Tanya, Craig, and Vicki all mentioned the keynote about the DPLA (Digital Public Library of America) at the Tri-State Archivists’ Conference. Before Emily Gore of the DPLA headed to Greenville, SC to deliver her keynote, she was in Greensboro, NC meeting with digital collection managers. I attended the meeting to learn more about the nitty gritty how-to of contributing ZSR’s digital collections to the DPLA.
For those who aren’t familiar, the DPLA aggregates metadata from the digital collections of libraries, archives, and museums across the United States. In addition to providing a slick search interface at dp.la, the DPLA also makes its API open to developers and encourages the building of apps on top of this platform. By contributing our metadata to the DPLA, we will expose our collections to a national audience. In addition, we will drive traffic to our site from both the dp.la site and apps built on top of the DPLA API.
At DPLAfest 2013, the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center was recognized as one of three new service hubs that will aggregate metadata from their regions and serve as a conduit to the DPLA. Over 120,000 records from North Carolina institutions are currently available at dp.la, including records from the State Library of North Carolina, State Archives of North Carolina, and the libraries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in addition to all the records made available by the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center itself at digitalnc.org.
When an institution contributes collections to the DPLA via a service hub such as the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, they share an item’s metadata as well as its thumbnail.
The DPLA record recognizes both the service hub (in the example above the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center) and the contributing institution (Transylvania County Library). Clicking on either the item’s thumbnail or “View Object” takes the user to the item as it appears on the original site, in this case digitalnc.org (see below).
One more interesting thing to note about the DPLA’s approach to aggregating digital collections is that metadata shared with the DPLA is made available under a CC0 license. By participating in the DPLA, we agree that others may re-use our metadata. However, it’s important to recognize that metadata rights are not equal to digital object rights. Rather, the digital objects we make available via Wake Space remain available under whatever terms we determine.
The North Carolina Digital Heritage Center is currently in the process of evaluating our feeds before adding selected collections to the DPLA. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
On Tuesday the 21st Joy, Kaeley, Roz, and I ventured to Raleigh to participate in the summer meeting of NC-LITe, the twice-annual meeting of NC librarians who are interested in library instruction and instructional technologies. It’s a very informal group and always a fun time with lots of idea-sharing. This year’s summer meeting was at the shiny new Hunt Library at NCSU, which was a sight to behold. Like all NC-LITe meetings, this one followed a familiar format.
Each campus got some time to share updates. Some of the most interesting were:
UNC-CH: A transition to a required ENG105 course in which librarians cooperate with instructors to create assignments and integrate information literacy learning outcomes into the curriculum
UNC-CH: A live-action Clue game held in their special collections department (which would be a good opportunity for both outreach and some light instruction)
NCSU: figuring out how they can integrate their new makerspace into their instruction beyond the traditional STEM applications
NCSU: moving past outdated LOBO tutorial by rethinking learning goals and producing high-quality animated “Big Picture” videos (Kaeley thought the best title was “Picking a Topic *IS* Research!”)
Duke: librarians assigned to every MOOC taught through Coursera, where they might develop libguides or help course developers find open educational resources to support the course
UNCG: just finished a 3-day Power-UP workshop for faculty who want to develop online or blended online courses
Five of us (including me and Joy!) gave quick talks about bigger projects we’d tackled recently. Joy talked about the awesome LIB100 template and I struggled to condense our ZSRx mini-MOOC experiment into a 7-minute talk. Other things:
Kathy Shields at High Point told us about some information literacy modules they built in Blackboard
Kerri Brown-Parker at NCSU’s College of Education media center showed us Subtext, a very cool iPad app for guided literacy and social reading
There was also a rather interesting debate that sprung out of Joy’s presentation on the LIB100 template: what is the role of the library in preventing or educating students about plagiarism? Lots of opinions, but most felt that the library was central in this role, although a focus should be on educating students about the responsible use of ideas, not on “how to avoid plagiarism.”
