Digital Commonwealth will be hosting 3 upcoming workshops to prepare public libraries to contribute content to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) as part of a Public Librarian Partnership Grant recently awarded to DPLA by the Gates Foundation.

Bread and Roses Strike
Bread and Roses Strike of 1912, Lawrence History Center

In these workshops, public librarians will learn how to work with Digital Commonwealth to select content for digitization and/or identify existing digital content, digitize new content and provide metadata and contextualization for that content, and determine potential themes for DPLA, such as this exhibit concerning the Bread & Roses Strike in Lawrence: (http://dp.la/exhibitions/exhibits/show/breadandroses)

The workshop dates have been scheduled:

Wednesday, April 16, 9:30am – 4:30pm at Boston Public Library (Application deadline is April 9, 2014, 5pm)
Wednesday, June 18, 9:30am – 4:30pm at Jones Public Library, Amherst, MA
Wednesday, July 16, 9:30am – 4:30pm at SAILS Inc., Lakeville, MA

The ideal candidates for these workshops will be public librarians who deal with local history, genealogy and similar unique content. If interested, registration is now available.

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Updates for March, 2014

2014 Annual Conference: April 8, at Holy Cross

“Practically Digital: Doing What it Takes”

The 8th Annual Digital Commonwealth Conference

Hogan Center

College of the Holy Cross, Worcester

2014 conference registration

Join us at the Hogan Center at Holy Cross in Worcester for another great annual conference. This year’s theme is: “Practically Digital: Doing What it Takes”.

Featuring Keynotes by Melissa Levine and Liz Bishoff
 
 
Doors open at 8:00am and sessions run from 9:00am – 4:00pm.
Registration and complete information available here:

 

Repository Migration: completion set for April 8!

That is correct, the migration of our repositories in DSpace and Omeka is scheduled for completion the day of the Annual Conference! The folks at the BPL are actively working on completing the final OAI feeds from our Omeka site (http://digitalcommonwealth.org/collection-tree). The final objects from DSpace (http://repository.digitalcommonwealth.org) are being moved. And the DC news blog has already been copied over to a new server space at the BPL  (http://blog.digitalcommonwealth.org/). Finally, we have been busy copying and updating information pages from Omeka to the Wild Apricot membership site (http://members.digitalcommonwealth.org/).
All of this work is slated for completion by April 8! In time for an official public release at the Conference! After that, we will terminate the DSpace and Omeka sites and the  digitalcommonwealth.org URL will point to the new Hydra repository at the BPL, currently accessed @  https://search.digitalcommonwealth.org/
This may sound like a confusing mish mash of overlapping websites and digital repositories — but not for very much longer!! After April 8 we will have one repository site, one member informational site, and one news blog site — three separate URLs for three very distinctive purposes. Hooray!! Hooray!!

 

DPLA: Gates Foundation Grant

Digital Commonwealth will be hosting 3 upcoming workshops to prepare public libraries to contribute content to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) as part of a Gates Foundation Grant recently awarded to the DPLA.
In these workshops, public librarians will learn how to work with Digital Commonwealth to select content for digitization and/or identify existing digital content, digitize new content and provide metadata and contextualization for that content, and determine potential themes for DPLA
Bread and Roses Strike Exhibitions (http://dp.la/exhibitions), such as this exhibit concerning the Bread & Roses Strike in Lawrence:
The workshop dates have been scheduled:
  1. Wednesday, April 16, 9:30am – 4:30pm at Boston Public Library (Application deadline is April 9, 2014, 5pm)
  2. Wednesday, June 18, 9:30am – 4:30pm at Jones Public Library, Amherst, MA
  3. Wednesday, July 16, 9:30am – 4:30pm at SAILS Inc., Lakeville, MA
The ideal candidates for these workshops will be public librarians who deal with local history, genealogy and similar unique content. If interested, registration is now available.

 

Board Members and Volunteers!!

A call will go out at the Annual Conference for volunteers to join the Board of Directors and help with projects. Two board members are resigning due to new jobs they have received. Our current Vice President, Anne Sauer, is leaving Tufts for a position at Cornell. And our current Treasurer, Ryan Hanson, is leaving the Newton Public Library for a job at a private company in Boston. Joe Fisher will fill in for Ryan as Treasurer, but the board has yet to determine a VP replacement.
These are exciting times for Digital Commonwealth, and if you have an interest in serving as a volunteer or would like to recommend someone else, please send an email to digitalcommonwealth@gmail.com.

!! Check out our recent Blog Posts !!

