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Stew of the month: March 2017

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

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

A sample batch was officially submitted to Library of Congress this month, and the first progress report of NDNP grant cycle 3 was submitted to NEH shortly thereafter. Once the sample is accepted, work will proceed on digitizing our first official batch of microfilm, which includes publications from Greenbelt, Frostburg, and Baltimore.
The Maryland Suffrage News, a Baltimore title dating back to 1912, has been added to this grant cycle. The microfilm is incomplete, with only a handful of issues of the weekly publication recorded between 1912 and 1920, but the opportunity to digitize such an important record of Maryland, and women’s, history could not be passed up.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike and Vin Novara (SCPA) submitted a grant through the CLIR Recording at Risk program to digitize a pilot project from the Robert Sherman Collection, a portion of the “Woody’s Children” radio program.
Rebecca Wack worked with Novara on a Preservation Access Program application from the Bay Area Video Coalition to digitize a small pilot of the Laban/Bartineff Movement Studies Institute at a discounted rate.
Quality assurance continued on the FY17 Hebraica project, funded through the DIC project proposal process.
Eric Cartier worked with Don Manildi, IPAM curator, to digitize four open reel audio tapes on loan from a well-known American composer, who may donate her papers and collection to the UMD Libraries. The tapes were affected by severe sticky shed syndrome and could not be digitized on site so they were delivered to a vendor for assessment, treatment, and digitization.
Cartier worked with an audio equipment repair vendor to calibrate and maintain the Hornbake Digitization Center’s audio hardware including reel-to-reel decks, audiocassette decks, and digital audio tape (DAT) decks.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

New Open Access Journal Launched

We’re pleased to announce that the International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion has recently launched. Published by the Information Policy & Access Center (iPAC) at the University of Maryland and hosted on the Libraries’ OJS instance, the journal presents wide-ranging and multidisciplinary perspectives on the intersection of equity, social justice, and information. Check out the recent articles here.

Software Development

Fedora Content Repository – We are working on the content and indexing model to support OCR text, initially for Student Newspapers, based the Web Annotation Protocol. Once complete we will be able to search full text of newspaper articles in Archelon and the UMD Student Newspapers public interface.  This feature could also support crowd-sourced transcriptions in the future.

Annual Staffing Request – Work continued on version 1.2 which features fiscal year rollover, allowing for all current requests to be archived for later viewing and reporting (read-only), and clearing out the tables of new requests for the next fiscal year.

Hippo – Continued development of the new Libi / Box / Solr integration; continued development of changes to Database Finder for maintaining databases directly in Hippo and for Subject reconciliation with Guides and the Subject Specialist directory; began implementation of the UMD Student Newspapers public interface.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 127 Aleph Rx submissions and 26 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in March.

EBSCO Discovery Service URLs Modifications

EBSCO completed their modifications of the display of Aleph data in EDS. URLs from Aleph now only display if the item is available to a particular campus, and the proxy string is appended to all URLs that require it for off-campus access. This solution has been implemented for all USMAI libraries and will improve the user experience in EDS.

Sustainable Collection Services (SCS)

CLAS is working with USMAI on the implementation of OCLC’s Sustainable Collection Services, which will help USMAI libraries evaluate their collections within the context of the rest of USMAI and other peer institutions. CLAS helped SCS staff with an initial catalog data questionnaire and will be working to extract Aleph data for each USMAI library over the coming months.

New Bibliographic Loaders

CLAS developed a new loader to load new law collections for University of Maryland Law Library and University of Baltimore Law Library. Test loads are now being reviewed and will be implemented in production following acceptance.

Staffing

Kerry Huller, long-time assistant on the Historic Maryland Newspaper Project left the project for a new full-time job with the Library of Congress. Congratulations Kerry!

Welcome to Samir Lalvani and Akash Udani, who joined as Graduate Assistant software developers.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Ingrid Alie attended the Computers in Libraries conference from March 28th to 30th.

David Dahl attended the ACRL 2017 Conference in Baltimore, MD from March 23rd to 25th.

Joseph Koivisto attended the ACRL 2017 Conference in Baltimore, MD from March 23rd to 25th.

Visits

On March 3, Cartier spoke with the Associate University Archivist at the University of California Berkeley about the UMD Libraries digitization operations: hardware, software, workflows, processes, and procedures. UCBerkeley Libraries’ staff are consulting digital librarians across the U.S. to learn more about best practices and how to improve their own institution’s digitization operations.

On March 9, Cartier guest-lectured at an audiovisual production event that fellow librarian Lealin Queen led in Library Media Services. There were few attendees, but the group conversation and computer demonstrations were beneficial.

On March 15, Pike and Laura Schnitker (SCUA) guest-lectured LBSC786 Library and Archives Preservation on the topic of the preservation of audiovisual media and broadcast collections.

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Announcing Terps Publish 2017

terpspublishlogoWe are pleased to announce an exciting new event at UMD—Terps Publish! Designed to showcase student publishing at UMD, this event will bring together student editors and writers from publications across the campus for a discussion of publishing issues, followed by a fair showcasing current publications.

All are invited to stop by the Portico Room (Room 2109) in McKeldin Library on Tuesday, April 11 from 3:30PM to 5:00PM to check out student publications at the fair, and enjoy free ice cream for visitors.

Representatives of student publications interested in participating are encouraged to register  by March 31, especially if they wish to have a table at the fair. Please feel free to pass along the invitation to student publication groups.

The members of the event planning team are Kate Dohe, Manager of Digital Programs & Initiatives, Terry Owen, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Eric Bartheld, Director of Communications for the UMD Libraries, Anne Turkos, University of Maryland Archivist, and student representatives from StylusPowerlines, and The Left Bench. Terps Publish is modeled on Hoyas Publish at Georgetown University, which Kate Dohe helped launch in collaboration with Georgetown University Press prior to joining the team at UMD.

For more information about this event visit the Terps Publish website or email terpspublish@umd.edu. Hope to see you there!

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Stew of the month: February 2017

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

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

The HMNP will be launching multiple social media channels this month.  Rebecca Wack and student assistant Alex Carolan are rounding out strategies for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, highlighting interesting articles and advertisements from the over 200,000 pages of historic Maryland newspapers published on Chronicling America. The launch date is set for Monday, March 6. Be on the lookout for announcements once the pages are live and, of course, please like and share.
The sample batch has been received from the digitization vendor and quality review will be completed in short order. Student assistants have continued collation work for future digitization and, assuming the sample batch passes muster, the first official batch for NDNP Grant Cycle 3 will be shipped out for digitization.

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

The AADHUM project is focusing on the first of two larger shipments for digitization. Scott Pennington will prepare approximately 19,000 pages in early April, split evenly between materials from SCUA and the Driskell Center. Pennington is collaborating with Jen Eidson and Ben Blake (both SCUA), Justin Hosbey (Postdoctoral Associate at MITH) and Will Thomas (Graduate Assistant, MITH), to select materials useful for the project from the George Meany Memorial Archives. They have identified a rich group of materials from the Civil Rights era, and final selections will be made at the end of February and beginning of March.
Stephanie Smith (Driskell Center) and Jovonne Bickerstaff (Postdoctoral Associate at MITH) have nearly completed the selection of materials from the Driskell Center. Metadata work is proceeding rapidly on those materials.

Other Digitization Activities

The Hornbake Digitization Center is home to a new oversize scanner, another Zeutschel OS12000. The scanning area is 23.4″x33.1″, an upgrade from the previous machine’s scanning area of 18″x24″, and the updated software has enhanced features that will automate processes and increase efficiency.

Robin Pike continued to work with the other members of the Digitization Initiatives Committee to solidify the FY18 project list and budget. The budget will be presented to RG on March 13.

