iSchool Capstone


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Collection Maintenance and Development for a Non-Circulating Public Library Collection

This project took place within a rural public library that serves approximately 6,500 city residents, as well as visitors and out-of-town patrons. The library’s non-circulating collection includes local archives and government documents; the weekly newspaper on microfilm; reference books; and maps and atlases. The purpose of the project was to improve the relevance and accessibility of these library holdings for patrons and staff. A collection assessment was followed by the drafting of development and maintenance recommendations, and implementation of proposed changes. As a result of these activities, missing and out-of-date items were removed from the collection and replaced with current, useful titles for general and geographic reference. In addition, cataloging and classification practices were standardized and documented within each sub-collection in order to better facilitate user access, with a particular focus on improving records and classification for archives materials, both in the catalog and on the shelf.
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Conducting a Community Needs Assessment of LGBTQ Youth for Kitsap Regional Library

Kitsap Regional Library, as part of its Vision 2020 Strategic Plan, seeks to build community through a series of community conversations where participants will be given the opportunity to share their aspirations for their communities and identify community needs. This project will operate within the spirit of this initiative by identifying the needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer-identified (LGBTQ) youth population in the area, a population that has historically been underserved in our broader society and whose needs have not been overtly sought after and met by this institution, and determine what existing or new library services might help to address those needs. A combination of surveys and personal conversations will be administered to gather input from youth on their various information needs. From there, an intervention will be designed to address an identified information gap, which will be available for future use and implementation by Kitsap Regional Library.
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Connecting the Dots: Sharing SPL’s resources through one family’s story

Tasked with re-envisioning the access points of Seattle Public Library Special Collections’ resources, we first accessioned the the newly acquired O'Hanrahan Estate letters and photographs using SPL’s current standards. We then re-evaluated these standards and made recommendations for increasing the discoverability of SPL Special Collections by a broader audience. Finally, we built a multi-media book to showcase the O’Hanrahan collection. This online book serves as a conceptual model of enhanced bibliographic access for Special Collections as SPL approaches an upcoming website re-design.
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Creating Connections: Community Enrichment for Distance Learners

The instruction librarians at Gonzaga University’s Foley Center Library provide learning opportunities to students on campus in classroom settings. Since 1988, they have extended those services to distance students. More recently, they have aligned themselves with programs offered online by the university to provide asynchronous and synchronous instruction opportunities for students attending school online. With these desires in mind, this project has focused on investigating web conferencing technology and developing a webinar template for the instruction librarians to use in conjunction with online library orientation activities in order to better serve the distance students at Gonzaga University. This enables distance students to connect with each other as well as the library and librarians. The program allows students to tailor their own learning experience, adding another layer of unique interaction to their education. Using this innovative program method, instruction can occur online in a community-oriented setting.
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Creative Corner for Library Staff

We set up a “Creative Corner” craft table in the Suzzallo and Odegaard Libraries to explore how encouraging librarians to “play” and be creative in the workplace affects creativity, stress levels, and the workplace environment. Research has shown that giving employees time to take a break and do a non-work related activity with their co-workers can improve office relationships and foster more creative approaches to problem-solving. We implemented a 6 week program of rotating crafts and also provided supplies such as coloring sheets and crayons for staff to use at the table. In the last week of the program we sent out an email survey to assess what people thought of the Creative Corner tables and how it affected their moods and stress levels. We documented the process and our recommendations on how this program could be continued at UW Libraries in the future for the benefit of library employees.
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Although the internet provides a wide breadth of information in an extremely easy manner, a common issue people face -- regardless of the type of information -- is an overabundance of information. Services like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and GoGoBot provide lots of information, but do not always provide an easy way to whittle restaurant/activity choices to help a user make a decision. Moreover, the results of a search may not always be relevant to that user’s personal interests, due to how general the results are. Curato attempts to provide a single, convenient application to help users find businesses and points of interest relevant to their interests by taking advantage of simple machine learning algorithms.
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Data Archeology and Human Rights: Documenting the Data of El Salvador’s Civil War

From 1979 to 1992, El Salvador was engulfed in a bloody, political civil war, with over 75,000 civilian casualties. In the early 1990s, several NGOs and a UN Truth Commission began systematically documenting human rights atrocities perpetrated during the war, using personal testimonies, military records, and other documents. Each database was designed differently, utilizing the technologies available at the time. These files changed hands multiple times over the next 25 years, with limited accompanying documentation; information about metadata values has long been lost. Working with the UW Center for Human Rights and the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, our team developed a data management plan and an initial data dictionary for one database. Researchers ultimately hope to examine, standardize, and map fields across databases, providing a fuller picture of the human rights violations committed and supporting the efforts of surviving family members, scholars, and legal teams for truth and accountability.
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Defining and Documenting the Kitsap Regional Library Collection

For decades, Kitsap Regional Library staff have saved materials related to the library’s organizational history, and these materials have evolved into the Kitsap Regional Library Collection. But without the benefit of clear policies outlining its scope and boundaries, physical storage has become a problem, and staff lack guidance for the final disposition of materials that may not belong. Our work began by defining its scope through the expansion of a collection policy. We refined existing inventory tools into one inventory and assessment tool that describes currently held materials and structures the processing of future additions, and we produced documentation to guide staff through its use. Finally, we created a finding aid to provide a high-level overview of the collection. Our work defining and describing the Kitsap Regional Library Collection will leave staff able to identify, locate, and use its holdings, and with access to easy-to-use tools to continue processing efforts.
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Developing the Framework for a Permanent Archival Program at Seattle Preparatory School

Seattle Prep will celebrate its 125th anniversary next fall. Establishing an archives fulfills a need for a program dedicated to the collection, organization, and preservation of items that document the history of Seattle Preparatory School. The archives will connect the present Seattle Prep community with the past, by making these materials accessible, and promoting their use for publications, exhibits, and research. This project began with a preliminary inventory of historical items throughout the Seattle Prep campus, in order to plan for the space and supplies needed for proper archival storage. Boxes of items were moved onto new shelving and prioritized for future processing. Archival policies were drafted including a Mission Statement, Collection Policy and Access Policy. Finally, a Long Term Plan was drawn up, giving direction to archival work that will be done, with a unique focus on student involvement.
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Digital Scholarship Needs Assessment

The development of robust support for digital scholarship--work that focuses on the juncture of technology and traditional humanities and social science scholarship--is an increasingly important role of academic libraries. UW students and faculty have been and are doing innovative work in this area, but
support from the library and other campus groups has been inconsistent. In consultation with the UW
Libraries' Digital Scholarship Task Group, we conducted a needs assessment of faculty and graduate
students working on digital projects. Through a series of focus groups, interviews, and reviews of
successful programs at other institutions, we have identified key needs as well as potential training and
tools to meet those needs. Our key recommendations include: dedicated physical space for scholars and faculty to do their work, centralized and visible support for those seeking guidance, project matchmaking to pair scholars with ongoing projects, front-loading programs early in the academic year, and institutional and leadership consistency.