Digital Humanities Summer Institute

In June 2017, Colette Hayes, Reference and Instruction Librarian at the Gleeson Library participated in the Digital Humanities Summer Institute (DHSI) at the University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia.

Of the many courses on offer, Colette decided to take one on digital humanities and pedagogy, and another on models for digital humanities at four-year liberal arts colleges. They were week-long, hands-on, intensive courses taught by digital humanities practitioners. She spent time outside those courses attending pre-institute workshops, daily colloquiums, lunchtime un-conference sessions and extra curricular activities at the University of Victoria.

How does this impact her work at USF? Colette shares one of her plans of action and the way it facilitated team work with librarians from other institutions: “One project that I proposed as a part of one of the intensives I took at DHSI was a digital exhibit about the history of student social justice activism at USF, using the newly digitized copies of the Foghorn in Gleeson Library’s digital collections. After I presented this proposal to my cohort, a classmate approached me to share a similar project that a student was working on as part of a digital humanities summer fellowship for undergraduates run by his university’s library.”

Examining the main takeaway of attending the institute, Colette notes, “… DHSI emphasized, for me, the collaborative nature of digital humanities (many dh projects are interdisciplinary and involve libraries and IT departments), as well as the opportunities certain digital humanities projects offer for student research and public scholarship.”

An example of one of the digital humanities projects featured is The Suffrage Postcard Project. According to Colette, it is significant because “undergraduate and graduate students and their professor, Dr. Kristin Allukian used a platform called Omeka to create a searchable, tagged digital collection or database of suffrage postcards, and are using this database alongside historical research to analyze and ask questions about these artifacts.”

For more information on the courses offered, visit the Digital Humanities Summer Institute website.

Technology, African Libraries and Meeting the Development Agenda

Justine Withers, Gleeson Library Electronic and Continuing Resources Catalog Librarian, attended the 4th African Library Summit and 2nd AfLIA Conference. It was held in Yaounde, Cameroon, May 16th-19th, 2017.

AfLIA stands for African Library and Information Associations and Institutions. From the website: AfLIA is an independent international not-for-profit organization which pursues the interests of library and information associations, library and information services, librarians and information workers and the communities they serve in Africa. More details here.

The theme of this year’s conference was, “Libraries in the Development Agenda: Repositioning African Libraries to deliver on the Future We Want.”

According to Justine, “Much of the discussion revolved around the inseparable relationship between access to information and meeting the goals set forth in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. I attended the conference in order to learn how I could assist some local libraries in Cameroon and how they handle the technical challenges of electronic resources. I learned the importance of meeting users where they are — including the technology they have access to and actual geographic location — and supporting local resources as much as possible. I will be thinking about how our own researchers access the library catalog as I make our resources visible.”

If you’d like more information about the conference, the program is downloadable in .pdf format here.

Yaounde restaurant