Library mashups: what’s new?

Nicole Engard, ByWater Solutions, author

Presentation slides

Mashup mixes two or more functions in one.

Web service: a technology that allow information exchange between two applications

API: A set of functions, etc. that allow web services to work.

Get APIs from vendors, create RSS feeds for your content, sign up your library on social networking sites, use Yahoo Pipes and IFTTT.

If you’re depending on another site, remember that the service (or the site itself) may go away. Also, you may have speed issues.

Always read terms of service, which dictates how the API can be used.

Yahoo Pipes.

If this then that (IFTTT)

* Works with all kinds of web/mobile apps
* Works with WEMO, which controls home appliances
* Library example: If a new event is added to my Google Calendar, post it on Facebook.

ScribbleMaps: lots of icons to put on maps

OpenRefine: Cleans up messy data. For example, you could upload library catalog data and remove library-specific punctuation.

Google Fusion Tables: Load tabular data and change it to something else, such as a map.

Serendip-o-matic: Takes your content and compares it to sources such as Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Europeana, and Flickr Commons to find similar items.

Pasco Library (Fla.) generates a pie chart of circulation.

Stanford Univ. has a mashed up catalog, using Blacklight.

Los Gatos Public Library (Calif.) pulls e-books from Overdrive.

BookMeUp (Montana State Univ.) uses Amazon, Open Library, WorldCat, etc. to make recommendations.

Houston Public Library has timelines generated from their collection data.

Career Log: Use IFTTT to grab calendar events, LinkedIn updates, SlideShare and put it all in a Google spreadsheet.

Tweet the weather.

Use Yahoo Pipes to mash together library feeds.

Regime uses several sources to analyze members of Congress.

Wellcome Library has a map of AIDS posters worldwide.

Edited to add links.


Polishing up your web site #internetlibrarian #il2014

Sonya Betz, Robyn Hall, MacEwan U., Canada

Microinteractions, macro results

Institutional repositories (have been called a”roach motels”): wanted to make a site faculty would be proud to use.

User testing = observation. Not about asking for opinions. Lets you observe problems.

* Representative users
* Representative tasks
* Observe what they do and where they have problems
* Revise and re-test

Microinteraction: a tiny piece of functionality.

Feedback to user: labels, error messages, etc.

Tested faculty on uploading documents to the repository.

Wanted to click on big “share” at bottom, so made that a link.

Nobody read “about” page or FAQ.

Nobody clicks on “Let us help,” because it sounds burdensome. Changed to “Let us do it.”

“Citation information” caused some confusion. They wondered what style to user, so changed to “Publication information.”

People wanted link to contribute another work. Also wanted link on their own names (“the academic ego”)

Getting ideas from ResearchGate and Dropbox.

Can make the difference between products we love and those we tolerate.

Weeding a website
Tabatha Farney, U. of Colorado

De-selecting “zombie content.”

New content management system led to more people creating more content. Library web site up to 300 pages.

Politics: people get nervous about weeding.

1. Identify low use pages with web analytics.
2. Get user feedback on those pages.
3. Decide what to weed.

Also looked at “bounce rate” (short time on page, no click on anything), last time it was viewed, last modified date.

Tried to put comment form of pages flagged for weeding. Flaw: already low use.

Met with content creators individually to understand why these pages exist.

Reasons like: it’s always been there, it makes the administrators happy, because some user may need it someday.

Consolidate pages like policies, staff directories, how-to info.

Working on a content strategy.

Marketing to web site users.

Archiving unused content. (Some are uncomfortable about deleting pages just yet.)

Enhancing CONTENTdm with the Power of Fusion Tables #internetlibrarian #il2014

Bryson Duda, University of Lethbridge, Alberta

Library has a photo collection called Lethbridge Landmarks.

Google Fusion Tables: free app for presenting tabular data.  Part of Google Drive.

Translate locations, such as addresses, into geocodes (latitude, longitude), so your records can be plotted on a map.

1. Export data from ContentDM

2. Import into Fusion Tables (may need to edit for problems with quotation marks, e.g.)

3. Add geocodes

4. Customize: add, subtract fields, etc.

You can get a URL to put the table in an iframe on your own web site (such as ContentDM or a LibGuide or anywhere else).

