Archive for the ‘conference’ Category

Companion website & recorded presentation

This summer, we had a soft launch for the companion website or digital archive for the book Sex for Sale: Six Progressive-Era Brothel Dramas by Katie N. Johnson.  We believe creating companion sites like this one for print publications can truly benefit readers as they get richer/updated/dynamic content, and authors also benefit as they have more options for extending the reach of their research.  I was in charge for some of the technical side of the project e.g. putting in place an organization structure for the site’s content, modifying the WordPress software to produce a clean and user-friendly interface, installing custom plugins and themes, etc.

Also, in early July I attended the 2015 ARIS Summit in Madison, WI and this time I decided (or had) to record my talk, the good news is that Ann Elizabeth helped with the content … the bad news is that I was –again- reminded that video editing can also be super time-consuming.  Anyway, I think I had a good time at the Summit and now I just cannot wait for some of the upcoming features in ARIS e.g. group and world behavior (sounds like the glue/magic for collaborative playing), ARISjs (maybe the workaround for embedding minigames), and ARIS for Android :-) … so just in case someone is interested in our captioned video talk, check this out:

Finally, both of these faculty-driven projects are unique for CDS and they exemplify the potential and benefits of digital publishing, digital humanities, and collaborative work among scholars, students and librarians.


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CONTENTdm, Mirage 2 Theme and e-book project

In late April, we officially launched a redesigned and upgraded website for the Library’s Digital Collections; the new system is running on CONTENTdm 6.6 and three of the many new features include: a) a better image viewer for jpg, jp2 and tiff files; b) a page-by-page viewer/download for PDF files; and c) a more friendly web interface for customizing the site’s look-and-feel.  Also, our colleagues in Special Collections have added a couple of new collections including my favorite one: Studio 14.

MUL Digital Collections

In May, we also began to evaluate/test the new Mirage 2 Theme for the Scholarly Commons repository and  the new responsive theme seems to work nicely with DSpace 3.0 … as much as we liked our own Mobile Theme, it was very hard to resist the temptation of using a fully responsive website … of course, there is still some changes we need to implement … but overall, this is a great improvement for the DSpace community –thanks a lot @mire! … now we just need to have a friendly Author’s Profile module and many of us will be more than happy.

ePUBAnd on the very last working day of May, Jason Michel and I had the opportunity to present at the 2014 OVGTSL Conference in Athens, OH and talk about the ebook project we’ve been working on in the last year or so.  BTW: the revised version of the DWAE book is currently in its final review and very soon people will be able to download the ePUB or MOBI versions on the book’s website.  In case someone is interested, check this file with our slides.

As for the next two months, my to-do list includes at least six projects:

  • NEH/FS grant, assist in prototyping/designing version 1.0 of the FS game
  • DLP, update browse functions and add content from Spring 2014
  • MEM, dynamically generate browse pages for categories
  • Book companion website, develop a first prototype
  • FS documentary, develop a first web design and start testing templates
  • Book chapter, coordination final submission before 6/30

… y hacer tiempo para el “mundial de fút” :-)


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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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