Stew of the month: November 2016

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

Digitization Activities

Historic Maryland Newspapers Project

Rebecca Wack will be joining the project as the new Digital Projects Librarian, the project manager for this project, starting on January 9.

Robin Pike and Doug McElrath (SCUA) hosted members of the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project Advisory Board, and affiliated members, on November 17. The team discussed the progress of the first two grants, the plans for title digitization in the third grant, ideas for educational outreach and other programming, and collaborative ideas or statewide events to promote the digitized newspapers in Chronicling America.

Coming out of this conversation, Pike worked with GA David Durden on a short-term project to identify educational opportunities for integration in K-12 and higher education curriculums in the state, genealogical tutorials, and other opportunities. This work will be used by the new Digital Projects Librarian as she begins to structure the outreach initiatives for the project.

Pike received half of the microfilm from the Maryland State Archives, but some of the microfilm was slightly deteriorated. Pike is working with the microfilm duplication vendor to see if the film is too deteriorated to be reproduced and digitized, in which case, the project will select a backup title. The microfilm duplication vendor is working on the sample before they proceed with the first batch of film duplication.

Students Kerry Huller and Sara Horn continued to collate metadata for the titles selected.

McElrath (SCUA), Judi Kidd, and Amy Wickner (SCUA) completed their research of title copyright and found that none of the titles selected were ever registered for copyright, meaning that we can include them in this project.

Synergies Among Digital Humanities and African American History and Culture

Scott Pennington worked with Jen Eidson (SCUA) and Catherine Knight Steele (MITH) to begin selection of materials for the full project, beginning with processed parts of the collection. The project’s primary difficulty is knowing where to search in the unprocessed parts of the collection for materials relevant to this project, and that much of these unprocessed materials are stored in an off-site location.

Other Digitization Activities

Pike met with Mary Dulaney, the Libraries’ new Director of Development, to discuss digitization project and initiative fundraising priorities for the next few years.

Pike consulted with several staff members from The Phillips Collection on a grant they submitted to the Institute of Museum and Library Services to digitize the archival collections relating to their art collections and ingest these records into a new repository. If the grant is successful, Pike will also serve as Lead Project Advisor, providing her expertise on mass-digitization projects.

Liz Caringola (SCUA) finalized the FY16 Diamondback project; the files were sent to DPI and SSDR for ingest into Fedora 4.

Pike worked with Laura Schnitker (SCUA) and Joanne Archer (SCUA) to deliver over 150 tapes from the Maryland Public Television archives collection to a vendor for digitization. Pike worked with Kelley O’Neal (HSSL), Amy Wasserstrom, Kirsten Gaffke (SCUA), Carla Montori, Bryan Draper, and Meg Garnett, and GA Jenna Zimmerman (Preservation) to prepare and coordinate a courier shipment of general collection maps and Prange posters to a vendor. Pike worked with Linda Sarigol (LMS), Bria Parker (MSD), and Joanne Archer (SCUA) to send a large shipment of films from LMS and SCUA to the digitization vendor. All of these projects were funded through the DIC FY17 digitization project proposal process.

Student digitization assistants scanned 85 historical French pamphlets, totaling 718 pages, which Eric Cartier uploaded to the Internet Archive.
Cartier uploaded nine born-digital UMD Graduate Catalogs, totaling 7,218 pages, to the Internet Archive. This completes the 2001-2016 run.
Cartier and DCMR student assistants received and inspected 199 audio recordings from the Contemporary Music Project, 59 videos from the Jackson R. Bryer Interview Collection, and 15 videos from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners America archives. These projects were funded by the DIC FY17 project proposal process.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Kate Dohe and GA David Durden presented an overview of Research Data Services to the University Library Council at their November meeting.

Software Development

Fedora 4 Content Repository – Began upgrade to version 4.7.  This release represents a significant change to Fedora’s underlying persistence implementation.  The initial Diamondback Newspaper Collection load will take place into production on 4.7 once it has been promoted.

Annual Staffing Request – Release 1.0 re-rescheduled for December 5 for managers to begin entering their staffing requests for FY18.  We will then work on completing the administrative functionality for release in January.

Student Applications – Development of the application submission interface is nearing completion and will be moving into user testing in December.

Hippo – Initial development on the version 10 upgrade is nearing completion and we have started work on the promotion processing.  Hippo 10 is expected to be promoted to the staging site for user testing in December.