Problems with clustering multiple markers in one place.

Also used by Southern Alberta Historical Newspapers Map.

Edited to add links.

Collaborative Cloud Strategies and Impacts #il2013 #internetlibrarian

Kenley Neufeld, library director, Santa Barbara City College

Small library, nobody responsible solely for tech.

Needed new system. Wanted to eliminate server and desktop maintenance.

Wanted to expand services, improve student experience and staff workflow.

Wanted to prepare for increased mobile use.

– Cloud-based backend
– Web-based frontend
– Cost savings from not maintaining a server

Went with OCLC Worldshare Management System

Change management:
– Do your homework
– Engage everyone
– Work with vendor on problems

For students:
– Easy account management without a separate authentication (could be a problem, since it requires sharing info with cloud vendor). However, the last piece of authentication data remains local. Works with Shibboleth.
– Notice and reminders via e-mail
– Platform agnostic
– Single search: ILS bundled with discovery service
– Faceted search
– Deeper exposure to resources
– Simple integration of ILL

For staff:
– No servers to maintain, no software to install
– Use Windows or Macs
– Simplified circulation
– Integrated ILL
– Integrated budget tracking
– Instruction: can teach discovery system or individual databases
– Work anywhere
– App development (Used to hand-copy fines from circ system to college system; was able to automate this.)

Would like to have a shelflist, but OCLC hasn’t built that yet. May be in the December update.

Performance is determined by Internet speed. If OCLC goes down, all 150 libraries using the system go down. In Internet access is lost, he has a backup solution.

Over a period of 3 years, they break even. And got the discovery layer that they couldn’t afford before.

Rob Ross, OCLC

Says users are satisfied. Catalogers and system administrators save a lot of time.

Staff working on an analytics model. More reports will be available.

Open platform: customers can build apps or see what others have done. OCLC builds the core functions, but open it up for others to add to.

Traditional deployed software:
– Core apps only
– Closed to community contributions

Cloud software:
– Core apps as scaffolding
– Community empowered to contribute
– Mix and match to heart’s content

– Infrequent, anxiety-producing

– Smaller, frequent updates
– Everyone on the same version

– One person could read the manual and become the master

– Rewards continual learning
– Decentralized system allows mastery by module, distributed expertise
– Future state is — literally — what you make it.

– Staff need to keep learning
– Management needs to reward adaptation over mastery
– Job roles may be redefined
– Working from anywhere is possible. Example: small academic library could bring books to a campus fair and can checkout using iPad or iPhone. Example 2: consortium can do cataloging for members. Example 3: Academic library with world-class Afghanistan collection. Now they can hire somebody and have them work in Afghanistan.

Gains include:
– Contemporary system for all materials formats
– No hardware to purchase or manage
– WorldCat as your catalog of record (can still have local notes), but you inherit all upgrades (such as if another library adds table of contents notes)

– Cost savings
– Time savings
– Patron satisfaction
– Staff satisfaction
– Increased usage of materials

Building Google’s Power-Searching MOOCs #il2013 #internetlibrarian

Tasha Bergson-Michelson

Librarian at Castilleja School, formerly Google search educator

Just because it looks magic doesn’t mean you can’t get better at it.

Google thought it should do a MOOC. Has tools: Youtube, Docs, etc. Can also handle 10 million people at once.

Six hours of content. Wanted to reach a broad audience. Multiple choice/fill in the blank. Semi-synchronous.

Never put a midterm in the middle. Could take it as many times as you like, but had to finish by a certain date. Lots of people complained about that. “Apparently a deadline is not as firm an idea as I thought.”

Five-minute videos plus activity. Offered a text alernative for thsoe with different learning styles.

Videos are hard to edit and it’s hard to get everything in. In the text version, they could include more info.

When writing for 155,000 people, someone will hate every question.

Problem: Google learns from people’s bad queries, so sometimes that would cause the bad query to work for the next person.

People might learn they can search on and not realize they could do the same thing for

People from 196 countries and territories. Questions were too ethnocentric.

