Tag Archives: Amy Buckland

Support the Ada Initiative

12 Sep

I support the Ada Initiative, because they do awesome things that need doing:

The Ada Initiative supports women in open technology and culture through activities such as producing codes of conduct and anti-harassment policies, advocating for gender diversity, teaching ally skills, and hosting conferences for women in open tech/culture.

There’s nothing in there that’s not spectacular and necessary. And profoundly relevant to libraries, especially as our interactions with the tech world grow deeper and more ubiquitous.

Plus, right now there’s a campaign going on where the library community will be matching donations:

Donate to the Ada Initiative

The Ada Initiative deserves your support, including your financial support if that’s within your means. If you don’t believe me, believe Amy Buckland and Barbara Fister. (If you don’t believe them, than I’m not sure I can help you.)

NYLA: Repositories and Open Access

30 Sep

Last week, I got to go to my first New York Library Association conference, and it was a blast. As I mentioned previously, Amy Buckland and I gave our workshop on digital repository strategies and practice. It’s a workshop I love, because no matter how many times we’ve given it it’s never the same: Amy and I always have new experiences to relate, and the groups we work with are always so different that their questions and insights are new and revelatory each time.

Items of note this go-round: it was the first time that just about everyone in the room seemed to have adequate or nigh-adequate staffing for their repository projects — hallelujah! — and the folks running Digital Commons @Brockport are doing some amazing things.

I also had the honor of sitting on a panel with Amy and Jenica Rogers, talking about Open Access in scholarly publishing. We went with a simple format: we put what we hoped would be a provocative statement up on a slide, and then got a discussion going with the audience about it. There were six statements in total, and if you read Jenica’s blog*, you’ve likely seen them already. I’ll reproduce them here because they got great discussion at NYLA, and great discussion on her blog, and I’m curious to see if we can pull off a great discussion trifecta. Or hat-trick.  Or similar sports metaphor for something happening three times. In any case, here they are:

  1. A child born today will use nothing but open access materials for research in college.

  2. Textbook companies will go out of business as faculty realize they can write, compile, and publish their own customized open course texts.

  3. Future discussions of the quality of library collections will focus not on the collections a library owns, but on the collections a library creates.

  4. The adoption of open access collections will obviate proprietary discovery layers.

  5. It is irresponsible for federally-funded researchers not to make their work available in an open format.

  6. True change in the scholarly publishing system will come from smaller liberal arts colleges, and not the big guys.

Oh, and Amy provided what’s probably the best opening slide ever.

So, discuss in the comments if you have a mind to, or head over to Jenica’s and jump in the discussion there. In any case, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


* And if you don’t, why the hell not?

Come hear Amy Buckland (also me) talk repositories at NYLA!

16 Aug

Amy Buckland and I will be presenting a pre-conference CE workshop on digital repositories at the New York Library Association’s Annual Conference this year. The date is September 25, and here’s the low-down:

Digital Repositories

Sponsor: ASLS
Half Day PM  2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
This workshop addresses key issues surrounding the creation, maintenance, and cultivation of digital repositories. Drawing on the latest literature, case studies, and personal experiences, speakers lead a discussion that covers planning the digital repository, selecting a methodology for its establishment, populating it with content, marketing it to the library’s constituencies, and meeting the various challenges and questions along the way. Participants have the opportunity to bring their own experiences to bear, as well as engage in group discussions regarding how to get the most out of a digital repository.

Jim DelRosso is the Digital Projects Coordinator for Cornell University’s Hospitality, Labor, and Management Library, where he is responsible for such projects as DigitalCommons@ILR, the digital repository for Cornell’s ILR School. A digital librarian since 2009, Jim is also the President for the Upstate New York Chapter of the Special Libraries Association, and has served as the Communication & Social Media Chair for the SLA’s Academic Division.

Amy Buckland is the eScholarship, ePublishing & Digitization Coordinator at McGill University Library, where she is responsible for scholarly communication, publishing initiatives, and making rare items from special collections available to the world through digitization. She loves information almost as much as Fluevog shoes, and thinks academic libraryland is ripe for a revolution. You can find her online at informingthoughts.com and in most social networks as Jambina.

So, if you’re heading to NYLA, or just thinking about it, give us a look. We’ll be entertaining and informative!

We deal in slides: Speaking next week at WNYLRC

13 Apr

As God as my witness, I thought weeks had more days in them.

The presentation as UNYSLA went really well, I think, and was bracketed by other excellent talks. I’m glad I got to see the whole thing, and would love to coalesce my thoughts about the event into words here. But I’m already prepping for my next presentation/workshop, so check out my fellow presenter Jill Hurst-Wahl’s take on things.

My next gig is on Monday, outside of Buffalo at the Western New York Library Resources Council:

Building Digital Communities With Digital Collections

Librarians can build online communities around their digital collections in the same way they build physical communities around their physical collections: by providing resources that interest their patrons, by making their patrons feel comfortable using those resources, and by providing their patrons with a sense of ownership of those resources. Hear how one library used the tools provided by new technologies to build a community of users around DigitalCommons@ILR, a premier institutional and disciplinary repository. Jim will discuss Catherwood’s strategies, practices, experiences and lessons learned, and illustrate how their success keeps patrons coming back.

There will be ample time for discussion. Please consider sharing information about your own library’s digital collections, or even doing a short demonstration.

