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Cynthia Ng: DAISY Production: A Vision for the Future

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-08-08 17:14
Previously, I wrote an overview of accessible production based on how a couple of different organizations produce accessible books. In the future, hopefully production will be simplified as devices are updated to support new standards and some of the standards are finalized. Standards There are a couple of new(er) standards that are involved, one for … Continue reading DAISY Production: A Vision for the Future

LibUX: Researching Design Systems

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-08-08 15:52

I’ve been recently thinking a little about design systems, joined a few channels, signed-up for a couple of newsletters, and picked up a few actual manuals. So I was happy and interested to see that Dan Mall shared a few of his notes on design systems, especially his a-ha moment about material design:

I didn’t quite get the hype about Material Design when it first launched …. It wasn’t until I watched the video about color theory that I heard a little gem I finally could connect with. As the opening line, the narrator says: “There are no wrong colors.” It dawned on me: the beauty of Material Design is that it’s nearly impossible to make a bad design, even—or especially—if you’re not a designer. I realized that it’s the opposite paradigm of the type of design I admire. Dan Mall

Open Knowledge Foundation: Registration to the Open Exchange for Social Change – IODC unconference is now open!

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-08-08 14:34

We are excited to announce that registration is open for ‘The Open Exchange for Social Change’. This event has been referred to in the past as ‘The Unconference’ during the flurry of pre-event IOCD Madrid announcements made over the past few weeks.   The response has already been amazing on social media, and we have received many inquiries about the event itself.

We decided to name it The Open Exchange for Social Change so we can be open and transparent about our goals for the event  The name ‘The Open Exchange’ reflects the guiding principles along with the activities that will take place during in the event.  We aim to create space where participants will be able to exchange knowledge, understanding and build solidarity that will lead to better outcomes for IODC and beyond.  It is open space where you will be able to propose topics for discussion that are most relevant and urgent for your work.

The theme that we chose for this year is ‘Social Change’. We want to more than just “open data” and reflect on the change we are all passionately involved in.  By ‘social’ we mean different and diverse aspects of our lives – from politics, the communities we interact with, to our relationships with the environment, the financial world and even space. We want to explore how open data creates, contributes and supports social change. How do we create positive or negative change and what we should do next?  Your ideas and actions will serve as content for the main conference, and help us to set the goals for the IODC roadmap.   

To have a successful Open Exchange, we created the ‘Buddy system’. Buddies are participants who take an active role in contributing and shaping the event to assure its smooth running and success. Buddies can do following parts:

  • Leading/Facilitating a session
  • Supporting new facilitators to run sessions
  • Help to document the event and session outcomes
  • Making sure that the unconference will feed the main conference by using your social media skills

To support your contribution as a Buddy, we will be providing an online session where we will give an overview of The Open Exchange, and tips on Facilitation.

The lead facilitator of the unconference is Dirk Slater from Fabriders. Dirk has years of experience in facilitating participatory events, and leading successful workshops that focus on civil society and technology, and we are excited to have him on board and share with us the secrets to successful events focused on collaboration.

Anyone who comes to The Open Exchange will be able to facilitate a session.  We invite you to register as a buddy ahead of time so that we can prepare and support you as best we can.

If you are interested in joining to The Open Exchange for Social Change, please register to the event in advance on You can also find on the site all the information you need about the event. Didn’t find what you are looking for? Write to us on the forum –


Looking forward seeing you on the 4th of October, 9:30 at Centro de convenciones IFEMA NORTE, Madrid!

LibUX: Episode 42: Answer to the Ultimate Question

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-08-08 13:14

As the summer winds down, Amanda and Michael reunite to get cracking on the Fall schedule of all things Team LibUX – but first they just need to catch up. Really! It’s been awhile. We chat about carousels, summer redesigns, copyright, and more.

Help us out and say something nice. Your sharing and positive reviews are the best marketing we could ask for.

If you like, you can download the MP3 or subscribe to LibUX on Stitcher,iTunes, YouTube, Soundcloud, Google Play Music, or just plug our feed straight into your podcatcher of choice.

LITA: 6 Tips for Creating Your Personal Website

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-08-08 12:00

After a tumultuous two-year relationship, I’m finally at peace with my website. Creating a web portfolio can be a big commitment, but it’s also a great way to take control of your online identity. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way…

1. Consider Squarespace

During my last semester of library school I started a blog as a course requirement. I wasted hours working with Wix, WordPress, and Tumblr-trying to get the right look and feel. I finally landed on Squarespace and can’t say enough good things about it. Squarespace is ridiculously easy to use and it’s tough to make an ugly website. The options for templates, fonts, and images are streamlined and curated, unlike many other platforms that overwhelm you with hundreds of options. The only downside is the cost. $12/month is a little steep-especially when you’re a student, but I’ve found that it’s worth it to have a low-maintenance platform.

