Accepted Conference Talks

This list represents the accepted conference talks that you can expect to hear at the conference. Thank you to all who submitted talks this year.

Can’t Wait for Perfect: Implementing “Good Enough” Digital Preservation

By now there is wide consensus within the field regarding the technical, practical, and policy requirements of maintaining digital information over time. But the reality is that digital preservation done right is hugely expensive, and few institutions have the resources necessary to meet the stringent requirements that the standards demand.... more

Enabling Access to Old Wu-Tang Clan Fan Sites: Facilitating Interdisciplinary Web Archive Collaboration

The growth of digital sources since the advent of the World Wide Web in 1991, and the commencement of widespread web archiving in 1996, presents profound new opportunities for social and cultural opportunities. In simple terms, we cannot study the 1990s without web archives: they are both primary sources that... more

Digital Preservation 101, or, How to Keep Bits for Centuries

This presentation will cover the Open Archival Information System (OAIS) model for long-term digital preservation. It will also cover preferred file formats for long-term storage; a small detour through digital forensics, FRED machines, and retrocomputing; and why archivists cry themselves to sleep at night when the general public conflates “archives”... more

Guerrilla Usability Testing and Communicating Value

Usability testing is often more of a black box process than it needs to be. The outcomes of testing can directly impact development, create new project directions, smooth out contentious issues, and act as a communication bridge between different stakeholder groups. Testing at all stages of a project can also... more

Growing Accessibility: Advanced Web Accessibility Coding and User Testing for Libraries

As libraries continue to grow as hubs of knowledge and information sharing on campuses and in communities, the importance of web accessibility measures ensuring fair, equivalent access has risen in visibility. Advanced best practices for making a variety of interfaces usable and understandable for a wide selection of assistive technologies... more

The Fancy Finding Aid: Makeover your Collections with HTML5, Responsive Design, RDFa, Circulation Management, and Visual Content

Do your finding aids look a bit … dated? Perhaps you wrote that EAD-to-HTML XSLT a decade ago? Take advantage of contemporary development and design tools -- engage users and promote collections! This talk will discuss a finding aid makeover, using existing JavaScript libraries and CSS templates to create finding... more

Ever to Excel: Towards an Apologetics of the Spreadsheet On and Of(f) the Web

As technologists in the cultural heritage domain, we are in a constant struggle between chaos and order with data for which we have some responsibility. In particular, our professional lives are exposed to that struggle through the form of spreadsheets. Some of us malign this as a common, unsatisfactory representation... more

Get Your Recon

This presentation will discuss 'reconciliation' work, or the work of aligning your metadata with external datasets. Going through a number of possible reconciliation workflows and tools - from GUIs to scripting, using traditional authorities and linked open datasets, either capturing URIs, preferred form terms, or other information - I will... more

Build your own identity hub

Libraries, archives, and museums have begun publishing Linked Open Data (LOD). Yet for many technical teams working in these organizations, the path towards implementing tools or services that both benefit users and utilize LOD remains elusive or out of reach. This talk will walk the audience through identifying and creating... more

Why should you trust my data? Building data infrastructure that accommodates networks of trust

The 21st century needs infrastructure that allows networks of trust to emerge organically in the exchange of data. Everyone who makes decisions based on data needs to be able to ascertain the trustworthiness of the data they are consuming. Likewise, everyone who wants to influence decisions through data needs to... more

Linked Open Dime Novels; or, 19th Century Fiction and 21st Century Data

Dime novels were the predominate form of popular fiction in the United States from 1865 to 1915, yet for many years, they have been all but forgotten. Recent digitization efforts have begun to shed new light on this treasure trove of popular culture, now entirely within the public domain. However,... more

Beyond the Keyword: Creative Search and Query Expansions based on DBpedia

Does the notion of keyword search and relevance that powers search engines really meet the needs of all searchers? What alternative advanced search features can be implemented to meet fuzzier search needs? This talk discusses these questions by demonstrating the potential of a new search tool called "Brainforks" in everyday... more

So You Think You Want to Migrate to RDF?

Perhaps you've got lots of metadata at your institution -- some of it in relational databases, or collections of XML docs, or possibly even an assortment of spreadsheets. Maybe you've been hearing a lot about RDF, SPARQL, and the limitless utopian possibilities of Linked Data, and want to get in... more

How not to waste catalogers' time: Making the most of subject headings

The subject descriptions of well-cataloged library resources have rich semantics, but most online catalogs and discovery systems do not take full advantage of them, and the headings assigned by librarians do not always match the descriptions users expect. This session features ideas, demonstrations, and discussion on how we can improve... more

The Modern Day Sisyphus: #libtech Burnout and You

Selected bibliography for talk You feel like Sisyphus - no matter what you do today, the boulder rolls down the hill the next day. You're tired all the time. Rest becomes a thing you faintly remember while you continue to push the boulder up the hill. Soon enough,... more

