Professional Development

During April 2011...

ASERL Spring 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011 11:02 pm

The spring meeting of the Association of Southeast Research Libraries (ASERL) was held April 26-27 at Vanderbilt University. I flew in with Aisha Harvey from Duke Tuesday morning and went straight to the meeting. The afternoon program centered around a theme of planning for shared print repositories. Constance Malpas of OCLC gave a high level overview of national efforts using a dazzling set of data that featured possibilities arising from the Hathi Trust. For example, 34% of the print holdings in ASERL libraries is duplicated in the Hathi Trust. Imagine the implications! This is the second talk I have heard her give and she is truly a jaw dropping wunderkind, sort of like Nate Silver talking mass digitization with the presence of Lady Gaga. See her if you can.

Malpas was followed by Lizanne Payne who talked about various regional efforts in print retention, including WEST, PALCI and Orbison Cascade. Our former colleague Emily Stambaugh is active at the California Digital Library with the WEST project. Each regional project must decide its own method of identifying titles and gaining commitment. The development of trust among members was a constant theme throughout the afternoon, which hit home in the next presentation.

It was my job to introduce Aisha Harvey, who is a Visiting Project Officer from Duke, working one day a week to get ASERL’s own shared journal retention project off the ground. Lauren C and Carol know what high hopes I have for this project to help us in weeding our own print journal collection. We are one of 13 ASERL’S libraries to offer titles for retention. Almost 1000 titles have been identified thus far and we hope that many more will come after this meeting, following unanimous approval of the Retention Agreement.

In the business portion of the meeting, it was announced that following an open bid process, ASERL headquarters would be moving from Lyrasis in Atlanta to Duke in Durham in July 2011. We will invite John Burger from ASERL to come visit us this summer after he moves.

Wednesday morning’s discussion centered around data curation, one of the hottest topics around in research library circles. Susan has been interested in this for awhile and is planning a summer technology project around it. Wake doesn’t have quite the research profile as most of the other ASERL libraries, but we do have faculty who have raw research data that need preservation and we have faculty who get grants from NSF where there is a new requirement for a data management. This is an area to watch and potentially take leadership at the campus level.

Best Practices in Resource Sharing: a recent benchmarking survey identified ASERL libraries that follow national best practices in the area of interlibrary loan and resource sharing. I was happy to see that our own ZSR interlibrary loan department was one of 17 libraries that scored 80% or better and earned a RRS “Star award. Congratulations to Cristina and her crew for this recognition! Watch for a story on it in the next ZSReads!

ZSR was also featured on the next discussion topic of ASERL’s collaborative Civil War Project. Our Confederate broadsides were used as the feature example because we learned that the New York Times discovered one to use in a feature they were doing on the Sesquicentennial. Great!

The next topic was about an effort to streamline and organize the Federal Depository Library Program in the 10 state Southeast region, under the leadership of Judy Russel, former Superintendent of Documents and current Dean of the library at Florida. As a selective depository, we will be involved in this and I will be talking to Roz about our responsibilities.

Deborah Jakubs from Duke and Sarah Michalak from UNC-CH talked about a bold initiative among the TRLN libraries called “Intellectual Property Rights Strategy for Digitization of Modern Manuscript Collections and Archival Record Groups.” Basically, it is a way to assert fair use for special collections in a risk-sensitive manner. I will share with whoever is interested.

ASERL is a great networking group and I always learn a lot. We visited the newly renovated exhibition areas of the Heard Library, which were very impressive for their creative use of digital signage including a light display on the floor of current search terms from the OPAC (something only a librarian would love)! They also had the best use of an old card catalog that I have ever seen in their cafe:

Library Cafe at Heard Library, Vanderbilt University

The fall meeting will be in November. Can’t wait!

SerialsSolutions Summon and HathiTrust full-text indexing

Monday, April 25, 2011 1:08 pm

“Just as GoogleBook search brought book search to the open web, this advancement brings full text book search and integrated content discovery to serious researchers. . .”

