Monday, April 26, 2010

iLLiad international conference, Virginia Beach

I attended the iLLiad conference in Virginia Beach on April 24, 25, 26 which was hosted by Atlas Systems, Inc. who is developing OCLC iLLIad. We are using it for the interlibrary loan process and document delivery in libraries of JHU. I met couples of iLLiad developers and support staff in this conference. Also I listened or discussed other library issues or their solutions.

March 24, 2010 Preconference

•Topic: Implementation and Navigation of the ILLiad 8 Client

This 3 hour class introduced to the new ILLiad 8 client interface, which utilizes ribbons, tabs and customizable layouts. The class began with a brief overview of the ILLiad 8 client prerequisites and installation process, followed by a discussion of how to navigate the various components of the new ILLiad client interface.

•Topic: More than just a pretty interface - Intermediate ILLiad 8

Delve deeper into the ILLiad 8 client in this class covering the optimizations and new features available. Topics covered include Printing, Customizing Layouts, Staff Manager, and Custom Searching.

March 25, 2010

•Keynote Address, Chip Nilges, Vice President, Business Development at OCLC

Chip Nilges was promoted to Vice President, Business Development, in 2007. He is responsible for OCLC’s content strategy, which includes OCLC’s NetLibrary collections of eBooks and eAudiobooks, as well as the OCLC FirstSearch online reference service and the OCLC Electronic Collections Online service. Chip was formerly Vice President, New Product Planning, and before that was Executive Director, OCLC WorldCat Content and Global Access. He joined OCLC in 1994 and has held several key roles including leadership of FirstSearch, new products and WorldCat content.

•Text Messaging (BAM!) - A quick, low cost way to pump your customer service up a notch
Speaker: Penn State and Notre Dame

Penn State and Notre Dame are offering text messaging service to their patrons now. In the session they provided a demonstration with step-by-step instructions on how patrons received the ILL notices to their cell phones, so that they can be alerted instantly when, for example, an item they have been anxiously awaiting has arrived. In addition they shared practical tips on how to plan the implementation and rollout of the new service and how our patrons have received it. It gave us a new way to server patrons better.

•Topic: Borrowing is a Business: Cultivating a Collection as a Revenue Stream for Academic Libraries
Speaker: Dallas Long, Illinois State University; Michael Walsh, University of Detroit Mercy

Many academic libraries are suffering from tightening budgets during this period of economic uncertainty and are relying on interlibrary loan services more than ever before as they slash serials and collections budgets. This section represented an opportunity for ILL departments to strategically improve their library’s revenue stream. As net lenders, Milner Library at Illinois State University and Kresge Law Library at the University Of Mercy Detroit School of Law experienced increases in lending fees. The presenters recognized that the increases were a result of multiple borrowing requests for specific holdings. They analyzed their collections for other heavily requested items, removed barriers for lending such items, and recommended the strategic purchases of journals with few available holdings in OCLC. The presenters shared their experiences identifying possible serial holdings and monographs, creating a business plan for strategic purchases of new titles, copyright considerations and negotiations with licensing, and evaluation of lending fees.

•Topic: Destination Resource Sharing Community Portal (Webjunction): Where do we go from here?
Speaker: John Trares, OCLC

The section guided us how to use iLLiad community portal, which is using WebJunction functionality, this community portal provides the ability to connect with other librarians who have similar interests and experiences. We are able to start or participate in discussions about resource sharing topics, share best practices, or discuss new trends. And with MyWebJunction, we can stay up-to-date with discussions you are involved in and see what your friends are doing. Learn how to use more of the features and provide feedback on what needs to be added to the portal to help improve it.

•Medical Library Round Table
Speaker: Genie Powell, Atlas Systems

Open discussion about current issues facing medical libraries using ILLiad.

March 26, 2010

•OCLC Update

•Social Networking and ILLiad
Speaker: Stephanie Spires, Atlas Systems

Blogs, Facebook, iTunes U, Twitter, YouTube, Meebo, Flickr, & delicious are the most popular social networking/online tools in use at ILLiad libraries. This session gave me a brief overview of the tool and ideas for how it might be integrated with your ILLiad workflows and web.

