Unix Commands and Batch Processing for the Reluctant Librarian or Archivist

January 19th, 2014

logoCheck-out my new article in Code4Lib Journal: Unix Commands and Batch Processing for the Reluctant Librarian or Archivist.


The Unix environment offers librarians and archivists high-quality tools for quickly transforming born-digital and digitized assets, such as resizing videos, creating access copies of digitized photos, and making fair-use reproductions of audio recordings. These tools, such as ffmpeg, lame, sox, and ImageMagick, can apply one or more manipulations to digital assets without the need to manually process individual items, which can be error prone, time consuming, and tedious. This article will provide information on getting started in using the Unix environment to take advantage of these tools for batch processing.

Read Article @ Code4Lib Journal

Spring 2014 Courses

January 15th, 2014

centroThis semester, I will be teaching Projects in Digital Archives (LIS 665) with a new project partner: Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños (or the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College / CUNY). In the class, we will be working to assemble a digital archive of oral histories from their collection. I am excited to be branching out into new areas, and hope the students will enjoy the collaboration as well.

I will also be teaching Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving (LIS 668), where the class will continue work on a video oral history project started last semester in collaboration with the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

You can download the syllabi below:
LIS 665-02 Projects in Digital Archives

LIS 668-01 Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving

Fall 2013 Courses

August 16th, 2013

The LadderI am excited that a new semester is right around the corner. This semester, my classes will be working on projects with the Digital Public Library of America, the American Jewish Historical Society, and the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

One project we we will be working on is creating a digital archive of oral history video recordings of members of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), which was the first lesbian civil and political rights organization in the United States (founded in 1955 in San Francisco, and ending in 1970). DOB published the serial “The Ladder” (cover shown to the right), which was the first nationally distributed lesbian publication. The stories contained within the oral histories touch on issues of 1950s social oppression, feminism and women’s sexuality, and provide a timely contrast with recent legal and cultural developments related to LGBT populations, such as the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act and California Proposition 8 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

For information on the other projects, check-out the course syllabi:

LIS 665-01 Projects in Digital Archives
LIS 665-02 Projects in Digital Archives
LIS 697-03 Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving

What Archivists Can Learn from Cosmology

June 18th, 2013

I just presented a paper at AERI 2013 (Archival Education and Research Institute). You can download the paper here.

What Archivists Can Learn from Cosmology: The Enduring Paradigm in Einstein’s Universe


Archivists and archival educators have become increasingly interested in expanded conceptions of archives. This movement is best captured by the Pluralizing the Archival Curriculum Group, which asks “How do we move from an archival universe dominated by one cultural paradigm to an archival multiverse[?]” (p. 73). Although there is a growing interest in incorporating multiple perspectives into archives thinking, rarely do concepts from the physical sciences get incorporated into these discussions. This paper will explore concepts from cosmology that have extensive bearing on how archives are conceptualized. Further, it will explore how these concepts are incorporated into the archives discourse, and conclude with suggesting a way that archivists of the future may incorporate this thinking into their descriptive practices.

Poster for NY Archives Conference 2013

June 1st, 2013

Checkout my poster for the NY Archives Conference 2013:

New Developments in Archives Curriculum: The Case of the Archives Concentration at Pratt Institute


Seeking New Yorkers

May 9th, 2013


If interested in participating, please vist 911study.org.

Civic Engagement, Indy Docs and Public Libraries

February 14th, 2013

POVI admit that I am a heavy watcher of PBS programs (my DVR is full of NOVA, Frontline, and Bill Moyers). I was happy to have an opportunity to work with the PBS program POV on some of their digital initiatives last year, and get insight into some of the work they do. POV airs independent documentaries during the summer months on most PBS stations. They also have a significant community engagement initiative where they loan their programs on DVD to public libraries, among other groups (museums, community centers, etc.), and they hold structured screenings of the film.

I have authored a paper that looks at the civic engagement impact these structured events have on attendees, specifically within the context of Public Libraries. A pre-print of the article is available here, and the published version is available at Public Library Quarterly’s website. The paper abstract is below:

This project asks the question, Can libraries act as places for promoting civic engagement through the use of socially and culturally significant documentaries? In this initiative, documentaries are screened at public libraries throughout the United States and are followed by post-screening discussions. Coordinating librarians and audience attendees are surveyed to uncover the outcomes of each event’s civic-engagement. Results indicate that the screening of socially and cultural significant documentaries at public libraries, combined with post-screening discussions, can positively impact library patrons’ interest in becoming more civically engaged and foster a greater understanding of the issues raised by the films.

Presenting at ALISE

January 22nd, 2013

I am presenting a poster at ALISE 2013 for a research project I have proposed. The poster and abstract are below:



In the last several years, cultural heritage institutions (museums, libraries, and archives) have begun to make use of mobile technology to reach new members and investigate the potential of mobile technology to add value to their educational offerings. However, little research has been completed that rigorously and comprehensively demonstrates how this technology can be used to advance the major goals of cultural heritage institutions, such as enhancing patron knowledge construction, historical understanding, engagement and inspiring lifelong learning. This research project will produce a set of best practices for how these goals can be promoted using mobile computing. These best practices will be derived from analyzing the response from focus groups to their use of mobile technology at the sites of five major New York City cultural institutions, including:

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Spring 2013 Classes

January 17th, 2013

Spring 2013 classes have started (early, I know) and I thought I’d share my syllabi.

This semester, in Projects in Digital Archives, we will be again working with the Archives of the American Joint Jewish Distribution (JDC) and the dance critic Barbara Newman. In Digital Libraries, students will be working on creating new digital libraries and designing a funding campaign through Kickstarter.kickstarter We will be using the NDSA collection of Kickstarter projects as inspiration for the projects we will be creating this semester. Should be fun!

LIS 665-01 Projects in Digital Archives
LIS 665-02 Projects in Digital Archives
LIS 693-01 Digital Libraries

Pratt-Severn Award

November 11th, 2012

I am super happy to be the recipient of the Pratt Severn Faculty Innovation Award, sponsored by ALISE and Pratt. The award is for innovative uses of information technology in MSLIS curriculum. I am grateful to all the folks–especially those at Teachers College–for getting me (and other students) to think about how to incorporate IT in education in a meaningful way.

One of the other great things about the award is that it was setup by a 1968 Pratt SILS alumni, David Severn, which makes it extra special. Thank you to all who made this award possible.

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