Chronicle of Higher Ed: Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive

Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, recently wrote a nice piece on the complications of preserving born-digital collections. It’s worth the read, and good to see these issues hit the academic newswires.

The first challenge is making sure people can get to the work when they do want to come. Analog or digital, no work will have much influence if it doesn’t stick around to be cited or argued with. The technological advances that make digital-humanities work possible also put it at risk of obsolescence, as software and hardware decay or become outmoded. Somebody—or a team of somebodies, often based in academic libraries or digital-scholarship centers—has to conduct regular inspections and make sure that today’s digital scholarship doesn’t become tomorrow’s digital junk.

Bradley J. Daigle, director of digital curation services at the University of Virginia Library, calls this “digital stewardship.” It’s an essential but easily overlooked element in any digital-humanities project. Born-digital work can die. Digital stewardship “involves care and feeding” to make sure that doesn’t happen, he says. “My unit essentially pays attention to the life cycle of the digital object.”

“Bradley Daigle, a digital curator at the U. of Virginia, and his colleagues Matthew Stephens and Lorrie Chisholm were in charge of preserving an early digital archive on the Civil War.”

Leaving Las Vegas: ALA Annual Conference Roundup, round 1

Wherein we distill thoughts on ALA Annual 2014. First up, a couple of non-preservation sessions. The preservation notes will be posted soon.

On Introverts

Jennifer Kahnweiler, PhD,  author of A Quiet Influence: The Introverts Guide to Making A Difference, gave the ALCTS President’s Program keynote on the power of quiet influence and the strengths that introverts bring to the workplace.  When asked to raise their hand in response to the question, “How many of you are introverts?” roughly 95% of the audience agreed. This is not a surprise to anyone in Libraryland, right? What is different is that Ms. Kahnweiler, who self identifies as an extrovert, is not out to make us into something we are not or to imply, as so many do, that being an introvert is a bad thing or that we should necessarily change into extroverts. She was here to instead help us realize our strengths and help us identify how we can use those strengths to better navigate our work.

By definition introverts are energized from within while extroverts get energized by people and places around them. Neither is a bad way of being, they are just different. Let us remember, too, that while you may have tendencies one way or the other, we often possess qualities of both the introvert and the extrovert and some of us have learned to “turn on” one or the other when the situation requires.

The characteristics of introverts are:

  • Analytical
  • Patient
  • Think before they speaking
  • A sense of both humility and privacy [which makes them terrific librarians I suspect]

Introverts are found in every industry and they can exact influence even if they are not in positions of power by challenging the status quo and inspiring change. Introverted leaders tend to be more analytical and listen more to their employees. According to Kahnweiler, we need introverts’ quiet influence now more than ever.

Challenges for introverts in the workplace include:

  • People exhaustion
  • Having to make fast decisions
  • Teams
  • Selling yourself
  • Putting on a happy face (she says the question introverts hate most is “what’s wrong?” because they tend not to demonstrably show their emotions)

How introverts can successfully navigate the workplace

Kahnweiler suggests ways that introverts can successfully navigate the workplace. If you manage introverts, these are good things to realize and provide space for if you want the most out of your staff. She stresses that introverts make an impact by quietly influencing people. These “ripples of influence” can change the workplace and make a huge impact on individuals and organizations.

Preparation—Taking time to adequately prepare for meetings or presentations helps alleviate anxiety.

Taking quiet time—Introverts are thinkers and need time and space to think through problems and find solutions.

Engaged listening—Listening provides a chance to build rapport and understand issues and concerns at a deeper level. Engaged listening is about connecting to the other person, not making the conversation about yourself. Of course, if all you do is listen, you run the risk of being perceived as not having an opinion or an idea. You also run the risk of being the person in the office people come to so they can vent, which can be stressful. Key tips: don’t multi task, bracket your thoughts (take random thoughts and put them in a ‘parking lot’ so you can concentrate on listening and being present), ask yourself “what can I learn from this?,” and move your body and be healthy.

Writing–Introverts can use writing as a way to gather thoughts and express ideas.

