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FRED Update: Facing Challenges with Born-Digital Media

Last September, Graduate Assistants, Amy Wickner from SCUA and myself from DSS, began working with the Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device (FRED), with the goal of creating a workflow for processing born-digital media. Since born-digital material is still fairly new to libraries there is no widely accepted ‘way of doing things’ and there are few case studies on how libraries and archives have handled the issue. Ours was a process of trial and error, informed by the literature and online forums. We kept a daily log, which featured the word ‘failed’ regularly, but we have continued to make progress despite these challenges.

Our first question – which disk imaging program is most effective; BitCurator or Forensic Toolkit (FTK) Imager? BitCurator is an open source Linux-based environment for creating and analyzing forensic disk images, which are bit-by-bit copies of digital media. FTK Imager creates both forensic images and logical images (only containing the logical volume, excluding deleted and orphan files) and is the free imaging component of the larger proprietary FTK.

We began with a small flash drive containing 6 files, including many file types (jpg, xls, doc, pdf). Since the item was so small there was little difference in imaging time, but BitCurator won by 14 seconds. Next we imaged a much larger item, a hard drive containing a terabyte of data. This is where we faced our first major hurdle, one we continue to struggle with: mapping the local area network (LAN). Since this hard drive was too large to image directly to FRED, we needed the LAN to store the disk image. Since FRED is partitioned to include Linux and Windows we needed to connect both sides to the LAN. This Windows partition connected fairly easily, however the Linux partition requires the user to connect via the terminal. Since neither of us are Linux experts we relied on a script provided by the original Born-Digital Working Group. Although this script was unsuccessful, it was a good starting point and after a self-led crash course in Linux and Bash scripting we were able to connect BitCurator to the LAN and we began disk imaging. Surprisingly, FTK was faster in imaging the larger volume; 2- 4 hours faster depending on if the image was forensic or a logical image.

The next step was in analyzing the images. Although FTK can provide some information about the image, BitCurator has a more robust reporting tool which scans for Personally Identifying Information (PII), reports on file types, and shows paths for deleted files. The first report matched what we already knew about the original media. When we ran the reporting tool a second time on the same disk image we discovered inconsistencies with the previous report. We are currently in communication with the BitCurator team, but this problem has not yet been resolved. Until we have consistent reports we cannot rely on this tool for analyzing disk images.

After the most recent update to BitCurator we had to re-connect the Linux partition of FRED to the LAN. Although we thoroughly documented our previous work with the issue, this new attempt was more problematic and we ultimately failed in fixing the problem ourselves. We are currently working with User Systems and Support to resolve the problem, but in the meantime we cannot access disk images stored on the LAN for analysis in BitCurator.

These challenges show how much the success of one project relies on a network of experts both internal to UMD Libraries and external groups like the BitCurator team and other users who posted their experiences online. All of these groups have been vital to continuing our work. Although there were challenges, many of which are still problematic, we continue to make progress and hope to have a revised workflow complete by the end of the summer.

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Introduction to SSDR

I provided the following introduction at the recent Digital Systems and Stewardship (DSS) Town Hall meeting and thought I would redistribute it as a blog post.

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Hello, my name is Ben Wallberg and I manage the Software Systems Development and Research department, or SSDR.  The department has 5 software developers, 1 web developer, and 3 Graduate Assistant software developers devoted to supporting College Park specific services.  We also have 2 systems analysts who support consortial services, with joint membership in the Consortial Library Application Support (CLAS) department.

The best way to understand what we do is to break down the department name into its four component words.

Software – SSDR operates and maintains many of the DSS server based applications.
We install and configure those applications, perform upgrades, and provide development support.  Each application has an owner with whom we coordinate on changes and future directions for the application.  For consortial applications like Aleph and Metalib, the owner is the CLAS department.  For Digital Collections and DRUM it is the Digital Programs and Initiatives (DPI) department and for the Libraries’ Website it is the Web Advisory Committee.  Note that Libi does not currently have an application owner, which we are working with Library Assembly to rectify.

Systems – Websites and other server based applications are generally not run in isolation but as collections of systems and services.  You are familiar with the end user facing applications but to operate, these require an unseen infrastructure.  Relational databases supporting multiple applications are an example of these backend systems.  Fedora Commons is a metadata and asset management tool behind Digital Collections.  Solr is a search platform used by DRUM, Digital Collections, and the new SCPA Scores database.  This web of interconnected services extends also to external systems such as Wufoo hosted forms which are embedded into the Libraries’ Website or the Shibboleth distributed identity management systems used for login to consortial applications.

Development – Also referred to as programming or coding.  We write some code from scratch but this is expensive work so we try to minimize the amount of original code we write by building our applications from existing applications, toolkits, and services and then using locally developed code to integrate them.  The majority of time taken on any development project is not in the actual coding; it is the project planning, requirements gathering, issue tracking, version control, testing, and documentation.

Research – In this context research primarily means mean investigation into new software and systems.  This could cover front- or back-end applications, cloud services, web service APIs, or development tools.  Adoption of new software is often constrained by the desire to get the highest return on our investment which is based on factors such as how well we can support the underlying technology and how well can reuse the tool for multiple purposes.  To learn how applications work we trial our own tools and applications as well as offer sandbox environments for Library staff to run applications they have an interest in evaluating.

Finally, these four functions: software, systems, development, and research are performed in the context of the Libraries’ strategic plans, needs of application owners, maintaining availability of critical systems, and multiple major and minor projects with overlapping timelines and dependencies.

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Stew of the month: June 2015

Welcome to a new issue of Stew of the Month, a monthly blog from Digital Systems and Stewardship (DSS) at the University of Maryland Libraries. This blog provides news and updates from the DSS Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.

Digitization and Conversion Activities

The following outsourced projects were digitized during FY15 (not including smaller patron requests); these projects were funded through the DIC project proposal process:

Internet Archive (SCUA, SPCA, McKeldin): 820 volumes, 123,365 pages, $18,619

Includes the following serial titles or genres of works, plus additional works: Mason and Root tunebooks, French pamphlets, Swing, NBC Chimes, Radio Stars, Radio Digest, Radio Doings, The Keynoter, Mid-Atlantic Archivist, Mid-Atlantic Archivist Conference programs, Biennial Reports (Maryland Agriculture College), Maryland Agriculture Experiment Station Annual Reports, UMD Media Guides, AFL-CIO Proceedings, The Lather, miscellaneous university publications, Werk, Notizie degli scavi di antichità, US Department of the Treasury publications, Reliable Poultry Journal, The Union Signal, Izvi︠e︡stīi︠a︡ Imperatorskago russkago geograficheskago obshchestva.

