D-Lib Magazine
The Magazine of Digital Library Research

T A B L E   O F   C O N T E N T S
M A Y / J U N E   2 0 1 7
Volume 23, Number 5/6
ISSN: 1082-9873





National Digital Platform
Editorial by Laurence Lannom, Corporation for National Research Initiatives


Libraries Advancing the National Digital Platform
Guest Editorial by Trevor Owens, Ashley E. Sands, Emily Reynolds, James Neal and Stephen Mayeaux, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)



B U I L D I N G   E Q U I T A B L E   D I G I T A L   C O M M U N I T I E S

SimplyE — More People Discovering More From the Library
Article by James English and Leonard Richardson, The New York Public Library

Abstract: In 2015, in an effort to make the library ebook experience simpler and easier for users, a group of libraries developed SimplyE, a mobile application for finding, borrowing and reading ebooks from the library. The goal of the project is to advance a national digital platform to help library patrons find, borrow, and consume the largest variety and inventory of content possible, demonstrating that improving the user experience, especially in the area of discovery, increases the consumption of library ebooks. This article describes the project to date, and outlines future plans.

At the Edges of the National Digital Platform
Article by Sharon Strover, University of Texas at Austin; Brian Whitacre, Oklahoma State University; Colin Rhinesmith, Simmons College; Alexis Schrubbe, University of Texas at Austin

Abstract: Libraries straddle the information needs of the 21st century. The wifi, computers and now mobile hotspots that some libraries provide their patrons are gateways to a broad, important, and sometimes essential information resources. The research summarized here examines how rural libraries negotiate telecommunications environments, and how mobile hotspots might extend libraries' digital significance in marginalized and often resource-poor regions. The Internet has grown tremendously in terms of its centrality to information and entertainment resources of all sorts, but the ability to access the Internet in rural areas typically lags that experienced in urban areas. Not only are networks less available in rural areas, they also often are of lower quality and somewhat more expensive; even mobile phone-based data plans — assuming there are acceptable signals available — may be economically out of reach for people in these areas. With older, lower income and less digitally skilled populations typically living in rural areas, the role of the library and its freely available resources may be especially useful. This research examines libraries' experiences with providing free, mobile hotspot-based access to the Internet in rural areas of Maine and Kansas.

Toward Gigabit Libraries
Article by Susannah Spellman, U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network, Internet2; James Werle, K20 Initiative, Internet2; Carson Block, Carson Block Consulting

Abstract: Internet2's "Toward Gigabit Libraries" project, funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), aims to help close the digital divide that persists in small, rural, and tribal libraries. Through this project, Internet2 has created a "Broadband Toolkit" and customized "Broadband Action Plan" to help librarians learn about their broadband infrastructure and internal information technology (IT) environment. The goal of the project is to enable librarians to improve their broadband services and become stronger advocates for their libraries' broadband infrastructure needs.

On the Record, All the Time: Audiovisual Evidence Management in the 21st Century
Article by Snowden Becker and Jean-François Blanchette, Department of Information Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

Abstract: We are currently witnessing the explosive growth of audiovisual evidence generated by widespread deployment of surveillance cameras, smartphones, and bodycams in law enforcement. With this growth comes new and emergent intersections of policy, technology and record-keeping in contemporary society. Library and Information Science (LIS) practitioners' expertise in the ethical management of public records has renewed relevance for audiovisual evidence, which requires complex tradeoffs between the competing demands of public access, privacy, cost, and collective memory. This paper reports on the IMLS-funded "On the Record, All the Time" project, which brings together leaders from LIS education, records management, law enforcement, civic governance, and policymaking communities to define the challenges of, and set specific priorities for, the management and preservation of new forms of audiovisual evidence. The project places particular emphasis on identification of core competencies for managers of audiovisual evidence. It also seeks to facilitate information exchange and radical collaboration with key stakeholders--notably, law enforcement and criminal justice practitioners--with whom the LIS field has previously had little contact, and to open new areas of research and professional possibility for LIS program graduates.

