D-Lib Magazine
The Magazine of Digital Library Research

I N   B R I E F

January/February 2015
Table of Contents


The PERICLES Extraction Tool: Significant Environment Information Collection to Support Object Reuse

Contributed by
Fabio Corubolo
Research Associate
University Of Liverpool
Liverpool, United Kingdom
info [at] pericles-project.eu

The PERICLES Extraction Tool (PET) is an open source software for the extraction of significant information from the environment in which digital objects are created and modified. The tool was developed entirely for the EU-funded project PERICLES (http://www.pericles-project.eu/) by a cooperation of the University of Liverpool and the Göttingen State and University Library, and was recently released at https://github.com/pericles-project/pet.

PET works outside the established metadata perspectives by monitoring and collecting information from the whole system environment during the creation and use of data. In a nutshell, PET works by analysing the environment, the processes and the use of the data from within the creator or consumer environment, extracting information useful for subsequent reuse of the data that is not possible to derive in later phases of the data lifecycle. The tool works by analysing files, their changes, and the system environment. The tool is generic, and can be adapted for various scenarios, as it provides a plug-in structure for the integration of use case specific extraction algorithms. Various information extraction techniques are already implemented as plug-in modules, as complete implementations or where possible by reusing already existing external tools and libraries. Environment monitoring is supported by specialized monitoring daemons and continuous extraction of relevant information triggered by events in the environment, e.g. the alteration of an observed file or directory, opening or closing a specific file, and other system calls. A snapshot extraction mode exists for capturing the current state of the environment, which is mainly designed to extract information that doesn't change frequently, e.g. system resource specifications. Once you have selected and configured the modules that fit for your scenario – or chosen a ready-made module profile – the tool will start monitoring the system environment and collecting the significant information based on the events that occur in the environment.


High level view of the PET architecture


Screenshot of the PET tool user interface: extraction modules and configuration

The theoretical background can be explored in detail through our associated paper published at iPRES 2014, 'A pragmatic approach to significant environment information collection to support object reuse' [http://pericles-project.eu/publications/16] as well as in the official project deliverable document, 'Initial version of environment information extraction tools' [http://www.pericles-project.eu/deliverables/17]. We have also published a blog post summarising PET, on which you are welcome to leave comments http://goo.gl/wmhuhA.

Please also note that PERICLES will hold a workshop at the IDCC in London on the 11th February 2015, on "Automated capture of the environment in a sheer curation context". For details, see http://www.dcc.ac.uk/events/idcc15/workshops.


Jisc Digital Media Supporting Digitisation Projects

Contributed by
Matt Faber
Adviser - Image Digitisation
Bristol, United Kingdom
matt.faber [at] jisc.ac.uk

Jisc Digital Media exists to provide advice and guidance to the FE and HE sector on all matters relating to the use of digital media. One of the tools Jisc uses to achieve this are the JiscMail lists, which provide specific interest groups with a forum to discuss problems and issues relating to their subject and to gain advice and recommendations on technical matters. It became apparent that a large number of digitisation projects were being initiated by staff members who were not necessarily from a digitisation background (more often from a library background) and who were working in isolation from the digitisation community. Quite often, it was possible to see the same questions being asked, regarding technical issues that could quite easily be answered if an open forum existed to support this digitisation community.

A quick message to several of the JiscMail lists, asking whether a digitisation support forum or digitisation network was something that people wanted, gave a very definite answer. With just over thirty institutions expressing an interest, the 'network' is still in its infancy, and is still finding its feet and taking shape. It has been decided that the network won't be an official entity, rather an informal support group that will utilise JiscMail, webinars, online tutorials and possibly onsite training.

It was felt that one of the activities, generating case studies and showcases, could provide real value. This would enable digitisation projects to share learnt lessons with the community as well as showcasing successes and examples of best practice. This also provides Jisc with the opportunity of making site visits to meet the people 'at the coal face,' which makes the whole enterprise human centric; something which is currently lacking.

Anyone within the FE and HE sectors interested in or working on a digitisation project is very welcome to become a participant in the network. There is no registration required and no fees. People can contact Matt Faber at Jisc Digital Media directly.


The Avalon Media System

Contributed by
Ariadne Rehbein
Avalon Media System Project Assistant
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana, USA

The Avalon Media System is an open source software solution for digital audio and video collections held by libraries, archives, and academic institutions. Indiana University and Northwestern University Libraries are leading the development of this system for managing and providing access to time-based media used for teaching, learning, and research. The Avalon Media System is built to integrate with streaming servers, provide robust access control and metadata capabilities, and support time-based navigation. Utilizing the Fedora digital repository system, ingest and discovery capabilities draw upon the Hydra technical framework while workflow management, media player, and streaming capabilities are provided by several other open source technologies.

