Professional Development

During September 2010...

Basic Book Repair Workshop, Manteo, NC

Sunday, September 26, 2010 3:54 pm

Basic Book Repair Workshop-Manteo

On Friday, September 24, my colleague Rachel Hoff and I taught a Basic Book Repair Workshop at the Dare County Library through NCPC. Rachel and I have been teaching workshops together for over five years and we often find that our teaching styles and knowledge work well together as we present our material. Rachel also helped us present similar material during the recent Preserving Forsyth’s Past grant.

I had a lengthy handout for each of the twelve participants, who came from as far away as Appalachian State in Boone, but also from Duke and libraries in the surrounding area. The information in the handouts was a combination of the history of the book and paper-making, preservation terms and concepts, disaster preparedness and instructional sheets on the techniques I would be presenting.

I began by discussing the value of simply re-housing paper materials in such items as: archival boxes, envelopes and sleeves. An institution without preservation or repair staff can protect their materials easily by simply putting them inside a box or other protective enclosure. I followed this with a progressively complex range of repairs: tipping in loose pages, paper tears, repairing loose hinges with Japanese paper, consolidating paperback books, tightening hinges and spine replacement. We also held a question and answer session. Each class usually comes with unique problems and this provided the attendees with the opportunity to ask these questions.

This was a good class and provided the attendees the chance to learn techniques, tools, suppliers and best practices for repairs. This knowledge will help them as they return to their institution and incorporate repair into their work-flow.

Scholarly Communication & Liaison Outreach

Tuesday, September 21, 2010 5:44 pm

Today Molly and Mary Beth (and for a while, Lauren C.) watched the ARL-ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication webinar, “Broader Library Involvement in Building Scholarly Communication Programs.” The goal of the webinar was share examples and provide ideas for institutions who wish to involve liaisons in scholarly communication (SC) outreach across campus. This webinar was a good follow-up to the ideas I shared at the August liaison meeting. The three presenters were Karen Williams, University of Minnesota; Mike Furlough, Penn State; and Doug Way, Green Valley State University.

The main take-away points were:

  • Part of liaisons’ SC outreach efforts should be framed by the question, “What do we do in libraries to help make faculty active in broader, global research communities?”; our faculty are collaborating with researchers at other institutions world-wide, and we should identify how we can support them
  • Institutional ownership for SC issues is essential; cannot be library-owned or -only
  • At UMN, the library has partnered with the research office to design librarian-taught courses for faculty that fulfill government funding agencies’ Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) training requirement
  • Arranging a forum for faculty editors to come together at your institution to discuss publishing issues and concerns with SC and collection development staff
  • Emphasize the service an institutional repository supports, not the repository itself
  • Saying “No, we can’t really help with…” will serve us better in the long run than trying to take on supporting new services that go beyond our abilities, boundaries
  • Ultimately challenge will be answering questions of “Who cares? Why are you doing this when you can’t provide me all the journals I want?”
  • Liaison support for SC issues will vary from discipline to discipline

All in all, it was a worthwhile webinar in that it generated new ideas, and confirmed others that have been percolating. Liaisons, stay tuned for more SC outreach info!

Vufind, day 2

Friday, September 17, 2010 2:16 pm

Day 2 started with some presentations on using web services (Voyager WS for instance), using jQuery to delivery bookbag services, and approaches to integrating collections from multiple catalogs into a single vufind instance.

Eric Morgan talked for a few moments about pulling quantitative data from bibliographic and full text information to enable post-discovery analysis of resources. He has a great overview of his experiments at Eric’s blog.

The morning wrapped up with breakout sessions on the specific features/directions for the next version of vufind. There were about 20 high level items (plug-in architecture, added data types, administration and installation platforms, etc.) that are going to be pulled together and discussed.

Following lunch the group discussed governance, leveraging available resources, and ‘whats next.’

Villanova recorded many of the sessions so if you are intersested – hit the links and enjoy!

VUFind 2.0 Summit – September 16 2010 – Morning Session Part 1
VUFind 2.0 Summit – September 16 2010 – Morning Session Part 2
VUFind 2.0 Summit – September 16 2010 – Afternoon Session

Educause webinar on cloud computing

Friday, September 17, 2010 2:14 pm

Today Barry, Kevin, Leslie, Susan, Kevin, Tim and Erik got together for a webinar on how to approach cloud computing decisions. The speaker – Theresa Rowe had a background in IT management at the University/organizational level and discussed her approach in supporting shifts to cloud computing.

Theresa discussed three factors including cost savings, service agility and resource availability that she uses to evaluate whether or not an application is appropriate for clouding.

The QnA session started with the question “What would you rank as the top applications that you could move to the cloud?”

  1. Things that are commodity services such as email and backup (storage). These are things that the vendors can do with lots of resources while individual organizations do not benefit from this scale (think Gmail)
  2. Recruitment systems such as admissions and job. These systems gather a lot of data and tend to cycle through in a short term. Here again, the vendor benefits from economies of scale.
  3. Solutions that add value to departments – niche hosting solutions around athletics (concussion tracking? (really?))
  4. Learning management systems – These prove to be more challenging because outsourcing does not make organization more agile or responsive, up-time is not impacted, cost savings is not realized.
  5. Library management systems – Theresa viewed this as an option given the ability to save cost, provide more agile services and match available resources.

