Program, Workshops & Hackfest 2021



Opening remarks | 9:30–9:50 am (PDT) / 12:30-12:50 pm (EDT)

Lightning Talks | 9:50–10:25 am (PDT) / 12:50-1:25 pm (EDT)

IPFS – minting NFTs and improving Data Science

  • Anson Parker – University of Virginia

IPFS, The Interplanetary File System, eliminates duplicated files by design. The uniqueness of files facilitates several exciting opportunities for libraries and other digital ecosystems. NFTs – Non-Fungible Tokens – are a blockchain construct that allow the assertion of ownership and value to digital objects. Come see how they relate.

Equipment Management Optimizations for Library Technology

  • Dhanushka Samarakoon – University of Miami Libraries

This lightning talk will introduce the new IT Asset Management System implemented at the University of Miami Libraries. The Library Technology team moved away from a file-based IT asset tracking system to a more structured online asset management system. We will demonstrate asset categorization, inventory management, and asset tracking, using the new system.

Safe Library Spaces During Covid-19: Using occupancy sensors to monitor occupancy levels in an academic library

  • David Kemper – McMaster University

With students returning to campus, the library will be a busy hub once again. Access to campus buildings, however, will be governed by public health orders, which will likely include limited occupancy for indoor spaces. How will libraries monitor building occupancy levels to ensure everyone’s safety? Can occupancy sensors be the solution?

Session | 10:25-10:45 am (PDT) / 1:25-1:45 pm (EDT)

Can We Automate This? Exploring Automation and Programming Opportunities in Electronic Resources Collection Management

  • Carolyn Pecoskie – McGill University

The speaker is new to a role in e-resources, and excited to learn how aspects of her work might be automated. This presentation will identify the key skills and tools that enable e-resource automation; present examples of automation projects; as well as potential limitations, barriers and next steps.

Session | 10:45-11:05 am (PDT) / 1:45-2:05 pm (EDT)

All Aboard for Fedora 6.0: Staying on track to deliver for our Community

  • Arran Griffith – LYRASIS

This presentation will showcase how an open-source program released a major software update, managed an IMLS grant-funded project, and supported their community over the past year. We will focus on achieving goals, re-evaluating past processes, and discuss how the community-led development process, coupled with the grant-work, helped us achieve success.

Session | 11:05-11:25 am (PDT) / 2:05-2:25 pm (EDT)

Augmenting accessibility for web emulations of 1980s digital artifacts

  • John Durno – University of Victoria Libraries

This talk describes a project to add descriptive text, language translation, and mobile accessibility to web emulations of interactive digital artifacts from the 1980s, using the js-dos API to Em-DOSBox.

Session | 11:25-11:45 am (PDT) / 2:25-2:45 pm (EDT)

Wayfinding and accessibility review – from iOS LIDAR to OpenStreetMap to tactile maps – the best affordable tools of 2021

  • Anson Parker – University of Virginia

Our library is in a hospital. Wayfinding for people who use wheelchairs, or who are blind or vision impaired, represents an opportunity to explore new technologies in our effort to communicate the value of our space to the public. A review several approaches as well as candid community feedback.

Break | 11:45–12:00 pm (PDT) / 2:45-3:00 pm (EDT)

Keynotes | 12:00–1:15 pm (PDT) / 3:00-4:15 pm (EDT)

  • 12:00: Dr. Jonathan Dewar – FNIGC (First Nations Information Governance Centre)
  • 12:30: Dr. Tahu Kukutai – NIDEA (National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis)

Closing remarks | 1:15–1:30 pm (PDT) / 4:14-4:30 pm (EDT)

Monday social event | 1:30 pm (PDT) / 4:30 pm (EDT) – Opening Reception


Opening remarks | 8:45–8:50 am (PDT) / 11:45-11:50 pm (EDT)

Lightning talks | 8:50–9:30 am (PDT) / 11:50-12:30 pm (EDT)

Virtual Instruction Delivery – Workshops and Consultations

  • Thilani Samarakoon – University of Miami Libraries

The Data Services unit at the University of Miami Libraries conducts workshops on data analysis and visualization. The COVID-19 concerns forced us to move the workshops online. How did we minimize the distractions for the students while keeping them engaged? I will talk about tips for successfully conducting workshops via Zoom.

