Forum – DLF Digital Library Federation Fri, 29 Apr 2016 16:40:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2016 DLF Forum Keynoter is Stacie Williams! Mon, 25 Apr 2016 14:34:18 +0000 We are very pleased to announce that Stacie Williams is our keynote speaker for the 2016 DLF Forum in Milwaukee! DLF’s opening-morning keynote will help us kick off a pragmatic, get-stuff-done conversation, unfolding over the following days. Be sure to submit your proposals by May 15th to help shape the rest of the program.

Williams’ keynote will focus on labor issues in our field, and we will share a title and abstract in the coming months. We are particularly pleased to be welcoming her home to Milwaukee, where she was born and raised, a background she tells us has shaped her perspectives on issues like the “Implications of Archival Labor”.

DLF Forum Keynote Speaker: Stacie Williams

Stacie WilliamsStacie Williams is the Learning Lab Manager at the University of Kentucky’s Special Collections Research Center, coordinating an undergraduate archives internship, and additionally teaches the graduate-level archives and manuscripts management course in UK’s School of Library and Information Science. She has previously worked at Tufts University’s Digital Collections and Archives, the Harvard Medical School’s Countway Library, and the Lexington (Ky.) Public Library. In 2013, Williams organized a panel at SXSW about ways that information professionals can influence and engage grassroots activism on Twitter, and she has co-published on topics such as community archives, cyberracism and information literacy. She is a 2010 ALA Spectrum Scholar and a member of the 2015 Archives Leadership Institute cohort. She holds an M.S. in library science with an Archives Management concentration from Simmons College, and a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Find her on Twitter @wribrarian.

We have yet to announce keynote speakers for the DLF Liberal Arts College Pre-Conference and NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2016, so there’s much to look forward to! See you in Milwaukee for the 2016 #DLFforum!

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Call for Proposals: 2016 DLF Forum Mon, 18 Apr 2016 15:27:53 +0000 The Digital Library Federation invites proposals for our 2016 DLF Forum, to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 7-9 November 2016. Separate calls are being issued for allied meetings: the DLF Liberal Arts Colleges Pre-Conference (6 November) and Digital Preservation 2016 (9-10 November), the annual conference of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA)—all in the same location:

Proposals are due by May 15th at 11:59pm Pacific Time.  

About DLF and the Forum:

The DLF is a robust and inclusive community that works to advance research, learning, social justice, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies. Our annual Forum (#DLFforum) brings digital library, archives, and museum practitioners together to set ambitious agendas, share new methods and experiments, develop best practices, and better organize our community to accomplish its shared mission. Proposals are encouraged from DLF members and non-members alike. All are welcome at the Forum and warmly encouraged to participate in DLF’s programs year-round.  

The 2016 Forum will be held at the historic Pfister Hotel, just blocks from Lake Michigan, the Milwaukee Art Museum, restaurants, and nightlife. The hotel has an incredible Victorian art collection, an artist-in-residence program, and a spa. Our local hosts will be the Marquette University Raynor Memorial LibrariesUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. Thanks to the generosity of donors, DLF can again help subsidize childcare at the Forum. (Contact for more information.)

We strive to create a safe, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive event, and operate under a Code of Conduct. To make suggestions or ask questions of DLF Forum organizers and our volunteer Committee on Inclusivity, please contact us at

Submissions and Evaluation:

Proposals should fit within the broad frameworks of digital library, archives, and museum collections and resources; technologies and infrastructure; services and programs; staffing, education, and professional development; social contexts and ethics; labor and vendor relations; or DLF community missions, priorities, problems, and concerns. The Forum traditionally has no set theme so that it may speak to matters of interest to all. We depend on you to propose action-oriented topics geared toward a practitioner audience, considering aspects of design, labor, social responsibility, leadership, collaboration, implementation, and assessment.

Proposals of up to 250 words each (up to 500 words for full panel sessions) should be submitted along with requested metadata, using our online system:  

Submissions are invited in the following lengths and formats:

Presentations or Panels: Traditional format, but with a premium on Q&A. Presentations are allocated 20 minutes, and organized panels with 4 or more speakers will be given a dedicated session. Panel organizers are especially encouraged to include as diverse an array of perspectives and voices as possible.  Speakers should reserve significant time for interactive exchanges on next steps, possible DLF community action, and discussion or debate.

