Monday, June 25, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Jason LeMay


1. Introduce yourself:
I am Jason LeMay, Assistant Law Librarian for Cataloging and Metadata at Emory University’s Hugh F. MacMillan Law Library in Atlanta, Georgia.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Most of the time, yes. My primary role is cataloger, and during normal times I spend a substantial amount of my time at work cataloging more complex materials that need original cataloging. I also spend a fair amount of time cataloging rare materials, with a large backlog of early modern European dissertations to guarantee that I’ll be busy for quite a long time.

Most recently, I’ve been spending the bulk of my time performing my now-retired supervisor’s duties – paying invoices, dealing with vendors, and general administrative technical services tasks. Now that this position has been filled, I anticipate being able to return to my growing backlog of cataloging.

3. What are you reading right now?
I actually just finished my latest book yesterday, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I’m finally getting around to my list of “books everyone should read,” and Anne Frank’s diary was up near the top. I’ll probably keep with the theme and start on Wiesel’s Night next.

4. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
I would probably tackle some rare books that have been getting neglected. I have a few bound-withs that are waiting that would probably top my list. I generally dislike cataloging bound-withs, so they tend to get left until I truly have time to work on them.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

LawArXiv One Year Anniversary Report

It hardly seems like it's been over a year since we posted about the launch of LawArXiv. LawArXiv now houses nearly 700 open access legal articles. The organization has published a One Year Anniversary Report.

Some of the highlights from the report:

  • 89% of the submissions to the repository are from Cornell, one of the developers of the platform
  • The majority of the submissions deal with intellectual property law
  • A process for batch uploading of articles was developed in April 2018

Goals for the coming year included:

  • Adding the ability for institutions to use their branding on their submissions
  • Setting up subject-based email alerts
  • Adding a data field for the institution of the article author

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Elizabeth Outler



1. Introduce yourself (name & position).
I am Elizabeth Outler, Assistant Director for Technical Services at Oliver B. Spellman Law Library, Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
I think my job title is pretty accurate, though my experience in the TS field is only a couple of years at this point, so I may be mistaken about what is typical. I have recently arrived at Southern and my first task has been working on a cataloging and processing backlog that has stacked up while they waited for hiring to be approved. In the past my role focused on acquisitions, so this is different territory for me. I’m also getting to be in charge of Systems, which again, isn’t really in my training background, but I like it. I really enjoy learning new skills and solving problems, so I am having a pretty good time, and I think I have a great job.

3. What are you reading right now?
I am sort of an abomination – a librarian who does not read. The only explanation for this phenomenon that I have been able to come up with is that law school, and studying for the bar examination, scarred all my reading brain cells and I just don’t want to do it anymore. I do have a book on my nightstand that I have been creeping through when I make myself pick it up: Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans, by John Marzluff & Tony Angell. I like birds, and am particularly interested in crows, so this was a birthday present a few years ago. It is a fascinating book.

4. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
I am totally in love with my undergraduate alma mater, Smith College, so if I could work in any library, it would be Neilson Library, which is currently undergoing a major renovation designed by Maya Lin. (See https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/17/arts/design/maya-lin-unveils-redesign-of-smith-college-library.html) 


Friday, May 25, 2018

Linked data for librarians - new online tutorial

Drexel University's College of Computing and Informatics and the Institute for Library and Museum Services have recently released an online course, Linked Data for Librarians. The course provides an accessible, free and open access introduction to linked data concepts. 

The first part of the course is designed to provide introductory material, part two covers more advanced material and hands on exercises. Each module requires a relatively brief time commitment concluding with a series of questions designed to check the user's understanding of the material presented.

The course is designed and presented by Seth van Hooland, Associate Professor, Département des Sciences de l'Information et de la Communication, Université libre de Bruxelles, and Ruben Verborgh, professor of Semantic Web Technology at IDLab, a group of Ghent University/imec.

As of this writing, I have completed the first three units of Part 1. The material is well organized, examples are well thought out, and the topics are presented in what seem to be new and creative ways. I am looking forward to completing the balance of the material.

Course citation: van Hooland, S. and Verborgh, R. (2017) “Linked Data for Librarians.” Available at http://course.freeyourmetadata.org/

Course outline:

Part 1
  • Introduction
  • Understanding data modesl
  • Possibilities and limitations of RDF
  • Data quality
  • Data profiling and cleaning
Part 2
  • Vocabulary reconciliation
  • Metadata enriching
  • REST
  • Decentralization and federation
  • Conclusions

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

2018 IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) Conference

Registration is currently open for the 2018 IIIF Conference held May 21-25 in Washington, DC. The IIIF Conference is co-hosted by the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Folger Shakespeare Library, with an aim to advance the adoption of the IIIF framework. 

IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) is a framework for publishing image-based resources in a way that enables images across repositories to be presented in IIIF-compatible image viewers. In particular, images can be “viewed, cited, annotated, and compared” side-by-side. In this example, you can view and compare digitized Litchfield Law School student notebooks from the Harvard Law Library collection and the Yale Law Library collection, in a Mirador viewer. The Harvard collection of student notebooks is from Harvard’s Digital Repository Service and the Yale collection is from the Internet Archive.   

Pre-conference workshops will demo and showcase Mirador and Universal Viewer, two open-source applications that are gaining growing communities of adopters among libraries and museums. 

Conference takeaways will focus on:
  • How to adopt IIIF at your institution
  • Leveraging open source software to get more out of your collection of images  and video
  • Use cases and best practices from IIIF adopters
  • The latest developments in the community including IIIF A/V

Monday, April 23, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Heather Buckwalter




1. Introduce yourself (name & position).
Hi, I’m Heather Buckwalter and I am the Serials/Acquisitions Librarian at Creighton University Law Library. I joined the staff at Creighton Law Library in 1996. Although I have been in this position for over 20 years my duties and responsibilities have changed with the evolution of libraries. I have survived two building renovations and two ILS migrations.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
Yes and No. I do manage serials and acquisitions for the law library but I am also responsible for electronic resource management, government documents, collection development, the Law School’s Archives, and I am the Law Library’s liaison to the University’s Systems Librarian. I also work at the Reference Desk 5-10 hours a week.

3. What are you reading right now?
Currently I am reading American Assassin by Vince Flynn. I love thrillers and mysteries and after seeing the movie I wanted to see how well they did adapting the book.

4. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
I started out in graduate school to concentrate in Law Librarianship and was lucky enough to work at the Law Library as a grad student. I did toy with the idea of going into preservation/conservation but it seemed I was destined for Law Libraries. I am responsible for the repair work and binding in my library so at least I do a little conservation.

5. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
Wow. This is actually a tough question since it doesn’t happen. I think if I had a free day I would work on data cleanup. With our migration to a new ILS there is lots of data that did not migrate very well. I recently went to a local conference where colleagues spoke about using regular expressions and OpenRefine to clean up data and was intrigued.


Digital Scholarship Guide

One of the project the Labs team at the Library of Congress worked on in 2017 was developing a guide for digital resources. The guide was rolled out in 7 posts this year on The Signal, but is now conveniently available as a single document, the Digital Scholarship Resource Guide.

This document is a fairly comprehensive look at what digital scholarship is and how to get a project off the ground, from digitization basics to file storage and preservation to document analysis and assigning metadata to analysis projects with digital data.

If you'd prefer the original posts, here they are:

  1. Why Digital Material Matters
  2. Making Digital Resources
  3. So now you have digital data...
  4. Text Analysis
  5. Tools for Spatial Analysis
  6. Network Analysis
  7. People, Blogs and Labs