Wednesday, December 21, 2016

From Users to Developers: NCSU’s Involvement with an Open Source ERM

A recent article in Code4Lib Journal describes the experience of library staff members at North Carolina State University when adopting and making enhancements to an open source electronic resource management tool.

According to the article’s abstract:
“CORAL, an open source electronic resource management tool, has been adopted by libraries around the world. The community manages the software development contributed to the open source codebase by independent organizations. NCSU Libraries’ Acquisition & Discovery Department started using CORAL to manage monograph orders at the end of 2013. Since then, they have completed a series of developments to enhance CORAL functions for workflow management, streamlining the complex electronic resource acquisition process. This paper presents NCSU’s adoption and development of CORAL. It explains what prompted the development, shares the experience, from identifying internal resources to outsourcing development work, and identifies challenges and opportunities of the current mechanism of CORAL development.”

The author of the article concludes that CORAL is a strong open source software product, and it seems like NCSU had a positive experience working with it.

Song, Xiaoyan. Code4Lib Journal, Issue 34, October 2016,

Monday, December 19, 2016

Getting to Know TS Law Librarians: Corinne Jacox

1. Introduce yourself.
My name is Corinne Jacox. I have been the Catalog/Reference Librarian at the Creighton University Law Library for fifteen years. 

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
My title could be updated to Metadata/Reference Librarian to reflect the additional work I do with metadata in our institutional repository, as well as cataloging.

3. What are you reading right now?
Right now I am reading Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America by Gail Jarrow.

4a. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
If I could work in any library, it would be a genealogy library. I really enjoy working on the genealogy of my family and putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

4b. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?
If I had a free day at work, the project I would work on would be putting together letters to commercial publishers to obtain permission to load articles by the Creighton School of Law's faculty into our institutional repository.

Friday, December 9, 2016

An Update from Project COUNTER on Hidden Metrics

Remember how Project COUNTER wanted to hear from you about hidden metrics back in October?  They’ve compiled the results from their online survey along with feedback from their face-to face focus group and international webinar, and recently published an official report of their findings called “Distributed Usage Logging: A Report on Stakeholder Demand.”

Here are a few highlights:
  • All respondents are interested in going beyond basic counts of usage and having access to data on how users are actually engaging in the content.
  • There is strong support for all content to have a DOI (digital object identifier) and for institutional repositories to mint them for items that do not have them.
  • Demand for DUL (distributed usage logging) differs slightly, depending on whether participants are a provider or a user of the content.
  • Content providers wish to have access to DUL data reports so they can clearly report to consumers a picture of total usage, across their own platforms and beyond.
  • DUL usage statistics are desired by publishers to demonstrate the true value of a journal, to understand more about who is recommending particular authors, and to have access to country and article level data.
  • Librarians generally discourage usage of academic sharing networks, in part due to copyright and impact reduction concerns.
  • While altmetrics may not bring significant value to librarians when making collection management decisions, they are an important form of support for faculty authors and can provide consortiums with useful background information on academic engagement.
  • Most are in agreement that standard usage reporting would help with the implementation of open access policy and would help simplify things across the current landscape, made up of multiple models for open access and freely available content.
  • Some publishers already track open access usage for certain customers who have agreements where their license and open access publication fees are covered in the same deal.
Want more details?  Download their full report today to learn more about the respondent groups, their methodology, and to hear what your colleagues think about topics such as shared social network sites, calculating cost per use, and more!  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Getting to Know TS Law Librarians: Pat Sayre-McCoy

1. Introduce yourself (name & position).

I’m Pat (Patricia) Sayre-McCoy, Head of Law Cataloging and Serials at the D’Angelo Law Library, University of Chicago.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?

Not really anymore. I am very much involved in our Law School institutional repository, Chicago Unbound—my staff adds new issues of Law School publications, such as the Law School Announcements, and the alumni magazine, the Law School Record. This requires computer skills, such as editing documents and photos, adding metadata, and creating links to individual sections of the issue. We’re going to rename ourselves in Cataloging as soon as we come up with a good name; for now my copy catalogers are Metadata Assistants.

