The Evergreen Outreach Committee is asking anyone who can to respond to the first annual community survey. If you are a member of a consortium we only need one response for the entire consortium.
The information is for an annual report that we will present at the conference each year. Additionally, the information will help us have a better image of the community as a whole. We will also use it to create materials aimed at creating an accurate picture of our community.
We have kept the survey short and simple and should only take a few moments. Thank you in advance.
The survey can be accessed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5MZWBYY.
Learn about working with Graphs without a SPARQL endpoint.
Do you remember the time when you needed to write your first research paper in MLA or APA format? The long list of guidelines, including properly formed in-text citations and a References or Works Cited page, seemed like learning a new language. The same holds true when approaching an RFP (Request for Proposal) and writing a grant proposal. Unfortunately with grants, most of us are in the dark without guidance. I am here to say, don’t give up.
Get Familiar with the Grant Writing Process and Terms
Take free online courses, such as the ones offered by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Grants and Proposal Writing course (Note: you do not have to be a medical librarian to take advantage of this free course) or WebJunction’s archived webinar – Winning Library Grants presented by Stephanie Gerding. Read a few books from the American Library Association (ALA). Browse the list below. This is a sure way to begin to demystify the topic.
Change the Free Money, Shopping Spree Thinking
I have failed at grant writing many times because I started writing a list of “toys” I wanted. I would begin browsing stores online and pictured awesome technology I wanted. Surely my patrons would enjoy them too. I never thought, will my patrons need this technology? Will they use it? As MacKellar & Gerding state in their books, funders want to help people. Learning about the community you serve is step one before you start your shopping list or even writing your grant proposal.
Write Your Proposal in Non-Expert, Jargon-Free, Lay Language
Some professionals may have the tendency, as they excitedly share their project, to go into tech vocabulary. This is a sure way to lose some of the grant planning or awarding committee members who may not be familiar with tech terms or a particular area of technology. Be mindful of the words you use to explain your technology needs. The main goal of a proposal is to make all parties feel included and a part of the game plan.
Start Small and Form Partnerships
To remove the daunting feeling you may have of writing a proposal, find community partners or colleagues that can assist in making the process enjoyable. For example, a library can participate in grant proposals spawned by others. What better way to represent our profession than to become the researcher for a grant group. Research is our secret weapon. The master researcher for the grant may add some items that help fund library equipment, staff, or materials in support of the project request. It may not be a grant proposal from the library, but a component may help the library in support of that initiative. Another idea is to divide the grant proposal process into sections or phases among staff members. As you know, each of us have strengths that fit into a phase of a grant proposal. Tap into those strengths and divide the work needed to get that funding.
Create SMART Outcomes and Objectives
Ensure that outcomes and objectives are SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. How will you know if the project is succeeding or has been a success? Also, it is helpful to see how your technology grant request correlates with your library’s and/or institution’s technology plan.
Grants are a great way to receive recognition from peers, administration, and the community you serve. For those in academia, this is a wonderful way to grow as a professional, add to your curriculum vitae and collect evidence towards a future promotion. It can even become enjoyable. Once you mastered writing MLA or APA papers, didn’t you want to write more papers? Come to think of it, forget about my research paper and grant writing analogy.
Find future posts on technology grant writing tips on our LITA blog.
The Open Data Day 2016 was successfully hosted and celebrated in Cameroon by the netsquared Yaoundé community. The theme of the day was ‘Empowering Cameroonians to accelerate open data’, bringing together 90 participants.
The event was hosted in Paraclete Institute in Yaoundé, which brought together multiple stakeholders and students, to empower them in advancing open data in this part of the world.
The event started at 3pm with a theoretical session and ended with a practical workshop at 7pm.
The theoretical session was hosted to shared with participants the basic concept of open data, its importance, and how it could be accelerated. This was demonstrated through a powerpoint presentation from panel members who shared examples of the impact of open data on government intermediaries, education and agriculture in strengthening citizen engagement. And the importance of the release of data sets.
This event help to encourage participants to use open data for local content development in Cameroon, showing how data could be made available for everyone to use, especially government data.
