Stew of the Month, November 2022

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

Digital Collections

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project has completed the survey of newspapers digitized throughout the state for the grant project. Additionally, HMNP assistants Alexis Woolford, Bridget Jamison, and Brendan Reicherter have completed metadata collation quality review for The Maryland Gazette.

November is National Peanut Butter Lovers Month. See this post celebrating peanut butter on HMNP social media. Find more historic Maryland news – @HistoricMDNews!

Digitization Activities

The Hornbake Digitization Center (HDC) has finished their work on the Libraries’ high priority digitization project. Thank you to HDC assistants Charlotte Conant, Dan Isaacson, Ethan Lewis, and Gabrielle Puglisi for their work on this project. Now that this project is completed, HDC can start accepting research requests again. We appreciate everyone’s patience while we worked on this project. 

HDC has started working on digitizing materials for a large researcher request from the Labor collection.

Software Development

Releases

1856 Project – Launched the production website; The 1856 Project aims to investigate UMD’s connections to slavery in order to provide a blueprint for a richer understanding of generations of racialized trauma rooted in the university.

Equitable Access – Launched the production website; website created to provide information on Equitable Access to Scholarly Articles Authored by University Faculty.

Under Development

Libraries’ WebsiteContinued work on new Jobs content type to dynamically display employment opportunities at /about/careers

Libraries’ Website – Began work on updates to the WorldCat API Bento searchers, updating to a new technology platform and migrating to new WorldCat API and interface updates

Digital Collections – Continued work on Drive to DX updates to our preservation asset tools for a) improved searching and reporting and b) tracking assets in multiple storage locations, eg AWS and APTrust

Digital Collections – Contract Research Developer continuing to improve workflows for WHCA Pool Reports Collection in areas such as a) pool report capture and preservation, b) automated selection of pool reports from the email stream, c) automated redaction of sensitive information, d) manual review and update of the selected pool reports, e) automated metadata extraction, and f) improved web archiving of email pool reports.

Avalon – Continued work on upgrading to Avalon 7.4

DRUM – Continued work on upgrading to DSpace 7

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

The CLAS team responded to 78 service requests from across the consortium’s libraries in November.

Support Highlights

The following are a few highlights from our recent support activities:

  • Developed a new data warehouse report “HOLs with 852 field and OWN coded as SuperHOL” to suppport data cleanup activities.
  • Configured EZproxy access for VitalSource Bookshelf.

CLAS continues to be available to respond to your support requests.

ILS Migration Project

Hans Breitenlohner continued work on updating an inventory application — developed at Salisbury University — that will help USMAI campuses complete inventories of existing material collections prior to our migration to the new system.

Application Management

  • Data Warehouse updates: Nima Asadi fixed the long-running email notification issue. Users can now receive email alerts when scheduled reports have run
  • Janeway: Nima Asadi began initial investigations into the Janeway open journal publishing platform. The hope is to have a sandbox version available for initial testing in early January.

Staffing

We have two important and well-deserved personnel updates to share with everyone. Pam McClanahan has been promoted to Head of Digital Collections and Kate Dohe has been promoted to Director of Digital Programs and Initiatives (DPI). In her new role, Pam will lead a unit within DPI called Digital Collections, which consists of the personnel and operations of the former Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting Department. Kate’s promotion from Manager to Director reflects her significantly increased portfolio of responsibilities within the Libraries, including web services, discovery strategies, and digital collections. Congratulations and many thanks to Pam and Kate for taking on the critical roles in DST!

We’re Hiring!

DST is currently recruiting for a couple positions (with more to come in the new year). If you like what you see in Digistew, check out the following positions and consider applying (or tell a friend):

Conferences and Presentations

Joseph Koivisto presented “The Closed Loop: Academic Publication & Data Surveillance Conundrum” with Jordan Sly at the Charleston Conference.

Stew of the Month, October 2022

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

Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

Historic Maryland Newspaper Project assistants Alexis Woolford, Bridget Jamison, and Brendan Reicherter have been working on metadata collation quality review for Maryland’s first newspaper, The Maryland Gazette, which began publication in Annapolis in 1727. On HMNP social media, check out this advertisement for a 1928 Halloween costume party in Oakland, MD.

Digitization Activities

In the Hornbake Digitization Center (HDC), Charlotte Conant, Dan Isaacson, Ethan Lewis, and Gabrielle Puglisi have finished scanning materials for a high priority digitization project. They have moved on to quality checking additional materials sent out to the vendor. We expect to be done with this project by the end of November. With this project wrapping up, HDC will be ready to start accepting researcher requests again after the Thanksgiving break. We appreciate everyone’s patience.

HDC continues to load digitized audio/video files into Avalon. We are currently working through materials from our broadcasting collections.

Digital Programs and Initiatives

Searching Digital Collections

As announced last month, UMD’s Digital Collections search interface has been updated! Users can now search material in our three “core” digital repositories from a single search box on the home page, and see those results in a single interface. This single search uses the same “Bento” technology implemented for the Libraries’ home page (although Digital Collections is currently on a legacy content management system), and we expect to make improvements to this experience over time as we learn more about user needs and feedback.

Web Services

New Content & Features

Upcoming and Investigating

We received and reviewed a report on the results of usability testing conducted this fall on our redesigned website by an external company. Some of the next steps we are planning after learning about the findings include working on updates to the Borrow Equipment interface, and beginning an investigation of possible improvements to the website search and search results interfaces.

Software Development

Releases

Libraries’ WebsiteDeployed new Search labeling and usability improvements

Digital Collections – Launched new Bento Search All across Fedora 2, Archelon, and Avalon.

Libi – Upgraded of the Staff Blog to Drupal 9.

Under Development

Libraries’ WebsiteContinued work on new Jobs content type to dynamically display employment opportunities at /about/careers

1856 Project – Prepared the website for production launch; The 1856 Project aims to investigate UMD’s connections to slavery in order to provide a blueprint for a richer understanding of generations of racialized trauma rooted in the university.

