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Allison Jai O’Dell is soon-to-be Special Collections Cataloger for the University of Miami.  Previously, she worked as a Cataloging Consultant for the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Rare Book Department, and Assistant Archivist and Librarian for the Barnes Foundation.  She holds an M.S. in Library Science from the Catholic University of America, and is being awarded an M.A. in Art and the Book from the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Spring 2013.  Allison’s current research focuses on assessment and manipulation of library catalog data.

ABA: In a few words, tell us what you’ll be talking about at the ABA meeting.

AJO: Using the simpleCart JavaScript shopping cart to build a research request tool right on top of an archives finding aid.  It works just like a bookbag feature in a library catalog — you can add folders/boxes/whatever from the finding aid to a list, and then e-mail this request to the archives.

ABA: What do you hope audiences will get from your talk?

AJO: I hope that this will be an opportunity to think about free and easy ways to automate the materials request process.  There’s a lot of potential for expanding this project and developing a full suite of automated tasks — printing call slips, tracking usage, etc.  I’ll talk about ideas for building more.

ABA: What is your favorite archives-related micro-presentation get-together that has “ABA” for initials and is celebrating its one year anniversary?

AJO: Alligators Biting Arms?  Archivists Being Awesome!

ABA: On a scale from 1 – 10, (10 being hardest) how easy would it be for other archivists to implement the project you’re presenting here?

AJO: 2 or 3.  Actual implementation is really simple for an archivist who knows EAD and HTML.  One would need administrative access to their institution’s website, however.

ABA: Great, thanks Allison! We’re looking forward to hearing more on the 8th!