DLF https://www.diglib.org Digital Library Federation Thu, 08 Dec 2016 21:47:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Fellow Reflection: Sherri Berger https://www.diglib.org/archives/13143/ https://www.diglib.org/archives/13143/#respond Thu, 08 Dec 2016 20:35:05 +0000 https://www.diglib.org/?p=13143 sherrithumbnailThis Fellow Reflection was written by Sherri Berger (@sherribee), Product Manager for the California Digital Library. She received a Kress+DLF Cross-Pollinator Fellowship to attend the Museum Computer Network’s annual conference (Nov. 1-4). 

In her keynote address at MCN, mere days before the presidential election, Catherine Bracy projected an image of Donald Trump on the giant ballroom screen. “Trust in institutions…is as low as it’s ever been,” she said. Bracy’s words set the stage for what was, for me, a reflective conference, as I gained new ideas from an adjacent field as well as fresh perspectives on my current one. And the questions I pondered over the course of the meeting, especially regarding the role of digital collections in the 21st century, have taken on even more significance in the weeks since the election.

MCN presented a decidedly more audience-centric perspective than the conferences I usually attend. Sessions about social media, crowdsourcing, virtual reality, and other tech topics engaged with this year’s theme, “the people-centered museum,” by wrestling with the value of these ventures rather than focusing on the processes undertaken to deliver them. A number of sessions also confronted issues of diversity and inclusion, in terms of both staffing an institution and welcoming visitors to it.

I was particularly inspired by initiatives that have invited users to participate in the construction of digital collections. For example, the Coyote project at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago provides an administrative interface for crowdsourcing descriptions of artworks, to make them more accessible to users with visual impairments. Europeana 1914-1918 solicits contributions to its virtual collection from everyday citizens, offering to digitize World War I relics scattered in attics across the continent.

Although crowdsourcing is nothing new, these projects achieve a deep level of engagement that most digital libraries—especially those at academic institutions—have only dabbled in. They challenge the very notion of who can create a digital collection and who, in turn, that collection can serve. Is digitizing our holdings enough, or is the real significance in user-contributed content? Is there perhaps more meaning in the process—if the process engages our users—than there is in the product?

These are concepts I’ve considered throughout my career, but at MCN and in the weeks since, they have come into sharper focus for me. I was pleased to hear that themes of community and cultural assessment likewise ran through the DLF conference. Now more than ever, we need to democratize digital collections.

Thank you to DLF, the Kress Foundation, and the Museum Computer Network for the support.

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Fellow Reflection: Sarah Barsness https://www.diglib.org/archives/13135/ https://www.diglib.org/archives/13135/#respond Tue, 06 Dec 2016 20:33:23 +0000 https://www.diglib.org/?p=13135 sarah2

This Fellow Reflection was provided by Sarah Barsness (@SarahRBarsness), Digital Collections Assistant at the Minnesota Historical Society, who was an AMIA+DLF Virtual Cross-Pollinator this year. 

Sarah also pulled together resources from the DLF Forum, DigiPres16, and AMIA on Pindex. Feel free to share or contribute to the page. Thanks Sarah! 

I’ve spent the last few days putting together my notes from NDSA Digital Preservation 2016, looking over the conference program and paging through my tweets from the conference and the days on either end.  As I think back, what I’m most struck by are the emotions: the devastation I felt as the election results came in, the fire and passion ignited by Bergis Jules’ keynote, the camaraderie I felt with my fellow cross-pollinators as we tweeted away, the unspoken bond we all shared as we looked ahead to the future and then to each other for strength and inspiration.  In writing this reflection, I wasn’t sure how I could separate those feelings from the stuff of the conference itself: tools I learned about, things I’m excited to try now that I’m back in the office, colleagues met, and business cards exchanged.

