About Us

Digital Commonwealth Annual Conference
May 1, 2013
Devens Commons Center, Devens, MA

8:30 – 9:15           Registration


9:15 – 9:30           Welcome and Digital Commonwealth Update
Joseph Fisher, UMass Lowell and Digital Commonwealth President

9:30 – 9:45           Boston Public Library Update

                                    Tom Blake, Digital Projects Manager, Boston Public Library

9:45 – 10:45        Keynote

The Digital Public Library of America: Interconnection and Advocacy on a National Scale Amy Rudersdorf, Assistant Director for Content, Digital Public Library of America

When DPLA launches in April 2013, it will become a central repository for a vast array of data about digitized and born-digital collections from all over the United States, from public to academic to special libraries (think Digital Commonwealth) and national collections (the Smithsonian and the National Archives, for two). Access to the data will be available centrally through a DPLA portal, but also as an open API, enabling anyone, anywhere to develop apps, services, and tools to answer their personal or organizational needs. Keeping the data open in the "cloud" so it can be used by the "crowd" means that librarians in New York and Texas can use it one way, historians in Florida and Alaska another, and maybe even schoolchildren in Australia still another. 

This talk will provide an introduction to DPLA and its mission and goals, update our Digital Commonwealth partners on our progress, and make a case for opening up our nation's library, archives, and museum data to the world.

11:00 – 12:00     Breakout Sessions

Introduction to the Digital Commonwealth 

Karen Cariani, Director, Media Library and Archives, WGBH Educational Foundation and Digital Commonwealth Vice-President

Are you a member of the Digital Commonwealth? Do you have a collection that you would like to digitize, or that is already digitized? Are you interested in gaining a better understanding of how to include your digital resources in the Digital Commonwealth? Then this session is for you! Learn more about how the process works from start to finish, see examples of the technology and tools, and ask questions about your project.

Preparing Collections for Digitization - The Physical Object 

Donia Conn, Preservation Consultant for Cultural Heritage Collections

Digitization seems easy but there are many aspects to be considered to get the best image the first time.  Those who have participated in the "Project Planning for Digitization" training know the wide variety of issues in need of consideration.  In this session, we will consider the very specific topic of preparing the physical object.  Many of our collections are rolled, stapled, folded, dirty, or just plain awkward.  How can we get the best image without a conservator?  How do we safely handle these fragile items?  What techniques should we avoid?  When do we call in someone else to help?  These questions and more will be answered to ensure you get the best image you can with the equipment you have.

Continuing Education Opportunities 

Jamie Roth, JFK Library and Society of American Archivists instructor; Ross Harvey, Simmons College, Senior Lecturer in the Digital Stewardship Certificate program; Joseph Fisher, UMass Lowell, graduate of the University of Arizona DigIn program and student in the SAA DAS certification program

Challenged by the proliferation of digital content and online services? Feeling the need for updated skill sets and credentials? This session will present a sampling of three certification training options available to local librarians and archivists that address these demands. The panel features James Roth who will speak about the Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Certificate Program offered by the SAA, Ross Harvey who will introduce the new Simmons GSLIS Digital Stewardship Certificate (DSC) program, and Joseph Fisher, a recent graduate of the University of Arizona DigIn certificate program and active participant in DAS training, who will represent a student's perspective.

12:00 – 1:30        Lunch and Keynote

Share and Tell: Digital Stewardship and Digital Storytelling

Butch Lazorchak, Digital Archivist, Library of Congress

Libraries, archives and museums provide the “building blocks” for lifelong learning. Organizations like Digital Commonwealth provide the technical infrastructure to ensure that these digital building blocks are stored, described, made accessible and preserved over time.

The stewardship of digital information is an incredibly valuable service that requires technical expertise and diligence along with significant resources, both human and monetary. But while our community’s expertise in format obsolescence, ingest mechanisms and administrative metadata helps to ensure that the digital materials under our care are technically protected, it doesn’t ensure that people outside our community understand the work we do and its value.

That’s why, more than ever, we need to remember that we’re in the storytelling business.

Storytelling is a way for us to talk passionately about the resources under our care and to build the emotional case that the work we do has value. These are not fairytales; many of the stories we tell don’t necessarily have happy endings. But the resources we steward are the building blocks for our patron’s stories and help people understand their place in history, the economy and the world.

There are so many exciting advances in technology that affect the work we do. We’ll take a quick survey of some interesting things (crowdfunding for government; citizen archivists; personal digital archiving; digital mapping) and try to get to the essence of why they’re important to our profession and our patrons and explore how we can leverage them to tell stories about the incredible value we have in our digital commonwealth.

1:45 – 2:45           Breakout Sessions

Digital Commonwealth 2.0 and Metadata -- Make, Morph, Manipulate, Master

Tom Blake, Digital Projects Manager, Boston Public Library and Danny Pucci, Lead Digital Projects Librarian, Boston Public Library

With the release of the new Digital Commonwealth repository system, partners will have the ability to directly create, edit, and upload descriptive records for their digital collections and the individual items contained within. This session will cover both the practical and theoretical aspects of this process. Participants will have a better understanding of what to do with the data they already have, the data that they need to create, and the process for transforming that data into records that will be as searchable and sharable as possible within a collaborative, aggregated (and aggregate-able) environment.


The Future of the Past: Digital Libraries in the Age of Social Media

Elizabeth Thomsen, NOBLE

Social media is all about connecting, sharing and conversation.  How can digital libraries learn from and participate in the world of Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr and Wikipedia?

Digitized Local Newspapers

2:45 – 3:00           Afternoon Break

3:00 – 4:00           Breakout Sessions

Rapid Fire Inspiring Projects 

Penny Baker, Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute Library, Molly Stothert-Maurer, Perkins School for the Blind, Jeff Klapes, Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Carrie Tucker, East Bridgewater High School Library, Kaitlin Connolly, MA State Library, Susan Aprill, Kingston Public Library, Debra DeJonker-Berry, Holmes Public Library, Joseph Fisher, UMass Lowell, Ryan Hanson, Newton Free Library

Seeking inspiration?  Join us for a lightning round of short presentations showcasing examples from some of the great projects enabled by BPL’s LSTA-funded statewide digitization project. Learn how other libraries, museums, and cultural institutions have brought new audiences to their unique collections.

Dealing with Vendors

Michael Bennett, Digital Production Librarian, University of Connecticut and Paul Coute, Sr. Contract Manager, Massachusetts Higher Education Consortium

“The Daily Campus” Case Study: Michael Bennett will discuss University of Connecticut Libraries’ efforts to digitize the school’s campus newspaper, from the time of its inception in 1896 to 1990.  Source materials for the project were preservation microfilm reels from the Libraries’ Thomas J. Dodd Research Center’s holdings, which were sent to a vendor for batch reformatting.  Issues with regard to clearly articulating client needs and evaluating various vendor deliverable options will be addressed.

Vendor Contracts Do’s and Don’ts:

Paul Coute will focus on some of the situations one can face when negotiating contracts and will provide some suggestions on how to avoid issues.  Information will be provided about the services and benefits of MHEC.

Digital Commonwealth 2.0: Creating Online Digital Collections with the Redesigned Repository System

Steven Anderson, Digital Library Repository Developer, Boston Public Library and Eben English, Web Services Developer, Boston Public Library

This session will provide an introduction to the redesigned Digital Commonwealth repository site. A full demonstration of the application's functionality will be provided, and participants will learn how to log in to the system, create a collection, upload digital objects, provide descriptive metadata, and make items viewable online. An overview of the architecture used to store, manage, and provide access to digital objects in the repository will be included; other topics will include content models, workflow management, and access permissions.

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