Professional Development

During September 2009...

Sun Webinar series on digital libraries / DuraCloud

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 2:39 pm

On Wednesday, Barry, Jean-Paul, and Erik attended a Sun Webinar that focused on new advances in Dspace and Fedora. Both products have upcoming releases in the fall of 2009. Of note, the Dspace product (1.6) will have an integrated Embargo feature and will support batch metadata processing.

The Fedora presentation included a short overview of OSGi, a development framework which focuses on a modular service oriented architecture. Both presentations included references to DuraSpace, a new cloud based archiving service developed in conjunction with the duraspace community.

After the Sun webinar we spent a while learning more about DuraCloud in a separate webinar sponsored by the DuraSpace community. Michele Kimpton (CBO of DuraSpace) and Bill Branan (Senior developer for DuraSpace) presented on developments in DuraCloud.

DuraCloud uses cloud computing technology to provide hosted digital library services and replicated storage across multiple cloud systems. The presentation included a number of architecture images but one in particular did a good job showing how DuraCloud will provide services in a cloud environment.

The service will support archiving as well as instance hosting. Some of the initial services they are looking at providing include kultura, dpsace, fedora, taxon-finder, jhove, and lockss. Right now DuraCloud has two pilot partners but hopefully the service will be opened for more participants soon!

ZSR library attends ASERL ITDIIG Lunch-n-Learn

Thursday, September 24, 2009 1:26 pm

Lynn, Mary Beth, Wanda, Patty, Jean-Paul, Kaeley, Barry, Chris B. Lauren C., Lauren P, Kevin, Tim and Erik attended the session which was a presentation on how Georgia Tech (Tyler Walters) and Clemson(Emily Gore) approach digitization and digital priorities.

Emily covered what Clemson is doing and presented on her work building a digital initiatives program including MetaArchive, Open LOCKSS, the development of a written preservation plan and a goal to participate in the development community. She briefly covered their beginning use of Archivist Toolkit. She talked about their use of grants and regional grant/collaborations to digitize resources, work with partners to preserve digital resources, and run a ‘regional scan center.’ She mentioned their work to plan a fedora repository and discussed a project called <a href=””>Intelligent River</a>, a site that focuses on archiving real-time hydrologic data and data sets in south carolina.

Tyler Walters talked about the Galileo knowledge repository (http:/ which will focus on providing IR hosting via Dspace, workshops, IR services and a collaborative metadata repository. He also talked about Virtual Research Environments which are based on drupal/fedora sites called islandora ( that has been developed by the University of Prince Edward Island. Georgia Tech is going to try out a similar approach. He also discussed e-publishing services offered by the library (Epage @ Tech, The Tower).

Tyler also talked about search & discovery approaches including Vufind, metalib (Xerces Xserver), and Tsquared (Univeristy Sakai system) – a project to integrate metalib into Sakai. As he discussed their architecture he mentioned a sun infinite archive solution, sun storagetek 2540 disk array (16 TB), SL 500 Tape library (529 TB), Managed by Sun’s SAM server and ZFS software.

Next ASERL Lunch-n-Learn on November 12th with Mary Molinaro (U-Kentucky) and Toby Graham (U-Georgia)!

Webinars focus on Cloud computing, Insitutional Repositories, and Open Access

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 4:57 am

In September and October there will be three Sun Webinars that look at cloud computing and its role in institutional repositories. If you enjoyed reading about the Berkman Webinar then these are for you!

All sessions will be held in the Bridge Screening Room.

Berkman Center for Internet & Society Webinar – Lee Dirks

Friday, September 18, 2009 2:27 pm

On Friday Erik & Sarah watched a webinar sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. The speaker was Lee Dirks, the Director, Education & Scholarly Communication at Microsoft External Research.

Lee discussed the future of scholarly communication, touching on issues of preserving the entire research process (including background research, testing, collaboration, etc). He also talked about the role that linked data and complex community-based data analysis sites such as Swivel and Freebase are doing to create a new type of research archive.

His themes also included cloud computing, linked data, and preservation and archiving, and new publication mechanisms including, SciVee, Mendeley/Papers, and Jove (Journal of Visualized Experiments). His discussion of these sites was cursory but touched on some really neat ways in which machine readable data is being used to create/preserve knowledge.

He touched on SmugMug, Google Wave, and other cloud based sites on the way to talking about Duraspace/Duracloud as examples of new approaches to archiving and providing services for complex data.

He concluded with the observation that there is still a gap between what these systems are capable of and what researchers and scientists know/think about e-research and the role it plays in science, peer review, and publication.

During the Q&A a discussion about data-aggregation sites included Fluxnet and Dataverse, a data harvesting and preservation site (similar it appears to the Internet Archive) that provides cloud solutions for the archiving and preservation problem that Lee said was one of the goals of Duracloud.

The most provocative comment of the session (roughly quoted) was:

“The safe world of collecting books and scholarly journals has been done…data curation, provision of services, working with publishers, and working with scholars…grey literature…that is the stuff we need to apply our skills to.”

Inevitably, this raised the question of “what makes a good librarian?” The answer focused on a ‘service orientation’ that builds services on top of data that includes business, informatics, legal, and technology training.

Interested in more? the NSF report on Data in the 21st Century is a good place to start!

Erik attends POGIL workshop

Thursday, September 17, 2009 4:09 pm

On Thursday I attend a workshop on POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning). POGIL is a technique that was developed in the sciences (Chemistry and Biology) which focuses on active learning and peer instruction.

During the workshop, we learned about POGIL using (you got it) POGIL techniques. One primary method of learning in POGIL is to form small groups (3-4 people) which work through a detailed exercise. Each member of the group has one or more assigned roles (Manager, Recorder, Presenter, Technician, etc). The primary role of the instructor is to serve as facilitator and to deliver brief periods of instruction which build on the activities.

As part of the workshop, we observed a POGIL based chemistry class. It was an interesting experience (40 students learned while the class watched observed) to say the least but I was struck with how effectively the instructor (Andrei Straumanis) coordinated a the classroom and how he used Information Technology to enhance the experience.

Lots more about POGIL can be found at If you want to hear more, talk about how we could develop a POGIL Information Literacy curriculum, or see an example exercise, stop by to chat!

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