Equitable Access – Prepared the website for production launch; website created to provide information on Equitable Access to Scholarly Articles Authored by University Faculty.

Digital Collections – Continued work on Drive to DX updates to our preservation asset tools for a) improved searching and reporting and b) tracking assets in multiple storage locations, eg AWS and APTrust

Avalon – Began upgrade to Avalon 7.4

DRUM – Continued work on upgrading to DSpace 7.

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

The CLAS team responded to 69 service requests from across the consortium’s libraries in October.

Support Highlights

The following are a few highlights from our recent support activities:

  • Performed cleanup of approximately 1000 bib records with OCLC number issues, consulting with member libraries as needed.
  • Delivered a report of circulation activity for UMCP’s “Top Textbooks” program.
  • Assisted with troubleshooting of University of Baltimore VPN access to Aleph.

CLAS continues to be available to respond to your support requests.

ILS Migration Project

While awaiting announcement of the vendor selected through the RFP process, the CLAS team has continued to assist with data cleanup efforts as requested. In preparation for the next phase of work (Implementation!), the team has been reviewing and sharing information about project management features in Confluence (the application behind the USMAI Member Portal) that may help us organize our implementation work.

An inventory application that uses Aleph APIs, initially developed by staff at Salisbury University, is being reviewed for possible implementation for the consortium. If implementation is feasible, it may assist with future data cleanup efforts for the project.

Application Management

  • USMAI Member Portal software (Confluence) upgraded to version 7.19.2
  • Updated the configuration for the Data Warehouse Reporting Environment to address a security vulnerability.
  • Began investigation of an issue with emails for scheduled reports not being sent from the Data Warehouse Reporting Environment.
  • Began work to upgrade the Postres database version for the USMAI Service Desk.

Staffing

We’re hiring for a Digital Services Librarian! Best consideration date (not closing!) for applicants is November 18th.

Conferences and Presentations

Josh Westgard presented on UMD’s digital preservation workflows at the APTrust Members Meeting at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA on October 3rd.

Kate Dohe co-presented with Michael Scott of UCLA at the Digital Library Federation’s annual Forum in Baltimore, MD on October 11, 2022. Their presentation is “Precedented”: Public Health, Open Access Infrastructure, and Interrogating Power in Repository Debates.

David Dahl presented “Free Your Data: Creating a More Data-Informed Organization” on October 14th at the ALA Core Forum in Salt Lake City, UT.

David Dahl and Uche Enwesi presented the poster “A Perfect Match: Merging IT and Facilities Operations” at the ALA Core Forum in Salt Lake City, UT.

Pam McClanahan and Alex Trim co-presented the half-day workshop “Setting Up In-House and Vendor Digitization Programs” at the 2022 fall Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) on October 19th in College Park, MD. Pam also moderated the panel session “Read all about it! Outreach for Digital Collections with the National Digital Newspaper Program.”

Stew of the Month, September 2022

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

Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

Another batch of newspapers from the Historic Maryland Newspaper Project has been accepted by the Library of Congress and is in the queue to be loaded to Chronicling America. This will complete the much anticipated Montgomery County Sentinel title. HMNP student assistants continue on quality review. NEH has granted a year-long extension to HMNP to finish this round of digitization that had been delayed due to the pandemic and several key staff departures. On social media, check out this article from the Maryland newspapers for International Underground Railroad Month.

Digitization Activities

HDC students have finished scanning the Ian MacKaye Fanzine collection and are working on completing the metadata. We will be loading the collection in batches to Archelon. HDC is working with Lisa Shiota (CMS), John Davis (SCPA), and Josh Westgard to complete this project.

In-house, HDC also completed a request to scan 20 rare book covers for a patron as well as a photo album from the 1930s. HDC continues to load digitized audio/video files into Avalon. Currently, HDC is focused on a high priority digitization project and expects to be finished by the end of November. Thank you to everyone for being patient while we focus on completing this project.

Digital Programs and Initiatives

Coming Soon: Digital Collections Bento

The discovery interface for Digital Collections is getting a significant refresh! In order to facilitate easier search and discovery of digital content across our three core digital repositories (the legacy Fedora 2 system, our modern Archelon system, and our audiovisual repository Avalon), DPI and SSDR have been working on implementing a version of UMD’s existing Bento search interface. We anticipate this change will go live the week of October 24th.

Key changes:

  • On the Digital home page, users will be able to use a single search box for content, rather than two boxes
  • Audiovisual content that migrated from Fedora 2 to Avalon will now be searchable from one interface
  • Search results from all three repositories will be presented to users in a single Bento-style results page

While we expect these improvements to enhance the user experience for our digital collections patrons, we are researching and planning a broader discovery strategy for unique digital content across a variety of platforms and systems. We expect to implement these changes in 2023 with other enhancements to our Digital Collections public interfaces, and coinciding with our migration away from the legacy Fedora 2 system.

Libraries’ Web Services

New Content & Features

Updates to the UMD Libraries’ Websites August-September 2022

  • Where to Start: Search Options at the University of Maryland Libraries page now linked from the website search box with the text “What does this search?” explains the different resources included in the segmented search interface.
  • The new Find a Space tool provides details about available spaces in the Libraries that visitors can filter on criteria like the noise level, appropriate activities for the space, and features, and includes a photo of each space, its capacity, and details about reserving the spaces.
  • The Open Data website is launched and linked under Data Services.

Upcoming and Investigating

  • Usability Testing of the new website with volunteer students and faculty has been completed with the help of an outside company. The results should help us make improvements and identify issues for further investigation.
  • We are building a new Equitable Access Policy website.
  • We are working on a new way to post Library Job Opportunities to streamline their posting and automate showing them on certain pages and removing them on the closing date.

