Archive for the ‘conference’ Category

Summer 2013 projects

As of today, we can probably say that “summer is officially gone” and for me -and maybe for others- a valid question is: what happened to those summer projects? Well, part of the answer is: we definitely made some good progress on several projects such as the migration/upgrade to DSpace 3.0 for the University Institutional Repository and to CONTENTdm 6.x for the cultural heritage collections.

In July, I also worked on several Omeka (1.5 and 2.0) instances; perhaps the most exciting one was the “unplanned” Omeka & CONTENTdm Integration that Marcus Ladd and I worked on.  My contributions included two set of lines of code: a) PHP lines in Omeka (show.php) to retrieve the DC.Identifier value and generate a link back to CONTENTdm record and to embed an iframe with the CONTENTdm viewer; and b) JavaScript lines in CONTENTdm (fullbrowser.php) to check if the image viewer is being loaded in a regular window browser or an iframe; if it’s an iframe, then we added an extra CSS file to customize the viewer toolbar.

Speaking of CONTENTdm, the official launch for the new instance is almost there … here is a preview of the new site:
In late June, we learned that the Miami was using Kaltura to manage a portion of its videos, we looked at this service and our systems team scheduled a visit with our on-campus rep, we looked at the service and thought this would meet “all” the requirements we were looking for in our new video solution … now, we’re in the process of uploading 100+ videos; we also began a prototype of adding captions to these videos, we’re using Movie Captioner and we look forward to completing a set of videos in the next couple of months.

As for DSpace, we’re just days away to officially turn on the switch from the current hosted site to our local instance; the new interface is 80% based on the Mirage theme and perhaps the only modification (so far) was the integration of the Kaltura player using a few jQuery tricks.

  // hide default mp4 player in DSpace
  $("#aspect_artifactbrowser_ItemViewer_div_item-view #video").hide();
  // hide metadata field with Kaltura video ID
  // get Kaltura video ID
  var htmlStr = $(".simple-item-view-other-kaltura a:eq(0)").html();
  // alert(htmlStr);
  // replace video DIV with Kaltura code
  var htmlStr = $("#aspect_artifactbrowser_ItemViewer_div_item-view

For service activities, in late July the recently established Library Staff Appreciation Committee hosted a picnic and thanks to the great leadership of our coordinator -Tricia- everything went super. For the fall semester, we’ll be launching a monthly newsletter and we’ll also finalize the details for the Annual Award of the employee/s of the year. Outside of the library, I’m also coordinating the website team for the 2014 Freedom Summer Conference -this time, we’re very fortunate to have a student volunteer with some excellent graphic design skills.

And for Scholarship, in early August I -virtually- co-presented with Marcus at the 2013 CONTENTdm Users Group Meeting; our talk was on the Migration & Update to CONTENTdm 6.1, I joined them via WebEx and Marcus did an excellent job in demonstrating the Omeka/CONTENTdm integration project.  I mid August, I also co-authored a manuscript on Videos & HTML5, it’s still in review but it left us with an interesting new project on video captioning :-) … OK, that’s probably it for today, this weekend will be a good time to finalize/publish my Niihka site for the IMS 201 class -which starts on Monday!


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Spring Project UPDATES

CDS save-the-dateSpring is finally here and -for me- it seems to be just a good time to catch up on some notes and updates about things that have happened in the last two months as well as things that will happen in April.  Undoubtedly, many of my/our activities are driven by the upcoming Open House for our new department -scheduled for April 23rd.  This week, I helped in creating an interactive map for the CDS’ website -which is (heavily) based on an excellent example created by the Research Commons at the University of Washington.  We look forward to completing all the details for this special date.

Two examples of the type of work the center can help clients with are: a) developing websites such as the Digital Literacy Partnership (DLP) project with Valerie Ubbes; and b) developing e-books for selected works available on Computers and Composition Digital Press with Heidi McKee –for this project, we’re working with our colleague Jason Michel.  The DLP project will be our first project using Omeka and it has allowed us to understand better the functionality -and some of the limitations- of this great open source online exhibit tool.  For instance, because of the type of DLP files (video and slideshow), we had to edit the show.php file and customize it accordingly.  Here is an outline of the changes we made:

<?php if (item('Dublin Core', 'Type') == 'Moving Image') { ?>
<iframe src="<?php echo $VimeoID;?>"
 width="500" height="375" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen
 mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
<?php } else { // NOT a video, but a slideshow ?>
<!-- WOWSlider script -->
<?php $filename = item('Dublin Core', 'Identifier');
$dir = "/var/www/../viewer/" . $filename . "/";
if ($handle = opendir($dir)) {
$i = 0;
while (false !== ($entry = readdir($handle))) {
if ($entry != "." && $entry != "..") {
$all_files[] = $entry;
$i++; }}
closedir($handle); }
sort($all_files); // very important
foreach($all_files as $file) {
echo "<img src=\"/healthliteracy/viewer/$filename/$file\"
      alt=\"$file\" id=\"wowsl_$i\"/> \n";
} ?>

Two other projects that I continue to work on are: CONTENTdm 6.x and DSpace 3.0.  In both cases, I’ve been quite pleased with the type of successful “tweaks” we’ve tested/implemented with pure jQuery & CSS code.  BTW: for those interested in hosted services, check out DSpaceDirect.