6-minute Snapshots: Brief talks, meant to engage, inform, and energize the audience: reports of work in progress, new technologies and services, questions or provocations, and more. Snapshots will be grouped based on overarching themes or ideas, with time for audience questions at the end.

90-second Lightning Talks: We’re doing away with physical posters this year, in favor of more high-profile, high-energy lightning talks, held in a plenary session, with the opportunity to point listeners to additional information online.

Workshops: In-depth, hands-on training sessions on specific tools, techniques, workflows, or concepts. Workshop organizers are asked to provide details in the proposal on learning outcomes for participants and technology needs, and to specify both the ideal and minimum number of consecutive, 1-hour sessions needed for the workshop.

Lunchtime Working Sessions: Use the Forum to organize and get stuff done! These are birds-of-a-Feather sessions for community organizers, creative problem solvers, and existing or prospective DLF interest groups. Participants eat together while addressing a specific challenge or issue that would benefit from a collective approach.

Deadline: May 15th, 2016 at 11:59pm PT.  

All submissions will be peer-reviewed by our volunteer Program Committee. Broader DLF community input will be welcomed through an open process to be announced in May, the results of which will help inform the Program Committee’s final decisions. (A 50-word short abstract is requested to aid in this process and for the final program.) Presenters will be notified in July and guaranteed a registration slot at the Forum.

US Presidential Election Notice:

Most DLF Forum attendees will need to plan ahead for early/absentee voting in the 2016 US Presidential Election. Full, state-by-state nonpartisan ballot information and important voter deadlines are available here: Vote early and join us to watch the election returns in Milwaukee!

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Call for Proposals: Digital Preservation 2016: “Building Communities of Practice” Mon, 18 Apr 2016 15:27:17 +0000 The National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA) invites proposals for Digital Preservation 2016, to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 9-10 November 2016.

Digital Preservation is the major meeting and conference of the NDSA—open to members and non-members alike—focusing on tools, techniques, theories and methodologies for digital stewardship and preservation, data curation, the content lifecycle, and related issues. Our 2016 meeting will be the first held in partnership with our new host organization, the Digital Library Federation (DLF). Separate calls are being issued for the DLF Liberal Arts Colleges Pre-Conference (6 November) and 2016 DLF Forum (7-9 November)—all happening in the same location:

Proposals are due by May 15th at 11:59pm Pacific Time.  

About the NDSA and Digital Preservation 2016:

The National Digital Stewardship Alliance is a consortium of more than 160 organizations committed to the long-term preservation and stewardship of digital information and cultural heritage, for the benefit of present and future generations. Digital Preservation 2016 (#digipres16) will help to chart future directions for both the NDSA and digital stewardship, and is expected to be a crucial venue for intellectual exchange, community-building, development of best practices, and national-level agenda-setting in the field.

The conference will be held at the historic Pfister Hotel, just blocks from Lake Michigan, the Milwaukee Art Museum, restaurants, and nightlife. The hotel has an incredible Victorian art collection, an artist-in-residence program, and a spa. The NDSA strives to create a safe, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive event, and will operate under the DLF Forum’s Code of Conduct. Childcare subsidies for DLF Forum attendees also participating in Digital Preservation 2016 may be extended upon request. Contact for more information.


250-word proposals describing the presentation/demo/poster are invited (500 words for full panel sessions). Please also include a 50-word short abstract for the program if your submission is selected. Submit proposals online: Deadline: May 15th, 2016 at 11:59pm PT.

We especially encourage proposals that speak to our conference theme, “Building Communities of Practice.” Submissions are invited in the following lengths and formats:

Talks/Demos: Presentations and demonstrations are allocated 20 minutes each. Speakers should reserve time for interactive exchanges on next steps, possible NDSA community action, and discussion or debate.

Panels: Panel discussions with 4 or more speakers will be given a dedicated session. Organizers are especially encouraged to include as diverse an array of perspectives and voices as possible, and to reserve time for audience Q&A.  

Posters: Poster presenters will have the opportunity to interact with attendees one-on-one or in small groups, to exchange ideas and engage in conversation. (Guidelines for poster sizes will be provided on acceptance.)

Lunchtime Working Group Meetings: NDSA working and interest group chairs are invited to propose group meetings or targeted collaboration sessions. (Lunch provided.)

All submissions will be peer-reviewed by NDSA’s volunteer Program Committee. Presenters will be notified in July and guaranteed a registration slot at the conference.

US Presidential Election Notice:

Attendees arriving early for the DLF Forum (November 7-9) will want to plan ahead for early/absentee voting in the 2016 US Presidential Election. Full, state-by-state nonpartisan ballot information and important voter deadlines are available here:

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Call for Proposals: DLF Liberal Arts Colleges Pre-Conference (#dlfLAC) 2016 Mon, 18 Apr 2016 15:26:59 +0000 This year’s DLF Forum in Milwaukee, WI will include a one-day pre-conference specifically for liberal arts colleges, to be held on November 6.

The DLF Liberal Arts Colleges Pre-Conference (#dlfLAC) will be an opportunity for those of us working with digital libraries and digital scholarship in liberal arts colleges to work closely together, in the spirit of the liberal arts seminar, to consider the issues and opportunities unique to us. How does your project or approach take advantage of the liberal arts environment, or respond to its limitations?

We invite proposals for panels, presentations, hands-on workshops, make-hack-play sessions, and dork shorts that foster conversation, connections, and provocation at the intersection of digital libraries and the liberal arts.

The pre-conference will operate under the DLF Forum’s Code of Conduct. Separate calls are being issued for the 2016 DLF Forum (7-9 November) and Digital Preservation 2016 (9-10 November), the annual conference of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA)—all happening in the same location:

Session Types:

  • Presentation (20 minutes) or Panel (60 minutes): Presentations are allocated 20 minutes and organized panels with 3 or more speakers will be given a dedicated 60-minute session. Panel organizers are especially encouraged to include as diverse an array of perspectives and voices as possible. Presentation speakers should reserve 5 minutes and panels 15 minutes for Q&A, discussion, and debate.
  • Hands-On Workshop (30 or 60 minutes): Single or multiple presenters lead interactive session involving hands-on learning and collaboration. Proposal descriptions for hands-on workshops must specify learning outcomes for participants.
  • Make-Hack-Play Session (2 or 4 hours): Numerous collaborators meet to engage in solving a problem framed by session facilitator(s).
  • Dork Shorts (2–3 minutes): Presenters discuss current or upcoming projects, demonstrate new tools, or call for collaborators.

We’re also open to sessions that don’t fit into these categories; please submit under the category closest to your proposal and leave us a note.

Proposal Submission Guidelines:

Complete proposals should be submitted using the online form accessible at by 11:59 PT on May 15, 2016. Proposals must specify a title, session type, and presenters and include a proposal description (maximum 250 words; 500 words for panels) as well as a proposal abstract (maximum 50 words).

You will hear about your proposal status by late June.

The 2016 DLF Liberal Arts Colleges Preconference will be held November 6, 2016 in Milwaukee, WI, at the Pfister Hotel. The 2016 DLF Forum will be held November 7–9, followed by Digital Preservation 2016 on November 9–10.

US Presidential Election Notice:

Many participants staying on for the DLF Forum will want to plan ahead for early/absentee voting in the 2016 US Presidential Election. Full, state-by-state nonpartisan ballot information and important voter deadlines are available here: Vote early and join us to watch the election returns in Milwaukee!

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“You can’t be neutral on a moving train”* and other reflections on the DLF Forum Thu, 07 Jan 2016 19:30:00 +0000 T-Kay SangwandThis Forum Reflection was provided by T-Kay Sangwand (@tttkay), Librarian for Digital Collection Development, UCLA Digital Library Program.


As the information profession rapidly shifts due to changes in information dissemination, technology, and shifting user expectations, libraries and archives are compelled to demonstrate their relevance to the communities in which they are embedded. Many presentations at DLF addressed this challenge with the clear message that libraries and archives demonstrate their value by critically assessing their organization’s role in a larger social and political context and working alongside communities as a force for social good, while recognizing that libraries and technology are not necessarily “existentially good.” I appreciated that DLF, as an organization, prioritized the intellectual and professional contributions of gender non-conforming folks and people of color through its selection of keynote speakers. This sets a powerful example for other professional organizations to follow.

When a library conference’s opening keynote address challenges the audience to Begin to be hopeful that maybe, just maybe, there exists a professional space that centers social justice as a core principle as opposed to a peripheral interest.
critically interrogate the “existential good” we often take for granted within library work and declares that “neutrality equals death,” you realize that you aren’t at a typical library conference and you begin to be hopeful that maybe, just maybe, there exists a professional space that centers social justice as a core principle as opposed to a peripheral interest.

