Stew of the month: August 2018

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.

Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

The Historic Maryland Newspaper Project is kicking off Grant Cycle 4. Currently in the works, collation for Maryland suffrage news (provided in partnership with the National Woman’s Party), along with a handful of non-English language titles published out of Baltimore, including Baltimore Wecker (German, 1856-1867), Il Risorgimento Italiano nel Maryland (Italian, 1922-1930), and Katholische Volkszeitung (German, 1874-1888).

Other Digitization Activities

Rebecca Wack, Digital Projects Librarian and former project manager for the Historic Maryland Newspaper Project, has changed roles and offices and can now be found in the Hornbake Digitization Center as the Digitization Services Librarian. At Hornbake Library, Rebecca plans to implement new training procedures for digitization assistants, boost outreach and services within the libraries and across campus, and build-up on-site AV digitization services. If you have any feedback regarding existing digitization services or requests for services you’d like to see offered in the future, please contact Rebecca at rwack@umd.edu.

Robin Pike submitted the final vendor quotes and the digitization sole source to the Business Office. We await beginning FY19 vendor digitization projects funded by the Digitization Initiatives Committee. Robin also worked to get information from curators for the vendor quotes outside of the digitization sole source; some quotes have progressed further than others. Robin also consulted with Preservation and Conservation and curators to best prepare materials for vendor digitization

Robin worked with Bria Parker, Adam Gray (both DMS), Laura Schnitker, Joanne Archer (both SCUA), and Josh Westgard to ingest the files and metadata from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters collection, funded by a CLIR Recordings at Risk grant. the collection is now online and linked to the finding aid. The project digitized 597 recordings, over 353 hours, 624 files, and 606 metadata records. Laura, Joanne, and Robin collaborated to write and submit the final report to CLIR, which documented all files and metadata and project expenditures, as well as this project’s impact.

Robin and Rebecca worked with Hilary Thompson (USRS) to contribute language related to digitization and capacity to comply with the Big 10’s special collections loan best practices.

Digitization Assistants Vanessa Barker, Cecilia Franck, Brahm Persaud, and Sydney Schneider have worked digitizing a Maryland family manuscript collection, and have completed digitization of the first phase of Spanish Plays, and a small collection of reels from the Martha Brooks collection.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Open Access Fund

The UMD Libraries’ Open Access Publishing Fund is now accepting applications for 2018-2019. Eligibility requirements and guidelines, along with a link to the online application form, are available here.

Prange Asset Migration

DPI collaborated with SSDR to migrate 2.41 terabytes of digital assets (478,840 jpg files) from our Fedora 2 digital collections repository to our new Fedora 4 repository. These assets are part of one of our largest digital collections, the Prange Children’s Books collection. While this migration should have little immediate effect on the public-facing website (in fact, one of the goals is to make it ‘invisible’ to the end user), it does represent a significant undertaking, and in terms of raw bytes constitutes a large proportion of all the content that was available to the public in our Fedora 2 repository. With this move now complete, our Fedora 4 repository is now operating truly ‘at scale’ with multiple terabytes and well over a million digital resources under management in the new system.

Avalon Media Repository Pilot

The Avalon Media Repository pilot is officially underway, and the kickoff “big tent” meeting with stakeholders from Special Collections, the Performing Arts Library, and DSS took place on August 30th.

UMD Libraries currently uses Sharestream’s MediaManager product as its content management system for digitized time-based media accessed through the Libraries’ legacy Digital Collections interface. While this commercial solution has made it possible for the Libraries to make audio and video from its collections available online, the application and its integration with Digital Collections has several constraints that make it challenging for curators, repository managers, and metadata specialists to efficiently manage large-scale media collections. DSS, SCUA, and MSPAL stakeholders wish to internally pilot the Avalon application to test its suitability as a replacement media management application.

Success or failure of the pilot will be measured according to the following broad requirements:

  • A media repository solution for specialized materials must support digital curation standards and workflows throughout an item’s lifecycle, including ingest, preservation, description, and access control.
  • A media system must provide a variety of users and stakeholders with the tools to effectively manage content at scale without creating choke points and backlogs.
  • A media system must support open, accessible technologies that can be customized by UMD Libraries staff (repository managers and developers) to meet local needs, and support interoperability and transmission between systems.

To afford sufficient testing time and workflow development, the Avalon pilot should last one year, and then stakeholders should assess success or failure of the project.

Software Development

DRUM and MD-SOAR

We upgraded MD-SOAR to DSpace version 6.3.  The same upgrade for DRUM is in user testing and should be completed in September.

Digital Collections

The code and configuration for a new template/theme for use on the digital.lib.umd.edu website has been completed and promoted to production. This also includes a new search interface for all content loaded into our Fedora Content Repository, currently at version 4.7.5. Once released the new home page will offer two search boxes, one for our current Fedora repository and one for our legacy Fedora 2 repository. The new feature has been turned over to curators to finalize the page content in preparation for public release.

We also updated the authorization systems for Fedora and several of our supporting backend applications.  They are now using the campus Grouper instance to manage authorized users. Grouper is an enterprise access management system designed for the highly distributed management environment and heterogeneous information technology environment common to universities. Operating a central access management system that supports both central and distributed IT reduces risk.  Grouper is part of the TIER Initiative.

REDCap

We updated the REDCap application in development to use Shibboleth federated identity management for authentication.  This improves the current REDCap managed user table method by providing Web Single Sign On with campus users directory id and password and improves security by using campus HR systems to automatically disallow access once an employee leaves the university.  However, due to the proximity to the start of the semester, deployment to production has been deferred to the end of the semester.

Under Development

  • Upgrade to BloomReach Experience (formerly Hippo CMS) version 12
  • Bento style cross search of information resources
  • Bento style cross search for Special and Digital Collections
  • ArchivesSpace Aeon plugin for requesting materials

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

The CLAS team responded to 118 Aleph Rx submissions and 21 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in August.

Data Warehouse

Efforts continued in three main areas: Requirements, Reporting, and ETL. CLAS team members had at least fifteen (official) meetings and a number of other one-on-one discussion during the month as the effort ramps up. All Aleph Oracle and configuration tables that will be sourced for the data warehouse are now identified. Research into methods for extracting necessary data from Aleph continued, with key decisions expected in early September. Team members continue to make progress on defining requirements. It’s a laborious process but will go a long way toward simplifying the development process and laying the foundation for good documentation of the data in the data warehouse.

