Preconference 

Black Girls CODE (BGC) is devoted to showing the world that black girls can code, and grow the number of women of color working in technology. LITA is devoted to putting on programs that promote, develop, and aid in the implementation of library and information technology. Together, BCG and LITA offer this full day pre-conference workshop, designed to turn reasonably tech savvy librarians into master technology teachers. The workshop will help attendees develop effective lesson plans and design projects their students can complete successfully in their own coding workshops. The schedule will feature presentations in the morning followed by afternoon breakout workgroups, in which attendees can experiment with programming languages such as Scratch, Ruby on Rails, and more.


Kimberly Bryant, Founder and Executive Director Black Girls CODE

Lake Raymond, Program Coordinator Black Girls CODE

The Black Girl Code Vision: To increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology.

Kimberly Bryant:
That, really, is the Black Girls Code mission: to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders, coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures. Imagine the impact that these curious, creative minds could have on the world with the guidance and encouragement others take for granted.



  • LITA Member $235 (coupon code: LITA2015)
  • ALA Member $350
  • Non-Member $380


To register for any of these events, you can include them with your initial conference registration or add them later using the unique link in your email confirmation. If you don’t have your registration confirmation handy, you can request a copy by emailing You also have the option of registering for a preconference only. To receive the LITA member pricing during the registration process on the Personal Information page enter the discount promotional code: LITA2015

Register online for the ALA Annual Conference and add a LITA Preconference
Call ALA Registration at 1-800-974-3084
Onsite registration will also be accepted in San Francisco.

Questions or Comments?

For all other questions or comments related to the course, contact LITA at (312) 280-4269 or Mark Beatty,

Islandora: Islandora at Open Repositories 2015

Tue, 2015-05-05 19:14

The full schedule for OR2015 is now up and we wanted to call your attention to all of the Islandora goodness that you can take in if you are planning to attend. The following sessions are either explicitly about Islandora, or are from Islandora users talking about other issues in managing collections and digital assets:

Workshops: General Sessions: Fedora Interest Group: Posters:
  • There is Life After Grant Funding: How Islandora Struck Out On Its Own - Islandora Foundation

Ed Summers: VirtualEnv Builds in Sublime Text 3

Tue, 2015-05-05 18:52

Back in 1999 I was a relatively happy Emacs user, and was beginning work at a startup where I was one of the first employees after the founders. Like many startups, in addition to owning the company, the founders were hackers, and were routinely working on the servers. When I asked if Emacs could be installed on one of the machines I was told to learn Vi … which I proceeded to do. I needed the job.

Here I am 15 years later, and am finally starting to use Sublime Text 3 a bit more in my work. I’m not be a cool kid anymore, but I can still pretend to be one, eh? The Vintageous plugin lets my fingers feel like they are in Vim, while being able to take advantage of other packages for editing Markdown, interacting with Git and the lovely eye-pleasing themes that are available. I still feel a bit dirty because unlike Vim, Sublime is not opensource ; but at the same time it does feel good to support a small software publisher who is doing good work. Maybe I’ll end up switching back to Vim and supporting it.

Anyway, as a Python developer one thing I immediately wanted to be able to do was to use my project’s VirtualEnv during development, and to run the test suite from inside Sublime. The Virtualenv package makes creating, activating, deactivating, deleting a virtualenv a snap. But I couldn’t seem to get the build to work properly with the virtualenv, even after setting the Build System to Python - Virtualenv

After what felt like a lot of googling around (it was probably just 20 minutes) I didn’t seem to find an answer until I discovered in the Project documentation that I could save my Project, and then go to Project -> Edit Project and add a build_systems stanza like this:

{ "folders": [ { "path": "." } ], "virtualenv": "/Users/ed/.virtualenvs/curio", "build_systems": [ { "name": "Test", "shell_cmd": "/Users/ed/.virtualenvs/curio/bin/python test" } ] }

Notice how the shell_cmd is using the Python executable in my VirtualEnv? After saving that I was able to go into Tools -> Build System and set the build system to Test, which matches the name of the build system you added in the JSON. Now a command-B will run my test suite with the VirtualEnv.

