On October 27-29 librarians, archivists, developers, project managers, and others met for the Digital Library Federation (DLF) Forum in Atlanta, GA. The program was packed to the gills with outstanding projects and presenters, and several of us from Duke University Libraries were fortunate enough to attend. Below is a round up of notes summarizing interesting sessions, software tools, projects and collections we learned about at the conference.
Please note that these notes were written by humans listening to presentations and mistakes are inevitable. Click the links to learn more about each tool/project or session straight from the source.
Tools and Technology
Spotlight is an open-source tool for featuring digitized resources and is being developed at Stanford University. It appears to have fairly similar functionality to Omeka, but is integrated into Blacklight, a discovery interface used by a growing number of libraries.
The J. Williard Marriott Library at the University of Utah presented on their use of Pamco Imaging tools to capture 360 degree images of artifacts. The library purchased a system from Pamco that includes an automated turntable, lighting tent and software to both capture and display the 3-D objects.
- Here is a link to an overview of their process: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUfohvRyZfU&feature=youtu.be
- An example of the final product: content.lib.utah.edu/custom/turntable/_SpinHat/index.htm (use your cursor to spin the hat to the left and right)
There were two short presentations about media walls; one from our friends in Raleigh at the Hunt Library at N.C. State University, and the second from Georgia State. Click the links to see just how much you can do with an amazing media wall.
Projects and Collections
The California Digital Library (CDL) is redesigning and reengineering their digital collections interface to create a kind of mini-Digital Public Library of America just for University of California digital collections. They are designing the project using a platform called Nuxeo and storing their data through Amazon web services. The new interface and platform development is highly informed by user studies done on the existing Calisphere digital collections interface.
- Project Wiki: bit.ly/UCLDC
Emblematica Online is a collection of digitized emblem books contributed by several global institutions including Duke. The collection is hosted by University of Illinois at Urbana Champagne. The project has been conducting user studies and hope to publish them in the coming year.
The University of Indiana Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative started in 2009 with a survey of all the audio and visual materials on campus. In 2011, the initiative proposed digitizing all rare and unique audio and video items within a 15 year period. However in 2013, the President of the University said that the campus would commit to completing the project in a 7 year period. To accomplish this ambitious goal, the university formed a public-private partnership with Memnon Archiving Services of Brussels. The university estimates that they will create over 9 petabytes of data. The initiative has been in the planning phases and should be ramping up in 2015.
Selected Session Notes
The Project Managers group within DLF organized a session on “Cultivating a Culture of Project Management” followed by a working lunch. Representatives from John’s Hopkins and Brown talked about implementing Agile Methodology for managing and developing technical projects. Both libraries spoke positively about moving towards Agile, and the benefits of clear communication lines and defined development cycles. A speaker from Temple university discussed her methods for tracking and communicating the capacity of her development team; her spreadsheet for doing so took the session by storm (I’m not exaggerating – check out Twitter around the time of this session). Two speakers from the University of Michigan shared their work in creating a project management special interest group within their library to share PM skills, tools and heartaches.
A session entitled “Beyond the digital Surrogate” highlighted the work of several projects that are using digitized materials as a starting point for text mining and visualizing data. First, many of UNC’s Documenting the American South collections are available as a text download. Second, a tool out of Georgia Tech supports interactive exploration and visualization of text based archives. Third, a team from University of Nebraska-Lincoln is developing methods for using visual information to leverage discovery and analysis of digital collections.
- UNC’s Doc South Data: http://docsouth.unc.edu/docsouthdata/
- Georgia Tech’s TOME: http://dhlab.lmc.gatech.edu/tome/
- UNL’s AIDA: http://aida.unl.edu/
“Moving Forward with Digital Library Assessment.” Based around the need to strategically focus our assessment efforts in digital libraries and to better understand and measure the value, impact, and associated costs of what we do.
- Joyce Chapman, Duke University
- Jody DeRidder, University of Alabama
- Nettie Lagace, National Information Standards Organization
- Ho Jung Yoo, University of California, San Diego
Nettie Legace: update on NISO’s altmetrics initiative.
- The first phase exposed areas for potential standardization. The community then collectively prioritized those potential projects, and the second phase is now developing those best practices. A Working group is developed, its recommendation due June 2016.
- Alternative Metrics Initiative Phase 1 White Paper
Joyce Chapman: a framework for estimating digitization costs
- Built a beta Library digitization cost calculator using data contributed by various institutions
- Looking for data contributions and feedback/suggestions for improvement here
Jody DeRidder and Ho Jung Yoo: usability testing
- What critical aspects need to be addressed by a community of practice?
- What are next steps we can take as a community?