April 2011

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Directors’ Message: A Special Message from Dean Dana Rooks

Dana C. Rooks is the Dean of Libraries at the University of Houston, a founding member of the Texas Digital Library. Dean Rooks also serves as a member of the TDL Governing Board.

Dana Rooks, Dean of UH Libraries

Above: Dana Rooks, Dean of Libraries at the University of Houston and member of the TDL Governing Board.

Dear TDL members,

For the first five years of its existence, the Texas Digital Library has operated as a “start-up” company, developing infrastructure, software, and processes for meeting the digital needs of the state’s academic libraries.

The organization is now ready to enter a second phase, one in which we begin to transform the TDL into a truly statewide organization that serves all the higher learning institutions of Texas.

We need this statewide organization, because we are stronger and more effective together than each of us is separately.

Together, we can maintain the tools and develop the expertise that will support emerging models for publication, mitigate escalating costs of traditional scholarly communication, provide greater visibility and impact for research, and preserve our digital treasures far into the future. And by bringing these tools under one roof, we create a community of Texas scholars and ensure libraries’ essential role in the curation and creation of scholarly work.

None of us can build this digital future on our own. All of us in libraries know how invaluable collaborative projects like this one are – we cannot do without TexShare, for instance, and years into the future, my hope is that we’ll say that we cannot do without the Texas Digital Library.


Dana C. Rooks

Dean, University of Houston Libraries

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Development Update: Work continues on DSpace preservation plugin

conceptual image of secured dataOver the past weeks, the TDL technical team has continued work on a DSpace plugin used to select and store content in the TDL Preservation Network.

The plugin, which is still in development, will allow repository managers to nominate (i.e. select) content inside a DSpace repository to be harvested by PresNet for long-term archival storage.  Content can be nominated at the community, collection, or item level.

The DSpace plugin will also allow repository managers to view the status of the nominated content, receive email notifications as the content goes through various stages of preservation, and restore the content if necessary in a DSpace-ready format.

Functionality completed so far in the on-going project includes the follwoing:

  • Nominating content: the capability to specify DSpace content to be preserved and to know the size of the content.
  • Viewing content: the capability to see the status of DSpace content nominated for preservation
  • Restoring content:  the capability to specify previously preserved DSpace content for restoration.
  • Notifications: the capability to send email notification to repository managers when nominated DSpace content has been staged, replicated, and preserved.

The team is currently working to enable automatic authentication into PresNet when a repository manager logs in to DSpace.

The DSpace Preservation plugin is still in early development and is not yet available for use. When a deployment timeline has been developed, TDL will communicate the information to members.

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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 continued work on a DSpace plugin for delivering content to the TDL Preservation Network. (See story on this page.)

Installation, Configuration & Management Team

— Maintenance on the TDL Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Federated Repository

— Assisted with theme development for UT Medical Branch DSpace repository

— Investigation of user management processes and tools.

— Other second-level support (i.e. support issues escalated from the TDL Helpdesk)

Support Team

— Responded to help requests as they came through the TDL Helpdesk.

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UT Southwestern Medical Center launches “Dallas Medical Images: 1890-1975”

The above photograph from “Dallas Medical Images: 1890-1975” depicts the first open-heart surgery in Dallas, which was performed at Parkland Memorial Hospital in December 1956. (Photo courtesy of UT Southwestern Medical Center Library.)

Last month, TDL member UT Southwestern Medical Center Library launched a digital photo repository that, for the first time, makes available online hundreds of photos documenting the history of medicine in Dallas.

Dallas Medical Images: 1890-1975” tells the history of medicine in the Metroplex via images documenting several of Dallas’ medical institutions.

“UT Southwestern Medical Center has strong relationships with three of Dallas’ most important hospitals,” said Matthew Zimmerman, lead investigator on the project.  “So we are in a unique place to tell this story.”

The university acquired St. Paul Hospital in 2005 as one of its two university hospitals and has affiliations with Parkland Hospital and Children’s Medical Center, where the university’s residents work. As a result of these affiliations, the library has access to the hospitals’ extensive photo archives.

Over the last nine months, the UT Southwestern Medical Center Library team digitized more than 500 of these photos to be published online in a ContentDM repository. Additionally, the team created a special online exhibit of about 60 high-interest photos. The project was funded by a Historic Preservation and Digitization Award from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

To launch the new collection, the Library hosted a lecture on the desegregation of St. Paul’s Hospital, known for being the first hospital in the Metroplex to admit African-American doctors to its staff. Dr. Marvin Dulaney, professor of history at UT Arlington, delivered the talk, which was attended by family members of two of these pioneering doctors, including a son who is currently on the medical staff at UT Southwestern Medical.

“A lot of people never knew about this history,” Zimmerman said, “and the reaction around campus has been exciting.”

Zimmerman said the library plans to continue promoting “Dallas Medical Images: 1890-1975” through talks and presentations. And, as a result of the positive reaction to the collection, the Library plans to digitize more photos from its archives, adding photographs up to 2011.

The Texas Digital Library is playing an important preservation role in the project:  While ContentDM holds the compressed image files for online viewing, UT Southwestern Medical Center’s TDL-hosted DSpace repository will hold the uncompressed TIFF files. These master files will also be archived in the TDL Preservation Network.

To learn more about “Dallas Medical Images: 1890-1975,” please contact Matt Zimmerman, Digital Services and Technology Planning Manager at UT Southwestern Medical Center Library.

This project has been funded in whole or in part with Federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. N01-LM-6-3505 with the Houston Academy of Medicine – Texas Medical Center Library.

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UH Libraries’ internship program offers valuable digital library experience

UH logoThe University of Houston Libraries is working to prepare librarians for the digital future through a Digital Library Internship that offers hands on experience with the technologies needed in digital library work.

Under Head of Digital Services Michele Reilly, the internship project has grown to offer semester-long unpaid internships to both Houston-based and remote participants from all over the country. The program strives to give students a strong foundation in project management, metadata creation, digitization, and promotion and works against what Reilly calls the creation of “accidental digital librarians.”

“This program gives students a well-rounded, interesting experience,” she said. “They end up with lots of useful skills that they might not get otherwise.”

In addition to the skills they gain through their work, the interns have the opportunity to produce papers or participate in presentations alongside UH librarians on noteworthy projects they have worked on. Upon completing a satisfactory internship, participants also receive a letter of recommendation.

It’s not just the interns who benefit from the program, however.

“We’re definitely getting something out of it too,” Reilly said. “The work they do is often work we wish we could do every day but don’t have the time for – projects that are extraordinarily important and yet not at the top of the priority list.”

These projects have included seeding Wikipedia with images from the UH Digital Library collections in order to drive more traffic to the UH website. Another set of interns is researching supplementary materials for an online oral history collection.

Reilly says the program began informally when an opportunity for a graduate student intern presented itself last spring. Over the past year, the librarians at UH have set up a structure and processes for selecting and managing the interns.

Reilly and her team use online tools such as blogs, Skype, and Google Documents, to coordinate with the interns, who reside as far away as Wisconsin. By using these tools, and developing a set of procedures for working with the students, Reilly believes they can handle more interns each semester.

“We’ve invested a lot of time in this program,” she says, “but we came out with a fantastic opportunity for students.”

For more information about the UH Digital Library internship program, please contact Michele Reilly, Head of Digital Services at UH Libraries, at mreilly@uh.edu.

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TDL Metadata Working Group offers training, discusses metadata standard

Amanda Harlan

Amanda Harlan, TDL-MWG chair

The TDL Metadata Working Group made progress on multiple projects at its spring meeting, held  April 1 at Baylor University in Waco.  Among several items on its agenda, the team finalized a training workbook for its “Metadata for Digital Objects” training course, which was held for the first time on April 18 as part of the TDL Training Program.

Additionally, the MWG made significant progress on a TDL “data dictionary” that will describe mandatory and recommended metadata elements for digital images and datasets. The data dictionary will be published on the Texas Digital Library website when complete.

The following TDL members attended the meeting: Amanda Harlan, chair of the MWG from Baylor University; Susan Elkins, Angelo State University; Jeanne Hazzard, Texas State University; Mary Manning, Texas A&M University; Kristi Park, Texas Digital Library; Amy Rushing, University of Texas Libraries; Karen Sigler, Texas State University; and Sarah Sutton, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.

For more information about the TDL Metadata Working Group, please visit the TDL-MWG blog at http://blogs.tdl.org/metadata/ or contact Amanda Harlan at Amanda_Harlan@baylor.edu.

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Open Repositories conference to take the place of TCDL in 2011

OR11 logoThe Texas Digital Library is pleased to be working with UT Libraries to bring the Sixth International Conference on Open Repositories (OR11) to Austin.

The conference will take place June 6-11 at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center and will bring an international community of stakeholders engaged in the development, management, and application of digital repositories.

Since OR11 concerns itself with many of the same issues and audiences as the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries, OR11 will serve in the place of TCDL for this year only.

TDL invites all of its members to attend OR11 and take advantage of the rich program of panels, presentations, workshops, and other events offered through the conference.

To register and learn more about OR11, please visit the OR11 conference website, hosted by the TDL.

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Texas Tech Libraries featured in Times Square video

TDL founding member Texas Tech University Libraries was video profiled on the Thomson Reuters building in Times Square April 10-16 during National Library Week after winning the company’s Focused on Your Library Contest in December.

Eight libraries nationwide were selected as semifinalists in the contest based on essays submitted. Online voting determined the winning essay. The Texas Tech University Libraries essay, written by Kaley Daniel and Julie Barnett, focused on exemplary services provided to students, faculty and staff.

The Lubbock Professional Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications also recognized the Libraries for the honor with a Headliner Award during the AWC Celebrity Luncheon April 19.

To see the Times Square video, click here: http://wokinfo.com/texastech/.

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TDL Training Program introduces Advanced Vireo course

The Texas Digital Library (TDL) welcomes faculty and staff from all TDL member institutions to participate in training courses offered through the TDL Training Program.

TDL member Baylor University hosts all sessions of the TDL Training Program.

For more information, visit the TDL training page.  To register for any course, visit the registration page hosted by Baylor.

The following course will be offered in May 2011:

NEW! Advanced Vireo

May 24, 2011 | 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

This class builds on the instruction provided in the TDL’s introductory Vireo Training course. While it provides students with a review of the basics of Vireo, it delves more deeply into process and policy issues, with discussions of the following:

  • User Cases
  • Best Practices
  • Vireo Users Group
  • Vireo software development

Advanced Vireo also opens the door for group discussion of policy and procedure development around electronic theses and dissertations at the various institutions represented in the class.

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