Learning modules for empathic library services and improved user experience

  • Megan Bresnahan – University of New Hampshire

This lightning talk will describe the creation of an online training module about developing empathy skills to improve user experiences in academic libraries. Attendees can reflect on the practice of empathy as part of the user experience in libraries and be aware of future training opportunities.

The challenges, curiosities and consternations of running a twitter archive for your college

  • Mark Eaton – City University of New York

Archiving tweets about your organization can be useful, interesting and challenging. The Kingsborough Community College library has been archiving tweets about our college since 2015. It’s been quite an adventure. This presentation will share what we’ve learned, and what possibilities lie ahead.

Keeping communication lines open… even when the communication lines go down: Our experience during Covid-19

  • David Kemper – McMaster University

When library staff were told to work from home at the start of the pandemic, libraries adopted cloud-based digital tools to continue work. Imagine if those digital tools suffered a widespread outage. How would staff collaborate, communicate, or even know what was happening? How do you begin to re-establish communication lines?

Session | 9:30-9:50 am (PDT) / 12:30-12:50 pm (EDT)

Reimagining Data Analysis Support Services Virtually: Success and Surprises

  • Amanda Montague – McMaster University
  • Christine Homuth – McMaster University
  • Vivek Jadon – McMaster University

Like many of us, the abrupt shift online forced us to consider how we develop support services remotely. In this presentation we will share our experience of how we ran a data analysis support service virtually during the pandemic and how this quick change led to some careful re-envisioning of what a blended model of the service could look like moving forward.

Session | 9:50-10:10 am (PDT) / 12:50-11:10 pm (EDT)

Starting Research Data Services during a Pandemic

  • Samah Alshrief – Seton Hall University
  • Sharon Ince – Seton Hall University
  • Chelsea H. Barrett – Seton Hall University
  • Lisa DeLuca – Seton Hall University

Prior to the pandemic, libraries have always been hubs for college students. The pandemic forced universities all over the world to shut down and move all services to online software platforms. Implementing a new library service may come with challenges especially during a pandemic. However there are many benefits to being able to effectively meet student and faculty research needs. In this proposal, we will present an approach we used during the pandemic to expand our research data services for our students and faculty. Our research data services team consists of three full time librarians, a part-time data specialist, and one student worker. The team took three key approaches to expansion: software acquisition, seeking additional funding, and collaborating university departments within and outside of SHU by using course syllabi to create training workshops. Attendees of this presentation may find it beneficial to learn from the practical example seen in expanding the library’s supportive service offerings.

Break | 10:10–10:25 am (PDT) / 1:10-1:25 pm (EDT)

Session | 10:25-10:45 am (PDT) / 1:25-1:45 pm (EDT)

From an erupting geyser to a steady stream: a case study in how to implement a full-scale streaming media course reserves service on the turn of a dime (and during a pandemic, to boot!)

  • Christine F. Smith – Concordia University

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, library service offerings have had to be quickly adapted to support the rapidly changing needs of students and faculty. This presentation will detail the evolution of physical course reserves and media collections and the inclusion of a large-scale streaming media course reserve service.

Session | 10:45-11:05 am (PDT) / 1:45-2:05 pm (EDT)

Name that tune: music encoding for identification and discovery of musical works

  • Joanne Paterson – Western University

Musical works can be difficult to distinguish in a catalogue and uniform titles created for authority files are often insufficient for precise identification. Adding notation to the catalogue record, using encoding such as Plaine and easie code or music XML through the Music Encoding Initiative, aids in identification and discovery.

Session | 11:05-11:25 am (PDT) / 2:05-2:25 pm (EDT)

Making a Friend: Why Going on a Research Leave During a Pandemic was a Problematic Decision At Best, and How To Cope By Building a Useful Device for Archives.

  • John Fink – McMaster University

“Questionable professional decisions during a pandemic lead to learning opportu-nities and fun hardware experimentation.”

