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Ariadne Magazine: Back to the moon - eLib and the future of the library

planet code4lib - Tue, 2016-01-12 09:09

Martin Hamilton, Jisc's resident futurist and one time developer on the ROADS project in the 1990s, looks back at the heady days of the Follett Report, the eLib projects that appeared as a result and the services that some of them gave rise to. He then proposes an interesting long term archiving idea that might not be as far fetched as it sounds.

19th January 1996, and founding editor John Kirriemuir is about to hit “publish” on the first edition of Ariadne magazine Read more about Back to the moon - eLib and the future of the library

martin hamilton

Organisations: Article type: Issue number: Authors: Date published: Tue, 01/12/201675https://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue/75/hamilton

SearchHub: Lucidworks Fusion 2.2 Now Available

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-01-11 19:51

Lucidworks Fusion 2.2 is now available for download!

Lucidworks is pleased to announce the release of Fusion 2.2. This is a preview release of new features and enhancements we have been working on.

Improved UI elements

We are continuously working on improving our interface and UX. The salient improvements in this release include:

  • Simplified home interface and panel management to get to where you need to be faster than ever.
  • Refined visual design to allow for increased information display.
  • Minimap navibar for smoother scrolling and/or quick jumps between open panels.
  • Full screen script editors for easier configuration.
  • Synonyms Manager with a new interface allowing for categorization and audit management of synonyms.

New Connectors

We have 3 new data source connectors.

Alfresco

The Alfresco connector adheres to the Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) standard and has been tested with the Alfresco Community 5.0.d edition

ServiceNow

The ServiceNow connector allows for the crawl/recrawl of SN records of type Problem, Incident and kb_knowledge.

ZenDesk

The ZenDesk connector retrieves tickets, metrics, comments and attachments from the popular customer support system. It retrieves all tickets with all fields (e.g., customer, assignee, priority, status) as well as access restrictions for users and groups. We have also made numerous under the hood enhancements addressing connector indexing performance, speed and stability.

More details can be found in the Fusion 2.2 Preview release notes.

So go ahead, and give our latest version a try!

The post Lucidworks Fusion 2.2 Now Available appeared first on Lucidworks.com.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: VuFind - 2.5.1

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-01-11 17:07
Package: VuFindRelease Date: Monday, January 11, 2016

Last updated January 11, 2016. Created by Demian Katz on January 11, 2016.
Log in to edit this page.

Minor maintenance release.

ACRL TechConnect: Doing Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast: An Approach to Keeping it User Centered

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-01-11 17:00

Keeping any large technical project user-centered is challenging at best. Adding in something like an extremely tight timeline makes it too easy to dispense with this completely. Say, for instance, six months to migrate to a new integrated library system that combines your old ILS plus your link resolver and many other tools and a new discovery layer. I would argue, however, that it’s on a tight timeline like that that a major focus on user experience research can become a key component of your success. I am referring in this piece specifically to user experience on the web, but of course there are other aspects of user experience that go into such a project. While none of my observations about usability testing and user experience are new, I have realized from talking to others that they need help advocating for the importance of user research. As we turn to our hopes and goals for 2016, let’s all make a resolution to figure out a way to make better user experience research happen, even if it seems impossible.

  1. Selling the Need For User Testing

    When I worked on implementing a discovery layer at my job earlier this year, I had a team of 18 people from three campuses with varying levels of interest and experience in user testing. It was really important to us that we had an end product that would work for everyone at all levels, whether novice or experienced researcher, as well as for the library staff who would need to use the system on a daily basis. With so many people and such a tight timeline building user testing into the schedule in the first place helped us to frame our decisions as a hypothesis to confirm or nullify in the next round of testing. We tried to involve as many people as possible in the testing, though we had a core group who had experience with running the tests administer them. Doing a test as early as possible is good to convince others of the need for testing. People who had never seen a usability test done before found them convincing immediately and were much more on board for future tests.

  2. Remembering Who Your Users Are

    Reference and instruction librarians are users too. We sometimes get so focused on reminding librarians that they are not the users that we don’t make things work for them–and they do need to use the catalog too. Librarians who work with students in the classroom and in research consultations on a daily basis have a great deal of insight into seemingly minor issues that may lead to major frustrations. Here’s an example. The desktop view of our discovery layer search box was about 320 pixels long which works fine–if you are typing in just one word.  Yet we were “selling” the discovery layer as something that handled known-item searching well, which meant that much of a pasted in citation wasn’t visible. The reference librarians who were doing this exact work knew this would be an issue. We expanded the search box so more words are visible and so it works better for known-item searching.

