Beinecke and Access Services Participate in BorrowDirect Pilot for Special Collections

Last October Yale University Library and five other Ivy Plus Libraries participated in a pilot program to share scans of special collections materials at no cost to BorrowDirect Libraries. BorrowDirect is an unmediated library resource sharing partnership encompassing thirteen Ivy Plus academic institutions Before the pilot, interlibrary loan (ILL) requests for scans of Beinecke materials were canceled by SML/Bass Access Services and the ILL office was told to contact Beinecke directly. In the pilot, SML/Bass Access Services and Beinecke Access Services work to fill these requests through ILLiad and Aeon. Currently, only requests for PDF Scans are eligible for the pilot. Patrons requesting high-resolution scans must still contact Beinecke directly. The pilot runs until October; Access Services and Beinecke plan to review and evaluate the success of the pilot over the summer.

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Workgroup Presents at Boston Regional ArchivesSpace Forum

As part of the ArchivesSpace Public User Interface (PUI) implementation at Yale University Library, a Usability and Accessibility Workgroup was formed and tasked with assessing the usability and accessibility of the new ArchivesSpace PUI. Set to replace the current Yale Finding Aid Database (YFAD), the PUI presents archival description in a very different way than current static online finding aids.

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2017 — A Year in Review


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


Upgraded to Avalon v5


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.



Upgraded Dev environment to v5.8_2.


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.


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.


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.


LEC Prioritization of Library IT Projects Explained

In feedback provided to Library IT, many staff have shown an interest in learning more about how the Library Executive Committee (LEC) prioritizes the projects undertaken by the Library. The LEC is the senior leadership forum, which focuses on issues concerning policies, strategic and financial planning, staffing, and resource allocation. The LEC meets weekly to discuss these topics. The committee consists of eleven permanent members and four rotating members who serve for a 12- to 18-month period. All members can vote on the prioritization of projects.  A full listing of current LEC members is available here .  

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Much-anticipated Windows 10 Upgrade

Over the summer, Library IT will begin to update the staff computers from Windows 7 to Windows 10, throughout Yale University Library (YUL).  A major goal of this upgrade is to remain consistent with Yale’s ITS effort to migrate computers to Windows 10 campus-wide. Windows 10 is currently the latest production version supported by Microsoft; support for Windows 7 will end in January 2020. This upgrade will only affect staff computers; an upgrade to service computers and specialized equipment will occur at a later date in Phase 2.

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Additional Accessibility Classes Added

With the launch of the new university-wide accessibility policy in March, ITS′s accessibility team continues to offer training opportunities for staff to learn how to create compliant web content. You can check their training page to learn about upcoming sessions as they are scheduled. You can also email the accessibility team at  if you would like to get onto their email list.  The list provides announcements for upcoming training opportunities and provides a channel to support needs beyond the sessions scheduled.
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Affected Servers by Security Patches

This coming Wednesday morning on, April, 18,  Library IT  will be applying patches to two servers to address security issues.  As a result, there will be service offerings that will become unavailable intermittently.  Please see the list below for details.  
Please monitor your email for announcements that the patch has been completed and that services won’t be interrupted.   
Servers: libsvcs-db-1.library.yale.internal and libsvcs-1.library.yale.internal
When: April 18 at 8.30am to 12noon
What is being done?: ITS needs to apply some patches to these servers to address some security issues
What does mean to me?: The servers that run databases and the following applications will be intermittently available or may see some connection failures during this timeframe.  Please coordinate your schedule as needed.
Why are these servers not available?:  There are some critical security issues that ITS needs to resolve on these servers as a result of a Security Design Review (SDR). 
What services run on these servers?
  • Production SSRS: SQL server reporting services
  • Access Services workflows such as their Claims Returned form, issuance of NonYale Patron Netids, Scan & Delivery services
  • Some parts of Beinecke Digital Collections might not be available: This searchable database offers thousands of partial and fully digitized items from a wide range of materials from the Beinecke’s collections: photographs, manuscripts, correspondence, artwork, objects, illustrations, and selected pages from printed works. 
  • Beinecke Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts: This searchable database provides access to descriptions of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts based largely on the Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, edited by Barbara Shailor et al.
  • Carycards: Beinecke’s collection of playing cards, card sheets, wood blocks, metal plates, ephemera, and prints.
  • Papyrus: Beinecke’s collection of ancient papyrus.
  • Beinecke’s Password admin and patrontracking forms.
  • Beinecke’s Uncataloged Search database
  • Beinecke’s Ductus catalog
  • Beinecke’s Saul Steinberg Images Collection
  • World War I Posters Collection catalog
  • Particular reports used by LSF staff such as LSF Reports, LSF barcode tracker, LSF reporting tools
  • Single Sign On (SSO) to services
  • CAS authentication
  • Aeon

Making Use of for Training Opportunities

In feedback provided to Library IT, many staff have shown an interest in learning more about using SQL and SharePoint. Library IT is listening, so we wanted to share with you the topics and courses available at is an online subscription library that teaches the latest software tools and skills through high-quality instructional videos taught by recognized industry experts. The full range of content is available to all Yale University staff.

To access, visit, and log in using your NetId and password. The beauty of is it is available to you anytime, anywhere. The courses range in level from beginner to advanced instruction. Instructors provide exercise materials — so you are not only listening and watching, but also participating in the lessons.

Figure. 1: Search results allow you to filter

When you search for specific topics at, such as “SQL,” you will get a wide variety of courses specific to that search, “SQL”. In Figure 1, you will see that you can filter the search results based on your level of experience, allowing you to go at your own pace or delve deeper into a topic. Another option available is to see if the topic you are interested in is part of a Learning Path.

Learning Paths has developed “Learning Paths” for users who would like to learn about a topic in a structured and comprehensive manner. A Learning Path it is a set of sequential courses complete with quizzes and practice sessions for students to build their knowledge of a chosen topic. You can learn about a new topic or brush up on one you know as a refresh. Learning Paths cover a wide variety of topics.

After students complete a “Learning Path,” they can share the certificate of completion they receive on their LinkedIn account. You can complete the individual courses at your own pace, and fit it into your schedule based on when you have time available.  If you are taking it as a refresher, you can also skip ahead to focus on material of most interest to you.


Just a few courses that might be of interest:

  • Learning SQL. A beginners course.
  • SQL Tips Tricks and Techniques. An intermediate course, teaching you the top 12 must-have SQL techniques for data science.
  • SQL: Data Reporting and Analysis. An intermediate course that teaches you how to get the data you want by writing a bit of SQL code. You will be able to pull data out of the database and manipulate it to create reports.
  • Advanced SQL for Data Scientists. Advanced course, requires prior knowledge of SQL. This course is designed to help you learn how to perform common data science tasks, including finding, exploration, and extraction within relational databases.
  • SharePoint for Project Management. Learn how to use the built-in features in SharePoint to manage projects.
  • SharePoint Tips Weekly. This weekly series is designed to provide quick tips you can use to get the most out of the features in SharePoint.
  • SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online New Features. Office 365 integration is a big win, as well as role creation control, new compliance features, and the touch-friendly interface for mobile devices. Learn about all these