Adelle Frank Drupal, genealogy, accessibility, and religion archives geek in Atlanta, Georgia


How to upload a scanned book to the Internet Archive

Internet Archive logo Do you want to share a book you have scanned, or written, with the Internet Archive and make it free for anyone in the world to read?

Here are step by step instructions (with pictures) of how to prepare and upload your public domain book to the Archive.

For the more advanced (or more obsessed) reader, I also give "Tips" that reveal tricks for getting the most out of your uploading experience.

Update: added a quick links section for returning readers.

9 Information Architecture Patterns

Hierarchy & Database diagramDiagrams of the 4 main patterns proposed by Donna Spencer, as well as her 4 combination patterns and 1 audience-contributed IA pattern.

This presentation was given by Donna Spencer at the IA Summit 2010, in Phoenix, AZ. You can View her presentation on Slideshare and Listen to the Boxes and Arrows Podcast.

How to play the old Oregon Trail video game on your computer

oregon trail in green letters

Do you have fond memories of playing Oregon Trail on ancient computers? Re-capture that joy by playing the game for FREE on your Windows computer, using just a few simple steps!

Updated: added easy ways to play online (with any computer) at the Internet Archive.

Plan your Chunks! Win the Future with Information Architecture NOW

hands covered in henna patterns, holding the Drupal iconMy slides from the information architecture-focused presentation I gave at Drupal Camp Pune 2014 on April 5, 2014 (at 4:30pm IST/7:00am EDT). If you saw me live, you got to have a laugh when a random virtual "guest" decided to hangout in my presentation.

Web Design with the Brain in Mind

attention symbolDo you have to design a web site, but you have no graphic design training? Are you a designer, but need evidence-based research to justify your design decisions?  If either of these apply to you, I've got a poster and paper that will help.

Updated: new book recommendation!

Twitter highlights of THATCamp Southeast 2011

conference logo Were you unable to attend THATCamp SE 2011 in Atlanta (March 4-6)? Find twitter streams a bit overwhelming, lacking in context, or chronologically confusing?

Here is your solution: a re-organized, select set of relevant and/or funny tweets for each of the sessions. Please post comments if I've missed (or completely mis-categorized) any particularly good tweets! There's even a list at the bottom of this post of tweets that I couldn't place (your help is welcome!)

I'll also post links to people's notes, blogs and slides.

Twitter highlights for Sunday of the 2010 LITA National Forum

conference logoWere you unable to attend the 2010 LITA National Forum in Atlanta? Find twitter streams a bit overwhelming, lacking in context, or chronologically confusing?

Here is your solution: a re-organized, select set of relevant and/or funny tweets for each of the talks given on Sunday. Please post comments if I've missed any particularly good tweets!

I'll also be posting links to the slides, when I can find them. I've also posted similar summaries for the other days of the LITA conference, including: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Twitter highlights for Saturday of the 2010 LITA National Forum


conference logoWere you unable to attend the 2010 LITA National Forum in Atlanta? Find twitter streams a bit overwhelming, lacking in context, or chronologically confusing?

Here is your solution: a re-organized, select set of relevant and/or funny tweets for each of the talks given on Saturday. Please post comments if I've missed any particularly good tweets!

I'll also be posting links to the slides and posters, when I can find them. I've also posted similar summaries for the other days of the LITA conference, including: Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.

Twitter highlights for Friday of the 2010 LITA National Forum

conference logoWere you unable to attend the 2010 LITA National Forum in Atlanta? Find twitter streams a bit overwhelming, lacking in context, or chronologically confusing?

Here is your solution: a re-organized, select set of relevant and/or funny tweets for each of the talks given on Friday. Please post comments if I've missed any particularly good tweets!

I'll also be posting links to the slides, when I can find them. I've also posted similar summaries for the other days of the LITA conference, including: Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Twitter highlights for Thursday of the 2010 LITA National Forum

conference logoWere you unable to attend the 2010 LITA National Forum in Atlanta? Find twitter streams a bit overwhelming, lacking in context, or chronologically confusing?