EDS Results Display Improvement

Last winter, USMAI’s UX Subgroup proposed a modification to the display of catalog results in EBSCO Discovery Service (EDS) that would hide ebook records that were only held by other USMAI libraries. These are items that are inaccessible to the user, resulting in user frustration. Since that time, CLAS has worked with EBSCO to develop logic that filters out these results. The filter is now implemented for all USMAI libraries that use EDS.

New USMAI e-resources

Patrons at USMAI libraries now have access to five new database products starting this fiscal year. In August, CLAS configured these new resources to ensure that off-campus access was available and full text linking worked through SFX.

Library Technologies, Inc. is closing

USMAI has used Library Technologies, Inc. (LTI) Authority Express and Authority Update Processing services since 2006 to clean up bibliographic records in Aleph. LTI recently announced that they will be going out of business in March 2019. Over the next few months, USMAI’s Metadata Subgroup will be leading the effort to identify a replacement service.

MD-SOAR

A new feature was released in August that hyperlinks author and subject values in the simple item record. This, along with more uniform subjects being encouraged by autosuggest options during item submission, will provide additional avenues of discovery within MD-SOAR.

Staffing

Brahm Persaud, Digitization Assistant, has left DCMR to concentrate on his internship before graduation in the spring. We wish him well!

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Dave Durden attended the 2nd Workshop on Scientific Archives in Washington, DC on August 13 and 14. Presentations topics of interest included data management from an archival perspective, the relationship between research data and scientific archival records, and novel methods of capturing the scientific record in the digital era.

Kate Dohe attended the ArchivesSpace Member Forum on August 14.

Robin Pike and Rebecca Wack attended the Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting from August 12-17, including a pre-conference workshop Robin took on using command line interface.

Stew of the month: July 2018

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 Historic Maryland Newspaper Project is pleased to announce that it was received its fourth National Digital Newspaper Program Grant, sponsored by NEH and Library of Congress. The $264,000 grant will cover two more years of historic newspaper digitization, including a complete run of the Maryland Suffrage News and four non-English language papers. The new grant period will begin September 1.

As grant cycle three comes to a close, re-work is being checked for re-submission to Library of Congress. Over 100,000 pages of newspapers have been inspected on microfilm, collated, and digitized for inclusion in Chronicling America. Titles of note for grant three include: Evening Capital, Annapolis’ paper of record, the early years of the Greenbelt Cooperator, and a host of small newspapers from Frostburg, Md., providing excellent insight into life in a western Maryland mining community.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike has been working with collection areas to solidify projects and receive digitization quotes from vendors for the FY19 digitization projects funded through the Digitization Initiatives Committee project proposal process.

Robin worked with Vin Novara (SCUA) and Mary Dulaney (Director of Development) to finalize and submit a National Endowment for the Humanities grant application to digitize program and rehearsal materials from the Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange collection; the Dance Exchange is a local dance company that promotes dance education for all.

Assistant Anna Johns completed descriptive metadata enhancement on the CLIR grant-funded project which digitized reels from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. Metadata Services will finalize the metadata and Josh Westgard will ingest the materials into Digital Collections in August.

Digitization Assistants Cecilia Franck, Brahm Persaud, Sydney Schneider, and Vanessa Barker digitized materials from Maryland historical manuscripts, punk band fliers from Sharon Cheslow collection, Spanish plays and rare books, and materials for the upcoming Prange collection exhibit.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

New Additions to DRUM

Since 2004 it has been mandatory for UMD graduates to submit their thesis or dissertation electronically to DRUM. For the 2018 spring semester, 370 theses and dissertations were loaded in DRUM bringing to the total number to 13,772. Here’s a breakdown of the spring semester theses and dissertations from each school:

86 – A. James Clark School of Engineering
15 – College of Agriculture & natural Resources
74 – College of Arts & Humanities
35 – College of Behavioral & Social Sciences
81 – College of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences
33 – College of Education
6 – College of Information Studies
2 – Philip Merrill College of Journalism
3 – Robert H. Smith School of Business
4 – School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation
28 – School of Public Health
3 – School of Public Policy

Students also have the option of requesting either a one-year or six-year embargo for their thesis or dissertation. For the spring 2018 semester, 175 students or 47% requested an embargo. Subject librarians can contact Terry Owen for a full list of embargoes for each of their departments.

Software Development

Website

The upgrade to BloomReach Experience (formerly Hippo CMS) version 12 hit a blocking issue when we ran the upgrade process in our development server environment. We are currently working with BloomReach support to find a solution.  In the meantime we have rescheduled the upgrade to October in order to focus on finalizing the new features to be launched before the beginning of the Fall semester.

Digital Collections

We concluded development of a Proof-of-Concept interface for a new template/theme for use on the digital.lib.umd.edu website.  This template will provide an update to the home page as well as add search and discovery capabilities for all collections loaded into our Fedora Content Repository (Version 4).  This is one step in the process of updating the entire digital.lib.umd.edu website theme and adding Bento style search across multiple digital, institutional, and special collections repositories.

ArchivesSpace

We upgraded ArchivesSpace from version 2.1.2 to 2.2.2.  This is the next to last hurdle before a general release of the public user interface.  The final hurdle is a customized plugin for allowing users to request archival materials from Special Collections and University Archives using Aeon, which is now under development.

Under Development

  • Upgrade to BloomReach Experience (formerly Hippo CMS) version 12
  • Digital Collections theme update with Fedora search and discovery
  • Bento style cross search of information resources
  • ArchivesSpace Aeon plugin for requesting materials

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

The CLAS team responded to 107 Aleph Rx submissions and 12 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in July.

