2014 Code4Lib Midwest Meeting

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Code4Lib Midwest 2014 Meeting

Please join us July 23-24 in Grand Rapids, Michigan for the Code4Lib Midwest 2014 conference.

This informal conference will feature short lightning talks, longer presentations, workshops, a technology-infused hackfest, and site visits to local technology companies. We'll spend 2 days learning about technology and code in libraries, archives and museums from colleagues throughout the Midwest.


Code4Lib MidWest meeting will be hosted by Grand Valley State University Libraries.

  • When - Wednesday, July 23rd - Thursday July 24th, 2014
  • Where - Mary Idema Pew Library at GVSU
  • Registration Cost - Free!
  • Planning Committee - Kyle Felker (felkerk@gvsu.edu), Erin Fisher {fisherin@gvsu.edu), Eric Kunnen (kunnene@gvsu.edu), Kristin Meyer (meyerk@gvsu.edu), and Matthew Reidsma (reidsmam@gvsu.edu)


We hope you consider staying overnight to enjoy both days of the conference. We recommend staying in downtown Grand Rapids at the Holiday Inn. There is a Rapid bus (#50) to the Allendale campus that leaves every 20 minutes in the summer from Front Street right next to the hotel. Alternatively, you can park in any non-faculty/staff space on the GVSU Allendale campus for Wednesday's events. Thursday will happen downtown, within walking distance of the hotel.

Suggested Hotels

-The Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown is within walking distance to restaurants, breweries, museums, shops and Grand Valley's downtown campus. Access to free public transit to the Allendale campus is just a five minute walk (.2 miles).

-For those interested in staying near the Allendale campus, Sleep Inn is 1.2 miles away.

Directions, restaurants, and more

  1. Map of the area downtown with bus stops and venues: map.png
  2. Allendale Campus from Holiday Inn Downtown (by car): http://gvsu.edu/s/FQ
  3. HopCat Bar from Holiday Inn Downtown (by foot): http://gvsu.edu/s/FR
  4. Bicycle Factory from Holiday Inn Downtown (on foot): http://gvsu.edu/s/FS
  5. Yeti CGI & GR Makers from Bicycle Factory (by car): http://gvsu.edu/s/FT
  6. Allendale & Downtown Campus Maps (PDF): http://www.gvsu.edu/maps.htm


We will be live streaming the event on our YouTube Channel, http://youtube.com/user/gvsulib. Thanks to Britain Woodman of the University of Michigan for helping us set that up!

Wednesday, July 23rd

Meeting at the Mary Idema Pew Library, Allendale.

8:30am: Continental Breakfast

9am: Lightning Talks from Alison Hitchens, Eric Lease Morgan, Matthew Reidsma, Sarah Park, and Brian Zelip.

10am: Eric Echeverri and Steve Lonn on the digital open badges initiative that is taken place at the University of Michigan, specifically Digital Badges for libraries. (Steve and Doreen will be coming in through the computer internet)

11am: Cole Hudson on Wayne State’s Fedora Commons Implementation

11:30am: Jon Gorman on Development tips from the front-lines: Tips and techniques useful for software development in Libraries.

12 - 1pm : Lunch in the Multipurpose Room (Sandwiches and salads, vegetarian options available)

1 - 4:30pm : Hackfest with Toys from the Technology Showcase (3D scanner and printer, Makey Makey, etc.). We'll also have an afternoon cookie snack.

4:30pm : Optional tour of the Mary Idema Pew Library

6:00pm : Evening Social at HopCat GR. Last year, Grand Rapids was named Beer City USA, and HopCat was named the third best beer bar on the planet by Beer Advocate Magazine. Let's keep the conversation going over dinner and drinks!

Thursday, July 24th

Meeting at the GVSU Bicycle Factory, Downtown Grand Rapids.

8:30am: Continental Breakfast

9am: Lightning Talks from Alison Hitchens, Cole Hudson, Britain Woodman, Jon Gorman, John Fink, Roy Zimmer, and Kristin Meyer

10am: Megan Kudzia on Can you do FOSS at your library if you're a small, one-person shop? How do you figure it out? My slides and also Becky's slides

10:30am: Esther Verreau on Chicago Collections Consortium (CCC), XTF admin tool development

11am: Lightning talk overflow, additional talks that pop up, hackfest reports, session wrap up & discussion

12 - 1pm : Lunch at the Bicycle Factory (Wraps and Salads, Vegetarian Options available)

1:30 - 3:00pm : Site Visit to the offices of Yeti CGI and GR Makers to talk about partnerships between software developers and libraries and the future of makerspaces. (We'll be carpooling to these locations if you can make it!)

Social Media Goodness

Twitter hash tag: #c4lmw

Technical Details

  • We’ll have projectors with VGA hookups at both locations, and I’ll have a small assortment of Mac dongles (although please bring your own if you have one!) We’ll assume you have your own laptop, although in a pinch we can provide a PC with Powerpoint or a Mac with Keynote. We cannot, however, provide your slides. That’s up to you!
  • We will be live streaming the presentations this year to our GVSU YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/gvsulib), and then posting the recordings (if we have your permission) in our Institutional Repository as CC-BY licensed. We will have a form on a handy clipboard for you to sign to make that official. This doesn’t at all stop you from posting the video or whatever on every other site on the internet.
  • We will at the very least have a podium mic that you can take out and walk around with (or dance, like a ‘90s rapper). We hope to also have a lapel mic. Wednesday’s room is pretty big, and we want to make sure folks watching the stream can hear you.
  • We’ll have Wifi usernames and passwords for all of you so you can get online.