Chris Bourg and Cecily Walker’s keynote “Digital Library Matters,” for the Liberal Arts Preconference, provided a powerful and critical opening for DLF. Instead of justifying the application of a social justice ethos to library work, Bourg and Walker’s opened with the basic assumption of its necessity. They raised necessary and difficult questions such as, “How can we make our work in libraries/archives important in the age of Black Lives Matter?” – while also sharing lessons learned through their own work – “We learn by listening, amplifying voices not often heard, accepting corrections with humility.” Additionally, their collaborative keynote subverted the typical distance and power dynamic between expert speaker and audience member. Their embodied presence as gender nonconforming, as a woman of color, as queer sent a powerful as well as hopeful visual message, particularly to those of us who also identify with those communities. The embodied presence and active and valued participation of members of marginalized groups are critical to fostering conference spaces in which other members of such communities may also want to actively contribute.

With this in mind, DLF made a powerful decision by inviting First Nations Musqueam Elder Larry Grant to open the conference. In his welcoming remarks, Grant reminded the audience that we sat upon occupied land and that our responsibility as archivists and information professionals is to ensure that the stories of the communities for whom we work are preserved in their words, in their languages, and with their interpretations.

It is these critical interrogations, reflections and dialogs that make me hopeful about finding community within DLF.
If any doubts remained regarding the supposed neutrality of our work in the information profession, Safiya Noble debunked many of those doubts in her keynote, “Power, Privilege and the Imperative to Act,” with concrete examples of how search algorithms enact representational violence upon marginalized communities, particularly women and people of color, through the results they return (i.e. Why does a search for “black girls” return hypersexualized and racist results?). Considering that search functionality is our most meaningful engagement with the web, the implications of search results have far reaching consequences not only for academic discourse, but also our collective social and political consciousness. Noble urges us to understand algorithms not as unbiased scientific processes, but as social constructs that are embedded with values that reflect the deeply racist and misogynistic society in which we inhabit. Noble also encourages us to consider how capitalist values and practice impact search as we outsource our information seeking needs to commercial entities. Despite the somber nature of Noble’s research, she delivered her talk with a refreshing humor and energy that is unfortunately uncommon in our field.

The closing #ourDLF session, which also de-centered the conference keynote model, captured many of the thematic threads spun in the opening keynotes, particularly challenging the neutrality of digital projects and reflecting on the social and ethical context of our work. Unfortunately, the full impact of this session was not fully realized. The conference concluded with a discussion of CLIR’s involvement in cultural heritage preservation efforts in the Middle East that focused more on the destruction of cultural artifacts with little acknowledgement of the human cost of armed conflict and foreign intervention or the economic investments of some of our institutions in these conflicts. The paternalistic and colonialist dynamics that had been critiqued in earlier sessions also went unacknowledged. While this preservation work is obviously important, we might also challenge ourselves to reflect on how it might not be “existentially good.” It was refreshing to read through the parallel Twitter conversations and find that other attendees were also pushing a more nuanced read of CLIR’s work in this area. It is these critical interrogations, reflections and dialogs that make me hopeful about finding community within DLF.

*Borrowed from historian Howard Zinn’s 1994 publication You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times.

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2015 DLF Forum: After 20 Years, Many Firsts Fri, 18 Dec 2015 19:15:17 +0000 Kathlin SmithThis Forum Update, cross-posted from CLIR Issues, Nov. – Dec. 2015, is by Kathlin Smith, Director of Communications at CLIR (the Council on Library and Information Resources). Thanks to all for a terrific DLF Forum 2015, and stay tuned for more information the next Forum in early 2016!

Even as the Digital Library Federation (DLF) celebrates its 20th birthday, the 2015 Forum was notable for several “firsts.” Held in Vancouver Oct. 26-28, the Forum was our first in Canada and the largest yet, with some 600 attendees, including those attending DLF’s affiliated events.

For the first time, a Liberal Arts College preconference was held in conjunction with the Forum. The one-day meeting was designed to foster conversation and build community among those who work with digital libraries or digital scholarship at liberal arts colleges. The preconference included concurrent sessions of presentations and panels on pedagogical, organizational, and technological approaches to digital humanities and digital scholarship, data curation, digital collections, and digital preservation. “No librarian needs to be a specifically digital librarian to understand the power that digital libraries and digital materials can bring to support the liberal arts,” wrote Megan Browndorf, history liaison for Towson University’s Cook Library, in a blog post from the Forum. “This liberal arts pre-conference very much brought that home.”