Session | 11:25-11:45 pm (PDT) / 2:25-2:45 pm (EDT)

Open Education Alberta: Creating Shared Provincial Infrastructure From the Ground Up

  • Christie Hurrell – University of Calgary
  • Jessica Norman – Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • Michelle Brailey – University of Alberta
  • Kalin Jensen – Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

Open Education Alberta (OEA) is a collaborative, no-fee publishing service for open textbooks and other open educational resources. This session will document the evolution of OEA from idea to reality, as well as share how a diverse group of post secondary institutions have developed successful service models within the program.

Break | 11:45-12:00 pm (PDT) / 2:45-3:00 pm (EDT)

Session | 12:00-12:20 pm (PDT) / 3:00-3:20 pm (EDT)

Power, porn, and surveillance: A student-centered analysis of library use policies

  • Megan Bresnahan – University of New Hampshire

This presentation will describe the results of a discourse analysis that examines how students are represented in library use policies. Themes include deficit-thinking, adultism, and surveillance. The results may inspire academic librarians to revise policies to create a more positive, respectful, and caring user experience.

Session: Panel | 12:20-1:20 pm (PDT) / 3:20-4:20 pm (EDT)

Adapting to a Remote Work Environment: The Story of Three Urban Libraries/Archives


  • Colleen Bradley-Sanders – Brooklyn College
  • Jessica Wagner-Webster – Baruch College
  • Annie Tummino – Queens College

Three archivists/librarians from urban colleges will discuss the digital projects implemented for remote work over the pandemic year. Projects stopped abruptly were redesigned for remote completion with limited staff. We will discuss navigating these issues and describe projects developed using existing software, systems, and resources.

Closing remarks | 1:20–1:25 pm (PDT) / 4:20-4:25 pm (EDT)

Tuesday social event | 1:25pm (PDT) / 4:25 pm (EDT) – “Alex Teaches You Meditation (no refunds)”


Opening remarks | 8:45–9:00 am (PDT) / 11:45-12:00 pm (EDT)

Workshops and hackfest | 9:00–3:00 pm (PDT) / 12:00-6:00 pm (EDT)

See Workshops and Hackfest page for more information. Advance registration is required for workshops.


Opening remarks | 8:45–8:50 am (PDT) / 11:45-11:50 am (EDT)

Lightning talks | 8:50–9:25 am (PDT) / 11:50-12:25 pm (EDT)

Revisiting the paper files: OCR from paper versus microfilm

Given the poor quality of the OCR from digitized microfilm of the Voice of the Fugitive, an abolitionist paper published in Sandwich (near Windsor) in 1851-52, permission was sought to reshoot the original. Comparison of the resulting images and OCR output will be of interest to anyone considering digitization projects.

Marrakesh Treaty Implementation: What’s Needed to Enable Access to Academic Books?

  • Pascal Calarco – University of Windsor

Less than 10% of the world’s books are available in accessible formats. CARL and ARL are working together to explore copyright, discovery, description and access to collectively enable our member libraries to describe, digitize, and make available content in alternate formats. We’d like your ideas and feedback on potential solutions.

KBART Backups in OCLC: Creating a Workflow for Local Collections Backups

  • Carolyn Pecoskie – McGill University

This talk will outline the development of a collections backup solution for a library using OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services. The goal was a solution that is time-efficient, requires minimal intervention, and fits easily into our regular workflows. This talk will cover challenges faced and methods explored for solving this problem.

Session | 9:25–9:45 am (PDT) / 12:25-12:45 pm (EDT)

Research data repository migration: process and lessons learned

  • Kelsey Poloney – Simon Fraser University
  • Kelly Stathis – New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization
  • Nichole DeMichelis – New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization
  • Y.G. Rancourt – New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization

In early 2021, Simon Fraser University migrated the contents of their institutional data repository into the Federated Research Data Repository. We will discuss the decision to migrate repository contents, the migration workflow, challenges presented by cleaning the digital assets and curating data after the point of deposit, and DOI migration.

