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.
Historic Maryland Newspapers Project
The HMNP will be launching multiple social media channels this month. Rebecca Wack and student assistant Alex Carolan are rounding out strategies for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts, highlighting interesting articles and advertisements from the over 200,000 pages of historic Maryland newspapers published on Chronicling America. The launch date is set for Monday, March 6. Be on the lookout for announcements once the pages are live and, of course, please like and share.
The sample batch has been received from the digitization vendor and quality review will be completed in short order. Student assistants have continued collation work for future digitization and, assuming the sample batch passes muster, the first official batch for NDNP Grant Cycle 3 will be shipped out for digitization.
Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)
The AADHUM project is focusing on the first of two larger shipments for digitization. Scott Pennington will prepare approximately 19,000 pages in early April, split evenly between materials from SCUA and the Driskell Center. Pennington is collaborating with Jen Eidson and Ben Blake (both SCUA), Justin Hosbey
(Postdoctoral Associate at MITH) and Will Thomas
(Graduate Assistant, MITH), to select materials useful for the project from the George Meany Memorial Archives. They have identified a rich group of materials from the Civil Rights era, and final selections will be made at the end of February and beginning of March.
Stephanie Smith (Driskell Center) and Jovonne Bickerstaff
(Postdoctoral Associate at MITH) have nearly completed the selection of materials from the Driskell Center. Metadata work is proceeding rapidly on those materials.
Other Digitization Activities
The Hornbake Digitization Center is home to a new oversize scanner, another Zeutschel OS12000. The scanning area is 23.4″x33.1″, an upgrade from the previous machine’s scanning area of 18″x24″, and the updated software has enhanced features that will automate processes and increase efficiency.
Robin Pike continued to work with the other members of the Digitization Initiatives Committee to solidify the FY18 project list and budget. The budget will be presented to RG on March 13.
Pike continued to work on the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Recordings at Risk grant with Vin Novara (SCPA).
Eric Cartier met with Jen Eidson and Ben Blake (both SCUA) on two occasions to prepare the digitization workflow for the forthcoming labor exhibit in Hornbake Library. Assistants are currently at work on the first of six modules.
In her role as “Lead Project Advisor,” Pike continued to meet with staff from The Phillips Collection to discuss next steps in preparing for their IMLS grant project, if the application is successful, including processing and describing content, and selecting metadata standards and thesauri. The project team also discussed contingency plans if the application is not successful to create a smaller project for their upcoming 100th anniversary in 2021.
Digital Programs and Initiatives
With the impending release of version 1.0 of the Archelon administrative application, February saw DPI fully engaged with loading to our Fedora repository the nearly 1 terabyte of Diamondback newspapers data (represented by more than 200,000 digital objects). Any undertaking of this size and complexity is bound to encounter new problems when operating at scale, and this project was no exception. While the system had performed well under light loads, with the attempt to load full production data, new problems were uncovered with the indexing service. Fortunately, SSDR and DPI staff collaborated to identify the source of the problems and tuned the configuration of our application to make it more efficient under heavier loads. The ingest of all 3,503 issues of this first batch of Diamondback newspapers will be completed in early March.
New Additions to DRUM
Fifteen oral histories have recently been added to the Archive of Immigrant Voices in DRUM. Produced by students from the Center for Global Migration, the oral history project collects the stories of the experience of migration.
Save the Date!
In collaboration with Collection Strategies & Services, the spring 2017 speaker for the Future of the Research Library Speaker Series has been confirmed. Matt Barnes, Director of Sustainable Collection Services at OCLC is scheduled for Wednesday, 26 April from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm in the Special Events Room.
GA David Durden continued working on a library contracts inventory project, and conducted testing for the Archelon user interface.
Archelon – Version 1.0 was released to staff, see our Archelon 1.0 Release post for more details.
Annual Staffing Request – Version 1.1 was released with the complete administrative functionality necessary for Resources Group and Business & Budget Services office to review all personnel requests submitted for FY18. We have also begun work on version 1.2 which features fiscal year rollover, allowing for all current requests to be archived for later viewing and reporting (read-only), and clearing out the tables of new requests for the next fiscal year.
Hippo – Continued development of the new Libi / Box / Solr integration; began changes to Database Finder for maintaining databases directly in Hippo and for Subject reconciliation with Guides and the Subject Specialist directory; begin design and planning for new Textbook Availability searchable database of textbooks available through the top textbooks reserves program.