AFL-CIO News (oversize, bound) (SCUA): 12,874 pages, $7,080.70

Schedule of Classes (oversize, bound) (SCUA): 3,251 pages, $1,788.05

Schedule of Classes (microfilm) (SCUA): 15,282 pages, $3,265.40

Hebraica (books and serials) (McKeldin): 75,859 pages, $14,379.39

WAMU (1/4″ open audio reels), Godfrey (wire recordings)(SCUA): 154 reels, 39 wires, $12,179.87

Liz Lerman Dance Exchange Archives (VHS tapes) (SCPA): 98 tapes, $8,279.29

Library Media Services deteriorating films (16mm film) (LMS): 40,070 feet, 42 films, $16,028

Diamondback Photo Morgue (SCUA): *digitization and final invoice still pending

Tentative FY15 Totals: 230,631 pages, 154 reels, 39 wires, 98 VHS tapes, 42 films=$81,619.70

On June 11 Babak Hamidzadeh, Robin Pike, Liz Caringola, Judi Kidd, and Doug McElrath (SCUA) met with Linda Tompkins-Baldwin of Digital Maryland to share information about our respective projects and to discuss future collaboration. As a result of that meeting, Liz, Robin, and Doug will be speaking about the newspapers project at a series of regional meetings this summer to discuss cultural heritage issues, state initiatives, and opportunities for collaboration.

Judi Kidd and Eric arranged for the setup of sturdy new shelving in Hornbake 4210V, the purpose of which is to hold audiovisual equipment. Eric and digitization assistants Rachel Dook and Caroline Hayden arranged carts, boxes, and equipment. Work on this project will continue this summer, with the goal of creating an inventory of audiovisual equipment that may be used in digitization activities on campus.

Alice Prael is reviewing analytics data on our Digital Collections to determine the most popular holdings and how our patrons are finding them. This research will help inform future decisions on digital projects and how we can best promote them.

Software Development

In partnership with WAC and the Discovery group, the website search tabs have been modified to begin submitting searches to the WorldCat Discovery interface.

The Persian Digital Humanities website, implemented using our Hippo CMS based Exhibit template, is now available.  The UMD Libraries are hosting the website on behalf of the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies.  We are also exploring, along with MITH, additional collaborations with the Roshan Institute in the areas of digitization, text mining, and social media and web archiving.

Initial development of the new online student application submission form and supervisor database is completed and the application has been put into production. Student submissions are already being received and Human Resources and student supervisors are providing feedback for requested changes which we will review and install before the Fall semester.

As part of standing up a DSpace instance for the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) we created a GitHub based code repository forked from the core DSpace code repository.  The production instance came online using DSpace version 5.1 with customizations to the XMLUI/Mirage2 interface for the MD-SOAR theme and for institutional branding based on each top-level community per participating institution.

DSS has entered into a partnership with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) with DSS providing software development services and open data expertise in support of their mission to accelerate scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems.  Development is underway on a new Integrated Discovery Platform for automating the ingest and cataloging of socio-environmental data.

User and System Support

On May 29, 2015, User and Systems Support migrated the Windows infrastructure from the Libraries’ LIBLAN active directory to DivIT’s AD.UMD.EDU active directory. The migration was successful and only had few a problems, which we were expecting. When changing a complete infrastructure that’s been in place for approximately 15 years, there will be hidden problems. User and Systems Support quickly resolved all problems.

The migration to DivIT’s AD.UMD.EDU active directory solved a few issues.  First, by migrating to the new active directory, staff no longer have to keep two passwords. The password used for email, timesheets, VPN, and other university resources is now the same password used for logging into the Windows workstations. Secondly, the LIBLAN domain was only created because of a need of the Libraries that DivIT didn’t provide at that time. Now, DivIT has their own stable active directory which contains accounts every librarian, staff, and student that’s on campus. And, their active directory security policies have been reviewed by IT auditors. There is no longer a need for the Libraries to create duplicate accounts or spend time copying the same security polices as DivIT.

Along with the change of passwords, there were other changes that were a result of the migration.  All network staff printers were renamed, and all printers were installed on every computer so staff now sees every network staff printer in their printer list. The new naming convention for the staff printers changed from department/unit name to BLDG_FL_PR# (Building_Floor number_Printer number). All the printers were labeled to match the same names as the printers shown on the staff workstations printer list. This change to the network printers allows for greater flexibility. Staff no longer need to contact the DSS Helpdesk to have a network printer installed. Printers do not need to be renamed if a department’s name changes. And it allows staff that float around the ability to print no matter where they are.

Also, because of the new security policies, staff can no longer have admin rights to their workstation. Anything that requires admin rights in ordered to be installed, now must be installed by User and System Support. Likewise, because of audited securitiy policies, DivIT does not create generic accounts in their active directory. So, departments can no longer have a generic account for their students to share. Each student must have their own username and password to be able to log into the workstations.

The entire domain migration took part in 3 major steps using scripts—premigration, ADmigration, and postmigration.  These scripts made it possible for USS to automate the process as much as possible, eliminating the need to touch all staff Windows desktop computers. The scripts didn’t run automatically on Windows laptops because most would either be away from campus, using wireless (which has its own problems), or simply turned off.  And also, the method of removing and adding Mac desktops and laptops to the new domain used an entirely different process.

The goal of the premigration script was to copy user data to try to make the migration as painless as possible. Since some of the user data could only be accessed when staff were logged in, this script had to be initiated by the staff before the migration. When initiated, the script copied over Firefox configurations, Internet Explorer Favorites, and Chrome configurations to a server. It also copied over the Microsoft Outlook configurations and data from a few specialized applications.

On Friday, May 29, 2015, DSS remotely pushed the ADmigration script to every staff Windows desktop that was powered on and had network connectivity. The script kicked off a 3 step process that rebooted the computers after each step was completed. These steps automatically removed the computers off the LIBLAN domain, renamed the computers to meet DivIT naming conventions, and added the computers to the AD.UMD.EDU domain, ready for the staff to login on Monday. It took weeks of planning, testing, and work to do these 3 steps without any human intervention at all. Each and every USS staff and student employee contributed in some way on this project.

