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Updated: 2 weeks 5 days ago

Access Conference: Looking for Access 2018 hosts!

Tue, 2017-07-18 22:08

The Access 2017 planning committee is now accepting proposals from institutions and groups interested hosting Access 2018. Bring Canada’s leading (and most fun) library tech conference to your campus or city in 2018!

Interested? Submit your proposal to, including:

  • The host organization(s) name
  • Proposed dates
  • The location the event will likely be held (campus facility, hotel name, etc.)
  • Considerations noted in the hosting guidelines
  • Anything else to convince us that you would put on a successful Access conference

Proposals will be accepted until September 1st, 2017. The 2018 hosts will be selected by the 2017 Planning Committee, and notified in early September. The official announcement will be made on September 28th at the Access 2017 in Saskatoon.

Questions? Let us know at!

Code4Lib Journal: Editorial: Welcome New Editors, What We Know About Who We Are, and Submission Pro Tip!

Tue, 2017-07-18 21:03
Want to see your work in C4LJ? Here's a pro tip!

Code4Lib Journal: A Practical Starter Guide on Developing Accessible Websites

Tue, 2017-07-18 21:03
There is growing concern about the accessibility of the online content and services provided by libraries and public institutions. While many articles cover legislation, general benefits, and common opportunities to improve web accessibility on the surface (e.g., alt tags), few articles discuss web accessibility in more depth, and when they do, they are typically not specific to library web services. This article is meant to fill in this vacuum and will provide practical best practices and code.

Code4Lib Journal: Recount: Revisiting the 42nd Canadian Federal Election to Evaluate the Efficacy of Retroactive Tweet Collection

Tue, 2017-07-18 21:03
In this paper, we report the development and testing of a methodology for collecting tweets from periods beyond the Twitter API’s seven-to-nine day limitation. To accomplish this, we used Twitter’s advanced search feature to search for tweets from past the seven to nine day limit, and then used JavaScript to automatically scan the resulting webpage for tweet IDs. These IDs were then rehydrated (tweet metadata retrieved) using twarc. To examine the efficacy of this method for retrospective collection, we revisited the case study of the 42nd Canadian Federal Election. Using comparisons between the two datasets, we found that our methodology does not produce as robust results as real-time streaming, but that it might be useful as a starting point for researchers or collectors. We close by discussing the implications of these findings.

Code4Lib Journal: Extending Omeka for a Large-Scale Digital Project

Tue, 2017-07-18 21:03
In September 2016, the department of Special Collections and Archives, Kent State University Libraries, received a Digital Dissemination grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to digitize roughly 72,500 pages from the May 4 collection, which documents the May 1970 shootings of thirteen students by Ohio National Guardsmen at Kent State University. This article will highlight the project team’s efforts to adapt the Omeka instance with modifications to the interface and ingestion processes to assist the efforts of presenting unique archival collections online, including an automated method to create folder level links on the relevant finding aids upon ingestion; implementing open source Tesseract to provide OCR to uploaded files; automated PDF creation from the raw image files using Ghostscript; and integrating Mirador to present a folder level display to reflect archival organization as it occurs in the physical collections. These adaptations, which have been shared via GitHub, will be of interest to other institutions looking to present archival material in Omeka.

Code4Lib Journal: Annotation-based enrichment of Digital Objects using open-source frameworks

Tue, 2017-07-18 21:03
The W3C Web Annotation Data Model, Protocol, and Vocabulary unify approaches to annotations across the web, enabling their aggregation, discovery and persistence over time. In addition, new javascript libraries provide the ability for users to annotate multi-format content. In this paper, we describe how we have leveraged these developments to provide annotation features alongside Islandora’s existing preservation, access, and management capabilities. We also discuss our experience developing with the Web Annotation Model as an open web architecture standard, as well as our approach to integrating mature external annotation libraries. The resulting software (the Web Annotation Utility Module for Islandora) accommodates annotation across multiple formats. This solution can be used in various digital scholarship contexts.

