Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Virtual and digital repatriation

This topic came up in class this semester, thanks to Jennifer Peters and I want to pass along two resources on it. 

Hennessy, K. (2009), Virtual Repatriation and Digital Cultural Heritage: The Ethics of Managing Online Collections. Anthropology News, 50: 5–6. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-3502.2009.50405.x
...technologies are allowing members of originating communities to access images of objects, audio and video recordings, and texts documenting their relatives and their material, cultural and linguistic history.  Visual access by these communities to their cultural heritage in online museum and ethnographic collections is known as "virtual repatriation."
Ivan Boserup, I. (2005), The Manuscript and the Internet: digital repatriation of cultural heritage. IFLA Journal June 2005 31: 169-173, doi:10.1177/0340035205054881
...the two libraries establish a joint project and publish on the Internet a digital facsimile of the entire manuscript...Surely the old manuscript has now become a part of Denmark's cultural heritage, probably in a more efficient way than if it had been repatriated physically and hidden in the vault of the Royal Library. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Podcast: The Battle for the Books

Like many others, I was mesmerized by Google's digitization program and then by the litigation that followed.  The Copyright Clearance Center's Beyond the Book podcast has covered Google's efforts, the lawsuit, and the aftermath and given many of us a concise summary of what is occurring.  This 15-minute podcast entitled "The Battle for the Books" is an interview with journalist and attorney Jeff Roberts provides an overview of it all and some of the elements that you may not have considered (e.g., "East Coast against West Coast, Manhattan Island versus Silicon Valley, technology upstarts taking on publishing elites").  If you have not kept up with the lawsuit, this will be you quickly up-to-date and likely leave you wanting to know more.

This podcast is also, in essence, an introduction to Roberts book The Battle for the Books: Inside Google's Gambit to Create the World's Biggest Library.The book is available for the Kindle, which points at something that occurred over the last 10+ years; Google is not the dominate purveyor of books that we thought it might become.  Instead Amazon marshaled its forces and created an ebook distribution service that many of us use.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Microfilm tech tips

According to an email I received (from the company), in April 2011, "Eastman Park Micrographics purchased the micrographics business from Eastman Kodak and now operates it out of Rochester NY from within the boundaries of the Eastman Business Park which by the way still houses the continuing film manufacturing done by Eastman Kodak Company."  The Eastman Park Micrographics web site includes over 50 tech tips on topics including tips on Archived Microfilm Procedures and Storage.  For those who have or are interested in creating microfilm, the tips on this web site will be of interest. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Cyrus Cylinder, Digitization, Innovation & a #CILDC wrap-up

Before attending the Computers in Libraries (CIL) Conference, I went to the Sackler Gallery to view the Cyrus Cylinder, which is from 500 BCE.  The cylinder was important then because it communicated King Cyrus' decree to free those that Babylon had held captive.  Because it also proclaimed religious freedom and a respect for different cultures, it has been important to many since then.  Viewing this 2600 year old clay cylinder was a nice precursor to attending the conference, where we discussed technology, while each of us carried and used technology.  During the conference, I kept thinking about what we are leaving behind now as evidence of our existence and decisions, and whether those items will last.

Broadband Access - Internet access at CILAmerica‚Äôs New National Pastime: The Innovative and Competitive Internet Marketplace, Capitol Hill 10 April 2013 was the best that it has even been, thanks to the Washington Hilton's updated Internet connection.  However, we recognize that there are still areas of the country that do not have good, reliable high-speed Internet access.  On April 10, Michael Sauers (Nebraska), Heather Braum (Kansas) and Patrick Sweeney (California) left the conference and went to the Broadband of America meeting on Capitol Hill.  Heather blogged the meeting (here and here).  She was able to ask about the role of libraries, and remind those in attendance that we - libraries and librarians - have an important role to play in our communities in terms of Internet access and training people how to use that access. And while this was not related to the conference, I think it is an excellent example of taking advantage of where you are physically, as well as a great example of advocacy.

