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Library Tech Talk (U of Michigan): Conducting User Research to Build a Better Staff Intranet

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-04-08 00:00

Everyone who works in the library, including some student workers, uses the intranet -- that’s over 450 people! In preparation for a major Drupal update and intranet redesign, the Intranet Upgrade Investigation Team (IUIT) has done a ton of thoughtful user research to guide our work including a survey, open card sort and closed cart sort. The findings are informing our progress and helping meet the goal of making the intranet a sustainable and user friendly tool that everyone wants to use.

District Dispatch: DOE now accepting IAL grant proposals; due by May 9

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-04-07 20:44

The Department of Education today began accepting applications for the nearly $27 million in Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program grant funds available this year to schools and non-profits seeking support for their early literacy efforts. ALA and its grassroots successfully advocated vociferously last year for Congress to support IAL at this level of funding and are doing so again for FY 2017.

Any eligible applicant seeking a grant has until May 9, 2016 to submit its proposal. DOE is expected to announce its grant awards in July. One half of the grant funds available are reserved for school libraries with the remainder open to non-profit organizations. Grants can be awarded on either a one- or two-year cycle. For more details about the application process, please see the DOE’s formal Notice published in today’s Federal Register. It should also be posted soon on the Department of Education’s own IAL page.

Photo Credit: Flazingo Photos

Re-authorized in the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act, IAL supports school libraries seeking to improve literacy skills for children through the 12th grade and to encourage families to read together. As DOE describes it, IAL is “designed to develop and improve literacy skills for children and students from birth through 12th grade in high-need local education agencies (LEAs) and schools…. [and] increase student achievement by using school libraries as partners to improve literacy, distributing free books to children and their families, and offering high-quality literacy activities.”

To be eligible, a school library must be considered a “high-need” Local Education Agency (LEA), meaning that at least 25 percent of its students aged 5 – 17 are from families with incomes below the poverty line (or are similarly defined by a State educational agency). A grant application must include a: program description of proposed literacy and book distribution activities; grade levels included or the ages of the target audience; and a description of how the program is supported by strong theory. Additional information, like timelines and results measurement methods, also is required. DOE also will consider programs that seek to integrate the use of technology tools, such as e-readers, in addressing literacy needs.

According to DOE, priority consideration for IAL funding is given to programs that include book distribution and childhood literacy development activities, and whose success can be demonstrated. Additional “points” in assessing competing grant proposals may be awarded to an application that meets additional program objectives. As detailed in the DOE’s Notice, there are many such additional goals, including distributing books to children who may lack age-appropriate books at home for them to take home to read with their families.

Like any federal grant program, there are lots of rules governing every aspect of the application process right down to the size of the paper applicants may use.  Be sure to see the DOE’s Notice for full details . . . and to leave lots of time to meet them all ahead of the May 9 IAL filing deadline.

The post DOE now accepting IAL grant proposals; due by May 9 appeared first on District Dispatch.

District Dispatch: ALA Washington announces 2016 WHCLIST winner

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-04-07 20:33

This week, the American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office announced that Dan A. Aldridge of Winterville, GA is the winner of the 2016 White House Conference on Library and Information Services (WHCLIST) Award. Given to a non-librarian participant attending National Library Legislative Day, the award covers hotel fees and includes $300 stipend to defray the cost of attending the event.

WHCLIST 2016 Winner Dan Aldridge

A longtime library advocate and patron, Aldridge served two years as the President of Friends of the Braselton Library (FBL). He was elected to the board of Friends of Georgia Library, where he currently serves as Vice President and will assume the role of President in April 2016. In his own words, Aldridge plans to:

“…dedicate the next two years to supporting and advocating for libraries throughout Georgia because I firmly believe, as nineteenth century industrialist Andrew Carnegie said, “A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people.”

As a result of his hard work and dedication, FBL saw notably growth in their membership and even earned them an annual award – the Fabulous Friends Award – from the Friends of Georgia Libraries. The FBL membership has seen unprecedented growth, and as a result has been able to increase their support of Braselton Library. Their fundraisers have provided the library with new computer equipment, supported eight new children’s programs, and increased the size of the Large Print Book and e-book collections at the library, among other accomplishments.

The White House Conference on Library and Information Services—an effective force for library advocacy nationally, statewide and locally—transferred its assets to the ALA Washington Office in 1991 after the last White House conference. These funds allow ALA to participate in fostering a spirit of committed, passionate library support in a new generation of library advocates. Leading up to National Library Legislative Day each year, the ALA seeks nominations for the award. Representatives of WHCLIST and the ALA Washington office choose the recipient.

The post ALA Washington announces 2016 WHCLIST winner appeared first on District Dispatch.

