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Stew of the Month: March 2014

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 will provide news and updates from the DSS Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.

General Announcements

We have been working diligently on security updates and complying with our campus security policies. We are  currently facing some AV equipment issues in our Special Events Room. We apologize for the problems this has caused and plan to address this and treat it as a high priority.

Department Updates

Consortial Library Application Services (CLAS)

In support of UMBC’s plans to participate in Rapid ILL, David Wilt did an extract of UMBC’s serials and microfilm holdings information from Aleph, and uploaded the file to the RapidILL.org site.

David also completed work on implementing the materials booking function in Aleph for Towson. He is now working on configuring and implementing the booking function for Shady Grove, where it is wanted for booking equipment.

Hans Breitenlohner is working with Salisbury on implementing Single Sign-on (SSO).

Linda Seguin got Ex Libris to fix a problem with the way SFX sends title searches to the Aleph catalog, a glitch in formatting that added plus signs (+) to the search string, causing the searches to fail. She has tested the fix and confirms that the problem is corrected.

Linda also made changes and re-indexed 30,000 records in the Aleph Test OPAC in support of a USMAI Cataloging Policy Committee (CPC) proposal to display and index uncontrolled subject headings to compensate for the lack of LC subject headings in Ebook Library (EBL) records.

Heidi Hanson and Ingrid Alie will be attending the ELUNA 2014 Annual Meeting in Montréal, Canada, April 29 – May 2.

Digital Conversion and Media Reformatting (DCMR)

On March 31, Robin Pike attended the Society of American Archivists Accessioning and Ingest of Electronic Records one-day workshop, hosted by UMD Libraries. It focused on aspects of accessioning and ingesting born digital records into an archive, what submission agreements and donor agreements may look like when dealing with born digital records or collections of paper and born digital records, and tools that may be beneficial during the process of ingesting digital records for transferring files or creating a disk image, validating files and files formats, scanning for personally identifiable information, and file conversion or normalization.

The majority of Robin’s time in March was dedicated to FY15 project planning. As the chair of the Digitization Initiatives Committee, she collaborated with Joanne Archer, Heather Foss, Eileen Harrington, and Carla Montori to analyze project proposals and compile a draft budget for outsourced digitization projects across UMD Libraries. Resources Group will be discussing the proposed budget in April. Robin reviewed notes from December through February digitization stakeholder meetings and began to compile a list of potential in-house projects. She will be working with collection managers to solidify this list of FY15 in-house projects and clarify all the projects over the coming months.

Henry Borchers completed video digitization setups for VHS and Betacam and has made considerable progress with creating procedures and workflows. He has now tested digitization for DVCAM/MiniDV, VHS, and Betacam formats. Henry has focused on creating streamlined equipment configurations that increase automation and decrease manual configuration when switching between different format equipment. DCMR will test this setup on pilot projects in the coming months.

On March 27-29, Eric Cartier attended the Sound+ conference hosted by the UMD English Department. The event featured scholars who discussed the “relationship between sound and text,” emphasizing the interdisciplinary nature of sound studies. Eric found the session “Sounding the Humanities, Sounding the Sciences” which featured discussion on auditory scene analysis and research results on how brains parse foreground and background sounds, particularly interesting.

Eric worked with John Schalow and Joe Carrano to develop a more streamlined process to review digital object metadata to expedite the approval of digital images created in-house. DCMR’s long-term goal is to dramatically decrease the amount of time to perform quality assurance on the file and metadata between an object’s digitization and when it becomes public.

Students in the Hornbake Digitization Center worked on digitizing numerous requests and small projects including digitizing audio cassettes and 1/4″ open reel tapes from the Katherine Anne Porter papers, expanding upon the effort to digitize large portions of the correspondence in the collection. Publicly-available digitized materials are linked from the finding aid and can also be found by searching digital.lib.umd.edu. Students also digitized photographs and book illustrations for the upcoming Special Collections Bladensburg exhibit, which will open in the fall.

Digital Programs and Initiatives (DPI)

Jennie Knies attended the Library Publishing Coalition Forum in Kansas City, MO, from March 5-6.  The UMD Libraries are members of the Library Publishing Coalition, whose mission is “to foster collaboration, share knowledge and develop common practices, all in service of publishing and distributing academic and scholarly works.” This useful and interesting meeting featured plenary speakers, panel discussions and work groups devoted to articulating the role of academic libraries in the area of digital publishing. Slides are also available for select presentations. A discussion session on “Beyond the Article” was particularly interesting. It highlighted that we are not alone in grappling with the blurred lines between digital projects, data, born-digital records, especially with regards to humanities data.  Digital Programs and Initiatives is in the process of drafting a plan for digital publishing at the UMD Libraries and the information obtained at this forum greatly informs our work in that area.

