ABOUT THE COLLECTION

This collection contains educational contributions and publications of the Temple University Libraries staff.

Recent Submissions

  • Future Proofing Civic Data: Exploring the Challenges of Preserving Open Civic Data for the Long Term

    Bauer, Jillian; Carolan, Kistine; Cheetham, Robert; Swanson, Tom; Hand, Joe; MacMillan, Jim; Ogden, Max; Pilhofer, Aron; Wisniewski, Time; Lucia, Joe (2017-09-29)
    Temple University Libraries received a Knight Foundation Grant, “Knight News Challenge on Libraries” to lead an exploratory research project, Future Proofing Civic Data, investigating the challenges of long-term preservation for open civic datasets. The project team interviewed over a dozen stakeholders about their use cases and needs and looked at several open civic data initiatives in Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, and the Pittsburgh area, to compare practices and examine real-life examples. We found that there is still much to do in the community to develop systematic best practices in regard to the long-term preservation of datasets. In this white paper we explore 10 important factors that need to be taken into consideration to tackle this challenge successfully. We also look at how libraries could take the lead, or at least participate in the process. First, awareness of existing digital preservation frameworks is key when putting in place a data curation and preservation plan and developing relevant workflows and budget. The library community has developed strong “best practices” in that realm, and models such as OAIS (Open Archival Information System), TRAC (“Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification”), and LOCKSS (“Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) provide robust guidelines that apply to all types of digital materials. We then looked at the selection process for deciding what datasets should be archived. Selection decisions are made based on various criteria, such as the known or expected users of datasets and their needs, what datasets can be archived and made available more easily, and what datasets represent a city or state’s activities more comprehensively. Among other things, single file objects such as CSV or KML files are much easier to archive than more complex formats or API-mediated content. Next we considered concerns related to the description of datasets, examining current metadata practices from a number of open civic data initiatives, and gave suggestions on possible improvements. We then turned our attention to the notion of dataset reliability and authenticity, that is, how do users know that an archived dataset has the same content as the original and can be trusted? We found that datasets require careful stewardship at several levels to remain complete and reliable over time. The loss of reliability or authenticity could be due to a multitude of unintentional causes, or derive from a more intentional temptation to “rewrite history” by one of the parties involved. Versioning is another important factor, as datasets may evolve over time and several versions might be generated for a single dataset, either through regularly scheduled harvests or occasional data restructuring. Versioning may require the development of policies and procedures to ensure that the collection of successive versions is done in an orderly and systematic manner, and that change requests and deletions are handled uniformly. To enable the successful discovery of archived datasets, we need to answer two questions: (1) how will users searching for open civic data know that preserved historical copies of the data exist?, and (2) how can they distinguish between the current active copy of a dataset and the archived versions? The software interface must facilitate a seamless navigation between active copy and archived versions. We looked at intellectual property rights and other legal issues, and the potential need to develop agreements between data creating agencies and archiving agencies in order to clarify the rights to preserve and provide long-term access to a dataset. The organizational model and governance structure chosen for the overall civic data initiative also have consequences for the ability to ensure successful long-term preservation functions. In particular, involving a multiplicity of partners and stakeholders is the best way to ensure that diverse voices are heard and that the project is run with a maximal level of transparency. Furthermore, open communication flows are also essential to ensure that preservation-related policies are applied optimally. This includes communication among the archiving agencies, the civic data creators, and the civic data portal managers. One more important notion when looking at digital preservation endeavors is that technology is only a small part of successful long-term digital preservation, and thinking proactively about organizational commitment and economic sustainability is essential. Finally, we described two prototypes that we developed to explore concrete technical solutions to archive datasets, using OpenDataPhilly as a testbed. Archive-It, or Prototype 1, uses the Internet Archive’s web crawling platform, which takes scheduled virtual captures of websites over time. Dat, or Prototype 2, is a secure and distributed package manager that does versioning of datasets locally, or shares and syncs dataset versions through a peer-to-peer network. Each prototype has pros and cons. We believe that there are clear and advantageous opportunities for libraries, both academic and public, to take a role in supporting the long-term preservation of open civic data, especially given libraries' pre-existing expertise and collection practices. It comports with libraries’ commitments to serve its users, provide research resources, and provide access to information. Furthermore, libraries can also get involved meaningfully in open civic data initiatives in other capacities, such as helping with outreach and community engagement, developing metadata standards and providing search optimization techniques for discovery.
  • Moving to Mobile: Space as a Service in the Academic Library

