Issue 29, 2015-07-15
The publication of the 29th issue of the journal brings with it several changes to the editorial board.
The National University of Singapore Libraries converted their LibGuides v2 instance into a research portal and incorporated a “bento box” search interface—that is, an interface where results from multiple systems or categories are compartmentalized by system or category, like a Japanese “bento”-style lunch box—on a trial basis. Our experience shows that building and maintaining a bento box search in LibGuides requires fewer resources than a fully homegrown solution would require. This makes it an attractive platform for building a bento-style search both for libraries who have limited technical resources and libraries who might want to experiment with this kind of search before fully committing. This paper shares the design, implementation and some early usage patterns of our bento search.
The library as place and service continues to be shaped by the legacy of the book. The book itself has evolved in recent years, with various technologies vying to become the next dominant book form. In this article, we discuss the design and development of our prototype software from Montana State University (MSU) Library for presenting books inside of web browsers. The article outlines the contextual background and technological potential for publishing traditional book content through the web using open standards. Our prototype demonstrates the application of HTML5, structured data with RDFa and Schema.org markup, linked data components using JSON-LD, and an API-driven data model. We examine how this open web model impacts discovery, reading analytics, eBook production, and machine-readability for libraries considering how to unite software development and publishing.
Connecting Historical and Digital Frontiers: Enhancing Access to the Latah County Oral History Collection Utilizing OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer) and Isotope
The University of Idaho Library received a donation of oral histories in 1987 that were conducted and collected by a local county historical society in the 1970s. The audio cassettes and transcriptions were digitized in 2013 and 2014, producing one of the largest digital collections of oral histories – over 300 interviews and over 569 hours – in the Pacific Northwest. To provide enhanced access to the collection, the Digital Initiatives Department employed an open-source plug-in called the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS) – an XML and PHP driven system that was created at the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries – to deliver the audio MP3 files together with their indexes and transcripts. OHMS synchronizes the transcribed text with timestamps in the audio and provides a viewer that connects search results of a transcript to the corresponding moment in the audio file. This article will discuss how we created the infrastructure by importing existing metadata, customized the interface and visual presentation by creating additional levels of access using complex XML files, enhanced descriptions using the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus for keywords and subjects, and tagged locations discussed in the interviews that were later connected to Google Maps via latitude and longitude coordinates. We will also discuss the implementation of and philosophy behind our use of the layout library Isotope as the primary point of access to the collection. The Latah County Oral History Collection is one of the first successful digital collections created using the OHMS system outside of the University of Kentucky.
While the gaming industry has taken the world by storm with its three-dimensional (3D) user interfaces, current digital collection exhibits presented by museums, historical societies, and libraries are still limited to a two-dimensional (2D) interface display. Why can’t digital collections take advantage of this 3D interface advancement? The prototype discussed in this paper presents to the visitor a 3D virtual exhibit containing a set of digital objects from the University of Denver Libraries’ digital image collections, giving visitors an immersive experience when viewing the collections. In particular, the interface is adaptive to the visitor’s browsing behaviors and alters the selection and display of the objects throughout the exhibit to encourage serendipitous discovery. Social media features were also integrated to allow visitors to share items of interest and to create a sense of virtual community.
Libraries sign a wide variety of licensing agreements that specify terms of both access and use of a publisher’s electronic collections. Adding easily accessible licensing information to collections helps ensure that library users comply with these agreements. This article will describe the addition of licensing permissions to resource displays using Mondo  by Queen’s University and Scholars Portal (a service of the Ontario Council of University Libraries)  . We will give a brief introduction to Mondo and explain how we improved Mondo to add the license permissions to different library systems. The systems we used are an ILS (Voyager), an OpenURL Link Resolver (360 Link), and a Discovery System (Summon). However, libraries can use Mondo to add the license permissions to other library systems which allow user configurations.
This article describes using Elasticsearch/Logstash/Kibana (ELK) to monitor and visualize EZproxy logs in real time.
The complexity and diversity of archival resources make constructing rich metadata records time consuming and expensive, which in turn limits access to these valuable materials. However, significant automation of the metadata creation process would dramatically reduce the cost of providing access points, improve access to individual resources, and establish connections between resources that would otherwise remain unknown.
Using a case study at Oregon Health & Science University as a lens to examine the conceptual and technical challenges associated with automated extraction of access points, we discuss using publically accessible API’s to extract entities (i.e. people, places, concepts, etc.) from digital and digitized objects. We describe why Linked Open Data is not well suited for a use case such as ours. We conclude with recommendations about how this method can be used in archives as well as for other library applications.
Managing geospatial metadata records requires a range of techniques. At the University of Idaho Library, we have tens of thousands of records which need to be maintained as well as the addition of new records which need to be normalized and added to the collections. We show a graphical user interface (GUI) tool that was developed to make simple modifications, a simple XSLT that operates on complex metadata, and a Python script with enables parallel processing to make maintenance tasks more efficient. Throughout, we compare these techniques and discuss when they may be useful.
Libraries share a number of core values with the Open Source Software (OSS) movement, suggesting there should be a natural tendency toward library participation in OSS projects. However Dale Askey’s 2008 Code4Lib column entitled “We Love Open Source Software. No, You Can’t Have Our Code,” claims that while libraries are strong proponents of OSS, they are unlikely to actually contribute to OSS projects. He identifies, but does not empirically substantiate, six barriers that he believes contribute to this apparent inconsistency. In this study we empirically investigate not only Askey’s central claim but also the six barriers he proposes. In contrast to Askey’s assertion, we find that initiation of and contribution to OSS projects are, in fact, common practices in libraries. However, we also find that these practices are far from ubiquitous; as Askey suggests, many libraries do have opportunities to initiate OSS projects, but choose not to do so. Further, we find support for only four of Askey’s six OSS barriers. Thus, our results confirm many, but not all, of Askey’s assertions.