Session | 9:45–10:05 am (PDT) / 12:45-1:05 pm (EDT)

Expanding Geospatial Discovery for Canadian Data

  • Mark Goodwin – University of British Columbia
  • Eugene Barsky – University of British Columbia
  • Paul Dante – University of British Columbia
  • Kelly Stathis – New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization

The Federated Research Data Repository is making research data discoverable via complementary map and text search interfaces. Powered by Geodisy, the interactive map search provides access to dataset records with geospatial information. This presentation will include an update on the existing map search tool and plans for discovery interface redesign.

Session | 10:05–10:30 am (PDT) / 1:05-1:30 pm (EDT)

Modern Alchemy: Turning data into information

  • Eric Lease Morgan – University of Notre Dame

This presentation describes and demonstrates the Distant Reader. Given an almost arbitrary amount of unstructured data (text), the Reader creates a corpus, does analysis against it, and return a data set — information. The Reader supplements the traditional reading process.

Break | 10:30–10:45 am (PDT) / 1:30-1:45 pm (EDT)

Session | 10:45–11:05 am (PDT) / 1:45-2:05 pm (EDT)

“Divisive concepts”, constraining speech, and restricting online content: the impact on library worker professional development

  • Megan Bresnahan – University of New Hampshire
  • Eugenia Opuda – University of New Hampshire
  • Elizabeth Fowler – University of New Hampshire
  • Ben Peck – University of Southern Maine

The presenters examine the impact of a “divisive concepts” law on an online training course about empathetic practice in librarianship. We will share evolving legal guidance, compare the online content before and after this law was signed, and discuss implications for library workers who wish to participate in future trainings.

Session | 11:05–11:25 am (PDT) / 2:05-2:25 pm (EDT)

Dual Perspectives: Two Librarians as MBA Students in a Pandemic

  • Reece Steinberg – Ryerson University
  • Allison Smith – University of Ottawa

During the pandemic the two presenters were working as business liaison librarians, and were also MBA students at our respective institutions. This past year and a half of online learning has offered us inside perspectives on how students are communicating and collaborating with each other, as well as their thoughts, preferences, hopes, and disappointments related to online learning environments. We have been able to use what we are learning to improve outreach, structure instruction, and provide learning tools to enhance equity and access. This presentation features an overview of what we have learned in our student roles and how we are applying our experiences in order to improve online and hybrid education.

Session: Panel | 11:25–12:25 am (PDT) / 2:25-3:25 pm (EDT)

Playing with Power: Administration at the End of the World

  • Max Bowman – Colby College Libraries
  • Gillian Byrne – Toronto Reference Library
  • Emily Drabinski – City University of New York

Join Emily, Max and Gillian as they discuss their experiences of guiding the transitions between home/in person/hybrid working within the shifting constraints of the past 18 months from their perspective as administrators.

Hackfest Report and Closing Remarks | 12:25–1:00 pm (PDT) / 3:25-4:00 pm (EDT)

Thursday social event | 1:30 pm (PDT) / 4:30 pm (EDT) – “Furious Road: The Path of Least Resistance and Most Ranting”


Opening remarks | 8:45–8:50 am (PDT) / 11:45-11:50 pm (EDT)

Session | 8:50–9:10 am (PDT) 11:50-12:10 pm (EDT)

Implementing Elastic App Search for Digital Collections

  • Veronica Ramshaw – University of Regina
  • Sanjida Parvin – University of Regina
  • Dale Storie – University of Regina

This presentation will describe our recent experimentation using the cloud-based version of Elastic App Search to accomplish two goals: 1) to build a simple search layer connecting our digital collection platforms and 2) to provide a more robust search option for our static sites (including full-text document search).

Session | 9:10–9:30 am (PDT) / 12:10-12:30 pm (EDT)

Moving from Collection Management to Digital Asset Management for Digital Collections: Strategies for migration and sustainability

  • Kathryn Ruddock – University of Calgary

Digital asset management systems offer a sustainable platform for digital collections, but may need to be tailored for library use cases. University of Calgary libraries moved from a collection management software to a digital asset management software for digital collections. This presentation will outline steps for migration, prepping data, transforming data, and building collections from asset building blocks.

