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  • What's in it for me?

This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Jane Carlin, University of Puget Sound What's in it for me?  UPS, a small distinguished liberal arts University has just joined the project. As the Library Director, I am particularly interested in learning more about how technology staff, scholars/faculty and librarians can collaborate to share resources and ideas and to develop meaningful tools as well as digital collections. What's in it for my discipline?  As the parameters of information access continue to evolve, what is the role of the academic library?  How can we as a profession evolve to fit changing patterns of scholarship and communication. David Lewis, Dean of Libraries at IUPUI had written extensively on the future of the library - one of his ideas is that libraries must move away from legacy collections and knowledge keepers so to speak to knowledge creators - how can we use our expertise in organizing knowledge and describing it to help create new knowledge from institutional scholarship. What's in it for my institution?  UPS facult/administrators/students face all the same problems that larger Universities do in terms of budget and keeping up with technology - however, the digital world provides so many new opportunities to share information, publish open source materials, provide access to information in new ways - the opportunities to involve faculty in new ways of research and scholarly communication have major implications for the Institutuion.

What's in it for us?


In order to help both current and potential Bamboo participants assess the costs and benefits of participation, all participants at Workshop One are invited to answer three questions about the Bamboo Project:

  1. What's in it for me?
  2. What's in it for my discipline?
  3. What's in it for my institution?

Laura Cerruti, University of California Press

What's in it for me? Another chance to talk directly to university librarians, IT, and humanities scholars about their publishing needs--a focus group that I didn't have to organize.

What's in it for my disciplinary or professional colleagues? I am hoping that some of my colleagues can participate in future workshops, particularly as Project Bamboo gets closer toward developing services. We talk to the libraries more than we talk to institutional IT, so this could open up whole new areas for conversation and even collaboration.

What's in it for my institution? UC Press is looking to better serve scholarly communications needs, to align more closely with our university, and to grow as an organization.  This exercise might help us to develop new publishing services that will fulfill these strategic goals.

Chris Patterson, Manager of Web and Database Architecture, UCLA 

I think Bamboo has the potential to offer me better insight into the needs of humanists - a better understanding of how they do research - so that I am better able to support them in their work. It has already offered some of that. Bamboo has shed a spotlight on the "pain points" that humanists encounter in technology or the lack thereof and has already started to generate a better understanding of the issues that span the humanities disciplines potentially leading to the aggregate demand for specific types of support that can be implemented and that will benefit a range of scholars.


Rick Kern, Professor of French and Director of Berkeley Language Center, University of California, Berkeley

Even though it doesn't even exist yet, bamboo has already assisted my research, just from this initial workshop.  Through discussions with colleagues at our table I learned about two locally available tools that will help me with coding of multimedia data and automated indexing.  Another colleague at the workshop will help me find engineers in France who work with visualization technologies for a research project I've had in mind for a while, but didn't know how to start for lack of contacts.  Bamboo promises to continue to bring scholars together for this kind of information sharing and collaboration on a massive scale.  If it succeeds it will be invaluable to researchers in all disciplines.


Donald Mastronarde, Professor of Classics, University of California, Berkeley

What's in it for my disciplinary colleagues?

Classical studies already has a fairly large number of datasets for texts, images, and archaeological data, and more are being planned. What is needed for real progress and innovation is a framework for making these datasets more compatible and for sharing these resources and enabling more advanced forms of analysis and manipulation than have been done so far. If those resources are also made more readily and simply  accessible for users who are relatively unsophisticated in technological terms, there will be a real impetus to new interpretations and new questions.

My professional organization, the American Philological Association, is struggling with how to raise its public profile and its usefulness to members through greater use of current and future technologies. The problem would be made more manageable if the association can piggyback on and contribute to a large established framework for humanities knowledge production and sharing.

What's in it for my institution?

My campus has museum and archaeological artifacts that are not utilized to the extent that they could be because of difficulties of access and conservation. Its library is under never-ending pressure because of the costs of monographs, subscriptions to journals, and subscriptions to online resources. The open-access model for university-produced scholarship seems to be the best long-term answer to the disastrous budgetary implications of buying or subscribing to information from for-profit corporations, or the disastrous scholarly implications of losing access to current scholarship when the price can no longer be sustained.


