2017 info coming soon!

Successful projects depend on interdisciplinary expertise and cross-functional teams. Designing for digital today is a shared conversation between coders and designers. Front-end or back-end—bring your own unique talents to the table to shape the vision and the work of your team.

The Libraries are looking for creative new approaches to the online teaching, learning, and research tools we provide our users. Bring your experience as a student user of the library, your fresh design ideas, and your digital skills. Help us to brainstorm and build real, sharable, open-source solutions.

Small changes can make a big difference—big ideas can change the world! Help us to transform library services on Notre Dame’s campus, and we'll post your work to our online repository, NDgithub. You’ll add to your design portfolio and inspire better design—potentially around the world. 


Welcome to the inaugural Hesburgh Libraries ! This first annual will bring together teams of coders, graphic designers, subject specialists, and other creatives to help us reimagine the library’s digital services. For this single day event, we’ll provide the meals, resources, and technical assistance. Your teams will collaborate, create, and innovate to bring us your most creative solutions to revitalizing the Library’s digital user experience. Register today!

Our hackathon is dedicated to providing a fun and harassment-free experience for everyone. Learn more from our Code of Conduct.

When & Where

March 18th – 19th
Hesburgh Library
Center for Digital Scholarship
1st Floor NE

Fri 5p – 7p Orientation
Sat 9:30a – 8p Competition

Meals & Snacks

Food is fuel! We’ll provide a continental breakfast, box lunch, and pizza dinner, as well as an all-day coffee & soda bar with plenty of snacks in between.

Be sure to note food allergies and preferences when you register online!

Teams & Tees

Coders, designers, subject area experts—all creative types are welcome. Pull your team together in advance, or ask to be matched with a team. Either way, bring your own unique skills to a team of 2-4.

Pre-register online for a complimentary t-shirt.

Tools & Tech

Even Batman needed a utility belt! Bring your own laptops or borrow one of ours for your team, loaded with standard design and development software.

See our full list of resources.

Lightning Talks

Polished presentation skills are a core part of your professional development. In that spirit, sharing your ideas will be as much a part of the experience as creating them. You’ll present your amazing work to our panel of judges in 5-minute lightning talks.

Team Prizes

Winning projects will be featured on the library Website and posted at NDGithub

  • 1st Prize – $400
  • Runner Up – $200
  • Competitor’s Choice Award
  • Door Prizes and More!

Read the judging criteria.

2016 Judges

Ruth Tillman

Digital Collections Librarian
Hesburgh Libraries

Newly-arrived at Notre Dame, Ruth works with digitization and technical teams to bring Notre Dame collections online and make them more accessible to the community. She translates user needs into technical specifications and recommendations for the library’s digital collections development teams. Ruth also liaises outside the University, exploring avenues to get Notre Dame content into state and national digital collections such as HathiTrust, Indiana Memory, and DPLA. In the spirit of hackathons, Ruth often writes Python or PHP scripts to turn rote tasks into batch processes.

Matt Willmore

mobileND Program Manager,
Office of Information Technologies

Matt is currently mobileND Program Manager at Notre Dame, where he works to advance the state of mobile technologies on campus. In addition to providing leadership and strategy for the ND Mobile app, Matt also works with faculty, students and campus departments to best understand how mobile technologies can improve research, learning, teaching and administration, and executes projects to realize those possibilities. Matt also focuses on opportunities for students to actively participate in the creation and development of both technical and non-technical mobile projects, many of which are used on campus today.

Aaron Striegel

Associate Chair, Associate Professor
Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Aaron is currently the Associate Chair and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Notre Dame. In addition, he also serves on the Executive Committee of the Wireless Institute and is a member of the steering committee for the NDXG app tied to Campus Crossroads. Aaron’s research focuses on instrumentation and performance improvements for wireless in crowded venues, specifically with an eye towards the interplay of cellular, WiFi, and social networks. His further research interests include computer security, network visualization, and network scaling.

Joachim Castellano

Educational Technologist
The Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures

Joachim Castellano is an educational technologist at Notre Dame's Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures (CSLC). He is a specialist in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and digital media. Joachim's present focus is to innovate language learning through the CSLC's various initiatives, such as faculty training and student-led peer tutoring. Since 2009 Joachim has taught at Japanese universities and publishes and presents in journals and conferences worldwide. In 2013, Joachim's work in technology and education was recognized when he was selected for the Apple Distinguished Educator award.

Judging Criteria

This guide lists the categories for judging the projects that will be presented at the conclusion of the hackathon. Each category has a weighted percentage that will be used to calculate the final score for each team. This explanatory material should be used as a guide for scoring each area.

Impact 20%

The solution should have a significant impact on either library operations or the services that students and faculty use on a regular basis. An indication of impact would be represented in factors such as ease of use for a particular library service, increasing accessibility, increasing availability, fostering communication, etc. The product should advance the library’s ultimate goal of “connecting people to knowledge”.

