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Evergreen ILS: On the Road to 3.0: Digital Bookplates

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-10-04 14:21

In our next installment of the On the Road to 3.0 video series, we take a look at a new feature that allows libraries to apply digital bookplates to their donated materials.

Many thanks to everyone who has subscribed to the new Evergreen YouTube channel! You can now find the channel at

In the Library, With the Lead Pipe: Modular Short Form Videos for Library Instruction

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-10-04 13:00

In Brief

Expensive software isn’t necessary to create effective tutorials. Quick, unedited tutorials created on social media, such as on Instagram or Snapchat, may be more effective. These short form videos (SFVs) combine the advantages of animated GIFs with the advantages of screencasts: modularity, repetition of steps, and animated visuals supported by pertinent audio. SFVs are cheap (or free) and easy to make with materials libraries already possess, such as Internet access, computers, and smartphones. They are easily replaceable if the subject changes. The short form forces librarians to get right to the point. Finally, SFVs are easily disseminated on social media and have the potential to go viral.

by Cindy Craig


In this article, I describe how I came to use social media videos to teach library skills and abandon the screencasting format. I describe some key learning theories for effective tutorials and how various tutorial formats fit those theories. Finally, I provide some tips for making tutorials in Instagram or Snapchat.


Screencast tutorials, such as those made with Camtasia Studio and Adobe Captivate, have become a staple for instruction librarians. Over the course of my academic library career, I’ve made dozens of screencast tutorials on a variety of topics such as avoiding plagiarism, using subject databases, printing from library computers, and reserving study rooms. The advantage of video tutorials is their ability to provide library instruction around the clock. And with enrollment in online courses at an all-time high, online instruction is more important than ever.

However, there are significant drawbacks to screencast tutorials. One is that they can be difficult to make. If your library has the budget for a professional screen capture program, the learning curve for using it may be too high. Also, when a vendor decides to change a database platform a week before the new semester starts, your carefully made tutorial is instantly stale.

Another, and perhaps more significant, issue is: are students actually using online tutorials? In one survey of undergraduates by Colosimo and Kasuto (2012), one third reported they would not watch screencast tutorials for a variety of reasons, among them “no need,” “no time,” and “no interest.” This finding points to some worrying issues regarding online tutorials (and information literacy instruction in general). Many undergraduates, especially those new to college level research, tend to overestimate their information literacy skills, a phenomenon known as calibration (Yates, 1990). Another is that today’s students are used to a high level of human-centered design in their computing devices. Library tutorials seem clunky and confusing compared to the seamless app interfaces they take for granted on their mobile phones and tablets. Students will ignore screencasts if they are over three minutes long, take too long to load, don’t play well on a mobile device, or are not available at the point of need (Plumb, 2010; Slebodnick & Riehle, 2009).

How can instruction librarians overcome these barriers and create tutorials that are effective and engaging? Two learning theories may be of help: cognitive load theory and dual coding theory.

Key Learning Theories

Cognitive load theory asserts that, for learning to take place, the demand on working memory must be minimized. Working memory, which is our mind’s temporary sketchpad, can only hold about seven units of information for about a maximum of twenty seconds. Information not encoded into long term memory disappears from one’s mind (Miller, 1956; Peterson & Peterson, 1959). Think about being introduced to someone new, only to forget their name moments later. Researcher John Sweller (1994) found that novice learners, such as undergraduates, are especially vulnerable to cognitive overload. He recommends decreasing cognitive load by putting smaller bits of information together into chunks. For example, a seven-digit phone number is easier to remember because it is clustered into two chunks. Ideally, tutorials would demonstrate step-by-step how to perform a task, known as a worked example. A library tutorial about a database, for example, would show each step to finding and using the thesaurus feature.

Dual coding theory, developed by Allen Paivio (1975), asserts that students learn more effectively if their visual and verbal channels are engaged at once. Pairing words and images in a meaningful way, such as with a mnemonic device, decreases the demand on working memory. In a screencast tutorial created in Camtasia, for example, one could use the callout feature to highlight a key concept, such as the word “abstract”, and pair it with footage of a database record. Even better is to pair audio narration with moving images, since only using visual elements can still overwhelm working memory. Think about the extra effort it takes to watch a film with subtitles.

Choosing the Best Tutorial Format

Taking these learning theories into account, one might think the best choice for tutorials would be the screencast, since it combines moving database footage with audio narration. My own research found that this was the case. I compared two tutorials on a biology database: one a screencast featuring audio narration and callouts of important concepts, the other a series of web pages with static screenshots that students could click through. In a follow up quiz, the students who watched the screencast scored higher than the other group (Craig & Friehs, 2013).

However, a 2012 study by Lori Mestre found the opposite. Most of her students also preferred using a tutorial with static screenshots than watching a screencast. Their reasons included:

  • Ability to quickly return to a section explaining a step.
  • Ability to skip around sections instead of watching a video beginning to end.
  • Ability to get the big picture by scanning the whole page, then returning to individual steps.
  • The screencast was tedious to sit through.

