Archive for the ‘DSpace’ Category

A new promising fall semester!

Fall at MiamiOH

I know it’s already the end of the 3rd week of this semester … but for some reason, the last 20+ days seemed to have gone just super fast … and in a few more weeks, the weather will remind us that this fall season/semester is going to come to an end. Having said that, this morning as I updated my to-do list for the next 2-3 months … it does look busy but also very promising! Of course, only time will tell how much of that we can effectively and creatively accomplish … this time, my projects seem to be floating around 3 two main categories:

Coding, Testing & Prototyping: in the next couple of weeks, we’re hoping to finalize a local workaround for an “author profile” page in DSpace, the solution will involve using some REST API, PHP, CSS and jQuery lines of code. Also, in October, we’ll officially start working on our recently awarded IMLS Sparks Grant, which aims to develop an on-demand Digital Scholarship Applications dashboard for Miami faculty. Another interesting web programming/development work is going to happen with a group of Computer Science capstone students who will be assisting us with the NEH Freedom Summer App … and finally in this list, I’m also very excited to formally start some tech exploration and maybe reverse engineering for Open Educational Resources, I believe a lot of what we’ve learned about e-books and digital publishing will come very handy :-)

Writing & Planning: of course, after all the work on some of these projects, sometimes there is a requirement for writing/publishing results … this semester, on top finishing up my article on Tools and Technologies for Faculty Web Publishing Projects, I’ll also be co-writing the NEH white paper for the FS App, another document in the planning is an initial impact and web stats publication for the Digital Literacy Partnership project, which will include the assistance of a senior undergrad student! As for planning and creativity, this year I’m also working with a library working group on creativity and innovation and we’re about to decide on 3-5 C+I library initiatives for the year!

Teaching: one of the highlights in the fall semesters, is teaching a section of IMS 201 … this year, changes include: new assignment rubrics in Canvas, a weekly summary and discussion with random student presentations on Fridays, revised and updated in-class exercises and room for creativity/innovation for the Digital Publishing final project.

Finally … yes, it’s going to be a busy semester, but it does look like a very promising one -which might include some immigration paperwork news!


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Summer plans!

Now that the spring semester is officially over, it’s probably a good time to start planning what the next 2-3 months will look like.  Among my top priorities are: evaluating and testing the author profile module for DSpace, customizing the cover page for articles in Scholarly Commons, finalizing/launching the companion website for Dr. Katie Johnson’s latest book Sex for Sale: Six Progressive-Era Brothel Drama, and getting ready for my talk at the 2015 ARIS Summit.  Additionally, and because some of my spring projects had flexible deadlines, I still need to work and check the ‘complete’ box for some other projects as well e.g. FS Documentary, Captioning PILOT project, DLP and spring e-text files, and some last changes for my IFLA book chapter.

The DSpace work is definitely something that my team has been looking into for awhile and we definitely hope to be able to implement a faculty profile module, add/customize some metadata fields on the cover page for articles, and create a couple of custom input forms … learning how to edit some .java files and rebuilding DSpace seems to be part of the fun! … of course, this summer will also be special because of my new dental accent, which is forcing me to actually record myself for some of my talks -my next big challenge will be for the ARIS talk in Madison, WI in July … y para terminar, I’ll also have to make/take some time off and work on my immigration paperwork, we finally see the light at the end of the tunnel :-)


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Web stuff, accessibility and games!

I believe the words in the title of this post are good terms/tags to describe what my summer was “all” about -at least when I was on campus :-)

web developmentIn the world of websites, I spent a couple of weeks finalizing our new responsive Scholarly Commons site, which is one of the latest contributions by @mire.  On top of the required CSS edits for the look-and-feel, two tweak examples included: adding a submit option in the drop-down menu for logged in users and re-embedding a video player from Kaltura.  As a new member of the library’s web team, I also welcomed the opportunity to start doing some work in Drupal, my main contribution was with a new content type for items (hardware) that we check out.  And in July, I devoted most of my time to the WordPress’ MEM project, it was a bit confusing but we believe we now have the “taxonomy” requirement under control.  The “aha moment” was I learned that new URLs for browsing taxonomies require a re-save of the “permalinks” even if you don’t change anything on the permalinks settings … wish I knew this before :-(