    Bell, Steven; Bell|0000-0003-3916-4013 (2022-04-15)
    In an academic environment that is shifting to hybrid learning modes, librarians must reimagine their space as a service delivered to students. Where do desktop computer labs fit into this vision for libraries that prioritize mobile-first strategies? This article provides a case study of an academic library transitioning to a post-desktop space with recommendations for a successful project.
  • Usability as a Method for Assessing Discovery

    Ipri, Tom; Yunkin, Michael; Brown, Jeanne M.; Ipri|0000-0001-7466-6532 (2009-09-01)
    The University of Nevada Las Vegas Libraries engaged in three projects that helped identify areas of its website that had inhibited discovery of services and resources. These projects also helped generate staff interest in the Usability Working Group, which led these endeavors. The first project studied student responses to the site. The second focused on a usability test with the Libraries’ peer research coaches and resulted in a presentation of those findings to the Libraries staff. The final project involved a specialized test, the results of which also were presented to staff. All three of these projects led to improvements to the website and will inform a larger redesign.
  • Religious Studies Scholarship at Temple University

    Turner, Nancy Bartman; Rowland, Fred; Lloyd, Rebecca; Hill, Justin; Turner|0000-0001-8934-160X; Lloyd|0000-0002-0853-6729 (2016)
  • 3D Printed Arteries: Making Cardiovascular Anatomy Tangible & Accessible

    Perilli, Nicholas (2021-12-01)
    With accessible 3D printed models of a patient’s coronary arteries, makerspace librarians assisted cardiovascular fellows in understanding coronary fluoroscopic anatomy and improved accessibility to such teaching aids.
  • Game-Based Design for Inclusive and Accessible Digital Exhibits

    Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) (2022)
  • The Third Library and the Commons

    Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) (2022)
    The idea of the “commons” is often invoked in discussions of the academic library’s future, but these references are usually vague and rhetorical. What exactly does it mean for the library to be organized as a commons, and what might such a library look like? Does the concept of the commons offer a useful lens for identifying the library’s injustices or shortcomings? How might we draw on the concept of the commons to see beyond the horizon of the contemporary library, toward a “Third Library” that truly advances decolonial and democratic ends? This essay engages with such questions and explores how the constituent elements of the academic library—its knowledge assets, its workers, and its physical spaces—might be reoriented toward the commons. It argues that such an orientation might facilitate the emergence of a Third Library that is able to organize resistance to contemporary capitalism’s impetus toward the privatization and enclosure of knowledge, and to help recover a democratic conception of knowledge as a public good.
  • “Yeah, I Wrote That!”: Incorporating Critical Information Literacy to Build Community Inside and Outside of Wikipedia

