With the new Florida College System developing where a handful of current community colleges will soon begin offering four year degrees, maybe changes for colleges and universities in the state of Florida. Florida needs the Florida College System to serve the public, but even in positive budget years major change is a great deal of work. Far too many factors are at play to know exactly what elements will have the greatest impact or what that impact will be on how the Florida College System will shape the future of Florida’s higher ed. Knowing the past, though, can offer insight into complicated situations and booksRead More →

In addition to our UFDC search engine optimization, we’re working on RSS feeds for all new items and for new items from each of the collections. Our RSS feed page will be here: http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/ufdc2/rss/ but it’s still in development right now. RSS feeds take advantage of the power of the web to syndicate and share content and the methods search engines use for ranking content. While this has been arguably problematic as traditional media takes its time in changing, using RSS feeds makes sense and especially so for sites that the University of Florida Digital Collections where we want to share content as widely andRead More →

Now that the University of Florida Digital Collections is optimized for internal coding, we’re trying to start optimizing for search engines. We currently use robots.txt to request that search engines do not crawl our site. Doing so was a hard choice because we want our materials to be accessible and used. However, we were forced to stop the search engines because they were crashing our server.¬† We had a number of overzealous search engines that crawled and re-crawled, and crawled in strange ways. With our JPG2000 images, the over-crawling and overly quick crawling ate too much memory and we couldn’t do it and remain functional.Read More →

The Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries (ACURIL) 2008 Conference included many presentations, at least two of which spoke on the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC). Brooke Wooldridge and Marilyn Ochoa (both of dLOC, from FIU and UF respectively) held a workshop on usability for the dLOC contributor tools entitled “dLOC Toolkit and Usability Testing: A User-¬≠Centered Approach to Improve Electronic Resource Design.” OCLC’s Karen Calhoun presented “Digital Library Dreams,” on ways that research resources are being brought to student and researchers of and in the Caribbean, and how the dreams of effective resource delivery are coming true, with the Digital LibraryRead More →

We’re working hard and rapidly approaching our 2 million page mark! Our current statistics show 55,072 titles with 74,341 items and a whopping 1,896,811 pages. From the last time I noted our numbers, on April 20 with 1.718 million pages, we’re set to eclipse our 100,000 pages a month as long as we can make it over 1.918 before June 20, and we should make it, provided the heat of the Gainesville summer, budget year changeover, and summer vacations don’t slow us down too much. The Baldwin Digital Library of Historical Children’s Literature is the largest single collection, with 484.048 pages, but at this rateRead More →

The Digital Library Center has been awfully busy lately digitizing more materials and loading materials digitized earlier that we’re just now working through. It’s difficult to explain the sheer volume of materials or the wonders held within them, but sometimes real instead of web spiders can help. Soon after waking up this morning, I found a wolf spider in my house. I carefully scooped her (or him) up and dropped the spider outside. I’m quite a fan of wolf spiders since they’re such interesting characters. They don’t weave webs and instead they stalk and chase their prey, jumping to catch meals, and they’re fast! They’reRead More →

Finger Plays for Nursery and Kindergarten by Emilie Poulsson is a playbook of sorts, with technical writing style guides for finger plays. As wonderfully silly as this image is, the purpose of Finger Plays as explained in the “Preface” is even more wonderful: “WHAT the child imitates,” says Froebel, “he begins to understand. Let him represent the flying of birds and he enters partially into the life of birds. Let him imitate the rapid motion of fishes in the water and his sympathy with fishes is quickened. Let him reproduce the activities of farmer, miller and baker, and his eyes open to the meaning ofRead More →

37Signals’ blog recently featured a discussion of path vs hierarchical navigation. As many of the commentators noted, hierarchies and paths both have their uses and a mixture of both based on need and site are often useful. For many websites, creating paths is a relatively straightforward process. For UF’s Digital Collections, we create paths by allowing users to sort their results and to link to similar from the results, but most notably by organizing all of the collections into thematic collections (historical children’s literature, newspapers, Florida photographs) and by providing starting points into more manageable sub-collections through these groupings. We also create direct links fromRead More →

The University of Florida Digital Collections have a number of collaborative partnerships with the Digital Library of the Caribbean, the Florida Digital Newspaper Library, and other projects. One of our local partners is the Matheson Museum. The picture above comes from one of their photograph collections, the E. H. Bone Collection, and many other photos are in the Matheson Museum and in the University Archives, so this is a great partnership to help preserve the history of the Gainesville, Florida area and to preserve the early history of the University of Florida while also showing how the town and school developed together. This particular pictureRead More →

Well, our infrastructural updates went faster than expected thanks to Mark putting in long hours for several days, but we’re now loading again. Right now, we’re sitting at 1,804,535 pages, from 54,260 titles and 71,597 items, and counting. Plus, these can now all be viewed within the slightly updated interface (with tabs for views and additional collection-based pages) and within the better overall structure with optimized code for speed, accessibility, and interoperability.Read More →