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
Library of Congress approved our sample batch, and Pam delivered the physical content for the first three production batches of this round of the Historic Maryland Newspapers Project to our digitization vendor, Creekside Digital. This included the Czech foreign language title, the Telegraf, as well as the print titles, Greenbelt Cooperator and Maryland Suffrage News. Student assistants, Jane and Sydney, finished collation on the Montgomery County Sentinel. Pam coordinated a quarterly conference call with the HMNP Advisory Board to continue conversations on outreach and had a great discussion around resources we can provide to partners throughout the state to promote Chronicling America.
Additionally, Pam attended the Digital Maryland Open House at Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore and met with advisory board member, Caprice Di Liello, who hadn’t been able to attend our in-person meeting in April to provide a project update and learn about the resources at Pratt. Caprice along with Meg Gers from Pratt’s Periodicals Department shared about possible titles for future digitization as well as some of the outreach surrounding newspapers they are doing throughout the state.
We increased our HMNP social media content with Jane and Sydney adding weekly posts from the Maryland newspapers to the twitter account. Pam met with the SCUA social media team to learn about their social media campaigns and make plans to join in on future coordinated social media and outreach projects. Pam also met with Ashleigh Coren and Ben Shaw to discuss adding Chronicling America and HMNP to some of the SCUA lib guides and creating some highlighted content around certain titles that correlate with lib guide topics.
Pam also led an Advisory Board quarterly call to provide updates on batches for phase 4, to discuss recent vacancies on the Board and potential replacement members, to talk about titles or themes for a potential phase 5, and outreach ideas from the Advisory Board.
Other Digitization Projects
Robin Pike worked on FY20 vendor digitization project plans and vendor quotes. We have finalized the quotes for two of the three vendors that will be used for FY20 projects. She also worked to set up a new project management tool for FY20 vendor projects. This year, we will be exploring how Clickup, the online tool Rebecca Wack found and customized for in-house digitization in the Hornbake Digitization Center, can be used for project portfolio management.
Robin also continued to work with the Office of Research Administration to finalize the paperwork for the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is now familiar with the process of creating a subaward for vendor work.
Student Liz Holdzkom reviewed deliverables for digitization projects received during May and June—Spiro Agnew audio recordings, The Diamondback student newspaper, the Brooke family papers, Internet Archive batch 3 of Mass Media and Culture serials, and files for patron requests. The first of these projects was funded by a CLIR grant, and the second three were funded by the Digitization Initiatives Committee project proposal process.
Juana Godinez began work to inventory the DVDs she has created over many years in Library Media Services. These discs were created as access copies for film and videotapes upon requests or because of importance to the LMS collection—some media may be one copy of only a few cataloged in the world. Creating this inventory is the first step to facilitate the media’s future ingest into the Films@UM collection in UMD Digital Collections, where they will be more discoverable to the UMD community and other researchers.
Hornbake Digitization Center
The Hornbake Digitization Center is going shopping! Planned purchases include a copy stand and a post-processing software package. Copy stands are useful tools in digitization, utilizing a height-adjustable arm and a DSLR camera to create uniform images of everything from objects to rare books to photographs. It acts as an overhead tripod. The addition of a copy stand will make imaging easier for student digitization assistants and provide a better end-product for curators and patrons.
Digital Programs and Initiatives
Avalon Media Repository Pilot Update
The Avalon Media Repository Pilot project will conclude in August. The principal stakeholders, representing staff across all three divisions and multiple libraries, met to discuss and recommend a plan of action regarding digital AV repository management in the future. The final report will be circulated to the Library Managers Group this fall. This is a considerable project that will impact the long term management and curation of unique digital AV materials for the Libraries, and DPI wishes to thank the many stakeholders and team members who contributed to listening sessions, consented to user experience observations, and wrangled with content, hard drives, spreadsheets, batch loaders, and password resets throughout. This was an important first step on a very complex path, and DPI could not have gotten there without excellent collaborators.
