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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.

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