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TRLN Discovery Subject Re-Mapping Program

Whether expecting it or surprised to experience it, users may encounter metadata in library systems that can offend, exclude, and dehumanize people. The complexities of how metadata comes to display 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 Rectifying the use of these metadata, such as outdated Library of Congress subject headings in library systems, takes time and resources libraries may not have, but with modern practices and more flexible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 that have already been 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.

Subset of list of currently overlaid terms.

Remapping a subject heading does not change the MARC record data or search results, but rather 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.

View of Duke’s subject facet.
View of UNC’s subject facet.

The technical mechanism to overlay problematic subject headings with preferred terms is somewhat simple, but 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, but 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, but the team also continues to iterate to make improvements.

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 metadata@trln.org

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TRLN to Offer Library Carpentry Workshops

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.

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Announcing the Return of TRLN Remote Rap Sessions

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.

Upcoming Titles

TitleTypePlatformZoom Discussion
Crazy/Genius: Why Should We Care About Privacy?PodcastMultiple options10/14 @ 11am
Outlaws of the Airwaves: The Rise of Pirate Radio Station WBADPodcastMultiple options11/11 @ 11am
Lena Richard: America’s Unknown Celebrity ChefPodcastMultiple options1/21 @ 11am

We are also looking for people to help facilitate discussions so please feel free to reach out to info@trln.org if you or someone you know is interested. Interest in the topic is more important than expertise on the topic.

Below are the discussions hosted to date. Slides from the previous sessions are available and contact info@trln.org if you want a recording of any of these sessions.

Past Titles

TitleTypePlatformZoom Discussion
99% Invisible – Curb Cuts (Episode 308)PodcastMultiple options4/29 @ 11am
The Next Black – A Film about the Future of ClothingDocumentary filmYouTube5/13 @ 11am
Lost Notes – Imagining Billy Tipton (Episode 6)PodcastMultiple options5/27 @11am
Kitchen Sisters – The Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern KentuckyPodcastMultiple options6/10 @ 11am
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New TRLN Direct Dashboards

We recently published the first iteration of new dashboards for TRLN Direct to help surface and share information about how much our institutions are lending and borrowing across the consortium.

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  info@trln.org 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.

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Campus Resources About Racial Injustice and National Protests

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 info@trln.org.

Campus statements in response to national protests:

External resources:

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2020 Annual Meeting Call for Proposals

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.

The deadline to submit a proposal is June 17th.

Use the form at bit.ly/TRLN2020 to submit a proposal.

Proposals of up to 150 words should be submitted along with an abbreviated abstract version of 50 words for the program on our website.

Who can present at the annual meeting?

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.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Technologies, infrastructure, and/or vendor relations;
  • Collections and resources;
  • Policy, legal, and accessibility issues;
  • Project management, design, or implementation;
  • Assessment;
  • Education and/or professional development; 
  • Partnerships with university presses;
  • Social contexts and ethics/responsibility;
  • Leadership and management; and
  • Implications on our work as a result of COVID-19

How long can presentations be?

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.

Reach out to events@trln.org if you have any questions!

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Updated TRLN Annual Meeting Save the Dates: July 30-31, 2020

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.

On Thursday, July 30, the keynote speaker will be Rhondda Thomas Robinson, Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University and creator of the project Call My Name: African Americans in Clemson University History. The Call My Name team works to research and document the stories, acknowledge the contributions, and honor the legacy of six generations of people of African descent at Clemson University. You can hear Dr. Robinson speak about her work in her TED talk The Power in Calling a Name.

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 events@trln.org if you have any questions.

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TRLN Direct Suspended Until Further Notice

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 info@trln.org with any questions.

More information about individual libraries policies during COVID-19:

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TRLN COVID-19 Updates

In response to COVID-19, we have made a few changes to upcoming TRLN events, which may be transitioned to a virtual format, postponed, or cancelled. In addition to limited operations on our campuses, The Frontier, a frequent meeting space for TRLN interest groups and working groups, is closed through March 27. 

As we continue to monitor COVID-19 and communicate with TRLN library staff, we will update event pages with the most current information. The events listed below have been updated.

Electronic Resources Management Working Group Meeting, March 20 rescheduled for March 27

Professional Development Meeting, March 23 

Kristin Antelman Sustainable Scholarship Discussion, March 26

Library Management Skills Institute I: The Manager, May 5-7

At this time, no changes have been made for the Annual Meeting on July 31.

 

TRLN campus updates in response to COVID-19:


If you have any questions or concerns regarding TRLN programs or services, please email info@trln.org

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Save the Date: TRLN Annual Meeting, July 31, 2020

The 2020 TRLN Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, July 30 and Friday, July 31 at The Friday Center in Chapel Hill. Please save the date for what is shaping up to be one of the most engaging TRLN Annual Meetings yet.

We are excited to announce that the keynote speaker will be Rhondda Thomas Robinson, Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University and creator of the project Call My Name: African Americans in Clemson University History

The Call My Name team works to research and document the stories, acknowledge the contributions, and honor the legacy of six generations of people of African descent at Clemson University. You can hear Dr. Robinson speak about her work in her TED talk “The Power in Calling a Name.” 

More information about the Annual Meeting, including announcement of the lunchtime speaker and information about proposal submissions, is coming soon! Please check the event page, Twitter, or our monthly newsletter for updates.