The new issue of the Code4Lib Journal is now available:

*Table of Contents*

Editorial: Introspection as Activism, or, Getting Our Houses in Order
Ruth Kitchin Tillman
Those of us in libraries like to trace our history to Alexandria or to the
French governmental system of record-keeping, but the construction of the
modern GLAM world is far more recent, almost as new as coding. It has
evolved almost as rapidly. And its future is on us, whether we choose to
passively accept a status quo others build or to act and grow and develop
ourselves and our workplaces.

Bridging Technologies to Efficiently Arrange and Describe Digital Archives:
the Bentley Historical Library’s ArchivesSpace-Archivematica-DSpace
Workflow Integration Project
Max Eckard, Dallas Pillen, Mike Shallcross
In recent years, ArchivesSpace and Archivematica have emerged as two of the
most exciting open source platforms for working with digital archives. The
former manages accessions and collections and provides a framework for
entering descriptive, administrative, rights, and other metadata. The
latter ingests digital content and prepares information packages for
long-term preservation and access. In October 2016, the Bentley Historical
Library wrapped up a two-year, $355,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation to partner with the University of Michigan Library on the
integration of these two systems in an end-to-end workflow that will
include the automated deposit of content into a DSpace repository. This
article provides context of the project and offers an in-depth exploration
of the project’s key development tasks, all of which were provided by
Artefactual Systems, the developers of Archivematica (code available at

The Devil’s Shoehorn: A case study of EAD to ArchivesSpace migration at a
large university
Dave Mayo, Kate Bowers
A band of archivists and IT professionals at Harvard took on a project to
convert nearly two million descriptions of archival collection components
from marked-up text into the ArchivesSpace archival metadata management
system.  Starting in the mid-1990s, Harvard was an alpha implementer of
EAD, an SGML (later XML) text markup language for electronic inventories,
indexes, and finding aids that archivists use to wend their way through the
sometimes quirky filing systems that bureaucracies establish for their
records or the utter chaos in which some individuals keep their personal
archives.  These pathfinder documents, designed to cope with messy reality,
can themselves be difficult to classify.  Portions of them are rigorously
structured, while other parts are narrative.  Early documents predate the
establishment of the standard; many feature idiosyncratic encoding that had
been through several machine conversions, while others were freshly encoded
and fairly consistent.  In this paper, we will cover the practical and
technical challenges involved in preparing a large (900MiB) corpus of XML
for ingest into an open-source archival information system (ArchivesSpace).
This case study will give an overview of the project, discuss problem
discovery and problem solving, and address the technical challenges,
analysis, solutions, and decisions and provide information on the tools
produced and lessons learned.  The authors of this piece are Kate Bowers,
Collections Services Archivist for Metadata, Systems, and Standards at the
Harvard University Archive, and Dave Mayo, a Digital Library Software
Engineer for Harvard’s Library and Technology Services.  Kate was heavily
involved in both metadata analysis and later problem solving, while Dave
was the sole full-time developer assigned to the migration project.

Participatory Design Methods for Collaboration and Communication
Tara Wood, Cate Kompare
Website redesigns can be contentious and fraught in any type of
organization, and libraries are no exception. Coming to consensus on
priorities and design decisions is nearly impossible, as different groups
compete to ensure their subject or specialty area is represented. To keep
projects on track and on time, libraries may give a few staff members the
authority to make all of the decisions, while keeping user research limited
to a small number of usability tests. While these tactics are sometimes
necessary, at best they can leave many feeling left out of the process, and
at worst, can result in major oversights in the final design.

Participatory design methods can bring users and stakeholders into the
design process and ultimately lead to a better design and less friction in
the project. The authors share their experience and lessons learned using
participatory design techniques in a website redesign project at a large,
multi-location academic library, and how these techniques facilitated
communication, shaped design decisions, and kept a complex, difficult
project on track.

Python, Google Sheets, and the Thesaurus for Graphic Materials for
Efficient Metadata Project Workflows
Jeremy Bartczak, Ivey Glendon
In 2017, the University of Virginia (U.Va.) will launch a two year
initiative to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of the University’s
founding in 1819. The U.Va. Library is participating in this event by
digitizing some 20,000 photographs and negatives that document student life
on the U.Va. grounds in the 1960s and 1970s. Metadata librarians and
archivists are well-versed in the challenges associated with generating
digital content and accompanying description within the context of limited
resources. This paper describes how technology and new approaches to
metadata design have enabled the University of Virginia’s Metadata Analysis
and Design Department to rapidly and successfully generate accurate
description for these digital objects. Python’s pandas module improves
efficiency by cleaning and repurposing data recorded at digitization, while
the lxml module builds MODS XML programmatically from CSV tables. A
simplified technique for subject heading selection and assignment in Google
Sheets provides a collaborative environment for streamlined metadata
creation and data quality control.

