Inaugural Technology Fair for Staff Development

Two of Yale University’s Professional Organizations,  Future Leaders of Yale (FLY) and Women in Information Technology at Yale (WIT@Yale),  have joined efforts to organize a Technology Fair for staff development. The Technology Fair provides an opportunity to highlight technical resources available at Yale that staff may not know about and create an opportunity for staff development. The goal for the Technology Fair is for it to be an annual event.

Before Kate Hathaway took on the role of Chair of WIT@Yale, she was on the FLY Professional Development Committee and worked closely with Phil Barello, Co-chair of FLY Professional Development Committee and Mela Waters, Co-chair of FLY Steering Committee. Kate Hathaway explained, “We were all interested in ‘hard-skills’ type of workshops so this was a natural partnership.”

WIT@Yale conducted a survey in January to see what interests people had for technical presentations, the results of the survey fostered the lineup of tools and technologies included in the Technology Fair.  Presentations will be conducted in a lightning-round style with a focus on how to get started and the use of each tool. Two of Yale University Library’s staff members plan to present at the Technology Fair, Angela Sidman, the Electronic Resources Librarian and Jenn Nolte, Digital Services Librarian in Library IT.

Technology Fair Lineup:

  • Qualtrics
  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • YaleSites
  • ArcGIS
  • Zoom
  • Library eResources
  • QxMD
  • Remote Testing
  • Lynda & Books 24/7
  • Yale Calendar
  • Yale Room Reservation & Scheduling
  • Yale Event Managment
  • YaleGit
  • Other free/open apps such as Google Suite, Trello and Slack

The Technology Fair takes place on September 15th at the Yale Center for Teaching, located at the Sterling Memorial Library, from 12 – 1:30 pm in Room 120. If you can’t make the event in person still register, FLY and WIT@Yale plan to give access to a live Zoom broadcast for registered attendees.

FLY is Yale University’s Official Affinity Group for Young Professionals and is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Yale. FLY is open to any Yale professional, regardless of age, who is looking to further their career path. Whether they are at the beginning of their career or looking to take that next step, to further develop and enhance their opportunities at Yale. FLY provides professional development, career advancement, mentorship and networking opportunities for its members across disciplines.

WIT@Yale is a shared interest group whose goal is to encourage, empower, and support women in information technology roles by providing a community for networking and support. WIT@Yale is sponsored by two Co-Executive Sponsors: Susan Gibbons, University Librarian and Deputy Provost for Collections and Scholarly Communication; and Jane Livingston, Yale ITS Associate Chief Information Officer.



To find out more information about attending the Technology Fair, you can register here.

To find out more about FLY, you can visit their website or contact Phil Barello,

To find out more about WIT@Yale, you can visit their website or contact Kate Hathaway,

Divinity School ePortfolios Transition to CampusPress

Since 2010, the Yale Divinity School has offered the ability to create ePortfolios, first using the Classes*V2 platform and then migrating to Canvas as Classes*V2’s replacement. Recently, in collaboration with the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning, the Divinity School made the switch to using Yale CampusPress, a WordPress space for students, faculty and staff. All Divinity master’s degree students are required to have an ePortfolio as part of their academic process. In addition to facilitating student reflection on their work, the ePortfolio can scaffold progress toward their educational goals. Further, as a space for representing intellectual and personal change over time, ePortfolios can document reflectivity and engagement across the various time lengths of the MA programs. Finally, maintaining an ePortfolio site allows a student to shape their professional online identity and make their work accessible to selected audiences, particularly mentors and faculty, for comment.

Trip Kirkpatrick, Senior Instructional Technologist at the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning, worked with Dean William Goettler, Associate Dean for Assessment and Ministerial Studies at Yale Divinity School, to create template sites in CampusPress for three Masters’ degrees, including templates for 13 different concentrations within the Master of Arts in Religion. Prior to the start of the new school year, they moved 230 returning students’ legacy Canvas or Classes*V2 ePortfolios to CampusPress. They also uploaded 145 new students’ admission essays directly into CampusPress as the first entry of their ePortfolios.