•Atlas Update

Preview some new features of next release.

By Changxin Chen

Computers In Libraries Conference April 12-14th

I recently attended a three conference of Computers in Libraries in Alexandria, VA from April 12-14 2010. I thoroughly enjoyed this well attended conference of over 1000 people from all over the world, mainly the U.S. and Canada. Most of the talks I attended were from the Information Literacy track in addition to all of the keynote speakers. Some main themes included; the need to adopt and adapt to technology, simplify, community sharing, remixing and creation is important. Please feel free to email me if you're interested in my 11+ page document of full notes from the talks or join us in ELP on Wed May 12th from 12-1 for a brown bag lunch where I'll share my experience in person and will share main ideas learned. Overall, I had a wonderful experience in the talks and met some great people. I highly recommend this conference to anyone who is interested!

Related links: and


Renee Hall, Distance Education Librarian

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring CNI Membership Meeting, Baltimore

I attended the Spring Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Membership Meeting here in Baltimore on April 12 and 13. On April 13 David Reynolds and I gave a presentation, "Curating Published Data", about our DataPub project. It went swimmingly.

Luckily, presenters get to stay for the whole conference, so I did, and I had the pleasure of attending some really worthwhile presentations. I've included my notes below, for what they're worth -- I take skimpy, keyword-based notes: "Hey, they said the word 'interoperable' again!". They are valuable to me as aide-mémoires.

I'd say the main themes of the conference were "interoperability" and "data". The highlights for me included:

1. Hearing Clifford Lynch speak. When he speaks, everyone should stop and listen. It has long been my feeling that if you want to locate the one guy who knows exactly what's going on this very minute at the intersection of the library world and the academic computing world, you've found him in Cliff Lynch.

2. Learning about Indiana University's collaboration with Canada's Public Knowledge Project, Rice's Connexions project, and Duraspace to link together the PKPs Open Journal System publishing system with the Connexions learning object management system with Duraspace's cloud-based repository service.

3. Learning about MIT's Simile software for data visualization and how our colleagues and co-presenters from the Netherlands are using it to create "enhanced" publications. Specifically, they are using various Simile widgets to enhance the Journal of Archaeology of the Low-Lands, using it for GIS visualization, sortable data grids, etc. (As a side note, did you know?: All government-sponsored researchers in the Netherlands are required to submit their datasets to a central repository. I did not know that. Interesting...)

4. Learning more about George Mason's Omeka software, hearing about Columbia's use of it, pushing Web publication of exhibits out from the Tech staff to the Curatorial staff, and how they've gone from 1.5 online exhibitions a year to 13 using this software. We should look into this here. I've already installed Omeka on my workstation. I look forward to the release of various useful Omeka plugins by Columbia and UVa, most notably a plugin allowing persistent storage for Omeka to point to objects in a Fedora repository.

5. I was interested to learn that UVa employs two full-time GIS trainers for their popular "GIS and the Humanities" track. This is a short course I would like to take.

6. I was interested to learn that the Connexions software has the facility for creating a monograph, complete with table of contents, pagination, orphan/widow control, typography, page layout, indexes, etc. Very impressive. Something to look into and compare with PKP's upcoming Open Monograph Press.

Overall, the CNI conference was a worthwhile day and a half. And did I mention, the Marriott Waterfront overlooking Pier Six and Baltimore's Inner Harbor is a wonderful place for a conference, and lunch on Tuesday was fantastic?!

Mark Cyzyk


Harvard, MIT, NCAR
KU's (Kansas) experience with Open Access, repositories, etc.
Cliff's query about the position of society publishers. Prospects of disciplinary IRs.
MIT making progress with those publishers who "pass the IQ test"

UVa's Scholar's Lab
Gateway, showcase, find way through services, support for teaching and technology
History of setting up this Ed-Tech group at UVa
Library as lab for humanities research
Electronic centers
Literally, a history of ed-tech at UVa, including buildings, moves, renovations, architects
Budget lines, accountability, intraorganizational, er, organization
Essentially describing CIAT at Towson, CER at Hopkins
Physical space, like BLC
History of staffing
Skunkworks. Incubator projects
NEH grants
Spatial and location-based digital humanities
Omeka plugins, Blacklight
NEH grant for GIS and the Humanities
321 classes in the past month
GIS training is booming
Two full time GIS specialists in the Scholar's Lab
"GIS for Humanists" course

