January 2011

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Directors’ Message: TDL Training offers value to members

Dear TDL members,

image of Texas Digital Library co-directors

TDL co-directors Mark McFarland and John Leggett

Membership in the Texas Digital Library provides faculty, librarians, and staff across Texas with valuable opportunities to increase the availability of research and transform scholarly communication.

A key part of the value TDL provides comes in the form of low-cost instruction on all the services and technologies that the Texas Digital Library supports. The TDL provides this service through the TDL Training Program, hosted and supported by TDL member Baylor University.

Each academic semester, the TDL Training Program offers a slate of courses covering all TDL services, including DSpace, Vireo, Open Journal Systems, and WordPress.  The unique program aims not only to provide instruction on TDL services to individual users, but also to train experts at each member institution who can provide that instruction locally.

The TDL is one of very few organizations in the country that offers such a set of classes to such a wide audience, and the cost for individual attendance is very low.  By offering these classes, we are raising the fortunes of all our members, by increasing statewide expertise on important digital library and scholarly communication technologies.

New courses for spring

The spring 2011 course lineup (included on page 2 of this newsletter) features two courses that we are offering for the first time. The first is a Vireo for Advanced Users course that builds upon our basic Vireo curriculum to provide more in-depth information on Vireo administration and policy development. The other new course, Descriptive Metadata for Digital Objects, is designed and led by the TDL Metadata Working Group, a group of TDL librarians who are working together to increase the metadata expertise of all members.

Taking these courses is an important first step toward bringing the full value of TDL services to your campuses, and we encourage you to take every opportunity to widen the pool of digital library experts on your campus.


Mark McFarland and  John Leggett

TDL Co-directors

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TDL Training Program schedules courses for Spring 2011 semester

image of training room computersTraining courses offered through the TDL Training Program provide 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 the Spring 2011 semester:

ETD Submission and Management with Vireo Tuesday, January 25, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM

In this entry-level course, students receive an overview of Vireo, the system created by the Texas Digital Library for handling the online submission and management of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). Students will gain hands-on experience using Vireo to shepherd a thesis or dissertation through the entire ETD workflow.

Recommended audiences for this course include support staff for Thesis Offices and Offices of Graduate Studies, as well as DSpace management staff.

Introduction to DSpace (DSpace Basics)Wednesday, January 26, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM

This course provides beginner-level DSpace users with an overview of the use and management of DSpace repositories. Students will gain hands-on experience with DSpace and the use of the DSpace administrative interface. Possible audiences include library system administrators and repository managers.

Online Scholarly Journals Using Open Journal Systems Tuesday, February 22, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM

In this course, students gain an overview of the process for creating and configuring an Electronic Journal, as well as the editorial steps for producing an issue of the journal in the open-source software used by the TDL, Open Journal Systems.

Individual faculty and staff members interested in starting an electronic journal are encouraged to attend this course. The course is also available to librarians and others wishing to support the creation of electronic journals by faculty at their institutions.

Online Conference Management with Open Conference Systems Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM

In this course, students will learn how to manage an academic conference online using open-source Open Conference Systems software.

Faculty and staff members interested in using OCS to manage a conference are encouraged to attend this course. The course is also available to librarians and others wishing to support the use of OCS by faculty at their institutions.

Using WordPress to Create Blogs and Websites Tuesday, March 22, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM

In this course, students become familiar with the use of WordPress to create sites and blogs with a scholarly focus. The course provides instruction and best practices for development of a blog or site in WordPress, the software used by the TDL.

The course is intended for university staff and librarians wishing to support the service for their faculty and staff, as well as for individual faculty and members interested in creating a blog or website.

NEW! Descriptive Metadata for Digital Objects Monday, April 18, 2011| 9 AM – 4 PM

This new course designed and led by the TDL Metadata Working Group provides students with an understanding of descriptive metadata through hands-on experience in creating descriptive metadata records for digital objects.

Possible audience includes repository managers, catalogers, metadata specialists, students, or anyone who works with digital objects.

Creating and Editing a TDL Research Wiki Tuesday, April 19, 2011 | 9 AM – 12 PM

In this course, students receive instruction on the use, support, and promotion of wikis for scholarly and instructional purposes. Students gain hands-on experience using MediaWiki, the open-source software employed by the TDL Research Wiki service.

This course is intended for university staff, librarians, and TDL members wishing to provide support for wikis to institutions’ faculty and staff. Individual faculty and staff members interested in setting up a wiki are also encouraged to attend.

NEW! Vireo for Advanced Users May 24, 2011 | 9 AM – 4 PM

Course description to come.

Please visit main.tdl.org/training for more information, or contact the Texas Digital Library at info@tdl.org.

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TDL at ALA Midwinter Meeting

TDL program coordinator Ryan Steans attended the ALA Midwinter Meeting held January 7-11 in San Diego. The ALA Midwinter Meeting is an annual business meeting of the American Library Association, the oldest and largest library association in the world.

Steans spoke at the meeting of the Chief Collection Development Officers at Large Research Libraries Interest Group.

The group consists of collection development officers of the ARL’s top 40 university libraries, a group that includes TDL members UT Austin and Texas A&M. It exists to provide a forum for the exchange of information on issues related to collection development and management at large research universities.

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TDL development team begins weekly public sprint reviews

Members curious about what TDL is working on have a great opportunity to observe the software development process through weekly sprint reviews, which the team holds each Thursday.

As a part of the Scrum methodology that the development team uses, TDL holds a public demonstration of software development work at the end of each development cycle, or “sprint.” Called sprint reviews, the demonstrations are open to anyone who wishes to attend and observe, either in-person or remotely.

At the sprint review, the team demonstrates the features, bug fixes, or other work they have accomplished on the development project scheduled for that week. The primary purpose of the sprint review is to allow the sprint’s “product owner” (Scrum terminology for the customer or customer representative) to determine the success of the sprint in achieving its stated goals. However, by opening up the sprint review to the entire TDL organization, TDL hopes to achieve a second goal: that of providing a transparent window onto the development process and keeping members informed about the progress of key projects.

Currently, the team is organizing work into one-week sprints, so a Sprint Review is held each week on Thursday at 2:30 PM. Those in Austin can attend in person at the TDL offices in Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL 1.402). Remote attendees can join via teleconference and Adobe Connect, using instructions sent out in a weekly email invitation to the TDL listserv.

Guidelines for Attendance

Those planning to attend a sprint review should read the concise documentation in the TDL Wiki on how to attend and what to expect at a sprint review, as well as some general etiquette guidelines for participation. That information is available at http://wikis.tdl.org/tdl/Sprint_Reviews.

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Tech Teams Update

Binary codeThe Tech Teams Update highlights the work of the TDL technical staff.

Software Development Team

— Conducted several sprints in January devoted to the TDL Preservation Network. The sprints focused primarily on automating the process by which the Preservation Network schedules the harvesting of content at the various nodes of the network. The team also developed a simple web interface for scheduling harvests.

— Began organizing work into one-week sprints and holding weekly sprint reviews each Thursday at 2:30 PM. (See related story.)

Installation, Configuration, and Management (ICM)  Team

— Released latest version of Vireo Open-Source to Sourceforge.com.

— Prepared and executed physical move of TDL hardware to new UT Data Center facility.

Support Team

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

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2011 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries coming in August

Texas Conference on Digital LibrariesSince 2007, the Texas Digital Library has hosted the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries in Austin during the late spring. Because of the Open Repositories 2011 conference to be held at UT Austin in June, however, the TDL intends to hold the 5th annual Texas Conference on Digital Libraries in August 2011.

The conference will consist of a program of talks, meetings, and workshops and, as always, provides an opportunity for discussion around topics relevant to the creation and promotion of digital libraries and scholarly communication at Texas institutions of higher learning.

TDL also encourages members to attend the Open Repositories conference, which will take place June 7-11 at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin. OR11 is an annual conference that brings together an international community of stakeholders engaged in the development, management, and application of digital repositories. The program includes presentations, panels, posters, tutorials, and workshops, as well as user group meetings for repository technologies, including DSpace.

Find out more about OR11 on the conference website, hosted by the TDL, at http://conferences.tdl.org/OR2011/OR2011main. And please stay tuned for more information about the upcoming TCDL 2011 in August.

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TDL to attend Texas ETD Association conference February 10

Ryan Steans, Texas Digital Library program coordinator

TDL program coordinator Ryan Steans

The Texas Digital Library will be attendance at the annual conference of the Texas ETD Association conference to be held February 10, 2011, on the University of Texas at Arlington campus.

At the conference, TDL program coordinator Ryan Steans will co-present with Renee Babcock of the UT Austin Graduate Office on ETD embargoes and other policy-related questions.

The Texas ETD Association exists to provide a network of support for professionals in the state of Texas who work with electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), and to connect them with organizations and resources that enrich the work they do.

The theme of the 2011 conference is “Making It Click: Building Connections with ETD Professionals.” The conference is designed for ETD professionals, as well as university administrators and other staff.

Details about the conference, including registration information, are available on the 2011 TxETDA Conference website.

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Texas Digital Library Governing Board meeting scheduled for April

The Governing Board of the Texas Digital Library will hold a strategic planning meeting in Austin during the week of the Texas Library Association (TLA) conference in April.

The TDL Governing Board consists of library deans and directors from six TDL institutions: Baylor University, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, the University of Houston, and the University of Texas at Austin. The Board provides advice, guidance, and long-term perspective on the services and administration of the TDL.

In addition to the Governing Board meeting, TDL  co-directors Mark McFarland and John Leggett will host a meeting of all TDL library directors and deans during the TLA conference week.

The Texas Library Association Conference will be held April 12-15 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas.

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