I guess it would be nice if the VirtualEnv plugin for Sublime did something to make this easier. But rather than go down that rabbit hole I decided to write it down here for the benefit of my future self (and perhaps you).

If you know of a better way to do this please let me know.

Access Conference: AccessYYZ Registration Update

Tue, 2015-05-05 17:57

Thanks to all of you that have been eagerly waiting for registration to open! We can tell there are a lot of you (because we can read your minds, but also because our site gives us nifty analytics). You can register by clicking over to the registration page. There’s a lot of useful information about diversity scholarships, social events, hotels, and travel discounts so please make sure you read the whole page before completing your registration.

EDIT (Wed, May 6th, 2015 at 8:18 ET) For those of you who are waiting to hear about proposals, please note that responses are in the process of getting sent out. If you haven’t gotten a response from us yet, don’t despair! Something will be coming your way tomorrow or Friday.

DPLA: Apply to host DPLAfest 2016!

Tue, 2015-05-05 14:00

Hot on the heels of the successful second DPLAfest, we’re looking for the next great site to host next year’s interactive, productive, and exciting event. DPLAfest is an annual event that brings together hundreds of people to celebrate the Digital Public Library of America, our many partners across the country, and our large and growing community of practitioners and members of the public who contribute to, and benefit from, DPLA.


DPLAfest 2015 was co-hosted by the Indianapolis Public Library, Indiana State Library, Indiana Historical Society, and the IUPUI University Library. Those great institutions were proud to host well over 300 attendees from across the world for two-days of discussions, workshops, hands-on activities, and fun events.

DPLAfest host organizations are essential contributors to one of the most prominent gatherings in the country involving librarians, archivists, and museum professionals, developers and technologists, publishers and authors, teachers and students, and many others who work together to further the mission of providing maximal access to our shared cultural heritage. For colleges and universities, DPLAfest is the perfect opportunity to directly engage your students, educators, archivists, librarians and other information professionals in the work of a diverse national community of information and technology leaders. For public libraries, hosting DPLAfest brings the excitement and enthusiasm of our community right to your hometown, enriching your patrons’ understanding of library services through free and open workshops, conversations, and more. It’s also a chance to promote your institution nationally and internationally, given the widespread media coverage of DPLAfest and the energy around the event.

If this opportunity sounds right for you and your organization, let us know! We are calling on universities and colleges, public libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and others to submit expressions of interests to serve as hosts or co-hosts for DPLAfest 2016, which will take place in mid-April 2016.

To apply, review the information below and submit an expression of interest on behalf of your organization via the form at the bottom of this page. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, July 15, 2015. We will follow up with the most promising proposals shortly following the deadline.

Collaborative applications (such as between a university and a nearby public library) are encouraged. Preference will be given to applicants who can provide venue spaces which are closely located to one another, or in the same building complex or campus. Please note that some host partners can contribute staffing or other day-of support in lieu of venue space.

You can learn more about DPLAfest here. Questions? Email

Requirements of a DPLAfest 2016 Hosting Site

  • Willingness to make local arrangements and coordinate with DPLA staff and any/all staff at host institution.
  • An auditorium or similar space suitable for a keynote presentation (minimum 250 people).
  • 10 or more smaller rooms for “breakout” sessions (30 – 50 people).
    • Preference will be given to hosts that can provide breakout rooms equipped with projection/display capabilities.
  • Availability of wireless network for all attendees, potentially in excess of 300 simultaneous clients, for free or via conference sponsorship.
  • An organizational commitment to donate use of all venue spaces. (As a small non-profit with limited funds, as well as a strong desire to keep DPLAfest maximally open to the public, we’re unable to pursue host proposals that are unable to offer free or deeply-discounted use of venue spaces).
  • Ability to provide at least one staff person for every venue space to help with day-of AV support, logistical support, etc.
  • Commitment to diversity, inclusion, and openness to all.