Session | 9:30–9:50 am (PDT) / 12:30 – 12:50 pm (EDT)

Enabling and Reusing Multilingual Citizen Contributions in the Archival Record

  • Allyssa Guzman – University of Texas Libraries

FromThePage is a tool for the collaborative transcription and translation of primary source materials. few institutions have considered the subsequent preservation and Ethical attribution of these contributions in the archival record and scholarship. This project seeks to facilitate the development of workflows for preserving and attributing collaborative scholarship for reuse.

Session | 9:50–10:10 am (PDT) / 12:50-1:10 pm (EDT)

Community Webs + The ArQuives: Expanding Community History Web Archiving in Canada and Beyond

  • Catherine Falls – Internet Archive Canada
  • Renee Saucier – The ArQuives: Canada’s LGBTQ2+ ArQuives / Northwest Territories Archives

Internet Archive’s Community Webs program advances the capacity for community memory organizations to build community-based web archives. As a Community Webs participant, The ArQuives: Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Archives aims to use web archiving to support its own transformative work, with the goal of more fully representing LGBTQ2+ voices in Canada.

Break | 10:10–10:30 am (PDT) / 1:10-1:30 pm (EDT)

Dave Binkley Memorial Lecture | 10:30am–11:45 am (PDT) / 1:30-2:45 pm (EDT)

Closing remarks | 11:45–12:00 pm (PDT) / 2:45-3:00 pm (EDT)


You can register for workshops when you register for Access. Space is limited so sign up early! If you already registered but want to attend please email and we’ll see what we can do for you!


Wednesday | 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM (PDT) / 1:00PM – 2:30 (EDT)

Instructor: Alex Garnett

This workshop is meant to introduce you to the concept of static websites and to show you how to use Jekyll and GitHub Pages to quickly and easily publish a static site using only your browser. We will also provide some background information on the default Jekyll installation setup and the structure of a typical Jekyll site. Finally we’ll look at customizing your Jekyll site.

Static sites can be very powerful as an alternative to heavy CMSes, especially for one-off projects — because they don’t have a backend, they don’t require maintenance or patching over time, and it’s easy to pull stylesheets and other features from existing repositories. In some ways they’re like writing HTML by hand, which keeps everything concise and understandable — but rather than actually writing HTML, you write template syntax, and you use lightweight command line tools to automatically build modern frontends from those templates.

Workshop materials:

Bonus! Join us for a hackfest special event in the afternoon to explore whether we want to make the Access website into a static site using Jekyll. Apply your newfound skills!



Wednesday | 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM (PDT) / 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM (EDT)

Instructor: Dr. Liam Doherty

Regular expressions are a powerful and standardized way of representing patterns in text using special symbols and syntax. A core part of many programming languages, search engines, text editors, and other commonly-used software, regular expressions have a surprisingly wide array of uses, from efficiently finding strings of text in large data sets, to easily formatting complex documents, to quickly replacing many small everyday tasks that might otherwise require writing shell scripts or other programs.

This hands-on workshop introduces regular expressions (regex) from the ground up.

Workshop materials:


Wednesday 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM (PDT) / 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM (EDT)

Facilitator: Tim Ribaric

As with every year, we’ll be organizing a Hackfest! Bring your ideas for projects and things to collaborate on.

The Hackfest will kick off with a Zoom meeting for all hackfest participants at 9am (PDT) / 12pm (EDT) where we’ll set up breakout rooms for each project in this spreadsheet You can absolutely move between breakout rooms if you want. After this, each Hackfest project group is on their own to figure out a way to connect and collaborate. You can use whatever your group agrees to, but we recommend something that allows video and screen sharing such as Zoom, Google Meet, or Teams.

Participants will have dedicated time to work on projects from 10am–12:25pm (PDT) / 1pm-3:25pm (EDT). The Hackfest session time will provide dedicated hours for you to work on the project, but you will have additional time if you need or want it as we will be waiting until Thursday at 12:25pm PDT to do Hackfest reports. We will also post any code we create to the Access GitHub account for the future generations to admire.

We will also be hosting a special hackfest session from 1pm-on to explore whether we want to make the Access website into a static site using Jekyll.