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Bay Area Library and Information Network

BayNet Newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 1

Autumn 2015

CHM Processing Project Underway
In 2014 the Computer History
Museum (CHM) applied for
and received a $274,560 grant
from the Council on Library
and Information Resources
(CLIR) to process a portion of
its backlog over a span of two
years. CHM contributed a cost
share of $103,558 in existing
staff salaries and supplies,
bringing the total project
budget to $378,118. We are
now six months into CHM’s
Archives Processing Project
(CHM APP), and we have a lot
to report.
The purpose of CHM APP has
been to minimally process and
make publicly available 26 of
the Museum’s most historically valuable yet unknown
collections, totaling 1,944
linear feet of material, or
roughly 1,500 bankers boxes.
Collections in the project include the Community Memory
Records, Dennis Austin
PowerPoint Records, Jim Porter Papers, and the Digital
Equipment Corporation Records among others.

When CHM decided to propose a minimal processing
project, we knew that we
would be making a tradeoff
between description and access. When processing speed is
increased from 12 hours per
linear foot to 4 hours per linear foot, you necessarily lose
detail, but you also increase
the speed at which you open
up collections. In two years
the Museum could either traditionally process 364 linear
feet of material
(approximately 290 boxes), or
we could put the pedal to the
metal, lose quite a bit of description, and open nearly
2,000 linear feet of material to
scholars. We decided to go the
route of speed and access.
The choice to minimally process collections was really one
of necessity. Prior to beginning this project, CHM had a
backlog of approximately
4,500 linear feet of material.
We have an obligation to our
donors to make headway on
this backlog, as well as an

Special points
of interest:
 The Computer History Museum’s Processing Grant is moving along smoothly

CHM Assistant Archivist Kim
Hayden (left) and Project Archivist Bob Doub (right)

ethical imperative to expose
our collections. But the limitations of staff, time, and money
make traditional processing
an ineffective approach. It
would take one archivist 20
years to process the entire
backlog, and that does not
take yearly growth into account.
MPLP (More Product, Less
Process), as minimal processing has been known since
Mark Green and Dennis
Meissner introduced the approach in 2005, has become a
generally accepted method.
It’s taught in library schools,

 San Jose, Costa Rica
celebrates the 123rd
Anniversary of its
National Library.
 Visitacion Valley
Library creates a
Community Resource Guide for local residents in need
of social programs
 The California Conference on Library
Instruction comes to
San Francisco in
April. Mark your

Inside this issue:

Costa Rica National Library 123rd Anniversary
Costa Rica, a small country in
Central America, is characterized by its civil tradition. Its
reputation as an oasis of peace
in a troubled region is no exaggeration. Costa Rica has
always given priority to education.--primary education is
free and compulsory for all
school-aged children. Free
health care is provided for
everyone as well.
During my recent stay in the
capital, San Jose, I had the
opportunity to visit the Na-

tional Library, “Miguel
Obregón Lizano”, located near
downtown, across the street
from the peaceful San Jose
National Park.
On the first day of my visit, I
met with the reference librarian, Ms. Ileana Ulate, who
spent a lot of time showing me
almost everything in the library. On my second visit, I
met with the director, Ms.
Laura Rodriguez, who during
a long interview, proudly explained to me the intricacies of

the national and public library
systems in Costa Rica.
What is interesting about
educated Cost Ricans is that
many leave their country to
study abroad but return to
Costa Rica after getting their
degrees from an American or
European university. Ms.
Rodriguez is one of them. She
studied in Spain and Canada
but came back home and
started to use her acquired
knowledge to improve the
library system in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica


CCLI Announcement


CHM Grant


Resource Guide

Page 2

BayNet Newsletter

Costa Rica cont.

Costa Rica National Library.
Photo by Dr. Sirous Monajami

National Library Reading Room.
Photo by Dr. Sirous Monajami

The origin of the National Library System (Sistema National
de Bibliotecas / SINABI) goes
back to 1890, the date in which
Don Michael Obregón Lizano
(one of the pioneers of the Costa
Rican education system) established the General Direction of
Libraries in Costa Rica.
These days, the National Library System consists of the
National Library, the Network
of Public Libraries, Bookmobile
(Bibliobus) and the SINABI web
site. The impressive collaborative efforts of the Sistema Nacional de Bibliotecas are used to
promote social justice and increase the cultural knowledge of
the population. This is an approach that can be followed by
many countries, especially in
Latin America, where libraries
are not really the main interest
of the younger generation.
The National Library Miguel
Obregón Lizano has a large
conservation and restoration
department on the lower level of
the library, where historic documents, history books, materials
on cultural heritage, music, etc.,
(published inside and outside of
Costa Rica) are compiled and
preserved. Materials from this
special collection cannot be
checked out since they are designated for research only.
Although the National Library
is a conservation library and not
a public library per se, it does