Our presentation. Netherlands. Narsis. Simile from MIT data visualization software

Big Digital Machine
Indiana. Collaboration between Duraspace, PKP/OJS, Connexions. Integration
A fabric of technologies. Provide durability layer
DSpace as frontend, Fedora as deep archive, DuraCloud for storage
OJS use of SWORD
Connexions "lenses" [views]. Selective archiving of content
Islandora mentioned on one slide
Overview of Connexions. Instructional modules. Collections of modules
Learning objects. "Lenses" as an endorsement, imprimatur
Book publishing with Connexions. Table of contents. Pagination. Page layout. Orphan/widow control.
Lightweight branding/full branding
Enterprise Rhaptos -- standalone version of Connexions
Connexions Consortium
OJS/Connexions integration
OJS admin can add OJS journal to Connexions via SWORD

Turning Curators into Web Publishers at Columbia
Exhibitions, gallery services
Omeka plugins
Online versions of physical exhibitions
Online-only thematic galleries
Less mediation by technology staff
Empower curators to become Web publishers
Aquifer MODS format
Fedora for centralized digital asset management
Multiple tracks relative to the difficulty of the exhibition
1. Digital project track for complex projects
project proposal to AULs. AULs signoff
2. Brick and Mortar plus digital component
Curators choose from preexisting templates to support physical exhibition
Exhibition Support Tool plus Omeka
Online exhibition planning form, protocol for planning and implementation of the exhibition
3. Brick and Mortar only
Exhibition Support Tool used here too
4. Online Gallery track
short term, streamlined planning, limited metadata, adequately served by Omeka
Digitization workflow
Omeka Rich Internet Application features
Omeka Dublin Core
But not MODS compliant
Local storage only, out of the box
No workflow or physical exhibition support
ESTO Exhibition Support Tool
Omeka MODS plugin forthcoming
Columbia has produced 13 exhibits in the past year with this! quick and efficient
UVa Fedora to Omeka plugin. Fedora as backend to Omeka frontend
UVa EAD to Omeka plugin (import), Solr search plugin

Closing Plenary
Codes, Clouds and Constellations: Open Science in the Data Decade
Liz Lyon: UKoln, University of Bath
"Open Science Report" commissioned by JISC, last November
Scaling to share
Cloud computing, Amazon elastic cloud services, Prosper software for genome sequencing
Genome scale biology. Genome data as a commodity
Need for data sharing
Need for data attribution. Data citation
The curation gap
Tapping into citizen science
How are our institutions responding to all of this?
High throughput biology. Mentioned Johns Hopkins' center
Research triangle cloud computing project
Need for data informatics in Information Schools
Illinois, course in data curation

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Computers in Libraries (CIL) - Exhibits Only

Mariyam Thohira and I got free passes for the exhibit floor at Computers in Libraries in DC this week. I have some propaganda to pass on to various people, and some interesting things we learned:

Gale: to help libraries, keeping prices flat another year, and expanding access to anything that had previously been limited to x simultaneous users out to unlimited. Mariyam will be checking our holdings for anything that might be affected.

ProQuest: Much cleaner interface coming, publicity to start in May with interface change after that. It should be this summer, and were assured it would not be in the middle of the semester!

SerialsSolutions: 360 Link still does not have any way of dealing with licenses for only some patrons. :(

There are several interesting resources for language learning - Mango, Byki, even ProQuest has one. Haitian Creole anyone? Might have been really useful for the healthcare workers going down there recently.

Julie Blake

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ALA 2010 mid-winter: Metadata Interest Group meeting

At the ALCTS Metadata Interest Group meeting on January 17, 2010, Roy Tennant of OCLC Research spoke of OCLC’s Cloud Library project, which provides large-scale data comparison and analysis of NYU’s print monograph holdings with the HathiTrust repository, NYU’s ReCAP off campus shelving collection, and the WorldCat database. OCLC Cloud Library mashup of these different metadata streams is to provide NYU with useful information so that it can determine the proportion of the local collection that may be more cost-effectively sourced from alternative service providers while satisfying current service expectations of library patrons and staff. The project identified public domain vs. in copyright materials in humanities subjects since most Hathi materials are humanities based. Questions about managing print collections being considered are:
* Will large off campus shelving and delivery services continue to provide a cost-effective solution to the challenge of managing a local physical inventory that is (increasingly) duplicated in digital format?
* Can a library think about moving items to storage and descessioning if titles are in the HathiTrust?
* Can cooperative service models reduce costs and increase efficiencies in managing local print collections?
* What requirements are needed to sustain long-term business partnerships and operational workflows between academic libraries and shared collection service providers?
* What kinds of organizational and economic models are needed to sustain ‘Web-scale’ collection management regimes?
* Can Web-scale management services provide greater cost benefit to libraries?

Jennifer Bowen, University of Rochester, shared insights of the Metadata Services Toolkit (MST), one of three modules under development by the University of Rochester as part of the eXtensible Catalog (XC – The MST open-source platform for automating the processing of large batches of metadata in any XML-based schema. This open source toolkit enables a library to synchronize metadata from multiple repositories. Specifically, it has its own faceted interface that
*enables libraries to automatically process batches of metadata
* can be used by other front-end systems, e.g., Summon, Primo-—is designed to serve as a middle layer for any system that can harvest data
* has services to clean up and normalize inconsistent metadata (currently handles MARC and DC, but ultimately can be extended to any XML metadata), transforms metadata from one schema to another, aggregates records that represent the same resource so that the library can manage relationships between FRBR levels, as well as provides authority control, i.e., matching headings against MARCXML authority file and then populate records with the proper authoritative form/identifier.

Hidden Collections Symposium

On March 29 and 30, I attended the Hidden Collections Program Symposium in Washington, DC. The Hidden Collections program--officially its title is Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives: Building a New Research Environment--is administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). Its goal is to identify and catalog collections of national significance that are currently invisible to researchers, with the complementary aims of applying description standards that provide interoperability and long-term sustainability for project data and designing streamlined work-flow processes.

The symposium offered grantee institutions the chance to present information about the progress of their projects, share solutions and ask questions. I was there as part of a team that is conducting a parallel study of the projects, called “Observations on Scholarly Engagement with Hidden Special Collections and Archives.” We are looking at the grant projects as an opportunity to learn more about how special collections librarians and curators conduct outreach and work with scholars--and to think about innovative ways to carry out these essential activities. So, during the symposium, we facilitated a workshop asking participants for feedback on our observations to date and ideas about how to implement some of our recommendations.

Image: Portolan atlas of the Mediterranean Sea, western Europe, and the northwest coast of Africa. Attributed to Joan Oliva, ca. 1590. Library of Congress Map Collection. The Library of Congress Geography and Map Division was one of the recipients of a Hidden Collections grant in 2008, for their project cataloging multi-sheet maps of Africa.

The three things I learned that were most interesting:

1. Catalogers are hungry for community. A lot of enthusiastic networking took place! 2009 grant recipients sought out advice from 2008 recipients; recipients working on specific formats (posters, photographs, audio archives) were eager to meet each other; break-out sessions were full of Q and A. The meeting was so successful in this respect that CLIR is now thinking about ways to build this sense of community.

2. Catalogers around the country are developing technological solutions to all kinds of problems, from customizing Archivists’ Toolkit to adapting Office and Google software to processing needs. One particularly interesting idea: using WordPress + CommentPress to solicit user contributions to help with the identification of arcane Islamic manuscripts.

3. If you introduce persuasive new vocabulary to catalogers, they will run with it! Our study team started talking about “scholarly engagement” to describe a range of activities in which collaboration produces new knowledge, and “emerging scholars” to describe the students who often work as cataloging assistants. By the end of the two days, these terms had become a regular part of the conversation.