The fact of the matter is that I simply can’t separate them, and the most important thing I learned at the conference is that it’s okay.  For all the time we tend to devote to talking tech, everything we do is about people.  It’s about the donors we work with, the relationships we build with our co-workers, the researchers we seek to serve, the community of professional practice we’ve built for ourselves.

I’ve never been a believer in the neutrality of archiving, but coming to grips with what intentional, mindful partiality might mean for my work at a large historical society is something new to me.  Acknowledging the heavy influence of people on what I do has been both liberating and profound, because it means questioning every single thing I do, interrogating how I go about my work, and how I can better recognize and serve the human elements of my job.  Between now and Digital Preservation 2017, I plan on running with this idea and seeing what happens – no matter where it ends up, I’m sure it will be somewhere interesting.

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#bdaccess Twitter Chat Recap https://www.diglib.org/archives/13123/ https://www.diglib.org/archives/13123/#respond Fri, 02 Dec 2016 16:55:32 +0000 https://www.diglib.org/?p=13123 By Jess Farrell and Sarah Dorpinghaus

Note: This recap was originally posted to the Society of American Archivists’ bloggERS series about access to born-digital materials. It has been re-posted with the authors’ permission. 


An ad-hoc born-digital access group with the Digital Library Federation recently held two successful and informative #bdaccess Twitter chats that scratched the surface of the born-digital access landscape. The discussions aimed to gain insight on how researchers want to access and use digital archives and included questions on research topics, access challenges, and discovery methods.

Here are a few ideas that were discussed during the two chats:

You can search #bdaccess on Twitter to see how the conversation evolves or view the complete conversation from these chats on Storify.

The Twitter chats were organized by a group formed at the 2015 SAA annual meeting. We are currently developing a bootcamp to share ideas and tools for providing access to born-digital materials and have teamed up with the Digital Library Federation to spread the word about the project. Stay tuned for future chats and other ways to get involved!


Jess Farrell is the curator of digital collections at Harvard Law School. Along with managing and preserving digital history, she’s currently fixated on inclusive collecting, labor issues in libraries, and decolonizing description.

Sarah Dorpinghaus is the Director of Digital Services at the University of Kentucky Libraries Special Collections Research Center. Although her research interests lie in the realm of born-digital archives, she has a budding pencil collection.

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Help Shape the 2017 Forum as Part of the Forum Planning Committee https://www.diglib.org/archives/13108/ https://www.diglib.org/archives/13108/#respond Wed, 30 Nov 2016 20:39:01 +0000 https://www.diglib.org/?p=13108 picture1

The Digital Library Federation would like to invite members of our broad community of digital library practitioners to participate in planning the 2017 DLF Forum, to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 23-25, 2017.

Volunteers join one or more of the following subcommittees, centered around various aspects of Forum planning, and will be called on to help review proposals:

  • Program Committee – helps DLF manage the submissions, selection, and scheduling process
  • Sponsorship Committee – helps raise money and make sure sponsors interact with DLF in a meaningful way
  • Scholarship Committee – helps select and welcome DLF Forum fellows and Cross-Pollinators
  • Social – helps DLF plan mentorship programs, Dine-Arounds, and other social events
  • Local – helps connect DLF with Milwaukee venues, resources, and organizations
  • Inclusivity – help DLF with details that make the Forum welcoming and accessible

If you are interested in playing a vital role in shaping the 2017 DLF Forum, please let us know by completing this brief form by December 20, 2016.

This is a community and practitioner-based event, so we need community help in organizing it! Time commitments will not be onerous (monthly conference calls and some subcommittee work). We see this as a great way to help shape the Forum and work with peers across institutional lines.

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3D Printing Inter-Library Loan at Texas Tech https://www.diglib.org/archives/13059/ https://www.diglib.org/archives/13059/#respond Mon, 28 Nov 2016 18:30:11 +0000 https://www.diglib.org/?p=13059 photo-trio-2

Ryan Burns of Texas Tech University Libraries (left) made this video in which Associate Librarian Ryan Litsey and Assistant Librarian Le Yang discuss a new inter-library loan program for 3-D objects. Burns is Unit Coordinator/ Electronic Media and Communication.

