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Yasmeen Shorish's picture

The Biodiversity Heritage Library: A Collaborative Approach to Curating the World’s Legacy Biodiversity Literature.

Tags: Webinars | 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, US/Eastern

Materials: Click here for Webinar recording and here for the presentation. Approximately halfway through the recording the speakers are dropped from the room for several minutes. You can skip ahead to time stamp 33:30 when the presentation resumes. Additionally, a question of programming language was asked during the presentation. The speakers have provided that answer: "C# in a .NET environment (SQLServer for the backend)"

DESCRIPTION: The Biodiversity Heritage Library is a 14-member consortium digital library project dedicated to providing free and open access to the world’s biodiversity literature. With a collection of over 109,000 volumes and counting, it engages in a routine curation practice that is entirely virtual, user-driven, and highly collaborative amongst its consortium staff. Motivated almost entirely by user feedback, BHL staff manually correct issues identified within the collection related to:

* bibliographic metadata correction

* de-duplicating content post digitization

* articulating page level metadata, ie “page 27”, “plate V.”, etc.

* poor image quality or missing pages

As the BHL virtually aggregates the collections of 14 libraries into one, it is often the case that multiple libraries must collaborate to resolve problems. The BHL uses an issue tracking system in order to facilitate the level of granularity of communication required to distribute curation activities across 14 institutions, 5 time zones and over 30 in-kind staff. This presentation will highlight the significant role of the issue tracking monitor, a job shared by 2 staff that contribute 25% of their time to managing the flows of curation activities amongst consortium staff. In addition, the BHL will demonstrate how the patient practice of curating individual page metadata pays off in the form of a 50,000+ image Flickr photostream where new communities of users are engaging with the collection and in turn embedding BHL content into new platforms such as Encyclopedia of Life species pages.

SPEAKERS: Bianca Crowley is the Collections Coordinator for the Biodiversity Heritage Library, leading digital collection management activities as well as coordinating communications across the project's 15 member international library consortium. She takes pride in her role as a 21st Century library professional; creative, eager to experiment, and deeply committed to making connections between people and information. She received her MSLS from the Catholic University of America and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Maryland at College Park. 

Grace Costantino is the Program Manager for the Biodiversity Heritage Library, based at the Smithsonian Libraries. Prior to her position as Program Manager, Ms. Costantino served as a BHL Librarian at the Smithsonian Libraries. Her interests include graphic design, data visualization, writing, data augmentation via crowd-sourced activities, and enhancing BHL content through the creation of interactive collections and exhibits. She is the co-author of the De Gruyter Saur / IFLA Research Paper 2011 Award-winning article, “Heeding the Call: User Feedback Management and the Digital Library.” Ms. Costantino received her B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2007, with a degree in Studio Art and concentrations in Graphic Design and Art History. She received a Masters in Information Systems and Information Management (M.I.M.) from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2010.


BHL_Presentation12.71 MB