Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Love Has Labels

It's been awhile since I posted any of my Youth Group talks. What follows is a rough transcript of it.
If you ever seen the ad campaign ‘Love has No Label’ put out by the Ad Council about diversity and inclusion, I’m here to tell you that is completely wrong. It has three. English is a beautiful expressive language that unfortunately our modern lazy usage has heap multiple meanings into one word as is the case with ‘love’.
Book cover of encyclical
Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI (who just had his 90th birthday) described love best in his encyclical, Deus Cartias Est (God is Love). A awe-inspiring title when you really think about it – God is Love. So, to explain the three labels of love Greek, one of the languages of the Bible is used.
We have philia: this is a mutual love between friends. So when I tell Lauren and Natalie  I love them, which I do, it is philia love.
Next, we have eros: this it is an ascending, possessive love which seeks to receive from another. This is a physical love, or a physical manifestation of love, expressed between husband and wife.
Then we have agape: this is a descending love, oblative love in which one gives oneself to another. This is a selfless love seeking out what is good for another for the sake of the other.
If eros and philia love are concerned primarily with our relationships with others than agape is concerned primarily with our relationship with God as well as each other’s relationship with God. Think about it – in the Greek translation of the New Testament agape is the most often used word for love. This reflects the distinctive aspect of Christian understanding of love. Agape is, essentially, Christian love, which should be shared with everyone no matter how we feel - love isn't just about feelings. God commanded us to love our neighbors and enemies, not to like them.
Agape requires truth to be able to express it. We must know what is right and wrong, what is good, and what is bad for us as humans. Without truth, love becomes nothing more than mere sentiment – it is empty/ no substance. It becomes distorted because it no longer bears any weight.
The hardest part about agape is that it requires us to correct our neighbor when they stumble. We have a great example of this from the Bible in Galatians where St Paul corrects St Peter when he is behaving badly. There is also St Catherine of Siena who went to Pope Gregory XI and said that the Papacy must return to Rome (the popes had been living in Avignon, France – the pope must live in Rome because he is the Bishop of Rome). Can you imagine going to the Pope and telling him - 'Hey you got to straighten up your act'? I be terrified! These actions of St. Paul and St. Catherine are not done out of malice but because both St Paul and St Catherine wanted St Peter and Pope Gregory to be better people. It’s the same as when our parents correct us, they want us to be better.
Agape, Christian love, must be placed be placed above philia and eros, even when people hate us for it.
I will end with a quote from P. Benedict from another of his encyclicals Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth) : “To love someone is to desire that persons good and to take effective steps to secure it.”
On a fun note, when ever I had to say agape, I pointed to the youth director who would say it like Dory in Finding Nemo would say escape. The kids love it and it was a good youth meeting!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Article Summary #10 Digital Visual Asset Management Beyond the Library, a LS 566 post

Trent Batson and Mary Grush in Digital Visual Asset Management Beyond the Library explains that we are surrounded by visual imagery. Images are now as common placed as text-based artifacts yet there are few people assigned to organize a collection or any asset management strategy, thus resulting in a risk of losing them through inaccessibility. Collections have to be maintain that not only protect their digital visual assets but benefit the individual or groups as a whole. While not as established as ISBN or ISSN, DAM is a program that can help maintain digital imagery and there are versions both for the expert and non-expert in DAM. They mention a program, SharedShelf, that could be a useful non-expert DAM system. It is a cloud based system with a built-in VAR core metadata schema, but has the flexibility to let the users develop their own schema based on their own needs. Easy to use DAM systems will allow continuing access to visual imagery for years to come.

Everyone is not an expert in everything. As such having easy to use programs is very important. You can just throw a complex system at a person and expect them to know how to work it. It's unfair to the person and to collection he is trying to maintain. Easy to use system can benefit a great number of people. It makes the job easier and it allows users to enjoy and use the collection where they would otherwise be cut off from it.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Links for CDWA Schema

Not a very creative post, but it let's me keep everything in one place for future reference. More for me than anyone's entertainment/reading.

Readings concerning the schema, CDWA:

The Getty on CDWA

Society of American Archivists on CDWA

An XML Example of CDWA Lite

Projects using CDWA

Article Summary #9: Digital Learning Object Repositories, a LS 566 post

H. Frank Cervone in DigitalLearning Object Repositories discusses issues in developing digital repository for learning objects. Most repositories do not have the functions or capabilities needed to store, maintain, and develop the materials. The objects in these repositories are meant to be reused and in multiple contexts in which they can be customized; on top of that the object has be maintained so that it can relate to the original object. Cervone mentioned the MERLOT repository citing its use of social functionality to provide peer review and evaluation of the learning materials which leads to a form of quality control. He explains that learning object repositories are different from traditional repositories in how the materials are organized, also traditional repositories do not have the levels of support needed for support learning objects. Things have to be carefully constructed and considered with the development of repositories for learning objects.

It is interesting to see the differences in the types of repositories in existence. While the goal of the repositories are essentially the same the methods are greatly different. Cervone provided a good overview of the different issues pertaining to digital repositories. It highlights the fact that they are very different types of digital objects that require different types of ways to maintain them.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Article Summary #8: Getting Started with Linked Data, a LS 566 Post

Roy Tennant in Getting Started With Linked Data explains that the change caused by linked data for libraries and librarians will go unnoticed because these changes are swept up into the automated systems being used. He goes further to say that the basics of linked data are rather simple; the relationship between terms, or the information of those terms have to be encoded. He gives the example of a 'triple' using 'William Shakespeare -> is the author of -> Hamlet'. Each part is given a URL that links to machine description for it, also leading to other data stores. OCLC has worked with this concept in WorldCat to establish 'machine-understandable relationships'. It opens new doors on how the information is used and creating more exposure to web search engines. Tennant states that the potential of linked data in libraries will require a lot of changes; changing from one form of records (MARC) to another (BIBFRAME), and increased of different types of data services.

Nothing in libraries stay the same except one thing - access to resources. Linked data is just the newest step in providing people access to the resources that are available beyond the library's physical walls. I've used WorldCat quite a bit trying to find what is out there, and seeing it being used to develop new services is mind boggling. Another aspect of libraries that often goes unnoticed by people in general.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Article Summary #7: How Local Librarians Can Impact the Digital Asset Management Industry, A LS566 Post

Image from Article
Anthony Myers in How Local Librarians Can Impact the Digital Asset Management Industry explains that digital repositories are a type of library because of the way digital assets are stored and how they should be organized. David Diamond, director of global marketing at Picturepark, believes that librarians should reach out to DAM vendors to offer aid. The setup of a DAM system is very important because it can get very messy if not done properly. So having the solution of librarians in DAM setup makes since. Librarians work on organizing information so they would know how to organize the digital assets (proper terminology, definition, etc) to make accessing them possible.

This connection makes a good deal of sense; as Diamond states, "DAM is a library if you think about it." Organizing is more, let's say, complex than just storing (think of all those 'how-to-organize' book in bookstores), besides what would the point be of having a digital asset if it was impossible to find. It's a connection that not a lot of people would make, but it's a connection that makes a lot of sense.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Random Musings for LS 566

Random thought process - GO!

How does one name the publisher of a digital-born object?

For a book it's easy - look at the title or title verso and it's usually listed there. But a digital-born object like a digital scanned photograph does not have a title or title verso page. Cue the 'hmmmmm' and thinking induced chin stroking. According the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, the publisher is "[a]n entity responsible for making the resource available."

I thinking..............
So how is a digital photograph made available? My first thought was it can't be the photographer because he made/took the picture so that person is more along the lines of creator. My next thought was, well who handles the upkeep of the digital photograph? Electronic things to not react well to benign neglect like many physical objects do.The entity that hosts the digital photograph is the one that makes it available for people to view. So we could  make a case that they are the publisher.

Does that make sense? I think it does.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Article Summary #6: Image Retrieval, a LS 566 Post

From the Article
Abebe Rorissa discusses in Image Retrieval: Benchmarking Visual Information Indexing and Retrieval Systems how, even in this electronic age, a picture is worth a thousand words. People shares images and videos online on many websites. Because of this popularity he poses the question: What is the current status of images and video indexing and retrieval? He covers three main issues: firstly, efforts have been made to automate the process but it is highly limited; secondly, there are a lot of images out there but little organization with it; thirdly, there are challenges in analyzing the images that come from various domains. Rorissa goes over two approaches to indexing and retrieval: concept-based and content-based. Concept-based relies on people to manually index while content-based is automated using color, texture or shape to organize. He stresses that a combination of the two should be adopted as the best approach in indexing and retrieval. He also touches on how for videos query-by-content is the preferred retrieval method. A lot of strives have been made but improvements have to be continuously made to make indexing and retrieval better.

