Skip to main content

Posts

Summertime

It's funny when you work in academics, and so many people assume you have summers off. Summers end up being the busiest time of the year for me for a few reasons. I may have less meetings with the 9 month contract faculty, but it's high time for projects. I normally have students who can work more hours, and that in turns means more time from me to keep things running.

This summer I have been working closely with the Kent Historical Society on a project to get their oral history collection online, over the past three years or so using interns from the Library Science program at KSU. We finally got the first batch up, after alot of work to capture and transfer digital files, make content descriptions and also work on transcriptions.

Here's the link to the collection at Ohio Memory:

http://www.ohiomemory.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16007coll83 

It's been amazing to work with the historical society- Alot of names that are familiar to me being a Kent native, and always …
Recent posts

Privacy and digital collections

This past October, I put in a book proposal on the topic of ethical decision-making around privacy issues in digital collections. It has been accepted by Morgan and Claypool, and I am cranking to meet a May 1st deadline to get this into print by November.

It's exciting, but also nerve-wracking and perhaps a little terrifying for a few reasons. Ethics is head space that I very much enjoy- This work will include a nod to an essay from Martin Heidegger, which oddly enough I used a different Heidegger essay in my museum studies MA thesis on the ethics of art conservation. The philosophy aspect in ethics is probably the most enjoyable part for me, but it's also unbelievably murky waters. I spent many years rejecting absolutes in my early twenties, though at some point I have to put the pen to the paper and just write. (Funny sidenote- This digital girl still prefers the analog. I write primarily on my laptop and then print out draft and edit by hand. I also hate, hate, hate e-book…

Accessibility requirements and digital collections

So, I have found recently it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks- For the first time in too long, I tackled an area that was completely new to me and have been diving into the world of accessibility requirements for digital objects. In part, this is coming as a response to a newer policy in place at Kent State addressing electronic and information technology accessibility.

Or for other digital librarians, a colleague at another university said "OCR'd PDFs just aren't going to cut it anymore". This statement I think reflects how many of us have practiced a simple approach to textual documents in the past. Batch run OCR before ingestion, and TADA! Done, or at least we had hoped.

But, as I have come to learn, this approach is does not fair well for screen readers or adapt for those with vision impairments. At Kent State, I've been fortunate to have some great folks in the Accessibility Office to offer advice and hands-on training (Thank you, Jason Piatt! My …

Decision to scan from microfilm vs. original newsprint, Kent Stater project

Over the summer, we completed the monumental task of digitizing over 90 years of the student newspaper at Kent State. In the last batch of materials that were ingested (1926-1939), we had to make a decision whether to send out the originals- slim, bound volumes- or, to scan from microfilm. All of the previous scanning had been done from the print. We send the full volumes out to our vendor (Backstage Library Works), who disbinds the content before scanning (Note: this is from our second copy, for anyone who is curious! I also love that the disbinding machine is called the guillotine).

These early volumes were more problematic however, so our team talked about other options. As we looked at the early years, the newspaper had become extremely brittle, so much that even turning the pages to review the volumes was a little harrowing. We had to really tackle the potential problems for the scanning vendor before we decided whether to send these out. The level of brittleness in these early …

Tenure track, twins and prenatal loss

Life of late has been crazy busy. Technically the tenure clock is paused this year as I toll, yet the 2 year NHRPC grant kicked off last September as I returned from maternity leave, and I continue to make a stab at research and writing in the interim. But my life has changed quite a bit (and as such, the intermittent absence of the blog).

We welcomed twins last May, who are currently inches away from walking and continue to keep me on my toes in a daily whirlwind of activity. They came into this world exactly a year and a day after our devastating full term loss in 2015. Life is strange and odd, and often I find that I am still reeling when I think about the unexplained loss of our first. It has been difficult to move on, and feel a huge part of my heart remains with that baby. There are constant reminders- friends who had successful births around the same time remind me of the huge, gaping hole in our lives when I see their little one, or walking by the tree my amazingly thoughtful…

New image viewer in place for Omeka content

In anticipation for the addition of a large number of textual documents to be added to our online digital archive in the next year, we've added a new image viewer that allows for much more interaction with the digital items. Now a user can zoom in and navigate through an image or document. Here is an example:

http://omeka.library.kent.edu/special-collections/items/show/1458

One feature that we are excited to have in place with this new viewer is to provide a slideshow/scroll view of items with multiple pages or images. Thanks to Project Mirador!

Check back for more additions in the coming months.

2000-2015 Digital Daily Kent Stater issues are now up!

We have recently scanned around fifteen recent years of our daily student newspaper, the Daily Kent Stater.

Check out the new additions here: dks.library.kent.edu/

We have the earliest papers published in 1926-1939 remaining in this project to retroactively digitize the student newspaper, and hope to get these completed in the next few years.