The question time turned to the idea of “individualized computing selection.” Theresa indicated that as an IT organization they found benefit in helping individuals purchase compatible equipment and that this is an example of how IT organizations are starting to take on more consulting roles and often find themselves in a hands-off mode.

Another aspect of this shift is identifying service delivery and monitoring standards that you expect external vendors to adhere to. This webinar was very timely as we continue to work on similar issues with moving data to cloud-based and hosted systems and as we seek new ways to partner with IS to ensure that our systems and data continue to work well.

Vufind, day 1

Thursday, September 16, 2010 4:41 am

The Vufind 2.0 conference day 1 started off with an opening chat by Joe Lucia about the relationship between open source software, open access policies and open data initiatives. He connected these rather current ideas to more traditional notions of libraries (resource stewardship and service for example) and touched on the idea that current trends including cloud-based systems and a trend towards network-based applications could prove to be challenging to our current model of open source software.

A discussion that focused on examples of systems and data that have been developed in either open or closed spaces showed the room tended to believe that that open source and library missions are close together. I thought that it was interesting to note that there was a view that the trend in implementing systems, data repositories and services in cloud environments was a step towards consolidation of vendors and a move away from the empowerment of smaller organizations. Interestingly there was a follow-up presentation by an ExLibris representative on a service that they are hosting on Amazon’s EC2 platform! For me the interesting idea that came out of the morning was that we are increasingly subscribing to data services rather than purchasing systems (SerialsSolutions for our openURL resolver, Syndetics content for our catalog) and that models for providing community driven, open data services (Hathi trust for example) are still evolving.

As JP’s post indicates there were many ‘good idea’ presentations and lively discussions on Wednesday. Demain Katz talked about the work he has been doing to turn Vufind into an OAI-PMH harvester and server (this would make it incredibly easy for us to harvest the items in Dspace and index them in Vufind), Greg Pendlebury talked about providing social software features at a network rather than individual library scale and there was an interesting discussion about using both Vufind and the XC metadata services toolkit to add authority data and authority management to Vufind (still pretty exploratory). JP and I also talked about the Voyager WebServices approach to providing book-based services in Vufind and brainstormed some options for indexing multiple databases in a single Vufind instance.

One of the overriding questions of the day was ‘where is vufind going and what role will it play in our organizations over the coming years?’ In afternoon breakout sessions there was a lively debate about indexing complex digital objects and metadata (EAD for example!) and what the best approaches were for handing non-marc data and services. Another group discussed linked data/authority records and a third group discussed network-scale issues in implementing Vufind.

Villanova has been a great host so far and both the facility we are at (The Villanova Conference Center) and the dinner last night were great. More to come after the Thursday session.

Vufind 2.0 Conference Day One

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 11:27 pm

The Vufind 2.0 conference officially started this morning at around 9am where participants discussed ways to bring Vufind to the next level in a Vufind version 2.0. The discussion focused on highlighting trends and goals for the future development of the software.

The group recognized that a collective effort from different libraries using Vufind will be crucial in improving the software. There was a significant use of words like collaboration, community, and knowledge commons.

The Villanova University has been able to merge Vufind with Summon, a Serials Solutions web-scaled discovery service to improve findability and discovery by offering users the ability to search articles (using Summon) and books (using Vufind) more efficiently and see the result on the same page.

The conference attendees expressed interest in Social Metadata where tags from different systems would match each other. Here, the example of Social OPAC driven by drupal was given and raised significant interests. Developers in Australia have been able to include a tagging feature in Vufind and when somtehing is tagged, it appears in harvesting interface called The Fascinator

There was a breakout section on Authority Data and Linked Data where the discussion we talked about the useful features of VIVO, an open-source semantic web application that allows to bring together in one site, publicly available information on researchers across institutions, and VIAF a project developed by OCLC aiming at linking authority records of libraries nationally, and then making that information available on the Web.

Tech Team hits the books

Tuesday, September 7, 2010 8:35 am

As our professional development blog shows, the ZSR library knows how to do continuing education. I was amazed to see when I logged in to write this post that we have 630 posts dating back to January of 2007 (that is a post almost every other day!) In the theme of ‘If I can learn that much in a three day conference, think about how much I can learn in a semester‘ a few members of the tech team decided to take a dive into some formal coursework in computer science this fall.

We decided to each take a different programming course (Barry is taking Java, Tim is taking Python, JP is taking Java and Erik is taking C++) with the idea that not only would we hone our programming skills but that we would also be able to teach each other about some new languages. While most of us are auditing classes here at WFU (thanks again to our friends in Computer Science), JP decided to take the for-credit plunge and is enrolled at UNCG.

So – If a tech team member seems to disappear the same hour of the day a few times each week this semester you can rest assured that we are working hard over in Manchester or in the CS building at UNCG.

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