What are people saying about the library? The Seattle Public Library engages patrons in a variety of ways and encourages people to comment on library services. Due to the volume and various channels of incoming comments, it is hard for library staff and leadership to manually manage comments. To solve this problem, our team created the Canary Comment Management System. This is a new, stand-alone, centralized system to collect, store, manage, and share comments. Through features such as tagging, searching, and reporting, our system gives a fuller picture of when comments happen, where they come from, how frequently they happen, and what they are about. For leadership, it will help the Library identify issues and trends, and guide decision making. For staff, it will improve timeliness, accountability, and collaboration. For the organization, our solution represents a more efficient way to manage public resources to help the community.
The Developing Art of Archiving Photographs: Dolores Varela Phillips Photographs of the Nisqually-Puyallup Fishing Controversy
My capstone focused on the preservation, arrangement, and description of photographs made by Dolores Varela Phillips, documenting the 1970 conflict between two tribes, Nisqually and Puyallup, and Washington state law enforcement. Results include EAD finding aid and digital access to the collection. These images shed light on a critical period of national and local civil-rights history. Phillips’ collection is comprised of negatives she hid in her purse lining to prevent confiscation by the police. The photographs capture an important event that was the catalyst to a revision in Washington state laws. Negative collections are distinctive and a time-consuming variation from standard processing. This often hinders valuable materials from reaching the public; a mounting information problem archives face. Raising awareness about the significance of this rare collection is paramount as 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of the new law passing. Already, these images have received user-requests for a Smithsonian exhibit.
In anatomy courses, effective visualization of the human body contributes to success in learning the curriculum. Despite their educational value, effective, hands-on visualization of the human body are subject to physical and economic constraints. The Ghost Anatomy Project is a 3D volumetric display which allows users to interact with a holographic-like, anatomically correct model of the human body. It utilizes the Pepper’s Ghost illusion to create a 3D visualization, WebGL for rendering, and a Leap Motion for gesture-based interaction. The interface allows anatomy students to study the human body in an effective, hands-on manner with less economical and physical constraints than cadavers, and more accuracy and flexibility than plastic models. Welcome to the future of anatomy education.
The United States Forest Service has a long history of caring for the land and serving people. A significant part of that history are the foresters themselves: their memories, experiences, and stories. Every National Forest has a Heritage Program and for decades, volunteers and foresters have been collecting oral histories from retirees, volunteers, and their families. Some interviews were written down, others recorded in a variety of formats. The challenge: How to approach the preparation of these materials for storage and public access at the National Museum of Forest Service History. We worked with the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Museum to assess current resources and develop a sustainable process for digitization, storage, and public access. In addition to the immediate needs of the collection, we also wrote internship and volunteer handbooks and developed the business case to help sustain ongoing work at both the local and Museum levels.
The Paul and Mildred Brownell Photograph Collection is a large unprocessed collection composed of photos, film, and ephemera from the mid-twentieth century of the Brownells’ experiences as UW Alumni, Seattle Public School teachers, and their travels in America and abroad. These items span almost 5 decades and are a valuable experience of living in the Pacific Northwest as UW alumni. The collection has been organized into specific series with regards to intellectual order which facilitates curatorial use of the collection and some public access for general research, which is imperative to keeping UW history alive. Special attention has been paid to the context in which the items were created and in preserving these items. A preliminary Encoded Archival Description (EAD) finding aid has been created to enrich Special Collection’s growing EAD database and will allow others to share in Paul’s experiences.
The goal behind our project is to reduce the amount of computation waiters and waitresses perform at the end of their shifts while trying to “tip out” their support staff. Currently in most high-class restaurants, the math and tracking for payouts is left to the individual waiters to handle, which can often be complicated and difficult to keep a detailed history of. As of right now, most waitstaff do this computation by hand which takes significant amount of time. By creating a web application that will be accessible on phones and desktops, we can allow employees and businesses to keep better track of what tips they are making and who they are distributing to wherever they go.
Over the summer, The Seattle Public Library (SPL) made the switch from manual counters for reference activity to a digital clicker application. Rather than use a hand-held manual counter, librarians now track interactions at their information desks by clicking “Reference” or “Non-Reference” in an online form. However, with increasingly busy desks and more technology related questions coming forward, does this online clicker serve as a reliable measure of the information needs of SPL patrons? We conducted a total of 56 two-hour long observations across 13 SPL branches, paired with an employee questionnaire, to determine the reliability of this system. Our data found that patron needs are not necessarily reflected by the current application. In order to better serve and fund our public libraries, we propose a comprehensive tracking application that will more thoroughly track the investment needs of the SPL system.
When traveling, people can have difficulty getting the inside scoop on where to go and what to do. They also miss opportunities to meet other interesting travelers from various walks of life. So, we created TravelMeet, an Android app designed for travelers who want to meet others, find activities, and experience new cultures in a fun and spontaneous way! In addition to allowing travelers to create and join outings, TravelMeet helps local businesses and event organizers connect with out-of-towners. TravelMeet will enable travelers to do what they value most when they travel: experience new things, meet new people, and have fun!
Golder Associates (Golder) has over 5,000 consultants located worldwide, and works with clients in many sectors including oil and gas, mining, and waste management. One primary internal SharePoint tool Golder consultants use to share information and stay up-to-date is Collaboration Workspaces (CWS). Within each CWS, sub-sites are broken down by client sectors, technical communities, and regions; however, not much is known about how consultants use the sub-sites and if CWS meet their needs. Our team performed user behavior analysis on a user activity log in conjunction with user research for the purpose of improving users’ internal communication, efficiency, and satisfaction within five CWS sub-sites. We helped Golder better understand the user composition, user habits, important existing features, and potential improvements of these CWS sub-sites. More important, we created a methodology that is replicable, can be built upon, and will be applied to other CWS sites to further facilitate information sharing.
Enterprise Data & Analytics is UW’s main web site for enterprise institutional data and analytics, providing resources and how-to information that assist UW faculty and staff in accessing and using data to do their jobs and make data-informed decisions. The current website of Decision Support is built under UW-IT Information Technology site within a functional aspect navigation only. Meanwhile, the issue of accessing online resources by mobile devices is not heavily concerned in the Decision Support site. As the problems addressed, our team aims to redesign the Decision Support site from following five aspects, Info-structure, Findability, Information Delivery, Responsive Design and User Engagement. The project scope crosses from user research, workflow design, prototyping, development, and launch & maintenance. The expected outcome of this project is to address new interface of Decision Support site and deliver streamline content with the goal of enhancing brand visibility, usability, accessibility and the ease of website maintenance.