August 25, 2016

North Carolina State U. Library Awarded Grant to Develop Social Media Collection, Curation, and Preservation Toolkit

Some news from Wolfpack Country!

The toolkit that is discussed below is scheduled to be released during Summer 2015.

From NCSU Libraries:

The North Carolina State University Libraries has been awarded a grant to tackle a significant emerging opportunity for academic libraries and the historians, social scientists, and other researchers that they support: how best to capture and save the increasingly critical but ephemeral social media conversations that now regularly document our lives and times.

The EZ Innovation Grant from the State Library of North Carolina will enable librarians Jason Casden and Brian Dietz to lead a team to develop a freely available web toolkit to help guide institutions that preserve our cultural heritage by collecting and curating the primary documents that are the raw materials of history. Increasingly these materials are created and shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. But since few institutions are systematically saving these conversations, much of our current history’s raw material is quickly and irrevocably disappearing as quickly as it is produced. And while tools to save these materials are becoming more sophisticated and less expensive, very little has been done to help libraries and others deploy them in thoughtful, effective ways.

The NCSU Libraries has previously taken a lead role in this area with its award- winning Lentil platform, an open-source tool that harvests and makes it easy to present collections of social media images from the Instagram platform. The new grant would build on this work by exploring methods and best practices for integrating social media into existing ways that libraries collect primary materials.

The team will start by investigating social media associated with campus events, spaces, student groups, and campus units at NC State—and will develop software, procedures, and documentation to cost-effectively implement social media archiving at the NCSU Libraries.

This work will then allow the team to develop a web toolkit to help other institutions:

● Collect official communication of various organizational groups

● Collect unofficial, crowdsourced communication from communities of interest

● Develop techniques for enriching collections at a minimal cost by taking advantage of harvesting interfaces provided by social media platforms

The toolkit will also include materials to help other cultural heritage institutions design and document criteria for what they collect and strategies to begin collecting social media. These materials will include a scan of work being done in the area, a risk assessment for potential legal concerns, and a discussion of the impact of social media on archival research.

See Also: NCSU Libraries Shares Open-Source Solution for Crowdsourcing Photography Collections (August 16, 2014)

Some Related Reading

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

Share