Today Mary Beth, Susan, Derrik, Lauren C, Tim, Audra, Craig, Cristina, Steve, Leslie, Lynn, Kaeley, Erik, Barry and Giz attended a webinar about the recent launch of the full text indexing of HathiTrust records in the SerialsSolutions Sumon service. David Lankes started the session with his view of how services like the HathiTrust compare with other cooperative projects and what motivates information seekers when they approach systems with an information need. David focused on a few themes, notably the concept that collaborative collections create opportunities for new communities to form around.

John wilkin gave an overview of the state of the hathitrust. Some interesting numbers included a current ~31% overlap with ARL libraries and near 50% overlap with Oberlin group libraries. The HathiTrust currenlty has around 8.2 Million titles with approximately 26% of them (2.1M) in the public domain. Wilkin indicated that with current contribution levels they are seeing about a 1% growth in overlap for every 200K submitted titles.

John Law finished up the webinar indicating that the Summon service would offer the full text index of HathiTrust records as an include-able option with other resources. The key idea appeared to be that full text indexing would be included in Summon with various options for content delivery (e.g. direct link for public domain resources, catalog link for owned resources, ILLfulfillmentlink for others). Interstingly, John Law indicated that these links will not always be based on OpenURL but will be ‘pre-calculated.’ SerialsSolutions is planning on offering some advanced content inclusion options (e.g. public domain only or fully indexed collection) using specific fulfillment options for each type of resource/licensing restriction.

As expected the questions from the audience focused on timeline (mid year), technical details (to be determined in the client center), and requests for a demo (forthcoming). A few questions centered around matching and merging of titles/records to provide a streamlined record discovery and presentation service for patrons. In response John Law said that SerialsSolutions is planning on finding ways to merge catalog records from the subscribing library with full text indexing from HathiTrust to provide both single-point access and enhanced bibliographic/full text access. There was a question about what the user experience would look like for items not in the public domain. It appears that Summon will attempt to make a ‘best-guess’ about resources but will provide multiple links (ILL, content link when possible). There was some interest about how resrouces outside of the puGiven the attendance from ZSR this is clearly an interesting area and I expect there will be more questions in the months to come!

Commercial offering of a digital asset mangement system

Thursday, April 21, 2011 3:38 pm

Today Susan and Erik attended a webinar on a Digital Asset management system offered by a ExLibris information systems. It was interesting to see how the vendor discussed asset management and how this current example of a system differs from those previously offered, particularly because we have used a few of their previous products! In the current system a sharp distinction was made between archiving/preservation activities (which fall under the purview of the software) and the discovery layer (which does not).

The speaker discussed a number of use cases that focused on archiving books, legal documents, websites, and a variety special collections resources. I was left wondering what differentiated this sort of system from traditional IR or digital archive systems. The webinar included a few interesting features such as format conversion, metadata tracking on submission and preservation processes, and a form of version control for migrated digital objects.

We were motivated to attend this webinar more to inform our interest in the ‘state of the art’ with regards to digital asset management systems and hope to be able to complete some comparative analysis of systems in the coming months.

Visiting the WFU Visual Resources Library

Tuesday, April 19, 2011 11:18 am

Yesterday Craig, Rebecca, and I visited the Aycock Visual Resources Library in the Scales Fine Arts Center. Librarian and Print Curator Martine Sherrill as well as Technician Kendra Battle showed us around their small but well-organized space, including their slide, video, and print collections.

Martine shared with us their excellent collection of prints, including a complete set by Picasso that she may be hand-delivering to Spain for an exhibit there. Their print collection is indexed and browse-able online. We also learned about MDID, their art and architecture image database shared with other repositories on campus including the Reynolda House. The database requires a WFU login and password but it has some interesting features for saving and organizing images for classroom use, including adding personal images, creating slide shows, and adding notes to images (with an approved faculty account).