The contributors would like to acknowledge co-investigators Nora Dethloff, Librarian and Assistant Head of Information & Access at the University of Houston; and Jose Contreras (Programmer Analyst II), Weston Mauldin (Programmer Analyst III), Matt McEniry (Assistant Librarian, Metadata), and Ryan Cassidy (Assistant Librarian, Research, Instruction, and Outreach) at Texas Tech University.


Learn more about the Contribute series.

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Re-Affirmation and DLF Organizers’ Toolkit https://www.diglib.org/archives/13044/ https://www.diglib.org/archives/13044/#respond Wed, 23 Nov 2016 15:59:24 +0000 https://www.diglib.org/?p=13044 For the Digital Library Federation, November 10th saw the close of a joyful and self-consciously more inclusive 2016 DLF Forum, characterized by deeper critical introspection, the clarion leadership of our keynote speakers, broad sharing of best practices and the fruits of community-spirited labor, and increasing resolve to support our collective mission to advance research, learning, social justice, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies.

It also saw the close of a bitterly contentious and divisive national presidential election and the opening of a fortnight of violence, fear, and emboldened hate. DLF director Bethany Nowviskie addressed the community on November 10th with an “Open Invitation” to use the Digital Library Federation as a counter-platform to forces like these:

“Use this federation, this DLF. It is yours. Its whole purpose is to be a framework for what you need. [Use it] to create—or resist.” 

It is in that spirit that we re-affirm the DLF’s longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice.

Now more than ever, organizations like the Digital Library Federation, the institutions that make up our membership, and the countless individual people who so generously volunteer their time through DLF channels, to work toward the most noble purposes and possibilities for library tech, must stand up for our professional values—values like intellectual freedom and the open exchange of ideas, privacy and security, the honoring of cultural understanding and scientific expertise, and an unwavering commitment to equitable access to information in safe and welcoming digital and physical environments. We must also stand for our shared humanity, and the protection and liberation of the most vulnerable and least free among us.

It is in the spirit of community-based platforms for creation and resistance that we offer a new DLF Organizers’ Toolkit. The Digital Library Federation enthusiastically invites you to use this toolkit (as a guide to using us better!), and we welcome your help in improving the resources gathered there.

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Call for Applications: DLF + DHSI Cross-Pollinator Tuition Awards https://www.diglib.org/archives/13011/ https://www.diglib.org/archives/13011/#respond Fri, 18 Nov 2016 18:35:49 +0000 https://www.diglib.org/?p=13011 DHSI LogoWe are now taking applications for three tuition fellowships to the 2017 Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) in Victoria, B.C.!

The Digital Humanities Summer Institute has grown by leaps and bounds, and we are excited to connect three “DLF-DHSI Cross-Pollinator Fellows” with its extensive offerings. There will be 49 courses and 15 short workshops in the summer of 2017 (June 5-9 and 12-16), with the University of Victoria Libraries and the Electronic Textual Cultures Lab hosting the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing 2017 conference, “Technologies of the Book,” from June 9-12.

Members not interested in a tuition scholarship opportunity are welcome to register for DHSI courses at any time, using DLF discount codes available here: http://dhsi.org/registration.html. (You must be affiliated with a DLF member institution to use the codes. Courses fill quickly, so don’t delay!)


The application requests the following information:

  1. contact information
  2. brief, one-paragraph bio
  3. a one-paragraph statement about how attending DHSI might expand your professional horizons, what you hope to learn, and what skills or ideas you might bring back from DHSI to the DLF community.

The award will cover tuition only, and is only available to participants from DLF member institutions. (Check your eligibility.) Applicants or their employers are responsible for the costs of travel and lodging, and winners must register by April 1st in order to use the award.