The few students who preferred the screencast liked the mouse movements and the highlighting. They also found the voice narration explaining each step to be helpful.

So, considering these conflicting findings, I wondered what format would combine the best aspects of a screencast with the best parts of a static web page tutorial. That’s why I was intrigued when I came across a 2014 article in Lead Pipe by Karl Suhr about using animated GIFs for library tutorials. Suhr noticed that animated GIFs, which he considered antiquated and distracting, had recently made a comeback as a storytelling device in the form of jokes and memes. As information literacy instruction is also a form of storytelling, animated GIFs might be a good format for library tutorials. Suhr’s reasons included:

  • A group of pictures gives immediate feedback as to how much information is being conveyed. A screencast, on the other hand, doesn’t give much of a clue as to what the user is committing to.
  • Pictures have natural break points between steps.
  • A series of images enhances closure, which is the phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole. Comics artists employ closure by carefully sequencing panels and knowing what to keep “off-screen.”
  • A series of animated GIFs combines closure with the dynamic element of video.

Suhr recommended making a series of animated GIFs displayed in a sequence on one screen. This could help users understand “a multistep process that depends on properly executing the one before it,” such as searching for a book in the library catalog. Animated GIFs are also a good choice for practical reasons in that they are easy and cheap to make and don’t require a broadband connection to view.

Trying Short Form Videos

At that point, I decided screencasting might be dead and to switch to another online tutorial format. I wanted to combine the best aspects of animated GIFs and Camtasia videos. Also, I wanted to reach students through their smart phones, which were seemingly ubiquitous. So, I turned to social media.

I decided to try Vine as a format for library tutorials. At the time, Vine was still a very popular video sharing service that at its peak had 40 million users. The videos were only six seconds long and played in a continuous loop. The constraints of this format enhanced creativity by requiring users to tell stories with quick cuts and non-sequiturs (Hern, 2014). Some users gathered millions of followers by becoming masters of short-form storytelling, such as Gainesville, Florida native Thomas Sanders, who, incidentally, developed a comic series called “Storytime” (Fenn, 2014).

I planned out a series of Vine videos showing each step in a research process.

  • Step one/Video one: Locate the PsycINFO database on the Psychology LibGuide.
  • Step two/Video two: Perform a search and browse the records.
  • Step three/Video three: Use PsycINFO’s Term Finder to find relevant results.

A colleague, April Hines, and I created this series using her smartphone and my computer screen. April narrated the videos while I clicked through the relevant screens. She approached the narration as an undergraduate student browsing through the library’s website doing research. For instance, in the first video, she says “I need articles on pet therapy” as a mouse cursor clicks on the PsycINFO link. The second video shows the list of PsycINFO results as she says, “These are all about PET scans. Am I using the right terms? Let me try the Term Finder.” The cursor clicks on the Term Finder link at the top of the screen. The third video shows the thesaurus terms for pet therapy. April’s voice says, “Oh, Animal Assisted Therapy” as the cursor clicks on the thesaurus term. As a new list of records pops up on the screen, she says, “Much better!”

This process was much more difficult to coordinate than we thought and took several tries to get right. However, we were able to load the videos onto a Vine account. I also made a LibGuide and embedded each video so they would appear in order on one screen. Users could easily scan the whole series, view them in order, or skip around to different steps.

To assess the new videos, April and I showed them to a focus group of students from our library’s booster club. These students have helped with assessing library services in the past, so they were eager to help. I asked the students to view the PsycINFO tutorial series on their own mobile devices, then attempt to search the database for an article. They had trouble navigating to the LibGuide where I embedded the videos. It was much easier for them to watch the videos on Vine. The students were able to follow the PsycINFO tutorial series to the end and successfully locate articles, but they needed to watch the videos over and over. The students found the narration useful and they liked that the videos automatically repeated.

We had planned a second focus group, but the Vine service was discontinued and our videos were no longer accessible. April and I recreated the series, as well as some new tutorials, using Instagram and Snapchat. These programs have a little more flexibility than Vine. Instagram allows 15 second videos while Snapchat videos are 10 seconds maximum. Snapchat also allows you to add annotations and captions, which makes videos more accessible for users who cannot hear audio narration. In one of our videos showing how to access the list of Project Starter databases, we added an annotation at the bottom showing the library’s web address. Instagram has the Boomerang app, which bounces a two-second clip back and forth. In one of our videos, we drew an arrow to the Off-Campus Access link on the library’s home page. The Boomerang app moves this arrow back and forth, highlighting the link. The full series of videos is located here:

We showed this second series to a different group of Library Ambassador volunteers. This group was also able to successfully use PsycINFO after viewing the video series. However, some of their responses pointed to some possible challenges that instruction librarians should keep in mind. One is that the Library Ambassadors, already avid users of the library, were very confused by the library’s website. They were unsure how to even find the library’s home page without Googling it. Once they were at the home page, they were unsure how to find and use databases appropriate to their subject areas, often defaulting to the favorite of professors everywhere, JSTOR. One student demonstrated calibration when she claimed to not need library instruction, but showed the most surprise at the skills she learned from the videos.

At this point, my use of social media tutorials is still in the testing phases and has not yet been adopted by my library. However, I believe, based on my analysis and on focus group feedback, that this format has great potential to teach information literacy skills. Going forward, I plan to further explore how best to deliver short form video tutorials so that they are available to students at the point of need. Based on what I’ve learned so far, here are my recommendations for best practices:

  • Carefully map out the research process from start to finish. Don’t assume users will even know how to find your library’s website.
  • Break up the research process into smaller chunks. Think about where users are likely to get stuck or confused. Your videos should help users over these hurdles.
  • If you plan to capture screens from a database, have a partner click through the screens while you hold the smartphone or tablet.
  • As you film, add simple narration to clarify what is being shown. Avoid distracting music or sound effects.
  • Use captions to make your videos more accessible and to reinforce the message.

The best short form videos adhere to dual coding theory in that they combine visuals with just the right audio for immediate impact. Also, the brevity and repetition of short form videos require little demand on working memory. Short form videos on social media are a part of what Juhlin et al. (2014) call the new video culture, which has been made possible by cheap video production tools and high bandwidth. Camera phones have replaced digital cameras for taking photos and videos in everyday use. The image quality of camera phones has increased to a level of quality that was only available to professionals just a few years ago. This has led to video consumers also becoming producers and sharers of content, or “prosumers.” Social media sites provide outlets for prosumer content. The result is a dynamic and diverse video medium that has become a form of dialog. In this new medium, spontaneity and authenticity of videos are more important than careful editing, which helps explain the enormous appeal of services like Vine, Snapchat, and Instagram.

Acknowledgements: Thank you to my internal reviewer, Bethany Messersmith, my external reviewer, Renee Romero, and publishing editor, Sofia Leung for your support and helpful advice. Special thanks to my colleague April Hines for her assistance with creating the videos and with conducting the focus groups. Special thanks to Curt Friehs, my colleague and longtime collaborator on research with online tutorials. And thank you to Lori Mestre and Karl Suhr, whose articles inspired me to take a new direction with online tutorials.


Colosimo, A. L., & Kasuto, E. (2012). Library video tutorials to support large undergraduate labs: Will they watch? Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, 68.

Craig, C. L., & Friehs, C. G. (2013). Video & HTML: Testing online tutorial formats with biology students. Journal of Web Librarianship, 7(3), 292-304.

Fenn, M. (2014). Thomas Sanders’ bold, gate-crashing comedy shines in Vine compilation. Retrieved from:

Hern, A. (2014). Vine’s co-founder Colin Kroll: ‘Six seconds just feels right’. Retrieved from:

Juhlin, O., Zoric, G., Engstrom, A., & Reponen, E. (2014). Video interaction: A research agenda. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 18(3), 685-692.

Mestre, L. S. (2012). Student preference for tutorial design: A usability study. Reference Services Review, 40(2), 258-276.

Miller, G. A. (1956). “The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information”. Psychological Review. 63(2), 81-97. doi:10.1037/h0043158.

Paivio, A. (1975). Coding distinctions and repetition effects in memory. In K. W. Spence (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation (pp. 179-214). New York: Academic Press.

Peterson, L., & Peterson, M. J. (1959). Short-term retention of individual verbal items. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58(3), 193-198.

Plumb, T. K. (2010). Creating electronic tutorials: On your mark, get set, go! Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, 22(1), 49-64.

Slebodnik, M., & Riehle, C. F. (2009). Creating online tutorials at your libraries: Software choices and practical implications. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 49(1), 33-37, 51.

Sweller, J. (1994). Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty, and instructional design. Learning and Instruction, 4(4), 295-312.

Suhr, K. (2014). Using animated GIF images for library instruction. Retrieved from:

Yates, J. F. (1990). Judgment and decision making. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

District Dispatch: Dr. Renate Chancellor talks with staff about library luminaries

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-10-04 12:00

The ALA Washington Office was very happy to welcome and learn from Dr. Renate Chancellor (upper row on the left), Associate Professor of Library and Information Science at Catholic University.

Yesterday the Washington Office welcomed Associate Professor Renate Chancellor of The Catholic University of America’s Department of Library and Information Science for a breakfast discussion on the history of library advocacy and activism. Her presentation spanned the decades, from the work of E.J. Josey to the legacies left and continued by Augusta Baker and Sandy Berman.