Additional Desirable Qualities

  • Proximity to a major airport and hotels.
  • Co-location of proposed event spaces (ie., same building or nearby buildings).
  • Location outside of the Midwest or Boston, MA area (we’re rotating the location of DPLAfest each year; we celebrated DPLAfest 2013 in Boston and DPLAfest 2015 in Indianapolis).


Eric Lease Morgan: Loyola Marymount University

Tue, 2015-05-05 13:43

Twenty new EAD files have been added to the “Catholic Portal” from Loyola Marymount University —

Library of Congress: The Signal: Insights Interview: Josh Sternfeld on Funding Digital Stewardship Research and Development

Tue, 2015-05-05 13:33

The 2015 iteration of the National Agenda for Digital Stewardship identifies high-level recommendations, directed at funders, researchers, and organizational leaders that will advance the community’s capacity for digital preservation. As part of our Insights Interview series we’re pleased to talk with Josh Sternfeld, a Senior Program Officer in the Division of Preservation and Access at the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The NEH has consistently funded research that addresses the most pertinent issues related to digital stewardship. Its recently revised Research and Development grant program seeks to address major challenges in preserving and providing access to humanities collections and resources, and Josh will help us understand new application guidelines and their perspective on digital stewardship. The deadline for submitting an application is June 25, 2015.

Josh has posted several times on the Signal and we interviewed him about his background and NEH’s digital stewardship interests back in March 2012.

Butch: This year NEH has decided to break its funding for Research and Development into two tiers: Tier I for short-term and Tier II for longer-term projects. Talk about why NEH wanted to split the funding up this way.

Funding by user howardlake on Flickr.

Josh: First of all, thank you for this opportunity to discuss the exciting changes to our grant program! Last year, my colleagues and I in the Division of Preservation and Access undertook an intensive year-long review of our Research and Development program. We reached out to the field, including participants in the 2014 NDSA Digital Preservation Conference, to listen to practitioners’ needs. We discovered that the landscape of research has changed dramatically in very short order. For starters, new content formats (especially in the digital space) are emerging and changing the way we understand the humanities. Yes, tools and platforms are critical for the work of humanities scholars, educators, curators, archivists, librarians and students, but just as important is the need to establish standards, practices, methodologies and workflows to promote resource sharing, evaluation, and collaboration.

By introducing the Tier I grant, we believe we can seed projects at all stages of development, from early conceptualization to advanced implementation. In addition, we want to support discrete research and development projects. Sometimes, a small team of humanities practitioners and scientists can assemble rapidly to collect critical data for the field. Altogether, the combination of short- and longer-term projects is intended to capture the fluid dynamic that we see arising from within cultural heritage research and development.

Butch: Give us a little more detail on each of the funding Tiers and examples of the kinds of projects you’d like to see under each.

Josh: We see Tier I as a promising entry point for a wide variety of project types, from the planning of large, multi-year collaborative projects to standalone projects such as basic research experiments, case studies, or tool development. Tier I projects, therefore, may be used to accomplish an expansive range of tasks. For example, a team creating an open source digital asset management system wants to include additional functionalities that takes the platform out of its “beta” phase. A group of information scientists, working with humanities scholars, wants to investigate the efficacy of a new linked open data model. Or a group of computer scientists wants to test a new approach to search and discovery within a large humanities data corpus.

At the Tier II level, NEH continues to support projects at an advanced implementation stage. Projects at this level must investigate the development of standards, practices, methodologies or workflows that could be shared and adopted by a wider community of practitioners.