If you haven’t been to the new Hunt Library at NCSU, make sure to visit! It’s truly an amazing space that is probably only possible at a place like State. It’s hard to put into words, but the entire library was a lab for technology-enhanced and -facilitated learning and creation. Still, despite the impressive architecture and the awe-inspiring spaces, from the MakerSpace and the Game Lab to the Next-Gen Learning Commons and the BookBot, the thing we (and most others) found most impressive were the lockers with outlets in them. There were literally audible gasps, I kid you not.
Joy said it best, though: “it seemed to me that the star of yesterday’s show was the jaw-dropping Hunt Library. Words like ‘unbelievable’ and ‘incredible’ keep racing through my mind as I ponder this blow-your-mind building. To me, this experience made our library feel like Hagrid’s cottage in Harry Potter–cozy, warm, and a bit disheveled. While we might not have a Creativity Studio or designer chairs that cost thousands of dollars, we are greeted by Starbucks and Travis Manning when we come in the door. I’m very proud and glad to call ZSR ‘home.’”
Springshare hosted a four hour webinar today, focusing on the user experience. Lauren Pressley, Kyle Denlinger and I participated in the first half of this multi-presentation webinar in the ZSR screening room. Springshare supplies ZSR with LibGuides and LibAnswers.
The first presentation was by Chrissa Godbout, the Library and Information Technology Consultant at Mount Holyoke College. She discussed their recent redesign of LibGuides. She and others from the Library attended a web design workshop that led them to a plan to do focus groups with students and staff. They bribed students with chocolate covered strawberries and gave participants gift cards to the Library coffee shop. Focus group participants were shown the current LibGuide and then asked to draw their ideal research guide and describe it. From this information, the librarians created categories and ranked them by occurrence.
As a result of the focus groups, they cut way back on text, used fewer and more pleasing colors and repeated the navigation tabs at the top in the body of the home page of the guide, including descriptions of each tab. They also included RSS feeds of the articles for the professors in that department. One idea they used was the “squint test” where users squint at the web page and what pops out while squinting should be where the main contain resides!
The next program, “Going Mobile: LibAnswers SMS and the Mobile Reference Librarian” was by Darcy Gervasioa Reference & Instruction Librarian at Purchase College, SUNY. She is Text Message Reference Coordinator and the liaison librarian for Anthropology, Sociology, and Gender Studies. What Purchase discovered was that students used the texting feature from inside the building for quick answers. So Darcy and the other librarians marketed the service in that way. “Can’t find a book? Text Us!”
Emily O’Connor’s presentation, “LibCal and the Open Workshop: Bolstering Attendance, One Registration at a Time” demonstrated the LibCal application and showed me that many of the services LibCal provides, such as emailing participants, we get from posting content on the PDC site.There was a “tech time” during the break that showed how LibGuides can be embedded in a school’s default Blackboard course, making the LibGuide available to a much larger audience.
Stephanie Rollins, from Samford University, presented “Using Libanalytics to Close the Assessment Loop”Samford uses LibAnalytics to close the Instruction loop. Stephanie described how she uses this system from Initial Instruction Request to Instruction Statistics to Post-Instruction Assessment.
There were two other sessions in the afternoon, but they focused on Springshare products we don’t use at ZSR. All in all it was a very effective webinar. It was clearly popular as we were initially wait-listed to participate! The more I work with Springshare, the more impressed I am with their commitment to their customers and users. I look forward to their next webinar on a new topic.
Last week I had the pleasure of taking a trip down to Cisco’s business center in the Research Triangle Park, along with several other staff members from across WFU’s campus. It was here that I sat in on several presentations of new technologies that Cisco is preparing and discussed how they could be useful at Wake and ZSR. I also had the opportunity of seeing several of their web conferencing technologies at work, such as using one of the “Full Immersion” rooms to video conference with Cisco employees across the country. Some parts will be a bit vague, as some of the information we were told regards future plans for Cisco products that they asked us not to discuss outside.