Thoughtful use of social media–She urges introverts to start with just 15 minutes a day and try social media as a way to build community and make connections. This is one part of her talk that really didn’t wring too true for me personally. I find that librarians and archivists have embraced social media with vigor, but then that is the pool in which I swim so maybe more people than not feel social media is too stressful.

More on Introverts

Susan Cain, “The Power of Introverts” TED Talk (February 2012); an animated version from RSA Shorts is here.

Bryan Walsh, “The Power of Shyness” Time Magazine February 26, 2012. [Walsh erroneously used “shyness” when he means “introvert.”]

Tumblarian Talk

This was a great conversation starter, I only wish the session lasted longer. My library is new to Tumblr and we are trying to build our community there. We will be participating in the #5DaysOfPreservation event the week of July 14th to help build that presence but I wanted to attend this to find out more.

If you are on Twitter, search #tumblariantalk for posts from the panel discussion. The panelists started with very brief statements with the conversation following. The panelists’ slideshows are online. A list of Tumblarians including some on the panel can be found on The Lifeguard Librarian’s site.

 

Ian Stade, Hennipin Co Library

Show unique items
Timely topics, post content that relates
Guest posts from interns and volunteers
Partner with researchers to show their work and interests

 

Colleen Theisen, University of Iowa Special Collections and University Archives

They have five Tumblrs with special collections content, organized by single collection, theme or department
Reblogs across tumblers
Feeds Instagram directly to Tumblr
Participate in common themes such as Miniature Mondays and Throwback Thursdays to create quick content
Don’t forget to use hashtags

 

Katie Anderson, Rutgers Special Collections (Paul Robeson Library)

Survey says 27% public and about 30% academic and special collections are using Twitter [see the survey information on slideshare]
Enable questions and submissions to facilitate conversation
Use your Tumblr description to market yourself and say something about who and where you are (many people ignore this)

 

Rachel Dobkin, Gov-info.tumblr.com

Tumblr is a project of LIS-GISIG students, their motto is “Making gov docs sexy since 2012”
Gets content from a variety of government blogs and social media
Defines government documents as anything any government agency ever touched even a little bit
Highlights data, services, health, archives, etc.
Information activism is an interest for her and trying to get more people involved
Hunts down documents when she reads in the news that “data or documents aren’t available”
Posts about every day
NASA pics are most popular

 

Daniel Ransom, Holy Names University

Tumblr is a mix of personal and professional acct
Alternative to using exclusively twitter or other format
Likes Tumblr for its responsiveness
Easy to connect to other librarians and the tone is generally positive

 

Molly Wetta, Lawrence public library

Focus is on readers advisory
Tries to post twice a day and wants half to be original content
Highlights local events and does readers advisory posts that relate
Produce readers advisory charts and graphs, insanely popular
Book reviews are popular

 

Audience discussion

How do you measure “success” with social media?

  • Weekly stats
  • Google analytics (add Google analytics id)
  • User quotes, collect the anecdotal evidence when you get it
  • No analytics for rss and reblogs
  • Journalists can find your posts and get you visibility
  • Questions through Tumblr are as valid as in person reference questions

Responding to criticism, some do, some don’t. Most of the Tumblarians on the panel were trying to make special collections accessible and don’t get a lot of negative feedback.

When you reblog, try to add info or sources that you may have that can add to the conversation.

How do you engage with students directly? Enable questions, put email on account, keep track of local community tagging trends.

Censorship, should we or no? Mostly no, one person did take down one post by request, she had permission to post a photo but made it into a gif and the person who gave permission didn’t like that and requested they take it down.

 

 

#5DaysOfPreservation-Join In The Fun

Kevin over at Library Preservation 2 has a great idea. To read Kevin’s full post, go to Library Preservation 2. Let’s spread the word!

#5DaysOfPreservation

Here’s my idea. During the 5 working days of July 14-18, 2014 anyone (or any institution) with any bit of preservation responsibility take at least one picture each day of something that depicts what preservation looks like for them that day and post it online with the hashtag #5DaysOfPreservation  It could be copying files off floppy disks, repairing a book, participating in a meeting, attending to a leaky roof, inspecting film reels, showing off a new piece of equipment, or however preservation looks to you that day..

