IDS Project Conference 2019

by Matt Calsada

John & I had the pleasure of joining the 100+ attendees of the 15th annual IDS Project Conference held at the picturesque Utica College campus in Utica, NY. The conference theme this year was “All Systems Go: Improving systems and workflows,” and kicked off with a keynote by PALCI Executive Director Jill Morris. The Atlas Update followed right after where we had the opportunity to speak more about the ILLiad roadmap and upcoming plans for the ILLiad 9.1 update, planned for a September 2019 release.

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There was a lot of excitement about continued ILLiad development and upcoming Decision Support Pipeline feature. The slide deck is available for anyone to view.

Later in the conference, we had the chance to sit in on some great sessions. A thought-provoking discussion about purchase-on-demand services and how budgets and internal policies can affect those services for users piqued my interest after much debate of unmediated purchasing workflows. We got to see a session showing how users can submit requests without ever seeing the ILLiad web interface made possible by using the ILLiad API and OpenAthens.

With a table close to the coffee and afternoon ice cream, traffic to the Atlas Systems table was steady.

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We helped troubleshoot some issues, talked about ways to improve processes, and briefly showed off the new web pages released in Aeon 5.0 as a preview of what's to come in ILLiad. Despite being busy, we still were able to sneak in a few cookies. With all of the SUNY campuses recently migrating to Alma, we talked to many about the Alma NCIP addon. Other attendees were interested in knowing more about the Caiasoft addon to automate offsite request processing. Overall, everyone was looking to bring home as much knowledge as they could on improving their workflows and maximize ILLiad at their institution.

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I'm sure most students passing by the vendor tables in the student union ignored us and just eyed the table with cold drinks. One particular student didn't though, and I'm glad she approached us. It's rare for me to go to a library conference and have the opportunity to geek out about computer engineering. The young woman was nervous about an interview she had the next day and wanted advice from an engineering manager. I told her to be herself, be honest, and that her personality would shine through. I reminded her that we all have things to learn, and that was the very reason I was there that day too. I wish she got the job, but I am rooting for her future success regardless.

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I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in the coming months. What's next? Stephanie & John will be at the Northwest Interlibrary Loan & Resource Sharing Conference in Portland in September. Don't forget to register for the ILLiad in Focus: Version 9.1 Overview for later in October!

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2019 Aeon Symposium (Boston)

by Valerie Addonizio

Hello, world! My name is Valerie Addonizio, and I joined the Atlas team in June 2019 as their Special Collections & Archives Technical Consultant. I was happy to spend my first days on the job attending the logistically impressive Aeon Symposium in Boston (and Cambridge). As an Aeon user myself it was interesting to see what institutions are up to, and as a new Atlas employee, it was great to see this community of users informing each other (and us!) about how they use Aeon in their repositories.

The symposium started with a reception at Harvard’s Smith Center, where we got to watch a storm front from our beautiful view over Cambridge. I spent this time getting to know some users with common interests (birding anyone?) and taking it all in.

The next day the symposium began at Harvard’s Lamont Library, where we settled in a for a day of presentations. We started with a great history of archival description (a favorite topic of mine) by keynote speaker Bill Landis. This was followed by presentations from the staff at The Huntington, NYU, UC-San Diego, Harvard, the Bentley, Indiana University, and the Archives of American Art. You can check out recordings of these sessions here: https://training.atlas-sys.com/Course/Details/4333

Aeon Symposium dinner - photo by Cassandra Norman

Aeon Symposium dinner - photo by Cassandra Norman

The next day was a logistics ballet! Attendees got to choose from presentations given at Boston College, Tufts University, or the Massachusetts Historical Society. I followed my Atlas colleagues to the Historical Society and enjoyed a presentation about AtlasBI given by Stephanie Spires, Katie Gillespie, and Genie Powell. I have never used AtlasBI, so I was very impressed by the reporting functionality. Thanks very much to the staff at the MA Historical Society for the lovely tour afterward.