Project planning for the Avalon Media System began in August 2010. Development, based on the Agile/Scrum method, began in October 2011. The project has been supported in part by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and builds upon Indiana University's experiences developing the Variations Digital Music Library, first released in 1996. Several universities and organizations serve as advisors, including the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Connecticut, the University of Miami, New York University, the University of Virginia, Stanford University, the University of York, WGBH Boston, the Hydra Project, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives.

Avalon's first release was shared with the community in May 2013. Northwestern University went live in production with the current release 3.0 of Avalon in July 2014 (media.northwestern.edu) and Indiana University went live in October 2014 (media.dlib.indiana.edu). Northwestern University is using Avalon for media course reserves, access to special collections and digital scholarship. At Indiana University (IU), Avalon is currently used for access to digitized films from the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive, along with audio and video recordings from several other special collections, and is planned to be used for media reserves later in the year. In addition, Avalon at IU will deliver audio and video collections digitized by IU's Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative, a five-year large scale effort to preserve and provide access to the university's media collections at risk of degradation and loss.

The Avalon team is currently at work on features for future releases. New features under development include metadata import of MARC records and import of multiple quality level transcoded files. The next major release, Avalon 4.0, is planned to include bulk assignment of metadata, structural metadata import and storage, media navigation via structural metadata, and the ability to prioritize media items in the transcoding queue. Among the future planned features of Avalon are accessible navigation and closed captioning, transcripts, usage metrics, playlists and clip making, pedagogical and annotation tools, and integration with additional streaming services.

Community engagement and adoption are key components of the Avalon Media System's plan for sustainability. Multiple institutions currently have Avalon implementations, pilot implementations, or evaluations underway. Some of these experiences were shared at the 2014 Digital Library Federation (DLF) Forum session, "Avalon Media System: Implementation and Community" in October 2014. New functionality is being developed by adopting institutions to meet their particular needs and will be integrated into the Avalon codebase to benefit the larger community. The Avalon Media System team will continue to work with the Hydra community and leverage new features that are developed. Indiana University and Northwestern University are also joining with a group of founding sponsor institutions who will guide the Avalon Media System's development and governance to support the library, archive, and academic community's growing needs for media management.

To learn more about the Avalon Media System's development and goals or to contact the project team, please visit the project website, http://www.avalonmediasystem.org/.


e-Journal Archiving: Changing Landscape

Contributed by
Oya Y. Rieger
Associate University Librarian
Cornell University Library
Ithaca, New York, USA
rieger [at] cornell.edu

Academic libraries are increasingly relying on born-digital content whether it is commercially produced and licensed or widely available through open access. Evidence shows that the extent of e-journal preservation has not kept pace with the growth of electronic publication.1 Studies comparing the e-journal holdings of some research libraries with the titles currently preserved by major agencies have consistently found that only 23-27%, at most, of the titles with ISSN's currently collected – let alone published – have been preserved.2 Given the critical role of research libraries and archives in providing long-term access to scholarly and cultural information, it is critical that we assess how well we are doing in establishing policies and practices to ensure the enduring usability, authenticity, discoverability, and accessibility of e-journal content.

Addressing the concern about the preservation status of e-journals, a panel discussion during the CNI Fall Forum discussed a number of critical issues pertaining to e-journal preservation.

Rieger started with a synopsis of the e-journal preservation studies that have been carried by the libraries of Columbia and Cornell since 2011 (2CUL).3 Funded by the Mellon Foundation, the second phase of the project aims to develop and test methods to facilitate the continued expansion of e-journal preservation.4 The project team is in the process of contacting the publishers of several e-journals with no identifiable archival strategies.5 The preliminary findings indicate that there is some ambiguity about what archiving means and many publishers assume that their content management strategies are aiming to preserve content. Also, the survey generated questions about who has archival rights and who covers the costs of archiving for reliable access.

Bernie Reilly, President, Center for Research Libraries, reflected on what has been learned so far from the Center for Research Library's (CRL) Trusted Repository Audit and Certification (TRAC) process. TRAC aims to assess the organizational structure, digital object management, and technical infrastructure and already reviewed repositories such as HathiTrust, Chronopolis, Scholars Portal, CLOCKSS, and Portico.6 He also provided an update on the International Coalition of Newspapers (ICON), which is a source of information about significant newspaper collections in all formats and is designed to inform library decisions on the development, management and preservation of newspaper collections.

