ELAG 2022 registration is now open !

Registration for ELAG 2022 is open. Please register yourself at: https://elag2022.lnb.lv/registration/

Thank you for the proposals for ELAG 2022!

We have enough proposals to organise ELAG 2022 this summer 8-10 June in RigaLatvia. If you still want to contribute to the conference, don’t hesitate to send an email to the Chair of our Programme Committee : Peter van Boheemen at peter.vanboheemen@wur.nl.

Every ELAG conference is special, but this year it will be more special than ever. In these dark days for the world we want to show what the `E’ in ELAG stands for, organise an in-person conference, in Europe, open for everyone worldwide interested in library automation.

Call for proposals ELAG 2022 has been extended!

We are very enthusiastic about the proposals for ELAG 2022 in Riga, Latvia, but we can add a few more to make it again into a great conference. The new deadline is March 1, 2022. Send in your proposals for bootcamps, workshops or presentaties to https://forms.gle/uhuQfj2XusTsKZqc9 or send an email to Peter van Boheemen at peter.vanboheemen@wur.nl.

Call for proposals ELAG 2022

The next ELAG conference will take place in Riga, Latvia from 07 to 10 June 2022.

“What a year it has been!”, this alas we need to write for a second year in a row during this global COVID-19 pandemic. But, our ELAG team is still very enthusiastic to organise our next event in the beautiful town of Riga, with conference rooms, workshops, dinners and a drink in the local pubs. Yes, we don’t know what will happen next year, but we set a deadline to make a decision by March 1 , 2022. By this date we will decide if the next ELAG take place in person or a virtually (like we did in 2020 and 2021). Rest assured, whatever the plans or the situation is in 2022: there will be a next ELAG. And, we need your help with presentations, workshops and ideas for bootcamps.

How you can contribute!

You can contribute to the ELAG conference in several ways, by submitting: 

  • A presentation proposal:  These are the core of the ELAG programme. Presentations allow you to present your work in 25 minutes in a plenary session. After which there are 5 minutes for questions.  
  • A workshop proposal: Workshops are run throughout the main ELAG programme and are used for group discussions on a selected topic. The workshop leader acts as the moderator of these discussions. Workshops are split into 2 sessions on 2 days of 1.5 hours each. On the last day the participants of the workshop need to present a short 10-15 minute summary about the results of the workshop during the plenary session.
  • A bootcamp proposal: Bootcamp take place on the day before the conference. They typically provide hands-on training on software, tools relevant to the community. Bootcamps can be short (2-3 hours) or take a whole day (6 hours).  

Some ideas and previous topics for workshops and bootcamps: DevOps & infrastructure bootcamp, Fail4Lib (history of fails in your software projects), deep learning in libraries, a deep dive into tools like Ansible, Apache Nifi, and Catmandu; or other!

Guidelines for conference presentations, workshops and bootcamps are available at: https://wp.me/P5cYg0-s

To submit a presentation, workshop, or bootcamp proposal, please complete the form here: https://forms.gle/uhuQfj2XusTsKZqc9

The deadline for proposals is March 1, 2022. All proposals will be reviewed by the ELAG 2022 Programme Committee, and the results of the review process will be sent by March 25, 2022.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Peter van Boheemen, Chair of the ELAG Programme Committee, at peter.vanboheemen@wur.nl.

ELAG is back! Save the date for ELAG 2022 7-10 June in Riga

We are ready to organise a new ELAG in Riga, Latvia from June 7 to June 10, 2022. Our call for proposals will be sent at the beginning of December. 

Last two years it was hard to organise conferences and also ELAG didn’t make it into a ELAG 2020 and ELAG 2021 conference. With our Mini-ELAG conference we gave you all ELAG in your doorstep, but next year we will try to make a good old ELAG conference again on premise, with conference rooms, workshops, dinners and visiting the local pubs.

ELAG is still Europe’s premier conference on the application of information technology in libraries and documentation centers. For over forty years, the ELAG (European Library Automation Group) Conference has provided library and IT professionals with the opportunity to discuss new technologies, to review on-going developments, and to exchange best practices. 