As for the next 2-3 weeks, some exciting things are also on the schedule: on Friday April 5, Kim Tully and I will be part of a panel at the 2012 SOA Conference and we’ll talk about the Civil War collection; on April 8-9, I’ll be at Case Western Reserve University attending their Second Colloquium on Digital Scholarship; on April 16, I’ll teach a class on HTML & CSS –which will serve as a first practice for my upcoming IMS 201 class in the fall; and of course, April 23 will “the day” for us in the center.

Last, my article on DSpace Mobile Interface was published this month … and thanks to a comment, now I know that for future tests I can also use The Responsinator site … now time to check the latest issue of Research Information.


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October was -again- a busy month … from meetings, reach-out activities, article reviews, digital humanities, open access, coding to ALAO.

As we continue to work towards the “goal” of the CDS to support faculty and students’ digital projects, this month I was part of a couple of new and interesting potential collaborations.  In mid October we met with a professor who is interested in implementing a digital and interactive component to a Freedom Summer project, we’re now looking at the ARIS platform and hopefully we can either re-use it or find something similar to it … one key feature of ARIS is its support for developing mobile games.  We also met with a group of students who are currently working on a “journal” project; our potential contribution would be with the technical infrastructure and for that, we’re most likely to use OJS, which continues to be the most popular system for peer-review and open-access journals.  A third meeting took place thanks to a contact made by one of our library liaisons; in this case, a history grad student is interested in adding a “map” layer to create some data visualization for a collection from the 16th century … an example in mind is the Mapping the Republic of Letters.

Open Access (logo)Also, there is no doubt that the Sixth Annual Open Access Week was a big highlight for this month.  For us, the first of two MUL events during OA week was the Digital Humanities Symposium; the event was an opportunity for faculty, grad students and librarians to listen to two outside and five local speakers … as well as to talk about what DH could mean for them/us.  The second event was a talk How Open Scholarship is Changing Research, which was organized by the Library’s Scholarly Communication working group.  Moreover and for the second year, online visitors found a pop-up image on the library’s homepage with a message “What if you had no access to the library?” … will this help create an awareness about the ongoing problem of journal cost? mmm who knows, although for many, the Harvard’s statement about “not being able” to keep up with all the subscription costs may also help others understand the problem.

As for my tech/learning activities, this month was a good time to start learning a bit more about Git.  Because of my mobile theme contribution to DSpace 3.0, I finally understand (better) the benefits of a version control software; although at first, Git can be quite overwhelming or confusing.  A good tutorial I found is Git Essential Training by Kevin Skoglund. There is definitely more to learn, but so far, my list of 10+ GIT commands are keeping me busy!

Last, on Friday Oct. 26 I was again at the 38th ALAO Annual Conference.  Our CW team had a poster session -which was about the work we did for the CW Symposium and the ALA/NEH book-discussion series.
Civil War - ALAO (poster)
I was also part of talk Skate to Where the Puck is Going to Be, where we presented an overview of the CDS … the outline included: Setting the stage, Designing the space, Reaching our clients, Tech tools, and Services.

Ok, that’s it for now … now back to some GIT experiments as well as finish up with a draft for D-Lib Magazine :-)


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Joint Conference of Librarians of Color

JCLCThe second Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) was held on September 19-23 in Kansas City, MO.  For four days, more than 800 participants -from diverse groups of librarians, library staff, library supporters, and library administrators- explored issues, shared successful ideas, and discussed challenges of diversity in libraries.  It was great to be there for part of the conference.  As with any multi-track conference, at times it was hard to choose which session to attend :-( … a copy of the full program is available on the JCLC website.  The following is a short report of selected sessions I attended:

  • Perspectives on Academic Library Change, Culture and Future Leadership, by Jon Cawthorne, Theresa Byrd, and Tyrone Cannon. Central questions that the speakers asked were: if everything is electronic, why do we need the library? and how should a library look like in 2040?  To make it more interactive, they formed groups and gave us three possible scenarios and we had to choose the one we thought most likely to happen; however, three out of five groups (including mine) reported that the proposed scenarios are obsolete or with services that are already being implemented.  Many agreed that one characteristic of any type of future scenario will include a metric for assessing and demonstrating the value of services.
  • All Things Digital, a panel with Charles J. Henry & Jon Patrick Gant and moderated by Anthony D. Smith from IMLS. The panelists talked about projects like the Digital Public Library of America, Building Digital Communities: A Framework for Action, and Connect to Compete.  Although many of these project goals may not seem to have a direct impact on academic libraries right now; in the mid-long term, these types of projects can definitely help to better prepare future college students -particularly those students from underrepresented communities, which can subsequently support universities’ diversity/inclusion programs.
  • Diversity in the Special Collections Field: From Defining the Need to Providing Solutions, by Athena Jackson, Chella Vaidyanathan, and Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty. The speakers talked about the need for more diverse representation in a field where determining selection and providing access to rare, unique, and original materials are important.  They reported on their efforts to recruit librarians from underrepresented groups to consider joining this area of librarianship.  There were some interesting thoughts from this talk that we could have included in our manuscript -currently in review- on Digital Diversity.
  • The Need for Diversity Research in the Profession: A Collaborative Opportunity, by Karen Downing, Merve Fejzula, and Mark Winston. The presenters emphasized on the need for more diversity research in the profession -maybe something like what we see in Diversity Inc.  They also talked about the next steps for this type of work; I would agree that future research should include documentation of successful stories and demonstration of the positive effects of diversity in organizations.
  • Re-Branding Librarianship: Diversity Recruitment Practices from the Field, by Deena Smith, Emily Chan, Hannah Lee, Michelle McKinney, and Eura Szuwalski. They shared their experiences encouraging registration and use of the Knowledge Alliance website, which “re-brands” librarianship as a field of diverse individuals, and their work recruiting a diverse group of high school and college students to consider librarianship as a career option.  As part of this group, it’s always good to hear what has worked for others when talking to students about librarianship -for me, the goal is always about some students with a great set of technical/programming skills.

I was also part of two poster sessions:
Digital Diversity: Examples from Miami University Libraries, in this poster we provided an overview of selected examples of diversity-related online collections digitized by Miami University Libraries.  We also talked about the “research value and uniqueness” as two essential factors that help collection managers in selecting digitization projects that can support institutional goals such as expanding diversity.
Digital Diversity at Miami University Libraries

Minnesota Institute Reflections: Three Personal Stories, in this poster session we presented an overview of the MN Institute, discussed three personal experiences about the program’s impact in our professional activities, and provided a list of future leadership programs available for mid-career librarians.
MN Institute

Overall, JCLC was a great opportunity to see friends from the MN Institute & the iSchool as well as to meet and talk to new people.  Last but not least, hoping that there will be a 3rd JCLC in six years, I probably should start brainstorming some new/interesting projects for the next five years :-)


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Conferences: Library 2.0 & ALAO

Library 2.0 WorldWide Virtual ConferenceLast week was quite a busy week for me -not to mention a night with only 3 hours of sleep, but that’s a different story.  Anyway, on Thursday, November 3rd, I started my day with an early (6:30 AM) online presentation on “Technical Skills in Digital Library Programs” which was kind of a report on a recent publication I co-authored with John Millard.  My talk was part of the 300+ presentations at the Library 2.011 WorldWide Virtual Conference.  I think the conference was a huge success, according to the website, they had more than 5,000 people registered from more than 150 countries … and it was FREE.  So thanks to the co-founding sponsors: The School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San José State University, Classroom 2.0, and the Global Education Conference.  If anyone is interested in watching some of the sessions, links to all the recordings are available at: :-)

On Friday, November 4th, I attended the 2011 ALAO Annual Conference in Toledo, OH.  There, I had to wear a couple of different hats :-( … at first, I setup an information table for the Technical, Electronic, and Digital Services Interest Group (TEDSIG), just as last year, we asked visitors to suggest possible topics for the upcoming 2012 spring workshop.  Also, at lunch I presented the TEDDY Award, which recognizes an individual’s significant contributions to TEDSIG & ALAO.  This year, the winner was Anne Gilliland, Head, Copyright Management Office, at the Ohio State University Libraries.  Among Anne’s contribution to ALAO include: served a term as the Technical Services Interest Group Co-Chair, served on the ALAO Executive Board, presented at a number of TEDSIG workshops and at several ALAO annual conferences.

In the second session, I was also part of a panel “Planning your Digital Resource Commons and Institutional Repository: What do you need to know?”  In this group of six speakers, I talked about the possibilities and technical requirements needed for customizing the front-end of DSpace.  I also provided a quick overview of the DSpace registry and the number of institutions worldwide using the software for both IR and digital library (digitized) content.  In the afternoon, John Millard and I hosted a poster session:
ALAO poster
This poster demonstrated methods of loading and displaying diverse type of cultural heritage objects using the DSpace.

In the last session, I attended a talk on “Diversity Program: Incorporating Cultural Awareness into your Library,” by Heather Maloney & Michelle McKinney from the University of Cincinnati, Blue Ash College.  The talk was about the development of a greater understanding of each other and the diverse population that a library serves.  In the Q&A section, it was great to share something about the Chinese videos created at Miami.  Ok, that was then, now back to some more coding and proposal writing! :-)


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