Seeking New Editors

Issue 42, 2018-11-08

Editorial Edit

Andrew Darby

A few words about our editors. A farewell to one editor. A solicitation for new editors.

EnviroPi: Taking a DIY Internet-of-Things approach to an environmental monitoring system

Monica Maceli

Monitoring environmental conditions in cultural heritage organizations is vitally important to ensure effective preservation of collections. Environmental monitoring systems may range from stand-alone data-loggers to more complex networked systems and can collect a variety of sensor data such as temperature, humidity, light, or air quality measures. However, such commercial systems are often costly and limited in customizability and extensibility. This article describes a do-it-yourself network of Bluetooth Low Energy-based wireless sensors, which seeks to manage earlier-identified trade-offs in cost, required technical skill, and maintainability, based on the Raspberry Pi™ single-board computer and a series of microcontroller boards. This builds on the author’s prior work exploring the construction of a low-cost Raspberry-Pi™-based datalogger, iterating upon reviewer and practitioners’ feedback to implement and reflect upon suggested improvements.

Improving Enterprise Content Findability through Strategic Intervention

Rebecca Townsend, Camille Mathieu

This paper highlights work that information specialists within the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have done to strategically intervene in the creation and maintenance of JPL’s intranet. Three key interventions are discussed which best highlight how work in enterprise “knowledge curation” fits into emergent knowledge management roles for institutional librarians (Lustigman, 2015). These three interventions are: 1) guided document creation, which includes the development of wiki portals and standard editing processes for consistent knowledge capture, 2) search curation, which includes manual and organic enterprise search relevancy improvements, and 3) index as intervention, which describes how metadata mapping and information modeling are used to improve access to content for both local and enterprise-wide applications.

Wayfinding Serendipity: The BKFNDr Mobile App

Valeda Dent, Kiichi Takeuchi, Ben Turner, Heather Ball, Caroline Fuchs, Ann Jusino, Shilpa Karnik

Librarians and staff at St. John’s University Libraries created BKFNDr, a beacon-enabled mobile wayfinding app designed to help students locate print materials on the shelves at two campus libraries. Concept development, technical development, evaluation and UX implications, and financial considerations are presented.

Automated Playlist Continuation with Apache PredictionIO

Jim Hahn

The Minrva project team, a software development research group based at the University of Illinois Library, developed a data-focused recommender system to participate in the creative track of the 2018 ACM RecSys Challenge, which focused on music recommendation. We describe here the large-scale data processing the Minrva team researched and developed for foundational reconciliation of the Million Playlist Dataset using external authority data on the web (e.g. VIAF, WikiData). The secondary focus of the research was evaluating and adapting the processing tools that support data reconciliation. This paper reports on the playlist enrichment process, indexing, and subsequent recommendation model developed for the music recommendation challenge.

Piloting a Homegrown Streaming Service with IaaS

Robert T. Wilson and Ellen Dubinsky

Bridgewater State University’s Maxwell Library has offered streaming film & video as a service in some form since 2008. Since 2014 this has been done through the use of the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) and their CloudFront content delivery network (CDN). This has provided a novel and low-cost alternative to various subscription and hosted platforms. However, with CloudFront’s reliance on external media players and Flash via Adobe’s Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) to stream content, the upcoming end of support for Flash in 2020, and other security and accessibility concerns of library staff, an alternative method of delivery for this extremely popular and successful service was sought in summer and fall of 2017. With budget limitations, a flawed video streaming service currently in place, and University IT’s desire to move much of its infrastructure to the IaaS and cloud provider, Microsoft Azure, a pilot of a secure, multi-bitrate HTML5 streaming service via Azure Media Services was conducted. This article describes the background of Maxwell Library’s streaming service, the current state of streaming services and technologies, Azure IaaS configuration, implementation, and findings.

Preparing Existing Metadata for Repository Batch Import: A Recipe for a Fickle Food

William Roy and Chris Gray

In 2016, the University of Waterloo began offering a mediated copyright review and deposit service to support the growth of our institutional repository UWSpace. This resulted in the need to batch import large lists of published works into the institutional repository quickly and accurately. A range of methods have been proposed for harvesting publications metadata en masse, but many technological solutions can easily become detached from a workflow that is both reproducible for support staff and applicable to a range of situations. Many repositories offer the capacity for batch upload via CSV, so our method provides a template Python script that leverages the Habanero library for populating CSV files with existing metadata retrieved from the CrossRef API. In our case, we have combined this with useful metadata contained in a TSV file downloaded from Web of Science in order to enrich our metadata as well. The appeal of this ‘low-maintenance’ method is that it provides more robust options for gathering metadata semi-automatically, and only requires the user’s ability to access Web of Science and the Python program, while still remaining flexible enough for local customizations.