We began the day with a demo of Cisco Business Video Demo Center, ran by a Cisco employee in California. This was basically a showcase as to how Cisco can inter-operate a number of their technologies. For example, our presenter took a video of his screens showing our WFU group across three separate rooms with a Flip Cam, uploaded it to one of Cisco’s media servers that compiled the video, added titles, and then played back the video for us on the web within 15 minutes. It was an impressive demo, though a bit imposing and seemed unlikely to work as well without Cisco expertise on hand. They did touch on digital signage from Cisco which was a major interest to me, but didn’t go into great detail. The focused more on their ability to take data and push to their signs automatically than particulars of the signs themselves, which was disappointing. We were also running behind so the presenter had to hurry through things, so that may have had something to do with my feelings as well.
We then moved on to a “Casual Conversation” with Lance Ford, a Cisco Business Development Manager who works a great deal with educators using Telepresense tools in their teaching. This was a fun presentation with some interesting views on web teaching. After this talk we had a conference with a Webex engineer discussing the next step in the Webex program, which Wake will be a part of. A major topic of discussion in this and throughout the day was Webex integration with Google, specifically calendar functionality.
Cisco save the new, shiny stuff for after lunch though. We were given a demo of Cicso’s QUAD platform, basically a business version of Facebook. Instead of emails or shared google docs, you sign into QUAD and make posts. You then follow particular posts or invite others to edit them or attach documents. An interesting idea, but not one that I would see as particularly relevant in our environment. At least the consensus in the car I rode home in is that we didn’t need another social network to keep track of. We then saw a presentation on Cisco Jabber, which is a telephone/messaging solution Cisco is offering. What is really nice about it is its future integration with webex, so you can be on the phone on your handset and switch over to a webex meeting when needed. This would also allow for individual computers to communicate with larger telepresence and webex clients, making our awesome new setup in 204 even more useful. Finally we were given a presentation on Show and Share, Cisco’s video solution. It offers a media service that can transcode video, add titles, etc. to it, transcribe the video and map out specific topics of interest, tag it, and put it in a “youtube-like” interface basically with one box. It is designed to be a Youtube for the business world, which once again is cool but not something that would necessarily fit within the Library. And for me, it doesn’t really seem to do enough different from Youtube.
All in all it was an enjoyable trip. It was interesting to see where Cisco is going, especially with Wake becoming closer and closer with the company. It was also interesting to listen to some of the priorities of the ranking members if IS when it comes to those technologies.
Since I first learned of the Horizon Project, I have been impressed with it. It’s an annual report, with editions for higher education, k-12 education, and museums, about the technologies that are on the horizon. Each report focuses on six technologies over three time horizons as well as naming some contextual themes that are applicable across the board.
Several years after first learning of the Horizon Project, I saw some discussion on library blogs about how libraries weren’t represented, so I decided to throw my name in the ring to see if I could be involved. I was fortunate to be included and the first report I contributed to was the Higher Education edition for 2011. I also contributed to the 2012 Higher Education report. The process of creating the reports, itself, is an amazingly efficient and productive modification of an onlineDelphi study, and I’d be happy to blog or chat about it if you’re interested.
The retreat, itself, was for anyone who had served on any of the advisory boards over the past 10 years. It was organized by Dr. Larry Johnson, CEO of the NMC, and Dr. Lev Gonick, VP and CIO at Case Western Reserve University and Board Chair Emeritus of the NMC. It was held in Austin, Texas at the Hyatt Lost Pines Resort. The location was ideal. It wasn’t in the city, so we weren’t tempted away the way we might have been otherwise in the evenings. This meant that for the entire retreat we were all in one space, thinking about the same thing.
The event was comprised of group discussions, nine speakers featured on the NMC’s YouTube channel under 6 minutes with, and the amazing facilitation of David Sibbet, which is hard to understand unless you take a look at his visual representation of the event. Sibbet is a master at visualizing ideas, and I think every one of us probably wished for an ounce of his ability in that area.
