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DuraSpace News: Information and Library Network Centre (INFLIBNET) National Workshop on VIVO Faculty Profile Management

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-07-10 00:00

Gandhinagar, India  The Information and Library Network Centre (INFLIBNET), Inter-University Centre of UGC, Gandhinagar is organising "Three-day National Workshop on VIVO Faculty Profile Management System and Discovery’’ during August 16-18, 2017 at INFLIBNET Centre, Infocity, Gandhinagar, India.

About the workshop

Hugh Rundle: That’s classified: the hypocrisy and discrimination of Australia’s censorship regime

planet code4lib - Sun, 2017-07-09 20:30

For over a year, public libraries across Australia have been locked in negotiations with State and Federal governments over censorship. Unlike the New Zealand case of Into the River, when the entire country was talking about the see-sawing part-restriction and temporary ban on Ted Dawe’s young adult novel, very few Australians would even be aware of this situation. But the current negotiations highlight just how ridiculous Australia’s censorship regime is, and how hypocritical our political leaders are.

It’s not officially called ’censorship’, of course - Australia has ‘classification’. The crux of the problem is that under this system, anything that is not officially classified is either ‘unclassified’ or, if it has run the gauntlet, ‘refused classification’. In Australia it is unlawful to sell, distribute, rent, or exhibit a film or video game that has not been classified - so ‘refused classification’ is an obtuse way os saying “banned”. But aside from the obscurantist language, the big problem with Australia’s system is that video games and films are banned by default until they are given a classification.

Pay to Play

To understand why this is a problem for public libraries, it helps to understand how libraries procure material, and what sort of material they hold in their collections. In multicultural Australia, most public libraries hold material in several community languages. Often the high demand items in these community language collections are audio-visual - DVDs and, perhaps, music CDs. Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of this material is filmed, produced and manufactured overseas, and the commercial market in Australia is very small. So whilst a local library service may cater to, say, a locally significant Maltese-speaking community, that community is commercially insignificant. This distinction is important when the mechanics of the Classification system are revealed. The Classification Board is funded by film and game makers - if you want to sell or exhibit your film or game, you have to pay for the privilege of having it classified. The minimum cost is $550, and for most films or TV series on DVD (61-120 minutes) it will be $730. Per film. As an importer of a language like Maltese, you are likely to have, at most, perhaps a dozen customers for each title. Even with a generous markup, the Classification fees are likely to exceed your entire profit on the title - perhaps even exceed the entire gross income. This is clearly unsustainable. For this reason, suppliers have simply neglected to submit foreign-language material to the Classification Board before selling it to libraries, and everyone pretended not to know they were breaking the law. Last year, libraries in New South Wales became concerned that they may be liable, and sought legal advice. The answer was fairly clear - libraries probably haven’t been breaching the law by purchasing and displaying unclassified material, but suppliers certainly have. As a consequence of this public legal advice, most public libraries across New South Wales and Victoria have ceased purchasing unclassified DVDs until the matter is resolved.

Confusing, arbitrary, inconsistent

The obvious solution to this problem is to change Australia’s arbitrary and biased Classification laws, but things aren’t quite that simple. Whilst the Classification Board is a national body linked to the Federal Attorney General’s office, enforcement of their decisions is actually governed by the States, for Constitutional reasons. Every State and Territory has more or less uniform Classification legislation, but any State or Territory can also, at least in theory, overrule the Classification Board and re-classify or de-classify titles within their borders. This also gives them the power to allow broad exemptions to the law - and that is what is being looked at in both New South Wales and Victoria to allow public libraries to once again purchase unclassified material. But the very fact that this can be done - and that State governments have made it clear that they have no intention of prosecuting libraries or library suppliers - shows how ridiculous and arbitrary Australia’s classification regime is.

The system is inconsistent both in terms of enforcement - with eight different jurisdictions making independent decisions about whether or not to enforce the law - but also in terms of what is required to be classified. Some types of films and games are exempt, whilst books are exempt by default - except when they’re not. So a DVD of a live concert by, say, Peaches, is exempt from classification and can be sold or lent to anyone, but if basically the same content was packaged as a feature film it would probably be close to an MA15+ rating. George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series of novels can be freely lent to anyone, even though the DVDs of the television series based on them (Game of Thrones) are rated R18+. But look for American Psycho in your local library and you’ll only find the R18+ rated DVD on the shelf - the book is classified as Restricted literature, and by law libraries are not allowed to store it where people under 18 years of age might be able to access it.

The whole classification system is deeply flawed, and based not on logic or consistency, but fear. Conservatives fear that children will be corrupted, and that “standards of morality, decency and propriety” will be offended. Politicians fear that conservative voters will punish them if they relax censorship laws. This fear is driving poor policy and punishing cultural minorities, library users, and small businesses. Whilst some might argue that Australia should simply do away with our censorship system, if we’re going to have one there are two ways I think it could be vastly improved without materially changing the standards. These could be introduced together, or separately.

Self-regulation

The simplest way to level the playing field would be to allow publishers and importers to self-regulate. With a clear set of classification guidelines, Governments could simply allow publishers to classify their own material. This would allow for the complete elimination of the Classification Board. If a complaint is made about a classification, it could be considered by the Classification Review Board, as is currently the case. Publishers could be penalised for flagrant or repeated mis-classifications, and the system would largely manage itself. Dealing with classifications in this way would save an enormous amount of time and money, and the end result would be basically the same as what we currently have.

Equivalence

The second technique, equivalence, could either be brought in as an (inferior) alternative, or work in tandem with self-classification. Legal equivalence is a long-standing concept in international law. Essentially it involves to countries or states agreeing that their laws on a particular matter are so similar that courts will consider certain decisions to be ‘equivalent’ in both states. An example is banking law in Europe, where (pre-Brexit) banks licenced to operate in Britain are generally able to operate in France without obtaining a French licence, or driving licences in Australia, where every State and Territory issues their own licenses but recognises those issued by the others.

Whilst film classification and rating systems vary from country to country, there are many broad similarities - as Wikipedia’s Motion Picture Content Rating System Comparison Table shows. To go back to our earlier example, under an equivalence scheme, an importer of Maltese films could simply put an Australian PG sticker on material rated Maltese PG, an M on Maltese 12 and 12A, an MA15+ on Maltese 15, and an R18+ on Maltese 18. If the system was combined with self-classification, the Classification Review Board could perhaps only review decisions where an importer has self-classified something differently to the equivalence guidelines (there is never going to be exact equivalence between different countries’ ratings).

The future

Some of these problems will simply disappear as films and games eventually come to be exclusively distributed over the internet. But the last thing we should want is for all the present problems to be transferred to a giant internet censorship regime. Australia’s censorship system is broken. Not only because it continues to ban books, but because it favours large publishers with deep pockets and mass audiences. It systematically criminalises films and games with niche Australian audiences. It is incoherent and inconsistent. Even the governments and agencies responsible for enforcing the law don’t really believe in it. Surely we can do better.

Meredith Farkas: Dear Professor

planet code4lib - Sun, 2017-07-09 19:15

I knew something was very wrong toward the end of Freshman year at Wesleyan. I’d begun to withdraw from the circle of friends I’d become so close to over the year that two of them came home with me over Spring Break. I either couldn’t fall asleep at all or slept 12 or more hours a day. I perseverated over every little thing and yet felt like a zombie. I kept my grades up, mainly because it felt like the only thing keeping me going. I wasn’t “me” anymore. It was my first brush with a major depressive episode, one that would last another year and a half and nearly kill me. By late Fall of sophomore year, when I had to meet with my advisor about my schedule for Spring term, I didn’t really feel like I’d make it to Spring term. I broke down in front of this highly respected history professor and told him I didn’t think I could stay at Wesleyan. I don’t remember exactly what he said to me, but I came out of that meeting feeling like someone cared about me and believed I could make it. He got me set up with campus mental health for counseling and checked back in with me a few times. His small kindness felt so very big to me at the time (and even now).

In addition to depression, I had a mean case of impostor syndrome, which was exacerbated by being at such a rigorous university. While I’d gone to a mediocre Florida public school, most of my friends went to the best private schools in the country where they’d studied things like Foucault in Freshman year. Some of my friends’ parents were nobel prize winners or famous playwrights, filmmakers, and authors. I felt constantly out of my depth; I didn’t know how I’d even gotten accepted.

But I was also so excited by what I was learning. I came to college wanting to better understand philosophy, history, and human behavior and I took so many courses that illuminated for me the human mind. I ended up writing a thesis that combined the three, a look at how the philosophical movement in Prussia from enlightenment thinking to romanticism (and the nationalism that came with it) led a tremendous number of the Jews of Berlin to convert to Christianity in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. But I almost didn’t do an honors thesis at all, had I not been convinced to do it by the professor who would become my thesis advisor, Oliver Holmes. He persuaded me that I could do it and that my crackpot theories around this topic were not actually so crazy. He even went to the powers that be to get me registered as a thesis student since it was after drop/add. He kicked my butt all year, made me read insane amounts of content, and made me a better writer than I’d ever been before. And had he not encouraged me, I would have missed out on one of the best intellectual experiences of my life.

Had I thought that either of these professors might have tweeted or shared information about me (even anonymously) on some other social media platform, I would never have approached them in the first place. I approached these two professors because I trusted them. I find the idea of my professors complaining about me mortifying. But that’s the world we seem to live in these days; a world where instructors take to social media to blow off steam about their students for infractions big and small or to share the funny things they say or requests they make. I call it “Dear Student” culture, for the truly awful blog that was a part of the Chronicle of Higher Ed for a while.

Jesse Stommel wrote a terrific piece about the “Dear Student” column and how it compelled him to quit writing for the Chronicle himself. I really appreciated these bullet points and his views on venting about students in public:

What everyone working anywhere even near to the education system needs to do:

  • Treat the least privileged among us with the most respect.
  • Recognize that the job of a teacher is to advocate for students, especially in an educational system currently under direct threat at almost every turn.
  • Laugh at ourselves and not at those we and our system have made most vulnerable.
  • Rant up, not down.

I certainly understand the need to vent. My professional colleagues and I vent to each other privately in areas in which we could not be overheard by students. Twitter is not such a place.

The other day, I saw a professor write about a student who had asked for the syllabus for a Fall course in July.

"Hi Professor. I know it's only July, but do you have the syllabus ready that we'll use in the fall? I want to.." pic.twitter.com/thHNCI5EC8

— Charles W. McKinney (@kmt188) July 6, 2017

Cute, right? At many universities, faculty do not have to have the syllabus done until the first day of class (though at other institutions, like San Jose State where I work part-time students can view the syllabus before they select classes for that term). If the syllabus isn’t ready, of course it’s reasonable to say no to the student. I might have sent the student an old copy if one existed, but I’m certainly not suggesting anyone should have to create something to satisfy the student. The original post was certainly not even in the same league of awful as the “Dear Student” articles (though he later argued with me that the students’ request was “utterly unreasonable” which made me give some side-eye), but the thread went on and others tweeted things that were more offensive to students, some of which the original poster agreed with.

“Overachievers finish last and piss us off!!!”

“This ridiculously early email should make up for the lack of interest I’m about to show once I’m enrolled”

“Now if only they were so interested in looking at the syllabus, *during* the semester…”

“…do you have the syllabus from for years ago Spring for my transfer…..Still No”

“My own view (since no one asked)? That is a human being who needs to learn to breathe. Deeply.”

“And then this student will fall silent and send out reply emails the last week of class asking for extra credit for all assignments missed!”

“Doesn’t the dimwit know to download the spring version and to get the quizzes and homework solutions then, too?”

“Hi profesor! Im premed lol kin u tell me bst way 2 gt As n ur class??? Thx uuuu!!!!”

“Some students think that putting a course together takes about as long as they take to write a paper (a few hours)! ;-)”

“this isn’t high school instructors don’t owe your fragile ass shit & neither does the world. Learn that in your four years & u may be ok”

“Plus, they’re really NOT going to get started on that reading. Told my senior seminar students what to read this summer. I’ll bet they don’t”

A student who looked up their professor for Fall and found this tweet would see all of those responses. I would imagine that the original poster is very busy with other work and research-related pursuits this summer. Maybe he is even overburdened with things he wishes he didn’t have to do. I don’t know. I agree 100% that having boundaries is definitely a good thing in academia. I know my first year as a librarian, I was so “students first” that I was answering research questions from students on Christmas day. I learned that I had to set up boundaries to have time with family and friends, because work could easily eat up every waking minute. But that student’s request was not “utterly unreasonable.” It is not utterly unreasonable to request a syllabus. Some instructors might have it ready and others won’t. If they then complained about the “no,” that would be unreasonable, but the question itself was not. And complaining about students or commenting on things they said on Twitter to get laughs or commiseration or whatever is just not a good idea.