Make yourself heard and participate in our community, but at least add this date to your calendar next year! We hope to see you all soon back in Latvia.

If you want to join ELAG and be part of our programme committee: send and email to our program chair Peter van Boheemen at peter.vanboheemen@wur.nl.

Mini-ELAG 2021: Program

Where: Microsoft Teams
Date: June 30, 2021 14:00 – 16:00 CEST

You can register here !

We got a program for the Mini-ELAG on 30 June 2021 14:00 – 16:00 CEST. Join us on Microsoft Teams and learn what our ELAG presenters have been doing the last months. This Mini-ELAG will be filled with 5 to 10 minute lightning talks and is free for registered participants.


Image processing in the cultural heritage sector

Tan Lu, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Royal Library of Belgium (KBR), Belgium

This talk will briefly touch three aspects namely layout analysis, damage recognition and quality assessment, where the idea is to show that image processing and mathematical modelling may be applied to assist automation and information extraction in the cultural heritage. In particular, for layout analysis I will introduce our work on a new algorithm named ‘Document Segmentation using Probabilistic Homogeneity’ (ref: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031320320303940) where we propose a probabilistic local text homogeneity (PLTH) model for a more reliable document layout parsing. The proposed PLTH model is further incorporated in a Bayesian damage recognition framework, which will be introduced in part 2. Lastly, I will also briefly introduce the idea of a unified image quality assessment using deep learning. All these results are obtained under the ADOCHS (http://adochs.be/) project based on the collaboration between VUB (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and KBR (The Royal Library of Belgium).

Duration: 10 minutes

Discover: a modular framework for research data in the project eHumanitie

Jaime Penagos, IT Dpt. University Library, Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, Germany

At the University Library LMU Munich, we established a framework named “Discover”, that presents indexed research data to the end user, based on a self-developed extension of the DataCite schema we called “rdUB”. The research data and metadata reside in a Fedora Repository, which was integrated through Apache Camel with Solr and Blacklight.

Duration: 10 minutes

Linked Data Notifications for the Scholarly Web

Patrick Hochstenbach, Ghent University, Belgium

This talk will report our progress in the Mellon project on Scholarly Communication Using the Decentralized Web. This PhD project at Gent University envisions an alternative scholarly communication system that is research-centric, institution enabled and aligned with decentralized web concepts and technologies. In this vision, researchers use a personal domain and associated storage space as their long-term scholarly hub, and the core functions of scholarly communication (registration, certification, awareness, archiving) are fulfilled in a decoupled manner, that is, each function can simultaneously be fulfilled by multiple parties in different ways.

Duration: 5 minutes

Continuous quality assessment for MARC21 catalogues

Péter Király, Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Datenverarbeitung Göttingen, Germany

QA Catalogue is an open source quality assessment tool for MARC21 based catalogues. It reads different serialization formats (binary MARC, XML, Alephseq etc.) and analyses different quality aspects, such as the validity of the data elements and their values, completeness, support of functional requirements, classifications and name authorities, the most frequent data elements, the historical aspects of a catalogue. Last summer, together with the colleagues at Gent University Library we have implemented a continuous quality assessment workflow: every Saturday morning the library publishes their whole catalogue as a single compressed file. QA Catalogue service fetches it, and runs assessment, and refreshes the quality dashboard (which is a web application containing a special discovery interface).

Duration: 10 minutes

Pubby: front end for RDF-Data

Tobias Malmsheimer, Stuttgart Media University, Germany

At Stuttgart Media University multiple research projects create knowledge graphs and other graph-based database structures for different domains. In the context of these projects we have reimplemented the web frontend “Pubby” for RDF data. “Pubby” now uses a modern web framework (Django), is prepared to be combined with ElasticSearch and can easily be adapted and extended for different use cases. Our presentation will focus on the main functions, setup and configuration and an example extension module.

Duration: 5 minutes

Workshop report from the Handschriftenportal

Leander Seige, Leipzig University Library, Germany

A brief report on the current status of the Handschriftenportal, the new decentralized central portal for all medieval manuscripts in German institutions. It will feature the public alpha system as well as several aspects and issues of decentralized image hosting with IIIF, displaying and annotating TEI in Mirador and further questions

Duration: 10 minutes

Unified Access to controlled vocabularies with BARTOC

Jakob Voß, Verbundzentrale des GBV (VZG), Germany

The vocabulary registry BARTOC contains metadata about several thousand library classifications, thesauri, ontologies and other controlled vocabularies. We will show how this information can be used not only to find controlled vocabularies but also to access their contents in a uniform way.

Duration: 5 minutes

Physical access control in the time of Covid-19

Matthew Phillips, Durham University, United Kingdom

To enable social distancing during the pandemic, we had to severely restrict the number of people using our main Bill Bryson Library. Access is controlled using the Telepen Sentry Juno system. We took advantage of the openness of its database to link it to a booking system, allowing controlled and fair access to the building for academic staff and students.

Duration: 5 minutes

Interactive forms with the functional programming language Elm

Olli Lyytinen, Durham University Library, United Kingdom

In order to simplify our multiple different library resource request forms, we consolidated them all into an interactive form which adapts to the user and their choices in the form. This gives the user an intuitive interface to resource requests hiding options and fields irrelevant to them. We built the form using the purely functional web programming language Elm. This offered us much more customisability than using basic form builders available in content management systems available to us.

Duration: 5 minutes

Establishment of a digital curation curriculum in the Czech Republic

Michal Lorenz and Helena Novotná, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic

In this Lightning Talk, the concept of a curriculum for digital curators at the Department of Information and Library Studies of Masaryk University is presented. As the country lacks professionals educated in this area, we have started to educate information studies students to hold the position of digital curator in all types of memory institutions with the support of the National Museum’s project New Phonograph. We are currently striving to certify this specialisation with domestic national memory institutions to ensure higher visibility and employability of graduates.

Duration: 5 minutes

Using Apache Kafka and Kubernetes to process data and run microservices and library applications

Lionel Walter, University of Basel Library, Switzerland

The Basel University Library has released two new web portals this spring : Memobase (https://memobase.ch), the portal to Switzerland’s audiovisual cultural heritage, and swisscollections (https://swisscollections.ch), the gateway to historical and modern collections in Swiss libraries and archives.

They use a common microservices and data infrastructure, based on Apache Kafka and Kubernetes. In this talk we will describe how it works behind the scenes. This talk is a follow-up from ELAG 2019 Talk : Microservices based on the Kafka Event Hub (https://swissbib.gitlab.io/presentations/microservices-and-kafka/)

Duration: 10 minutes

Mini-Elag II

Where: Microsoft Teams, details to be announced
Date: June 30, 2021 14:00 – 16:00 CEST (tentative date)
Contact: Peter van Boheemen, Chair of the ELAG Programme Committee 
Email: peter.vanboheemen at wur.nl

Are you proud of the work that you did last year? Do you know things you want to share? Do you have a great idea? Are you able to teach your colleagues something?

These were the questions we asked our ELAG attendees for several years to kindly invite them to join the oldest library tech conference in Europe (starting 1979). Having done this for over forty  years, never could we have imagined that 2020 and 2021 would be that much different from all other years. 

Alas, things turned out to be different than we hoped to be. A good-old fashioned ELAG conference with an official and unofficial program needs to wait for one more year when we are invited again to Riga. However, this won’t stop us from saying hello to you all and to listen to what you have been up to all these months. You all had enough time to change our library world.

Therefore we will ask you once again: Are you proud of the work that you did last year? Do you know things you want to share? Do you have a great idea? Are you able to teach your colleagues something? Yes! Then join our online Mini-ELAG conference! We will use Microsoft Teams, each speaker will get a 5 minute or a 10 minute slot for  lightning talk presentation.

Please send in your proposal here https://forms.gle/d3YoFuHWBzYzdFVW7

Later this spring we will send out the contact details and a programme. We can’t wait to see you all again!

Mini-ELAG : The Videos!

The Mini-ELAG conference in October 2020 was a great succes with more than 100 online participants. We enjoyed your participation in this online meeting and welcome any feedback you might have about this e-conference! Please find in the link below the videos for all the presentations:


Mini-ELAG : Program

Where: Microsoft Teams
Date: October 20, 2020 14:00 – 16:00 CEST

Registration has ended 🙂

We got a program for the Mini-ELAG next month! Join us on Microsoft Teams and learn what our ELAG presenters have been doing the last months. This Mini-ELAG will be filled with 5 to 10 minute lightning talks and is free for registered participants.


Collections as Data and Juypter Notebooks: experimenting in Library Labs

Sally Chambers, Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities, Ghent University, Belgium, Julie M. Birkholz, KBR, Royal Library of Belgium’s Digital Research Lab & Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities, Ghent University, Belgium and Gustavo Candela, Department of Software and Computing Systems, University of Alicante, Spain

The international GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) Labs Community [1] was established in September 2018 following a “Building Library Labs’’ workshop organised by the BL Labs team at the British Library [2]. This initial event led to a second workshop at the Royal Library of Denmark in Copenhagen in March 2019 [3] which in turn inspired a Book Sprint in Doha, Qatar to write the hands-on guide “Open a GLAM Lab” [4]. Such activities have been catalysts for other Labs activities in a range of libraries, including the establishment of the KBR Digital Research Lab [5], a long-term collaboration between KBR – Royal Library of Belgium and the Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities, Ghent University, Belgium to facilitate text and data mining research on KBR’s digitised and born-digital collections; the emerging DATA-KBR-BE open data platform, facilitating data-level access to KBR Collections and inspired by the North American ‘Collections as Data’ initiative [6], as well as the development of a series of GLAM Jupyter Notebooks [7] set-up by the BVMC Labs as part of the Miguel de Cervantes Virtual Library, Alicante, Spain and inspired by the GLAM Workbench [8]. In this lightning talk we would like to give you a brief taste of some of our Labs’ experiments from the last few months, and hopefully inspire you to try some similar experiments in your library!


Duration: 5 minutes

Federated Identity Management for Libraries

Jos Westerbeke, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Access to licensed e-resources is almost always provided based on IP address authentication. However, big publishers tend to move away from IP based access and libraries are facing publishers who want to use Single Sign-On (SSO) configurations. Libraries, then, need to setup SSO in the right way to protect the privacy of its patrons. Several librarians and technical specialists launched the Federated Identity Management for Libraries initiative (FIM4L, http://fim4l.org) to address the lack of a common best practise. A recommendation document is written about how to establish federated SSO for libraries while protecting privacy. It describes the attributes which can be released by the library and recommends two main options: An anonymous and a pseudonymous authentication. These recommendations would be useful for librarians and publishers too, to use FIM and set up federated SSO.

Duration: 5 minutes

STFC Open Science Portal prototype

Vasily Bunakov, STFC UKRI

STFC UKRI is a large research organization, and a funder of science. STFC Open Science Portal is a Web application that integrates STFC records of science from a few in-house catalogues and external quality information sources beyond the organization walls. The talk will give a brief outline of the progress made with the implementation of this new information service.

Duration: 5 minutes

The virtual librarian

Peter van Boheemen, Wageningen University & Research Library

Since your library user will not visit your library web site and will not use your library catalogue but will find what they need by browsing the internet, why not use browser plug-in technology to build a virtual librarian, that will travel with the user across any web site and assist the user when it is relevant.

Duration: 5 minutes

OCR-D: An open ecosystem for improving OCR on historical documents

Clemens Neudecker, Berlin State Library

OCR for historical documents remains a tricky challenge. The German OCR-D project and community have in recent years created a fully open source framework and ecosystem for historical document OCR (https://ocr-d.de). Now the solutions developed will have to demonstrate their effectiveness in real-world implementation scenarios. In this lightning talk we want to introduce the OCR-D stack and its features and discuss the open and participative development strategy of OCR-D in order to encourage others to experiment with OCR-D, engage with its community and contribute their own experiences and findings.

Duration: 10 minutes

Institutional Digital Archive

Dries Vanacker & Dhany dHondt, Artevelde University of Applied Sciences

Digitally archiving students’ research in the area of higher education has always been a challenge. Often these repositories are not very visual or lack integrations and transparent restrictions regarding access for external stakeholders is often missing. Moreover, the impact a digital archive has on the climate and physical storage is not to be underestimated. In this lightning talk we want to give you a demo of version one of the in-house developed open source repository that integrates with Learning Management Systems and tackles the earlier mentioned concerns. We will expand on the rationale behind the platform and dive into the technical architecture and infrastructure.

Duration: 10 minutes

Semantic structure recognition in tables of contents of periodicals and multilingual indexing of abstracts

Manfred Hauer , AGI – Information Management Consultants

intelligentCAPTURE articles moves metadata and abstract of – old and current – printed articles in periodicals or yearbooks into library catalogs. Metadata are recognized via a semantic structure recognition after scanning and OCR. Text like abstracts can be added and indexed from and into in many languages. Examples from Ibero-American Institute in Berlin will be given.

Duration: 10 minutes

First steps with FOLIO in Leipzig

Leander Seige, Leipzig University Library

On June 11, 2020, Leipzig University Library was the first institution in Germany to put services based on FOLIO into productive operation. This was preceded by about two years of intensive work with the system and participation in the international community. This talk briefly reports on the first experiences with the system in terms of technical, librarian and organizational aspects.

Duration: 10 minutes

Fatcat – Perpetual Access to Millions of Open Research Publications

Martin Czygan, Internet Archive

In 2017, with funding support from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the Kahle/Austin Foundation, the Internet Archive launched a project focused on preserving all publicly accessible research documents, with a particular focus on open access and at-risk materials.

As part of this effort, we built an editable catalog https://fatcat.wiki/, with an open API to allow anybody to contribute.
The software is free and open source, as is the data and we invite others to reuse and link to the content we have archived.

This lightning talk will demo the site and its collaborative features.

More information about the project can be found on its homepage [1]
and a recent blog post [2].

[1] https://fatcat.wiki/about
[2] https://blog.archive.org/2020/09/15/how-the-internet-archive-is-ensuring-permanent-access-to-open-access-journal-articles/

Duration: 5 minutes

Help, Scopus does not link my papers to my faculties!

Yasin Gunes, VU Amsterdam

University management is mostly interested in the analysis/results for their own faculty and not aggregated to the entire university. But Scopus does not link to faculties, at best to institutes or university affiliation numbers. We can use curators, but they do not want to be woken up at 3AM to do 1000 papers. So can we do this ourselves automatically and instantly?

Duration: 5 minutes

The FAIR Signposting Profile

Herbert Van de Sompel, DANS

The FAIR Signposting Profile[1] details a concrete recipe that repositories can follow to implement Signposting, a lightweight yet powerful approach to increase the Findability, Accessibility, and Interoperability of scholarly objects. Landing pages support humans that interact with scholarly objects on the web, providing descriptive metadata and links to content. These pages are not optimised for use by machine agents that navigate the scholarly web. Signposting provides this type of information in a uniform machine-friendly way. It builds on widely implemented web protocols specified in IETF RFCs, yielding interoperability that is not restricted to the scholarly landscape but encompasses the web at large.

[1] https://signposting.org/FAIR/

Duration: 5 minutes

ELAG 2020 is cancelled

The organisers and programme committee of ELAG 2020 have decided to cancel this year’s conference. The ELAG 2020 conference was due to take place June 9-12, 2020 at the National Library of Latvia in Riga. Facing the uncertainties around the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) we concluded it’s best to postpone ELAG 2020 to 2021.

We would like to thank everyone who submitted proposals for the conference! We hope to see you all next year in Riga. We will soon begin discussing a date for the next ELAG meeting and will inform you as soon as there are any news.

Stay safe and healthy and see you next year!

The organisers and programme committee of ELAG 2020/1