iSchool Capstone

2020

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Collections as Data: Building a Framework for George Mason University's Special Collections

“Collections as data” (CaD) goes beyond traditional archival practices to analyze cultural heritage collections that support computationally-driven research. We analyzed George Mason University’s (GMU) Special Collections Resource Center’s (SCRC) procedures and metadata, drafted a report for the SCRC, and presented our findings. The team liaised between the SCRC and GMU’s Digital Scholarship Center (DiSC), a stakeholder in CaD initiatives and digital scholarship. This project modified SCRC’s workflows, procedures, and standards, improving accessibility to data-driven digital scholarship. The emerging strategic partnership between the SCRC and DiSC will provide researchers with new opportunities to interact with special collections materials.
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Community Driven Planning for Rural Oregon

Lincoln County Library District was formed to extend city library services to residents of unincorporated regions of Lincoln County. A community profile evaluates the extent of existing rural LCLD library services and their utilization rates. It also establishes population dispersals, best practices for communicating with user groups (including languages and platforms), and capacity for service adjustment or expansion. This profile informed the design of a community feedback campaign including survey questions, modes of distribution, and location targets. The feedback collected will allow for the deliberate allocation of funds and strategic expansion of library services to remote areas of Lincoln County.
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Crowdsourced Transcription for Ladino

Our capstone is for UW's Sephardic Studies Digital Library. It focuses on the research needed for launching a crowdsourced transcription site for the 400+ digitized materials in Ladino, Sephardic Jews' endangered language, housed in their Digital Library. Our goal is to offer a place for the global Sephardic community and researchers to have access to Sephardic cultural heritage. We explored various transcription platforms to write a paper for best practices and created assessment and rubric sheets to better inform our sponsor. This results in the Sephardic Studies Program having the research complete before making design decisions for their transcription platform.
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Data Skills Workshops for Librarians

As technology continues to integrate into everyday life, data is becoming a normal part of library staff workflows. However, the technical skills needed to efficiently use this valuable data are not necessarily a part of current library staff training. To help fill this skill gap, two 1.5-hour workshops on Tidy Data and the tool OpenRefine and plans for a third workshop on Python were developed. These workshops introduce best practices for structuring and cleaning data in spreadsheets for further analysis. Using skills learned in these workshops, library staff can work with data more efficiently and finish projects faster and easier.
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Digital Exhibition for the Northwest Annual Art Exhibition and Seattle Art Museum

The Northwest Annual was a yearly exhibition of painting and sculpture by Pacific Northwest artists, hosted by the Seattle Art Museum from 1914 to 1977, and served as a significant cultural event for regional artists. In order to properly manage and promote archival materials about the NWA, a new digital exhibition was created for SAM. This involved digitizing the original checklists, creating descriptive metadata, using OCR to improve search, restoring photographic material, and interviewing local NW art experts. This digital exhibition will now enable online access to these materials, providing rich information for researchers interested in 20th century Northwest art.
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Digital Preservation at the Seattle Asian Art Museum: Creating the John Grimes Travel Slides of Japan Collection

This project contributes to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM)’s Historical Media Collection, preserving materials stored in outdated formats. Due to limited resources, the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) lacks a digital preservation plan. A donation of 1,000+ slides, taken to document John Grimes’ cultural tour around Japan from 1987-88 and offering a rare glimpse at the ceremonies, architecture, and exhibits he observed, has remained unprocessed and inaccessible. To preserve and provide access to them, this project involved arranging and describing all 1,000+ slides, digitizing 200+ slides from over 20 geographical locations, and creating an Omeka exhibit for SAM’s Digital Collections.
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Diversifying Classroom Libraries: Implementing a rotating classroom library in a public elementary school

The problem our project is trying to solve is that our Sponsor organization, a PreK-8 school, is unable to provide adequate library time to the students in grades PreK-3 due to a lack of resources. We created a diverse classroom library that rotates between the PreK-3 classrooms. Our goal is to support their literacy growth by increasing their access to high quality and appealing books. The books focus on diversity and inclusion acting as windows, mirrors, and doors. We also provided the school with resources that will assist them in continuing the work of adding diverse books into their library.
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Elisabeth C. Miller Library Horticulture Slide Capstone

The John Wott Slide Collection was originally intended to support academic reference and research, and it is now combined with 35mm slides created by Joy Spurr. Through this project, we intend to set up an organized foundation for the Elisabeth C. Miller Library to digitize these materials on a manageable budget and make them available to support teaching and research in a more modern era of technology. Deliverables include a weeded, organized, and cataloged slide collection, an online exhibit established in Omeka, and a research paper discussing digitization, preservation, funding, and budget options for the collection materials.
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Enhancing Early Literacy with Reach Out and Read

We worked with Reach Out and Read Colorado, a nonprofit that incorporates reading into pediatric care, to help improve literacy-rich waiting rooms in an urban and a rural clinic. First, we interviewed rockstar clinics about what makes a successful space. We then established community partnerships to provide books, art, and furniture. And we connected clinics with local librarians to promote library resources. Finally, we compiled our learnings into a best practices guide to be distributed nationally to ROR partner clinics. Although Covid-19 prevented us from delivering all materials, we managed to support the clinics and their efforts for early literacy.
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Extending Health Intervention Representation Through Annotations

The Cost-Effectiveness Meta-Regression team at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) informs health policy by conducting analyses exploring the cost-effectiveness of health service provisions. This project aims to simplify the maintenance of IHME’s Health Interventions Taxonomy (HIT), while exploring the potential for resource enrichment through annotations. This project resulted in an evaluation of HIT and workplan for improvements, alongside a prototype system demonstrating the benefits of using an ontology for representing and processing the datasets. The evaluation and workplan provides a guide for IHME researchers to transition their taxonomy into a formal knowledge organization system.