I work at a community college now where a large portion of our student population are first-generation and returning students. These populations historically have come into college with a pretty low sense of self-efficacy and without some of the skills of “studentship” because they hadn’t learned them before. They come in not knowing the “rules” of academia and discover that, in fact, different instructors can have very different rules and practices. Even as a relatively privileged individual, I didn’t really understand much about how academia worked when I got to college and I certainly didn’t understand issues of academic labor. I hear from students all the time who tell me they feel like they don’t belong in college because they’re struggling. A lot of the students I deal with have experienced trauma in their lives, so knowing that they can trust the people who are paid to support their success is critical. For people who have experienced bullying or abuse, finding that their instructor wrote about something they said or asked on Twitter could destroy their trust not only in that instructor but in the institution.

Many academics are working at institutions where administration has increased class sizes, cut faculty development funding, and done other things that have made our work lives more difficult and less pleasant. I remember when all of a sudden my teaching load for the LIS class I taught at SJSU doubled from 15 to 30 with no additional compensation. I realized after a term that if I wanted to keep my sanity, I needed to change my assignments to make my grading load less intense. I feel like many faculty are frustrated with the labor conditions they are put under by administrators (which many don’t feel safe openly posting about on social media) that it creates an environment where they interpret even innocuous requests by students through that lens. And see students as adversaries with more privilege than they have. And it leads some of them to punch down, because there are no consequences for it and it allows them to let off steam. The students are not the enemy in these situations and treating them like they are doesn’t fix anything.

I think back to the class on Modern Political Thought I took with Prof. Holmes before I wrote my thesis. I was so shy and insecure that I almost never talked in class, which is pretty hard to do in a class of 10 students. The professor could have interpreted my silence as apathy or laziness or whatever. He could have made fun of my timidity. Instead, he gently tried to get me to talk. He encouraged me. He gave me good feedback on my essays. He believed in me. I can’t tell you what that meant. I was so fragile then that being called out would have wrecked me. And I know I’m not the only one. Jesse Stommel wrote a follow-up piece where he talks about some comments he received from students (btw, I love the post he links to under “student voices”).

What I listened to most intently during the aftermath of “Dear Chronicle” were the student voices, a number of whom commented anonymously on my piece:

“Part of the reason why I never asked for help was because I saw what my professors thought of those who did.”

“I dropped out of college, in large part due to the hoops I had to jump through to get my disabilities recognized. I was always so tired of having to justify myself and I didn’t want to have to argue ‘but I’m not like those students’ because then I’d be no better than the people judging me.”

“It’s a lot easier to stay motivated when you’re not made to feel like you’re stupid or a liar. It’s a lot easier to focus on studying when you’re not focused on having to justify yourself.”

This is where the conversation starts. By listening seriously to the voices of students and recognizing that students can be drivers of the conversation about the state of education. Teachers have anxieties. Teaching is one of the most emotionally difficult jobs I have done and can imagine doing. Of course, we need to vent. But it is not productive for us to continue creating spaces for teachers to vent that students can eavesdrop on but feel excluded from. I agree that we need to talk openly about real concerns, but there are better ways to have those conversations than by stereotyping, mocking, and shaming.

I have definitely had moments where I’ve felt overworked, under-appreciated, and burnt out. I’ve had moments where I’ve lost sight of why I was doing this work. I’ve felt annoyed with students at times. I’ve vented to colleagues, as I mentioned before. I don’t think that I’ve ever badmouthed a student on social media, but I’m willing to imagine that maybe I slipped up at some point. We all get into these negative head spaces sometimes, but we should remember that students are not the enemy and our role is to be their champions; to do what we can to help them be successful. My role is to facilitate their learning and help prepare them for the rest of their lives. My role is not to nitpick them, not give extensions when they are dealing with terrible things or are ill, assume they’re liars, or make fun of them for the amusement of my friends.

Do I think the faculty member who posted about the student’s request for the syllabus is a bad instructor? Of course not! I’m sure he cares very much about his students and did not mean any harm with what he wrote. I think in this era it is a very human thing to vent on social media about how busy we are, and it’s not a stretch to do that in such a way where you use a student’s question to that end. But writing about students on social media in any way that is other than positive is a bad idea. I would say that the same cautions apply to talking about students that way at conferences (which many of us learned from the ACRL Conference) and in articles.

When a student makes a request of an instructor, we often don’t know what issues and external stressors in the student’s life are behind the request. Just like they don’t know about the issues and external stressors in our lives. Approaching student requests with compassion rather than lumping them in with “all the students like them” builds the sort of student/faculty relationships that support student success.

Other articles/posts that have influenced my thinking about this issue:

Image source

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: Hydrax - 1.0.2

planet code4lib - Sat, 2017-07-08 19:57

Last updated July 8, 2017. Created by Peter Murray on July 8, 2017.
Log in to edit this page.

Package: HydraxRelease Date: Friday, June 30, 2017

District Dispatch: One library’s creative advocacy campaign to #SaveIMLS

planet code4lib - Fri, 2017-07-07 16:44

In light of the threatened cuts to IMLS and federal library funding this year, we have seen an outpouring a support and an increase in advocacy efforts by librarian across the country. Over 42,000 emails were sent to the House and Senate during the Fight for Libraries! campaign alone! But many libraries did not stop at phone calls and emails.

In April, Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library decided to showcase how different types of funding (including state and federal) help the library to provide valuable services for their patrons. The librarians tied balloons around objects and materials in the library, using different colored balloons to signify the different funding sources that made the resources possible. The result was a low-cost, eye-catching campaign that got the patron attention they were hoping for!

Balloon color key:

BLUE: Groups such as Friends of the library, Hooper Fund, Cape Ann Savings Bank
RED: State, federal support with grants, networks, deliveries, e-materials & more
YELLOW: Private gifts and donations of funds, materials, and resources

Balloons signifying different funding sources at Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library Source: Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library

We interviewed Kate Stadt, the Head of Youth Services at Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library, about their creative response to the President’s budget and the proposed cuts to federal library funding.

What prompted you to put together this campaign?
This campaign came about as a response to the threat to see the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) defunded. We thought the campaign would be a great way to visually show patrons what services they use thanks to all sorts of funding, from the generosity of private donors, the Friends, and the Trustees, to the massive support from the federal and state governments. We were thrilled by the opportunity to simultaneously educate and celebrate our community. We decided to run this campaign during National Library Week to take advantage of the spirit of celebration sweeping libraries nationwide.