    The same goes for course reserves, interlibrary loan, or other staff who work with a discovery layer frequently often with an added pressure of tight deadlines. If you can shave seconds off for them that adds up a huge amount over the course of the year, and will additionally potentially solve issues for other users. One example is that the print view of a book record had very small text–the print stylesheet was set to print at 85% font size, which meant it was challenging to read. The reserves staff relied on this print view to complete their daily work with the student worker. For one student the small print size created an accessibility issue which led to inefficient manual workarounds. We were able to increase the print stylesheet to greater than 100% font size which made the printed page easily readable, and therefore fix the accessibility issue for this specific use case. I suspect there are many other people whom this benefits as well.

  3. Divide the Work

    I firmly believe that everyone who is interested in user experience on the web should get some hands on experience with it. That said, not everyone needs to do the hands on work, and with a large project it is important that people focus on their core reason for being on the team. Dividing the group into overlapping teams who worked on data testing, interface testing, and user education and outreach helped us to see the big picture but not overwhelm everyone (a little Overwhelm is going to happen no matter what). These groups worked separately much of the time for deep dives into specific issues, but helped inform each other across the board. For instance, the data group might figure out a potential issue, for which the interface group would determine a test scenario. If testing indicated a change, the user education group could be aware of implications for outreach.

  4. A Quick Timeline is Your Friend

    Getting a new tool out with only a few months turnaround time is certainly challenging, but it forces you to forget about perfection and get features done. We got our hands on the discovery layer on Friday, and were doing tests the following Tuesday, with additional tests scheduled for two weeks after the first look. This meant that our first tests were on something very rough, but gave us a big list of items to fix in the next two weeks before the next test (or put on hold if lower priority). We ended up taking off two months from live usability in the middle of the process to focus on development and other types of testing (such as with trusted beta testers). But that early set of tests was crucial in setting the agenda and showing the importance of testing. We  ultimately did 5 rounds of testing, 4 of which happened before the discovery layer went live, and 1 a few months after.

  5. Think on the Long Scale

    The vendor or the community of developers is presumably not going to stop working on the product, and neither should you. For this reason, it is helpful to make it clear who is doing the work and ensure that it is written into committee charges, job descriptions, or other appropriate documentation. Maintain a list of long-term goals, and in those short timescales figure out just one or two changes you could make. The academic year affords many peaks and lulls, and those lulls can be great times to make minor changes. Regular usability testing ensures that these changes are positive, as well as uncovering new needs as tools and needs change.

  6. Be Iterative

    Iteration is the way to ensure that your long timescale stays manageable. Work never really stops, but that’s ok. You need a job, right? Back to that idea of a short timeline–borrow from the Agile method to think in timescales of 2 weeks-1 month. Have the end goal in mind, but know that getting there will happen in tiny pieces. This does require some faith that all the crucial pieces will happen, but as long as someone is keeping an eye on those (in our case, the vendor helped a lot with this), the pressure is off on being “finished”. If a test shows that something is broken that really needs to work, that can become high priority, and other desired features can move to a future cycle. Iteration helps you stay on track and get small pieces done regularly.

Conclusion

I hope I’ve made the case for why you need to have a user focus in any project, particularly a large and complex one. Whether you’re a reference librarian, project manager, web developer or cataloger, you have a responsibility to ensure the end result is usable, useful, and something people actually want to use. And no matter how tight your timeline, stick to making sure the process is user centered, and you’ll be amazed at how many impossible things you accomplished.

William Denton: STAPLR

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-01-11 16:38

Announcing STAPLR: Sounds in Time Actively Performing Library Reference. It is a live streaming sonification that turns the reference desks at York University Libraries into music.

Listen in the background for ambient awareness of what’s going on at our desks—and for some beautiful moments that emerge when the simple composition currently running is applied to the unpredictable desk activity.

(I’ve had some reports from people who say it doesn’t work, but I don’t have enough details to debug the problem, so if the in-browser player doesn’t work, try the direct audio link, or try both in another browser. Requires Ogg Vorbis, so make sure your browser can handle that audio format. If the seconds are passing, it’s working, even if there’s no music: there may be nothing happening at the desks. If none of that works, please tell me your operating system and browser, and confirm you tried the direct audio link. Thanks.)

New composition coming soon, and an event in February. Technical details to follow too.

Open Knowledge Foundation: The Open Data Utopia of the Pampas

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-01-11 15:14
An Ad Hoc Introduction to Argentine Affairs

This post was written by Andres Snitcofsky an open government / data activist in Argentina. See Andres Medium account for more posts – https://medium.com/@rusosnith

Since a new government took office in Argentina, a party alliance called #Cambiemos (Let’s Change), a lot of things have changed. Less than one month has passed, and a lot of new directives (more than 40, some of them of the Urgent & Necessity kind) have been passed by the new administration.

Since the congress will reopen only in March, and the judiciary system is on leave until February, most of the announcements and deep political changes have been issued as government official orders: Decretos. This implies that these changes are instant, but those directives could be challenged by the legislative branch later this year (and they probably will be).

The Decretos thing may not be so important to foreign readers, but most of the #Cambiemos campaign was based on the premise of being respectful to the Republic Institutions, meaning to go “by the book” and to legislate bills about important topic in a democratic way.

Now, during the warm months of the southern summer, a philosophical debate arises: Form vs content. End goal vs means. Decree vs Debated Law.

This debate crosses the political spectrum that goes from the fanatics of the former government, now turned ‘opposition’, and the ones from the new administration, now ‘officials’. This debate does not discriminate and embraces almost all current political events.

Looking back

The Macri administration presents itself as The One who will bring order and light into the state. With only one month in office, and during the summer recess, they already started revising previous contracts with private enterprises, laws regarding the telecommunication monopolies, and firing lots of employees that were contracted in precarious and almost illegal ways by the state. If the previous administration had had better transparency and openness, we could be controlling how much of this “tidying up the mess” process is real thing, or if it’s just an excuse for lowering the state budget and adding even more precarization of the job market. It is not wise to hand over a state administration with lot’s of hidden numbers and unknown indexes, as it gives free play to the next in office to blame “la pesada herencia” (the heavy legacy) of the last one in charge, and do whatever they want with the excuse of fixing previous mistakes.

Crude example: As the inflation index since 2007 have been untrustworthy, the new government will need some time to build a good one. Till then, we won’t have even a fake one. And it will probably be the highest inflation times of the last two decades.

The Open Data Scene

This debate definitely didn’t skip the vibrant Argentinean open data community that just encountered its living example of the aforementioned dilemma:

Hoy estamos firmando un decreto que da inicio a construir un Gobierno Nacional Abierto. pic.twitter.com/Wc3RBmV0ri

— Andrés Ibarra (@andreshibarra) January 5, 2016 Translation: “Today we signed a decree which is the starting point of a National Open Government”

The Modernization Minister announced this week that the new government is willing to move forward in the Open Government agenda, including Open Data portals and policies, open contracting and more open initiatives. How this agenda has been promoted? Of course, with a governmental official order, or Decreto.

Some will say that it’s just espejitos de colores (Spanish expression similar to ‘snake oil’), or that it’s just a gesture to make the open data fans happy. However, we cannot deny former experience of the new national administration: As the City of Buenos Aires government, they created one of the most advanced policies in the country related to open data. They built an egov initiative, they assembled a really innovative GovLab, and developed lots of open data and online citizen participation tools. If we compare Buenos Aires City to the rest of the cities and even the national level, it ranks at the top. However, if we compare the openness of Argentina with the rest of Latin America, we end up in a really bad position. And that’s even if we only compare ourselves to our smaller surrounding countries of Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay, usually thought to be behindhand.

Currently, Argentina doesn’t have a Freedom of Information Law, or anything alike. The ruling party for the last 12 years has had plenty of commitments on their hands, but implemented just a few, and with little to no real empowerment. The only decree, signed in 2003 by Nestor Kirchner, lacked of political support and ended up being a bureaucratic path for those willing to question our government for access to public information. Most of those who tried filling a Information Request were even turned down. We are talking about asking basic information about your own country, through the channels built to do so, and not receiving a reply back. Or even worst, receiving one that’s almost satirical:

The President office in 2013, replying La Nacion’s Journalist @colmanromi that “the President’s salary datasheet wasn’t updated yet” when they erased one column of it to hide the actual salary.

