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By: David Hiscoe

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded $333,000 to North Carolina State University to support the second phase of the development of the Global Open Knowledgebase (GOKb), an open source project that promises to significantly enhance how libraries manage their electronic journals and books.

Designed and implemented by the Kuali OLE founding partners and Jisc Collections of the United Kingdom with initial funding from the Mellon Foundation, GOKb is a pioneering knowledge base of metadata that describes e-books and e-journals, the models that publishers use to sell them, and the ways that libraries and their users can access them.

GOKb’s data will be made publicly available under a Creative Commons CC0 license so that the tool can be used by anyone and integrated into any system or service, whether commercial or open source. As a service to learning communities globally, it will be freely available to libraries, academic publishers, library service providers, and the public through a web-based interface and application program interfaces (APIs).

GOKb is designed to be a part of the Kuali Open Library Environment (Kuali OLE), the first library management system designed by and for academic and research libraries. NC State and the NCSU Libraries serve as lead institution for GOKb development. GOKb will also be adopted by Knowledge Base+, an electronic resources management service provided by Jisc Collections.

Phase 2 work funded by the Mellon grant will run through December 2015 and will enable further development of the knowledge base, recruitment of library and vendor partnerships, and expansion into key areas such as e-book management, description of open-access resources, and linked data.

Libraries and publishers are now invited to explore GOKb—and become a partner

Phase 1 of the GOKb project is now available for public preview through the GOKb web application.  The preview showcases the latest version of the GOKb software and contains representative seed data that describes organizations, packages, titles, holdings, and templates for licensing.  Libraries and publishers are invited to use the GOKb preview to search and browse metadata, export package information, and experiment with the system’s API and co-referencing service. The GOKb team is very interested in receiving comments and suggestions from users as they explore the tool.

At this stage of development, the GOKb development group is also especially interested in working with new partners in both the library and the vendor communities.  New library partners will be critical to making this community-managed resource increasingly valuable for academic libraries around the globe.  Academic publishers who contribute data at this stage of GOKb development will benefit from a tool that is driven by an engaged, knowledgeable community of librarians who will be continually contributing valuable enhancements to data about publishers’ products.

By: David Hiscoe

College Raptor, a web site dedicated to helping prospective students find their perfect college, has ranked the Hunt Library as number two in “10 of the Most Amazing College Libraries in the US.

By: Library Staff

The D. H. Hill Library’s new Visualization Studio provides an easy-to-use space where you can transform how you see your presentations, present your research, and explore your data. Using the room’s 12 projectors to create an immersive 360-degree view across four walls, the studio allows:

  • Students to work together on group projects, to boost their presentations to new levels, and to study complex ideas and phenomena at a large scale, seeing them spread out around the room.
  • Professors to conduct interactive classes and engaging seminars that surround their students in images, documents, movie clips, and data visualizations.
  • Researchers to work together to explore new ways to describe and communicate their findings visually, compare complex, detailed images, and analyze large maps and graphics.
Drop by and see the room in action

On January 30, 2015, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the Visualization Studio will be open for you to explore its possibilities.
NCSU Libraries staff and experts from the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) will be available to give an overview of the room’s features, demonstrate examples of applications from a range of disciplines, and answer questions you might have about how to make the room work for you. RENCI is a collaborative effort involving UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, and NC State and was instrumental in developing and deploying the Visualization Studio.

The Visualization Studio is located on the second floor of the East Wing, D. H. HillLibrary, just across from the Unity Lab.

By: Library Staff

Upgrades to the D. H. Hill Library over the past several years have made it a great place to study and do research, an award-winning library, and the most used facility on campus.  But features of the basic infrastructure of older parts of the building now require updating for safety and to enable future enhancements to its learning and research spaces.

From February 9 until the end of the 2015 spring semester, the D. H. Hill West Wing will be closed to allow construction crews to upgrade the fire sprinkler system and address other issues that will allow us to keep it state of the art.

Changes of interest to library users during this period include:

  • Current periodicals can be requested at the Ask Us center.
  • Newspapers will be available at the east end of the Ground Floor Reading Room.
  • The Mini-Theater will not be available for booking, nor will the West Wing Auditorium.
  • The Silent Reading Room, Tech Sandbox, Terrace, Creamery, and Cone Zone on the first floor will be unavailable.
  • The accessible entrance will be the first-floor door on the east side of the building.
  • The Faculty Senate will move to the ground floor of the South Tower in the Administrative Conference Room (Room #B404).