Hippo implementation of new Libi – Development continues on the backend Box/Hippo/Solr integration component.  The Libi Advisory Team has requested a hold on interface development while they review the proposed new information architecture with Libraries’ stakeholders; resumption is excepted to take place in February.

Reciprocal Borrowing – See our blog post for information on this new project.

Administrative Tracking Tools – As part of our software services program DSS is continuing its partnership with the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) with a collaboration to cleanup the codebase and enhance the functionality of SESYNC’s Administrative Tracking Tool.
 

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

Support to USMAI

The CLAS team responded to 82 Aleph Rx submissions and 29 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in November.

Loyola Notre Dame Library

Work continued on the project to migrate LNDL from Voyager to Aleph. The majority of work focused on completing analysis, mapping, and clean-up of LNDL’s bibliographic data and beginning to load that data into USMAI’s Aleph development environment. A full load of bibliographic data is anticipated for completion in early December.

Additionally, initial testing of circulation rules and related scheduled jobs was performed. Their OPAC presence has also been set up in the development environment.

The migration is scheduled for completion in the first half of January.

MDsoarLOGO

MD-SOAR

MD-SOAR was upgraded to version 5.6 of DSpace in November.

Additionally, several interface changes are in development based on recommendations from usability testing by USMAI’s User Experience subgroup. Once development is completed, these will be released to MD-SOAR partners for review before moving the changes to MD-SOAR.

Joseph Koivisto implemented a new Google Tag Manager script to capture the institution name for bitstream downloads that originate within MD-SOAR, which will help with instituion-specific reporting.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Kate Dohe, Joseph Koivisto, Trevor Munoz, and Robin Pike attended the Digital Library Federation Forum and Digital Preservation 2016 in Milwaukee, WI from November 7-10, 2016. Dohe, Munoz, and Pike also gave presentations, which can be found in the Open Science Framework repository.

Kate Dohe attended and presented at the Charleston Conference in Charleston, SC from November 2-4.

Heidi Hanson attended the 2016 LITA Forum in Fort Worth, TX from November 17-20, 2016.

Visits

Eric Cartier met with Shannon Willis, the Digital Projects Lab Manager at the University of North Texas, to give her a tour of the Hornbake Digitization Center and to share documentation.

DSS Town Hall

On 1st December, DSS held a Town Hall meeting in the Special Events Room of McKeldin Library; all UMD Library staff were invited to attend. Questions were submitted prior to the meeting via an online form with the opportunity for in-person questions on the day.

The meeting began with an introduction by Trevor Munoz since Babak Hamidzadeh was unable to attend. This interactive conversation between DSS and other divisions is supported by a monthly blog: DigiStew.

Department updates followed

Robin Pike – DCMR [Digital Conversion & Media Reformatting]  

  • Digitization projects for FY17 are on track
  • Rebecca Wack, Digital Projects Librarian, will begin work in January
  • Scott Pennington continues to manage a Mellon Grant funded digitization project
  • Eric Cartier has been planning 2017 in-house digitization
  • Mary Dulaney is assisting with fundraising opportunities

Kate Dohe – DPI [Digital Programs & Initiatives]

  • The cross-divisional digital preservation team is due to report in early 2017.
  • Josh Westgard has been working on migrating content into ArchiveSpace
  • E-publishing: one faculty and one student-run journal will be published
    • Terps Publish is a new student publishing event to be piloted in 2017
  • ICDL and the Health Equity repository is near completion

Ben Wallberg – SSDR [Software Systems Development & Research]

  • An Annual Staffing Request application to replace spreadsheets will roll out next week. Andrea White will conduct training.
  • Hippo upgrades: version 10 is due in January, version 11 in the spring.  Hippo will release version 12 in the summer. This will bring us up to date; annual upgrades will follow.
  • Libi migration: development is paused while the Libi Advisory Team consult with, and get feedback from, divisions. Development work will resume in February. Two standalone applications, Student Applications and Idea Board, will be released next year.
  • Website stability has improved following work with USS on server improvements.

David Dahl – CLAS [Consortial Library Applications Support]

  • USMAI now has 17 members: Loyola/Notre Dame joined in the summer and their migration to Aleph is due for completion in January.
  • Aleph will be the ILS for the foreseeable future. CLAS is monitoring potential new systems.
  • The USMAI Data Collection and Analysis Working group will produce a report in January.
  • The pilot institutional repository is ending. Further plans are in progress.

