Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Laura and John Arnold Foundation Announces $1.9 Million Grant to Develop Internet Archive Search Engine

Houston, TX—The Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) today announced a $1.9 million grant to the Internet Archive, the world’s largest public digital library, to develop a search engine that will provide unprecedented access to its extensive collection of webpages, also known as the Wayback Machine. The search engine will allow researchers, historians, and others to retrieve data and information from the billions of webpages and websites stored in the Wayback Machine and will ensure that there is a comprehensive, open record of the Internet that is accessible to all.

Each day, more than 600,000 people use the Wayback Machine to access digital records of significant events ranging from the Iraq War to NASA’s exploration of Mars. However, users are currently limited in their ability to find content because the portal’s search technology is outdated. The Wayback Machine also lacks an effective cataloging system. While partners such as public libraries and universities curate a small portion of the archive’s content, most is stored only by URL and date, and visitors must enter an exact website address in order to access content. The new search engine will enable users to perform more robust searches and search for websites by entering a topic or keyword. This enhanced functionality will allow individuals to uncover an extensive selection of relevant content and will create unparalleled access to our digital history.
“It is important that as our methods of communicating evolve, our methods of preserving information also change,” LJAF Vice President of Venture Development Kelli Rhee explained. “We need an open, free, public record that can be used to hold governments accountable, to ensure that cited evidence is accurate and complete, and to guide decision-making in the digital age. By making it easier to search the Wayback Machine, the Internet Archive is helping to preserve information within the infrastructure of the Web.”
Studies show that, on average, a webpage is altered or deleted after only 100 days of being online. When pages are erased, edited, or abruptly moved, there can be wide-ranging consequences. For example, public figures can retract or modify statements after issuing them and annotations in scientific studies can be eliminated. The Internet Archive has worked to address this issue by preserving more than 439 billion Web captures—including webpages, video, and images—through data donations, automated archiving of millions of websites, and collaboration with a thousand scholars and librarians.
“The Web exists in a land of the perpetual present,” explained Brewster Kahle, the Internet Archive’s founder and digital librarian. “It needs a memory, a historical record for scholars, journalists and the public to reference our digital past. That’s why we first built the Wayback Machine back in 2001. By expanding the Wayback Machine’s capabilities so that users are able to search for sites, we will dramatically enhance its practical value.”
In addition to upgrading its search capabilities, the grant will allow the Internet Archive to optimize the quality of the billion webpages that are captured each week and improve the playback of media. The group will pilot a beta version of its new search feature in 2016 before publicly releasing the technology in 2017.
About the Laura and John Arnold Foundation

LJAF is a private foundation that is working to address our nation’s most pressing and persistent challenges using evidence-based, multi-disciplinary approaches. Its strategic investments are currently focused in criminal justice, education, evidence-based policy and innovation, research integrity, and science and technology. LJAF has offices in Houston, New York City, and Washington, D.C. www.arnoldfoundation.org.
About the Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library founded by Brewster Kahle in 1996 with the mission to provide “Universal access to all Knowledge.”  The organization seeks to preserve the world’s cultural heritage and to provide open access to our shared knowledge in the digital era, supporting the work of historians, scholars, journalists, students, and the blind and reading disabled, as well as the general public.  The Internet Archive’s digital collections include more than 25 petabytes of unique data:  439 billion Web pages, moving images (a million films), audio (2 million recordings; 100,000 concerts), texts (2.7 million digital books), software (100,000 items) and television (3 million hours).  Each day, 2-3 million visitors use or contribute to the archive, making it one of the world’s top 250 sites.  It has created new models for digital conservation by forging alliances with more than 400 libraries, universities and national archives around the world.  The Internet Archive champions the public benefit of online access to our cultural heritage and open standards for its preservation, discovery and presentation. https://archive.org/

Thursday, October 22, 2015

2015 International Open Access Week: Elizade University at it Again...

Celebrated 2015 International Open Access Week with a Workshop…

Theme: Emerging Research Tools: Focus on Google Scholar, Academia.Edu and Zotero

Date: Thursday, October 22, 2015

Time: 12noon

Venue: Performing and Film Theatre

Participants: All Faculty Members

It was exciting...

Thursday, October 8, 2015

National Poetry Day: An Ode to the Heroes

For their rights to place a demand
For their demand of what’s right
Today, 1976, Soweto wailed!
Tears streamed down the cheeks of mothers
When Regina could not save the boy
When the fathers gasped to cope with awe
The awe of children lost to bullets
Unkind barrels that fell the likes of Hector
Hectic moment in the life of a people
People of all colours the like of a rainbow
Who now bow to the wishes of a pardon
Pardon advanced by a “prisoner” of old
That reproached the horror the Isle bestowed
To become the prince of his people by grace!
Written and Dedicated this day, 16th June, 2015 to the children lost to the 1976 youth uprising in Soweto

By Adegbilero-Iwari, Idowu @ Pretoria, SA. 