provide some public library
functionality. The reading room
is on the main floor. The public
can enter the library, read periodicals, use the Internet, search
the SINABI website, and make
photocopies. Only researchers
using the Special Collection
Department on the lower level of
the library need permits.
Public libraries are comprised of
a network of 56 libraries located
in seven provinces in Costa Rica.
They are centers of bibliographic
information and cultural expansion. They function as community centers where they promote
reading, and organize recreational and educational activities.
Public libraries, along with the
bookmobile system, serve children and young adults in rural
communities with limited access
to libraries.
What I found amazing about the
Sistema Nacional de Bibliotecas
is its outstanding digitized library. Since access to online
materials is not password protected, the entire Spanish
speaking world can benefit from
it by using the SINABI website.
This is very helpful for all users
especially in poor Latin American countries with limited access to libraries. Ms. Rodriguez
stated that the digital library
provides access to all types of
materials (periodicals, books,
music, photos, maps, scores,
comic books, bibliographies)
dating back to the mid nine-

teenth-century. The digitization
is an ongoing project.
Another ongoing project is the
library automations. The library catalog contains books,
maps, audiovisual materials,
periodical articles published
since 1986, and magazine articles since 1984.
Ms. Rodriguez added that books
are very expensive in Costa
Rica. University students normally cannot afford to buy textbooks. They just photocopy
everything. The SINABI digital
library helps many users and
promotes knowledge in an efficient and affordable way.
The Costa Rica National and
Public Library System could be
a model for many countries in
the world. Their collaborative
network of libraries, preservation efforts, bookmobile services
and progress in digitization
have helped Costa Rica become
a leader in developing social and
cultural awareness by promoting access to information, innovation, research and diffusion of
the national culture.
My interview ended after 45
minutes. It was lunch time. On
the way out, I saw Ms. Rodriguez’s son sitting in the waiting
room. He had brought lunch for
his busy mom.
By Dr. Sirous Monajami at the
City College of San Francisco

librarians are
once again
reframing our
work in
different and
new ways.”

CCLI Comes to San Francisco April 29
Join the California Conference
on Library Instruction (CCLI) in
San Francisco at our annual
practical and inspirational conference on Friday, April 29,
2016! This year, the conference
theme is “Reframing Instruction: Looking at What We Do
with a New Lens.”
Between the release of ACRL's
new Framework, #critlib discussions taking off on Twitter, a
growing focus on digital literacy,
and calls for tossing out the "one
-shot," academic librarians are

once again reframing our work
in different and new ways.
When it comes to information
literacy, how are you focusing on
the bigger picture, zooming in
on the Framework, restoring
faded activities, or viewing the
learning process with a new
lens? Our honored keynote
speakers are Jessica Critten,
Instructional Services Librarian
at the University of West Georgia, and Kevin Seeber, Foundational Experiences Librarian at
Auraria Library. We are accept-

ing proposals for presentations
through November 24, 2015, and
registration will open soon after.
For more information, see http://
By Gina Kessler Lee, Information Literacy Librarian at Saint
Mary’s College of California

Page 3

Volume 2, Issue 1

Computer History Museum cont.
it’s a popular paper topic at
conferences, and it’s a common
area of questioning in job interviews.
This two-year project has been
CHM’s first real attempt to
integrate MPLP into its processing, and so far it’s working for
us. To date, the project’s archivists and volunteers have been
able to maintain an average
processing rate of just over 4
hours per linear foot. And even
better, the collections are being
used! To date, CHM APP has
opened 15 collections totaling
314 linear feet of material to
Of the seven collections that
have had their finding aids published so far, CHM has had
researchers visit the archive
specifically to conduct research
in four of them. That’s over half
the publicized collections attracting researchers in the first
six months. Remarkable! And
beyond my wildest expectations.
Without the funds provided by
CLIR to process and publicize
these collections, those researchers would have had no

way of knowing these collections
existed. This project has proven
to me what I have always felt to
be true. Researchers prefer having access to a high number of
minimally processed collections,
over access to a few intensively
described collections, despite the
onus this style of processing
puts on them to do more detective work.
A giant thank you to the Council
on Library and Information
Resources for providing the
funds that have made this project possible through their Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives Grant. As
CLIR states, “libraries, archives
and cultural institutions hold
millions of items that have
never been adequately described . . . [and] are all but
unknown to, and unused by, the
scholars those organizations
aim to serve.” Over the next one
and a half years we will be
opening up additional and larger collections, including the
much anticipated Digital Equipment Corporation Records, revealing more of the innumerable

treasures held by CHM. We can
hardly wait to learn what discoveries will be made by researchers who finally have access to these materials.
CHM’s Archives Processing
Project (CHM APP) is modeled
after the CLIR-funded Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special
Collections Libraries’ Hidden
Collections Processing Project
undertaken in 2009–2011 http://