DLF-DHSI Cross-Pollinators will also be invited to contribute a DLF blog post about their experiences after the event.

Applications are due December 2, 2016.

Apply online at http://bit.ly/2fkXDEo

Please contact awards@diglib.org with any questions.

About DHSI

The Digital Humanities Summer Institute provides an ideal environment for discussing and learning about new computing technologies and how they are influencing teaching, research, dissemination, creation, and preservation in different disciplines, via a community-based approach.

A time of intensive coursework, seminars, and lectures, participants at DHSI share ideas and methods, and develop expertise in using advanced technologies. Every summer, the institute brings together faculty, staff, and students from the Arts, Humanities, Library, and Archives communities as well as independent scholars and participants from areas beyond.

Described by one participant as an event that “combines the best aspects of a skills workshop, international conference, and summer camp,” the DHSI prides itself on its friendly, informal, and collegial atmosphere. We invite you to join the DHSI community in Victoria for a time of focused practice, learning, and connecting with (and making new) friends and colleagues.

About the DLF Cross-Pollinator Awards

We make a growing number of travel and tuition grants available year-round to DLF members and to the broader community invested in digital library work. Many of these grants bring individuals from other communities to the DLF Forum, or help DLF practitioners who wish to build a dynamic and diverse peer network make it to conferences they may not otherwise attend.

Our goal is to create “cross-pollinators”—professionals who move freely among our (sometimes walled) gardens. In an increasingly networked world, DLF means to increase communication between all groups interested in the future of information, including museums, libraries, colleges and universities, and anyone working in digital collections and services.

Learn about the 2015 Awardees

Digital Humanities training through DLF & DHSI, 12 October 2015

2015 DLF + DHSI Cross-Pollinators, 18 November 2015

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Three Questions with Yasmeen Shorish and Kevin Hegg https://www.diglib.org/archives/13003/ https://www.diglib.org/archives/13003/#respond Mon, 14 Nov 2016 18:45:48 +0000 https://www.diglib.org/?p=13003 two-photos

Yasmeen Shorish is Data Services Coordinator and Associate Professor at James Madison University. She is also a newly appointed DLF Advisory Committee member. Kevin Hegg is Director of Digital Projects, Innovation Services, at James Madison University.


What must change in our field?

Our reluctance to change existing infrastructure or workflows. A lot of the work that was done in libraries to bring materials online was costly in terms of time and energy. It can be hard to see those systems lose relevance or utility as scholarship changes, but we must recognize when it is time to revise our existing procedures or infrastructures. Allowing more flexibility and experimentation in our partnerships with students and faculty is one way to fully leverage the technologies that libraries use to support creativity and scholarship.

What should endure?

The library often serves as a community hub – collecting and providing access to the intellectual and cultural output of that community. While we must be willing to modify or discard rigid and outdated structures, we should do so while embracing the foundation of stewardship, equity, and access that we believe the library represents. Experimentation and innovation are not excuses to abandon thoughtful and representative selection, nor should they be divorced from the critical thinking and evaluation work that is central to many library services. Too often, shiny new technologies create a period of enchantment where we risk losing focus on the meaningful application of technology in learning and research.

What are you or your colleagues geeking out on lately?

Yasmeen: I want to see more intentional work to enfranchise historically underrepresented groups in the work of digital collections and archives. I think this requires much more engagement with the technologists in the library, to have the conversations about how to facilitate representation and, because of various historical structures, this can be a challenge for people to maintain as a primary consideration. So, I guess I am geeking out on systemic challenges?

Kevin: I am currently engaged in research projects that incorporate technologies with higher barriers to entry, such as larger datasets stored in relational databases that feed into interactive and dynamic charts, graphs, and layered maps. I am having fun this semester with CartoDb, ArcGIS Online, Tableau, various JavaScript charting libraries, and Google Apps Script.


