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Stew of the Month: November-December 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 provides news and updates from the DSS Division. We welcome comments, feedback and ideas for improving our products and services.

Digitization Activities

Robin Pike worked with Joanne Archer, at UMD Special Collections, to coordinate sending 40 wire recordings from the Arthur Godfrey Collection, 160 open reel audio tapes from the WAMU Archives, and 229 volumes from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) archives, labor collections, university publications, broadcasting serials, political serials, and Maryland state documents to multiple vendors for digitization. Eric Cartier and students in the Hornbake Digitization Center digitized and uploaded a batch of 83 volumes of the MARAC newsletter to the Internet Archive.

Software Development

DSS has joined as a development partner in the creation of the DuraSpace supported Fedora 4, which we will used to replace our existing Fedora 2 based architecture for Digital Collections.  Though late arrivals to the multi-year development effort we intend to participate in the ongoing development of the core Fedora 4 platform in parallel with our own implementation.  Fedora 4.0.0 was released on November 27.  We have begun the process of setting up our own development server and investigating the technology options available to us.

User and System Support

The year 2014 was a very productive year for User and Systems Support (USS). This year, 7,155 service requests were created in Sysaid. The following projects were accomplished during the year:

  1. During this period, USS was involved with various major projects such as the creation of the Makerspace, & Laptop bar to the replacement of over 100 staff computers and public access computers.
  2. USS supported the Terrapin Learning Common (TLC) spaces in various branch libraries from the specification of the type of equipment to purchasing of equipment such as video cameras, Google Glass and Oculus Rift. Working with library TLC staff, USS has increased the loaner laptops from 45 to over 100 laptops. The additional laptops have significantly helped reduce student wait time.
  3. USS was able to convert a one-button studio created by the staff of Princeton University into a one-button cart for UMD. The one button cart is a portable recording station for students and faculty to create videos. It can be used anywhere by just plugging it into a power outlet. Once plugged, the students can use it without assistance
  4. Last year, USS experimented with a 3D printer from Makerbot. They expanded their horizons and worked with other departments such as Public Services to open 3D printing services to the student community. In the beginning, students sent in requests to print souvenirs such as shot glasses but are now using the 3D printers for class assignments and projects. In this year alone, USS has successfully printed over 300 items, which equates to over 2,274 hours of printing. USS staff also provided over 25 consultations to students that needed assistance with creation and printing of their items. Our next task is mastering 3D scanning and how to provide needed support to our patrons who need help scanning 3D objects.
  5. USS also compiled statistics from Sysaid for 2014. As previously mentioned, 7,155 service requests were created in Sysaid. This number includes all departments that used Sysaid too. The service requests ranged from installation, troubleshooting, and resolving of problem reports from different services such as Researchport issue, catalog issues and various online database related problems. Of the 7,155 opened requests, USS closed 5,665 service requests, which is 79% of all service requests opened this year. In comparison to 2013, that is a 28% increase.
  6. In 2014, USS also expanded its community outreach initiatives. On April 26th, 2014, better known as Maryland Day, USS showcased many of our new gadgets in the Presidential Suite, which included the 3D printer and Google Glass. Students and alumni were very excited and engaged by the opportunity to see and experiment with our newest technology offered by the Libraries. For UMD’s homecoming, we were selected to showcase some of the Libraries newest technology available to the campus community. We were a big hit among attendees and experienced a lot of interest and excitement about our various services.
  7. On December 13, 2014, USS hosted ProjectCSGirls, a national nonprofit, dedicated to closing the tech gender gap by cultivating a love for technology and introducing computer science to girls starting from adolescence. This program attracted over 55 girls of various ages and from different schools. USS staff provided technical support that made the program run smooth and was certainly a success.

We want to thank everyone for their support and we look forward to an impactive, collaborative and innovative 2015 as we move USS to the forefront library sphere/services.

I will like to thank all User and System Support staff for all their hard work in accomplishing the projects list above.

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

OLE status: The Consortial Library Applications Support (CLAS) team put a lot of effort into the OLE project in the period from mid-October to mid-November, and at the CLD meeting on November 20 delivered a detailed report of what the team had learned and accomplished to that point. Work on OLE continues: Mark Hemhauser has focused on identifying the necessary data elements for requisitions to advance to encumbered purchase orders, for invoices to appear paid in the ledger/budget summary report, budget structure functionality, and initial investigation of consortial use of acquisitions. Hans Breitenlohner and David Steelman have been working closely with the systems librarians to analyze and address problems as they are uncovered. David has been collaborating with Mark to document problems with purchase orders and invoices, and has taken the initiative to file a number of specific issue reports in the Kuali organization’s JIRA feedback portal. David and Hans have both worked on the problem reported by Linda Seguin regarding display of bibliographic records with Hebrew characters.

