- Directors’ Message: LEARN partners receive TDL update
- Baylor prepares for upcoming Open Access Week
- TDL Development Update: TxLOR project nearing release
- TDL Groups offer opportunities for participation
- TDL discusses Vireo at ETD 2010
- Sign up now for summer 2010 training courses
Directors’ Message: LEARN partners receive TDL update
On June 10-11, we gave an update at a meeting of the Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN) at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. LEARN is a key strategic partner of the TDL and has benefited our organization and its members in important ways, for example, with the creation of the LEARN Shibboleth federation and with the provision and management of high-speed networks.
In attendance at the LEARN meeting were representatives from LEARN network institutions, including a number of TDL members as well as those not currently part of the TDL consortium. While there, we had the opportunity to update the LEARN membership on the status of the Texas Digital Library, and we discussed progress on two key initiatives. (You can view the full PowerPoint presentation here.)
First, we announced a pending contract with the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) that will provide 160 terabytes of archival storage to TDL member institutions. Given the amount of storage and the necessity of moving large blocks of data across LEARN managed networks, this is information that the LEARN members listened to with a great deal of interest.
This storage will be allotted to TDL members based on membership tiers and will constitute the “dark archive” for the TDL Preservation Network. In addition to having a certain amount of space allotted to them, members will be able to purchase additional storage space in the PresNet as needed.
Secondly, we met with Vice President and CIO Jerry York and key staff of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio to discuss the Texas Learning Object Repository – a statewide collaborative project that our development team continues work on this summer – as well as potential TDL membership.
You can read about the work the TDL development team is currently doing with TxLOR in this month’s issue of TDL Update. And we’ll have additional information about the progress of the TDL Preservation Network in the July issue of the newsletter.
Mark McFarland & John Leggett
Baylor prepares for upcoming Open Access Week after success of 2009 events
Will your institution observe Open Access Week in 2010? If you intend to, then now is the time to start planning, and the lessons learned by Baylor University Libraries in 2009 may help.
Open Access Week (OA Week) is scheduled to take place October 18-24, 2010. TDL member institution Baylor University has already begun preparations for the event to follow up on a successful first campaign during 2009.
The OA Week team presented a poster at TCDL 2010 on its activities, which generated interest among some faculty about Open Access scholarly communications, particularly the online journal management services Baylor offers through its membership in the TDL.
Open Access Week is a worldwide event designed to promote the concept of free and immediate online access to research, and it allows academic research institutions the opportunity to educate faculty, students, and others about the benefits of Open Access.
Baylor Libraries participated in OA Week in 2009 with a number of events designed to engage faculty about Open Access and promote services offered by the TDL. Among other things, Baylor Libraries – led by Billie Peterson-Lugo (Director of Resources and Collection Management Services for the Baylor Electronic Library) and Beth Tice (Associate Director for Central Libraries) – held faculty coffees at locations across the campus and sponsored a lecture on open access journals.
For the faculty coffees, Baylor Libraries set up information stations at several spots on campus: in the business building, the education building, and the science building. They offered coffee and donut holes and staffed the tables with two or three library staff members who engaged faculty members about Open Access, scholarly services that Baylor offers via the Texas Digital Library, and other issues.
Additionally, the library staff invited Linda Kornasky, English professor at TDL member institution Angelo State University, to speak to faculty about setting up an online scholarly journal. Kornasky manages and edits the Journal of Texas Women Writers, hosted by the TDL Electronic Press.
Following OA Week last year, the Baylor Libraries team received several requests for follow-up meetings and talks about OA and had interest from several faculty members about setting up online scholarly journals through TDL.
The team is already gearing up for the 2010 OA Week, which takes place October 18-24, and plans to reprise the faculty coffees.
The services offered by the Texas Digital Library can provide libraries and faculty at TDL member institutions with tools that increase the availability of institutional research and library collections. In this way, the TDL supports universities in their efforts to increase access to the scholarly output of their institutions, and gives faculty members opportunities to employ new methods for scholarly research, collaboration, and dissemination.
The TDL encourages members to use Open Access Week as an opportunity to educate faculty on the availability of new models for publishing research, including via Open Access peer-reviewed journals and institutional repositories hosted by the Texas Digital Library.