Here is your solution: a re-organized, select set of relevant and/or funny tweets for each of the pre-conferences given on Thursday. Please post comments if I've missed any particularly good tweets!

I've also posted similar summaries for the other days of the LITA conference, including: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

8 Principles of Information Architecture

8Dan Brown explains his 8 principles of information architecture, with occasional clandestine references to his 2009 IA Summit talks on Design Rules and Modelling Concepts.

Update: Brown has written this presentation up in the latest ASIS&T bulletin.

This presentation was given by Don Brown at the IA Summit 2010, in Phoenix, AZ. You can view the presentation on Slideshare and Listen to the Boxes and Arrows Podcast.

Top 7 Recipes for Confusion: a taxonomy of miscommunication

Potato Chips as Cat FoodBoykin gives 7 recipes for confusion and tips for avoiding them in web design. I've also embedded the hilarious cat food video he created that explains the importance of designing for the cat, not the owner.

"The number 1 rule of e-commerce: make it easy for people to give you money."

This presentation was given by John Boykin at the IA Summit 2010, in Phoenix, AZ. You can Listen to the Boxes and Arrows Podcast.

Make it simple: 4 web design strategies

Remote control, originalLearn the 2 Laws of Simplicity, 4 solutions for creating simplicity (with fun remote control images), and 6 strategies for simplicity in design. Or, as Albert Einstein explained, how to "make the irreducible basic elements as simple and as few as possible without having to surrender the adequate representation of a single datum of experience."

This presentation was given by Giles Colborne at the IA Summit 2010, in Phoenix, AZ. You can view this presentation on Slideshare.

Secrets and tips: How to survive library school in 5 simple steps [UPDATED]

UNT Library & Information ScienceWill you survive library school while working full-time?

Yes, and here are 5 strategies for doing so.

Capstone strategy for UNT Library Science

UNT Library & Information ScienceAs the capstone, or comprehensive evaluation approaches for the first Georgia cohort of the UNT LIS program, I am doing my usual over-preparation.  As I was preparing, I thought the steps I used might be useful to others in my cohort, so here they are:

Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures (Review of Expanded 2009 Edition)

Book CoverIf money or portability are your primary considerations, then get a used copy of the first edition, as it communicates the central idea (the power of visual thinking for the workplace) in an almost identical fashion and is easier to schlepp on the bus. However, if a few more dollars and a slightly-bigger book don't bother you, consider buying this new edition, as it's subtly-revised diagrams and improved explanation of key brain science concepts make it easier to understand on the first read. 

For more detail on the differences between this and the previous edition, as well as a summary of the ideas discussed in the book, read on...

RDF: Resource Description Framework (a class presentation)

Why should I care about RDF?

Computers can help YOU find stuff easier on the web, because RDF gives computers a better "understanding" of that information.

computer sees vs. human sees

Installing Archivists' Toolkit on a remote MySQL database with Windows

Archivists' Toolkit logoI'm lucky enough to be using Archivists' Toolkit (AT) at my internship with the Atlanta University Center. AT is an open source archival data management system that allows archivists (or graduate interns) to enter the finding aid data for a collection without knowing how to code EAD.

Being a curious person, and a glutton for punishment, I thought I'd try to install and use AT on my Windows Vista laptop and connect to a test MySQL database in my shared web hosting account (at bluehost). I discovered a few gotchas and have, I hope, explained the installation process in a clear, linear way that will help others perform this installation more quickly. Mind you, I came to the realization that AT currently doesn't work on Vista, but the steps are the same for XP.

How to research political candidates

A follow-up to the checklist of things to do before election day, this post gives an overview of 4 criteria for evaluating political candidates, seeing through distortion techniques, and 5 places voters might find candidate information.

Canadian ISP allows parody of Ralph Lauren's unhealthy model photoshop to stay

Big-headed ticked off Ralph Lauren by noting that, in this model's photo, "her head is bigger than her pelvis."   Thanks to for the image.

However, note the "" in that URL?  That's Google, who totally caved to Ralph Lauren's spurious copyright infringement claim.  Spurious, because parody is an excellent example of Fair Use.