What kind of research did you need to do before you got started?
The first genesis of the idea came about many years ago when our current library director, Sara Collins, was at a conference and heard another librarian talking about using balloons to celebrate the library. Then this year, I was thinking of ways we could communicate the value of the services we provide more effectively to patrons. My idea was to put large price tags on different items patrons frequently use identifying who had provided the funds to make those services available. In conversation with the Friends of the Library, the decision was made to combine those ideas and mark items around the library with different-colored balloons, with each color representing a different source of funding.

What materials were used? Did you have a budget?
We used balloons and paper to post flyers about it and that’s it! The balloons were bought for us by the Friends of the Library. Overall, it was pretty inexpensive, although the balloons began to sink throughout the week and it would have been more expensive to get new ones. But the great thing about this project is that it’s adjustable and affordable – you can do as many balloons as your budget allows, or go with paper price tags for an even more thrifty option.

How did you promote the campaign to your community? Were there posters or flyers in the library? How about social media?
We promoted the campaign in several ways. We promoted it in newspapers as part of our weekly press release, put it on the signs outside, had flyers around the library, and educated the staff to be able to talk about what the balloons represented and where the funds had come from. I reached out to ALA and we promoted it on our Facebook page as well – the goal was to get the whole community celebrating! In some ways, we didn’t have to do a lot of promoting – those balloons brought attention to themselves!

How was the campaign received by the community?
The campaign was received very enthusiastically! The balloons created an instant positive impact on the moods of everyone who came in. They were an immediate connection point to the librarians; every day someone would come in and say, “What’s the occasion?” and I would get to say, “We’re having a party for the library to celebrate all the people and groups that have made our services possible!” Then we could naturally lead into explaining what the balloons meant and how the services had been paid for and the end result felt like we were positively educating the community on some of the more opaque aspects of the inner library workings. It really created a library-wide attitude of gratitude – us to the community, the community to us.

How do you see the campaign evolving over time?
I think it would be incredibly fun to do the campaign again, to take the goodwill the balloons built and really drill down into some more specific services that have had far-reaching effects. For example, we are able to provide teen services due to a state-administered IMLS grant. The grant paid for teen books, teen furniture, and helped create a teen librarian professional position. I would love to spend a day specifically highlighting that asset, as well as other tangible high-impact services on other days. I also would love to extend the education into advocacy. For example, it would be amazing to have the balloons up as well as a workstation for writing postcards to legislators or to pass out volunteer forms, or forms for the Friends of the Library, or information about donating to the library. The balloons highlight how our library thrives thanks to monetary support, but there is so much patrons can do on individual levels to support the library. Next year, it would be exciting to empower our library-loving patrons to be their own best advocates.

You can see more photos of the project on the Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library’s Facebook page.

How has your library turned federal politics into local advocacy work? Do you have a campaign planned during the August recess, when Members of Congress will be back in their states and districts? Share your ideas in the comments and let us know how you plan to get involved.

The post One library’s creative advocacy campaign to #SaveIMLS appeared first on District Dispatch.

Terry Reese: MarcEdit 7 Update Notes

planet code4lib - Fri, 2017-07-07 13:51

I’ll be officially cutting the new branch of MarcEdit 7 for all the code in the project following the next release of MarcEdit 6.3.x.  The first thing I’ll be doing is updating all the dependencies to the new version of .NET 4.6.x essentially ending Windows XP support for MarcEdit 7.  I’ll be updating namespaces, and prepping the files for a first alpha release.  The very early releases will be preview releases for those that code against MarcEdit interested in testing the new namespaces, and for IT folks interested in testing the new installers, as this will also be the first version to include installers that can provide installation either in the current, traditional setup, or as a user.  The way I’ll be providing installation will be much the same way google does it.  Rather than selecting an download, users will download a single installer (likely an exe).  The installer will ask the user if you want to install for everyone (must be an admin) or just for the current user.  If you pick everyone, it will check your operating system, and download the appropriate installer.  This installer will require that you authenticate as an admin.  If you choose just the current user, it will check your operating system and will download the installer to install just within your user space (non-admin).  From the users perspective, the program will work exactly the same.  I’ll also include some detailed instructions for IT administrators that want to download the MSI files directly – this way folks that manage software via software distribution tools can still do that.  Additionally, to make management easier for IT folks, each version of MarcEdit will have its own SKU (or product code).  This is important when managing software distribution and one of the reasons most IT folks hate the way Google manages Chrome (all versions share the same ID). 

Once MarcEdit 7 alpha is available, I’ll likely post updates to MarcEdit 6.3.x and MarcEdit 7 concurrently until about Sept. 2017.  At that point, I’ll freeze 6.3.x.  That will be the final version supporting XP, and then will focus on updating MarcEdit 7.  Additionally, I’ll likely be posting a few wireframes of how I envision changing MarcEdit 7’s interface.  I will be updating the Main Window, the MARC Tools and the MarcEditor.  In fact, the MarcEditor will likely shift from the current menus, to the more traditional ribbon interface that you now see in most Windows applications, while the MacOS update will continue to follow Mac UI design guidelines.

Questions, let me know.

–tr

DuraSpace News: Bethany Seeger–Connecting Around Fedora Migration and Mapping

planet code4lib - Thu, 2017-07-06 00:00

The Fedora repository project relies on many individuals and institutions to make the project successful. We are grateful for their commitment and will showcase their contributions in a series of community profiles aimed at recognizing our contributors’ achievements, and introducing them to the rest of the community.

Bethany Seeger has been a Fedora contributor to the Fedora repository team for two years. Her focus is on MODS XML to RDF mapping as Amherst migrates to Fedora 4.

DuraSpace News: REGISTER for The DSpace Anwendertreffen 2017

planet code4lib - Thu, 2017-07-06 00:00

From Pascal-Nicolas Becker, The Library Code GmbH

LITA: Jobs in Information Technology: July 5, 2017

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-07-05 18:42

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

Bates College, Vice President for Information & Library Services and College Librarian, Lewiston, ME

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

HangingTogether: MARC: The Neck Pillow of Bibliographic Data

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-07-05 16:41

Now that I have your attention with that bizarre title, let me explain. Recently I gave a keynote talk at the IATUL Annual Conference in Bolzano, IT. Since I had an 11-hour flight to Frankfurt, I bought a neck pillow at the airport. One time I flew back from Australia in economy and it took two months and multiple trips to the chiropractor to get my neck back in shape, so I wasn’t eager to repeat that.

Meanwhile, my talk was on my mind. Called “Data Designed for Discovery,” which I had given several times before, I talk about how MARC was designed for description and that linked data is designed more for discovery. I also realized that MARC really only makes sense in library systems — once it’s outside of a library system no one knows what to do with it. That’s when it hit me.

After being introduced at my keynote, I slipped on my neck pillow and went to the front of the room. I said, “You’re no doubt wondering why I’m wearing this neck pillow. You’re all world travelers, so you understand that there is one and only one context where wearing a neck pillow makes sense — on a long distance trip where you are expected to sleep sitting up. Outside of that context, like now, it is not just useless, it’s ridiculous.  Similarly, there is one and only one context in which MARC, our foundational bibliographic standard, makes sense — inside a library system. Outside of that context no one knows what to do with it. Therefore, MARC is the neck pillow of bibliographic data.” Unfortunately, I don’t think BIBFRAME is any better in this regard, as it is in a schema that only libraries will care about.

I then went on to describe the many ways in which bibliographic data in linked data form can be used both within our systems, to solve long-standing discovery problems, as well as outside of our systems for web crawlers and others to find and use (in Schema.org form).

I don’t expect this metaphor to take off like my “MARC must die” statement, soon to be 15 years old, but if it works for you, feel free to use it.

Terry Reese: 2017 Philmont Experience

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-07-05 05:18

 

Since Summer 2016, troop 73 has known that we would have an opportunity to go to the Philmont Ranch in New Mexico.  We had won the lottery, and had 24 spots available to our troop.  This means that we had the potential to take 20 kids and 4 adults in two crews out to New Mexico in 2017.  And from the moment I found out that we would have the opportunity to travel, I knew that I would go.  As one of the Assistant Scout Masters in our troop, I knew that I had the certifications that would be needed to attend…but more importantly, I have a son that would be just the right age to make the trip.  At 15, going on 16, my oldest would be the perfect age to really enjoy what this experience had to offer.

Now, I should note, as excited as my son was to make this trip (and he was – he fund-raised nearly all of the $800 camp registration), I was probably more so.  Since leaving Oregon, I think I’ve had the hardest time out of my family adjusting to Ohio.  I love being outdoors, and while Ohio does have some very nice areas to camp and hike (really, it does), they aren’t the same.  I miss the mountains, I miss the forest, I miss the towering fir trees that keep the forests green year round.  That was my childhood…it represents some of my favorite memories with my family, with my father.  And these were some of the memories that I hoped to build with my son…and hoped to relive a little bit while I spent some time in the mountains.

Preparation for the trip

Over the year, there was a lot of preparation that had to be undertaken.  Equipment to be purchased, plans to be made.  Some of the preparation was getting the kids ready to carry a backpack for eleven days.  Some of the preparation was getting ready to hike for 5 hours every day.  Some of the preparation was learning skills that would be required when camping in the back country for eleven days.  Lots of preparations.

Then there was personal preparation.  I turned 40 this year, and one of the things that I got into my head was that for Philmont, I was going to grow out my beard and hair.  Why?  Well, it was fun.  I haven’t grown a beard in close to 20-25 years, so it would be something different.  But it was also somewhat practical.  With my hair long, and my beard full, I wouldn’t have to worry about the sun burns that everyone else in my Crew  would end up worrying about.  So how did it go?  Quite nicely.  I kept a photo record from Feb.  2017 when I started.


February 2017


March 2017


April 2017


May 2017


June 2017

The last picture is in the Chicago Union Station with my son.  I was quite pleased with my final Philmont beard.

The Trip

The trip to and from Philmont ended up taking about 15 days.  We travelled to Philmont via the train, travelling by bus from Columbus, OH to Toledo, and then from Toledo, OH to Raton, NM.  For many of the kids, this represented the first time that they’d been on a train, crossed the Mississippi River, seen the plains of Kansas….it’s a great way to see the country…particularly the fly over country.  On the train, we saw fields of corn, a tremendous lightening storm near Topeka, the snow covered mountains in Colorado, and a bear as we neared Raton.  The kids spent a lot of time going to and from the observation train car, and generally enjoying the ride.  I took a few pictures of the train trip across the country.

 

For us, the trip officially started in Raton, NM.  This is where the Philmont buses picked us up.  When you get to Philmont, everything is crazy.  To start with, you have to get registered, there is equipment to pick up…lots of things to get done, including a shakedown with the ranger to make sure that everyone has everything that they will need for the trip.  For the kids, this part of the trip is probably the most boring.  We spend a lot of time sitting, a lot of time talking to the ranger about bears, bear protocols, snakes, water purification, etc.  The ranger spends their time telling us all the terrible things that could happen out in the woods (which is fun, because some of the kids are already worried about bears and snakes) and the adults spend our time trying to keep them from going crazy. 

You spend one day in base camp, and then you are on the bus.

For our Philmont trip, we hiked itinerary 9 (http://www.philmontscoutranch.org/filestore/philmont/camping/2017Itinerary/Itinerary/itin_2017_9.jpg).  This would take us through Old Abreu, Crags, Beaubien, Black Mountain, the Red Hills, Cyphers Mine, Cimarroncito, Upper Clarks Fork, and then over the Tooth of Time to Base Camp.  In all, it was a 61 mile itinerary, though my Fitbit with GPS clocked us way over that mileage.  I actually journalled the trip, in part, because I wanted to remember what it was like, and in part, because I wanted to be able to give the parents of the kids in my Crew a taste of what the trip was like for the kids.  And it was glorious.  We climbed multiple peaks, including Red Hill and Mt. Philips.  For almost all the kids, every day represented a new tallest mountain.  We camped over 9,000 ft 4 times, over 10,000 ft once.  We danced on the Tooth of Time.  For many of the kids, it was the first time that they rode a horse, or had an opportunity to rock climb, or walk through an old gold mine.  For eleven days, we watched the boys grow, mature, and wonder at the beauty of the New Mexico country-side.  And I got to do this with my son – to make stories that only the two of us share through this very unique experience and bond.  I know that I’ve been told by every kid in our troop that has done Philmont, that it’s a life changing event.  It almost has to be…you are forced to push yourself in ways that you might not have thought possible, and bond with your Crew through this shared experience.  But I think that as adults, we get just as much.  You can’t help but be transported back to your youth.  For me, it took me back to camping with my family, hunting with my dad…it let me slow down and appreciate how lucky I was to be spending this time with my own son.

We took a lot of pictures throughout the trip (hundreds).  I pulled a few of our time at the ranch.

