SCAPE comes to an end

Today is the last day for the EU-funded SCAPE project. The project was quite successful and produced a significant body of work in the areas of scalable digital preservation. Although SCAPE was EU-focused, I learned a lot from the project. If you are interested in reading about some of the many accomplishments of SCAPE, you can read the last SCAPE Newsletter.

JESSE e-mail ist reborn

As many of you know, one of, if not, the leading e-mail list for LIS educators was JESSE. JESSE was a moderated list and sadly, the moderator passed away earlier this year and the list hasn’t been active since. A new JESSE list has been created at Wayne State University. They don’t have access to the original JESSE list’s subscriber base so if you are interested, you will need to subscribe again. Subscription information is included in an e-mail that was sent to various Deans, Directors, and Program Chairs and is copied below.

Dear ALISE Dean, Director, or Program Chair:

Please alert your faculty, staff, and any other interested persons that Jesse, the discussion list for library and information science, is back in operation. Anyone may subscribe to the list. Only subscribers may post messages but, unlike before, posting is without moderation.

Since this is a new address and we don’t have access to the original subscriber list, it is necessary to subscribe again.

To subscribe, send the following message to

Subscribe jesse < first name > < last name >

I hope you and your colleagues and stakeholders will find this list to again be a useful component of your communications activities.


Stephen T. Bajjaly
Associate Dean and Professor

New Book: Digital Preservation for Libraries, Archives, and Museums

A few weeks ago a new book I co-authored with Heather Lea Moulaison was published by Rowman and Littlefield. The book is titled Digital Preservation for Libraries, Archives, and Museums. Initial reaction has been extremely positive. It is available through all of the major book sellers such as Amazon where at one point it was #7 in one of its categories! If you interested in digital preservation, please consider purchasing the book or borrowing it from your local library. Below is the publisher’s description of the book:

Digital Preservation in Libraries, Archives, and Museums represents a new approach to getting started with digital preservation: that of what cultural heritage professionals need to know as they begin their work. For administrators and practitioners alike, the information in this book is presented readably, focusing on management issues and best practices. Although this book addresses technology, it is not solely focused on technology. After all, technology changes and digital preservation is aimed for the long term. This is not a how-to book giving step-by-step processes for certain materials in a given kind of system. Instead, it addresses a broad group of resources that could be housed in any number of digital preservation systems. Finally, this book is about “things (not technology; not how-to; not theory) I wish I knew before I got started.”

Digital preservation is concerned with the life cycle of the digital object in a robust and all-inclusive way. Many Europeans and some North Americans may refer to digital curation to mean the same thing, taking digital preservation to be the very limited steps and processes needed to insure access over the long term. The authors take digital preservation in the broadest sense of the term: looking at all aspects of curating and preserving digital content for long term access.
The book is divided into four parts based on the Digital Preservation Triad:

  1. Situating Digital Preservation,
  2. Management Aspects,
  3. Technology Aspects, and
  4. Content-Related Aspects.

The book includes a foreword by Michael Lesk, eminent scholar and forerunner in digital librarianship and preservation. The book features an appendix providing additional information and resources for digital preservationists. Finally, there is a glossary to support a clear understanding of the terms presented in the book.

Digital Preservation will answer questions that you might not have even known you had, leading to more successful digital preservation initiatives.

Contoocook Lake in Jaffrey, NH, Track #298

This weekend I wasn’t expecting to go to any races because I had some work-related things I wanted to do. However, as it turns out, I got most of the things I wanted to get done by the end of the day on Saturday and my Sunday was freed up. I decided to see some ice racing in New Hampshire. As far as I can tell there are three groups that run automobile ice races in New Hampshire and they all run there regular shows on Sunday and all start between 12:00 and 12:30 pm. I checked with each group and they all were running. After some hemming and hawing, I decided to go watch the Jaffrey Ice Racing Association race on an oval on Contoocook Lake in Jaffrey, NH. The main reason why I choose this club was that it was an hour closer to where I live than the others.

There were 3 divisions of racing and the scheduled called for each division to have two 6 lap heat races and a 10 lap feature heat race. While you could watch for free on the road, I paid $3 to walk onto the ice. Another option would have been to pay $10 to drive onto the ice. The weather was a bit warm for ice racing (40 degrees) and rain was on its way so I appreciated that they started on time. They probably could have taken a little less time between heat races though with rain in the forecast and on its way. In the end, they managed to get 5 of the 6 heat races completed before the rain and warm conditions made the event organizers call off the rest of the racing at about 1:30 pm. Besides being the first ice race I’ve seen in New Hampshire, this was my first oval ice race. I really did enjoy the oval ice races and hope to get to another one this year but with ice racing being so weather-dependent that may or may not happen.

PS: I didn’t write up a report for last weekend when I went to Georgia, but I saw two new tracks that weekend.