One of the most interesting things discussed during our visit was their established workflow for requesting and completing digitization requests from faculty as well as students. They were very organized, tracking timelines and requests in a database as well as with paper forms that were left in specific student inboxes for scanning.

Currently, they are storing master TIFF images on their in-house server, on external hard drives, and on DVDs. It was an inspiring visit to another “special collections” space on campus!

ZSR Presents at NCLA “Fabulous Fridays” Programs

Monday, April 11, 2011 1:01 pm

Barry Davis and I recently volunteered to give presentations on “New Technologies” at three North Carolina Library Association “Fabulous Fridays” programs for public library staff. These programs were held in Asheville, Winston Salem and Wilmington, giving NCLA members from all across the state the opportunity to attend.

Barry led the sessions in Asheville and Winston Salem and I led the sessions in Wilmington. Each “Fabulous Friday” included sessions New Technologies, Reader’s Advisory, Safety and Security and Teen Services. The keynote speaker for the program in Wilmington was Jane Bozarth, a trainer and coach. Her keynote, entitled “TGIM:Enjoy Your Life, Enjoy Your Job” really got the crowd motivated to learn from the rest of the sessions.

Barry and I led discussions on “New Technologies” and brought an iPad, Kindle, Sony e-reader, iPod Touch and an Audience Response System (clickers) in order to give the participants some hands-on experience with this equipment! We also discussed issues around e-books, new technologies like Near Field Communications (NFC). We had a great time giving the presentations, and the participants seemed to like our sessions

ARL Webinar on Digital Curation for Preservation

Thursday, April 7, 2011 4:17 pm

Lauren C, Lauren P, Craig, Rebecca, Molly, Barry, Sarah, Tim, and Audra attended the ARL session to discuss the report “New Roles for New Times: Digital Curation for Preservation.”

The webinar is the first in a set in response to the Association of Research Libraries’ report series entitled “New Roles for New Times,” which includes five reports relating to digital curation, student services, library liaisons, repository services, and print collections.

Authors Katherine Skinner (Educopia) and Tyler Walters (Virginia Tech) reviewed the report, including its background and context. The executive summary of the 76-page document gives an excellent review of the report, which emphasizes new roles for librarians and libraries with regard to the life cycle of the digital object, particularly getting more attention paid to the digital objects being created. Katherine and Tyler repeated that collaboration, both intra- and inter-institutional and working more with technologists, domain scholars, and scientists, is key to the future of the research library. Tyler suggested that libraries must become more embedded, in domains such as production, dissemination, description, organization, promoting, designing, and accessing digital resources that are co-produced.

A panel of experts responded to the report, including Jeremy York from the University of Michigan, Martha Anderson from NDIIPP, Oya Rieger from Cornell, and Patricia Cruse from the California Digital Library. Jeremy talked about his perspective working with HathiTrust, a large-scale digital library. He mentioned the importance of large-scale collaboration, including a centralized infrastructure to share digital content, such as HathiTrust. Martha explored her view from NDIIPP, particularly that the collaborative project was iterative, requiring shared learning and trust-building. Oya supported the report’s discussion of embedded librarianship, noting that subject specialists understand the daily needs of scholars in a holistic way and they can help faculty understand services available through the library (including digital collections). Patricia talked about the CDL’s collaboration with the National Science Foundation as a result of the NSF’s new requirement that all grant applications must have a data sharing plan. She explained the wide range of stakeholders in their digital curation efforts, including offices of research, IP offices, grants, and contract offices, each of which looked to the research library for help with curation of research data.

Q&A allowed Katherine and Tyler as well as the panel to respond to participant questions. Tyler described a trio of priorities for digital curation: infrastructure, content, and services. The takeaway message for me was a quote from Tyler: “Content is coming at us faster than ever. If we don’t manage it, someone else will.”

The archived audio is now available. Thank you to Tim and Kaeley for setting up the webinar session, and to Lynn for emailing the report!

