I attended the Northeast meeting of Code4Lib last Friday (12/4/2015) at Dartmouth College. It was my first Code4Lib anything and I had a great time. Got to hear about some interesting projects/workflows/ideas/tools from a range of careers that all have libraries in common. There were programmers, students, librarians, and archivists all in attendance and being nice to each other.

Here are the notes I took during the sessions:

Twitter: #NEcode4lib

10:15-10:45 a.m.: Alice Prael (JFK Library) and Jeff Erickson (Umass Boston) – Where to Start Implementing Digital Preservation, NDSR

Some resources:

  • Preserving (Digital) Objects w/ restricted resources – POWRR – white paper
  • North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources
  • LC Digital Preservation Outreach and Education

10:45-11:15 a.m.: Stefanie Ramsay (state library of MA) and Julie Seifert (Harvard) – Building the Digital Preservation Community, NDSR

This was sort of a call to arms to brainstorm how we could centralize all info about digital preservation – which i think is sort of impossible and these types of ideas (having lists, centralizing info) is what librarians (and others) love to do, but I feel like it usually ends up being just another place people have to look. That being said, i’ve found email digests to be the most pleasant and direct way for me to get info. I signed up for Miriam Posner’s News and Information from the UCLA Digital Humanities Program emails and I think it gives a pretty good view of what’s happening in the world of DH. Also professional listservs sort of do this. But it all comes down to who is participating and how much people are participating. It is a nice idea and thought, but i can’t really envision the answer.


  • how to continue conversations after conferences, across distances
  • current landscape – conferences, listservs, social media (twitter), blogs, wikis
  • problem with platforms – lose track, lose steam, inclusivity
  • so how to do start something with long term in mind
  • other professions – journals, newsletters, resource sharing websites, meet-ups
  • ideal – centralized, simple format focused on user contributions, easily accessible, organized, searchable and browsable, adaptable to changes
  • Slack
  • Read more on the NDSR blog

11:15 a.m.-12 p.m.: Lightning talks

Rose Reynolds (Smith) – A Tour of the Library: Moving from analog to digital

I loved this presentation because it focused on a tool and a summary of a practical use of it. The tool is Twine and it was used to create a tour of the library at Smith for students.



  • Tour app
  • Used to be a paper handout with 6 spots on the tour
  • Twine – open source nonlinear storytelling – sort of choose yr own adventure-y
  • Cons to Twine – all one page so if you hit browser back button, you lose it
  • Allows for interactive activities
  • Archives integrated in a quiz about past alumni
  • Story Format: Harlowe
  • Other uses: could be used for instructions – if yes, allows for non-linearity, so could set up “do this then this” etc.

Jenny Mullins (digital preservation person at Dartmouth) – Script for Success: A micro-service approach to quality control for digital preservation


  • Collaboration with programmer
  • 59 drawers in the photo file that were being digitized
  • bag ingest problems, so worked with programmer to make script which allows for errors to be caught and corrected b4 ingest and fewer errors are introduced during the process, better QC when ingesting older projects, HUGE increase in efficiency, makes the process easier and makes it easier to train others.

Alice Prael – Intro to Born Digital Processing Tools and Workflows


  • start with inventory for born-digital holdings

John Bell (Dartmouth) – Name Authorities and Linked Data

There were 2 very interesting talks on linked data. This was the first and I loved the project and would love to do see something similar at MIT.


  • larger project – institutional repository – Dartmouth Academic Commons (will be, not yet)
  • “long term” – might not be permanent
  • Needs to be public, wants to provide context, include scholarly output (pubs)
  • Need lists of who works at Dartmouth – can’t use HR systems – not public
  • So needs to create a system and data (want to have very controlled data)
  • LNA (Linked Name Authority) linked data version of authority file
  • IDs, Faculty, Students, Publishers, Alumni, Departments (want to track changes in department names etc.)
  • RESTful API (Hydra head)
  • will put on GitHub
  • It is Not VIAF, but sort of – both are adding multiple things, but LNA more local
  • to track people – friend of a friend (FOAF)
  • to track pubs – BIBO, ALI
  • to track orgs – ORG, SKOS
  • to track titles – vCard
  • to track IDs – FOAF
  • the LNA can feed different systems – the Commons is one, the Digital Repository is another, but also push things out to other networks like ORCID
  • Hydra Fedora based system