For the last few years we didn’t even knew the poverty level.

We also signed up the Open Government Partnership, and tried to comply with a first action plan that was never fulfilled. In 2015 a new action plan was written, but it was not an action plan that was approved by the local CSOs. This has also been reflected in Global Open Data Index built by OKI and we can also (proudly for Mor Rubinstein) guess that the Minister is also looking at it:

La Argentina está en el puesto 54 en el ranking de apertura de datos públicos. Nuestro objetivo es estar entre los 10 primeros del mundo.

— Andrés Ibarra (@andreshibarra) January 5, 2016 “Argentina is in the 54 position in the open public data ranking. Our objective is to be in the top ten of the world”

 

Andres Ibarra, the Modernisation Minister, expresses his wishes to get into the top ten open countries in the world, at least in the Global Open Data Index. Even though this is not a vanity contest, we all share his wish to overcome years of delays and obscurantism. We know that the new government has lots of good, talented people pushing into the Open Side of the Force, not only in the technical but also in the political levels. However, we also know that the main party leading the #Cambiemos alliance has lots of politicians relying their power in non-open contracts, opaque ways of working and occluded information. That’s why we are happy with these announcements about moving into the openness, mostly because it demonstrates the political will of pushing forward an Open Government agenda, and because they are putting it out in the open, for everyone to learn about it (not only the NGO’s, CSO’s and nerds). But we are still suspicious about how much will actually change

a badge worn by CSO’s activists in OGP Summit 2015 in Mexico

 

 

That is also why we should keep pushing for a Free Access to Information Law to be discussed and legislated in the congress. Because a government order may be a good starting point, but we need something that makes transparency and openness a must, in all levels of the state and territory as well as something valued not just by the Presidency and his decrees but valued by the Argentine government as a whole. That’s why we should use this new momentum to show to the rest of our society how important this is. How it can help to fight corruption, improve participation, discover and implement best practices and even build jobs around opened data. Happily, inside the recently elected new congress, we have new voices pushing for a FOIA law, which will join the former ones and maybe bill it this year.    

Y vamos por ley de acceso a la información para que pueda imitar todo el Estado esta buena iniciativa del gobierno. https://t.co/vdpGpQ23HS

— Karina Banfi (@KBanfi) January 6, 2016 Deputy Karina Banfi (Cambiemos) tweet supporting FOI policies

Looking forward

We should support the sectors of the new administration that are willing to push forward the Open Data and OpenGov movement. We should also keep an eye on them, using the same tools they are giving us. We should keep fighting for a real Access to Information Law , and when the discussion gets into the law making machinery, we as civil society must continue to participate and make our voices be heard.

But most of all, we should keep spreading the word with our colleague citizens, sharing the pros and cons of this Open movements, teaching about privacy concerns and limits, helping them not to be afraid, and willing to use all of this openness to let the government know that we will be watching them!

Here is where I start thanking Mor Rubinstein and for Anca Matioc being my editors in this post and end up inviting all of you to share your opinion on the subject, my point of view, or both.

Islandora: New Islandora Collection: FJM Photo Archive

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-01-11 14:17

One of our favourite Islandora community sites, Fundación Juan March, has just launched an amazing new online collection of photographs. We had a close look at their collections and how the sight came together with a Show & Tell back in November 2014.

This new repository contains 7,500 photographs, dating back to 1955  and includes nearly 4800 names of individuals and entities. There are two main blocks: The first block includes representative images of the work of the Foundation from 1955-1974. The second block, from 1975, is mainly photographs taken at the headquarters in Madrid and in the museum in Cuenca and Palma. It includes pictures of artists like Hockney, Motherwell, Miró; composers such as Mompou, Halffter, Luis de Pablo and intellectuals like Garcia Marquez, José Luis Sampedro, Alberti, Severo Ochoa... and many many more.

The Photo Archive is aninterdepartmental project, coordinated by the FJM Library, together with Exhibitions, Music, Lectures, Brand-Communications & Experience.

LITA: Brave New Workplace: Your Homegrown CRM

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-01-11 12:02
A CRM empowers you to find connections between your users/patrons.

