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Access Conference: AccessYYZ Registration Update

planet code4lib - 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!

planet code4lib - 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

planet code4lib - 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

planet code4lib - 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.

Hydra Project: OR2015 program announcement, registration reminder

planet code4lib - Tue, 2015-05-05 08:06

Of interest to Hydranauts

OR2015 NEWS: Full Program Available; Early Registration Deadline Friday; Sign Up for Workshops

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce that full program and schedule details for Open Repositories 2015, taking place in Indianapolis on June 8-11, are now available on the conference website at

The program for this 10th Open Repositories conference includes:

– keynote talks from Kaitlin Thaney of Mozilla Science Lab and Anurag Acharya of Google Scholar

– a mix of workshops, tutorials, papers, panels, 24×7 presentations, posters, and “repository rants and raves” addressing a wide variety of topics related to digital repositories and the roles they play in supporting open scholarship, open science, online cultural heritage, and research data

– a Developer Track that includes informal  presentations and demonstrations showcasing community expertise and progress

– interest group sessions focused on the open source DSpace, EPrints, and Fedora (including Hydra and Islandora) repository platforms

– an Ideas Challenge enabling small teams to collaborate on proposing new ideas for moving repositories forward (with prizes)

Coupled with a variety of social activities to help support networking with colleagues from across the globe, along with exhibit tables from conference sponsors, OR2015 should make for a rewarding experience for anyone working in the repositories space.

** Reminder: Discounted Early Registration Ends Friday, May 8 **

Online registration for OR2015 is open, and participants can save $50 by registering by this Friday, May 8. Special negotiated room rates are available at the conference hotel until May 16. For more information, please visit the conference website:

All conference participants, including those with accepted presentations, need to register in order to attend the conference.

** Sign Up for Workshops and Tutorials **

If you have already registered for OR2015 and are planning to participate in workshops or tutorials on the first day of the conference, Monday, June 8, please visit to sign up for the sessions you plan to attend. Workshops and tutorials are included in the registration fee, but separate signup is required in order to guarantee a seat.

We look forward to seeing you at OR2015!

Holly Mercer, William Nixon, and Imma Subirats

OR2015 Program Co-Chairs

Jon Dunn, Beth Namachchivaya, Julie Speer, and Sarah Shreeves

OR2015 Conference Organizing Committee

DuraSpace News: VIVO v1.8 is Now Available

planet code4lib - Tue, 2015-05-05 00:00

The VIVO team has announced that VIVO v1.8 is now available with key features and improvements. The VIVO Project is an open source, open ontology, open process platform for hosting information about the interests, activities and accomplishments of faculty and students providing an integrated view of the scholarly work of an organization.

District Dispatch: The hierarchy of creative people

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 21:25

Photo by David Lapetina

A coalition formed “to combat copyright piracy and demonstrate the value of creativity”— Creative America—has changed its name to CreativeFuture. Major motion picture and television companies initially formed this group now that is now considering the future, the present day, and no doubt, the past as well.

CreativeFuture now has individual members as well industry and trade groups. These new members call themselves “the creatives.” Apparently, by calling themselves the creatives, they are a specially placed group, distinct from other people who create.

Who are the CreativeFuture creatives? Television and film executives, producers, screen writers, actors and others in the entertainment industry. They argue that “copyright should protect creatives from those who would use the internet to undermine creativity.” In case you were wondering, “Those” are people who use the internet to allegedly infringe copyright by copying and distributing protected content.

They are incorrectly called “pirates,” because, well, it sounds more creative. The icing on the cake is the compelling narrative that goes along with the label. The story goes that if piracy [sic] is unchecked, the entertainment industries will go bankrupt, thousands of people who work for the industry will lose their jobs, and the world will miss out on the fantabulous creative works that the United States provides. And if the creatives grow disillusioned, there will come a time when the creatives will have no reason to create anymore. Only people who are creative—but not as creative as the creatives—will create their subpar content. The world will suffer.

Other than the creatives, who else should be protected by copyright law? The public. The grand feature of the copyright law is that it serves both the interests of creators and rights holders but also the information seeking (and consumer buying) needs of the public. Free expression and learning should be protected as well because they in turn advance knowledge and create new works. This is how the progress of science and the useful arts happens.

