HLS Weekly Round-up

day 291_the big list by Ana C. on Flickr. Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

day 291_the big list by Ana C. on Flickr. Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

Editor’s Note: Each week, we reflect on the top articles, blog posts, tweets, news, thoughts, and other tidbits we’ve found interesting or useful. Enjoy!


Having just found the links to the two keynotes from the 2015 Library Technology Conference, I’ll admit that I haven’t seen either in its entirety. However, having seen the excited reactions that each received on Twitter, I’m going to make time to view them both this weekend.

Speaking of conferences, art librarian students might be aware that the Visual Resources Conference just took place. Rachel Schend recently posted a nice summary of the many ways digital humanities was discussed as being relevant to the visual resources community.


This week, I watched a really interesting webinar called Library Services for the Hmong Community. It was presented by Yee Lee Vue, Hmong Family Outreach Specialist at the Appleton (Wis.) Public Library, and though the presentation was focused on programming and services for the Hmong community in particular, many of the points she made would be effective for reaching out to any group. Also this week, I watched the archive of The Future of Libraries, presented as a part of American Libraries Live. I’ve only seen about 20 minutes of it so far, and it has already given me a lot to think about, especially concerning the idea of being innovative while also staying in the moment.


This week we saw an intellectual freedom crisis coming from my alma mater NYU as media scholar (and cool person) Andrew Ross was barred entry into the United Arab Emirates because of his critical stance towards UAE’s migrant workforce. Intellectual freedom and free expression are central to academic librarianship, and this tension is emblematic of the difficulties for the future of the university in the global marketplace. Can/should we expand into places where autocracy and politics dampen the spirit of academic freedom? (Next time you see me at a conference ask me what I think of NYU-AD)


The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts (at U. Penn.) recently co-hosted a symposium and unconference to discuss challenges and lessons learned from participation in CLIR’s Cataloging Hidden Collections grants program. Find abstracts and links to papers here and catch up on tweets from the unconference in this Storify (the official hashtag was #catHC). CLIR’s grantmaking focus has moved on to Digitizing Hidden Collections, with an emphasis on preservation and access to build on the discovery emphasis on the multi-year Cataloging project. Aside from the academic interest of learning about these projects, students and recent grads might want to keep an eye on winners in the current grant cycle — depending on the size of each grant, they may be hiring project staff.

Umbra, a discovery tool for digital material related to African American history and cultural heritage, is now recruiting beta testers. Sign up here and/or peek at the survey here. Umbra developed from a partnership between the University of Minnesota Libraries and Penumbra Theatre Company, originally formed to preserve performing arts ephemera. That project recruited a pool of contributing theaters, which has since expanded to include additional contributing institutions like libraries and museums.

“What makes a good data scientist-engineer?”, a Medium post by Nikhil Dandekar (Foursquare), was recommended to me as having a lot to do with what [also] makes a good librarian. I’m definitely seeing some parallels — especially in light of Celia’s February post about preparing for a career as a data librarian. What do you think? Where do librarian and scientist-engineer part ways?

Finally, one more Medium post: “Describing Web Collections (I mean archives websites)” by Allison Jai O’Dell. It’s a great example of how questions raised through cataloging can help shape a collection policy, access policy, and more.


This week I’ve been recovering from the Visual Resources Association annual conference and working on my e-portfolio for my Capstone course. I really haven’t been working on this throughout my program like I had originally planned, but now that I’m putting it together, I realize how useful it is, since you can actually upload presentations, reviews, posters, etc. for potential employers to see. So, instead of just saying that you presented a poster at a conference on your resume/CV, you can upload the actual poster PDF to your e-portfolio or website. I’m creating my e-portfolio through Google Sites, so if you want to set one up too, check out this guide from Montclair State University. Take my advice: it’s a lot easier to update this during the course of your program than wait until your last semester! 🙂


I’m taking comps this weekend (good luck to my classmates already in the thick of it; I have a religious accommodation so am starting them Sunday morning when everyone else finishes) so the links I’ve paid the most attention to are ones that have screamed to me “this might be useful!” One is this paper by Marcia Bates on information professions, broadly speaking. It follows up on her paper on the Invisible Substrate of Information Science that I read for one of my core courses, and maybe you did too. Citation: Bates, M.J. (1999). The Invisible Substrate of Information Science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, v. 50, no. 12, p. 1043-1050.

The other is a report that is not new (it was published in 2010) but came across my twitter feed last week. It is Opportunity for All: How the American Public Benefits from Internet Access at U.S. Libraries. The title says it all, I think.

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