Digitization - I attended two sessions that were related to digitization.  The session on "Digitizing Archives" included one speaker who talked about our personal archives.  For those involved in digitization, this was a good reminder of what we know.  For those who are not involved in digitization (or still newbies), there were likely helpful tidbits, especially in regards to creating a personal archive (a topic that libraries can be teaching their patrons about).

The second session that was related to digitization was "Build-a-Book Workshop: Starting eBook Publishing at Your Library."  How do you create your own digital books?  One way is to digitize text created on paper by the library or users, or in the public domain.  Douglas Uhlmann didn't spend a lot of time on that idea, since his session needed to cover a lot of ground, but it would good to hear that mention.

Innovation - [This is a follow-up to my previous blog post on  this.]  The CIL Sunrise session hosted by Heather Braum, James King and I generated ideas on innovative actions that could be taken this year in order to remain relevant with a library's target audiences.  We captured some of the ideas generated with my iPhone, while other ideas where tweeted (and then captured using SearchHash.com and turned into a PDF).


CIL Sunrise session CIL Sunrise session

CIL Sunrise session

Addendum (4/21/2013): James King captured these notes from the wrap-up of the brainstorming session:  
  • Personalize the web site for each user
  • eContent vending machines
  •  open database access to the community with no authentication required
  • Give up classification systems and let patrons shelve books where it makes sense to them
  • Adjust culture to “yes” as a default, rather than “no”
  • Kill failing projects rather than letting them linger
  • Loan mobile devices
  • Optimize to ePubs formats
  • Provide iPod based content
  • Make site and service more personal rather than institutional (apply a name and a face to the services rather than a generic organizational name)

SU iSchool students
#CILSU - 17 library and information science students from Syracuse University (SU) attended CIL.  This is the third time I've been with a group of SU students at a library conference, and I can tell you that each time brings me joy.  I enjoy hearing what is attracting their attention and what they are learning.  I like watching them as they get excited over everything!  I also like hearing from the other attendees, who often get jazzed from interacting with LIS students.  Most of all, I like knowing that these emerging professionals are making connections that may impact the rest of their lives.

Wrap-Up - I need to mention some people, topics and things that caught my eye.
  • Michael Edson, who did slam poetry has his presentation Tuesday evening.  (A version of it is in YouTube.)  Michael, who spoke Monday afternoon and delivered a keynote at last year's CIL, has a lot to say and is worth listening to.
  • Forrest Foster, who spoke on using Blog Talk Radio to interview people about learning commons.  His programs helped him learn about the topic and have been accessed thousands of time by others. 
  • Robyn Andrews, who told a compelling story about how her academic library received iPads and how they have loaned them out.
  • Brian Pichman, who is using really cool technology with teenagers and who brought some of it, so we could play with it!  (I'm sure the hotel could not have envisioned night-time laser tag on their patio.)
  • Backdraft - a Twitter tool that allows you to write tweets in advance and then release them on demand.  This is great for speakers, who might want to tweet specific tidbits during their talk.  I could also see this for tweeting during an event.  Backdraft works on mobile devices.
  • SearchHash - This is an online Twitter tool that allows you to search for and save tweets. You can see an example of it above. 
  • Brent Leary, who was Monday's keynote and who spoke on community engagement.
  • Daniel Rasmus, who was Wednesday's keynote and talk about the future.  He said that even though we can't predict the future, we should be able to have a robust conversation about it...and I like that!
  • The future - Besides Daniel Rasmus, there was an important mention of the future in a humorous presentation on Tuesday evening. Yes, there will be a librarian uprising in 2017!
I'm amazed that I wrote 21 blog posts in three days.  These were mostly "live blogging", which means that I was really taking notes that could be published online.  My custom blog template does not allow you to view all of them at once, so here is a list for your convenience.

April 8 (Monday):
April 9 (Tuesday):
April 10 (Wednesday): 

Blog Post: Social Media Networks Stripping Data from Your Digital Photos

If you know anyone who is a professional photographer, you need to tell them about this blog post.  Why?  Because the metadata that person has "in" his photos, that could connect the photo to the photographer, is being removed.  According to the Embedded Metadata Manifesto:
...a number of the more popular services strip this embedded information from images when the images are uploaded to the services or processed on their servers.
This created quite a discussion in one of my classes last week! We recognize that this stripping of metadata is affecting all of us, but we know that it is affecting professional photographers even more.  Embedding metadata in a photo is done by the camera and editing software.  Metadata - including information on who took the photo - can be quite helpful when searching across photos or even demonstrating ownership.  Strip that information out of the photo and that photo could have been taken by anyone at any time.