    De Voe, Kristina; Shaw, Adrienne; De Voe|0000-0003-1590-3379; Shaw|0000-0001-5526-1839 (2021)
    In this chapter, we examine the relationship between open pedagogical practices and critical information literacy and how they intersect when Wikipedia is introduced in the classroom. Specifically, we discuss the collaboration between a librarian and a course instructor on iterations of Wikipedia assignments across three years and two classes. We unpack the importance of existing infrastructures, such as edit-a-thons and the WikiEdu dashboard, to support bringing Wikipedia assignments into the classroom. We also explore how we worked to connect course content to the renewable assignments and brought larger discussions of representation and community on Wikipedia into the classroom and assignments. Finally, we outline the lessons we learned through this collaboration. In sum, scaffolded projects allowed students to practice their contributions to Wikipedia in a supportive space and fostered critical engagement with course content. In their end-of-semester reflections, students stated that contributing to Wikipedia felt more meaningful and elicited feelings of pride that traditional, disposable assessments did not. They saw themselves as knowledge creators and scholarship creation as part of an ongoing conversation rather than an “end product.” By engaging in peer-review assignments, participating in edit-a-thons, and discussing the assignments with librarians who were not their professors, students also saw their work as part of a broader academic conversation. Through Wikipedia assignments, students can appreciate their own information privilege in terms of access to costly resources and become proactive in sharing that knowledge and their own growing expertise with a wider public.
  • Advancing the Transition to Open Publishing at Temple University Libraries

    De Voe, Kristina; Fennell, Lauri; Finnerty, Erin; Johnson, Ann; Kohn, Karen; Lloyd, Rebecca; Pucci, Alicia; Tagge , Natalie; De Voe|0000-0003-1590-3379; Finnerty|0000-0002-2015-1637; Johnson|0000-0003-4021-2473; Kohn|0000-0003-0454-3080; Pucci|0000-0002-6061-2688; Lloyd|0000-0002-0853-6729 (2021)
  • The Virtual Blockson: Immersive Technologies for Teaching Primary Source Literacy on the African Diaspora

    Clark, Jasmine; Wermer-Colan, Alex; Clark|0000-0003-0674-6535 (2020-06-14)
    By overviewing a collaborative project between Temple University’s Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio, and local Philadelphia educators, this essay explores how experimentation with immersive technology can enhance the work of librarians and teachers seeking to teach primary source literacy. As a recreation of the space and the experience of visiting the Blockson Collection through interactive game-play and multimedia 3D content, the Virtual Blockson aims to combat black erasure from the historical record and school curricula, introducing students to the roles they can play in history’s creation and preservation. This essay will highlight the Virtual Blockson’s design for integrating the Society of American Archivists’ Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy, as well as the Common Core standards for historical understanding and critical thinking. Digital humanities projects that remediate special collections with interactive spatial simulations can offer promising opportunities to contextualize and explore the imbrication of primary source and digital literacies for marginalized communities.
  • Have Your Cake and Eat it Too: Throw a Public Domain Party and Engage Students in Discussions About Copyright

    Johnson, Ann; Lloyd, Rebecca; De Voe, Kristina; Johnson|0000-0003-4021-2473; De Voe|0000-0003-1590-3379; Lloyd|0000-0002-0853-6729 (2021)
  • Supporting Big Data Research at Temple University

    Dean, Will; Rowland, Fred; Shambaugh, Adam; Sneff, Gretchen (2021-10)
  • Mental health solutions for domestic violence victims amid COVID-19: a review of the literature

    Su, Zhaohui; McDonnell, Dean; Roth, Stephanie; Li, Quanlei; Segalo, Sabina; Shi, Feng; Wagers, Shelly; Roth|0000-0001-5415-1718 (2021-06-28)
    Background: Due to COVID-19, domestic violence victims face a range of mental health challenges, possibly resulting in substantial human and economic consequences. However, there is a lack of mental health interventions tailored to domestic violence victims and in the context of COVID-19. In this study, we aim to identify interventions that can improve domestic violence victims’ mental health amid the COVID-19 pandemic to address the research gap. Main text: Drawing insights from established COVID-19 review frameworks and a comprehensive review of PubMed literature, we obtained information on interventions that can address domestic violence victims’ mental health challenges amid COVID-19. We identified practical and timely solutions that can be utilized to address mental health challenges domestic violence victims face amid COVID-19, mainly focusing on (1) decreasing victims’ exposure to the abuser and (2) increasing victims’ access to mental health services. Conclusion: Domestic violence is a public health crisis that affects all demographics and could result in significant morbidity and mortality. In addition to emphasizing mental health challenges faced by domestic violence victims, multidisciplinary interventions are identified that could provide timely and practical solutions to domestic violence victims amid the pandemic, which range from tailored shelter home strategies, education programs, escape plans, laws and regulations, as well as more technology-based mental health solutions. There is a significant need for more multipronged and multidisciplinary strategies to address domestic violence amid and beyond the pandemic, particularly interventions that could capitalize on the ubiquity and cost-effectiveness of technology-based solutions.
  • Goodbye, Paley… Hello, Charles!: Marketing a Library Move