Lars Bjørnshauge, Managing Director of Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), described the recent efforts in increasing awareness of open access publishers on preservation matters. They recently developed a set of more transparent criteria for inclusion of journals in the DOAJ. One of the new information fields included in the directory is about a journal's preservation status (not having one does not disqualify a journal from being listed). There is a long-tail of very small OA journal publishers and many of them lack the financial & technical resources to go beyond just publishing the content.

Mark Jordan, Head of Library Systems, Simon Fraser University Library & Public Knowledge Project (PKP), described the development of a Private LOCKSS Network (PLN) and an Open Journal System (OJS) LOCKSS plugin to facilitate the preservation of journals published through the OJS publishing platform. The pilot phase is underway with the release of OJS 2.4.5. The OJS plugin will enable journals to opt in to the PKP PLN provided they meet the minimum requirements. Also, PKP is starting to develop other coordinated services for the OJS community, e.g. CrossRef, Altmetrics.



[1] For background information, see: Burnhill, Peter. "Tales from The Keepers Registry: Serial Issues About Archiving & the Web," Serials Review. Volume 39, Issue 1, March 2013, Pages 3-20. 2CUL eJournal Preservation Study, Phase 1: https://www.2cul.org/files/2CULLOCKSSFinalReport.pdf

[2] The Keepers Registry Blog. Generating Actionable Evidence on E-journal Archiving. October 28, 2013. http://thekeepers.blogs.edina.ac.uk/2013/10/28/generating-actionable-evidence-on-e-journal-archiving/

[3] Columbia University Libraries (CUL) and Cornell University Library (CUL) have collaborating to establish an enduring partnership that will see a broad integration of resources, collections, services, and expertise between the two library systems.

[4] Information about the Strategies for Expanding E-Journal Preservation project is available at: https://confluence.cornell.edu/display/culpublic/Strategies+for+Expanding+E-Journal+Preservation

[5] The Keepers Registry is a registry of preservation status for e-journals: http://thekeepers.org

[6] CRL Certification and Assessment: http://www.crl.edu/archiving-preservation/digital-archives/certification-and-assessment-digital-repositories


The Digital POWRR Project

Contributed by
Drew E. VandeCreek
Director of Digital Scholarship
Northern Illinois University Libraries
DeKalb, Illinois, USA
drew [at] niu.edu

The Digital POWRR Project (Preserving digital Objects with Restricted Resources), a multi-institutional, IMLS National Leadership Grant study based at Northern Illinois University, has recently completed an investigation of scalable digital preservation solutions for small and medium-sized institutions that are often faced with small staff sizes, restricted IT infrastructures, and tight budgets. These institutions hold unique digital content, yet practitioners seeking to enhance the probability that their materials will survive for use in the longer-term future have indicated that they are often unsure how to secure this result, and are particularly overwhelmed by the large number of digital preservation tools/services available.

As the Digital POWRR Project carried out its study, a team comprised of librarians, archivists, and a digital humanities scholar sought to create a well-defined, realistic path towards sustainable digital stewardship for this often overlooked group.

For example:

  • The team delivered a well-received, graphic-based tool grid that shows, at-a-glance, the functionalities of over 60 digital preservation tools and services and how they fit within an OAIS-based digital curation lifecycle. In the course of project activities, the Digital POWRR Project successfully merged this resource with a similar utility based in the United Kingdom, producing COPTR (Community Owned Digital Preservation Tool Registry – http://coptr.digipres.org), which will allow users to update and maintain descriptions of an increasing number of digital preservation tools.
  • POWRR successfully persuaded select digital preservation solution vendors to consider the introduction of scaled-down and transparent pricing geared towards smaller institutions.
  • The team created materials to aid practitioners as they attempt to build awareness of the need for a digital preservation program and advocate for the necessary resources within their institutions.
  • They developed a pragmatic, hands-on workshop to teach the initial steps necessary to access and inventory digital content as well as how to approach the development a digital preservation program realistically. Recognizing that many of their target institutions currently have little-to-no travel and training budgets, the POWRR team is traveling across the country to conduct these workshops for very little cost to institutions and practitioners.
  • Because institutions can achieve economies of scale by working together (not to mention the value of the "we're all in this together" approach!), POWRR is producing collaboration models and the underlying legal framework often needed for multi-institution digital preservation initiatives.
  • POWRR released their White Paper, From Theory to Action: Good Enough Digital Preservation for Under-Resourced Cultural Heritage Institutionshttp://commons.lib.niu.edu/handle/10843/13610 – in October, 2014.
  • More recently, the POWRR Project has received $195,000 in support from the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Preservation and Access for the provision of up to twelve additional workshops presenting the curriculum developed and delivered during the course of the IMLS study's dissemination phase. Project administrators will work with several library and archives organizations to host one-day workshop events around the country.