Code of Conduct

Code4Lib Midwest is dedicated to a harassment-free conference experience for everyone. Our anti-harassment policy can be found at: C4LMW14 Code of Conduct

Programming Sign-up

Code4Lib Midwest programming depends on the folks attending the conference. Please consider giving a presentation or lightning talk, or submitting your ideas for the hackfest.

Share what you are working on! Add your name and a description below. Please also let us know how long you'll need, and whether you prefer Wednesday or Thursday (or if it doesn't matter)

Presentations or Workshops

UPDATE Videos of all the talks from the 2014 Code4Lib Midwest are available online at http://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/c4lmw/2014/

Have something cool to share? Tell us about it. If you want someone to teach something to you, put that here as well.

  • Eric Echeverri and Steve Lonn on the digital open badges initiative that is taken place at the University of Michigan, specifically Digital Badges for libraries. Steve Lonn will be joining us via Gtalk for an in depth understanding of this technology. Eric will go over the technical details of exporting badges into the Mozilla backpack for learners. This application is done in ruby and is up and running at https://mblem.umich.edu
  • Development tips from the front-lines: Tips and techniques useful for software development in Libraries. Jon Gorman, University of Illinois (at Urbana-Champaign). Last year's Code4Lib Midwest there was a great amount of interest in improving development skills. Jon doesn't claim to be the best developer, but he's will to share what intimidated him unnecessarily and useful tips & tricks for both improving skills and overview of techniques that make life easier. (Bootstrap, jQuery, Rule engines, templates, Good books to read, etc). (Note: I'm willing to bump this down to a very quick lightning talk if people aren't interested, I just thought the schedule looked like it needed some fleshing out).
  • Can you do FOSS at your library if you're a small, one-person shop? How do you figure it out? Megan Kudzia, Albion College Library. I've made plenty of mistakes along the way, and I thought maybe others might find what I've figured out useful. As a community that values free/open source, it can be really difficult to assess if you're starting out in your career and you're pretty much "the technology person" at your library (I suspect there are a lot of us in this boat). In addition to mistakes, I've had some successes too, which I'll also share about - it's not all bad news! (Note: like Joh, I'm willing to bump this down to a lightning talk if folks aren't really interested).
  • CANCELLED (sorry) Deploy Code with Confidence (with lots of tests and application monitoring). Jeremy Prevost, Northwestern University
  • Chicago Collections Consortium (CCC), XTF admin tool development -- The CCC is creating a unified portal to access archival collections relating to Chicago at a variety of institutions. The consortium has chosen XTF to search and index the metadata. Our first order of business is to create an admin tool that can ingest any metadata from home institutions and create standardized metadata to allow discovery of related material across institutions. Development of the tool began in May. I'll give an overview of what we're doing from a technical stand point and update about where we are and what our difficulties have been. Esther Verreau, UIC

Lightning Talks

Have something cool to share but you don't want to be in front of the room for more than 5 minutes? Lightning talks are for you. Sign up now or at the conference:

  • Alison Hitchens - java program to create good e-theses MARC records from DSpace (UWSpace)
  • Alison Hitchens -- involving library staff in software testing (using Primo as example)
  • Brian Zelip - A Twofer: Migrating a library web app's website to an xml-based CMS & Use cases at an academic research services unit.
  • Cole Hudson - Visualizing our book shelves: how we took Harvard's Stack View and made it our own
  • Britain Woodman - how we evaluated and eventually made Suma part of our daily operations work
  • Matthew Reidsma - improving website performance when you don't own all the assets: why I built cssMaker and how it might help other small teams.
  • John Fink - a brief introduction to Docker and Linux containerization
  • Sarah Park - Search All: Evaluation. Report on the usage of locally developed discovery tool
  • Eric Lease Morgan - recent experiences installing Koha, exposing its content to the 'Net, and the possible use of ElasticSearch as the underlying indexer
  • Jon Gorman - Short Story Index: MARC records + Neo4j Graph Database - A recently started personal project to harvest MARC records from various sources and graph relations between works, books, and authors. Mainly started to try to learn more of NoSQL databases, in particular graph databases. See https://github.com/jtgorman/shortstoryindex.
  • Kristin Meyer- Using UX methodology to improve physical spaces and services
  • Roy Zimmer on MARC utilities at Western Michigan University


Pitch an idea you can work to solve in 3 hours or so, or join with someone else who has a project. Stuck on something at work? Find a buddy here to help you. Want to make something new and fun? Here's your chance for free labor. We'll have a hackfest idea basket at morning coffee, or you can leave your ideas on the wiki. Of course, you can also just show up with your idea. We're not the boss of you.

  • MARCStore - Some sort of datastore, perhaps with using something like MARCPath that's relatively easy to ingest records in and then pull out & order records. - Jon Gorman
  • Hack Koha or Evergreen to use SQRL (Squirrel), a key-exchange type system for authentication - https://www.grc.com/sqrl/sqrl.htm. Could be used for anonymous logins and interacting with system or even possibly for a "smartphone card" app. - Jon Gorman
  • Short Story Remixer - try to create tool to pull in public domain short story collections, split them apart, and re-stitch them together - Jon Gorman
  • C4lMW14 - Code4Lib Journal as epub- either Wordpress or screen scrape Code4Lib journal and produce epub/mobi file per issue. -Jon Gorman
  • BookList - a collaborative tool for creating lists of books & comments on them (See BoardGameGeek geeklist for inspiration) - Jon Gorman
  • Script to periodically remind Illiad users to update their contact information, since not everyone can keep Banner data in sync with it - Matthew Reidsma
  • Work on next release of the Library Status app, with better generalization and easy installation (http://github.com/gvsulib/library-Status) -Matthew Reidsma & Jon Earley
  • Dream up something cool to do with http://thisismysearch.com, which I built at a 2-person hackfest in March. - Matthew Reidsma
  • Streamline documentation so that it is using best practices and make it user friendly - Lisa Rabey
  • LDAP to Coral
  • Python to Fedora Commons

(Note from Jon Gorman, - Obviously I can't work on all of these things, but they're several of the projects that are recently have been rattling about in my brain, would be happy to work on any of them or to see other folks working on them).


Registration is free. List your name, affiliation, and email address here to register for the meeting. If you signed up and are unable to attend please remove your name or contact us, so that we can make room for others.

Contact Ryan Wick (ryanwick@gmail.com) with your preferred username to set up a Code4Lib wiki account, or ask Matthew Reidsma (reidsmam@gvsu.edu) to add your name to this list if you prefer not to set up an account.:

  1. Eric Lease Morgan, University of Notre Dame, emorgan - at - nd - dot - edu
  2. Alexa Hagen, University of Michigan MLIS Student, alexa.hagen - at - gmail - dot - com
  3. John Fink, McMaster University. john.fink - at - gmail - dot - com
  4. Lisa Rabey, Skaldic Press, lisa - at - biblyotheke - dot - net
  5. Aaron Collie, Michigan State University, collie - at - msu - dot - edu
  6. Ranti Junus, Michigan State University, junus-at-mail-lib-msu-edu
  7. David Malone, Wheaton College, david dot malone at wheaton dot edu
  8. Cole Hudson, Wayne State University, cole - dot - hudson - at - wayne - dot - edu
  9. Brian Zelip, University of Illinois, bzelip -at- illinois -dot- edu
  10. Michael Perry, Northwestern University, michael -dot- perry -at- northwestern -dot- edu
  11. Joshua Neds-Fox, Wayne State University, jnf - at- wayne - dot - edu
  12. Kelly Germain, Davenport University, kelly -dot- germain -at- davenport -dot- edu
  13. Jeffrey Mudge, Wheaton College, jeffrey dot mudge at wheaton dot edu
  14. Thomas Hilliker, Holly Township Library, thomashilliker at gmail dot com
  15. Jamie Tiemeyer, Cornerstone University, jamie - dot - tiemeyer - at - cornerstone - dot - edu
  16. Devin Higgins, Michigan State University, higgi135 - at - msu - dot - edu
  17. Alison Hitchens, University of Waterloo, ahitchen - at - uwaterloo - dot - ca
  18. Megan Kudzia, Albion College, moneill - at - albion - dot - edu
  19. Roy Zimmer, Western Michigan University, roy-dot-zimmer-at-wmich-dot-edu
  20. Thomas Padilla, Michigan State University, tpadilla-at-msu-dot-edu
  21. Jonathan Earley, Grand Valley State University, jonathan.a.earley - at - gmail - dot - com
  22. Jonathan Gorman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, jtgorman - at - illinois - edu
  23. Britain Woodman, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, britainw - at - umich - dot - edu
  24. Jessica Shuck, Cornerstone University, jessica - dot - shuck - at - cornerstone - dot - edu
  25. Esther Verreau, UIC, verreau1 - at - uic - dot - edu
  26. Brendan Quinn, Northwestern University, brendan-quinn - at - northwestern - dot - edu
  27. Paul Clough, Northwestern University, p-clough - at- northwestern - dot - edu
  28. Julie Vecchio, University of Notre Dame, jvecchio - at - nd - dot - edu
  29. Sarah Park, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, gpark - at - siue - edu
  30. Gary Maixner, Ferris State University, maixneg - at - ferris - edu
  31. Christina Czuhajewski, University of Michigan MSI student & Kalamazoo Public Library, cczu - at - umich - dot - edu
  32. Dan Wells, Calvin College, dbw2 - at - calvin - dot - edu
  33. Remington Steed, Calvin College, rjs7 - at - calvin - dot - edu

The capacity of our venue requires us to cap participation at 40. Beyond that, please put your name, affiliation and email address on the wait list and we'll email you if a spot opens up for you.