Pike continued to work on the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Recordings at Risk grant with Vin Novara (SCPA).

Eric Cartier met with Jen Eidson and Ben Blake (both SCUA) on two occasions to prepare the digitization workflow for the forthcoming labor exhibit in Hornbake Library. Assistants are currently at work on the first of six modules.

In her role as “Lead Project Advisor,” Pike continued to meet with staff from The Phillips Collection to discuss next steps in preparing for their IMLS grant project, if the application is successful, including processing and describing content, and selecting metadata standards and thesauri. The project team also discussed contingency plans if the application is not successful to create a smaller project for their upcoming 100th anniversary in 2021.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Digital Collections

With the impending release of version 1.0 of the Archelon administrative application, February saw DPI fully engaged with loading to our Fedora repository the nearly 1 terabyte of Diamondback newspapers data (represented by more than 200,000 digital objects). Any undertaking of this size and complexity is bound to encounter new problems when operating at scale, and this project was no exception. While the system had performed well under light loads, with the attempt to load full production data, new problems were uncovered with the indexing service. Fortunately, SSDR and DPI staff collaborated to identify the source of the problems and tuned the configuration of our application to make it more efficient under heavier loads.  The ingest of all 3,503 issues of this first batch of Diamondback newspapers will be completed in early March.

New Additions to DRUM

Fifteen oral histories have recently been added to the Archive of Immigrant Voices in DRUM. Produced by students from the Center for Global Migration, the oral history project collects the stories of the experience of migration.

Save the Date!

In collaboration with Collection Strategies & Services, the spring 2017 speaker for the Future of the Research Library Speaker Series has been confirmed. Matt Barnes, Director of Sustainable Collection Services at OCLC is scheduled for Wednesday, 26 April from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm in the Special Events Room.

GA Update

GA David Durden continued working on a library contracts inventory project, and conducted testing for the Archelon user interface.

Software Development

Archelon – Version 1.0 was released to staff, see our Archelon 1.0 Release post for more details.

Annual Staffing Request – Version 1.1 was released with the complete administrative functionality necessary for Resources Group and Business & Budget Services office to review all personnel requests submitted for FY18. We have also begun work on version 1.2 which features fiscal year rollover, allowing for all current requests to be archived for later viewing and reporting (read-only), and clearing out the tables of new requests for the next fiscal year.

Hippo – Continued development of the new Libi / Box / Solr integration; began changes to Database Finder for maintaining databases directly in Hippo and for Subject reconciliation with Guides and the Subject Specialist directory; begin design and planning for new Textbook Availability searchable database of textbooks available through the top textbooks reserves program.

User and System Support

February saw a jump in 3D print requests for campus departments. We printed a few dozen mini Testudo statues for a cultural exchange program, 2 large Testudo statues and a Jim Henson/Kermit statue for marketing gifts, and also an extra large Testudo statue for the Giving Day challenge trophy.
Andrew  Horbal and Preston Tobery gave a presentation on the J&SG MakerSpace at the February 14 Research & Learning Services Forum where they solicited feedback from librarians about their plans to develop training and documentation to help R&LS librarians incorporate J&SG Makerspace technologies into their instruction. Preston Tobery and Andrew Horbal received notification that the project that they submitted definitely will appear in the book 60 Makerspace Projects for Libraries as “3D Print a Bust of Yourself”. The book will be published by ALA Editions in the fall.
Windows 10 upgrade – In a few weeks, some library staff will have the opportunity to test drive Windows 10 to see if it works with their various applications.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Testing  — Continued configuration on the VDI solutions, we have tested some aspects of VMware Horizon and we will continue to test.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 133 Aleph Rx submissions and 36 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in February.