MB’s ACRL wrapup

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 3:41 pm

I’ve held back my ACRL posting and am doing a single overview of the conference. I know that many people wait anxiously for the posts to start flooding in when several of us go away to a conference, but I didn’t post until now because I wanted to avoid redundancy, reflect on what I’d learned, and wrap it around existing knowledge. I also want to be as succinct as possible so I could share the nuggets and still retain your interest.

I attended several of the sessions on reorganizing and renovating spaces, creating “learning commons” etc, over the course of the conference and I found that:

  • no two libraries have done it the same (no two libraries even define “information commons” the same)
  • the libraries that are successful have responded to their own users needs
  • some of the ideas that were implemented successfully elsewhere wouldn’t work here
  • flexibility, technology and outlets are critical

Roz, Susan and I not only took a particular interest in this thread of sessions but we also spent much time after sessions figuring out how we might make use of our crazy space limitations in ZSR to maximize our service and provide a really great experience for our users. We will be looking at what was done at other institutions, (Emory, Georgia Tech, and University of Michigan) and coming back to our users with some questions on what THEY would like to see here. I particularly liked UofM’s approach of giving scenarios to their architects based on what their students said they’d like to see and how they’d like to use collaborative space and technology in the library. Using the scenarios, the architect rendered drawings to incorporate the ideas of the students that went beyond “comfy couches and lots of outlets.” Roz and I discussed the difficulties of getting our students into focus groups and thought that maybe some random Thursday evening we’d show up with 20 pizzas and use the PA to announce, “give us 15 minutes so we can ask some questions, share your thoughts about how you do, or how you’d like to, use the library. We have pizza.”

Surveys and focus groups were a second theme I saw at ACRL. The need to ask and have good information about what our users want is important, especially when the stakes are so high and the funding for renovation comes along so seldom. I volunteered to be a room monitor for a session of three contributed papers that highlighted the uncertainty that comes from acting on what we think we know. The first paper entitled Talkin’ bout my Generalization picked away at accepted generational differences, (ex: millennials are more able to adapt to change, boomers are more conservative, etc) and found that they did not bear out in their survey and that generational differences are not as dramatic as one would expect. The second, Millennial Librarians: Who they are and how they are different from the rest of us noted that millennial librarians (as with millennials in general) tend to have a great deal in common with the GI generation (ie: a great sense of civic duty), but that they also have very great expectations with regards to desiring instant gratification and little concern over privacy issues, and that is bearing out in the workforce as well. The third paper Scary, Exciting or Something In-Between published results of surveys of Ontario’s University and College librarians and their attitudes toward institutional change. Institutional change in the case of these libraries was brought about because of severe budget cuts so the attitudes of respondents tended to be cynical. The survey touched a nerve. The responses indicated that streamlined business models were favored over service and that there was a lack of transparency in the decisions being made. All of the surveys found some surprising results, which again bears out my belief that we should never determine a course of action to better service based on observation, or observation alone.

The third theme that I saw in the conference was one of an increasing digital divide. In fact, there isn’t really one digital divide, but several. We at ZSR are lucky enough to be working for an institution that values it’s libraries and funds them in staffing and technology appropriately. Talking with others at other institutions found this to be not universally true, and we are exceedingly lucky not to have to make do with cut backs others are finding routine. A second digital divide was seen in the struggles that libraries are undertaking to provide access to ebooks. Our users want them, the publishers will (sometimes reluctantly) provide licensing for them, librarians find it difficult to make the switch from owning content to licensing it. The switch from owning a physical copy to a digitally licensed one also assumes that users will always have a device on which to read it. Unsettling for some public libraries, less so for us, but still its’ there. ANOTHER digital divide that I saw in many ways was the reliance on smart phones for delivering and receiving content. QR codes, while understandable to anyone, are lost to anyone who has a cell phone that only calls or texts, (like yours truly.) Using Giz’ tether with his smart phone on the drive up to Philadelphia many times more productive than the ride back on Saturday. What we used to call “toys” are now recognizable as game changers, and not games at all.

