Machine Learning in Libraries

I recently attended a workshop on machine learning in libraries: Libraries Facilitating Cross-Disciplinary Research sponsored by the University of Notre Dame, Hesburgh Libraries on May 31, 2019 in Washington, DC. The purpose of the workshop was to and brought together computer scientists, literary scholars, librarians, and other folks. They received a planning grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to “assess the need for library-based machine learning and natural language processing tools to facilitate automated metadata creation and classification in support of cross-disciplinary discovery and research.”

For those unfamiliar with machine learning, some great descriptions of ML are here, here, and here.

Cognitive Computing and Machine Learning

For library applications, you should take a look at chapter 16 by Alan Darnell in Ken Varnum’s New Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know. Chicago: ALA/Neal-Schuman, 2019. He provides examples of library applications including collection management. Making books that are not easily catalogued and more discoverable through natural language processing. Categorizing collections that are difficult to catalog (e.g. music?) is another possibility, and speech-to-text tools that assist in video-captioning and image recognition tools and can help in extracting images from movies.

Two primary objectives for the workshop: to understand and document current practices of each group. Second, examine topic modeling and other techniques to facilitate discovery in library systems and collections.

There were a number of projects presented during the morning session. I provide a quick overview of one here by Jon Dunn at Indiana University titled ‘AMP: The Audiovisual Metadata Platform.’ as part of the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative. Dunn’s proposal is to automate digitization and born-digital acquisition methods using machine learning techniques. Some slides below cover the sources used, overall process, the workflow by archivists, and beneficial outcomes for scholars, staff, and students.

Challenges and Strategies

Some of the challenges and strategies discussed in the afternoon session included:

The IMLS award, full proposal, and bibliography are here. The final white paper will be available here as well.

I gave a short presentation to my CUA colleagues in August. Again, take a look at chapter 16 by Alan Darnell in Ken Varnum’s New Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know. Chicago: ALA/Neal-Schuman, 2019. The bibliography is informative.

CFP: Library technology: innovating technologies, services and practices

As editor of the journal College & Undergraduate Libraries, I am happy to announce that we will be having a special issue on innovative and emerging technologies to be edited by Tabatha Farney. The issue will be published in June, 2020. I hope that it will be as successful as our special issue on digital humanities. Here is the call for proposals:

Technology is ubiquitous and ever evolving in academic libraries ranging from the technology integrated in the physical library space to online presences that connect users to library resources. Keeping up with the constant development to library technology services and practices can be a challenge for any library—there could be financial, space, or staffing constraints in addition to other potential detractors. However, there are also ample opportunities to excel in specific areas of library technology in order to better serve our library users in their research and knowledge creation journey. Academic libraries can share their innovative implementation and management of technologies or technology related services and practices. These conversations drive the future of library technology and technology practices. It all starts with a spark of inspiration.

A Call for Proposals

College & Undergraduate Libraries, a peer-reviewed journal published by Taylor & Francis, invites proposals for a special issue focusing on innovative technologies, technology services and practices in academic libraries. Library technology is broadly defined to be inclusive of the various types of technologies academic libraries support. Potential submissions include research studies, case studies, best practices, or position papers involving:

  • Immersive research or programs such as augmented reality or virtual reality
  • Makerspaces or creation studios
  • Enhancing library space with technology
  • Sustainability and library technology
  • Assessing library technology services using UX practices
  • Evaluating library technology department workflows or functionality
  • Securing library technology
  • Privacy and ethics with library technology or library technology services
  • Internet of Things in an academic library
  • Designing academic library websites or technology services
  • Using analytics to improve a library service or online presence
  • Improving access to library resources via discovery services or library management systems
  • Exploring alternative means of authentication or improving current authentication systems
  • Incorporating machine learning or library data projects
  • Adding technology into library instruction or using innovative technology to teach remote learners
  • Teaching technology in an academic library
  • Intentionally designing learning spaces with technology
  • Using Git or other code repositories for library technology management
  • Strategic planning of technology services
  • Accessibility of library technologies
  • Increasing inclusion using technology
  • Innovative or inspiring library technology projects/programs
  • Technology trends outside the library we should be watching

Submissions may address opportunities, challenges, and criticism in any of these areas. Topics not listed in these themes may also be considered.

This special issue is set to be published in June 2020.

Submission guidelines

Proposals should include a title, an abstract (500 words maximum), keywords describing the article (6 keywords max), and author(s) contact information.

Please submit article proposals via email to Tabatha Farney (guest editor) at tfarney@uccs.edu by September 30th, 2019.

Final manuscripts are due by February 15, 2020.

Feel free to contact Tabatha with any questions that you may have: tfarney@uccs.edu

The Digital Humanities: Implications for Librarians, Libraries, and Librarianship 

The Digital Humanities: Implications for Librarians, Libraries, and Librarianship, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

I am happy to report that our special issue on digital humanities was published as a monograph on December 11, 2018. I would like to thank my co-editor, Christopher Millson-Martula for inviting me to participate in the special issue of College & Undergraduate Libraries.

 

Source: The Digital Humanities: Implications for Librarians, Libraries, and Librarianship, 1st Edition (Hardback) – Routledge

Plan on Managing Your Data with the DMPTool

The folks at the DMPTool just released the latest version of the DMPTool. A data management plan (DMP) is a necessary document that outlines what you will do with your data during and after a research project. It is required to meet institutional and grant agency requirements. Having a DMP is essential for today’s researchers in managing their data, applying for grants, and preserving the data for subsequent use by other researchers.

For those of you who would like an overview of the new features, a webinar (now archived) was presented by Stephanie Simms from the California Digital Library and DMPTool on Tuesday, March 13th: Data Management Plans 2.0: Helping You Manage Your Data.

Source: Plan on Managing Your Data – University Libraries

Resilience and Engagement in an Era of Uncertainty – CNI Midwinter Meeting

I posted to my work blog an overview of Clifford Lynch’s address to the CNI Midwinter Meeting in Washington, DC December 11-12, 2017. Lynch is the Executive Director of the Coalition of Networked Information and his speech was titled “Resilience and Engagement in an Era of Uncertainty.”  Lynch outlined a number of challenges that are facing digital scholarship.

The full address can be found on YouTube:

Source: Resilience and Engagement in an Era of Uncertainty – University Libraries