Dr. Chancellor led a discussion that covered luminary library activists and dived into issues in the profession, from intellectual freedom to diverse books to bias in subject headings. She also provided some insight about how her students are learning about activism in libraries, from her current cohort’s desire to talk about librarians’ foreseeable role in social justice issues happening on campuses and in neighborhoods across the country today, to the concepts of John Kingdon around becoming a “political entrepreneur,” a term which she defined as someone “who, from the outside of the formal position of government, introduce, translate, and help implement new ideas into public practice.”

At Catholic, Dr. Chancellor oversees the law librarianship program. Her research interests include legal information seeking behavior, social justice in library and information services, multicultural library and information services, and transformative leadership. She also writes and publishes on issues of diversity in the field. She is now working on a book about E.J. Josey—a pioneering librarian, instrumental in integrating the American Librarian Association and founding its Black Caucus—documenting his life as a civil rights activist and leader in the modern library profession.

The Washington Office appreciated the opportunity to hear Dr. Chancellor’s insights on a range of critical issues that have shaped the history of advocacy within the field.

The post Dr. Renate Chancellor talks with staff about library luminaries appeared first on District Dispatch.

Open Knowledge Foundation: OKFestival 2018  – It’s time for a competition!

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-10-04 08:36

Over the last couple of months we have been examining the concept of OKFestival 2018 to create a backdrop for what will be an innovative, collaborative and inspiring event.  With collaborative input from networks, chapters and other interested parties, a concept has been developed.  This concept will shape all aspects of the event and will grow with the creation of the programme and the participation of communities.

We now need your help. OKFestival 2018 needs a “motto”, a “tagline”, a headline grabbing title that will encompass what we are trying to do and what the event stands for.  The motto for OKFestival 2014 was “Open Minds to Open Action”. We would like you to read the concept below and come up with a short sentence that we could use in all the publicity and throughout the event.

Possible suggestions include:

  • Open Knowledge Without Borders
  • Open Knowledge Without Barriers
  • Towards Open Knowledge Without Barriers

Once inspiration has struck please email your idea through to or post it on our Facebook page

You have until Wednesday 11th October so get those creative juices flowing!

What is Open Knowledge Festival 2018 about?

The leading concept of Open Knowledge Festival in 2018 is fostering a cross-exchange of ideas between members and groups that make up the open knowledge movement in all its diversity, as well as by bringing new communities into the conversation.

This concept seeks to work towards a vision of “open knowledge without barriers”, where a range of actors from diverse backgrounds – domain-driven CSOs, open data organisations, open government experts, data journalists, and so on – can learn and collaborate towards shared knowledge and strong and sustainable social change.


When we host Open Knowledge Festival in 2018, it will have been nearly 4 years since the last festival in Berlin, and in that time, the open knowledge movement has evolved. Other events have taken up and pushed forward different elements of open knowledge agenda. These events have been effective in bringing together communities focusing on a specific topic within the movement but this has come at the expense of a cross-exchange of ideas.

At Open Knowledge International, we have been asking ourselves, how can we best add to the dialogue, and further the evolution of the movement, through Open Knowledge Festival?

  • Open Knowledge Festival in 2012 helped to mark the open knowledge movement.
  • Open Knowledge Festival in 2014 helped catalyse the open knowledge movement.
  • In 2018, Open Knowledge Festival seeks to grow, expand the open knowledge movement and convince society and general public to embrace it.

Open Knowledge Festival, as a community-driven event hosted by a civil society organisation, is well placed to focus more on the questions, needs and interests of civil society. For years now, as a community, we have been making the argument to governments and other powerful institutions that there are immense societal benefits to opening up their data and information, with distinctive results in different countries.

However, our ultimate goal – achieving a more open society – cannot be achieved with open data and open knowledge advocates alone. In increasingly digitalised societies, data becomes an increasingly powerful instrument for positive change. At the same time, we are conscious that this creates new gaps between those who can come along in a digitalised societies, and those who struggle with these new technologies. We strive for nothing less than making digital societies work for everyone, and therefore need as many as we can on board as part of the open knowledge movement. Therefore, we need to enlist, as partners, our fellow civil society actors to join our effort and to push for more, and better, information and data on the issues that directly impact our lives. Open Knowledge Festival presents a unique opportunity to convene a broad range of civil society actors to work towards a shared strategy for liberating or generating the data and information we need to shape our society. 

William Denton: Information literacy on What's New podcast

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-10-04 02:08

I recommend Fake News and the Next Generation, the second episode in Dan Cohen’s new What’s New podcast. One of the guests is Alison Head, of Project Information Literacy, who gives real-life applicatons of the ACRL’s Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. This episode is a chance to hear an IL expert talking about her research and how it can be taken to the daily life of students to help with the current state of events.

(There’s no RSS feed for the podcast on the site yet, but this will get you the SoundCloud feed. I use gPodder, so I always look for direct RSS feeds.)

William Denton: Laurentian strike

planet code4lib - Wed, 2017-10-04 00:19

The Laurentian University Faculty Association is out on strike, which means my friend and fellow librarian Dan Scott is on strike. In fact, he’s the strike co-ordinator! Good on you, Dan! We’re with you at York, and if YUFA hasn’t sent money already, they will soon if things don’t settle. If it goes on, I’ll come up to walk the picket line.