EBSCO Discovery Service URLs Modifications

During the LNDL Migration, an issue was uncovered with the display of URLs originating from 856 and 956 fields in the Aleph data extract. For many USMAI EDS campuses, these URLs were not filtered to display only those associated with the particular campus. For instance, a URL for access at Towson would show up in Eastern Shore’s EDS instance. Additionally, these URLs did not have the off-campus proxy string appended, meaning they would only work for users on campus. Ingrid Alie worked with EBSCO to devise a solution that would filter these URLs to only display those URLs relevant to the specific campus and also add the proxy string dynamically. EBSCO is currently rolling out this solution.

ProQuest Ebook Central

In alignment with ProQuest’s migration from EBL to their Ebook Central platform, Linda Seguin set up MARC record delivery for Ebook Central collections in WorldShare Collection Manager in order to add the new Ebook Central URLs to records in Aleph. The old EBL URLs (eblib.com) were removed from these records. During the process of loading the updated records, she was also able to overlay LC subject headings on approximately 8300 records that did not previously have any subject headings. This will improve discoverability of these resources in the OPAC and USMAI discovery layers. LNDL holdings were also added for DDA ebooks during this process.

MD-SOAR

In February, the USMAI Council of Library Directors voted to extend MD-SOAR beyond the end of its two-year pilot. The repository service has been extended for an additional three years with an option for renewal at that point in time. DSS looks forward to continuing this service for USMAI and its extended partners!

Repository Analytics and Metrics Portal (RAMP) Initiative

MD-SOAR, along with DRUM, is now a participant in the grant funded Repository Analytics and Metrics Portal initiative, spearheaded by Montana State University, ARL, University of New Mexico, and OCLC. The initiative seeks to identify methods for collecting more accurate use of institutional repositories, such as MD-SOAR. Thanks go to Joseph Koivisto for identifying this opportunity and working with the grant team on the initial configuration.

Staffing

Marisa Gilman and Brahm Persaud began work as Student Digitization Assistants in February for DCMR. Marisa is a junior in the new College of Information Studies undergraduate program, and Brahm is a graduate student in the iSchool with a focus of human-computer interaction.

Alex Carolan (undergraduate College of Journalism) and Pranati Sumedha (graduate School of Engineering) began working for the Historic Maryland Newspapers project.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Along with Sharon Epps, Rebecca Kemp Goldfinger, and Kate Dohe of the Faculty Mentoring Committee, Eric Cartier organized a special Writing Group meeting on February 15, inviting librarian and poet Oliver Bendorf to lead a workshop titled “Agile Writing for Archivists and Librarians.”

Robin Pike, Doug McElrath (SCUA), and Anna Kephart (archivist at the Southern Maryland Studies Center at the College of Southern Maryland) proposed a chapter for Librarianship and Genealogy: Trends, Issues, Case Studies about the use of Chronicling America and other digital newspaper resources in genealogical research in the State of Maryland. The chapter proposal was accepted.

Kate Dohe was accepted as a participant in the 2017 cohort of the Leading Change Institute. The Institute, sponsored by CLIR and EDUCAUSE, will be held June 11–16, in Washington, DC.

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Archelon 1.0 Release

We are pleased to announce the 1.0 release of Archelon, the new staff-only administrative interface for content in the UMD Libraries’ Fedora 4 repository. The Fedora 4 repository was released in production last August and Archelon is the first staff interface for content in Fedora 4.

The 1.0 release enables library staff in Special Collections and University Archives, Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting, Digital Programs and Initiatives, and other departments to search, browse, and download content in Fedora 4. In addition, a basic, embedded newspaper and image viewer is included in the 1.0 release. Archelon will be developed in an agile fashion, with many incremental releases over time, and upcoming releases will include more features in the newspaper viewer. Eventually, full content add/update capabilities will be available to users, beginning with version 2.0.

