Thursday, July 05, 2012

Grace Phelps images in the Digital Resources Library

After our student assistant, Max Johnson, finished working on the Esther Pohl Lovejoy images now in the Digital Resources Library, he made the excellent suggestion of moving on to images from the Grace Phelps Papers.

Grace Phelps was the subject of our spring 2011 exhibit, which highlighted her command of nursing personnel at Base Hospital 46 in World War I, her role as the first nursing administrator of Doernbecher Hospital, and her many contributions to nursing education. Despite her accomplishments and her importance to the history of our community, we had no images of her in the DRL. Max and Karen are now on a roll and have added new images from the Grace Phelps papers to the DRL, with more on the way.

Above: Grace Phelps with two uniformed men in Langres, France, 1918.

Above: Base Hospital 46, circa 1918

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

RBMS 2012 highlights

I attended the 53rd Annual RBMS Preconference from June 20-22. Held in San Diego this year, the conference theme was "Futures" - in the broadest possible sense of the word.

My favorite session was a plenary on linked open data. Before the session, I understood the concepts of linked data but wanted to know more than the buzz about its vast potential for libraries, and specifically special collections. The first speaker, Jon Voss of Historypin, did a terrific job explaining linked open data to a non-specialist audience, along with inspiring examples of how it could be used for research with primary materials. Then Michael Panzer of OCLC provided examples of how linked open data could be incorporated into existing content management practices.

Another great session focused on mobile technologies, with speakers who each presented very different solutions that their libraries had developed for mobile access. All three stressed the need for access to top-notch app developers, the need to understand what users want and don't want, and that development is an iterative process.

The closing plenary included the visionary critic, artist and theorist Johanna Drucker, who posed provocative questions about the future of the book as an object and an idea.

Next year's RBMS will be in Minneapolis, and I look forward to attending.