Re:create, a new copyright coalition wants to direct more attention to the public, people who create, and new and emerging creators. Piracy [sic] is bad but making extreme attempts to control it with laws like SOPA are overkill, and ultimately only favor the creatives, the companies they work for, and their legacy business models.

In closing, I will end my tongue in cheek rant with a plea. The creatives say that they “must be part of the conversation and stand up for creativity.” We all support creativity already, but the creatives, always craving attention, want to stand up higher and be seen (or heard at a Congressional hearing). I say that the concerns of the public need more attention. Let’s move forward while preserving a balanced copyright law. Don’t miss your chance to be heard.

The post The hierarchy of creative people appeared first on District Dispatch.

Coral Sheldon-Hess: Recipe – Sweet potato and black bean hash

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 19:58

This is delicious by itself, with rice, as a taco or quesadilla filling, or, if you want to combine it with some scrambled eggs and a little cheese, in a breakfast burrito. Sour cream goes nicely with it, especially if you get it too spicy. ;) Although it’s very good (and rich and filling) with the bacon, I don’t think you strictly need it. If you prefer to go vegetarian, just increase the other oil and leave the bacon out; it’ll still be good.

This, much more than the last recipe, will give you a peek into how I generally cook. (Spoiler: Makin’ it all up as I go.) I started out to make basically this, but I didn’t bother to look it back up (or I’d have known I had WAY too many sweet potatoes :)); also, I knew I was going to substitute some coconut oil in place of some of the bacon fat.* If olive oil is your thing, do that instead; just keep an eye on the temperature so it doesn’t smoke.

About halfway through cooking it, I changed my mind and decided to make something spicier, a little more like Mexican food and a little less like Southern food; hence, beans and all the spices past the sage. I was working from my recollection of something I liked to order back when I lived in Pittsburgh, at a (now sadly closed) restaurant called The Quiet Storm, and I think I got the spice combo right. But I wish I’d measured, so that I could share exact amounts with you. Below are my estimates.


  • 32 oz sweet potatoes, minus a few weird-looking chunks
  • 1 lb bacon (minus a few strips that became breakfast), drained, but reserve the fat
  • 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
  • ~3 Tbsp coconut oil + ~1Tbsp bacon fat; you can add more if it starts sticking to the pan too badly
  • sage – fresh is pretty great, dried is fine; I used 4 fresh leaves plus probably a teaspoon of dried
  • chili powder – at least a teaspoon, probably more like 2
  • onion powder – just a dash
  • garlic powder – a dash
  • oregano – about a teaspoon?
  • cayenne – maybe 1/4-1/2 tsp, depending how spicy you want to go
  • salt – to taste
  • a little water


If you didn’t buy pre-cut sweet potatoes, peel and chop yours. It will cook faster if you shred them, rather than cutting them into cubes. I like having them cubed, but I think I watched three episodes of a TV show on my cookbookiPad while this was cooking, just so you know.

Cook the bacon however you like to cook bacon. I used a skillet, patted the cooked bacon dry with a paper towel, and then poured all of the fat from the skillet into a measuring cup. I gave the bacon time to cool and ate some breakfast. :) You will eventually want to chop the bacon into little pieces, but you’ll have time for that while the sweet potatoes cook.

Put a little bit of the bacon grease (maybe 1Tbsp, maybe a smidge more) back into your skillet with the coconut oil. It’s going to look like too much oil, but 32 oz of sweet potatoes will eat a LOT of oil while they cook. Let the oil get good and hot (I kept the burner on medium the whole time), and if you’re using fresh sage, drop the leaves in and let them sizzle for just a bit before you dump in the sweet potatoes. Dried sage can go in a little later.

Get the sweet potatoes covered in oil, and then let them heat. You’ll want to stir them up every so often, maybe every 5 or so minutes if you’re an antsy cook like me. For something more like hashbrowns, you want to be more patient.

Chop up your bacon. Once the sweet potatoes are hot — not even cooked through, just hot — it’s cool to add the spices and throw the bacon back in.

About 15 minutes after you add the spices and the bacon, go ahead and add the (rinsed and drained) beans. You’ll want to add water (maybe about a third of a cup?) from time to time, after the beans go in, because they’re prone to drying out.