Digital Content in Archelon

The launch of Archelon coincides with the import of the digitized Diamondback student newspapers, which will be the first collection available on the new platform. Batch loading of 130,000 objects is currently underway, representing 3,500 issues spanning 1910 to 1971.  Working closely with stakeholders in Special Collections and University Archives, we have established that it is a priority to load content that is currently not available online, such as Katherine Anne Porter correspondence and Diamondback photos.  We will be working on loading this content through 2017 as well as migrating content from the existing Digital Collections repository.

Archelon’s Technology

Archelon 1.0 is built using Ruby on Rails and the Blacklight discovery interface.  The supporting infrastructure behind Archelon includes the previously released Fedora 4 repository and new additions of a Newspaper batch loader, IIIF image server using Loris, search/index service using Apache Solr 6,  and IIIF manifest server using pcdm-manifests.  The newspaper viewer is built using the Mirador IIIF image viewer.

What’s Up with the Name?

Archelon is named for the ancient genus of giant sea turtles Archelon, whose name means “ruler turtle” in Greek. Archelon lived approximately 80.5 million years ago in the shallow seas that covered most of North America at the time. It is the largest ever recorded species of turtle by size, and second largest by weight.

Acknowledgements

The Fedora 4 repository implementation team would like to thank everyone in Digital Systems and Stewardship and throughout the University Libraries whose technical and administrative support made this effort possible.

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Stew of the month: January 2017

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

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

Robin Pike and Rebecca Wack visited with the Montgomery Country Historical Society and the Greenbelt News Review in the hopes of partnering in future NDNP grant cycles. Greenbelt, which will be celebrating its 80th anniversary at the end of the year, was particularly excited to learn that the first six years of the Greenbelt Cooperator, 1937-1943, will be in the first batch of microfilm reels to be digitized in grant cycle 3.

Students have continued collation work to prep for cycle 3 digitization with 5 titles and over 40,000 sheets completed, including Greenbelt Cooperator, Czas Baltimorski, and Frostburg Mining Journal.  The first batch of duplicated microfilm has been returned from the duplication vendor, and two sample reels were sent to the digitization vendor for digitization and metadata tagging.

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

Scott Pennington and student Cecilia Franck inspected the 1,460 files from the pilot project, which they approved. Pennington will deliver the files to the Driskell Center and MITH for use in the upcoming digital humanities incubators. Pennington has also been meeting with campus subject experts to discuss material selection for the full project, consisting of approximately 38,540 pages. He will also be meeting with MITH postdoctoral associates Justin Hosbey and Jovonne Bickerstaff to refine content selection.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike led the Digitization Initiatives Committee (Joanne Archer (SCUA), Mary Dulaney (Development Office), Eileen Harrington (PSD), Carla Montori (Preservation and Conservation)) in the prioritization of project proposals for FY18. The committee will meet again in February to finalize the budget and project selection.

Pike began working with Vin Novara (SCPA) on a Council of Library and Information Resources Recordings at Risk grant proposal to digitize 142 tapes from the Robert Sherman Collection from the “Woody’s Children” program, a radio broadcast program that featured folk music.

Cecilia Franck inspected and approved a quarter of the 12,070 Maryland Agricultural Census files, which were digitized from microfilm as part of the DIC’s project proposal process for FY17.

Digitization Assistant Karina Hagelin transferred 125 Third Rail Radio recordings on CD-Rs, from the fourth of six binders of CD-Rs in our WMUC college radio collection.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

GA David Durden began an internal electronic records inventory creation project, working with Andrea White and Angie Ohler.

Data Services

In coordination with USS, UMD Libraries’ REDCap application has been upgraded to version 7.0.5, adding several new features, as well as security and stability updates. Some of the newest features available to researchers include:

  • Live filters for reports; project XML export; CDISC ODM compatibility
  • Added Bootstrap framework for responsive design
  • New action tags and hook functions
  • Server-side field validation; Enhanced radio buttons and checkboxes for surveys
  • New API methods; Vertical sliders; Custom event labels
  • Account Manager user type
  • Improvements for composing logic/calculations
  • Infinitely repeating forms/events + minor facelift

GA David Durden researched and implemented a formal test plan for this application.