Watch the POWRR web site (http://digitalpowrr.niu.edu) for notification of upcoming events.


Smithsonian X 3D: How a 167-year-old Museum Leverages 3D Technology

Contributed by
G´┐Żnter Waibel, Director
Vincent Rossi, 3D Program Officer
Adam Metallo, 3D Program Officer
Jonathan Blundell, 3D Digitization Specialist
Digitization Program Office, Office of the Chief Information Officer
Smithsonian Institution
waibelg [at] si.edu

Smithsonian X 3D brings museum collections to homes and classrooms by applying cutting-edge 3D technology to one-of-a-kind objects such as the 1903 Wright Flyer, Lincoln's Life Masks, a 1500-year-old Buddha sculpture, a prehistoric fossilized whale, or a Super Nova. The 3D models are presented online at 3D.SI.EDU through a plug-in free explorer based on WebGL, which was created for the Smithsonian by the 3D design firm Autodesk.

The unique explorer turns online visitors into active investigators: they can manipulate the data to draw out hard-to-read details such as low-relief carvings on the Buddha (see also this video); investigate cross-sections to reveal the interior of the revolutionary Wright Flyer engine; take measurements to determine the dimensions of a whale vertebrae; and compare different models, such as the two Lincoln Life Masks, through a split-screen. The 3D models can also be embedded on other websites through an iFrame embed code, just like a YouTube video, as seen on the Smithsonian X 3D homepage.

Full datasets of the models can be downloaded, which empowers anyone with a 3D printer to create replicas. A community college in Houston 3D printed the life-mask of Abraham Lincoln (capturing the President's facial features weeks before he was assassinated) on the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg address to allow students the experience of tracing the deep furrows on the President's face. "When you hold an object like this in your hands, you get an entirely new perspective on the history around it," a college official was quoted as saying.

Inspired by the impact of the 3D data from the Lincoln Life Masks, a Smithsonian-led team bringing together expertise from the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies, Autodesk and 3D Systems, created the first 3D Portrait of a sitting President on June 9th 2014, as documented in this White House video and Smithsonian blog. The resulting life-sized 3D printed bust of President Obama was first displayed as part of the White House Maker Faire on June 18th 2014, and will be accessioned into the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

In addition to bringing to live history, Smithsonian X 3D content also holds great promised for STEM education. Difficult concepts like aerodynamics become vital and real when achieving the world's first sustained, powered flight depends on an innovative wing shape which is further explained by National Air & Space Museum chief curator Dr Peter Jakab on a guided tour of the Wright Flyer. Being able to investigate a 3D model of a Super Nova creates an opening to discuss how the death of stars fuels the creation of planets, and ultimately plays a role in the chemical chain reaction laying the foundation for life itself. As 3D models, Smithsonian collection items and scientific explorations become the scaffolding for telling stories about science, technology, engineering and math.

Smithsonian X 3D evokes the marvel of a 167-year-old museum complex going head-to-head with the most cutting edge 21st century technology. Moreover, this project indicates that 3D technology has the potential not only to support the Smithsonian mission, but to transform core functions at museums around the globe. Researchers working in the field may not come back with specimens, but with 3D data documenting a site or a find. Curators and educators can use 3D data as the scaffolding to tell stories or send students on a quest of discovery. Conservators can benchmark today's condition state of a collection item against a past state – a deviation analysis of 3D data will tell them exactly what changes have occurred.

Given the compelling educational use cases, as well as the transformative ways in which 3D technology can support Smithsonian staff in performing their day-to-day work, the Smithsonian's Digitization Program Office currently investigates how to increase the rate of 3D capture, and reduce the significant and highly variable per-item costs of 3D digitization and post-processing. Among the upcoming data releases will be the a 3D model of the Nation's T-Rex, which was scanned bone-by-bone (over 200 of them) in full public view to support Smithsonian scientists in designing the scientifically accurate pose for the specimen when it goes on display in a re-modeled dinosaur hall in 2019.

