LC Labs Letter: February 2020

LC LABS LETTER

A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team

Apply to be the next Innovator in Residence!

The Library of Congress Innovator in Residence program is a competitive residency for outside researchers or practitioners to creatively use the Library’s digital collections.

The first Innovator was data artist Jer Thorp and the current cohort includes Ben Lee (//labs.loc.gov/experiments/newspaper-navigator/) and Brian Foo (//labs.loc.gov/experiments/citizen-dj/) With Brian and Ben’s projects underway, LC Labs is excited to accept applications for the next round of projects.

To be our 2021 Innovator in Residence, email a concept paper about what you could do with the Library’s collections to [email protected] by March 15th, 2020. Project concept papers should consist of a vision statement and schedule and price estimates, and be no more than two pages in length. See the posting for more info: go.usa.gov/xp8PP

Read all about it! Machine Learning + Libraries Summit: Event Summary now live.

On Friday, September 20, 2019, the Library of Congress hosted the Machine Learning + Libraries Summit. This one-day conference convened 75 cultural heritage professionals (roughly 50 from outside the Library of Congress and 25 staff from within) to discuss the on-the-ground applications of machine learning technologies in libraries, museums, and universities.

This recently released event summary includes more detailed information about the conference agenda, participants, and topics discussed. We hope this report grants readers insight into the conference proceedings and serves as a point of entry into broader conversations around the challenges, opportunities, and actionable items concerning machine learning in cultural heritage. You can find it under “Machine Learning + Libraries Summit: Event Summary” on the LC Labs Reports Page.

Upcoming Quarterly Update: Computing Cultural Heritage in the Cloud

Please join us for our second quarterly call in which we will discuss describe the progress to date and answer questions about past and upcoming opportunities. Let us know your questions ahead of time by filling out this form.

Here are the details of the call:

Curio

  • DSD staff recently attended the fourth Digging into Data conference; a workshop about OCR for non-English languages; and the Sustainability of Web-Based Mapping Projects meeting. We’re interested in many events investigating computational methods and how they overlap with the work of libraries–if you have one coming up, we’d love to attend!

Kate’s Corner
Notes from the Director of Digital Strategy

Our work in Digital Strategy, at its core, is about enabling change. We all know how hard change can be – I know I don’t like it when the interface for the application I’m using changes, even if ultimately I learn to love it.

This means that, in our work, we sometimes encounter conflict. We find ourselves in conversations where we have competing or conflicting goals or disagreement. Sometimes people worry about the consequences change will bring, which may not be predictable even with good data and smart minds.

I like to lean into the conflict, and start with the assumption that everyone is doing their best. Sometimes I find out I’m wrong, and that’s fantastic. Other times, we can find a way forward that mitigates concerns. Either way, by allowing challenging encounters to drive my curiosity about other people’s perspectives, I try to create a culture where we can pursue our goals while making the right choices and building trust.

-Kate Zwaard

 

Library’s Collections Come to Life as 3D Models

The 3D Digital Modeling, Imaging, and Printing Working Group was created to explore the use of 3D technologies to expand access to the Library’s collections. In Fall 2019, the working group launched a pilot in which a limited selection of items from the online collections were 3D scanned and the 3D models made publicly available. In […]

The Library of Congress joins the Digital Preservation Coalition

Today’s guest post is from Kate Murray, a Digital Projects Coordinator in the Digital Collections and Services Division at the Library of Congress. Digital information drives our economy, spurs our culture, and connects our community. But it requires special care to ensure that our expanding archives of digital information will be there for the future. […]