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Open Invitations: post-Election Day remarks https://www.diglib.org/archives/12979/ https://www.diglib.org/archives/12979/#comments Thu, 10 Nov 2016 14:58:45 +0000 https://www.diglib.org/?p=12979 These remarks by DLF Director Bethany Nowviskie were delivered at the closing plenary session of the 2016 DLF Forum, on the morning after Election Day, 2016. [Update, 19 November: video of the entire session is available now.]

I thought I knew on Monday what I needed to say this morning. I was going to give heartfelt thanks to you all for being the community that you are—and for the experience of the past year and a half, for me, as director—and of the past three days for us all, as a tongue-in-cheek little conference village. Mostly I was just going to be cheerful and chirpy, make a happy announcement about some new advisory board members, and turn things over to our panelists for equally cheerful and brief pitches about their groups and projects. (Panelists, I am so grateful to you for being up here with me.)

This plenary session is called “Open Invitations,” and I think that suits what I’m going to say now, instead, just fine.

What I’m going to say now presumes nothing about your personal politics. I think we saw last night how little we can presume, and how much work is needed on the systems and methods of data collection and analysis that we bear responsibility for and are complicit in as information professionals. How little we understand each other.

And I am especially conscious of how some of you in far less privileged and safe positions than mine must be feeling this morning—far from home, maybe among some friends, surely among many strangers, and perhaps in a lonely minority here, by virtue of the color of your skin or other qualities of the one precious body you’re in, by virtue of the place of your origin or the assumptions people make about that place, or the faiths you hold dear, or the genders of the people you love or want to love one day, or just by virtue of who know yourself to be. Even in what I hope and believe is a DLF village full of allies—clumsy, awkward allies, probably, most of us, but people who honor you and want and need you here—I know you must be feeling very alone.

What I want to say presumes nothing about the politics of anyone in this room, but the newly explicit social justice mission of the DLF is no secret. You may have seen me steer left. And it’s no secret that together, as a collective of individuals, many of us have been working to move this organization along the arc of the moral universe, and to follow where that arc bends—and go where people much more qualified to lead than we are, are leading.

That’s the context in which we make open invitations, today. The people who will take this stage represent just a smattering of DLF and DLF-connected projects. They are working hard, and the work they do bears on the immediate future facing all of us, and on the possible futures facing generations to come. If we have time when they stop, we want you to take the mics and issue invitations of your own.

But before we do that, I want to make the biggest and most open invitation that I can. And that is to use this federation, this DLF. It is yours. Its whole purpose is to be a framework for what you need, for what you want to create—or [use to] resist.

As soon as I possibly can, I will have our half-finished DLF organizer’s toolkit out and available to you to make that easier—but don’t wait for it to contact me and tell me what you want to do and what you need.

And I also want to say, before we start urging you to act, that it’s also okay to need some time. After all, the libraries and archives and labs and educational and scientific and cultural heritage institutions we’re building together are meant for the long haul. It’s right to move with care, including deep care for yourselves and for each other. I could not be happier or more grateful to Stacie Williams for starting us out with the theme of an ethic of care, and I think it’s one we’re right to end on, too.

These remarks were followed by brief presentations from leaders and key participants in various DLF initiatives: our DLF Assessment Interest Group (Santi Thompson) and AIG Cultural Assessment working group (Hannah Scates Kettler); our Digital Library Pedagogy group (Elizabeth Kelly and Eleanor Dickson); DLF Project Managers (Cynthia York); DLF Liberal Arts College community and LAC Pre-Conference (Kevin Butterfield); the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (Robin Ruggaber); DLF eResearch Network (Jason Clark & Sara Mannheimer); IIIF Consortium (Sheila Rabun); and DLF Forum planning committees (Becca Quon & Katherine Kim). 