Happily, BoingBoing is hosted by a Canadian company who is not subservient to the DCMA.

The lesson?  Host your controversial blog outside the U.S. :)

See the video of BoingBoing talking with Rachel Maddow.

5 Reasons Why I love Oxygen XML and you should, too

This software makes it possible for me to spend days in the depths of XML and XSL and not go totally insane. Here are my 5 reasons for loving this XML editing software.

Interaction gestalt and the design of aesthetic interactions

Lim, et. al. (2007) apply a visual perception theory (gestalt) to interaction design, defining 11 attributes of interaction.

Problem space & representation in reasoning

A quick, useful distinction when considering information seeking behavior is the place of problem space & representation in reasoning.

A Goal-based Classification of Web Information Tasks

Kellar, Watters, & Shepherd (2006) offer a high-level classification of user’s activities on the web as goal-based information tasks, these could be helpful when structuring personas. The information goals they discover are: information seeking, exchange, maintenance and, perhaps, monitoring.

The internet and the 2008 election (Pew)

This report highlights information seeking on the internet, which is becoming an increasingly-used source for voter information. Unfortunately, at the moment, the internet is most useful for national elections. Statewide and, especially, local election information is still difficult to locate on the internet. Local voter advocacy groups would be well-served to focus on sharing their local voter information in the formats and customized for the tasks mentioned below.

Making sense of credibility on the Web: Models for evaluating online information and recommendations for future research

Metzger performs a literature review on efforts to improve the credibility assessment skills of Internet users, including checklist and contextual models, as well as empirical studies. She then details the new strategies suggested by her review and proposes future directions for web credibility research. Her dual-processing model highlights the importance of studying not just a user’s ability to evaluate, but also their motivation to do so.

Information needs and uses

Dervin and Nilan (1986) trace the paradigm shift in information needs research away from systems-centered and toward a more user-centered approach. I was particularly intrigued by those user-centered studies that examined information needs: (1) by the different kinds of information needed at different stages in research; (2) by eliciting statements of problematic situational activities; and (3) as observable behavioral indicators.

Research Techniques and Methods for studying Human Information Behavior on the Web

Learn about how user research techniques are relevant in the web development, IA and UX fields.  Read these summaries and reflections on part 4 in Donald Case's book on Human Information Behavior (HIB).

DocumentCloud to create open archives for investigative reporting and FOIA documents

Free, somewhat well-tagged access to documents gained by Freedom of Information Act requests and by investigative journalists.

Huge non-profit news coop and web 2.0: a match made in heaven

What are the technological and semantic web possibilities for the recently-formed Investigative News Network?

Research insights for User Experience professionals into human information behavior

How are the topics of Human Information Behavior (HIB) research, and user research into the influence of occupation, social role, and demographics relevant in the web development, IA and UX fields? Read these summaries and reflections on part 5 in Donald Case's book on Human Information Behavior (HIB) to find out.

Modeling Concepts: New Techniques for IA in a Web 2.0 World

Sitemaps are inadequate to fully communicate the complex structures needed in content management. Happily, I was privileged to hear Dan Brown's thoughts on how to use a concept model (CM) to capture and communicate some of these structures. Dan defines 4 main formats for CMs, lists the steps in CM creation as it fits into the design process, and includes some insider tips along the way.

Design Games for IA

Having trouble discovering project requirements? Can't figure out the solutions to a design problem? Donna Spencer suggests using design games to have fun while increasing collaboration and gathering insights.

Designing Rules: The Engine of User Experience

To fully leverage a content management system (cms) requires clear instructions on how the cms should automatically process content. It is essential for designers to decide on and communicate these processes or rules.

Dan Brown puts design rules in the context of other deliverables, defines and explains the 3 types of design rules, and offers tips on how to ensure that you have good, standardized rules.

Designing Visually Explicit Information

A checklist for better information design, tips on how to sell your design, numerous references to books and people for learning more, a few professional habits one should acquire, and intriguing insights from the field of psychology - all in a half-day, engaging workshop on Wednesday at the IA summit. What more can an information architect ask for?!