Also for the first time, the Forum included a new cohort of DLF members from the museum community, thanks to support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. “The opportunity to network and learn from other art museum digital specialists and compare and contrast our experience was invaluable as a new outlet for support and exploration,” writes Kristen Regina, president of the Art Libraries Society of North America and director of the Library and Archives at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in her blog post, “Bridging the Glam Gap.”

New in 2015 was a program for establishing mentoring relationships among community members. The program is centered around face-to-face interaction at the Forum, and more than 100 participated as mentors and mentees. “DLF comes down to the people,” wrote Kevin Clair, of the University of Denver. “Some of my favorite conversations  . . . were really all about how to keep [the] conversations going after the conference is over, through the fellowship and mentoring programs that DLF is starting to get going now.”

The 2015 Forum was the first under the leadership of DLF’s new director, Bethany Nowviskie, and perhaps most notably, it focused not just on the “how” of digital library technologies, but also on the “why”—the social, political, and ethical contexts of the library and information professions. The theme was powerfully conveyed by Safiya Noble, assistant professor in the Department of Information Studies at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, in her keynote address.

“From the keynote at the DLF Liberal Arts College pre-conference with Chris Bourg and Cecily Walker to the #ourDLF closing event, DLF presenters and attendees were engaged in thinking about the broader context of the work that we do, framing it within cultural, social, and political contexts,” writes Jasmine Jones, of Smith College in her blog post, “Exploring the Boundaries at the DLF Forum.” “Every session, even those that were more technical, had me thinking about what it means to be an information professional that challenges the inherent structures of power and biases in the systems we develop, the vocabularies we use, etc.; what it means to be ethical and meaningful in praxis; about how to ensure inclusivity when developing services for our communities.”

Several Forum sessions were recorded and will be announced when they are available. A rich range of perspectives on the Forum are available through blog posts at

Next year’s Forum will take place Nov. 7-9 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

DLF Forum 2015 collage

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Help plan the next DLF Liberal Arts Colleges Pre-conference Mon, 14 Dec 2015 21:14:06 +0000 Laurie AllenKelcy ShepherdThis update on the Liberal Arts Colleges Pre-conference was provided by past Liberal Arts Colleges Pre-conference co-chairs Laurie Allen (@librlaurie), Coordinator for Digital Scholarship and Services at Haverford Library, and Kelcy Shepherd, Head of Digital Programs, Amherst College. 

After a wonderfully successful Liberal Arts Colleges Pre-conference (view program) in Vancouver this fall, we heard from participants that they’d really like to see the LAC Pre-conference happen at next year’s Forum. Would you like to help plan the day? This opportunity is open to members of the DLF and the larger LAC digital library community. Participating in the DLF-LAC Planning Committee will involve regular phone meetings, and attendance at the Pre-conference in Milwaukee, WI, on November 6, 2016 (before the Forum, which will be held November 7-9, 2016).

Interested in helping to plan the event? Please tell us a little about yourself by completing this form by January 10, 2016. A small committee will be selected in mid-January to start the planning.

Feel free to contact past co-chairs Laurie Allen ( and Kelcy Shepherd ( with any questions.

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Bridging the GLAM Gap: Kristen Regina on DLF’s New Museum Cohort at the Forum Thu, 03 Dec 2015 19:00:41 +0000 Kristen ReginaThis Forum Update was provided by Kristen Regina, President of the Art Libraries Society of North America and Director of the Library and Archives at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

I am delighted to be a founding member of the DLF Museum Forum, and to have had the opportunity to attend the 2015 DLF Forum thanks to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. 

In my position as President of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and Director of the Library and Archives at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), I am particularly interested in learning about how to bridge the gap between the digital expertise in academic and large research institutions with smaller cultural heritage institutions.The pre-conference forum biggest revelation for me was the Liberal Arts Colleges (LAC) presentations, which demonstrated some of the the similarities between LACs and art museum libraries. These ranged from staff sizes and demands on time, to systems being employed in both types of institutions. Out of the discussions in this forum came some new ideas for potential collaboration between our respective communities. 