For both tiers, we encourage collaboration across the humanities and sciences, whether information, computer, or natural. We believe pairing people from disparate backgrounds poses the best opportunity to accomplish positive outcomes for cultural heritage. We have included possible research topics and areas in our guidelines (pdf) that may provide some guidance, although please bear in mind the list is not intended to be comprehensive.

Butch: Do you foresee that projects originally funded under Tier I will return for Tier II funding down the road?

Josh: Yes, but it is not a prerequisite to apply. After reviewing many successful R&D projects over the years, we learned that the keys to a successful project begin with considerable planning, preparation, preliminary research and in some instances, prototyping, all of which would be eligible for Tier I support. Even if a project team does not continue into a formal implementation stage, a Tier I project can still provide a tremendous benefit to the field.

Butch: The digital stewardship community has often been challenged in securing stewards and funding support for tools and services that have grown to become part of the community infrastructure, such as web archiving tools. How does NEH see itself in terms of helping to develop and sustain a long-term digital stewardship infrastructure?

Josh: We envision the digital stewardship community, along with the wider cultural heritage R&D community, as building on an expanding scaffolding of data, tools, platforms, standards and practices. Each element has its role in advancing knowledge, forming professional connections and advancing the cause of providing better long-term preservation and access to humanities collections. One of the most gratifying parts of our job is to see how a standard under development and supported by R&D funding is eventually used in projects supported through our other grant programs. We think R&D can have the greatest impact by supporting the development of the elements that serve as the practical and theoretical glue binding the work of the humanities. For this reason, the grants do not support direct infrastructural development, per se, but rather applied research that leads to fundamental changes in our approach to stewardship.

Butch: Starting in 2016, the NEH will host an annual Research and Development Project Directors’ Meeting. Tell us about this meeting and how it will help publicize digital stewardship projects and research.

Josh: Compared to the sciences, the cultural heritage community perhaps has fewer opportunities to reflect upon major preservation and access-related challenges in the field in a public forum. Whether we are considering open access of humanities content, the crisis in audiovisual preservation and access, or a host of other topics, these challenges are clearly complex and demand creative thinking. Starting next spring, NEH will host an open forum that will not only provide recently awarded Project Directors the opportunity to showcase their innovative work, but will also encourage participants to think beyond their own projects and offer expert perspective on a single pre-selected issue. I don’t have much more to share at this stage, but I encourage everyone to stay tuned as information becomes available!

Butch: The revised NEH funding approach seems designed to help build connections across the digital stewardship community. How concerned is NEH and organizations like it about the “silo-ing” of digital stewardship research?

Josh: Maintaining active and productive research connections is essential for the success of digital cultural heritage research and development. It is the reason why, starting this year, we are requiring Tier II applicants to supply a separate dissemination proposal describing how research findings on standards, practices, methodologies and workflows will reach a representative audience. Research in digital stewardship has matured in recent years. Project teams can no longer rely on uploading a set of code and expecting a community to form magically around its sustainability. Thankfully, there are so many resourceful ways in which researchers can reach their constituency from holding in-person and virtual workshops, to code sprints, to developing online tutorials, to name just a few possibilities.

Butch: The 2015 National Agenda published last fall included a number of solid recommendations for research and development in the area of digital stewardship. In addition to applying for funds from NEH, what can NDSA member organizations concentrate on that will benefit the community as a whole?

Josh: NDSA has done a wonderful job crystallizing the R&D needs of specific areas and drawing attention to new ones. My recommendation, therefore, comes from social, rather than technical, considerations. I think first and foremost NDSA members should not be afraid to self-identify with the cultural heritage research and development community. All too often during our internal review we found that humanities practitioners were content working with the “status quo” as far as tools, platforms, standards, practices and methodologies are concerned. As a consequence, a lot of time and energy is spent adapting commercial or open source tools that were produced with entirely different audiences in mind. As soon as those in cultural heritage realize that their needs are unique from those of other disciplines, they can begin to form the necessary partnerships, collaborations, programming, and project focus.