The postmigration script was automatically ran when the staff logged into the computer for the first time. This script copied all the user data that was copied from the premigration script, and placed them in their correct locations on the computer. However, as with any process that involves so many computers, not all the scripts or steps ran successfully on every computer. Some staff didn’t have the opportunity to run the premigration script, and some desktops were able to run all 3 steps of the ADmigration scriptes. These machines had to be migrated individually by USS staff. The week following the migration was used to individually migrate all Windows laptops and Mac laptops/desktops.

The Library staff cooperated wonderfully throughout the migration.  By them doing the premigration steps, the number of potential problems were significantly reduced. And the staff that did have problems, they were patient and gave User and Systems Support staff the necessary time to resolve the issue. If not for the cooperation of the staff, the migration could have been unsuccessful with many frustrated staff.

USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 75 Aleph Rx submission and 28 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in June. This included projects like configuring EZproxy for UM HS/HSL’s investigation of Callisto and modifying loan rules for SU’s iPad checkout service.

Fiscal Year End Closeout

June brings the end of one fiscal year and the beginning of the next. The CLAS team assisted USMAI campuses with the fiscal year transition, closing out FY2015 budgets, creating FY2016 budgets, and rolling encumbered orders from the old budget to the new budget.

New User Request Forms

In an effort to make the submission of Aleph user creation/deletion requests as simple and accurate as possible, the CLAS team has streamlined the input of information on the four user request forms (Circulation, Cataloging, Acquisitions, and Cross-Functional) and migrated the forms to a new survey platform (Wufoo). The new forms offer a number of hints when the requester hovers over corresponding fields. These hints along with the display of condition-specific fields should help guide requests.

Kuali OLE

CLAS continued work on OLE, meeting with USMAI testers to facilitate the consortium’s evaluation of OLE. The team also implemented an authentication method on their development server in order to test loading real data (i.e. patrons, financial, etc.) in OLE.

MDsoarLOGO

MD-SOAR

The Maryland Shared Open Access Repository moved into production status on June 15th. The repository is available and ready for participating campuses to begin loading repository items and collections.

Staffing

Student assistant turned C1 Jordan Lee’s last day was June 30. Jordan accepted a full-time position with the UMD College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS) Undergraduate Advising Office, where she worked as graduate administrative coordinator while earning her MLS. Congrats, Jordan!

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Heidi Hanson attended ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco as Chair of LITA’s Christian Larew Scholarship Committee.

Liz Caringola was accepted into the 2015-2016 cohort for the Advancing Professional Track Faculty Program sponsored by the ADVANCE Program for Inclusive Excellence and the Office of Faculty Affairs. This program provides access to knowledge regarding policies governing professional track faculty; offers knowledge through concrete examples and models; and expands participants’ on-campus peer networks.

On June 4, Liz Caringola moderated the session “Wikipedia: Helping Us Reach Users and Build Partnerships” at the Research and Innovation Forum. The panelists included Laura Cleary, Felicity Brown, Jen Eidson, Steve Henry, and Jessica Abbazio. Robin Pike presented “Managing Audiovisual Digitization,” Josh Westgard presented “CSV Validation for Metadata Wrangling,” Karl Nilsen presented “Comparing Data Production in Social Sciences, Area Studies, and Humanities Fields Using Terminology in Literature,” and Eric Cartier presented a poster titled “Establishing the In-House Internet Archive Digitization Workflow” at the UMD Libraries Research and Innovative Practice Forum on Thursday, June 4. Eric’s poster was also accepted for the Society of American Archivists Research Forum, part of the Annual Meeting in Cleveland, OH.

Liz Caringola and Josh Westgard from DSS and Amanda Hawk from SCUA judged projects for the National History Day competition held on campus June 15-16.

Eric and Dr. Laura Schnitker attended the Cultural Heritage Information Management Forum at The Catholic University of America on Friday, June 5, and delivered the presentation, “Saving College Radio,” during the morning session.

Visits

Robin Pike, Eric Cartier, and student assistants Audrey Lengel, Caroline Hayden, and Cecilia Franck visited the National Public Radio headquarters in Washington, DC on Thursday, June 11 to deliver files digitized over the past two years from the NPR Archives. Hannah Sommers, Director of the Research, Archives, and Data Strategy group provided a tour of the facility and operations.

Eric met with Jaime Mears, a recent iSchool graduate currently working as a National Digital Stewardship Residency resident for the DC Public Libraries, on Wednesday, June 24. Jaime’s task is to develop a personal digital archiving workstation for the public, so she and Eric spoke about all of the procedures, processes, and workflows that are the foundation of Hornbake Digitization Center (HDC) digitization operations and how they may translate to a public library setting.

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DSS Town Hall

DSS Town Hall

On 4th June, 2015, DSS held a Town Hall meeting in the Special Events Room of McKeldin Library; all UMD Library staff were invited to attend. What follows is based on fantastic notes made by Liz Caringola; Heidi Hanson held the meeting evaluation. The meeting began with an introduction by Babak giving the background to this event with the hope that it would be the start of conversations between DSS and other divisions. DSS managers then gave 3 minute ‘elevator speeches’ outlining their work in the division. The Libraries are full of acronyms and DSS is no exception:

SSDR – Software Systems Development & Research

CLAS – Consortial Library Applications Support

DPI – Digital Programs & Initiatives

DCMR – Digital Conversion & Media Reformatting

USS – User and Systems Support

MITH – Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities

Judi summarized ways in which DSS can be contacted. The floor was then opened for questions from the audience.

A recent Library-wide computer migration to make Library staff usernames and passwords comply with campus security policies prompted several questions:

  • Using Adobe Acrobat XI Pro software – this was a problem caused by the campus license having expired. To get the problem fixed on your machine, submit a ticket to the Help Desk.
  • Could DSS change the amount of time that elapses before we our computers lock themselves? (This is one side effect of the AD migration.) Uche said that we can change the setting to increase the amount of time before the computer locks; this was met with applause. (The change was carried out within 24 hours of the meeting)
  • Where did Lync go? Give the Help Desk a call to get your password reset.

What is the best way to initiate contact with DSS if you’re managing a project that will require DSS assistance, and after initial plans are made, how can you get confirmation that action is being taken and within the agreed upon timeframe?

  • Babak said that initiating projects within the Libraries in general is not a formalized process, and DSS is no exception. We had hired a DSS project manager in February 2014 to help us manage projects. This position is currently vacant. We do need better project management processes and coordination. The Digitization Initiatives Committee (DIC) is a good example of formalizing project prioritization, initiation, and managing processes. It’s something we’ll continue to work at improving.
  • Contact DSS through the Helpdesk using these guidelines on Libi. Please start the conversation with DSS early in your plans.

