Code4Lib Journal Issue #20 Published; My Editorial: “It is Volunteers All the Way Down…”

Issue #20 of the Code4Lib Journal was just published, and I had the honor of being the coordinating editor for the issue. Being on the editorial committee of the Journal has been a heck of an experience, and I think I’ve had just a taste of what journal editors and publishers must go through to produce quality content.

My editorial focused on an issue that has banged around in my head for a while and has come up in multiple venues in recent years — how do we grow as a community while remaining responsive to the community and true to its roots. I suggest that there is a merit-based way to approach this, and I lay out my thoughts in that article.

Notes on the Code4Lib Virtual Lightning Talks

Last week I emcee’d the second Code4Lib Virtual Lightning talk session and I wanted to record some notes and pointers here in case me (or anyone else) wants to do the same thing again. First, though, here is a list of those that presented with links to the talks archived on Internet Archive.

Name Topic
Terry Brady File Analyzer and Metadata Harvester
Misty De Meo Transitioning a legacy thesaurus to SKOS/RDF
Roy Tennant Under the Hood of Hadoop Processing at OCLC Research
Kate Kosturski How I Taught Myself Drupal In a Weekend (And You Can Too!)

Interlibrary Loan Standards Undergoing Revision at the ISO Level

My employer (LYRASIS) is a member of NISO (the accredited standards organization for information and documentation in the U.S.), and as the primary contact I see and consider ballots for standards issues that impact LYRASIS member libraries. The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Application Protocol Specification (a.k.a. ISO 10160/10161) is up for its periodic review, and there is a bit of interesting movement on this standard. ISO 10160/10161 became a standard in 1993 so it predates the modern era of the web. The group shepherding the standard realized that progress had overtaken the specification and they started work on a reformulation of inter-machine ILL standards. This ballot and its supplemental documentation gives a view of the plans.

Vote for an ALA2013 Ignite Session on Open Source Communities

I’ve put in a proposal on the importance of communities in open source software for an “ignite” session at the ALA Annual meeting in Chicago, and I’d appreciate your vote to get the talk into the program. If you have experienced the power and benefit of open source software, you know that the community is just as important as the code. In a 5-minute presentation accompanied by 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds, I’ll be describing the many ways libraries can be a part of an open source community. Here is the brief description of the talk:

The open source method for developing software works best when everyone contributes a little bit to the process. Do you benefit from open source? Do you wish the open source you use was a little better? Don’t know why the community nature of open source is important? Hear what you can do to make the world a better place by nudging your favorite open source project along a path to perfection.

A Great iPad Keyboard/Case Combination: New Trent Airbender

This is a review of the Airbender Bluetooth keyboard by New Trent (model IMP38W). I have been testing this unit since January 28, 2013, and traveled with it to Code4Lib in Chicago where I relied on the combination of the Airbender keyboard and iPad for a day of presentations with writing notes and searching the web for information. I received the unit from New Trent for testing and evaluation.

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Interesting Shibboleth Use Case: Enforcing Geographic Restrictions

Last month’s HathiTrust newsletter had an interesting technical tidbit at the top about access to out-of-print and brittle or missing items:

One of the lawful uses of in-copyright works HathiTrust has been pursuing is to provide access on an institutional basis to works that fall under United States Copyright Law Section 108 conditions: works in HathiTrust that are not available on the market at a fair price, and for which print copies owned by HathiTrust member institutions are damaged, deteriorating, lost or stolen. As a part of becoming a member, institutions are required to submit information about their print holdings for fee calculation purposes. We have also been requesting information about the holdings status and condition of works, to facilitate uses of works where permissible by law (specifications for HathiTrust holdings data are available at