Probably my two favorite pictures though happened off the trail.  The first is of my crew…

We’d just come off the Tooth of Time, down the Ridge Trail, and into basecamp.   We were tired, dehydrated, and excited to be home.  We were also a little sad that it was all over.  While the kids couldn’t talk enough about what they wanted to eat (trail food definitely gets old and hard to stomach), there was also a realization that we were done and would be going home in a couple of days.  It was bittersweet for me as well.  While it was nice to have a cot to sleep in, and some real coffee to drink…I really wasn’t ready to be done.  Even today, as I write this, I wish more than anything that I could get back out on the trail and just walk in the woods.

The other photo is this one:

This is a picture of me and my son, as soon as we got off the trail.  We sent it to my wife…our picture as 2017 Philmont finishers.  I’m incredibly proud of him, and what he’s accomplished.

And that pretty much wrapped up our trip.  Of course, I’m leaving a lot of things out.  I didn’t talk about the poison oak that I got into, and the rash the covered almost my entire body (that was fun), or the numerous trips our crews had to the trail doctors (I did mention, this trip is hard), or the logistics of digging cat holes, or eating trail food and sketchy water for days.  No doubt – it’s a challenging trip.  I’ve done this kind of hiking before (in the Pacific Northwest), and while Philmont is easier (more controlled), it’s still no joke.  But if anyone asks – it is so very worth it.  And I’ll be back.  I have a date with Philmont in 2020, when I’ll take my youngest son, when he’s 15.  And I’m sure the experience will be just as challenging, just as enjoyable, and completely different.  And you know what, I can’t wait.

–tr

Cynthia Ng: Learning to be a Systems Administrator for Horizon ILS

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-07-05 05:01
This is one of those presentations that never was, but I thought it would be interesting to write up anyway as a reflective piece. Interestingly, I didn’t find out that I would be the library’s ILS administrator until after I started the job. It didn’t really make any difference, and if anything, I was glad … Continue reading Learning to be a Systems Administrator for Horizon ILS

Tara Robertson: digital or “inclusive” doesn’t always mean accessible

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-07-04 16:59

Rajiv Jhangiani’s post Just how inclusive are “inclusive access” e-textbook programs? points out the problems with mandatory course fees for all students to lease access to online textbooks. This so-called “inclusive access” model has been piloted at Algonquin College with the e-textbook platform provider Texidium.

Too often we conflate digital with being accessible. Here’s my thoughts on accessibility of e-textbooks for students with print disabilities. I left this as a comment on Rajiv’s post.

When talking about inclusion and accessibility we can’t forget about students with print disabilities. I’ve seen two major accessibility problems with proprietary “inclusive access” models like Texidium.

First, sometimes the platform isn’t accessible. This is more problematic than a print textbook as there’s workflows for format shifting print content for students with print disabilities. What does an accessible format look like for an online “book” that’s on an inaccessible platform? A whole new accessible website? Also there’s really no excuse for publishers who are building inaccessible web platforms in 2017.

Second, sometimes the content isn’t fully accessible. Many of the online publisher textbooks I’ve seen don’t have image descriptions, have math content that’s not in MathML (and therefore cannot be read by a screenreader), or have videos that lack captions. Again, there’s really no excuse for publishers producing content on the web that is not accessible.

A couple of years ago I used to think that publishers might not be aware of accessibility, but now I believe that they don’t care . I believe they don’t care because it cuts into their profits and they are not responsible for the cost of remediating inaccessible platforms and inaccessible content to provide full access to students with print disabilities.

When we talk about accessibility and open textbooks we usually mean financial accessibility, which is important. It’s also important that we make choices that don’t disable students in our classrooms.

If your college or university is going down this path it is critical to put in clear language around accessibility (like WCAG 2.0 compliant) in the procurement documents and in the contracts with vendors. Benetech has some great resources creating or purchasing content that is born accessible. Their checklist on what to look for in e-books is particularly useful.

It’s also important to include clear information about what the publisher will do if the content is not accessible. Who is responsible for the costs of making this content accessible? If the Disability Service Office, or a service provider like CAPER-BC, needs to do work to make the content accessible who do they contact for the publisher files? What is the turnaround time for this?

Moving to e-textbooks is not necessarily an improvement for students with print disabilities. Digital or “inclusive” doesn’t always mean accessible.

Open Knowledge Foundation: Half of the world languages are dying really fast – how you can save yours

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-07-04 10:39

Languages are a gateway to knowledge. How can digital tools be used to help native language speakers access and contribute knowledge? In this blog, Subhashish Panigrahi shows how endangered languages can be documented and preserved using open standards and tools.

The world’s knowledge that have been accumulated and coded over ages in different languages are valuable to learn about others’ cultures, traditions, and everything about their life. But not every language is not privileged to be a language of knowledge and governance.

Almost half of the 6909 living languages of the world will be vanishing in a century’s time. The most linguistically diverse places like Papua New Guinea are also the most dangerous places for languages. Every two weeks, a language dies and with it a wealth of knowledge forever. In my home country India alone, there exist more than 780 languages. The rate in which languages are dying here is extremely high as over 220 languages from India have died in the last 50 years, and 197 languages from the country are identified as endangered by UNESCO.

Word cloud depicting several Indian languages in their native scripts

With these languages dying, there die all that knowledge that is preserved in those languages.

Languages that do not have tools for everyone to access knowledge and contribute to often go out of use. India for example is home to the highest number of visually impaired and illiterate people in the entire world: more than 15 million Indians are visually impaired and 30% are illiterate. But there do not exist many digital accessibility tools either for web or mobile, even though there are about 450-465 million internet users and 60% of them are mobile users. In fact, accessibility tools for most Indian languages are not affordable and are proprietary in nature.

There have been some efforts by the Indian government—like the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL)—to grow the 22 officially recognized languages and some of indigenous languages. Founded in 1969, CIIL has been working to deepen research on Indian languages, and a program called “Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India” was introduced in 2014 to help CIIL specifically to begin several projects for the conservation of endangered languages.

Only 10-30% of India’s population can understand English, which is predominantly the language of the Internet. A recent report that was published by Google and KPMG states that more than 70% of the India’s Internet users trust content in their native language over English. The lack of native language content and the lack of electronic accessibility tools therefore plays an important factor in stopping a large number of people from accessing information and contributing to the knowledge commons.

When confronted with a problem of this magnitude, there are a few vital things that must be to done to preserve and grow dying languages. Creation of audio-visual documentation of some of the most important socio-cultural aspects of the language such as storytelling, folk literature, oral culture and history is a start. When done by native language speakers, along with annotations of the same in done in a widely-spoken language such as English or Hindi, it is one way of creating digital resources in a language. These resources can be used to create content and linguistic tools to grow the languages’ reach.

