Archive for November, 2010

DSpcace 1.7.0 Testathon

Today is the last day for the DSpace 1.7.0 Testathon. In the last 2-3 weeks, DSpace developers have been gathering all type of feedback and real tests from the DSpace community for the next major release -Version 1.7. Out of the four new key features, I’m particularly interested in two: Mirage or a clean new theme for XMLUI and Discovery Layer or a faceted browse of site metadata. Read more about it from the DuraSpace Blog.

DSpace 1.7 (demo site)

A quick reading and overview of the new XMLUI theme and the faceted browse option suggests that in the near future DSpacers will have the ability to create more robust and friendly web interfaces. I think that having the ability to create customized web sites is a much needed work for many DSpace users -especially for those projects dealing with more than just text-based collections. In our case, this will mean at least image and video collections. One thing that I’m not sure about is whether the new XMLUI theme will allow a single collection use more than one theme. Sometimes it’s just handy to have the option to create a custom theme for Collection A, but at the same time, to create another custom theme for Collection A and B. I guess one way to find out more about the new version is to actually install it, and for that, we’ll just need to check the download site.

And speaking of DSpace themes and web customization, today I’ve confirmed my participation to help/lead/conduct a workshop with OhioLINK members in January. Topics will probably include: installing/configuring new themes, hiding/tweaking div elements, embedding external files, copying/creating XSLT templates, creating external browse features, etc. I think this will be basically a summary of the work we’ve done here at Miami in customizing the Scholarly Commons site and in migrating a couple of image collections into DSpace.

…anyway, more to come soon!


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2010 ALAO Annual Conference

Last Friday, October 29th, I attended the 2010 ALAO Annual Conference in Columbus, OH.  It was my very first time at this one-day local conference and it was a busy day.

As a co-chair of the Technical, Electronic, and Digital Services Interest Group (TEDSIG), this year I helped in creating this TEDSIG poster.
2010 TEDSIG Poster
My day started in helping/setting up our table –including some publicity materials, a form for suggestions for the spring workshop, and a membership sing-up sheet –yes, we got some new members!

I also attended the session “Quantitative Assessment of Diversity Goals, Methods, and Tools” presented by Eileen Theodore-Shusta and Christopher Guder from Ohio University.  The presenters talked about the work of the Diversity Committee in administering two surveys (in 2009 and 2010) to assess the progress in meeting their diversity goals –originally set in their strategic plan in 2006.  It was interesting to learn that one of their findings was the need for more training opportunities; I think finding “good incentives” for increasing participation is still very essential for any type of training.

In the afternoon, John Millard and I had a poster session on our recent LSTA summer project.  We basically talked about the major activities completed in this five months project.  We had about 30 visitors and 5 extended conversations with people who were interested in our experience of migration a large collection from CONTENTdm to DSpace.
Miami Student Poster (2010 ALAO)

All visitors received a bookmark, which looks something like this:
Bookmark (LSTA)

In general, I found this conference very worthwhile.  I made some new contacts within the ALAO network and I look forward to going back in 2011.

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