I sent an email letter in support of my colleagues up north, and I am posting here to say I support the striking professors, librarians and archivists. The university administration is back at the table with them today, which is good news, and I hope they are able to reach a fair and equitable settlement that addresses the issues about workload, transparency and collegiality, and the learning environment at the university. These are issues we’re facing all across Canada, but going out on strike means things are really serious.

The Dan Scott Library

I made that image just after I started working at York University Libraries (where the main branch is the Scott Library) following a chat with Dan. Fear the shush!

Evergreen ILS: Evergreen 3.0.0 released

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-10-03 17:57

The Evergreen community is proud to announce the release of Evergreen 3.0.0, highly-scalable software for libraries that helps library patrons find library materials and helps libraries manage, catalog, and circulate those materials, no matter how large or complex the libraries.

Evergreen 3.0.0 is a major release that includes:

  • community support of the web staff client for production use
  • serials and offline circulation modules for the web staff client
  • improvements to the display of headings in the public catalog browse list
  • the ability to search patron records by date of birth
  • copy tags and digital bookplates
  • batch editing of patron records
  • better support for consortia that span multiple time zones
  • and numerous other improvements

The release is available on the Evergreen downloads page. For more information on what’s included in Evergreen 3.0.0, please consult the release notes.

Evergreen 3.0.0 requires PostgreSQL 9.4 or later and OpenSRF 3.0.0 or later.

Evergreen 3.0.0 represents the culmination of a four-year project to create a web-based staff interface for Evergreen. It includes contributions from at least 45 individuals and 8 funding institutions across the globe.

OCLC Dev Network: OCLC APIs & The New Systems Status Dashboard

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-10-03 13:00

Hi everyone! This is Danny from OCLC’s Service Operations Center (SOC). I am one of four Service Delivery Managers who lead a team of analysts in the SOC all hours of the day and night, 365 days a year. Our primary purpose is to make sure you always have access to the critical services you depend on from OCLC. We are constantly monitoring the state of OCLC services and quickly acting to remediate any disruption we detect. This year was a banner year for transformation and evolution at the SOC, with us making big changes in how we execute our mission.

Access Conference: Support Access Diversity Scholarships

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-10-03 04:46

This year, we were proud to continue the Access tradition of offering diversity scholarships for the conference. At Access in Saskatoon, we were able to provide all-inclusive scholarships that covered registration, travel, and accommodations for two attendees.

We would like to thank the 2017 diversity committee for their work developing the proposal criteria and assessing the many strong applications this year: committee chair Maha Kumaran (University of Saskatchewan), Naz Torabi (McGill), Ying Liu (University of Victoria), and Ray Fernandez (Nova Scotia Provincial Library).

We believe in the importance and value of this program so, to ensure it will continue in 2018 and beyond, we designated the $200 raised at our Friday trivia night social to the diversity scholarship fund.

Access 2017 Trivia Night at Amigo’s Cantina, Saskatoon

We also received $100 in online donations during the conference from people following the conference on Twitter and watching the live stream. The 2017 organizers want to specially thank Tara Robertson and Francis Kayiwa for their generous support of the diversity scholarship program. 

If you would like to contribute to the scholarship fund for 2018, the 2017 organizing committee can accept e-transfers, cheques, and cash. Please get in touch via email ( or DM us on Twitter (@accesslibcon) to coordinate a donation.

Please watch the website and Twitter for information about the 2018 conference and diversity scholarship in early 2018.

Evergreen ILS: Evergreen development update #16: on the eve of release

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-10-03 01:14

Near-monochrome photo of a duck. CC0 image.

Since the previous update, another 134 patches have made their way into master — and we stand ready for the release of Evergreen 3.0.0 tomorrow.

Much has changed since we all started work on 3.0. In addition to the many improvements to Evergreen, Evergreen’s documentation has been reorganized into a set of manuals, each aimed at a specific audience. A shiny new version of OpenSRF, 3.0.0, is also available.

During the 3.0 release cycle, we have had two Bug Squashing Weeks, two feedback fests, and two web client documentation days.

Release day tomorrow is for the users of Evergreen — and for acknowledging the many people who have contributed to Evergreen 3.0. For this update on the eve of release, however, I’d like highlight some of the changes to Evergreen’s source code, especially as they establish or modify conventions for future changes to Evergreen.

RTL vs. LTR styles

Evergreen’s public catalog has gained better support for translating its interface into languages that use right-to-left scripts. As you might expect, RTL interfaces typically should have margins, paddings, and text alignments go in the opposite direction of LTR interfaces. To accommodate this in the public catalog, Open-ILS/src/templates/opac/css/style.css.tt2 now checks for a template variable called rtl that is set based on the current locale and uses it to choose between left-aligned and right-aligned styles. For example:

#rdetails_status tbody td { [% IF rtl == 't' -%] padding-right: 13px; text-align: right; [%- ELSE %] padding-left: 13px; text-align: left; [%- END %] }

If you add new CSS styles to the public catalog, please add left-aligned and right-aligned versions when applicable.

