Last updated May 28, 2015. Created by David Nind on May 28, 2015.
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Monthly maintenance release for Koha v 3.18.7. See the release announcements for the details:
- Koha 3.18.7 - http://koha-community.org/koha-3-18-7-released/ (26 May 2015 - maintenance release)
Peter Murray: Thursday Threads: Man Photocopies Ebook, Google AutoAwesomes Photos, Librarians Called to HTTPS
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In this week’s threads: a protest — or maybe just an art project — by a reader who saves his e-book copy of Orwell’s 1984 by photocopying each page from his Kindle, the “AutoAwesome” nature of artificial intelligence, and a call to action for libraries to implement encryption on their websites.
Feel free to send this to others you think might be interested in the topics. If you find these threads interesting and useful, you might want to add the Thursday Threads RSS Feed to your feed reader or subscribe to e-mail delivery using the form to the right. If you would like a more raw and immediate version of these types of stories, watch my Pinboard bookmarks (or subscribe to its feed in your feed reader). Items posted to are also sent out as tweets; you can follow me on Twitter. Comments and tips, as always, are welcome.Use Your Photocopier to Backup you E-book
E-book backup is a physical, tangible, human readable copy of an electronically stored novel. The purchased contents of an e-book reader were easily photocopied and clip-bound to create a shelf-stable backup for the benefit of me, the book consumer. I can keep it on my bookshelf without worry of remote recall. A second hardcover backup has been made with the help of an online self-publishing house.– E-book backup, Jesse England, circa 2012
This project is from around 2012, but it first caught my eye this month. The author — pointing when “some Amazon Kindle users found their copy of George Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm had been removed from their Kindles without their prior knowledge or consent” — decided to photocopy each page of his copy of 1984 as it appeared on a Kindle screen and create a bound paper version. The result is as you see in the image to the right.
Eight days ago, someone took the images from Mr. England’s page and uploaded the sequence to imgur. The project again circulated around the ‘net. There is a digital preservation joke in here, but I might not be able to find it unless the original creator took the text of 1984 and printed it out as QR Codes so the resulting book could be read back into a computer.How Awesome is Artificial Intelligence?
The other day I created a Google+ album of photos from our holiday in France. Google’s AutoAwesome algorithms applied some nice Instagram-like filters to some of them, and sent me emails to let me have a look at the results. But there was one AutoAwesome that I found peculiar. It was this one, labeled with the word “Smile!” in the corner, surrounded by little sparkle symbols.
It’s a nice picture, a sweet moment with my wife, taken by my father-in-law, in a Normandy bistro. There’s only one problem with it. This moment never happened.
Follow the link above to see the pictures — the two source pictures and the combination that Google’s algorithms created. The differences are subtle. I loaded both of the source images into Gimp and performed a difference operation between the two layers. The result is the image below.
Black means the pixel color values were identical, so you can see the changes of hand position clearly. (Other artifacts are I assume differences because of the JPEG compression in the original source pictures.)
This reminds me of the trick of taking multiple pictures of the same shot and using a tool like Photoshop to remove the people. Except in this case it is an algorithm deciding what are the best parts from a multitude of pictures and putting together what its programmers deem to be the “best” combination.Call to Librarians To Implement HTTPS
Librarians have long understood that to provide access to knowledge it is crucial to protect their patrons’ privacy. Books can provide information that is deeply unpopular. As a result, local communities and governments sometimes try to ban the most objectionable ones. Librarians rightly see it as their duty to preserve access to books, especially banned ones. In the US this defense of expression is an integral part of our First Amendment rights.
Access isn’t just about having material on the shelves, though. If a book is perceived as “dangerous,” patrons may avoid checking it out, for fear that authorities will use their borrowing records against them. This is why librarians have fought long and hard for their patrons’ privacy. In recent years, that include Library Connection’s fight against the unconstitutional gag authority of National Security Letters and, at many libraries, choosing not to keep checkout records after materials are returned.