1:30-2 p.m.: Lightning talks

Matt Sherman – Donne, and Done: Newbie Digital Scholarship

Eric Bivona – Multimedia in the Long Eighteenth Century (1685-1815)


This seemed like a very interesting project about hunting down old books with music in them.


  • English Short Title Catalog – they want to make a French one for the 18th c.
  • Want to get the music / lyrics out of books
  • Created citation / scan management with Blacklight

Matt Bernhardt (MIT) – Bringing WordPress under control with GitHub, Travis and related tools

It was great to hear about this side of library work at MIT because I rarely get to hear about it.


  • Problem – Too many people – developers and contractors all working on it
  • WordPress network ~24 sites, 7 repositories
  •, project management tool, alternate to GitHub – focuses on issues not code – is easier for non coders to look at

2-2:30 p.m.: Steven Anderson and Eben English (both BPL) – RDF and Linked Data tips, tricks, and tools

This presentation provided a great overview of linked data and some info about projects and collaborations the BPL is working on. Here is a link to the presentation –



  • Solid command of lingo important
  • linked data consists of
    • RDF (subject-predicate-object, triples)
    • Triples (expressions subject-predicate-object), can be expressed in Turtle, JSON-LD, N-Triples, RDF/XML
    • Graph – triples, storage model used in RDF
    • Property – relations between subjects and objects – predicates
    • Namespace AKA schema, vocabulary
    • Class & Type
      • Class – the kind of thing this is
      • type – an instance of rdf:Property that is used to state that a resource is an instance of a class.
    • Domain – the class of the subject in a triple
    • Range – the class or datatype of the object in a triple
    • Literal – string
  • Vocabularies
  • Predicates
  • don’t dumb down your data
  • MODS to RDF – no easy way to do it
  • Metadata Enrichment Interface – available in Jan
  • Digital Transgender Archive
  • Custom terms – Oregon Digital Vocabulary Manager – –

2:30-3 p.m.: Ben Florin – Recommending librarians using Elasticsearch and LC Call Numbers

This was about adding librarian’s photos to searches, so when someone searched about, for example, history, then the history librarian’s photo and contact info would appear on the search page. Seems very useful. They found they got a lot of feedback when the librarian’s image did not appear – because the search yielded no results.

3:15-3:45 p.m.: Rob O’Connell (5 colleges) – Browsing your collection using x and restful servers

This was another impressive project from Smith. I love that it was about browsing and making virtual browsing pleasant and image focused. Here is a link to it –


  • Why do it? improve discoverability, simple interface (Netflix/Google Play), predefined complex searches, real-time availability, highlight hidden materials
  • Visually appealing, easy to use grid layout
  • MARC parser
  • Pulls in a lot of info from IMDB, and the movie browse looks very commercial – and says if things are available or not
  • sits on top of OPAC – Aleph, very tailored to 5 colleges, just presented in new way
  • very Pinterest-y, also if log-in can make your own boards and have them public or private

3:45-4:15 p.m.: Chuck McAndrew – The Tor Relay at the Lebanon Public Libraries

This was a passionate presentation about a browser that doesn’t track any info on people while they use the internet. Apparently it is sort of a controversial browser. But the Lebanon Public Library was able to install it on their computers to protect the privacy of their patrons.


4:15-4:45 p.m.: Eric Bivona and Joe Montibello (Dartmouth) – ShelfLoc

ShelfLoc is a system created at Dartmouth to keep track of the shelf locations of materials during a massive move.


  • Storage issues, buildings to be demo’d
  • solution – storage based on size, compact shelving BUT ILS couldn’t do that – so go with vendor or build own?
  • build own

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