SILS E-Portfolio

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MSLIS Candidate, Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science

Below you will find four projects that I completed at Pratt SILS and I have decided to include in this e-Portfolio.  If you have any questions or comments about these projects, please feel free to email me.  Ideally, in this space, you would introduce your professional and academic interests, and say something about how these proejcts exemplify these interests.  However, this is a mock student, made up of the work of several SILS students, so this explanation will be excluded.


Project Title: Herstories: A Digital Collection

Project URL:

Project Description: In Project in Digital Archives (LIS 665), the class worked on digitizing an oral history collection from the Lesbian Herstory Archives, which is the world’s largest and oldest collection of materials about Lesbian and Lesbian Communities, and creating a digital archive for this material.  The archive is available in its entirety to the public via the project URL.

Methods: This project involved the digitizing of analog audio material for preservation and access, the customization of an open-source content management system, the creation of a metadata scheme, the assignment of metadata, the design of the site look and feel, and research on LGBT archives and best-practices in digital archiving.

My Role: I worked as a member of the technology team, and a major role I played was customizing the Omeka theme to match the look and feel created by the Design team.  This meant modifying one of Omeka’s built-in themes, including the integration of a logo and graphic header, as well as changes to the default CSS to reflect the color scheme developed.  Another major role I played was handling the metadata import.  The metadata team created a metadata scheme, and had members of the class assign metadata into a Google Spreadsheet.  I worked to import the data into Omeka using the CSV Import Plugin, which I also installed on the webserver.   Further, I learned to digitize analog audio materials, and learn the best practices in the field of audio archives.  And lastly, I assigned metadata for three digitized oral histories using the metadata scheme developed by the metadata team, which is based off the Dublin Core schema.

Learning Objective Achieved: Technology.

Rationale: I learned to use various technologies that are widely applicable for the LIS field.  For example, I have mastered data import into Omeka, and have demonstrated the ability to customize the CSS of open-source content management systems like Omeka.  I have also become familiar with LAMP webserver environments (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP), as seen through being able to install the CSV Import Plugin.  Further, I feel well versed in the theory and practice of digitizing audio archives.  And lastly, I have had experience assigning metadata for oral history collections using standardized formats based on international initiatives (Dublin Core), which I feel will be useful for future work in archives and libraries.

Additional Learning Objective Achieved: LIS Practice

Rationale: In this project, we made use of professional LIS practices, such as adopting professional standards for audio digitization and metadata creation.  We also extensively considered the ethical dimensions of our work, which manifested itself by redacting interviews that could potentially “out” someone.  In these cases where an individual was mentioned as being gay and were identifiable (through inclusion of a first and last name), we searched for evidence that she was already “out” (such as evidenced in newspaper articles, obituaries, and reputable web content).  I made inclusion and exclusion judgments in several such cases.

Rights or Privileges? (Details)

Project Title: Rights or Privileges?: Privacy in the Public Sphere in America, particularly in regards to Law Enforcement

Project URL: Download PDF

Project Description: This paper seeks to answer whether or not there truly is a “right to privacy,” and whether or not one can be created in the future. To explore this question, I closely examine the issue of recording law enforcement officers while on duty in public. Beginning with understanding and establishing the roots of surveillance, I then looked at working definitions for private and public, finding that there is no Constitutional “right to privacy,” just some implied privacies in the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments.  I also examine several court cases where private citizens have been arrested for recording officers in public without interfering. I conclude that both police officers and private citizens can be recorded during the course of their activities in public, at any time, by anyone.  This is unlikely to change until a sufficient privacy related issue reaches the Supreme Court and sets a new precedent.

Methods: I used a document research approach, making use of printed materials, scholarly articles, news information sources, and select case law including court decisions, proposed legislation, and judicial opinions.  I focus on documents produced since 1999 because I feel currency is important since case law is continually challenged, appealed, and upheld in different courts all over the country.

My Role: I am the single author of this work.

Learning Objective Achieved: Research.

Rationale: This paper illustrates my competence in research, as illustrated through my use of focused research questions, methodology appropriate for information policy research, and drawing conclusions based on my analysis.


Attached files Attachments 1

research_leraning_objective_student_paper.pdf (190.5K) - Download

Rand Visualizations

Project Title: Rand Visualizations

Project URL:

Project Description: In this project, I use visualizations to illustrate the extent to which philosophers and psychologists cross-publish in each other’s domain.  The purpose is to illustrate how philosophers and psychologists have a long history of crossing the disciplinary boundary, and the visualizations illustrate how this cross-pollination grew from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.

Methods: I document the exploration of different datasets produced from citation transcriptions of Benjamin Rand’s Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology, originally published in 1905. The datasets were produced using complete or near complete sections of transcriptions specific to the subject categorization of Benjamin Rand. The initial exploration of datasets seeks to explore author publications of philosophers and psychologists and how such publications were categorized by Benjamin Rand. Using gephi to visualize the data, six separate visualizations explore the occurrence of author publications within specific year ranges and the occurrence of philosophy and psychology authors publishing works in both philosophy and psychology subjects according the Benjamin Rand’s categorization system.

My Role: I am the single author of this work.

Learning Objective Achieved: Communication

Rationale: This project illustrates my communication skills through my ability to illustrate how scholarly domains intersect using visualization tools, and how visualization can illustrate historic trends.

Usability of Mobile Maps

Recommendations from Diary StudyProject Title: Diary Study: Usability Analysis of the Google Maps Application

Project URL: Download PDF

Project Description: In this team project, we evaluated the usability of the Google Maps mobile application (app) using the diary study research method.  We found that the Google Maps app can be improved by: 1) keeping the application versions consistent across all mobile device brands, 2) constraining the features of the search results by limiting the “swipe” feature to navigate between results, 3) ensuring the information provided by the application is accurate and precise to avoid misinforming users, and 4) clearly defining the icons so a novice user may effectively use the app without erring.

Methods: The analysis of the Google Maps app was conducted using a diary study research method.  This method collects data from the user while minimizing the interference within their normal behavior.  Three subjects participated in the study, and they were asked to fill-out a survey after every usage of the Google Maps app on their mobile device, with a minimum of three submissions per participant.  The team organized the collected information into likes and dislikes, and used this data to form the set of recommendations.

My Role: In this project, I worked on a team (with StudentX and StudentY).  My major contribution was developing the diary survey form, writing two of the recommendations, and working with my team members to evaluate the data collected.

Learning Objective Achieved: User-Centered Focus

Rationale: This project illustrates my ability to apply user-centered strategies through the use of accepted methods within the field of Human-Computer Interaction, such as the diary research method developed initially by Scott Carter and Jennifer Mankoff.

Tags: SILS, archives, information science, library science, research, visualization


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