Job Opening: AMIGOS

Open Position: Preservation Librarian, Consultant, Trainer – Dallas, TX

Expand your impact and influence.  Amigos Library Services seeks a librarian’s librarian specializing in preservation, collections care, and disaster planning and recovery.  Provide coaching, consulting, support, advice, and instruction to all types of libraries.  Amigos offers professional growth opportunities and excellent benefits.  Pursue your passion and pass it on.

Position Summary:  Consider a highly rewarding and exciting position serving your professional colleagues. Amigos is looking for a Collections Care/Continuing Education Librarian to provide educational, consulting, and support services to enable library staff to understand and utilize appropriate collections care techniques.

Major Responsibilities:

1. Design, develop and deliver training, using technology-based and traditional educational approaches, to enable library staff to understand and utilize appropriate collections care techniques.

2. Promote and provide consulting services to libraries including site surveys, disaster preparedness, project management, and preservation services. Submit written responses to appropriate RFPs; proactively identify and develop relationships with potential customers; and utilize Amigos publications to promote expertise.

3. Through the Ask Amigos service, provide collections care and disaster planning and response support and consultations by telephone, email, and written and electronic publications.

4. Assist library staff with emergency disaster recovery, including disaster preparedness, planning, onsite assistance, vendor coordination, locating financial assistance.

5. Write collections care and disaster preparedness articles and content for Amigos newsletters and other appropriate publications.

6. Participate in outreach activities with public, academic, and special libraries in the Amigos membership.

7. Prepare statistical and narrative reports for internal files and member support and consulting.

8. Represent Amigos at state, regional, and national meetings.

Annual Salary:  $45,000 to $55,000 depending on experience

Required Education:  Master’s in Library Science from an ALA-accredited school and either a certificate of preservation or archival administration or extensive knowledge of preservation practices, principles, and issues.

Required Experience:  Three (3) years of preservation education or related professional experience; or three years experience in bookbinding or book repair and practical experience with preservation issues.

Preferred:  Professional library or archival experience in an academic or archival environment.

To apply:  Send letter of application and resume to resumes@amigos.org

Conservation Fellowship: Notre Dame Libraries

Samuel H. Kress Conservation Fellowship
Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame

The Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame, welcomes applications for a ten-month Advanced Conservation Fellowship, to begin September 2014. The Fellowship is an opportunity for an emerging conservation professional to build and apply the skills, experience, and confidence necessary to address conservation needs in a research library context.

Working with the Libraries’ conservator and other library staff, the Conservation Fellow will address conservation treatment needs of the Libraries’ rare books and special collections (http://rarebooks.nd.edu). The Fellow will perform treatment, including examination, decision-making and documentation; will gain experience interacting with curators on treatment selection and prioritization; and will engage in other activities suitable to the individual’s skills and learning objectives. The Fellow is encouraged to pursue research and may dedicate up to 20% of work time to research and other contributions to the profession.

The ten-month Fellowship is supported by a stipend of $36,500. Additional benefits include health insurance, paid holiday and vacation leave, and $1,500 support for conference participation and/or research. The Fellowship is generously supported by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, administered by the Foundation of the American Institute of Conservation.

The Fellowship is limited to graduates of graduate conservation programs in the U.S. and Canada, or to U.S. citizens graduating from graduate-level conservation programs abroad. Qualifications include a strong knowledge of the history, manufacture, and chemistry of books and paper; understanding of conservation ethics and preservation theory; excellent hand skills and attention to detail; demonstrated written and oral communication skills; effective interpersonal and team collaboration skills; and the ability to manage time effectively.

To apply, please include a letter, curriculum vitae, and the names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of three references. Please submit all application documents electronically to Michelle Savoie, Senior Personnel Operations Coordinator: michelle.savoie@nd.edu. Review of applications will begin July 1, 2014 and will continue until the position is filled.