3. What are you reading right now?

I tend to read multiple books at the same time as I either lose/temporarily misplace a book or decide I’m in the mood for something else. For work, Digital rights management edited by Catherine A. Lemmer and Carla P. Wale just arrived in my In-box. For fun, I just started Laura Anne Gilman’s fantasy novel, Silver on the Road, about a fantastical US wild west in the early 1800s.

4a.If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?

I’d love to work at the Field Museum library or any other natural history library. I have a degree in Physical Anthropology and studied human and primate evolution. I love bones! Also, working in a natural history library, I could put some of my rather obscure knowledge to use. However, one of the reasons I wanted my current position is because I love serials cataloging—it’s like a puzzle and working in a law library you really learn serials! And the people at the D’Angelo Law Library are so great to work with. It would be hard to find a better group anywhere.

4b. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on?

I have a lot of procedures to document and I’d probably get to work on them. The IR is relatively new to us and I don’t have all the procedures worked out yet. And then for a break from procedures, I could catalog some of the new faculty podcasts and videos that have been posted by the Law School. I really like to catalog them because some of our professors are great speakers with a good sense of humor. And I learn lots of new things from the podcasts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fall Fashion from .gov: A New Look for the Library of Congress and a New View of Government Open Source Projects

New York Fashion Week Fall 2007: Doo Ri

Cold weather inevitably means trading out summer garb with new looks and new fashions for autumn and winter, and this year .gov is getting in on the action with a huge homepage redesign for as well as the launch of a new repository site for federal agencies open source projects that gives us a peek behind the curtain at their custom codes.  So let’s celebrate our own mini .gov fashion week with a closer look at both of these projects as they strut down the catwalk…

Library of Congress Homepage Redesign

The web team at the Library of Congress has been hard at work transitioning their online collections into a new, more consistent format that’s both mobile friendly and allows for faceted searching. To help promote and encourage access to all of this content, they’ve created an entirely new homepage for that is more dynamic and offers more ways to highlight their extensive collections, services and programs. 

Highlights include:
  • A top carousel that displays topical content and will be updated monthly
  • A trending section that includes top searches, recently published blog posts and featured items
  • A section about “Your Library” that gives you information for planning a visit, provides access to online reference services, and lists current exhibitions and upcoming events
  • A free to use and reuse section towards the bottom of the page that features items from the digital collection that are freely available for you to use in your own projects
To learn more about the homepage, check out their recent blog post or go directly to the new homepage.

The White House Office of Management and Budget recently launched to serve as a repository for federal agencies’ open source projects and to serve as a one-stop shop for exploration, improvement and innovation on the existing code for a variety of government platforms. The code and resources on this site can also be used by other government agencies to assist in implementing new policies, designing metadata schemas to build code inventories, and creating successful open source projects.

The code of this site is a part of the new federal source code policy, which requires agencies to release at least twenty percent of their custom code as open source. Currently, there’s almost fifty different projects available, organized by agency, and more will be added in the coming months.

To learn more about this project, check out’s recent post or go directly to the site itself.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Review of OAIS (ISO 14721)

The ISO standard for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) Reference Model will be up for its 5 year review in 2017. This standard lays out the framework for an archive that will maintain the long term preservation of information and make this information available to a designated community. More information about OAIS is available from the Society of American Archivists’ Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology.

To prepare for this process, which involves making revisions to ISO 14721 and the identical text in the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) documentation, at 650.0-B-1. The process of revising these standards is complex, so the review process has already begun. If you would like to take part in the review, or just keep yourself appraised of its progress, you can access the information and documentation at the OAIS five-year review website.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Getting to Know TS Law Librarians: Anna Lawless-Collins

1. Introduce yourself (name & position). 
My name is Anna Lawless-Collins and I’m the Associate Director for Systems and Collection Services  at the Boston University School of Law Fineman and Pappas Law Libraries.

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not? 
My title is vague enough to encompass what I do.  I oversee the Collection Services department, which includes library systems.  I used to be the Collection Development Librarian and those duties rolled into this position as well.  I supervise the department staff and do the administrative work, and work with the library’s management team to guide the department and the library into the future, which is where the associate director duties come in.  I really depend on the strong team in the department to keep us moving and provide excellent service.