And lastly, worthy of note is the fact that I learned as much from my colleagues at this conference as I did from the conference itself. Molly gave me a deeper understanding of her SC work and the Road Show. She also taught me the importance of packing just the right accessories for evening events. Giz showed the value of having the proper tools to maximize efficiency. (He had the right accessories, too.) Roz showed me how to work the vendor floor, and how to push back gently to make it clear when our needs are not met. Susan showed the value of a good head clearing walk, a collaborative lunch, a succinct blog post, and ending with a good photo.

or two.

At the Table at ACRL

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 10:16 am

As you’ve now realized, there was quite a ZSR contingent at the ACRL 2011 National Conference in Philadelphia last week. I was happily among them, enjoying my third ACRL conference and first real trip to Philly (airport connections don’t count). I arrived last Tuesday afternoon, and without a doubt, my overarching personal theme for this conference was “at the table”…and this is beyond all the great food I enjoyed!

My ACRL started Wednesday with a day-long curriculum planning retreat for the ARL-ACRL Institute on Scholarly Communication faculty. Although I am not an ISC faculty presenter, I was invited to attend the planning retreat as one of the ACRL SC 101 Road Show presenters. Being at the table with 13 others who are doing work similar to mine at various-sized institutions across North America was enlightening and energizing, and I’m still somewhat awed that I was asked to be at that table. After the retreat, I headed to the opening keynote address by filmmaker Tiffany Shlain. Although I cringed when she said that she now only looks online for archival footage for her documentaries, as I know there’s wonderful clips hidden away in archives worldwide, her perspective on accessibility and sharing were interesting. I also liked how she incorporated both video and still images into her slides. I completed my first day by meeting up with ZSR colleagues around three different tables in three different locations to share good food and great laughs.

Thursday found me at the table with several different vendors. My day started early with a SerialsSolutions vendor breakfast where I was introduced to Summon, a very cool search product that Roz discussed in her vendor post. I remember the early days of federated searching while in grad school, and while I could see the promise, the system I tried was clunky, ultimately proving frustrating for its inability to deliver the promise that was so clear. I was encouraged to see that Summon seems to solve those early problems. Feeling positive about vendors post-breakfast, I headed to the exhibit hall for a meeting with a BioMed Central representative to learn more about BMC institutional memberships and Springer’s open access initiatives – promising, but I’ll believe some of it only when I see it. After a disappointing morning session on virtues of “next gen” librarians – all of which I think should be virtues of any professional, regardless of age – and Roz’s fun Cyber Zed Shed session on QR codes, Mary Beth and I headed to an ebrary vendor luncheon to discuss ebooks. Conversation was honest, and driven primarily by suggestions from the librarians in attendance, although if ebrary plans to act on the desires expressed, they have a somewhat tall order ahead! My afternoon found me surveying tables in the Reading Market Terminal as I strolled through after lunch, catching up with a fellow Emerging Leader at a table at the back of the exhibit hall, and sitting on the floor behind a table at a maxed-out session on the Google Books Settlement. I did not hear anything new at the GBS discussion, but was encouraged by how many folks are actively engaged with digital access issues for in-copyright and orphaned books and picked up the Library Copyright Alliance’s updated GBS March Madness chart. My last official conference activity of the day was Raj Patel‘s awesome keynote, where I was thrilled to hear him acknowledging and championing the under-documented and uncompensated roles that women and girls play in our food economy. The evening’s events once again found me in the fun company of our ZSR colleagues, enjoying great food, Da Vinci’s brilliance, and fun music, sometimes on steps and sometimes around tables.

