TDL Update - June 2012

PDF version

In this issue:

Making connections at the 2012 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries

James Hilton

James Hilton, University of Virginia, gives the opening keynote address on efforts to build a "Digital Preservation Network."

The 2012 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries brought together nearly 150 librarians, software developers, faculty researchers, and others interested in the future of libraries and scholarly communication for two days of presentations, posters, workshops, and informal networking opportunities. The conference was held May 24-25 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin.

The theme for the 2012 conference was “Connections: Connecting with Our Users through Digital Services.” Presentations and workshops covered topics related to this theme, including relationship-building with faculty researchers through digital library services, ideas for promoting digital collections to the academic community, and increasing access to “hidden” materials through digital collections. There were also panels on “big data” and collaborative collection-building.

Keynote Speakers

Keynote speakers for the event were James Hilton, CIO of the University of Virginia, and John Price Wilkin, Executive Director of HathiTrust and Associate University Librarian for Library Information Technology at the University of Michigan. Both men spoke about large-scale, collective efforts to provide  access to and safeguard the scholarly record.

Wendy Martin and Anna Lamphear

Wendy Martin (left) and Anna Lamphear of UT Libraries presented one of twenty posters at the TCDL 2012 poster session.

Hilton, in his address, spoke on the effort to create a national, federated preservation infrastructure through the Digital Preservation Network project, which he is leading. TDL has signed on to support the development of this infrastructure. Wilkin closed the conference with a discussion on the successes of HathiTrust in facilitating large-scale digitization and access to millions of documents through its digital repository.

Poster Session and Minute Madness

On the evening of May 24, the conference held a poster session and reception featuring 20 posters on a variety of topics and projects. Preceding the reception, poster presenters enticed attendees to come see their posters through a “Minute Madness” session, during which each presenter gave a rapid-fire, one-minute summary of his/her poster’s main ideas.

More than two dozen institutions were represented among the attendees, including academic, public, and corporate libraries.

More information

For more about the 2012 Texas Conference on Digital Libaries, visit the conference website. There, you will find access to:

Back to top.

Vireo Users Group meets in June, brings on new members

On May 22, 2012, the Vireo Users Group (VUG) hosted a meeting in Austin, Texas, in order to discuss upcoming development plans for Vireo, the electronic and dissertation management software developed by TDL.

The meeting was attended by a number of institutions in the Texas Digital Library consortium, as well as non-TDL institutions including Rice University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, California Digital Library, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Arkansas, and Virginia Tech University.

During the meeting, the group discussed two upcoming development phases for Vireo: first, the development of Vireo 1.8, which will result in a repository-agnostic version of the software; and second, plans for development of a major release (Vireo 2.0) to begin in the fall of 2012.

An emerging open-source community of developers has begun work on Vireo 1.8 (see story below), and will select feature enhancements for future development from a priority list developed by the Vireo Users Group.

The Vireo User Group will hold a vote to prioritize new feature requests and enhancements. No timeline has been announced for the vote, as the steering committee is finalizing the list of requests to be placed on the ballot. Information regarding this process will be forthcoming.

More information

For more information about the Vireo Users Group, visit the VUG website at

Back to top.

Vireo Open Source Development Community takes shape

Joe DeVries

Vireo project lead Joe Devries

Building on their inaugural gathering at the Vireo Users Group meeting in June, a group of software developers representing five institutions around the US has begun collaborative development of Vireo 1.8, an updated version of the TDL’s electronic thesis and dissertation software.

According to Joe Devries, project lead for Vireo development, the group of developers is performing a full re-write of the software that will, unlike the current version, be written independently of DSpace.

“This will give us greater simplicity and flexibility for future development efforts,” Devries said.

Vireo 1.8 will have a look-and-feel familiar to users of the current Vireo software and will not include major new functionality. Some bug fixes and minor improvements will be included in the new release, scheduled for the fall of 2012.

Vireo, which was developed by TDL and released as open-source software in September 2010, has attracted interest from numerous institutions outside of the TDL membership, who want to contribute to its future development. Institutions currently contributing to Vireo development include: Texas A&M, Rice, the University of Illinois, and MIT.

Back to top.

TDL kicks off Survey Committee efforts with meeting in Austin


  • Jane Scott, Chair (UT Southwest Medical Center)
  • Derek Halling (Texas A&M)
  • Kayla Hanagan (University of Houston)
  • Selene Hinojosa (Texas State)
  • Travis Willmann (UT Austin)

Services Subcommittee

  • Gail Clement, Chair (Texas A&M)
  • Jennifer Anderson (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi)
  • Nerissa Lindsey (Texas A&M International)
  • Colleen Lyon (UT Austin)
  • Joy Perrin (Texas Tech)
  • Michele Reilly (University of Houston)
  • Natalie Wiest (Texas A&M at Galveston)

Organizational Subcommittee

  • Jeanne Hazzard, Chair (Texas State)
  • Susan Elkins (Angelo State)
  • Suzanne Ferimer (University of Houston)
  • Leslie Reynolds (Texas A&M)
  • Amy Rushing (UT Austin)

As part of its Strategic Planning efforts, TDL Vice-Chair Dana Rooks, Dean of Libraries at the University of Houston, has convened a new working group whose mission is to survey TDL members and prospective members to guide recommendations about the future development of services, organizational structure, and marketing initiatives.

“The Survey Working Group is a member-directed effort to help us achieve the goals set out in our three-year Strategic Plan,” said Ryan Steans, Senior Program Coordinator at TDL, who is coordinating the committee’s efforts.

“Discussing our members’ and prospective members’ needs and uncovering what they expect from their participation in TDL is key to determining next steps in growing our content and services,” Steans said.

The group of 17 members will develop and distribute a survey to selected participants, collect the results, and make recommendations to the TDL Governing Board.

The full committee held an inaugural meeting in Austin on June 8. During the meeting, the group received training on survey development from UT Austin’s Meredith Taylor, Assessment and Quality Improvement Coordinator, and Krystal Wyatt-Baxter, Instruction and Assessment Librarian. The committee also  began the process of outlining goals and a plan of action to develop the survey.

The committee is organized in three subgroups, each of which will tackle a key topic area that the survey will address: TDL services, marketing, and organization.

The committee’s goal is to issue recommendations based on the survey results by the fall of 2012.

Back to top.

Director’s Message: Community and Collaboration through TDL

Mark McFarlandColleagues,

The stories in this month’s newsletter all speak to the importance of community and collaboration in the work of the Texas Digital Library.

This year’s TCDL brought together those of us working in digital libraries from all across the state of Texas and beyond to share and make connections around our work. The development of Vireo depends on the collaborative work of the Vireo Users Group in prioritizing the needs of its users. And the open-source nature of Vireo is allowing interested parties from around the country to pool their resources, under the auspices of the TDL, to make the software a more powerful tool for our members and other potential users.

The TDL provides a mechanism for all these things to happen. And as our survey committee — another collaborative, member-driven effort — gears up for its work this summer and into the fall, we trust that the fruits of their labor will guide our future efforts to create services and shared opportunities that further our members’ digital projects in the service of research, scholarship, and learning.


Mark McFarland

Director, TDL

Back to top.