DPS Goes to DigiCamp

DPS Goes to DigiCamp

Posted by: on April 12, 2017   |Comments (0)|Facilities and Tools

For another year in a row, DPS and a couple of other librarians from Phillips Memorial Library participated in DigiCamp, an annual unConference sponsored by the ACRL NEC Information Technology Interest Group (ITIG) that focuses on how libraries are using technology.

This year’s event was hosted at UMass Boston and the day began with a great presentation by Carolyn Goldstein and Andrew Elder on the Mass Memories Road Show, a state-wide digital history project that documents people, places, and events in Massachusetts history. The photographs and stories are preserved and publicly accessible in UMass Boston’s Open Archives.

The breakout session topics, collaboratively chosen by participants in advance of the event, included Technology for Users; Accessibility; Social Media/Marketing/Outreach; Digital Humanities, Preservation, and Pedagogy; VR/Video Games; Web/Course Guide Design and UX; Instructional Design/Teaching with Technology; OER, Open Access, and Altmetrics; Makerspaces; Interfaces & Collections; Cool Tools; and Assessment & Data. I attended the Technology for Users, VR/Video Games, and Makerspaces sessions, and got some great ideas for our MediaHub in Phillips Memorial Library.
The highlight of the day was a tour of and workshop in the UMass Boston MakerSpace lab, where we saw some 3D printing in action and learned the basics of 3D design, including a tutorial in Tinkercad, a free, web-based 3D design tool.

Looking forward to next year!

For another year in a row, DPS and a couple of other librarians from Phillips Memorial Library participated in DigiCamp, an annual... MORE

Digital Futures of Indigenous Studies

Posted by: on March 18, 2016   |Comments (0)|Digital Humanities

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a fantastic roundtable on Digital Futures of Indigenous Studies in the Digital Scholarship Lab at Brown University’s John D. Rockefeller Library. The event was “part of an ongoing initiative at the JCB to encourage and support a new generation of scholars and community members as they build consciousness about Indigenous issues not only in New England, but also in the United States and internationally”. The discussion centered on “the use of digital media to foster education, research, and outreach within Indigenous communities and studies.” There was a focus on how digital media and tools can help to create connections between people and materials, as well as the importance of relationship-building with Native communities, the ethics surrounding these projects, and project management issues of resource allocation, stewardship, and sustainability.

I was particularly impressed with Tobias Glaza and Paul Grant-Costa’s Yale Indian Papers Project. They focused on the importance of Indigenous communities as stakeholders in the project and collaborating with community members right from the beginning to answer questions like – What’s most important to the community? How do they tell their stories? What information should remain private? How do they want to access and use their digital history? With this approach, they published the New England Indian Papers Series – “a scholarly critical edition of New England Native American primary source materials gathered into one robust virtual collection.” Built on Yale’s Ladybird software and using a Blacklight front-end, the platform is clean and easy-to-use, and includes a document reader, scholarly transcription, and extensive metadata.

An eye-opening takeaway from Alyssa Mt. Pleasant’s presentation on the American Indian Studies (AIS) resources portal that she built at Yale, is the importance of maintaining a project’s stewardship to ensure its longevity. Unfortunately, the AIS portal, which took 3 years to build, wasn’t taken on by anyone else when she left Yale, and consequently, is no longer accessible.

Lisa Brooks from Amherst College gave a fantastic talk on the problem of trying to understand the history of Native spaces when the main existing reference points are colonial maps. She’s worked extensively on creating new historical maps of Indigenous spaces to support her research and is also engaged in the idea of maps as storytelling, often combining her maps with present-day photos of the locations to bring them to life. Her work is included in Amherst’s digital map collection, which was created using Esri’s ArcGIS platform, and is definitely worth checking out.