When everything’s all cooked through, or you’re bored and just want to finish it in the microwave, it’s done. :)

* If you use locally grown bacon from happy pigs that aren’t eating corn, probably using all the bacon fat is a fine choice, but I wasn’t. I’m sorry. One of the perks of having a full-time job again is going to be a return to buying more locally and more ethically, just in general; but for now, I just do what I can. (back)

Peter Murray: From NISO: Invitation to NISO Patron Privacy Virtual Meetings

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 19:44

Over the next couple months, NISO is managing a project to “develop a Consensus Framework to Support Patron Privacy in Digital Library and Information Systems.”1 I’m honored and excited to be on the panel exploring this topic and creating the recommendations as this is a topic I’ve written about extensively on this blog. In May and June, NISO is conducting virtual meetings on four topics that will lead up to a day and a half in-person discussion at the ALA annual meeting at the end of June in San Francisco. Reproduced below is the invitation for people to listen in on the virtual meeting discussions. I hope (and expect) that there will be a twitter hashtag for those participating in the call (whether on the panel or in the audience) to add their thoughts. The #nisoprivacy hashtag will be used to gather the discussion online.

As announced last month, NISO, the National Information Standards Organization has launched an initiative to develop a Consensus Framework to Support Patron Privacy in Digital Library and Information Systems with the generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The project involves a series of community discussions on how libraries, publishers and information systems providers can build better privacy protection into their operations and the subsequent formulation of a framework document on the privacy of patron data in these systems.

We are pleased to announce the availability of a limited number of listen-only “seats” to the virtual meetings that comprise the first phase of the project. The virtual meetings will involve a range of industry participants including librarians, publishers, system vendors, legal experts and general non-profit participants, discussing various ‘lenses’ of patron privacy. The dates and times of these events are scheduled as follows:

  • Patron privacy in internal library systems: Thursday, May 7, 10:00 am-1:00 pm ET
  • Patron privacy in vendor systems: Thursday, May 21, 10:00 am-1:00 pm ET
  • Patron privacy in publisher systems: Friday, May 22, 9:00 am-12 noon ET
  • Legal frameworks influencing data sharing and policies: Friday, June 19, 1:00-4:00 pm ET

If you would like to attend any of these meetings as a listen-only guest, please fill out the RSVP form at [Registration for each meeting will close at noon Eastern time the day before the meeting.]

Each of these virtual meetings will be a three-hour web-based session designed to lay the groundwork for an in-person meeting at the conclusion of the American Library Association meeting in San Francisco, CA in June. We plan to make a live stream of that meeting available to the community. More information about that video stream of the meeting will be distributed next month.

Following the in-person meeting, a Framework document will be completed detailing the privacy principles and recommendations agreed to by the participants, and then circulated for public comment and finalization. More information, including a version of the project proposal, is available on the NISO website at:

Thank you for your interest in this important topic that faces the library and information communities.

  1. From NISO’s March 11, 2015, press release about the project.
Link to this post!

Library of Congress: The Signal: National Digital Stewardship Alliance Seeking New Host Organization

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 19:36
Request For Proposals: Organizational Host for the National Digital Stewardship Alliance

NDSA card, by wlef70, on Flickr.

Founded in 2010, the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) is a consortium of institutions that are committed to the long-term preservation of digital information. NDSA’s mission is to establish, maintain and advance the capacity to preserve digital resources for the benefit of present and future generations. The NDSA comprises over 160 participating institutional members. These members come from 45 states and include universities, consortia, professional societies, commercial businesses, professional associations and government agencies at the federal, state and local level.

For an inaugural 4-year term, the Library of Congress has provided secretariat and membership management support to the NDSA, contributing working group leadership, expertise and administrative support. The NDSA Coordinating Committee and The Library of Congress seek proposals (PDF, 99 KB) from organizations to host the NDSA for its next 4-year term.

Over its first four years, NDSA projects have yielded a wide range of outputs that articulate and move forward a national strategy for digital preservation like the National Agenda for Digital Stewardship report and the storage and content surveys and resulting reports. The NDSA also produces tools that document and guide best practices like the Levels of Preservation and numerous digital content case studies. The NDSA is also highlights member accomplishments through the annual Innovation Awards and the Insights interview series. Through an annual meeting, regional workshops and monthly webinars members share and learn about current work in digital standards, content and infrastructure. These projects have extended the state of disciplinary knowledge, advanced the state of digital preservation practice and disseminated information about approaches to long-term access to a wide audience. Representatives of a range of stakeholders have provided input to the products of the NDSA, and a number of community funders have used NDSA reports to guide their programs.