Question about whether the word “evolution” occurs in the Google Books copy of On the Origin of Species. Answer differs depending on the edition you search.

Improved each time and never had the same complaint twice.

People learn by watching over someone’s shoulder. How could they emulate that in the MOOC?

People have different ways of doing things.

Made 12 challenges. Didn’t have to do them and didn’t have to do them in numerical order. They required multiple steps and could be solved in multiple ways. Example: identify a feather found on the ground at the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve.

Had to be a right-or-wrong answer or people freaked out. But then you outline your steps, and students could read each other’s answers.

Did Google Hangouts to talk about the challenges.

Did Advanced Power Searching class.

Text usage was about 50% that of video usage. But it varied by topic.

Fish pedicure / worm therapy divide. Yarnbobmbing was a popular topic. If you don’t know what thousands of people like, go for weird.

Didn’t help students with final challenges. They helped each other.

Start with outcomes:
What do you want students to know? Work backwards from there.

A list of technical skills does not equal competencies.

Format and contents must grow out of objectives.

Create a “big-idea” narrative. Key critical thinking skills. Overarching themes. Tie themes back to actionable skills. Such as, not usually just one way to do things.

Align desired content, user needs, and design constraints. How to talk about these things without delving into library science terminology.

Color filtering: If you search for Bach pictures that are white, you get sheet music.

Tesla: different colors for car vs. person.

Soccer players running around: use green.

This gets people’s attention and makes them listen, not the library science theory.

Test and test again:
Groups can be small. Doesn’t have to hugely formal. Prioritize fixes, fix, and test again.

Some loved the advanced format, some hated it.

Some people spent a lot of time on it, some couldn’t.

Connect with students. Use social media to create a community.

Libraries in the Cloud #il2013 #internetlibrarian

Marshall Breeding

Book: “Cloud Computing in the Libraries”

Libraries need to have technology that aligns with what their current mission is.

Academic libraries:
Shift from print to electronic journals.
Still working it out for monographs.

All libraries:
Need to handle multiple formats.
Emphasis on digitizing local collections

Client-server to web-based computing
Cloud computing is a major trend in IT
Offers libraries opportunities to break out of individual silos of automation and engage in widely shared cooperative systems.

“Cloudwashing”: lots of claims to be “in the cloud” when products may not be any different from what they were.

Vendor-hosted library systems go back to at least 1994.

– web-based interfaces (as opposed to software on the desktop)
– externally hosted
– pricing: subscription or utility
– Highly abstracted computing model
– Provisioned on demand
– Scaled according to variable needs
– Elastic: consumption of resources can contract and expand according to demand

Local computing:
– Buy and maintain a server
– Buy and maintain software
– Electricity and data center

Cloud computing:
– Annual subscription with measured service or fixed fees

Can be cost-saving for both library and vendor.

“Multi-tenant software-as-a-service”: one copy of code base serves multiple sites; software functionality delivered entirely through web interfaces; upgrades and fixes deployed universally.

People can use Gmail and companies can use with no loss of functionality or privacy. No upgrade interruptions.

Data as a service: Bibliographic knowledgebases or discovery indexes that serve many libraries.

Possible new ways of conceptualizing library automation:
– Fulfillment: circulation + ILL + DCB + e-commerce
– Resource management: cataloging + acquisitions + serials + ERM
– Customer relationship management: reference + circulation + ILL
– Enterprise resource planning: acquisitions + collection development

Open systems:
Libraries need to do more with their data.
More interoperability
Open source
Open APIs

Challenge: more integrated approach to information and service delivery:
– Books
– search the web site
– articles
– openURL
– e-journal finding aids
– subject guides
– local digital collection
– Metasearch engines
– Discovery services (yet one more box on the web page)

Discovery from local to web-scale

Populating web-scale index with full text: a good front door to everything in your collection.

Ebsco, Summon, Ex Libris Prino, Worldcat

Libraries can move into a shared infrastructure model (multiple libraries, that is).

Consortia merging (Illinois Heartland), statewide (South Australia, much of Georgia) and national (New Zealand, Iceland, Chile, Denmark) systems, Cornell-Columbia system (2CUL).