What is a CRM? For starters, an excellent starting point for this installment of Brave New Workplace. A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management database, a record management system comprised of different record levels from individual to organization, with entries and fields for interactions and transactions and notes. CRMs provide essential business intelligence to a company, nonprofit, or even (you guessed it) library.

As a new hire, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you receive at first. A CRM can help you organize information by contact, associating workflows, projects, committee information, research interests and more with the relevant colleague. By categorizing and tagging colleagues, you can identify overlaps of interest and synergies.

CRMs are used for a variety of purposes, including communications automation and e-commerce. For our purposes, I suggest treating it as an repository resource, where your contacts and their research interests, collection needs, important emails and documents, and personal notes can be organized and stored. You can also use it to export reports and gauge your own performance. This is a powerful tool to have when you come on-board at a library, and when you organize your thoughts around your workplace relationships, you may find it easier to identify collaborators in interdepartmental efforts.

Example: When you meet a new librarian from Wake Forest at a conference, you can tie their individual record to that institution, and when they accept a position at UNC, you can record that move in your CRM while still having the history of what came before.

Many CRMs are designed with large-scale enterprise in mind- unless your library or department is looking to adopt a system, you’ll want to steer clear of these solutions which were designed with multiple data entrants and a system administrator in mind. It’s also important to remember that because CRMs are designed for a sales environment, some of the terminology (including customers) may seem at first glance inappropriate. Don’t let the standard terminology deter you from taking advantage of a powerful tool.

Capsule CRM

For myself, and for you, I’d suggest a single-user cloud-based CRM. You have a few options to choose from, many designed with social media integration in mind. I have been using Capsule since I began work at the University of Houston. It’s mobile friendly- always handy in meetings with vendors or when traveling at conferences.

You could also consider Radium, Humin, or ZOHO CRM. Pick what strikes your fancy! Be aware that as with all “free” options on the internet, it may eventually move to a paid model.

Capsule has easy options for importing CSV files of contacts, which I exported from both my Outlook email and my LinkedIn contacts. In addition, individual records can be entered by hand. As a general rule, I’d suggest a big upload of your contacts to start, with individual entry as an ongoing means of managing and cleaning your database.

Search and Find by Any Text Entry

Think of a CRM as a complement to any collaborative organizational project management tools you may use. A CRM can allow you to save important emails, notes, and project information to individual contact records.

Tasks in my CRM

Perhaps the greatest benefit of the CRM is the ease with which I can attach vendor contacts to a central vendor account. Essentially, being able to have all my Ebsco contacts in an Ebsco folder, with their titles and my notes, is the gift that keeps on giving.

Ebsco Account Record in my CRM

Another benefit of Capsule is that it is free for up to two “users,” which means that I can share access to my vendor contacts through a general login. This gives others the opportunity benefit from the CRM, and makes the CRM additionally functional as a sort of shared rolodex.

The more time you spend within your CRM, the more you’ll be able to tweak its functions and categories to make them useful. If you let a CRM languish, its information will soon become out-of-date. Remember, your data is only as good as your data management!

Here we are at the end of my Brave New Workplace series, and I hardly know how to end it. It’s been an awesome experience learning and hearing from all of you, LITA Blog readers. As we all continue to grow and learn in our respective workplaces, I hope to update and return to this series with ongoing suggestions. Thank you for your support! Tech on!

 

 

LibUX: 031 – 2016 Trends for Library Web Design

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-01-11 05:39

Our first podcast of the new year kicks off with our predictions for trends in library web design. We’re stoked to see how we tally-up at the end of the year. What do you think?

  1. 2:19 – “Service Design” will be the new “User Experience Design”
  2. 4:39 – the future of WordPress is JavaScript
  3. 5:07 – the library app is finally dead – moreover the app in general as something distinct from the web will bottom-out its unpopularity
  4. 9:41 – more predictive / anticipatory services
  5. 12:16 – maturing API Driven Design (inspired by Tim Broadwater)
  6. 15:54 – web animation everywhere you look (follow Rachel Nabors)
  7. 16:51 – #libweb drops the carousel, embraces the gigantor hero-unit search
  8. 19:12 – design around time, as in just-in-time information
  9. 20:11 – the market for prototyping tools explodes
  10. 22:18 – Slack. Just Slack.

If you like you can download the MP3.

You can subscribe to LibUX on Stitcher, iTunes, or plug our feed right into your podcatcher of choice. Help us out and say something nice. You can find every podcast on www.libux.co.