The NDSA host organization will play a critical role in the digital stewardship community, in ongoing activities, and in developing new NDSA products. The host will be prominently acknowledged in NDSA reports and other products; in NDSA communications; and at conferences and other NDSA events. The NDSA host organization will participate in NDSA leadership as a member of the Coordinating Committee; will contribute expertise through participation in NDSA working groups and working group activities, and will contribute to operations by providing administrative organizational support.

All NDSA member institutions have committed to NDSA principles of stewardship, collaboration, inclusiveness and transparency, and contribute in-kind effort to working groups, surveys and outreach. Host institutions are expected to commit to NDSA principles for the scope of their NDSA activities; to contribute dedicated effort to leadership and administrative support; and to contribute targeted effort to working group activities of special interest to the host.

Organizations interested in hosting NDSA should send a letter of inquiry (up to one page) by e-mail to the NDSA Coordinating Committee (Chair: Micah Altman, escience [at] by June 30, 2015.

NDSA Request for Proposals Document (PDF)

Letter to NDSA Members announcing the transition (PDF)

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: DSpace CRIS - 4.3.0

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 19:03

Last updated May 4, 2015. Created by Peter Murray on May 4, 2015.
Log in to edit this page.

Package: DSpace CRISRelease Date: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

District Dispatch: 3D/DC: A good day for libraries

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 16:07

An e-NABLE prosthetic hand.
Photo from

Last Wednesday, the Washington, D.C. think tank Public Knowledge hosted 3D/DC, its annual 3D printing policy symposium at the U.S. Capitol Complex. The all-day event brought together educators, government officials, 3D printer manufacturers, leaders of the open-source digital file-sharing movement, entrepreneurs and software developers from across the country.

Programming consisted of a series of panels on topics ranging from distributed manufacturing and the economy, to education, to intellectual property. Although the lineup of speakers included representatives from the private, public and non-profit sectors, most of the day’s remarks extolled the capacity of 3D printers to promote creative learning and expression. From Allison Vicenti, MakerBot’s Education Director, to John Schull, founder of a non-profit community of 3D-printed prosthetic makers known as e-NABLE, the experts agreed that 3D printing will only reach its full potential in the United States if people remain free to harness it to build new skills and bring their ideas to life.

For ALA, this common sentiment among 3D mavens is welcome news. These individuals are looking for actors that do exactly what libraries do. As ALA’s work on 3D printing to date emphasizes, the library community is unique in providing access to—and instruction in—this technology to the public at no or low cost. There are makerspaces outside of libraries, but these facilities are generally “pay-to-play”—they don’t boast the same ability to empower people of all ages, creeds and financial means to bring their imaginations into the physical world. In short, libraries exhibit unrivaled leadership in allowing for the free expression needed to leverage 3D printing technology to meet individual, community and national needs.

Luckily for us, ALA is not a voice in the wilderness on this point. More than one participant in Wednesday’s event spoke to the leadership our community continues to demonstrate in encouraging creativity through 3D printing. Leading scholar Michael Weinberg of the 3D printing marketplace Shapeways—an employee of Public Knowledge until recently—said that as the son of a librarian, he feels a personal appreciation for all we’re doing to connect people to the innovative power of the technology. Sophia Georgiou, the founder of a New York start-up that created mobile 3D modeling app Morphi, said that 3D printing enthusiasts should keep libraries in mind when looking for a safe space to learn and create.

The fact that 3D printing experts recognize libraries as leaders in providing access to—and building skills through—3D printing is great, but it’s not enough; our work is far from done. For starters, we need to make sure that this recognition expands beyond the brilliant minds that are steeped in 3D printing issues day-in and day-out. From a public policy standpoint, that means we have to make clear to policymakers inside and outside of the beltway that our ongoing efforts to establish a community-wide set of best practices for the use of 3D printers make us well equipped to play a role in developing the policy frameworks that are just beginning to coalesce around 3D printing technology. Additionally, we must leverage our growing status as 3D printing leaders to explore opportunities for collaboration with government actors and industry leaders in new 3D printing initiatives.

To these ends, ALA will continue its 3D printing work by cultivating relationships with key 3D printing players, both in government and the private sector. We also will continue to encourage library professionals to develop and share acceptable use policies for their 3D printers, so that the library community can establish best practices that guide the direction of 3D printing policy. And we will continue raising awareness of libraries’ work and value in this critical arena among key decision makers. You can help by sharing your successes, challenges and vision for the future by adding a comment here or emailing me directly at

Stay tuned for updates on our continued work in the 3D printing space, and for potential opportunities to get involved!