Following up from the November CLD meeting, Heidi Hanson and Ben Wallberg (DSS) met with Lea Messman-Mandicott and Betty Landesman of the USMAI Next Generation ILS Working Group, along with Chuck Thomas and David Dahl, to discuss strategies that will support the USMAI in understanding and evaluating the OLE system. Specifically, we are looking into how to give members of the Next-Gen ILS Working Group (and/or its sub-groups) access to our local “OLE sandbox” for testing at some time early in 2015.

Aleph support: From mid-October to mid-December, David Wilt has responded to requests for 20 ad hoc reports for 8 different campuses, 4 parameter change/notice text changes for 3 different campuses, and a request for a RapidILL extract for College Park. David also wrote specifications for multiple recurring reports for College Park, which Hans has now added to the reports schedule.

Linda Seguin worked on a number of requests related to bibliographic record loading and clean-up. For brittle Hebraica items that College Park is having digitized for HathiTrust, Linda created a new item process status (IPS), modified the HathiTrust extract program, updated items, loaded bibs and suppressed holdings/bibs as appropriate. For Health Sciences (HS), Linda loaded Springer ebook records using their old special loader. Since practices have changed since the last time this loader was used, considerable data cleanup was needed post-load. Since HS reported that this would be their second-to-last load of Springer records, we decided it was not worth updating the loader program itself. Linda also worked on Ebrary record cleanup for Towson, deleting all Ebrary PDA records that were for unpurchased titles. Catching up on a backlog of updates to the Ebrary Academic Complete collection, Linda loaded 27 files of new records and processed 22 files of deleted records. A complex deletion specification had to be developed in order to avoid deleting ebook titles that TU also holds in other packages.

Mark Hemhauser worked on creating a licensing database report for USMAI licenses; modification of serials claim letter address for College Park; continuing to advise Towson and UMBC on their move to shelf ready and loader issues related to it; update of USMAI page on the shelf ready loader. Mark also did some maintenance support for the College Park journal review web tool.

David Steelman, responding to an Aleph Rx request from UMBC, created a new version of the Equipment Availability page that would allow UMBC to generate their own page with any equipment that they want, by providing the system numbers for the equipment in the page request.

ResearchPort, SFX (FindIt), EZProxy support: In November, we upgraded EZproxy to the newly released version, 5.7.44, allowing us to disable SSL v3, which is vulnerable to Poodle attacks (the security exploit, not the dog). Ingrid Alie worked on correcting A-Z targets list for the Center for Environmental Science (CE) Research Port journal section so that it is in alphabetical order. Ingrid also worked on correcting the ScienceDirect database cross search for Health Sciences, Towson, UM Eastern Shore, Bowie, UM College Park, Salisbury, UM Law, Morgan State, and UMBC, because Elsevier is retiring their Federated Search platform. Cross search is now working for all of these campuses. Ingrid also generated a list of all database configurations from the proxy server for Towson.

Support for USMAI Groups and Committees: Linda established 13 new Listserv email lists in support of USMAI advisory groups and subgroups, and communities of interest/practice.

Mark Hemhauser served as Chair and Heidi Hanson served as a member of the search committee for the Director of the CLAS team. We were busy with interviews in October and early November, and were very fortunate to bring the search to a successful conclusion. David Dahl will begin as the new Director for CLAS on January 12, 2015.

CLAS team gets a nod: Elaine Mael at Towson wrote an article about the merger of Baltimore Hebrew University into Towson’s collection. “ITD” (DSS’s former name) gets mentioned quite a bit:

http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=99263274&site=ehost-live

Staffing

Peter Eichman joined SSDR as our new Senior Software Developer.  Peter’s academic background is in linguistics and philosophy. He is a UMD alumnus (B.A.s in Linguistics and Philosophy), and also holds an M.A. in Philosophy from USC. He is very familiar with UMD, not only as a student but also as a staff member, having worked for the ARHU Computing Services office and the National Foreign Language Center as a web application developer.  Peter’s first project will heading the major Digital Collections upgrade to Fedora 4.

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