Teamwork 20%

This category emphasizes the way in which the team members cooperate in order to create their product. The team should involve every member in the creative process and try to take advantage of individual strengths. This should be evident in the team presentation, and the participation of each team member should be clearly evident. Teams that incorporate a diverse set of skills and styles but who work in a unified manner have an advantage in this category.

Innovation 30%

Simply put, innovation represents a degree of “pushing the envelope” for access to services and content. The key criterion for the category is advancement of library services into areas that have not been previously explored. Another area of of focus is advancement using cutting edge methods for activities such as user interaction, data manipulation and presentation, and use of new information technology techniques.

Usability 15%

This category represents the ease of use for library patrons when they engage with the target content or service. The user interface should be intuitive and uncomplicated. The goals of the product should be clear. The information presented by the application or product should be clear, and the method for interaction with the content or service should be understandable by everyone.

Presentation 15%

The final presentation of the product to the judges should be professional, clear, and meaningful. Aspects that could add to the quality of the presentation could be creativity, engagement with the audience, style of the presentation, or simplicity. Does the presentation clearly communicate the intent of the product? Is the presentation well structured so that the judges and audience can understand the nature of the problem, the implementation of the solution, and a conclusion that states what the next steps are?


Hesburgh Libraries Hackathon Code of Conduct

In keeping with the codes of conduct set forth in du lac, our Library Hackathon seeks to is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, previous hackathon attendance or computing experience (or lack of any of the aforementioned). We do not tolerate harassment of hackathon participants in any form.

Photography is encouraged, but other participants must be given a reasonable chance to opt out from being photographed. If they object to the taking of their photograph, comply with their request. It is inappropriate to take photographs in contexts where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

If you have witnessed or experienced any transgressions of this Code of Conduct at the Hackathon please tell a member of the staff immediately.

2016 Winners

First Place


A more detailed mapping utility to guide you to a specific shelf

Katherine Barlock, Computer Science, College of Engineering
Katricia Herring, Computer Science, College of Engineering
Ann Keenan, Computer Science, College of Engineering

Runner Up and Competitor’s Choice


A service teaming students with tutors & resources

Conrad Bailey, Computer Science, College of Engineering
Madeline Kuster, Computer Science, College of Engineering


All are about collaborating to create something innovative. The most innovative teams, it turns out, have diverse members—with unique interests and expertise—that come together in surprising ways. Are you a hard-core coder, a usability expert, a big-ideas person, or a skilled team leader? Regardless of your unique talents, you’ll each play a strong role in the success of your team.

Teams may have as few as 2 but no more than 4 members. We recommend 4 diversely skilled people to help navigate through the many phases of project work:

  • Identify a problem or need
  • Imagine and plan an innovative project
  • Design and build that project
  • Document and present the project in a 5-minute lightning talk


Great! Each team member should register individually and list the names of their teammates. Be sure to note your individual needs in the online registration form as well.


No worries! Just register individually, making sure to check the box “Looking for a Team.” We'll help match you with a team during the Friday evening kick-off event.


While we allow same-day registration, pre-registration online helps us plan spaces and snacks. Most importantly, it guarantees you a free t-shirt!


What to Bring

Participants are encouraged to bring their own laptops to the event. For those of you who are coders and designers — we can only supply limited assistance with software installation, so please make sure that you have installed any development tools that you are familiar with as well as applications that can be used to demonstrate your project when completed. This may include web servers such as Apache or application containers such as Unicorn or WebKit. Some software frameworks such as Rails supply almost everything you need. For other languages or frameworks, you'll need to be familiar with how they are configured. We have listed several resources on our resources page that you may be interested in using for your project.

Also, some personal items to consider having on hand throughout the day:

  • charger cords for all devices
  • refillable coffee mug
  • refillable water bottle
  • earbuds or earphones
  • layered clothing for variable temps throughout the building

What We'll Provide

We will have several Mac OS X laptops available for use in the event that a participant is not able to bring their own. These laptops will be preloaded with several commonly used web development software packages as well as Xcode. Here are the specifications about what will be present on the machines by default:

  • Homebrew (for installing package dependencies)
  • Programming languages: Perl, PHP, Ruby, Python
  • Application servers: Apache
  • Database: MySQL, mongodb
  • Editor: Atom
  • Browser: Chrome

We can supply surge protector extension cords upon request.

Hackathon Resources

Here are some resources that are publically available for participants to use. A link to the resource as well as a short description is included.

Hackathon Resources

Print Resources

Here are some resources that are publically available for Hackathon participants to use. A link to the resource as well as a short description is included.

API Resources

Apiary A free tool that can be used to design, prototype, document and test APIs. Prototype APIs are web accessible and very customizable. Simple APIs can be created in minutes.

Google Maps This API allows a developer to embed Google indoor and base maps into an application. This tool can be used to place an interactive map, or Street View panorama in your application with a simple HTTP request.

Facebook Connect your application into the Facebook ecosystem in order to share information and socialize your application.

Twitter Bring Twitter content into your application or connect your application into the Twitter social network.