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Announcing the 2016 NDSA Award Winners https://www.diglib.org/archives/12878/ https://www.diglib.org/archives/12878/#respond Wed, 09 Nov 2016 20:20:28 +0000 https://www.diglib.org/?p=12878 We are delighted to announce the recipients of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance’s (NDSA) annual Innovation Awards!

This year, the NDSA annual innovation awards committee reviewed eighteen exceptional nominations from across the country. These awards highlight and commend creative individuals, projects, organizations, and future stewards demonstrating originality and excellence in their contributions to the field of digital preservation.

The awardees will be recognized publicly during NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2016 at the reception held the evening of Wednesday, November 9. Please join us in congratulating them for their hard work! Each of the winners will be interviewed later this year, so stay tuned to learn more about their work on our blog.

Individual Awards

Jarrett DrakeJarrett M. Drake is the Digital Archivist at Princeton University’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, where his primary responsibilities entail managing the Digital Curation Program, describing born-digital archival collections for the Princeton University Archives, and coordinating the Archiving Student Activism at Princeton (ASAP) initiative. He is also one of the organizers and an advisory archivist of A People’s Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland, an independent community-based archive in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, that collects, preserves, and provide access to the stories, memories, and accounts of police violence as experienced or observed by Cleveland citizens. Jarrett serves on the advisory board of the StoryCorps Justice Project and Documenting the Now: Supporting Scholarly Use and Preservation of Social Media Content.

Jarrett is recognized for his work at Princeton and in the community to challenge and re-examine the practices of archiving and documenting history, particularly relating to preserving the underrepresented voices in history.

Dave RiceDave Rice is an audiovisual archivist and technologist whose work focuses on independent media, open source technical in preservation applications, and quality control analytics. He has worked as an archivist or archival consultant at media organizations like CUNY, Democracy Now, the United Nations, WITNESS, Downtown Community Television, and Bay Area Video Coalition. He is a graduate of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation.

Dave is recognized for his work in advocating widely for standards and collaboration across countries and organizations as well as his work with nonprofit organizations such as Democracy Now and WITNESS.

Organization Award

The Mid-Michigan Digital Practitioners (MMDP) group is a regional collective of librarians, archivists, museum curators, conservators, historians, scholars and more engaged in creating and curating digital collections in Mid-Michigan and the surrounding region. The mission of the group is to provide an open and local forum for conversation, collaboration and networking for professionals working with digital collections in Michigan.

The MMDP is recognized for its highly original and successful organizational model in fostering innovation sharing and knowledge exchange.

Project Award

2016-2017 Cohort ClassThe Tribal Stewardship Cohort Program: Digital Heritage Management, Archiving and Mukurtu CMS Training project is a three year program targeting the unique needs of Tribal archives, libraries and museums through a cohort-based educational model emphasizing digitization and preservation of materials in culturally responsive ways. Their goal is to provide long-term educational opportunities in digital heritage management and preservation with an emphasis on flexible models and cohort-specific needs.

The project is recognized for its work in providing long-term educational opportunities in digital heritage management and preservation as well as its dedication to culturally responsive and ethically-minded practices. Kim Christen, the Director of the Tribal Stewardship Cohort Program, will accept this award on behalf of the project.

Future Steward Award

Samantha AbramsSamantha Abrams recently moved from Madison, Wisconsin, to Brooklyn, New York, where she works as the Community Archivist at StoryCorps. She is interested in web and personal archiving, digital preservation, community archives, and digital literacy. At the Madison Public Library, Samantha took the initiative to work with library staff to create its Personal Archiving Lab. The lab provides public access to equipment and instruction that allows for digitization of photos, audio and film formats in a controlled, safe and professional environment.

Samantha is recognized for her work with the Madison Public Library and its Personal Archiving Lab as well as her initiative to create innovative projects and classes.

The annual Innovation Awards were established by the NDSA to recognize and encourage innovation in the field of digital preservation stewardship. The program is administered by a committee drawn from members of the NDSA Innovation Working Group. Learn more about the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Award recipients.

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