Is there anyone in DSS who can help our group looking into e-books & mobile access to e-books? Can someone help the committee in their task to make access easier and more seamless?

  • Uche said that he needed to learn more about the committee’s requirements in order to figure out who on his team is the right person to help.
  • Trevor offered a general observation that projects or committees get formed and then later down the road realize that someone from DSS should be involved.
  • Babak said that the sooner DSS knows about a project and can be at the table with you, the better. Often times it’s good to have a technical person at the table just to say what’s possible or not, help you deal with vendors, etc.

What is the best way to orient new employees to what DSS does?

  • Babak: orientation for new Libraries employees should include a sheet or a packet that has technical problems information and describes DSS services.
  • Nathan: this problem is systematic across the Libraries. People in one division don’t know what people in another division do. A broader conversation might be needed to address this.
  • Trevor: the answer to this problem should be Libi, but we all acknowledge Libi isn’t in the best shape to do that presently. The Libi Sub Group has been looking into how to improve Libi so that we can use it for this purpose.

Should questions for units other than USS should go through a tracking system?

  • Babak and Uche: feel free to send any DSS-related question to the Help Desk, and it will get routed to the right group or person within DSS.

What can DSS do for Libraries patrons? What level of support is given to patrons versus internal staff? Should we ever refer patrons to DSS? Can we have more information about DSS’ strategy for working with campus partners?

  • Uche: USS will work with patrons, but they won’t open up non-Libraries computers.
  • Babak: Aside from general services, the Libraries get a lot of visibility, credibility, and profitability if we collaborate with campus partners. They get to know us and will start depending on us for certain tasks. Example of HIPAA compliance. No one else on campus wants to touch it, so why not us? We write also write proposals with partners. By getting involved in collaboration, we might be able to identify software, for example, that is needed but doesn’t exist. Whether we gain financially or contribute to an open effort, it gets our name out there and adds to our brand.
  • Trevor described MITH’s perspective. It is part of their strategy to work with patrons and campus partners. It is true that they don’t have an identified service point, but they are happy to hear from people about their ideas or possibilities for working together, and they try to be very responsive with those things, whether it’s by continuing the conversation or directing the person elsewhere. They have to be strategic about what activities they get involved in as a unit, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to talk to people outside the Libraries.
  • Robin addressed Kelsey’s questions as they pertain to digitization. Any patron or staff member can request that something from the Libraries holdings be digitized, provided that there is funding to pay for it. Depending on what it is, could be digitized in-house or go out to a vendor. For SCUA materials, these requests can be made through the new Aeon system. If non-UMD affiliated patrons have something from their own personal collection that they need digitized, we’re not doing that right now. DCMR is currently working on developing personal digitization services only for the UMD community, and it’s for a fee. However, Robin is happy to provide vendor information for those non-UMD patrons that are seeking digitization services on non-UMD materials.

A follow-up question for Robin regarding the digitization of Libraries materials on patron request. For requests to digitize out of copyright materials, do you put these materials in Hathi Trust? And do you make sure they aren’t digitized and available online before filling the request?

  • Robin: requests to digitize out of copyright materials reach her after it’s clear they are not already available on Hathi Trust or elsewhere. After digitization, these materials are provided to the patron, but they are also uploaded to the Internet Archive. Robin and Nathan (and Jennie Levine Knies before him) are discussing taking all of our digitized material from the Internet Archive and also putting it into Hathi Trust.

Revisiting an earlier conversation on projects and communication. It’s quite an ad hoc process, and while hesitant to add a layer of administrative process, there is a need to formalize project reporting/management.

  • Babak said that DSS’ general approach to improving process around the Libraries has been to implement it within DSS first. This allows us to work out the bugs and to try new things on a small scale in case they don’t work out. That’s why the DSS project manager was just for DSS, and why DSS has ownership of the Libraries Basecamp account. If these tools are successful, and other divisions want to use them, then they are implemented on a wider scale. It’s more effective if new tools/processes spread this way instead of forcing people to adopt them, which can be met with resistance. An example of something DSS is currently testing is digital signatures. This will allow people to sign documents digitally and will cut down on printing paper forms. If successful within DSS, it could spread to other divisions as requested.

What roles do DSS play in projects that extend beyond the Libraries?

  • Babak described the process of becoming involved in large initiatives, such as Kuali OLE. The Dean of the Libraries is the first person approached. She consults with the associate deans to determine if we want to get involved. If we do, then people from around the Libraries will sit on various committees to contribute to the development of the tool/community. Sometimes we may take part in testing tools, even if we aren’t involved with community leadership. In terms of actual software development, we’re spread pretty thin to complete internal projects, so we try to contribute back to development communities, such as Fedora, when it coincides with internal projects.

Here’s Heidi’s evaluation capture:

Things that went well with this meeting:

  • Learned a lot
  • Great for DSS folk to hear what is on folks’ minds
  • Thank you Will & Uche for help with computer/remote access
  • Q&A was the best part
  • Elevator talks → add to new Libraries’ hire orientation
  • Glad project management was addressed
  • Thanks for streaming

Things you’d like to change for next time?

  • Throw your questions in a box
  • Other Divisions should do this too
  • Let people submit questions beforehand
  • If this is done again, it would be good to include a brief ppt of each group so that we know what they do.
  • Possibly an opportunity for DSS to address some issues that would make our jobs easier e.g. Such as when submitting help-desk tickets to be more descriptive
  • Break-out sessions for each group in DSS to answer questions
  • Q&A with front line staff
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Stew of the month: May 2015

Welcome to a new issue of Stew of the Month, a monthly blog from Digital Systems and Stewardship (DSS) at the University of Maryland Libraries. This blog provides news and updates from the DSS Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.

Digitization and Conversion Activities

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project sent two additional batches (approximately 10,000 newspaper pages each) to the digitization vendor in May. In those batches were pages from Der Deutsche Correspondent, the St. Mary’s Beacon, and the St. Mary’s Gazette, as well as the remaining pages of the Catoctin Clarion. Digitization of Der Deutsche Correspondent, a German-language newspaper published in Baltimore from 1841-1918, began during our first grant cycle for the years 1858-1913. In collaboration with the Maryland Historical Society, the remainder of the run through 1918 will be completed during this grant.  The combined runs of the St. Mary’s Beacon and Gazette (Leonardtown, MD) will span 1852-1922.

Liz Caringola and the HMNP students continue to add to the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project on Pinterest. Please follow us if you’re on Pinterest!

