2016 Code4Lib Midwest Meeting

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Code4Lib Midwest 2016 Meeting

Mark your calendars -- The University of Chicago Library will host the Code4Lib Midwest 2016 meeting in Chicago, IL.


Code4Lib MidWest meeting will be hosted by The University of Chicago Library.

  • When - July 14 & 15, 2016 (NOTE: date change)
  • Where - Regenstein Library, room 122, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago. (Map)
  • Who - contact person: Tod Olson ( tod at uchicago.edu )



Chicago is served by Midway Airport (closest to UChicago) and O'Hare International Airport (much further), Amtrak, and bus lines.

Directions to campus:


There are a few hotel options in Hyde Park, including:


The parking garage at 55th St. & Ellis Ave. is an option for visitor parking, at a rate of $25 per day.

Eat, Drink, Do Fun Things (in Hyde Park)

We made you a map of good eats and fun things to do in the area!


Detailed schedule, July 14 & 15

Check the detailed 2016 Code4Lib Midwest Schedule.

Daily start times are fixed, but individual talks may still shift around.

Outline of Thursday, July 14th

8:30-9:00: Check-in

9:00-9:15: Welcome and introductory remarks

9:15-10:45: Introductions / Successes / Struggles
One of the strengths of Code4Lib is our willingness to share experience and learn from each other. As an experiment, we will go around the room. You will have 1-2 minutes to introduce yourself and give an example of (1) something you are proud of and (2) something you are struggling with. We hope that this will stimulate ideas for breakout topics and informal conversations.

10:45-11:00: Break

11:00-4:30: Presentations and breakouts, check the detailed schedule

Outline of Friday, July 15th

8:30-9:00: Check-in

9:00-11:30: Presentations and breakouts, check the detailed schedule

11:30-12:00: Tour of Mansueto Library - with an emphasis on the underground automated storage and retrieval system.

Technical Details

  • WiFi: Wireless access will be provided, and UChicago is an Eduroam participant

Social Media Hashtag

Please use #c4lmw when tagging things!

Slack channel

Join #code4libmidwest at code4lib.slack.com

If you need invitation, fill out this form for instant invitation.

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 a hackfest/workshop.

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 Thursday or Friday (or if it doesn't matter)


(If you'd like to propose a workshop, talk to us.)

VIAF and Elasticsearch - Ralph LeVan, OCLC Research: I'll give an overview of the technology supporting VIAF and our exercise to switch from our home-grown Pears database loading XML records and move to JSON-based Elasticsearch. (Slides)

How not to work during a sabbatical - Eric Lease Morgan, University of Notre Dame: I will outline the set of applications/systems I wrote during my (not a) sabbatical. They include text mining tools, image processing & analysis hacks, MARC data enrichment activities, collection management decision-making scripts, etc. [blog posting & one-page handout]

Policies for Data Management -Abigail Goben, UIC: I'll review what might be included in institutional policies and what to think about beyond data security for library data and library research data.

Exploring Born-Digital Data and Format Conversion Strategies with DROID and Plotly - Max Eckard, Bentley Historical Library: I recently dug through about 5 years' worth of born-digital archives processed here at the Bentley. This gave me the opportunity to explore not only our born-digital data--and what it *really* looks like--but also the format conversion strategies we employ as part of our Ingest process. [slides]

Wrapping an Image Server in Proxy and Cache Blankets - Graham Hukill, Wayne State University: Serving images can be a digital object repository's bread and butter, but can touch on logistical and policy complexities. By wrapping the Python based "Loris" image server in a homegrown proxy, and caching with Varnish, we've been able to improve our image delivery, while keeping stakeholders happy as well. [slides]

Library Gamification in Theory and Practice - Ken Irwin, Wittenberg University: People have been talking for years about bringing gamification ideas into library projects. I will talk about some gamification basics, how I've implemented some of them on one project, and we can discuss other areas in which gamification could be employed. [Slides (PowerPoint)]

Architecting Change in Repository Code - Debs Cane, Northwestern University & Avalon Media System: Presentation on how NU & Indiana plans to “breakup” Avalon’s code (streaming A/V repository solution) over the next few months for easier use from outside coders. I'll also discuss why we’ve made the decisions we’ve made; and the choices we need to make in deciding future pathways for Avalon’s technical and community development.

Audio Preservation and Automating Transcription - Megan Kudzia, Michigan State University: I have been working on a project to automate transcription for a digitized audio oral history collection. This talk will cover: how I automated transcription; how I got the finished audio files and transcripts into our Islandora digital repository; problems that I'm still trying to figure out solutions for; and what I learned along the way. Slides here: http://bit.ly/29RLZkS

Batch-loading Electronic Serials Records while Maintaining High Quality Bibliographic Control - Jamie Carlstone, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: I will go over the workflow challenges of batch loading electronic serials MARC records while trying to maintain a high standard of quality. The process requires a circular workflow between OCLC Connexion, MarcEdit, Excel, and Microsoft Access that is far from ideal. I will also discuss a program I am working on that aims to improve upon this process.

Evergreen, From the Bottom Up - Dan Wells, Calvin College: We'll explore how Evergreen works from the server side, with particular focus on its unique and powerful underlying framework, OpenSRF.

Evergreen, From the Top Down - Remington Steed, Calvin College: We'll start with a brief overview of Evergreen's features, then dig beneath the surface at the software's various client architectures, including the evolution from XUL, to Dojo, to Angular.