For more information, see these videos from the Smithsonian's Digitization Program Office YouTube channel introducing Smithsonian X 3D, as well as various individual projects:

Smithsonian X 3D Overview http://youtu.be/TcjO_VY5lcI
What is 3D scanning? http://youtu.be/CkoEbnxxXXg
Conservation showcase http://youtu.be/6ij4WtocR2U
Education showcase http://youtu.be/SOo9WVuUmtc
Lincoln Life Masks http://youtu.be/otzMtMu4tPU
Fossil Whales http://youtu.be/qRLZ29mLdSQ
Gunboat Philadelphia http://youtu.be/9NVyRf1C9u0


I N   T H E   N E W S

NISO Publishes Revised SUSHI Standard and Supporting Documentation

New filters and report attributes add to the SUSHI protocol's flexibility in retrieving e-resource usage data

January 8, 2015 — "The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has published a revision to the Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative (SUSHI) Protocol (ANSI/NISO Z39.93-2014). The SUSHI standard defines an automated request and response model for the harvesting of electronic resource usage data utilizing a Web services framework that can replace the user-mediated collection of usage data reports. It was designed as a generalized protocol extensible to a variety of usage reports. An extension designed specifically to work with COUNTER reports is provided. This new version of the SUSHI standard extends the filter support to allow multiple filters and/or report attributes to be included in the SUSHI Request. Use of these filters and attributes is optional, making the new version backwards compatible with the previous one. Additional documentation supporting SUSHI implementation has been updated including SUSHI schemas, COUNTER schemas, sample reports, selected SUSHI Harvesters tools, and the Server Registry...."

"...The revised SUSHI standard and extensive supporting tools and documentation are available on the NISO SUSHI website at: http://www.niso.org/workrooms/sushi/."

For more information, see the full press release.


OCLC and the British Library offer new option for fast, flexible document delivery

January 8, 2015 — "OCLC and the British Library now offer a new option for fast, flexible purchase from the British Library Document Supply Service that enables library staff to confirm the availability of required documents before placing an order, and provides a wide range of choices for delivery and price."

"Rather than sending OCLC WorldShare Interlibrary Loan requests without knowing whether the British Library can supply the required items, the new option makes clear whether an item is held in advance of ordering—and also whether a digital delivery option is available that will reduce delivery times to as little as several minutes."

"The new purchase option also simplifies library procedures related to copyright compliance and document fee payments. All document fees include copyright payments, so purchasing libraries do not need to take additional steps to ensure copyright compliance. In addition, libraries may continue to use OCLC's Interlibrary Loan Fee Management (IFM) service to pay for their purchases. IFM reconciles resource sharing charges and payments through a library's monthly OCLC invoice to eliminate invoices and check writing for individual transactions."

For more information, see the full press release.


Rapid growth in 3D printer use raises public policy issues for libraries and society

January 6, 2015 — "Public policy issues surrounding 3D printers are now coming to the fore as the technology becomes more widely available in America's libraries and homes. To ensure people are able to use 3D printers responsibly and effectively, librarians must now work towards developing policies in copyright, trademark, privacy, product liability and more. Established, reasonable practices for 3D printing will enable this technology to best serve our communities and inform the laws, regulations and judicial decisions to come."

"In a new report from the American Library Association (ALA), author Charlie Wapner encourages libraries, as leaders of the digital learning and 3D printing movement, to take a proactive role in developing institutional policies that address the social, technological and political complexities that result from the rise of 3D printing. 'Progress in the Making: 3D Printing Policy Considerations through the Library Lens' is freely available online here (pdf)."

"U.S. libraries are in the vanguard of the digital information revolution and are rapidly adopting 3D printers to provide opportunities for library patrons to engage in creative learning, solve community health problems, launch new products and more. In the report, Wapner, who serves as information policy analyst for the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP), outlines the role 3D printing now plays in K-12 schools, higher education and public libraries and analyzes issues related to copyright, trademark, trade dress and product liability that may arise from 3D printing in libraries."

For more information, see the full press release.


IU receives National Endowment for the Humanities grant for digital preservation

December 18, 2014 — "The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded nearly $400,000 to Indiana University Bloomington for a digital preservation partnership between the IU Libraries and public broadcaster WGBH Boston."

"The grant was announced last week by the NEH as part of $17.9 million in awards and offers for 233 humanities projects. Awarded as part of the NEH's Preservation and Access Research and Development program, the grant will support the development of HydraDAM2, a software tool that will assist in the long-term preservation of valuable audio and video collections...."