Online Voter Behavior and Needs: preliminary research

How can web developers make it easier for voters to keep government honest and make informed decisions in the voting booth? To begin to answer this question, I've done a preliminary survey of research on voter information behavior, especially as it relates to online usage.

Evaluation of published research

Williamson’s chapter is a clear, pragmatic exemplar of the high-quality reporting it encourages. It explains not only report evaluation, but also its creation, in very helpful bullet points.

Is web linking becoming illegal? A copyright case.

Yikes and copyright, Batman! Will hyperlinks be penned in and no longer free range? A big law firm tells a web site how they can and cannot link to the law firm's web site.

Sharepoint vs. Drupal comparison for library intranets

Here is a quick, brief comparison of Drupal and Sharepoint as options for a library intranet.

The User-Centered Approach: How We Got Here

Using Fidel's 2000 article, I explore how a user-centered approach could be applied to my work in web development, especially to the voter information site I hope someday to perfect.

Track U.S. Congress with a widget or RSS feed

I'm trying out the widget for tracking just those bills and members of Congress in which I am interested.

How to search Google and library databases

When searching library databases - or Google, for that matter, it is helpful to have the following arrows in one's quiver: boolean logic, truncation, and proximity operators.

Sustaining Digital Libraries: An Introduction

Abstract: Halbert and Skinner briefly review the sustainability problem that exists for digital libraries and initiatives, outline the themes and contributions of the other essays in this monograph, and then offer a few conclusions on the topic.

Open Access, Open Source and Digital Libraries: A Current Trend in University Libraries Around the World

Abstract: Krishnamurthy maps a trend toward open models in digital libraries worldwide, including both open access publishing and open source software, and gives a brief overview, as well as references for these trends.

The next stage: moving from isolated digital collections to interoperable digital libraries

Abstract: Besser argues that online collections need to acquire more of the components and functions of traditional libraries in order to move toward being interoperable digital libraries rather than just experimental collections.

NISO: A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections. 3rd edition.

Abstract: NISO's framework gives detailed guidance on how to build good digital collections.

Public Relations: Let's Give Them Something To Talk About

Abstract: Spohr argues for the importance of word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing, outlining the five steps for building such a campaign.

How to Write a Marketing Plan

Abstract: Stressing the importance of marketing for the bottom line, Kassel gives seven steps for creating a marketing plan after you've defined your target market and understood its needs.

Basic Marketing and Promotion Concepts

Abstract: Dubicki argues that libraries must market their eresources to users and gives tips on how to do so.

Managing a Statewide Virtual Reference Service: How Q and A NJ Works

Abstract: The author chronicles the beginnings and successful strategies of a 24-hour, 7-day a week virtual reference service offered statewide in New Jersey.

Digital reference access points: an analysis of usage

Abstract:Lewis & DeGroote measure and then report on digital access point usage in their library.

Library systems in the electronic era

Abstract: Using two very helpful flowcharts, Bley illustrates the different internal resource commitments needed to collect and manage print versus electronic resources and then discusses how to adapt to this disparity. A major challenge is linking authentication systems to license/access permissions.


Overall, I find LexisONE: The Resource for Small Law Firms to be an excellent source for its intended audience (individual attorneys). It may also be useful for voters doing research on candidates who are lawyers or judges.

Making Smart Licensing Decisions

Abstract: Guenther offers evaluative, negotiating, and managerial criteria for collection development with licensed, electronic resources.


Faith at the Front Desk: Spirituality and Patron Service

Abstract: Wessells argues that the neutral bastion of the public library is one of the few places remaining where a person may explore deep spiritual issues. However, in order for the library to serve these needs well, he recommends instituting more sensitive collection policies and training staff to be sensitive to spiritual queries. He recommends that librarians:

The Reference Interview: Theories and Practice

Abstract: Brown - an in-the-trenches reference librarian - focuses on how to determine what kind of information the patron needs through the reference interview.

Copyright in a Social World

Abstract: Miller gives a basic overview of and urges that students be educated in copyright law. She notes copyright's implications for online social networking using three web 2.0 examples: YouTube, MySpace, and Flickr. Finally, she discusses plagiarism both by students and of students' work.