Divinity ePortfolio Base Template


The switch to CampusPress provides stability in part by taking advantage of WordPress’s longevity, community and documentation.  WordPress provides users with a simple and straightforward interface for students, with a small amount of effort, they can learn the tool enough to present their work in a clear and easy way. Using CampusPress gives the student control over who can read their work, making it simpler than previous options to share and discuss their work with people both inside and outside of Yale. The same control allows students to make their ePortolio as private or public as the student would like. Upon graduation, students can export their site content and either store it or import it into another WordPress site.

Yale CampusPress, a WordPress platform, is for students, faculty and staff who need a flexible, online platform to create professional or group websites. Anyone with a Yale netid can create a CampusPress site by going to the CampusPress login page. CampusPress is hosted by Edublogs, a longstanding WordPress host for education, and not hosted internally by Yale.

To find out more information about this project or how to use CampusPress for ePortfolios, contact Trip Kirkpatrick ( at the Yale Center for Teaching and Learning.

Blacklight Summit 2016

The second annual Blacklight Summit was held this year at Princeton University on November 2-4. Blacklight is an open source discovery interface used in libraries, museums, and other public institutions.  At Yale we use Blacklight both for our Quicksearch discovery service and for the public interface of our Findit Digital Collections repository.

The summit included representatives from 24 institutions from the U.S. and Canada.  Two people attended from the Yale Library, Kalee Sprague and Tracy MacMath.  The first day of the conference consisted of a morning round-robin of presentations from each institution, followed by an afternoon workshop on best practices for localizing Blacklight.  The afternoon workshop was led by Blacklight core developers Chris Beer and Justin Coyne from Stanford.  The workshop was also on opportunity to get hands on experience with Blacklight 7.1, a new release of Blacklight expected sometime in late Spring of 2017.

The second day of the conference featured informative presentations on different Solr configurations, the Traject MARC record indexing tool, Blacklight plugins, and other topics, followed by several break-out sessions. One break-out session focused on upgrading to the latest production release of Blacklight, version 6.7.  As part of the break-out session, the group worked together to upgrade Yale’s Quicksearch code to release 6.7, which was an exciting and very practical outcome of the Summit.  Although the upgrade isn’t completely finished, the workshop resulted in very real progress on the upgrade work currently happening at Yale.

Yale also participated in a breakout session on UX and Blacklight. Many members of the Hydra UX interest group were present, so it was decided that Blacklight-specific UX issues would be discussed by the Hydra UX group rather than a separate Blacklight interest group. Methods of group communication were discussed, including the creation of a GitHub repository for sharing of documents, usability testing results and findings, and anything else of interest.

Slides and Recordings from Rediscover Discovery III


Thanks to all who attended, online or in person, to the Library’s third Rediscover Discovery Day! The goal for this presentation is to provide updates on our major discovery interfaces to public services, instruction, and information desk staff so that they can incorporate the most current information on our discovery systems into their instruction sessions in the coming semester.

This session covered recent updates to features and functionality for:

We also shared the some of the upcoming changes in store for these discovery systems as well. A big thank you to Angela Sidman for covering the recent and upcoming developments in Articles+ and other e-resource access systems!

The slides and session recording of this year’s Rediscover Discovery can be accessed here:


For those who attended or viewed online, or for those who will watch the recording afterwards, please take a few minutes to let us know how we did

LIT and partners Tech Talk | Wednesday September 21st 2016

On Wednesday September 21st, from 3pm-4pm in Bass L01, join Library IT and partners in our monthly discussion of tech-related projects around the Library and beyond.

Our tentative agenda includes:

  • Hathi Trust (Robert Klingenberger)
  • YUL and Accessibility (Kalee Sprague and Tracy MacMath)
  • Service Now (Beatrice Richardson)
  • Avalon for Music Library (Cindy Greenspun, George Ouellette and Jonathan Manton)

For those who cannot join us in person, the session will be streamed via Adobe Connect: [sign in as a guest]

Slides and recordings of the Tech Talk sessions will be archived in

Please remember: any Library staff is welcome to present at the Tech Talks! Please send topic suggestions to Jenn  Nolte or anyone else in Library IT.

See you there!

New Quicksearch Advisory Group

The Quicksearch Advisory Group was formed this July to guide and promote the ongoing operation and development of Quicksearch.  The group will act on behalf of all Quicksearch stakeholders by defining and prioritizing the ongoing development, configuration, integration, and support of this important service.