E X P A N D I N G   D I G I T A L   C U L T U R A L   H E R I T A G E   C A P A C I T I E S

Diversifying the Digital Historical Record: Integrating Community Archives in National Strategies for Access to Digital Cultural Heritage
Article by Michelle Caswell, University of California, Los Angeles; Christopher Harter, Amistad Research Center; Bergis Jules, University of California, Riverside

Abstract: Some of the most valuable collections documenting the lives of marginalized people in the United States reside in spaces outside traditional academic and government institutions. They exist as independently curated, highly valuable sites for remembering, owned and operated by the communities they document. How can community-based archives participate in national strategies to digitize materials documenting marginalized communities? What are the social, cultural and technological barriers to participation and what are the benefits? How might national digital strategies leverage materials in community-based archives in order to diversify the digital record while respecting community-based autonomy and authority? These are questions explored by a consortium of community-based archives awarded a $100,000 IMLS National Leadership Grant for the project "Diversifying the Digital Historical Record: Integrating Community Archives in National Strategies for Access to Digital Cultural Heritage." This paper presents preliminary findings of the first two forums sponsored by this project; namely that, while technological challenges impede the participation of community archives in national digital strategies, ethical considerations related to autonomy, custody, and stewardship also present significant barriers. Rather than create a central digital repository for community archival materials, community archives practitioners instead express a need for a structured online space to create a network, share resources and best practices, and leverage each other's expertise.

ePADD: Computational Analysis Software Facilitating Screening, Browsing, and Access for Historically and Culturally Valuable Email Collections
Article by Josh Schneider, Peter Chan, Glynn Edwards; Special Collections & University Archives, Stanford Libraries, Stanford University; Sudheendra Hangal, Ashoka University

Abstract: ePADD is free and open-source software that supports the computational analysis of email with potential historical or cultural value. The software incorporates techniques from computer science and computational linguistics, including natural language processing, named entity recognition, and other statistical machine learning-associated processes. These functionalities enable ePADD to promote the appraisal, processing, discovery, and delivery of email held by archival repositories and other cultural memory institutions. In November 2015, Stanford Libraries, with partners University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Harvard University, University of California, Irvine, and Metropolitan New York Library Council, received three years of funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to advance the formation of a national digital platform by further developing ePADD. Now in year two of the grant, Stanford Libraries and its grant partners have continued to improve the program's scalability, usability, and feature set, while simultaneously taking steps to engage and grow the user community. This article provides background on the need for the ePADD software, identifies how ePADD contributes to the national digital platform, informs on the work completed, highlights the ways in which ePADD is being adopted by the community, and identifies next steps and areas for future project development.

A Community of Relations: Mukurtu Hubs and Spokes
Article by Kimberly Christen, Alex Merrill and Michael Wynne, Washington State University

Abstract: This paper describes the history of Mukurtu CMS and our current project "Mukurtu Hubs and Spokes: A Sustainable National Platform for Community Archiving" funded by the IMLS as part of their National Digital Platform initiative in 2016. This project is an extension of the social, cultural, and technical work of developing the Mukurtu CMS software to the current 2.0.7 release. Mukurtu CMS is community driven software that addresses the ethical curation of, and access to, cultural heritage. The Mukurtu Hubs and Spokes grant will create regional centers of support and training and update the software to a 3.0 release. Each Mukurtu hub will contribute to the software updates and provide local training and support for community users.

The National Digital Stewardship Residency: Building a Community of Practice through Postgraduate Training and Education
Article by Rebecca Fraimow, WGBH; Meridith Beck Mink; Margo Padilla, Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO)

Abstract: The National Digital Stewardship Residency (NDSR) program addresses the need for a dedicated community of professionals with the knowledge and technical skills to ensure the long-term viability of the digital record by matching recent postgraduate degree recipients with cultural heritage institutions to manage digital stewardship projects. Since the initial NDSR DC pilot program, there have been five more iterations of the program — NDSR New York, NDSR Boston, American Archive of Public Broadcasting NDSR, NDSR Art, and Biodiversity Heritage Library NDSR. Although these programs share the same characteristics, each operates independently and no formalized guidelines or standards currently exist to link all the programs together. In the fall of 2015, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) was awarded an IMLS grant to evaluate the early NDSR programs. By providing a comprehensive picture of the NDSR programs that were completed by 2016, the study was intended to help the NDSR community build connections across initiatives and learn from the experiences of its first participants. IMLS also funded the NDSR Symposium planned for April 2017, which will serve as an opportunity to bring stakeholders together to incorporate the strongest practices of each iteration and develop a standardized model for future programs.