The post 3D/DC: A good day for libraries appeared first on District Dispatch.

DPLA: DPLA + DLF Cross-Pollinator travel grant awardee shares experiences from DPLAfest 2015

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 15:00

This guest post was written by Laura Wrubel, a 2015 DPLA + DLF Cross-Pollinator Travel Grant awardee. These grants provided active DLF community contributors with funding to participate in DPLAfest 2015 in Indianapolis this past April. In this post, Laura recounts her experiences at the fest.

Dan Cohen kicked off DPLAfest 2015 to a full auditorium at the Indianapolis Public Library saying, “it may not be intimate, but it may be communal.” Throughout the event, I noticed a sense of excitement about new and strengthening relationships, formal and informal, springing from this shared work to create the DPLA.

At the Community Showcase, several participants demonstrated projects connecting members of the local community with the creation of digital collections. I learned about History Harvest and Minnesota’s Immigrants, projects in which oral histories and student interviews of community members created living linkages between the contributors of content and the archive.

For the most part, I participated in the technical track and hackathon. Among the highlights of the track was Corey Harper’s session, “Can Metadata be Quantified? Analytics for Libraries”, a walkthrough of his exploratory analysis of DPLA metadata and website analytics, via an iPython notebook. How might we apply computational linguistics techniques, paired with search analytics, to improve the usability of the DPLA metadata and platform? Corey’s work is a great jumping off point to further understanding the DPLA collection and how those who contribute to it might make their metadata most effective for searchers. I was sorry I could not be in multiple places at once, and was glad for the tweeters sharing insights from the other technical sessions, the ebook track, and community rep meet-ups.

The “Introduction to the DPLA API” session–the kickoff to the hackathon–drew nearly 60 people interested in what the DPLA platform had to offer. Many people got up and running with an API key and using the Postman browser extension to explore the DPLA API themselves. Afterwards, a smaller group returned to brainstorm projects to pursue during the hackathon. Ideas included a “local view” of the DPLA collection, Wikipedia integration, an ipython notebook for exploring facet data, and open ebook integration with DPLA.

I joined a small group interested in ways to surface whimsical content from DPLA that would appeal to a broad range of people. We settled on a Twitter bot, starting with the code from Mark Sample’s DPLAbot as a starting point. Brandon Locke, Alexandra Murray, Scott Young, and I spent the hackathon creating DinnerPLAnsbot. It tweets daily an image from DPLA matching a random selection from a list of the top 1000 most frequently appearing menu items from the 1850s to today from the New York Public Library’s “What’s on the menu?” project. With some critical help from DPLA staff and Chad Nelson, we got it up and running, each contributing from our own particular expertise and all of us learning code that was new to us. Hungry for toast? DinnerPLAnsbot may have suggestions for you.

At the hackathon’s wrap-up–the Developer Showcase–we heard about several projects seeking potential connections between individuals and DPLA content, such as Wonder and the History Project. Ben Armintor showed “dbla”, a project he impressively accomplished in the short period of the hackathon, building the DPLA’s API into the Blacklight search interface. Mark Matienzo revived “Dial-a-DPLA,” an app using Twilio to allow people to call a number and hear a random audio selection. Particularly outstanding was Chad Nelson’s Color Browse project, a fun way to explore DPLA’s images by color. I appreciated the chance to share a project I recently worked on while learning Python, Disaster View, which explores DPLA images of natural disasters.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to have participated in DPLAfest, meeting people doing thoughtful research and development, with open source tools and transparency. DPLAfest deepened my appreciation for the tough technical challenges and hard organizational questions the DPLA staff and members are taking on, and left me impressed with the momentum the community is developing.

District Dispatch: Library community loses public service advocate Charles Benton

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 14:53

Philanthropist and library champion Charles Benton

It is with a heavy heart that I share news of the passing of Charles Benton—activist, philanthropist,founder and former CEO of the Benton Foundation. Charles was a long-time leader in the library field who served as the former chairman and chairman emeritus of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science and served on the National Museum and Library Services Board.

