Issue 48, 2020-05-11


Brighid M. Gonzales

An abundance of information sharing.

Leveraging Google Drive for Digital Library Object Storage

Eric C. Weig

This article will describe a process at the University of Kentucky Libraries for utilizing an unlimited Google Drive for Education account for digital library object storage. For a number of recent digital library projects, we have used Google Drive for both archival file storage and web derivative file storage. As a part of the process, a Google Drive API script is deployed in order to automate the gathering of of Google Drive object identifiers. Also, a custom Omeka plugin was developed to allow for referencing web deliverable files within a web publishing platform via object linking and embedding.

For a number of new digital library projects, we have moved toward a small VM approach to digital library management where the VM serves as a web front end but not a storage node. This has necessitated alternative approaches to storing web addressable digital library objects. One option is the use of Google Drive for storing digital objects. An overview of our approach is included in this article as well as links to open source code we adopted and more open source code we produced.

Building a Library Search Infrastructure with Elasticsearch

Kim Pham, Fernando Reyes, and Jeff Rynhart

This article discusses our implementation of an Elastic cluster to address our search, search administration and indexing needs, how it integrates in our technology infrastructure, and finally takes a close look at the way that we built a reusable, dynamic search engine that powers our digital repository search. We cover the lessons learned with our early implementations and how to address them to lay the groundwork for a scalable, networked search environment that can also be applied to alternative search engines such as Solr.

How to Use an API Management platform to Easily Build Local Web Apps

Jonathan Bradley

Setting up an API management platform like DreamFactory can open up a lot of possibilities for potential projects within your library. With an automatically generated restful API, the University Libraries at Virginia Tech have been able to create applications for gathering walk-in data and reference questions, public polling apps, feedback systems for service points, data dashboards and more. This article will describe what an API management platform is, why you might want one, and the types of potential projects that can quickly be put together by your local web developer.

Git and GitLab in Library Website Change Management Workflows

Keith Engwall and Mitchell Roe

Library websites can benefit from a separate development environment and a robust change management workflow, especially when there are multiple authors. This article details how the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine Library use Git and GitLab in a change management workflow with a serverless development environment for their website development team. Git tracks changes to the code, allowing changes to be made and tested in a separate branch before being merged back into the website. GitLab adds features such as issue tracking and discussion threads to Git to facilitate communication and planning. Adoption of these tools and this workflow have dramatically improved the organization and efficiency of the OUWB Medical Library web development team, and it is the hope of the authors that by sharing our experience with them others may benefit as well.

Experimenting with a Machine Generated Annotations Pipeline

Joshua Gomez, Kristian Allen, Mark Matney, Tinuola Awopetu, and Sharon Shafer

The UCLA Library reorganized its software developers into focused subteams with one, the Labs Team, dedicated to conducting experiments. In this article we describe our first attempt at conducting a software development experiment, in which we attempted to improve our digital library’s search results with metadata from cloud-based image tagging services. We explore the findings and discuss the lessons learned from our first attempt at running an experiment.

Leveraging the RBMS/BSC Latin Place Names File with Python

kalan Knudson Davis

To answer the relatively straight-forward question “Which rare materials in my library catalog were published in Venice?” requires an advanced knowledge of geography, language, orthography, alphabet graphical changes, cataloging standards, transcription practices, and data analysis. The imprint statements of rare materials transcribe place names more faithfully as it appears on the piece itself, such as Venetus, or Venetiae, rather than a recognizable and contemporary form of place name, such as Venice, Italy. Rare materials catalogers recognize this geographic discoverability and selection issue and solve it with a standardized solution. To add consistency and normalization to imprint locations, rare materials catalogers utilize hierarchical place names to create a special imprint index. However, this normalized and contemporary form of place name is often missing from legacy bibliographic records. This article demonstrates using a traditional rare materials cataloging aid, the RBMS/BSC Latin Place Names File, with programming tools, Jupyter Notebook and Python, to retrospectively populate a special imprint index for 17th-century rare materials. This methodology enriched 1,487 MAchine Readable Cataloging (MARC) bibliographic records with hierarchical place names (MARC 752 fields) as part of a small pilot project. This article details a partially automated solution to this geographic discoverability and selection issue; however, a human component is still ultimately required to fully optimize the bibliographic data.

Tweeting Tennessee’s Collections: A Case Study of a Digital Collections Twitterbot Implementation

Meredith L. Hale

This article demonstrates how a Twitterbot can be used as an inclusive outreach initiative that breaks down the barriers between the web and the reading room to share materials with the public. These resources include postcards, music manuscripts, photographs, cartoons and any other digitized materials. Once in place, Twitterbots allow physical materials to converge with the technical and social space of the Web. Twitterbots are ideal for busy professionals because they allow librarians to make meaningful impressions on users without requiring a large time investment. This article covers the recent implementation of a digital collections bot (@UTKDigCollBot) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), and provides documentation and advice on how you might develop a bot to highlight materials at your own institution.

Building Strong User Experiences in LibGuides with Bootstrapr and Reviewr

Randal Sean Harrison

With nearly fifty subject librarians creating LibGuides, the LibGuides Management Team at Notre Dame needed a way to both empower guide authors to take advantage of the powerful functionality afforded by the Bootstrap framework native to LibGuides, and to ensure new and extant library guides conformed to brand/identity standards and the best practices of user experience (UX) design. To accomplish this, we developed an online handbook to teach processes and enforce styles; a web app to create Twitter Bootstrap components for use in guides (Bootstrapr); and a web app to radically speed the review and remediation of guides, as well as better communicate our changes to guide authors (Reviewr). This article describes our use of these three applications to balance empowering guide authors against usefully constraining them to organizational standards for user experience. We offer all of these tools as FOSS under an MIT license so that others may freely adapt them for use in their own organization.

IIIF by the Numbers

Joshua Gomez, Kevin S. Clarke, Anthony Vuong

The UCLA Library began work on building a suite of services to support IIIF for their digital collections. The services perform image transformations and delivery as well as manifest generation and delivery. The team was unsure about whether they should use local or cloud-based infrastructure for these services, so they conducted some experiments on multiple infrastructure configurations and tested them in scenarios with varying dimensions.

Trust, But Verify: Auditing Vendor-Supplied Accessibility Claims

Melina Zavala and Matthew Reidsma

Despite a long-overdue push to improve the accessibility of our libraries’ online presences, much of what we offer to our patrons comes from third party vendors: discovery layers, OPACs, subscription databases, and so on. We can’t directly affect the accessibility of the content on these platforms, but rely on vendors to design and test their systems and report on their accessibility through Voluntary Product Accessibility Templates (VPATS). But VPATs are self-reported. What if we want to verify our vendors’ claims? We can’t thoroughly test the accessibility of hundreds of vendor systems, can we? In this paper, we propose a simple methodology for spot-checking VPATs. Since most websites struggle with the same accessibility issues, spot checking particular success criteria in a library vendor VPAT can tip us off to whether the VPAT as a whole can be trusted. Our methodology combines automated and manual checking, and can be done without any expensive software or complex training. What’s more, we are creating a repository to share VPAT audit results with others, so that we needn’t all audit the VPATs of all our systems.

ISSN 1940-5758