Committee members include: Gwenyth Crowley, Ellen Cordes, Moira Fitzgerald, Emily Horning, Jordan Jefferson, Suzanne Lovejoy (co-chair), Youn Noh, Danielle Ray, Angela Sidman, Laura Sider, and Kalee Sprague (co-chair).

Minutes for our meetings will be posted on the Quicksearch blog at

Everyone is welcome to contact the committee with feedback, either by contacting committee members directly,  or through the ‘Feedback’ link in the Quicksearch header and footer.


Library IT cross-training Internship comes to a close

Jason Eiseman, Head of Technology at the Lillian Goldman Law Library, recently completed a cross-training Internship with Library IT.

The two-part focus of the internship was to learn more about the Quicksearch project, and more about how Library IT does its work in general.

The cross-training experience was a great success. 

Jason worked on making a number of links in Quicksearch open in new windows, updated a MARC analysis spreadsheet and improved MARC tag mapping in Quicksearch, and assisted in checking and enhancing some of the Quicksearch documentation.  Most importantly, he  developed a new Rails app that improved the connection between Quicksearch and the law library’s MORRIS catalog.

If you would like more information, Jason will be doing a presentation on his internship at the Tech Talk on August 17th.

It was a pleasure for all of us to work with Jason, and we look forward to collaborating with him in the future!

SearchFest! sessions for October and November

There will be two more SearchFest! sessions scheduled for the fall semester.

The goals of SearchFest!:

  • test out existing Orbis or Morris search strategies in our new unified discovery interface, Quicksearch.
  • demonstrate the features and functionality that are unique to Quicksearch
  • review the timeline for Quicksearch’s transition to production in January 2016
  • answer any questions from staff about how to use Quicksearch in either instruction or daily work

As with the first SearchFest!, there will also be pizza served at the beginning of each session.

To register for the October 8th session, click here.

To register for the November 17th session, click here.

See you at SearchFest!

HathiTrust Enhanced Access for Yale Users with Print Disabilities

Students with print disabilities now have enhanced access to an additional selection of digitized books through the HathiTrust. Yale University Library in partnership with the Resource Office on Disabilities are both pleased to announce the availability of this new service. Through its partnership with HathiTrust, Yale has access to millions of items through the HathiTrust Digital Library, however materials that are in-copyright or restricted are not available to our community by default.  Access to this restricted content has been made available through a recent legal ruling.  Instructions and further details about the service can be found here –
Thanks to Judy York, Carolyn Barrett, Anthony Kulikowski, and Rob Rocke from the Resource Office on Disabilities, and to John Gallagher, Katie Bauer, Cindy Greenspun, and Steve Wieda from the Yale University Library.

Grouper Representatives Meet with ITS


Representatives for Grouper met with ITS July 15th to 17th to introduce their product. From the website[1]:

“Grouper is an enterprise access management system designed for the highly distributed management environment and heterogeneous information technology environment common to Universities. Operating a central access management system that supports both central and distributed IT reduces risk.”

Three members of library IT, Steelsen Smith, Lakeisha Robinson and Eric James were in attendance for the Wednesday session. The morning started with an overview of the product, in essence a java stack with a programming and web service API. It was demonstrated how it can pull together subject information from external identity management providers, and provide a means for creating and managing groups of users, with attributes, privileges, permissions, and roles that can be made available for applications requiring group level authentication and authorization. Group membership information can then be combined and reused in exclusion and inclusion logic allowing for an extendable set of permissions at the application level. The session delved into the use cases of 3 subsets of university IT – person registries, learning management systems, and library systems. So, for example, a course managed in canvas or sakai could use groups of shoppers, instructors, TA’s, guests, and enrolled students to grant dynamic privileges to course materials. VPN usage campus wide could be administered with fine control and help manage provisioning workflows. Restricted library collections such as the Henry Kissinger Papers could efficiently manage sets of permissions by including patrons in pragmatically defined authorization groups. Common to each of the use cases is the challenge of integrating the different identity providers feeding the grouper application with interoperable and unique subject information. Stay tuned for further developments, including a potential rollout in the December timeframe.