Another standout was Dana Leibsohn’s project, Vistas, which “seeks to bring an understanding of the visual culture of Spanish America to a broad audience.” Vistas was designed as a non-linear platform, in an effort to encourage multiple pathways between content that would support research in a variety of scholarly disciplines, as well as less formal modes of education and learning. Launched in the late 90’s, Vistas has undergone three major evolutions, from a website hosted by Smith College, to a DVD, and now back to an online version hosted by Fordham University. Dr. Leibsohn’s stewardship of the project over the years has clearly been integral to its longevity, which includes her commitment to tackling the challenges of migrating the platform to keep up with ever-evolving technologies.

There were also a couple of great discussions surrounding endangered Native languages, including a conversation on the power of digital activism to increase online, and particularly social media usage of these languages, as a way of preserving them.

Obviously all of these projects are contributing to content-collection, digital preservation, and scholarship needs, but it was great to hear that so many are focused on supporting Indigenous communities by facilitating access to their histories, preserving them, and ultimately, helping to amplify the voices of these communities.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a fantastic roundtable on Digital Futures of Indigenous Studies in the Digital Scholarship Lab at... MORE

Engaging Users and Remixing Content: New York Public Library’s Digital Collections

Posted by: on February 12, 2016   |Comments (0)|Facilities and Tools

As I’ve begun settling into Providence after my move from New York, I’m finally having some time to catch up on my library news. I had heard about NYPL’s recent release of more than 180,000 public domain items from their digital collections, including the first known photography by a woman and more than 40,000 stereoscopic views of the U.S., but as I delved deeper, I discovered all of the exciting tools and initiatives that they’ve integrated into the collections to encourage discovery, interaction, sharing, research, and reuse. In particular, I’ve been musing on the fantastic visual browsing tool. Data visualization is still often thought of simply as a graphic, sometimes interactive, representation of statistics and other data, but it also clearly has so much potential as a tool for discovery, by helping users to better understand the scope of the information that they’re searching or exploring.

A thousand skaters, Central Park

Strohmeyer & Wyman, “A thousand skaters, Central Park” (1889), stereoscopic image (via NYPL)

Beyond content visualization, NYPL is championing active user/content engagement with the Digital Collections API, a Remix Residency program and other tools from the creative folks at NYPL Labs, like The Green Book trip planner, which uses “locations extracted from mid-20th century motor guides that listed hotels, restaurants, bars, and other destinations where Black travelers would be welcome.”

For those of us who spend most of our days in the weeds of content management, NYPL’s Digital Collections initiatives are a great reminder to think innovatively about how we can better connect and engage users with digital collections.

For some Friday fun, check out their Stereogranimator and create some 3D images!

As I’ve begun settling into Providence after my move from New York, I’m finally having some time to catch up... MORE

ACRL Conference 2015: Spacing Out with the Library

Posted by: on May 7, 2015   |Comments (0)|Facilities and Tools


Tomorrow (Friday, May 8th, 2015) is the annual Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) New England Chapter conference, held at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. This year’s theme is “Spacing Out with the Library: An Exploration of Collaboration Across the Physical, Virtual and those Places in Between”. At the heart of this theme will be the questions, “What does it take to expand ‘the library’ beyond its traditional physical space?” and “With whom are we working to expand our services?” Addressing these questions will be keynote speakers Marie S.A. Sorensen (Architects + Planners, Inc.) and David Weinberger (Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society) as well as numerous regional librarians and library workers.

We at Digital Publishing Services are excited about what conversations the conference might explore, as much of our work relates to creating connections between the physical and the virtual, and exploring the nature of those connections as they proliferate and evolve. Some sessions of interest to DPS, as they relate to our own digital initiatives, include: “Books in e-Space – How Far Do Students Go?”; “New Object Models and APIs: Foregrounding Re-Use in a Digital Repository”, which posed structural questions regarding institutional repositories, and how to best reflect complex objects and relationships digitally; “Federated Open Access: Balancing the Needs of the Many and the Needs of the Few”; and “Strengthening Service through Collaboration: Digital Scholarship at the University of Connecticut Libraries”.

For more information on the 2015 ACRL NEC Conference, visit http://conference2015.acrlnec.org/.

Hope to see some of our readers there!

Tomorrow (Friday, May 8th, 2015) is the annual Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) New England Chapter conference, held... MORE