If the construction work goes well, it is possible that selected parts of the West Wing may be able to reopen before the end of the semester.

By: David Hiscoe

Rev. King speaking at Durham’s White Rock Baptist Church. Harold Moore, AP.

The Raleigh News and Observer explores how the Virtual MLK Project will use the Hunt Library for an immersive recreation of the 1960 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Fill up the jails” speech in Durham, North Carolina.  The project is using the Library’s technology to allow “historical speeches and sermons [to] be better understood if -re-experienced as closely as possible to the original, rather than simply being read.”

By: David Hiscoe

In “From Novelty to Advanced Research,” Results magazine explores how the Hunt Library Makerspace creates “a place where dreams, and an occasional daydream, come true.”

By: Library Staff

sparkfunDo you want to build a robot that interacts with Twitter or your own wearable electronics project? Are you interested in learning about 3D Printing but aren’t sure where to start? The Libraries are offering several exciting Makerspace workshops this semester that will provide an awesome introduction to a variety of innovative technologies. The workshops will take place at the D. H. Hill Library Multimedia Seminar Center. All workshops are free for all NCSU students, faculty, and staff, and no prior experience is required to participate!

Jan 07 2015

Coffee & Viz

By: Marian Fragola

Introducing the Coffee & Viz seminar series. Held in one of the NCSU Libraries high-tech spaces, Coffee & Viz is a forum in which NC State researchers share their visualization work and discuss topics of interest. All Coffee & Viz programs are free and open to the public and are presented by the NCSU Libraries. Coffee and light refreshments will be served at 9:15 a.m., program begins at 9:30 a.m. For more information, contact Karen Ciccone at 919-515-3513 or kacollin@ncsu.edu.

UPCOMING PROGRAMS

Dr. Helena Mitasova, Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Friday, January 23 at 9:15 a.m.

Hunt Library, Teaching & Visualization Lab

Dr. Helena Mitasova is a professor in Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and a faculty fellow at the Center for Geospatial Analytics. She is a charter member of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) and a member of Open Source GRASS GIS project steering committee. She will talk about visualizing large geospatial data sets and modeling of dynamic landscape processes.

The presentation will also include examples of open source GRASS GIS visualizations developed by students for their course projects using the Teaching and Visualization Lab and Tangeoms: Tangible geospatial modeling system.

Dr. Christopher Healey, Computer Science: Understanding Color for Data Visualization

Friday, February 20 at 9:15 a.m.

Hunt Library, Teaching & Visualization Lab

Dr. Chris Healy’s work harnesses visual perception to create visualization techniques supporting the rapid and effective exploration and analysis of large, complex datasets.

“Colour is a familiar concept that we all recognize and use in our day-to-day lives. Understanding how colour ‘works’ is a much more fascinating problem, however, involving the physics of light, visual perception, language and culture, and context. This talk will touch on these issues by discussing them and demonstrating how they affect presenting data with colour. As a practical example, I will show how we used colour to visualize results from the recent 2014 U.S. elections.”

Dr. Gary Lackmann, Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Friday, March 20 at 9:15 a.m.

Hunt Library, Teaching & Visualization Lab

Dr. Gary Lackmann is an atmospheric scientist at NC State who studies high-impact weather, climate change, and numerical atmospheric modeling. He will present visualizations that clarify the structure and workings of hurricanes, using Hurricane Katrina as an example.

David Hill, Architecture

Friday, April 17 at 9:15 a.m.

Hunt Library, Teaching & Visualization Lab

The Great Fire of London destroyed St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1666. Nearly four centuries later, Professors John N. Wall (English) and David Hill (Architecture) have rebuilt it—in virtual space. Wall, a John Donne scholar, wanted to hear the famed poet and dean of the cathedral deliver one of his most famous sermons in order to experience the event “unfolding in real time in the context of an interactive and collaborative occasion.”

The Virtual Paul’s Cross Project (VPCP) uses architectural modeling software and digital acoustic simulations to recreate the visual, spatial, and auditory experience of Donne’s Gunpowder Day sermon delivered on November 5th, 1622. At this Coffee & Viz lecture, Prof. Hill will present the research and modeling process that created the virtual environment of London’s pre-fire St. Paul’s Cathedral.  He will discuss how digital tools can simulate momentous events in spaces that have not existed for hundreds of years.

