To discovery and beyond: Using workflow automation as an opportunity for collaboration and education

Poster presentation for The Exchange: An ALCTS/LITA/LLAMA Collaboration virtual conference


This poster describes a project to automate portions of JMU Libraries’ workflow for distributing Special Collections finding aids to various discovery platforms. Through the development of a custom Python app called Spaceport, we were able to greatly improve the efficiency and sustainability of this process while also providing a more consistent discovery experience for our patrons. The project also had broad impacts in other areas. Our incremental and collaborative approach provided space for professional development related to the project, supported evolving project goals and the process of adapting to the new workflow, and strengthened relationships between departments. In addition to describing these and other benefits, this poster includes an overview of the Spaceport app’s functionality along with recommended learning resources for technologies used in the project, including XSLTs, Python scripting, and APIs.