The Public Library of Brookline’s Digitization Experience
Anne Reed, the Assistant Director for Administration at the Brookline Public Library offers this blog post about the library’s experience preparing and submitting materials to the BPL for digitization:  http://blog.digitalcommonwealth.org/?p=216

 

Digital Commonwealth Movers & Shakers 2014
Congratulations goes out to Tom Blake and Kristi Chadwick, current and former board members, for their inclusion in this year’s Library Journal list of “Movers & Shakers” for 2014:
http://blog.digitalcommonwealth.org/?p=233

 

Metadata Creation is a GAAS!
Timely tips and sage advice about metadata creation from Amy Benson, archivist at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and a recent consultant for the Digital Commonwealth. Read all about it in her guest blog post:

 

School Librarians and Digital Commonwealth at MSLA
Digital Commonwealth board members conducted a presentation to teachers at the recent MSLA conference about using DC lesson plans and incorporating DC and DPLA images in the classroom:  http://blog.digitalcommonwealth.org/?p=242

 

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Digital Commonwealth board members Kim Cochrane and Deb Dejonker-Berry teamed up to present “Connect to the Community: Using Digital Commonwealth Collections to Develop Lesson Plans” at the MSLA conference on March 10, 2014 in Hyannis, Massachusetts:   http://maschoolibraries.org/content/view/1195/791/

The Massachusetts School Library Association annual conference is attended by school librarians and educators, and also graduate students in these fields.  Deb Dejonker-Berry, Director of the Eastham Public Library, gave an overview to Digital Commonwealth.  Kim Cochrane, Curriculum Librarian and Coordinator of Curriculum and Instructional Technology at Framingham State University, spoke about how school librarians and educators can use the online content available from Digital Commonwealth’s portal and repository, as well as some other websites, within the classroom.  Kim used some of the existing lesson plans developed with Digital Commonwealth’s content as examples: http://members.digitalcommonwealth.org/lesson-plans

Kim and Deb noticed that the session generated many positive responses!  Many attendees stated that they planned to use Digital Commonwealth’s website. Also some indicated they would explore opportunities to interact with their local cultural organizations that either are, or could be, Digital Commonwealth members and encourage these organizations to make digital content available via the new repository.

The 2014 Annual Conference is approaching!
April 8 at the Hogan Center, Holy Cross, Worcester.

Registration begins at 8:00 am and sessions will run from 9:00 pm – 4:00 pm.

Breakout sessions include:

  • Introduction to the Digital Commonwealth
  • New and Improved Digital Commonwealth System
  • Digital Preservation
  • Conservation and Digitization
  • Fundraising and Grant Writing
  • Digital Public Library of America
  • Online Exhibits
  • Audience Engagement and Crowdsourcing
  • Lightning Round Presentations

 

Congratulations to the Digital Commonwealth Movers & Shakers of 2014 just announced by Library Journal (http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2014/03/people/movers-shakers-2014/movers-shakers-2014). Featured in the new selection of stellar talent are two local librarians who have had a long and significant involvement with Digital Commonwealth: current board member Tom Blake as well as retired board member and past president Kristi Chadwick.

Tom is recognized for his leadership in pursuing a partnership between the BPL and Digital Commonwealth that was part of an organizing effort to attain a LSTA digitization grant in 2011. The successful grant  was funded for $200,000 for a two-year project to digitize historical materials for members of the Digital Commonwealth. As the entry about Tom explains, “So far, Blake and his team have digitized more than 75,000 objects from 100 institutions, and the DC has grown to 200 members, from large academic libraries to small independent museums. The collections, now in beta, will soon be available via the DC portal and repository system.”

Tom is also credited for helping establish the strong relationship that has transpired between the BPL, the Digital Commonwealth, and the Digital Public Library of America who chose Digital Commonwealth as one of its initial service hubs.  For more about that experience, check out Tom’s recent blog post: Life as a Service Hub for the Digital Public Library of America.

And if that were not honor enough, Kristi Chadwick is also included in this year’s selection. Kristi is awarded for her work as the Director of the Emily Williston Memorial Library & Museum in Easthampton where she achieved tremendous strides in increased staff appreciation and public support for the library in the short amount of time she has worked there.

Certainly many remember Kristi for her long association with Digital Commonwealth  that included several years serving on the board of directors and a year as president in 2011 and 2012.

Our appreciation goes out to these two for all they have done for librarianship in Massachusetts and particularly for the efforts they have committed to the success of Digital Commonwealth. A well-deserved thank you and congratulations!

Registration is now open for “Practically Digital: Doing What it Takes”, to be held on Tuesday, April 8th, at the Hogan Center at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.