However, simply protecting patron records is no longer enough. Library patrons frequently access catalogs and other services over the Internet. We have learned in the last two years that the NSA is unconstitutionally hoovering up and retaining massive amounts of Internet traffic. That means that before a patron even checks out a book, their search for that book in an online catalog may already have been recorded. And the NSA is not the only threat. Other patrons, using off-the-shelf tools, can intercept queries and login data merely by virtue of being on the same network as their target.
Fortunately, there is a solution, and it’s getting easier to deploy every day.– What Every Librarian Needs to Know About HTTPS, by Jacob Hoffman-Andrews, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 6-May-2015
That is the beginning of an article that explains what HTTPS means, why it is important, and how libraries can effectively deploy it. This is something that has come up in the NISO Patron Privacy in Digital Library and Information Systems working group that has been holding virtual meetings this month and will culminate in a two-day in person meeting after the ALA Annual convention in San Francisco next month. As you look at this article, keep an eye out for announcements about the Let&aposs Encrypt initiative to kick-off some time this summer; it will give websites free server encryption certificates and provide a mechanism to keep them up-to-date.Link to this post!
I noticed yesterday that the RequestPolicy Firefox extension wasn’t working because it’s not being developed any more. There’s a replacement in the works but it didn’t look done enough, so I didn’t install it. I did install a couple of other extensions, which I organized in alphabetical order on the right-hand side of the location bar:ABP, BP, CM, D, HE, L, PB
They are, in order:
Is there anything else I should use?
I’m still being tracked a lot, even though I deny all third-party cookies and most site-specific cookies. With Lightbeam I can block everything from fonts.googleapis.com and optimizely.com and other places that do nothing useful for me.
With good sites, nothing suffers, or when something breaks I don’t care about it. With some sites I need to fire up another browser and allow everything just to achieve some minor goal like buying a ticket. I suffer that now, but maybe I’ll change my mind.
I’m trying to use Tor more often for browsing sites where I don’t have an account.
Sometimes I look at how other people use the web, and I’m appalled at how awful the experience is, with everything filled with ads (which they can see) and cookies and tracking (which they can’t). On the other hand, there’s how Richard Stallman does things:
I am careful in how I use the Internet.
I generally do not connect to web sites from my own machine, aside from a few sites I have some special relationship with. I usually fetch web pages from other sites by sending mail to a program (see git://git.gnu.org/womb/hacks.git) that fetches them, much like wget, and then mails them back to me. Then I look at them using a web browser, unless it is easy to see the text in the HTML page directly. I usually try lynx first, then a graphical browser if the page needs it (using konqueror, which won’t fetch from other sites in such a situation).
I occasionally also browse using IceCat via Tor. I think that is enough to prevent my browsing from being connected with me, since I don’t identify myself to the sites I visit.
I’m somewhere in the wide middle.
Part ge of Amazon crawl..
This item belongs to: data/ol_data.
This item has files of the following types: Data, Data, Metadata, Text
We are delighted to welcome Dr. James Onken, Senior Advisor to the NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, to deliver a keynote talk at the 2015 VIVO Conference.
Dr. James Onken is leading a new NIH initiative to develop a semantic NIH Portfolio Analysis and Reporting Data Infrastructure (PARDI) that leverages community data and requirements, including those from the VIVO community.
Working on a new project? Interested in sharing local research profiling or analysis efforts with attendees of #vivo15? We want to hear from you! Authors are invited to submit abstracts for poster presentations for the Fifth Annual VIVO Conference in August. For details on the Late-breaking Call for Posters, please click here. All submissions must be submitted by Saturday, May 30th by midnight PST.
Earlier this year Artefactual Systems and the DuraSpace organization launched ArchivesDirect, a complete hosted solution for preserving valuable institutional collections and all types of digital resources. This month Artefactual Systems’ Sarah Romkey and Courtney Mumma curated and presented a Hot Topics: The DuraSpace Community Webinar Series entitled, "Digital Preservation with ArchivesDirect: Ready, Set, Go!"