By: Library Staff

The contracting firm D. J. Rose and Son Inc., based in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, has donated a major collection of historic architectural drawings and other documents to the North Carolina State University Libraries. Established in 1890 by builder David Jeptha Rose, D. J. Rose and Son is the oldest continuously operating general contracting firm in North Carolina.

D. J. Rose and Son 1940 addition to Rocky Mount Mills as plant gears up to become a major supplier of cotton to the US Army during World War II.

D. J. Rose and Son 1940 addition to Rocky Mount Mills as plant gears up to become a major supplier of cotton to the US Army during World War II.

Towering tobacco and textile mills, tall and elegant banks, classical courthouses in county seats, railroad stations large and small, electric power plants and fertilizer factories, hospitals and churches, and commercial buildings and residences in every style—for more than a century the Rose family firm constructed essential buildings of every kind throughout Eastern North Carolina and as far away as Florida and Maryland. Year by year, each generation of the firm filed away the records of their projects in nearly every town in the region.

The donors of the collection, Dillon Rose, Sr., and Dillon Rose, Jr., discovered the significance of the records after exploring NCSU Libraries’ website, North Carolina Architects and Builders at http://ncarchitects.lib.ncsu.edu/. Dillon Rose Jr. saw the biography for architect William P. Rose (David Jeptha Rose’s brother) and contacted the library to ask if the D. J. Rose firm was to be included in the website. Catherine W. Bishir, Curator of Architecture at the Special Collections Research Center at NCSU Libraries, learned from him about the family collection. Rose recalls, “I didn’t realize the importance of what we had until I talked with Catherine.”

To ensure the collection’s long-term preservation and access to researchers, the Roses agreed to donate the collection to the Libraries. The NCSU Libraries secured a matching grant from the Marion Stedman Covington Foundation of Greensboro, North Carolina, to enable the records—many of them more than 100 years old—to be cleaned by a conservation contractor.

The hundreds of rolls of drawings include works by some of the region’s leading architects for whom most records have been lost—Benton and Benton of Wilson, John C. Stout of Rocky Mount, Joseph Leitner of Wilmington, to name a few. Rows of boxes hold thousands of documents that tell the story of changing times and the work of many people, from local workmen asking for jobs to bills from distant suppliers of hardware and machinery. “It is a rich and amazing collection,” says Bishir. “We’ve seen just part of it, and can’t wait to see the rest of its treasures.”

Much of the collection involves railroad facilities—depots, turntables, platforms—especially those for the present Atlantic Coast Line (ACL), the lifeline of the region’s economic development. The company’s location by the railroad linked it to projects near and far, including the rail-oriented warehouses and factories where hundreds of workers sold or processed the region’s principal crops of cotton and tobacco.

As Gwyneth Thayer, Associate Head and Curator of Special Collections, who orchestrated the cleaning project, states, “Thanks to the Rose family and the Covington Foundation, historians and the interested public for years to come can learn about transportation and industrial history as well as architecture in ways that would never have been possible otherwise.”

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at the NCSU Libraries continues to assemble and archive the work of leading architects and builders to make these unique materials available to a wide audience. The SCRC has collected the papers of key architects, including G. Milton Small, Jr., George Matsumoto, and William Waldo Dodge, as well as those of past and present faculty members of NC State’s College of Design such as Henry Kamphoefner, Marvin Malecha, Matthew Nowicki, and Frank Harmon.

The SCRC holds research and primary resource materials in areas that reflect and support the teaching and research needs of the students, faculty, and researchers at the university. By emphasizing established and emerging areas of excellence at NC State University and corresponding strengths within the Libraries’ overall collection, the SCRC develops collections strategically with the aim of becoming an indispensable source of information for generations of scholars.

By: Miranda Forman

Coffee and DonutsCoffee and donuts during final exams
(Starting the night of December 7th)
D. H. Hill Library and the Hunt Library

Long after the cafes have closed for the night, University Dining will be providing free coffee and the Friends of the Library will be supplying donuts in the lobbies of the D. H. Hill Library and the Hunt Library throughout final examinations (except for Saturday and Sunday mornings).

So put down the books for a few moments, take a deep breath or two, and meet us after midnight to throw off the stress and boost up the energy.

Our thanks go to University Dining and the Friends of the Library.