My Friday at ACRL was scholarly communication-intensive, with multiple sessions and conversations that touched upon the varied issues that fall under the broad SC umbrella. I was quite encouraged by the size of the crowd at an 8:30 session on why SC issues are important to non-ARL libraries. I had a very productive meeting around a tiny table at Old City Coffee with my co-presenter and one of our hosts for an upcoming Road Show in Minneapolis, after which Sarah (my co-presenter) and I headed to a three paper presentation on copyright lies retractions in biomedical publications, and the results of an SC survey. I nodded in agreement with many of the points raised by the authors of the paper on biomedical retractions, as they are a small but concerning problem. (Incidentally, this issue, especially how news media doesn’t always cover the retractions with nearly as much fanfare, is a great conversation starter for LIB 100 classes!) I also want to learn more about the copyright survey distributed to faculty and library staff at the University of Minnesota, as I’d be curious to see if a similar survey at WFU highlighted the same lies. My lunch was delayed in order to join a roundtable discussion on “Fostering a Culture of Sharing on Campus” that pulled together SC, copyright and institutional repository librarians for a fascinating conversation about engaging our faculty and students on SC issues. This roundtable led to an instructive spill-over conversation on the merits of copyright registration for ETDs, and the role of fair use and uncopyrightability of works reproduced within ETDs. Recharged after a late lunch and reflection break, I ended my SC-themed day at an invited paper, “Animating Archives: New Modes of Humanities Scholarship,” that had been commended by one of the ISC faculty at our retreat on Wednesday. Tara McPherson’s work is pushing the boundaries of what journals and books are and can be in digital forms, and I would love to see some of our WFU humanists involved in similar projects in the future. Following an ULS social, which was conveniently in a sports bar so I could easily keep tabs on the Opening Day baseball games (my beloved Red Sox have not started well, sigh), I ended Friday at the All Conference Reception at the National Constitution Center, where I eschewed both the museum exhibit and the table conversation in favor of twirling around the dance floor for a couple of hours!

Saturday’s tables all involved meals with ZSR colleagues as we wrapped up our ACRL experience and trekked home down I-95. Before leaving Philly, I managed one final trip to Reading Terminal Market for breakfast, a session on archiving considerations of born-digital materials, an intense monitoring of conference tweets (whereby I frustratingly realized that despite the interesting content of my session, I wish I’d been at the opposite end of the convention center in a different session…), and the closing keynote by Clinton Kelly, who was quite engaging…perhaps I should watch his show so I’ll be less out of the pop-culture loop?!

All in all, my ACRL experience was energizing, sending me home with new perspectives and ideas. Interestingly, there were fewer blatantly overarching SC sessions, which leads me to speculate – and hope! – that SC issues, which range from publishing to archiving to digital exploration to copyright law to innovation, are assimilating as fundamental issues around which enough interest has been built to require more targeted, specific sessions on the myriad aspects. If so, that would certainly echo and reinforce much of the conversation at the table where my ACRL began.

Society of NC Archivists Annual Meeting, Morehead City

Monday, April 4, 2011 10:50 pm

While many of our colleagues were in Philadelphia for ACRL, I traveled east to the coast of North Carolina for the joint conference of the Society of North Carolina Archivists and the South Carolina Archival Association in Morehead City.

After arriving on Wednesday around dinnertime with my carpooling partner Katie Nash (Archivist and Special Collections Librarian at Elon), we met up with Gretchen Gueguen (Digital Initiatives Librarian at ECU) for dinner at a seaside restaurant and discussion about digital projects and, of course, seafood.

On Thursday, the conference kicked off with an opening plenary from two unique scholars: David Moore of the NC Maritime Museum talked about artist renditions of Blackbeard, Stede Bonnet, and other pirates, as well as archival research that helped contextualize these works; Ralph Wilbanks of the National Underwater and Marine Agency detailed his team’s discovery of the H.L. Hunley submarine, including the Civil War-era men trapped inside.