Why would a social media site remove the metadata?  My guess is it is part of the file resizing that occurs, since sites like Facebook really don't want to be storing large files.  They would prefer to resize the files to something more manageable.  That does mean that the file you have on Facebook is really not the same as the photo that you took.

The report does include information on social media sites that do not strip out the metadata.  I'm saddened to see that Flickr, which is use heavily, didn't do well in the tests.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

#CILDC : Management Metrics that Work

[This session was on April 9 and I just realized on April 13 that I didn't published my notes from it.]

Karen White, Kris Vajs and Karen Krugman
There slides are quite packed with information!

Karen White - 
Why report to your management?
- Communicate value
- Demonstrate transparency
- Demonstrate support for the org's mission
- To generate support

There are many metrics that you may want to measure.  What data do you want to collect?

USAID is moving toward a virtual library and has needed to account for that in their metrics.  Therefore, having foot traffic go down is a good thing and expected.

Where do you store your metrics?
- Excel / spreadsheet
- relational databases 
- virtual reference software 

Collecting your metrics
- decide what to collect
- collect it proactively
- collect quantitative and qualitative
- identify metrics from similar organizations
- use vendor supplied data
- limit the number of metrics.  Focus on what you need.

Ways to collect metrics
- tally sheets
- surveys, customer feedback, observations
- focus groups, interviews
- benchmarking 

Presenting your metrics
- report on a regular basis
- Tailor your reporting
- share reports to your staff
- understand how your metrics relate to each other

- written reports
- Verbal presentations
- Infographs
- dashboard

She shared examples from other libraries and from her own (USAID).

Karen Krugman -
She presented examples from the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. 
She strives to demonstrate how the library impacts the organization.  For example, showing how specific library resources support areas/focuses of the organization.

Kris Vajs - 
Review your metrics regularly to be sure that you are collecting what you want and what matters.  
Collect metrics before you're asked for them.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

#CILDC : Blog Talk Radio: Connect, Collaborate & Enthuse!, Forrest Foster

Was put in charge of the learning commons, that had not yet been built.
Criteria - 
- little funding
- no space / design issues
- aesthetics

- train staff
- no new staff
- find out what students want
- cater to the coddle culture
- form committee / advisory group

The reference  collection was in their desired space area. It needed to be trimmed and weeded.  A two year project.  Reference collection that remained went onto movable shelving.

They visited other institutions.  Consulted other practitioners and experts.

Still had so many questions that were unanswered?
Had to be a barrier breaker, a social entrepreneur and a conversation starter.

So...Blog Talk Radio!
- largest online radio network.  
- understood his need.  Found a way to fill the void.


Uses it to talk to experts on learning commons and get his questions answered.
"We're not large, but doing and learning much."
cost of the program is ~$30/month

Still early...needs to start assessing them impact
- gathering a lot of knowledge
- building the commons and their knowledge  incrementally 
- understand that they need to have policies and procedures for their commons.
- increased iPad usage by connecting with something that students needed to do
- host tech talks.  Doesn't matter how many people attend. Remember to create  your definition of success

Act Locally, Share Globally - started  out with intentions to help themselves and ended up helping others.

#CILDC : There's an App for that!

Krista Schmidt & Joel Marchesoni
Reference on call

The issues: 
- Understaffed
- Over committed
- Productivity
- Workload
- Service culture and mission 

Use the tablet as a large button on the reference  desk - people press the button for help.  A message goes out to the librarians, who can then respond.
Provides messages to the user, saying that someone is one the way.

Tablet app  development 
Chat service backend and client
Stumbling blocks

Gave it zero publicity. Working well.  Will be ramping up.

