5 Things Thursday: Digital Collections, Citing a Tweet, Future of Libraries

Taking a brief break from my ALA Mid-Winter reporting (don’t fret – there is much more to come), here are five things:

  1. From the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation blog Impatient Optimists, an article on America’s attitude towards libraries in the digital age commenting directly on the Pew report – Jessica Door astutely observes that there is little else that would garner 91% of Americans’ support.
  2. How do you cite a Tweet in an academic paper?
  3. Ten technology ideas your library can implement quickly by Elyssa Kroski. From automating blog posts to post to Twitter to creating a special events wiki, these are easy implementations for anyone to try.
  4. An homage to the institutions that read this blog frequently – here are links to marvelous digital collections from the University of Washington (Architecture of the Pacific NW), the University of Toronto (Anatomic Collection), and Grinnell College (Computer Science Museum Catalog).
  5. Finally, explore librarian career paths on Pinterest.



#alamw13: @ExLibrisGroup Rosetta

I visited the Ex Libris booth at the ALA Mid-Winter conference because I was interested in learning more about Rosetta – a digital preservation system.

Coming from the digital asset management side of things, this product seems to incorporate all of the standard features of a good DAM along with some others specific to “preserving cultural heritage and cumulative knowledge.”

As expected, Rosetta is scalable and expandable, allowing for ease of ingesting batch materials and separating permanent and working repositories for safety. Like a digital asset management system, Rosetta allows for the enforcement of item-level access rights as well.

Differing from the DAM world, is the focus on the ability to preserve a digital object for the future and to view it, regardless of format. Also, Rosetta is standards-based and therefore :

“Based on the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) model and conforming to trusted digital repository (TDR) requirements, the system provides institutions with the infrastructure and technology needed to preserve and facilitate access to the digital collections under their guardianship.”

Take a look at the case study for the National Library of New Zealand as well as the impressive collections site.

#alamw13: @serialsolutions Discover Summon!

I met some very nice people at the Serials Solutions booth at ALA and learned a lot more about the Summon webscale discovery tool. Mostly used by academic research libraries, this SAAS is continuously innovating.

It is flexible and highly customizable. I was particularly impressed by the back-end administrative console allowing the library administrator to populate information for features like best bets and database recommendations.

The unified search experience offers an interwoven contextual experience – kind of like that mythical Google search every web user desires, but actually tailored to each library.

A great example is the Duke University catalog. Type in a search like ‘roman architecture’ and the results will return with up-to-the-minute availability and location information. Narrow the search in the sidebar or using advanced search.

What is special about Summon is the ability to direct search based on your particular user needs as well as seamless and frequent new releases offering improvements on improvements. The tool promotes information literacy too.

#alamw13: @OCLC What’s New in CONTENTdm?

I stopped by the OCLC booth at ALA and was thrilled to meet the CEO of OCLC, Mr. Jay Jordan. He is a very nice man.

After our chat, I listened to one of the presenters talk about CONTENTdm and asked him some particulars about changes in the last couple years since I have used it. Some fabulous things have been done to allow for customized headers for each collection, social interaction, and general improvements in both the administrative and user experience.

The biggest change is that there are HTML parts and pieces that allow savvy web folks to get as fancy as they’d like with customizing.

“CONTENTdm accommodates institutions that want to make more advanced customizations. Advanced customizations can be made using the CONTENTdm API (application programming interface) and custom scripts to alter and extend website functionality, such as adding Google Analytics or shopping carts.”

As usual, the Denver Public Library is at the forefront of innovation with pushing the custom CONTENTdm envelope. Check out the header and then click on any of the images in the railroad collection to see the social features for sharing, tagging, commenting, rating and saving to favorites.

I can’t wait for an opportunity to try CONTENTdm again! Did I mention video and audio are now more seamlessly enabled too?

#alamw13: @BiblioCommons

This is the first in my series about the American Library Association Mid Winter Conference in Seattle. I gathered some valuable information from many exhibitors and will be sharing the newest and neatest innovations throughout the next week or two. Enjoy!


When I was in library school, I started to really notice the variety of user experiences provided by library websites, notably online catalogs. At the time, it seemed the ones I liked the most were employing software by BiblioCommons.

I was thrilled when my local library system, The Seattle Public Library switched to BiblioCommons, and equally thrilled to have a chance to speak to the enthusiastic representatives at the ALA conference.

Seems like two relatively recent innovations are Summer Sites and BiblioCMS. The BiblioCommons Summer Sites platform manages every aspect of kid, teen and adult summer reading clubs. I used this product this past summer through SPL and was amazed at not only the ease of tracking my summer reading, but the thrill of earning badges, penning reviews and rating materials. The product is social, practical and, from a user perspective, immensely gratifying.

BiblioCMS allows integration of the entire library website with the BiblioCommons catalog experience – essentially extending the reach. Through a tagging taxonomy developed for each library, this system can pull relevant content from blogs and pull related events into a sidebar creating dynamic content. This opens up myriad possibilities for cross promotion and curation.

Some libraries employing BiblioCMS currently are the Santa Clara County Library District and the Yarra Plenty Regional Library in Australia.

Finally, since I am a bit of a design aficionado, I must mention that I love the BiblioCommons branding overall and the site simplicity has always been a draw for me. Exciting stuff!



5 Things Thursday: DAM Influencers, RDA, Design Librarian

Here are five more things for avid library and information fans:

  1. What lessons did you learn in library school? Here are some lessons learned halfway through which may help some of the students in progress. I could not agree more with getting organized (I had a color-coded Google calendar for assignments) and self discipline.
  2. Who were the top DAM influencers of 2013? My ex-professor John Horodyski made the list as did David Riecks, Henrik de Gyor and Edward Smith.
  3. Cataloging Futures contains a lot of information on RDA. Start with this easy to follow SlideShare and work your way to the present to see what is going on currently.
  4. Oh, Designer Librarian, where have you been all my life? This blog has a lot of promise – with screencasting tips, how to teach with Twitter and more for those who design and implement user education materials.
  5. What do library users want in the digital age? According to Pew Internet: “Patrons embrace new technologies – and would welcome more. But many still want printed books to hold their central place.”

BONUS: Top 40 posts from 2012 by Henrik de Gyor on Another DAM Blog.

5 Things Thursday: Social Library, Librarian Wardrobe, Dewey-It-Yourself

Here are five artisan selections from the library and information science world:

  1. There is a call for papers on the enticing subject of librarian wardrobe and stereotypes. After watching Party Girl again last night and Desk Set over the holidays, I am aflutter with ideas.
  2. Have you read any of the Swiss Army Librarian blog by Brian Herzog? Love reference questions of the week.
  3. From Meredith Farkas, 5 Weeks to a Social Library covers everything from Drupal to wikis to blogs, oh my! I can attest to the fact that Meredith covers all social media bases. She is the reason I blog.
  4. Starting with the fateful line that no matter how good an MLIS program is, there isn’t enough time to learn everything, Hack Lib School provides a Dewey-It-Yourself guide to supplemental learning.
  5. Want to be a keynote speaker? I do. Andromeda Yelton offers some tips here.