Nicole Engard: Bookmarks for April 7, 2016

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-04-07 20:30

Today I found the following resources and bookmarked them on Delicious.

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The post Bookmarks for April 7, 2016 appeared first on What I Learned Today....

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Tim Ribaric: Presentation material for Brock's Mapping the New Knowledges Conference

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-04-07 17:19

Today I had the opportunity to present at #BROCKMNK2016

read more

Cynthia Ng: Vancouver Accessibility Meetup Notes

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-04-07 03:16
Accessiblity Meetup Eric Molendyk from Tetra Society non profit org, one of the disabilities foundation assist people with disabilities achieve independent and fulfilling lives using assistive devices connect technologists and engineers who volunteer their time to help those with disabilities do what they want to do examples: custom holders of electronic devices, computer setups, wiring … Continue reading Vancouver Accessibility Meetup Notes

Journal of Web Librarianship: A Review of "Successfully Serving the College-Bound"

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-04-07 03:14
Elizabeth Fronk

Journal of Web Librarianship: A Review of "Successfully Serving the College-Bound"

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-04-07 03:14
Elizabeth Fronk

pinboard: Planet Code4Lib

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 21:41
Blogs and feeds of interest to the Code4Lib community, aggregated.

LITA: Jobs in Information Technology: April 6, 2016

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 18:38

New vacancy listings are posted weekly on Wednesday at approximately 12 noon Central Time. They appear under New This Week and under the appropriate regional listing. Postings remain on the LITA Job Site for a minimum of four weeks.

New This Week

Santa Clara County Library District, Virtual Library Manager, Campbell, CA

Mendocino County Library, Librarian II, Ukiah, CA

The Ohio State University Libraries, Assistant / Associate Director for Information Technology, Columbus, OH

Visit the LITA Job Site for more available jobs and for information on submitting a job posting.

Library of Congress: The Signal: Digital Curation and the Public: Strategies for Education and Advocacy

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 15:40

This is a guest post by Jaime Mears.

Memory Lab. Photo by Jaime Mears.

On March 4th, 2016, the Washington DC Public Library hosted Digital Curation and the Public: Strategies for Education and Advocacy at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library. It was what the National Digital Stewardship Residents program calls an “enrichment session” and the audience was composed of NDSR colleagues and mentors.

Over breakfast I gave informal tours of the Memory Lab, a public-facing digitization lab I created as a part of my residency work. It felt like the project’s capstone, debuting the space to our group and receiving comments and questions from those that have supported me throughout its development.

Yvonne Ng, senior archivist at WITNESS and a member of XFR Collective, led a workshop exploring methods of promoting digital curation to the public. The presentation began with a powerful case study of Kianga Mwamba, a Baltimore resident arrested in March 2014 for using her phone to video record an instance of police brutality. When she was released on bail the next day her phone was returned but the video was no longer on it. Luckily for Mwamba, it had automatically backed up to her Google account. It was introduced as evidence in a civil suit with the Baltimore Police Department.

WITNESS reaches their activist audience by creating targeted promotional and educational material about digital preservation. Case studies like Mwamba’s are incredibly effective, though they can be difficult to find, especially when the absence of a digital record proves why it should have been preserved. Other methods WITNESS employs include involving local “influencers” in train-the-trainer programs as a way of disseminating information to their communities, and creating engaging educational resources in multiple languages. One of these resources, the Activist’s Guide to Archiving Video, received the Society of American Archivist’s Preservation Publication Award in 2014.

Fabrication Lab. Photo by Jaime Mears.

Ng said that sometimes no matter what you do, it’s effectiveness is a matter of timing. WITNESS tries to avoid reaching people before they’ve amassed enough material to care about preservation. And WITNESS folds preservation education into larger training sessions that address other video activists’ needs, such as video-as-evidence training and post-production work.

After the lecture, Ng asked residents and mentors to identify four or five communities we wanted to support, and to identify the challenges and strategies to working with that community. Although my NDSR project is the most obviously public-facing, the exercise revealed that all NDS residents have had to advocate and educate within their host institutions to successfully meet their goals.

From Senate staff to scientists at the National Institute of Health, digital content creators have to be appealed to. It is a necessary part of effective life-cycle management. Ng reminded us that, besides ensuring that valuable material is preserved in each of our institutions, there are other benefits to such advocacy, including raising awareness about the long-term value of content and educating creators about what archivists actually do.

After the discussion activity, I escorted the group upstairs to our Washingtoniana Room where DCPL Special Collections librarian Jerry McCoy discussed the history of the library’s community archive and the significance of our Mies Van Der Rohe building, slated for a large scale renovation project later this year.

We ended our session with a tour of our Studio and Fabrication Labs. Labs manager MaryAnn James-Daley, connecting back to WITNESS’s strategy of using “influencers,”  discussed how essential a teen volunteer has been in a recent campaign to get more teens into these spaces.

