TRLN has been part of Project ReShare since the beginning and recently a sandbox environment was setup allowing people to test the returnables functionality of the software. It’s an opportunity to experiment with the software in which many staff members across TRLN libraries have been involved in the development.
The TRLN Discovery development team recently deployed a few different and exciting changes to the shared catalog and discovery layers. These changes are summarized below, but may not be deployed to each institution’s local discovery layer yet. The inclusion of these changes may vary depending on your institution. Our release notes include more information about these updates.
Users can search for variants of a name in the LOC authority and will return all results associated with that name. This allows users to more easily find all records associated with a person, place, or organization included in the LCNAF. Alternate or variant names might include name changes, various romanizations, and pseudonyms. A URI must be associated with a record in order to search variants’ names.
There is now a spellcheck function that will provide users with a set of suggestions based on the spelling of their query. If their query has no results based on the spelling provided, they will see a prompt asking “Did you mean” followed by a set of suggested queries they can select to see results. Search suggestions only display when there are 5 or fewer results.
The suggestions are based on actual words in the catalog index, not a dictionary, so the suggestions themselves may not be spelled correctly but should always produce search results.
Some misspelled queries will not produce search suggestions because there are matches in the catalog.
When a user searches their local catalog, they will not receive suggestions for items owned by other institutions.
Whether expecting it or surprised to experience it, users encounter metadata in library systems that offend, exclude, and dehumanize people. The complexities of how metadata displays alongside a particular resource is not easily conveyed as users conduct their research without disrupting their experience. Rectifying the use of these metadata, such as outdated Library of Congress subject headings in library systems, takes time and resources libraries may not have, but with modern practices and more flexible technology comes new opportunities for libraries to create a more inclusive search experience.
The TRLN Discovery development team created an elegant solution to overlay or remap subject headings identified as problematic by users with preferred terms. They created a simple configuration file to capture the problematic term and the preferred term being mapped to it. When a new term is added to this file, each institution re-processes their records using the subject heading to make the change visible to end users. Some examples of terms currently overlaid include “Illegal aliens” (overlaid with “Undocumented immigrants”), “Slaves” (overlaid with “Enslaved persons”), and “Dirty War, 1976-1983” (overlaid with “Terrorismo de Estado, Argentina, 1976-1983”). Access the full list of overlaid terms.
Remapping a subject heading does not change the MARC record data or search results. It instead changes subject data that displays to the end user. Additionally, remapped headings must be specified at the whole subdivision level. This requires some repetition in the configuration file, but this also accommodates nuance in the remappings. If a user searches for “illegal aliens”, they will return results using this term; however the subject facet and the item record’s subject will display “Undocumented immigrants”. The remapping only applies to subject headings. If “Illegal aliens” displays elsewhere, such as title, then this information will not be overlaid with “Undocumented immigrants”. The change is subtle for end users in the Blacklight discovery layer, but we think this makes a significant impact in creating a more inclusive and representative search experience for users.
About the Process
The technical mechanism to overlay problematic subject headings is somewhat simple. The process to review and decide whether a term is within scope of the program is more complicated.
Users can submit suggested terms to overlay using this form. The TRLN Discovery Metadata Team reviews, researches, and documents decisions made for each suggested term. Some terms have been extensively discussed in broader communities and we can point to this work when making our recommendations. Some suggestions may require collaboration with the TRLN Metadata Interest Group, subject matter experts, and other stakeholders to determine whether a term should be remapped as part of this program and what is the preferred term. Ultimately, the TRLN Discovery product owners review the recommended terms to remap and if they approve, the terms are added to the configuration file and visible to end users. We believe this multi-step decision and approval process opens up additional feedback channels to multiple stakeholders and attempts to make this process more transparent, while the team continues to iterate.
Suggest a Subject Heading
Have a problematic subject heading to suggest for remapping? Use this form and the TRLN Discovery Metadata Team will review and follow up with your suggestion. For questions about this program, contact email@example.com.
Later this fall, TRLN will be offering Library Carpentry workshops to approximately 25 people who work in TRLN member libraries. This opportunity is being funded by the Network of the National Library of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Regional Office (NNLM/SEA), which invited applications in July from libraries and consortia interested in hosting a workshop. Nandita Mani, UNC-Chapel Hill Associate University Librarian for Health Sciences and Director of the Health Sciences Library, and Megan von Isenburg, Associate Dean for Library Services & Archives at the Duke School of Medicine, suggested that TRLN apply.
The workshops, which will be offered via Zoom, include Introduction to Working with Data, the Unix Shell, OpenRefine, and Introduction to Git. The workshop series will last four days (one day per topic) and will be led by experienced Library Carpentry instructors and supported by 2-3 helpers, staff of TRLN libraries who are familiar with the content.
The TRLN Advisory Council is helping to identify participants and helpers. The exact dates of the workshop are being determined in collaboration with Library Carpentry.
