THATCamp Alabama 2014

THATCamp Alabama 2014 will be held September 5-6, 2014 at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

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THATCamp Alabama 2013, storified

This quick Storify captures many of the tweets from our THATCamp. If you created an archive of the event- an Evernote notebook, Instagram images, bookmarks, a Google doc, etc.- that you’d like to share, please share it here (as a link in the comments or in a post of your own).

Please do the same with workshop and session notes: create a blog post, Google doc, or something else freely accessible online, then find the session proposal post and add links to the notes in the comments.

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Notes for Building Programs/Local Collaborations

My notes from the combined session based on proposals from Kathleen Lowe (Build It and Will They Come) and Franky Abbott (Building Local Collaborations) are in the Google doc Building Programs and Local Collaborations in the Digital Humanities.

Heather Martin

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Friday-Useful Tech Tools (Olliff and Hettich), Bufferapp, and are examples of tools that allow you to update multiple accounts for maximum impact.

What kind of apps and softwares help us do are own work?

Dropbox works well but doesn’t play well with EndNote. It does play well with Zotero.

Google calendar can be shared between members of a group/

Google drive is a good cloud storage option with the added bonus of built in collaboration.

Doodle is good for setting meetings with optional times.
Wiggio is good for setting meetings with standing, continual groups of people.

Many different tools do the same thing.

Writeroom app gives you a clean slate and shuts off your Internet connection to enable you to write distraction free.
Scriviner allows segmenting, moving of chunks of text.

Evernote, notability, and Iannotate are all good places for storing notes. Make sure you can do with them what you want in the end. If you intend to export them, make sure the tool allows that.

Hastac was recommended as a place to set up a group for continued discussion about changing tools.

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Evaluate THATCamp Alabama 2013

Thanks for coming to the first THATCamp Alabama!

Please take a moment to complete an online evaluation for our camp. There are only two required fields: which THATCamp you attended and a rating of your overall THATCamp experience (additional feedback is most welcome, though). You can access the evaluation form here:

All THATCamp evaluations are anonymous and publicly available at

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And now, a word [for] our sponsors



Funding for THATCamp Alabama is provided by The University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences, The University of Alabama Libraries, the Mervyn H. Sterne Library at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, the University of Montevallo, and Microsoft Research.

Special thanks to the Paul W. Bryant Museum and the Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports Commission for donating giveaway bags and items.

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ALT AC notes, draft

ALT AC: converting interest/ability into a job. Are Humanities programs preparing students for outside jobs. ALT AC: converting interest/ability into a job. Are Humanities programs preparing students for outside jobs. ALT AC: converting interest/ability into a job. Are Humanities programs preparing students for outside jobs.

Tension in SLIS between traditional and new-media approaches, young and old. Established and tenured librarians set in tension against clinical positions. Tenured folk unhappy with clinical positions (and the people accepting them) while the market doesn’t offer the choice. Tenure like marriage, so clinical faculty can be looked upon with “live-in” disapproval.

Two thirds of the professoriate transforming from tenure to clinical or adjunct, which also strips power away from the faculty. Also, librarians who must go through tenure process often aren’t seen as teachers by other tenured faculty.

Taking skills from working as an editor to MLS, working on databases, instructional technology; these skills are portable across multiple categories and potential careers. Lots of room in instructional technology.

Digital Humanities as what librarians may be doing in the next ten to fifteen years. Project management skills cropping up a lot in job ads, and these skills overlap with library skills. Silos may break down over time. True organizationally, but on an individual basis people are often conditioning themselves around heavy specialization. They may collaborate with other specialists but not outside their specialization, not sharing their experience or mentoring others.

Are these essentially support staff jobs? Many positions non-tenure track, non-faculty. At the same time, tenured and tenure-track faculty increasingly asked to incorporate digital in their work, and calling upon this support staff.

Collaboration may fly in the face of existing tenure expectations. Might the erosion of tenure go hand-in-hand with the promotion of what DH values?

Politics as very important, especially in one’s first job, in the sense of the department or organizational culture and political structures. Administrators want solutions, not problems. Continuing within that culture and matching organizational priorities as necessary to retaining a position. Research the director’s background, experiences, stated values. Know who is there in advance.

Private library work: purchasing and organizing books for private individuals (ie. Oprah). But this small business seems risky.

Book arts and Makerspaces, especially for large metropolitan libraries: knitting libraries, papercraft libraries, where people can come to experience making.

Presses are being moved into or partnered with libraries. Digitization, building up metadata, developing other resources (like conference notes) which aren’t strictly peer-reviewed.

Developing tutorials, instructional videos and the like, explaining clearly how to do things. Frequent updating/changing of digital resources makes these things in need of constant reworking. Need to communicate quickly, 2.5 minutes or less.

Ability to shape or continue to train yourself, set with or against need to instruct/teach/train or provide direction to others.

Research whatever workplace you’d apply to. Research the language and the duties. Be specific and focused in your responses to questions.

If you want a library job, you need to stay invested in library-world jobs.

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Tour of the Alabama Digital Humanities Center

If there is enough interest, I would be delighted to show off our space and discuss how we have built a community around DH. It will have to be in the 4-5 Session 1 time slot today. The Libraries are closed tomorrow.

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Make: Mapping fuzzy logic and fictional universes

Can we use out of-the-box software to communicate our research findings and represent the fuzzy logic of the humanities?

Cartographers and artists have long made sentimental and subjective maps that portray the emotional states of individuals and communities. The Google N-grams viewer is another successful attempt at making subjective information visible to the broader public. These hijackings of the tools of scientific inquiry for qualitative research remain relatively rare and will not develop further unless they are adopted more broadly by researchers and in humanities classrooms.

This is a pity because there are so many simple tools like Google Fusion Tables and Tableau Public they are fun to play with. They could make for excellent teaching tools, or even make humanities research findings go viral in the way that scientific studies often do. But there is a big problem: visualization tools generally require precise locations and numbers, so we need to come up with new ways of thinking about data for qualitative research.

Which software packages have you used to visualize data in class? Have you come up with innovative ways to present qualitative research? Is there a body of qualitative research that you would like to see as a bar chart, map, or scatterplot?

Bring at least one idea for a subjective or emotional dataset. We will play with some online visualization tools, brainstorm uses for them, and execut a few small projects.

Categories: Collaboration, Mapping, Research Methods, Session: Play, Teaching, Visualization, Your Categories Are Inadequate | Leave a comment

Build It and Will They Come?

What did you have to create from the ground-up to get your digital learning started?  We started a Digital Media Lab. We hired a Digital Media Specialist. What did you do?  How do you manage It?  What are some things that you know now that you would change?  Let’s get together and talk shop; who, what and where?  Stop by and share ideas about how to build, how to manage, and how to best use your facility to reach your learners.

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