DSpace-CRIS 5.2.0 is aligned to the functionalities included in DSpace-CRIS 4.3.0 that was released on April 11, 2015.
The major functionalities shared by these two versions are:
From Bram Luyten, @mire
From Bram Luyten, @mire
@mire released a new version of its Content and Usage Analysis module. The module’s main goal is to visualize DSpace statistics which are otherwise difficult and time-consuming to interpret. By offering a layer on top of those data, DSpace administrator are able to display usage statistics, content statistics, workflow statistics, search statistics and storage reports.
PHILADELPHIA, May 18, 2015
Industry veteran noted for her dedication to developing a future-facing scholarly communication ecosystem
At work I wanted to get access to enrolment numbers by course, so we could have a better idea of how effective the library’s presence is in the university’s course management system.
A few weeks ago I met with A, who works in an administrative office that manages data like this.
He said I should talk to B, who runs the systems where the data lives. A would join the meeting.
Later I ran into C, B’s boss’s boss, who said he’d be there too, because B’s boss was too busy.
Today I met with A, B and C. After some discussion they decided they couldn’t give me the data, but I should talk to D in the registrar’s office.
While we were talking, C messaged D, who said that A should give me the numbers.
A, somewhat surprised by this, said he’d talk to his boss.
All that sounds pretty ridiculous, and it is, but not only am I going to get the data, during the course of the meeting when I explained why I wanted the data B and C said there was some other data that would solve another problem I had, B showed me a network profiling tool they’re using to find bottlenecks that would be useful for my colleagues V and W, A said he’d pull me into some other meetings about different kinds of data, B told me about a Moodle usage database I’ll get access to so I can pull out data I had no idea was being tracked, and I told all of them about some library data we can share with them.
Academia can work very slowly, but in the large private companies I worked at, A wouldn’t have even met with me in the first place, and in a meeting like this, B and C would have been defending their turf, not opening up other data to me I didn’t even know existed. Don’t give me the story about private enterprise always being more efficient.
Today I found the following resources and bookmarked them on Delicious.
- Koha Facebook App This script will publish every new book in your Koha to your Facebook fan page.
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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.
Today, American Libraries magazine launched, Digital Futures a new digital supplement that features articles both on how libraries are innovating and leading, as well as paths ahead for taking the initiative. Digital Futures is the fifth American Libraries magazine supplement on ebooks and digital content.
“I’m so pleased to see story after story about librarians being proactive related to the opportunities and challenges presented by the digital revolution,” said American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young in a press statement. “For example, the National Digital Platform proposed by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will accelerate the necessary trend of increased sharing of technology tools and services across libraries, as discussed in an article by Maura Marx, IMLS acting director, and Trevor Owens, IMLS senior program officer.”
In the report, two articles focus on particular innovative projects, and a trio of articles hones in on future directions for libraries and ebooks.
“This report includes eight other articles at the intersection of the publishing and library communities,” wrote Alan S. Inouye, guest editor of the supplement and director of ALA Office for Information Technology Policy, in a blog post for Digital Book World.
Want to participate in discussions about the burgeoning library ebook lending market? Join the digital content discussion at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco. At the session “Making Progress in Digital Content,” Digital Content Working Group (DCWG) co-chairs Carolyn Anthony and Erika Linke discuss the latest trends and then moderate a panel with Yoav Lorch (TotalBooX) and Monica Sendze (Odilo). The session takes place Sunday, June 28, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Moscone Convention Center, West Building, Room 2018. Print copies of this supplement will be available at the session.
The post Libraries on the offense in the digital revolution appeared first on District Dispatch.
