Avalon Media System Update: From Collaboration to Community

Jon Dunn
Assistant Dean for Library Technologies
Indiana University

Evviva Weinraub
Associate University Librarian for Digital Strategies
Northwestern University

Avalon Media System is an open source system, based on Fedora and Hydra repository technologies, that enables libraries and archives to more easily provide online access to digitized and born-digital audio and video collections for purposes of teaching, learning, and research. Now in its fourth major release, Avalon has been co-developed by the libraries at Indiana University Bloomington and Northwestern University, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It has been implemented or is in the process of being implemented by at least six institutions, but there is not currently a formal pathway for adopters to contribute financial or development resources to help sustain the project. In this session, we will: 1) provide an update on Avalon features and architecture (Avalon was last presented at CNI in April 2013, prior to its version 1.0 release); 2) show real-world use cases for which Avalon has been applied by adopters, and 3) discuss our current Mellon-funded work on creating a long-term sustainability plan that includes greater integration with the larger Hydra community, development of a strategy for rapid adoption, and the piloting of Avalon as a subscription software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering. We will also lead a discussion with the audience of barriers and motivators for adoption of and investment in open source software such as Avalon.


Be a Maker @UNC: Partnering to Support Teaching, Learning, and Maker Technology

Danianne Mizzy
Head of Kenan Science Information Services
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Aiya Williams
Instructional Technology Consultant and ITS Liaison to the Center for Faculty Excellence
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina (UNC) Libraries and the Center for Faculty Excellence (CFE) have a long history of providing complementary support services to faculty. Beginning in 2013, the Libraries and CFE have extended their collaborative support model as part of the Be a Maker (BeAM) @ Carolina initiative to help UNC faculty incorporate maker skills and technologies into their teaching and learning. This session will highlight projects where Libraries and CFE staff have helped faculty use maker resources and apply constructivist learning theory to class assignments and course design. These projects illustrate how the two partners, along with the BeAM Program Manager, have collaborated to help faculty, in disciplines as diverse as art, biology, education, entrepreneurship, and neuroscience, employ an array of technologies including laser cutting, 3D printing, Arduino programming and electronics. Library and CFE staff provide joint consultations to faculty on integrating making and maker technology into classes using best pedagogical practices, as well as designing and delivering direct instruction. The session also briefly describes the Be a Maker (BeAM) @ Carolina initiative, a campus-wide network that nurtures making at UNC-Chapel Hill in support of teaching, learning, research, and innovation by providing educational initiatives that engage and blend diverse communities, including first generation college students, in experiential learning through design thinking and design processes.

Other contributors: David Romito, Science Librarian; Colin Nickels, Carolina Academic Library Associate; Michelle Garst, BeAM Program Manager


Presentation (PDF)

Building “Full-Stack” Collaboration on a Digital Foundation: ‘Explore Chicago Collections’ and the Chicago Collections Consortium

Scott Walter
University Librarian
DePaul University

Sarah M. Pritchard
Dean of Libraries
Northwestern University

Charles Blair
Director, Digital Library Development Center
University of Chicago

Tracy J. Seneca
Digital Services Librarian
University of Illinois at Chicago

In November 2015, Chicago Collections launched its foundational digital project, Explore Chicago Collections, a “one-stop shop” for citizens, students, and scholars with an interest in primary source collections related to the City of Chicago and its people. Explore Chicago Collections provides access to more than 104,000 digital images and more than 4,000 finding aids to archival collections held at Chicago Collections member institutions, including academic libraries, public libraries, museums, historical societies, and other cultural heritage institutions. Explore Chicago Collections was built using the open source eXtensible Text Framework (XTF), with a customized front-end. Additionally, Chicago Collections built and released “Metadata Hopper,” an open-source Django application that provides a multi-institutional administrative and management interface for XTF. The initial release of Explore Chicago Collections is not only “foundational” in the sense that work continues on the development of the portal, but in the sense that shared access to primary source content and expertise provides the foundation for a swiftly-expanding array of service programs, including, to date, a cooperative reference service, public exhibition, and public lecture series. Chicago Collections members will discuss the design of this “full stack” approach to collaboration among cultural heritage institutions across a metropolitan area and describe some of the programs and services currently under consideration for the next phase of its development.


A Campus Master Plan for Research Storage: A Case in Progress

David Millman
Assistant Dean for Digital Library Services
New York University

Scott Collard
Head of Specialized Research Services and Social Sciences, Libraries
New York University

Lynn Rohrs
Project Director, Digital Repository Services for Research
New York University

New York University (NYU) recently undertook a project to step back and take a holistic view of its approach to providing and supporting research storage solutions through all stages of the research data lifecycle. The Libraries and IT jointly collaborated on an internal and external review of this area, identified existing gaps and opportunities, and based on its findings made recommendations for the steps needed to create an interconnected environment of technology and support solutions. This presentation will discuss the methodology used for conducting the review as well as the planned methodology for implementing the recommendations currently underway. This includes outlining our proposal for four “service bands” that are designed to satisfy all stages of the research data lifecycle as well as the transitions between stages; the strategy behind the careful selection and composition of the work groups; the plan for concurrently developing detailed user stories and policies while designing the architectural and technical plans; and the methods for synergizing the efforts.