BHL was pleased to have the results of their participation in the 2018 LIS Education and Data Science for the National Digital Platform (LEADS-4-NDP) shared via a poster at the 2019 iConference held at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) from 31 March – 3 April, 2019. The LEADS program, funded by the Institution of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and led by Drexel’s Metadata Research Center, supported ten Fellows in 2018 to develop data science skills by contributing to fast-paced, 10-week projects at several different host sites throughout the US. This conference provided an opportunity to present BHL’s LEADS project alongside those from two other 2018 LEADS Fellows as well some Fellows who were recently selected for the 2019 program.
Jointly hosted by UMD, Syracuse University, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), the conference theme was Inform, Include, Inspire. Keynotes included ‘Libraries in the Digital Age: Now What?’ presented by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and ‘Opening Our Libraries: Millions of Books Online Through Controlled Digital Lending’ delivered by Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. The conference itself was well-attended with strong international representation.
The poster session was held on the afternoon of April 2 and included about 90 posters. The BHL poster was authored by Gretchen Stahlman, LEADS Fellow and doctoral candidate at University of Arizona, and Carolyn Sheffield, former BHL Program Manager now based at the Albin O. Kuhn Library of UMBC. The poster, entitled ‘Geoparsing Biodiversity Heritage Library Collections: A Preliminary Exploration’ provided an overview of an investigation into different approaches for identifying and disambiguating geographic names, and then translating toponyms to polygons or point locations on a map.
The poster abstract, along with others from the conference, is available on the University of Illinois IDEALS website.