As you can see, this event incorporated various communication technologies as you’d hope it would. iPads outnumbered all other computers as best I could tell. (I felt a little old-fashioned with my MacBook Air!) They brought in speakers via videoconferencing technologies. Tagging wasusedextensively.
The pace of the event was quick, as we’d get a little bit of introduction, hear a speaker, have structured small group discussions, bring back the big ideas to the group, and watch as Sibbet illustrated the discussion we were having. The structured group work was built around specific points they wanted us to come to conclusions on–which took a bit of getting used to for me but I ended up really liking it. It reminded me of some of my teaching exercises, trying to make sure we don’t always do the same group work and mixing up the types of interactions.
The main ideas from the retreat are captured in a Communiqué. The ideas in this document are “megatrends” that are impacting all educational institutions (libraries included) around much of the internet-connected world. The executive summary, if you don’t want to pop over there, is:
The world of work is increasingly global and increasingly collaborative.
People expect to work, learn, socialize, and play whenever and wherever they want to.
The Internet is becoming a global mobile network – and already is at its edges.
The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based and delivered over utility networks, facilitating the rapid growth of online videos and rich media.
Openness – concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information – is moving from a trend to a value for much of the world.
Legal notions of ownership and privacy lag behind the practices common in society.
Real challenges of access, efficiency, and scale are redefining what we mean by quality and success.
The Internet is constantly challenging us to rethink learning and education, while refining our notion of literacy.
There is a rise in informal learning as individual needs are redefining schools, universities, and training.
Business models across the education ecosystem are changing.
There was brief discussion of including a library-related topic as one of the ten, but there weren’t enough library folks at the retreat to get the votes necessary to include it. If you read the communiqué, you’ll note that libraries are mentioned under many of these 10 megatrends. In fact, there was brief discussion of if there should be a libraries Horizon Report as their is a Museum one. I’d lean towards keeping libraries integrated within the existing documents, while increasing librarian participation. I think I can contribute more about libraries to a higher education discussion, and I’d rather librarians be at that table. Likewise, a school librarian could really contribute to the k-12 report. I’d like to see public libraries represented somewhere, though.
And, since we have a library focus here, I thought I’d include Marsha Semmel’s (Director of Strategic Partnerships at Institute of Museum and Library Services) talk.This talk was given to an audience with only about 5/100 librarians, so she was definitely introducing people to standards of the field as well as pushing on some boundaries.
The Horizon Retreat was an amazing opportunity, and I–frankly–was frequently surprised to find myself included at the table in these discussions. I look forward to seeing what else comes of our work over that week. If you’re interested in following along, you can on the (surprise!) wiki!
This weekend, I had the pleasure of giving a talk at the American Association of Law Librarians in Philadelphia, PA. Some of you may remember that my last trip to Philly resulted in theft of my phone :( so I exercised my best big-city behavior this time and kept my phone in my pocket – except for a few pictures.
What amazed me about AALL was how it is a highly focused ALA. The vendor hall, as you might expect, is focused very much on law librarians but I did get a chance to connect with a few scanner vendors to talk about their work with ILL and E-Reserves software. I also managed to run into a number of our colleagues from WFU and a few people that I have met at other conferences!
On Sunday I shared the stage with Andrew Pace from OCLC and Roy Balleste from the St. Thomas Law Library. It was interesting to hear from both Andrew, who discussed OCLC services as they related to cloud computing, and Roy, whose library has adopted the OCLC Web-Scale product. There was considerable interest in the audience and I was reminded how important continuations were to law libraries when the first question focused on this issue.
On a side note I had a chance to attend the Voyager Law Users Group meeting while there and got some interesting information about the new mass data change features in Voyager 8 and heard about where Voyager libraries think they are headed (ILS wise) in the coming years. Too much detail for this post but if you are interested stop by!
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.