“This project
has been CHM’s
first real
attempt to
integrate MPLP
into its

Select finding aids published as
a result of CHM APP:
Keith Calkins collection on
Sigma Systems http://
John Imlay Papers http://
Jim Armstrong collection of
Apple Materials http://
Community Memory Records
By Sara Lott, Senior Archives
Manager at The Computer History Museum

Using baker’s racks to aid in
sorting large collections at
CHM’s offsite storage

How to Create a Community Resource Guide
At TechSoup, we're all about
community organizations coming together to improve the
quality of life for citizens. So
when I heard about a collaborative project between nonprofits,
city agencies, and the local library happening in my own
backyard (almost literally!), I
knew I had to write about it.
The Visitacion Valley Resource
Guide, available in both online
and print formats, is a comprehensive guide to local elected
officials, employment services,
child care, parks and playgrounds, faith-based organizations, public safety, and more
for this sometimes under-served
San Francisco neighborhood.
Because many residents of Visitacion Valley don't have Internet access at home and/or don't
speak English, it can be difficult
for them to find local informa-

tion. The resource guide, available both online and in print,
helps connect people to
neighborhood information.
A Nonprofit-Driven Community Project
The project was spearheaded by
Real Options for City Kids
(ROCK), a neighborhood nonprofit and TechSoup member.
ROCK aims to promote positive
development and long-term
success of Visitacion Valley
youth through in-school and
after-school programs. I spoke
with Curt Yagi, the executive
director of ROCK, about how the
guide came about and the collaborative work that went into
The idea for a community resource guide came up during a
community meeting with the
neighborhood's city district su-

pervisor, Malia Cohen. A
neighborhood guide had never
been done before in Visitacion
Valley, much less any other
neighborhood in San Francisco.
Cohen procured a small grant
through the Mayor's Office of
Housing and Development for
the project and nominated Curt
and ROCK to take the lead on
Curt organized a small community team of neighborhood residents, nonprofits, and other
stakeholders. He said his team
spent countless hours getting
descriptions of agencies or services, verifying phone numbers,
and finding other relevant information. One of the most difficult
tasks was getting these agencies
and organizations to actually
call back!
Technology and Volunteers
Make It Happen

“The resource
available both
online and in
print, helps
people to

Bay Area Library and
Information Network

As a multi-type library association, BayNet represents librarians
and information professionals from all varieties of organizations.
Our mission is to strengthen connections among all types of San
Francisco Bay Area Libraries and Information Centers, and to
promote communication, professional development, cooperation,
and innovative resource sharing.
If you would like to know more about what we do, contact us via
email at


Submit a story:

Community Resource Guide cont.
To collect and organize data,
the team members used Google
docs and Google forms. They
asked community partners to
complete and fill out the information that would be included
in the guide (such as address,
telephone number, website,
description, and so on). Curt
said that they had to fill out
much of the information themselves to keep it consistent.
He scouted volunteers to help
with both the design and translations of the guide. The designer was actually based in
Chicago and was looking for
ways to build out her portfolio.
The volunteer translators were
also an important find, because
the Visitacion Valley neighborhood has a large number of
Spanish-and Chinese-speaking

businesses. He said that they
plan to work with local elementary and middle schools to distribute the guide when school
The Library as a Community Hub
The Visitacion Valley Library
is where ROCK held the launch
event for the guide. The local
library is a great place to hold a
community event because a) it's
centrally located and b) you can
reserve a room for free! The
library is also a place where
people come to seek information, so naturally, residents can
pick up the guide at the Visitacion Valley branch.

The Finished Product

The Aspen Institute's A Renewed Vision of the Public
Library report describes the
public library as a place where
"people are at the center."
Here's more from the report:

Curt said that the team members identified partners to distribute the guide, such as
schools, nonprofits, and local

"Library staffs anticipate individual and community needs
and connect people to available
resources, both locally and

By being both a provider and
facilitator of the resource guide,
the Visitacion Valley Library
demonstrated its interest and
impact in the neighborhood.
While the library didn't directly
work on building the guide, the
staff's support shows how
"people-centric" the library's
work is.
How to Spearhead Your
Own Community Guide
Inspired by ROCK's story? You
can create your very own community guide, too! For some
tips on how, check out the full
article at TechSoup for Libraries:
By Ginny Mies, Senior Content
Developer at TechSoup for Libraries

Visitacion Valley Resource
Guide detail