Uche Enwesi – USS [User & Systems Support]

  • USS supports over 1000 machines and 60 printers
  • USS have have received over 7700 calls in the helpdesk and USS have closed over 5500 service requests.
  • Work continues with Div IT to manage desktop machines using SSCM to push out upgrades.
  • Makerspace: USS driven printing is decreasing while training is increasing: the trend is for self printing. Andy Horbal and Preston Tobery are working with professors to integrate 3-D printing into the curriculum.
  • The public and TLC machines have been upgraded; staff upgrades are now in line.
  • Researching VDI technology to deploy a new machine image quickly and smoothly.
  • Researching Mobile printing for smart-phones and tablets is being investigated for used with pay for print.
  • Additional training on Google Suite will take place in December.
  • Exploring the possibility of Windows 10 for staff and public use.  Asking staff if they are interested to test out Windows 10 to contact DSS helpdesk.

Trevor Muñoz – MITH [Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities]

  • Synergies among African American History and Culture, and Digital Humanities (AADHUM) multi-year initiative
  • Digital Humanities incubators (part of AADHUM): training begins in January
  • Documenting the Now – social media research continues

Next, managers answered questions that were submitted ahead of time

Q Do we know everything DSS does so we can say which ones need to be discontinued? What are DSS priorities?

Judi read out Babak’s response:

We have a list of projects and all managers are aware of their initiatives and operations. Our priorities really boil down to what the units in DSS do. Much of what DSS does is driven by priorities and demand from other Divisions and is coordinated with other divisions.

Q Everything in the Libraries nowadays is technology related. Sometimes decisions are made in DSS without any input from the rest of the Libraries. Sometimes it feels as if DSS is very self-centric and makes decisions for all of us without any input.

Judi read Babak’s answer:

The bulk of what DSS does is driven by priority and demand from other divisions in Libraries. There are projects that DSS initiates, within its mandate, with other units on Campus, or on its own as part of a known DSS service. There may be cases where better communication and coordination is needed. If those cases are raised, we would appreciate it and will try to respond to them and improve communication.

Q Why is the ITD sign still on the main stairwell door?

Judi: a new sign has been ordered.

Q What is the status of upgrade to Fedora 4? And the upload of the backlog of materials that are ready for entry into University AlbUM?

Kate: The Diamondback has been released to DPI and will be imported into Fedora 4.

Migration of existing content is being planned for 2017; stakeholders are being consulted.

Partnering with SSDR:

  • The Fedora 4 administrative interface for collection managers, tentatively named Archelon, is due early in 2017.
  • Work continues on a newspaper viewer enabling users to clip, download a newspaper article and use OCR with the image. A demo is coming soon. The intent is to repurpose this open source software for other applications.

DPI, USS and SSDR analysed Fedora 4 storage needs and solutions: recommendations are due in 2017.

Q I’d like to know about the role of the data services librarian (i.e. Karl’s old position). This type of service is interesting and I am always looking to learn more about library/researcher collaboration/interaction.

Kate: The search is underway; this position is intended to play an active role in data management serving the needs of Maryland faculty.

Q I think DSS should help us develop a more comprehensive tool for analyzing our subscribed resources – databases and journals. The work that was led by Mark Hemhauser was great, but needed tweaking. This year’s serials review abandoned the great work that Mark started, and it was a step back. We are spending so much money on collections, and it is sad that we are not trying to do some more comprehensive evaluation of the use, cost, etc. Mark’s work was a good start. What happens after a person has left the organization?

Ben:

  1. How do we support applications that are not ready to go into full production? Send in a helpdesk ticket if you would like to set up a sandbox or trial to see whether you like an application. No support or backups are provided with sandboxes; it is a quick way to see how an application works. If the sandbox test is successful, then full production is considered.
  2. Tracking applications: we write a Service Level Agreement [SLA]. This is a process for both parties to set out expectations, timelines and periodic reviews. Documentation is amended when a person leaves the Libraries.
  3. In this case the documentation shows that the application started as a pilot, moved into production, was monitored, assessed and data was downloaded. Stakeholders agreed to decommission the production application.

David: The USMAI Data Collection and Analysis working group have conducted an initial investigation of USMAI’s data needs for reporting and assessment purposes. USMAI’s new Acquisitions & Licensing Coordinator is leading an initiative to identify an ERM [Electronic Resource Management system] to aid license management and cost analysis.

Q Is Aleph here to stay? What happened with testing on circ/print functions before the upgrade to Aleph v22?