    Wilson, Sara Curnow (2019-08-25)
    How do you prepare a campus for the closure of one main library and the opening of a brand-new building? Temple University Libraries faced this question in 2019. Their marketing team answered the call by creating a campaign that honored their original Paley Library while building excitement for the new Charles Library. As part of this campaign, library staff worked together to create their own “Mean Tweets” video, reading real tweets patrons had posted about Paley over the years. In this column, the team's director reflects on the process and how it changed the tone of their overall campaign.
  • Building and Maintaining Metadata Aggregation Workflows Using Apache Airflow

    PA Digital (2021-09-22)
    PA Digital is a Pennsylvania network that serves as the state’s service hub for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The group developed a homegrown aggregation system in 2014, used to harvest digital collection records from contributing institutions, validate and transform their metadata, and deliver aggregated records to the DPLA. Since our initial launch, PA Digital has expanded significantly, harvesting from an increasing number of contributors with a variety of repository systems. With each new system, our highly customized aggregator software became more complex and difficult to maintain. By 2018, PA Digital staff had determined that a new solution was needed. From 2019 to 2021, a cross-functional team implemented a more flexible and scalable approach to metadata aggregation for PA Digital, using Apache Airflow for workflow management and Solr/Blacklight for internal metadata review. In this article, we will outline how we use this group of applications and the new workflows adopted, which afford our metadata specialists more autonomy to contribute directly to the ongoing development of the aggregator. We will discuss how this work fits into our broader sustainability planning as a network and how the team leveraged shared expertise to build a more stable approach to maintenance.
  • Attitudes and Perceptions toward Design Thinking in Graduate-Level Library Education

    Clarke, Rachel Ivy; Bell, Steven; 0000-0003-3916-4013 (2021-07-30)
    This study aims to understand educators’—specifically those in positions of authority in graduate-level library education programs—perceptions of and attitudes toward design thinking and methods in graduate-level library curricula by investigating the following research questions: What is the current landscape for the integration of design into the LIS curriculum, from the program director’s perspective? What do these directors think about the competencies required for future librarians, and where does design fit into those competencies? What are the possibilities for a future degree focused on reconceptualizing the field from a design perspective rather than the traditional library science? Thirteen MLIS program directors and people in equivalent positions at ALA-accredited programs in the United States and Canada were interviewed to investigate these queries. The conversations suggest there is a growing openness to design education that may contribute to the diversification of the curriculum so that graduates’ competencies more closely reflect recommendations in the literature and address the needs of employers. They also reveal dichotomies in how LIS program directors define and integrate design education into LIS curricula, such as barriers of bureaucratic concerns versus interest in experimenting with design courses available elsewhere in their universities, or even the potential for a dual library science/library design degree option. The article concludes with recommendations for next steps in advancing design in library education so as to prepare graduates for the growing number of user experience, public programming, or even more traditional teaching librarian positions where a design thinking approach leads to effective practice.
  • Rights Statement Selection Tool (Accessible, Screenreader-Optimized Version)