“Cache-busting” for the public catalog and the kid’s catalog

Static assets such as images or JavaScript files used by the public and kid’s catalogs now are consistently referred to by a URL that includes a cache key value that is updated when is run or by Evergreen administrator action. This allows these assets to be cached by web browsers for longer while allowing fresh versions to be invoked after upgrades.

This is done by appending the value of the ctx.cache_key template variable to links to static resources. For example:

<div id="homesearch_main_logo"> <img src="[% ctx.media_prefix %]/opac/images/main_logo.png[% ctx.cache_key %]" [% img_alt(l('Evergreen Logo')) %]/> </div>

If you add new static assets to the public or kid’s catalog, please append links to those resources with [% ctx.cache_key %].

Updating manifest of files needed by offline circulation interface

The web staff client template Open-ILS/src/templates/staff/base_js.tt2 now includes a manifest of files that UpUp keeps cached via service workers. For example,

<script src="/upup.min.js"></script> <script> UpUp.start({ 'content-url': '[% ctx.base_path %]/staff/offline-interface', 'cache-version': '[% USE date(format = '%Y-%m-%d'); date.format; %]', 'service-worker-url': '/upup.sw.min.js', 'assets': [ '/IDL2js', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/ui/default/staff/build/css/bootstrap.min.css', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/ui/default/staff/build/css/hotkeys.min.css', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/ui/default/staff/build/css/ngToast.min.css', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/ui/default/staff/build/css/ngToast-animations.min.css', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/ui/default/staff/build/css/tree-control.css', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/ui/default/staff/build/css/tree-control-attribute.css', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/ui/default/staff/build/css/tablesort.css', '[% ctx.base_path %]/staff/css/print.css', '[% ctx.base_path %]/staff/css/cat.css', '[% ctx.base_path %]/staff/css/style.css', '[% ctx.base_path %]/staff/css/circ.css', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/dojo/opensrf/md5.js', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/ui/default/staff/build/js/moment-with-locales.min.js', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/ui/default/staff/build/js/moment-timezone-with-data.min.js', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/ui/default/common/build/js/jquery.min.js', '[% ctx.media_prefix %]/js/ui/default/staff/build/js/angular.min.js', ...

If you add new core dependencies or services that are needed by the offline interface, reminder to update the manifest in base_js.tt2.

Formatting date and time values in the web staff client

New Angular filters are available for ensuring that date and time values are formatted correctly based on the library’s preferred locale settings. For example:

<div>{{current_location.shortname}} {{today | date:$root.egDateAndTimeFormat}}</div>

Are there other changes worth noting as affecting coding conventions? Please let me know in the comments.

Duck trivia

Some ducks have a field of vision that spans 360 degrees horizontally and 180 degrees vertically.

DuraSpace News: UPDATE: DuraSpace Migration/ Upgrade Survey: Call for Participation

planet code4lib - Tue, 2017-10-03 00:00

From Erin Tripp < >, Business Development Manager

The DuraSpace community is sharing their migration and upgrade stories.  Now let's hear from you!

Tara Robertson: new job on Mozilla’s Diversity and Inclusion team

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-10-02 21:52

October 16th will be my first day in my new career at Mozilla on the Diversity and Inclusion team. I’ve been telling people I’m going to be a feminist data driven storyteller, but the scope of the job is a little bigger than that. I’m really excited to learn more about the connections between diversity, inclusion and innovation. I’m also excited to figure out how to operationalize research on diversity and inclusion and support culture change. Until very recently I couldn’t have imagined a career in HR, but the People Team at Mozilla is not your typical HR group:

At Mozilla, we need a certain, special kind of “HR”. We are an organism more than an organization. We are bumpy, and rough, and strong, and unique. We’re powerful, and generous, and open, and brave. We respect iteration, failure, choice, and inclusion and care little for convention, rigidity, or compliance. We are wicked smart and imperfect. And we are all of these words and many more.

An experiment in open

Through the recruitment process I experimented with being really open with my Facebook friends about all my excitement, questions, insecurities and fears. I’ve curated my Facebook friend-list to be people I know and trust (my criteria is that we’ve met in person, I’d invite this person over to my house and feel comfortable talking about sex or poop with them). My friends are generous and helped by encouraging, cheerleading, helping me beat back impostor syndrome, sending me research articles and tips for data analysis and storytelling, offering me feedback on my written work and presentation deck, and coaching me through explicitly connecting the dots from my library experience to this job. People also introduced me to friends who are current or past Mozillians who also agreed to chat with me. There were a few really delightful serendipitous connections. I know lots of smart, helpful and generous people in various industries and it was so awesome to have all kinds of support through this process. It was awesome having friends cheer me on as I made it through to the next round and have them reflect back all the positive things they see in me when I was having self doubts. This experiment turned out really well.

