Expanding the Definition of a “Digital Library

This Forum Update was provided by Samantha Norling, Archivist for the Indianapolis Museum of Art. As one member of the inaugural group of Museum Cross-Pollinator Fellows, the Digital Library Federation generously covered my travel and registration expenses for the DLF Forum, making it possible for me to attend the conference for the first time. By creating this new fellowship, the DLF has sent a clear message that there is value in expanding conversations around digital libraries to include the broader digital collections landscape—a landscape that encompasses all institutions and professionals that are actively engaged in making our digital and digitized cultural heritage available online. But despite the clear vote of confidence that the DLF made in me by investing in my attendance, I still found myself second-guessing the value of my potential contributions as I sat in the Grand Ballroom of the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center on the first morning. As Archivist at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, I manage over 130 years of institutional records—physical, born-digital, and digitized. Digital collections work has been a major component of my first year in this new position, as I am currently managing the completion of a 3-year, NEH-funded digitization grant. While the majority of my time at work is spent digitizing material and creating digital object records with rich metadata in preparation for the release of this collection in the spring of 2015, I am fortunate to have a group of digital strategists, developers, and designers from the in-house IMA Lab who handle what I considered to be “the tech side” of the project. And therein lies the rub. Though I didn’t realize it before attending the DLF Forum, I had perceived—and therefore created—a divide between myself and the people who I saw as the true practitioners (read: doers) of digital collections work: the professionals building the systems and shaping end-user experience through programming and design. So while I knew that I had the knowledge and vocabulary to understand the conversations that I expected to encounter at the Form, I had lower expectations of my ability to make meaningful contributions to the DLF community. That is, until I actually attended the DLF Forum. We at the DLF Forum—unlike so many specialized tech and academic conferences—are at once a gathering of generalists and of experts. This statement, made by Bethany Nowviskie during the Welcome and Keynote Address, completely changed the approach that I would take to my first DLF Forum. Bethany not only acknowledged that attendees came to the Forum with varying levels of experience and knowledge of the topics that were going to be presented and discussed, but she also encouraged us to embrace this variety and to recognize that this is one of the Forum’s greatest strengths. I’m pretty sure you’ll feel that balance as you move from session to session this week, hopefully finding conversations that deepen your own considerable expertise and allow you to share it, and also those that happily expose your ignorance… With a deeper understanding and awareness of my roles as a generalist within the digital library world and as an expert on archival principles and practices, I abandoned many of my reservations and dove head-first into my first DLF Forum. I kept Bethany’s words in mind throughout the rest of the conference, and found them to be completely true—having a balance between generalists and experts in every aspect of digital collections work can lead to some amazing outcomes. The presentations were a testament to that fact. I was encouraged to hear from the professionals on “the tech side” of digital libraries about the valuable role that archivists and librarians had played in the development and success of their projects. And I was even more encouraged to see that many of these librarians and archivists were in attendance and presenting on their work in the realm of digital collections. I’m not sure when or if I’ll be able to attend another DLF Forum, but I certainly hope that more professionals outside of the traditional digital library roles will be encouraged and supported to attend. The creation of the Museum Cross-Pollinator Fellowship is a great first step towards breaking down the perceived barriers between the academia-centric digital library realm and the broader digital collections landscape that also encompasses museums, archives, historical societies, and a variety of other organizations. There are many benefits of bringing together all types of digital library practitioners—both generalists and experts—in the setting of the DLF Forum, but there are even more benefits to be derived from expanding the definition of a “digital library” to include the full spectrum of digital cultural heritage collections.

Reflections from a Cross-Pollinating Librarian

This Forum Update was provided by Kelsey Brett, Discovery Systems Librarian at University of Houston Libraries.  I had the pleasure of attending to 2015 Digital Library Federation Forum as an Electronic Resources and Libraries (ER&L) Cross-Pollinator.  This was my first DLF Forum, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend as one of the travel award winners.  I have attended ER&L for the past four years. It has been a very relevant and important conference for me as the Discovery Systems Librarian at University of Houston Libraries. My primary responsibilities are managing the Libraries’ discovery system and providing access to our collections. Because our licensed electronic resources make up the majority of what is discoverable through our system, I spend a majority of my time configuring and improving access to them. I attended the DLF Forum hoping to deepen my understanding of discovery and access needs for other types of resources, particularly special collections and digital resources. I was struck by the similar challenges that both electronic resources and digital collections librarians face: incomplete and inconsistent metadata, system limitations, and making decisions about what to make available and how. I realize that there is a lot that electronic resources and digital collections librarians can learn from each other, and I am motivated pursue opportunities to collaborate with librarians who manage digital collections at my institution.    The DLF Forum was also very valuable in helping me understand, conceptually, some of the big initiatives going on at my library right now. There are groups within my library working on data management and digital scholarship services, both of which I gained a greater understanding of through my attendance at the Forum. Additionally, it helped me better understand the ways in which these new initiatives have impacted those of us who manage electronic resources. New, innovative research methods are emerging which has resulted in a demand for new resource types that do not fit our traditional definition of electronic resource. We are experiencing an increased demand in datasets, streaming media collections, and other specialized resources. These new media types come with unique purchasing and access models that we have not dealt with before, and as a result, we have to come up with innovative solutions to provide access to the materials that our patrons want and need. Learning more about the needs and challenges behind providing these new services can help those of us who are purchasing and providing access to resources that support them to do so more effectively.   I think DLF and ER&L recognize the potential for collaboration among electronic resources and digital collections librarians, and I appreciate the development of a cross-pollinator travel award for each conference. I am grateful for the opportunity to attend the DLF Forum; I normally would not since it is not directly related to my primary job duties. I left the DLF Forum with a greater understanding of issues related to digital libraries, institutional repositories, data management, and digital scholarship-all of which are major initiatives at the University of Houston Libraries. I am motivated to find avenues to work towards these initiatives and identify opportunities for greater collaborations between the electronic resources unit and other areas of the library. I have to thank DLF and ER&L for the generous travel award that has allowed me to expand my knowledge and understanding of so many important issues that face academic libraries.

