For the past few months I’ve been working on a project to migrate a museum’s collection registry to CollectionSpace. CollectionSpace is a “free, open-source, web-based software application for the description, management, and dissemination of museum collections information.”1 CollectionSpace is multitenant software — one installation of the software can serve many tenants. The software package’s structure, though, means that the configuration for one tenant is mixed in with the code for all tenants on the server (e.g, the application layer, services layer, and user interface layer configuration are stored deep in the source code tree). This bothers me from a maintainability standpoint. Sure, Git’s richly featured merge functionality helps, but it seems unnecessarily complex to intertwine the two in this way. So I developed a structure that puts a tenant’s configuration in a separate source code repository and a series of procedures to bring the two together at application-build time.
Last week I was at the NISO Forum: The Future of Library Resource Discovery with a great group of colleagues as we challenged ourselves to think about the role of discovery services in the information-seeking habits of our patrons. In the closing keynote, I was projecting what library resource discovery interface might look like five years from now, and I was weaving in comments and ideas that had bubbled up in the in-person conversation and the Twitter channel. And yes, I did wear a jester’s cap for the presentation.
Included below is the text of the presentation as intended to be given on October 6, 2015, at the Mt. Washington Conference Center in Baltimore, Maryland. (I did stray from the text in a few places, but not in any significant way.) At the bottom is a postscript based on a conversation I had afterwards about the role of mobile devices in library resource discovery.
Helping patrons find the information they need is an important part of the library profession, and in the past decade the profession has seen the rise of dedicated “discovery systems” to address that need. The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) is active at the intersection of libraries, content suppliers, and service providers in smoothing out the wrinkles between these parties:
In early October, NISO will be hosting a two-day forum on the future of resource discovery in libraries. This is an in-person meeting to extend the work of Marshall Breeding’s paper on the same topic that was published earlier this year:
Two articles in each of two threads this week:
- If Strong Encryption is Outlawed…
- Allocations of IPv4 Internet Addresses Now Restricted; It’s a Good Thing IPv6 is Finally Here
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I’m just home from the American Library Association meeting in San Francisco, so this week’s threads are just a brief view of new and interesting things I found on the exhibit floor.
- Free Driver’s Ed Resources for Libraries
- Free Online Obituaries Service from Orange County Library
Funding for my current position at LYRASIS ran out at the end of June, so I am looking for new opportunities and challenges for my skills. Check out my resume/c.v. and please let me know of job opportunities in library technology, open source, and/or community engagement.
This week’s threads:
- Where should you keep your data? Your library can help with that answer!
- Use index cards for your next presentation’s question and answer session — it’ll make for a better experience for you and your audience.
- What’s that bird? There is an app for that! Give it your location, date, and some characteristics, and it will bring up pictures for you to make a match.
Funding for my current position at LYRASIS runs out at the end of June, so I am looking for new opportunities and challenges for my skills. Check out my resume/c.v. and please let me know of job opportunities in library technology, open source, and/or community engagement.
Edited after initial publication to add: My thoughts are with the people in and around Charleston, South Carolina, this evening. What is making it out of the media fog to me tonight is your compassion for each other. Please be well as you absorb, internalize, and recover from this shocking display of inhumanity.
This afternoon, Ed Summers tweeted:
— Ed Summers (@edsu) June 19, 2015
This week’s threads:
- Let’s Encrypt announces its launch schedule, so soon everyone can have web servers with encrypted transmissions;
- Ploys by businesses to get you to come into the office, if you work at a place where coming into an office is optional; and
- A summary of Open Repositories 2015, the conference that is all repositories, all week, including a details of a great keynote presentation by Google Scholar's Anurag Acharya on search engine optimization.
I threw my hat into the ring to be on the LITA Top Tech Trends panel at the ALA annual conference later this month in San Francisco, and never could I say that I was more excited not to be selected. (You can find more info on this year’s Top Tech Trends session in the ALA Conference Scheduler.) There is a great lineup of panelists this year: