Save the Date: NYTSL 2014 Spring reception

Spring is in the air, or at least the giant pile of snow in my driveway is almost melted away. At any rate, NYTSL just had our spring Executive Board Meeting the other day and programs and events are always part of what we discuss at these things.

The Spring Receptions are a big deal to us, and to the local library community. Not as big a deal as the Spring and Fall Programs, of course, but important nonetheless. They provide opportunities for library school students who are interested in technical services careers to meet and schmooze with NYTSL members, friends, and guests. And of course long-time librarians attend as well; it keeps our community informed of what’s happening in other library organizations (read: METRO, ACRL, ALA, MLA-NY, etc.)

And there’s food and booze at these things. That has to interest someone out there besides me.

So please save the date for the Spring 2014 New York Technical Services Librarians Annual Reception for Librarians, Information Professionals and Library School Students.

Friday, April 25, 2014
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Butler Library
Room 523
Columbia University Libraries
535 West 114th St.
New York, NY 10027

This is an opportunity for librarians, archivists, and information professionals from the metropolitan area to meet informally. It is also a chance for library school students to learn about the various professional organizations in the metropolitan area and to meet future colleagues and employers.

Wine & Cheese will be served.
You are welcome to bring announcements of professional opportunities to the reception.

More details will follow soon.

Lunar Calendar Silly

Since today is Chinese/Lunar New Year’s Day, and this is the year of the Horse according to the Chinese zodiac, and my editor just brought Three’s advertisement to my attention, here’s a bit of horsey silliness to start your day.

But since we still work in libraries, here’s a bit of library silliness to go with it: some astounding book sculptures by artist Terry Border.

So Happy New Year if you’re of a mind to observe it (I was raised near and now work in proximity to Manhattan’s Chinatown, so it’s hard for me not to), and Happy Friday if you aren’t. It’s all good.

NYTSL Fall 2013 Evening Meeting and Program: “Authority Control in an Out-of-Control World”

Save the Date for the NYTSL Fall 2013 Evening Meeting and Program:

“Authority Control in an Out-of-Control World”

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Registration and Refreshments: 5:00-6:00 PM

NYTSL Business Meeting & Program: 6:00-8:00 PM


The New York Public Library

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building

South Court Auditorium

476 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street)

New York, NY 10018


More information and pre-registration will be available soon at

Linking Library Data (Part 2)

Trevor Thornton then introduced his project, which involved linking data in archives and establishing links in archival storage systems to open data systems.

The NYPL got a series of private grants to digitize a variety of data from manuscripts and archives, which itself had to focus on a number of different elements:

-Linking archival data to open source GUIs;

-Redesign a web-based user interface to take advantage of linked open data;

-Establishing links between the appropriate collections and open data sources.

Focusing on personal names which existed in the description was their first step. Through Library of Congress URIs* they can link LC authority records to clusters of IDs that collectively represent the name in question.

The Samuel J. Tildon Papers was the first collection Trevor’s team worked on. Interestingly, LC and Wikipedia were all considered to be valid access points, with correspondence files used to provide additional data access points where needed. Ultimately, 1300 personal names and 100 corporate names emerged as a result of the linking practices. That done, name authority control utilities streamlined the process and distributed the work among the researchers.

The model being established, the next project was a bit more involved but went more quickly. This time they went to the Thomas Addis Emmet collection, which had been donated to the library in 1896. The documents involve all founding fathers, reprints from historical documentation included. One of the examples of the emergent model that Trevor showed us was a calendar to the Emmet collection, including a letter from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams describing how all the newspapers in the colonies hated each other.)

Google also become an important part of the process, used to refine data , i.e., cleaning up dirty data in large sets. The addition allows one to refine large collections of dirty data values into a more uniform value. Finally, they ended up with 3000 personal names.

The big lesson: discrete data can and will eventually give way to open frameworks as more and more private data supplies become available for use by those open frameworks.


*URI = Uniform Resource Identifier. Slightly different from a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) inasmuch as it points to a particular datum rather than the server location where the datum sits.

Finally, Christina Pattuelli spoke about her own linked data work on the Linked Jazz Project.

The main thrust of this particular project was the idea that linked open data takes disparate data which is published online into a single global dataspace. New data paths create newly navigable paths and new interpretation of data in an emergent web of relationships. The ultimate goal was to create a linked open data cloud (LOD Cloud). The phrase Christina used to bring this home was “Sharing Reuse Integration”.

Legacy data allowed the cloud to grow 100 pieces, but theoretically, the only limits to such a database would be storage space, bandwidth, and maintenance (read: labor) costs.

The resulting Web of linked data made use of documents on the web, linking networks of people to networks of information, connective creativity being the pathways between each discrete item.

As the title of the project suggests, they used Jazz musicians as their points of access: the statements of musicians were used as data sets. For instance, statements by Mary Lou Williams, Marian McPartland, Count Basie, and Art Williams became linked by way of personal names linked by their mention of each other’s names. (Think of it as a running interactive record of mutual citation.)

