Welcome to a new issue of Stew of the Month, a monthly blog from Digital Services and Technologies (DST) at the University of Maryland Libraries. This blog provides news and updates from the DST Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.
Historic Maryland Newspapers Project
The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project (HMNP) continues with quality review of newspaper batches as we receive them from our vendor. An additional two batches have been submitted to the Library of Congress for approval. Also, you can now access all of our digitized issues of the Telegraf (a Czech language title published in Baltimore in the early 20th century) through Chronicling America.
Along with the Maryland State Archives, HMNP hosted a social media campaign to celebrate women’s suffrage in Maryland as this month marked the centennial of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote. We advertised the campaign to other libraries, archives, and museums and several cultural heritage institutions from throughout the state participated in the week-long campaign by tagging their posts with #MDSuffrage and #MarylandWomenVote. HMNP student assistants, Sarah McKenna and Bryanna Bauer compiled the posts for our participation in the campaign, and you can learn more about it from their blog post on the topic. Follow @HistoricMDNews on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to see more content from the Maryland historic newspapers.
HMNP Project Manager, Pamela McClanahan, has started to do a data analysis of the Maryland newspapers in Chronicling America including looking at the number of titles, issues, and pages by county and region of the state. She has prepared map data visualizations with this data utilizing Tableau. Pam presented her initial research findings at two conferences this month – the Society of American Archivists Research Forum on August 5 and the Towson Conference for Academic Libraries on August 12. Check out her SAA poster and TCAL Talk to see more about her research and the newspaper collection.
Other Digitization Activities
Robin has sent DCMR reopening plans for Phase 2-3 to the Reopening Taskforce, which are posted to Libi. This is an evolving document and may change if the university changes its reopening schedule. She has focused her time on creating documentation for students coming onsite, changes in workflows to account for staff that is partially onsite and remote, and training new staff.
Juana Godinez has nearly completed the second batch of at-home DVD transfers to add to the Films@UM collection. She is also editing some of the videos to make the viewing/listening experience more enjoyable.
Digitization Assistants Natalia Grajewski, Amanda Scott, and Jane Sonneman completed their review of the FY20 Hebraica, Basketball Film, and Student Newspaper vendor projects; Preservation staff who are examining the physical volumes still have additional work to complete on Hebraica where the volume may have printing irregularities. Natalia, Amanda, and Jane, along with Robin Pike contributed to Archelon testing which resulted in the MVP release by DPI.
Jane continued to go to Hornbake one day/week to complete new digitization requests. Jane is focusing on creating digital files on campus and doing post-production processes at home to expedite what she can digitize and to create a backlog if we need to be 100% remote again. Natalia, Amanda, and Robin fulfilled requests for existing files; with Natalia’s and Amanda’s departures at the end of August, Robin trained Alexis Woolford to do this work. She has also begun performing QC on Jane’s projects.
MLIS graduate student Caroline Ackiewicz began her field study. She will be performing an audit of DCMR’s production server, assessing what files have been ingested into Digital Collections or the Internet Archive and archived and what files should be staged. Due to staff turnover in the past 2.5 years, we need to create a comprehensive list and clear the drive of projects that have already been completed.
Cecilia Franck, Greenbelt Archive Project Digitization Technician began going to campus to digitize the newspapers as part of Phase 2+. This is a community archiving project that DCMR was hired to digitize and upload to the Internet Archive, and is moving on campus from Greenbelt to ensure staff safety. Much like our in-house digitization requests, Cecilia is focusing their hours onsite on digitization and at home on post-production. We have front-loaded the number of hours onsite at the beginning of the semester to hopefully complete digitization more rapidly.
Digital Programs and Initiatives
Announcing Archelon at UMD Libraries!
DST is pleased to let you know that we’ve crossed an important milestone: Archelon’s “minimum viable product” (MVP) is now completed and available for use by Libraries personnel. Archelon is the staff interface for Fedora, and it’s an important piece in our long term plan to migrate away from Fedora 2 and upgrade our digital library infrastructure. It is essential for our digital asset management and digital preservation programs, and is designed to support the large-scale digital initiatives that UMD has led for the last decade.
New features, next steps, and what this means for digital initiatives at UMD is covered in more detail in this blog post.
We would like to recognize the efforts of a considerable group of stakeholders across the Libraries:
- The implementation team: Peter Eichman, Josh Westgard, Bria Parker, David Steelman, Mohamed Mohideen Abdul Rasheed, Cindy Zhao, Porter Olsen, Kate Dohe, and Ben Wallberg
- Consulting stakeholders and testers: Joanne Archer, Liz Caringola, John Davis, Jennifer Doherty, David Durden, Kana Jenkins, Lae’l Hughes-Watkins, Robin Pike, Amy Wickner, Amy Wasserstom, Jennifer Wachtel, Natalia Grajewski, Mary Scott, Jane Sonneman, and many other former student workers, graduate assistants, and personnel who contributed their time and effort over the years.