Student-Led Initiative(s) in Digital Scholarship: An Undergraduate Perspective from #budsc15

This guest post was provided by Ian Morse, a double-major in history and economics-mathematics at Lafayette College.   Bucknell University’s second annual Mellon-funded digital scholarship conference, Collaborating Digitally: Engaging Students in Public Scholarship, was proof that there is hidden power in the digital scholarship world. It’s in the undergrads. Their presentations[pullquote1 align=”right”]There is hidden power in the digital scholarship world. It’s in the undergrads.[/pullquote1] revealed that when they are given a new world and ample resources, they rush to fill it with scholarship. The conference was an opportunity to explore how best to accommodate undergrads, as well as allow them to discover the rigor required for exemplary work. The conference began on the afternoon of Friday, November 6 with reception conveniently located in an art exhibit that used data to create geographic and rhetoric art. It concluded on Sunday, after a keynote, five presentation sessions, plenary session, and a cocktail hour. I think it safe to say that Micki Kaufman’s keynote began the conference with a bang that impressed all approximately 150 attendees. She formulated her research on Kissinger’s communications while in the White House into a talk that was meant to motivate, calling it, “Everything is data, and you can too!” The hashtag #budsc15 exploded on Twitter the next day. Three different rooms presented on different topics, but you could keep up with the discussion in other rooms by following the hashtag or glancing at the screens displayed in every room that scrolled through the hashtag. Some overarching themes of the sessions were public and local history, digital pedagogy, incorporating sound and film into projects, and generally engaging students in projects. A lot of the questions and answers focused on how undergraduates were able to complete work and what they would change about the program that allowed them to do their work. Librarians presented on methods to streamline faculty publications and make them available in a repository [pullquote1 align=”left”]I will disclose that I am an undergraduate and this was the first conference where I presented.[/pullquote1] Five students (one was a Ph.D. candidate) occupied the plenary session in the middle of Saturday’s events. Eric Rhodes from Antioch College discussed his project on the segregation of Dayton, Ohio through insurance and credit maps. Levi Fox from Temple University presented on his ‘more than a road trip’ to identify and locate Korean War memorials to test his hypothesis that the war was a forgotten war. Haley Tilt of Reed College showed the audience the project that consumed her summer and taught her valuable programming skills. She created a map of Livy’s writings of Rome, with locations annotated with pictures of their current state and importance in the book. I described the questions that arise from my research on press freedom and text analyses of journalistic articles. Laura Lujan form Bucknell University showed clips from her film project of stories of the Susquehanna River Valley. Amazing DH project presentations by @LafCol students @BucknellU #budsc15 pic.twitter.com/sHXeGlj5Tn — Param Bedi (@parambedi) November 7, 2015 I will disclose that I am an undergraduate and this was the first conference where I presented. I was entering into a new world of a burgeoning field of academia and public scholarship, which, suffice it to say, made for some interesting observations. The most powerful observation I saw over these two days was this enormous initiative that undergraduates demonstrate. Two students from Lafayette College talked in depth about their project to analyze relationships between the economy and music. Over just six weeks in the summer, they spent hours upon hours gathering, cleaning, and playing with data. They directed their own project, and because of that, they were able to brilliantly field difficult questions thrown at them by every audience. Four students from the College of the Holy Cross spoke about their fully student-run club to digitize various editions of Homeric texts and their scholia. They’ve been able to find correlations between editions over large amounts of time and travel to present papers that have come from this research. A team from the College of Wooster found their motivation in a way that only digital public history can; they acquired a following of local residents that followed the team’s exploration of the town. Other humanities students are not only learning complicated coding languages as their project necessitates it, but they are eagerly asking to do so. Happening at the same time as this conference was the completely student-run UNRH conference. The Undergraduate Network for Research in the Humanities was new to me as a recent entrant into the field, but also to many others who have been working in DH since its initial buzz. The students of UNRH, struggling with funding, put together a conference for students from all over the country to showcase and discuss their DH work. Members of each conference were in contact constantly over Twitter, and from what I could gather, it was a massive success on their end. I joked at the time that it was a bit annoying to have this competition for undergrads at the same time – I would really have liked to go to that conference and experience an alternative feel for DH conferences. Regardless of the joke, this was fantastic news. There is a competitive demand for undergrads who know DH. Not only are we not short of conferences and resources to use, but we actually are forced to make a decision between an array of choices. Whether by faculty, librarians, or fellow undergrads– we are wanted! This massive motivation seems to only require an open and level playing field. I was absolutely and pleasantly surprised with the people I presented with in a panel session and in the plenary session, and met just about everywhere. Not only were they doing stellar projects that demonstrated deep thought and real humanities inquiry, but they came from all levels of a university. Undergraduates like myself, graduate students, professors, CLIR fellows and librarians coalesced into an ocean of DH projects that represented just about Read More