Code4Lib Journal: The FachRef-Assistant: Personalised, subject specific, and transparent stock management

Tue, 2017-07-18 21:03
We present in this paper a personalized web application for the weeding of printed resources: the FachRef-Assistant. It offers an extensive range of tools for evidence based stock management, based on the thorough analysis of usage statistics. Special attention is paid to the criteria individualization, transparency of the parameters used, and generic functions. Currently, it is designed to work with the Aleph-System from ExLibris, but efforts were spent to keep the application as generic as possible. For example, all procedures specific to the local library system have been collected in one Java package. The inclusion of library specific properties such as collections and systematics has been designed to be highly generic as well by mapping the individual entries onto an in-memory database. Hence simple adaption of the package and the mappings would render the FachRef-Assistant compatible to other library systems. The personalization of the application allows for the inclusion of subject specific usage properties as well as of variations between different collections within one subject area. The parameter sets used to analyse the stock and to prepare weeding and purchase proposal lists are included in the output XML-files to facilitate a high degree of transparency, objectivity and reproducibility.

Code4Lib Journal: The Semantics of Metadata: Avalon Media System and the Move to RDF

Tue, 2017-07-18 21:03
The Avalon Media System (Avalon) provides access and management for digital audio and video collections in libraries and archives. The open source project is led by the libraries of Indiana University Bloomington and Northwestern University and is funded in part by grants from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Institute of Museum and Library Services. Avalon is based on the Samvera Community (formerly Hydra Project) software stack and uses Fedora as the digital repository back end. The Avalon project team is in the process of migrating digital repositories from Fedora 3 to Fedora 4 and incorporating metadata statements using the Resource Description Framework (RDF) instead of XML files accompanying the digital objects in the repository. The Avalon team has worked on the migration path for technical metadata and is now working on the migration paths for structural metadata (PCDM) and descriptive metadata (from MODS XML to RDF). This paper covers the decisions made to begin using RDF for software development and offers a window into how Semantic Web technology functions in the real world.

Code4Lib Journal: OpeNumisma: A Software Platform Managing Numismatic Collections with A Particular Focus On Reflectance Transformation Imaging

Tue, 2017-07-18 21:03
This paper describes OpeNumisma; a reusable web-based platform focused on digital numismatic collections. The platform provides an innovative merge of digital imaging and data management systems that offer great new opportunities for research and the dissemination of numismatic knowledge online. A unique feature of the platform is the application of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI), a computational photographic method that offers tremendous image analysis and possibilities for numismatic research. This computational photography technique allows the user to observe on browser minor details, unseen with the naked eye just by holding the computer mouse rather than the actual object. The first successful implementation of OpeNumisma has been the creation of a digital library for the medieval coins from the collection of the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation.

Code4Lib Journal: DuEPublicA: Automated bibliometric reports based on the University Bibliography and external citation data

Tue, 2017-07-18 21:03
This paper describes a web application to generate bibliometric reports based on the University Bibliography and the Scopus citation database. Our goal is to offer an alternative to easy-to-prepare automated reports from commercial sources. These often suffer from an incomplete coverage of publication types and a difficult attribution to people, institutes and universities. Using our University Bibliography as the source to select relevant publications solves the two problems. As it is a local system, maintained and set up by the library, we can include every publication type we want. As the University Bibliography is linked to the identity management system of the university, it enables an easy selection of publications for people, institutes and the whole university. The program is designed as a web application, which collects publications from the University Bibliography, enriches them with citation data from Scopus and performs three kinds of analyses: 1. A general analysis (number and type of publications, publications per year etc.), 2. A citation analysis (average citations per publication, h-index, uncitedness), and 3. An affiliation analysis (home and partner institutions) We tried to keep the code highly generic, so that the inclusion of other databases (Web of Science, IEEE) or other bibliographies is easily feasible. The application is written in Java and XML and uses XSL transformations and LaTeX to generate bibliometric reports as HTML pages and in pdf format. Warnings and alerts are automatically included if the citation analysis covers only a small fraction of the publications from the University Bibliography. In addition, we describe a small tool that helps to collect author details for an analysis.