This article was written ten years ago to the month. As I've mentioned before that is in dog years for anything electronic. But the points that Rorissa makes are still valid today. Improvements have been made since this publication and improvements are still continuously being made. I am guilty of what he mentioned, taking lots of pictures, dumping them on my computer, then taking more pictures without organizing them. My computer organizes my pictures by the date they were taken so it's not a complete mess. It will be interesting to see how this will develop in the future and maybe someday there will be a standardized method like Dewey for books, but for images and videos.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Article Summary #5: Digital Preservation Metadata Standards, a LS 566 Post

Image from Educopia Institute
Angela Dappert and Markus Enders in Digital Preservation Metadata Standards discuss metadata within digital repositories. Digital repositories do not just act as a preservation tool for digital objects. They do everything from ingest information to providing access to that information with everything in-between. Repositories also actively work to prevent loss of the data in their care. Metadata is key to the preservation functions. There are several types of metadata that Dappaert and Enders split into four categories.

Description which describes the intellectual entity through properties. Structural which deals with the physical and logical structural relationships. Administrative which is about who handles the care of the digital object(s); it is also referred to as Preservation Metadata. Each of these categories are expanded or combined with another category to create the different standards used in Digital Repositories, i.e. LMER, PREMIS, METS, MPEG-21, and Z39.87. Dappert and Enders explain that there are so many options and the field is still relatively young to set any metadata standard in stone.

Reading this article just made the final piece click in my head how mind boggling complex metadata can be. It's a 3D puzzle with hundreds of possible solutions. I feel like I should sit down with each standard method and spend a week studying each of them. Maybe a week and a half. I do like the fact that they point out that this is still a developing and relatively new field, a fact that I think slips peoples minds because we are so accustom to technology. There are many points in different standards that have to connect to other standards to be able to be shared and, given how many standards there are available, is a massive undertaking.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Article Summary #4:Preservation Challenges in the Digital Age, a LS566 Post

Bernadetter Houghton, in Preservation Challenges in the Digital Age states right off the bat that "the digital preservation field is evolving rapidly." With such a quickly changing field there are many challenges, especially due to the nature of the digital object. Houghton lists different areas where the most common of challenges tend to show up: multiplicities, hardware and storage, software, legalities, metadata, and privacy to name a few. There are different aspects of digital preservation that do not come up when dealing with a physical object. Not only to archivists have to keep an eye on the things of the past but also keep an eye on the things to come. Change happens, it happens a lot and the best way to deal with it is to make the best educated guess on what will come and on what is best to preserve.

Houghton give an excellent overview on many things that come into play with digital preservation. As she pointed out there are many different challenges that come with each method that is used. The biggest problem is when things become obsolete or crash. I am one of many people who has suffered the blue screen of death and lost all my data. Twice. A blue screen of death is the absolute last thing anyone would want to happen to a large digital collection. I understand how important it is to make sure that there are steps and processes in place to avoid any loss of data, because once it's gone, it's gone.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Planning for Metadata, Article Summary #3, a LS 566 Post

Jody Perkins in her article, Planning for Metadata, gives an overview into what it takes to work with metadata. She explains that the creation of metadata requires planning. It cannot be done haphazardly. While designing metadata one has to keep in mind the interoperability issues and what to about about it without affecting the quality of the collection. Collections have to be reviewed and mapped out. Perkins, based on her experience, explains four parts of metadata design: "Evaluation of project collection and associated metadata, review of current standards,  review of other relevant collections, and documentation of decisions related to the selection and implementation of standards."

This article was written about ten years ago. Ten years is like dog years in terms of technology with how everything changes so fast. But the process that Perkins lays out in her article is still relevant today. Things have to reviewed and researched before anything can be implemented in any form. Perkins gives a list of guidelines for standards that I found very helpful (the links are still valid, another plus). There is also a checklist, 'Collection Evaluation Checklist for Metadata Planning' that is well thought out and I am planing on referring
to it for any collection I may work with in the future.