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Library of Congress: The Signal: Digital Curation and the Public: Strategies for Education and Advocacy

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 15:40

This is a guest post by Jaime Mears.

Memory Lab. Photo 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.

Fabrication Lab. Photo by Jaime Mears.

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.

Islandora: Islandora Community Code of Conduct

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 13:15

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

Open Knowledge Foundation: Code for Ghana Open Data Day 2016

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 13:03

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;

Ghana’s 2008 Presidential election results


<noscript>&lt;a href=&#8217;http:&amp;#47;&amp;#47;;#47;greater.html&#8217;&gt;&lt;img alt=&#8217;Sheet 2 &#8216; src=&#8217;http:&amp;#47;&amp;#47;;#47;static&amp;#47;images&amp;#47;20&amp;#47;2008ElectionsResultsGreaterAccra&amp;#47;Sheet2&amp;#47;1_rss.png&#8217; style=&#8217;border: none&#8217; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</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.

Journal of Web Librarianship: A Review of "Library Analytics and Metrics"

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 08:17
Robert J. Vander Hart

Journal of Web Librarianship: A Review of "Responsive Web Design in Practice"

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 08:17
Rachel E. Vacek

Journal of Web Librarianship: A Review "Mobile Technologies for Every Library"

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 08:16
Mat T. Wilson

DuraSpace News: The DSpace Community Comes Together Around a New Vision and Mission Statement

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 00:00

Austin, TX  The DSpace community has adopted a new mission and vision statement developed by the mission and vision working group based on background work completed by the community over the past several years.

DuraSpace News: OR2016 keynotes and Accepted Contributions Announced; Early Bird Deadline is April 13

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 00:00

From Dermot Frost, Chair, OR2016 Host Committee and David Minor, Matthias Razum, and Sarah Shreeves, Co-Chairs, OR2016 Program Committee

Dublin, Ireland  Open Repositories 2016–to be held in Dublin, Ireland June 13th-16th–is pleased to announce our opening and closing keynote speakers - Laura Czerniewicz and Rufus Pollock. Read below for more information about both.

Open Knowledge Foundation: Diplohack in Brussels – The first hack in the Council of the European Union

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-04-05 22:27

For the first time in history, we can hack from inside the Council of the European Union building! Join us at #Diplohack in Brussels in the Council of the European Union on the 29-30 of April.

We invite everyone to take part, whether you’re a diplomat, developer, designer, citizen, student, journalist or activist. We will connect different profiles together in teams to use European data for good.

The idea is that you create a prototype or MVP (minimum viable product) with this data in just 24 hours that is focused on transparency and decision-making. We will support you in any way possible, explain the data and help you get started.

Diplohack, as the hackathon is called, forms part of the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the European Union transparency strategy. The Brussels diplohack will run for 24 hours straight and is part of the several Diplohacks across Europe. Those hackathons intend to make the EU more transparent.

Tech developers, EU diplomats, journalists, citizen activists, social entrepreneurs, data experts and many more will join forces and think of transparency applications to make decision making in the EU searchable and understandable.

Everybody interested in the EU data can enter the hackathon. The winners of the diplohack will be invited to compete in a European final in Amsterdam during the TransparencyCamp Europe Unconference.

The Diplohack event is organised the Council of the European Union, the Dutch EU Presidency and Open Knowledge Belgium. Get your free ticket for the #Diplohack!

The Diplohack will be preceded by the Webinar with EU data experts to explain more about the data. You can join even if you don’t participate in the Diplohack itself. Register here. Check or the discuss forum thread more info on the programme and the Eventbrite page for more practical information.

District Dispatch: Reminder: CopyTalk this Thursday with the Libertarians

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-04-05 21:14

From Lotus Head

This month’s CopyTalk will be unlike any before.  This one will be about our understanding of what copyright is and why we have it in the first place.  That’s right, we’re talking copyright policy. ALA’s policy is that copyright was created by Congress to advance the dissemination of information, creative arts, and knowledge for the benefit of the public. Libraries are important vehicles for advancing the purpose of copyright because they are sites of learning and personal enrichment. We lawfully acquire copyright resources so more people have access to them.  We replace and preserve these resources under copyright exceptions also to benefit the public.  We do other things as well, but this is meant to be a short blog post.

Of course, copyright means different things to different people and stakeholder groups. This Thursday, libertarians from R Street will share their thoughts on ways to look at U.S. copyright policy.  Join us for a wonky time!

Thursday, April 7th 2016 2pm (Eastern)/11am (Pacific) use this URL to access the webinar. Register as a guest and you’re in.  Yes, it’s still FREE because the Office for Information Technology Policy and the Copyright Education Subcommittee want to expand copyright awareness and education opportunities.

And yes, we archive the webinars!

The post Reminder: CopyTalk this Thursday with the Libertarians appeared first on District Dispatch.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: pycounter - 0.13.0

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-04-05 20:23

Last updated April 5, 2016. Created by wooble on April 5, 2016.
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