In July, we also learned that our 5K Tech Fee proposal for a Miami Video Captioning PILOT project was awarded and soon we’ll hire 2-3 students to help us transcribe some videos.  The ultimate goal is to evaluate a model that can allow us create more accessible videos and make them available in existing systems (e.g. Kaltura and Niihka) in an affordable and efficient way.  One of our student assistants has been a big help over the summer and we look forward to getting started with this.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to know that now there is an institutional agreement with 3PlayMedia -we definitely plan to use their service for the text and video sync process.  Our current example is available at

ARISLast but not least, the NEH grant project -AKA as the An Interactive Quest for Social Justice- has also taken a good chunk of time.  It’s been a great experience and we’re lucky to have a group of students who have been extraordinarily helpful in producing a design document … and in implementing/testing the game in ARIS.  It’s also good to have the ARIS experts in the consulting team, the two hangouts we’ve had with them have been productive and we look forward into getting some extra help in early September.  Perhaps my only complain is with time and Google, why couldn’t we/they wait for the new ARIS 2.0 editor? Why did Google have to discontinue their Maps Flash API exactly now? Oh well, I guess that’s part of the excitement in late 2014.

Finally, this week also seemed as a good start for my new IMS 201 class, and apparently teaching at 9am can actually help me have more productive days … just hope it continues like that … hasta pronto!


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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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Project UPDATES and videos

epub-logo It seems a bit hard to believe but this is already the 1st week of November and -before we know it- this semester will be over.  For me, the IMS 201 class I’m teaching is definitely my best excuse of say “YES, time flies and I’ve been super busy” … but perhaps the most exciting thing about this class is what will happen in the next 2-3 weeks as we’ll be creating several e-books in ePUB format. The e-book idea is a result of one of our own demo projects at Open House back in April … back then, Heidi McKee from English came to us and asked if you could help her in creating an e-book version for an open access book she was co-editing. Of course we said “yes” and with the help of Jason Michel we prototyped an e-book with three chapters using ePUB 3 standards and she liked it. In August, they published the book online and this semester, we’re finalizing the complete e-book version with its 14 chapters and multimedia files … anyway, this past weekend and as part of a documentation of the workflow and in preparation for some video/lecture classes, I created a video tutorial on how to create ePUBs using word and HTML files … if someone happens to be interested in this URL:

html5-videoSpeaking of videos and switching the conversation to some real work :-) last month we also managed to complete the first set videos for the CAWC Lecture Series Digital Archive. This is one of our recently established collaboration initiatives with a center on campus, our role is to help in providing access to scholarly talks and at the same time we make a first step toward preserving these types of materials. We also used this project to test and evaluate a couple of video features (e.g. captions) using HTML5 … in late August, we also learned about a new video streaming service available on campus and after some initial tests, we’re definitely happy to have this integrated with our now locally hosted DSpace 3.0 instance. The topic of video streaming and HTML5 got our attention and interest that we even wrote a short article about -which was published in the latest issue of the Code4Lib Journal.

Another fun part of my work in the last 2-3 months has to do with another open source tool -that’s Omeka. Just in the last month, we’ve created 4 new instances of Omeka 2.0 for 3 different clients. A key feature we’ve found in using Omeka is the ability to install and customize plugins, so far my favorites are: Simple Pages, Embed Codes, CSV Import, Docs Viewer, and Exhibit Builder; plugins in my to-do list include: NeatlineSimile, Geolocation, HTML5 Media, OAI-PMH Repository, and SolrSearch. We plan to go live with 2-3 of these projects sometime in December, for one, we may even have the privilege to write/customize a plugin :-)

Ok, that’s probably it for today … now back to some CONTENTdm and multimedia embed code … hasta el otro mes!


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