The post 031 – 2016 Trends for Library Web Design appeared first on LibUX.

Terry Reese: MarcEdit Update (all versions)

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-01-11 04:39

I decided to celebrate my absence from ALA’s Midwinter by doing a little coding.    I’ve uploaded updates for all versions of MarcEdit, though the Mac version has experienced the most significant revisions.  The changes:

Windows/Linux ChangeLog:

OSX ChangeLog:

You can get the update from the Downloads page (http://marcedit.reeset.net/downloads) or using the automated updating tools within MarcEdit.

Questions,

–tr

Terry Reese: MarcEdit Mac: Verify URLs

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-01-11 04:36

In the Windows/Linux version — on of the oldest tools has been the ability to validate URLs.  This tool generates a report providing the HTTP status codes returned for URLs in a record set.  This didn’t make the initial migration  — but has been added to the current OSX version of MarcEdit.

To find the resource, you open the main window and select the menu:

MarcEdit Mac: Main Window Menu — Verify URLs

Once selected, if works a lot like the Windows/Linux version.  You have two report types (HTML/XML), you can define a title field, you can also set the fields to check.  By default, MarcEdit selects all.  To change this — you just need to add each new field/subfield combination in a new line.

MarcEdit Mac: Verify URLs screen

Questions, let me know.

–tr

Terry Reese: MarcEdit Mac: Edit 006/008 data

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-01-11 04:30

One of the functions that didn’t make the initial migration cut in the MarcEditor was the ability to edit the 006/008 in a graphical interface.  I’ve added this back into the OSX version.  You can find it in the Edit Menu:

MarcEdit Mac — Edit 006/008 Menu Location

Invoking the tool works a little differently than the windows/linux version.  Just put your cursor into the field that you want to edit, and the select Edit.  MarcEdit will then read your record data and generate an edit form based on the material format selected (or the material format from the record if editing).

MarcEdit Mac — Edit 006/008 Screen

Questions — let me know.

–tr

Patrick Hochstenbach: Sktchy Portraits

planet code4lib - Sun, 2016-01-10 19:34
Filed under: Figure Drawings, Sketchbook Tagged: art, comic, fountainpen, mixed media, Photoshop, portrait, twsbi

Terry Reese: Build New Field Enhancements

planet code4lib - Sun, 2016-01-10 05:17

Couple of interesting questions this week got me thinking about a couple of enhancements to MarcEdit.  I’m not sure these are things that other folks will make use of often, but I can see these being really useful answering questions that come up on the listserv.

The particular question that got me thinking about this today was the following scenario:

The user has two fields – an 099 that includes data that needs to be retained, and then an 830$v that needs to be placed into the 099.  The 830$v has trailing punctuation that will need to be removed. 

Example data:
=099  \\$aELECTRONIC DATA
=830  \\$aSeries Title $v 12-031.

The final data output should be:
=099  \\$aELECTRONIC RESOURCE 12-013
=830  \\$aSeries Title $v 12-031.

With the current tools, you can do this but it would require multiple steps.  Using the current build new field tool, you could create the pattern for the data:
=099  \\$a{099$a} {830$v}

This would lead to an output of:
=099  \\$aELECTRONIC RESOURCE 12-031.

To remove the period – you could use a replace function and fix the $a at the same time.  You could have also made the ELECTRONIC RESOURCE string a constant in the build new field – but the problem is that you’d have to know that this was the only data that ever showed up in the 099$a (and it probably won’t be).

So thinking about this problem, I’ve been thinking about how I might be able to add a few processing “macros” into the pattern language – and that’s what I’ve done.  At this point, I’ve added the following commands:

  • replace(find,replace)
  • trim(chars)
  • trimend(chars)
  • trimstart(chars)
  • substring(start,length)

The way that these have been implemented – these commands are stackable – they are also very ridged in structure.  These commands are case sensitive (command labels are all lower case), and in the places where you have multiple parameters – there are no spaces between the commas. 

So how does this work – here’s some examples (not full patterns):
{099$a.trim(“.”)}
{050$b.replace(“1950”,”1980”).trim(“.”)}
{LDR.substring(6,1)}

As you can see in the patterns, the commands are initialized by adding “.command” to the end of the field pattern.  So how we would apply this to the user story above.  It’s easy:
=099  \\$a{099$a.replace(“DATA”,”RESOURCE”)} {830$v.trimend(“.”)}

And that would be it.  With this single pattern, we can run the replacement on the data in the 099$a and trim the data in the 830$v. 

