Resilience and Engagement in an Era of Uncertainty

The Coalition of Networked Information (CNI) held its biannual meeting in Washington, DC December 11-12, 2017. Clifford Lynch, Executive Director of CNI, gave his speech on the topic “Resilience and Engagement in an Era of Uncertainty.”  Lynch outlined a number of challenges that are facing digital scholarship.

  • The data refuge movement continues as librarians and scholars preserve data that is being pulled from web sites.
  • Some research funders are not supporting infrastructure to manage research data. Research funds and universities need to work together.
  • A very unstable world in politics and funding. Federal government is an unreliable steward (there are exceptions). Lynch states that “Memory and science are becoming increasing politicized in various ways.” The need to minimize single points of failure.
  • The end of network neutrality will happen (the speech was given before the decision was made by the FCC). What is our next step and will this make it harder for academic institutions?
  • An overall distrust of education, journalism, etc. makes it harder for us to do our work. It will get worse before it gets better. Also, how do we preserve this environment for later study?
  • Words are the dominate paradigm but this is rapidly being replaced with audio and video technological advancements. For example, machine learning algorithms can be used to compile audio and video of a celebrity to fabricate having him say things he never did. Authenticity becomes important.
  • Generative adversarial networks. Take two machine learning systems–one that recognizes fake images and the other that purposely create fake images–and have them talk to each other. Each system learns from the other and improves their own system. This appears to be a type of arms race.
  • Trails of provenance will become hugely important. Authenticity will be important and will have to founded on provenance and the infrastructure to capture it.
  • Open Access is not only important for scholarship but to society as well. Public libraries and other institutions are dependent on OA for maintaining a free society.
  • Replicable and reproducible research are important yet it does not make sense to expect that ALL research be reproducible. Some exploratory research is designed for experimentation and for uncover new ideas rather than for reproduction. Some research is based on interpretation and thus, cannot be reproduced.
  • We need outreach by scholars, scientists, and educators to defend scholarly communication on the public stage.

Lynch talked at length about open access. We need to recalibrate and reaffirm our commitments to open access. Decision points in the future: funding, policy matters, clarity by institutions about what they want, and storage of cultural evidence (from a non-academic environment) that is becoming the object of study by scholars. We will need to sort out how much we trust the cloud and cloud computing. Institutions need to re-examine our cloud strategy. We do not want all of our valuable material under one umbrella and this needs to be communicated to IT folks by librarians and archivists.

Last, Lynch talked about the technological uncertainties we face. Can we move from protoypes to social adoptions, specifically the issue of annotation? Hypothes.is is an example of annotation.  Questions: Who gets to annotate, who gets to see them, where are they stored, who is going to run the annotation server, and are the authors comfortable with being annotated?

Another issue is the notion of containers for preserving and sharing software: standard configurations, versioning, and proliferations of software are concerns moving forward.

Three developments in media that are growing and influencing academia:

  • The lifecycle of the capture to reproduction of 3D objects has happened. This will impact hugely on education as students will prefer to touch something rather than look at an image in a book.
  • Libraries of 3D objects need to be created for storage and retrieval while standards for this lifecycle and documenting provenance for authenticity, will need to be established.
  • Augmented reality beyond the academy in annotating places and architecture and annotating expereinces WHILE you are having the experience will be a future challenge. How do you store, preserve, retrieve, etc. all of this?

Other issues that are unclear and are still forming. For example, while there are prototypes and projects for linked data and cultural data, there are still problems of scalablity that need to be addressed. Quantum computing (which will invalidate authentification systems) and block chaining (how does it apply to educational institutions?) were briefly mentioned as topics of emerging concern.

Lynch ended his talk by mentioning effective collaborations based on shared values as becoming increasingly important to maximizing resources.

 

Many of the presentations were recorded and they can be found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/cnivideo/videos .