Carnegie CPD Programme

Enhancing librarians' ICT skills for research enablement in African universities: a Carnegie CPD programme  

The Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, was awarded a grant by the Carnegie Corporation of New York to offer eight four-week residential continuing professional development (CPD) programmes for qualified librarians from Sub-Saharan Africa, for the period 2014 – 2016. 
The aims of the programme are to:
  • Empower the next generation of library and information professionals within Sub-Saharan African countries with hands-on skills to apply current and emerging information and communication technologies (ICTs);
  • Build capacity amongst library and information services (LIS) professionals to support and enable researchers.

Eligibility criteria and application process 

A.  Eligibility criteria

Academic librarians and LIS faculty in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda are eligible to apply for admission to this programme. Selection of candidates for this fully funded programme is highly competitive and is based inter alia on the following criteria:
  • Current qualifications: at least a first degree in LIS from a government recognised and/or accredited tertiary education institution. Applicants with postgraduate degrees will also be eligible for selection if you comply with other criteria listed;
  • Age eligibility 25 – 45 years;
  • Work experience 5 – 7 years;
  • Exceptions, for age and work experience, will be considered on a case by case basis when accompanied by a strong motivational letter from your manager or director;
  • The availability of the required technologies in your current work environment or library;
  • Past academic performance;
  • Proficiency in English;
  • Potential to explore and embrace emerging technologies;
  • Willingness and ability to share what is learned with others in the profession;
  • Demonstrated commitment of participant’s home institution to supporting sharing and future development activities;
  • Willingness and ability to work as a team member;
  • Interest in current international library issues.

B.    Application process

The following documents should be emailed to Joan de la Haye at Carnegie-cpd@up.ac.za
  • A detailed CV (according to the specified template available here) which describes your work experience, current job description and responsibilities: involvement in ICTs combined with support of researchers will be a prerequisite. Also include a detailed description of ICT-related job responsibilities, knowledge of ICT technologies and programmes, and ICT-related training);
  • A recommendation letter from your current employer / line manager, highlighting your current levels of technology skills;
  • A commitment from your current employer that they will make time available for you to attend the four week programme as well as time to devote to your assignments after completing the programme;
  • Academic documents and transcripts;
  • Prospective students will be required to write an essay of approximately 1000 words explaining why they:
    • would like to participate in the programme, what they hope to learn from the programme,
    • should be selected for the programme and what they hope to contribute to the programme. 
Applicants should demonstrate the following in their essays:
  • Potential to explore and embrace emerging technologies;
  • Willingness and ability to share what is learned with others in the profession;
  • Demonstrated commitment of participant’s home institution to supporting sharing and future development activities;
  • Willingness and ability to work as a team member;
  • Interest in current international library issues. 
Please note:
  • Your application will be acknowledged within 72 hours. If you do not receive an acknowledgement, please follow up.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • All participants are expected to comply with the requirements and adhere to the arrangements of the programme from the initial selection to the completion of the programme.

Grant conditions 

  • Only participants from Carnegie countries namely Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, will be considered for the programme.
  • The funding covers books and other academic expenditures, flights, accommodation, and a daily stipend while in Pretoria.
  • Medical insurance for non-South Africans, is included.
  • Visa applications and personal expenses (for example medicine, laundry, internet top-ups, phone calls, etc.) are excluded. The grant also does not make provision for ICT equipment such as laptops, modems, etc. 

CPD programme themes 

  1. Setting the context: Libraries, ICTs and research 
  2. Leadership and innovation
  3. Advanced Information literacy and advanced information retrieval
  4. Social media for research discoverability in an academic environment
  5. Mobile technology and mobility
  6. Managing and organising information
  7. Personal Information Management
  8. Open Scholarship and Open Science (OS/S) – Publishing
  9. Open Scholarship and Open Science – Institutional Repositories.
  10. Open Scholarship and Open Science – Understanding and using research data management
  11. Digitisation
  12. Evaluating website architecture
  13. Cloud services and storage
  14. Virtual research environments
  15. The next generation librarian 

Programme details 

  • The four-week CPD programme is offered only in English.
  • The programme is divided into distinct modules offering different information and each presented in a different format. The intention hereof is to provide a variety of activities that will be able to stimulate individual and group participation. These include:
    • Formal presentations
    • Workshops
    • Leadership tools
    • External visits
    • Evening speakers
  • Lectures and practical training sessions will take place in the training venues in the Merensky Library of the Department of Library Services and the Tswelopele Smart Venue of the School of Information Technology.
  • Free Wi-Fi is available in all training venues.
  • All participants will be assessed on inter alia a portfolio of completed exercises done during the four-week programme, a group assignment and presentation on the last day of the programme, and a post-programme assignment.
  • A minimum average final mark of 50% has to be obtained in order to pass. A final mark of 75% or higher will merit a distinction.
  • The certificate of competence will be conferred on a participant who successfully completes the programme. 

Important Dates

Applications open: 28th of September 2015
Applications close: 28th of October 2015
Successful Candidates will be notified by the 
30th of November 2015 
The course will commence on the 27st of February 2016

Contact Details 

Carnegie CPD Administration:
Ms Joan de la Haye
Telephone: +27 12 420 2887

Presented in collaboration with the Centre for African Library Leadership.

Funded by: