2017 — A Year in Review

FindIt

Approximately 1 million objects ingested during 2017, bringing the total number of objects currently in FindIt to 3,719,149.

Ongoing    

Dale’s Arrival

Appointment of Dale Hendrickson as Director of Library Information Technology on February 27th. In his time here Dale has reorganized and restructured Library IT, putting new policies and procedures into place. He has welcomed a new communication style promoting an openness and transparency with Library IT’s partners.

Advanced Search User Testing

In the beginning of the Spring 2017 semester, Library IT conducted comparative usability tests of the advanced search feature in Blacklight (implemented at Yale as Quicksearch). Participants tested interfaces at Cornell, Columbia and Princeton. Participants were required to be a part of the Yale community; Library IT recruited both Library staff and student workers. Some student workers recruited other students. They were asked to complete two basic tasks and answer several follow up questions. The tests were for the most part unmoderated online tests; Library IT moderated the staff test sessions. The tasks that the participants performed and the questions they answered were designed to elicit insights into the following questions: Does advanced searching make sense? Across the three interfaces, what features are most desired? Across the three interfaces, what features are least desired/unnecessary? Library IT presented a summary report on the comparative user test results to the Quicksearch Advisory Group and the Quicksearch development team. The results informed the design and functionality of the Library’s eventual roll out of Quicksearch advanced search.

Infrastructure Improvements

Develop server and storage configuration standards and employ best practices across systems to ensure consistency; implement systems configuration management solution. Began to employ Ansible scripted management of servers and applications.

Preservica

Upgraded Dev, Test, and Prod environments to v5.7_1.

February    

Infrastructure Improvements

Upgrade and improve LIT backup infrastructure, including: NetBackup upgrade to enable tape backup of locally managed MS SQL Server instances; pilot and potentially utilize ITS Altavault/AWS Glacier NetBackup service offering; and sunset old SL500 tape library at 300 George St. Data Center.

January    

New Staff

Cvetan Terziyski joined Library IT as an IT Support Technician on the Workstation & Technology Services Team. Cvetan is originally from Sofia, Bulgaria and has attended the University of Sofia St. Kliment Ohridski, where he earned a Masters’ degree in Computer Science/Information Security.

New Voyager Hardware

These changes began in April but were being performed up until December with the launch of Voyager 10. Designed, purchased, and implemented new Voyager hardware utilizing the latest server, storage, and networking technologies. The new environment is a hybrid of virtual and physical infrastructure.

April    

LibGuides User Testing

At the end of the Spring 2017 semester, Library IT conducted two different user tests at the request of the LibGuides Advisory Group: a card sort test where students we asked to group a selection of LibGuide titles using their own descriptions, and a comparative usability test where student participants were asked to accomplish one task across several other institutions’ LibGuide landing pages. Insights from the card sort test results and the comparative usability test results informed discussions within the LibGuides Advisory Group as they considered the Library’s LibGuides landing page IA and the overall system’s functionality.

Avalon

Upgraded to Avalon v5

Preservica

Modified existing SAMMA workflow to support five new collections of AV material being reformatted. New scripts and processes were developed to streamline the workflow and create more flexibility when new collections come on board.

May    

Workday Upgrade for LIT Partners

The University transitioned its financial and business processes from Oracle to Workday in July 2017. Prior to the roll out, it was determined that Voyager and its related programs and workflows would require remediation to ensure continued functionality with Workday. Work associated with Voyager was separated into two groups, a financial/acquisitions module and the patron access module. In June, Library IT worked with the Library Finance department to identify and update all pertinent fields to allow Workday vocabulary and chart of accounts charging instructions to be operable. Library IT also addressed the patron access module by working to understand Workday processes, identity management, mapping of data, and the several database alternatives from which to extract patron information necessary for our enterprise software.

New Staff

Keith Boyd-Carter joined LIT as an Operating Systems Programmer for Enterprise Systems and Services. He began working in this role last October as a contractor making the leap to staff quickly in June. In this capacity, Keith performs system management, application deployment and infrastructure upgrades. His first project at Yale was to work on the Avalon Media System for the Gilmore Music Library. The Avalon Media System is an open-source system for managing and providing access to large collections of digital audio and video.

Patrick Stone began at the Library in the capacity of a Workflow Analyst/Programmer. In this position, Patrick works with the Access Services and Technical Services departments to evaluate needs, identify process improvements, and implement technical solutions to improve efficiencies and drive organizational change.

Lise Gazzillo joined LIT as the Client Engagement Coordinator. In this role, Lise is responsible for the Library IT’s outreach and communication efforts. She plans and produces LIT’s monthly “Tech Talks” as well as the monthly newsletter.

June    

Researcher Profiles

Library IT’s summer interns, Annissa Carter, Bryana Kilpatrick, and Jhoselyn Jara, moved the Publications information from the Staff Directory within Drupal, Yale’s content management system, to a different service — Researcher Profiles, a companion service to EliScholar. Researcher Profiles provides Yale faculty, students and staff, a place to showcase their curriculum vitae and other academic work and offers many features that were not available in its previous form.

