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Stew of the month: December 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

Robin Pike received the sample (four duplicated reels) from the microfilm duplication vendor. The reel of vinegar film did not meet 100% standards despite the additional manual work of the vendor. Pike worked with Maria Day of the Maryland State Archives (MSA) on selecting additional microfilm for the first half the project, making substitutions for the microfilm with vinegar syndrome. MSA staff are looking into alternative film throughout January; if other film cannot be located, the project will probably not digitize The Evening Capital during grant three.

Pike and Doug McElrath (SCUA) met with subject liaison librarians to inform them about Chronicling America http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ and the titles available from the State of Marylandhttp://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/awardees/mdu/. They also discussed the popular new API http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/about/api/ which allows partial or full data harvest for analysis: Pike prepared an information sheet for the liaisons which includes general information and subject-specific information.

Pike also began updating the project website http://www.lib.umd.edu/digital/newspapers/home to reflect some of the changes and additions of grant three.

Pike continued to work on the proposal for the digitization vendor contract.

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

The pilot project digitized files for AADHum were received from the vendor. Students will soon begin to perform quality assurance on the files.

Other Digitization Activities

Digitization assistants Becca Mena and Suzy Wilson inspected 50 general athletics videos and 41 Gymkana digitized video files from a vendor. The original media ranged between VHS, U-matic, Betacam, BetacamSP, and DVD-R. The Athletics project was funded through the DIC project proposal process and the Gymkana digitization was funded by a UMD Launch fundraiser through the School of Public Health.

Working with Preservation and Conservation, Pike received the drive of files for the earliest iterations of The Diamondback, which were produced by the conservation vendor while they were stabilizing the damaged originals. After inspection, these files will be sent to the digitization vendor for post-processing to the metadata specifications as the rest of the project.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Save the Date: “Terps Publish” Student Publishing Fair

In collaboration with University Archives and Library Communications, DPI is pleased to announce the first Terps Publish: Student Publishing Fair will be held on April 11, 2017. Terps Publish is designed to showcase student publishing activity at UMD, and foster discussion about the challenges and opportunities student publishers encounter. The event will provide student publishers with a hosted roundtable to connect with peers and library resources for publishing and will also feature a fair to promote and celebrate student publishing activities. The program is modeled on similar initiatives at Georgetown University, Ohio University, and Dartmouth College. Stay tuned for more details, including participating student publications.

Software Development

Fedora 4 Content Repository – Completed the upgrade to version 4.7 which represents a significant change to Fedora’s underlying persistence implementation.

Annual Staffing RequestVersion 1.0 was released into production and Libraries’ mangers have begun entering their staffing requests for FY18.  Work continues on version 1.1 containing administrative functionality to be released in January.

Student Applications – The final changes for version 1.0 containing the application submission interface were decided on based on user testing and implementation is nearing completion for a January release.

Hippo – Initial development on the version 10 upgrade and promotion process was completed and version 10 was promoted to the staging site for user testing.

User and System Support

User and System Support (USS) is testing out Microsoft Windows 10 and planning to deploy Windows 10 to a few staff for testing in a few weeks.  Windows 10 is little different when it comes to the look and feel of the Graphical User interface so we hope to learn more from library staff that have agreed to help with testing.

USS is currently investigating the use of VMWare Horizon/ Mirage desktop virtualization application, as a tool for managing our windows machines in the libraries public and staff environment. Compared to Citrix, VMWare Horizon/Mirage Desktop virtualization is less expensive while also more rewarding than other desktop virtualization solutions.

The virtual desktop environment limits the number of hardware related issues end users face and the response time for our end users is considerably improved. Library support staff would be able to get end users up and running in a matter of minutes instead of the hours it takes to re-image a machine. Software deployment would also be quicker and be possible without a re-image of the end machine. Also the Virtual environment decreases the cost of machine upgrades. Ends users can pull up fully functional workstations from bare minimum mini PCs, which are less expensive and more easily maintained than a computer.

Staffing

Dwonne Knight and Kayode Bamidele joined DSS as IT Support Assistants working in User and System Support.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Kate Dohe and Ben Wallberg attended the Coalition for Networked Information fall meeting in Washington, DC on December 12-13.

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