Code4Lib Journal: New Metadata Recipes for Old Cookbooks: Creating and Analyzing a Digital Collection Using the HathiTrust Research Center Portal

Tue, 2017-07-18 21:03
The Early American Cookbooks digital project is a case study in analyzing collections as data using HathiTrust and the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) Portal. The purposes of the project are to create a freely available, searchable collection of full-text early American cookbooks within the HathiTrust Digital Library, to offer an overview of the scope and contents of the collection, and to analyze trends and patterns in the metadata and the full text of the collection. The digital project has two basic components: a collection of 1450 full-text cookbooks published in the United States between 1800 and 1920 and a website to present a guide to the collection and the results of the analysis. This article will focus on the workflow for analyzing the metadata and the full-text of the collection. The workflow will cover: 1) creating a searchable public collection of full-text titles within the HathiTrust Digital Library and uploading it to the HTRC Portal, 2) analyzing and visualizing legacy MARC data for the collection using MarcEdit, OpenRefine and Tableau, and 3) using the text analysis tools in the HTRC Portal to look for trends and patterns in the full text of the collection.

Code4Lib Journal: Countering Stryker’s Punch: Algorithmically Filling the Black Hole

Tue, 2017-07-18 21:03
Two current digital image editing programs are examined in the context of filling in missing visual image data from hole-punched United States Farm Security Administration (FSA) negatives. Specifically, Photoshop's Content-Aware Fill feature and GIMP's Resynthesizer plugin are evaluated and contrasted against comparable images. A possible automated workflow geared towards large scale editing of similarly hole-punched negatives is also explored. Finally, potential future research based upon this study's results are proposed in the context of leveraging previously-enhanced, image-level metadata.

District Dispatch: Rights reversion: restoring knowledge and culture, one book at a time

Tue, 2017-07-18 20:02

Guest post by: Brianna Schofield, Executive Director, Authors Alliance; Erika Wilson, Communications & Operations Manager, Authors Alliance

Erika Wilson, Communications & Operations Manager, Authors Alliance

Brianna Schofield, Executive Director, Authors Alliance

For many of us, it’s an all-too-familiar scenario: We’re searching for a book that’s fallen out of print and is unavailable to read or purchase online. Maybe it’s an academic text, with volumes held in only a few research library collections and all but inaccessible to the public. Or maybe it’s one of the many 20th-century books whose initial commercial life has ended, and whose copyright status means they have disappeared. Most of these books were published long before the advent of the Internet, or of e-books. Finding and accessing these volumes can be frustrating and time-consuming, even with the benefit of interlibrary loan. There’s all this valuable knowledge and culture out there, but we can’t get to it!

Wouldn’t it be great if there were some mechanism to give new life to the many books that have been “locked away,” to make them newly available, and to share them with new audiences?

Thanks to rights reversion, there is a way! Reversion enables authors to regain the rights to their previously published books, so that they can make them newly available in the ways they want. Some authors may want to bring their out-of-print books back into print, while others may want to deposit their books in open access online repositories. Still others might want to update their works, create e-book versions with multimedia resources, or commission translations.

A “right of reversion” is a contractual provision that permits authors to work with their publishers to regain some or all of the rights in their books when certain conditions are met. But authors may also be able to revert rights even if they have not met the triggering conditions in their contract, or if their contracts do not have a reversion clause at all! Reversion can be a powerful tool for authors, but many authors do not know where to start.

That’s where Authors Alliance comes in. We’re a non-profit education and advocacy organization whose mission is to facilitate widespread access to works of authorship by assisting authors who want to share knowledge and products of the imagination broadly. We provide information and tools designed to help authors better understand and manage key legal, technological, and institutional aspects of authorship in the digital age.

Our Guide to Understanding Rights Reversion was written to help authors navigate the reversion process. (Check out the rights reversion portal on our website to download or buy the guide, and for more resources including letter templates for use in contacting publishers about reversion). Since we released the guide two years ago, we’ve featured a number of reversion success stories. For example, Robert Darnton (professor emeritus at Harvard and a founding member of Authors Alliance) worked with his publisher to regain rights to two of his books about the French Enlightenment, and he has made them freely available to all via HathiTrust and the Authors Alliance collection page at the Internet Archive. Novelist and Authors Alliance member Tracee Garner successfully leveraged reversion to regain the rights to two of her previously published books. She’s currently working on a third volume, and she plans to release all three as a new trilogy.

Rights reversion has a great deal of potential to help authors and the public, and librarians are in an excellent position to help spread the word about reversion. Many senior academics have decades’ worth of scholarly books, many of which may be out of print and locked away in inaccessible library stacks. None of them are available online. Rights reversion can be a way to help authors ensure their intellectual legacy, while also bring their works to new audiences.

