Category Archives: Features

Testimony: Using MarcEdit and OCLC Connexion to Enhance Bibliographic Records in a Batch

This article was previously featured in Vol. 25, No. 3 of Theology Cataloging Bulletin (TCB), an ATLA member publication. Testimony is a feature in TCB that gives a place for members of the technical services community to share their stories. We felt this testimony was applicable to the wider community and have since published it below for you.

Submitted by Christa Strickler, Assistant Professor of Library Science, Buswell Memorial Library, Wheaton College

With the tight budgets common to libraries these days, cataloging departments search for ways to add value while streamlining processes. At Buswell Memorial Library (Wheaton College, IL), we’ve developed a method for enhancing our records with contents notes to make them more searchable for our users, then adapted that method to add Library of Congress Classification (LCC) numbers in preparation for a reclassification project.

Digital Spotlight: Digitization Cost Calculator

Submitted by Andy Carter, ATLA Digital Projects Manager

Planning for a possible digitization project requires cost and time estimates for which there are few good models. Digitization is ubiquitous in libraries, museums, and archives in the 21st century, but due to the variance of institution type, available resources, and experience with digitization workflows, it is difficult to extrapolate metrics that can be reused. The Digital Library Federation Assessment Interest Group, recognizing the need, has been working to build and refine a digitization cost calculator.

A Relational Database of Syriac and Arabic Historical Registers and Archives

Submitted by Dr. Iskandar Bcheiry, ATLA Metadata Analyst 


At the 2017 ATLA Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, I will present a plan to create a database of historical registers and archives belonging to the Syriac community. These historical resources are found in various libraries in the world, and I will focus especially on the Library of the Forty Martyrs in Mardin/Turkey. The database would offer direct access to scholars and students of Syriac studies, Near East Christian studies, and Ottoman history to the registers and archives and the possibility to examine the copies of original documents as well as the possibility to search a word in the documents.

Digital Spotlight: DPLA Fest 2017

Submitted by Andy Carter, ATLA Digital Projects Manager

On April 20-21, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) brought its annual conference to the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago’s South Loop. Several hundred librarians, archivists, and technologists enjoyed two days of presentations and lightning talks on the present and future of the DPLA.

Change was the unofficial theme of the proceedings as Dan Cohen, Executive Director of the DPLA, had announced his departure prior to the conference. The hydra-in-a-box platform adopted an official name for its product under development: Hyku. And the DPLA updated on a major technological change as it moved its aggregating workflow from OAI-PMH to ResourceSync; a move that reduced ingest times from hours to minutes. Given the centrality of the DPLA and the alignment of many institutions around DPLA standards, their technological shifts are followed closely.

Notes from the Road: University of Toronto

University of Toronto
Submitted by Roger Morales, ATLA Member Programs Librarian

While attending the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) Annual Conference in Toronto, Canada, I had the pleasure of visiting various great libraries within the University of Toronto library system. For those who are not familiar with the University of Toronto, the university operates under a similar model to the European organization system where colleges exist under the larger umbrella of The University of Toronto.

I made it just in time for one of the last snowfalls of the season typical of this time of year. Despite some snow and winds, I toured the Gerstein Science and Medicine Library and six libraries at member schools of the Toronto School of Theology (TST) including: Emmanuel College Library, Caven Library at Knox College, Regis College Library, Kelly Library at University of St. Michael’s College, and John W. Graham Library at Trinity and Wycliffe Colleges.

Notes from the Road: The Franciscan School of Theology, Oceanside, CA

Submitted by Andy Carter, ATLA Digital Projects Manager

While in Los Angeles for the Code4Lib 2017 conference, I had the pleasure of riding an Amtrak train down the coast to visit the Franciscan School of Theology (FST), and ATLA Member Institution located in Oceanside, California. I was there to meet with their Library Director, Carl Adkins. FST is the only remaining Franciscan seminary/theology school in the United States.

Code4Lib: Developers and Technologists Descend on LA

Submitted by Andy Carter, ATLA Digital Projects Manager

I traveled to Los Angeles in March to attend my first Code4Lib conference. Code4Lib brings together “developers and technologists” from libraries, museums, and archives to discuss their work with open technologies. There were updates on familiar open source projects such as ArchivesSpace and Archivematica; multiple presentations on both the technical and social aspects of good user design for systems; and a range of talks addressing sociological issues around libraries and technology, such as strategies for women negotiating a raise, and how to deal with imposter phenomenon as someone working in a highly technical field.

Experiencing ACRL with Both Hats: Attendee and Exhibitor

Submitted by Su Hyeon Kang, ATLA Metadata Analyst

My experience both as an attendee and as an exhibitor at the 2017 ACRL Conference in Baltimore was fabulous.

Focusing on the topic of open access and digital humanities, the conference provided numerous sessions and learning opportunities. I wish I would have had more time to attend all the sessions, but some were concurrent. The sessions that I did attend, however, provided plentiful information and unique experiences through case studies in those topics. Through papers, posters, and panel sessions, librarians and faculty members reported on their collaboration to initiate digital humanities projects.

Scholarly Communication: ORCID for Scholars and Librarians

Submitted by Andrew Keck, Chair, Task Force on Scholarly Communication in Religion and Theology

As librarians and scholarly communication professionals, many of us understand “authority issues” as not describing a political issue but rather issues with authorized headings and names. 

A Collection of Arabic Manuscripts in the Mechitarist Monastery of St. Lazarus in Venice, Italy

Submitted by Dr. Iskandar Bcheiry, ATLA Metadata Analyst 

During the spring of 2004, I had the opportunity to uncover and index a collection of Arabic manuscripts in the library of the Armenian monastery of St. Lazarus in Venice, Italy.

History of St. Lazarus Monastery

The monastery of St. Lazarus is built on a Venetian island that was once home to a Benedictine monastery and then a leper colony for several centuries during the Middle Ages. St. Lazarus was eventually abandoned and since 1717 has been a monastic residency to the Catholic Armenian order known as the Mekhitarists.

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