David: The short answer is yes, Aleph, is here to stay. An email update was distributed this morning with more details. CLAS team continue to maintain and enhance Aleph to support the consortium’s work.

Aleph upgrade:

  • First upgrade in 6 years; CLAS carried out a review of the migration.
  • Each USMAI campus has responsibility for testing locally
  • Future upgrades will emphasise the need for local testing, especially for printing and unique workstation setups.

Q  Messages from DSS to USMAI are not conveyed to Library staff. Only people subscribing to the USMAI reflector get to know them. Shouldn’t someone inform UMD Libraries Staff of USMAI initiatives/updates/etc?

David:

  • The CLAS team communicate with USMAI; each USMAI campus communicates with its staff
  • UMD Campus Contacts are Angie Ohler and Tim Hackman
  • Circulation, electronic resources, and other functional contacts should use judgement to forward to Library staff as necessary. Any staff member may join USMAI Communities of Interest, which are listed on the USMAI Staff Site (usmai.umd.edu/groups)
  • CLAS is looking at our systems for facilitating communication and collaboration within the consortium

Q When will you transfer the conference rooms from Exchange to Google Calendar?

Uche: this has already happened. Room owners have been contacted by USS.

Q I would like you to confirm times for on-site and/or virtual Help Desk visits (re: troubleshooting, software updates, hardware replacement)

Uche: USS contact staff via email and leave a phone message if necessary. In cases where Div IT inform of a security issue, USS will take control immediately.  In case where we do not need the user input, USS staff will take control and fix the problems.

Q I would like you to make sure staff images have up-to-date versions of software (ILLiad, Ares, etc.) so that we don’t need to submit upgrade tickets for new machines / new staff.

Uche: We are working with Div IT to use SSCM which will push out upgrades so that all machines have the same image.

Q Why do you close helpdesk tickets before confirming that the problem has been resolved?

Uche: Let Uche or Cece know if this happens to you. Re-open the helpdesk ticket if necessary.

African American History and Culture and Digital Humanities

The Libraries began their involvement in the Mellon Foundation grant project Synergies Among Digital Humanities and African American History and Culture in May 2016. This project is a collaboration between the College of Arts and Humanities, the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), the Libraries, and the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora. In July, Scott Pennington was hired as the Digitization Project Manager for the project, working with the AFL-CIO collection in SCUA and the David C. Driskell papers, a collection of the artist, scholar, curator, collector, and philanthropist, in the Driskell Center. The project seeks to digitize primary source materials for study by post-doctoral students and other researchers examining the intersection of African American History and Culture.

Scott Pennington, Jen Eidson (SCUA), Stephanie Smith (Driskell Center), Purdom Lindblad (MITH), and Jovonne Bickerstaff (MITH) went through materials looking for items of interest to researchers involved in the upcoming Digital Humanities Incubator sessions to be hosted as part of the larger project. Approximately 1,000 pages were selected for a pilot digitization project and were shipped to the vendor for digitization on November 1, 2016. These materials will be available to researchers and to the public through the Digital Humanities Incubator projects in January, as well as through UMD Digital Collections.

Scott Pennington is currently working with Jen Eidson, Stephanie Smith, and MITH to select an additional 39,000 pages for the full project, to be shipped to the digitization vendor in April.

Samples of content selected for digitization are featured below:

rg21-001_box-8-folder_38-4rg21-001_box-8-folder_38-5rg28-003_box4_folder54-1

 

Big Ten Academic Alliance: Reciprocal Borrowing

We are pleased to announce that as part of our software services program DSS is building and hosting a Reciprocal Borrowing application on behalf of the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA).  BTAA institutions, plus the University of Chicago, provide reciprocal borrowing privileges to current faculty, emeritus faculty, students, and staff at the other member libraries. Borrowing privileges are governed by the lending library based on local circulation policies established for guest borrowers. To make use of this service, visiting borrowers must present an institutional photo ID, and verify their current affiliation by authenticating through the Reciprocal Borrowing application.  This web application will replace the existing paper based process.

Development work began in November and is expected to be released in production in time for the Spring 2017 semester. The application is built with the Ruby on Rails web framework and Shibboleth federated identity management technologies. Guest borrower attribute release is made possible via common membership in InCommon and registration in the research and scholarship category. The source code is released under an Apache License Version 2.0 and is available from GitHub under umd-lib/reciprocal-borrowing.