3. What are you reading right now? 
I like to have a few books going at the same time so I can change what I’m reading depending on my mood.  I’m currently reading Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers, Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik, and LaFayette in the Somewhat United States by Sarah Vowell.  

4. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
I would love to be a children’s librarian.  I love helping kids connect with reading.  I used to sub in elementary school libraries and had such a great time, and the librarian in my hometown was a huge part of my own childhood.  For now I have to settle with talking about books with the kids in my own life.

Friday, October 21, 2016

ISNIs and ORCIDS - the impact of identifiers

A recent post in The Scholarly Kitchen, Why persistent identifiers deserve their own festival got me thinking about the use of identifiers and how these might transform traditional technical services tasks. A post by Karen Smith-Yoshimura in, Impact of identifiers on authority workflows, describes explicitly how the use of identifiers could simplify and enhance the process of associating works and creators. In fact, we are told that use of identifiers is essential to shifting bibliographic description out of MARC into a linked data environment. The implementation of personal identifiers is strongest in the sciences, but their use is expanding into the social sciences and humanities.

According to their website, ISNI (International Standard Name Identifier) is an
ISO certified global standard number for identifying the millions of contributors to creative works and those active in their distribution, including researchers, inventors, writers, artists, visual creators, performers, producers, publishers, aggregators, and more. It is part of a family of international standard identifiers that includes identifiers of works, recordings, products and right holders in all repertoires.

NACO and OCLC plan to incorporate ISNIs in the 024  field of LC/NACO authority records as part of the long delayed RDA authority file conversion phase 3B.

ORCID  is a subset of ISNI - a block of identifiers reserved for authors and researchers. ORCID's mission is to provide
an identifier for individuals to use with their name as they engage in research, scholarship, and innovation activities. We provide open tools that enable transparent and trustworthy connections between researchers, their contributions, and affiliations. We provide this service to help people find information and to simplify reporting and analysis.
Author's and researchers can register with ORCID, then share their ORCID ID with their institution. My institution, Cornell University, is actively encouraging faculty in all fields to establish ORCID IDs. Use of identifiers makes it possible to precisely identify authors without the squishy ambiguity of parsing out character strings.

Curious about the persistent identifier festival? PIDapalooza is scheduled for November 9-10, 2016 in Reykjavík.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Project COUNTER Wants to Hear More from You about Hidden Metrics!

With the increasing diversity of scholarly communication systems providing us with a constant influx of new ways to share information with one another, search out content and access materials, traditional usage statistics may fall short in telling the story of the value of research and scholarship – from the perspective of those conducting the research and producing the scholarly pieces, those providing online access to these works, and those using the associated usage statistics to inform collection management decisions and calculating cost per use.

Publisher’s content can be scattered across multiple platforms, including institutional repositories and scholarly social network sites as well as aggregators such as EBSCO and ProQuest, so single platform usage metrics may be limiting.  Additionally, alternative metrics such as likes, shares, tweets and citations on Wikipedia can communicate important information to both consumers and providers.

In response to the landscape changes that result in increasingly hidden usage, COUNTER is working with Information Power Limited to undertake research into a new method of reporting called “Distributed Usage Logging” which enables publishers to provide reports on “total usage” regardless of where that usage happens. Such reports could also provide more details in the emerging altmetrics field, such as shares and tweets.

At this point, COUNTER needs your help!  They’d like to discover what additional data would be useful to YOU, as librarians, institutional repository managers, publishers and vendors.  So take a moment to fill out their survey and let your voice be heard. It consists of short question and should take no more than ten minutes to fill out.

I reached out to Lorraine Estelle, Director of COUNTER, and she provided me with some background information about the project as well as a link to the following slideshow presented at the Fall SSP Seminar on September 16, 2015 at Washington DC:

CrossRef Distributed Usage Logging Pilot from Victoria Rao, MS

For additional information about hidden usage and metrics from a law librarian perspective, check out what some of our AALL colleagues have to say:

Be sure to respond to the COUNTER survey by October 15th!  

