Save the Date: NYTSL 2014 Spring Program

Save the Date for the NYTSL Spring 2014 Evening Meeting and Program:

“The Changing Faces of Technical Services”

Tuesday, May 20, 2014Registration and Refreshments: 5:30-6:15 PM

NYTSL Business Meeting & Program: 6:15-8:00 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

Event Announcement: Documentation in Tech Services

From Dan Lipcan et al. of the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Dear Colleague,

Have you ever wondered how other libraries manage to keep track of all those local decisions, workflows, cataloger’s judgments, and exceptions to every rule?  So have we, which is why we are presenting “It’s Documentary, My Dear Watson: Documentation in Technical Services,” a program sponsored by the Thomas J. Watson Library.  The program will be held Thursday, April 3, 2014 from 3:00-5:00 pm at the Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and will be followed by a brief reception in the Watson Library.

We are purposefully leaving the topic broad to encourage creativity and variety but as food for thought some aspects we are interested in here are: the tools used (wikis, blogs, Post-it notes), success stories, disasters, public vs. private documentation, best practices, training interns and new staff, etc.

The format will be fast paced with 4-5 minute informal presentations from as many as 10 speakers, a sort of Pecha Kucha or Ignite talk style in an effort to get as many ideas flowing as possible for the discussion to follow.

If you are as excited as we are and would like to be a speaker please reply with the topic of your presentation, and whatever hardware or software you require (PowerPoint, internet connection, easel).

We will let you know by February 24, 2014 if you have been accepted as a speaker but all are welcome to join us for the discussion! Please feel free to forward to anyone you think may be interested and thank you in advance.


Andrea Puccio

Dan Lipcan

John Lindaman

Tamara Fultz

I think this will be worth the time and effort to attend.

NYTSL Event:”Authority Control in an Out-of-Control World”

Yes, I know we had a bit of a snafu with the earlier posting of the NYTSL Fall Program–let’s just say that stuff happens, and leave it at that. Anyway, this one sticks:

NYTSL Fall Event Registration

Register Now for the Fall Event:

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

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Registration and Refreshments: 5:00-6:00 PM NYTSL Business Meeting & Program: 6:00-8:00 PM


Ethan Gruber, Web and Database Developer, American Numismatic Society Building Interlinked Prosopographies: A New Approach.

Ethan Gruber will discuss the development of xEAC, an open source framework for creating, maintaining, and publishing collections of EAC-CPF records using XForms, a W3C standard for editing XML in next-generation web forms.

Daniel Starr, Associate Chief Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art Daniel Starr will discuss authority vendors.

When: December 4th, 2013 5:00 PM   through   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

United States


Tonight: Book Signing at CUNY Grad Center

I realize this couldn’t possibly come any later, and you surely already have plans for this evening. But in case you don’t, consider dropping by for this free event:

NYTSL, ACRL/NY, METRO,  and other local library organizations are collaborating to host a book talk and reception with Susanne Markgren and Tiffany Eatman Allen, authors of Career Q & A:  A Librarian’s Real-Life Practical Guide to Managing a Successful Career.

More info about the book is available at:

This event will take place on Thursday, November 7,
2013 from 4 to 7 pm at the CUNY Graduate Center, 365
Fifth Avenue, room C204/205.

The authors will discuss their book, and then additional
local contributors will join them for a panel discussion
followed by audience questions and finally a reception and
book signing.  Refreshments will be provided.

Discounted copies of the book will be available for purchase from InfoToday.
There is no charge to attend, but please register at:

Questions about this event can be directed to Tom Nielsen at

Other local organizations have generously helped to make this event happen at no charge, including:  InfoToday, ACRL/NY, ARLIS/NY, the New York Library Club, SLA NY and The New York Society Library.