Digital Humanities Web Developer, Yale DHLab

Original Posting Date: 18 September 2015 STAR Requisition Number: 34039BR Supervisory Organization: LibraryDigital Humanities University Job Title: Web Developer Posting Position Title: Digital Humanities Developer Time Type: Full time This position designs and builds rich-client, web-based applications to support Digital Humanities projects on Yale’s campus. Using dynamic scripting languages such as Python and Ruby, the Programmer/Analyst produces back-end, web-server code that turns research ideas into concrete reality. Working in partnership with a UX & Visual Designer, this position is responsible for both new software platforms, as well as the adoption of open-source projects for use at Yale. The Programmer/Analyst focuses on technological solutions and platforms that are crucial to Digital Humanities work. The majority of the websites in the DHLab fit modern MVC-based frameworks, such as Ruby on Rails, Flask or Django in a Linux web server environment. The position creates, maintains, and updates open-source repositories of code developed at Yale, as well as projects adapted from other institutions. The position works with both traditional relational and NoSQL database contexts, depending on the requirements of the specific project (such as managing crowd-sourced contributions from thousands of participants.) The individual in this position will work to capture requirements from project leaders in an ongoing and iterative process. This role has the sole responsibility for determining the architecture, design, data schema, and development timeline to bring technical projects to successful completion. This position works alongside faculty, students, and librarians as clients and collaborators, to specify and realize complex Digital Humanities projects, and is responsible for evaluating project needs and recommending and implementing the best solution. This position is a member of the newly-formed Digital Humanities Lab (DHLab) at Yale, housed in Sterling Memorial Library at the heart of campus. The lab serves Yale scholars who wish to collaborate across disciplines, with a focus on STEM/Arts & Humanities (STEAM) projects. This role supports projects that pair specialists in computer science, applied mathematics, statistics, and other STEM fields with partners in the humanities and the arts. Essential Duties 1.  Provides technical expertise in developing programs or systems of moderate to large size. 2.  Responsible for the development and delivery of applications, programs, and systems. Evaluates departmental business and administrative processes and needs. Identify, define, and analyzes system requirements to meet the expectations of stakeholders and intended end users needs, scheduled timeline, and budgetary targets. 3.  Defines and designs new systems and applications. Provides business solutions. Performs complex problem solving. 4.  Provides technical guidance and recommendations for projects, including architectural design, technology selection and methodologies to apply. Responsible for the creation, definition, requirements, communication and management of project plans. Plans billable time and project implementation costs. 5.  Provides ongoing maintenance and support for applications and systems. 6.  Drives the development of systems documentation. Develops formal design proposals and cost and time estimates for new systems. Trains and mentors technical staff. 7.  Recommends and creates new policy. 8.  Applies and keeps current with existing and emerging technologies and methodologies. Provides ongoing input to the establishment of programming standards, procedures, and methodologies. 9.  May perform other duties as assigned. Required Qualifications Bachelor’s degree in a related field and five years of related work experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Strong interpersonal and communications skills and demonstrated ability to work as part of collaborative teams. Ability to communicate effectively with faculty, students, and staff. Demonstrated project management skills including background managing multiple priorities and experience with full lifecycle development. Proven ability to participate in and lead iterative discovery of project requirements from clients and organize those requirements into logical project phases. Exceptional skillset in Ruby and/or Python; ability to implement code written in other languages (such as PHP frameworks and/or Node.js) as necessary. Proven ability to deploy code in web contexts, such as HTML5, CSS, AJAX, JavaScript, and jQuery or similar; proficiency in revision control systems (such as GitHub), the UNIX command line (such as OS X and Linux), and databases (such as MySQL, MongoDB etc.). Ability to work effectively in digital humanities, academic technology, academic libraries, museums, cultural heritage or similar environments. Preferred Qualifications Master’s Degree in computer science, computer engineering, or similar. Previous experience with one or more of the following areas: Crowd-sourced annotations, Corpus Query Engines, Geo-Spatial Analysis, Machine Learning Toolkits, or Data Visualization Libraries. To Apply To apply, go to , search openings, and enter STAR requisition number: 34039BR Yale University considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, at TitleIX@yale.edu, or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, Five Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921. Telephone: 617.289.0111, Fax: 617.289.0150, TDD: 800.877.8339, or Email: ocr.boston@ed.gov.