Charles was a leader ahead of his time—seeing the interconnection points of media, information policy, telecommunications and libraries. I saw this on a monthly basis as we both actively participate in the Schools, Health and Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition that ALA and the Benton Foundation helped co-found. Charles’ energy and enthusiasm for our shared work never seemed to flag, and his optimism and passion after decades of hard-fought battles has been inspiring.

As the leader of the Benton Foundation, Charles was committed to ensuring telecommunications services served the public interest and enhanced our democracy. In the past 30 years, the Benton Foundation has advocated (pdf) on behalf of diversity, universal access to and adoption of broadband, preservation of public media in policy debates on critical policy issues, creative media production, and public access to government information.

We will greatly miss his strong commitment to libraries and the roles they play in ensuring opportunity and progress for millions of people every day. No one can fill his shoes, but we can advance his vision by bringing our own fierce determination and voices to vital policy debates ranging from Universal Service to privacy to network neutrality.

The post Library community loses public service advocate Charles Benton appeared first on District Dispatch.

NYPL Labs: The Internet Loves Digital Collections: April 2015

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 14:15
January 18, 1969 menu from the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel

What was the most viewed image on NYPL's Digital Collections platform in April 2015?

It was a menu.

Specifically, a menu from the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel, dated January 18, 1969.

How did that happen?

Seems that a little show called Mad Men featured a mention of the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel in the third episode of this final season. Following the airing of that episode a few weeks ago, Gothamist posted a recap and review titled "Unpacking Last Night's Mad Men: From The Oak Room To Port Authority," featuring some color commentary about the various settings and details in the show. That recap featured a link to the menu above from our Digital Collections, and made that image the most viewed in April 2015.

What sorts of things were the Mad Men characters dining on in January 1969 (or similarly in 1970, where the show's chronology has now arrived)?

  • Shrimp Cocktail ($2.10)
  • Terrine of Imported Foie Gras ($3.65)
  • Sirloin steak (for 2, at $19.70)
  • Pot of coffee ($0.70)

Conveniently, you can see all the dishes on the Oak Room menu transcribed via our "What's on the Menu?" transcription tool.

Guide to symbols in a 1910 Tour Book from the Automobile Club of America

Meanwhile, a close second was a 1910 "Tour Book" from the Automobile Club of America (better browsed via our book viewer). That traffic came via a post on Slate's "Vault" blog (featuring "historical treasures, oddities, and delights") titled "The Complex Series of Symbols Early Motorists Used for Wayfinding," which showcased the fascinating set of symbols used in early motorist route descriptions.

Another popular collection that got a lot of notice last month is our nearly complete set of "The Green Books" from 1936-1967, which was just recently put online.

Digital Curatorial Assistant K Menick described the collection in a blog post, noting how these historical documents highlight the contours of a segregated nation listing "hotels, restaurants, beauty salons, nightclubs, bars, gas stations, etc. where black travelers would be welcome. In an age of sundown towns, segregation, and lynching, the Green Book became an indispensable tool for safe navigation."

That's the story for this month! Check back in a few weeks for more stories from our Digital Collections.

FOSS4Lib Updated Packages: FixityBerry

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 12:55

Last updated May 4, 2015. Created by acocciolo on May 4, 2015.
Log in to edit this page.

FixityBerry is software that runs on a Raspberry Pi computer that runs fixity scans on all hard drives connected via USB. The Pi is able to read a wide variety of drive formats because packages are available for Linux for doing this. It sends an email once scanning is complete, and shuts down the device. The Raspberry Pi—with connected hard drives—can be connected to a power timer that automatically runs the apparatus weekly.

Package Type: Data Preservation and ManagementLicense: OtherDevelopment Status: Production/Stable Package Links Operating System: LinuxProgramming Language: PHPDatabase: MySQL

Islandora: Islandora Conference - Proposed Workshops

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 12:27

In March we sent out a survey to the Islandora community to see what workshops you are interested in attending during the Islandora Conference. These will be two-hour sessions that address different skills and components in Islandora in a hands-on fashion, led by some of the most knowledgeable and experienced instructors in the community.