The key concept was resourcing technologies that could be used for smart visualization of data and how data could be made available on a database for everyone to use to encourage innovative collaboration. We also discovered that most data has not been made accessible in Cameroon.f In order to encourage innovation, transparency, and collaboration we need to advance the open data movement in Cameroon,
The practical workshop empowered participants to blog about data andto share it for reuseIt can be distributed on a platform like internet database website using blogg.com and other blogging sites like simplesite.com.
We also made them to understand that research data must be made available for people to reuse and distributed for everyone to visualize it. We also empower them on how they can made their data available socially, teaching participants that they can share data from blogs to other communication platforms or social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google
The event was appreciated by every participant.
This post was written by Adolfo Anton Bravo from OK Spain.
Open Data Day in Spain is not something exceptional anymore. Five years after the first Open Data Day was born in Canada, nine Spanish cities have adopted in 2016 this celebration by organizing various local events It is not a coincidence that Spain will host the next International Open Data Conference 2016 in october, given the good health of its data communities, in spite of the fact of its poor results shown in the Open Data Index. Open Data in Spain is definitely a growing seed.
Alicante, Barcelona –with two events–, Bilbao, Girona, Granada, Madrid, Pamplona, Valencia, and Zaragoza were the cities that held activities to celebrate Open Data Day.
Open Knowledge Spain took part in the organization of the event in Madrid, and created a website to announce all of the activities that were going to be held in Spain, including the International Open Data Conference, that its Call for Proposals had just been opened for applications.
In alphabetical order, Barcelona celebrated Open Data Day twice. apps4citizen organized a gathering where people deliberated about the importance of personal data, transparency, the knowledge acquisition process, or the various results that may be reached from the interpretation of data. A week later, Procomuns.net organized a data visualization contest on Commons Collaborative Economies in the P2P value project.
In Bilbao, the event run by MoreLab DeustoTech-Internet, the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Deusto, and the Bilbao city council. The group focused on the scope of the movement in general, and in specific, linked open data. The participants split into working groups with the objective to design and implement fast and easy applications that link and use open data.
The Girona Municipal Archive and the Center for Research and Image Distribution organized the event in Girona; their theme revolved around the documentary heritage data that included 125 archives and collections, 31 inventories, and 75 catalogues.
In Granada, the Free Software Office at the University of Granada organised a hackathon with eight candidate projects from March 4 to March 7. The projected looked at various topics, from traffic to gender bias.
The Medialab-Prado data journalism group, Open Knowledge Spain, and Open Data Institute (ODI) Madrid, organised a hackathon where three teams from different background such as developers, journalists, programmers, statisticians, and citizens worked to open data in different aspects of open data: city light pollution, asbestos, and glass parliaments.
Pamplona took the opportunity to present the open technological platform FIWARE, an initiative for developers or entrepreneurs to use open data for innovative applications.FINODEX is the first European accelerator that is already funding projects that reuse open data with FIWARE technology.
The first OpenDatathon ETSINF – UPV took place in Valencia and was organised by It was organised by the Higher Technical School of Computer Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, MUGI, the Master’s degree in Information Management, and the DataUPV Group. 16 teams participated,, with the objective of supporting, promoting and disseminating the use of open data, especially among the members of the university. It was supported by the Department of Transparency, Social Responsibility, Participation and Cooperation at the Valencia Regional Government, Inndea Foundation, Cátedra Ciudad de Valencia at UPV, and the private companies BigML and Everis.
The Zaragoza city council is well known for its support to open data. The city mission is to provide open, accessible and useful data to its citizens. For example, all the information about bills is open and can be found on the city website. In this regard, they are not only talking about open data but also transparency and municipal policies on open data.
Finally, on March 17, the University of Alicante organized a meeting with participants from the Department of Transparency at the Valencia Regional Government, the Open Data Institute Madrid (ODI), the data research data opening network Maredata, and an initiative that promotes the University of Alicante startup ecosystem, ua:emprende. The Open Data Meeting 2016 consisted of a series of lectures about the current condition of open data in Spain, and emphasized that public sector information (PSI) reuse means an opportunity for entrepreneurship and the impact it generates in the field of of transparency and accountability. and some of its participants are. The event concluded with the #UAbierta for open data entrepreneurship award ceremony
I have been swamped at work and pretty quiet here in my blog. But I gave a few talks recently. So I wanted to share those at least.