If you have comments or questions about the websites, please email the Online User Interfaces team at lib-oui@umd.edu.

Software Development

Releases

Libraries’ Website – Decommissioned the President’s Commission on Disability Issues (PCDI) website in support of the Hippo CMS decommissioning project.

Archelon – Deployed continuing improvements to functionality and stability.

Under Development

Libraries’ WebsiteBegan work on Search labeling and usability improvements; began work on new Jobs content type to dynamically display employment opportunities at /about/careers

Libi – Began the upgrade of the Staff Blog to Drupal 9.

Equitable Access – Turned the website over to content creators to fill out the site content; website created to provide information on Equitable Access to Scholarly Articles Authored by University Faculty.

Digital Collections – Resumed implementation of Bento Search All across Fedora 2, Archelon, and Avalon. Continued work on Drive to DX updates to our preservation asset tools for a) improved searching and reporting and b) tracking assets in multiple storage locations, eg AWS and APTrust

DRUM – Continued work on upgrading to DSpace 7.

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

The CLAS team responded to 171 service requests from across the consortium’s libraries in September.

Support Highlights

The following are a few highlights from our recent support activities:

  • Created a Wiley SFX autoloader for Towson. Other SFX autoloaders are available as described in this Portal blog post.
  • Completed data cleanup activities for several libraries, including over batch deleting over 62,000 superholdings records for Morgan State.
  • Updated Aleph validation tables per the September 2022 WorldCat Validation Release Notes.

CLAS continues to be available to respond to your support requests.

ILS Migration Project

Team members continue to assist with data cleanup activities as requested, providing new insights into our data as additional cleanup opportunities are surfaced.

David Wilt has created an overview document of circulation-related Aleph configuration tables to assist member libraries in better understanding configurations of item statuses, loan periods, fine rules, patron statuses, and more in Aleph. At this point, the intention is to assist member libraries’ understandings of their setups in order to prepare them for making configuration and mapping decisions in the new system.

Application Management

  • Completed database upgrades for the USMAI Member Portal and Service Desk.
  • Began work to upgrade Member Portal software (i.e. Confluence) to the next long term support version (v7.19.x).
  • Troubleshot an MD-SOAR connectivity issue.
  • Tested a new notification feature in EZproxy. This is currently on hold due to related issues that have also been reported elsewhere in the EZproxy community.

Conferences and Presentations

Pam McClanahan presented on the digitization of the multilingual content in the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project as a part of the “NDNP Experience Talk” panel at the annual National Digital Newspaper Program Conference at the Library of Congress on September 29, 2022.

Stew of the Month, August 2022

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

Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

For the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project, our most recent batch of newspapers has been accepted by the Library of Congress and will soon be added to Chronicling America. HMNP assistant, Alexis Woolford has been researching other newspapers digitized throughout the state as that’s another deliverable for our grant and provides us with valuable information. Bridget Jamison, student assistant, has been working on copyright research for third party content in the newspapers. This month’s National Digital Newspaper Program #ChronAmParty on Twitter highlighted #NationalDogMonth.  Also, check out this post on National Book Lovers Day from this month!

Digital Programs and Initiatives

Digital Preservation Updates

As the next step in the maturation of our digital preservation program, DPI has begun depositing content into the Academic Preservation Trust (APTrust), based at the University of Virginia. APTrust is “a consortium of higher education institutions committed to providing both a preservation repository for digital content and collaboratively developed services related to that content” (https://aptrust.org/about/). To date, we have deposited more than 220,000 files, totaling 11.3 terabytes, into the service, and we plan to continue using this service as one of our primary preservation storage locations, as we strive to have multiple independent copies of all digital materials under management.

Software Development

Releases

Libraries’ WebsiteLaunched new dynamic functionality for the Find a Room page and added new Homepage Featured News functionality.

UMD Pact, WHCA Pool Reports Collection, 1856 Project – Upgraded each of these websites to Drupal 9.

Under Development

Equitable Access – Began implementation of this new Drupal 9 website, created to provide information on Equitable Access to Scholarly Articles Authored by University Faculty.

Digital Collections – Put a hold on implementation of Bento Search All across Fedora 2, Archelon, and Avalon. Began work on another round of Drive to DX updates to our preservation asset tools for a) improved searching and reporting and b) tracking assets in multiple storage locations, eg AWS and APTrust

DRUM – Continued work on upgrading to DSpace version 7.

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

The CLAS team responded to 165 service requests from across the consortium’s libraries in August.

Support Highlights

The following are a few highlights from our recent support activities:

  • Assisted UMCP with the creation of access URLs for the Gale “Archives Unbound” collection.
  • Completed RapidILL books and serials extracts for UMBC.
  • Resolved a patron record issue for St. Mary’s.

CLAS continues to be available to respond to your support requests.

ILS Migration Project

CLAS continued to support USMAI’s pre-selection data cleanup activities, consulting on requests, providing reports to assist with cleanup, and performing batch cleanup activities as requested by member libraries.

Application Upgrades

  • EZproxy was upgraded to version 7.2.8.
  • The latest Jaspersoft hotfix was applied.
  • Started preparations for upgrading Confluence.

Staffing

Marc Aguilar started as a Software Developer in Software Systems Development and Research (SSDR). Marc is a May graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, with a BS in Computer Science. Marc also completed in May a successful internship at the FDA Office of Economics and Analysis where he migrated a legacy application to the R programming language Shiny Framework to display Food-Borne Illness models and conduct Monte Carlo Simulations using those models. This Software Developer position is newly created to increase our capacity in the areas of Digital Collections and Digital Preservation.

Thank you to Emily Frazier for all of her work in the Hornbake Digitization Center this summer where she completed her MLIS field study!

