Stew of the month: September 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

Rebecca Wack submitted batch cumberland to the Library of Congress and through batch j to the digitization vendor; two more batches will be submitted to the vendor in October.

Wack and Robin Pike submitted the second interim report to the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress detailing the grant progress and outreach accomplishments over the past six months.

Wack formed a Twitter group of NDNP state awardees for monthly campaigns to occur the second Tuesday of the month under the hashtag #ChronAmParty. The first campaign will be #CreepyNews and will highlight Halloween historic news.

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

Scott Pennington completed quality assurance on the deliverables from batch 1 and the 15 audiotapes from the David C. Driskell Center. He will share the enhanced metadata from all batches with SCUA and Driskell Center staff to enhance current collection guides.

Other Digitization Activities

Rebecca Wack worked with Vin Novara (SCPA) to write and submit a Letter of Inquiry for a Grammy Museum Foundation Preservation Implementation Grant to preserve and digitize a portion of “The Listening Room,” a radio program from the Robert Sherman Collection.

Robin Pike and other Digitization Initiatives Committee members revised the procedures and proposal form for FY19 digitization project proposals to account for an increased emphasis on the staff and financial resources required of preservation activities before digitization. These revisions will be presented at the October 19 Library Assembly meeting when the call for proposals opens.

Pike shipped the following digitization projects to vendors, beginning the FY18 digitization cycle: Spiro Agnew audio recordings, Athletics videotapes, The Black Explosion student newspaper, Arthur Godfrey films, and serials from the Mass Media and Culture collection area.

Eric Cartier began meeting with SCPA and SCUA collection managers to begin planning the 2018 calendar year in-house digitization projects. He also worked with experienced student assistants to train new and returning student assistants to begin in-house audio digitization, enabling the completion of more requests and projects in-house.

Cartier and Digitization Assistants also completed digitizing materials for the physical and virtual Labor Exhibit, which opened October 6.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Digital Collections

Now that the Diamondback Student Newspapers project is well underway (with the FY 2016 data having been loaded and released), Joshua Westgard has begun work on the data handler for the Katherine Anne Porter Correspondence. Because of the modular design of the batchload client developed by DPI and SSDR, the only section of the code that needs modification is the piece that interprets the original data and assembles it into repository objects. Work on the FY2017 Diamondback data continues in parallel to the work on the KAP project.

New Additions to DRUM

Almost 300 theses and dissertations from UMD summer 2017 graduates have recently been deposited in DRUM bringing the total to more than 13,000. Here’s the breakdown of new entries by college:

82 – A. James Clark School of Engineering
21 – College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
41 – College of Arts & Humanities
46 – College of Behavioral & Social Sciences
67 – College of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences
18 – College of Education
3 – College of Information Studies
4 – Philip Merrill School of Journalism
6 – Robert H. Smith School of Business
2 – School of Architecture, Planning, & Preservation
6 – School of Public Health
2 – School of Public Policy

Check out the latest research from UMD grads at the UMD Theses and Dissertations Collection in DRUM.

Reports from the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) have recently been deposited in DRUM (http://hdl.handle.net/1903/19607). Administered by the National Center for Smart Growth Research & Learning, PALS is designed to provide low-cost assistance to local governments while creating real-world problem-solving experiences for UMD students. Faculty incorporate the jurisdiction’s specific issues as part of their course and students use the classroom concepts to complete these sustainability-focused projects. Students gain experience while working with a real client and produce a useful product for the partner city or county. Currently all reports in DRUM are restricted to campus-use only but, as permissions are obtained, the access restrictions will be lifted.

Open Journal Systems Upgrade Planning

DPI Graduate Assistant Carlos Alvarado is investigating updating our electronic journal publishing platform to the latest software version, in close collaboration with Terry Owen, Josh Westgard, and Kate Dohe.  Open Journal Systems (OJS) 3.0 represents a significant upgrade effort, with substantial changes to the user interface for editors and authors, as well as modernized, responsive journal templates for readers.

Software Development

Fedora Content Repository

The UMD Student Newspapers public interface is now available, with digitized versions of The Diamondback student newspaper from 1910-1971.  This interface is built using Fedora Content Repository, IIIF, Mirador, Solr, and Hippo CMS technologies.

ArchivesSpace

We have deployed ArchivesSpace 2.1 which contains the overhauled Public User Interface.  Planning is now underway for the changes necessary to release this as the preferred public access to Archival Collections beginning in January.

Hippo

Work continued on the Libi staff intranet replacement and the upgrade to Hippo version 11. Hippo 11 is planned for release at the end of October.

Reciprocal Borrowing

We added new features in Reciprocal Borrowing 1.1.1 and 1.1.2 which are currently in the user testing pipeline.  These support a change from using Shibboleth affiliation attributes to a reciprocal borrowing specific entitlement attribute for checking member eligibility to participate in the program.

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

The CLAS team responded to 122 Aleph Rx submissions and 35 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in September.

Aleph Session Fixation Issue Resolved

One of the oldest, unresolved Aleph Rx tickets, #11311, was resolved in September. This fixed a longstanding security issue in the Aleph OPAC.