Data Warehouse

Work on the USMAI Data Warehouse initiative continued in July with progress being made in several areas:

  • Requirements: CLAS Systems Librarians continued to develop detailed data requirements related to collection management and circulation. Part of this process involves profiling the data that exists for each field that we intend to bring into the warehouse in order to detect (and hopefully explain!) data anomalies. This work will continue into August.
  • Reporting: As mentioned last month, we’ve identified JasperSoft and Pentaho as two possible open source reporting solutions. After initial evaluation, it is clear that neither offers the easy-to-use, drag-and-drop web reporting interface that is necessary for adoption of reporting out of the DW by staff at USMAI libraries. We are now evaluating commercial options for both products instead, as it does not seem a viable open source option exists.
  • ETL: We’ve begun looking at the ‘E’ component of the Extract-Transform-Load workflow in order to identify and test methodologies for extracting needed data from Aleph in a timely manner that do not impact system performance.

SCS

Retention notes have been added in Aleph to all items that USMAI’s eleven participating libraries have agreed to retain. This information can now viewed in the OPAC’s holdings display as seen in the image below.

Subgroup Membership Changeover

Every July brings a changeover in membership on USMAI’s subgroups. CLAS has updated relevant email lists and websites to reflect these changes. You can view the new membership for USMAI’s subgroups on the USMAI Public Site: http://usmai.org/about-us/working-groups.

 

Conferences, workshops and professional development

In the second half of July, Joshua Westgard participated in an NEH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities entitled “Digital Editions, Digital Corpora and New Possibilities for the Humanities in the Academy and Beyond” hosted by Tufts University. The institute focused on new methods for annotating textual sources, bringing together humanities scholars from around the world for an intensive two weeks of both instruction and individual research. Westgard focused on the creation of a corpus of the Latin writings of the Venerable Bede (672/3-735), one of the foremost intellectual figures of the Early Middle Ages. The methods taught at the institute will also inform the development of interoperable annotation methods for materials in the Libraries’ digital collections.

 Visits

Mara Blake, Data Services Manager for Johns Hopkins University, visited UMD Libraries for an overview of data services and initiatives on July 27th.

Stew of the month: June 2018

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 Historic Maryland Newspaper Project is nearing the finish line for grant 3. 70,000 pages of historic Maryland newspapers are now online and available through Chronicling America, with a further 30,000 either queued for approval or ready for publication. There’s a smattering of re-work to be completed, microfilm to be labelled for submission to Library of Congress, and a host of essays to edit, but the HMNP is well on its way to a strong, on-time finish.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike worked with Vin Novara (SCPA) and Mary Dulaney (Director of Development) to revise and resubmit a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to digitize the Liz Lerman/Dance Exchange collection.

Rebecca Wack worked with Liz Novara and Eric Stoykovich (both SCUA) and Mary Dulaney to submit a Council on Libraries and Information Resources Recordings at Risk grant to digitize audiotapes from the Spiro Agnew collection.

Robin worked to finalize many FY18 digitization projects and presented the fiscal year-end report to the Library Assembly.

Robin has been working with collections managers to finalize FY19 digitization project details for the project plans and the vendor estimates. She will soon be sending the estimates for vendor quotes.

Robin oversaw a pop-up project to digitize Coach “Lefty” Driesell’s donation to the University Archives in celebration of his induction to the UMD Hall of Fame. She also managed the digitization of a pop-up project to send moldy and deteriorated audiotapes from the WAMU collection.

Assistant Brahm Persaud continued to digitize materials for the SCUA annual exhibit featuring the Prange collection. Assistants Brahm and Sydney Schneider digitized audiotapes from the Westinghouse collection, featuring segments from the Apollo missions. With Assistant Vanessa Barker, Sydney also worked to digitize fliers from the Sharon Cheslow Punk Flier Archive. Vanessa also continued to digitize correspondence from the Claude family papers and performed quality control on the third batch of the Hebraica book digitization project. Cecilia Franck oversaw meeting deadlines and quality control on requests and in-house projects, the Hebraica project, and performed quality control on the Diamondback digitization project. Both the Hebraica and Diamondback projects were digitized as part of the FY18 DIC project proposal process.

 

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

New Digital Collections Content Online

June saw significant milestones being passed for important digital collections projects: First, the UMD Student Newspapers collection saw the addition of nearly 400 issues spanning more than four decades of the Black Explosion, a student newspaper published by the Black Student Union. Second, the Katherine Anne Porter Correspondence, digitized in several phases over a number of years, had its last outstanding questions resolved, and the coming days will see the release of nearly 4000 letters to and from this important 20th-century American author.

Open Access Fund 2017-2018

For 2017-2018, the Libraries’ Open Access Publishing Fund received 32 applications and funded 27 articles; average cost-per-article: $1,887 (the Libraries’ pays 50% of the article processing charges for each approved application).

Here’s the breakdown by school/college for all applications received:

9 – College of Behavioral & Social Sciences
8 – A. James Clark School of Engineering
4 – School of Public Health
3 – College of Agricultural & Natural Resources
3 – College of Education
2 – College of Computer, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences
1 – College of Information Studies
1 – Robert H. Smith School of Business
1 – School of Public Policy
1 – School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation
0 – College of Arts & Humanities
0 – Philip Merrill College of Journalism

We will begin accepting applications for 2018-2019 in early September.

Software Development

DRUM

DRUM has been successfully upgraded to DSpace 6.

Digital Collections

The code and configuration for the new Katherine Anne Porter Correspondence Collection has been completed and promoted to production. The new feature has been turned over to curators to determine the best interface and timeline for public release.

We have deployed the second and final phase of our improved fixity checking for binaries to the Fedora Content Repository.  In phase 1 we added fixity checking of binaries to provide immediate confirmation that the ingest of the binary and storage into the backend was successful.  We have now added a periodic check of existing binaries to check for data loss or corruption over time.

Under Development

  • Upgrade to BloomReach Experience (formerly Hippo CMS) version 12

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

The CLAS team responded to 105 Aleph Rx submissions and 23 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in June.

USMAI Data Warehouse

Work on implementing a data warehouse for USMAI continued in June. Based on site visits in April, “a report of findings and Phase One proposal was developed. The report proposes an initial project scoped to Aleph collection and circulation data, a technical architecture that prioritizes open source tools, and the need for consortial data governance.

For Phase One, CLAS has begun documenting and profiling the data needed to meet collection and circulation reporting needs. This includes considerations like whether historical changes need to be kept (and, if yes, how), assessing the quality of the underlying data, and mapping dimensions and attributes to the Aleph database tables that contain the data.