Now, I realize that this syntax might not be the easiest for everyone right out of the gate, but as I said, I’m hoping this will be useful for folks interested in learning the new options, but am really excited to have this in my toolkit for answering questions posed on the listserv.

This has been implemented in all versions of MarcEdit, and will be part of this weekend’s update.

–tr

Nicole Engard: Bookmarks for January 9, 2016

planet code4lib - Sat, 2016-01-09 20:30

Today I found the following resources and bookmarked them on Delicious.

  • Superpowers The open source, extensible, collaborative HTML5 2D+3D game maker
  • Sequel Pro Sequel Pro is a fast, easy-to-use Mac database management application for working with MySQL databases.

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The post Bookmarks for January 9, 2016 appeared first on What I Learned Today....

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Villanova Library Technology Blog: Library Open Saturday & Sunday, 1/9 & 1/10, 12-5 p.m.

planet code4lib - Sat, 2016-01-09 17:24

To give everyone a chance to prepare for the first week of classes, the library will be open from 12-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, 1/9 and 1/10. It will also give us a chance to test out the new printers on the first floor. See you soon!


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Mashcat: Mashcat in Boston: coming up soon!

planet code4lib - Sat, 2016-01-09 17:23

We’re just a week away from the face-to-face Mashcat meeting in Boston! Here’s a reminder of some of the logistical details for attendees and presenters:

When: Wednesday, 13 January 2016 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Location: The Kotzen Room, in Lefavour Hall at Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02215. Directions, maps, and parking instructions are available, although we recommend that you avoid parking a car if possible as parking is typically scarce at Simmons. A handout (PDF) is available showing the campus and food options.

Schedule: The list of presentations is available on the main page for the event.

Hashtag: #mashcat

Registration/beverage service fee: $5, payable in cash unless you prepaid when you registered.

Code of conduct and photography policy: Here; please take a moment to read it before the event.

Many of the sessions will be livestreamed; details on how to access the stream will be published soon.

We look forward to a great event and conversation!

 

 

SearchHub: Erik Hatcher, Developer on Fire, Profiled by Dave Rael

planet code4lib - Sat, 2016-01-09 00:10

Lucidworks engineer, Apache Lucene committer, and co-author of Lucene in Action as well as co-author of Java Development with Ant is profiled on Dave Rael’s Developer on Fire podcast.

Subscribe or listen on iTunes or via the podcast’s feed.

The post Erik Hatcher, Developer on Fire, Profiled by Dave Rael appeared first on Lucidworks.com.

Galen Charlton: Whence library technology innovation?

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-01-08 22:30

Rob McGee has been moderating the “View from the Top” presidents [of library technology companies] seminar for 26 years. As an exercise in grilling executives, its value to librarians varies; while CEOs, presidents, senior VPs and the like show up, the discussion is usually constrained. Needless to say, it’s not common for concerns to be voiced openly by the panelists, and this year was no different. The trend of consolidation in the library automation industry continued to nobody’s surprise; that a good 40 minutes of the panel was spent discussing the nuts and bolts of who bought whom for how much did not result in any scintillating disclosures.

But McGee sometimes mixes it up. I was present to watch the panel, but ended up letting myself get plucked from the audience to make a couple comments.

One of the topics discussed during the latter half of the panel was patron privacy, and I ended up in the happy position of getting the last word in, to the effect that for 2016, patron privacy is a technology trend. With the ongoing good work of the Library Freedom Project and Eric Hellmann, the release of the NISO Privacy Principles, the launch of Let’s Encrypt, and various efforts by groups within ALA doing educational and policy work related to patron privacy, lots of progress is being made in turning our values into working code.

However, the reason I ended up on the panel was that McGee wanted to stir the pot about where innovation in library technology comes from. The gist of my response: it comes from the libraries themselves and from free and open source projects initiated by libraries.

This statement requires some justification.

