Eclipse Tomorrow

In Boise, over 800 miles and now less than 13 hours away. Feeling nervous that there will be traffic issues but got to keep thinking that there are lots of places to go. Going to get up early 6am and head out on my original plan to go to Lime, OR unless traffic conditions dictate otherwise.




Digital Initiatives Symposium

usdDigitalI went to the Digital Initiatives Symposium on April 27-28 at the University of San Diego.  I’d like to say that I learned a lot but really I didn’t.  The symposium centered around the concept of Digital Humanities which according to Wikipedia “is an area of research and teaching at the intersection of computing and the disciplines of the humanities.”  Which is to say that DH is a broad category and difficult to define.  DH initiatives stretch from dissertations and thesis to 360° digital photography. Since Loma Linda University is a not known for its humanities, there were definitely aspects of the symposium that did not have direct parallels for LLU.  My main goals were to learn more about thesis and dissertations and the technical aspects for preservation.  Unfortunately there wasn’t enough focus for me on the technical side.

I attended a workshop on building DH capacity.  I didn’t know what to expect but out of the three offered, I picked this one because it was run by a person from Claremont.  It turned out to be similar to Gamifying a brainstorming session.  The attendees were grouped into teams and we brainstormed ideas on Post-It notes and poster board concerning  what a DH project would be and how to support it.  I was engaging and entertaining but I still do not think I came away with a concrete idea of what DH is.

I am sorry to say but the keynote speaker was not very engaging.  Either I drifted off being still asleep or tuned out but I don’t remember what he said.  He was a last minute substitute for the scheduled speaker who couldn’t make it.

The “Roles and Responsibilities” panel of library directors all came back with a common theme: get the dean or administration behind the digital humanities project.  The university represented were Santa Clara, Northern Iowa and Connecticut College.  They suggested the involvement of the university made the project more encompassing rather than just a library project.  This tended to get more involvement from the faculty.  Make the submission of dissertations into the IR mandatory and part of the process.  Create a sense of urgency to spark administration into action; “we are behind other universities.”

The “Credible Journal Criteria” was presented by Loyola Marymount.  It detailed their need to create a rubric to critically analyze Open Access Journals and give their faculty a means to judge the worthiness of these journals.  I.e. how to distinguish between predatory journals and credible journals.  The rubric was passed out and well received by the audience.  The audience wanted to know if Loyola’s scoring of OAJ would be shared at a latter time.  Parallels were made with Beall’s List of Predatory Publishers.

The “Library as Host” was presented by UNLV.  They went over their process of accepting to be the host of publications but leaving the publishing to the department.  This lets the library be the facilitator and consultant and not the designer and editor.  The request for a new journal goes through a proposal form which details the responsibility of each party.  There is no host fee.  The library may pass along BePress’s publishing fees to the publisher as more publishers request journals; right now it is too soon in the process.

I’d hoped the “Caltech, Digital Libraries of the Future”presentation would have been the most technical and it was but not technical enough to walk away with a plan for our archive.  Caltech uses: ArchiveSpace, ArchiveIt, ePADD, ePrints, Islandora and Invenio-TIND.  They are moving to a Fedora 4 – Islandora CLAW model and in the future moving everything to INVENIO.  Inventio was developed at CERN and is an open source digital library solution.  TIND is a vendor and host that specializes in Inventio.

The last presentation was the BePress user group meeting.  BePress featured advances coming in the digital dashboard and the percentile ranking method to compare each others digital output from previous years and each other.  Selected Works continues to grow.  Moving to include an Expert Finder feature for specialities in fields of study and eventually getting to Faculty Reporting of scholarship including ORCHID IDs.  New features for Digital Commons include: expanded dashboard, real time archive backup with Amazon S3 account, Responsive Re-design and author view dashboard in Selected Works.

The Digital Initiatives Symposium was very well organized and executed.  The facilities were good as well as the food provided.  It was a good value for the money spent.  Next year I would not need to do the workshop.

LIBR250 – Design and Implementation of Instructional Strategies for Information Professionals

5611007702_c1e0f31e2fFirst week with my summer class.  Why did I take a summer class?  I could have rested.  This class is going to be hard.  There is a project that we will be working on throughout the summer.  I have chosen to create instructional design for seniors who have not used the Internet.  As inspiration, my mom, who hasn’t wanted to use the Internet in the past but is somewhat interested it it now.  It seems like a daunting task.  What did I take a summer class and one that will be hard?  It just comes down to not wanting to take this class and complete my portfolio at the same time.  Although, I did sign up for two classes in the Fall so that I can maintain half time status.  The “fun” class will be on gamification. I hope that was a wise choice too.

Spring 2014 Ended – Summer Break

summerheatpalmtree-587117Wow, I haven’t written anything posts sign announcing that I was starting Spring 2014 and now my Spring 2014 classes are over.  Just to summarize, LIBR285-Research Methods was my hard class and the last of my core classes.   The professor was fine but the class really didn’t foster collaboration with my other classmates.  There was a group project but the regular discussion posts were not engaging.  I missed responding to a couple posts and missed one discussion topic completely.  Oh discordia.  I think I did pretty good for the class despite my lack of interest in the topic and course.  I received A’s on all my assignments so far (minus the last I just turned in) but then there is the participation score that might hurt me.  This might be my first B.

LIBR246-Drupal was a fun class and has produced a useful outcome.  Even though I know a lot about Drupal going into the class, I learned some techniques and modules that will help me with work and SBVAA.  The outcome for the class was to create a eProtfolio website:  I will continue working on this site for my graduation requirement.

Time for a little summer break.  There’s too much going on in my life this summer and I need a break from school.  Taking summer off then starting again Aug. 2014 for Fall 2014.

-Gerald Rezes


Halfway Through

30 secondMy professor for LIBR204 just sent out an announcement saying that we are halfway through the semester.  It seems like it this time around.  My business management class, LIBR204, has been a long and boring class.  The content is just not something that resonates with me.  The reading is long, long, long.  I am working on a group project now which I hope we will be successful at.  Somehow I was made the team leader.

My LIBR240, web coding, class is a lot of fun.  So far nothing is too hard just normal coding that I have been doing for sometime.  I am learning about CSS structure and why some attributes work on line elements and others on block elements.  I also learned about CSS Sprites which I can apply to the archives / CONTENTdm project.

Break Time

Spring 2013 semester is over.  Yeah.  I should be getting A’s in both LIBR202 – Information Retrieval and LIBR287 – Hyperlinked Library.  LIBR287 was definitely more fun and more educational.  LIBR287 has a more futuristic syllabus and offers information that I can apply to work immediately.  In fact, I created a Twitter account @LLULibraries inspired in part from the Hyperlinked Library class.

LIBR202, on the other hand, was a bit dry.  I don’t think that I learned that much or that much useful information that I could apply to work.  I was thinking it would help with searching databases but it was a class on information retrieval theory more than application.  I guess that is why they call it a core-class.  And I got dinged for using Wikipedia as a source. Grant it, I know it’s not a scholarly source, but I was using it to explain an acronym.  I feel that common knowledge like this is trustworthy on Wikipedia. Maybe that’s the problem;  APA citations are not needed with “common knowledge.”  Anyway, the ding didn’t make a big difference in my grade.


QR Vandalism?


So I am walking into work this morning an the university erected a plaque acknowledging the historic spot of the School of Tropical and Preventive Medicine and an annex building called the “block house.”  The block house was finally torn down late last year while the south laboratory has been gone for much longer.  But when I see this new plaque I reflect on how static and non-visual this type of presentation presents.  I know our library’s archive has images of these buildings in their heyday.  Hmmm.

Well,  I couldn’t find any pictures of the “block building” but I definitely found images of the School of Tropical and Preventive Medicine.  I saved the search, created a QR code and taped it to the plaque.  Now someone can use their smartphone to search our library archives and bring up images from the past.  I wish the university had thought of this beforehand so that the QR could be engraved in the plaque.  As it is now, I just taped the QR code so that it can be removed if someone take offense.  Laminating the code will be my next step if it is seen as a valuable addition.