Stew of the month: December 2017

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, Rebecca Wack, and Doug McElrath (SCUA) continued to work on a grant application for the HMNP Phase Four project. Titles representing immigrant communities are on the docket for potential digitization, including Czech, Italian, and German-language titles from Baltimore. With new batches of Maryland papers being uploaded to Chronicling America each month, the HMNP now boasts over 40% of Phase Three’s digitized titles published and available to the public. The most recent addition is Snow Hill, Md.’s Democratic Messenger, with issues dating back to 1881.

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

Robin Pike continues to manage assistant Cecilia Franck in performing quality control of the files. Some amount of rework will need to be performed so quality control is taking longer than usual.

Other Digitization Activities

Robin worked with Vin Novara and John Davis (MSPAL/SCPA) to send a large collection of primarily digital videotapes of Clarice performances to an audiovisual digitization vendor. This project was funded as part of the DIC project proposal process.

Robin collaborated with Joanne Archer, Laura Schnitker, and Laura Cleary (all SCUA) to discuss the path forward for the CLIR Recordings at Risk National Federation of Community Broadcasters project, including prepping the materials and contract, and planning future outreach and social media posts about the collection.

Eric Cartier announced he will be leaving at the end of January to pursue other opportunities in Baton Rouge, LA, moving with Amanda Hawk (SCUA). Robin Pike began making preparations for his departure in concluding active in-house digitization projects and implementing new ways to track in-house projects that will allow her to balance managing both vendor and in-house projects for the short-term.

Rebecca Wack and Judi Kidd assisted Robin throughout November and December, managing the Digitization Center, and will continue to do so in January. Cecilia Franck, a recently graduated student assistant, will become a C1 assistant to help Robin manage the daily operations of the Hornbake Digitization Center. Robin and Cecilia will be meeting with stakeholders in January and February to discuss short-term reduced operations and in-house project schedules.

Eric Cartier has been working to conclude quality control of outstanding projects, has been writing documentation about 2017 and 2016 projects, and has updated many procedures for the digitization center.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Katherine Anne Porter Collection Progress

DPI prepared a batch load process for the Katherine Anne Porter letters, and tested loading the letters on a development server. Loading the content into a production environment awaits the provisioning of additional storage space in January.

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

The CLAS team responded to 66 Aleph Rx submissions and 20 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in December.

HTTPS for Aleph OPAC

As part of the trend to move to encrypt all web traffic by enabling/enforcing HTTPS, CLAS has enabled HTTPS across all functions of the Aleph OPAC. Ultimately HTTPS will be enforced in the OPAC, meaning that any HTTP traffic will be redirected to HTTPS. However, a few campus-specific applications need to be modified and tested before this change can be made.

EZproxy upgrade

EZproxy was upgraded to version 6.3.5 for all USMAI libraries that have a USMAI-hosted instance of EZproxy. This upgrade includes important updates to ensure the continued security of the primary access method for libraries’ licensed resources.

Aleph Support to Campuses

Booking functionality for UMBC

David Wilt worked with UMBC to set up booking functionality in Aleph for UMBC’s reserves items. This will allow UMBC’s patrons to schedule in advance the use of reserves materials. Testing was completed and this functionality is now in production.

GOBI shelf-ready loader for LNDL

Joseph Koivisto worked with LNDL to configure Aleph to accommodate LNDL’s use of GOBI’s “shelf-ready” service. This service will automate the provisioning of records in Aleph and reduce the work LNDL needs to do to make resources available to their users. The loader configuration is currently being tested and will be moved to production once testing is successfully completed.

Label printing for UMD

Linda Seguin has been working with library staff at UMD to determine if the BIAF label printing program will work for their label printing needs. UMD has been using a homegrown application for a number of years.


DSpace Version Upgrade

The upgrade to DSpace version 6 continued in December. Work was completed on the release branch for version 6.2 and promoted it to the MD-SOAR development environment for internal testing. DSS will review internally in early January after which the release will be promoted to the MD-SOAR sandbox/stage environment for review by MD-SOAR partners.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Joseph Koivisto attended “Advancing Postsecondary Student Success Through OER”, a day-long summit sponsored by the University System of Maryland and other partners, on December 8th.