2. Establish Brand Guidelines

When I started creating imagery for my site, I made an executive decision to use a color palette of yellow, black, and white only. Sounds limiting, but it’s saved me from my indecision. I make a lot of my own graphics and I’ve been known to get lost in a Photoshop vortex. Choose your color palette, fonts, and a couple images before you even set foot in a website builder.

3. Decide What to Share

There’s no hard and fast rule for what to include in your personal website. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide what you’re comfortable sharing with the world. I’ve opted out in a lot of ways. For instance, I don’t have my CV or even a real picture of myself on my site. Instead I created an illustration of myself and have included examples of my work and a Google map of libraries where I’ve worked. I like keeping some things off the web, but I also admire people who put it all out there. Case in point, fellow LITA member Brianna Marshall has an incredible website with slide decks, her Twitter feed, blog posts, and lists of projects and publications. Start thinking about where you fall on the spectrum before you start building.

4. Save Everything

Don’t forget to backup any content you create for your website. I save everything in Google Drive and on my computer so that if I decide to switch platforms I can easily access all of my materials.

5. Purchase a Domain (or Don’t)

Once I got a real library job I decided to spend a little more money and purchase a domain without “” at the end. I like the clean look of my new URL (it looks great on my resume), but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary, especially if you’re on a tight budget. If you’re on the job hunt, chances are your potential employer is going to Google you before they take the time to type in your URL. Instead of spending the extra dough on a custom domain, consider working with a free domain and driving traffic to your site through Twitter or Facebook.

6. Be Yourself

The tone of my website is very playful (ahem, not academic). When I made the move from public to academic libraries, I started to wonder if my site was inappropriate. Certainly an argument could be made either way, but the whimsy of my site is an honest representation of me. If I were to apply for a position in the future that found my website too playful, I suspect that wouldn’t be a good place for me anyhow. If your site reflects your personality while still looking professional, then don’t be afraid to own it.

Have you designed your own personal website? What have you learned along the way?

DuraSpace News: Thomson Reuters to Provide Institutional Support Services for VIVO as Registered Service Provider

planet code4lib - Mon, 2016-08-08 00:00

Thomson Reuters will help VIVO users enable collaboration and discovery

FOSS4Lib Upcoming Events: Fedora User Group meeting at iPRES 2016

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-08-05 20:51
Date: Friday, October 7, 2016 - 08:00 to 17:00Supports: Fedora Repository

Last updated August 5, 2016. Created by Peter Murray on August 5, 2016.
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A Fedora User Group Meeting will be held on October 7 in Bern, Switzerland. The event coincides with the iPRES conference and will take place at the University Library of Bern. The agenda will include an update on Fedora 4, presentations from regional Fedora users, and group discussions. If you would like to deliver a short presentation or project update please indicate your interest on the registration form. There is no charge for this event.

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: GeoBlacklight - 1.0

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-08-05 20:43

Last updated August 5, 2016. Created by Peter Murray on August 5, 2016.
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Package: GeoBlacklightRelease Date: Wednesday, July 27, 2016

FOSS4Lib Updated Packages: GeoBlacklight

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-08-05 20:42

Last updated August 5, 2016. Created by Peter Murray on August 5, 2016.
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A multi-institutional open-source collaboration building a better way to find and share geospatial data.

Package Type: Discovery InterfaceLicense: Apache 2.0 Package Links Development Status: Production/StableOperating System: Browser/Cross-Platform Releases for GeoBlacklight Programming Language: JavaScriptRubyOpen Hub Link: Hub Stats Widget: works well with: Blacklight

FOSS4Lib Upcoming Events: Hydra Connect 2016

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-08-05 20:32
Date: Monday, October 3, 2016 - 08:00 to Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 17:00Supports: HydraSufiaFedora Repository

Last updated August 5, 2016. Created by Peter Murray on August 5, 2016.
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Hydra Connect will take place October 3-6 in Boston, MA. It is a chance for Hydra Project participants to gather in one place at one time, with an emphasis on synchronizing efforts, technical development, plans, and community links. The meeting program is aimed at existing users, managers, and developers and at new folks who may be just "kicking the tires" on Hydra and who want to know more.