I presented about how to turn the traditional library IT department and its operation that is usually behind the scene into a more patron-facing unit at the recent American Library Association Midwinter Meeting back in January. This program was organized by the LITA Heads of IT Interest Group. In March, I gave a short lightning talk at the 2016 Code4Lib Conference about the data visualization project of library data at my library. I was also invited to speak at the USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) UX Unconference and gave a talk about user experience, personas, and the idea of applying library personas to library strategic planning.
Here are those three presentation slides for those interested!
Visualizing Library Data from Bohyun Kim
Turning the IT Dept. Outward from Bohyun Kim
Everyone who works in the library, including some student workers, uses the intranet -- that’s over 450 people! In preparation for a major Drupal update and intranet redesign, the Intranet Upgrade Investigation Team (IUIT) has done a ton of thoughtful user research to guide our work including a survey, open card sort and closed cart sort. The findings are informing our progress and helping meet the goal of making the intranet a sustainable and user friendly tool that everyone wants to use.
The Department of Education today began accepting applications for the nearly $27 million in Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program grant funds available this year to schools and non-profits seeking support for their early literacy efforts. ALA and its grassroots successfully advocated vociferously last year for Congress to support IAL at this level of funding and are doing so again for FY 2017.
Any eligible applicant seeking a grant has until May 9, 2016 to submit its proposal. DOE is expected to announce its grant awards in July. One half of the grant funds available are reserved for school libraries with the remainder open to non-profit organizations. Grants can be awarded on either a one- or two-year cycle. For more details about the application process, please see the DOE’s formal Notice published in today’s Federal Register. It should also be posted soon on the Department of Education’s own IAL page.
Re-authorized in the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, IAL supports school libraries seeking to improve literacy skills for children through the 12th grade and to encourage families to read together. As DOE describes it, IAL is “designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade in high-need local education agencies (LEAs) and schools…. [and] increase student achievement by using school libraries as partners to improve literacy, distributing free books to children and their families, and offering high-quality literacy activities.”
To be eligible, a school library must be considered a “high-need” Local Education Agency (LEA), meaning that at least 25 percent of its students aged 5 – 17 are from families with incomes below the poverty line (or are similarly defined by a State educational agency). A grant application must include a: program description of proposed literacy and book distribution activities; grade levels included or the ages of the target audience; and a description of how the program is supported by strong theory. Additional information, like timelines and results measurement methods, also is required. DOE also will consider programs that seek to integrate the use of technology tools, such as e-readers, in addressing literacy needs.
According to DOE, priority consideration for IAL funding is given to programs that include book distribution and childhood literacy development activities, and whose success can be demonstrated. Additional “points” in assessing competing grant proposals may be awarded to an application that meets additional program objectives. As detailed in the DOE’s Notice, there are many such additional goals, including distributing books to children who may lack age-appropriate books at home for them to take home to read with their families.
Like any federal grant program, there are lots of rules governing every aspect of the application process right down to the size of the paper applicants may use. Be sure to see the DOE’s Notice for full details . . . and to leave lots of time to meet them all ahead of the May 9 IAL filing deadline.
The post DOE now accepting IAL grant proposals; due by May 9 appeared first on District Dispatch.
This week, the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office announced that Dan A. Aldridge of Winterville, GA is the winner of the 2016 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 and includes $300 stipend to defray the cost of attending the event.
A longtime library advocate and patron, Aldridge served two years as the President of Friends of the Braselton Library (FBL). He was elected to the board of Friends of Georgia Library, where he currently serves as Vice President and will assume the role of President in April 2016. In his own words, Aldridge plans to:
“…dedicate the next two years to supporting and advocating for libraries throughout Georgia because I firmly believe, as nineteenth century industrialist Andrew Carnegie said, “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.”