    Digital Public Library of America's Rights Statements Working Group (2021-02)
    RightsStatements.org, through the standardized rights statements it provides, allows institutions to clearly communicate the copyright status of digitized cultural heritage works, promoting their reuse. However, it can be tricky for institutions to determine correct statement usage through the site without additional context. The Rights Statement Selection Tool is an interactive infographic that serves to visually explain the statement selection workflow, allowing a copyright novice to identify the correct statement through decision tree alone. This legal tool lets cultural heritage institutions assign rights statement review work to non-experts, potentially increasing the number of items that can be evaluated. It’s meant to be integrated into cataloging workflows: clickable links lead to each statement’s URI page, and it can be viewed in a browser alongside the RightsStatements.org site. The Tool serves as a complete visual reference to the statements: each is covered and explained. It aggregates relevant resources and serves as a structural bridge between related copyright status determination charts and Creative Commons charts. Donation agreements–often a source of confusion for rights statements reviewers–are covered as well. The Tool is, by design, as agnostic to national law as possible. The US-centered copyright status determination charts that feed into it (such as the Hirtle and Sunstein charts) could easily be swapped for resources reflecting other countries’ national law; the RightsStatements.org logic that it covers would remain unchanged, and so would the chart. As the RightsStatements.org standard goes global, this tool can be translated, adapted, and re-used beyond the US.
  • Rights Statements Selection Tool

    Galson, Gabriel; Karl, Brandy (2020-04-22)
    Through the standardized rights statements it provides, RightsStatements.org allows institutions to clearly communicate the copyright status of digitized cultural heritage works, promoting their reuse. However, it can be tricky for institutions to determine correct statement usage through the site without additional context. The Rights Statement Selection Tool [bit.ly/RSSTOOL] is an interactive infographic that serves to visually explain the statement selection workflow, allowing a copyright novice to identify the correct statement through decision tree alone. This legal tool lets cultural heritage institutions assign rights statement review work to non-experts, potentially increasing the number of items that can be evaluated. It’s meant to be integrated into cataloging workflows: clickable links lead to each statement’s URI page, and it can be viewed in a browser alongside the RightsStatements.org site. The Tool serves as a complete visual reference to the statements: each is covered and explained. It aggregates relevant resources and serves as a structural bridge between related copyright status determination charts and Creative Commons charts. Donation agreements–often a source of confusion for rights statements reviewers–are covered as well. The Tool is, by design, as agnostic to national law as possible. The US-centered copyright status determination charts that feed into it (such as the Hirtle and Sunstein charts) could easily be swapped for resources reflecting other countries’ national law; the RightsStatements.org logic that it covers would remain unchanged, and so would the chart. As the RightsStatements.org standard goes global, this tool can be translated, adapted, and re-used beyond the US.
  • Rights Statements Selection Tool (Web Version)

    Digital Public Library of America's Rights Statements Working Group (2019-05)
    RightsStatements.org, through the standardized rights statements it provides, allows institutions to clearly communicate the copyright status of digitized cultural heritage works, promoting their reuse. However, it can be tricky for institutions to determine correct statement usage through the site without additional context. The Rights Statement Selection Tool is an interactive infographic that serves to visually explain the statement selection workflow, allowing a copyright novice to identify the correct statement through decision tree alone. This legal tool lets cultural heritage institutions assign rights statement review work to non-experts, potentially increasing the number of items that can be evaluated. It’s meant to be integrated into cataloging workflows: clickable links lead to each statement’s URI page, and it can be viewed in a browser alongside the RightsStatements.org site. The Tool serves as a complete visual reference to the statements: each is covered and explained. It aggregates relevant resources and serves as a structural bridge between related copyright status determination charts and Creative Commons charts. Donation agreements–often a source of confusion for rights statements reviewers–are covered as well. The Tool is, by design, as agnostic to national law as possible. The US-centered copyright status determination charts that feed into it (such as the Hirtle and Sunstein charts) could easily be swapped for resources reflecting other countries’ national law; the RightsStatements.org logic that it covers would remain unchanged, and so would the chart. As the RightsStatements.org standard goes global, this tool can be translated, adapted, and re-used beyond the US.

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