Digitech Newsletter :: August 2009

Harness the Power of Open Source
to Build Digital Collections with Omeka

Many of you may remember that METRO recently announced the release of digitalMETRO, an online directory of digital collections. We built the system using Omeka, the collection management system created by the same folks that brought us Zotero. Omeka is a free and open source collections based, web-based publishing platform for scholars, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, educators, and cultural enthusiasts. Its “five-minute setup” makes launching an online exhibition as easy as launching a blog. Omeka is designed with non-IT specialists in mind, allowing users to focus on content and interpretation rather than programming. It brings Web 2.0 technologies and approaches to academic and cultural websites to foster user interaction and participation.

Jeremy Boggs, Omeka Project Manager, will lead a one-day workshop on August 7. This workshop will introduce Omeka, provide a brief background on developing the software, show examples of different types of websites created with Omeka and teach participants how to use Omeka to build a website for your institution.

Complete details and registration are available at http://bit.ly/WYNPA.

METRO's Strategic Plan Released. Member Feedback Encouraged

METRO has recently released the final draft of the 2009-2014 Strategic Plan, adopted in principle by the Board of Trustees after a unanimous recommendation from the Strategic Planning Committee. This Strategic Plan was developed through a broadly consultative and inclusive process with a goal of defining METRO’s identity and vision consistent with the needs of its members; the demands of a rapidly changing library/information world; and the beliefs of the METRO Board of Trustees, staff and members about what course the organization should take.

We invite you to review the Strategic Plan and share your thoughts with METRO. Review the document and leave public comments here (http://bit.ly/gz9Er), or feel free to contact METRO staff directly with your feedback (staff emails are here: http://bit.ly/7UEhV)

Digital Collection Spotlight:
Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives Digital Library

Each month we take a moment to share digital collections created by METRO members. Recommend a collection for the spotlight by emailing jkucsma@metro.org.

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting public awareness, research, and discussion about the Spanish Civil War and the American volunteers who risked their lives to fight fascism in Spain.

The items in the ALBA Digital Library represent four collections that are historically significant and lend themselves to be easily used in a classroom setting. The records contained in this digital collection were selected from four separate collections: the James Lardner Papers, the Herman Greenfield Papers, the Miriam Sigel Papers, and the Marjorie Polon Papers. All four collections are housed in New York University's Tamiment Library.

View the collection here: http://bit.ly/9Tp2S

Visit the home of ALBA on a METRO site visit August 19 to the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. Details: http://bit.ly/Ffc6z

NOTE: The ALBA Digital Library is hosted on METRO's CONTENTdm system, taking advantage of affordable hosting for smaller digital collections. For more information about using this service for your library, museum, or archive, contact Jason Kucsma at jkucsma@metro.org

Last Chance to RSVP for Digital Preservation Symposium at Center for Jewish History

On Thursday, August 6 at 1pm, The Center for Jewish History will host a symposium on digital preservation. This symposium, sponsored by Ex Libris, will provide an overview of digital preservation, discuss the increasing need for digital preservation in a "born-digital" world, examine what digital objects should be preserved, and review key trends in digital preservation technology. In addition, the discussion will include digital preservation planning activities for libraries, archives and museums, the commitment undertaken in launching a digital preservation program, and the funding that may be required. Speakers for the symposium will include:

  • Steve Knight, Associate Director and Programme Architect, National Digital Heritage Archive at the National Library of New Zealand
  • Laura Leone, Director of Library Systems, Center for Jewish History
  • Andrea Buchner, Director-Gruss Lipper Digital Laboratory, Center for Jewish History
  • Mike Thuman, Digital Preservation Director, Ex Libris

RSVP: To attend the symposium, please contact Greg Gosselin by Friday, July 31, 2009 at greg.gosselin@exlibrisgroup.com or 312.952.3578.

Summer Digitization and Emerging Tech Workshops and Events


  • 07 - Using Omeka to Build Digital Collections in Libraries and Archives. Details:http://bit.ly/WYNPA
  • 09 - Webinar: Simple Strategies and Tools for Keeping Up With Tech Trends.
    Details: http://bit.ly/zsCPr

  • 13 - Essential Wiki Master: How to Use, Install, Customize, Extend and Manage Wiki. Details: http://bit.ly/2Izsp

Add these and other related events around NY and the world to your Google Calendar by subscribing to the METRO Calendar: http://bit.ly/metrocalendar.


The best of July's Tweets from the tweetMETRO feed

  • RT @s_francoeur: Eric Hellman has a write-up of the Google Book Search settlement discussion at NYPL as well. http://bit.ly/MzlIM

  • Publishers Weekly recap of yesterday's Google Books discussion at NYPL http://bit.ly/EB1Ft

  • NYTimes editorial on "Google's Big Plan for Books" http://bit.ly/fLiUD

  • Colombia's digital library is up-and-running (13 contributing universities and institutions) http://bdcol.org/

  • RT @vonburkhardt: Six Things #Libraries Should Tweet http://bit.ly/ENq2J

  • "How Not to Tweet" - tips for library tweeters from @davidleeking http://bit.ly/mdtLc

  • ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy seeks nominations for best lib practices using cutting edge tech http://bit.ly/gmHLc

  • Cliff Lynch on "Revisiting Institutional Repositories" from CNI's Spring Task Force Mtg http://vimeo.com/5498937

  • Are you or someone you know in the NYC area presenting at the Internet Librarian conference? DM @tweetMETRO and let us know

  • RT @rww: Open Source and Social Media: Community, Collaboration, Freedom http://bit.ly/MNZKI

  • Userful Corp. offers "Secure Your Funding" initiative for libraries seeking broadband technology stimulus funds http://bit.ly/jidZj

  • Fan the digitalMETRO Facebook page and check out this week's featured digital collection: NYU Medical Center http://bit.ly/12k7fj

  • Emerging Technologies: Background, tools and challenges for Higher Education (by @sirexykathryn) http://bit.ly/NjH8g

  • Jenna Freedman on Twitter as a Tool for Website News http://bit.ly/N8jcM

  • Tools for Evaluating Fair Use and Copyright Status (via Newman Library Idea Lab blog) http://bit.ly/Be85P

  • RT @brooklynpublic: read all about our new text alert service on our blog http://bit.ly/icodR

  • RT @dancohen: Critical read on long-range funding of digital academic projects: Ithaka Case Studies in Sustainability: http://is.gd/1zKEc

  • LITA Social Software Showcase presentations available online http://bit.ly/VhWUQ

  • Nice recap of digital library hardware showcase session at #ala2009; covers in-house v. outsourcing and more. http://bit.ly/GzLtf

  • RT @arstechnica: How wide is the world's digital divide, anyway? - http://arst.ch/47w (via @sivavaid)

  • Open Library: "One web page for every book ever published. It's a lofty, but achievable, goal. " (Guardian article: http://bit.ly/9Gh3X)

Have other news you think we should be sharing with subscribers to this list? Tweet us at http://twitter.com/tweetmetro

Tags: techMETRO