Posts Tagged ‘awob’

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Library-Related Presentations at LAWDI

June 6, 2012

LAWDI was set up with half-hour presentations by ‘faculty,’ and 15-minute presentations by the rest of the attendees.  Links to slides for all presentations that used them are being collected here.  In this post I discuss those presentations most relevant to librarians and the issues they love best (bibliographic citation, authority control, scholarly publishing) as well as recapping my own presentation.

Friday we began with a talk by Chuck Jones of the ISAW Library (links he discussed collected at AWOL) and then a powerhouse tour of library linked data and metadata issues by Corey Harper of NYU’s Bobst Library.  His slides are here.   (For librarians wanting to get up to speed or keep up to date on the issues Corey covers I also strongly recommend following the blog of Ed Summers of the Library of Congress, http://inkdroid.org/journal/ Half of what I know about linked open data I learned there.)

So, I had a tough act to follow; I think I actually said, “And now for something completely different.”  First I described the goals of and demonstrated the Ancient World Open Bibliographies. Its origins are covered in a post titled “The Beginning” at that blog, and you can follow the links to the Wiki and Zotero library for the project yourself. In the context of LAWDI, it was important to note that Zotero allows the export of bibliographic citations automatically marked up using the Bibo (Bibliographic ontology) vocabulary, so keeping bibliographies there gives you a leg up on becoming part of the linked open data world.  I also demonstrated an online bibliography on Evagrius Ponticus by Joel Kalvesmaki of Dumbarton Oaks as example of what can be done with a bibliography based in Zotero, but presented as an inherent part of a digital project.

The second point I wanted to make was that bibliographic information is linked open data friendly.  (Libraries have worked hard to make it so!) Library catalogs are structured data files on books, and while the current structure is out of date, we’re working on that (see Corey Harper’s talk). Most books have a standard number that represents them: an ISBN, an OCLC number (accession number into the OCLC catalog, now online as WorldCat) or a Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN).  Many books have all three!  Articles, book chapters, or other things  scholars want to cite are more problematic.  Many journal publishers now use DOIs (digital object identifiers) for specific articles, but these have not been universally adopted. I demonstrated the DOI resolver at http://dx.doi.org/ (which also lets you create stable URIs for DOIs; I’ll cover this in more explicit detail in a future post.)

My third point was to try to think more broadly about how existing open-access online bibliographic indexes for ancient studies could move in the direction of being linked open data compliant.  At 8am the morning I spoke, without any prompting from me, Tom Elliott posted a manifesto on this same topic at his blog: Ancient Studies Needs Open Bibliographic Data and Associated URIs. So, let me say, what he said, and amen.

Saturday we had two talks that were very exciting to me as a librarian, even though they were actually about scholarly publishing. Sebastian Heath of ISAW talked (without slides I think) about publishing the ISAW Papers series using linked open data principles.  Andrew Reinhard of the American School of Classical Studies (ASCSA) publications office brought forward one of the more resonant metaphors of the conference, that the current scholarly publishing enterprise is essentially steampunk, 21st century work with 19th century models. (This got retweeted a lot!) He was bursting with ways ASCSA plans to change this. Slides are here.

Next up: my recommendations on choosing good links for bibliographic stuff.

Previous post here on LAWDI:

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It’s Open Access Week

October 25, 2011

This week hits home for me in a new way this year, as I am currently unaffiliated with an academic institution, and thus (at least formally and legally) unable to access subscription databases like Jstor, L’Annee Philologique, and so forth. I’m not alone – the informal poll Chuck Jones is running on AWOL suggests that 45% of responding readers do not have access to Jstor. (Note for those in my boat – if you visit your local University, you can probably get access to these databases for free while in their library, but not on wireless or off campus. Local policies may vary, but in general University libraries welcome serious people who want to do research in their library buildings. Look for the Reference Desk, sometimes called Research Services, and ask about guest or visiting scholar access.)

Last year I did an introductory post on Open Access Week for classicists; you might click through for a refresher.

I also used the occasion of Open Access Week in 2010 to debut the Ancient World Open Bibliographies blog, which collects open-access bibliographies for ancient studies.  The blog begat a wiki which now lists and links to over 450 bibliographies, with a special focus on the classical world, but with broad coverage of the lands around the Mediterranean and some dips into places further abroad.  I celebrate all those scholars who have made their bibliographies – valuable research tools – available to the internet-enabled public.  Thank you!

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My Talk at ALA 2011

June 30, 2011

I attended the American Library Association annual conference in New Orleans this past weekend, after being invited to speak at the meeting of the discussion group for Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies Librarians, a sub-group (WESS-CMR) of the Western European Studies Section (WESS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). (Got all that? Phew!) I was able to attend thanks in part to some funding from the UGA Department of Classics as well as my own employers, and Colin McCaffrey of Yale University, who convenes the discussion group, did the inviting – I am grateful to them all!