Hydra Project: Sufia 7.0.0 released

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-08-05 08:25

From Mike Giarlo:  Sufia 7.0.0 has been released after 4 beta releases and 2 release candidates. In addition to the words I wrote below, I’d also highlight the amount of work that has gone into getting from a first beta release to 7.0.0 proper: since beta1 was released on June 3rd, 11 contributors have made 307 commits touching 417 files.

The 7.0.0 release does not include upgrade/migration docs or tools but rather is focused on greenfield adopters. In the meantime, developers at Penn State, Alberta, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation are actively working on migrations, so those of you running Sufia 6.x who are eager to upgrade to 7.x… stay tuned!

The top priority for the next release will be exposing in the UI the ability to create arbitrarily nested works, and I’m happy to share that that feature is nearly ready thanks to the dedicated team at Oregon State University.

Thanks again, everyone, for all you’ve done to make this release what it is!

pinboard: Twitter

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-08-05 07:06
Lovely round-up on playing with @OpenCultuurData in the lab [NL] #reuse #musetech #code4lib

pinboard: Spelen met open cultuur data: nieuwe technologie | Open Cultuur Data

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-08-05 07:06
Lovely round-up on playing with @OpenCultuurData in the lab [NL] #reuse #musetech #code4lib

Ed Summers: The Real World of Technology

planet code4lib - Fri, 2016-08-05 04:00

I just got finished listening to Ursula Franklin’s The Real World of Technology lectures from 1989. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know about her work until the news of her passing went around in social media a few weeks ago.

There are five lectures in all, each an hour long, which can be streamed directly for free. I ended up downloading the mp3s that the flash player uses so I could easily listen to them on my commute to work. If you’d like a copy get in touch. If you prefer there is a book too … but you’ll be missing out on Franklin’s delivery, which is a big part of the wit and warmth of the lectures.

The lectures are ultimately about re-centering technology on the needs of people, rather than capital markets, the machinery of war, and natural destruction. Even with a gap of 30 years her message still rings clear as a bell today. We’re in the middle of talking about principles or values at work, so when Franklin talked about her own principles I wanted to jot them down. You probably will need to listen to the lectures to get at the meaning behind words like, but I imagine they will mostly make sense.

I can’t emphasize enough that we need a great deal of principled discourse. That discourse is political, in the sense that feminists say the personal is political. The discourse should be authentic in the sense of giving priority to experience and to genuine and verifiable information rather than to hearsay. It should seek out those with direct experience, those on whom technology impacts.

One needs also to pay particular attention to the language of this discourse. A lot of clarification can occur by simply attending to the language. Whenever somebody talks to you about benefits or costs of particular development don’t ask what benefits, ask whose benefits, whose costs. To come back to the discourse that we have to have with each other: on the basis of these discussions we could make up a checklist … let’s make a civic list. When one looks at projects that are under discussion … one can ask:

  1. Whether it promotes justice.
  2. Whether it restores reciprocity.
  3. Whether it confers divisible or individible benefits.
  4. Whether it favors people over machines.
  5. Whether the strategy of implementation maximizes gain or minimizes disaster.
  6. Whether conservation is favored over waste.
  7. Whether the irreversible stands back because the reversible is favored.

DPLA: Welcome, Wisconsin!

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-08-04 15:00

We are thrilled to announce that the collections of Recollection Wisconsin, are now ‘live’ in DPLA! As our newest Service Hub, Recollection Wisconsin has made some 400,000 new records representing photographs, books, maps, artifacts and other historical resources from more than 200 Wisconsin collections accessible in DPLA.  Like all of our Service Hubs, Recollection Wisconsin represents a collaborative effort among a wide range of institutions, large and small.  We want to send a special shout out and welcome to the Recollection Wisconsin governing partners: Wisconsin Library Services, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Historical Society, Milwaukee Public Library, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University.

So what exactly can you find in Wisconsin’s collections?  

We know what you’re thinking… cheese and beer!  Or, try mixing both for a tasty appetizer as the recipe below for Beer-Cheese Bites from the Historic Recipe File at Milwaukee Public Library suggests.

  • “Beer-Cheese Bites,” Milwaukee Sentinel, December 20, 1979, from Milwaukee Public Library’s Historic Recipe File.
  • “Cheese with a Made in Wisconsin Trademark” from UW-Madison Archives via University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.
  • The first class in cheesemaking, Wisconsin Dairy School, 1907, from UW-Madison Archives via University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.
  • "Fred Miller Brewing Co., Milwaukee, U.S.A." ca. 1895, from Turning Points in Wisconsin History via Wisconsin Historical Society.

