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LITA: Jobs in Information Technology: June 28, 2017

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-06-28 19:08

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

The Walters Art Museum, Librarian/Archivist, Baltimore, MD

NC LIVE / NCSU Libraries, Web and Database Development Librarian, NC LIVE, Raleigh, NC

City of Jacksonville, Library Director, Jacksonville, FL

Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Beinecke Information Technology Project Manager, New Haven, CT

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

In the Library, With the Lead Pipe: Neurodiversity in the Library: One Librarian’s Experience

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-06-28 12:00

In Brief:

The literature about neurodiversity and libraries is heavily skewed toward libraries accommodating neurodivergent patrons. There is little written about librarians who are neurodivergent and their professional experiences. In this interview, Charlie Remy, an academic librarian who has autism, discusses his autism, his professional experience, and what others can do to create a more inclusive neurodiverse profession.

By Alice Eng

Diversity is a word frequently used in the library profession. The literature that currently exists typically focuses on gender, ethnic, cultural, and sexual diversities. One group rarely mentioned is the neurodivergent. According to the National Symposium on Neurodiversity at Syracuse University, the neurodivergent “include those labeled with Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Dyscalculia, Autistic Spectrum, Tourette Syndrome, and others.”1

The neurodivergent have always been a part of the community but are now formally recognized as a group of the U.S. population. A 2014 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that 1 in 45 children, ages 3-17, have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.2 Yet the neurodivergent are noticeably absent in the library workforce and literature. Emily Lawrence’s essay, “Loud hands in the library: Neurodiversity in LIS theory & practices,” offers one theory as to why: an overall lack of diversity within librarianship itself.3 Other reasons might include people not disclosing their autism or people not self-identifying as having autism.

This prompted me to interview Charlie Remy.4  Charlie is the Electronic Resources and Serials Librarian at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) and happens to have autism. He was willing to share his professional experiences with me with the intention of bringing attention to this overlooked group.

When were you diagnosed with Autism?

Charlie: I was diagnosed at the age of 23 when I was in library school. Several years earlier my parents suggested I read Beyond the Wall by Stephen Shore. It’s a memoir written by an adult on the spectrum. My parents immediately thought of me when they read it and I concurred with them! It described a lot of experiences similar to those in my childhood (intense special interests, social awkwardness, sensory sensitivities, etc.). By the time I received the diagnosis, it was just a confirmation of what I already knew. I just wanted to make it official in case I needed accommodations in the future. It also felt somewhat awkward to participate in autistic organizations without an actual diagnosis. Learning about autism in my early 20s was comforting because I now understood the why for many things in my life. The dots were starting to connect. My childhood in the 1980s and 1990s occurred when there was limited knowledge in the medical community about “high functioning” autism. Part of me was somewhat frustrated by finding out about this so late, but it’s not productive to focus on something which was out of my control.

What drew you to the field of librarianship?

Charlie: I decided to become a librarian for 3 primary reasons: early childhood exposure to public libraries, an extremely positive undergraduate library experience, and my love for information in all formats.

My parents took me to the public library at least once a week when I was a child. They exposed me to the many wonderful things libraries offer such as access to information, technology training, interesting people, a culture of lifelong learning, etc. I feel fortunate that my parents demonstrated the value of libraries to me as some kids have never set foot in libraries. Back in 1995 I learned how to use the Internet at my local public library. I participated in summer reading programs and enjoyed conducting research for school projects.

I attended Elon University in North Carolina where I had an amazing undergraduate library experience. Endearingly called “Club Belk” by students, Belk Library was my home base during college. I practically lived there. It had comfortable furniture and was inviting, innovative, and featured great print and electronic resources. I considered many of the librarians to be my mentors. Being socially awkward with unique interests, I didn’t participate much in the collegiate social scene, so the library was where I did a lot of my socializing. Elon invested a great deal of money into library acquisitions at the time since they had to reach a certain book volume count in order to meet Phi Beta Kappa’s library requirement as part of the chapter application process. This resulted in me requesting many, many books (and even databases!), most of which were purchased. I feel like I had somewhat of an impact on that library collection. As an alumnus, I choose to earmark my donations to the library where they use the money to purchase Spanish language materials (I was a Spanish major). They send me a list of the titles they purchase so I know exactly how my money is used.

Finally, I love information in all formats. In particular, I’m a “news junkie” who obsessively consumes local, national, and international news, mostly in the form of online video (I love newspapers but, unfortunately, I don’t have the time to keep up with them). I entered college wanting to be a broadcast journalist but after taking a few introductory courses, I quickly realized that it wasn’t for me. Too much of a focus on appearance, ratings, and profits and not enough on the public good. Being a librarian lets me surround myself with information and satisfies my intellectual curiosity.

It sounds like you had already decided to become a librarian before being diagnosed. After receiving a formal diagnosis, how did you decide to go forward with applying for jobs and interviewing? Did you think this was something you wanted to disclose early in the process or not at all?

Charlie: Yes, my decision to become a librarian wasn’t directly related to my autism diagnosis but I will say that libraries can be good places for autistic people to work!

I usually disclose to people after I get to know them for a couple reasons:

  • I want them to get to know all aspects of me and not just think of the diagnosis. Autism is just one part of my identity. It doesn’t completely define who I am.
  • I want to be sure they’re mature enough to “handle” this information. Some people don’t seem to understand the significance of this diagnosis.
  • Sometimes it’s really not important that they know. Especially in the case of acquaintances with whom I have more of a surface relationship.

I did disclose my autism once during an on-campus interview at another library. The interview was going so well and I felt genuinely comfortable with the search committee, so I disclosed when a pertinent question came up (I think they were asking me about some of my autism-related [professional] scholarship on my CV). After disclosing, they remarked that there were likely many faculty on the spectrum at their university (whether diagnosed or not) which was probably true!

I disclosed when I was offered my current job here at UTC since I requested a special schedule accommodation (a compressed workweek of Monday-Thursday, 4 ten-hour days). This hadn’t been done before at my library and once I explained the reason for why I was requesting it they allowed me to have this schedule. A compressed schedule gives me an extra day to rest from work, both physically and emotionally. It really works well for me and I’m fortunate that they’ve been willing to accommodate this request. Other than that, I don’t receive any formal accommodations.

How did the interviewers telling you that they suspected many of their faculty to be on the spectrum make you feel?

Charlie: Their response was validating. I felt a sense of acceptance for who I was and it was refreshing that I could be so open with them. I didn’t end up getting the job. The chair of the search committee personally contacted me and explained that they offered it to someone with more supervisory experience. I thought it was kind of them to tell me exactly why they chose someone else. I couldn’t offer them that part of what they were looking for.