Director of Connected Scholarship, University of Michigan Library

The University of Michigan Library is seeking a director to create and enable community-driven learning environments, promote interdisciplinarity, extend knowledge creation, apply learning technologies, and connect learning throughout the residential experience.  The realization of this vision enables the Library to be a significant partner in transforming our community’s ability to find and create, and in doing so enrich the practice of learning and scholarship.  This position has primary responsibility for enabling pathways and leading a team focused on programmatic engagement with learning technologies and application in curriculum transformation and content creation. Connected scholarship is part of the Learning and Teaching team of the University of Michigan Library which is one of the world’s largest academic research libraries and serves a vibrant university community that is home to 19 schools and colleges, 100 top ten graduate programs, and annual research expenditures approaching $1.5 billion a year. To enable the university’s world-changing work and to serve the public good, the library collects, preserves, and shares the scholarly and cultural record in all existing and emerging forms, and leads the reinvention of the academic research library in the digital age. The Library is committed to recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce and encourages all employees to fully incorporate their diverse backgrounds, skills, and life experiences into their work and towards the fulfillment of the library’s mission. Responsibilities The Director will inspire commitment and action, lead as a problem solver, build broad based involvement, and accelerate library connections and capacities with the expanding definition of scholarship, whether promoting best practices for content creation, adopting technology-enabled pedagogies, enabling instructors and learners as knowledge creators, linking technology-enabled and collaborative library spaces to learning, or enabling partnerships to leverage scholarship with digital capabilities. This position reports to the Associate University Librarian for Learning and Teaching. The Director will: -Design, create, assess, and manage high-quality programs and services to enable innovative, engaging, and learner-focused learning experiences -Lead a library team of seven staff members and students, focused on the application of learning technologies at the intersection of discovery, content, learning, and curricular transformation; collaborate with other library services to deliver high quality service -Articulate vision and guide program development to transform ways the library partners with faculty and students in leveraging and applying learning technologies to advance their scholarship, curricular, and co-curricular needs -Promote innovative use of learning spaces (e.g. Faculty Exploratory, Knowledge Navigation Center, Design Labs, etc) -Deepen, connect, and expand consultation capacity to enrich campus teaching and learning activities through the purposeful use of technology -Make visible (e.g. consultation, pilots, clear pathways to discovery, invite campus into conversation) the possibilities by highlighting the capabilities and range of expertise available Required Qualifications -Bachelor’s degree in related field (e.g. information, instructional technology or education) and significant experience enabling learning/knowledge environments or equivalent combination of education and experience. -For appointment as a librarian, an ALA-accredited master’s degree, or a relevant advanced degree is required. -Demonstrated ability to lead and mentor a team of professionals and student consultants. -Demonstrated ability to envision, lead, and transform the way we partner with faculty and students in leveraging learning technologies to advance their scholarship. -Demonstrated knowledge of effective teaching and learning strategies and in the integration of information technology with curriculum. -Excellent ability to communicate in speaking and writing. -Understands and values diversity and the importance of inclusion as demonstrated through a commitment to apply and incorporate the differences, complexities, and opportunities that diversity brings to an organization. Desired Qualifications -Advanced degree preferred Additional Information Benefits, rank, salary: Appointment is anticipated as a program manager, senior associate librarian or librarian. Salary and rank dependent on the candidate’s qualifications and experience. Librarian appointments carry with them increased expectations regarding professional development, professional engagement, research, and service, in keeping with the library’s process for librarian promotion and advancement. The University of Michigan offers excellent benefits and wellness opportunities. This position receives 24 days of vacation a year, and 15 days of sick leave a year with provisions for extended benefits, as well as opportunities for professional development and travel. TIAA-CREF and Fidelity Investments retirement options available. How to Apply A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position, include your salary requirements, and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position. Application Deadline Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended. Applications will be reviewed as received throughout the posting period and continue until the position is filled. U-M EEO/AA Statement The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

Designing for Digital: Notes from a New Library UX Conference

Courtney Greene McDonald, Head of Discovery & Research Services, Indiana University Libraries @xocg | courtneymcdonald.ly Over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more libraries embracing the idea of user experience – one can observe the phrase cropping up in a steady and growing stream of position descriptions (and even departments), journal articles, blog posts, a few books, and even a peer-reviewed journal entirely devoted to the topic. But what is user experience, anyway? Depends on who you ask. In 2008, Steven Bell pointed out that for UX-focused position descriptions at that time, “the tendency is to take a traditional public service job with traditional responsibilities, such as reference and instruction, add a dash of assessment or usability testing, and then slap the title ‘User Experience’ on it.”[ref]Bell, Steven. 2008. “User Experience Librarian – The Next Bandwagon?” Designing Better Libraries. http://dbl.lishost.org/blog/2008/02/13/user-experience-librarian-the-next-bandwagon/.[/ref] Since then, we’ve seen a growing interest in ethnography, notably through the Rochester, ERIAL, and Sustaining Digital Humanities projects, attempting to provide a means to understand the student experience more deeply through qualitative research methods. Aaron Schmidt has been writing a column for Library Journal on user experience since 2010, and reported in his very first column that his UX Damascus Road experience was precipitated by a stapler, that silent but highly influential partner of any public services librarian.[ref]No, I’m not being facetious. What public services librarian doesn’t have his or her marquee stapler story? (Mine involves a neon yellow cap and a men’s restroom.) And what other office equipment has its own Tumblr of requiem: The Lives and Deaths of Academic Library Staplers, http://deadstaplers.tumblr.com/[/ref] He “liberated the stapler from [a drawer] and placed it within easy reach… Though this was a small gesture, it altered the design of the library to provide a better experience for its users… Every touchpoint, or place that someone can come into contact with your library or its services, is fair game for evaluating how it fits into the experience you’re giving your users.”[ref]Schmidt, Aaron. 2010. “New Column Launch: The User Experience.” Library Journal. January 15 Accessed March 15. http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2010/01/opinion/aaron-schmidt/new-column-launch-the-user-experience/.[/ref] I can think of no more humble, yet far-reaching, place to begin a UX journey than this: in the library, at the reference desk, with the stapler. (Kudos Professor Plum.) For myself, I’ve observed with great interest the ongoing semantic skirmishes as the profession struggles to define what, where, who and how we mean UX — user experience design versus user experience thinking; interaction design, interactive design, usability, assessment, graphic design, instructional design or web development; and more recently, attempts to integrate service design and systems thinking. We strive to include customer service in our collective definition, yet we occasionally agonize (in a somewhat Boolean fashion) over whether user experience belongs organizationally with technology OR public services. Into this still-coalescing environment, last month Bonnie & Sandy Tijerina together with Judy Siegel launched a new, library-focused, UX-specific event called Designing for Digital: Designing the Future of Libraries on the Web (@design4lib). They explain on the event site, “we wanted to try something new at ER&L Conference to address our participants’ growing interest in this new but related subject area. [In 2014] we held our first ever UX Day and separated out User Experience-related conference submissions to be given on this day…This year, we’d like to offer even more programming over two entire days, including half day workshops and more speakers.” [ref]http://www.designingfordigital.com/about/[/ref] Held February 25 & 26 in Austin TX, on the heels of the ER&L conference, #design4lib brought together approximately 70 people to network, learn and share as a heterogeneous community of librarians and practitioners passionately interested in user experience. The event offered a variety of settings to facilitate connections, from more formal learning via workshops and presentations to informal networking opportunities throughout as well as the all-conference reception. Jon Kolko (@jkolko) opened the event with keynote “How to use empathy to create products people love,” in which he presented ideas from his must-read book Well-Designed in the context of a short case study on his startup MyEdu. His company, recently acquired by Blackboard, went about developing their product using a contextual inquiry process. Kolko’s talk about the power of design thinking was so inspiring my fast and furious note-taking didn’t even permit tweeting. Grant Zabriskie’s tweet provides an admirable summary: Takeaway from @jkolko @ #design4lib: Designers should observe and assume, take risks, then make something. This is how innovation happens. — Grant Zabriskie (@grantzabriskie) February 26, 2015 The day was bookended by Frank Migliorelli’s closing keynote, “Taming the Digital Lion,” in which he shared progress of the development of a digital experience department at the New York Public Library. Migliorelli (@nyplfrank) took the helm of this new department last year and found himself confronting this daunting question: how do you build a shared strategy for a unified digital experience that facilitates all the different possible actions and distinct user groups across 88 branches? In addition to discussing the practicalities of how they’re approaching this monumental task through, among other things, facilitating a culture change and identifying the ‘voices’ of the librarylibrary as tailor, library as assistant, library as curator, and more – he also regaled the audience with a dramatic reading of some existing web content and a thrilling re-enactment of how they burned up their existing site information architecture: #design4lib @fmigliorelli burning up the existing NYPL IA -see it in action pic.twitter.com/ZhRY7p2kWa — Nadaleen (@Nadaleen) February 26, 2015 In addition to these insightful and inspiring keynotes, the schedule included seven workshops, six concurrent sessions and four lightning talks on a wide range of topics. To list just a few: Service Design – Matt Franks (@franknatic) Information Architecture for Everybody (& definitely pick up her book, How to Make Sense of Any Mess) – Abby Covert (@Abby_the_IA) How do students *really* do research? Revelations from the “Research Confession Booth” – Odile Harter & Emily Singley (@emilysingley) Lightning talks on designing for better database discovery; ‘Rinse & repeat usability testing’; incorporating Read More