Islandora: Islandora Community Code of Conduct

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 13:15

As our community grow and matures, we recognized the need to articulate some guidelines for how we interact with each other - and options for those who feel that they have been harmed. Written in open consultation with the Islandora community, the Islandora Roadmap Committee and Board of Directors have approved our new Islandora Community Code of Conduct, which will apply to all interactions in our online platforms and at Islandora events.

This is a friendly, professional community, and our Code of Conduct reflects that. We borrowed heavily from the ideas of similar open-source projects when putting it together, particularly the Django Software Foundation and OpenStack. While the period for open review is behind us, if you have any thoughts or opinions about the Code of Conduct, please do contact us at

Open Knowledge Foundation: Code for Ghana Open Data Day 2016

planet code4lib - Wed, 2016-04-06 13:03

This blog post was written by Florence Abena Toffa from Code for Ghana. 

The International Open Data Day is a gathering of citizens in various cities around the world to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analysis of  open public data. This year, we partnered with National Information Technology Agency (NITA) to provide us with Ghana’s election datasets for the hackathon.


Code for Ghana’s theme for this year’s event was: Open Data for a free and fair 2016 election. The people of Ghana are going to the polls again this year. Since 1992, Ghana has been among the countries that have had peaceful elections and successful change of governments in Africa. Usually, the atmosphere is unpredictable. Also, elections reportage is often bereft of data analysis and visualisations. The benefit of hindsight provides an enormous opportunity to even predict future events. The goal of the hackathon was to empower the youth to understand election trends and contribute to it through data analysis and visualisations. This will help to understand election issues better.


We had a total of 21 participants and as early as 8 am participants started trickling in, most of whom were software developers, CSOs and data enthusiasts. Among the attendees were two young ladies who exhibited unwavering enthusiasm in open data and data visualization and one guest  came all the way from Togo to attend the event. The hackathon started with a brief introduction to the Code for Ghana election project by Florence Toffa, the project manager. Also, in attendance was the Open Data 233 team led by Raindolf Owusu. They gave a brief presentation on their election project  and how it is aimed at keeping a vigilant eye on the 2016 election proceedings and also to enhance public participation in politics. Participants were introduced to the various open data tools and libraries available to use to analyse election data. They were then divided into teams to brainstorm on election ideas. We had four main projects in total. Below are the various projects that were done.

The first group created a web platform displaying data visualizations of results of the 2008 general elections. They focused on the 3 major political parties in the country: NDC, NPP and the CPP. The datasets used were very detailed, covering election results from all the regions in the country – constituency by constituency. At the bottom of the home page, they provided an overall visualization of the 2008 elections. The project is hosted here;

Ghana’s 2008 Presidential election results


<noscript>&lt;a href=&#8217;http:&amp;#47;&amp;#47;;#47;greater.html&#8217;&gt;&lt;img alt=&#8217;Sheet 2 &#8216; src=&#8217;http:&amp;#47;&amp;#47;;#47;static&amp;#47;images&amp;#47;20&amp;#47;2008ElectionsResultsGreaterAccra&amp;#47;Sheet2&amp;#47;1_rss.png&#8217; style=&#8217;border: none&#8217; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;</noscript>


Figure 1 – Results for the greater Accra region

The second group also studied the Presidential election results of the NDC and NPP from 2000 – 2012. Their main aim was to discover patterns in order to make predictions in this year’s elections. We asked Abubakar Siddique (the leader) to give us an overview of their project and this is what he had to say:

For example NPP have always won the Ashanti and Eastern region, also they have only lost in the Western region and Brong Ahafo once since 2000 (for the years we have studied). Also NDC have never lost in Volta, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions since 2000 (also for the years we have studied).

It is important to emphasize that we did not intentionally decide to study just NDC and NPP, but this was due to the fact that as we were studying to obtain regional victories and after 2000 and 2004 analysis, it quickly became a competition between the two. From our analysis the ruling party has to work super hard to maintain power.

Fig 2. NDC’s presidential election results in 2000

The third group, made up of two ladies, looked at the correlation between rejected ballot papers over the election periods and voter literacy in the country. Based on this analysis, they will predict the occurrence rate of rejected votes in this year’s election.

The last group developed an SMS app to check election results.

The outcome of the hackathon was great. Code For Ghana will be working with Open Data 233 on their election project. Some of the interesting projects from this hackathon will be integrated into their platform. Two of the projects are still work in progress and as soon as they are finished, we will partner with other organisations to launch these projects. We have also established a good relationship with our Togo attendee who wants to start an open data initiative in his country.  It was a great event and you can get all the pictures here ; Flickr. Thanks to Open Knowledge International for supporting us with the mini-grant.


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