You mentioned people not understanding the significance of the diagnosis. Can you tell me more about that?

Charlie: I’m on the “high functioning” end of the spectrum which means that I can easily blend in as neurotypical. It’s not that I purposefully try to hide my autism, but my characteristics are more subtle. Once people get to know me they can start seeing my autistic quirks. Therefore, sometimes when I tell people I’m on the spectrum, they might say “Really? Are you sure?” or “I never would’ve known!” I realize that they’re probably trying to be nice but it comes across as dismissive and patronizing and causes me to feel like I need to prove my diagnosis. It also makes for an awkward conversation because it’s hard to easily respond to those comments, especially if you don’t know the person well. Autism can be very much misunderstood. Many associate it with characteristics such as being completely non-verbal, of physically rocking back and forth or flapping hands, which don’t apply to me.

Can you describe the characteristics of your autism? I know some of the more well- known characteristics include sensitivity to sound and touch, but obviously every person is different.

Charlie: Yes—we like to say that when you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism. Each person’s characteristics are different and of varying intensities. Here are some characteristics that I have:

  • Linear, concrete thinking. It’s challenging for me to conceptualize abstract concepts or ambiguity. I can struggle to process complex information that I’m not familiar with and might need it explained multiple times. Math was extremely challenging for me in school and to this day I prefer to avoid math if possible.
  • Sensitivity to sudden loud sounds that I’m not expecting (noisy motorcycles, sirens, dogs barking, phone suddenly ringing, etc.).
  • High anxiety overall.
  • Easily overwhelmed; when I have a lot of things to accomplish, I get very overwhelmed because everything has the same sense of urgency to me. It’s challenging for me to prioritize sometimes.
  • Poor gross and fine motor skills. I received occupational therapy in middle school.
  • Obsessive compulsive/perfectionistic. I constantly check over the work I do to make sure there aren’t any mistakes. I check my alarm clock multiple times before I go to bed to make sure it’s set properly.
  • Transitions between tasks are challenging, especially if I’m not done with a task and need to move on to something else. I prefer to finish my current task and then move on to the next one.
  • I often speak what’s on my mind and have trouble filtering my thoughts. It’s hard for me to adapt to expectations in certain social situations (you don’t say this that way to that person, etc.) since I tend to act the same way in all situations. I’m an open book and often state the obvious even if it’s considered rude.
  • Special interests. Most people on the spectrum have intense interests where they become very knowledgeable on certain topics since they spend so much time researching and thinking about them. My special interests include television news and the media in general, current events, Spanish language, and world travel. When I was a child I used to love to collect things like keychains, small flags of countries around the world, coffee mugs from TV stations across the country, etc.
  • I’m a very intellectually curious person so I ask a lot of questions, some of which can be quite detail oriented. This can annoy others in a meeting or classroom environment.
  • I’m detail oriented. I tend to focus on the minutiae and lose the forest for the trees. This can be an asset in librarianship where little details can be important.

I think most people find interviewing to be overwhelming and sometimes stressful. How do you handle the interview process?

Charlie: Interviewing in higher education settings can be very tiring and stressful, regardless of whether one is autistic or not. As I mentioned earlier, my autistic characteristics tend to be more subtle so interviews are tiring, but, other than that, not too bad. I’ve been told by several people that my phone interviews are strong which helps get me in the door. (When I was a child, my parents always made me make calls to other people and businesses myself instead of doing it for me, so I’m very comfortable on the phone.) I prepare, prepare, prepare ahead of the interview (looking at the website and taking notes on the library and parent institution, researching the presentation question and formulating my own thoughts/experience with the topic). The two most challenging aspects of interviews for me are: being scrutinized throughout the process (even if it’s during the more informal social gatherings—you’re still being judged on what you say/how you act so I need to be extra careful) and at the end when I’m waiting for a response about whether I’ve gotten the job or not. Waiting is painful for me because I tend to obsess over the unknown, second guess myself after the interview, etc. It’s always a relief to finally be told whether I have a job offer or not. Even if it’s not an offer, at least the waiting process and its uncertainty is over.5

Are there things like library projects or professional development projects which you accomplished not knowing you could?

Charlie: I have a great deal of anxiety when it comes to numbers (math calculations, e-resource usage statistics, quantitative information in general). Math has always been a weakness for me academically and I required a lot of tutoring in high school to get through it successfully. Hard work, practice, and good tutors were essential. The least favorite part of my job has to do with numbers (such as usage statistics, cost per use, inflationary increases, etc.). When I started in the profession 6+ years ago, I hardly knew how to use Microsoft Excel. Since then I have gradually developed skills and confidence with how to more effectively use this program and save myself time and effort. In my opinion, quantitative data often lacks context and can therefore offer limited insights. The reality is that libraries always need to prove their value proposition (as they don’t tend to generate revenue), especially in times of budgetary challenges, and numbers are an essential part of this.

Another area of challenge has been managing the work of others. Last spring my library created a part-time position to help me manage our electronic resources. Up until then, I was the only person managing the entire lifecycle of our e-resources (procurement, setup, maintenance, troubleshooting, assessment, etc.). We hired an awesome person who’s detail oriented, diligent, trustworthy, and efficient. In the time since, he’s gone to full-time—splitting time between e-resources and interlibrary loan.

Prior to this, I had never managed anyone on a regular basis so I’ve had quite a learning curve (not because of the person but rather myself simply learning how to manage others). I’ve noticed two challenges: assigning projects and providing him with clear instructions on what I need him to do. Assigning tasks requires time and letting go. It requires planning and clear instructions so the person understands how to complete it in the way you want. On numerous occasions I’ve found myself being unclear with him (assuming that he knows something when I shouldn’t assume, not fully planning out the task and then realizing more parts need to be added to it which results in him having to go back and redo them, etc.). I get frustrated with myself but then acknowledge that I’m new at supervising others and I have to refine my skills in this area. The other challenge is that he’s so good at accurately completing projects in a short amount of time that I struggle to keep up with him! I find it difficult to balance all the work I myself have to get done while trying to maximize his position and delegate tasks to him.

Do you look for professional groups or organizations that specifically deal with librarians and neurodiversity?

Charlie: To my knowledge, no specific organizations of this type currently exist which is why I founded a Facebook group called Autistics in Libraries and Their Allies last year. It currently has nearly 100 members but it’s not very active. I try to post relevant news articles a few times per month and occasionally others do so, but I haven’t yet figured out how to engage people on a deeper level. It can be challenging to get people’s attention these days with all the information that exists online.