Digital Humanities Developer, Stanford University Libraries

The Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research (CIDR), a unit of Stanford University Libraries (SUL), provides subject and technology expertise, software development, digital resources, and research services to students, faculty, and staff in support of the University’s academic mission. Due to the growing demand by Stanford faculty for software development and integration in the humanities and social sciences, SUL is seeking an experienced and innovative developer for CIDR. CIDR combines decades of Library experience, expertise, and activity in support of computational social science, digital humanities, and related research and teaching in the Stanford community. CIDR collaborates with individual faculty and centers/departments like the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA), the Stanford Humanities Center, the Center for Computational Social Science, and the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (IRiSS), where digital research is actively underway. CIDR is also a hub for collaboration and communication amongst digital humanist and social science scholars, library curators and professional developers, promoting a sense of shared purpose in the Stanford environment. We are seeking a leader and innovator in the development of world-class technologies in support of interdisciplinary digital research. The successful candidate must have a deep understanding of scholarship in the humanities and/or social sciences. S/he will consult with faculty on scholarly projects to identify technical approaches, processes and tools; evaluate and integrate existing software tools for use in the humanities and social sciences; as well as design and implement new solutions. The candidate should have both a broad and deep understanding of current the state of the art in digital humanities and/or computational social science, such as historical GIS, text analysis, natural language processing event modeling, large dataset management and transformation, spatial analysis, high performance computing concepts, or network analysis. The CIDR Developer will join a distinguished and widely-recognized team of software developers and academic technologists with expertise in the digital humanities and computational social sciences. In addition to working directly with faculty, s/he will collaborate closely with library staff and other library technology organizations to build innovative, sophisticated, sustainable, and generalizable tools and infrastructure to support path-breaking digital research at Stanford and beyond. Responsibilities Consult with and advise faculty to provide project definition and analysis, including defining project scope, requirements and specifications, and project design. Recommend and assist with the integration and use of technology in the projects. Provide strong technical leadership and project management for CIDR software projects. Coordinate development resources to support new and existing projects in a sustainable fashion. Coordinate functional specifications and programming efforts, including code specification and review, dependencies and adherence to standards. Design and develop state-of-the-art and reusable code, infrastructure, methods and processes for the support of computational social science and digital humanities. Provide ongoing technology leadership and support for humanities and social science digital research projects. Support may include the evaluation and integration of existing tools, as well as the development of new applications. These applications may address needs related to digital content creation, content storage, content discovery, text analysis, data visualization, and the manipulation and analysis of data and other digital media. Promote and represent CIDR, improving the visibility of its program, its standing, and its reputation across campus and beyond. Liaise with peers at other academic institutions and in industry, seek and develop funding opportunities, publish and present at professional conferences. Review professional literature; participate in conferences, discussion groups, and other forums to stay abreast of new methodologies and practices relevant to the digital humanities and computational social sciences. Qualifications Master’s degree in a humanities or social science discipline, computer science, or the equivalent in professional experience, plus a minimum of five years’ experience using technology in humanities and/or social science scholarship. A Ph.D. degree in a humanities or social science discipline highly desirable. Demonstrated experience leading software development projects to successful completion, from conception through implementation and deployment. Demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following areas: natural language processing, text analysis, data-mining, machine learning, spatial analysis, network analysis, data modeling, and information visualization. A proven record of developing robust and sustainable software applications both independently and as part of a team, from conception through implementation, including the architectural planning, design, coding, testing, debugging, and documentation phases of a software development project. Experience with relational databases (e.g., PostgreSQL/PostGIS, Oracle, MySQL, MS-SQL), and software languages (e.g., Javascript, PHP, Python, Ruby/Rails, Perl). Experience with Linked Data technologies a plus. Experience developing dynamic and interactive media, preferably with experience developing applications for a touch-environment. Experience developing and integrating tools in an open source environment. Experience with the integration of digital media into web applications and/or collaboration systems (e.g., Drupal, Sakai, Canvas, etc.) Experience working closely with faculty in an academic setting to create products that are acknowledged successes. Familiarity with human/computer interface principles, and experience applying those principles in programming. Familiarity with agile software development practices. Excellent verbal and written communication skills. How to Apply Submit your cover letter and CV at http://stanfordcareers.stanford.edu/job-search (job number 65992), or go directly to https://stanford.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?job=65992&lang=en. Review of applications is ongoing; this is a “last call,” so don’t delay!