For the technical infrastructure, CLAS has begun an evaluation of reporting tools, focusing on open source solutions as a high priority. Two tools, Pentaho and JasperSoft, have been identified as possible solutions. CLAS developers have set up sandbox environments for both in order to determine how well each meets USMAI’s reporting needs.

Research Port Phaseout

Following up on the message sent in May to all USMAI libraries’ campus contacts, CLAS completed an analysis of each library’s use of Research Port in order to provide customized recommendations on what actions should be taken in order to phase out Research Port locally. These recommendations were sent to the campus contact and e-resources contact at each library in order to help inform their actions. Research Port is planned to be phased out by December 31, 2018.

Aleph OPAC Modifications

Two updates were made to the Aleph OPAC this month:

  • A direct/permanent link was added to the standard display of each bibliographic record. Since the URLs in the address bar are typically specific to a certain search, this gives users a URL they can bookmark or copy and paste for use later.
  • The “renew” and “renew all” buttons have been modified to disable after the user clicks it. Previously a user might double-click these buttons, causing the renewal request to get sent twice, and (we suspect) sometimes resulting in duplicate fines and fees.

User and System Support

Mac OS 10.13 and Deep Freeze

The laptops that are loaned to the campus students have Deep Freeze installed on them. Deep Freeze allows us to configure the laptops to our specifications and then freeze them. This means that any changes made by a student gets wiped once the laptop restarts; the laptop will return to the way it was configured before it was frozen. Deep freeze is installed on both Dell and Apple laptops. However, with the latest release of Mac OS, High Sierra 10.13, Deep Freeze isn’t working. While we wait for Faronics, the maker of Deep Freeze, to resolve this issue, Mac OS 10.12.6 will remain on the Apple laptops.

 

Staffing

USS is pleased to welcome Francis Akhionbare to the team. Francis is an IT support Assistant and, in his new role, will be working very closely with Library staff and patrons. Welcome, Francis!

 

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Announcing Code4Lib DC, Maryland, and Virginia

The Libraries are hosting this year’s code{4}lib regional meet-up on August 3, 2018. The event brings together developers, technologists, and info specialists from the greater DC/MD/VA area who work with and for libraries, archives, and museums. David Durden (DPI), Tiffany Schoneboom (CLAS), and Jospeh Koivisto (CLAS) are leading the local planning team for the event.

Participation in this year’s code{4}lib regional meet-up is free but registration is required. Those looking for opportunities to network and learn from peers or to showcase and discuss ongoing projects are encouraged to attend. For details and registration, please visit the event page on the code{4}lib wiki.

DSS at the 2018 Libraries Research & Innovative Practice Forum

A number of DSS staff participated in the fourth year of the UMD Libraries Research & Innovative Practice Forum (or LRIPF). Kate Dohe chaired and Joseph Koivisto served on the planning committee, which began meeting in November 2017 and is comprised of members of the Faculty Mentoring Committee and Libraries Research Fund Committee.

Furthermore, DSS staff participated in the following panels, presentations, workshops, and poster sessions:

  • “The Libraries’ Role in Supporting UMD Researcher Networking,” an unmoderated panel by Kelsey Corlett-Rivera, Kate Dohe, David Durden, and Ben Wallberg
  • “My Very First Robot: Programming a Twitter Bot to Promote Open Access Scholarship,” a presentation by Joseph Koivisto
  • “Implementing Project Management Tools and Strategies,” a panel by Robin Pike, Kelsey Corlett-Rivera, Rachel Gammons, Hilary Thompson
  • “The Open Bede Project,” a poster by Josh Westgard
  • “Data Management to Define an Emerging Discipline,” a poster by Patricia Cossard and David Durden
  • “How to Innovate Fearlessly,” a panel by Rebecca Kemp-Goldfinger, Kate Dohe, and Sharon Epps
  • “Finding Potential Funders,” a workshop by Robin Pike, Mary Dulaney, Rebecca Wack, Joanne Archer, and Kristen Gladsky
  • “The Digital Diamondback: Unfolding University History through Open Standards and Open Data,” a panel by Liz Caringola, Robin Pike, and Josh Westgard

SCCM Brown Bag

USS (Stephanie Karunwi) and DivIT (Eric Byrd) facilitated a brown bag session on June 26, 2018, in Mckeldin, regarding tips on how to use SCCM to deploy applications. SCCM is the software we use to image PCs and install applications, which is on a server at DivIT. Even though the Libraries are the heaviest users, other IT departments on campus have the ability to use the software as well. So, an invitation went out to the SCCM community across campus. The turnout was bigger than expected, with an attendance of over 30 IT staff from across campus. Eric Byrd presented tips on how to use SCCM to deploy applications using powershell. The event was very successful. Hopefully, the SCCM community will have other brown bags in the future.

LabMan 2018

The University of Maryland, College Park hosted LabMan 2018 this year. LabMan is the Academic Lab Management Conference for professionals that are responsible for maintenance of computer labs in education settings. The 3 day event took place between May 22,2018 through May 24,2018. Cece Carson, Sandra Ayensu, and Victoria Quartey was on the planning committee to help make sure the event went smoothly. Labman 2018 was very successful. LabMan 2019 will be in Chicago

 

Other Conferences

Joshua Westgard attended the Open Repositories meeeting in Bozeman, MT, where he presented in a session on open-source code sustainability about the UMD Libraries’ python-based batchload client for the Fedora API (plastron, http://github.com/umd-lib/plastron). The presentation generated community interest in making all or some portion of the plastron code into a community-supported resource.

Stew of the month: May 2018

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 Historic Maryland Newspaper Project has launched a monthly newsletter. Each month, the newsletter will focus on different themes in history and culture, highlighting stories from Maryland newspapers related to the theme. May offered a look at how Marylanders of the past celebrated Memorial Day, and June will be all about summer fashion at the turn of the century. Newsletters go out on the third Monday of each month, so subscribe now on the HMNP website (https://www.lib.umd.edu/digital/newspapers/home) to be sure you don’t miss out on a single 1908 bathing costume.