Stew of the Month, July 2022

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

Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

Work continues on Phase 5 of the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project. Another batch of newspaper pages has been submitted to the Library of Congress for ingest into Chronicling America. We also have been in the process of creating and/or updating Wikipedia pages for each of the Maryland newspaper titles. This month’s National Digital Newspaper Program #ChronAmParty on Twitter celebrated #NationalPicnicMonth. See more Maryland history @HistoricMDNews!

Digitization Activities

HDC has finished scanning the Ian MacKaye Fanzine Collection. Big thanks to Brianna Nunez, Charlotte Conant, Dan Isaacson, Emily Frazier, Ethan Lewis, and Jordan Dyer for all their hard work on this project. We will be loading the collection into Archelon in the coming months. HDC will be working with Lisa Shiota (Metadata Librarian) to transfer the metadata into the Archelon template for batch loading. The first batch will consist of 256 fanzines! Gabrielle Puglisi, Emily, and Ethan continue to work on digitizing materials for the Rising Up Exhibit that will be put up in Hornbake later this year.

Software Development

Releases

Workstation Tracking – Launched the new version, implemented in Ruby on Rails instead of Grails

Under Development

Libraries’ Website – Begin work on new dynamic functionality for the Find a Room page.

Digital Collections – Continued implementation of Bento Search All across Fedora 2, Archelon, and Avalon.

DRUM – Resumed work on upgrading to DSpace version 7.

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

The CLAS team responded to 111 service requests from across the consortium’s libraries in July.

Support Highlights

The following are a few highlights from our recent support activities:

  • Completed work on a multi-part request to reconfigure UMGC’s sublibraries and collections in Aleph
  • Assisted College Park with a FACTIVA linking issue
  • Assisted Towson with EDS configuration

CLAS continues to be available to respond to your support requests.

ILS Migration Project

CLAS continued to support USMAI’s pre-selection data cleanup activities, consulting on request, providing reports to assist with cleanup, and performing batch cleanup activities as requested by member libraries.

Select CLAS team members continue to participate in the evaluation of proposals received through the RFP process.

Application Upgrades

The USMAI Member Portal and Service Desk applications were upgraded to address identified issues and security vulnerabilities.

Staffing

Amy Swackhamer, the Libraries’ inaugural Web Services Librarian, started on July 25th. Amy brings considerable experience in libraries and website management to this position. She comes to the Libraries from her position as Web Strategy Manager for the National Association of Home Builders, and over the course of her career she has led and coordinated web property projects and services at a number of public libraries in Maryland.  Welcome, Amy!

Stew of the Month, June 2022

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

Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

The most recently received batch of newspaper images from the vendor for the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project includes the final print pages of the Jednosc Polonia, a Polish language paper published in Baltimore in the early twentieth century. The years of this paper that were not microfilmed were digitized from the print. Thanks again to the UMD Libraries Preservation Department for all of their work stabilizing the print last year for it to be ready for digitization. Review of the digital files for this batch began this month for submission to the Library of Congress. This month’s, National Digital Newspaper Program #ChronAmParty on Twitter showcased #NationalPollinatorsMonth. See more historic Maryland news – @HistoricMDNews!

Digitization Activities

DCMR student assistant, Brendan Reicherter has started the process of still image quality review on the two batches of digital files received from our vendor for the CLIR AFL-CIO “Advancing Workers Rights in the American South” grant project. UMD Libraries worked with our partner, Georgia State University to submit the first progress report to CLIR for this project.

In the Hornbake Digitization Center, Digitization Assistants Dan Isaacson, Ethan Lewis, and Gabrielle Puglisi continue to scan the Ian MacKaye Fanzine collection. We have six folders left before we are finished with the collection. We hope to have it complete in the next week or two. Digitization Assistant Brianna Nunez continued to post-process and qc the collection.

Emily Frazier, Ethan Lewis, and Gabrielle Puglisi continue to work on digitizing materials for the Rising Up Exhibit that will be put up in Hornbake later this year. Alex Trim continues to work on processing the born digital materials for this collection.

Emily Frazier and Ethan Lewis are working on digitizing the NPR PowerPoint cassettes. They are nearly finished with only a few cassettes remaining.

Earlier this month, one of our Otari reel-to-reel players stopped working. We are currently working with USS to get it fixed. Due to this, it will take us longer to process reel-to-reel requests. We will send out a notice when the machine is working again.

Digital Programs and Initiatives

Avalon Migration Complete!

After a year of planning and many months of focused work by a cross-departmental implementation team, DST is very happy to share that we have finished migrating nearly 10,000 items in our audiovisual digital collections into our modern Avalon media repository, accessible at https://av.lib.umd.edu. For those folks who are unfamiliar with Avalon and UMD Libraries’ use of the system, please visit this previous feature post for more information.  In short, the Avalon system ensures vastly improved experiences for both our end users and collections personnel when it comes to interacting with our unique audiovisual content, and resolves a number of pain points and constraints with our legacy systems.

Stay tuned for a future Digistew post with more details about the migration effort, our unique features and customizations, and what this means for the future of Digital Collections at UMD Libraries. Since we launched Avalon at UMD a year ago, personnel across the Libraries have worked diligently on this complex migration in various roles and contributed their time and expertise to make this project a success. Migration projects are often challenging, and this one–which required extensive analysis and troubleshooting of digital AV assets and metadata created over two decades of digitization projects, and significant development support for UMD’s unique curatorial workflows—was no exception. While we have more post-migration work to do (and we always do!), this is a huge milestone for our digital initiatives and marks a considerable achievement for our team.

Please extend congratulations and thanks to the implementation team: Josh Westgard, Ben Wallberg, Mohamed Abdul Rasheed, Peter Eichman, David Steelman, Cara DeCusatis, Lisa Shiota, Liz Caringola, Alex Trim, and Kate Dohe, as well as consulting Special Collections stakeholders John Davis and Laura Cleary. We are also grateful for the contributions of departed colleagues Joanne Archer, Bria Parker, Cindy Zhao, Porter Olsen, and Robin Pike, as well as the continuing support of Libraries’ leadership to ensure we were able to prioritize this project.

Software Development

Releases

Website Redesign Project – Launched the new Drupal website with a Drupal implement of the Bento Search All interface.

Avalon – Launched new IP Manager service with Avalon integration; Added new File Retrieval and Request Fulfillment features; Completed the migration from ShareStream and Fedora 2 into Avalon.

Under Development

Digital Collections – Began implementation of Bento Search All across Fedora 2, Archelon, and Avalon.

DRUM – Put on hold: work on upgrading to DSpace version 7.

Workstation Tracking – Put on hold: migrating this application from the Grails platform to Ruby on Rails.

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

The CLAS team responded to 100 service requests from across the consortium’s libraries in June.

Support Highlights

The following are a few highlights from our recent support activities:

  • Completed fiscal year rollover activities in Aleph.
  • Updated about 3000 subject headings to the current authorized form. Read more on the Portal blog: https://usmai.org/portal/x/NQBXCw.
  • Implemented the default version of the SFX “Report a Problem” form due to problems with emails being sent using the previous custom form.

CLAS continues to be available to respond to your support requests.

ILS Migration Project

CLAS continued to support USMAI’s pre-selection data cleanup activities, consulting on request, providing reports to assist with cleanup, and performing batch cleanup activities as requested by member libraries.

Select CLAS team members continue to participate in the evaluation of proposals received through the RFP process.

Data Warehouse

A minor upgrade to v8.0.2 was performed on the data warehouse reporting environment (a.k.a. “Jaspersoft”). The upgrade does not change functionality or appearance significantly.

A new loan attribute, “Past Year Loan Count” was added to the “Collections (Current)” domain. This and other attributes are available in the domains data dictionary.

Support Highlights

ILS Migration Project

Staffing

Hornbake Digitization Assistant, Brianna Nunez completed her work with us this month, and we wish her the best of luck going forward.

Stew of the Month, May 2022

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

Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project received another batch of 10,000 newspaper pages back from the vendor for quality review before submission to the Library of Congress. HMNP student assistants have continued research and outreach projects. Bridget is finishing up research on the Jewish Times for the title essay that will go into Chronicling America. Brendan has started some Wikipedia editing for pages on the newspaper titles. Alexis continues to find Maryland newspaper content for the @HistoricMDNews social media accounts. See this month’s National Digital Newspaper Program #ChronAmParty on Twitter – #NationalBikeMonth.

Digitization Activities

We have received two batches of digital files from our vendor totaling approximately 50,000 manuscript pages for the CLIR AFL-CIO “Advancing Workers Rights in the American South” grant project. The next step will be performing quality review on these batches.

In the Hornbake Digitization Center, Digitization Assistants Dan, Ethan, and Jordan continue to scan the Ian MacKaye Fanzine collection. They have less than 20 folders to go before they are done scanning the collection. Brianna continues to post-process and qc the collection. Charlotte, Ethan, and Gabrielle continue to work on digitizing materials for the Rising Up Exhibit which will be put up later this year. Alex is working on completing the existing digital files for this collection. Ethan, Gabrielle, and Alex have started loading AV content into Avalon. We have a backlog of files to load first before we load newly digitized items.

Digital Programs and Initiatives

Avalon Migration Update

DPI is pleased to announce that the Avalon migration project is nearing completion, with the majority of Digital Collections audiovisual materials ready to publish in the new media repository. Content will be published by DPI personnel in waves over the course of several days at the end of June. As this work is underway, handles will automatically update to point to the content in Avalon; the legacy Fedora 2 records will be suppressed from search and discovery by the end of the month.

Visitors to the Digital Collections home page will receive temporary messaging to look for AV material in Avalon directly. DPI personnel are collaborating with stakeholders to improve federated discovery of digital collections materials while we work on the next phases of our digital collections migration.

Please contact DPI for any questions regarding these changes.

Software Development

Releases

Kubernetes – Upgraded the Kubernetes Cluster version to 1.23.

Under Development

Website Redesign Project – Continued work on theme and functionality enhancements for the new Drupal site; Continued work on a Drupal implementation of Bento Search All interface.

Avalon – Continued to support data ingest into Avalon and tuning the ingest workload.

DRUM – Continued work on upgrading to DSpace version 7.

Workstation Tracking – Continued work on migrating this application from the Grails platform to Ruby on Rails.

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

The CLAS team responded to 99 service requests from across the consortium’s libraries in May.

Support Highlights

The following are a few highlights from our recent support activities:

  • Analyzed issues with SFX linking in EDS and worked with Towson and UB on resolutions.
  • Provided College Park with notifications wording to assist with preparations for their June website migration.
  • Updated z39.50 documentation in the USMAI Member Portal.

CLAS continues to be available to respond to your support requests.

ILS Migration Project

CLAS continued to support USMAI’s pre-selection data cleanup activities, consulting on request, providing reports to assist with cleanup, and performing batch cleanup activities as requested by member libraries.

Select CLAS team members continue to participate in the evaluation of proposals received through the RFP process.

Staffing

Congratulations to Hornbake Digitization Assistants Gabrielle Puglisi and Jordan Dyer who both graduated this semester with their Master’s in Library and Information Science! And Welcome to Emily Frazier, a UMD iSchool student (MLIS candidate), who will be completing a field study in the Hornbake Digitization Center this summer.

Stew of the Month, April 2022

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

DST Leadership News

In March, David Dahl was appointed Associate Dean for Digital Services and Technologies. David had been serving as Interim Associate Dean since May 2021 and joined the Libraries in 2015 as Director of Consortial Library Applications Support. Says David, “I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to work with the talented individuals in DST as we work to expand and enhance the library experience for UMD researchers and learners.”

Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project’s fifth grant phase continues with several batches in process with our vendor and Project Manager, Pam coordinating with the Library of Congress on some rework issues. Student Assistants, Alexis and Bridget, along with new DCMR student assistant, Brendan Reicherter began content research on the newspapers selected for this phase to be used for the title essays that will go onto the Chronicling America website. Information about the publisher, editor, city of publication, types of news stories covered by the paper and the audience is helpful to share with users. Here is an example of a title view in Chronicling America with an accompanying title essay for the Montgomery County sentinel published in Rockville. The students continued with metadata collation for the Jewish Times as well.
This month’s, National Digital Newspaper Program #ChronAmParty on Twitter highlighted #fashionplates from the newspapers. See more Maryland history on our social media platforms @HistoricMDNews!

Digitization Activities

Digitization continues for the CLIR AFL-CIO “Advancing Workers Rights in the American South” grant project UMD Libraries is collaborating on with Georgia State University. Pam continues to coordinate with colleagues in Special Collections as well as our two vendors to ensure the prioritized materials are captured in this project. The digitized video files have been received from the vendor, and new DCMR Student Assistant, Brendan has completed his training and done the QR for these files. The vendor has completed approximately 23,000 pages of the manuscript materials and will be sending a first batch of digital files for review early next month.

In the Hornbake Digitization Center, Digitization Assistants Charlotte, Dan, Ethan, Gabrielle, and Jordan continue to scan the Ian MacKaye Fanzine collection. They have finished (digitizing, post-processing, and qc’ing) two boxes of materials. Jordan and Dan are working on finishing the last box, they have less than 50 folders left. Digitization Assistant Brianna continues to conduct post-processing on the remaining box.

Charlotte, Gabrielle, and Alex continue to work on digitizing materials for the Rising Up Exhibit which will be put up later this year. Brianna, Charlotte, Ethan, and Alex completed the last of the re-digitization of the Mayo Oral History collection. We are currently working to update metadata for this collection. Once we have done so, we will begin loading to Avalon. Charlotte, Gabrielle, and Alex downloaded an additional 115 files from Sharestream for the Avalon migration.

Digital Programs and Initiatives

Avalon Migration Project Update

DPI is entering the final stages of the Avalon migration project, with work happening on many fronts.

  • Josh Westgard and SSDR are coordinating closely to transcode and stage in Avalon 10,600 audiovisual items that are currently accessed through Fedora 2. This is a resource-intensive activity that requires active monitoring, rapid troubleshooting, and collaborative problem-solving across the entire technical implementation team. We anticipate this work will be completed in a few weeks.
  • DPI GA Cara DeCusatis has been working with curators to provide 1:1 instruction on Avalon as part of the final preparation for launch. If you’re a member of the curatorial team and would like to schedule a session with her, please do reach out!
  • Cara and Kate Dohe have also been transitioning Hornbake Digitization Center personnel into Avalon, supporting workflow development, coordination across partnering work groups, collecting feedback and providing any additional training and documentation. We anticipate initial content loaded by HDC personnel will be ready to publish soon!

PSA About Digital Collections Links!

Do you or your patrons link to content in UMD’s Digital Collections from LibGuides, web pages, Canvas modules, or other resources? Please ensure you are using the handle provided in the item record, rather than a direct URL (for example, something that looks like digital.lib.umd.edu/PIDNumber is a direct URL; something that looks like hdl.handle.net/prefix/suffix is a handle). Handles are a persistent URI service similar to DOIs, and we use the service to ensure long-term access to content in our digital repositories.

Using handles is always a best practice, and extra important ahead of the Avalon migration–once we fully migrate and publish A/V materials, the handles will automatically send users to the item in Avalon, with no additional work on your side. Links that use the legacy direct URL will not work as expected once the migration is complete. Please reach out to DPI if you or your patrons need any assistance with finding a digital collection item’s handle, or have questions about updating links in your content–we’d be happy to help.

Software Development

Releases

Grouper – SSDR has been using the campus Grouper instance to help centralize group management for multiple applications. Operationalize the use of Grouper for broader usage in the Libraries, especially within DST. Completed setup of Grouper administrators and documentation, conducted Grouper administrator training, and setup USS HelpDesk to maintain Drupal Website roles. 

Kubernetes – Completed migration of Archelon into the Kubernetes cluster.

Under Development

Website Redesign Project – Continued work on theme and functionality enhancements for the new Drupal site; Continue work on a Drupal implementation of Bento Search All interface.

Avalon – Continued to support preparation of data for ingest into Avalon and tuning the ingest workload.

DRUM – Began work on upgrading to DSpace 7.

Workstation Tracking – Began work on migrating this application from the Grails platform to Ruby on Rails.

Kubernetes – Begin working with USS on upgrade to Kubernetes version 1.23.

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

The CLAS team responded to 90 service requests from across the consortium’s libraries in April.

Support Highlights

The following are a few highlights from our recent support activities:

CLAS continues to be available to respond to your support requests.

ILS Migration Project

CLAS continued to support USMAI’s pre-selection data cleanup activities. Linda Seguin held Drop-in Office Hours on most Thursdays. While those office hours are ending, appointments can still be made to consult on data cleanup activities. See the Pre-Selection Data Cleanup Priorities Portal page for details.

Select CLAS team members continue to participate in the evaluation of proposals received through the RFP process.

Data Warehouse

Reporting Environment Upgrade and Migration

A major version upgrade, and migration to Kubernetes, of the DW Reporting Environment (a.k.a. “Jaspersoft”) was completed on April 12th. A few adjustments were made to the applications resource allocations after the upgrade, and the system is now stable and ready to run your reports!

User Systems and Support

Patch Manager Plus

Over the years, we’ve managed the patching of our computers and servers. In December 2021, we researched a more sophisticated application to do patching. We began to test Patch Manager Plus on the Libraries’ computers.  Patch Manager Plus comes with a dashboard that offers a simplified view of what systems need patching, outdated applications, and critical patches required. It gives you a birds-eye view of patches that are needed and systems that have been successfully patched.