Digital Library Assessment

DLF seeks to facilitate conversations and activities related to digital library assessment. To take part, join the Digital Library Assessment Interest Group (DLF AIG) discussion forum, which is open to anyone interested in learning about or collaborating on the improvement of this work! More background, working groups, and projects: Research and cultural heritage institutions are, as a matter of course, providing online access to converted and born-digital scholarly and cultural content. As the amount of that content continues to grow, there is an increased need to standardize our assessment efforts in a more strategic way. This interest group is working on methods to measure the impact of digital collections; developing areas of commonality and benchmarks in how we measure collections across various platforms; understanding cost and benefit of digital collections; and exploring how can we best collect, analyze, communicate, and share such information effectively across our various stakeholders—from collection managers to scholars. The DLF AIG was formed in 2014 as an informal interest group within the larger DLF community. The group meets during the DLF Forum to share problems, ideas, and solutions. The group also has a dedicated Google Group, DLF-supported wiki, a Slack workspace (sign up here), and project documentation available in the Open Science Framework. The group is open to anyone interested in learning about or collaborating on the improvement of digital library assessment. Current working groups are focusing on tools and best-practices documents to: support cost assessment develop guidelines and best practices in user and usability studies create a toolkit for assessing content reuse build metadata quality review recommendations and explore the cultural assessment of digital libraries. The Assessment Interest Group is actively engaged in creating products and literature to assist with the assessment of digital libraries. Here are white papers, annotated bibliographies, project documentation, and additional resources developed by DLF AIG working groups: Opportunities for feedback and contributions The Digitization Cost Calculator project (Contribute data) Best Practices for Developing Personas in Digital Libraries (2018) Journey Mapping (2018) Metadata Application Profile Clearinghouse (2017) (Contribute here) Annotated Bibliography for Cultural Assessment of Digital Collections (2017) (Contribute here) Metadata Assessment Literature Review & Environmental Scan (2016) (Contribute here) Assessment Resources Metadata assessment tools wiki (2019) Setting a Foundation for Assessing Content Reuse: A White Paper from the Developing a Framework for Measuring Reuse (2018) Metadata Assessment Framework and Guidance (2017) Developing a Framework for Measuring Reuse of Digital Objects (2017) Web Analytics Annotated Resource List (2016-2017) (Contribute directly to the document) Surveying the Landscape: Use and Usability Assessment of Digital Libraries (2015) DLF User Studies in Digital Libraries Bibliography (2015) Best Practices for Google Analytics in Digital Libraries (2015) Altmetrics and analytics for digital special collections and institutional repositories (2015) Guidelines for citing library-hosted, unique digital assets (2015) Digitization projects: processes and definitions (2015)

