When the Silicon Meets the Road sheds light on challenges of working with digital materials

At an event Aug. 30 at the Morrison Library, students will learn about the free art they can borrow from The Graphic Arts Loan Collection. (Photo by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library)
When the Silicon Meets the Road: A Digital Research Reality Check, which will be held at Morrison Library, will feature insights from from three digital researchers. (Photo by Alejandro Serrano for the University Library)

The LAUC-B Committee on Affiliated Libraries Affairs (CALA) is pleased to present a spring Assembly devoted to a timely topic, When the Silicon Meets the Road: A Digital Research Reality Check. This event will feature three diverse digital researchers — a law professor, a library web services manager, and an Ethnic Studies librarian — all presently working on digital research projects. The focus of their discussion will be the challenges they encounter working intensively with digital materials, and the solutions they employ to meet those challenges. These solutions require both technological and human resources. A special feature of the discussions will be the fruitful interactions among librarians, students, and faculty on these projects.

Date: Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 8:30-9:50 a.m.

Schedule: 8:30-8:45 a.m. Affiliated business and refreshments
8:45-9:50 a.m. Presentations, incl. Q&A

Location: Morrison Library


Sine Hwang Jensen is Asian American Studies Librarian and Comparative Ethnic Studies Librarian at the Ethnic Studies Library (ESL) at UC Berkeley. Ms. Jensen recently won a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) grant to fund the digitization of a significant portion of the H.K. Yuen Social Movement Audio Archive, jointly held by ESL and the Bancroft Library. She will describe her work with the Archive, in particular her preparation of students and librarians to produce reliable metadata to describe and afford access to the newly digitized historical recordings.

Michael Lindsey is Director of Library Web Development at the law school at UC Berkeley. He assists Prof. Anne Joseph O’Connell with her ongoing analysis, further described below, of trends in presidential nominations. In this capacity, Mr. Lindsey develops code to glean relevant data from the Congress.gov U.S. Presidential Nominations database. There is no API for the database, nor does Congress.gov provide access to raw data. To keep the data current, he must monitor the database’s evolving public interface, and in some cases the data themselves, to effectively revise his scripts.

Prof. Anne Joseph O’Connell, the George Johnson Professor of Law at UC Berkeley, compiles and analyzes historical and current data reflecting presidential nominations and their confirmations by the Senate to cabinet, agency, and judicial posts. In addition to traditional legal scholarly journals, her work appears frequently in the Washington Post and, most recently, at Brookings. Despite the ready availability of the data she needs at Congress.gov, she and Mr. Lindsey must work continually to assure its normalization, due to the vagaries of its presentation over time.