Supporting Oral Histories in Islandora
Marcus Emmanuel Barnes, Natkeeran Ledchumykanthan, Kim Pham, and Kirsta
Since 2014, the University of Toronto Scarborough Library’s Digital
Scholarship Unit (DSU) has been working on an Islandora-based solution for
creating and stewarding oral histories (the Oral Histories solution pack).
Although regular updates regarding the status of this work have been
presented at Open Repositories conferences, this is the first article to
describe the goals and features associated with this codebase, as well as
the roadmap for development. An Islandora-based approach is appropriate for
addressing the challenges of Oral History, an interdisciplinary methodology
with complex notions of authorship and audience that both brings a
corresponding complexity of use cases and roots Oral Histories projects in
the ever-emergent technical and preservation challenges associated with
multimedia and born digital assets. By leveraging Islandora, those
embarking on Oral Histories projects benefit from existing
community-supported code. By writing and maintaining the Oral Histories
solution pack, the library seeks to build on common ground for those
supporting Oral Histories projects and encourage a sustainable solution and
feature set.

Building a Scalable and Flexible Library Data Dashboard
Nathan Mealey
Data dashboards provide libraries with the means to demonstrate their
ongoing activities and usage in an engaging and communicative fashion. Yet,
due to the number of service platforms used by libraries, and the
wide-ranging technical specifications they entail, bringing all of this
content together in a sustainable way is a significant challenge. This
article describes Portland State University’s project to design and build a
data dashboard based on a scalable and flexible infrastructure that would
enable them to present data in a visually compelling and dynamic interface.

What’s New? Deploying a Library New Titles Page with Minimal Programming
John Meyerhofer
With a new titles web page, a library has a place to show faculty,
students, and staff the items they are purchasing for their community.
However, many times heavy programing knowledge and/or a LAMP stack (Linux,
Apache, MySQL, PHP) or APIs separate a library’s data from making a new
titles web page a reality. Without IT staff, a new titles page can become
nearly impossible or not worth the effort. Here we will demonstrate how a
small liberal arts college took its acquisition data and combined it with a
Google Sheet, HTML, and a little JavaScript to create a new titles web page
that was dynamic and engaging to its users.

OPRM: Challenges to Including Open Peer Review in Open Access Repositories
Pandelis Perakakis, Agnes Ponsati, Isabel Bernal, Carles Sierra, Nardine
Osman, Concha Mosquera-de-Arancibia, Emilio Lorenzo
The peer review system is the norm for many publications. It involves an
editor and several experts in the field providing comments for a submitted
article. The reviewer remains anonymous to the author, with only the editor
knowing the reviewer´s identity. This model is now being challenged and
open peer review (OPR) models are viewed as the new frontier of the review
process. OPR is a term that encompasses diverse variations in the
traditional review process. Examples of this are modifications in the way
in which authors and reviewers are aware of each other’s identity (open
identities), the visibility of the reviews carried out (open reviews) or
the opening up of the review to the academic community (open
participation). We present the project for the implementation of an Open
Peer Review Module in two major Spanish repositories, DIGITAL.CSIC and
e-IEO, together with some promising initial results and challenges in the
take-up process. The OPR module, designed for integration with DSpace
repositories, enables any scholar to provide a qualitative and quantitative
evaluation of any research object hosted in these repositories.

Adopting a Distributed Model for Data Services
Casey Gibbs, Marcos Hernandez, Pongracz Sennyey
This article describes how the Saint Edward’s University Library
implemented a distributed model for the Institutional Repository. Based on
Cloud Based platforms and APIs, the Library has created an Institutional
Repository that is scaleable and modular, considerably lowering its
implementation and maintenance costs, while lowering its technical

Developing an online platform for gamified library instruction
Jared Cowing
Gamification is a concept that has been catching fire for a while now in
education, particularly in libraries. This article describes a pilot effort
to create an online gamified platform for use in the Woodbury University
Library’s information literacy course. The objectives of this project were
both to increase student engagement and learning, and to serve as an
opportunity for myself to further develop my web development skills. The
platform was developed using the CodeIgniter web framework and consisted of
several homework exercises ranging from a top-down two-dimensional library
exploration game to a tutorial on cleaning up machine-generated APA
citations. This article details the project’s planning and development
process, the gamification concepts that helped guide the conceptualization
of each exercise, reflections on the platform’s implementation in four
course sections, and aspirations for the future of the project. It is hoped
that this article will serve as an example of the opportunities–and
challenges–that await both librarians and instructors who wish to add
coding to their existing skill set.


Ruth Kitchin Tillman

Digital Collections Librarian

Hesburgh Libraries

113 Hesburgh Library

o: 574-631-6067

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