Robin Camille Davis
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METROcon 2015 notes

January 16, 2015

I attended METROcon 2015 (Metropolitan New York Library Council’s Annual Conference) yesterday at Baruch College. This is the third year I've gone, and each year I return to my library feeling energized and excited about the cool projects presented and the great people I've met. There were many many tweets under the #metrocon15 hashtag.

I forgot my laptop, so I took notes by hand and had a little fun with it.

metrocon15 notes

You can read my notes as a PDF.

I took notes on these sessions:

  • Siva Vaidhyanathan's keynote, "The Operating System of Your Life"
    • "The Internet" is an outdated term — it's no longer this other place, as we are now embedded 24/7 in the digital flow; in addition, it's no longer the touted network of a global democratic society, because "the internet" is censored, surveilled, and controlled in too many countries.
    • It is the role of libraries & educators to lead the debate about how giant systems (e.g., Google) shape our lives, how we want tech to behave, how to protect privacy, and how to enable civic engagement in a democratic society.
  • The Empire State Digital Network, a service hub of the DPLA
    • Phase 1 almost complete: infrastructure, workflow, guidelines in place, with some contributing partners
    • Phase 2 about to begin: many other institutions to start contributing content
    • New ingest model, Heiðrun
  • Oral History Metadata Synchronizer (OHMS)
    • Offers simultaneous searching in an interview transcript and audio clips (example) — pretty amazing
  • Community Oral History at NYPL
    • Grassroots, volunteer-driven effort to collect hundreds of New York stories. Also amazing.
  • DHbox at CUNY GC
    • A virtual computer lab in the cloud, used in-browser, pre-loaded with DH-friendly software like iPython, NLTK, MALLET, Omeka, R Studio, and more to come, including Gephi
    • Benefits are huge: students don't have to spend hours learning complex installation process; set up and go!