Patch Manager Plus was implemented on May 3rd, 2022 on all staff computers. This week, we received an email warning from campus IT security advising that all systems and servers are updated continually to ward off vulnerabilities and attacks. After receiving the email, it reinforced our duty to deploy Patch Manager Plus to all Library systems.

Patch Manager Plus, an all-around patching solution, offers automated patch deployment for Windows, macOS, and Linux endpoints and patching support for 950+ third-party updates across 850+ third-party applications. 

We use the On-Prem solution, meaning that the Patch Manager Plus will be installed on our server in our data center, and all data will be on our server only. We intend to use the product to help us patch Operating Systems and third-party apps on Windows and macOS computers. Some third-party apps include Adobe Acrobat DC, Google Chrome, Java, Microsoft Office, Zoom, and many more. Not only will it patch operating systems and applications it will also detect missing patches on computers. It allows peace of mind knowing that our systems are updated and in compliance.  Since we started using the software last week, we have installed over 323 patches to date and we are working to have all systems that are not fully patched up to date as soon as possible.

LastPass

At the beginning of this year, University of Maryland College Park campus faculty, staff, and students were required to take the security training “Defend Your Shell.” USS researched many applications and tools to safely manage passwords during this period. At the end of our research, we found that LastPass is the best option to safeguard passwords against vulnerabilities.

LastPass is a password management tool – it simplifies your online life by remembering your passwords. Using LastPass to manage your logins, it’s easy to have a solid and unique password for every online account and improve your online security posture.

With LastPass, you no longer have to use the same password for various sites or accounts. You no longer have to write down passwords on little pieces of paper. Instead, LastPass can create and manage passwords for you. You also no longer have to store passwords in your browser. In addition, LastPass uses the same encryption algorithm that the U.S. Government uses for top-secret data. As a result, your encrypted data is unreadable to LastPass and everyone else without the Master Password.
If University of Maryland College Park Libraries staff and faculty are interested in LastPass, please send an email to lib-helpdesk@umd.edu.

Staffing

In April, DCMR welcomed iSchool student, Brendan Reicherter (MLIS candidate) to assist with digitization projects for the department.

Conferences and Presentations

Ben Bradley presented two sessions at the Maryland Library Association in Cambridge, MD May 4-6th. They are:

  • Bradley, Benjamin. (May 2022). Linked, Controlled Folksonomy as Reparative Taxonomy. Presentation given at the MLA/DLA 2022 conference. Cambridge, MD. http://hdl.handle.net/1903/28607
  • Bradley, Benjamin. (May, 2022). Reevaluating the University of Maryland’s Urban Information Specialist Program. Presentation given at the MLA/DLA 2022 conference. Cambridge, MD. http://hdl.handle.net/1903/28601.

Kate Dohe presented a lightning talk titled “Burn Your Trello Boards” at the virtual Conference on Academic Library Management on April 26th. The recording of the talk is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED8LwUwqEHc

Stew of the Month, March 2022

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

Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project (HMNP) is excited to share that the Maryland Suffrage News is available now in Chronicling America! There were a few issues of the Maryland Suffrage News, a paper written by and for women advocating for suffrage (and its subsequent title the Maryland Women’s News after women got the vote), in Chronicling America; but, HMNP has been able to add nearly a full run by partnering with the National Woman’s Party out of the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument in DC who held a print copy. 

For more information on this title and searching for articles on suffrage in Chronicling America, check out this Women’s History Month blog post by student assistant, Bridget Jamison and this earlier post on the Centennial of the 19th amendment.

Work continues on Phase 5 of HMNP with two more batches from the digitization vendor undergoing quality review by HMNP assistants Alexis and Bridget, and project manager, Pam McClanahan prepped an additional batch for the vendor. This month’s National Digital Newspaper Program #ChronAmParty on Twitter celebrated #WomensHistoryMonth.

Digitization Activities

Digitization Assistants Charlotte Conant, Dan Isaacson, Ethan Lewis, Gabrielle Puglisi, and Jordan Dyer continue to scan the Ian MacKaye Fanzine collection. They have completed nearly two boxes, the rescans, the oversized items, and have less than a box left until they finish scanning the collection. Digitization Assistant Brianna Nunez continues to perform post-processing and quality checking of the collection.

Charlotte Conant and Gabrielle Puglisi have been working on scanning materials for the Rising Up Exhibit. DCMR is partnering with University Archives for this exhibit.

Alex Trim, Charlotte Conant, Ethan Lewis, and Gabrielle Puglisi have downloaded nearly 200 files from Sharestream for the Avalon migration. DCMR has also recently undergone training in Avalon and have started to upload some of our AV backlog into the new repository. We are very excited about this!

Software Development

Releases

Website Redesign Project – Released the Beta version of the new Drupal website, for campus community review and feedback.

Kubernetes – Completed migration of DRUM into the Kubernetes cluster.

Under Development

Website Redesign Project – Continued work on theme and functionality enhancements for the new Drupal site; Continue work on a Drupal implementation of Bento Search All interface.

Avalon – Continued work on adding new core Avalon functionality to support file retrieval and request fulfillment. Began work on a new IP Manager service to support Avalon access control improvements. Began additional work to support preparation of data for ingest into Avalon.

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

The CLAS team responded to 104 service requests from across the consortium’s libraries in March.

Support Highlights

The following are a few highlights from our recent support activities:

  • Adjusted PPH configurations to accommodate temporary halt of PPH services at Towson.
  • Implemented StackMap for Morgan State in their OPAC base.
  • Re-loaded the Aleph EDS extract and troubleshot (and hopefully resolved) the underlying issue.

CLAS continues to be available to respond to your support requests.