Katherine D. Harris, Assistant Professor of English, San Jose State University (a California State University)

What's in it for me?

Participation in  Bamboo would broaden the scope of my Digital Humanities network.  It will also provide a model infrastructure for use on my campus.  More specifically, I would be able to (and have already) make contact with technologists and humanists who are already working on book scanning software, my latest project.  I'd like to create a digital representation of the actual book.  Stanford has done this; Turning the Pages has done this as well.  But, they use proprietary software and don't encode metadata in TEI, the standard that's required of my project.  Very plainly speaking, I NEED HELP!  I'm an Assistant Professor at a large, public state institution that is perpetually underfunded.  I have a passion for completing this project, but I certainly can't do it by myself.  I need software designers, programmers, students, computer science faculty, librarians and more to really put together a project that has some sustainability.  That's what's important to me.  By continuing work on this project, I'll also be able to create a Digital Humanities Center here at SJSU or at least coalesce a cadre of like-minded scholars on campus.  We are woefully fractured simply because faculty are completely inundated with teaching (4 courses/semester) regardless of the fact that we are required to continue producing scholarship for tenure.  If we could come together, I think I might feel less segregated in my Department.  In other words, I'll have an intellectual community.  Right now, I network at conferences and at local Centers to gain my scholarly and industry contacts.  But, that's very intense and slow-moving work.  I see Bamboo as a way to cut through 6 months of emails and phone calls both intra and inter-institutions. 

What's in it for my disciplinary or professional colleagues? 

Today, I met with my Dean, the Dean of Library, two library faculty and the library's IT person.  When I mentioned that Bamboo proposes bringing technologists into the collaboration, he could not agree more emphatically.  If we could create a fluid conversation between technologists and scholars, that would certainly be a great boon.  My discipline will benefit because they will be able to shed the monastic research model that has so isolated Humanities scholars.  More specifically in my literary historical field, my colleagues will be able to share the wealth of publishing information from the 19th Century.  I'm working on a project that is trying to incorporate British, American and European influences.  But, since I don't specialize in American literature, I'm pulling in other scholars, but it's slow.  Since I don't read German, French or Spanish fluently, I'm at a loss how to incorporate those 19th C. publications into my scholarship -- which means essentially that I am unable to complete a history of the particular genre that I'm studying.  If we could review publications (online versions) simultaneously and establish a way to communicate virtually, we could really create a worldly view of these 19th C. publications and not simply an Anglophone history.   

What's in it for my institution? 

This is a much more difficult question to answer because our mission statement is much more focused on teaching than on research.  I met with the Dean of Library today and her questions focused on how the library's projects could use Bamboo in a way that resources for the Bamboo team don't compete with resources for the library's projects.  She was most concerned about our Digital Repository and Bamboo's impact on that.  If I can convince her that Bamboo is relevant to many of the library's digital projects, then we would have the library committed to participation with Bamboo.  (The conversation was, of course, much more lengthy, but this was the major concern.)  Both my Dean and the Dean of Library are enthusiastic and waiting only to discuss resources to support the team.  They really need a firm idea about this:  are we talking about provide faculty release time and travel funding to the team or something further? 


Chad Kainz, Senior Director for Academic Technologies, University of Chicago

What's in it for my disciplinary or professional colleagues? I believe those of us in academic computing need to reshape our roles on campus. Bamboo is an opportunity to rediscover why we do what we do, reconnect central computing with the academic missions of our institutions, and re-engage with research and teaching not as service providers, but as partners actively engaged in bringing our individual expertise and strengths to bear on common problems and new innovations.