Rumble in Da Bronx

I’m out of the office, due to the fact that SirsiDynix scheduled their annual NY Users’ group meeting for today. It’s basically a day-long schmooze fest where we (the NY Users of SirsiDynix products) get to listen to the company’s execs pitch new products and updates planned for the old ones. It’s also a chance to catch up on news form other members of the local tech services community.  Oh, and they feed us. That’s a big draw.

So, I’ll head to Fordham, and sit, and listen and ask a few questions of my own (600+ selections included in the Reporting Module and there’s still no way to break out circulation stats from a select list of ItemIDs? What’s wrong with you people?) and wonder if anyone else there is considering dropping Symphony Workflows for something a bit more  .  . . well, a bit more integrated. Like, for example, OCLC WorldShare.

See you next week.

2013 NYTSL Spring Reception


FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 2013
3:00 P.M.-5:00 P.M.

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


Wine & Cheese will be served.

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.

You are welcome to bring announcements of professional opportunities to the reception. Reception co-sponsors welcome. If your professional organization would like to co-sponsor the reception, please contact us to make arrangements.

Due to a limited space the RSVP is required and we will not be able to accept walk-in registration for this event.

Please RSVP to Jonathan Frater, NYTSL Secretary, at by April 9, 2013.

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.


Linking Library Data: A Panel Presentation

Last night the New York Technical Services Librarians (NYTSL) held its panel presentation at the New York Society Library. If you weren’t there, you missed a fascinating evening in a gorgeous space (with impeccable catering).

The speakers were 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; and Trevor Thornton Senior Applications Developer, Archives, NYPL Labs, New York Public Library.

Mark Bartlett, Society Head Librarian, made a few opening remarks about the history of the institution: the founding of the library in 1754 as a private repository which was open to members only. The Society Library’s membership has included names like John Jay, Herman Melville and Willa Cather. (Their website gives a fuller description of the institution’s history.)

Ingrid  Richter spoke about the New York Society Library’s First Charging and Early Borrower Ledger project.

The starting point for Ingrid’ project was a wealth of original material dating from 1789-1792 that provided some amazing information about the books that luminaries such as Aaron Burr, George Washington, and John Jay checked out while in New York. As the only materials used in the project involved raw data transcribed in the original ledgers, the main goals included creating images which were user friendly and promoting knowledge of the charging ledgers.

Step one involved converting TIF images of the pages. Automated batch commands in Photoshop created thumbnails which were then converted to JPGs.

Step two was the creation of spreadsheets, using Excel. A team of four librarians converted the ledgers into the sheets in question to track data locations.

Step 3 involved creating database in File Maker Pro, imported all spreadsheets into raw data over 2k entries. This database allowed a better, more comprehensive type of reporting than spreadsheets.

Step 4 involved tracking people. What were people doing? Ledgered information allowed the tracking of birth and death dates (for example) and the two databases were linked together by linker web addresses together. The result was a count of borrowing records, counts of checkouts, borrowing dates, etc. Finally, a database of book titles was created to define what happened to book information. Each book had its own database.

Web pages were created to link back to raw data about books. A pages database was visualized as a finding aid for people who might want to read the ledger page by page. HTML sounded simple enough but they finally decided that static web pages were preferable as the metadata needed to be reliably locatable. A bulk reading utility made everything more convenient.

Check out the full exhibit on the library’s website.

Also, check back tomorrow for the rest of the presentation summary.


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.

NYTSL 2012 Spring Program Announcement

Spring 2012 Evening Program

E-Books: New Links in the Chain



Denise Hibay, Assistant Chief Librarian for Collection Development, New York Public Library

Susan Marcin, Licensed Electronic Resources Librarian in the Continuing and Electronic Resources Management Department at Columbia University

Barbara Rockenbach, Director of the Humanities and History Libraries at Columbia University


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Refreshments: 5:30pm

Meeting & Program: 6:30-8:00 PM


The New York Public Library

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building                               

South Court Auditorium

476 Fifth Avenue (at 42nd Street)

New York, NY 10018



 Register and pay via PayPal at

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...