Issue 34, 2016-10-25

Editorial: Some Numbers

Andrew Darby

Wherein the Journal’s most popular article and other small mysteries are revealed.

Digital Archaeology and/or Forensics: Working with Floppy Disks from the 1980s

John Durno

While software originating from the domain of digital forensics has demonstrated utility for data recovery from contemporary storage media, it is not as effective for working with floppy disks from the 1980s. This paper details alternative strategies for recovering data from floppy disks employing software originating from the software preservation and retro computing communities. Imaging hardware, storage formats and processing workflows are also discussed.

Need Help with Your Code? Piloting a Programming and Software Development Consultation Service

Laura Wrubel, Daniel Kerchner, Justin Littman

In the Spring 2016 semester, George Washington University Libraries (GW Libraries) undertook a pilot to provide programming and software development consultation services for the university community. The consultation services took the form of half hour appointments conducted by librarians with software development expertise, similar to other reference services offered by GW Libraries. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and assessment of the pilot project.

Partnering for Discoverability: Knitting Archival Finding Aids to Digitized Material Using a Low Tech Digital Content Linking Process

Liz Woolcott, Andrea Payant, Sara Skindelien

As libraries continue to ramp up digitization efforts for unique archival and special collections material, the segregation of archival finding aids from their digitized counterparts presents an accumulating discoverability problem for both patrons and library staff. For Utah State University (USU) Libraries, it became evident that a system was necessary to connect both new and legacy finding aids with their digitized content to improve use and discoverability. Following a cross-departmental workflow analysis involving the Special Collections, Cataloging and Metadata, and Digital Initiatives departments, a process was created for semi-automating the batch linking of item and folder level entries in EAD finding aids to the corresponding digitized material in CONTENTdm. In addition to the obvious benefit of linking content, this cross-departmental process also allowed for the implementation of persistent identifiers and the enhancement of finding aids using the more robust metadata that accompanies digitized material. This article will provide a detailed overview of the process, as well as describe how the three departments at USU have worked together to identify key stakeholders, develop the procedures, and address future developments.

Overly Honest Data Repository Development

Colleen Fallaw, Elise Dunham, Elizabeth Wickes, Dena Strong, Ayla Stein, Qian Zhang, Kyle Rimkus, Bill Ingram, Heidi J. Imker

After a year of development, the library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has launched a repository, called the Illinois Data Bank (, to provide Illinois researchers with a free, self-serve publishing platform that centralizes, preserves, and provides persistent and reliable access to Illinois research data. This article presents a holistic view of development by discussing our overarching technical, policy, and interface strategies. By openly presenting our design decisions, the rationales behind those decisions, and associated challenges this paper aims to contribute to the library community’s work to develop repository services that meet growing data preservation and sharing needs.

OSS4EVA: Using Open-Source Tools to Fulfill Digital Preservation Requirements

Janet Carleton, Heidi Dowding, Marty Gengenbach, Blake Graham, Sam Meister, Jessica Moran, Shira Peltzman, Julie Seifert, and Dorothy Waugh

This paper builds on the findings of a workshop held at the 2015 International Conference on Digital Preservation (iPRES), entitled, “Using Open-Source Tools to Fulfill Digital Preservation Requirements” (OSS4PRES hereafter). This day-long workshop brought together participants from across the library and archives community, including practitioners, proprietary vendors, and representatives from open-source projects. The resulting conversations were surprisingly revealing: while OSS’ significance within the preservation landscape was made clear, participants noted that there are a number of roadblocks that discourage or altogether prevent its use in many organizations. Overcoming these challenges will be necessary to further widespread, sustainable OSS adoption within the digital preservation community. This article will mine the rich discussions that took place at OSS4PRES to (1) summarize the workshop’s key themes and major points of debate, (2) provide a comprehensive analysis of the opportunities, gaps, and challenges that using OSS entails at a philosophical, institutional, and individual level, and (3) offer a tangible set of recommendations for future work designed to broaden community engagement and enhance the sustainability of open source initiatives, drawing on both participants’ experience as well as additional research.

Node-Based Configuration Management Architecture for Private LOCKSS Networks

Tobin M. Cataldo

Node-based configuration management describes a services architecture for Private LOCKSS Networks that transfers administrative services onto a peer preservation node in the network. The architecture also describes techniques for enabling full redundancy of data for configuration administration utilizing the preservation protocols in LOCKSS. The goal of node-based configuration management is a horizontal administrative model where any peer node can assume administrative services with complete redundancy of configuration data across all nodes.

From Users to Developers: NCSU’s Involvement with an Open Source ERM

Xiaoyan Song

CORAL, an open source electronic resource management tool, has been adopted by libraries around the world. The community manages the software development contributed to the open source codebase by independent organizations. NCSU Libraries’ Acquisition & Discovery Department started using CORAL to manage monograph orders at the end of 2013. Since then, they have completed a series of developments to enhance CORAL functions for workflow management, streamlining the complex electronic resource acquisition process. This paper presents NCSU’s adoption and development of CORAL. It explains what prompted the development, shares the experience, from identifying internal resources to outsourcing development work, and identifies challenges and opportunities of the current mechanism of CORAL development.

Consortial-Based Customizations for New Primo UI

Dan Moore and Nathan Mealey

Users interested in customizing their Primo installation are required to configure specific settings, files, and code during the View setup process. A consequence of this is that unique customizations are not easily sharable between institutions. With the release of the new Primo User Interface, Ex Libris has enabled institutions to manage interface customizations via the Package Customization Manager. In the summer of 2016, an Orbis Cascade Alliance working group investigated the efficacy of the Package Manager as a means of centrally sharing and deploying Orbis Cascade Alliance Primo Toolkit customizations. By virtue of passively loading customizations to the central package, each institution could pass custom parameters with local JS in order to adapt central customizations to the specific needs of that institution’s users. This article will address both the potential and the limitations of the Primo Package Customization Manager. It will also provide best practices for consortia seeking to centrally manage and share Primo enhancements and it will identify areas of future development for centrally shared customizations.

ISSN 1940-5758