Minnesota Digital Library 13th Annual Meeting

Natalie Milbrodt presenting the keynote address. 150 staff attended the Minnesota Digital Library's 13th Annual Meeting on June 15, 2015. Keynote speaker Natalie Milbrodt (Queens Library) kicked the day off with her presentation titled "Democratizing the Archives: Engaging the expertise of communities we serve to enrich our collections." For the last five years Milbrodt has been working with communities in NYC to bring their histories to the archives of Queens Library, and most recently, their model has been amplified to include other partners through the Culture in Transit project.

An MDL update followed, along with six afternoon breakout sessions on a variety of topics. This year, attendees were invited to visit and participate in the Saint Paul Almanac's Storymobile, a hand-built art space on wheels that's solar-powered and decked out with iPads, microphones, and amps, helping people to document their stories.

Keynote Address

Natalie Milbrodt shared lessons learned over five years working with communities in New York City to bring their diverse histories into the Archives. This work includes both practical considerations concerning the equipment and logistics needed for doing this work, as well as high-level planning, such as licensing agreements and metadata standards. Milbrodt shared the program's successes along with some of its more informative failures, and explored a variety of models for collaboration with their internal and external partners.


Minnesota Digital Library Update

MDL staff and others presented updates on the Digital Public Library of America/MDL collaboration, Minnesota Reflections, the Public Library Partnership Project, and the results of the MDL assessment and evaluation work done by digitization consultants Liz Bishoff and Tom Clareson.

The Digital Public Library of America: Minnesota's Contribution

Jason Roy (University of Minnesota Libraries) provided a recap on the last two years of collaboration with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). MDL worked hard to add additional collections and organizations to the DPLA. This data aggregation, coupled with new digitization initiatives has greatly increased discovery to our cultural collections. MDL also developed a new website, Minnesota's Immigrants, to tell Minnesota's immigration story and share it with the world. DPLA Community Representative Janice Lurie wrapped up the session by introducing the DPLA Community Rep program and discussed her outreach initiatives at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Bits and Pieces: Preserving Born Digital Records

This session provided an overview of one possible workflow for accessioning and processing born digital records. Presenters demonstrated how to use specific (free) tools to better understand and process the materials at hand. Tasks discussed included documenting basic file structure for ingesting and processing digital files, generating basic metadata about files (for example, identify the number, size, and types/formats of files), identifying duplicate files and/or empty directories, and creating checksums (as a baseline for preservation). Speakers were Lara Friedman-Shedlov and Lisa Calahan from the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Community Engagement Projects in Minnesota

Three different organizations talked about how they engage and connect with their communities to capture stories.

Susan K. Hansen (Rochester Public Library) shared her experiences hosting a Scan Day at her library.

Storymobile. Kimberly Nightingale and Melvin Giles discussed two projects for collecting stories: Storymobile, a hand-built art space on wheels that's solar-powered and decked out with iPads, microphones, and amps, as well as traditional writing implements and paper, and their annual publication Saint Paul Almanac.

Saengmany Ratsabout and Elizabeth Venditto (Immigration History Research Center) spoke about Immigrant Stories, a project operated by the Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) at the University of Minnesota, which helps first- and second-generation immigrants create digital stories that are preserved and shared through the IHRC Archives and the Minnesota Digital Library. Immigrant Stories has trained participants in college classes, adult ESL programs, and community workshops. If you're a Minnesota librarian or teacher interested in bringing Immigrant Stories to your community, please contact Elizabeth Venditto, IHRC Program Associate, for more information.

See Agnes?...It's just Metadata

Greta Bahnemann (Minitex) provided an overview of the Minnesota Reflections Metadata Guidelines, discussed recent developments in geospatial metadata, and the hands-on training opportunities the Minnesota Digital Library provides. The session concluded with hands-on group work and attendees created cataloging records using provided worksheets and handouts.

Party Hearty, Minnesota: Working Wikipedia parties into Cultural Heritage Institutions

St. Cloud State University librarian/associate professor Rachel Wexelbaum and Gray Plant Mooty information specialist Rebecca Hare showed participants how to get Wikipedia work, as well as Wikipedia parties, into their everyday work routines.

Opening up the Archives: Entering the Realm of Social Media

Kimberly Arleth (Hamline University) summarized the results of several case studies and a survey that showed increases in community engagement through social media. Inspired by these studies, Hamline University opened up its archives by creating an online collection featuring highlights of its athletic history in spring of 2015. In addition to the standard online system, CONTENTdm, portions of the collection were also curated and showcased on Pinterest. A brief look at the reception of these new digital materials was explored.