LibraryThing LibraryThing connects readers to other readers and what they are reading. This includes a robust recommendation service, and allows users to organize their collections and find related material through other users. The APIs tie directly into the service, and there are several flavors that can be used including pure Javascript interfaces as well as traditional web services.

Goodreads The Goodreads API contains a rich set of functionality for drawing out information about sources as well as extensive reviews for all types of reading material. The API is divided into multiple categories based on author identities, books, comments, groups of materials, and much more.

Amazon The Amazon API service is free up to a limited volume of requests, but allows developers to tie into the rich set of digital services and the huge volume of commercial data that Amazon collects in order to categorize and analyze reading materials.

Box Developers can use Box for a variety of purposes for sharing information or storing digital content. Teams planning on using a service of this type should be aware that they will need experience with web based authentication and authorization services.

WorldCat This search API has access to nearly all North American and European library resources

Open Archives The Open Archives API provides access to online journal content that has been harvested using the OAI-PMH protocol (open archives initiative protocol for metadata harvesting).

Programming Languages

This list of widely used open source programming languages is far from exhaustive. For the purposes of the Hackathon, they entail a reasonable level complexity vs simplicity. They also represent the languages that will be made available by default on any development laptops provided by the Hackathon organizers.

PHP Server-side HTML embedded scripting language

Perl Scripting language that is highly useful for processing text, automating background processing, pattern matching, and small scale CGI applications.

Ruby This scripting language has grown in popularity over the last five years, and is the core programming language used in the Ruby on Rails web application framework.

Python A popular object oriented scripting language that is useful for a wide range of programming applications both for back end automation as well as front end web services.

Shell Scripting Widely used for task automation and tying together a group of diverse scripts or tools for background processes. Shell scripts are not recommended for implementing web accessible services.

Web Application Frameworks

Frameworks can be used to quickly prototype a web application and provide a large number of built in tools and services for developers. This is a list of some of the more popular web application frameworks. Keep in mind that if your team chooses to adopt one of these frameworks for your project, the Hackathon team does not provide this software by default in the development environments, and you will need to be responsible for knowing how to use it effectively with little to no support.

Django A Python MVC web framework. Django is arguably the most popular Python based framework currently in use.

Drupal PHP web application framework with a variety of pluggable modules. This framework has a bit more overhead than some of the others and it isn'’'t as easy to quickly prototype a site with it.

Turbogears Another Python based web framework that has taken some of the best features of other frameworks like DJango and Rails and combined them into an easy to use set of tools.

Ruby on Rails This popular framework has Ruby as the core language, and is another MVC framework. Rails provides a great deal of functionality and it is relatively easy to quickly produce a prototype web application with it.

Zend The most popular open source PHP / MVC web framework, it boasts high performance, security and extensibility.

CakePHP Another rapidly deployable PHP framework, CakePHP boasts some of the easyist setups for any of the frame works mentioned so far.

Catalyst This is the only Perl based web framework mentioned here. It is a little more difficult to work with than many of the others, and requires an extensive knowledge of the Perl scripting language.

Javascript Tools

jQuery One of the most popular javascript libraries, jQuery offers a wide range of tools and APIs for programming sophisticated, highly interactive web user interfaces.

Underscore.js This javascript API compliments other javascript libraries very well, and provides a great deal of enhanced features that are well documented and easy to use.

Node.js Node is a javascript client side application framework. It is the basis for many other javascript frameworks.

Angular.js Angular is a competitor to the other javascript application frameworks but is very mature and has an active open source development community. There is a little more overhead to using Angular, but it provides a large set of functionality.

React.js React is an example of a new trend in developing front end web applications. These are commonly referred to as "single page apps". The React model is a little counter intuitive but once mastered it provides the developer with a great deal of power and follows object oriented design principles.

CSS Frameworks

Foundation One of the most mature CSS frameworks on the open source market.

Material UI This set of CSS guidelines from Google is becoming a standard for writing clean and consistent user interfaces. It translates well to any environment and screen configuration.

Bootstrap This is another tried and true CSS framework that has been in use for some time, and is one of the easier to use and reliable CSS frameworks.

Blueprint Blueprint was one of the first CSS frameworks to introduce a flexible grid system, and allows the designer to easily position elements on a web page using only CSS.

Mobile Development

While we encourage teams to explore mobile interfaces for their projects, we can offer very little support for prototyping a fully native mobile application. Our recommendation is that teams focus on the web UI tools listed above which can then be translated into the mobile application environments using various tools.

Android Information about the Android SDK

IPhone SDK (IOS) Information about the IOS SDK



Friday, March 18

Time Event
5-7:00pm Pre-registration, Orientation and team sign-up

Saturday, March 19

Time Event
9:30am Teams sign-in
Continental breakfast
Introduction of Space, Advisors, Schedule
9:30am–1 Teams compete
Snacks and drinks available all day
1pm–2pm Lunch
2pm–6pm Teams compete
6–7pm Teams present their projects in 5 minute lightning talks
7:30pm-8pm Winners announced

Print the Schedule


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