One of my daughters graduated from college last week (see pic). Call me a proud Dad, as she graduated with top honors (Summa cum laude) from Tulane University in New Orleans. This, while holding down two jobs in her last semester. So like many people who have college, high school, middle school, or whatever graduations in this season of graduations, my thoughts turn to what I may have wished to have known when I was graduating.
In my case, I’m going to look back at my graduation from library school, which was a Master’s degree from UC Berkeley in 1986. Yes, I really am that old. But let’s not dwell on that.
Here is what I wished I had known back then:
- Don’t ever expect to get anything handed to you. So many of the things that ended up making a difference in my career I had to actively pursue or initiate. Frankly, needing to make sure I could support two children (twins) spurred me to go after things simply for the money. However, they also helped me build a career that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
- If something does get handed to you, run with it. My best career break came from someone who saw something in me and gave me a chance to prove myself. I ran with it, and never looked back. You should too.
- Don’t let success, should you be lucky enough to experience it, go to your head. My lucky break turned out to be the chance of a lifetime, and for a while I flirted with the idea of quitting my day job and going out on my own as a speaker/consultant. At least for me, that would have been a disaster, as the opportunities starting drying up and the recession killed whatever was left. I had a family to support, and a paycheck you can count on is worth all kinds of consulting opportunities upon which you can’t necessarily count.
- Know and be true to yourself. This absurdly general statement is meant to signify knowing who you are willing to work for. As a newly-minted librarian, I flirted with the idea of working for a commercial vendor. But after interviewing, I realized that it really wasn’t for me. Others enjoy it and that is perfectly fine. The point is to know yourself enough to know what is right for you.
- Expect the unexpected. Again, an absurdly general statement that in this case is meant to signify that whatever you learned in library school will likely be not just out of date in 3-5 years, but perhaps even wrong. I would even say the phrase should be welcome the unexpected, as those who do will inherit the future.
- Pursue connections with others. As someone who benefited greatly from mentors, I have turned, in my later career, to mentoring others. So you could say that I’ve seen both sides of making connections and I can tell you that they are more meaningful and helpful than you can even imagine. Perhaps I am an extreme case, as I had one mentor who truly launched my career. Unfortunately, I know that I have not had the same effect on those I mentor. But a major part of what I try to do is to bring together young librarians of like mind to help form peer networks that will take them forward long after I have left the scene. You, as a young professional, can pursue these kinds of situations. Look for a seasoned professional who can introduce you to people you should know. Suggest a mentor/mentee relationship. I doubt you will be disappointed.
- Be good to others. At the end of the day, you need to be able to sleep at night. So whatever life throws at you, try to handle it with grace and be good to your fellow travelers. Besides, you never know when you will need them to lend you a hand.
- Make bridges, don’t burn them. A corollary to the last point is to be good to the organizations you serve. Do your best work, and if they disdain you, then move on. But don’t make a big deal out of it. You never know what the future may bring and it just might be important that you didn’t disrespect your former employer.
- Have fun. I’ve often said in many of the speeches I’ve made over the years that if you’re not having fun you aren’t doing it right. I realize that sounds flip, and assumes that everyone can find a job they enjoy, but I happen to think you are worth it. If you aren’t happy doing what you are doing then you should seek out that which makes you happy. Seriously, it’s worth the extra effort. If you find yourself dragging yourself out of bed in the morning, loathing the day you face, then that’s a pretty good sign you need to find something else. Don’t settle without a fight. You owe yourself at least that much.
I realize that advice is all too easy to give and much more difficult to take to heart. I don’t expect anyone to change their life based on this post. But it makes me feel better to get this down on “paper,” and to be able to point people to it should I ever run into someone who seems like they could use the advice.
But you’re right, I doubt I would have listened back then either. I needed to learn it on my own, one bloody, painful step at a time. I suppose in the end all we ever need is the ability to make good decisions, given the particular realities that face us at any one point in our lives. And that is perhaps the best possible graduation speech: how to make good decisions, as that is what life tends to throw at you — the need to make good decisions, time and time again.
Anna Neatrour is the Digital Metadata Librarian at the Mountain West Digital Library. In that capacity she works with libraries across the western states to support description and discovery of digital collections.
In this post, Anna describes one of her typical days as a metadata librarian aggregating data on a regional level and as a Service Hub with DPLA.
What does a Metadata Librarian do? The over ten million records in the Digital Public Library of America represent the work of countless people collecting, digitizing, and describing unique cultural heritage items. Mountain West Digital Library provides access to over 900,000 records, or about 10% of DPLA’s total collection. So, what does it take to be a metadata services librarian at a large DPLA service hub? Let’s find out.
8:30-10:30. Evaluate New Collections
I evaluate new collections from partners throughout Utah, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, and Nevada, and harvest their metadata into the Mountain West Digital Library. The MWDL has a well-established Metadata Application Profile, and I check new collections for conformance with the MWDL community’s shared expectations for descriptive metadata. Sometimes there are adjustments a local collection manager will need to make to field mappings, or values in the metadata that need to be revised or added. MWDL runs on ExLibris’ Primo discovery system, and we harvest collections through OAI-PMH. This means that I spend time checking OAI streams prior to harvesting a new collection. For a new repository I’ll send the collection manager a detailed report with information about what to fix. For long-term, established partners of MWDL, I’ll fire off e-mails with quick suggestions.
10:30-12:00. MWDL Staff Meeting
Once a week, our team checks in about current projects, technical troubleshooting, and the status of new collections we are adding.
12:30-1:30. Web Page Updates for New Collections
I’ve been working recently on harvesting new collections from the University of Idaho Digital Library, which has a wonderfully eclectic collection of materials that covers a variety of topics including jazz history, forestry, and much more.
There’s some great graphic design in the Vandal Football Program Covers Collection, like this one which proclaims “Mashed Idahoes Comin’ Up!”
The International Jazz Collections at the University of Idaho are a unique resource, and many of the digitized materials from those collections are available in the DPLA, like this photo of Joe Williams and Count Basie from the Leonard Feather Jazz Collection.
We’ve also added great collections from the Arizona Memory Project, including the Petrified Forest Historic Photographs collection that adds to our existing materials on national parks and recreation in the region. My favorite item in this collection is photograph of Albert Einstein touring the park, a detail of which can be seen above in the header image for this post.
One of the things I enjoy the most about harvesting new collections into MWDL is seeing how the information available on a particular topic gets augmented and expanded as more items are digitized. For example, many MWDL partners have photos and documents that tell the story of the Saltair Resort on the shores of the Great Salt Lake.
We have many older photos documenting the history of the resort, but we recently added a selection of color photos from 1965, during the time period after the resort was abandoned, but before it was later destroyed by arson.
All of these collections from MWDL then combine to help researchers find even more resources on these topic in DPLA.
2:00-3:00. Virtual Meeting or Training Support
I enjoy working with librarians from different institutions across our multi-state region, which means meeting online. The meetings might center on the activities of a MWDL Task Force or time with a librarian needing support.
3:00-4:00 Technical Troubleshooting
I check harvested collections after they are imported/ingested into Primo and troubleshoot any issues when necessary. This means checking the PNX (Primo Normalized XML) records in our discovery system to make sure that the harvested metadata will display correctly, and also be available for DPLA to harvest.
4:00-5:30 PLPP Partner Support
MWDL is one of the four service hubs working on the Public Libraries Partnerships Project, and while we support all our partners, we are spending extra time helping public librarians who are new to digitization get their first collections online!
Sharing the digital collections regionally at mwdl.org and nationally through DPLA is extremely rewarding. The next time you find a cool digital item in DPLA, thank your local metadata librarian!
Featured image: Detail of Dr. and Mrs. Albert Einstein visit Rainbow Forest, date unknown. Courtesy of the National Park Service (AZ) via the Arizona Memory Project and Mountain West Digital Library.
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