Do you think groups devoted specifically to neurodiversity issues would be beneficial?

Charlie: Yes, I think a structured organization would be helpful to advocate for our interests on a number of levels such as patrons and employees. I also think it would be important for an organization like this to be actually led by autistics. I love the Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s slogan “Nothing About Us Without Us.” For too long, autism-related organizations have tended to not include our voices in the discussion or in their leadership ranks. This needs to change since we’re capable and, I would argue, know the most accurate version of our triumphs and challenges since we live them every day.

Have you ever felt discriminated against in the workplace for disclosing your autism?

Charlie: Not that I know of. Nobody has commented anything to my face, but it’s possible that they might hold a certain set of assumptions due to my having disclosed. I’m hoping that my disclosure and openness about autism will help them better understand neurodiversity and the range of experiences of those on the spectrum. I’d rather be known for my contributions at work instead of a diagnostic label.

Why do you think there is so little literature about the neurodiversity of librarians?

Charlie: I think some of this has to do with the continued societal focus on children with autism, although this is slowly changing. Autistic kids grow up and deserve meaningful employment opportunities. In addition, professional organizations such as the American Library Association should have diversity initiatives that include neurodiversity. Many large research libraries have diversity residency programs for new graduates of library schools. I’d love to see a few neurodiverse residency programs at academic libraries. These could serve as a good professional entry point for those on the spectrum. Finally, more librarians on the spectrum need to feel comfortable enough to disclose so these conversations can happen.

What advice would you give to professionals with autism (librarians or students studying to be librarians) about finding success in the field?

Charlie: Experience, experience, experience! Whether it’s volunteering, working part-time, internship, etc., I cannot emphasize this enough. Nearly all library jobs require some kind of experience regardless of whether someone has an MLS. Even many paraprofessional jobs require library experience. Hopefully they’re attending library schools with autism support programs on their campuses that can help them prepare for the job search with mock interviews, career fairs, resume preparation, etc.

Sometimes a person’s valuable and, perhaps, unique skillset might be able to “compensate” for their social awkwardness during interviews. Therefore, it’s important that they showcase their skillsets via a website, portfolio, multimedia, etc.

What advice would you give to a manager who is hiring a librarian with autism?

Charlie: First, have an open mind and don’t define the person by their autism! Autism is an important part of our identities but it’s only a part. Some of the qualities I look for in a good boss are: ability to listen and provide reassurance when I doubt myself, patience with my quirks (such as asking endless questions), providing clear and detailed instructions, flexible and willing to make accommodations when necessary, and a clear and direct communicator who will regularly provide me with constructive feedback (especially when it comes to navigating office politics!).

What professional goals do you have that you have not yet accomplished?

Charlie: I would eventually like to work at a small, private liberal arts college that’s closer to my aging parents in the Northeast. I like the strong sense of community at these schools as well as their commitment to preparing students to be engaged global citizens who embrace lifelong learning. In many respects, higher education has become more focused on job preparation instead of liberal arts and sciences that provide students with a solid base (critical thinking, reasoning, writing, reading analytically, etc.) no matter what kind of career they choose.

As the world of e-resources and library collections in general continues to evolve, it’s important that I develop my knowledge and skillset so they don’t become stagnant. This also means exploring new technologies. Yes, I’m a millennial, but this doesn’t automatically make me a techy person. The older I get, the more flexible and open to new things I become. Hopefully, this will serve me well as librarianship and higher education progress onward.


Thank you to Charlie Remy for allowing me to interview you and sharing your very personal experiences with readers. Thank you to Craig Fansler for helping me find the right focus and the right outlet. Finally, thank you to my reviewers Bethany Messersmith and Robb Waltner.  


Lawrence, E. (2013). Loud hands in the library: Neurodiversity in LIS Theory & Practice. Progressive Librarian, 41, 98–109.

What is neurodiversity? (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2017, from

Zablotsky, B., Black, L. I., Maenner, M. J., Scheive, L. A., & Blumberg, S. J. (2015). Estimated prevalence of autism and other developmental disabilities following questionnaire changes in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (National Health Statistics Reports No. 87). Retrieved from

  1. What is neurodiversity? (n.d.). Retrieved April 7, 2017, from
  2. Zablotsky, B., Black, L. I., Maenner, M. J., Scheive, L. A., & Blumberg, S. J. (2015). Estimated prevalence of autism and other developmental disabilities following questionnaire changes in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (National Health Statistics Reports No. 87). Retrieved from
  3. Lawrence, E. (2013). Loud hands in the library: Neurodiversity in LIS Theory & Practice. Progressive Librarian, 41, 98–109.
  4. This interview was conducted via email. Any changes to the transcript for publication are minor and intended to improve clarity; the interviewee’s ideas and words have not been changed.
  5. I think many people identify with Charlie’s reaction to the interview process regardless of his neurodivergence.

Open Knowledge Foundation: ROUTETOPA User Stories

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-06-28 09:29

ROUTETOPA is a European innovation project aimed at improving citizen engagement by enabling meaningful interaction between open data users, open data publishers and open data. Open Knowledge International is one of 12 partners working on the project and our main mandate is to build genuine and active communities around the ROUTETOPA tools. In this blogpost, we share more information on the ROUTETOPA user stories.

ROUTETOPA is an acronym that stands for Raising Open and User-friendly, Transparency Enabling Technologies for Public Administrations. It is a three-year, multidisciplinary,  European Union Horizon 2020 innovation project aimed at improving citizen engagement by enabling meaningful interaction between open data users, open data publishers and open data.