Digitization assistants digitized 130 UMD sports media guides and 125 more historical French pamphlets, which Eric Cartier batch-uploaded to the Internet Archive.

Eric Cartier and digitization assistants Ryan Jester and Massimo Petrozzi completed quality assurance inspections of 190 WAMU audio files and 39 Arthur Godfrey sound recordings, received in April and May, accordingly. Both projects were funded through the Digitization Initiatives Committee project proposal process. 

Digitization assistants Brin Winterbottom and Rachel Dook explored CD-ripping software and developed procedures for capturing born-digital audio content on optical discs in-house. They converted 200 CD-Rs from the WMUC Collection containing in-studio, live Third Rail Radio shows.

GAs Alice Prael and Amy Wickner (SCUA) have begun a case study to test the workflow using a one terabyte hard drive containing born-digital records of the National Labor College obtained from the George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archive. Although the disk imaging process moved smoothly, they now face challenges accessing the disk image. This is due to an issue connecting network drives in the BitCurator environment.  They hope to resolve the problem soon.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

In addition to routine file preservation activities, Josh Westgard has been focused on the launch of additional instances of the single-table Solr-backed Hippo database system previously piloted with the SCPA Scores Database. Two additional databases using this system will lauch in June. Josh is also assisting with the MD-SOAR shared institutional repository by handling batch loads of existing content into the new system, and has been involved in a number of recent exploratory meetings regarding new collections and future projects, including an exciting collaboration with members of the Digital Humanities team from the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies on the creation of a TEI-encoded corpus of Persian texts. Stay tuned for more on this and other new intitiatives in future postings!

Karl Nilsen and the Research Data Services team began working with Ann Wylie, professor of geology, to curate and preserve a variety of data related to the identification of asbestos. Accurate identification of asbestos is not only a matter of basic research, but also an important factor in industrial regulation, health policy, and legal proceedings. The team is reviewing the structure and formatting of Dr. Wylie’s data files, examining publications related to these data for information that will aid curation, and creating data documentation files. To support long-term access, the team will create CSV versions of the original Excel spreadsheets. These data will be uploaded to DRUM as open data and contribute to public and private research on asbestos.

Software Development

Design and planning for the Responsive Web Design project continued with several rounds of feedback and improvements for  Static HTML Mockups between DSS and the Web Advisory Committee.  Coding for the new templates in Hippo is scheduled to begin over the summer, with the home page and subsite pages implemented first.

The improved Exhibit website templates have been completed and installed into production.  Dependencies between the existing Beyond the Battle: Bladensburg Rediscovered content, the new Hippo Exhibit code, and the new Unify 1.7 bootstrap template turned out to be more complex than anticipated but with some extra effort the new template has come together.  Content for the new exhibits is still under construction so look for these coming soon: from the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies the Persian Digital Humanities website and from Special Collections the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation website and new exhibit Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll.

Development of the new online student application submission form and supervisor database is nearing completion. In June we will be working with Human Resources and student supervisors to test the application, fix bugs, tweak the features, and release into production.

As part of standing up a DSpace instance for the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) we created a GitHub based code repository forked form the core DSpace code repository.  The production instance will come online using DSpace version 5.1 with customizations to the XMLUI/Mirage2 interface for the MD-SOAR theme and for a institutional branding based on each top-level community per participating institution.

The Wufoo Connector enterprise integration tool for submitting WuFoo forms into SysAid and AlephRx has proven buggy in the production environment.  Given very light demand for the application and alternatives for existing forms we have deferred working on a bug fix and have the removed application from production use.  Since beginning work on the Wufoo Connector we have become aware of  existing tools for enterprise messaging, such as Apache Camel, so rather than fixing the bug we may abandon this custom code for an established framework.

DSS has entered into a partnership with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) with DSS providing software development services and open data expertise in support of their mission to accelerate scientific discovery at the interface of human and ecological systems.  Development is underway on a new Integrated Discovery Platform for automating the ingest and cataloging of socio-environmental data.

User and System Support

On Tuesday, June 2nd, at the iSchool Alumni Chapter Annual Meeting,  USS staff gave demonstrations about the equipment in the John & Stella Grave’s Makerspace.Sandra Ayensu, Victoria Quartey and Preston Tobery were asked to provide demos on 3D printing, 3D scanning, Google Glass and the One Button Studio. They demonstrated the equipment for about 2 hours. Everyone in attendance was thrilled to see what the Libraries has to offer. Uche Enwesi was asked to be one of the panelists in the meeting. He spoke about libraries and how they are using Makerspaces to transform learning and impact education.

The John & Stella Grave’s Makerspace room was flooded the night before from heavy rain. Fortunately, none of the equipment was damage. Because of the flood, the demonstrations had to happen outside the John & Stella Grave’s Makerspace room. Victoria did the demonstration for 3D printing. Attendees were amazed by the way the printers worked and liked being able to hold some of the printed models in their hands to get a closer look. Preston offered a closer look at handheld 3D scanning with the Sense 3D scanner. Preston hooked up a large screen TV to show how the scanner works in real time while he scanned a few people. They were amazed that the scan could be completed in minutes and made available for 3D printing even quicker. Sandra displayed the Google Glass; attendees naturally gravitated towards this swanky eye wear and immediately asked questions. Questions asked were: can they be worn over glasses, are they still in production, and are there any hazards such as overheating? Many attendees tried on the Google Glass but had a hard time focusing on the screen. Once they adjusted, they were ready to roll! Some played games while others recorded videos and took pictures. Our staff explained that many students and faculty of the University borrow them for up to three days.  The most common question was, why is the Google Glass in the Libraries?  Our staff was able to respond that,“The Libraries in the twenty-first century are defying the odds by rebranding the stereotype of a typical Library to a haven where limitless possibilities of innovation occur.”

Uche, Victoria, Preston, and Sandra enjoyed the meeting. They were able to learn about other Makerspaces in the area. It was nice to hear the different experiences panelists went through with their Makerspace. They also learned that Makerspace aren’t limited to educational campuses but are being opened up in general public areas too. One notable experience came from an elementary school librarian. She mentioned that 3D printers did not mesh well for her environment because kids lacked patience to wait for 3D printjobs to finish. She had to create a new curriculum that was not centered on 3D printing, but still fun for the children.

USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 84 Aleph Rx submissions and 25 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in May. These requests include interesting campus projects like restricting access to a specific Docutek e-reserve course at TU (using EZproxy) in support of a shared syllabus collection that is being built and helping integrate EZproxy with the product Callisto for HS/HSL. The team is also working on coordinating the transitioning of USMAI libraries’ budgets into the new fiscal year – an annual process known as “Fiscal Year End Closeout“.

