Skip to content

CNI Fall 2013 notes

December 10, 2013
flickr - luc legay

flickr – luc legay

Another useful and informative CNI just ended. As I typically do, I took fairly copious notes on some of the sessions and am sharing them here.

As always with my notes, I’ve put my commentary, where possible, in italics.

Monday, December 9

Barn Raising in a Virtual World or How Innovative Approaches in Funding Led to an Architecture We Can All Use

Allan Bell, UBC; Alex Garnett, Simon Fraser; Carla Graebner, Simon Fraser; Geoff Harder, U of Alberta

Barn raising is a good metaphor for this work, not least because it is collaborative and community based. As it turns out, between BC and Alberta, one has a wide range of local resources at hand for such a project, both informal and formal. These range from code4libBC to CARL and the Council of Pacific and Prairie University Libraries (COPPUL). Within these various entities, and there are more than I’ve mentioned here, there is a variety of expertise at hand in working groups, initiatives, project groups, etc. Read more…

RightsWatch Conference 2013 notes

October 3, 2013
occupy photo

flickr – Jackman Chiu

Civil Liberties and Democracy in the Digital Age: Privacy, Media and Free Expression
Ryerson University, September 21, 2013

This was an excellent event for getting a sense of the current thinking around key issues concerning freedom of information. It wasn’t really advertised to librarians, alas; I only heard about it from a researcher’s email.

As always with my notes, I’ve put my commentary, where possible, in italics.

Panel 1 – Freedom of the press and the citizen journalist

Derek Soberol, citizen journalist

Sound bite: “If you see something, film something.” Interesting twist on a very toxic slogan used in the U.S. to encourage citizen spying.

Showed two cameras that have been destroyed by police as he put it, with some incredulity, “in Canada.” He believes that both citizen journalists and credentialed press need to document abuses of their ranks, i.e.- take videos of each other to document excess force and rights violations. Read more…

Access 2013 YYT notes

October 1, 2013

sjBelow are my notes from this year’s Access conference held in St. John’s, Newfoundland from September 23-26. Access is always worthwhile, but this year’s was particularly enriching for me, and I greatly enjoyed getting to know a new place, as well.

Please bear in mind that these are spontaneous notes, so any errors, omissions, or weird ranting is likely my own fault. I’ve tried to put my editorializing in italics to distinguish it from the speaker’s thoughts.


“What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been”
Roy Tennant

Started by sketching a brief history of Access, and noted its influence on other conferences, e.g.- Code4Lib (single track, hackfest, etc.). There are several people working on recording the history of Access, and he noted that that’s not typical for conferences, so worth noting and applauding. Read more…

Digital Humanities 2013: session notes

July 19, 2013
dh word cloud

made with cirrus via voyant tools

As I often do at library conferences, I’m publishing my lightly edited session notes from Digital Humanities 2013 held in Lincoln, Nebraska. First and foremost, I want to stress what a rewarding and worthwhile experience coming to DH has been. As a librarian engaged closely in the efforts to support and enable digital scholarship, it is critical for me to hear firsthand about the work being done, as well as to tap into many of the issues around DH and its current form and state.

Please note that these are just notes, so please comment with any corrections, rebuttals, improvements, or questions. In general, it should be clear where I’m taking notes and where I’m editorializing, but where it’s not, I’ve put my comments in italics. Also, even though most of the talks list multiple authors (findable via the links), since I’ve used third person singular references for the most part in my notes, only the presenter is listed below.

One last note: I took and prepared these notes using Draft, a super lightweight and sensible online editor that also direct publishes to WordPress and other outlets. Highly recommended


Uncovering the “hidden histories” of computing in the Humanities: findings and reflections of the pilot project
Julianne Nyhan, University College London

Posed a battery of questions at the outset, including the simple one concerning why everyone works in centres. Others concerned knowledge transfer, access to resources, judgment, etc. The key point is that there is no real history of computing in the humanities, so it’s time to explore this. Their method is oral history, focusing on individuals, not projects, specifically people working in the field between 1949 and 1989. They pose questions about their work and the use of computers. Read more…

Digital Humanites 2013: some commentary

July 19, 2013

It seemed to make sense to separate this personal commentary from the notes I took on various papers and presentations at Digital Humanities 2013. These are intended to capture the kind of things that occur to one while sitting in the venue actually listening to talks but that then quickly fade on the plane ride home as one’s brain returns to the matters awaiting one upon return. As such these are not intended to be entirely thought-out or nuanced observations, but rather perhaps as conversation starters. I hope to get a few comments that will help me arrive at that more reflective understanding of those thoughts bouncing around in my head. Read more…

Becoming a DOI publisher

June 27, 2013

doi-for-blogI presented a segment in the Scholars Portal Webinar Librarian, Publisher today, and thought it might be useful to share the slides I used more broadly. My main point was that it’s reasonable both in terms of cost and effort for libraries who are publishing scholarly content to mint and register DOIs with CrossRef. Doing so has myriad benefits, and sends a strong indication to scholars and readers that one is taking the role of publisher seriously.

Collaborative writing with Draft

April 12, 2013

This post represents a proof-of-concept test for a tool I recently started using. It's called Draft and bills itself as "easy version control and collaboration for writers." To abuse an oft-employed meme, they had me at version control. Google Docs is a great tool, but for straight up writing and editing, Draft removes nearly all of the mentally cluttering options and lets one just write. Better yet, it makes collaboration utterly painless. And then there's that version control … simply fantastic for those of us who enjoy iterative writing.

It's being developed by Nate Kontny and has been out there for about a month at this point, and he's already added new features. One that particularly appeals to me is the ability to publish directly to WordPress and other platforms, which is how I created this post.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 60 other followers