Copyright and Collaborative Spaces: Open Licensing and Wikis

Abstract: Botterbusch and Parker use the example of wikis to explore the collaborative space they see between the two extremes of full copyright protection and full freedom of content.

Assume That Online Works are Copyrighted: They May Have More Protection Than You Think

Abstract: Harris surveys the many ways in which protected digital works can be used that may infringe on copyright. These infringements include:

Copyright Compliance in your Library

Abstract: Harris urges compliance with copyright through education and a written policy. She offers a very brief overview of the history of copyright. Finally, Harris describes how widespread copying in the digital age has led to more copyright enforcement, particularly against individuals.

Taking the Confusion Out of Copyright in an Internet Age

Abstract: Badertscher and Reese acknowledge the complexity of copyright, both because of different U.S. and international laws and because of the introduction of electronic content.

Transporting Good Library Instruction Practices into the Web Environment: An Analysis of Online Tutorials

Abstract: Dewald outlines the seven characteristics of traditional library instruction and urges the development of additional guidelines for online tutorials, as they differ from classroom instruction in: purpose, setting, audience, interaction, and outcomes.

Subject Headings 2.0: Folksonomies and Tags

Abstract: West explores how a work's "aboutness" is determined. She contrasts subject headings with folksonomies (tagging) as a classification method.

Search Smarter

Abstract: Rubenking aims to demonstrate how to form your initial searches to get the best results on the web, fast.

Finding and Using the Magic Words: Keywords, Thesauri, and Free Text Search

Abstract: According to Ojala, information professionals are distinguished by their use of the best search terms, which differ between the web (natural language) and for-fee databases (controlled vocabularies). She notes the usefulness of using keyword suggestions from web advertisers and questions whether our controlled vocabulary expertise will be useful in the future of free text searches.

Twenty-five years of end-user searching, Part 1: Research findings

Abstract: Markey limits her survey of the last twenty-five years of research on end-user searching to only intervention-free studies, namely transaction log analyses. Her summary of search behavior patterns is intriguing.

Digital rights management and the breakdown of social norms

Abstract: May claims that the ease of copying digital works has sparked an attempt by (largely corporate) owners to enforce their perceived legal rights over the works' digital embodiments with technological tools for digital rights management (DRM). He argues that these DRM technologies have sparked a renewed political debate over the balance of private and public rights in this arena.

The Internet and the right to communicate

Abstract: Based on Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the globalization of information communications technology (ICT), the authors assert a need for development of a human right to communicate.

Copyright's Digital Dilemma Today: Fair Use or Unfair Constraints? Part 2

Abstract: Strickland explores the parameters of fair use in copyright law as of late 2003, including the DCMA, Teach Act, and various relevant legal cases and state statutes.

Protecting User Privacy in the Age of Digital Libraries

Abstract: Coombs highlights 3 areas of privacy libraries need to pay attention to and then details the 5 steps she took to safeguard users' privacy in her library.

Diversity: the research and the lack of progress

Abstract: Winston reviews the literature on diversity research, including what contributes to the success of diversity programs, in order to understand why there has been only limited progress in meeting diversity goals.

Best Practices for Managing Organizational Diversity

Abstract: Arguing that well-managed diversity in an organization can create a competitive advantage, Kreitz reviews both the best practices and the broader literature about managing diversity in the workplace. Her goal is to create a “practical primer on diversity management for library leaders and human resource managers.”

Getting Two for the Price of One: Accessibility and Usability

Abstract: Kirkpatrick argues that, when you design a web site for accessibility, you also “increase the usability of that site for everyone.” Giving best practices examples of accessible web coding, she shows how these also benefit non-disabled users.

Usability and Accessibility

Abstract:  To ensure that library web sites exhibit usability, Dowling delineates three categories of usability guidelines and eight steps that create accessibility.

Users' information behaviour - a gender perspective

Abstract: Steinerová & Šušol (2007) use gender difference, an admittedly problematic social construction, as a nonetheless helpful lens through which to frame information behavior.