ROUTETOPA’s seeks to do this in 4 ways:

  1. Through the Social Platform for Open Data (SPOD) which seeks to enable social interactions between open data users and local Governments
  2. Through the Transparency Enabling Toolset (TET), built on CKAN and conglomerating data from existing local government open data platforms
  3. Through SIM, which seeks to provide Public Administrations with statistical analysis on user behaviour and generalized feedback from users on SPOD and TET so public administrations can understand what citizens are interested in
  4. Through GUIDE, a set of recommendations for open data publishers, extrapolated from SIM, aimed at promoting higher transparency levels through open data

Open Knowledge International works on building genuine and active communities around the ROUTETOPA tools. One of the key ways we intend to do this is by finding meaningful ways for communities to interact with data and with each other on the ROUTETOPA platforms. We have now defined the following user stories:

USER STORIES Open Data Enthusiasts
  1. I am a citizen interested in knowing what ROUTETOPA is and why I and others should care
  2. I am a citizen wondering what open data is and how transparency benefits me
  3. I am a resident in City X interested in knowing what data exists for my city.
  4. I am a resident in city X interested in tracking an ongoing project in my area.
  5. I am a graduate/post-graduate student interested in using open data for my research/ thesis/ paper
  6. I am a teacher / lecturer /professor looking to introduce / teach my class about open data
  7. I am a journalist looking to tell a data story on a City X
  8. I am a journalist looking to write an article about H2020 and the ROUTETOPA project as a beneficiary
  9. I am a media house representative looking for know more about ROUTETOPA tools
  10. I am a policy maker interested in learning how ROUTETOPA tools work so I can see if it makes sense for my local authority to take up the use of these tools.
  11. I am an activist interested in discussing issues in the community I live in with my local authority
  12. I am a business owner interested in opportunities for business with public administrations
  13. I am a data scientist looking for big, quality data from Area X for use in my work
  14. I am a developer interested in the underlying code for ROUTETOPA tools
  15. I am a developer with additional feature suggestions for ROUTETOPA tools
  16. I am a designer with UI/UX suggestions for the ROUTETOPA platform
  17. I am a non-EU open data user wondering whether I should interest myself in ROUTETOPA
  18. I am a non-EU open data user interested in replicating ROUTETOPA tools for my continent
  19. I am part of an open data community lead looking to discuss open data topics with my community
Open data publishers
  1. I am a public official wondering what ROUTETOPA is and why I should care / be involved
  2. I am a public official looking to get citizen feedback on the data our local authority has opened up
  3. I am a public administrator keen on answering questions the community has raised regarding the data my administration has published and for which I am responsible
  4. I am a public administrator looking at solutions that other public administrations have employed in publishing open data to determine what suits us best
  5. I am a public administrator keen on involving citizens in Area X in decision making that affects our community
  6. I am a public administrator and I’m new to open data and would like to get an introduction to this form of open government
  7. I am a public administrator instructed to find open data cases in other municipalities that are easy to duplicate  (low hanging fruits cases)
  8. I am a public administrator and I would like to implement a long term open government data strategy in my municipality. And I need an action plan
  9. I am a public administrator looking for easy ways to update citizens about the open government data project and progress
  10. I am a public administrator who maintains an open data platform based on CKAN and is looking for economical and easy extensions that add value to our open government data program
  11. I am a public official who is looking for ways to update and communicate with involved colleagues from other units of my administration

More information on the project and its outcomes is available from

Hydra Project: Welcome to our new website

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-06-28 08:22

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you have found Samvera’s new website.  Welcome!

The new site has been long in the making and was much delayed by our rebranding as Samvera.  We’d like to express particular thanks to Jeremy Brant for all the work he has put into the design and for his patience over the many months since we started the process.

You might like to note that one of the “hidden” features of this work is that resolves to the Samvera wiki space – a much easier URL than was needed in the past.


The post Welcome to our new website appeared first on Samvera.

DuraSpace News: 4Science Update: New Cooperation, Releases, Features, Webinars and Presentations!

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-06-28 00:00

From Michele Mennielli, International Business Developer, 4Science

Conal Tuohy: Analysis & Policy Online

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-06-27 23:45

Notes for my Open Repositories 2017 conference presentation. I will edit this post later to flesh it out into a proper blog post.
Follow along at:

  • Early discussion with Amanda Lawrence of APO (which at that time stood for “Australian Policy Online”) about text mining, at the 2015 LODLAM Summit in Sydney.
  • They needed automation to help with the cataloguing work, to improve discovery.
  • They needed to understand their own corpus better.
  • I suggested a particular technical approach based on previous work.
  • In 2016, APO contracted me to advise and help them build a system that would “mine” metadata from their corpus, and use Linked Data to model and explore it.
  • Openness
  • Integrate metadata from multiple text-mining processes, plus manually created metadata
  • Minimal dependency on their current platform (Drupal 7, now Drupal 8)
  • Lightweight; easy to make quick changes
technical approach
  • Use an entirely external metadata store (a SPARQL Graph Store)
  • Use a pipeline! Extract, Transform, Load
  • Use standard protocol to extract data (first OAI-PMH, later sitemaps)
  • In fact, use web services for everything; the pipeline is then just a simple script that passes data between web services
  • Sure, XSLT and SPARQL Query, but what the hell is XProc?!
  • Configured Apache Tika as a web service, using Stanford Named Entity Recognition toolkit
  • Built XProc pipeline to harvest from Drupal’s OAI-PMH module, download digital objects, process them with Stanford NER via Tika, and store the resulting graphs in Fuseki graph store
  • Harvested, and produced a graph of part of the corpus, but …
  • Turned out the Drupal OAI-PMH module wa broken! So we used Sitemap instead
  • “Related” list added to APO dev site (NB I’ve seen this isn’t working in all browsers, and obviously needs more work, perhaps using an iframe is not the best idea. Try Chrome if you don’t see the list of related pages on the right)
next steps
  • Visualize the graph
  • Integrate more of the manually created metadata into the RDF graph
  • Add topic modelling (using MALLET) alongside the NER
Let’s see the code Questions?

(if there’s any time remaining)

David Rosenthal: Wall Street Journal vs. Google

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-06-27 15:00
After we worked together at Sun Microsystems, Chuck McManis worked at Google then built another search engine (Blekko). His contribution to the discussion on Dave Farber's IP list about the argument between the Wall Street Journal and Google is very informative. Chuck gave me permission to quote liberally from it in the discussion below the fold.

The background to the discussion is that since 2005 Google has provided paywalled news sites with three options:
  1. First click free:
    We've worked with subscription-based news services to arrange that the very first article seen by a Google News user (identifiable by referrer) doesn't require a subscription. Although this first article can be seen without subscribing, any further clicks on the article page will prompt the user to log in or subscribe to the news site. ... A user coming from a host matching [**] or [**] must be able to see a minimum of 3 articles per day. ... Otherwise, your site will be treated as a subscription site.
  2. Snippets:
    we will display the "subscription" label next to the publication name of all sources that greet our users with a subscription or registration form. ... If you prefer this option, please display a snippet of your article that is at least 80 words long and includes either an excerpt or a summary of the specific article. ... we will only crawl and display your content based on the article snippets you provide.
  3. Robots.txt:
    you could put the subscription content under one section of your site, and apply robots.txt to that section. In this case, Googlebot would not crawl or index anything on that section, not even for snippets.
Until recently, the WSJ took the first option. Google News readers could see three articles a day free, and the WSJ ranked high in Google's search results. Then:
The Journal decided to stop letting people read articles free from Google after discovering nearly 1 million people each month were abusing the three-article limit. They would copy and paste Journal headlines into Google and read the articles for free, then clear their cookies to reset the meter and read more,The result was:
the Wall Street Journal’s subscription business soared, with a fourfold increase in the rate of visitors converting into paying customers. But there was a trade-off: Traffic from Google plummeted 44 percent.In the great Wall Street tradition of "Greed is Good", the WSJ wasn't satisfied with a "fourfold increase in ... paying customers". They wanted to have their cake and eat it too:
Executives at the Journal, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., argue that Google's policy is unfairly punishing them for trying to attract more digital subscribers. They want Google to treat their articles equally in search rankings, despite being behind a paywall.We're the Wall Street Journal, the rules don't apply to us!