Zoom Roll Out

After the completion of YUL’s thorough desktop video conferencing pilot project this past spring, Zoom was the clear choice. As a result, YUL’ s Zoom license went live in June and pilot participants were automatically transferred over to the new YUL license. The roll out took a phased approach, rolling out the necessary equipment, headsets and webcams, for staff members using Zoom. Working with supervisors, Library IT identified waves of staff members to receive the service and required equipment. The phased roll out was completed by the fall.

ArchivesSpace Public Interface

Yale has recently implemented a shared archival collections management tool, ArchivesSpace, and now we are extending that platform to implement the new public user interface layer, which will provide additional opportunities for systems integration, seamless staff workflows, and an improved user experience for researchers. As of today, ArchivesSpace includes nearly 2 million archival and digital object records representing hundreds of years of holdings across the Yale community. What’s exciting about the implementation of the ArchivesSpace PUI is that Yale is transitioning from a standalone tool to a platform used internationally by our academic peers, which will also bring new collaborative partnerships.

July    

Staff Directory

The Staff Directory was moved to our main Drupal site. The new Staff Directory received the YUL website look-and-feel and provides an opportunity for many interesting integration points for our website.

August    

Quicksearch

Quicksearch was successfully upgraded on September 6, 2017! The upgrade included two major new features: Advanced Search and the new Database list. Several small but useful new features were also added, such as: Database A-Z list added to Quicksearch; numbered search results to allow for discussion; Hathi Trust links to digital versions of titles in Orbis or Morris; Local Subject headings link to find like titles, just as you can with LCSH and MESH headings; and easily accessible, stable links to the individual record in the ‘Bookmark As’ field.

New Staff

In September, Sara Cronquist joined Library IT, as our Senior Administrative Assistant. Sara divides her time between Library IT and Mansuscripts and Archives (MSSA), handling supply ordering, expense reimbursement, agendas and minutes, budget reporting (mostly in MSSA), assisting with events and coordinating interview candidates, and generally keeping things organized and running smoothly.

September    

Preservica

Upgraded Dev environment to v5.8_2.

October    

Findit Test Environment

A test instance for Findit was setup, complete with its own Fedora repository and Solr index. This change will significantly aid future development work and forthcoming sprints.

New Staff

Rick Aliwalas joins Library IT as an experienced Linux Administrator in the Enterprise Systems & Services Group. Rick has worked at Yale for the past 8 years, first with Information Technology Services (ITS) and then with High Performance Computing (HPC) before coming to Library IT. In his role in Library IT, Rick is immersed in DevOps; a combination of software development and operations that shortens development cycles and creates more dependable releases, while in alignment with core Library objectives. Since joining Library IT Rick has worked on growing our infrastructure using DevOps tools such as Docker.

Nadia Boumahdi joins Library IT as an Application Programmer for the Programming Group. Nadia has moved to Connecticut from Rennes, France, where she received her Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA). She also spent a semester abroad in Belfast, Ireland. Nadia comes to Yale after working in the telecom industry as a DevOps Engineer.

Martin Lovell also joins Library IT as an Application Programmer for the Programming Group. Martin worked as a full-stack web, mobile, and application developer for a company based out of Seattle. Martin has worked on diverse projects ranging from a health resource portal to a web-based baseball hitting training platform. He looks forward to using his diverse skills here at Library IT.

Kelvin Polanco was previously with the School of Management (SOM), which he joined in 2014 as a Multimedia Specialist. Prior to working at SOM, his experience was in A/V, desktop, and multimedia support. Kelvin joins Library IT as a Technology Support Specialist. Kelvin dually reports to Kevin Merriman, CSSSI Director of Collection Management, Access and Technical Services, and Beatrice Richardson, Manager of Library IT Infrastructure and Client Services.

Preservica

Migrated BRBL applications and Databases to Amazon Web Services (AWS); began to use AWS Glacier vaults for disaster recovery space; implemented Docker-based applications in the AWS container service cluster.

November    

Voyager 10 Upgrade

Yale University Library upgraded its Voyager Integrated Library System (ILS) from 8.1 to 10.0 in December over the break. The upgrade from Voyager 8.1 to 10.0 introduced new features and fixes in all modules and enabled the reevaluation of workflows across units to realize the benefits of the newer software version. The Voyager ILS comprises three primary modules: acquisitions, cataloging, and circulation. The system also contains a public user interface known as the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). Additionally, there are tools and modules used by specific staff within the library for specific administrative functions, including system administration and bulk data processing. The Voyager Upgrade team continues to work on open stability issues with the upgrade.

Retirement of LibGuides AZ list

In the final week before Winter Recess, Library IT and the E-resource group ran and completed a project to officially retire the LibGuides Database AZ list. The Libguides Database AZ list has been inactive since the roll out of the new Database List in Quicksearch this past September. The project involved re-pointing over 2000 database assets in LibGuides to just under 1000 database handle URLs, thus eliminating the need for ongoing maintenance of databases in LibGuides. Technicians at Springshare then converted these database assets into link assets. The handle-link conversion allows uninterrupted access to databases linked through LibGuides, because the handle URLs for databases are maintained elsewhere. Many thanks are due to the E-Resource Group and LibGuides Advisory Group, who were key collaborators on the project as well as stakeholders.

December    

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