As a result of his hard work and dedication, FBL saw notably growth in their membership and even earned them an annual award – the Fabulous Friends Award – from the Friends of Georgia Libraries. The FBL membership has seen unprecedented growth, and as a result has been able to increase their support of Braselton Library. Their fundraisers have provided the library with new computer equipment, supported eight new children’s programs, and increased the size of the Large Print Book and e-book collections at the library, among other accomplishments.
The White House Conference on Library and Information Services—an effective force for library advocacy nationally, statewide and locally—transferred its assets to the ALA Washington Office in 1991 after the last White House conference. These funds allow ALA to participate in fostering a spirit of committed, passionate library support in a new generation of library advocates. Leading up to National Library Legislative Day each year, the ALA seeks nominations for the award. Representatives of WHCLIST and the ALA Washington office choose the recipient.
Today I found the following resources and bookmarked them on Delicious.
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Today I had the opportunity to present at #BROCKMNK2016
New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.
New This Week
Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.
Library of Congress: The Signal: Digital Curation and the Public: Strategies for Education and Advocacy
This is a guest post by Jaime Mears.
On March 4th, 2016, the Washington DC Public Library hosted Digital Curation and the Public: Strategies for Education and Advocacy at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library. It was what the National Digital Stewardship Residents program calls an “enrichment session” and the audience was composed of NDSR colleagues and mentors.
Over breakfast I gave informal tours of the Memory Lab, a public-facing digitization lab I created as a part of my residency work. It felt like the project’s capstone, debuting the space to our group and receiving comments and questions from those that have supported me throughout its development.
Yvonne Ng, senior archivist at WITNESS and a member of XFR Collective, led a workshop exploring methods of promoting digital curation to the public. The presentation began with a powerful case study of Kianga Mwamba, a Baltimore resident arrested in March 2014 for using her phone to video record an instance of police brutality. When she was released on bail the next day her phone was returned but the video was no longer on it. Luckily for Mwamba, it had automatically backed up to her Google account. It was introduced as evidence in a civil suit with the Baltimore Police Department.
WITNESS reaches their activist audience by creating targeted promotional and educational material about digital preservation. Case studies like Mwamba’s are incredibly effective, though they can be difficult to find, especially when the absence of a digital record proves why it should have been preserved. Other methods WITNESS employs include involving local “influencers” in train-the-trainer programs as a way of disseminating information to their communities, and creating engaging educational resources in multiple languages. One of these resources, the Activist’s Guide to Archiving Video, received the Society of American Archivist’s Preservation Publication Award in 2014.
Ng said that sometimes no matter what you do, it’s effectiveness is a matter of timing. WITNESS tries to avoid reaching people before they’ve amassed enough material to care about preservation. And WITNESS folds preservation education into larger training sessions that address other video activists’ needs, such as video-as-evidence training and post-production work.
After the lecture, Ng asked residents and mentors to identify four or five communities we wanted to support, and to identify the challenges and strategies to working with that community. Although my NDSR project is the most obviously public-facing, the exercise revealed that all NDS residents have had to advocate and educate within their host institutions to successfully meet their goals.
From Senate staff to scientists at the National Institute of Health, digital content creators have to be appealed to. It is a necessary part of effective life-cycle management. Ng reminded us that, besides ensuring that valuable material is preserved in each of our institutions, there are other benefits to such advocacy, including raising awareness about the long-term value of content and educating creators about what archivists actually do.
After the discussion activity, I escorted the group upstairs to our Washingtoniana Room where DCPL Special Collections librarian Jerry McCoy discussed the history of the library’s community archive and the significance of our Mies Van Der Rohe building, slated for a large scale renovation project later this year.
We ended our session with a tour of our Studio and Fabrication Labs. Labs manager MaryAnn James-Daley, connecting back to WITNESS’s strategy of using “influencers,” discussed how essential a teen volunteer has been in a recent campaign to get more teens into these spaces.
As our community grow and matures, we recognized the need to articulate some guidelines for how we interact with each other - and options for those who feel that they have been harmed. Written in open consultation with the Islandora community, the Islandora Roadmap Committee and Board of Directors have approved our new Islandora Community Code of Conduct, which will apply to all interactions in our online platforms and at Islandora events.