There were comments on the IP list to the effect that it would be easy for the WSJ to exempt the googlebot from the paywall. Chuck's post pointed out that things were a lot more complex than they appeared. He explained the context:
First (and perhaps foremost) there is a big question of business models, costs, and value. ... web advertising generates significantly (as in orders of magnitude) less revenue [for newspapers] than print advertising. Subscription models have always had 'leakage' where content was shared when a print copy was handed around (or lended in the case of libraries), content production costs (those costs that don't include printing and distribution of printed copies) have gone up, and information value (as a function of availability) has gone down. ... publications like the Wall Street journal are working hard to maximize the value extracted within the constraints of the web infrastructure.

Second, there is a persistent tension between people who apply classical economics to the system and those who would like to produce a financially viable work product.

And finally, there is a "Fraud Surface Area" component that is enabled by the new infrastructure that is relatively easily exploited without a concomitant level of risk to the perpetrators.Chuck explains the importance to Google of fraud prevention, and one way they approach the problem:
Google is a target for fraudsters because subverting its algorithm can enable advertising click fraud, remote system compromise, and identity theft. One way that arose early on in Google's history were sites that present something interesting when the Google Crawler came through reading the page, something malicious when an individual came through. The choice of what to show in response to an HTTP protocol request was determined largely from meta-data associated with the connection such as "User Agent", "Source Address", "Protocol options", and "Optional headers." To combat this Google has developed a crawling infrastructure that will crawl a web page and then at a future date audit that page by fetching it from an address with metadata that would suggest a human viewer. When the contents of a page change based on whether or not it looks like a human connection, Google typically would immediately dump the page and penalize the domain in terms of its Page RankBut surely the WSJ isn't a bad actor, and isn't it important enough for Google to treat differently from run-of-the-mill sites?
Google is also a company that doesn't generally like to put "exemptions" in for a particular domain. They have had issues in the past where an exemption was added and then the company went out of business and the domain acquired by a bad actor who subsequently exploited the exemption to expose users to malware laced web pages. As a result, (at least as of 2010 when I left) the policy was not to provide exceptions and not to create future problems when the circumstances around a specific exemption might no longer apply. As a result significant co-ordination between the web site and Google is required to support anything out of the ordinary, and that costs resources which Google is not willing to donate to solve the web site's problems.So this is a business, not a technical issue. There is no free lunch; Google isn't going to do work for the WSJ without getting paid:
both Google and the [WSJ] are cognizant of the sales conversion opportunity associated with a reader *knowing* because of the snippet that some piece of information is present in the document, and then being denied access to that document for free. It connects the dots between "there is something here I want to know" and "you can pay me now and I'll give it to you." As a result, if Google were to continue to rank the WSJ article into the first page of results it would be providing a financial boost to the WSJ and yet not benefiting itself financially at all.

The bottom line is, as it usually is, that there is a value here and the market maker is unwilling to cede all of it to the seller. Google has solved this problem with web shopping sites by telling them they have to pay Google a fee to appear in the first page of results, no doubt if the WSJ was willing to pay Google an ongoing maintenance fee Google would be willing to put the WSJ pages back into the first page of results (even without them being available if you clicked on them).Chuck explains the three ways you can pay Google:
As has been demonstrated in the many interactions between Google and the newspapers of the world, absent any externally applied regulation, there are three 'values' Google is willing to accept. You can give Google's customers free access to a page found on Google (the one click free rule) which Google values because it keeps Google at the top of everyone's first choice for searching for information. Alternatively you can allow only Google advertising on your pages which Google values because it can extract some revenue from the traffic they send your way. Or you can just pay Google for the opportunity to be in the set of results that the user sees first.Interestingly, what I didn't see in the discussion on the IP list was the implication of:
discovering nearly 1 million people each month were abusing the three-article limit. ... clear their cookies to reset the meter and read more,which is that the WSJ's software is capable of detecting that a reader has cleared cookies after reading their three articles. One way to do so is via browser fingerprinting, but there are many others. If the WSJ can identify readers who cheat in this way, they could be refused content. Google would still see that "First Click Free" readers saw their three articles per day, so it would continue to index and drive traffic to the WSJ. But, clearly, the WSJ would rather whine about Google's unfairness than implement a simple way to prevent cheating.

Library of Congress: The Signal: Innovate, Integrate, and Legislate: Announcing an App Challenge

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-06-27 13:08

This is a guest post from John Pull, Communications Officer of the Office of the Chief Information Officer.

This morning, on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, Library of Congress Chief Information Officer Bernard A. Barton, Jr., is scheduled to make an in-person announcement to the attendees of the 2017 Legislative Data & Transparency Conference in the CVC.  Mr. Barton will deliver a short announcement about the Library’s intention to launch a legislative data App Challenge later this year.  This pre-launch announcement will encourage enthusiasts and professionals to bring their app-building skills to an endeavor that seeks to create enhanced access and interpretation of legislative data.

The themes of the challenge are INNOVATE, INTEGRATE, and LEGISLATE.  Mr. Barton’s remarks are below:

Here in America, innovation is woven into our DNA.  A week from today our nation celebrates its 241st birthday, and those years have been filled with great minds who surveyed the current state of affairs, analyzed the resources available to them, and created devices, systems, and ways of thinking that created a better future worldwide.

The pantheon includes Benjamin Franklin, George Washington Carver, Alexander Graham Bell, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs.  It includes first-generation Americans like Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein, for whom the nation was an incubator of innovation.  And it includes brilliant women such as Grace Hopper, who led the team that invented the first computer language compiler, and Shirley Jackson, whose groundbreaking research with subatomic particles enabled the inventions of solar cells, fiber-optics, and the technology the brings us something we use every day: call waiting and caller ID.