A fresh batch of newspapers have been accepted by Library of Congress and should be live on Chronicling America shortly. These titles are particularly unique in that they were digitized from original newspapers on lend from one of our grant partners this cycle, Frostburg State University. Three boxes of newspapers totaling over 1400 pages were carefully transported from Frostburg, filling in gaps from the Frostburg Mining Journal (largely on microfilm) and affording access to small runs of the Frostburg Spirit, Frostburg Gleaner, Frostburg Forum, and Frostburg News.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike continued to meet with collections managers to set up FY19 vendor digitization projects that were funded through the DIC project proposal process. Robin will soon begin work on the vendor quotes.

The following FY18 digitization projects came back from the vendor and were reviewed by students: Godowsky manuscript collection (IPAM, MSPAL), Gymkana photos (SCUA), MMC serials (SCUA), Hebraica batch 3 (general collections), Diamondback newspapers batches 1 and 2 (SCUA), and finished the Clarice video and audio project that was received in April (SCPA, MSPAL).

Assistant Anna Johns began metadata enhancement for the National Federation of Community Broadcasters audio reel digitization project; this work will facilitate greater access to the collection for patrons. This project is funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources Recordings at Risk grant program. CLIR granted UMD a no-cost extension for this project, which will now conclude in August 2018.

Digitization Center assistants Brahm Persaud and Sydney Schneider continued to work on the Prange exhibit materials. Assistant Karina Hagelin continued to work on the Claude family manuscript collection, with Vanessa Barker taking over upon their departure. Cecilia Franck continued to perform quality control on many of the requests and projects going through DCMR, both produced in-house and via vendors.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Research Data Services

David Durden led a workshop on Data Management for Library staff on May 22 covering the basics of data management plans and the research data lifecycle.

New Collections in DRUM

Thanks to Liz Novara and Amy Wickner, the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) conference programs, 1979-present, have been added to DRUM. The Libraries’ maintains the archives for the association and we are very excited about this new addition to DRUM.

Software Development

Website

We have added a new feature to Database Finder which allows “Best Bet” databases for a particular Subject to be featured and pinned to the top of search results, pointing users to the top databases most likely to be useful for them.  See for example Computer Science.
We continue to add schema.org structured data to the website, most recently for WebPage (eg Terrapin Learning Commons and PublicationIssue (eg an Issue of the Diamondback in UMD Student Newspapers)

Under Development

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

The CLAS team responded to 118 Aleph Rx submissions and 27 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in May.

Web Platform Evaluation

CLAS wrapped up its evaluation of web platforms for running USMAI’s websites with an evaluation of Confluence. A recommendation has been drafted for CLD to review. We’re excited about the expanded and improved collaboration opportunities that the new platform might bring!

USMAI Data Warehouse

As expected, a significant portion of May was spent parsing through the notes from our data warehouse sessions at member libraries. From our review, it’s apparent that honing in on Collections and Circulation as subject reporting areas for the initial project is the optimum combination of feasibility and value. Work began on a full report, detailing the thought process behind this decision, as well as the planned approach to implementing the Phase-1 data warehouse. This report will be shared with CLD in June for their review and approval. Meanwhile, we’ve begun making some initial decisions about the initial technical architecture and are preparing for digging further into the data that we’ll plan to bring into the warehouse.

Research Port Phaseout

On May 22nd, an email was sent to campus contacts at each USMAI library announcing the planned phaseout of the Research Port application. Since the use of Research Port varies at each member library, USMAI has given libraries until the end of 2018 to transition their library/campus from Research Port to other tools that provide similar functionality. CLAS has created a guide to help libraries with the transition and have also started to contact each library individually, giving our assessment of the aspects that will need to be addressed before the end of the year.

Aleph Operating System Upgrade

A major upgrade to the server operating system for Aleph was completed on May 28th. Yes, that was Memorial Day. Many thanks to Hans, Uche, and Brandon for working into the wee hours of the night to complete this with minimal disruption on operations at the 17 member libraries!

Staffing

DPI is pleased to welcome Stephanie Sapienza to the team. Stephanie is a Project Manager in the Maryland Institute for Technology and the Humanities, and will be working with DPI and other departments part-time on the Broadcasting Content Management Pilot Project. Stephanie has been a Project Manager for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, as well as Project Director for the Getty-funded Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles 1945 – 1980, and she hold a M.A. in Moving Image Archive Studies from UCLA. Welcome, Stephanie!

DCMR says goodbye to two student assistants–Karina Hagelin and Maya Reid. Karina graduated in May with their MLIS and is pursuing full-time job opportunities. Maya left for an internship with the Smithsonian. Robin hired student assistants Anna Johns and Vanessa Barker. Anna, a new MLIS student, began working on metadata enhancement for the CLIR grant-funded National Federation of Community Broadcasters project. Vanessa began working on projects in the Hornbake Digitization Center.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Josh Westgard presented “A Python Library for the Fedora API” at Open Repositories 2018 in Bozeman, MT.

Visits

Aaron Williams, Systems Administrator for Georgetown University Library, visited UMD Libraries on May 24. Kate Dohe provided a brief tour and overview of services and programs.

Stew of the month: April 2018

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 Historic Maryland Newspaper Project submitted three more batches to Library of Congress this month, bringing batch submissions for the 2016 grant cycle to a close. In addition, 8,900 pages of Evening Capital and Maryland Gazette, the paper of record for Annapolis, are now live on Chronicling America. With dates ranging from 1895-1919, this new content provides unique insight into the state of affairs in Maryland’s state capitol at the turn of the century.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike received back from vendors and all student assistants performed quality control on the following projects that were digitized as part of the Digitization Initiatives Committee project proposal process: Mass Media and Culture serials, Hebraica books, Clarice performing arts digital video and cassettes, Arthur Godfrey films, and the Leopold Godowsky manuscript collection.

Robin also received the files for the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) project, a project funded by a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Recordings at Risk grant. Student assistants completed quality control, noting many tapes with listenability issues. Robin determined that these issues were inherent, and most likely caused by electrical interference during the recording or poor microphone placement. The files were then passed to a student to begin metadata enhancement, as per the grant plan of work, to increase accessibility to the materials.

Robin and Rebecca Wack began meeting with collection managers to prepare FY19 projects; Rebecca will be managing the 5 audiovisual digitization projects in FY19 because Robin will be taking on Library Assembly Chair duties.