Today I went to the iRODS user conference in Chapel Hill, NC. iRODS stands for Integrated Rule Oriented Data System. the system is intended to be used as a data and digital object curation system that supports data curation activities (e.g. preservation activities) and access activite (e.g. create, access, replace, update, version). iRODS is usable as a subsystem for Dspace and Fedora as well as a number of other products and is flexible enough to serve as a platform for other file system services (e.g. Dropbox).
The morning session focused on new features in version 2.5. As I was not familiar with the system I spent the time stepping through a tutorial on the iRODS website. The afternoon focused on use cases which were rather interesting.
The first use case focused on continuous integration using maven/git/hudson which are some tools we have been discussing internally here at ZSR. The development environment at RENCI is called GForge & appears to be a solid approach to enabling distributed development of services. We heard from DataDirect Networks that discussed how they are using iRODS to change how get away from file system work. I also got to see some demonstrations of use cases in Archives and file management systems. Lots more information about iRODS and the conference is available on the iRODS wiki.
One fun project I learned about. National Climatic Data Center. For me the really incredible idea was that an iRODS approach to file system storage combined with lots of good metadata would enable a distributed (multi-institution, multi-site) structure that researchers could use to do retrievals and run processes based on common metadata elements or other file identifiers – for more info see the TUCASI Project.
Today Kevin, Barry, Erik and Tim attended an Amazon AWS Elastic Beanstalk webinar. Beanstalk is a new AWS service from Amazon that allows you to deploy Tomcat hosted applications using a Platform-as-a-Service model. Beanstalk is similar in scope to the Google Apps Engine and Heroku (among other PaaS providers) but is a bit different in that it also provides access to the underlying instance and configuration options.
The system has some pretty interesting features including automatic monitoring, scaling, application versioning and system security. Beanstalk uses existing Amazon resources including EC2, S3 and database services. At its best Beanstalk provides a method to more easily deploy and monitor certain types of applications.
At the moment I don’t know that we will turn to Beanstalk for our production services but the support for Tomcat means that some of our applications including Dspace and potentially Vufind could be good matches for this approach in the future.
On Monday I trained in the Cisco offices in Raleigh to learn all about Cisco’s NEW (Network Enhanced Workspace) features. The workshop was geared towards sales associates, specifically helping them to most effectively use all of the tools they are selling. Monday’s session worked with BlackBerry users, whereas Tuesday’s is reserved for the iPhone.
The morning session started with NEW provisioning, which means employees must request a NEW account. A NEW account affords the user access to Cisco collaboration tools such as Quad, Pulse, and Show and Share (more on those later.) My local contact at the company, Ted Mead, reports that access is restricted, so not every employee is granted an account
Our instructor then moved on to Device Procurement, which covered tools such as the 9971 IP phone with camera, Bluetooth, and the 7921 wireless phone. Desktop Phone Integration and BlackBerry Mobile Applications followed. However, my BlackBerry model is too old to support CUMC (Cisco Unified Mobile Communicator) and WebEx Mobile.
Later we went over the Social Software, for which I was most excited. I learned that these tools are still in Alpha mode within Cisco, meaning employees are still learning how to best integrate them into their work flow. I have faced difficulty utilizing these technologies myself because they are Cisco internal, and they have existed as yet another medium for me to update. However, now I feel reinvigorated by their collaboration power, and as a way for me to stay more connected to those back at Cisco.
Quad and Show and Share hold real potential for the public sector in my opinion. They provide a secure way for students, faculty, and staff to stay connected. Think of Quad as “Facebook on steroids,” as our instructor (reluctantly) called it, and Show and Share as a private video sharing and editing platform. I did not know that one could edit videos within Show and Share, so I now look forward to exploring this feature in the future. The final Social Software piece is Pulse, which facilitates finding experts on certain subjects within your network.
The afternoon was reserved for one-on-one help provided by Ted Mead, and a few others. I had my official Cisco Badge made:
All in all, Monday was a valuable day. I’ve met some more Cisco employees, expanded my knowledge of Cisco’s Collaboration tools, and look forward to sharing this information with interested parties at Wake.