Associate Director, Digital Humanities Center, Princeton University

Princeton University seeks an innovative leader to help build a nationally significant faculty research center that will support collaborative technology-based projects and will foster and develop inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary partnerships. This individual will work closely with the Faculty Director and advisory board to develop and support the infrastructure and intellectual community of the Digital Humanities Center in the short- and long-term. Princeton seeks someone who will both inform the vision of the Digital Humanities Center as well as ensure its smooth and effective operation. The Associate Director reports directly to the Faculty Director, with a secondary reporting relationship to the Deputy University Librarian. (For detailed position description: http://library.princeton.edu/staff/jobs/digital-humanities-associate-director.) Responsibilities: Builds alliances to advance the Center’s goals and strategic plan. The Associate Director will bring vision and enthusiasm to the role of establishing a sustainable Digital Humanities Center at Princeton. He or she will represent the Center, serving as a liaison with Princeton University faculty, the Office of Information Technology, and the University Library. He or she will communicate and lead programmatic interactions with related organizations in the United States and abroad. The Associate Director will work closely with the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations to raise funds to support the goals outlined in the five-year plan of the center. These goals include the creation and implementation of the postdoctoral and graduate student fellowship program and assistance in creating a graduate student alternative-academic (alt-ac) training program. The Associate Director will also engage in grant-writing and will help inform faculty about grant opportunities for short and long-term funding from sources both on and off campus. The Associate Director will work with representatives from the University Library, Office of Information Technology, McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, Humanities Council, and other University departments, centers, and programs as needed to develop programs, resources, and infrastructure to promote digital scholarship. Coordinates, with the University Library and the Office for Information Technology, research projects led by faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. The Associate Director will assist in project definition and analysis, including advising about project scope, requirements and specifications, and project design. He or she will evaluate and integrate existing tools for digital scholarship, and participate in the development of new applications to support digital scholarship. These applications may address needs related to digital content creation, content storage, content discovery, text analysis, data visualization and the manipulation and/or analysis of digital media. Advises the Director and the Advisory Board about the trends and directions in the fields associated with the Center’s mission. The Associate Director will keep abreast of new methodologies and practices relevant to digital humanities. He or she will update the Faculty Director and the Advisory Board regularly on practices, standards, events, and other developments relevant to the Center’s long-term goals. Executes policy and strategic direction for the Center and assumes responsibility for its operations. The Associate Director develops the Center’s budget, in collaboration with the Faculty Director. The Associate Director is responsible for careful and appropriate management of the administrative allowance, endowed funds, and grants or sponsored research. The Associate Director monitors spending and provides regular and timely analysis and projections of the available funds. He or she ensures that all internal deadlines are met and that the Center is compliant with all internal guidelines and external regulations. The Associate Director is responsible for recruiting, developing, and retaining talented and qualified staff, and for coordinating the use of the Center’s resources (space, equipment, personnel). Essential Qualifications: The Princeton University Digital Humanities Center seeks a professional with a proven track record in the emerging field of digital humanities with the ability to be diplomatic, build consensus, and utilize discretion. The position is ideally suited for someone with experience in an “alt-ac” position and requires: Ph.D. in the humanities, library sciences, social sciences, or a related discipline Minimum of 5 years’ experience with project management for academic research Demonstrated experience in an administrative position that includes supervisory experience Demonstrated experience in budget management and oversight of financial operations Excellent oral and written communication skills Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage multiple priorities Ability to anticipate and initiate appropriate action in support of the Director and Center faculty Excellent interpersonal skills Demonstrated leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making skills Successful grant-writing experience Experience with current technologies for digital scholarship and the ability to advise on hardware and software purchasing and implementation Preferred qualifications: Project-management experience with a significant digital humanities project Understanding of emergent best practices in the digital humanities Experience working with a nationally or internationally known digital humanities center Compensation and Benefits: Princeton offers competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits program that is responsive to the needs of its diverse staff. The comprehensive benefits program includes health and life insurance coverage, pension benefits, flexible spending accounts, income protection in the event of short- and long-term disabilities, benefits for employee education, children’s tuition grants, as well as 24 vacation days a year, 9 holidays and 2 personal days. Nominations and Applications: Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Applications will be accepted only from the Jobs at Princeton website: http://www.princeton.edu/jobs and must include a resume, cover letter, and a list of three references with full contact information. PRINCETON UNIVERSITY IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER.

DLF Forum 2013—Thoughts from a New Librarian

This Forum Report was provided by Scott Young, Digital Initiatives Librarian, Montana State University & a 2013 DLF New Professionals Fellow. After attending the DLF Forum for the first time in 2012 and then after having attended the DLF Forum as a New Professional Fellow in 2013, I am happy to report my findings: the DLF Forum is a great conference! I say this for two primary reasons: balance and energy. The Forum firstly strikes a productive balance between practice and theory. Some sessions will tackle the nuts-and-bolts of projects such as structured data or hydra implementation, while other sessions will feature concept-level discussions of the nature and definition of digital scholarship or library publishing. As a new professional to the field, the DLF Forum has been invaluable for connecting me with a community of fellow practitioners who think and care deeply about the work of building the digital library. The Forum secondly is driven by an impressive and positive energy. After this year’s conference I returned home with abundant inspiration—the tell-tale sign of a great conference. In the spirit of creation and communication, I wanted to bolster my own understanding of a basic aspect of the web, the DOM tree, and then build and publish a learning tool on my blog. So I looked more into the DOM structure and methods for manipulating various HTML elements with JavaScript. Fun stuff! The final product is a little web app that illustrates the DOM tree, “Hi Color”. While this project in itself is rather insignificant, I will be a better web developer as a result of the playful creative time dedicated towards tinkering with the DOM tree. As I’ve come to know the DLF, I’ve seen that its members constitute a strong community of creative builders who enjoy sharing knowledge and forming relationships at the DLF Forum. In the future I hope to attend many Forums where I can continue to connect in valuable ways with other members of the DLF community.

Born Digital: An Archival Approach

Constellation E: Monday, October 31, 4:15 – 5:00PM “’Taking our Pulse’ [Dooley and Luce, 2010] summarized a 2009 survey of archives and special collections and found that born-digital materials are under-collected, under-counted, under-managed, unpreserved, and inaccessible. By the DLF fall forum, OCLC Research will have made significant progress on an activity to look at management of born-digital materials from an archivist’s perspective. One objective of this work is to help situate the role of special collections librarians and archivists within the spectrum of collaborators in the born-digital realm. What skills and experiences can archivists bring to bear that will help those in research libraries who are entrusted to manage born-digital materials? We’ve already completed an essay offering a definition of born digital and enumerating the widely divergent types of materials that are considered born digital. Another piece that has been competed is a proposed approach to getting digital content off of the various kinds of physical media, including both obsolete media and present day media. Among the next components will be a piece on the archival approach to born digital, beginning with assessment and continuing through to description, preservation, and access. An additional component of the work will be a piece that pulls together the best advice for responsible approaches to getting born-digital materials under basic, initial control – and presents it in a clear set of steps to help curators of born-digital materials act confidently. The timing of the DLF forum comes at a perfect point for us to get feedback on what’s been completed and get input on what else would be a useful contribution to the community. Session Resources Jd born digital to dlf 20111031 View more presentations from Jmdooley Session Leaders Jackie Dooley (OCLC) Ricky Erway, non-presenting contributor (OCLC Research)

Digital Curation, Data Management, Digital Preservation, Sustainability: Are We Clear Yet?