Find some of the best local highlights from Wisconsin in the State of Wisconsin Collection, from University of Wisconsin Digital Collections, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s postcard collection, the Exploring Cultural History Online collection from Winding Rivers Library System; the Ozaukee and Sheboygan Memories community archive from Eastern Shores Library System.

In addition to highlighting Wisconsin’s local specialties, the collections from the new Wisconsin Hub will help tell the local stories that bring to life broad ideas and landmark events in our nation’s history. For example, Francis Deleglise’s letters, from the collection of Langlade County Historical Society, capture his experience on the front lines of the Civil War as a member of Wisconsin’s famous Iron Brigade. The Great Lakes Maritime History Project reflects the rich history of maritime trade and travel on the Great Lakes and other Wisconsin waterways, while The Home Front: Manitowoc County in World War II collection adds to DPLA’s body of resources on the impact of World War II on the lives of men, women, children, and families on the home front across the country.  Finally, the College of Menominee Nation’s Termination and Restoration collection documents the Menominee Nation’s successful grassroots effort to restore their status as a federally recognized tribe after the government’s termination of that status in 1954, speaking to crucial struggles for Native American sovereignty and rights during the twentieth century.

  • The first page of a letter in French from Civil War soldier Francis Deleglise to his father from Baltimore describing treatment for his injuries sustained at the Battle of Gettysburg, August 14, 1863, from the collections of Langlade County Historical Society.
  • Advertisement of the Diamond Jo Line Steamers and the St. Louis and St. Paul Packet Co., from University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, Murphy Library Special Collections.
  • A special wartime edition of The Ship, a school newspaper at Manitowoc Vocational School in honor of Citizenship Day, from Manitowoc Historical Society via University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.
  • Women employees of Globe Shipbuilding Company, 1942, from University of Wisconsin-Superior via University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.
  • Invitation to the second annual DRUMS (Determination of Rights and Unity for Menominee Shareholders) Convention and Pow Wow, 1972, from College of Menominee Nation S. Verna Fowler Academic Library/Menominee Public Library.

Our newest hub also makes important contributions to our coverage of LGBT History and the Civil Rights Movement.  Wisconsin’s LGBT History collections, including the Gay People’s Union Collection, ACT UP Milwaukee Videos, Milwaukee Gay/Lesbian Cable Network Programs, and the Milwaukee Transgender Oral History Project represent the experiences and activism of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Milwaukee.  As part of DPLA, these collections can now be explored alongside the rich LGBT history collections of other hubs such as Minnesota Digital Library, New York Public Library, and Digital Library of Georgia.

  • "GPU Band Poster" advertising "Liberated Together," 1973, part of the Gay People's Union Collection, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries via University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.
  • Cover of the Gay Liberation Organization Manifesto, a handbook describing the Gay Liberation Organization’s mission and purpose, part of the Gay People's Union Collection, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries via University of Wisconsin Digital Collections.
  • Screenshot from "Brand New Queer Program," October 5, 1993, part of ACT UP Milwaukee Records, 1990-1996, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.
  • Screenshot from "Queer Program," April 1994, part of ACT UP Milwaukee Records, 1990-1996, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries.

Wisconsin also adds to the rich field of materials documenting the Civil Rights Movement. The Freedom Summer Digital Collection from Wisconsin Historical Society adds hundreds of manuscript documents and photographs detailing the diverse civil rights campaigns organized by SNCC, CORE, and other groups in Mississippi during the summer of 1964 and beyond.  The March on Milwaukee collection brings together resources from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Wisconsin Historical Society and highlights the important role of Milwaukee, “the Selma of the North,” as a battlefield of the Civil Rights Movement.  In DPLA, these collections now join such collections as the Civil Rights Digital Library contributed by the Digital Library of Georgia, Washington University of St. Louis’ Eyes on the Prize interview collection, the Freedom Riders 40th Anniversary Oral History Project, North Carolina Digital Heritage Center’s civil rights collections, and PA Digital’s civil rights collections also documenting the Civil Rights Movement beyond the American South.