ILS Migration Project

CLAS continued to support USMAI’s pre-selection data cleanup activities. Linda Seguin held (and is continuing to hold) Drop-in Office Hours on most Thursdays. Details are on the Pre-selection Data Cleanup Priorities page.

Select CLAS team members are participating in the evaluation of proposals received through the RFP process.

Data Warehouse

Reporting Environment Upgrade and Migration

Work on a major version upgrade, and migration to Kubernetes, of the DW Reporting Environment continued in March. CLAS team members have been testing the application in its new QA environment. The process for installing the application has been improved. The version upgrade is scheduled to go into production in April.

Staffing

Web Designer Cindy Zhao has departed the Libraries for a new position as IT Specialist (Internet) at the United States Naval Academy. Cindy joined the Software Systems Development and Research (SSDR) department in 2011. She arrived just in time to help implement Hippo CMS, the first CMS ever for the Libraries’ Website. Over the last ten years Cindy continually improved the Libraries’ Website: from the initial launch, to a separate mobile website, then a recombined responsive website, and on to iterative improvements, including making the website accessible and WCAG 2.0 compliant and preparing the new Drupal website. Cindy has also been involved in improving or branding many of our other websites and applications, and extensive user training and support. We will miss both her technical expertise and her team spirit!

We’re hiring! The application period for our Web Services Librarian position closes on Friday, April 22nd. Come be a part of what we’re doing!

Stew of the Month, February 2022

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

Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

Another batch of the Jewish Times has been submitted to our digitization vendor for the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project (HMNP) by our Project Manager, Pam McClanahan. The remaining issues of the Greenbelt News Review, a title still being published in Greenbelt today, along with its preceding title the Greenbelt Cooperator are now available on Chronicling America.

HMNP assistants, Alexis Woolford and Bridget Jamison, began quality review of two batches we received back from the vendor along with continuing collation of the remaining years of the Jewish Times

This month’s, National Digital Newspaper Program #ChronAmParty on Twitter celebrated #BlackHistoryMonth. See more Maryland history @HistoricMDNews!

Digitization Activities

Advancing Workers Rights in the American South

University of Maryland Libraries is collaborating with Georgia State University (GSU) on a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) grant to digitize and provide access to AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) records from our two institutions titled ‘Advancing Workers Rights in the American South.’ Records include correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, audiovisual recordings, and more documenting AFL-CIO work between 1943 and 1999.

UMD’s Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) department is leading this collaboration with GSU. SCUA selected and prepared the materials to be included in this project over the last several months, and DCMR arranged for the materials to be transferred to the vendors this month. Overall, this project will digitize approximately 20 films and 75,000 pages of content, which will be made freely accessible in GSU and UMD digital collections repositories and shared with the Digital Library of Georgia, to be disseminated through the Digital Public Library of America, Umbra Search African American History, and Civil Rights Digital Library.

Hornbake Digitization Center

Digitization Assistants Charlotte Conant, Dan Isaacson, Ethan Lewis, Gabrielle Puglisi, and Jordan Dyer continue to work on the Ian MacKaye Fanzine Collection. Dan and Charlotte have nearly finished one box, and Ethan, Gabrielle and Jordan are about halfway through with the other two boxes. Digitization Assistant, Brianna Nunez has been working on post-processing and qc’ing the materials.

Digitization Assistants, Charlotte Conant and Gabrielle Puglisi have finished digitizing the first of the Karras photo albums from the Prange collection.

Alex Trim, Charlotte Conant, and Gabrielle Puglisi have also started working on downloading AV files from Sharestream for the Avalon migration in coordination with DPI.

Software Development

Releases

Plant Patents Image Database – Improvements to the ingest process to support loading the PDF image files into Archelon.

Kubernetes Cluster – Upgraded to version 1.22

Under Development

Website Redesign Project – Completed development of most major features of the new Drupal site; continued work on Library Hours and many theme and functionality enhancements. Began work on Drupal implementations of Bento Search All interface.

Kubernetes – Continued to evaluate deploying our applications to an Amazon Web Services based Kubernetes cluster.

Avalon – Created enhanced scripts for preparing the media objects as part of the migration from Admin Tools. Also worked on adding new core Avalon functionality to support file retrieval and request fulfillment.

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

The CLAS team responded to 103 service requests from across the consortium’s libraries in February.

Support Highlights

The following are a few highlights from our recent support activities:

  • Aleph validation tables were updated in alignment with the February WorldShare Validation Release Notes as noted in this Portal blog post.
  • Batch loaded ETDs into MD-SOAR for UMBC.
  • Adjusted Aleph access for Towson due to library renovations.
  • Upgraded EZproxy to latest version for all USMAI-hosted instances.

CLAS continues to be available to respond to your support requests.

ILS Migration Project

CLAS continued to support USMAI’s pre-selection data cleanup activities. Linda Seguin held (and is continuing to hold) Drop-in Office Hours on most Thursdays. Details are on the Pre-selection Data Cleanup Priorities page. Linda has also continued to lead efforts to provide documentation and enhance existing reports to support data cleanup activities.

Thanks to Joseph Koivisto and Linda, there is now a project in the USMAI Service Desk for the ILS Migration Project. Both data cleanup requests and other requests/questions can now be submitted through the Service Desk.

Data Warehouse

Reporting Environment Upgrade and Migration

Work on a major version upgrade, and migration to Kubernetes, of the DW Reporting Environment continued in February. The application was successfully installed and configured in our TEST environment and passed our preliminary testing. While the application is running successfully, the procedure for getting the application up and running was less than ideal. We are currently reviewing methods to do a more straightforward, “by the book” installation that will minimize the risk of data corruption and system downtime during the production upgrade.

New DW Documentation

The Portal now has new documentation to help you use the data warehouse:

Staffing

We are hiring! DST currently has two full-time position openings:

Both positions are eligible for hybrid telework arrangements. Come join us!