Aleph Inventory Functionality

At the request of several USMAI libraries, CLAS has been investigating Aleph’s inventory functionality in order to determine the feasibility of implementing this functionality and assessing its usefulness USMAI libraries that wish to conduct inventories of their collections. Following CLAS’ initial investigation, a short term working group will be formed to review the available functionality, document recommended workflows, and assess any gaps in functionality.

Problem Reporting Forms Migration

CLAS hosts several HTML forms for use by USMAI, mostly for submission of requests and issues by staff at USMAI libraries but also some end-user forms. Work is currently underway to migrate these forms to our form system Wufoo. This will give the forms a new look, allow us to take advantage of some more modern form functionality, and simplify the process of modifying the forms. As we migrate these, we’ll also review the forms to make sure they collect necessary information effectively. And, we’ll get feedback from form users to make sure they meet the needs of USMAI.

MD-SOAR

The development of autosuggest functionality for subjects and formats on the MD-SOAR submission form has been completed and released in production. The autosuggest feature will allow users submitting records to choose from already submitted metadata values, which will minimize variations in metadata values, resulting in better discovery.

More batch loads were completed for Salisbury in September. The remainder will be completed in early October. The process was slowed by the discovery of a bug in the DSpace process for creating thumbnails. This bug is expected to be fixed in the upgrade to DSpace v6, currently scheduled to start in mid-October. These new collections and other recently submitted items can be viewed in MD-SOAR’s list of recent submissions.

Staffing

DCMR welcomed two new student assistants. Maggie McCready works for Eric Cartier in the Hornbake Digitization Center and Maya Reid began working on the Office of Research, Planning and Assessment office records digitization project; both are first semester students in the College of Information Studies specialized in archives.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

David Dahl attended the Maryland Research and Education Network’s annual symposium on September 29th.

Rebecca Wack, Robin Pike, and Doug McElrath (SCUA) attended the National Digital Newspaper Program Awardees Conference September 11-13 in Washington, DC. Pike presented on performing copyright research on newspapers published between 1923-1963 and McElrath presented on performing outreach to genealogical communities.

Kate Dohe’s article with Erin Pappas (University of Virginia Libraries) “The many flavors of ‘yes’: Libraries, collaboration, and improv” was published in the September issue of College & Research Libraries News. During the month of September it was among the most-viewed articles in the online issue.

On Oct. 3-4, several DSS staff members participated in the semi-annual DC Area Fedora User Group meeting held at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. Ben Wallberg introduced the recently released Diamondback Student Newspapers interface, and Peter Eichman gave a presentation on his work developing RDF content models for OCR text using the W3C Web Annotation Standard.  In addition to being the primary organizer of the meeting, Joshua Westgard presented on three topics: (1) the newly formalized Fedora API, and the API alignment sprints recently undertaken by the Fedora community, (2) a Python-based batchload client developed by UMD, and (3) the import/export feature and tooling developed by the Fedora community.  The meeting highlighted both the recent progress in the Fedora community toward meeting the challenges of building reliable, flexible, and scalable repository services, and also the significant contributions made by the UMD Libraries toward achieving those goals.

David Durden and Kate Dohe attended the Research Data Management Implementations Workshop in Arlington, VA on September 14-15.

David Durden presented on the topic of Data Librarianship to new UMD iSchool students in Beth St. Jean’s course, “Serving Information Needs” (LBSC 602), on October 3, 2017. He introduced concepts and skills typical to data librarian positions, and highlighted iSchool courses that would prepare students for work in data curation and management.

Visits

Stew of the month: May 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

The Library of Congress has accepted the sample batch for the Historic Maryland Newspaper Project, and the project is marching forward with digitization for the first two full batches–over 20,000 pages of newsprint in progress with the digitization vendor.

Title research for future HMNP representation is underway, with an eye towards representing underserved, minority, and immigrant communities across the state. So far, evidence of papers representing African-American, Polish, German, and Jewish interests have been located, though whether the physical newspapers or microfilm remains intact and accessible for digitization remains has yet to be examined

Synergies Among African American History and Culture (AADHum)

While waiting on the first large shipment to return from the vendor, the AADHum team has been working on selections for the second shipment. Coordinating with SCUA and MITH’s team, we have begun selecting materials for the early July shipment for batch two. Materials proposed for digitization include Labor’s involvement with busing in the early 1970s and school desegregation from areas as diverse as Boston, Massachusetts to Montgomery, Alabama.

Other Digitization Activities

Manager, Robin Pike met with collection managers to begin the FY18 vendor digitization project funded by the Digitization Initiatives Committee (DIC). She presented the project progress and FY18 budget at the May 24 Library Assembly meeting.

Digitization Projects Assistant Cecilia Franck began quality review work of the first batch of the FY17 Diamondback Digitization Project, the second annual project phase. This project is funded by a UMD Launch campaign and the DIC project proposal process.

Digitization assistant Shiyun Chen finished scanning documents related to the writing of the Japanese Constitution, from the Charles L. Kades papers. The documents are now available in the Internet Archive to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the constitution’s enactment. More information about the 70th anniversary can be found on the Prange Collection blog.

