VITA News

We are thrilled to say that we’ve finished the restore process for our VITA Toolkit partner sites. All sites are now back online, and your OurOntario.ca search results should be working.

You may discover an occasional item record that fails to load as we finish restoring some of the biggest files in our collections.

screenshot-images.ourontario.ca-2018.09.18-11-31-12

See a list of our VITA Toolkit sites.

If you visit a VITA site and continue to see an error message about the site being offline, please make sure to clear your cache and refresh the original URL (removing the “/offline” at the end).

If you have any further questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch at help@vitatoolkit.ca. If you’re with a VITA member organization and want to stay updated about the administrative side of VITA, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.

Due to an unexpected service interruption, some of our VITA Toolkit digital collections are offline. We are working diligently to restore these collections for public search and discovery. Many are now back online, but as a result of this, you may encounter some links to an “offline” message either on individual VITA Toolkit sites or in the OurOntario.ca portal. All content will be back and available as soon as possible.

The Government Documents and INK sites are not affected.

Thanks for your patience. Please check back or sign up for our newsletter to receive updates.

We had an unexpected server issue over the weekend. All VITA sites and accounts are affected. We are currently restoring the sites.

You may see some sites come online ahead of others – the Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario Digital Collections is already back online, for example. Other ODW websites such as OurOntario.ca will have some links that lead to “offline” content for the moment, but INK and Government Documents are not affected.

We will post an update as soon as you can start using VITA again. We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this issue. If you have any concerns, please let us know at help@vitatoolkit.ca. Thank you!

Our team has upgraded the platform and moved all your content and site settings over to the newest version of VITA.

Lots of changes are behind-the-scenes – you’ll notice a faster and easier VITA without having to learn anything new!

Members using the default CSS templates for their sites will see some display changes, as we’ve tweaked our code a bit.

We’ve also introduced some new alternate styling templates that take minimal time to set up and can drastically change the appearance and function of your VITA site!

What’s New

Faster and more responsive indexing

Changes and additions appear automatically on your public site.

Better video uploads

And you can always embed a Youtube video!

Sleeker CSS

VITA’s classic look is upgraded – plus some new looks to choose from.

Responsive search & results screens

Options you don’t use are hidden on Advanced Search and results screens. Long results automatically hide and expand.

Completely separate News from Images sites

No more overlap of content: it’s a clean break!

Bug fixes and tweaks

Stay tuned for more V6 news and support

What’s Gone

Mobile search

Your VITA site will look the same no matter what device you use, so we’ve done away with the special stripped-down version.

Search widgets

Existing ones still work, but you can’t add new ones.

FLV [Flash] video files

We’ve converted any FLV files to MP4 for you!

We love seeing what our member organizations are up to and how they use VITA in creative ways. Here’s a few we’ve profiled on the ODW blog recently:

 

VITA and the library as publisher

The County of Brant Public Library released their story anthology, Place Settings, using their VITA platform to host the eBook as a PDF and individual audiobook chapters, where each story is read by its author. Each chapter is geotagged to the local area where it takes place.

Waterloo Then and Now

The Then/Now Youth Photography Project is sending shutterbugs through the city to capture updated views of archival photographs.  The Waterloo Public Library created a record group in VITA to host the project online. They’ve used VITA’s multipage document module to innovatively present each pairing, so you can flip back and forth between the Then and the Now!

The Brighton Barns Project

Recently featured in their local paper, the Brighton Digital Archives has a wonderful project photographing and cataloguing local barns. The Project has begun uploading photos to their VITA site and listing them in an exhibit. At this point, almost 200 barns have been photographed, resulting in over 2,000 images, so you’ll see a lot more added in the near future.

 

Want your awesome community project using VITA featured in the ODW blog, newsletter, and social media? Contact us and ask how we can help!

 

Jess and Frances will be hosting a series of live Q&A sessions for anyone learning about VITA this summer. Whether you’re a first-timer, a summer student or intern, a long-time user looking to brush up, or an advanced user with ambitious questions, Jess and Frances will be providing demos and walk-throughs upon request.

There’s no sign-up necessary, and everyone is welcome!

Our first brown-bag lunch session is Monday, June 12th with more dates to follow:

  • June 12th, 12pm EST
  • June 26th, 12pm EST
  • July 10th, 12pm EST
  • July 24th, 12pm EST
  • August 7th, 12pm EST
  • August 21st, 12pm EST

See the Training Calendar for dates. If you can’t make it, be sure to check out the webinar recordings on our YouTube channel and the VITA Help site!

We’ve also created a handy infographic for you to refer to when you’re getting started or want to know where to look for more resources:

The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport has released its Annual Survey of Public Libraries and now’s the time to make your VITA collections count!

We’re ironing out a couple of details, but then will provide step-by-step instructions on how to include your VITA content and traffic statistics in the survey.

Follow the links in this FOPL post to start your survey

SOLS is offering a series of webinars about completing your survey.

Stay tuned to our blog and help.vitatoolkit.ca for more information and documentation.

Not from Ontario? Tell us about any similar surveys so we can help you include your collections!

 

Highland Park Public Library in Illinois: 11,500 newspaper pages (various titles covering 1883-1922) and index

 

Downers Grove Public Library in Illinois: 8,500 pages of the Downers Grove Reporter newspaper

 

Kawartha Lakes Public Library: 42,000 newspaper pages (various titles, 1865-1937)

 

Whitchurch-Stouffville Public Library: 5,000 newspaper pages – from microfilm all the way up to born-digital PDFs!

New VITA Training Webinars are now live! Users and the public can now access helpful webinars about the features and workflows of VITA Toolkit. Geared for the VITA Toolkit user, these webinars are great for everyone to learn more in an on-demand environment about interactive features, managing and customizing sites, working with groups of records, newspapers, and more. We also cover other heritage technology, such as our series on using OpenRefine to clean up your data.

Subscribe to our Youtube channel to be kept up-to-date on all of our uploads. We’re always looking for feedback on what else to include, so send us your requests.

 

Don’t forget about the wealth of other resources on our Help Site – and if you have any questions, try posting in our ….

Community forum

Building digital collections is more than scanning! Everyone has to consider issues like privacy, copyright and personal information then create best practices and policies as part of the process. We wanted to have a shared space for exchanging knowledge and experiences about these and other aspects of building and sharing online collections. The new VITA Community Forum includes threads that range from “copyright on plaques” to “removing audio noise from recordings” and “digitizing yearbooks – personal information issues.” The VITA Community Forum welcomes the public to read and contribute–what are your questions?