Conference link: https://www.cni.org/events/membership-meetings/past-meetings/fall-2017

Lecture by ICOR Fellow Solange Ashby Bumbaugh Mon., 2/5 @ 5:30 pm

Magical Protection: Ethiopian Prayer Scrolls and Egyptian Oracular Amuletic Decrees

Presented by Solange Ashby Bumbaugh ICOR Fellow Monday,

February 5, 5:30-6:30 May Gallery, Mullen Library The Catholic University of America

Sponsored by the Institute of Christian Oriental Research (ICOR) in conjunction with the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures Address inquiries to Dr. Aaron Butts (buttsa@cua.edu).

Digital Arts Lab Open Hours

For the remainder of the Spring 2018 semester, the Salve Regina Digital Arts Lab on the second floor of Mullen Library will be open to the CUA community at the following times:

Monday and Wednesday:  6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Friday:  2:00 pm 7:00 pm

Sunday:  11:00 am – 4:00 pm

The 16 workstations in the lab provide access to several design programs, including the entire Adobe CC Creative Suite. To learn more about the lab and the software available, please visit art.cua.edu/Campus-Resources/salve-regina-digital-art-lab.cfm.

 

Construction in Mullen Stacks

We are installing a new smoke detection system in our Stacks. We expect the installation work to continue through February. The disruption to students, faculty & staff should be minimal, but please accept our apologies for any inconvenience. The most obstructive and noisy work is scheduled to take place in the early morning hours generally before the Stacks open. If you have any concerns or problems accessing the books or journals you need, please contact our circulation desk at 202-319-5060 or lib-circulation@cua.edu.

Institutionalizing Digital Scholarship at CUA

As the CUA Libraries continues expanding the digital scholarship opportunities for the CUA community, it may serve us to see what others have done. No better example can be found of the trials and tribulations of creating and supporting digital scholarship than the founding of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

Dr. Dan Cohen, the former director of the RRCHNM, gave the plenary address to the CNI-ARL Digital Scholarship Planning meeting at Brown University, November 8-10, 2017. Dan is the Vice Provost for Information Collaboration, Dean of Libraries, and Professor of History at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. He talked about the issue of institutionalizing digital scholarship. Establishing a digital scholarship center is challenging as he regaled the audience with tales from the establishment of the RRCHNM that was established at George Mason University Roy Rosenzweig in 1994 (cue the raccoons with fleas at 15:25 in the video below).

Cohen outlined three major themes that digital scholars and librarians will need to develop to be successful in insitutionalizing digital scholarship, what he calls “the three critical elements of institutionalization:

Routinizing

Working on individual projects is fine as librarians, and consulting with faculty and students in getting set up basic digital humanities projects goes with the territory. However, every librarian will tell you that such endeavors are time consuming and in the end, individually unsustainable. What is needed is a routinization of workflows, policies, and procedures with dedicated individuals expanding their knowledge of the larger process.

Normalizing

As Dr. Cohen mentions, new activities cannot remain on the fringe. “You have to make it normal that people on your campus do digital scholarship,” says Cohen. They need to be incorporated into your instiution’s workflow; in short, to be normalized into the everyday tasks of your organization. Outreach and developing allies who understand what you are doing and want to be part of digital scholarship. The long term goal is to have members of your institution think of the library when they think of digital scholarship practices.  In the end, this becomes a marketing exercise.

Depersonalization

Great ideas come from individuals (for the most part). These founders create new products and services. However, founders move on (or die) and many DS labs, centers, and organizations flounder and fall once the founder is gone. The digital scholarship paradigm within the academic instiution must not only survive but flourish when staff turnover takes place.  Every person involved in DS should make it a priority of how their projects and workflow will succeed them when they leave.

Lessons learned: Be careful not to spread yourself too thin. The nature of your institution will determine what you are able (and should offer) in the way of promoting the mission of the university through consultations, creating exhibits, experiential learning, information literacy classes, coding services, etc. Focusing on matching with faculty scholarly interests will be vital for success.