User and System Support
February saw a jump in 3D print requests for campus departments. We printed a few dozen mini Testudo statues for a cultural exchange program, 2 large Testudo statues and a Jim Henson/Kermit statue for marketing gifts, and also an extra large Testudo statue for the Giving Day challenge trophy.
Andrew Horbal and Preston Tobery gave a presentation on the J&SG MakerSpace at the February 14 Research & Learning Services Forum where they solicited feedback from librarians about their plans to develop training and documentation to help R&LS librarians incorporate J&SG Makerspace technologies into their instruction. Preston Tobery and Andrew Horbal received notification that the project that they submitted definitely will appear in the book 60 Makerspace Projects for Libraries as “3D Print a Bust of Yourself”. The book will be published by ALA Editions in the fall.
Windows 10 upgrade – In a few weeks, some library staff will have the opportunity to test drive Windows 10 to see if it works with their various applications.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Testing — Continued configuration on the VDI solutions, we have tested some aspects of VMware Horizon and we will continue to test.
USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium
Support to USMAI
The CLAS team responded to 133 Aleph Rx submissions and 36 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in February.
EBSCO Discovery Service URLs Modifications
During the LNDL Migration, an issue was uncovered with the display of URLs originating from 856 and 956 fields in the Aleph data extract. For many USMAI EDS campuses, these URLs were not filtered to display only those associated with the particular campus. For instance, a URL for access at Towson would show up in Eastern Shore’s EDS instance. Additionally, these URLs did not have the off-campus proxy string appended, meaning they would only work for users on campus. Ingrid Alie worked with EBSCO to devise a solution that would filter these URLs to only display those URLs relevant to the specific campus and also add the proxy string dynamically. EBSCO is currently rolling out this solution.
ProQuest Ebook Central
In alignment with ProQuest’s migration from EBL to their Ebook Central platform, Linda Seguin set up MARC record delivery for Ebook Central collections in WorldShare Collection Manager in order to add the new Ebook Central URLs to records in Aleph. The old EBL URLs (eblib.com) were removed from these records. During the process of loading the updated records, she was also able to overlay LC subject headings on approximately 8300 records that did not previously have any subject headings. This will improve discoverability of these resources in the OPAC and USMAI discovery layers. LNDL holdings were also added for DDA ebooks during this process.
In February, the USMAI Council of Library Directors voted to extend MD-SOAR beyond the end of its two-year pilot. The repository service has been extended for an additional three years with an option for renewal at that point in time. DSS looks forward to continuing this service for USMAI and its extended partners!
Repository Analytics and Metrics Portal (RAMP) Initiative
MD-SOAR, along with DRUM, is now a participant in the grant funded Repository Analytics and Metrics Portal initiative, spearheaded by Montana State University, ARL, University of New Mexico, and OCLC. The initiative seeks to identify methods for collecting more accurate use of institutional repositories, such as MD-SOAR. Thanks go to Joseph Koivisto for identifying this opportunity and working with the grant team on the initial configuration.
Marisa Gilman and Brahm Persaud began work as Student Digitization Assistants in February for DCMR. Marisa is a junior in the new College of Information Studies undergraduate program, and Brahm is a graduate student in the iSchool with a focus of human-computer interaction.
Alex Carolan (undergraduate College of Journalism) and Pranati Sumedha (graduate School of Engineering) began working for the Historic Maryland Newspapers project.
Conferences, workshops and professional development
Along with Sharon Epps, Rebecca Kemp Goldfinger, and Kate Dohe of the Faculty Mentoring Committee, Eric Cartier organized a special Writing Group meeting on February 15, inviting librarian and poet Oliver Bendorf to lead a workshop titled “Agile Writing for Archivists and Librarians.”
Robin Pike, Doug McElrath (SCUA), and Anna Kephart (archivist at the Southern Maryland Studies Center at the College of Southern Maryland) proposed a chapter for Librarianship and Genealogy: Trends, Issues, Case Studies about the use of Chronicling America and other digital newspaper resources in genealogical research in the State of Maryland. The chapter proposal was accepted.
Kate Dohe was accepted as a participant in the 2017 cohort of the Leading Change Institute. The Institute, sponsored by CLIR and EDUCAUSE, will be held June 11–16, in Washington, DC.