New Collection in DRUM
UMD-PRC Reports and Briefs is a collection of reports and briefs created by the University of Maryland Prevention Research Center (UMD-PRC), a CDC-funded research unit in the Behavioral and Community Health Department of the School of Public Health. Technical reports summarize original analyses, research briefs translate academic articles published by UMD-PRC investigators, and policy briefs communicate the implications of proposed or enacted policy based on scientific evidence.
DRUM user registrations from 17 June to 31 August: 98.
Archelon – Released Milestone 6 “Browser-based Item Update”. This is also the Minimum Viable Product release.
Libraries’ Website – Minor release to provide: a) new Hornbake Library hours entry, and b) remove all target=”_blank” from HTML templates, per Web Accessibility best practice.
UMD PACT Website – Continued implementation of a new Drupal based website for UMD PACT (Publishing, Access, and Contract Terms), a subgroup of the University Senate’s University Library Council (ULC). Work primarily focused on migrating to SAML for authentication and Grouper for access control.
White House Correspondents (WHCA) Association Pool Reports Archive – Completed work on a proof-of-concept Drupal based website for the WHCA Pool Reports Archive. This archive will initially be populated with current pool reports which are distributed via email and later with older digitized paper pool reports. The content will be stored in our Fedora Content Repository as part of Digital Collections.
Kubernetes – Continued work on migrating applications and setting up the production cluster.
USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium
The CLAS team responded to 103 Aleph Rx submissions and 26 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in August.
CLAS continues to be available to respond to your support requests. Please use our regular support channels if you need any assistance.
Preparing for Reopenings
We continue to work with USMAI libraries as they begin to make their library collections available again. Eight member libraries reopened access to their collections this month. A few other libraries are set up in Aleph TEST and awaiting testing/review before “going live”. Special kudos go to David Wilt for keeping on top of all of the service requests and configuration changes that go along with this!
We are also tracking which libraries are ready to resume resource sharing in the consortium (a.k.a. “Status 3”). Please visit the Aleph Configurations for Reopening Scenarios page for more details about options for Status 3 and how to indicate that your library is ready.
OPAC Redesign for Accessibility (ORA)
Changes for the redesign of the Aleph OPAC were released in the Aleph LIVE OPAC on August 13th. This set of changes provides a foundation for incremental improvements in the coming years. (We already have a backlog!)
Marcive Authority Control Service Implementation
Reviewers completed the review of Marcive’s sample set of processed records. There were a number of issues identified. These have been shared with Marcive, and Marcive has provided responses/follow-up. The review group and Metadata Subgroup are currently working to formulate next recommended steps. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped review the sample records!
We’re pleased to report that CLD has approved an additional 3-year commitment, which will keep MD-SOAR running on DSpace hosted by UMD Libraries through at least the end of fiscal year 2024. MD-SOAR is currently used by 10 academic libraries in Maryland and is available to any USMAI library in need of an institutional repository platform.
User and Systems Support
USS (User Support and Systems)
The USS team responded and closed 236 Sysaid service requests in the month of August.
USS continues to provide support to Library employees who are onsite or teleworking. Please continue to submit problems and/or inquiries to email@example.com. Be sure to check our Telework Technology Guidelines and Procedures on Libi weekly for any updates.
Preparing for Re-openings
Over the last couple of weeks, USS took steps to ensure a smooth transition back into the Libraries and to ensure safe operations during reopening. We have removed several machines from the 1st floor to ensure social distancing.
Before the start of every semester, we re-image all of the TLC loaner laptops including the 6th floor classroom laptops. Last week, a few of us gathered at McKeldin to reimage 136 laptops (PCs and Macs).
Over the last week, we’ve hired 4 new student workers to assist with staffing the First Floor of McKeldin during Phase 3 of reopening. Appropriate training on how to assist patrons, social distancing mandates, procedures on what is expected during the re-opening of McKeldin was done with the student workers and staff.
On the remaining 13 public machines we have on the First Floor, we’ve installed a chat button on the desktops. The chat function allows students and UMD patrons to chat with our USS staff to resolve any issue they may have.
Natalia Grajewski and Amanda Scott, both Digitization Assistants in DCMR completed their C1 contracts at the end of August. We wish them the best in their job searches!
Caroline Ackiewicz, graduate student in the library program, began her field study for DCMR, which will be one semester.