Robin and Rebecca assisted the Greenbelt News Review with a grant application to receive money to buy equipment and hire a student to digitize their newspapers from print.

Student assistants Sydney Schneider and Brahm Persaud worked on digitizing and performing quality control on the Trades Unionist, a labor serial, and on materials for the Special Collections Prange exhibit, which will be made public in the fall. Student assistant Karina Hagelin continued to digitize the Claude family papers correspondence. After concluding work on the Tanglewood audio reels from Special Collections in Performing Arts (SCPA) and two cassettes from the Architecture collections, student assistant Kiri Houpt digitized a clarinet technical studies manuscript from SCPA. Brahm also digitally photographed reel boxes from the WAMU collection that were moldy, as preparation work for 49 reels going to a vendor for preservation, digitization, and rehousing. Maya Reid continued to digitize the office records of IRPA.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Announcing the DC Fedora Users Group Meeting at UMD

UMD Libraries will host the next meeting of the DC Fedora Users Group (DCFUG) on May 15. Josh Westgard is organizing and coordinating the event.

Software Development

Digital Collections

Two of our developers contributed to the Fedora API Alignment Sprint 2 that is working towards a Fedora version 5 release that implements the draft Fedora API Specification.  During that sprint we focused on the updates to the Web Access Control features for fine grained access control to our content.

We have deployed the first phase of our improved fixity checking for binaries to the Fedora Content Repository.  Now on ingest of a new binary, it is immediately queued up for fixity checking to provide immediate confirmation that the ingest of the binary and storage into the backend was successful.

We have bundled a number of our command-line programs for Fedora, including the previous Newspaper Loader, into a suite of tools named Plastron. This includes a refactored generic loader for all content to be batched loaded into Fedora.

Nexus

We use the  Nexus Repository to store Maven Artifacts and Ruby Gems as part of our build and deployment process.  We have now upgraded to Nexus version 3.11 which gives us the ability to store Docker Images and lays the ground work for increased testing and use of Docker.

Under Development

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

The CLAS team responded to 89 Aleph Rx submissions and 30 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in April.

Web Platform Evaluation

CLAS continued its evaluation of web platforms for running USMAI’s websites. Working with other DSS developers, Tiffany Schoneboom set up a sandbox environment for Hippo CMS (the CMS used to power UMD Libraries’ website). During the setup process it became clear that Hippo is likely to require more development effort than we will want to commit in order to meet the requirements for USMAI’s websites. Next on the evaluation list is Atlassian’s Confluence, which we will begin reviewing in May.

USMAI Data Warehouse

CLAS team members completed a whirlwind tour of USMAI libraries as part of the requirements gathering process for the data warehouse. In early May, we will be busy parsing through our notes! The information gathered from the visits will ultimately inform our recommendations to the consortium on initial data projects, technical infrastructure, and long-term opportunities for the data warehouse.

New E-Resources Support Request Forms

As promised last month, new e-resource support request forms are here. The new forms are all linked from the USMAI Staff Site: http://usmai.umd.edu/e-resources-support-forms. Be sure to update your bookmarks!

Ebook Central DDA Collection Modifications

In alignment with USMAI’s changes to its Ebook Central DDA Collection, Linda Seguin updated records in Aleph to reflect the changes to this collection – deleting records that are no longer available and modifying URLs for those that were merged into the remaining collection. For SFX, Linda and Ingrid Alie have provided new instructions for activating these titles. Look for “Instructions for activating USMAI Ebook Central titles in SFX” on USMAI’s Ebooks Group page.

MD-SOAR

MD-SOAR was upgraded to DSpace version 6 on April 5th. A few issues were encountered after the migration; these have been resolved and documented to help make future upgrades go even more smoothly.
Joseph Koivisto assisted Morgan State in batchloading approximately 500 theses and dissertations. These new additions to MD-SOAR can be viewed in Morgan State’s Student Collection.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Kate Dohe attended the DuraSpace Summit and Coalition for Networked Information meeting in San Diego, CA, from April 9-12.

Kate Dohe’s and Robin Pike’s chapter “Integration of Project Management Techniques in Digital Projects” was published in Project Management in the Library Workplace, volume 38 in the Advances in Library Administration and Organization series.

 Visits

Robin met with a librarian and an archivist for The Phillips Collection to teach them about collections processing standards and their application in Archives Space, a collection guide repository, and setting up guidelines for their future repository on Thursday, April 12, 2018. These sessions are preparatory workshops for a future IMLS grant, for which Robin is a Project Advisor.

Stew of the month: March 2018

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 Historic Maryland Newspaper Project is ramping up its education outreach efforts in anticipation of summer. Kicking off with participation in Maryland History Day and National History Day events, the HMNP will be focusing on generating classroom resources and Chronicling America usage guides, offering live demos and workshops for Maryland teachers, and producing a monthly newsletter to keep educators up-to-date on the Maryland content available on ChronAm.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin Pike worked with the members of the Digitization Initiatives Committee (DIC) (Joanne Archer, Carla Montori (CSS), Eileen Harrington (PSD), Mary Dulaney (Development)) to finalize the FY19 digitization project budget, which was presented to the Libraries Resources Group on April 2. Project proposers will find out the results of their proposals soon.

Robin sent out the following projects: Hebraica book project, batch 2 (general collections); Diamondback newspaper project, batch 2 (SCUA), and patron video requests that needed to be digitized by a vendor. The first two projects were funded by the DIC project proposal process.

Assistant Cecilia Franck completed quality control review of the AADHum digitization project files, a Mellon grant-funded project. The original materials were delivered back to the collection areas. Cecilia also performed or managed quality control review on files from the Internet Archive of Mass Media and Culture serials, the Black Explosion student newspaper, the Trades Unionist issues that were digitized by a vendor, and other requests that were sent to a vendor for digitization.