Job Opening: Texas A&M

Texas A&M University Libraries seeks a creative, energetic, and dynamic professional to join the Texas A&M University Libraries as a Conservator. This clinical-track academic appointment carries a full faculty status with responsibilities including professional service to meet both the Libraries’ and the University’s requirements for promotion.

The Conservator is responsible for the management of the Texas A&M University Libraries conservation program for both special collections/archives and general collections under the direction of the Preservation Librarian. Duties will include aiding in the staffing, space, equipment, and supply needs for a new conservation lab/preservation facility. The Conservator will perform conservation treatments on collection materials and prepare materials for digitization and exhibits, make treatment decisions and prioritizations, and develop workflows for the delivery of materials to and from the conservation lab. The Conservator will educate on and raise awareness of conservation issues and concerns with the Libraries’ faculty and staff as well as work with the Preservation Librarian on outreach to the campus and community. The individual will participate in committees, including the University Libraries disaster recovery team, and administrative groups, as appropriate.

For additional information and instruction on how to apply, click here.

The full position description can be found here:

Applications received by June 19, 2014 will be given first consideration.

Julie Mosbo
William and Susan Ouren Preservation Librarian Preservation
Texas A&M University Librariesu

Obit: Robert Hudson Patterson

From the Austin American-Statesman via PADG. Conservation Administration News, the publication founded and edited by Bob Patterson for 15 years, is one of the inspirations for PCAN. –eds

Robert Hudson Patterson was born December 11, 1936, to Hubert and Beth Jones Patterson in Alexandria, Louisiana, and died quietly at home, surrounded by family and friends, on May 10, 2014, in Austin, Texas.

Bob was raised by his grandparents, Robert and Florence Jones, in Jackson, Mississippi, after the death of his father in 1943. His grandfather owned a hardware store, which engendered in Bob a life-long love of gadgets and of ordering the world around him. He graduated from Central High School in 1954 and Millsaps College in 1958. Several college road trips to Mexico kindled a passion for the country’s art and culture, and he received a M.A. with advanced graduate work in Latin American History from Tulane University in 1963, and a M.L.S. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1965. He then began a long career in library administration.

After working at Tulane University from 1965-1970, Bob moved with his family to Austin in 1970 where he was Head of Special Collections Cataloging at the Humanities Research Center (now the Harry Ransom Center). He returned to Tulane University from 1973-1976, then became the Director of the University of Wyoming Library from 1976-1981. He was Dean of Libraries at the University of Tulsa from 1981-1998. Bob was hailed by colleagues as a pioneer and leader in the library preservation movement, and was the founding editor and publisher of Conservation Administration News (CAN) from 1979-1994.

Following his retirement and move to Austin in 1998, Bob became an active community volunteer, and taught ESL at El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission. He received the Volunteer of the Year award from El Buen in 2006. He also traveled extensively, meeting his wife on a solo trip to San Miguel de Allende. With De, Bob explored Austin’s great cultural offerings and found peace and tranquility in his later years. To his great surprise, he found a home and spiritual community at St. James Episcopal Church. He savored being a husband, father, and grandfather.

Bob is survived by his wife, De Sellers, daughter and son-in-law Jennifer and Todd Peters, daughter Emily Johnson, grandchildren Ben and Elizabeth Peters, all of Austin, two former spouses, and a host of friends and surrogate family from his high school, college, career, and post-retirement years. Peter Hernandez and John Zamarippa looked after Bob as his health declined, and they became close friends in addition to caretakers. We honor John and Peter for their staunch devotion to him.

Bob will be remembered for his wit and good humor (his high school annual quipped, “if Bob has had a serious thought, no one knows about it”), charm, open-mindedness, gentleness of spirit, his interest in personal discovery, love of architecture, classical history, music, travel and good food, perseverance, and the calm courage with which he faced his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Donations in Bob’s memory may be made to St. James Episcopal Church, Music Division (http://stjamesaustin.org/), and El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission (http://www.elbuen.org/). A memorial service will be held at St. James on May 31, 2014, 10 a.m.

Published in Austin American-Statesman from May 18 to May 19, 2014

- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/statesman/obituary.aspx?n=robert-hudson-patterson&pid=171061500#sthash.6YuFD2Jd.dpuf

Open Access: A Model for Sharing Published Conservation Research (AIC News)

Exerpt: Anderson, Priscilla, Whitney Baker, Beth Doyle, and Peter Verheyen. “Open Access: A Model for Sharing Published Conservation Research.” AIC News, vol. 39, no. 3. May 1, 2014. pp. 1-6.

The conservation field has articulated the importance of publishing our research to disseminate information and further the aims of conservation. Article X of AIC’s Code of Ethics states that conservators should “contribute to the evolution and growth of the profession, a field of study that encompasses the liberal arts and the natural sciences” in part by “sharing of information and experience with colleagues, adding to the profession’s written body of knowledge.” Our Guidelines for Practice state “the conservation professional should recognize the importance of published information that has undergone formal peer review,” because, as Commentary 2.1 indicates, “publication in peer-reviewed literature lends credence to the disclosed information.” Furthermore, our Guidelines for Practice state that the “open exchange of ideas and information is a fundamental characteristic of a profession.” In publishing our research, we can increase awareness of conservation and confidence in our research methods among allied professionals as well as the general public.

However, current publication models limit the free flow of information by making access expensive and re-use complicated. An alternative to traditional subscription publishing is the Open Access movement, which strives to remove barriers to access and re-use of published information by reducing the costs of publishing and rethinking permissions issues.

To synthesize growing interest in professional publishing and spark discussion, this article proposes to:

  • Define Open Access and how it differs from traditional publishing in its approach to access and re-use of peer-reviewed publications
  • Discuss the implications of Open Access for the conservation field including interdisciplinary research, outreach opportunities, preferred medium for consuming professional publications, perspective of the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (JAIC), and author impact.
  • Outline issues related to funding models, copyright, and licenses
  • Raise questions about current and future publication practices

Open Access

As described in the Budapest Open Access Initiative FAQ, Open Access is the publication of scholarly information that is free for readers to view online and puts little restriction on the use or re-use of the content. Peter Suber, the Director of the Harvard Open Access Project,in an interview with co-author Priscilla Anderson, explained that the Open Access approach is different from traditional (usually for-profit) publication, which generally requires readers to purchase access (through paid institutional subscription, individual membership, or per-article purchase by non-members). Additionally, in the traditional model copyright is generally assigned to the publisher (not retained by the author),
and re-use of the content is limited to what “Fair Use” restrictions will allow.

Suber debunked some common assumptions about Open Access publications, including that authors must pay a fee to publish their work and that there is no peer review. Suber reports that in reality, many Open Access journals have alternate funding models (i.e. neither author nor reader pays) and most are peer-reviewed, although some employ alternative review models such as  committee abstract review. Furthermore, many of these journals retain a high “impact factor,” an indicator of respect a journal commands within its field as measured by university standards. Suber provides more details in his Open Access Overview, available online. Authors should inquire about sources of funding before publishing with an open access journal, to ensure there are no
conflicts of interest.

In correspondence with co-author Whitney Baker, Ada Emmett, Head of the Office of Scholarly Communications & Copyright at the University of Kansas, clarified that there are two main types of Open Access models. In one model, individual authors choose to share their published journal articles, making them  “open,” whether or not the journal is a traditional “subscription” journal or open access journal. In the other model, the journal publisher chooses to make the entire issue/volume/title open, and the author goes along with it. The important distinction is who is making the decision to “open” access to the resource.

One common feature of Open Access journals is that they are available primarily online in digital form. Most have eliminated print versions. Printed publications can be expensive to produce and distribute, and removing these costs makes alternative funding models feasible. Some Open Access journals offer a hard copy option using a “print-on-demand” model (as opposed to traditional offset printing which requires a large minimum order).

To read the rest of the article, including AIC’s viewpoint on Open Access, please see AIC News online.