At PMA we are working to blend traditional book, archives, image collection, and rights and reproduction services into a seamless service point. The opportunity to network and learn from other art museum digital specialists and to compare and contrast our experiences was invaluable as a new outlet for support and exploration. Learning in more depth about the various systems, digital platforms, and expertise at large research universities was important. It provided a new lens through which to find opportunities for collaboration for art information professionals.  

The Forum was inclusive, warm and welcoming yet thought-provoking. Keynote speaker Safiya Umoja Noble‘s well-earned standing ovation after her presentation about her research into search algorithms, biases, and results reinforced the spirit of the Forum and paved the way for continued and further discussion throughout the weekend. The various snapshot sessions, project overviews, and in-depth workshops provided primers in a broad range of areas. It was also useful to learn about new projects that are pushing the boundaries and directions in which digital access and preservation is heading. The closing plenary session, which opened the floor to the diverse range of participants, showed how passionate and innovative the DLF’s members are, and proved that the DLF is equally responsive to the demands and needs of practitioners today and helping support as wide a swath of the digital community as is possible. 

Thank you DLF for this opportunity and I look forward to seeing where the museum forum grows and develops in this nurturing, stimulating, and lively environment.

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Reflections from a Cross-Pollinating Librarian Thu, 03 Dec 2015 18:00:57 +0000 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.

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On transition, value, and community Mon, 30 Nov 2015 15:30:38 +0000 Angela GalvanThis Forum Update was provided by Angela Galvan, Digital Resources & Systems Librarian, SUNY Geneseo@galvan_as |

I was grateful to receive a Students and New Professionals Fellowship to attend this year’s Forum. My thanks to CLIR/DLF, the Programming Committee, staff, volunteers, and the original project that inspired me to apply.

I remain thankful for reminders from Chris Bourg and Cecily Walker that the professional is personal is political during the Liberal Arts Pre-Conference, and Oliver Bendorf’s closing session remarks on transition. Their comments were essential to my understanding the DLF community.

Disappearing a conference location is routine; to be welcomed by Musqueam Elder Larry Grant set the tone for many actionable presentations which followed. Vancouver has a long history of vanishing in media, and to have it centered this way is something I hope to see at other conferences.  

Other systems librarians I met throughout the Forum discussed the need for value-driven work, the relative dexterity of LACs, and their struggles with assessment in environments with often competing agendas. I heard repeated calls for balancing the humanities in digital humanities, and recognizing shared language to bring more public libraries, community colleges, and other missing voices to the Forum.

Alongside those messages, a continual refrain that our choice of tools, methods, and measures have deep cultural contexts. What we support, how we express support, and what voices are absent showcase our values as clear as any mission statement. Our values must be strategic if we are to succeed in an ever-more outsourced network of library systems. Too often, we place control of powerful systems in the hands of entities which cannot share our ideals, exploit our labor, and drive inequality.

Dr. Safiya Noble’s keynote made me curious about how search bias functioned in my own library and I adjusted several tools during the Forum. I was both troubled and relieved by Dr. Noble’s research, and the way she named a phenomena I’d sensed but could not articulate myself. Matthew Reidsma has taken up this work as well in the context of Summon’s algorithm and Topic Explorer. Jason Clark’s talk on query analysis offered similar structure and guidance for me to work through ideas about user behavior.    

To single out one experience at the Forum is difficult. I’m grateful for my mentor, Jason Casden for helping his group of mentees navigate an otherwise overwhelming experience. I had the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues and meet in person people I’ve known for years over social media. Between the fellowship award and the Forum itself, I moved from an R1 to a small liberal arts college. The mental transition from one workplace to another manifested for me during the Forum, as I turned my focus toward undergraduate scholarship projects, data visualization, and usability sessions.    

Several session attendees commented on the need for greater collaboration between libraries. I’d suggest those institutions are already collaborating in the ways we need to succeed via their resource sharing departments. I’ve spoken before on the natural but still unrecognized affinities between resource sharing and digital initiatives. As that work is fundamentally about the relationships surrounding scholarly communication, Forum attendees looking to foster those connections should seek out resource sharing practitioners. Our communities are more similar than different, which is perhaps the most significant takeaway I have from Vancouver.

The Forum allowed me to gain footing for this stage of my career, and welcomed me into the community of digital librarians with unexpected kindness. I was challenged intellectually and inspired every day by the work of others; their pain points, successes, and joyous failures. I look forward to Milwaukee in 2016!  

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