Crowdsourced travel tips

I’ll be travelling a bit more than in my previous job. I’m really excited to go to London for MozFest and then to Berlin for Open Con. I’ll also be going to Austin for All Hands and doing my orientation in the Bay Area. One of my favourite ways to travel has been to live somewhere and have regular life, so I’m pretty excited to get to spend a week in each of these places working and having everyday life. I asked friends and colleagues who travel a lot for work for their travel tips in this document: I’ve edited things down to advice that I think will be useful for me.

Cherry Hill Company: New Lower Pricing on LibrarySite, Our Best-Selling Product!

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-10-02 18:30

LibrarySite™ is our web solution designed for public libraries, based on Drupal. LibrarySite is a hosted and fully-managed and supported package designed to serve libraries with modest budgets and limited — or no — technical staff. The LibrarySite package includes sitebuilding, training, our library of problem-solving videos, and unlimited email support.

We are now offering the basic LibrarySite package for $2995. This new lower price includes the following:

  • 1 year of hosting
  • Homepage “hero” slideshow 
  • Set up and maintenance of Let’s Encrypt (SSL/TSL certificate) to ensure your site stays secure
  • Listings of your library’s research resources (e.g. databases, websites, etc.), filterable by audience, type and other parameters as desired 
  • Events listings including maps to event location, addtocal functionality, basic RSS feeds, event filtering by audience, branch and other parameters as desired 
  • Slideshows...
Read more »

LITA: 2017 Emerging Leaders Create LITA Virtual Engagement Toolkit

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-10-02 15:59

Note: This post was written by Catie Sahadath, LITA’s 2017 Emerging Leader.

In August 2016 I filled in some forms, held my breath, and pressed send on an application to the ALA’s Emerging Leaders program. Admittedly, I was only sort of sure that I knew what I was getting myself into, but I have been emerging since the day I was born, so what could go wrong?

The Emerging Leaders program, in a nutshell, is an incubator where new and new-ish professionals can hone and develop skills that will allow them to serve effectively in leadership roles within the ALA. The program accomplishes this by getting the different ALA units to come up with ideas for projects that can be completed within the 6-month timeframe provided to participants. The units provide guidance and support in the form of humans to help us along, and in some cases units also opt to provide some sponsorship dollars to a participant working on a project.

Emerging Leaders are expected to attend ALA Midwinter, where they participate in a day of specialized programming, and where they meet their assigned project teams. They are expected to attend ALA Annual Conference as well, where they deliver a poster presentation on their project outcomes.

I must live under some golden star, because in October of last year I received word that I was selected for the program, with a $1000 sponsorship from LITA.

I would like to add a caveat to this. I am Canadian, and to receive a sponsorship for this amount in US dollars meant that I could not only afford to attend the ALA conferences, but I could afford to fly there on my own personal flying dragon.

The project team that I worked with consisted of extraordinary library humans from across the United States. The anticipated output of our project was to develop an online toolkit for virtual engagement. The target audience for the toolkit would be the chairs of LITA’s committees, interest groups, and round-tables. It would help them out with everything from getting team members involved, to picking softwares and platforms for running meetings, and interacting with LITA. The idea was that if the Toolkit was successful, it could be repurposed for the rest of the ALA as well. In all honesty, I found the idea of this rather daunting, but I think Snoop Dogg said it best: No pressure, no diamonds.

At our first meeting in January of 2017, our team realized just how much work this was going to be. We scheduled weekly meetings, and came up with a plan:

  • Take a deep breath
  • Make a survey to find out what committee chairs are doing, what they want, and what they need
  • Keep breathing
  • Make a list of popular online collaboration tools, evaluate and assess them
  • More breathing
  • Develop content for the toolkit based on the survey results
  • Inhale, exhale
  • Revise everything until our eyeballs go numb
  • Ohm
  • Design the final online product and post it to LITA Docs
  • Design a poster presentation
  • Write a report on our project
  • Travel to Chicago, eat a deep dish pizza
  • Deliver the poster presentation at ALA Annual
  • Dance under the beaming spotlight of sweet satisfaction

The project was so meta. We had formed a geographically distributed, virtual team under the auspices of LITA, in order to develop a toolkit for geographically distributed, virtual teams under the auspices of LITA. This gave us the opportunity to actually test out the tools and practices we were writing about in the toolkit. We felt this gave us the optimal amount of street cred for the task at hand. As many of you know, street cred is of paramount importance in any professional association.

So what about that toolkit? She is alive and well, and living in the comfort of the LITA Docs page. You can check her out at If you’re chairing a committee, or are interested in virtual engagement I encourage you to check it out!