What's in it for me? Kathy, my significant other and an Anglo-Saxonist, asked me many years ago to help her and one of her colleagues develop a prototype modular manuscript viewing and annotation environment (Scribe) in HyperCard using materials digitized as part of the Electronic Beowulf Project. That project was the start of my personal interest in manuscripts and digital imaging, but unfortunately it was the last time where Kathy and I could work together on a project. Since then, I've seen her work on a number of projects that for whatever reason seem to spend most of their sorting through technological challenges rather than moving ahead with the research and scholarship. A few years ago, I saw a project she was involved with get mired in solvable technology issues for two years, leaving only one year to do any of the proposed research. After seeing her struggle with technology issue after technology issue where I was powerless to help (she works at a different university), I thought "there's got to be a better way." So for me, Bamboo is deeply personal.


Andrea Hesse

What's in it for me....

I am essentially responsible for managing the delivery of local IT services to the humanities division at UC Santa Cruz, as well as representing the division in campuswide IT initiatives, planning and governance. Projects for centrally supported collaboration tools currently underway include a new campus LMS and web CMS and document management system. My job is to gather local input and influence service development to assure the requirements of the humanities division are considered and addressed in these spaces. I think this method of coordinating and facilitating teaching, research and technology within the humanities aligns well to the goals of the project.

What's in it for my discipline (division)...

The Humanities Division at UC Santa Cruz is anchored in the campus's founding colleges. Its faculty includes campus pioneers with a deep understanding and appreciation for campus lineage and heritage. This demographic is in some respects reflective of the division's recent emergence as a consumer of technologies, as new faculty bring new thinking to their research modes and instructional methods.

The short list of near term issues in IT support for my division include
Web services - Division needs a stable and reliable web content management system to meet division and departmental business needs in addition to faculty research and instruction requirements.

  • Faculty demand for collaboration tools. A deployment of server wiki, blog and pod casting services is planned but staff capacity to accomplish this work is limited.
  • Increasing cost for Central IT infrastructure will further restrict resources for local computing.
  • Research computing - Computational Linguistics, Data grids (HASS)
  • Demand for robust, centralized instructional tools -- LMS and Web content repositories and their integration with collaborative spaces
  • HW Infrastructure deprecation - servers, storage, labs
  • Section 508 compliance
  • Security and IS3 compliance for local systems

What's in it for my institution...

UC Santa Cruz is a relatively young institution with plans to expand undergraduate enrollments by 25% over the next 15 years. The campus academic plan further calls for expanding graduate enrollments and support of interdisciplinary studies. Project Bamboo affords an opportunity for the arts, humanities and library to forge a shared vision and working partnership for the development of cyber infrastructure UC Santa Cruz is a relatively young institution with plans to expand undergraduate enrollments by 25% over the next 15 years. The campus academic plan further calls for expanding graduate enrollments and support of interdisciplinary studies. Project Bamboo affords an opportunity for the arts, humanities and library to forge a shared vision and working partnership for the development of cyber infrastructure ...frameworks, publishing tools, collaboration spaces, and content repositories ... in this context.


Jim Muehlenberg, University of Wisconsin--Madison, assistant director within central IT organization's Academic Technology department

What's in it for our campus?
I believe our participation in Project Bamboo will strengthen the connections on our campus between and among faculty and researchers (including graduate students), our arts and humanities centers and institutes, our campus libraries, our School of Library and Information Studies, and our central IT organization.  I hope this will create a community of interest and a healthy dialog about the needs of the arts, humanities and interpretive social science disciplines for library and IT services to support their research and creative efforts, and will help us together leverage the work of the broader Bamboo community in addressing those needs.  This may help many individual researchers move beyond their current capabilities for collaboration with colleagues and for engagement with digital scholarship, setting the stage not only for enhanced research productivity and creativity, but also improvements in teaching/learning and outreach/public service.

What's in it for my discipline (central IT academic technologists)?
At least at UW-Madison, much of our faculty engagement has been around teaching and learning, and very little around research.  (While our central IT organization supports a world-class network, we have little overall research IT support.)  This effort will help support the interest in central IT in creating a strategic focus on research engagement, and help us learn from our peers, and possibly contribute back to the higher education community.

What's in it for me?
I look to build on my personal experience and partnership in working with our campus libraries, to help address real IT-related needs for campus researchers in these disciplines.  I'm personally interested in helping with this community building effort and learning in the process.  I see our Bamboo engagement as a personal opportunity to make a difference on campus.

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