For the upcoming Irmgard Bartenieff/Institute of Movement Studies exhibit in Special Collections in Performing Arts, digitization assistant Becca Mena digitized oversize charcoal sketches, which had been flattened and stabilized by Preservation and Conservation staff, and digitization assistants Jonathan Lin and Shiyun transferred 36 reel-to-reel audio tapes.
All digitization assistants continued to digitize high-resolution scanning of photographs and posters for the upcoming Labor in America exhibit for Special Collections and University Archives.

Digital  Programs and Initiatives

Josh Westgard participated in a Fedora sprint focusing on building import/export functionality for Fedora systems. The tools developed in this sprint provide a way to serialize content from a Fedora repository onto disk, to verify the accuracy and completeness of the serialization, and to import previously serialized content back into Fedora. A particular focus during this sprint was a feature to package exports in BagIt bags, including bags that conform to the profile of Academic Preservation Trust, of which the Libraries are a member. This feature will allow the Libraries to package assets in our Fedora repository in a self-contained way for transmission to off-site preservation storage, and to restore that content losslessly in the future.

Software Development

ArchivesSpace – Released several new features requested by Special Collections and University Archives, including Single-Sign-On using the campus directory, a new payments module, and improved search results display.

AutoNumber – This small web application is used by digitization staff to assign unique file names and numbers to digitized files.  We have migrated this app to Ruby on Rails in this 1.0 release of the new codebase.

Hippo – Released version 10.2.5-0, which contained security and bug fixes, and 10.2.5-1 which contained two major new features: 1) Database Finder has removed the Categories/Sub-Categories for browse/search and added Subjects which are aligned with the Subject Specialists. Also, databases are maintained directly in Hippo CMS and are no longer synchronized from Metalib. 2)  UMD Student Newspapers is available as a soft release (staff review only for now) and being prepared for public release by University Archives staff.  This interface provides access to digitized issues of the Diamondback (1910-1971).

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

The CLAS team responded to 123 Aleph Rx submissions and 30 e-resource requests from across the consortium’s libraries in May.

LNDL EZproxy/Shibboleth Transition

The switch to Shibboleth authentication and USMAI-hosted EZproxy for Loyola Notre Dame Library (LNDL) was completed on May 25th. The switch to Shibboleth authentication allows LNDL patrons to login in to e-resources and OPAC services with their campus credentials. The move to USMAI-hosted EZproxy enables LNDL staff to focus on other local priorities.

Sustainable Collection Services

USMAI has selected OCLC’s Sustainable Collection Services (SCS) to analyze and coordinate print collection management. The service uses a web-based application called GreenGlass to facilitate the analysis. This involves extracting data from Aleph to load into GreenGlass. CLAS has been working with OCLC and staff at USMAI libraries to create specifications for the data extract for each USMAI library. The extract process is now underway and scheduled for completion in mid-June.

Report on USMAI Communication and Collaboration Platforms

Following the collection of data through surveys, interviews, and focus groups in the fall of 2016, CLAS has submitted an analysis of USMAI’s communication and collaboration platforms. Proposed actions based on the analysis include (1) consolidating USMAI’s web platforms into a unified web portal, (2) revising the information architecture for public and staff web content, (3) creating new areas of content, including materials for orienting new staff at USMAI libraries, (4) establishing an informal communication channel for the consortium, and (5) identifying recommended tools to facilitate USMAI communication and collaboration. The report has been shared with USMAI library directors. In early FY18, CLAS will begin investigating technical solutions for a unified web portal.

Staffing

Cecilia Franck, DCMR Digitization Projects Assistant, won the “Outstanding Student Assistant” award, particularly for her phenomenal work on the Diamondback Digitization Project and other vendor digitization projects.

DCMR hired two new student assistants. Rayanne Weigel and Sydney Schneider will be assisting with metadata collation and batch quality review for the HMNP.

DPI graduate assistants David Durden and Caitlin Carter graduated with their Masters in Library Science from the College of Information Studies. We are grateful to both of them for their exceptional contributions to the department over the past two years. Caitlin has accepted a full-time librarian position with another university, and we wish her luck in her future endeavors.

We are pleased to announce that David Durden will (re)join DPI as the Data Services Librarian in June.

Conferences, workshops and professional development

Joseph Koivisto attended the Maryland & Delaware Library Associations Joint Annual Conference on May 11. He co-presented a poster on MD-SOAR with representatives from other MD-SOAR partners. Robin Pike also presented at the conference on May 12, in collaboration with Molly Olney-Zide, the project manager for the Delaware Digital Newspaper Project. They presented a one-hour workshop about the National Digital Newspaper Program, the two statewide projects, and how to use Chronicling America. Kate Dohe co-taught the workshop “Starting with ‘Yes, And…’: Improv Fundamentals for Collaboration in Libraries” with Erin Pappas, Arts and Humanities Librarian at the University of Virginia.

Linda Seguin attended the ELUNA 2017 Conference and Ex Libris Technical Seminar from May 8-12 in Chicago.