Your responses will help formulate developments in this area of work, and results will be shared in summary format on the COUNTER website.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Getting to Know TS Law Librarians: Travis Spence

1. Introduce yourself (name & position).
Travis Spence. Head of Technical Services at the Cracchiolo Library of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

2. Does your job title actually describe what you do? Why/why not?
I think it does, however, the description  of what is “Technical Services” changes as the profession evolves. I still work in some of the traditional roles and methods of acquisitions and cataloging, but also need to stay aware of how technology is changing what I do. Adaptability is key, as Technical Services takes on more data management and online access responsibilities. Technical Services can mean a lot of different things now. 

3. What are you reading right now?
For nonfiction, I’ve been reading, Letting Go of Legacy Services: Library Cases Studies, edited by Mary Evangeliste and Katherine Furlong. It has a lot of thought-provoking stories about libraries that have given up practices that were once indispensable but can now drain resources and prevent libraries from adapting to users' new needs.

For fiction, I’ve just started Farthing, by Jo Walton, a murder mystery set in an alternate history where the UK backed out of World War II after making peace with Germany.If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?

4. If you could work in any library (either a type of library or a specific one), what would it be? Why?
I think I'd enjoy managing a completely online library someday. I'm intrigued by the challenges of providing users with seamless access to curated resources and research services, no matter where they are or when they need information.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

NISO Launches New Project to Create a Flexible API Framework for E-Content in Libraries

On August 25, 2016, the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announced a new project relating to APIs and data about electronic content in libraries.

Full text of the NISO announcement:

Voting Members of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) have approved a new project to modernize library-vendor technical interoperability to improve the access of digital library content and electronic books. Building upon a set of API (Application Programming Interface) Requirements developed by Queens Library, a new NISO Working Group will create a foundational API set that the library community can build on. This set will fulfill an array of user and library needs, including quicker response times, flexible item discovery and delivery options, improved resource availability, and more seamless integration of electronic and physical resources.

Library patrons should expect an excellent user experience and requisite level of convenience should be built into all customer-facing tools that service library patrons. This project is being undertaken to bring patrons' library experiences in line with the modern tools and technologies-especially mobile technologies-they are accustomed to using in other areas of their lives. Currently, libraries use varied technologies, some of which rely on outdated and slow communication protocols, to provide services to users. By establishing standards on RESTful Web services APIs as well as standard mobile extensions, the library industry will leave many archaic, difficult-to-use tool sets behind, and allow libraries more flexibility in meeting local needs.

"11.2 million patrons visited the Queens Library in 2015," says Kelvin Watson, Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President, Queens Library. "It's imperative that we keep them coming back by providing fast, efficient service that rivals what they experience in the commercial world. Queens Library, which serves one of the five most diverse counties in the United States, has a vested interest in undertaking this work to customize library operations for specialized local needs. We are excited to have initiated this project at NISO and we look forward to working with other participants to actualize our draft framework."

Volunteer working group members will deliver a foundational framework, in the form of a NISO Recommended Practice, that will communicate an understanding of how libraries should provide and receive data. These library-related communications and functions could include customized genre or category views for browse, search, and discovery of collections; user authentication; transmission of account information; management of barcodes; check out and return of items, streaming of online material, and other requirements as determined by stakeholders. Work will also include the creation of several proof-of-concept services that use the proposed approach to deliver services and a registry to enable supporting data providers and system vendors to communicate their support of the framework. The full work item approved by NISO Voting Members is available on the NISO website.

NISO's Associate Director of Programs, Nettie Lagace, comments, "NISO is eager to begin this work to improve library-patron interactions. Advancing vendor-library communication processes through consensus discussions and agreement is a natural fit in our portfolio of work. NISO's mission is to streamline the work of libraries and other information providers to get content into the hands of consumers." Lagace continues, "We encourage working group participation from libraries, library system providers, providers and distributors of e-books, recorded books, and other forms of digital content and media. We are looking forward to hearing from interested volunteers who can dedicate their technical talents to this important effort." Those who are interested in participating in the E-Content API Framework working group should contact Lagace at