Metalib migration

The migration of Metalib (the application behind ResearchPort) was completed on May 7th. This was a complicated move, which CLAS Systems Analyst Hans Breitenlohner successfully executed with minimal downtime to users. The suite of applications is now thriving in its new home!

Kuali OLE

The team continues to work with consortium members on their testing of OLE. Version 1.6 of OLE was officially released in late May. CLAS Systems Analyst David Steelman has updated the “OLE Sandbox” environment to this new version for testing.

As a possible complement to OLE, the team has been looking at a utility called the Business Intelligence Reporting Tool (“BIRT” for short), as a potential reporting tool to use alongside OLE. Keeping with the spirit of OLE, BIRT is an open source product.

MDsoarLOGO

MD-SOAR

The Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) continues to move closer to production. Work on theming and configuring the application will be complete in June and is still on schedule to hand over to individual institutions on June 15th for their use.

Staffing

The following DCMR students graduated this semester: Melissa Foge, Jordan Lee, Marlin Oliver, and Massimo Petrozzi. Melissa, Jordan, and Massimo will be working as C1s this summer. Marlin was recently hired by Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

SSDR says farewell to our Graduate Assistants Sakshi Jain and Rohit Arora.  Sakshi  has obtained her Masters in Information Management from the iSchool and Rohit his M.S. in Telecommunications Engineering from the ENTS program.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

David Steelman attended the Ex Libris Technical Seminar in Minneapolis on May 4th. He attended training on the Patron Directory Services (PDS) module, which is a key component of the authentication framework for USMAI libraries.

Heidi Hanson attended the ELUNA Conference from May 6th through 8th in Minneapolis.

David Dahl attended the Maryland/Delaware Library Associations 2015 Conference in Ocean City, MD from May 6th through 8th. He co-presented a poster entitled “That’s Not Relevant! Comparisons of Perceived Results Relevancy in Discovery Service Products”.

Publications

Graduate Assistants Alice Prael and Amy Wickner (SCUA) have written an article on their recent work with born digital workflows. “Getting to Know FRED: Introducing Workflows for Born Digital Content” was published in Practical Technology for Archives this month. They will also be presenting this paper at the semi-annual meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference in Roanoke, VA in October.

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Stew of the month: April 2015

Welcome to a new issue of Stew of the Month, a monthly blog from Digital Systems and Stewardship (DSS) at the University of Maryland Libraries. This blog provides news and updates from the DSS Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.

Digitization Activities

We have received files for the 159 1/4″ open reel audiotape recordings from the WAMU Archives that were digitized by a vendor as part of the DIC digitization project proposal process; quality assurance will be completed over the next month and the recordings will be uploaded to UMD Digital Collections.

More than 300 recordings from Arthur Godfrey’s 1949-1950 radio shows are now available online in UMD Digital Collections (restricted to campus or VPN log-in from off campus due to copyright restrictions). These recordings are a small part of the Arthur Godfrey collection held by Special Collections, Mass Media and Culture. In 2012, Robin Pike worked with Chuck Howell, Carla Montori, and other support staff to prepare the wire recordings for digitization by a vendor; Joanne Archer, her GAs, and Bria Parker enhanced the minimal metadata after all the files were received in 2014; and Eric Cartier and Josh Westgard recently completed the ingest. The same vendor is currently digitizing 40 additional recordings as part of the FY15 DIC digitization project proposal process.

Digitization assistants digitized and provided images for the student posters presented in the Hornbake Library lobby on Maryland Day, as part of an assignment about the history of campus for the “MAC to Millennium: History of the University of Maryland” class taught by Anne Turkos and Jason Speck.

Historic Maryland Newspaper Project

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project sent its first production batch to the digitization vendor earlier this month. The Catoctin Clarion, first published in 1871 in Mechanicstown (modern-day Thurmont), Maryland, is the first title to be digitized during this grant cycle. We will digitize the run ending in 1922.

Several representatives from DSS and Doug McElrath from Special Collections met with staff at the Maryland State Archives on April 6 to discuss the future of the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project and to begin making plans for digitizing content outside of the current National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) grant.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Software Development

The project to update the Libraries’ Website to a Responsive Web Design based interface is progressing through the initial design phase.  We have completed wireframing and are now creating static HTML mockups using the Unify template.  These mockups are used as prototypes to select and refine the features and layout of the new site, in close coordination with the Web Advisory Committee.  You can follow our progress on the Website RWD Mockups page hosted in GitHub.

The first of two sprints to refactor the Exhibit website is complete.  We are converting the  Beyond the Battle: Bladensburg Rediscovered special collections exhibit into a generic Exhibit template which can be used to create multiple websites.  New, hosted websites for the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation and the Roshan Initiative in Persian Digital Humanities project are scheduled for release on June 1 using the new template.

After review of the Wufoo technical limitations we encountered for use in the online student application project, we have decided that trying to create a workaround using Wufoo will be too costly to create and maintain so we will implement the form in Drupal.  The disadvantages of this implementation are the increased developer time necessary to create the form and the inability of Human Resources staff to update the form at will.  This technical problem has put the project behind schedule so to make up time we will pull additional developers off of the Fedora 4 implementation in order to make up some ground.  Release of the production Fedora 4 instance will be delayed until June.  We did however fulfill our commitment to participate in community development of the new Fedora 4 Audit Service core feature.

User and System Support

Victoria Quartey with 3D printer

Victoria Quartey with 3D printer

User & Systems Support (USS) staff volunteered on Maryland Day 2015, showing Library visitors the “Maker” services that are available in the Libraries. In the lobby of Mckeldin, USS demonstrated 3D printing and 3D scanning. When visitors came into Mckeldin Library, they were welcomed by seeing miniature testudos printing from a 3D printer.  Many visitors were amazed and wanted to learn more about 3D printing. The printed testudos were handed out to the visitors which brought huge smiles to both parents and children. Many students were amazed that 3D printing is available in the Libraries. While some students started thinking about what they can send to have printed, other students were eager to learn how to get certified to use the Library 3D printers on their own.

3D scanning demo with Preston Tobery.

3D scanning demo with Preston Tobery.

The 3D scanning demo in the lobby was also very popular with the visitors of the library. Using a laptop and Xbox Kinect camera, approximately 80 visitors had 3D scans taken of them. Visitors were able to watch how the 3D scans were made, in real-time, on one of the lobby’s TV screens. Each visitor that was 3D scanned will receive a copy of their 3D scanned file through email. Another TV screen in the lobby featured a short video on the process of creating a 3D printed replica of the Jim Henson & Kermit statue that’s outside Stamp Student Union. A huge 3D printed model of the statue was displayed for all visitors to see.