I had a wonderful time meeting other librarians who work closely with Classics departments.  That aspect of my work is not shared with many of my existing librarian friends, so it was exciting to make connections with those who know exactly what it’s like to be the only person at your library who really kinda actually does understand L’Annee Philologique.

My talk, on the Ancient World Open Bibliographies project, has been put online; I’ve put up my slides, alternating with slides incorporating the text I spoke from.  Our other speaker was Elizabeth Hahn of the American Numismatic Society library, who showed off their new online catalog (which includes offprints as well as books and so can be a very useful bibliographic resource for numismatics) and various other open-access publications of theirs.

And also, I can report that New Orleans has a large number of streets with classical names in the Garden District – I saw Erato and Melpomene, and I stood at the corner of Polymnia and Prytania, and I’d bet that all the muses are included, plus more!

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End of Semester Wrapup/Madness

May 11, 2011

I am officially finished with spring semester 2011, and hope you are coming to that place too (I know many UGA faculty are still grading like mad – graduation is Friday and non-senior grades aren’t due until Tuesday; some friends elsewhere have been finished for several days now, and people on a quarter system are just chugging along.)

Let’s take a moment to bid farewell to the spring by way of the wackiest exam madness story I heard: Students released 18 chickens and 2 roosters into the Emory Library.  This is hilarious, unless you’re the one who has to clean up after it (or you’re one of the chickens).

I celebrated this morning by resetting 18 Kindles to their factory settings, and just met with my colleague to set up a (fierce!) schedule for drafting the results of this spring’s Kindle experiment.  That’s one of the six projects currently on my summer list; the others include migrating (a lot of) content to a new software, organizing the library’s participation in 26 new student orientation fairs (UGA is a big school; they do orientation all summer), and doing a big push forward on the Ancient World Open Bibliographies project (I should really count that as two or maybe 3 projects by itself).  (Possibly I should also abuse parentheses less.) Summer for librarians is not that different from summer for faculty – that 2 or 3 days of “phew, I’m done!” immediately followed by “okay, here’s what I’ve got to do next.”  Wading in…

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THATCamp 5: Open-Access, Kindles, Crowdsourcing

March 16, 2011

Okay, if I don’t get more terse we’re never going to get through THATCamp SE.  Day one continued:

At lunch we had “dork shorts” which were timed 3-minute talks on anything anybody wanted to show.  Topics included a documentary about an Atlanta punk band, a blog about rural life which featured a lovely photo of a ca. 1940 man with his pet skunk, and UGA’s <emma> program, used in writing classes, which allows collaborative markup of student papers.

After lunch 1: Open Access Publishing, hosted by me. I was a little thoughtless at 9am and put things on the whiteboard that I thought would make good discussions, forgetting that then I would have to a) attend and b) HOST the discussions.  And people signed up for them!  This was number 1.  It was kind of a general conversation, with several librarians present who had experience hosting open access journals using the Open Journal Systems software (at Duke, GA Tech, and UGA), a grad student who works on the OA journal Southern Spaces at Emory, and a faculty member who edits a major journal that is not open-access.  We talked about business models (Mellon support, departmental support, support by an organization like ATLA), OA in Humanities as opposed to Sciences, and reasons why OA is important (I especially liked the mention of the need to make research accessible to communities being studied, in some fields.)

After lunch 2: My colleague from UGA, Caroline Barratt, and I hosted an intimate conversation about our current project using Kindles for all course readings in an English class.  This was very productive for us – we took a lot of notes about interesting questions to ask when we hold focus groups later this semester – and those present seemed to enjoy it also, with a wide-ranging discussion including practical issues as well as big topics like “what is the book” and “what is reading.”

After lunch 3: Crowdsourcing Digital Humanities Projects; I was hosting again. I was hoping to get advice on how to manage the human side of a project like the Ancient World Open Bibliographies. I was struck by the great diversity of experiences and expertise present at this session.  Participants talked about: a women’s collective project in India, crowdsourcing the transcription of the Cardinal Newman letters at Emory (interestingly, the volunteers were not collected using the internet, but came mostly via newsletters and news articles), open-access software projects, and a project to collaboratively write a latin textbook. We talked about the importance of passion in volunteers (which is why there’s a Wookieepedia) – and how it can’t be artificially created – and, failing passion, the need to “make it fun” or even sneak crowdsourcing into a project (like ReCaptcha).

By this point someone in another session was beginning to tweet about zombies, so the UGA contingent regrouped and headed back to Athens.  I don’t know how anyone had the energy to go out, but  gather some THATCampers continued conversations into the evening.

Previous posts on THATCamp SE:

 

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