For individuals such as these, the drive to innovate takes shape through understanding the available resources, surveying the landscape for what’s currently possible, and taking it to the next level.  It’s the 21st Century, and society benefits every day from new technology, new generations of users, and new interpretations of the data surrounding us.  Social media and mobile technology have rewired the flow of information, and some may say it has even rewired the way our minds work.  So then, what might it look like to rewire the way we interpret legislative data?

It can be said that the legislative process – at a high level – is linear.  What would it look like if these sets of legislative data were pushed beyond a linear model and into dimensions that are as-yet-unexplored?  What new understandings wait to be uncovered by such interpretations?  These understandings could have the power to evolve our democracy.

That’s a pretty grand statement, but it’s not without basis.  The sets of data involved in this challenge are core to a legislative process that is centuries old.  It’s the source code of America government.  An informed citizenry is better able to participate in our democracy, and this is a very real opportunity to contribute to a better understanding of the work being done in Washington.  It may even provide insights for the people doing the work around the clock, both on the Hill, and in state and district offices.  Your innovation and integration may ultimately benefit the way our elected officials legislate for our future.

Improve the future, and be a part of history.

The 2017 Legislative Data App Challenge will launch later this summer.  Over the next several weeks Information will be made available at, and individuals are invited to connect via

DuraSpace News: AVAILABLE: 6 Release Candidate Version of DSpace-CRIS

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-06-27 00:00

From Andrea Bollini, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, 4Science

DSpace-CRIS is an open-source extension of DSpace that includes functionality useful for CRIS (Current Researcher Information System) users. DSpace-CRIS enables ingestion, storage, display and management of metadata and fulltext of all research-related components that can include publications, projects, grants, patents, organization units and researcher profiles (people).

Access Conference: Closing Keynote – Nora Young

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-06-26 22:44

The closing keynote and Dave Binkley Memorial Lecture for 2017 will be Nora Young, host of CBC Radio’s Spark  and author of The Virtual Self. Nora will be talking about Information and Meaning in the Data Boom.

Nora Young is an informed and ideal guide for anyone looking to examine—and plan for—the ever-changing high-tech landscape; she helps audiences understand trends in social media, big data, wearable tech and more, while showing them how to better protect their privacy in our increasingly digital world. The host and creator of Spark on CBC Radio, and the author of The Virtual Self, she demystifies technology and explains how it is shaping our lives and the larger world in which we live.

Young was the founding host of CBC Radio’s Definitely Not The Opera, where she often discussed topics related to new media and technology. Her work has appeared online, on television, and in print. Along with Cathi Bond, she has been a hobby podcaster of The Sniffer since 2005. Her favourite technology is her bicycle.

You can follow her on Twitter @nora3000

Open Knowledge Foundation: New Open Knowledge Network chapter in Nepal

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-06-26 15:41

We are happy to announce that this month a new Chapter at the Open Knowledge Network is being launched officially: welcome Open Knowledge Nepal in this new stage!

Since February 2013, Open Knowledge Nepal has been involved in research, advocacy, training, organizing meetups and hackathons, and developing tools related to Open Data, Open Government Data, Open Source, Open Education, Open Access, Open Development, Open Research and others.

The organization also helps and supports Open Data entrepreneurs and startups to solve different kinds of data related problems they are facing through counseling, training and by developing tools for them.

Nikesh Balami, CEO of Open Knowledge Nepal tells us: “from random groups of people to build a core team of diverse backgrounds, starting from messy thoughts to realistic plans and long-term goals, we have become more organized and robust. [We] Identified ourselves as a positive influence towards the community and nation. After being incorporated as a Chapter, we now can reach out extensively among interested groups and also expect to create impact in a most structured way in national and international level. Our main goal is to establish ourselves as a well-known open data organization/network in Nepal.

Pavel Richter, CEO of Open Knowledge International, underscored the importance of chapters: “Most of the work to improve people’s lives is and has to happen in local communities and on a national level. It is therefore hugely important to build a lasting structure for this work, and I am particularly happy to welcome Nepal as a Chapter of the growing Open Knowledge Family.”

Chapters are the Open Knowledge Network’s most developed form, they have legal independence from the organization and are affiliated by a Memorandum of Understanding. For a full list of our current chapters, see here and to learn more about their structure visit the network guidelines.

The Open Knowledge global network now includes groups in over 40 countries. Twelve of these groups have now affiliated as chapters. This network of dedicated civic activists, openness specialists, and data diggers are at the heart of the Open Knowledge International mission, and at the forefront of the movement for Open.

Check out the work OK Nepal does at

DuraSpace News: NYC this Summer: VIVO 2017 Plus Symplectic North American Conferences

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-06-26 00:00

From the community organizers of the VIVO 2017 Conference.

Attend both the VIVO and Symplectic conferences at Weill Cornell Medicine and hit two fantastic events in the same trip!

LITA: 2017 LITA Forum – Save the Date

planet code4lib - Sun, 2017-06-25 15:50

Save the date and you can …

Register now for the 2017 LITA Forum 
Denver, CO
November 9-12, 2017

Registration is Now Open!

Join us in Denver, Colorado, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Denver Downtown Convention Center, for the 2017 LITA Forum, a three-day education and networking event featuring 2 preconferences, 2 keynote sessions, more than 50 concurrent sessions and 20 poster presentations. It’s the 20th annual gathering of the highly regarded LITA Forum for technology-minded information professionals. Meet with your colleagues involved in new and leading edge technologies in the library and information technology field. Registration is limited in order to preserve the important networking advantages of a smaller conference. Attendees take advantage of the informal Friday evening reception, networking dinners and other social opportunities to get to know colleagues and speakers.

Keynote Speakers:

The Preconference Workshops:

  • IT Security and Privacy in Libraries: Stay Safe From Ransomware, Hackers & Snoops, with Blake Carver, Lyrasis
  • Improving Technology Services with Design Thinking: A Workshop, with Michelle Frisque, Chicago Public Library

Comments from past attendees:

“Best conference I’ve been to in terms of practical, usable ideas that I can implement at my library.”
“I get so inspired by the presentations and conversations with colleagues who are dealing with the same sorts of issues that I am.”
“It was a great experience. The size was perfect, and it was nice to be able to talk shop with people doing similar work in person over food and drinks.”
“After LITA I return to my institution excited to implement solutions I find here.”
“This is always the most informative conference! It inspires me to develop new programs and plan initiatives.”
“I thought it was great. I’m hoping I can come again in the future.”

