TDL Update - June 2011

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Directors’ Message: Changes in the TDL Organization

Dear TDL colleagues,

image of Texas Digital Library co-directors

TDL co-directors Mark McFarland and John Leggett

In April, we announced that John, who has served as co-director of the Texas Digital Library since its inception, is retiring from his positions at Texas A&M Libraries and the TDL as of August 31, 2011, and that Mark will continue as sole director for the next two years.

These decisions were approved at a meeting of the Governing Board on April 14. The Board has approved several other changes to the governance and organizational structure of TDL, which we’d also like to share with you.

Membership structure

First, the membership structure of the organization will be simplified. Previously, members joined the TDL consortium at one of three levels, depending on size. Going forward, members will belong to two levels –a level currently consisting of Association of Research Library schools (tier 1) and all others (tier 2).


As a result of this change in the tier structure, the composition of the Governing Board will change, and will consist of the deans of our four tier 1 members, plus three elected members from tier 2 schools. The board will also form an Executive Committee that will act on behalf of the board to direct day-to-day operations of the TDL. The TDL directors and board members are in the process of developing bylaws that will formalize these new structures.

We are still in the process of implementing many of these changes, which will not take full effect until the end of August.


A third set of changes happening this spring and summer involve the TDL staff. Beginning in May, The technical staff has been realigned to focus more on production issues, and Ladd Hanson, a seasoned manager with the UT Library Systems team, has taken over supervision of the team. Peter Nuernberg will continue leading software development work as Head of Development.

These changes come at a time when the TDL is at an important point in its evolution. Having completed the launch of our basic infrastructure and services, we are poised to take on new challenges, and we believe these changes will allow us to meet those challenges successfully.

Mark McFarland & John J. Leggett
TDL Co-directors

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Digital Libraries experts in Austin for OR11

Image of Peter Nuernberg at OR11

TDL lead developer Peter Nuernberg discusses cloud computing at OR11 in Austin.

The Texas Digital Library was pleased to co-sponsor the Sixth International Conference on Open Repositories (OR11), which was held this year in Austin and took place June 8-11 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

The annual Open Repositories conference brings together an international community of stakeholders engaged in the development, management, and application of digital repositories.

OR11 drew approximately 325 attendees from 22 countries, including 40 attendees from the UK alone. Other countries represented at the conference were Canada, Japan, Egypt, South Africa, and New Zealand.

The University of Texas Libraries hosted OR11, with support from institutional co-sponsors Texas Digital Library and Texas A&M University.

The program, developed by program chair Tom Cramer of Stanford University, included panels, presentations, workshops, a poster session, and several social events. In addition, more than a dozen meetings, workshops, and other events took place prior to the main conference at various locations on the UT Austin campus.

The TDL was represented in the main conference program by Peter Nürnberg, whose presentation “Digital Library Services in the Cloud” detailed the TDL’s experiences using Amazon Web Services. Additionally, James Creel presented on Texas A&M Libraries’ and Texas A&M Qatar’s efforts to develop an Arabic Repository Interface for DSpace, and Texas Tech Libraries discussed its long-term archival storage project REDDNET.

Faculty and staff from TDL members Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas A&M at Galveston, Texas State, Texas Tech, and UT Austin were in attendance at the conference, along with representatives from several other Texas institutions.

Presentations from the conference will be available soon on the OR11 website, which was hosted by the Texas Digital Library using Open Conference Systems.

For more images from the Open Repositories 2011 conference please visit the OR11 twitpic feed at


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Vireo Users Group chair receives ETD Leadership Award from NDLTD

Laura Hammons

Laura Hammons, Director of the Thesis Office at Texas A&M University and winner of a 2011 ETD Leadership Award

Laura Hammons, chair of the Vireo Users Group and Thesis Office Director at Texas A&M University, recently received the ETD Leadership Award from the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (NDLTD).

The ETD Leadership Award is one of several awards related to electronic thesis and dissertation (ETD) programs that NDLTD bestows yearly; it recognizes  those “who have made significant contributions to the worldwide ETD movement.”

“Receiving the ETD Leadership award is an incredible honor,” Hammons said, “and it speaks to the tremendous efforts of those around me as much as to my own. If anything, I see this award as a testament to the power of working together toward common goals.”

In addition to overseeing her institution’s ETD program, Hammons has been instrumental in leading statewide and national efforts to facilitate communication and support for ETD programs, including through the TDL’s Vireo Users Group and the statewide Texas ETD Association.

Among her work facilitating professional development among ETD faculty and staff, Hammons leads the Vireo Users Group, which provides a forum for administrative users of the TDL’s ETD submission and management software to share tips, provide mutual support, and assist TDL in prioritizing needs for future development.

Additionally, according to the NDLTD award announcement, Hammons was the “founder of the Texas ETD Association (TXETDA), which provides a network of support for ETD professionals in the state of Texas.”

She is also a founding member of the United States ETD Association, a nationwide professional development organization for ETD program staff and faculty.