USS staff were also present in the John & Stella Graves Makerspace, on the 2nd floor of Mckeldin Library, which was open from 10am -4pm during Maryland Day. Approximately 90 visitors stopped by that day. Many visitors were undergraduates in varying majors, such as special education, mechanical engineering, digital media and computer science. The diverse crowd of students, and other visitors, continued to support the idea of the non-exclusivity environment that’s in in the Libraries. The visitors were also interested in the other technologies and services the Libraries offered to the students and local community. There were discussions about the vinyl cutter, desktop 3D scanner, 3D printer and Oculus Rift that’s in the Makerspace. However, other services like the TLC Loner Program were discussed to let the visitors know that students could rent laptops, camcorders, iPads, and other equipment for their desired reason. Even though the Google Glass wasn’t included in the planned showcase, many visitors were still interested in it and wanted to try the device on. Many were amazed by the opportunity. Since, the 3D printer in the Makerspace was printing miniature testudos, some visitors were treated with a small training session and demo on the 3D printer. USS staff briefly showed them how to unload and reload the plastic filament, used the Makerbot desktop application, and how 3D prints are removed from the build plate.

The USS volunteers expressed that they enjoyed showing these Library services on Maryland Day. And the Library visitors seemed to enjoy it as well. Throughout the day, visitors and alumni not only expressed how surprised they were that the Libraries have these 3D Maker services, they also were surprised that they were currently available to all students. One visitor who works at a Library in California was surprised to see how advanced our Library is. And, one alumni even stated, “ I wish I would have stayed in school longer”.

USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium

MD-SOAR

The setup of the Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MD-SOAR) continues to progress. DSS created a DSpace “sandbox” for the MD-SOAR institutional partners to begin getting familiar with the DSpace repository solution. Initial configuration of the production instance of DSpace was completed after two weeks of work by software developers. The completed repository is expected to be ready for individual institutions by June 15th for their own local “launches” of the repository. This is a 2-year pilot project that will provide a repository solution to many of the libraries within the consortium plus a few other Maryland academic libraries. It is very encouraging to see so many libraries working together in support of providing access to their collections in an open environment and for DSS to be able to support this kind of initiative based on our technical expertise and DSpace experience.

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 88 Aleph Rx submissions and 27 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in April. Amongst the service requests were continued work on setting up YBP shelf-ready orders from YBP and working with Morgan State on getting EBSCO Discovery Services configured for use at their campus.

Kuali OLE

Six members of USMAI libraries were nominated, and graciously agreed, to help with testing and evaluating Kuali OLE. The testers met with CLAS on April 23rd to begin discussing OLE and creating a plan for evaluating it on behalf of the consortium. The group will prepare a report to be presented to, and discussed with, the Council of Library Directors at their September meeting. Thank you to Audrey Schadt, Austin Smith, Betty Landesman, Conrad Helms, Virginia Williams, and Vicki Sipe for their participation.

CLAS continues to monitor and contribute to the progress of version 1.6 of OLE. Seven OLE tickets are currently assigned to members of the team. Once released, the team will install and configure the new version for local testing. Team member continue to attend weekly implementation meetings with other OLE partners as those institutions move closer to implementing OLE. There is a lot to be learned from these shared experiences!

Conferences, workshops and professional development

ETDG news: Eric Cartier will be rotating off as co-chair in May, having completed his one-year term. Eric and Liz solicited self-nominations for the next co-chair and will announce the new co-chair at the May 20 ETDG meeting.

Edible Book Fair: Hornbake Plaza

Edible Book Fair: Hornbake Plaza

Eric helped to organize the 3rd Annual Maryland Edible Book Festival on April Fool’s Day. The popular event occurred in front of Hornbake Library. DCMR staff contributed the following edible books: Things Fall Apart, Beer and Loafing in Las Vegas, and The Pound and the Curry

Heidi Hanson attended a program sponsored by USMAI’s User Experience subgroup. The program featured EBSCO’s VP of User Experience Kate Lawrence. She discussed UX tips and observations based on EBSCO’s ethnographic research on college students. Among the observations was “results are the new black”. Ask Heidi for details…

David Dahl presented at a Google Analytics program sponsored by the USMAI Reporting & Analytics subgroup. The program was well-received and also included a good discussion and lightning presentations from several others in the consortium. There is a lot of interest in making better use of web analytics amongst the consortium’s libraries.

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Stew of the Month: March 2015

Welcome to a new issue of Stew of the Month, a monthly blog from Digital Systems and Stewardship (DSS) at the University of Maryland Libraries. This blog provides news and updates from the DSS Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.

Digitization Activities

We have received files for the remaining volumes of the University of Maryland Schedule of Classes that were digitized from microfilm; quality assurance will be completed over the next month and they will be uploaded to the Internet Archive. Eric Cartier uploaded 24 volumes of the AFL-CIO News (see photo below for an example with interesting metadata) and 29 volumes University of Maryland Schedules of Classes to the Internet Archive, both held in Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), and digitized from print and received back last month. These digitization projects were funded through the DIC proposal process.

GeorgeMeaneyJerryLewis1967

Jerry Lewis presenting a plaque to AFL-CIO president George Meaney in 1967

Elizabeth Caringola submitted the sample batch of digitized microfilm for the 2014-2016 NDNP grant. After this sample is approved, she will start production batches of around 10,000 pages. Babak and Liz also submitted the first grant report for the 2014-2016 cycle to NEH and the Library of Congress detailing the progress with the project.

Liz has also been working with her students to promote interesting digital images from digitized Maryland newspaper pages available on Chronicling America by starting a Pinterest board.

Robin worked with Joanne Archer, Anne Turkos, and other SCUA staff to ship 3,446 photographs from the Diamondback newspaper photo morgue to a digitization vendor. This shipment is the first half of the first phase of the two-year project to digitize nearly 18,000 photographs. The project is funded through the DIC proposal process.

Digital Programs and Initiatives

Alice Prael has begun work on updating the current Best Practices for Digital Collections. The new Best Practices will improve the organization and functionality by moving from a standard document to a wiki platform and will be updated to include our newest projects, initiatives, and processes.