"...HydraDAM2 will primarily address challenges posed by long-term preservation of digital audio and video files. Because these 'time-based media' files are significantly larger than many other digital files managed by libraries and archives, they potentially require special solutions and workflows."

"An important feature of HydraDAM2 is that it will be open source and can be used and shared freely among cultural institutions, including libraries, archives, universities and public broadcasters."

For more information, see the full press release.


Application Period Opens for 2015 National Digital Stewardship Residency Program

December 18, 2014 — "The Library of Congress and the Institute of Museum and Library Services announce the official open call for applications for the 2015 National Digital Stewardship Residency, to be held in the Washington, D.C. area. Applications opened Dec. 17 and will close on January 30, 2015. To apply, go to the official USAJobs link at https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/389615400."

"For the 2015-16 class, five residents will be chosen for a 12-month residency at a prominent institution in the Washington, D.C. area. The residency will begin in June, 2015, with an intensive week-long digital stewardship workshop at the Library of Congress. Thereafter, each resident will move to his or her designated host institution to work on a significant digital stewardship project. These projects will allow them to acquire hands-on knowledge and skills involving the collection, selection, management, long-term preservation, and accessibility of digital assets."

For more information, see the full press release.


Institute of Museum and Library Services Budget for FY 2015

December 17, 2014 — "Yesterday, President Barack Obama signed into law a $1.1 trillion spending bill to fund the federal government through the end of September 2015. The legislation includes $227,860,000 for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which is $1,000,000 above FY 2014 funding. The additional funds will assist with the agency's planned relocation for the coming year."

"The total amount appropriated for libraries, which is through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), is $180,909,000. The total for the Office of Museum Services is $30,131,000."

For more information, see the full press release.


Wiley and Jisc announce new open access agreement

December 17, 2014 — "John Wiley and Sons, Inc., today announced a pilot agreement, brokered by Jisc, for articles published on an open access basis. The agreement follows discussions, between Jisc, Wiley and the UK library community, and will enable greater support for universities during the transition to open access."

"Running from January 2015 to December 2017, the agreement provides credits for article processing charges (APCs) to universities that license Wiley journal content under the terms of the Jisc journal agreement. This means that universities that pay both subscription charges for publications and fees to make articles open access will receive APC credits based on the total prior year spend. The APC credits will be available when publishing in the Wiley Open Access journal publishing program as well OnlineOpen, Wiley's hybrid open access option, and reflect Wiley's commitment to recognizing the total cost of ownership for UK universities."

"Customers need to have a Wiley Open Access Account set up to be eligible to receive their APC credits. Wiley Open Access Accounts provide discounts on APCs and the Account Dashboard reduces the administrative burden on both authors and institutions."

For more information, see the full press release.


NISO Launches New Standards Development Projects in New Forms of Assessing Impact & Altmetrics

Interested participants from libraries, scholarly publishers, research funders, scholars, university departments of academic affairs, providers of alternative metrics data, and system providers are encouraged to contact NISO

December 15, 2014 — "The voting members of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) have approved four new projects to develop standards for alternative assessment metrics (altmetrics). The NISO Alternative Assessment Metrics Initiative was begun in July 2013 with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation with a goal of building trust and adoption in new methods of assessing impact. Phase 1 of the project, which was completed this summer, gathered a large array of relevant stakeholder groups to identify what areas of alternative metrics would benefit most from standards-related developments. This input was distilled into a white paper published in June 2014, which was then presented to the NISO community to prioritize the action items as possible NISO work items. Phase 2 of the project will be to develop standards or recommended practices in the prioritized areas of definitions, calculation methodologies, improvement of data quality, and use of persistent identifiers in alternative metrics. As part of each project, relevant use cases and how they apply to different stakeholder groups will be developed...."

"...The approved proposal for the Phase 2 projects as well as the Phase 1 White Paper are available on the NISO website at: www.niso.org/topics/tl/altmetrics_initiative/. Anyone interested in participating on one of the initiative's working groups should use the online contact form ( www.niso.org/contact/") and indicate in which of the four activity area(s) you are interested."

For more information, see the full press release.


FCC E-rate action expands broadband opportunities for libraries

December 11, 2014 — "Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a landmark E-rate modernization order that addresses the broadband capacity gap facing many public libraries. In response, American Library Association (ALA) President Courtney Young released the following statement:"

"'Connecting America's libraries with high-capacity broadband connects our communities with opportunity and changes lives. Sometimes the government's words are far greater than their actions – today is not one of those times. The Commission's action is monumental and will make a critical difference for the libraries and schools in our nation, and even more importantly for the communities and students they serve.'"

