Pratt-Severn Award

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.

Fall 2012 Courses

I am teaching a new course this semester called Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving.  We will first cover the issues around the transition from film to digital, starting with a screening of Side by Side at the Quad Cinema.  We will then swing into issues related to converting video and sound, since we will be working on creating two archives that make use of this medium.  We’ll also cover issues like metadata, file formats, digital rights, film preservation, and cases of digitization.

I will also be teaching two sections of Projects in Digital Archives, where will be working again with the Lesbian Herstory Archives and the Archives of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

Download the Course Syllabi:
LIS 697-12 Projects in Moving Image and Sound Archiving
LIS 665-01 Projects in Digital Archives
LIS 665-02 Projects in Digital Archives

Does Place Affect User Engagement and Understanding?

Below you will find a pre-print for the forthcoming article in the Journal of Documentation: Does Place Affect User Engagement and Understanding? Mobile Learner Perceptions on the Streets of New York (co-authored with Debbie Rabina).


Purpose: The aim of this research project is to uncover if place-based learning can increase learner engagement and understanding of historical topics.
To study this, learners will use GeoStoryteller to learn about a historical topic on the places where significant events occurred, and then be interviewed by the researchers.  GeoStoryteller is a tool developed by the researchers that runs on smartphones, such as Apple’s iPhone.  It provides the user multimedia stories about the historical sites, delivered via the mobile web or through Layar, an augmented reality web browser.  The initial application of this technology focuses on German immigration to New York City between 1840 and 1945 through a partnership with the Goethe-Institut, the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institution, which operates worldwide.  After using GeoStoryteller to learn about this content, N=31 participants were interviewed by the researchers, and transcripts were subjected to a quantitative content analysis.
Results indicate that the use of place increases learner perceptions of their engagement and understanding of historical topics; however, novel user interfaces like augmented reality impose significant usability issues, and more standard interfaces are preferred by users.
The use of place in mobile learning environments provides a meaningful entry point into historical content.  Teachers of history and social students, as well as those working in memory institutions (museum, libraries, and archives) should be encouraged in using place in their teaching and mobile education initiatives.

Download Pre-print PDF

NDSA Innovation Award

I am very pleased to be the recipient of the National Digital Stewardship Innovation Award 2012.  I would like to thank all my students who have participated in these digital preservation projects.  I would also like to thank all the organizations and individuals that have opened their doors to me and my classes, including:

The Dalton School
The Lesbian Herstory Archives
Archives of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs
Barbara Newman

Thank you again.

Summer course

I am pleased to be teaching Projects in Digital Archives once again this summer.  In the course, we will be working to finish up the Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold archive that my Fall 2011 class began.  I’ve also added some new things from last year.  For example, we will be reading a selection from Sarah Schulman’s new book to get us talking about why we should archive audio.  We will also be reading the AIMS Born-Digital Collections report.

Download Syllabus

A Digital Dark Age for Independent Documentaries?

All independent documentary fans interested in the long-term availability of the medium should be concerned by a recent report from the Science and Technology Council of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The report—called the Digital Dilemma 2 (DD2)—extensively investigates the preservation practices of independent filmmakers and documentarians. The results indicate that many films—both born-digital works and those produced on analog formats such as film—face a series of challenges that may diminish their future accessibility. This blog post will highlight some of these challenges, and offer some thoughts on how the field can move forward.

Continue reading “A Digital Dark Age for Independent Documentaries?”