The Software Preservation Network (SPN): A Community Effort to Ensure Long Term Access to Digital Cultural Heritage
Article by Jessica Meyerson, Briscoe Center for American History, UT-Austin; Zach Vowell, California Polytechnic State University; Wendy Hagenmaier, Georgia Institute of Technology; Aliza Leventhal, Sasaki Associates; Fernando Rios, Johns Hopkins University; Elizabeth Russey Roke, Emory University; Tim Walsh, Canadian Centre for Architecture

Abstract: The Software Preservation Network (SPN) is a National Forum grant project funded by IMLS which seeks to gather cultural heritage community input and develop a roadmap for actionable steps towards a national software preservation strategy. To achieve this, the project team conducted a needs assessment, partnered with legal experts, and convened a Forum, all focused on software preservation for cultural heritage. After the Forum produced a Community Roadmap, several Forum attendees gathered around the Roadmap's areas of focus, and coalesced into functioning working groups. The authors wish to acknowledge everyone who has contributed to the project, whether they were study participants, email correspondents, Forum attendees, blog post authors, or working group members. At its heart, the SPN project was a community building effort to address a community-wide challenge.

The Digital Public Library of America and the National Digital Platform
Article by Emily Gore, Michael Della Bitta and Dan Cohen, Digital Public Library of America

Abstract: The Digital Public Library of America brings together the riches of America's libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. In order to do this, DPLA has had to build elements of the national digital platform to connect to those institutions and to serve their digitized materials to audiences. In this article, we detail the construction of two critical elements of our work: the decentralized national network of "hubs," which operate in states across the country; and a version of the Hydra repository software that is tailored to the needs of our community. This technology and the organizations that make use of it serve as the foundation of the future of DPLA and other projects that seek to take advantage of the national digital platform.

Transforming Libraries and Archives through Crowdsourcing
Article by Victoria Van Hyning and Chris Lintott, University of Oxford, Zooniverse; Samantha Blickhan and Laura Trouille, The Adler Planetarium, Zooniverse

Abstract: This article will showcase the aims and research goals of the project entitled "Transforming Libraries and Archives through Crowdsourcing", recipient of a 2016 Institute for Museum and Library Services grant. This grant will be used to fund the creation of four bespoke text and audio transcription projects which will be hosted on the Zooniverse, the world-leading research crowdsourcing platform. These transcription projects, while supporting the research of four separate institutions, will also function as a means to expand and enhance the Zooniverse platform to better support galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM institutions) in unlocking their data and engaging the public through crowdsourcing.

O P E N I N G   S C H O L A R L Y   C O M M U N I C A T I O N S

SHARE: Community-focused Infrastructure and a Public Goods, Scholarly Database to Advance Access to Research
Article by Cynthia R. Hudson-Vitale, Washington University in St. Louis; Richard P. Johnson, University of Notre Dame; Judy Ruttenberg, Association of Research Libraries; Jeffrey R. Spies, Center for Open Science, University of Virginia

Abstract: SHARE has a schema-agnostic approach to aggregate diverse and distributed scholarly metadata in order to build a broadly inclusive open data set about scholarship to power innovation and discovery. In an environment where metadata standards vary widely by discipline or domain, distributed digital assets — while intellectually linked to other objects in the ecosystem — may lack the necessary information to intuit these relationships directly, including strong identifiers for people, institutions, or sources of funding. Aggregating metadata across diverse data sources and repositories is essential for making related content discoverable — especially content that may not currently have first-class status in scholarship. Related contextual objects, beyond publications, support replicability, reproducibility, and reuse. It is impractical to ask each of these diverse data sources to adopt and implement a common metadata format when the incentives for doing so are low. Instead, SHARE is harvesting, normalizing, and linking dispersed assets into an aggregated, open data set of research outputs. This is producing tangible demonstrations of the power of a public goods database to provide notifications or reports of research activity and promote discovery. These demonstrations will entice institutions to enhance their metadata in SHARE or use SHARE to clean and augment metadata in their repositories.