On March 7, Liz Caringola attended the Digital Maryland Conference 2014, held by the Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage (MDCH), the Maryland State Library Resource Center (SLRC), and the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Liz presented on the progress of the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project thus far and its plans for the future. Other presentations focused on the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Artstor, CONTENTdm, and a sampling of the many digital projects that local institutions are currently working on. See the conference website for the agenda and list of speakers.

The Historic Maryland Newspapers Project has extended the deadline to apply for the Wikipedian-in-Residence position until April 18, 2014. For more information, see a previous Digistew blog post or the job posting.

Marlin Olivier joined Research Data Services as our Data Curation Assistant. Marlin is in the digital curation specialization at the iSchool and has a bachelor’s degree in biology and religion. In addition to working with Research Data Services, Marlin works for a non-profit that manages digital performance royalties.

We are working with the Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Policy – CANRP (https://agresearch.umd.edu/canrp) to include their publications in DRUM.  Located in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Maryland, CANRP provides research, education and outreach on public policies facing Maryland, the US, and the world.  A wide variety of the center’s publications will be deposited in DRUM including extension bulletins, fact sheets, monographs, policy reports, and research briefs.  Check out some of their research at http://hdl.handle.net/1903/14189.

The UMD Libraries is now a member of the MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute), a publisher of more than 100 scientific peer-reviewed, open access journals.  As a member, UMD authors receive a 10% discount on article processing fees for submissions to any MDPI journal.

Response to the UMD Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund has been so good that funds have already been exhausted for this fiscal year.  Thanks to Dean Steele and the Library Resources Group, an additional $5,000 has been added to the fund which will hopefully sustain the service until the end of June.

Josh Westgard worked a lot on archiving files for permanent preservation in March.  Besides backing up the usual monthly output of the digitization center, he helped to inventory and archive a large number of .warc files from the Libraries’ web crawling program, as well as several thousand images from a special digitization project on the correspondence of Katherine Anne Porter.  In the context of the Prange Collection digitization project, he helped to inventory and consolidate records relating to files that were first created and archived nearly a decade ago.  In addition, he helped to prepare and validate the metadata for the Katherine Anne Porter project for ingest into the Libraries’ Fedora-based digital collections repository, and drew up procedures for applying access controls to audio and video assets in Libraries’ digital collections.

Software Systems Development and Research (SSDR)

Irina Belyaeva began work on the DRUM upgrade to DSpace 4, which will be a rather large three version jump since we last upgraded in July 2011.  This upgrade serves not only to stay current with the latest DSpace bug fixes, security updates, and new features but also paves the way to begin adding new DRUM based services for Research Data.

Shian Chang and Cindy Zhao have been working with Laura Cleary in Special Collections and University Archives to begin adding a new Exhibits feature to Hippo.  This project will use a new Hippo 7.7 feature called Blueprints to allow SSDR staff to routinely create new Exhibits for Special Collections without any custom programming.  The Exhibit website template will feature Responsive Web Design for display on desktops, tablets, and phones using the Bootstrap web toolkit.

Development and support for Drupal based sites has been on the rise recently in SSDR, so Paul Hammer used the Lynda video instruction site to get initial training and then configured a new sandbox environment for SSDR and CLAS use.  Paul is now set to join Cindy Zhao and Shian Chang as the development support team for Libi, the USMAI public website, and the USMAI staff website.

Ben Wallberg, Jennie Knies, and Joshua Westgard attended the March 10 meeting of the Washington D.C Fedora User Group.  We received general updates on the Fedora community and DuraSpace and on development of Fedora 4.  Area Fedora users reported on their current activities, with Ben providing the UMD Libraries’ update.  Upon disclosure that we are running the ancient Fedora 2.2.2 version there was discussion of possible upgrade paths.  There was some dissent, but the general consensus was that we should avoid a two step upgrade (2 to 3 followed by 3 to 4) and jump straight to Fedora 4 given that we could defer implementation until after Fall 2014.  We also discussed how we might begin Fedora 4 training for SSDR staff through the process of Fedora 4 beta testing.

Sneaking in on the last day of the month, Mohamed Abdul Rasheed rejoined SSDR as our newest Software Developer.  See a previous post for a Research Study he worked on the last time around.  Welcome back Mohamed!

User Systems and Support

The team has been busy updating our security software and procedures in compliance with the campus policies and procedures. The team also has planned in the past month, technology procurement and budget for FY15.


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