Get all the details, register and book a hotel room at the 2017 Forum website.

Questions or Comments?

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

See you in Denver.

Evergreen ILS: Evergreen 3.0 development update #11: meet us in Chicago

planet code4lib - Sat, 2017-06-24 13:53

Mallard duck from the book Birds and nature (1904). Public domain image

Since the previous update, another 23 patches have been committed to the master branch.

This week also marks two maintenance releases, Evergreen 2.11.6 and 2.12.3, and most of the patches pushed were bug fixes for the web staff client.

I’m currently in Chicago for American Library Association’s Annual Conference, and the Evergreen community is holding an event today! Specifically, on Saturday, 24 June from 4:30 to 5:30 in room W177 of McCormick Place, Ron Gagnon and Elizabeth Thomsen of NOBLE will be moderating a discussion of a recent feature in Evergreen to adjust the sorting of catalog search results based on the popularity of resources. Debbie Luchenbill of MOBIUS
will also discuss Evergreen’s group formats and editions feature. Come see us!

Duck trivia

The color and patterns of duck plumage have long be studied as examples of sexual selection as a factor in evolution.


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.

District Dispatch: Libraries across the U.S. are Ready to Code

planet code4lib - Fri, 2017-06-23 19:09

This post was originally published on Google’s blog The Keyword.

“It always amazes me how interested both parents and kids are in coding, and how excited they become when they learn they can create media on their own–all by using code.” – Emily Zorea, Youth Services Librarian, Brewer Public Library

Emily Zorea is not a computer scientist. She’s a Youth Services Librarian at the Brewer Public Library in Richland Center, Wisconsin, but when she noticed that local students were showing an interest in computer science (CS), she started a coding program at the library. Though she didn’t have a CS background, she understood that coding, collaboration and creativity were critical skills for students to approach complex problems and improve the world around them. Because of Emily’s work, the Brewer Public Library is now Ready to Code. At the American Library Association, we want to give librarians like Emily the opportunity to teach these skills, which is why we are thrilled to partner with Google on the next phase of the Libraries Ready to Code initiative — a $500,000 sponsorship from Google to develop a coding toolkit and make critical skills more accessible for students across 120,000 libraries in the U.S.

Libraries will receive funding, consulting expertise, and operational support from Google to pilot a CS education toolkit that equips any librarian with the ability to implement a CS education program for kids. The resources aren’t meant to transform librarians into expert programmers but will support them with the knowledge and skills to do what they do best: empower youth to learn, create, problem solve, and develop the confidence and future skills to succeed in their future careers.

For libraries, by libraries
Librarians and staff know what works best for their communities, so we will rely on them to help us develop the toolkit. This summer a cohort of libraries will receive coding resources, like CS First, a free video-based coding club that doesn’t require CS knowledge, to help them facilitate CS programs. Then we’ll gather feedback from the cohort so that we can build a toolkit that is useful and informative for other libraries who want to be Ready to Code. The cohort will also establish a community of schools and libraries who value coding, and will use their knowledge and expertise to help that community.

Critical thinking skills for the future
Though every student who studies code won’t become an engineer, critical thinking skills are essential in all career paths. That is why Libraries Ready to Code also emphasizes computational thinking, a basic set of problem-solving skills, in addition to code, that is at the heart of connecting the libraries’ mission of fostering critical thinking with computer science.

“Ready to Code means having the resources available so that if someone is interested in coding or wants to explore it further they are able to. Knowing where to point youth can allow them to begin enjoying and exploring coding on their own.”- Jason Gonzales, technology specialist, Muskogee Public Library

Many of our library educators, like Jason Gonzales, a technology specialist at the Muskogee Public Library, already have exemplary programs that combine computer science and computational thinking. His community is located about 50 miles outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, so the need for new programming was crucial, given that most youth are not able to travel to the city to pursue their interests. When students expressed an overwhelming interest in video game design, he knew what the focus of a new summer coding camp would be. Long-term, he hopes students will learn more digital literacy skills so they are comfortable interacting with technology and applying it to other challenges now and in the future.

From left to right: Jessie ‘Chuy’ Chavez of Google, Inc. with Marijke Visser and Alan Inouye of ALA’s OITP at the Google Chicago office.

When the American Library Association and Google announced the Libraries Ready to Code initiative last year, it began as an effort to learn about CS activities, like the ones that Emily and Jason led. We then expanded to work with university faculty at Library and Information Science (LIS) schools to integrate CS content their tech and media courses. Our next challenge is scaling these successes to all our libraries, which is where our partnership with Google, and the development of a toolkit, becomes even more important. Keep an eye out in July for a call for libraries to participate in developing the toolkit. We hope it will empower any library, regardless of geography, expertise, or affluence to provide access to CS education and ultimately, skills that will make students successful in the future.

The post Libraries across the U.S. are Ready to Code appeared first on District Dispatch.

LITA: Apply to be the next ITAL Editor

planet code4lib - Fri, 2017-06-23 17:01

Applications and nominations are invited for the position of editor of Information Technology And Libraries (ITAL), the flagship publication of the Library Information Technology Association (LITA).

LITA seeks an innovative, experienced editor to lead its top-tier, open access journal with an eye to the future of library technology and scholarly publishing. The editor is appointed for a three-year term, which may be renewed for an additional three years. Duties include:

  • Chairing the ITAL Editorial Board
  • Managing the review and publication process:
    • Soliciting submissions and serving as the primary point of contact for authors
    • Assigning manuscripts for review, managing review process, accepting papers for publication
    • Compiling accepted and invited articles into quarterly issues
  • Liaising with service providers including the journal publishing platform and indexing services
  • Marketing and promoting the journal
  • Participating as a member of and reporting to the LITA Publications Committee

Some funding for editorial assistance plus a $1,500/year stipend are provided.

Please express your interest or nominate another person for the position using this online form:

Applications and nominations that are received by July 21 will receive first consideration. Applicants and nominees will be contacted by the search committee and an appointment will be made by the LITA Board of Directors upon the recommendation of the search committee and the LITA Publications Committee. Applicants must be a member of ALA and LITA at the time of appointment.

Contact with any questions.

Information Technology and Libraries (ISSN 2163-5226) publishes material related to all aspects of information technology in all types of libraries. Topic areas include, but are not limited to, library automation, digital libraries, metadata, identity management, distributed systems and networks, computer security, intellectual property rights, technical standards, geographic information systems, desktop applications, information discovery tools, web-scale library services, cloud computing, digital preservation, data curation, virtualization, search-engine optimization, emerging technologies, social networking, open data, the semantic web, mobile services and applications, usability, universal access to technology, library consortia, vendor relations, and digital humanities.