Sadly, there is little focus from the central government on many of these languages, but there are some effort from several organisations to document native languages.

There is something every single individual that speaks a less-spoken language or is in contact with a native speaker of an endangered/indigenous language can do. Languages that are dying need digital activism to grow educational and accessibility tools.That can happen when more public and open repositories like dictionaries, pronunciation libraries, and audio-visual content are created.

Wiki Weekend Tirana 2016 (photo: Anxhelo Lushka)

However, not many people know how to contribute in a form that can used by others to grow resources in a language. Especially in India, contributing to a language is largely skewed by the notion of producing and promoting literature. But in a country where more than 30% of the population is illiterate and a large number of languages are spoken languages (without a written counterpart), it is important that the language content is predominantly audio-visual and not just text-based. More importantly, there is a need for openness so that the whole idea of growing languages does not get jeopardized by proprietary methods and standards.

There are plenty of things anyone can contribute for documenting a language depending on their own skillset.

Every language has a wealth of oral literature, which is the most crucial thing to document for a dying language. Several cultural aspects like folk storytelling, folk songs, other narratives like cooking, local festival celebration, performing art forms and so on can be documented in audio-visual forms.

Thanks to cheaper smartphones and an ocean of free and open source software, anyone can now record audio, take pictures and shoot videos in really good quality without spending anything on gears. There are open toolkits that aggregate open source tools, educational resources and sample datasets that one can modify and use for their own language.

A home recording setup for the Kathabhidhana project (photo: Subhashish Panigrahi)

In the age of AI and IoT, one can indeed build resources that will enable their languages to be more user friendly. As explained earlier, most screen reader software that the visually impaired or illiterate people would use do not exist because of the lack of good quality text-to-speech engines. Creating pronunciation libraries of words in a language can help a lot in building both text-to-speech and speech to text engines that eventually can better the screen readers and other electronic accessibility solutions. Cross-language open source tools like LinguaLibre, Kathabhidhana, and Pronuncify help record large number of pronunciations. Similarly, for languages with an alphabet, educational resources for language learning can be created with open source tools like Poly and OpenWords.

Building these resources might not result in transforming the state of many endangered languages quickly but will certainly help in gradually bettering the way many people access knowledge in their language.

The work of some of the groundbreaking initiatives like the Global Language Hotspots by the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages and National Geographic can be used to start language documentation projects. But it is always recommended to make the work output available with open standards so that others can build solutions on the top of existing interventions.

However, there is not much about the actual outcome of any government-led activities for endangered language documentations, and especially if there is any open access to the published works. “People’s Linguistic Survey of India” (PLSI), a non-government-led survey was being conducted during 2012-13 in the leadership of Ganesh Devy.

A few years back, Gregory Anderson, founder of Living Tongues, and Prof. K. David Harrison, associate professor of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, US discovered a hidden language called Koro spoken in Arunanchal Pradesh. In 2014, Marie Wilcox, the last living speaker Wukchumni, a North American language, created a dictionary to keep her language alive. Imagine, where these languages would have ended up if Anderson and Harrison, and Marie did not take these baby steps back then.

Hydra Project: Samvera Virtual Connect – 18th July

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-07-04 09:00

Don’t forget that this year’s Samvera Virtual Connect is coming up soon!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM EDT / 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM PDT / 16:00-19:00 BST / 15:00-18:00 UTC

Samvera Virtual Connect is an opportunity for Samvera Community participants to gather online to touch base on the progress of community efforts at a roughly halfway point between face-to-face Samvera Connect meetings. Samvera is a growing, active community with many initiatives taking place across interest groups, working groups, local and collaborative development projects, and other efforts, and it can be difficult for community members to keep up with all of this activity on a regular basis. SVC will give the Samvera Community a chance to come together to catch up on developments, make new connections, and re-energize itself towards Samvera Connect 2017 in Evanston in November.

For more information, and to register, go to SVC’s wiki page.

The post Samvera Virtual Connect – 18th July appeared first on Samvera.

LITA: The Lost Art of Conversation

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-07-04 00:44

Technology is often viewed as a double edged sword: it makes life easier but it also has the power to threaten jobs, privacy, and human connections.  Yale University & Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute polled industry experts in 2016 and found that machine intelligence (A.I.) will replace all human jobs by 2136. Despite statistics like this, I’d like to make the case that there are many ways that technology actually revitalizes communication. The next few posts will explore tech tools, like podcasts, that encourage rather than diminish human connections.

Podcasts are everywhere, even TV legend Levar Burton recently announced his upcoming podcast: “LeVar Burton Reads.” That’s right, the host of Reading Rainbow who encouraged us to read as children is back, 2.0 style, with a podcast where he will read a “piece of short fiction.” A very brief history of the term “podcast”: Ben Hammersley, a British Journalist, invented the word in 2004 by combining “pod” as in Apple’s portable music player iPod & “cast” from broadcast. Unlike a radio broadcast, podcasts are electronic files that can be downloaded or streamed at any time. As a tech tool, podcasts are affordable and can be used for either instruction or entertainment.

A public library can use them to interview authors and tackle issues important to the community. The New York Public Library podcasts feature interviews with NBA star and author Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and tackled the issue of death with Warner Herzog. Of course most libraries cannot attract such stars but they can interview community leaders and local authors.  Law firms can use podcasts to attract clients, or explore legal issues.  It’s a no brainer that academic libraries can offer podcast lectures for students.

So podcasts are versatile but what tools are required to bring them from conception to fruition? Assuming your organization has established a theme (for help on this check out this In-Depth Guide), the required technology is actually very simple.

Some basics:

  1. Storage. Find a home for your podcasts. Third party sites can be used to host your podcast (Soundcloud, Libsyn) but most libraries already have a website and a podcast page (or section) can easily be added.
  2. Microphone. Many computers come with a built-in microphone but audio quality is very important, so it’s worth it to invest in a mic. Amazon sells mics from as low as $8– look for microphones described as “condenser” or “dynamic” and those that plug directly into your computer’s USB port.
  3. Headphones. Most experts agree that sound quality is better when the headphone and mic are separate.
  4. Software. The actual recording requires software. Free options include Audacity or Avid’s Pro Tools First. Test them out and see which format sounds best. If the funds exist to purchase software, consider Adobe Audition or Magix Sound Forge Audio Studio. Don’t want to invest in software? Many public libraries have a recording studio that you can use free of change, and added bonus: knowledgeable staff to assist in the production.
  5. Extras! These are not essential but cheap and can enhance the recording- pop filter & suspension boom.