Allowed them to have flexibility with staffing.
Some librarians have not yet bought into its use.
Could we used by the desk librarian to get help during a hectic period.
Not yet capturing  enough statistics.

Daniel Mack 
Documenting and assessing liaison librarian activities with free web tools and mobile apps
Assessment is increasingly important in higher education
- we need to document the positive impact of our work. For example:
--- reference  and research
--- bibliographic instruction

Types of activities
- Communicate what you do
- Feedback from users 
- Track data 
- Productivity activities 
Take a programmatic approach
Create a personal assessment program to document the impact of your work
Integrate it into the assessment program of your institution

Assess what? Four general rubrics and the types of activities to be tracked.
- Reference
- Instruction
- Collection
- Outreach 

Tons of free apps.
Ask what others uses.

- communicate - Hootsuite, announce hours, programs, events
- feedback - FluidSurveys - works on a mobile device
--- use a survey  as a form that people can use to make suggestions
- track - Count Thing - 
- productivity - 
--- Evernote
--- Dropbox

Look for blog posts on apps for librarians

Robyn Andrews
Both Sides of the Desk: iPads in an academic library
Boss bought iPads for the staff without knowing what they could be used for
They decided to loan them. Put some apps on them.
People did borrow them.  Faculty were most anxious to borrow them. They traveled with them.

Now they are loaned out blank.
Loan period is two weeks with one renewal.
When they are returned, they are wiped clean.
$750 fine if harmed.

Then got more iPads and the continue to loan them.

Then the boss bought everyone an iPad.  Even though they were loaning them, staff were not using them.  Now need to look at them from a work productivity point of view.  

Ah...MOBILE devices!
But some people didn't see the usefulness.  Could learning about them be fun?
First app she recommended was Splashtop Connect, which mirrors the desktop. Remote access to the desktop.
Online Desktop - makes th iPad screen look like a pc desktop
Then email and Safari.

DestructionFest 2012 - weeding and recycling.  Documented the project using her iPad, including photos.  Also used the iPad as a phone.  

"Consumers don't buy products.  They hire them to get  jobs done." - Clay Christensen

Are now doing I'LL and document delivery with the iPads.
Documenting problems for facilities 

If its not with you all them time, then doesn't get used at all.

#CILDC : Evolving Tech Support to Manage & Discover E-Resources

Li Fu & John Coogan
77% of classes online - University System of Maryland
Virtual library with a small staff, including 19 librarians
Using EBSCO, SFX, CONTENTdm, LibGuides 

What is evolving?
- discovery - implemented EBSCO EDS
- access
--- mobile access, mobile devices are automatically detected
--- placing a discovery tool on the library's homepage may have caused reference questions to go down
- content
--- content gateway vs content provider
--- CONTENTdm 
--- lectures, presentations, papers
--- created submission criteria
--- create author agreements
--- cataloguing guidelines
- authentication
--- moving to a single sign-on model
--- Shibboleth & EZ proxy
--- need to add additional criteria specific to the library in terms of access
- patron support
--- reference questions -> technology questions
--- providing more help through info on the web site
--- two system librarians cover "tech duty"
- assessment
--- no idea of what we do -> analytical
--- google analytical
--- lots of data, including search statements (not identifiable patron data)
- librarians
--- mindset
--- skill set
--- workflows
--- collaboration

Candice Kail & Colleen Major 
Columbia University Libraries spends over $10 million per year on e-resources
E-resources interface working group

Four projects 
- redesigned the OpenURL results screen
- evaluated open access collections
- mobile resources
- locally designed and developed backlight interface (CLIO beta)

2CUL - Cornell and Columbia - plan to merge tech services
- looking at e-resources that they have in common
- cognitive walk throughs

Problems of group decision making
- group me members are doing this work above and beyond what they already do
- designing by committee
- understanding the skills of the group
- consistent meeting attendance
- changes in who is in the group

- multiple perspectives 
- getting people involved at the right time (earlier)

Overlap between divisions and other changes
- creating a seamless user experience
- lack of agility
- the mobile e-resource redirects 
- personnel changes
- third party products vs. locally hosted
- communication is often not part of the workflow and is done as an after thought

This work can be. Very organization specific