Digital Collections

In January the batch-loading application for our Fedora repository was completed, and we have begun testing the loading of content into Fedora 4. This is a significant milestone that will allow the Diamondback (130,000 objects representing 3500 issues) to be loaded in February.

ArchivesSpace

Working together with Bria Parker and Joanne Archer, Josh Westgard completed DPI’s transformation script for preparing our Encoded Archival Description XML files for ingest into the ArchivesSpace system. Ultimately, migration to this new system gives the Libraries numerous benefits. In the short term, it will allow us to retire several legacy home-grown systems for managing SCUA’s collections, and will give curators more direct control of how their collections are described. Additionally, by implementing a widely-adopted system for archival collection management, we will be able to tap into a rich community of administrators, developers, and experts for support and extended functionality. We are planning now to make finding aids in ArchivesSpace publicly accessible and discoverable in 2017.

DRUM

New Theses and Dissertations Added to DRUM

One hundred seventy-nine electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) from the fall 2016 semester were deposited in DRUM bring the total to 12,442. If you’re looking for a good late-night read, check out some of new titles at http://hdl.handle.net/1903/3.

OA Fund Closed for 2016-2017

Funds for the UMD Libraries’ Open Access Publishing Fund have been exhausted for this fiscal year, and we are no longer accepting applications. For 2016-2017, the Libraries only paid 50% of the article processing charges and funded 23 articles. Pending approval, applications will open in August for 2017-2018. Please contact Terry Owen (towen@umd.edu) if you have any questions.

Software Development

Fedora 4 Content Repository – Development of the infrastructure to support the our initial Fedora 4 collection, UMD Student Newspapers, is nearing completion.  In addition to the core repository we are working on these components: Newspaper batch loader, IIIF image server using Loris, search/index tuning using Apache Solr 6,  IIIF manifest server using pcdm-manifests, and Archelon, the administrative interface for Fedora 4.  Design planning is also underway for the public interface implementation using Hippo.

Annual Staffing Request – Libraries’ managers have begun entering their staffing requests for FY18 into the production application.  Work continues on version 1.1 containing administrative functionality to be released in early February.

Student ApplicationsVersion 1.0.0, containing the student submission functionality, and version 1.1.0, containing the supervisor review functionality, were both released in January, marking the completion of the initial implementation project.

Reciprocal Borrowing – Version 1.0.0  of the new Reciprocal Borrowing application was released into production for use by Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) institutions, plus the University of Chicago, to provide reciprocal borrowing privileges to current faculty, emeritus faculty, students, and staff at the other member libraries.

Hippo – The upgrade to version 10 was completed in time for the start of the new semester.  The upgrade brings a new look and feel to the CMS interface and some behind the scenes changes to the CMS implementation.  Hippo is also continuing to build out its relevance module which provides features such as personalization and experiments.  We plan to begin investigating these features once we are on Hippo version 11.

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 126 Aleph Rx submissions and 29 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in January.

Loyola Notre Dame Library

The migration of LNDL’s Voyager ILS data to USMAI’s Aleph ILS was completed on January 10th, allowing LNDL to commence with Aleph as their new ILS on January 11th. It is surely a big adjustment for LNDL but all reports indicate that the migration has been successful.

The final extract of Voyager bibliographic data was received in December and loaded into Aleph over the winter break. On January 6th, the final extract of circulation and patron data was pulled from Voyager. At that point LNDL ceased all circulation activities in Voyager.

A few post-migration tasks were identified during the course of the migration. Configuration of loan notifications, loading of vendor data, and revisions to USMAI’s ticketing systems were completed following the migration completion.

EZproxy upgrade

An upgrade to the current version of EZproxy (v6.2.2) was completed in January for all campuses. The upgrade enables continued compatibility with changing security protocols as vendors and publishers look to end use of older, less secure protocols. The upgrade was completed with minimal interruption to users.

MDsoarLOGO

MD-SOAR

Additional enhancements were made to MD-SOAR to provide better guidance on the selection of a Creative Commons license and to offer clearer help text for fields in the item submission form.

DSS developed a proposal to continue MD-SOAR beyond the end of its two-year pilot. The pilot is scheduled to end in June 2017. To date, over 2200 items have been added to MD-SOAR. More than 18,000 users have visited the repository.

Staffing

Rebecca Wack began work as the Digital Projects Librarian, the project manager for the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project in DCMR. Rebecca earned her MA in Film and Media Studies from the University of Rochester in 2014 and a BA in Cinema Studies from the University of Central Florida. She has worked as a grants specialist and a digitization project manager at the University of Central Florida where she helped to set up the UCF Home Movie Archive, and has also worked as a digitization project manager with the Seward Project at the University of Rochester.

Digitization Assistants Kelsey Hughes and Suzy Wilson left DCMR for other opportunities. Kelsey accepted an internship at the Smithsonian, and Suzy is working still at UMD Libraries, now in Teaching and Learning Services.

Xianghui Dong began work in SSDR as R software developer for NSF Advances in Biological Informatics grant.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

The Association for Recorded Sound Collections Program Committee accepted Eric Cartier’s presentation proposal “The Writer’s Voice: The Sound Recordings of Katherine Anne Porter.” Eric managed the in-house digitization of the open reel audio tapes from the Porter collection, managed the quality review of thousands of digitized pages of her personal correspondence, and has since read Porter’s entire body of work, which will be featured in this presentation.

Heidi Hanson attended ALA Midwinter in Atlanta, GA from January 21st to 24th.

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Stew of the month: December 2016

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

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

Robin Pike received the sample (four duplicated reels) from the microfilm duplication vendor. The reel of vinegar film did not meet 100% standards despite the additional manual work of the vendor. Pike worked with Maria Day of the Maryland State Archives (MSA) on selecting additional microfilm for the first half the project, making substitutions for the microfilm with vinegar syndrome. MSA staff are looking into alternative film throughout January; if other film cannot be located, the project will probably not digitize The Evening Capital during grant three.

Pike and Doug McElrath (SCUA) met with subject liaison librarians to inform them about Chronicling America http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ and the titles available from the State of Marylandhttp://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/awardees/mdu/. They also discussed the popular new API http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/about/api/ which allows partial or full data harvest for analysis: Pike prepared an information sheet for the liaisons which includes general information and subject-specific information.

Pike also began updating the project website http://www.lib.umd.edu/digital/newspapers/home to reflect some of the changes and additions of grant three.

Pike continued to work on the proposal for the digitization vendor contract.

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

The pilot project digitized files for AADHum were received from the vendor. Students will soon begin to perform quality assurance on the files.

Other Digitization Activities

Digitization assistants Becca Mena and Suzy Wilson inspected 50 general athletics videos and 41 Gymkana digitized video files from a vendor. The original media ranged between VHS, U-matic, Betacam, BetacamSP, and DVD-R. The Athletics project was funded through the DIC project proposal process and the Gymkana digitization was funded by a UMD Launch fundraiser through the School of Public Health.

Working with Preservation and Conservation, Pike received the drive of files for the earliest iterations of The Diamondback, which were produced by the conservation vendor while they were stabilizing the damaged originals. After inspection, these files will be sent to the digitization vendor for post-processing to the metadata specifications as the rest of the project.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Save the Date: “Terps Publish” Student Publishing Fair

In collaboration with University Archives and Library Communications, DPI is pleased to announce the first Terps Publish: Student Publishing Fair will be held on April 11, 2017. Terps Publish is designed to showcase student publishing activity at UMD, and foster discussion about the challenges and opportunities student publishers encounter. The event will provide student publishers with a hosted roundtable to connect with peers and library resources for publishing and will also feature a fair to promote and celebrate student publishing activities. The program is modeled on similar initiatives at Georgetown University, Ohio University, and Dartmouth College. Stay tuned for more details, including participating student publications.