  • Freedom Day School Poster, May 18, 1964, from the collections of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, part of March on Milwaukee - Civil Rights History Project.
  • Children coloring during Freedom Summer, 1964, from the Freedom Summer Digital Collection, Wisconsin Historical Society.
  • Fair Housing Demonstration, Milwaukee, 1967, from the collection of Wisconsin Historical Society, part of March on Milwaukee - Civil Rights History Project.
  • Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party fundraising letter to Freedom Summer participants’ parents, signed by Annie Devine, Victoria Gray, and Fannie Lou Hamer, 1964, Freedom Summer Digital Collection, Wisconsin Historical Society.
  • Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) volunteer Richard Gould reflects on nonviolence during Freedom Summer trainings, 1964, part of the Freedom Summer Digital Collection, Wisconsin Historical Society. Richard N. Gould Papers, 1963-1965.

As you begin your exploration of all things from and about Wisconsin, remember we have only scratched the surface here! Recollection Wisconsin also makes new archaeological artifacts, maps and atlases, photos documenting twentieth century Native American communities, and audio recordings of Wisconsin’s folksongs available in DPLA, to name a few more highlights.  

Join us in sending a warm welcome to Wisconsin and look for more highlights from our newest hub on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

Library of Congress: The Signal: The NEH “Chronicling America” Challenge: Using Big Data to Ask Big Questions

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-08-04 14:52

This is a guest post by Leah Weinryb Grohsgal of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historic newspapers offer rich histories of American life, with glimpses into politics, sports, shopping, music, food, health, science, movies and everything in between.  The National Digital Newspaper Program, a joint effort between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, seeks to preserve and provide open access to America’s historic newspapers via Chronicling America.  The site now contains over eleven million pages of digitized newspapers as well as a digital directory of over 150,000 titles from small towns and big cities across the United States.

Not only are the newspaper pages openly available, but the data is too.  The Library of Congress has developed a user-friendly Application Program Interface, which can be used as a doorway into the newspaper data in Chronicling America.  Because of this commitment to openness, users can now interact with these rich sources both as individual pages and as big data sets used to show trends over time and space.

NEH recently asked the public, “How can you use open data to explore history?”  We invited members of the public to produce creative web-based projects demonstrating the potential for using the data found in Chronicling America.  Entries could be data visualizations, web-based tools or other innovative and interesting web-based projects.  Entries came through, the U.S. government’s hub for federal prize and challenge competitions.  The nationwide competition garnered extremely high-quality entries on a variety of subjects, which showed the importance of and potential for making this rich historical data openly available.

The results are in.  NEH has announced six open data challenge prize recipients.  The winners will receive cash prizes and will attend the National Digital Newspaper Program annual September meeting in Washington, D.C. to present their work.  We join with the Library of Congress in celebrating the questions and insights that can be gained from making open data and excellent primary sources accessible to the public.

And the winners are…

First Prize
American Public Bible: Biblical Quotations in U.S. Newspapers
Entry By:  Lincoln Mullen, Assistant Professor, Department of History and Art History, George Mason University (Fairfax, VA)

This project tracks Biblical quotations in American newspapers to see how the Bible was used for cultural, religious, social or political purposes.  Users can either enter their own Biblical references or choose from a selection of significant references on a range of topics.  The project draws on both recent digital humanities work tracking the reuse of texts and a deep scholarly interest in the Bible as a cultural text in American life.  The site shows how the Bible was a contested yet common text, including both printed sermons and Sunday school lessons and use of the Bible on every side of issues such as slavery, women’s suffrage and wealth and capitalism.

Second Prize (Tie)
American Lynching: Uncovering a Cultural Narrative
Entry By:  Andrew Bales, PhD Student in Creative Writing, University of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH)

This project explores America’s long and dark history with lynching, in which newspapers acted as both a catalyst for public killings and a platform for advocating for reform.  Integrating data sets on lynching created by Tuskegee University, the site sheds light on the gruesome culture of lynching, paying close attention to the victims of violent mobs.  The site allows readers to use an interactive chronological map of victim reports and see their state-by state distribution, linking to Chronicling America articles.

Second Prize (Tie)
Historical Agricultural News
Entry By:  Amy Giroux, Computer Research Specialist, Center for Humanities and Digital Research, University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)

This site allows users to explore information on the farming organizations, technologies and practices of America’s past.  The site describes farming as the window into communities, social and technological change and concepts like progress, development and modernity.  Agricultural connections are of significance to those interested in various topics, including immigration and assimilation, language use and communication, education and affiliations and demographic transitions.