Constellation C: Monday, October 31, 10:30AM – 12:00PM This session will examine the status of discourse surrounding “data management planning,” “digital curation,” “digital preservation,” and “sustainability” from varied perspectives, with the purposes of helping to ensure that key stakeholder communities are on the same page when they communicate and collaborate. Recent conferences, blog postings, and project descriptions reveal occasional confusion and dissonance between and among digital librarians, educators, domain specialists, funders, and others as they develop action plans or guidelines for addressing these issues. The terms noted above don’t always mean the same thing to the various communities of interest trying to identify next best steps in dealing with research data, born-digital resources, surrogates, or other digital content and assets. For example, in some settings, digital preservation is seen as a component of data management planning; in other contexts, it’s exactly the opposite. For some, digital curation carries a broad, overarching meaning, while for others, this term has yet to come into common use and seems overly ambiguous. Achieving greater clarity on the uses and meanings of these terms and concepts is not merely a semantic exercise. With interdisciplinary approaches being so vital to the successful care and stewardship of digital information, greater consistency in communication and commonality of understanding of methodological frameworks is a must. As is often acknowledged, maintaining and making digital content properly available involves a high level of cross-community engagement between information creators, tech engineers, systems managers, curators, end users, and others to encompass a truly effective life-cycle strategy. Sharpening the definitions for fundamental concepts becomes a key ingredient in advancing such interaction and interdependence. This topic will be explored by a panel comprising 1) an educator from a leading information studies program developing a digital curation curriculum, 2) a co-author of the Association of Research Libraries’ guide for research libraries on the NSF data sharing policy, 3) a digital archivist incorporating sustainability in both institutional and community development environments, and 4) a representative from the Library of Congress’ National Digital Information and Infrastructure Preservation Program. The panel will be moderated by a representative of a funding agency that supports the creation and long-term preservation of digital content. Although the session will make no pretense of producing conclusive definitions, it should bring heightened attention to the challenge of untangling the overlapping meanings of evolving terms and constructs and their emerging application in digital library practice. Session Leaders Joel Wurl is a Sr. Program Officer in the Division of Preservation & Access, National Endowment for the Humanities, where he is involved foremost with the division’s “Humanities Collections & Reference Resources” program, which, among other activities, supports efforts to preserve and make available digital humanities content.. Prior to joining NEH in October, 2006, he worked for 20 years with University of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center ending there as Head of Research Collections and Associate Director. His publications have appeared in both archival and immigration/ethnic history journals, and he is general editor for “North American Immigrant Letters, Diaries, and Oral Histories,” an online product of Alexander St. Press. In 2007, he was named a Distinguished Fellow of the Society of American Archivists. He also serves as Adjunct Instructor in the Applied History program at George Mason University. Dr. Helen R. Tibbo is an Alumni Distinguished Professor at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), and teaches in the areas of archives and records management, digital preservation and access, appraisal, and archival reference and outreach. She is also a Fellow and immediate Past-President of the Society of American Archivists (SAA). From 2006-2009, Dr. Tibbo has been Principal Investigator for the IMLS-funded DigCCurr I project that developed an International Digital Curation Curriculum for master’s level students and the DigCCurr II project that extends the Digital Curation Curriculum to the doctoral level. In 2009, she received IMLS support for two additional projects, Educating Stewards of Public Information in the 21st Century (ESOPI-21) and Closing the Digital Curation Gap (CDCG). The latter is a collaboration with the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Digital Curation Center (DCC), both of the United Kingdom, to explore educational and guidance needs of cultural heritage information professionals in the digital curation domain in the US and the UK. Dr. Patricia Hswe is Digital Collections Curator at the Penn State University Libraries. Her work is largely about making digital content and data discoverable, accessible, and usable over time, for as long as these materials are useful – toward the related goals of repurposing them and adding value to the Libraries’ collections and data sets. To these ends, she is regularly engaged in activities of assessment, data/content management, and stewardship services planning. In this context, a key responsibility is assisting in the development of services to support faculty and students in the curation of their research data and other scholarly materials. In addition, she has research interests in user engagement with special collections and archives and in the challenges of humanities data curation. Patricia is a former CLIR Post-Doctoral Fellow and a 2008 graduate of the Master’s degree program at the University of Illinois’ Graduate School of Library and Information Science. She also holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Yale. Megan Forbes is the Collection Manager at the Museum of the Moving Image and the Project Manager for CollectionSpace, an international initiative, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, devoted to the creation of an open-source, web-based software application for the cataloging, managing, and publishing of museum collections data. Megan is currently working on creating extensions to the existing CollectionSpace software that will allow museums and other cultural organizations to more easily manage information around digital objects, from media art to video games. William LeFurgy is Project Manager, Digital Initiatives for the Library of Congress, National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP). He leads the digitalpreservation.gov communications team, which uses the web and social media to engage with professional and public audiences. Read More