DPI continues to work on a number of projects in process, including the final migration of the Health Equity Archive, planning upgrades to Open Journal Systems, the Dataverse pilot, the CodeOcean pilot, digital collection ingests, and changes to archiving and preservation back-of-house workflows.
Digital Collections Common Search – continued implementation of a new interface with the new Digital Collections theme and Solr backend to replace the current theme for Digital Collections (backed by Fedora 2)
Archelon – continues work on Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Milestone 1 – Authentication and Access Control, Administration; began planning for Milestone 2 – Batch Export of Metadata
USMAI (University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions) Library Consortium
The CLAS team responded to 109 Aleph Rx submissions and 7 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in July.
Aleph-ILLiad NCIP Integration live at UMD
UMD became the first USMAI library to implement this integration on July 15th. CLAS staff moved the NCIP functionality from Aleph’s TEST environment into production and configured UMD collections, item statuses, etc. to make everything work as expected. We’ve squashed a few related bugs in the subsequent weeks, but by and large everything is working as expected.
MARC 856 subfield 7 update
USMAI has used the value ‘FREE’ in 856 subfield 7 to identify open access URLs that should display for all USMAI patrons. Recently, the value ‘0’ was validated to indicate the same. To accommodate this and enable display/access of these URLS, changes are needed in Aleph, SFX, and EDS. Aleph and SFX TEST environments have been updated. A request has been submitted to EBSCO to update EDS catalog databases for all libraries to display unproxied URLs for these resources.
Project Work Continues!
In addition to the above, July was a busy month for support and issue resolution. Nevertheless, we made some good progress on several projects.
- Data Warehouse: Our focus this month was on the reporting environment. We completed an upgrade to 7.2 and started work on a few configuration changes that will take care of some nagging behaviors like session timeouts and default report types.
- Web Platform Migration: An audit of over 2500 pages of content required some heavy lifting this month. This included categorizing the content, identifying a responsible part for the content, and making some determinations on whether the content should move to the new site. Additionally, we’ve put in a request to set up our new usmai.org production environment, which we hope to deploy on AWS.
- Marcive Authority Control: A profile for the new authority control service was completed by a small but mighty working group (many thanks to the group!). Now that we have a quote, the next step is procurement.
- EZproxy Upgrade: The upgrade of EZproxy to v6.5.2 was completed on July 3rd. The new version includes a feature called IntrusionAPI that communicates with a 3rd-party service that identifies known hacker/pirate IP addresses and audits/blocks them. CLAS is currently monitoring this service in audit mode.
We said goodbye to HMNP student assistants Sydney Schneider and Jane Sonneman this month. Sydney graduated this summer with her BA in English and has moved to LA for a job in human resources at a law firm. Jane began a graduate assistantship in the School of Engineering here at UMD and continues her studies in the HiLS program as well as working part-time in the Hornbake Digitization Center.
Conferences, workshops and professional development
Robin Pike guest-lectured on digitizing special collections for The Catholic University of America’s iSchool’s Special Collections class on July 22.
Kate Dohe was an invited speaker for a webinar sponsored by the ACRL Digital Scholarship Section’s (the other DSS) Open Research and Digital Collections Discussion Groups. Confronting Algorithmic Bias in Open Research Collections was attended by 237 live participants, and another 316 who registered to receive the recording after the session. Kate’s topic was “The Digital is Critical: Creating and Maintaining Radical Library Systems.” Relive the magic by watching the recording.
DSS at Code4Lib DMV 2019
The Code4Lib regional meetup took place on August 15, 2019 at the University of Baltimore, and was attended by approximately forty attendees from libraries and cultural heritage institutions located in Maryland, Virginia, DC, and Delaware. Joseph Koivisto, David Durden, and Kate Dohe took part in planning and leading the event. From DSS, Josh Westgard, Margaret Rose Hunt, Tiffany Schoneboom, Joseph Koivisto, and Kate Dohe presented on a variety of topics over the course of the day.