Software Development

Fedora 4 Content Repository – Completed the upgrade to version 4.7 which represents a significant change to Fedora’s underlying persistence implementation.

Annual Staffing RequestVersion 1.0 was released into production and Libraries’ mangers have begun entering their staffing requests for FY18.  Work continues on version 1.1 containing administrative functionality to be released in January.

Student Applications – The final changes for version 1.0 containing the application submission interface were decided on based on user testing and implementation is nearing completion for a January release.

Hippo – Initial development on the version 10 upgrade and promotion process was completed and version 10 was promoted to the staging site for user testing.

User and System Support

User and System Support (USS) is testing out Microsoft Windows 10 and planning to deploy Windows 10 to a few staff for testing in a few weeks.  Windows 10 is little different when it comes to the look and feel of the Graphical User interface so we hope to learn more from library staff that have agreed to help with testing.

USS is currently investigating the use of VMWare Horizon/ Mirage desktop virtualization application, as a tool for managing our windows machines in the libraries public and staff environment. Compared to Citrix, VMWare Horizon/Mirage Desktop virtualization is less expensive while also more rewarding than other desktop virtualization solutions.

The virtual desktop environment limits the number of hardware related issues end users face and the response time for our end users is considerably improved. Library support staff would be able to get end users up and running in a matter of minutes instead of the hours it takes to re-image a machine. Software deployment would also be quicker and be possible without a re-image of the end machine. Also the Virtual environment decreases the cost of machine upgrades. Ends users can pull up fully functional workstations from bare minimum mini PCs, which are less expensive and more easily maintained than a computer.

Staffing

Dwonne Knight and Kayode Bamidele joined DSS as IT Support Assistants working in User and System Support.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Kate Dohe and Ben Wallberg attended the Coalition for Networked Information fall meeting in Washington, DC on December 12-13.

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R software development for NSF Advances in Biological Informatics grant

We are pleased to announce that as part of our software services program Xianghui Dong has joined Digital Systems and Stewardship in a new contract position of R Software Developer.  This position will provide programming in support of an NSF Advances in Biological Informatics grant entitled Advanced mathematical, statistical, and software tools to unlock the potential of animal tracking data with a  project team composed of researchers from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, University of Maryland Department of Biology, and University of Massachusetts (Amherst) College of Information and Computer Sciences.

Xianghui received his BA in Mechanics and Manufacturing Engineering from Tsinghua University and PhD in Pattern Recognition and Intelligent Systems from the Chinese Academy of Sciences.  Xianghui has worked most recently as a consultant with some non-profit organizations, as well as volunteer work as a data ambassador for DataKind DC.

This project focuses on adapting mathematical and statistical methods from geostatistics, physics, signal processing, and computer science for the analysis of animal tracking datasets. The centerpiece of the project is the continuous-time movement modeling (ctmm) analysis package for the R environment for statistical computing. This package implements the methods developed by the project team and serves as the interface with the community of ecologists and conservation biologists studying animal movement processes.

The developer will build an R-Shiny web application providing a graphical interface to the ctmm R package for statistical modeling with a target audience of ecologists who have animal movement data and would like to utilize the ctmm package, but don’t have the expertise to do so directly in R via the command line. The application will walk the user through the modeling process, including steps such as data upload, analysis, visualization and report generation. The analysis step will further be broken into a sequence of sub-steps that depend on the user’s analysis goals. The web application must be easily run in standalone, desktop mode and would be desirable run in a hosted, multi-user mode as well. The developer will principally interface on the backend with the existing ctmm package, developed by others on the project team, but would also be available to help with ctmm improvements as necessary.