Third Prize (Tie)
Chronicling Hoosiers
Entry By:  Kristi Palmer, Associate Dean of Digital Scholarship, Indiana University-Purdue University (Indianapolis, IN)

This project tracks the origins of the word “Hoosier.”  The site’s maps visually demonstrate the geographic distribution of the term “Hoosier” in the Chronicling America data set.  This distribution is measured by the number of times the term appears on a newspaper page.  Each point on the map shows a place of publication where a newspaper or newspapers contain the term.  Another feature on the web site is the Word Clouds by Decade visualizations, which are created by looking at the word “Hoosier” in context.  The text immediately surrounding each appearance of the word is extracted and from this the most frequently occurring terms are plotted.

Third Prize (Tie)
Entry By:  Claudio Saunt, Professor, Department of History, Co-Director, Center for Virtual History and Associate Director, Institute of Native American Studies, University of Georgia (Athens, GA)

This site discovers patterns, explores regions, investigates how stories and terms spread around the country and watches information go viral before the era of the internet.  The site argues that newspapers capture the public discourse better than books do because of their quick publication schedule.  For example, users can track “miscegenation,” a term coined in 1863 by a Democratic Party operative to exploit fears about Lincoln, and “scalawag,” a recently arrived term that quickly gained currency after 1869.  Other examples for use are tracking regional differences in language, tracing the path of epidemics and studying changing political discourse over time and space.

K-12 Student Prize
Digital APUSH: Revealing History with Chronicling America
Entry By:  Teacher Ray Palin and A.P. U.S. History Students at Sunapee High School (Sunapee, NH)

These students used Chronicling America newspaper data to create a variety of visualizations —- maps, charts and timelines -— to explore questions about U.S. history.  The projects use word frequency analysis -— a kind of distant reading -— to discover patterns in news coverage.  Some examples of investigations include geographic coverage of Plessy v. Ferguson, temporal trends in the use of the words “secede” and “secession,” articles about Uncle Tom’s Cabin by year, state-by-state coverage of the KKK and geographic trends in coverage of labor unions.

Open Knowledge Foundation: OKI website upgrade – what we have done and the road ahead

planet code4lib - Thu, 2016-08-04 14:46

An organisation website is its main public image or at least this is what we believe in at Open Knowledge International. For a while now, our website has needed design attention and update of content. We have therefore decided to revamp our website and give it some new look and features.

Our primary thinking behind our site is how to make the work and the people of Open Knowledge International more relatable. How can we take complex terms like open data and civic tech and make them something that anyone can relate to? Also, we wanted to see how the OKI team can use the website to connect and learn more about one another. Also, we wanted the site to reflect our how we are working towards our mission, to make “A world where knowledge create power to the many, not the few.” We highlighted our projects and how they strive towards that goal.

Our work on the site is not done, and probably will always be a work in progress. We believe in “release fast, release often” approach, and hope that you can give us feedback about the website, as well as help us to find bugs (although we tried to catch them all in advance!). Like all of our work, you can get the source code for the website here, and use it for your work if you see something that you like.

So what did we do?

A new homepage – We believe that people are in the focus of our work and we tried to reflect it on our homepage. Here you can see highlights of our work, latest projects and navigate to sections that explain to you who we are and what we are doing.
Project page – For the last two years, the OKI website didn’t have a project page. Since our projects are the core of our work, we added a project page where you can see all of our past project and all the projects that we are currently working on.
Network Guidelines – We move our network guidelines from a google doc to the website so it will be easier to find them.
New page templates – We gave our general pages a new look and improved the navigation on the site.
A new team page – We are very proud of our diverse and global team, but we wanted to make our team page a bit more than that. As a remote team, our office is our “Slack” channel (yes, yes, we don’t have a physical office!). Working in the virtual space has a lot of advantages, but it is very hard to get to know your teammates on a closer level. We, therefore, decided to use both our website and Slack to create a feature that will allow both the team and you, the users, to get to know team members better. OKI team members can update their team member page status by updating Slack in 5 categories – reading, eating, listening, working and location. This way you can know in real time where are we and what are we doing. It already provoked some excellent conversations in within our staff, and I hope it will make you closer to us as well.

An example for our new team page

What are we planning to do next?

Network page – we want to give the network page a new look so it will be easier to understand who is part of the OKI network and what different parts of the network are doing. The content there is up to date, and we will keep updating it.
Research – During the years we have done a lot of research in OKI. We want to give it a dedicated place on the site (in the meanwhile, you can find our work on our research repository).
Funding – We would like to improve our funding page and give you more information about or sources of financing. We are now examining what will be the best way to do so.
Press page – The current page has outdated content. Sierra Williams, our incoming Communication Manager, will update this page and will lead the future work on the whole website.

Let us know what you think about our site by leaving some feedback about it on our forum.


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