 

Job Opening: Curator for Documentary Arts, Duke University Libraries

Editor’s note: Full disclosure, Beth (PCAN co-editor) works at Duke. While this job is not a preservation-related position, it does work closely with the Conservation Services Department and the Exhibits Curator (who happens to be a professional conservator). Thus, I am posting it here so that we can reach a wide audience. Posting is edited for length, complete posting is available online.

Curator of the Archive of Documentary Arts, Duke University Libraries

The Curator provides dynamic and innovative leadership for the Archive of Documentary Arts (ADA), one of several specialized collecting areas within the Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. S/he builds distinctive collections of photographs, moving images, audio recordings, and other formats through purchases and gifts; develops public programs and outreach activities for the ADA; participates in fundraising; and works with students, faculty and researchers to facilitate their use of the ADA’s holdings.
Responsibilities

In consultation with Duke faculty and the Head of Rubenstein Collection Development, develops and implements a collection policy to build collections related to documentary studies in all formats, including photography, moving images, audio recordings and text. Negotiates rights, access, and ownership agreements with photographers, filmmakers, and other creators. Develops, manages and monitors budgets assigned to the ADA. Is responsible for the physical receipt and intake of newly acquired materials.

Promotes ADA collections to the Duke community, to the Triangle community, and to a national audience. Partners with programs, departments and centers on campus to plan public programs that highlight ADA strengths and new acquisitions; including symposia, readings, lectures, film screenings, and performances.

With the DUL Exhibits Coordinator and the Director of the Rubenstein Library develops the exhibition schedule for the Rubenstein Library’s Photography Gallery. The Curator of the ADA personally plans, curates and promotes 1-2 exhibitions per year.

In conjunction with the Rubenstein Research Services Department provides advanced research consultation related to Duke’s documentary collections, including responding to reference questions and meeting with researchers one-on-one. Promotes use of subject-specific information resources and services in ways that meet user needs and expectations and utilizing current technologies and information tools. Collaborates with Duke faculty and with library instructors to integrate ADA collections into undergraduate and graduate courses.

 

Experience:

Required: Experience with and knowledge of documentary work in photography, film, or sound; familiarity with standard archival and library procedures demonstrated knowledge of and interest in the history of photography and of photographic processes; ability to relate effectively with users and donors of rare and unique materials; experience and skill in making public presentations; excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills; adaptive to working in a dynamic environment prone to change; record of successful project planning and management; ability to work independently and collaboratively as a member of a team; demonstrated commitment to providing outstanding customer services.

Preferred: Three or more years of professional archival/special collections/museum experience; prior professional archival/collection development experience working in special collections or in collection development; prior experience working in an academic research library; prior supervisory experience; knowledge of digital library environment; demonstrated leadership in establishing and implementing successful new programs; familiarity with web publishing technologies; experience with user and/or usability study methodologies; experience with assessment tools and methods; experience with developing digital collections; demonstrated success in grant writing and management.

For complete information and application instructions, see the Duke University Libraries website.

In The News: Preserving Audio For The Future Is A Race Against Time : NPR

The Library of Congress’ efforts to preserve audio materials is highlighted on NPR today. Find the full story online.

“We’re probably acquiring between 50 and 100,000 a year,” DeAnna says. “We’re at least stabilizing them in a good environment so that their deterioration will slow down, and we’ll hopefully get to most of them before they’re lost.”

Many already have been lost, according to in 2010. Radio recordings, which the study calls “an irreplaceable piece of our sociocultural heritage” (we’re flattered), were rarely kept for safekeeping before the 1930s. At commercial record companies, master recordings of musical artists were sometimes thrown out due to space constraints.

And once recordings are made digital, they’re still at risk of being lost. Unless the digital format is updated consistently, it might not be recognized by a computer in 10 years. Modern recordings that were “born digital” — think songs streamed on Myspace — are especially ephemeral and at risk of being lost, the Library of Congress study says.

“It’s an active process, not a passive process,” DeAnna says. “It’s not like putting something on the shelf.”

via Preserving Audio For The Future Is A Race Against Time : NPR.

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