The TDL will be providing materials intended for use by its members in observing Open Access Week; those materials will be located on the OA section of the TDL website at TDL.org/open-access.
Anyone interested in OA Week can also find helpful resources on the Open Access Week website. ◊
Open Access Week: Lessons Learned
Here are a few things Baylor librarians learned in their preparation for OA Week last year:
- Get out of the library. Reaching out to faculty in their own environments through the faculty coffees was the most successful activity. The single most rewarding outing for the Baylor librarians was at the education building, where they set up shop near faculty mailboxes. (And donut holes were a big draw!)
- Don’t just talk: Listen. One of the goals of Baylor’s OA Week planning was to hear faculty concerns about OA and scholarly communications as much as to communicate their own message about open access.
- Handouts aren’t necessary, but freebies are great. The Baylor staff handed out post-it notes and pens, but in response to some OA Week website tips, didn’t use handouts, which can just end up in trash cans.
- Target specific groups. The activities that worked best were those that addressed targeted groups of people. For 2010, Baylor plans to target more specific audiences, rather than issue a general invitation for a lecture or roundtable.
- Be prepared to follow up. The OA Week activities generated several follow-up meetings with deans and departments, as well as interest from several faculty members in setting up OA e-journals. This interest also led to policy discussions at the provost level.
TDL Development Update: TxLOR project nearing release
The TDL development team held a sprint review on June 25, during which they demonstrated accomplishments with the Texas Learning Object Repository Project over the previous two weeks.
During this development iteration — the eighth sprint of the TxLOR project — the TDL team focused its efforts on readying the project for release: setting up the production-level server environments that will run the repository, developing a QA test plan, and upgrading the content dissemination side of TxLOR to the most current version of DSpace.
The TDL team will continue work on “hardening” the system, with the goal of releasing TxLOR by the end of the summer.
Other projects scheduled for Summer 2010 include development sprints devoted to the TDL Preservation Network and development cycles for hardening a DSpace statistics package for release with TDL institutional repositories. ◊
TDL Groups offer opportunities for member participation
As a consortium, the Texas Digital Library depends on the active participation of its members and users to be successful.
One way that members can be involved in the activities of the TDL is through Users Groups and Working Groups, which provide opportunities for member contributions focused on particular services, professional roles, and projects.
Several Users Groups have formed in the past few months, including the Vireo Users Group, a PresNet Users Group, and, most recently, a Technical Interest Group, intended for web developers, programmers, system admins, and others involved in implementation of TDL services at their institutions.
Please take a moment to visit the TDL Groups page of the website at TDL.org/groups to learn more about opportunities for participation, providing feedback, and helping other TDL members. ◊
TDL discusses Vireo at ETD 2010 in Austin
Representatives of the Texas Digital Library attended the 13th International Symposium on Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETD 2010). The conference took place in Austin, Texas, on June 16-18.
TDL Chief Technology Officer Peter Nürnberg presented on Vireo deployment experiences on Thursday, June 17, in a break-out session devoted to Vireo, the ETD submission and management software developed by the TDL. Also speaking in the session was Laura Hammons, Thesis Office director at Texas A&M University, the first institution to deploy Vireo in a live environment.
The final presenters were Sarah Shreeves and Mark Zulauf from the University of Illinois, which went live with Vireo in October 2009 after pilot testing in the spring; UI is making ETD submission through Vireo mandatory in the fall 2010 semester. John Hagen, the coordinator of the ETD Program at West Virginia University, moderated the session.
ETD 2010 was organized by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD) and was hosted by the University of Texas at Austin Libraries. Presentations from the conference will be available on the conference website. ◊
Sign up now for summer 2010 training courses offered by the TDL
The Texas Digital Library is pleased to offer four training courses for TDL members during the summer 2010 semester.
All training sessions will take place at Baylor University in Waco. For more information about location and cost, visit the TDL training page. To register for any course, visit the registration page (hosted by Baylor).
The following courses will be offered:
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Date: Thursday, July 29, 2010
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Date: Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM
Date: Thursday, August 26, 2010
Time: 9 AM – 4 PM ◊