Early in the month, Josh Westgard attended the DuraSpace summit in Washington, DC, where discussion focused on Duraspace’s three main products, Fedora, DSpace, and VIVO, all of which are of interest to, or currently in use by the Libraries. He also participated in the community-driven Fedora 4 development process, including helping to draft the requirements for an audit service, and attending, along with colleagues from SSDR and Metadata Services, the DC Area Fedora Users Group meeting at the National Agricultural Library.

Software Development

Development of the new online student application submission form and supervisor database has continued. We have hit a technical snag in our new Wufoo form caused by a limit of 100 fields per form and the way that “fields” are counted so will need to create a workaround.  Implementation has begun on the supervisor database and workflow implemented in the Staff Intranet, Libi, implemented in Drupal.

Working with the Library Web Advisory Committee, we have established high-level objectives and major milestones for the Responsive Web Design (RWD) project for the Libraries’ Website. The timeline calls for planning during the Spring, implementation over the Summer, final testing and content updates in the Fall, and release scheduled for January, 2016. We have completed selection of Bootstrap as the RWD framework and Unify as our starting template, based in part on our successful use of both tools in the Beyond the Battle: Bladensburg Rediscovered special collections exhibit. The next step of creating wireframes for key page layouts is in progress.

Hippo CMS received improvements to its Solr Database feature, currently used only by the  SCPA Scores Database, laying the groundwork for several new databases, such as SCPA Recording, Maryland Digitized Newspapers, and Plant Patents.  Databases are in general chosen to be disseminated using this feature when they have simple metadata and little to no content requirements.  This is a lighter weight alternative to full ingest into Digital Collections.

We are finalizing preparations for bringing online the new Fedora Commons Repository version 4.  This soft release will target minimal services only, with no data migrated from the existing Fedora 2. By bringing the service up in production well before the full release, we will be able to incrementally test and add new procedures. This will increase reliability and confidence in the service when it comes time to bear the full weight of our digital collections.

User and System Support

In late February, the John and Stella Graves MakerSpace was asked to assist with making a few 3D printed items for an exhibit at the Shady Grove (Priddy) Library in March. Eileen Harrigton requested the 3D printed models of human and hominid skulls as a part of an interactive exhibit on evolution. By 3D printing actual scans of the fossils, attendees were able to pick up the models and get a better and closer look at the skulls.

Interestingly, Archeology and 3D printing/scanning have some things in common. Both utilize careful planning on removal of debris from the item. For 3D printed item, sometimes supports are printed and need to be removed after the printing is finished, a lot like the removal of debris and dirt around fossils.

1

Preston removing supports and rough edges on the 3D printed skull

3D scanning is also used in archeological dig sites. It is used to quickly record accurate positional details and measurements before removal, and full 3D scans after the item is removed from the ground.

2

A technician 3D scanning a human skeleton using a handheld 3D scanner

3

The actual 3D scan of the skeleton above

After the scan is complete, it can be imported into a modeling program like Autodesk Design to clean up the scan and make it ready for 3D printing. After the initial cleanup, the file can be exported to a .stl file (stereolithography) and printed.

4

A 3D scanned Homo Erectus skull being processed in Autodesk Design

 

The files that were requested came from a website that has many 3D scanned fossils. (http://africanfossils.org/) The models took approximately 20 hours in total to print and one hour to do finishing details like support removal.

5

The finished 3D printed skulls for the event. From left…Homo Sapien, Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus.

 

USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium

DSS has been working on an exciting opportunity with the consortium and a few other Maryland academic libraries to put together a shared institutional repository (IR). DSS presented a proposal to the consortium for a 2-year pilot, which was accepted. The IR will be named Maryland Shared Open Access Repository (MDSoar, for short). The partners of the shared IR will rely on DSS’ 10+ years of experience managing DRUM. Similar to DRUM, MDSoar will use DSpace as its repository platform. DSS staff are currently working with the IR partners to configure the IR with an anticipated launch date of June 15, 2015.

The CLAS team continues its work on the Kuali OLE initiative, participating in weekly meetings with other OLE implementation partners from around the world and developing a sandbox environment in support of College Park’s and USMAI’s testing and evaluation of OLE. In April, the team will welcome in six consortium volunteers to test and evaluate OLE for its potential as the next ILS for the consortium.

Members of the team also attended the USMAI Next Gen ILS Working Group meeting on March 11th to discuss OLE, Aleph, and the next steps for moving to a new ILS over the course of the next several years.

The CLAS team responded to 101 Aleph Rx submissions and 32 e-resource requests. Additionally, members of the team have worked with campuses on such initiatives as implementing single sign-on at Salisbury, enhancing workflows for reporting library fines and fees to the Bursars’ Office at University of Baltimore, and assisting with the UMBC’s transition to shelf-ready orders from YBP.

Staffing

Mark Hemhauser’s last day in the office was March 13th. He is heading to University of California at Berkeley to fill a role as Head of Acquisitions. We wish him the best and hope that he’ll send some good weather our way!

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Eric Cartier was interviewed by the hosts of Lost in the Stacks, “the one and only Research Library Rock’n’Roll show” on WERK 91.1 FM at Georgia Tech. The episode discussing audio digitization, the WMUC radio station and digitization project, and personal digital archiving aired on April 3.

Robin Pike co-proposed a pre-conference workshop called “Managing Audiovisual Digitization Projects” with consultant Joshua Ranger from AV Preserve and vendor George Blood from George Blood Audio, Video, and Film to the Society of American Archivists. She received confirmation that the workshop will be held on Monday, August 17, 2015 in Cleveland, OH as part of the annual conference pre-conference program.

Graduate Assistants Alice Prael (Digital Programs and Initiatives) and Amy Wickner (SCUA) found out they will be presenting their student poster “Getting to Know FRED:  Introducing Workflows for Born Digital Content” at the Society of American Archivists annual conference in August.

Liz Caringola recently achieved certification as a Digital Archives Specialist, a program is administered by the Society of American Archivists. Over the past two years, Liz has taken a variety of workshops and webinars on different aspects of digital archives and sat for the cumulative exam on February 24 in College Park.

Peter Eichman, Bria Parker, Ben Wallberg, and Joshua Westgard attended the Washington D.C. Fedora User Group Meeting on March 31 and presented to the group on the status of our Fedora 4 implementation.

Eric Cartier and Liz Caringola attended the Spring 2015 MARAC/NEA Joint Meeting in Boston from March 19-21.

David Dahl attended the ACRL 2015 Conference in Portland, OR from March 25-28. He presented as part of a panel entitled “A Tree in the Forest: Using Tried-and-True Assessment Methods from Other Industries”.

 

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