First, here are some things that I don’t believe:

  • The big vendors don’t innovate. Wrong: if innovation is an idea plus the ability to implement it plus the ability to convince others that the idea is good in the first place, well, the big firms do have plenty of resources to apply to solving problems. So do, of course, the likes of OCLC and, in particular, OCLC Research. On the other hand, big firms do have constraints that limit the sorts of risks they can take. It’s one thing for a library project to fail or for a startup to go bust; it’s another thing for a firm employing hundreds of people and (often) answering to venture capital to take certain kinds of technology risks: nobody is running Taos or Horizon 8, and nobody wants to be the one to propose the next big failure.
  • Libraries are the only source of innovative new ideas. Nope; lots of good ideas come from outside of libraries (although that’s no reason to think that they only originate from outside). Also, automation vendors can attain a perspective that few librarians enjoy: I submit that there are very few professional librarians outside of vendor employees who have broad experience with school libraries and public libraries and academic libraries and special libraries and national libraries. A vendor librarian who works as an implementation project manager can gain that breadth of experience in the space of three years.
  • Only developers who work exclusively in free or open source projects come up with good ideas. Or only developers who work exclusively for proprietary vendors come up with good ideas. No: technical judgment and good design sense doesn’t distribute itself that way.
  • Every idea for an improvement to library software is an innovation. Librarians are not less prone to bikeshedding than anybody else (nor are they necessarily more prone to it). However, there is undoubtedly a lot of time and money spent on local tweaks, or small tweaks, or small and local tweaks (for both proprietary and F/LOSS projects) that would be better redirected to new things that better serve libraries and their users.

That out of the way, here’s what I do believe:

  • Libraries have initiated a large number of software and technology projects that achieved success, and continue to do so. Geac, anybody? NOTIS? VTLS? ALEPH. Many ILSs had their roots in library projects that later were commercialized. For that matter, from one point of view both Koha and Evergreen are also examples of ILSs initiated by libraries that got commercialized; it’s just that the free software model provides a better way of doing it as opposed to spinning off a proprietary firm.
  • Free and open source software models provide a way for libraries to experiment and more readily get others to contribute to the experiments than was the case previously.
  • And finally, libraries have different incentives that affect not just how they innovate, but to what end. It still matters that the starting point of most library projects is better serving the needs of the library, their users, or both, not seeking a large profit in three years time.

But about that last point and the period of three years to profit—I didn’t pull that number out of my hat; it came from a fellow panelist who was describing the timeframe that venture capital firms care about. (So maybe that nuts-and-bolts discussion about mergers and acquisitions was useful after all).

Libraries can afford to take a longer view. More time, in turn, can contribute to innovations that last.

Villanova Library Technology Blog: Sarah Wingo and Kallie Stahl in the Classroom

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-01-08 20:56

Sarah Wingo and Kallie Stahl

Sarah Wingo, Humanities II team leader and subject librarian for English, literature and theatre, taught an eight week honors course last semester. Her course, “Superheroes as Modern Mythology,” looked at comic books and their heroes as modern mythology. Wingo focused on the DC and Marvel comic books and movie franchises and also explored fan culture, history and other topics related to comic books.

When asked how a librarian with her background in Shakespeare and other early modern English playwrights became interested in pop culture comic book superheroes, Wingo answered, “[O]ne of the things that always fascinated me about Shakespeare … is that during his time Shakespeare wasn’t seen as the highbrow cultural icon that he is today. Shakespeare’s plays were a form of popular entertainment. … I’m interested in popular culture and popular entertainment, whether it be in Elizabethan England or 2015. I’m interested in what it says about us as a society and how we engage with it as a society.

Wingo went on to explain that she had watched the Batman, Spiderman and X-Men series in the 1980s and ‘90s and more recently her partner, who is interested in comic books and related media, has stimulated her interest in comic books and superheroes. She said, “It is easy to dismiss comic books and superheroes as childish, but just like Shakespeare they are responding to their times and dealing with cultural and societal themes that are important to the society in which they are created.”

As a finale to the course, Wingo invited Kallie Stahl, a graduate assistant to Falvey’s Scholarly Outreach team, to give a presentation on her current research on fandom. Fandom, according to Stahl and the “Urban Dictionary,” consists of a “community that surrounds a TV show/movie/book, etc.” The community may include message boards, online groups and other forms of communication.

Stahl is a second year graduate student, working on a master’s degree in communication. Her interests are popular culture, new media and cultural studies. Her research on fandom focuses on “Castle,” a popular television program.


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