Session 1 on Thursday, succinctly titled “Digital Initiatives,” highlighted important work being done at the Avery Center for African American Research at the College of Charleston, UNC Charlotte, and ECU. Amanda Ross and Jessica Farrell from the College of Charleston described the challenges and successes of digitization of material culture, namely slave artifacts and African artwork in their collections. Of primary importance was the maintenance of color and shape fidelity of 3-D objects, which they dealt with economically with 2 flourescent lights with clamps, a Nikon D80 with a 18-200 mm lens by Quantaray (although they recommend a macro lens), a tripod, and a $50 roll of heavy white paper. Their makeshift lab and Dublin Core metadata project resulted in the Avery Artifact Collection within the Lowcountry Digital Library. Kristy Dixon and Katie McCormick from UNC Charlotte spoke carefully about the need for strategic thinking and collaboration at a broad level for special collections and archives today, in particular creating partnerships with systems staff and technical services staff. They noted that with the reorganization of their library, 6 technical services librarians/staff were added to their department of special collections!

Finally, Mark Custer and Jennifer Joyner from ECU explored the future of archival description with a discussion about ECU’s implementation of EAC-CFP, essentially authority records for creators of archival materials. Mark found inspiration from SNAC, the Social Networks and Archival Context Project (a project of UVa and the California Digital Library) to incorporate and create names for their archival collections. Mark used Google Refine‘s cluster and edit feature to pull all their EAD files into one file, grabbed URLs through VIAF and WorldCat identities, and hope to share their authority records with SNAC. Mark clarified the project, saying:

Firstly, we are not partnered with anyone involved in the excellent SNAC project. Instead, we decided to undertake a smaller, SNAC-like project here at ECU (i.e., we mined our EAD data in order to create EAC records). To accomplish this, I wrote an XSLT stylesheet to extract and clean up our local data. Only after working through that step did we then import this data into Google Refine. With Refine, we did a number of things, but the two things discussed in our presentation were: 1) cluster and edit our names with the well-established, advanced algorithms provided in that product 2) grab more data from databases like WorldCat Identities and VIAF without doing any extra scripting work outside of Google Refine.

Secondly, we haven’t enhanced our finding aid interface at all at this point. In fact, we’ve only put in a few weeks’ worth of work into the project so far, so none of our work is represented online yet. The HTML views of the Frances Renfrow Doak EAC record that we demonstrated were created by an XSLT stylesheet authored by Brian Tingle at the California Digital Library. He has graciously provided some of the tools that the SNAC project is using online at:

Lastly, these authority records have stayed with us; mostly because, at this point, they’re unfinished (e.g., we still need to finish that clustering step within Refine, which requires a bit of extra work). But the ultimate goal, of course, is to share this data as widely as possible. Toward that end, I tend to think that we also need to be curating this data as collaboratively as possible.

The final session of the day was the SNCA Business Meeting, where I gave my report as the Archives Week Chair. That evening, a reception was held to celebrate the award winners for SNCA and give conference attendees the opportunity to participate in a behind-the-scenes tour of the NC Maritime Museum.

On Friday, I moderated the session entitled “Statewide Digital Library Projects,” with speakers Nick Graham from the NC Digital Heritage Center and Kate Boyd from the SC Digital Library. The session highlighted interesting parallels and differences between the two statewide initiatives. Kate Boyd explained that the SCDL is a multisite project nested in multiple universities with distributed “buckets” for description and digitization. Their project uses a multi-host version of CONTENTdm, with some projects hosted and branded specifically to certain regions and institutions. Users can browse by county, institution, and date, and the site includes teacher-created lesson plans. The “About” section includes scanning and metadata guidelines; Kate mentioned that the update to CONTENTdm 6 would help with zoom and expand/reduce views of their digital objects. Nick Graham gave a brief background on the formation of the NCDHC, including NC ECHO and its survey and digitization guidelines. He explained that the NCDHC has minimal selection criteria: simply have no copyright/privacy concerns and a title. The NCDHC displays its digital objects through one instance of CONTENTdm. Both programs are supported by a mix of institutional and government funding/support, and both speakers emphasized the value of word of mouth marketing and shared branding for better collaborative efforts.