"'Today marks the culmination of more than 18 months of ALA's extensive and unwavering advocacy on behalf of libraries across the country in connection with the FCC's E-rate proceeding. In this proceeding, ALA advocated, among other things, that the FCC must address both the lack of affordable high-capacity broadband for the majority of libraries and the long-term funding shortage of the E-rate program.'"

"'We are very pleased that the Commission, as ALA recommended, has removed restrictions that have prevented many libraries from getting the broadband they so desperately need. In addition, we applaud the Commission for recognizing our concerns regarding the funding shortage. Today, the FCC confirmed that it will add an additional $1.5 billion to the yearly program for libraries and schools.'"

For more information, see the full press release.


Libraries and Museums Kick Off STEM Video Game Challenge Workshops

December 11, 2014 — "The National STEM Video Game Challenge will kick off its series of workshops this week at the Free Library of Philadelphia as the flagship event during Computer Science Education week. Recently the library received an IMLS National Leadership Grant for its Maker Jawn initiative to support STEM programming to multi-generational audiences. The STEM Challenge workshop will fuel the momentum for the year to come."

"The National STEM Video Game Challenge, presented by the Smithsonian in partnership with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media, is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as the National Community Program Sponsor. The STEM Challenge aims to motivate interest in science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) learning among youth by tapping into their natural passions for playing and making video games. Now in its fourth year, the National STEM Video Game Challenge was inspired by President Obama's 'Educate to Innovate' campaign, an initiative to promote a new focus on science, technology, engineering and math education. This year's STEM Challenge will be accepting entries from youth in grades 5 - 12 through February 25, 2015."

"As community anchor institutions, museums and libraries offer the right mix of staff, technology, and facilities to serve as ideal venues for creative game design learning. With IMLS's support, the STEM Video Game Challenge will host youth game-design workshop and staff webinars for museum and library professionals. Workshops will be held at museums and libraries across the country."

For more information, see the full press release.


Searching through historic newspapers from 23 European countries

December 3, 2014 — "As part of the Europeana Newspapers project, The European Library developed a historic newspapers browser that enables users to perform full-text searches in millions of historic newspaper pages...."

"...The prototype interface has undergone usability testing in spring 2014. On the basis of the recommendations received, The European Library simplified the search page and made it possible to browse the content by date, newspaper title and geographic map. Before the end of the project a further usability study will be carried out to test the improvements made. While the amount of content in the browser continues to grow rapidly one can already explore 1.8 million historic newspaper issues and perform full-text searches across 7 million pages. By the end of January 2015, the browser will contain around 30 million newspaper pages from 25 libraries in 23 European countries."

For more information, see the full press release.


National Archives Welcomes Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014

H.R. 1233 modernizes definition of Federal records to include electronic records

December 1, 2014 — "On November 26th, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 1233, the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014. This new law modernizes records management by focusing more directly on electronic records, and complements efforts by the National Archives and the Office of Management and Budget to implement the President's 2011 Memorandum on Managing Government Records...."

"...Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero praised the passage of HR 1233:"

"'We welcome this bipartisan effort to update the nation's records laws for the 21st Century. H.R. 1233 could not have become law without the efforts of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Chairman Issa (R-CA), and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Carper (D-DE) and Ranking Member Coburn (R-OK), in shining a spotlight on the challenges that so many Federal agencies and presidential administrations have faced in managing their electronic records.'"

For more information, see the full press release.


NEH Creates New "Public Scholar" Grant Program Supporting Popular Scholarly Books in the Humanities

December 1, 2014 — "The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced a new grant opportunity that encourages the publication of nonfiction books that apply serious humanities scholarship to subjects of general interest and appeal."

"The new NEH Public Scholar awards support well-researched books in the humanities conceived and written to reach a broad readership. Books supported through this program might present a narrative history, tell the stories of important individuals, analyze significant texts, provide a synthesis of ideas, revive interest in a neglected subject, or examine the latest thinking on a topic. Most importantly, they should open up important and appealing subjects for wider audiences by presenting significant humanities topics in a way that is accessible to general readers...."

"...The Public Scholar program is open to both independent scholars and individuals affiliated with scholarly institutions. It offers a stipend of $4,200 per month for a period of six to twelve months. The maximum stipend is $50,400 for a twelve-month period. Applicants must have previously published a book or monograph with a university or commercial press, or articles and essays that reach a wide readership...."

"...The application deadline for the first cycle of Public Scholar grants is March 3, 2015."

For more information, see the full press release.


Libraries to fight for surveillance law reform in next Congress; warn 'PATRIOT Act protectionists' of 'political peril'

November 19, 2014 — "American Library Association (ALA) Washington Office Executive Director Emily Sheketoff released the following statement on the U.S. Senate's failure last night to bring the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill that would have improved the balance between terrorism prevention and personal privacy protection, to the Senate floor for debate and an eventual up or down vote:"

"'Librarians have been fighting for 13 years to restore a reasonable balance between civil liberties and national security and thus strongly supported Senator Leahy's USA FREEDOM ACT. We're saddened that this finely tuned package of modest reforms -backed by major civil liberties organizations, the White House, leading conservatives and even the Director of National Intelligence—was denied consideration in the Senate by just two votes. A huge majority of Americans has said time and again that they want and deserve security without sacrificing privacy and liberty. When the USA PATRIOT Act's renewal is debated in the next Congress, ALA and our more than 55,000 members will be back to demand changes in the law that answer that call. Patriot Act protectionists will thwart the American people again only at their political peril.'"

"The USA FREEDOM Act would have effectively ended the government's bulk collection of phone and internet call records, permitted phone and internet companies to more meaningfully disclose the number of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court orders and National Security Letters they receive, and allow 'special advocates' to appear before the secret FISA court in key cases to defend the public's interests and civil liberties."

For more information, see the full press release.


[ALA] Class of 2015 Emerging Leaders announced

November 18, 2014 — "The American Library Association (ALA) has selected 50 people to participate in its 2015 class of Emerging Leaders (EL). The program is designed to enable library staff and information workers to participate in project planning workgroups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity early in their careers."

"The program kicks off with a day-long session during the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. Following the kickoff session which includes orientation and training, the program will continue in an online learning and networking environment for six months, culminating with a poster session where the 2015 Emerging Leaders will showcase the results of their project planning work at the ALA 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco. Participants commit to taking part in all aspects of the program and may have an opportunity to serve on an ALA, division, chapter, round table, or affiliate committee or workgroup upon completion."

"View the complete list of the selected 2015 Emerging Leader participants (PDF) and sponsoring organizations.
For more information on the Emerging Leaders program, visit the EL web page.
The Emerging Leaders program is managed by the ALA Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR)."

For more information, see the full press release.


RLUK and OCLC partner for shared collection management and visibility goals

November 14, 2014 — "OCLC and Research Libraries UK (RLUK), a consortium of the largest research organisations in the UK and Ireland, today announced an expanded partnership that will help RLUK achieve key strategic objectives for shared collection management and resource discovery."

"Building on existing OCLC cataloguing arrangements, the new agreement offers RLUK members the opportunity to load their bibliographic metadata into WorldCat, the most comprehensive global network of data about library holdings and services. This data will then be used to facilitate better understanding and visibility of these resources for both RLUK as a group, and for individual members of the consortium...."

"...Loading the bibliographic data of RLUK library collections into WorldCat will enable analysis and streamlined collection management across the group. 'For many of our members this will allow them to free up space and time to concentrate on the many other priorities of research libraries, and also develop a more acute sense of individual collection strength and uniqueness amongst our group,' said John MacColl, RLUK Vice Chair."

For more information, see the full press release.


Arizona State Library Launches eBook Platform

November 10, 2014 announcement from Michelle Bickert, Digital Content Coordinator, Arizona Stte Library — "Arizonans now have easy access to more than 500 books about their state, thanks to a new ebook platform hosted by the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records. Titles range from historical fiction to academic biographies, haunted tour guides to thrilling mysteries...."

"...The ebooks available through Reading Arizona may be borrowed within the state simultaneously by multiple users. Readers get to decide how long they want to keep a title, rather than being tied to a traditional return date. Reading Arizona is powered by BiblioBoard, the content management system from BiblioLabs, and is available on iOS, Android, and Kindle tablets through BiblioBoard Library."

"...Patrons accessing the website inside Arizona will be able to see the collection and create a user account to mark favorites, download ebooks to an offline bookshelf, and offer ratings and comments. Once patrons create an account, they can access the site even when traveling outside the state. A 'Getting Started' guide provides further instructions online...."

"...The project is funded by a Library Services and Technology Act grant through the Institute of Museum and Library Services."

For more information, contact Ms. Bickert at mbickert@azlibrary.gov.

transparent image