A man wearing a radio hat

The Pew Research Center’s 2016 State of News Media found that one in five adults (12 or older) have listened to a podcast in the past month, a 12% increase from six years ago. When I was writing this I came across an article about “radio hats” a functional fashion statement that allowed commuters to follow their favorite radio program while traveling. Eventually this trend was replaced by the transistor radios and today’s podcast.

Much like a radio broadcast, podcasts cannot be automated- they rely on the audience feeling connected with the host, guests, and subject matter. And you don’t need a huge budget or a recording studio, just a few basic tools can spread your organization’s message, develop community relations, and promote education.

Are you using podcasts? What have you find works or doesn’t? Any best practices to share?

OCLC Dev Network: CI and Dependency Management in Ruby

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-07-03 18:00

Learn about continuous integration and dependency management in the Ruby programming language

Open Knowledge Foundation: Frictionless Data: Introducing our Tool Fund Grantees

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-07-03 10:49

Frictionless Data is an Open Knowledge International project which started over 10 years ago as a community-driven effort of Open Knowledge Labs. Over the last 3 years, with funding from partners like the Sloan Foundation and Google, the Frictionless Data team has worked tirelessly to remove ‘friction’ from working with data. A well-defined set of specifications and standards have been published and used by organizations in the data space, our list of data packages has grown and our tools are evolving to cater to some of the issues that people encounter while working with data.

Owing to our growing community of users and the need to extend implementation of version 1.0 specifications to additional programming languages, we launched the Frictionless Data Tool Fund in March 2017. The one-time $5,000 grant per implementation language has so far attracted 70+ applications from our community of mostly exceptional developers from all over the world.

At this time, we have awarded four grants for the implementation of Frictionless Data libraries in R, Go, Java and PHP. We recently asked the grantees to tell us about themselves, their work with data and what they will be doing with their grants. These posts are part of the grantee profile series, written to shine a light on Frictionless Data’s Tool Fund grantees, their work and to let our technical community know how they can get involved.

 

Ori Hoch: Frictionless Data Tool Fund PHP grantee

“I would also love to have PHP developers use the core libraries to write some more high-level tools. With the availability of the PHP libraries for Frictionless Data the task of developing such plugins will be greatly simplified”

From juggling fire clubs and working with data at The Museum of The Jewish People, to how he envisions use of the Frictionless Data PHP libraries to develop high level tools, read Ori Hoch’s profile to find out what he will be working on and how you can be a part of it.

Daniel Fireman: Frictionless Data Tool Fund Go grantee

I hope to use the Tool Fund grant I received to bring Go’s performance and concurrency capabilities to data processing and to have a set of tools distributed as standalone and multi-platform binaries

Read Daniel Fireman’s profile and find out more about his work on social network platforms, how he’s used GO to improve data transparency in Brazil, the challenges he has encountered while working with data and how he intends to alleviate these things  using his Go grant.

Open Knowledge Greece: Frictionless Data Tool Fund R grantee

We are going to implement two Frictionless Data libraries in R – Table Schema for publishing and sharing tabular-style data and Data Package for describing a coherent collection of data in a single package, keeping the frictionless data specifications.

Read Open Knowledge Greece’s profile and find out more about Open Knowledge festival that they will be hosting in Thessaloniki, Greece in 2018, plus, why they are excited to be implementing Frictionless data libraries in R and how you can contribute to their efforts.

Georges Labrèche: Frictionless Data Tool Fund Java Grantee

Data is messy and, for developers, cleaning and processing data from one project to another can quickly turn an awesome end-product idea into a burdensome chore. Data packages and Frictionless Data tools and libraries are important because they allow developers to focus more on the end-product itself without having to worry about heavy lifting in the data processing pipeline.

From travel, to physics and astronautics, read Georges Labrèche’s profile and find out more about his interests and  work at Open Data Kosovo as well as how you can follow and contribute to his work around Frictionless Data’s Java libraries.

 

Frictionless Data is a project of Open Knowledge International. Interested in knowing more? Read about the standards, data and tools, and find out how to get involved. All code developed in support of this project is hosted on the frictionlessdata organization on GitHub. Contributions are welcome.

Have a question or comment?  Let us know on our Discuss forum or on our Gitter chat.

Evergreen ILS: Evergreen 3.0 development update #12

planet code4lib - Fri, 2017-06-30 21:39

Ducks army marching by Radoslaw Ziomber (CC-BY-SA)

Another 34 patches have made their way into Evergreen’s master branch since the previous update. This week’s batch includes some significant bug fixes and improvements, including:

  • The public catalog includes a feature to allow patrons to download a list of their past loans to a CSV file. This feature will now no longer time out for patrons who have hundreds of historical loans.
  • egGrids in the web staff client now know how to sort their rows client-side. This can be very useful for grids that are populated by user input (e.g., by scanning item barcodes into the Item Status page) or that are populated using APIs that do not currently support server-side sorting. To enable client-side sorting for a particular grid, a developer can turn on the clientsort grid feature like this: <eg-grid id-field="id" features="clientsort" items-provider="gridDataProvider" persist-key="circ.patron.holds" dateformat="{{$root.egDateAndTimeFormat}}">
  • Under some circumstances, the web staff client’s volume and copy editor could silently fail to add a copy record to an existing volume. This is now fixed.
Duck trivia

The fountain at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee, is visited by ducks every day. As the legend goes:

How did the tradition of the ducks in The Peabody fountain begin? Back in the 1930s Frank Schutt, General Manager of The Peabody, and a friend, Chip Barwick, returned from a weekend hunting trip to Arkansas. The men had a little too much Tennessee sippin’ whiskey, and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoys (it was legal then for hunters to use live decoys) in the beautiful Peabody fountain. Three small English call ducks were selected as “guinea pigs,” and the reaction was nothing short of enthusiastic. Thus began a Peabody tradition which was to become internationally famous.
 
In 1940, Bellman Edward Pembroke, a former circus animal trainer, offered to help with delivering the ducks to the fountain each day and taught them the now-famous Peabody Duck March. Mr. Pembroke became The Peabody Duckmaster, serving in that capacity for 50 years until his retirement in 1991.
 
Nearly 90 years after the inaugural march, ducks still visit the lobby fountain at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.

Many thanks to Jeanette Lundgren for contributing this bit of trivia!

Submissions

Updates on the progress to Evergreen 3.0 will be published every Friday until general release of 3.0.0. If you have material to contribute to the updates, please get them to Galen Charlton by Thursday morning.

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