While we are still working out the details of the schedule and the instructor roster, we are pleased to announce plans to offer the following workshops during day three and four of the conference:

For Admins/Front End Users
  • Islandora 101
  • Building and Structuring Collections
  • Solr Front-end
  • Islandora Scholar
  • Scoping 101: Islandora Implementation Roadmap
For Developers
  • Islandora Development 101
  • How to Tuque
  • Solr Code-side
  • Solution Packs (Experts)
  • Drush and Migration
  • Working With Form Builder
  • All About XACML
  • Solution Packs (Beginners)
  • Fedora 4 and Islandora
  • Theming Your Islandora

See anything there you want to attend? Register for the conference and join us in Charlottetown August 3 - 7.

DuraSpace News: Telling VIVO Stories at Brown University with Andrew Ashton, Steven McCauley, Jean Rainwater and Ted Lawless

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 00:00

“Telling VIVO Stories” is a community-led initiative aimed at introducing project leaders and their ideas to one another while providing VIVO implementation details for the VIVO community and beyond. The following interview includes personal observations that may not represent the opinions and views of Brown University or the VIVO Project.

Julia Trimmer from Duke talked with the VIVO team at Brown University to learn about their VIVO story.

“What are your roles with VIVO at Brown?”

DuraSpace News: OAI9 Geneva Pre-Conference DSpace Meetings Offered in French and English

planet code4lib - Mon, 2015-05-04 00:00

From the @mire organising committee: Benoît Wéry, Bram Luyten and Ignace Deroost

Heverlee, Belgium  The biennial CERN Workshop on Innovations in Scholarly Communication (OAI9) will take place this year from June 17th until June 19th in Geneva. This year, @mire will organise pre-conference DSpace specific user group meetings on the 15th & 16th of June. You are kindly invited to attend these meetings.

Eric Hellman: Ranganathan and the 5 Blind Librarians

planet code4lib - Sat, 2015-05-02 23:47
It's "Choose Privacy Week". To celebrate, the American Library Association is publishing a series of blog posts; today they're running mine! I wanted to write something special, so I decided to have little fun with a parable. I'm reprinting it here:

I've heard it told that after formulating his famous "Five Laws of Library Science", the great Indian librarian S. R Ranganathan began thinking about privacy in libraries. Here's what I remember of the tale:
In India at the time, there were five librarians reknowned far and wide for their tremendous organizational skills, formidable bibliographic canny, and the coincidental fact that each of them was blind. It was said that "S" could identify books by their smell. "H" could classify a book just by the sound of the footfalls of a person carrying it. "T" was famous for leading patrons by the hand to exactly the book they wanted; the feel of a person's fingernails told him all he needed to know. "P" knew everything there was to know about paper and ink. "C" was quick with her fingers on a keyboard and there was hardly a soul in his city she had not corresponded with.  But these 5 were also sought out for their discretion; powerful leaders would consult them, thinking that their blindness made them immune to passing on their secrets of affairs and of state.
So of course, Ranganathan asked the five blind librarians to come to him so he could benefit from their wisdom and experience with privacy. The great librarians began talking among themselves as they sat outside Ranganathan's house.
"On my way through the countryside I encountered a strange beast", said librarian H.  "I can't say what he was, but he had a distinctive call like a horn: Toot-to-to-toooot..." and librarian H reproduced a complicated sound that must have had at least 64 toots.
"By that sound, I think I encountered the same beast." said librarian T. "I reached out to touch him. He was hard and smooth, and ended in a point, like a great long sword."
"No, you are wrong", said librarian P. I heard the same sound, and the strange beast is like a thick parchment, I could feel the wind when it fluttered.
"You fellows are so mistaken." said librarian C "You touch for a second and you think you know everything. I spent 15 minutes playing with the beast, she is like a great squirming snake."
"I know nothing of the beast except the smell of his droppings," said librarian S.  "But what I do know is that the beast had recently eaten a huge feast of bananas."
At this, a poacher who had been eavesdropping on the five librarians picked up his shotgun and ran off.
Just then, Ranganathan emerged through his door. Surprised at seeing the poacher run off, he asked the librarians what they had been talking about.
The librarians each repeated what they had told the others. When librarian S finally recounted the banana smell, Ranganathan became alarmed. The poacher had run in the direction of a grove of banana trees. Before he could do anything, they heard the sound of a powerful shotgun in the distance, and then the final roar of a dying elephant. 
With tears in his eyes, Ranganathan thanked the 5 librarians for their trouble, and sent them home. Though Ranganathan's manuscript on privacy has been lost to time, it is said that Ranganathan's 1st law of library privacy went something like this:

"Library Spies Don't Need Eyes".


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