Once the relationships were established, they sat down to begin building an application to use as a distributed platform. It wasn’t easy. The Linked Jazz name directory had to build a controlled vocabulary of jazz artists’ names from scratch, using DBPedia as a semantic hub. A personal name mapping tool was created by extracting names from DBpedia relative to authority names. Integration with alternate names was achieved with a transcript analyzer which led to the use of another tool, which mapped to authority files within given context.

The final result was the Linked Jazz Visualizer, an interactive tool that had no need for plugins or downloads.

Take a look at the final result on the Linked Jazz website.


NYTSL Announcement: Panel Presentation

Linking Library Data: A Panel Presentation

Cristina Pattuelli Associate Professor, School of Information and Library Science, Pratt Institute
Ingrid Richter Head of Systems & First Ledger Project Coordinator, New York Society Library
Trevor Thornton Senior Applications Developer, Archives, NYPL Labs, New York Public Library

Monday, November 19, 2012
Registration and Refreshments: 6:00pm
Meeting & Program: 7:00-8:30 PM
The New York Society Library
Members’ Room (2nd floor)
53 East 79th St. (Between Park and Madison Aves.)
New York, NY 10075
Registration is now open and will continue until the deadline of November 14th; due to limited capacity, pre-registration will be required.
Program (Members): $15.00
Program with September 2012-August 2013 Membership: $30.00
Program with September 2012-August 2013 Student Membership: $20.00
Program only (Non-members): $40.00

Payment Options

  • Pay Online with PayPal (Preferred)- We add an additional feefor the use of PayPal to offset NYTSL’s PayPal transaction fee.
    • for a $15 payment, add $0.76
    • for a $20 payment, add $0.91
    • for a $30 payment, add $1.20
    • for a $40 payment, add $1.50
    PayPal is a nationally recognized and trusted online vendor that performs online transactions. PayPal uses a secure, encrypted, verisign-approved series of web applications to ensure a 100% safe and secure online purchasing experience.
    To make an online payment, you will only need a credit card – a PayPal user account is not required. The links below will take you to the NYTSL payments site on PayPal where you will be prompted to enter your payment information. You will receive a confirmation email shortly after your registration is received.
  • Send a check by mail – Please complete our 2012 Fall Program registration form and follow the mailing instructions on the form.
  • Registration will NOT be accepted at the door.

Thomas R. Frieden to Speak at NYAM

This just in from the Academy’s Office of Programmatic and Academic Affairs:

The New York Academy of Medicine invites you to attend the 2006 Medical Student Forum, Thursday, Sept. 14, 5:30-7:70 pm. The Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, Commissioner, New York City Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene, "Take Care New York: Acheiving New York City’s Health Potential."

Registration information is behind the cut.

[Read more...]

Museum Mile and NYAM

An announcement from Chris Warren, Historical Collections, NYAM:

"This year, prompted by the Freud exhibit and interest in building
relationships with the Museum of the City of New York, NYAM is participating in
Museum Mile on June 13 (if you’re not familiar with this great event, visit
their website: .

Library staff will be hosting a table on Fifth Ave., handing out balloons,
giving away door prizes, and luring visitors into the building to view our
exhibition of Freud’s drawings. We will also be glad to
distribute literature about your activities to the thousands of Museum Mile
We hope you will visit Museum Mile, and come by the NYAM booth."

Hope to see you there!

Happy Birthday, Sigmund

Okay, today was not Freud’s 150th birthday, this past Saturday was. (Meghan Daum writes a rather awkward birthday greeting for him here.) In any case, the "Freud on Fifth" exhibit at the Academy is now in full swing and open to the public (Alan Alda stopped by to see the collection for a half hour or so yesterday.) If you’re in the neighborhood and have the time, this is definitely worth checking out.

[Read more...]

Medical Information Day

Howdy, Librarians! Just a fast reminder that Tuesday, April 11, 2006 is Medical Information Day, and the Academy is celebrating thusly:

Tap into the 4-1-1 on medical information, on Tuesday, April 11, 2006, when the Medical Library Association (MLA) celebrates "Medical Information Day" in recognition of the invaluable information and vast range of services medical librarians provide for their institutions and local communities.

To celebrate information day and learn more about how medical librarians can help you, the staff at the New York Academy of Medicine Library invites you for a day of demos at 1216 5th Avenue on the third floor of the Library.  These mini-classes, designed to help you more effectively use the library’s various electronic resources, will be held every hour on the half hour from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm in the Hartwell Room.  In addition, a staff-only demo on the new features in Groupwise will be held at 12 noon. All demos are free and open to the staff as well as the general public unless otherwise noted.

9:30               e-Journals 
10:30             My NCBI (How to Save Your Searches in PubMed and More)
11:30            Genetics Home Reference
12:00          Groupwise (staff only)
12:30             New Features in the NYAM On-line Catalog
1:30               The Clipboard in PubMed
2:30               Grey Literature

For more information contact Winifred King x 7323.

(As a fast FYI, I’m teaching the 9.30 class on E-Journals. Hope to see you there.)

NYAM Lecture–Looks Like a Good One!

When Germs Travel: Epidemics and Immigrants in the 20th Century
The John K. Lattimer Lecture
Howard Markel, MD, PhD
Thursday, April 21, 6:00 PM
Reception, 5:30PM

[Read more...]

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