Posts Tagged ‘summer’

Web stuff, accessibility and games!

I believe the words in the title of this post are good terms/tags to describe what my summer was “all” about -at least when I was on campus :-)

web developmentIn the world of websites, I spent a couple of weeks finalizing our new responsive Scholarly Commons site, which is one of the latest contributions by @mire.  On top of the required CSS edits for the look-and-feel, two tweak examples included: adding a submit option in the drop-down menu for logged in users and re-embedding a video player from Kaltura.  As a new member of the library’s web team, I also welcomed the opportunity to start doing some work in Drupal, my main contribution was with a new content type for items (hardware) that we check out.  And in July, I devoted most of my time to the WordPress’ MEM project, it was a bit confusing but we believe we now have the “taxonomy” requirement under control.  The “aha moment” was I learned that new URLs for browsing taxonomies require a re-save of the “permalinks” even if you don’t change anything on the permalinks settings … wish I knew this before :-(

In July, we also learned that our 5K Tech Fee proposal for a Miami Video Captioning PILOT project was awarded and soon we’ll hire 2-3 students to help us transcribe some videos.  The ultimate goal is to evaluate a model that can allow us create more accessible videos and make them available in existing systems (e.g. Kaltura and Niihka) in an affordable and efficient way.  One of our student assistants has been a big help over the summer and we look forward to getting started with this.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt to know that now there is an institutional agreement with 3PlayMedia -we definitely plan to use their service for the text and video sync process.  Our current example is available at

ARISLast but not least, the NEH grant project -AKA as the An Interactive Quest for Social Justice- has also taken a good chunk of time.  It’s been a great experience and we’re lucky to have a group of students who have been extraordinarily helpful in producing a design document … and in implementing/testing the game in ARIS.  It’s also good to have the ARIS experts in the consulting team, the two hangouts we’ve had with them have been productive and we look forward into getting some extra help in early September.  Perhaps my only complain is with time and Google, why couldn’t we/they wait for the new ARIS 2.0 editor? Why did Google have to discontinue their Maps Flash API exactly now? Oh well, I guess that’s part of the excitement in late 2014.

Finally, this week also seemed as a good start for my new IMS 201 class, and apparently teaching at 9am can actually help me have more productive days … just hope it continues like that … hasta pronto!


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My “busy” 2010 Summer

We often think of summer as a time to rest/relax and take some time off -well, this summer doesn’t seem to be like that :( -at least not for me.

One of my top priorities is to create a DSpace theme for a newspaper collection that we’re migrating into DSpace, it’s coming along and/but we just thought about a new possible addition to the project; that is, a mobile experiment using the so popular iPads -we’ll see how things go with that. Other recent activities include: a trip to ALA Annual, a two-days seminar on “Privileges and Allies” at Miami, and (next week) a one-week Institute at the University of Minnesota. Additionally, this month I officially started a two-years term as co-chair of the Technical and Digital Services Interest Group (TEDSIG) of the Academic Libraries Association of Ohio (ALAO).

Regarding ALA Annual, I just came back from Washington DC where I had a poster session “Re-Using Today’s Metadata for Tomorrow’s Research” where I talked about the web-customization we have implemented for our digital collections in the last two years. I had about 20 visitors and at least four extended conversations :) -I was also happily surprised to learn about a possible opportunity to convert my poster session into an article, I really hope we can work that out sometime this year.

Right after ALA, I attended a two-days seminar at the Marcum Conference Center; the topic was about Diversity and Inclusion and was facilitated by Frances Kendall.  At moments, the conversation got very -touching and reflective- and  made us (me) realized that we all have received some sort of privilege in our lives, but that also implies/means that we all have some sort of responsibility to give something back to society.  In the end, I was very happy to have initiated at least two (possible) collaborative works for the MUL’s Diversity Cluster.

…and next week, I’ll be heading up to Minneapolis for the 7th biannual Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians from Traditionally Underrepresented Groups.  It does sound like a “life-changing” experience, I do look forward to meeting a new crew of people interested in the future of libraries in higher education –see you there!

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