I confess I’m not thrilled with the description, and that my dissatisfaction is entirely my fault. As described, it’s basically my talk from CiL2010, plus workshop elements. While that’s somewhat understandable — this event was originally scheduled for last November, and was prompted by good feedback the CiL presentation had received — the description itself feels somewhat obsolete to me. I wrote it nearly eighteen months ago, and those months have been full of work and thinking and assessment and discussion.

But, all is far from lost. It was good to revisit that presentation, see what still resonated and what needed to be removed. My plan now is to use a revised version of that preso’s thesis as a skeleton for the first part of the day, bring in some interactive bits rooted in the workshop Amy Buckland and I ran at CiL11 to get people talking and involved, and on the whole offer something that reflects my current thinking on these issues, allows attendees the opportunity to explore this stuff on their own terms, but doesn’t let me fall into the trap of simply rehashing an old presentation.

If you’re in the area and this sounds interesting to you, I hope to see you there! I’m thinking it’ll be a good one.

Day 3 of #cil11 (I don’t *feel* tardy)

28 Mar

I’m not even gonna pretend this isn’t almost a week late.

Wednesday started with a lot of logistical stuff: checking out of the hotel, packing the car, bidding Nina farewell as she drove down to Virginia to the home of the folks we stayed with post-conference. I followed much later, via Metro.

Then I went to one of the best presentations I’ve seen at a CiL. The semantic web is a concept that I’ve only had the vaguest grasp of previously, but Lisa Goddard and Gillian Byrne of the Memorial University of Newfoundland explained it thoroughly and engagingly. Did you know Drupal 7 incorporates RDF as a core functionality? I didn’t.* Don Hawkins over at LibConf.com breaks the whole thing down damned well; go give it a read.

In the afternoon, I was up again. First, Mitzi Cole and Jeremy Gottwig discussed the great repository work they’re doing at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.** Then Amy Buckland rocked the mic, cutting through some of the rhetoric surrounding repositories, and exposing many of the inherent assumptions that underlie their perception and planning.

Finally, I got up and ranted for a bit. My thesis statement, presented almost immediately so that folks could tweet it and run were they so inclined: “Digital projects in libraries are chronically understaffed; as librarians and digital projects staff, we must become advocates for changing that situation if we want these projects to succeed.” I consider myself quite lucky when it comes to the staff hours my library is willing to commit to our work, but even we’re stretched pretty thin… and you rarely go to a presentation about digital projects without hearing about how the presenters wish they had more people.

The rest of the presentation included funny pictures, the insulting of Disney, and the tweaking of Google. Many folks tweeted the bit about how technologies go obsolete, shiny gets dull, but people will last.*** Some folks dug my reference to the 1893 World’s Fair. Thank the gods for Twitter; how else would I have known how it went?

I think there may be a blog post at some point to render what I said into text. But it was an enjoyable presentation to give, despite the difficult topic, and I’m glad folks seemed to dig it.

I may have one more post left in me, on the conference as a whole. We’ll see.


* Hell, I don’t even know if I said that right.

** No relation, I think.

*** I think the images helped; if you check the presentation, that line starts with the picture of the Apple IIe. How can you not love that machine?

#cil11 Day 0

20 Mar

Sunrise found me walking the streets of Washington, DC in search of coffee and an oddly specific number of nickels and pennies.

I was walking alone, since a Sunday filled with eight or so hours of workshops is apparently sufficient cause for my wife and I to exchange our positions on early mornings. She’s sleeping soundly as I write this, and I’m only slightly envious.

The aforementioned coinage is necessary for part of my first workshop today. It’ll run from nine to noon, and my second from 1:30 to 4:30. I’m wired as all hell right now, over an hour before the party gets started. I have no idea what condition I’ll be in when it finally winds down.


Many hours later…

My feet are killing me.

Workshops went really well. Scott Nicholson is a damned genius at interactive games and teaching, and I’d have been glad just to watch.  Getting a chance to help him run a workshop was phenomenal. We ran folks through a number of learning games and discussed the principles behind them. I think his simulation section was stronger than my roleplay section, but I felt like I acquitted myself well.

One of the big things I took away from that was “Thiagi’s six-stage* debriefing process,” from Thiagarajan’s Design your Own Games and Activities, a book I need to pick up. I implemented the process in my own post-activity debriefs, both in this workshop and the next, and it worked great.

(While you’re taking my book recommendations: check out Scott’s awesome Everyone Plays at The Library, too. He really captures the wide applicability gaming has in this profession.)

After that, Amy Buckland and I talked shop about repositories with a fine crew of folks for our afternoon workshop. We had a good mix of folks: public librarians, academic librarians, school librarians, vendor reps, folks with repositories, folks planning ’em, and folks just thinking about ’em.

Great discussion resulted, focusing on the obstacles facing repository managers and librarians, and how best to overcome those obstacles. People were willing to bring their own experiences to bear on the discussion, and used that to build a list of stakeholders, what they could bring to a project and how to get them to buy in. Then we let folks do some roleplay of how they’d make the last bit happen; good times were had by all.

After that, it was just getting my butt kicked in that PS3 Move gladiator game, hanging out with some most excellent library folks, and walking with Nina to get burgers from Five Guys.

Oh, and I confess I find The Amazing Race oddly compelling. Not that I’m gonna get cable or anything, but I’m totally rooting for the Globetrotters.


* “How do you feel? What happened? What did you learn? How does it relate to the real world? What if? What next?”