HangingTogether: Seeking a Few Brass Tacks: Measuring the Value of Resource Sharing

planet code4lib - Fri, 2017-06-23 04:19

At the two most recent American Library Association conferences, I’ve met with a small ad hoc group of librarians to discuss how we might measure and demonstrate the value that sharing our collections delivers to various stake holders: researchers, library administrators, parent organizations, service/content providers.

First we described our current collection sharing environment and how it is changing (Orlando, June 2016).

Then we walked through various ways in which, using data, we might effectively measure and demonstrate the value of interlending – and how some in our community are already doing it (Atlanta, January 2017).

Our next logical step will be to settle on some concrete actions we can take – each by ourselves, or working among the group, or collaborating with others outside the group – to begin to measure and demonstrate that value in ways that tell a meaningful and compelling story.

As the group prepares to meet for a third time – at ALA Annual in Chicago this weekend – I thought it might be useful to share our sense of what some of these actions might eventually look like, and what group members have been saying about the possibilities during our conversations.

“Value of Resource Sharing” discussion topics: Round III

We demonstrate value best by documenting the value we deliver to our patrons.

o “One could fruitfully explore how what patrons value (speed, convenience, efficiency, ease) determines whether resource sharing is ultimately perceived as valuable.”
o “Rather than focusing on systems and exploring the life cycle of the request, we should look at that of the learner.”
o “We need to support our value not just with numbers, which are important, but with human examples of how we make a difference with researchers.”
o “We are now sharing this [citation study] work with our faculty and learning a lot, such as their choice not to use the best, but most accessible material.”
o “Did they value what we provided, and, if so, why?”
o “We know that resource sharing supports research, course completion, and publishing, but it is usually a one-way street: we provide information on demand but don’t see the final result, the contribution of that material to the final product.”
o “We need to collect and tell the stories of how the material we obtain for our users transforms their studies or allows them to succeed as researchers.”
o “I think we need to explore how we can make the process smoother for both the patrons and library staff. We talk about the cost of resource sharing a lot but we haven’t really talked about how it could be easier or how policies get in the way or how our processes are so costly because they make so much busy work.”

Common methods of measuring and demonstrating value include determining how much it costs a library to provide a service, or how much a library service would cost if the patron had to purchase it from a commercial provider.

o Q: “How much did you spend on textbooks?”  A:”None! ILL!”
o “Why not measure that expense [of providing access to academic databases to students]?”
o “Build an equation to calculate the costs of various forms of access: shelve/retrieve on campus, shelve/retrieve remotely, etc.”
o “Paul Courant did a study of what it cost to keep a book on the shelf on campus as opposed to in offsite storage….Are the numbers in the Courant study still right?”

Collections have long been a way for libraries to demonstrate value – by counting them and publicizing their size. Numbers of volumes to which you have access via consortia is becoming a more useful metric. Collections can have different values for an organization, depending upon context: where they are housed, how quickly they can be provided to users, and who wants access to them.

o “How can access to legacy print in high density storage be monetized? Perhaps a change in mindset is in order – to lower costs for institutions committed to perpetual preservation and access, and raise costs for institutions that do not.”
o “What would be the cost to retain a last copy in a secure climate controlled environment? Would we then be counting on ARLs to do the work of preserving our cultural heritage? We already know there are unique material not held by ARLs, so how do the pieces fit together? How do we incorporate public libraries which also have many unique materials in their collections? How do we equitably share the resources and costs?”
o “We rely on redundancy…65% of…requests are for things…already owned.”

We can demonstrate value by providing new services to patrons that make their experience more like AmaZoogle.

o “How do we create delivery predictability models like everyone in e-commerce already offers? Are we just afraid to predict because we don’t want to be wrong? Or do we really not know enough to offer delivery information to users?”
o “I’m interested in focusing on the learning moments available throughout the resource sharing workflows and integrating stronger information literacy into the users’ experience…’We’ve begun processing your request for a dissertation…Did you know your library provides access to these peer reviewed journal articles that you might find helpful?’ or ‘You can expect this article to hit your inbox within 24 hours – are you ready to evaluate and cite it? You might find these research guides helpful…'”

What ideas do you have for measuring the value of sharing collections?  We’d love to hear from you about this.  Please leave us a comment below.

I’ll report out about takeaways from the group’s third meeting soon after ALA.

Ed Summers: Implications/Questions

planet code4lib - Fri, 2017-06-23 04:00

… we are concerned with the argument, implicit if not explicit in many discussions about the pitfalls of interdisciplinary investigation, that one primary measure of the strength of social or cultural investigation is the breadth of implications for design that result (Dourish, 2006). While we have both been involved in ethnographic work carried out for this explicit purpose, and continue to do so, we nonetheless feel that this is far from the only, or even the most significant, way for technological and social research practice to be combined. Just as from our perspective technological artifacts are not purely considered as “things you might want to use,” from their investigation we can learn more than simply “what kinds of things people want to use.” Instead, perhaps, we look to some of the questions that have preoccupied us throughout the book: Who do people want to be? What do they think they are doing? How do they think of themselves and others? Why do they do what they do? What does technology do for them? Why, when, and how are those things important? And what roles do and might technologies play in the social and cultural worlds in which they are embedded?

These investigations do not primarily supply ubicomp practitioners with system requirements, design guidelines, or road maps for future development. What they might provide instead are insights into the design process itself; a broader view of what digital technologies might do; an appreciation for the relevance of social, cultural, economic, historical, and political contexts as well as institutions for the fabric of everyday technological reality; a new set of conceptual resources to bring to bear within the design process; and a new set of questions to ask when thinking about technology and practice.

Dourish & Bell (2011), p. 191-192

I’m very grateful to Jess Ogden for pointing me at this book by Dourish and Bell when I was recently bemoaning the fact that I struggled to find any concrete implications for design in Summers & Punzalan (2017).


Dourish, P. (2006). Implications for design. In Proceedings of the sigchi conference on human factors in computing systems (pp. 541–550). ACM. Retrieved from

Dourish, P., & Bell, G. (2011). Divining a digital future: Mess and mythology in ubiquitous computing. MIT PressPress.

Summers, E., & Punzalan, R. (2017). Bots, seeds and people: Web archives as infrastructure. In Proceedings of the 2017 acm conference on computer supported cooperative work and social computing (pp. 821–834). New York, NY, USA: ACM.


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