The first iteration of the TRLN Remote Rap Sessions took place April through June 2020 and was created in response to the number of library employees working from home due to COVID-19. To keep staff connected and encourage engagement between TRLN colleagues on a variety of topics, we are continuing the series through all of 2020. We see this as an opportunity for staff to learn new things about topics at least tangentially related to the work of our libraries, share their own expertise, and meet new colleagues across TRLN, while also enjoying and discussing a variety of films, podcasts, or readings.
Once per month, we have selected a title for discussion that you can watch, listen to, or read at a time that fits your schedule. Then we will have a scheduled discussion via Zoom for participants to discuss the title and what resonated with them. We will add information for specific titles and discussions to TRLN’s website as we schedule them.
We are also looking for people to help facilitate discussions so please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you or someone you know is interested. Interest in the topic is more important than expertise on the topic.
Currently, these dashboards only include data from OCLC/Relais D2D, but we are working on incorporating data from ILLiad and other sources and hope to publish these soon.
These dashboards were created under the guidance of TRLN’s Resource Sharing Working Group to provide centralized reports for TRLN Direct. They are updated every six months and maintained by TRLN staff.
Have ideas for additional information to include in these dashboards? Please reach out to email@example.com with any feedback or questions.
Special thanks to Geneva Holliday, Mia Partlow, Maurice Parker, Andrea Loigman, and the entire Resource Sharing Working Group for their feedback and expertise in creating these dashboards.
As does each of our member institutions, the TRLN central office recognizes and is committed to addressing the racial injustices that are increasingly coming into the mainstream public eye. For now, today, that means definitively denouncing and condemning the acts of racism and violence that have plagued our country in recent weeks (and have plagued many peoples, throughout history).
Additionally, we want to publicize the relevant statements of our member institutions, share a few external resources, and invite you to send any ideas or suggestions for how we can facilitate learning and action among our TRLN community. We anticipate that Rhondda Thomas Robinson and Jennifer A. Ferretti, the keynote speakers at our Annual Meeting, will provoke thought about the role our libraries and consortium should play in continuing to recognize and dismantle racism.
Please feel free to contact any individual TRLN staff member with ideas or other input, or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campus statements in response to national protests:
TRLN is now inviting proposals for presentations and workshops for the 2020 Annual Meeting being held virtually on July 30th and 31st.
Due to COVID-19, the Annual Meeting Steering Committee made the decision to offer the annual meeting virtually over 2 half days. Each day will start with a guest speaker, followed by presentations from colleagues across TRLN.
Anyone who works in a TRLN member institution. We welcome proposals of any domain, area of expertise, and library. We also encourage partnering with colleagues to co-present.
What topics should presentations be about?
We welcome presentations about interesting activities at your institution. Do you have a completed, current, or upcoming project that other attendees might want to hear about or replicate? Working groups and interest groups are encouraged to share updates about their projects and accomplishments.
If you are planning on presenting or leading a workshop at another virtual conference later this year, we also encourage you to present during the annual meeting to share your exciting work and to practice presenting during a virtual conference.
Presentations ranging from 5 minute lightning talks, 25 minute presentations, or longer workshops will be considered. Sessions on July 30th and 31st will be grouped into 30 minute blocks, but if you have an idea for a longer workshop, please submit your idea and if selected, TRLN staff can coordinate scheduling this workshop around the same time as the annual meeting.
When will I hear if my proposal has been accepted?
All submissions will be reviewed by the Annual Meeting Steering Committee and selections will be announced by July 1st.
Can I pre-record my presentation?
Yes! If you prefer to pre-record your presentation, TRLN staff can work with you to record your presentation and stream it during a scheduled time in the program for attendees. You can also present live and we expect most will do so, but we want to try and accommodate as many presentation preferences as possible. Regardless of presenting live or pre-recording, there will be a live Q&A with the presenters.
The 2020 TRLN Annual Meeting will be held virtually on Thursday, July 30, 9am-1pm, and Friday, July 31, 9am-1pm. Please save the dates for what is sure to be one of the most memorable gatherings in the history of this event. More details and call for proposals are forthcoming.
We are excited to announce that the keynote speaker on Friday, July 31 will be Jennifer A. Ferretti, an artist and Digital Initiatives Librarian at the Maryland Institute College of Art on Piscataway Land (Baltimore, Maryland). She is a first-generation American Latina/Mestiza whose librarianship is guided by critical perspectives, not neutrality. With a firm belief that art is information, she is interested in the research methodologies of artists, particularly those highlighting social justice issues. Jennifer is a Library Journal 2018 Mover & Shaker and a founding member of We Here and Shades Collective.
The event page will be updated with the latest information, including virtual format details and the call for proposals. Please check the event page, our newsletter, or Twitter for updates, and reach out to email@example.com if you have any questions.
Due to COVID-19 and the resulting interrupted services and closures of many TRLN libraries, TRLN Direct will be suspended for the time being. Services will resume when TRLN libraries are able to move materials between libraries again. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
More information about individual libraries policies during COVID-19: