DH_OU Seminar: BL Labs Roadshow, 29 February

BL Labs logo

Registration is open for the BL Labs roadshow that will take place at The Open University on 29 February from 12.003.00pm in the Library Presentation Room.

Please register for the seminar through this Eventbrite page by 22 February.


1200  Registration and Lunch

1230  Introduction
Open University

1235  British Library Labs
Mahendra Mahey, Project Manager of British Library Labs.
Ben O’Steen, Technical Lead of British Library Labs.

The British Library Labs project supports and inspires scholars to use the British Library’s incredible digital collections in exciting and innovative ways for their research, through various activities such as competitions, awards, events and projects.

Labs will highlight some of the work that they and others are doing around digital content in libraries and also talk about ways to encourage researchers to engage with the British Library. They will present information on the annual BL Labs Competition, which closes this year on 11th April 2016. Through the Competition, Labs encourages researchers to submit their important research question or creative idea which uses the British Library’s digital content and data. Two Competition winners then work in residence at the British Library for five months and then showcase the results of their work at the annual Labs Symposium in November 2016.

Labs will also discuss the annual BL Labs Awards which recognises outstanding work already completed, that has used the British Library’s digital collections and data. This year, the Awards will commend work in four key areas: Research, Artistic, Commercial and Teaching / Learning. The deadline for entering the BL Labs Awards this year is 5th September 2016.

Labs will further present information on various projects such as the ‘Mechanical Curator’ and other interesting experiments using the British Library’s digital content and data.

1335  Examination of British Library data and previous Labs ideas
Labs Team

Labs will be coming along with terabytes of the British Library’s digital data on the day which the team will give an overview of, highlighting some of the challenges faced when working with “messy” data.

1345  Ideas Lab
Labs Team

Labs will present an outline of the various ideas and suggestions from other researchers that have been made which explore working with the British Library’s digital content and data. The delegates will then have the opportunity to work in small groups and come up with their own ideas. The team and Open University staff will be on hand to help and advise.

1445  Pitching ideas to the panel
Open University and Labs Team

Each group will pitch their ideas to the Labs and Open University panel who will give feedback on how they might be implemented – and there’s even the chance to win a goody bag!

1500  Finish

Speaker Biographies:
Mahendra Mahey, Project Manager of British Library Labs.

Previous to Labs he was at UKOLN (University of Bath) working for 4 years on the Jisc funded the UK Developer Community Supporting Innovation (DevCSI) initiative (organising several Developer Happiness” conferences (dev8d.org)) and 5 years together on a project focussing on how academic institutions could manage their research information using a common metadata standard and one supporting research in digital repositories of scholarly outputs. He was an adviser for the Jisc Regional Support Centres encouraging academics / librarians to use electronic learning resources and make effective use of e-learning technologies and techniques in their practice. He also worked as a lecturer for over 10 years in Social Sciences, Computing, Multimedia and English for Speakers of Other Languages in Further and Higher Education internationally.

Ben O’Steen, Technical Lead of British Library Labs.

Previous to working for Labs he was a freelance developer in the academic sector. While his expertise lies in solving interesting problems using computers, his formal training is in chemistry: He has authored a Physics GCSE training course, created electronics for art installations, co-founded the “Developer Happiness” conference (dev8d.org), and he was the lead developer in the Bodleian Library’s Research and Development department building their Resource Description Framework (RDF) – powered repository and digital asset management systems. In recent years, he has worked on Jisc funded projects (OpenBibliography, OpenCitation), wrote reports for funders on topics such as text-mining and sat on technical advisory boards for the  Web-service Offering Repository Deposit (SWORD) protocol , ORCID and other groups.