SCELC eResource Hackfest

Justine Withers, Electronic and Continuing Resources Catalog Librarian, attended the SCELC (Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium) Hackfest 2018. USF, as a member of SCELC, is able to receive a lower negotiated rate on purchases and subscriptions of electronic resources.

As reported by Justine, “The Hackfest brings electronic resources and systems librarians together for three days of brainstorming and tinkering to solve or improve common tasks. They use the word ‘hackfest’ with hesitation and work hard to encourage anyone who works with electronic resources to come, whatever their level of ‘hacker, programmer, techie’ skills. The benefits were obvious this year. Different skills and experiences uncovered questions that might have gone otherwise unanswered, hidden under assumptions and limited perspectives.”

“This year, the teams coalesced around the desire to follow through on all the ideas that come up at these events. One team designed an online repository that all consortium members can contribute to. The other teams drafted guides and tutorials with wide appeal (we hope!). After three years of great projects, we will finally have a central place to share them and enable more collaboration throughout the year.”

If you would like more general information about SCELC’s eResource Hackfest, check out the link here.

For anyone interested in planning a future Hackfest, SCELC provides a very detailed guide here , based on previous years’ experience.

Post Cancellation Perpetual Access of E-journals

For many libraries, budget concerns can lead to the very difficult decision to cancel subscriptions. Unlike print journals, electronic journals are not saved and stored by the library. Fortunately, the publisher will sometimes include a provision in the license indicating perpetual access to issues paid for by the library.

David Ferguson, Acquisitions Coordinator, attended the 2018 NASIG Annual Conference in Atlanta. One very timely presentation was a library’s attempt to document perpetual access to electronic journals, after they have been cancelled.

Albertsons Library at Boise State University undertook a project to document all the journals that they held post-cancellation access (PCA) rights to.

They started by looking at the most recently purchased titles and worked backwards in time, focusing on one publisher’s journals package.

Some key takeaways from their experience:

  1. Document, document, document. Have procedures in place to document your PCA.
  2. Log progress so there is a record of why you made decisions at the time.
  3. Document even if the resource is open access because open access may go away.
  4. Embed holdings information in bibliographic record so that it doesn’t disappear. Make it easy to find and access by all library staff.

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.