Some of the key takeaways I got from the whole process included:

  • LITA is a wholly supportive organization, and I am quite fond of its members
  • From the survey results, the one thing that stands out to me is that people really hate e-mail chains
  • The ALA is a giant organization, and without the ELs program I would likely have been lost in the cracks
  • After having a little bit of time to refresh, I am ready to dive back in and get more involved with ALA

If you or someone you know is interested in the Emerging Leaders program, encourage them to apply! Do also encourage them to talk with Emerging Leaders program alumni to get a good idea of what to expect.

Finally, our team got a ton of help from Margaret Heller, Andromeda Yelton, Jenny Levine, and Mark Beatty. We owe them each a frosty cold one!

[Editor’s Note] LITA thanks the members of Team D for all of their great work on this project:






Pictured: Catie Sahadath, Jennifer Shimada, Jessica Bennett, Kyle Willis, Brianna Furcron

LITA: 2017 LITA Forum early bird rates extended

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-10-02 15:45
We’ve extended the LITA members early bird registration another two weeks, so there’s still time to register for the 2017 LITA Forum at the early bird rate and save $50

Denver, CO
November 9-12, 2017

LITA Forum early bird rates now will end October 14, 2017
Register Now!

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 15 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, game night, and other social opportunities to get to know colleagues and speakers.

Register now to receive the LITA members early bird discount:

  • LITA member early bird rate: $340
  • LITA member regular rate: $390

Keynote Speakers:

The Preconference Workshops:

Forum Sponsors:


Questions or Comments?

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

See you in Denver.

HangingTogether: NEW: The Realities of Research Data Management: Part Two Now Available!

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-10-02 15:17

We are excited to announce the release of Scoping the University RDM Service Bundle, the second report in OCLC Research’s four-part series exploring the realities of research data management. This report examines the RDM capacity acquired by four research universities in four different national contexts, highlighting key factors that shaped the contours of this capacity, and providing 13 takeaways that provide useful starting points for institutions as they consider their own RDM services.

The Realities of Research Data Management, an OCLC Research project, explores the context and choices research universities face in building or acquiring RDM capacity. Findings are derived from detailed case studies of four research universities: University of Edinburgh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Monash University, and Wageningen University and Research. Future reports will focus on the incentives for acquiring RDM capacity, and sourcing and scaling RDM services.

Scoping the University RDM Service Bundle continues the report series by taking an in-depth look at the RDM service bundles of our four case study partners. An RDM service bundle is the range of local RDM services offered by a university, including those that are provided externally and for which the university arranges access for affiliated researchers. An important conclusion from our examination of the four case studies is that RDM is not a monolithic set of services duplicated across universities, but a customized solution shaped by a range of internal and external factors operating on local decision-making. Scoping an RDM service bundle is not a binary question of whether or not to acquire RDM capacity, but a nuanced question of which specific RDM services are needed to support local needs.

RDM is both an opportunity and a challenge for many research universities. Moving beyond the recognition of RDM’s importance requires facing the realities of research data management. Each institution must shape its local RDM service offering by navigating several key inflection points: deciding to act, deciding what to do, and deciding how to do it. Our Realities of RDM report series examines these decisions in the context of the choices made by the case study partners.

Visit the Realities of Research Data Management website to access all the reports, as well as other project outputs.


FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: VuFind - 4.1

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-10-02 14:00

Last updated October 2, 2017. Created by Demian Katz on October 2, 2017.
Log in to edit this page.

Package: VuFindRelease Date: Monday, October 2, 2017

Evergreen ILS: On the Road to 3.0: Patron Buckets

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-10-02 12:30

Our third On the Road to 3.0 video is now out, this time previewing patron buckets!

While you’re there make sure you subscribe to our Youtube channel!

#evergreen #evgils

Terry Reese: MarcEdit 7: Continued Task Improvement; Part 2

planet code4lib - Mon, 2017-10-02 03:13

Last week, I discussed some of the work I was doing to continue to evaluate how Task processing will work in MarcEdit 7.  To do some of this work, I’ve been working with a set of outlier data who’s performance in MarcEdit 6.3 left much to be desired.  You can read about the testing and the file set here: MarcEdit 7: Continued Task Refinements

Over the week, I’ve continued to work on how this data is processed, hoping to continue to move the processing time of this data from almost 7 hours in MarcEdit 6.3 to around 1 1/2 hours, and I’ve been able to do that and more.  My guess was that by adding targeted pre-processing statements into the task processing queue, I could improve processing by only running the task processes that absolutely had to be run.  In this case, I had 962 task actions, but on any given record, maybe 20-30 needed to be run.  By adding a preprocessing step, I was able to move the processing time from 2+hours to 25 minutes.  My guess is that I’ve reached the ceiling in terms of optimizations, but I can live with this.  Of course, over the next few days, what I’ll need to do is validate that these new changes don’t cause the program to miss processing a step that should be run.  Generally, I’ve setup the preprocessing steps so that it will fall back to running the task when in doubt.



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