The full presentation is on YouTube and a summary of the talk is available on his blog.

 

See Our Exhibits Online!

University Libraries is excited to share a new companion website for its current May Gallery exhibit, “Cathedral Quest: Great Churches in Miniature.” Here, you can read more about the exhibit’s background, view high-resolution images of exhibit items, and explore an interactive map.

This website will be the first in a series of companion websites for our exhibits in the May Gallery and elsewhere in our John K. Mullen of Denver Library building. Over the years, the May Gallery has hosted a series of fascinating exhibits, such as “Fine Lines: Discovering Rembrandt and Other Old Masters at Catholic University” and “Sworn to be Free: Irish Nationalism, 1860–1921.” Now these stories can continue to live online after the exhibit has formally closed.

If you haven’t seen our Cathedral Quest exhibit yet, come visit us! If you aren’t able to make the trip, visit our companion website and learn all about it online.

Take some books to go!

You’ve done it! You’ve survived another semester! Now for some FUN reading. Check out SOME of our new additions to the popular reading book collection. You can find them on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.

 

 

Beauty and the Beast

 

 

 

 

 

Hold your cursor over the Title to see a short description of the book, or click to view the catalog record. The status of the book is shown beside the call number.

Title Author Status
Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual Jocko Willink
Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery Scott Kelly
In the Midst of Winter Isabel Allende
Twin Peaks: The Final Dossier, No. 2 (Twin Peaks) Mark Frost
Silence in the Age of Noise Erling Kagge
The Sentient Machine: The Coming Age of Artificial Intelligence Amir Husain
Why Bob Dylan Matters
Richard F. Thomas
Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News Kevin Young
God: a Human History Reza Aslan
Signs of Hope: Messages from Subway Therapy Matthew Chavez
Artemis Andy Weir
I’m Fine….and other Lies Whitney Cummings
Smile Roddy Doyle

Looking for more options? You can always see a full list of our Popular Reading books in the catalog, by searching under keyword, “CUA Popular Reading.”
For more great information from CUA Libraries, follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

Mullen Library Facebook; @CUAlibraries
Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Canon Law Collections Facebook; @CUATheoPhilLib
CUA Sciences Facebook; @CUAScienceLib
CUA Architecture & Planning Librarian Facebook; @CUArchLib
CUA Music Collections Facebook; @CUAMusicLib

Thanksgiving Break Recreational Reading

Before you head off for the Thanksgiving break, take some recreational reading with you. Our autumn collection of popular books continue to roll in. You can find them on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room.


Minion Turkey (via Giphy)

Hold your cursor over the Title to see a short description of the book, or click to view the catalog record. The status of the book is shown beside the call number.

Title Author Status
Bad Food Bible: how and why to eat sinfully Aaron Carroll
Guts: The Anatomy of The Walking Dead Paul Vigna
The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism in 21 Days and Burn Fat Forever Marc Sisson
Sourdough: a novel SRobin Sloan
The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun J. R. R. Tolkien, Edited by Verlyn Flieger
The Quantum Spy: a thriller David Ignatius
Bonfire: a novel / Krysten Ritter
8 Seconds of Courage: A Soldier’s Story from Immigrant to the Medal of Honor Flo Groberg and Tom Sileo
Waiting for the Punch: words to live by from the WTF podcast Marc Maron
Leonardo da Vinci Walter Isaacson
The Rules of Magic Alice Hoffman
I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street Matt Taibbi

Looking for more options? You can always see a full list of our Popular Reading books in the catalog, by searching under keyword, “CUA Popular Reading.”
For more great information from CUA Libraries, follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

Mullen Library Facebook; @CUAlibraries
Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Canon Law Collections Facebook; @CUATheoPhilLib
CUA Sciences Facebook; @CUAScienceLib
CUA Architecture & Planning Librarian Facebook; @CUArchLib
CUA Music Collections Facebook; @CUAMusicLib