Later that morning, I attended a session regarding “Collaboration in Records Management.” Jennifer Neal of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston Archives gave an interesting presentation about the creation of a records management policy for her institution. Among the many reasons to begin an RM program, Jennifer noted that it was likely the legal reasons that were most important, both federal and state (and in her case, organizational rules). She recommended a pilot RM program with an enthusiastic department, as well as a friendly department liaison with organizational tendencies. Jennifer came up with “RM Fridays” as a pre-determined method for making time to sort, shred, organize, and inventory the materials for her pilot department. Her metrics were stunning: 135 record cartons were destroyed and 245 were organized and sent off site. Kelly Eubank from the NC State Archives explained how the state archives uses ArchiveIt to harvest social media sites and websites of government agencies and officials. She then explored, briefly, their use of BagIt to validate GIS geospatial files as part of their GeoMAPP project.

It was wonderful to meet and network with archival professionals from both Carolinas and learn about some of the innovative and creative projects happening in their institutions. Right now I am thinking about EAC, collaboration with tech services, CONTENTdm, and records management. I was glad to participate in this great local conference!

Roz at ACRL: Vendor News

Monday, April 4, 2011 6:26 pm

So many of you know that I love a vendor floor so I thought I’d post four notable vendor events/news/product things from ACRL. By no means all of the vendors I spoke to or heard from, but these were the ones that stick out in my mind:

Summon Breakfast

Serials Solutions’ discovery tool is called ‘Summon.’ The idea of these discovery tools is that they pre-index information from all of your databases, your catalog, IR, and other sources (they recently added Hathi Trust records) and you use one search box to search all of your content. Villanova (home of vuFind) has even integrated it with VuFind as the front end. I first saw Summon two years ago when they announced it and it has improved significantly since then. They take all the metadata that exists for an item and create one uber-record. So if one database has institution, one has added authors, one has keywords, one has full text, one has citation mapping, then all of that goes into one master record for the item. Very powerful and they are becoming the standard for most large research universities. The main competition for Summon is Ebsco’s Discovery Service (as you might imagine). Susan and I spoke with our rep at the Serials Solutions booth and they are going to come give us a demo in the weeks ahead. Stay tuned!!

Sage Research Methods Online

Sage has a new product called ‘Sage Research Methods Online‘ where they have brought together books, encyclopedias and journal articles on research methods into a pretty snappy little online product. Mary Beth and I sat through a demo of it in their booth on Thursday and then they had a panel at breakfast on Friday where various faculty and librarians discussed issues with research methods and how they incorporated SRMO into their classes. I have a hard time telling if it would be a useful tool for us, but luckily we will get to find out because I won a 1-year subscription to it at the breakfast. When it is up and running (this summer) we will get Sage to come demo it and have some training/info sessions for faculty who might use it. I will keep you posted.

Sage Product Innovation Panel

On Friday I sat in on what turned out to be a lightening round of sorts from Sage where editors presented ideas for new products and the library panel gave feedback. In 90 minutes we were presented with 12 new ideas ranging from an iPhone app for engineers (not so relevant here) to a new statistical database on the US states (VERY relevant). It was such fun to hear how they are thinking and to see how similar and different our needs are from other institutions.

Gallup World View

So Gallup, the public opinion folks, have a new database called Gallup WorldView. They have spent the last five years going into every country on the planet and asking at least 1000 people each year a series of public opinion questions. And they have turned this into a very promising database. International public opinion is hard to come by (especially in English) so this product really excited me. I see two problems with it, neither one deal breakers, but they make we want to see if they improve them. First, they don’t ask every single country the same set of questions so some question data is not available for some countries. Second, you can’t pick a country and get the entire list of questions from that country. But I think they will remedy that soon. Included in the database is a good deal of US public opinion data as well. Worth watching.

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