OneButton: A Link Resolving Application to Guide Users to Optimal Fulfillment Options

Lauren Magnuson, Karl Stutzman, Roger Peters, Noah Brubaker

Like many consortia, institutional members of the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI) provide multiple fulfillment options to obtain requested items for their users. Users can place on shelf holds on items, or they can request material that isn’t held by their institution through a group circulation resource sharing network (dubbed PALShare) or through traditional InterLibrary Loan (ILL) (through WorldShare ILL or ILLiad). All of these options can be confusing to users who may not understand the best or fastest way to get access to needed materials. A PHP application, OneButton, was developed that replaces multiple fulfillment buttons in institutional discovery interfaces with a single OpenURL link. OneButton looks up holdings and availability at a user’s home institution and across the consortium and routes the user to the optimal fulfillment option for them. If an item is held by and available at their institution, the user can be shown a stack map to help guide them to the item on the shelf; if an item is held by and available at the consortium, the user is routed to a group circulation request form; otherwise, the user is routed to an ILL request form. All routing and processing are handled by the OneButton application – the user doesn’t need to think about what the ‘best’ fulfillment option is. This article will discuss the experiences of one institution using OneButton in production since fall 2017, analytics data gathered, and how other institutions can adopt the application (freely available on GitHub: https://github.com/PALNI/onebutton).

Analyzing EZproxy SPU Logs Using Python Data Analysis Tools

Brighid M. Gonzales

Even with the assortment of free and ready-made tools for analyzing EZproxy log files, it can be difficult to get useful, meaningful data from them. Using the Python programming language with its collection of modules created specifically for data analysis can help with this task, and ultimately result in better and more useful data customized to the needs of the library using it. This article describes how Our Lady of the Lake University used Python to analyze its EZproxy log files to get more meaningful data, including a walk-through of the code needed to accomplish this task.

Alma Enumerator: Automating repetitive cataloging tasks with Python

Wesley Teal

In June 2016, the Warburg College library migrated to a new integrated library system, Alma. In the process, we lost the enumeration and chronology data for roughly 79,000 print serial item records. Re-entering all this data by hand seemed an unthinkable task. Fortunately, the information was recorded as free text in each item’s description field. By using Python, Alma’s API and much trial and error, the Wartburg College library was able to parse the serial item descriptions into enumeration and chronology data that was uploaded back into Alma. This paper discusses the design and feasibility considerations addressed in trying to solve this problem, the complications encountered during development, and the highlights and shortcomings of the collection of Python scripts that became Alma Enumerator.

Using Static Site Generators for Scholarly Publications and Open Educational Resources

Chris Diaz

Libraries that publish scholarly journals, conference proceedings, or open educational resources can use static site generators in their digital publishing workflows. Northwestern University Libraries is using Jekyll and Bookdown, two open source static site generators, for its digital publishing service. This article discusses motivations for experimenting with static site generators and walks through the process for using these technologies for two publications.

Analysis of 2018 International Linked Data Survey for Implementers

Karen Smith-Yoshimura

OCLC Research conducted an International Linked Data Survey for Implementers in 2014 and 2015. Curious about what might have changed since the last survey, and eager to learn about new projects or services that format metadata as linked data or make subsequent uses of it, OCLC Research repeated the survey between 17 April and 25 May 2018.

A total of 143 institutions in 23 countries responded to one or more of the surveys. This analysis covers the 104 linked data projects or services described by the 81 institutions which responded to the 2018 survey—those that publish linked data, consume linked data, or both. This article provides an overview of the linked data projects or services institutions have implemented or are implementing; what data they publish and consume; the reasons given for implementing linked data and the barriers encountered; and some advice given by respondents to those considering implementing a linked data project or service. Differences with previous survey responses are noted, but as the majority of linked projects and services described are either not yet in production or implemented within the last two years, these differences may reflect new trends rather than changes in implementations.