This is a friendly, professional community, and our Code of Conduct reflects that. We borrowed heavily from the ideas of similar open-source projects when putting it together, particularly the Django Software Foundation and OpenStack. While the period for open review is behind us, if you have any thoughts or opinions about the Code of Conduct, please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This blog post was written by Florence Abena Toffa from Code for Ghana.
The International Open Data Day is a gathering of citizens in various cities around the world to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analysis of open public data. This year, we partnered with National Information Technology Agency (NITA) to provide us with Ghana’s election datasets for the hackathon.
Code for Ghana’s theme for this year’s event was: Open Data for a free and fair 2016 election. The people of Ghana are going to the polls again this year. Since 1992, Ghana has been among the countries that have had peaceful elections and successful change of governments in Africa. Usually, the atmosphere is unpredictable. Also, elections reportage is often bereft of data analysis and visualisations. The benefit of hindsight provides an enormous opportunity to even predict future events. The goal of the hackathon was to empower the youth to understand election trends and contribute to it through data analysis and visualisations. This will help to understand election issues better.
We had a total of 21 participants and as early as 8 am participants started trickling in, most of whom were software developers, CSOs and data enthusiasts. Among the attendees were two young ladies who exhibited unwavering enthusiasm in open data and data visualization and one guest came all the way from Togo to attend the event. The hackathon started with a brief introduction to the Code for Ghana election project by Florence Toffa, the project manager. Also, in attendance was the Open Data 233 team led by Raindolf Owusu. They gave a brief presentation on their election project and how it is aimed at keeping a vigilant eye on the 2016 election proceedings and also to enhance public participation in politics. Participants were introduced to the various open data tools and libraries available to use to analyse election data. They were then divided into teams to brainstorm on election ideas. We had four main projects in total. Below are the various projects that were done.
The first group created a web platform displaying data visualizations of results of the 2008 general elections. They focused on the 3 major political parties in the country: NDC, NPP and the CPP. The datasets used were very detailed, covering election results from all the regions in the country – constituency by constituency. At the bottom of the home page, they provided an overall visualization of the 2008 elections. The project is hosted here;
<noscript><a href=’http:&#47;&#47;lexis1903-001-site1.1tempurl.com&#47;greater.html’><img alt=’Sheet 2 ‘ src=’http:&#47;&#47;public.tableau.com&#47;static&#47;images&#47;20&#47;2008ElectionsResultsGreaterAccra&#47;Sheet2&#47;1_rss.png’ style=’border: none’ /></a></noscript>
Figure 1 – Results for the greater Accra region
The second group also studied the Presidential election results of the NDC and NPP from 2000 – 2012. Their main aim was to discover patterns in order to make predictions in this year’s elections. We asked Abubakar Siddique (the leader) to give us an overview of their project and this is what he had to say:
For example NPP have always won the Ashanti and Eastern region, also they have only lost in the Western region and Brong Ahafo once since 2000 (for the years we have studied). Also NDC have never lost in Volta, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions since 2000 (also for the years we have studied).
It is important to emphasize that we did not intentionally decide to study just NDC and NPP, but this was due to the fact that as we were studying to obtain regional victories and after 2000 and 2004 analysis, it quickly became a competition between the two. From our analysis the ruling party has to work super hard to maintain power.
Fig 2. NDC’s presidential election results in 2000
The third group, made up of two ladies, looked at the correlation between rejected ballot papers over the election periods and voter literacy in the country. Based on this analysis, they will predict the occurrence rate of rejected votes in this year’s election.
The last group developed an SMS app to check election results.
The outcome of the hackathon was great. Code For Ghana will be working with Open Data 233 on their election project. Some of the interesting projects from this hackathon will be integrated into their platform. Two of the projects are still work in progress and as soon as they are finished, we will partner with other organisations to launch these projects. We have also established a good relationship with our Togo attendee who wants to start an open data initiative in his country. It was a great event and you can get all the pictures here ; Flickr. Thanks to Open Knowledge International for supporting us with the mini-grant.