Building for Browsing and Discovery with Wagtail, an open-source Django CMS - David Bietila & Brad Busenius, University of Chicago Library: As part our recent website redesign, we sought to build in paths by which users could move laterally between related pages, discovering relevant resources and services without returning to the home page or to the global navigation. We'll present on the data model that we specified to allow these new types of relationships, and on the Wagtail CMS, which enabled us to realize the site that we wanted.

Your Rights Statements Are a Disaster - amy buckland, University of Chicago Chances are good the rights statements on your digital projects are some degree of special-snowflakeness that makes them impossible to decipher with an institutional decoder ring. Fix that. RightsStatements.org offers some great licenses that everyone should get on board with to ensure our digital collections are actually usable!

Change - Ranti Junus and Megan Kudzia, Michigan State University How do we make our organization|unit|team more accepting of change? How do we overcome preference vs. best practice? How do we know when a change is not the right answer? These are probably questions that we asked when a change is needed. Let's discuss the approach we employed on making change happens, or when we see that our vision of change is not what we think it should be. What works or doesn't for you? Google doc of the discussion is here: http://bit.ly/29zuF0W

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:

VIAF AutoSuggest - Ralph LeVan

Getting Close to Accessible Slideshows - Margaret Heller

A Very Quick & Dirty & Potentially Embarrassing Look at Docker - Michael Klein

Code4Lib Journal: No you can't see our data - Carol Bean. Blog post, and downloadable pptx file


Registration is free, though we will cap at 40. 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 Tod Olson (tod@uchicago.edu) to add your name to this list if you prefer not to set up an account.:

  1. Margaret Heller - Loyola University Chicago (mheller1@luc.edu)
  2. Eric Lease Morgan - University of Notre Dame (emorgan@nd.edu)
  3. Jamie Carlstone - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Jdc6@illinois.edu)
  4. Remington Steed - Hekman Library, Calvin College (rjs7@calvin.edu)
  5. Dan Wells - Hekman Library, Calvin College (dbw2@calvin.edu)
  6. Christy Karpinski - Newberry Library - karpinskic@newberry.org
  7. Carol Bean - beanworks@gmail.com
  8. Ranti Junus - Michigan State University (junus@mail.lib.msu.edu)
  9. Ken Irwin - Wittenberg University (kirwin -AT- wittenberg.edu)
  10. Matt Schultz - Grand Valley State University (schultzm -AT- gvsu.edu)
  11. Graham Hukill - Wayne State University (graham.hukill@wayne.edu)
  12. Ralph LeVan - OCLC Research (levan@oclc.org)
  13. Allan Berry - University of Illinois at Chicago (aberry3@uic.edu)
  14. Vaishnavi Gowrisankar - University of Illinois at Chicago (vgowri2@uic.edu)
  15. Max Eckard - Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan (eckardm@umich.edu)
  16. Abigail Goben - University of Illinois at Chicago (agoben@uic.edu)
  17. Megan Kudzia - Michigan State University (kudzia AT msu.edu)
  18. Kristen Reid - Loyola University of Chicago (kreid8 AT luc.edu)
  19. Adam Strohm - Illinois Institute of Technology (astrohm@iit.edu)
  20. Max King - Illinois Institute of Technology (mking9@iit.edu)
  21. Alice Tippit - Northwestern Unversity (a-tippit@northwestern.edu)
  22. Michael North - Northwestern University (m-north@northwestern.edu)
  23. David Schober - Northwestern University (david.schober@northwestern.edu)
  24. Karen Didrickson - Northwestern University (karen.didrickson@northwestern.edu)
  25. Lisa Gonzalez - Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (lgonzalez@palni.edu)
  26. Christie Thomas - University of Chicago (clthomas@uchicago.edu)
  27. Brendan Quinn - Northwestern University (brendan-quinn at northwestern dot edu)
  28. Shelley Hostetler - Ex Libris (shelleyh@exlibrisgroup.com)
  29. Debs Cane - Northwestern University (deborah.cane@northwestern.edu)
  30. Maura Byrne - University of Chicago (byrne@uchicago.edu)
  31. David Farley - University of Chicago ( dfarley at uchicago dot edu )
  32. Keith Waclena - University of Chicago ( keith at lib dot uchicago dot edu )
  33. David Bietila - University of Chicago ( dbietila at uchicago dot edu )
  34. Brad Busenius - University of Chicago ( bbusenius at uchicago dot edu )
  35. Amy Buckland - University of Chicago (amybuckland@uchicago.edu)
  36. Kristin Martin - University of Chicago (kmarti@uchicago.edu)
  37. Jerry Kuang - Purdue University (jerrykuang.iit@gmail.com)
  38. Brittany Adams - Wheaton College (brittany.adams@wheaton.edu)
  39. Fred Seaton - University of Chicago (fseaton@uchicago.edu)
  40. Michael Klein - Northwestern University (michael.klein@northwestern.edu)


  1. Chris Day - School of the Art Institute - cday2@saic.edu

Code of Conduct

Code4Lib seeks to provide a welcoming, fun, and safe community and conference experience and ongoing community for everyone. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Discriminatory language and imagery (including sexual) is not appropriate for any event venue, including talks, or any community channel such as the chatroom or mailing list. Harassment is understood as any behavior that threatens another person or group, or produces an unsafe environment. It includes offensive verbal comments or non-verbal expressions related to gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religious beliefs, sexual or discriminatory images in public spaces (including online), deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.


Read and contribute to our full Code of Conduct document on GitHub

Duty Officers

If you need any support during the conference, please call/email/find:

  • Tod Olson (tod@uchicago.edu)
  • Maura Byrne (byrne@uchicago.edu)
  • Amy Buckland (amybuckland@uchicago.edu)