It took this many attempts to print the sucker,
It took this many attempts to print the sucker,
The last few weeks have been very productive and busy for us! This last weekend was no different. We are getting ever closer to revealing the updated zinecat.org interface which will have more, more, more records. 31k+ records. That should be released by the end of the week, hopefully. There have been some additional ingest hiccups involving version control of ingest MAPs, dates continue to be a thorn, and it turns out that multiple fields of a data set pointing to the same field within Collective Access doesn’t turn out well (i.e. if there are multiple columns of data with “notes” — MARC 500 = Notes and 520 = Summary fields — all pointing to the CA field ca_objects.general_notes). Eric from OpenFlows has been tremendously helpful in providing support to us in this process and along with Jenna has done some impressive troubleshooting. The solution to the last hiccup listed above was to add another field in Collective Access so that both data points can successfully transfer into the system. Now, we just have to figure out why some of the Subject Headings are showing up as numbers!
Dear Maura & Lisa (as well as anyone else reading this):
We would like to update you on our progress as we are about a month away from the date of submission for the capstone project. We have ingested 31,919 records from six collections into the development site and will be working on finalizing the front end of ZineCat Dev Site so that it can be viewed by the public next weekend. For now, take our word that you can discover a much greater sample of zine records! We had planned to include Anchor Archive (or at least their subject thesaurus) and reached out to a colleague that had shown interest in submitting zine records to us about a year ago (but we weren’t ready then to receive the additional collection), but neither of those prospects have come to fruition. As has been noted in many updates over the last two+ months, Collective Access has provided its fair share of technical challenges. It’s not a perfect system, but let’s be honest, what is? We will be including a section in our white paper zine for software reviews and will be sure to cover all the imperfect technology we’ve encountered along the way!
We’re back to ingesting records, as we finally got a good extract from QZAP, thanks to zine librarian Dianne Laguerta, who worked with the data as part of a Code School program. And the records are still giving us/CollectiveAccess indigestion.
We’re making a zine for our final project because that’s how we are, and we don’t want to weigh it down with an extensive bibliography. We’re posting the full bib here, and will link to it in our zine. Enjoy!
This weekend we uploaded 8,880 records from the Denver Zine Library. And deleted them and uploaded them. Twice. The errors were exclusively date problems. I was going to let the problem records stand without the date fields, but then reconsidered because it seemed like there should be an easy fix. Just because I didn’t find it, doesn’t mean that there isn’t!
Lauren and I thought repeating the ingests would be super easy. Breaking news: just because it’s easy-ish to map and upload thirty records and limited fields from a catalog does not mean it’s easy to upload 12,401 records that include category and keyword fields, especially when the server processing in the ingest doesn’t have the biggest brain.
I’m a little late on this post (it was supposed to be shared last weekend), but as you can imagine and understand, life and work sometimes get in the way! I’m remembering clearly this very moment our conversation with our two advisors, Lisa and Maura, a month or so ago, where they so kindly reminded us to mitigate our expectations for ourselves and this capstone over the course of the semester! We did some math during that meeting where they helped us think through how many hours each week we were going to spend on the project based on the prospectus we gave them (it was something like 12 hours/week) and I have definitely not had 12 hours this week, or last, to devote to ZineCat. For anyone reading this that works in an academic institution of higher education, you may empathize with my plight, but enough about me being tardy on this (last week’s) blog post…let me fill you in on the update.
As you may have reading Lauren’s last blog post, our Hack/Doc session led by Lottie and Eric of Openflows Community Technology Cooperative turned out to be more of a discovery day than a hack or documentation session. Having a discovery day reminded me of the old New Mickey Mouse Club song, Discovery Day.
Our Zine Hack/Doc day has come and gone and it was quite the day! Fifteen participants spent the better part of Sunday, October 6, 2019 embarking on a discovery of the Zine Union Catalog. This entailed conversations about user needs, metadata, shared authority, cataloging challenges, workflows, algorithms, and human interventions in any ZineCat workflow. Participants had a varying degree of familiarity with ZineCat and/or with Collective Access, the platform that ZineCat is run on, and came from a variety of institutions (including a co-developer of CA!). We also had one attendee join in from Milwaukee using Zoom and we thank them for tolerating the intermittent wifi disconnection and sometimes poor sound quality. Ultimately, it turned out to be more discovery than hack/doc, but we’re happy with the way it turned out! The following is a summary of the day’s events.