“No one is more deserving than Laura of this recognition,” said TDL program coordinator Ryan Steans. “Her work has furthered the development of a true community around ETDs and has helped expand that community at the state and national level.”

While Hammons is pleased to have been recognized, she  is far from seeing her work thus far as a finished product.

“I feel so privileged to have been involved in the development of these organizations, where ETD professionals can grow and learn together,” Hammons said. “But I recognize there is still so much more we can do.”

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Thousands of ETDs submitted through Vireo in Spring 2011

In Spring 2011, five members of the TDL consortium used the Vireo electronic thesis and dissertation management system to receive and process approximately 1,700 graduate and undergraduate theses and dissertations, while hundreds more ETDs were submitted through Vireo at schools outside of the TDL.

Vireo is a software system developed at the Texas Digital Library that allows graduate schools and libraries to manage the submission, approval, and publication of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). With Vireo, a student can submit his or her thesis through a simple online interface, and graduate schools and libraries use an expert management interface to shepherd the document through the approval process and publish it to an open access institutional repository.

Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin accounted for the majority of the ETD submissions for spring 2011, with UT Austin receiving more than 800 ETDs and Texas A&M receiving approximately 500 (including undergraduate theses). Texas Tech University received nearly 200 ETDs.

Several institutions outside of the TDL consortium, including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, have also deployed Vireo to manage submission, approval, and publication of electronic theses and dissertations. Illinois received more than 500 ETDS through Vireo this spring.

Other member schools using Vireo to process ETDs this spring were Texas State University and the University of Houston.

For more information about Vireo, please visit the TDL website at

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TDL Federated ETD Collection featured at USETDA Conference

Texas Digital Library program coordinator Ryan Steans spoke at the U.S. ETD Association (USETDA) Conference in May about the TDL’s federated collection of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). The TDL Federated ETD Collection contains records harvested from TDL members’ institutional repositories, providing a single point of discovery for more than 16,000 theses and dissertations.

The USETDA Conference, which took place May 18-20 in Orlando, Florida, is designed for ETD professionals from graduate schools, libraries, and other institutions who work with ETDs or ETD programs.

Steans co-presented with OhioLINK’s Thomas Dowling about the value of and processes behind building a statewide repository of theses and dissertations. The OhioLINK ETD Center contains thousands of documents from 35 thesis programs and 26 colleges and universities in Ohio.

Presentations from the USETDA Conference are available on the proceedings page of the conference website, which was hosted by the Texas Digital Library.

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UT Libraries’ Ladd Hanson to oversee TDL production efforts

Ladd Hanson

Senior IT Manager Ladd Hanson,

Beginning in May 2011, Ladd Hanson became the supervisor of the Texas Digital Library production staff, which currently consists of Joe Devries, Dan Galewsky, and William Sidney.

The move was part of a reorganization of the TDL staff to focus more attention on production issues. (See Directors’ Message on page 1).

Ladd is the Senior IT Manager in the Digital Library Services Division at the University of Texas Libraries and reports to Mark McFarland, Associate Director of Digital Library Services and co-director of the Texas Digital Library.

As the group in charge of keeping the UT Digital Repository and UT Vireo installation up and running, the Digital Library group under Ladd’s leadership has worked closely with the TDL in the past. TDL is excited about the next phase of TDL’s growth under Ladd’s experienced leadership.

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Tech Teams Update

The Tech Teams Update highlights the work of the TDL technical staff, which is divided into three groups.

Software Development Team

  • The software development team is in the midst of several weeks of development devoted to the Texas Learning Object Repository, (TxLOR) including addition of workflows for multiple review and approval stages.
  • The TxLOR work is in preparation for a beta release of the software later this summer to a wider user group.
  • Head of Development Peter Nürnberg attended a week-long training course on the Spring Framework, an open-source application framework.

Installation, Configuration & Management (ICM) Team

  • The ICM team continues the evaluation and customization of DSpace 1.7 for use by the TDL membership.
  • The team completed the Installation of Nagios monitoring system for quicker identification and resolution of systems issues.
  • The ICM team assisted with 2nd-level support issues escalated from the Helpdesk.

Support Team

  • The Support team responded to help requests as they came through the TDL Helpdesk.

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Join TDL at Baylor University this summer for courses on TDL services

The TDL Training Program is pleased to announce its training schedule for Summer 2011. Training courses offered through the TDL Training Program provide low-cost expert instruction and hands-on experience related to services and technologies hosted by Texas Digital Library for its member institutions.

TDL member institution Baylor University hosts all sessions of the TDL Training Program. 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 during Summer 2011:

Online Scholarly Journals Using Open Journal Systems

Monday, July 18, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM

Online Conference Management with Open Conference Systems

Tuesday, July 19, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM

ETD Submission and Management with Vireo

Monday, August 15, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM

Descriptive Metadata for Digital Objects

Monday, August 15, 2011| 9 AM – 4 PM

Introduction to DSpace (DSpace Basics)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM


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