The conference will feature keynote sessions by Melissa Levine, the Lead Copyright Officer from the University of Michigan Library, and Liz Bishoff, of the Bishoff Group.

Breakout sessions topics include:

  • audience engagement and crowdsourcing
  • conservation and digitization
  • digital preservation
  • online exhibits
  • lightning round presentations from Digital Commonwealth members

In addition, staff from the Boston Public Library will be on hand to provide metadata consultations throughout the day.

For additional information and to register, visit the conference website: http://members.digitalcommonwealth.org/events?eventId=856673&EventViewMode=EventDetails

(Anne Reed is the Assistant Director for Administration at the Brookline Public Library)

The Public Library of Brookline has worked with the Digital Commonwealth since 2007 when Anne Clark uploaded 10 historical photographs into the repository, and provided feedback on the data entry and batch uploading process. From this beginning, Anne Clark and I selected the historic Brookline photographs to be digitized by a local company, Boston Photo Imaging, and with funding from our Board of Library Trustees we were ready to proceed. Anne Clark, Colin Wilkins and I provided the metadata for the photographs; once this task was completed everything was uploaded to the Digital Commonwealth repository. Pleased with the results we proposed a second project digitizing our glass plate negatives. Boston Photo Imaging scanned the negatives and saved the images to an external hard drive. We followed the same procedures as in the first project and these 101 images are now available in the Digital Commonwealth repository.

At the Digital Commonwealth Annual Conferences March 25, 2010 Anne Clark & I presented a session “Bringing the Past to the Future: The Digitization of the Historic Photograph Collection of the Public Library of Brookline”. We also shared our experiences at the April 26, 2011 Digital Commonwealth conference in the session, “From Your Archive to the Web: Managing the Project”. We encouraged libraries to ask questions, consult the experts and ad their collections to Digital Commonwealth.

Brookline Paint Shop
Brookline Paint Shop

We applied for digitization services from the Boston Public Library to have digital images created of our identified and numbered manuscript collections. The BPL’s Library for the Commonwealth program enables BPL staff to provide free digitization services to Digital Commonwealth members who want to make their collections available in the repository.

Our materials are now at the BPL being digitized by their state-of-the-art equipment.  Soon our Brookline High School yearbooks will also be available through the Internet Archives. Once our materials are returned we will begin the metadata entry. We are very fortunate to have the resources and expert staff of the Boston Public Library working to help to libraries and historical societies in the Commonwealth share digital collections.

The Public Library of Brookline’s collections may be seen in the current Digital Commonwealth repository  http://www.digitalcommonwealth.org/items/browse?collection=112  OR in the preview version of the upcoming new repository: https://search.digitalcommonwealth.org/collections/commonwealth:5425kb612 

Read more about the BPL’s digitization services for Digital Commonwealth members in this blog post:   http://digitalcommonwealth.org/blog/?p=113.

Over the past few months, the development work on the new Digital Commonwealth repository at the Boston Public Library has focused on functionality for ingesting metadata records via the Open Access Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). This functionality enables Digital Commonwealth to include metadata created by institutions around the state in the central search interface, with links that point back to the original item hosted by the provider. (Digital Commonwealth currently harvests records from ten institutions and consortia, including the State Library of Massachusetts, NOBLE, SAILS, and C/W MARS to name a few.)

BPL development staff have been working closely with each OAI provider to tailor the ingest process to their preferred metadata format (Dublin Core, PBcore, MODS, etc.) as well as the system used by each institution to provide the records (CONTENTdm, Omeka, etc.) The crosswalking process, which converts the incoming metadata records into MODS, also involves a number of data standardization routines, including the transformation of date data into a facet-able and sortable date format based on W3C Date-Time Format, and the conversion of geographic subject/coverage data into hierarchical geographic subjects (state, county, city, etc.) and numeric latitude/longitude coordinates using data from the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names. Whenever possible, the ingest process also generates thumbnail images for each object which are then stored in the Digital Commonwealth repository, along with an archival copy of the original metadata record prior to crosswalking.

While all of this involves significant time and effort, the result will be more accurate and more complete metadata records from these providers, and a better search and discovery experience for users as well as better representation of the data within larger shared contexts such as DPLA.

So far the OAI harvesting has been restricted to a test platform. By late February the BPL expects to finish the work on the OAI feeds at which point the feeds will be added to the public repository site (https://search.digitalcommonwealth.org). The focus will then turn to migrating the last few remaining collections from the DSpace repository into the new repository, and integrating the informational content on the current Omeka site into the new design. While no official date has been set for when the new repository will replace the existing systems and be launched as the “official” Digital Commonwealth site, it is anticipated that this milestone will be completed sometime in March.