Issue 39, 2018-02-05

Editorial: Musing on learning to be a selfish librarian

Terry Reese

One of the perks of being the coordinating editor is you get to write the opening editorial for the issue.  It’s an opportunity to think broadly about the community, the journal…current events.  And if you look back over the past year or so, those that have taken on this role have been more than up […]

Approaching the largest ‘API’: extracting information from the Internet with Python

Jonathan E. Germann

This article explores the need for libraries to algorithmically access and manipulate the world’s largest API: the Internet. The billions of pages on the ‘Internet API’ (HTTP, HTML, CSS, XPath, DOM, etc.) are easily accessible and manipulable. Libraries can assist in creating meaning through the datafication of information on the world wide web. Because most information is created for human consumption, some programming is required for automated extraction. Python is an easy-to-learn programming language with extensive packages and community support for web page automation. Four packages (Urllib, Selenium, BeautifulSoup, Scrapy) in Python can automate almost any web page for all sized projects. An example warrant data project is explained to illustrate how well Python packages can manipulate web pages to create meaning through assembling custom datasets.

Using R and the Tidyverse to Generate Library Usage Reports

Andy Meyer

Gathering, analyzing, and communicating library usage data provides a foundation for thoughtful assessment. However, the amount of time and expertise required creates a barrier to actually using this data. By using the statistical programming language R and the tools and approach of the Tidyverse, the process of gathering, analyzing, and communicating data can be automated in ways that reduce the amount of time and energy required. At the same time, this approach increases staff capacity for other data science projects and creates a shareable model and framework for other libraries. This article focuses on electronic resource usage reports – especially Counter DB1 Reports – but this approach could be extended to other data sources and needs.

Archidora: Integrating Archivematica and Islandora

Tim Hutchinson

“Archidora” is shorthand for the publicly available integration between the open source software packages Archivematica and Islandora. Sponsored by the University of Saskatchewan Library, this integration enables the automated ingest into Archivematica of objects created in Islandora. This will allow institutions that use Islandora as a digital asset management system, particularly for digitized material, to take advantage of Archivematica’s standards-based digital preservation functionality, without requiring staff doing digitization to interact with Archivematica. This paper outlines the basic functionality and workflow of archidora; provides an overview of the development process including challenges and lessons learned; and discusses related initiatives and possible future directions for development.

Microdata in the IR: A Low-Barrier Approach to Enhancing Discovery of Institutional Repository Materials in Google

Shayna Pekala

Georgetown University Library curates a multitude of open access resources in its institutional repository and digital collections portal, DigitalGeorgetown. Over the last several years, the Library has experimented with methods for making these items increasingly visible in search engine search results. This article describes the Library’s low-barrier approach to applying Schema.org vocabulary to its DSpace institutional repository using microdata, as well as the challenges with and strategies used for assessing this work. The effects of the application of Schema.org microdata to DigitalGeorgetown on Google search results were tracked over time using three different metrics, providing new insights about its impact.

Getting Real in the Library: A Case Study at the University of Florida

Samuel R. Putnam and Sara Russell Gonzalez

In the fall of 2014, the University of Florida (UF) Marston Science Library, in partnership with UF IT, opened a new computer lab for students to learn and develop mobile applications. The Mobile Application Development Environment (MADE@UF) features both software and circulating technology for students to use in an unstructured and minimally-staffed environment. As the technological landscape has shifted in the past few years, virtual and augmented reality have become more prominent and prevalent, signaled by companies like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft making significant financial investments in these technologies. During this evolution, MADE@UF has migrated to focus more on virtual and augmented reality, and we will discuss the opportunities and challenges that hosting and managing such a space has provided to the science library and its staff.

Accio e-Libri: Magically Delivering Digital Resources to Patrons Using NFC Technology

Christopher M. Jimenez and Barbara M. Sorondo

To coincide with the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone, our library created a Happee Birthdae Harry display incorporating Near Field Communication (NFC) technology alongside print materials in order to magically place electronic resources in our users’ hands. The display was a spellbinding success, increasing usage of both print and electronic items, and helping our students become familiar with this innovative technology in an engaging manner. This article will provide step-by-step instructions on the materials and procedures librarians need to implement NFC technology in their own libraries, and will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with this rapidly spreading technology.

Ship It: Logistical tracking of ILL physical loans

Ryan Litsey & Scott Luker

The OBILLSK Shipment Tracking system is the first consolidated and comprehensive shipment information system for interlibrary loan. The system is unique because not only does it offer an interface for consolidating the items being shipped out of an ILL office, it also provides real time statistical data of global geographic shipping patterns, tracking of packages across all major couriers, and customized date range reporting for ILL shipment activity. This system takes advantage of several web-based technologies that makes it easy to use for students, staff and library administrators. The web-based software utilizes a .NET platform and SQL Server database. Client-side frameworks include Bootstrap and jQuery for responsive design, Shield UI for data visualizations, and jVectorMap for geographical representation of shipments. The system is now available for all libraries. It is actively in use at 15 academic libraries nationwide and has over 190,000 items scanned since October of 2016. It is through the development of innovative technologies that libraries can continue to serve as incubators for practical solutions that can help the discipline and practice of librarianship.

The Automagic of the LII’s eCFR

Charlotte Schneider and Sylvia Kwakye

The Legal Information Institute (LII) began providing access to federal legal materials in 1992. This article discusses their work expanding and improving free public access to federal legal resources in the U.S., particularly developing their eCFR product for the Code of Federal Regulations, and plans to integrate DocketWrench.