Human information behavior: Integrating diverse approaches and information use

Abstract: Spink and Cole (2006) survey the main research on human information behaviors – delineating three interdisciplinary approaches – problem solving, ELIS (everyday life information seeking), and foraging – proposing that a fourth – information use with modular cognitive architecture – may also be gleaned from the literature, and then attempting to construct an integrated approach from the comparison of those four approaches.

A nonlinear model of information-seeking behavior

Abstract: In contrast to discipline-specific, stage-based models of information behavior, Foster (2004) interviews interdisciplinary information seekers, and proposes a non-linear and cyclical model. His model describes three core processes and three levels of contextual interaction that are dynamic, shifting, and without an inherent sequence of occurrence.

Toward a model of the everyday life information needs of urban teenagers, part 1: Theoretical model

Abstract: After a brief literature review of research on ELIS (everyday life information-seeking) and on adolescent information behavior, Agosto and Hughes-Hassell (2006) present the results of their qualitative research gathered from twenty-seven urban teenagers.

Ixquick [meta-search engine]

Summary: Overall, I find the Ixquick metasearch engine to be a cut above many other metasearch engines for general/topical searches. However, I also evaluate it on 9 criteria and note areas in which it could improve.

Classics of science fiction and fantasy literature [electronic resource]

Summary: I evaluate this resource on 9 criteria, noting pros and cons. For a larger research library, I would recommend getting the unabridged 1996 version because of its significantly greater coverage: 791 vs. 180 articles. Also, because a larger library could likely negotiate a good lease, I'd recommend the electronic version of that 1996 edition through NetLibrary. However, for a smaller library - especially for a school library, this would be an excellent resource at a reasonable price, if they purchased the print version.

The Ongoing Web Revolution

Abstract: The necessary next leap for libraries – which users have already taken with Web 2.0 – is to become both online and social. This article proposes ways in which this Library 2.0 paradigm of community and collaboration has been and can be further implemented.

The Death of Libraries?

Abstract: Given the massive Google digitization project, this article argues that libraries’ futures depend on 2 factors: “the rate at which digitization and display technologies advance, and the evolution of laws and practices regarding copyrights.” Should they advance and evolve quickly, libraries will need to scramble to stay relevant.

Getting To Know the Invisible Web

Abstract: Smith explains why some of the web is invisible to search engines. He offers techniques for searching the invisible web, as well as books and web sites containing additional strategies. Comparing standard print references to invisible web sources, he lists sites that are particularly effective for locating “invisible” information online.

The Infinite Library

Abstract: Despite questions about the limits of access to materials and the future of publishers and libraries, Roush claims that the value libraries can add to our huge digitized world is the same as it’s always been: selecting/filtering, collecting, and cataloging knowledge for people’s use.

The Parallel Information Universe

Abstract: Eisenberg urges librarians to take the responsibility in the parallel information universe of “participation, user control, sharing, openness, and networking” that Web 2.0 has created, just as they have always done in the print information universe. He presents librarian-focused SWOT analyses of three major Web 2.0 technologies – virtual worlds, social networking, and personal digital devices – and then ties them back to the traditional library functions.

Evaluating Information on the Internet

Abstract: Brandt emphasizes the importance of and gives models for evaluating information sources on the internet by adapting traditional evaluative techniques and criteria for an online environment.

Finders keepers

Abstract: Banks lists examples of online databases that are hidden from search engines, but contain useful and often free content (e.g. stock photos, historical data).


Is There Such a Thing As Information Overload?

Abstract: Using Wikipedia, Abram defines “information overload” and notes the causes and impact on enterprise of the problem of having too much information in this knowledge economy. He then lists the skills and strategies of librarians that would add value in this area:

As we may think and A brief history of the internet

I believe that Vannevar Bush's ideals have been advanced by the emergence of the internet, but not yet achieved.  Bush's broadest dream is that of "scientists, burying their old professional competition in the demand of a common that knowledge evolves and endures throughout the life of a race rather than that of an individual" (Bush, 1945).