All attendees reconvened at the Boston Athenaeum for the final sessions of the symposium. Since ArchivesSpace is my focus at Atlas, I was looking forward to the ArchivesSpace/Aeon sessions that afternoon, which did not disappoint. Integration with ArchivesSpace is vital for a lot of repositories using Aeon, and listening to presentations by the University of Maryland, Yale, and Harvard showed different ways and different pain-points for those integrations. I took a lot of notes and will continue thinking about these sessions, especially the creation of additional ArchivesSpace add-ons for Aeon.

The day ended with a presentation by Katie Gillespie on what’s next for Atlas and Aeon, and with that, the very successful 2019 Aeon Symposium came to an end. I hope you’ll join us in Georgia for 2020!

ATLA 2019 Annual Conference

By: Anne Marie Lyons, Training and Library Solutions Consultant

Atlas table at ATLA. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Atlas table at ATLA. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Atlas Systems had the pleasure of exhibiting for its first time at the ATLA (American Theological Library Association) Annual Conference, which was held in Vancouver, BC, June 12-15, 2019. ATLA is a “membership association of librarians and information professionals, and a producer of research tools, committed to advancing the study of religion and theology” (https://www.atla.com/about/).

Atlas table at ATLA. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Atlas table at ATLA. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Over 200 people attended the conference, hailing from the U.S., Canada, Nairobi, Auckland, Kiev, and Taiwan, to name just a few countries. Session topics varied from building institutional repositories and archives, to performing library instruction and outreach with analog and electronic educational materials. The program is available here: https://www.atla.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Atla-Annual-Program-2019.pdf.

Juan Pablo Alperin, an Assistant Professor at the School of Publishing at Simon Fraser University, spoke during the first plenary address about the need for open access research. 

For the second plenary address, Sarah Dupont, the Aboriginal Engagement Librarian at the Xwi7xwa (pronounced “whei-wha”; Squamish for “echo”) Library, First Nations House of Learning and the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at the University of British Columbia, discussed educational and cultural changes that information professionals are urged to embrace in light of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada regarding the genocidal experiences of indigenous children. 

The final plenary address was delivered by Dr. Patricia O’Connell Killen, Professor of Religious Studies and Senior University Fellow at Gonzaga University (Wa.), on the histories and trends of religion and spirituality in the Pacific Northwest. 

 The conference also hosted a few hands-on sessions for adding missing, or “hidden,” information to widely used Wikis, including Wikidata (https://www.wikidata.org/) and Wikipedia (https://www.wikipedia.org/).  

From “Wikipedia and Libraries: Better Together” by Meryl Cinnamon, OCLC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

From “Wikipedia and Libraries: Better Together” by Meryl Cinnamon, OCLC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Dr. Colleen D. Hartung and Rosalind Hinton led workshops and created a poster about their “1000 Women in Religion” Projects\, which teaches information professionals how to find cited sources and add them to Wikipedia in an effort to increase the visibility of notable women and their work “in the world’s religious and wisdom  traditions” (http://womenscaucusaar.wixsite.com/womenscaucusaarsbl/1000-women-in-religion-project).

Rosalind Hinton and Dr. Colleen D. Hartung, Poster Session on “1000 Women in Religion” Wikipedia project. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Rosalind Hinton and Dr. Colleen D. Hartung, Poster Session on “1000 Women in Religion” Wikipedia project. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Some other favorite events from the conference:

Job board at ATLA where employers could post job ads, and job-seekers could post their resumes. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Job board at ATLA where employers could post job ads, and job-seekers could post their resumes. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Attendees could complete a passport by visiting each vendor table. Completed passports were entered into a number of drawings for prizes from vendors. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Attendees could complete a passport by visiting each vendor table. Completed passports were entered into a number of drawings for prizes from vendors. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Finally, here are some sights from around Vancouver, where it was warm and pleasantly sunny:

Cityscape near the conference hotel, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Cityscape near the conference hotel, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Bee sanctuary in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Bee sanctuary in Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Brockton Point Lighthouse, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Brockton Point Lighthouse, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Siwash Rock, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons

Siwash Rock, Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC. Photo by Anne Marie Lyons