Issue 12, 2010-12-21

Editorial Introduction: The Code4Lib Journal isn’t just for Coders

Ron Peterson

Although the primary goal of the Code4Lib Journal is to provide practical solutions for technologists working in libraries, it has a lot to offer non-technologists. Technology affects all of the work that our libraries are doing and will define what the future of libraries will look like.

Practical Ways to Promote and Support Collaborative Data Analysis Projects

Joyce Chapman and Cory Lown

This article is an appeal to technically-oriented library staff to initiate collaborative, bottom-up data-analysis efforts across their libraries. We discuss successful strategies used at North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries for initiating cross-departmental outreach for data-analysis work, as well as structuring and storing data, and disseminating findings. We present several specific examples of collaborative data-analysis projects undertaken at NCSU Libraries.

How To Build a Computer Availability Map

Kim Griggs

Most libraries house one or more computer labs. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to let your patrons view how many and what type of computers are available at any given time? Well, now you can. Follow along in this tutorial that takes you through the stages of implementing a real-time computer availability map that works for a mobile and full website. The complete code package is provided under the GPL v3 license, and is available at:

Creating Library Websites with Joomla: Not Too Big, Not Too Small, Just Right

Ellen Bahr and Matt Speed

Many organizations, including libraries, are turning to content management systems to simplify the management of their websites. Alfred University‘s Herrick Memorial Library recently implemented a new website using Joomla, an open-source content management system. While Drupal has received significant attention in the library community, Joomla may be a more practical choice for some libraries. The purpose of this paper is to share our experience with Joomla so that other libraries can more easily evaluate its suitability to their environment.

Improving the Drupal User Experience

Rachel Vacek, Sean Watkins, Christina M. Morris, and Derek Keller

Drupal is a powerful, but complex, Web Content Management System, being adopted by many libraries. Installing Drupal typically involves adding additional modules for flexibility and increased functionality. Although installing additional modules does increase functionality, it inevitably complicates usability. At the University of Houston Libraries, the Web Services department researched what modules work well together to accomplish a simpler interface while simultaneously providing the flexibility and advanced tools needed to create a successful user experience within Drupal. This article explains why particular modules were chosen or developed, how the design enhanced the user experience, how the CMS architecture was created, and how other library systems were integrated into Drupal.

Using Amazon S3 in Digital Preservation in a mid sized academic library: A case study of CCSU ERIS digital archive system

Edward Iglesias and Wittawat Meesangnil

With the increasing numbers of born digital and digitized objects in academic libraries from sources such as digital collections and institutional repositories many academic libraries need to seriously consider implementing some form of digital preservation system.

In 2009 the Central Connecticut State University Library decided to use Amazon S3 for digital preservation storage despite some drawbacks. The library has developed a system, ERIS Digital Archive, to manage all digital preservation processes and to make the system as compliant with the OAIS model and “Trustworthy Digital Repositories” as possible.

FRBRizing an E-Library : Migrating from Dublin Core to FRBR and MODS

Jeremy Nelson and Alan Cleary

Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado developed an open-source eCataloger Framework, based on Dublin Core metadata, on Google’s App Engine to manage and serve electronic resources to the library’s patrons. Pressed to find new solutions for failing manual workflows for serials and government document resource management, the eCataloger Framework was extended to FRBR to automate and enhance serials management and government documents receiving. Based on successfully FRBRizing the eCataloger, Western State College converted their e-Library management from Dublin Core to FRBR and MODS. This paper examines the processes of each of these implementations using Python, AJAX, and jQuery, the details of the FRBR data model, including using FRBRoo, and the successful user interface supported by a FRBRized catalog.

Electronic Resources Security: A look at Unauthorized Users

Heather Tones White

Much of the literature written on electronic resources security focuses on systematic downloading.  However, when the unauthorized use from two cases of stolen identities at the University of Saskatchewan was studied in more depth, a different pattern emerged.  By analyzing proxy server data, we found that the unauthorized use was coming from all over the world, was focused on science, technology and medical resources, and included both small-scale and excessive downloading.  This article outlines some steps that libraries can take to detect and prevent small-scale unauthorized use and implications as libraries move towards Shibboleth authentication.

Building up a collaborative article database out of Open Source components

Markus Fischer and Stefan Kandera

Members of a Swiss, Austrian and German network of health care libraries planned to build a collaborative article reference database. Since different libraries were cataloging articles on their own, and many national health care journals can not be found in other repositories (free or commercial) the goal was to merge existing collections and to enable participants to catalog articles on their own. As of November, 2010, the database contains 45,000 article references from 17 libraries. In this paper we will discuss how the software concept evolved and the problems we encountered during this process.

Subject Guides & More: Creatively Transforming an Open Source Management System

Gemma Blackburn and Mary Walker

This article describes the implementation of SubjectsPlus to manage the subject guides at the Wichita State University Libraries. The decision to implement an open source solution, the implementation process, and customizations to the software are discussed. In addition to the subject guides, SubjectsPlus is also used to manage course specific and miscellaneous topic guides, the library staff directory, and database links. The article also covers the reception of SubjectsPlus by the librarians and teaching faculty.

WattJournals: Towards an Economic and Lightweight Search Tool Alternative for Libraries To Help Their Students and Researchers Keep Up-To-Date

Santiago Chumbe and Roddy Macleod

Learn how Heriot-Watt University Library’s WattJournals could be just the search tool your patrons need to efficiently find the content that your library subscribes to. Built on top of a RESTful search API created by the JISC-sponsored JournalTOCs Project, WattJournals is a toolkit for connecting fulltext articles to the people who need them. This article provides a technical overview of the system, showing how it uses citation data pulled from the JournalTOCs table of contents awareness service to provide access to just your library’s subscriptions.

Using an Agile-based Approach to Develop a Library Mobile Website

Matt Critchlow, Lia Friedman, and Dan Suchy

This article discusses how the UC San Diego Libraries developed and implemented a mobile website by giving a small collaborative group decision-making authority for all of the library stakeholders. The group used rapid development and testing cycles with an understanding that delivering a fast and “good enough” service was preferable over slow and seemingly perfect development.

A Method for Visualizing Transaction Logs of a Faceted OPAC

Xi Niu and Bradley M. Hemminger

The authors introduce a method for visualizing user transaction logs from a library catalog application. Simple visualization supporting intuitive or qualitative analysis to quickly make sense of complicated patterns can be a useful supplement or alternative to more common quantitative analysis. To this end, a visual flowchart is created illustrating an individual user session. This visualization can be used to qualitatively grasp user behavior within the application, possibly as an aid to identifying patterns or clusters of use. These flowcharts are created by automatically pre-processing apache transaction logs into an XML representation of meaningful user actions, which are then converted via JavaScript in a web browser to HTML table based flowcharts. The particular toolkit introduced is named Visualization for Understanding Transaction Logs (VUTL), and is available with an open source license. The toolkit has been prototyped with logs from the catalog applications of several academic and one public library.

The Integrated Library System’s APIs, an Open-source Web 2.0 Catalog, and University Computing Live Happily Ever After

Birong Ho

It is widely accepted that students prefer a library catalog that offers the features that they find using Google or Amazon. One of these features would be dynamically delivered services. This article describes the obstacles faced trying to integrate traditional integrated library system (ILS) architecture with an open source Web 2.0 search interface, and outlines the path to a solution for delivering user services such as the hold and recall functions.

ISSN 1940-5758