Janus - Node.js Handler for all Library Searches

Libraries websites often attempt to present a single interface to multiple, disparate search engines: vendor databases, institutional repositories, finding aids, discovery layers, search appliances, etc. How do we impose order on this chaos? How do we know whether our attempts to do so meet users' needs? Do we build our... more

Getty Research Portal Reboot: Angular and Elasticsearch for Metadata Search Aggregation

As part of the continuous evolution of library search tools, the time for a revamp of the Getty Research Portal, an aggregated search index of digitized art history books across major art institutions, had arrived. Drawing from the original application, written primarily with Java and Solr, we have reconstructed the... more

Architecture is politics: the power and the perils of systems design

As the designers and implementers of complex systems (such as websites, discovery tools, and knowledge repositories), we have great -- if sometimes unrealized -- power. And, as Stan Lee says, with great power comes great responsibility. In this presentation we will explore three key lessons in the ethics of systems... more

Constructive disintegration -- re-imagining the library platform as microservices

Imagine a world where libraries are free to choose their own ideal combination of vendor-supplied services and open source or home-built custom code. Where traditional core functions like cataloging and circulation can be chosen independently, and can interoperate freely with learning management, scholarly communication, and all the things we haven't... more

Transcending Traditional Systems and Labels: An API-First Archives Approach at NPR

National Public Radio’s Research, Archives, and Data Strategy (RAD) team (f/k/a the Library) has been working beyond the limits of traditional database structures -- as well as the traditional library label -- to upgrade our current archival workflow tool, reposition our department and foster new interdepartmental connections. As NPR’s structure... more

Building Desktop Applications using Web Technologies with Electron

Everything that was once a desktop application has gone to the cloud and no one builds desktop applications anymore, right? Wrong. Companies like Github, Slack, and a number of startups are building desktop applications today. Why? I'll show you why desktop applications are still preferred sometimes, how you can use... more

Beyond the Bento Box: Using linked data and smart algorithms to integrate repository data in context

With modern discovery layers, libraries are finally able to integrate all of their content into a single search experience, but fluid discovery across content sources using a single interface is still lacking. Users are typically given one of two options: 1) bento box results where once a user chooses a... more

What does it take to get a job these days? Analyzing data to understand current technology skillsets

The site contains years of usefully-structured data that gives us a unique view into who we are as a community. A holistic look at this data yields numerous insights – what to teach, what to learn, where to focus our technical efforts, and the emergence (and decline) of technology... more

Building a user-friendly authorities browse in Blacklight

When Cornell switched from Voyager to Blacklight as the main catalog interface, one of the requirements given to the development team was to create an authorities-augmented headings browse that would replace the Voyager headings browse. In this talk we'll discuss the work that went into both Solr and Blacklight development... more

Making new discoveries from old data: Utilizing digital scholarship to foster new research in Special Collections

The University of Michigan Library is exploring a framework for fostering new and original research in Special Collections which moves beyond traditional scholarship methods. We are currently utilizing existing Special Collections data from finding aids, along with openly available digital scholarship tools, to identify and visualize hidden connections and social... more

Curate my web crawl: Building a multiprocessing web crawler for ethnographic research

To understand how Israeli digital news is being disseminated and used across a global digital newsscape, an anthropologist, the Department of Computer Science and the library's Digital Scholarship Unit at the University of Toronto teamed up to build MediaCAT, a web crawler and archive application suite. MediaCAT is an open-source... more

Free your workflows (and the rest will follow): community-driven AV solutions through open source workflow development

Much of our work as librarians and archivists is devoted to researching, planning, documenting, and implementing workflows based on our knowledge of best practices and locally defined needs. However, this documentation of workflows rarely leaves the institution it is created for. Instead, we share our processes at THATCamps, unconferences, and... more

Indoor Positioning Services & Location Based Recommendations

With beacon technology, real-time turn-by-turn directions and real-time recommendations in the print collection can be provided to a user’s mobile device. With the infrastructure and research trajectory developed for an augmented reality experiment ( ), researchers undertook an experimental project to incorporate Estimote beacons ( ) into an... more

ArchivesSpace-Archivematica-DSpace Workflow Integration

In April 2014, the Bentley Historical Library received a $355,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to partner with the University of Michigan Library and Artefactual Systems on the integration of ArchivesSpace, Archivematica, and DSpace in an end-to-end digital archives workflow. The project seeks to expedite the ingest, description,... more

Scribe: Toward a general framework for community transcription

NYPL Labs and Zooniverse built Scribe, a highly configurable, open source framework for setting up community transcription projects around handwritten or OCR-resistant texts. Scribe suits digital humanities, library, and citizen science projects seeking to extract highly structured, normalizable data from a set of digitized materials (e.g. historical manuscripts, account ledgers,... more

Issues to consider before pushing out an Open Source Project

There are a number of issues to consider and steps to take before pushing out an Open Source Software project, whether it is a new software project or if it is an existing home-grown solution a library, archive, or museum is contemplating releasing as Open Source Software. These issues include,... more