Expanding the Librarian's Tech Toolbox: The "Digging Deeper, Reaching Further: Librarians Empowering Users to Mine the HathiTrust Digital Library" Project
Article by Harriett Green and Eleanor Dickson, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the IMLS-funded project "Digging Deeper, Reaching Further: Librarians Empowering Users to Mine the HathiTrust Digital Library," and explains how the project team developed a curriculum and workshop series to train librarians on text mining approaches and tools, in order to address the recognized skills gap between the needs of researchers pursuing digital scholarship and the services that librarians are traditionally trained to provide.

Scaling Up Perma.cc: Ensuring the Integrity of the Digital Scholarly Record
Article by Kim Dulin and Adam Ziegler, Harvard Library Innovation Lab, Harvard Law Library

Abstract: IMLS awarded the Harvard Library Innovation Lab a National Digital Platform grant to further develop the Lab's Perma.cc web archiving service. The funds will be used to provide technical enhancements to support an expanded user base, aid in outreach efforts to implement Perma.cc in the nation's academic libraries, and develop a commercial model for the service that will sustain the free service for the academic community. Perma.cc is a web archiving tool that puts the ability to archive a source in the hands of the author who is citing it. Once saved, Perma.cc assigns the source a new URL, which can be added to the original URL cited in the author's work, so that if the original link rots or is changed the Perma.cc URL will still lead to the original source. Perma.cc is being used widely in the legal community with great success; the IMLS grant will make the tool available to other areas of scholarship where link rot occurs and will provide a solution for those in the commercial arena who do not currently have one.


N E W S   &   E V E N T S


In Brief: Short Items of Current Awareness

In the News: Recent Press Releases and Announcements

Clips & Pointers: Documents, Deadlines, Calls for Participation

Meetings, Conferences, Workshops: Calendar of Activities Associated with Digital Libraries Research and Technologies

F E A T U R E D   D I G I T A L



Kent State students bury a copy of the US Constitution on May 1, 1970, in protest of the US invasion of Cambodia.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


National Guard personnel examine bullet hole through steel sculpture (Solar Totem #1 by Don Drumm) following shootings at Kent State, May 4, 1970. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Ohio National Guard vehicle and personnel, corner of Main and Lincoln. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


A letter by Professor of Political Science Murray I. Fishel to students in his courses, on May 11, 1970, following closure of Kent State. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

The department of Special Collections and Archives at the Kent State University Libraries, Kent, Ohio, has maintained a strong Web presence since 1994, placing hundreds of collection finding aids online and featuring selected archival materials in digital surrogate. Since 2008, more intensive efforts have been made to centralize digital content and offer value-added browsing and searching options to users. One of the libraries' most highly sought collections has been the May 4 Collection, which documents the May 1970 Kent State shootings and their aftermath.

Kent State University was placed into the international spotlight on May 4, 1970, after thirteen students were shot by members of the Ohio National Guard at a student demonstration protesting the United States' Cambodia Campaign (announced on television by President Nixon on April 30, 1970). Four students were killed and nine others were wounded, including one who was permanently paralyzed from his injury. Some of the injured and slain students were onlookers or simply walking to class when the shootings occurred. The May 4 Collection, established by the Kent State University Libraries in 1970, includes over 300 cubic feet of primary sources related to the shootings. The collection is open to the public and is used by researchers from around the world. Demand for digital access is high, particularly in recent years as the fiftieth anniversary of the shootings nears.

The Kent State Shootings Digital Archive is comprised primarily of digitized photographs and audio recordings from the May 4 Collection. Also included are 126 oral history interviews recorded from 1990 through the present. The oral history collection features both digital audio access and full-text transcriptions of each interview. A grant obtained in 2015 allowed a number of reel-to-reel audio recordings to be digitally captured, some of which had not been accessible for many years. The recordings provide particular insight into the University's administrative, faculty, and student reactions in the immediate aftermath of the shootings, which temporarily closed the university, leaving its fate uncertain. In 2016, the department was awarded a matching grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to digitize approximately 29.02 cubic feet from the 32 subcollections in the May4 archival collection, most of which will be documents, ephemera, and other archival files reflecting a host of reactions to the shootings, including student, faculty, national, international, and artistic responses. The first collections associated with this grant project were made available in December 2016.


D - L I B   E D I T O R I A L   S T A F F

Laurence Lannom, Editor-in-Chief
Allison Powell, Associate Editor
Catherine Rey, Managing Editor
Bonita Wilson, Contributing Editor

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