Digitization Assistant Kiri Houpt completed the digitization of 1/4” open reel audiotapes of interviews and performances from the Tanglewood Symposium, held by Special Collections in Performing Arts. Digitization Assistants Sydney Schneider and Brahm Persaud made considerable progress digitizing materials for the Prange fall exhibit and the Trades Unionist, a very brittle labor newspaper held by Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) that was first stabilized by Preservation and Conservation staff; these projects will continue in the coming months. Bryan Draper (Preservation) was also instrumental in building supports to digitize materials for the Prange exhibit, with the input of Robin. The supports facilitate the digitization of newspapers on the Epson flatbed scanners at a higher resolution, without letting the newspaper hang off the scanner bed. Karina Hagelin and Brahm Persaud continued to digitize historical manuscript collections.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Research Data Services

On March 27th David Durden led a workshop for Managing Research Data as part of the Research Commons’ Common Quandaries workshop series. Dave assisted with another Research Commons workshop, Introduction to the R Programming Language, on March 29th with statistical consulting GA Yishan Ding.
David was appointed to a 2-year term as a Member of the ACRL/DSS DataQ Editorial Board beginning July 1, 2018.

Interdisciplinary Dialogues: Big Data

Along with Kelley O’Neal, David Durden led a workshop on April 3, Intro to Working with Data in Python, as part of the Libraries’ Interdisciplinary Dialogues: Big Data event. David and Kate Dohe were also members of the planning committee, and served as session moderators or speakers for the event.

Terps Publish 2018

Terps Publish returned for a second year on April 10, to bring UMD’s student publishing community together for a roundtable discussion and publication fair.

Software Development

Digital Collections

We have released the new Gordon W. Prange Collection Posters and Wall Newspapers interface based on content loaded into our Fedora repository, which includes both an English language and Japanese language version.

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

The CLAS team responded to 83 Aleph Rx submissions and 18 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in March.

Coming Soon! New E-Content Report Forms

We’ve been hard at work to update the e-content report forms that staff at USMAI libraries use to submit service requests related to EZproxy, SFX, and Research Port. A significant piece of this update is to move the forms to a more modern form building application called Wufoo and map the forms to submit into our internal ticketing system. This work is almost complete and expected to be wrapped up in April. If you use these forms, you can expect a new and (we think!) improved look soon.

Web Platform Evaluation

CLAS continued its evaluation of web platforms for running USMAI’s website. An evaluation of Springshare tools was completed and an evaluation of Drupal was started. Each platform is evaluated according to a set of criteria necessary to fulfill the requirements for a public-facing website, as well as USMAI’s needs for collaboration and information-sharing. While Drupal is the current platform used for USMAI’s websites (and has some identified deficiencies in its current state), this evaluation looks at Drupal “out of the box” rather than starting with the configured/customized environment that is currently in place. CLAS will also evaluate Hippo CMS (which is used by the UMD Libraries website) and Confluence (which is also used internally in DSS for documentation). The evaluation is on track to be completed in May.

USMAI Data Warehouse

CLAS’ efforts to implement a data warehouse for USMAI began in earnest in March with the addition of our Data Warehouse Architect Alex Riccomini. The initial project plan is scoped to both stand up a data warehouse program and implement an initial data project using Aleph data. The first two months of that work are devoted to defining both program and project level requirements for the data warehouse. Throughout March, Alex has met with CLAS team members and others in DSS to better understand libraries, our current technical environment, and the reports that are currently run using Aleph data. (There are a lot of them!) In April, CLAS team members will be making visits to USMAI libraries in order to better understand their reporting needs at both a high level and, more specifically, for data coming from Aleph.

MD-SOAR

Work continued to prepare MD-SOAR for a production upgrade to DSpace 6. Internal testing revealed a few issues to resolve. The production release is now scheduled for early April.

Joseph Koivisto has been working on an internal procedure to support an effort to clean up metadata across all communities/collections. This procedure will minimize the risk of errant metadata updates happening during metadata cleanup activities – a good goal to have for any metadata cleanup project!

User and System Support

AppsAnywhere

USS has been researching other methods to install or deploy applications to public computers. Using our current method, the time to image a computer and have all applications installed take hours. Deploying new applications, or updates, across all libraries’ public computers also takes hours to complete, along with too many errors and missed computers. We evaluated two solutions, VMware’s VDI and Software2’s AppsAnywhere.
We decided to go with AppsAnywhere because of cost of investment and the ease of deploying applications. AppsAnywhere uses application virtualization which will greatly reduce the size of our images and the amount of time it takes an image to deploy. Application updates and patches can be quicker and done in the background to not interrupt a user’s workflow. Application virtualization also allows applications to run on phones and tablets, which makes it possible to have fewer computers for public use.

Fleet Manager

USS also recently acquired KIC Fleet Manager. This application is used to manage the KIC scanners in the Libraries. It allows us to control, update, and monitor the scanners remotely. And it provides helpful statistics on usage. Some of the statistics it shows are sessions time, pages scanned per session, color or b/w scans, and output destination, such as email or USB.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Kate Dohe was invited to speak at the NFAIS Humanities Roundtable on March 11, as part of a panel addressing “Communicating Value in Humanities Librarianship.”

 Visits

Robin Pike and Laura Schnitker (SCUA) guest-lectured to 16 students about audiovisual media and its preservation for LBSC786, Library Archives and Preservation on March 14, 2018.

Robin met with a librarian and an archivist for The Phillips Collection to teach them about metadata standards, digitization standards, and setting up guidelines for both for their future repository on Thursday, March 8, 2018. She will hold a similar training session in April. These sessions are preparatory workshops for a future IMLS grant, for which Robin is a Project Advisor.

Stew of the month: February 2018

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 Historic Maryland Newspaper Project has partnered with the Maryland Humanities Council to provide student resources for next year’s Maryland History Day. Research guides focused on the 2019 theme of “Triumph and Tragedy” will offer articles from historic Maryland newspapers as well as related content from Special Collections and University Archives, affording 8th-, 9th-, and 11th-grade students an opportunity to access the past through primary source materials.

Look to Twitter on the third Tuesday of each month for a Chronicling America hashtag party. The HMNP (@HistoricMDNews) and other NDNP awardees nationwide tweet newspaper content following that month’s theme. Past themes have included: #LoveBeforeTwitter, #WeirdWeatherNews, #HistoricHoliday, and others. This month, we’ll be tweeting about #WomensHistoryMonth. Search Twitter for #ChronAmParty to enjoy past content.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin and Rebecca Wack collaborated with Elizabeth Novara and Eric Stoykovich (SCUA) to write a grant application to the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Recordings at Risk program. They proposed digitizing over 500 analog audio recordings from the Spiro T. Agnew collection.