New Track since last report:

Albany Motor Speedway, dirt oval, Albany GA (dirt late models): 01/25/2014
Watermelon Capital Speedway, paved oval. Cordele GA (paved super late models): 01/26/2014
Contoocook Lake, ice oval, Jaffrey, NH: 2/1/2014

2014 Stats:
Total Tracks: 6
New Tracks: 6
States I saw new tracks: 5 (Georgia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia)
Countries: 1 (USA)
Total Races: 6
Total lifetime TrackChaser countable tracks: 298

Two new tracks this weekend: Richmond Coliseum and Charlotte Legends Road Course

After looking at various ice racing and weather reports on the morning of Friday, Jan 17, I decided to head to Richmond, Virginia for the ArenaRacingUSA mini-cup racing. I heard good things about these indoor mini-cup races on high-banked tracks but I have never seen a race. While they used to race in multiple locations, it appears the Richmond Coliseum is the only place they still race. Admission was a reasonable $14 and I paid $6 to park in a parking garage nearby. Some people saved the $6 by parking on the street but I couldn’t find a legal place. The track is pretty high-banked with a wooden surface. The track is a good size for the cars and they can pass and they get around really fast. I had an enjoyable time. The biggest downside was the volume of the announcer (too loud), but I guess that is better than none (see below) an the kids in attendance seemed to like it. I liked that they started on time and moved the show along.

My original plan was to start heading home after the race but I knew the Legend Cars were running on a road course in the infield of Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina on Saturday, Jan. 18 with the drivers meeting scheduled for 8:30 AM. I figured that would mean I could get out of there in a reasonable time to still make it home Saturday night so I went for it. There was no admission charge – I just had to sign a waiver. I showed up after the driver’s meeting and the first round of practice was just starting. They had two rounds of practice (with the second round setting the lineups for the heat races). It was about 34 degrees and when someone saw my New York license plates they accused me of bringing the cold. I managed to find a parking spot were I could see part of the course and sat in the car for the most of the practices. It was sunny so the car was pretty warm. Once the heat races came out, I braved the cold and saw some pretty good although I still prefer oval racing -especially for these types of cars. Really, the only downside was the lack of a PA system. They did “tweet” out and place some things on facebook, but not really enough to keep me as informed as I would like. In that way it definitely wasn’t designed for spectators .Still, I managed to get out of there at a reasonable time after seeing some enjoyable racing and make it home without having to find a place to sleep on the way home. This was my fourth countable track at the Charlotte Motor Speedway speedway, having previously seen racing on the big oval, the paved inner- short-track, and the dirt track,

New Tracks this weekend:

Richmond Coliseum, Richmond VA (mini-cups) (1/17/2014)
Charlotte Motor Speedway (Inner Short Track) (1/18/2014)

2014 Stats:
Total Tracks: 3
New Tracks: 3
States I saw new tracks: 1 (North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia)
Countries: 1 (USA)
Total Races: 3

Total lifetime TrackChaser countable tracks: 295

BMI Indoor Speedway – 2014-01-11 (Track #293)

On Saturday, January 11, I headed with Mike K. do the BMI Indoor Speedway kart complex in Versailles, Ohio to attend our first race in 2014. When we got there we met up with 4 other TrackChasers who were in attendance. On tap were a few different classes of karts, with Champ Karts being the countable class for TrackChasers. The track was a 1/10 mile high banked concrete oval costructed inside of a large building. I was surprised about the banking. I was expecting the typicall flat concrete track you get indoors. The biggest disappointment was the lack of cars, but there were 3 or 4 other indoor kart races within 3-4 hours so that probably didn’t help any. The Champ Karts only had 3 karts. At least that is enough to be countable! It would have been quite disappointing to drive all the way to western Ohio and not get a countable race in. The Champ Karts ran 4 7-lap heats (with inverts between them) and a feature. The feature was 12 laps and took under a minute and a half according to Guy Smith.

Not the most exciting race ever but seem good bench racing was had and my first TrackChaser countable track is in the books for 2014!

2014 Stats:
Total Tracks: 1
New Tracks: 1
States: 1 (Ohio)
Countries: 1 (USA)
Total Races: 1

Total lifetime TrackChaser countable tracks: 293

Checking if xml is well formed using xmllint

I had to check if an xml document was well formed today. I have a few nice graphical tools that can do this, but I wanted to do it in a script on my linux box. I found out that xmllint does a good job of this. The command I used is:

xmllint -noout input.xml

If the XML document is not well-formed errors well go to standard out and then I can figure out how to correct the cause of the errors.

Top 11 College rankings

Here are my first rankings for the 2012 college football season. I normally do the top 10, but since there are 11 undefeated teams that are eligible for the bowl games, I’ll include all of them. Ohio State is 7-0 but they do not get a slot in my pole based on there ineligibility status. I’m not sure where they would go in my rankings, but they would be in the bottom half of the 12 undefeated teams. As per past year, I look at out-of-conference games (which teams can control more then in-conference) a lot more favorable than some others and rank more on results then potential. For example, if you look like you have a great team, but thus far have played a weak schedule, you’ll probably be lower then a team that doesn’t “look” as good. This does mean, however, as the season moves on, my top 10 won’t be static since it isn’t based on predictions.

  1. Notre Dame (6-0): I know many are not believers yet, but they have three wins over teams that were in the AP top 20 at the time (including one on the road). They have two really tough road games coming up though. At Oklahoma (Oct 27) and at USC (Nov 24).
  2. Oregon State: Two wins over top 20 AP teams including a win out-of-conference against then AP #13 Wisconsin. That win puts them above in-state rival Oregon in my pole.
  3. Florida (6-0): Another cream puff schedule from an “elite” SEC team. They will have one tough out of conference game though, but that isn’t until November 24 against Florida State. Good wins on the road against Texas A&M and LSU puts them ahead of Alabama.
  4. Kansas State (6-0): They blew out Miami in an out-of-conference game and beat (then #6) Oklahoma on the road. The Miami win would be better of the U was better this season, but still at least they were willing to schedule them.
  5. Rutgers (6-0): Rutgers gets the top ranking of the Big East undefeated based on there out-of-conference road win at Arkansas. Next week they are at Temple which is an underrated team but Rutgers should still be able to beat them. If they do, they have a good chance of going into their November 17 road game against Cincinnati with a 9-0 record
  6. Cincinnati (6-0). I considered putting them above Rutgers with there 27-24 win in D.C. Against Virginia Tech, but decided that overall Rutgers has had the tougher schedule thus far. A win ar Louisville next week may have them jump the Scarlet Knights, however.
  7. Alabama (6-0): I know the pundits love them, but they haven’t had any real tough away games yet. Actually, they only have one all season (LSU) although Arkansas should have been better early on (I think Arkansas has talent, but we will see as the season moves on if the ship can be righted). Still, ‘Bama gets credit for the win on a neutral site over Michigan and because they haven’t let anyone come even close to beating them. They will move up in my rankings if they keep winning though as they have some tougher games like the aforementioned one at LSU latter in the season<./li>
  8. Louisville (6-0) Good out-of-conference wins against Kentucky and North Carolina but both games were at home. In two weeks Cincinnati comes in for a visit. That should be a great game.
  9. Ohio (7-0): The only 7 win team in my rankings gets into the top 10 with season-opening a road victory at Penn State.
  10. Oregon (6-0): Arkansas State, Fresno State, Tennessee Tech? I guess they don’t like to be challenged out of conference. Only one road game at 2-5 Washington State so far. Really need to see more from them but their schedule is back-heavy so they have a chance to move up.
  11. Mississippi State (6-0): Best win so far was at Kentucky or maybe home against Tennessee. Out of conference games include Jackson State, Troy, South Alabama, and Middle Tennessee. Consider me unimpressed. We won’t have a clue on how good they are until Oct 27 when the go on the road against Alabama.

Closed Stacks

There is an interesting post on the Oxford University Press’s blog by Michael Levine-Clark, “An academic librarian without a library.” In truth, Michael does have a library, but it is being renovated and what he means is he doesn’t currently have a library with open stacks. In Europe, closed stacks are a more common occurrence then in the United States. In the U.S. people have become accustomed to being able to browse open stacks and many faculty, students and librarians think going to closed stacks would be a loss. However, with many academic librarians being on prime campus real estate and the needs for the library to serve other uses, such as being an Information Commons, moving a portion of the physical collections off-site is becoming more and more common. It is a trend I don’t see going the other way anytime soon.

At the University of Denver where Michael Levine-Clark as Collections Librarian and Professor, the library is closed for renovations. Originally up to 80% of the psychical collections was to remain off-site but after an uproar from students and faculty 50% of the collection is set to return after renovations. Michael’s blog post details how “every comment I’ve heard from faculty and students about the temporary dislocation [of stacks] has been positive” and “raises the question of what exactly a library is.”

While browsing may not be, as Michael says, “an ideal way” of finding books no one single way is and no amount of technology will change that. The serendipity of finding something you are not looking for is far less likely in online environments and I think that is a big loss. I wonder if the lack of access to the physical collection via browsing is not getting as much negative reaction because faculty and students know that the library is being renovated and that it is a temporary inconvenience and when the renovations are done half of the collections will return to open stacks? Browsing stacks might not be the best way to find ALL books on the topic you can get, but it is probably the most efficient way to find and access SOME physical books on a topic. Depending on the users’ needs at the time, that is often just what they want. It certainly works for the cook book and travel sections at my local Barnes and Noble and unless they typical undergrad is different then i was in college (which they may very well be the case but I’m skeptical) it serves there purpose most of the time.

Symlinking MySQL data files

Due to space issues, I had to move my MySQL data files (/var/lib/mysql) on a Ubuntu box to another file system. I did that and created a symlink, but MySQL would not start. It turns out to be an easy fix. I found a post on MySQL Forums from someone who had a similar problem, and someone named Richard Guy posted my solution:

Did you fix the apparmor config file for mysqld and restart apparmor?

first you need to edit /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.mysqld and add the new fully qualified (ie, no symbolic link) path(s). [you may want to leave the original /var/lib/mysql entries intact :-) ]

then “restart” apparmor:

sudo invoke-rc.d apparmor reload

for more info, see

I edited the file as appropriate, and MySQL started fine and now I don’t have to worry about my disk space filling up again.

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