Reversion is good for authors, good for publishers, and good for the public interest. You can learn more by visiting our website, where we invite you to become a member of Authors Alliance! Basic membership is free, and our members are the first to hear of new resources, such as our forthcoming guide to fair use and our guide to publication contracts. We also feature news on copyright policy and advocacy.

If you have questions about rights reversion, we can be reached at We’d also love to hear about your experiences with assisting authors with these issues—who knows, maybe yours could be the next rights reversion success story!

The post Rights reversion: restoring knowledge and culture, one book at a time appeared first on District Dispatch.

LITA: Call for Proposals, LITA @ ALA Annual 2018

Tue, 2017-07-18 15:54

Submit Your Program ideas for the 2018 ALA Annual Conference 

New Orleans LA, June 21-26, 2018

The LITA Program Planning Committee (PPC) is now encouraging the submission of innovative and creative proposals for the 2018 Annual American Library Association Conference. We’re looking for 60 minute conference presentations. The focus should be on technology in libraries, whether that’s use of, new ideas for, trends in, or interesting/innovative projects being explored – it’s all for you to propose. Programs should be of interest to all library/information agency types, that inspire technological change and adoption, or/and generally go above and beyond the everyday.

  • Submission Deadline: August 25, 2017
  • Final Decisions: September 29, 2017
  • Schedule of Sessions Announced: November 8, 2017

For the first time, proposals will be accepted via one submission site for all ALA Divisions, RoundTables, Committees and Offices. This link to the submission site will redirect to the ALA log-in page. All submitters are required to have an ALA profile, but are not required to be ALA members.

Help and details on making a successful submission are on the LITA Forms web site.

We regularly receive many more proposals than we can program into the slots available to LITA at the ALA Annual Conference. These great ideas and programs all come from contributions like yours. Submissions are open to anyone, regardless of ALA membership status. We welcome proposals from anyone who feels they have something to offer regarding library technology. We look forward to hearing the great ideas you will share with us this year.

Questions or Comments?

Contact LITA at (312) 280-4268 or Mark Beatty,





Terry Reese: MarcEdit 7: Preferences Wireframes and Ease of Use Features

Tue, 2017-07-18 06:16

This post relates to the previous posts:

  1. MarcEdit 7 visual styles: High Contrast:
  2. MarcEdit 7: Accessibility Options Part 2:

I’m continuing to flesh out new wireframes, and one of the areas where I’ll be consolidating some options is in the preferences window.  I’ve decided to reorganize the menu and some of the settings.  Additionally, I’m adding a new setting: Ease of Access. 

Here’s the Initial Wireframes demonstrating the new menu layout

Ease of Use:

This is a new section developed to support Accessibility options.  At this point, these are the options that I’m working on:

While MarcEdit will respect the operating system’s accessibility settings (i.e., if you’ve scaled fonts, etc.), but these settings directly affect the MarcEdit application.  In this section, you’ll find the themes (and I’m working out a way to provide a wizardry way to create themes and find ones that have been created), feedback options (right now, if this is selected, you’ll get audible clicks letting you know that an action has occurred), and Keyboard options.  I’m spending a lot of time mapping the current keyboard options, with the intention that I’ll try to map all actions to some keyboard combination.  These settings tell MarcEdit if this information should show up in the Tooltips, as well as rich descriptions about an operation.  The last thing that I’ll likely add is a set of links to topics for users looking for accessible friendly fonts, etc. 

I think that the reorganization should help to provide some clarity in the settings and will help me in thinking about the first run wizard – and hopefully the currently planned accessibility options will provide users with a wider range of options. 

Questions, comments, let me know.


Library of Congress: The Signal: Collections as Data: IMPACT

Mon, 2017-07-17 21:00

If you are in the Washington, DC area next week (or can be), please be our guest at a very special day-long event hosted by The Library of Congress National Digital Initiatives. “Collections as Data: Impact” will be held 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25, in the Coolidge Auditorium on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building.

The event is free, but tickets are required to attend in person.  The event also will be livestreamed on the Library’s Facebook page at and its YouTube site (with captions) at

We will be recording the talks and creating stand-alone videos that we hope are shared widely and help to explain what we mean when we talk about the transformational opportunities of using library collections as data.

“The Library of Congress and other libraries have been serving digital collections online for over a decade,” said NDI’s chief Kate Zwaard. “With modern computing power and the emergence of data-analysis tools, our collections can be explored more deeply and reveal more connections. By unleashing computation on the world’s biggest digital library, the knowledge and creativity contained in libraries become even more relevant. At this event we’re showcasing true leaders in the field of using digital collections and technology to advance collective understanding. We’re so excited to hear their stories and share them with our community.”

Ed Ayers

Among the symposium’s keynote speakers is Edward Ayers, the University of Richmond’s President Emeritus and Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities. President Barack Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 2013 for his dedication to public history. He is a pioneer in digital scholarship and is currently co-host of the BackStory podcast. His talk is titled “History Between the Lines: Thinking about Collections as Data.”

Paul Ford

Another featured speaker is Paul Ford, a journalist, programmer and co-founder of Postlight, a digital product studio in New York City. He is the author of a breakthrough piece, “What is Code,” revealing how computers, applications and software work. He will discuss “Unscroll: An Approach to Making New Things From Old Things.”

Other speakers include:

  • Tahir Hemphill, media strategist and artist, manager of the Rap Research Lab
  • Sarah Hatton, contemporary Canadian artist, creator of Detachment
  • Stephen Robertson, director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and professor at George Mason University
  • Patrick Cronin and Thomas Neville, co-directors of THATCLASS
  • Jessie Daniels, professor at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Geoff Haines-Stiles, producer of “The Crowd and the Cloud” television series
  • Nicholas Adams, sociologist and research fellow at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science
  • Rachel Shorey of The New York Times’ Interactive News Department
  • Stephanie Stillo, curator of the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection in the Library of Congress Rare Book and Special Collections Division

This is the second in the “Collections as Data” event series hosted by the Library of Congress. Last year’s event in the Coolidge Auditorium attracted a sold-out crowd and has been viewed more than 8,000 times on the Library’s YouTube channel. That event introduced the topic of collections as data and explored ethical issues around building and using digital collections. This year’s meeting will focus on stories of impact this work has on the public.

We hope you can join us next week either in-person or virtually. Everyone can follow along and join the conversation via the #AsData hashtag.

District Dispatch: ALA comments filed at the FCC

Mon, 2017-07-17 18:50

Image credit:

Today, ALA continues the fight for an open internet for all. In comments filed at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), ALA questions the need to review current net neutrality rules and urges regulators to maintain the strong, enforceable rules already in place.

“Network neutrality is all about equity of access to information, and thus of fundamental interest to libraries,” said ALA President Jim Neal. “The 2015 Open Internet Order is the right reading of the law, and we do not see any reason for the FCC to arbitrarily return to this issue now. Without strong, enforceable rules protecting the open internet—like those outlined in the FCC’s 2015 Order—libraries cannot fulfill their missions, serve their patrons or support America’s communities.”

The ALA comments, filed with the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA), make clear that our nation’s 120,000 libraries—and their patrons—depend on fair access to broadband networks for basic services they provide in communities like connecting people to unbiased research, job searches, e-government services, health information and economic opportunity.

Moreover, as people increasingly turn from being solely content consumers to content producers, access to the internet and other library resources empower all to participate fully in today’s vibrant digital economy. And, the comments note, the library community has always had the professional and philosophical mission of preserving the unimpeded flow of information and intellectual freedom. Libraries believe ensuring equitable access for all people and institutions is critical to our nation’s social, cultural, educational and economic well-being and the existing net neutrality rules protect that access.

Absent strong, enforceable rules, commercial ISPs have financial incentives to interfere with the openness of the internet in ways that are likely to be harmful to people who use the internet content and services provided by libraries. Being able to prioritize their own content over anything else available online would allow ISPs to reap huge dividends at internet users’ expense. Pointing to increasing consolidation in the fixed and mobile broadband markets, the comments argue that these rules are becoming more necessary, not less.

The organizations filing comments today have a long history of advocating for the open internet, most recently sending letters to the FCC and Congressional leaders articulating Net Neutrality Principles that should form the basis of any review of the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order.

This post is from an ALA’s press release issued today:

The post ALA comments filed at the FCC appeared first on District Dispatch.