Robin worked with the members of the Digitization Initiatives Committee (DIC) (Joanne Archer, Carla Montori (CSS), Eileen Harrington (PSD), Mary Dulaney (Development)) to prioritize and draft a budget for FY19 vendor digitization projects. They will continue finalizing the budget through March and present the final budget to the Libraries Resources Group at the end of March.

Robin Pike sent out the following projects: National Federation of Community Broadcasters (600 reels), which was funded by a CLIR Recordings at Risk grant (SCUA); Hebraica book project, batch 1 (general collections); Diamondback newspaper project, batch 1 (SCUA); Mass Media and Culture serials, batch 3; and Godowsky archival collection, which went to two different vendors based on the type of work that needed to be performed (digitization v. preservation and digitization) (IPAM). The latter four projects were funded by the DIC project proposal process. She also sent out multiple patron video digitization requests to vendors, since we cannot digitize analog video in-house.

Assistant Cecilia Franck completed the review of the AADHum digitization project, flagging remaining rework for the vendor. Robin worked with the vendor to ship remaining rework back to the vendor. Ed Summers from the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) received the files that have passed from Robin and loaded them into tools for the upcoming Digital Humanities incubators that MITH is hosting for researchers.

Cecilia also performed or managed quality control review on files from the Internet Archive of Mass Media and Culture serials, volumes of the Trades Unionist that were stable enough to be digitized by a vendor, and the Black Explosion, a UMD student newspaper.

Digitization Assistant Sydney Schneider has begun digitizing items for the Special Collections annual exhibit, which will feature materials from the Gordon W. Prange Collection. She has also made considerable progress in digitizing extremely brittle issues of the Trades Unionist, a labor publication held by SCUA, and gingerly preserved and stabilized for digitization by multiple staff in Preservation and Conservation; Sydney is not handling the pages as she digitizes them, but the mylar and tissue paper enclosures that Preservation created. Digitization Assistants Brahm Persaud and Karina Hagelin continued to digitize historical manuscript collections. Digitization Assistant Kiri Houpt made considerable progress in digitizing interviews and performances from the Tanglewood Symposium, held by Special Collections in Performing Arts.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

New Theses and Dissertations in DRUM

More than 200 theses and dissertations from the fall 2017 semester have recently been added to DRUM bringing the total to 13,350. Check out the latest research from UMD grads at http://hdl.handle.net/1903/3.

Research Data Services

David Durden presented “Managing Data from Your Research,” a workshop hosted through the Libraries’ Research Commons, on February 6. The workshop was attended by over 30 graduates students and faculty.

David was also involved in planning UMD Endangered Data Week events for the week of February 26. On February 28 he also presented a workshop covering data management and a hands-on instructional session for OpenRefine.

Digital Collections

February saw continued progress in developing the systems and workflows for managing additional assets in our Fedora 4 repository. The collections slated to be loaded in the coming months include a set of posters and wall newspapers from the Prange collection, and the Katherine Anne Porter correspondence, as well as several other collections. As we load additional content types into our repository, the contours of a generic “digital asset” (and its necessary attributes) are becoming clearer, which will in the long run facilitate the development of a general asset management application.

Terps Publish 2018

Planning for the 2018 Terps Publish event is underway, to be held April 10th in the Portico Room of McKeldin Library. Like last year, this event provides a closed discussion forum and public showcase for student publishers in the UMD community. Kate Dohe, Terry Owen, and Fiona Jardine are the DPI team members most involved in planning the event, with research and web design support from DPI GA Carlos Alvarado.

Software Development

Search (Bento Box)

We are working with the new Discovery Committee to build a new search application, in the style of the Bento Box, which will allow us to present users with a single search box which will assist them in discovery of our many available information resources. We will be releasing an Alpha version to Libraries’ faculty/staff for initial testing and feedback in the next several months.  The plan is to release the application in Beta to the entire campus community in the Fall, as a candidate for production release in Spring 2019.

Broadcasting Content Management

We released version 1.0 of the Broadcasting Content Management Pilot application to our stakeholders for production use.  This Digital Data Services project uses the Avalon Media System to ingest and manage the captured streaming media for a commercial broadcasting company.  As a side benefit the Libraries are learning how to manage and deploy Avalon which we will pilot for Libraries’ use sometime in 2018. 

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

The CLAS team responded to 77 Aleph Rx submissions and 29 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in February.

Web and Social Media Support

CLAS has increased its support of USMAI’s web and social media efforts. Heidi Hanson has taken the lead on this. She has performed some cleanup and “networking” on USMAI’s Facebook and Twitter profiles. These channels plus usmai.org will be a great way to keep up with the activities of USMAI and its member libraries. So, as they say, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Web Platform Evaluation

CLAS began its evaluation of web platforms for running USMAI’s website (currently consisting of three different websites). The evaluation is based on requirements developed during an analysis conducted in late 2016. Platforms that are being evaluated include Springshare tools, Confluence, Drupal, and Hippo CMS. From the evaluation, CLAS will either make a recommendation or propose possible solutions for USMAI to consider.

MD-SOAR

Joseph Koivisto developed a prototype Twitter bot in order to better promote new items submitted to MD-SOAR. This has been shared with the MD-SOAR partners for their review. If deemed useful to their efforts, we’ll begin work to move this into a production environment.

Staffing

Alex Riccomini has joined the CLAS team as Data Warehouse Architect. He brings a wealth of experience in data warehousing and business intelligence that will be valuable to USMAI’s efforts to stand up a data warehouse for the consortium.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Robin Pike collaborated with other steering committee members to co-led the first Digital Library Federation Project Managers Group listserv chat. The chat addressed questions about planning for labor and temporary positions for projects.

DSS at code4lib 2018

A number of DSS staff attended and volunteered at the annual code4lib conference held in Washington, DC, from February 13th-16th. Kate Dohe and Ben Wallberg were members of the Local Planning Committee, which is the central volunteer committee responsible for planning and organizing the conference for the year leading up to the event. David Durden and Joseph Koivisto were onsite volunteers for the conference, and among other tasks helped staff the registration desk, manage social media channels, and provided local guidance on navigating the city. Peter Eichman, Tiffany Shoneboom, and Josh Westgard attended the conference from DSS.