November Tech Talks

Come listen to your fellow Library IT colleagues and partners present tech-related projects from around the Library.

This month’s Tech Talks will be Wednesday, November 15th from 3pm-4pm in Bass L01 AB.
The agenda includes:

  • Qualtrics [Sarah Tudesco]
  •  GeoComputation, Big Data & open source GIS [Giuseppe Amatulli, PhD ]
  • Better Collection Control with ArchivesSpace [Alicia Detelich]
  • “Simple things we all can do to make shared documents more accessible” [David Hirsch]

For those who cannot join us in person, the session will be streamed via Zoom (note the new URL):

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

All Library staff are welcome to present at the Tech Talks!  Please send topic suggestions to Lise Gazzillo at

See you there!

Yale University Celebrates National Disability Awareness Month

In 1988, the United States Congress declared October as National Disability Awareness Month, to raise awareness of the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. This month, DiversAbility at Yale University (DAY), one of Yale’s eight affinity groups, will celebrate the month of October with a variety of educational programs, events, and networking opportunities. DAY encourages all to attend, learn about the types of disabilities and become a disability ally.

Below is a list of  workshops DAY is offering that apply to technology and accessibility:

Wednesday Oct 4, 3:00-4:00 pm
Workshop: Introduction to Universal Design for Learning
Center for Teaching and Learning (SML, 301 York) Rm 121
How can we make our classes accessible, engaging and relevant to a broad diversity of learners–including those with disabilities? Workshop leader Katherrine Healey (McDougal Graduate Teaching Fellow and doctoral candidate in the History of Science and Medicine) will show how the principles of Universal Design for Learning may help us design learning activities so that all students will have equitable opportunities to learn and succeed. Registration information.

Thursday Oct 5, Thursday Oct 12, Thursday Oct 19 and Thursday Oct 26, 11:30-12:00
Tips for Making Your Canvas @ Yale Course Sites More Accessible
Center for Teaching and Learning (SML, 301 York) Rm 118A
Find out how the Canvas @ Yale platform for course web sites has been designed with accessibility in mind, and learn where to find resources to help you make your course content more accessible. Registration information.

Wednesday Oct 11, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Founders Day at Yale University Library
Sterling Memorial Library (SML)
The open house will present an array of current projects, collections, services, and resources from all across the library system. One table will be devoted to library accessibility services and disabilities studies resources. Library staff who are members of the DiversAbility at Yale Affinity Group will demonstrate screen reader software, provide information about universal design, and will help visitors find information about disability studies in the library’s collections. See a list of exhibitions.

Monday Oct 16, 12:00-12:30 pm
Brownbag Lunch: Alt Text and Accessibility in the Classroom and Beyond
Center for Teaching and Learning (SML, 301 York)
Incorporating images, graphs, and maps into your instruction provides multiple means of representation for students’ varying learning styles. However, purely visual information is not accessible to all learners. This talk will cover how to add alternative text—or alt text—to images in your documents, slides, or on your Canvas site so that all students can benefit. Led by Katherrine Healey, McDougal Graduate Teaching Fellow. For more information.

Tuesday Oct 23, 12:00-12:45 pm
Brownbag Lunch: Easy Ways to Make Word Docs and PDFs More Accessible
Center for Teaching and Learning (SML, 301 York)
Bring your lunch to a demonstration of some simple things you can do to make sure that your Word documents and PDFs are accessible to all members of the Yale community. This session will be led by David Hirsch, Director of Educational Technology Strategy, Center for Teaching and Learning. For more information.

Wednesday Oct 25, 12:00-1:00 pm
Workshop: IT Accessibility
25 Science Park, Rm 125
Come learn tips for content editors to improve the experience of their websites for all users, especially for people with disabilities. The session will focus primarily around the YaleSites, but people creating content for any website can benefit. The session will focus on how to use headings, images, links, and readable text in order to make your site more compatible with assistive technologies, such as screen readers. Registration information.



The DiversAbility at Yale (DAY) Affinity Group’s mission is to create an environment that is open and inclusive for all individuals impacted by disability through engagement, education, and advocacy. DAY also focuses on ways to support the recruitment, retention and advancement of people with disabilities.

DAY is open to all Yale staff, faculty, and postdocs, with or without a disability, representing a diverse range of departments and interests within the Yale Community.

For more information about DAY visit their website, or email them at; they can also be reached by phone at 203-432-9667. Or like them on their Facebook page to read about upcoming events.

UX Roadtrip to Harvard’s User Research Lab

Harvard User Research Lab at the Lamont Library

In June, staff from LIT and ITS, traveled to Harvard’s Lamont Library to visit Harvard’s User Research Lab. Jenn Nolte, Emerging Digital Services Librarian, and Taber Lightfoot,  Manager of  ITS User Experience and Digital Strategy, and  Sylvia Perez, UX Researcher also at ITS User Experience and Digital Strategy, made the trip together to Cambridge. They met with Amy Deschenes, the Senior UX Consultant for Harvard Library. Amy was integral in establishing the User Research Lab at Harvard.

The purpose of Yale’s UX tour was to visit a dedicated User Research Lab embedded inside a library. The Harvard Lab provides a space for usability testing, interviews, and focus groups. The Lab is divided into three rooms: one room with cubicles for individual participant studies; a conference room for focus groups; and a testing room with dedicated workstations for eye tracking, accessibility training, and moderated usability tests.

Harvard’s User Research Lab annual workload is two large UX  projects, while running three-to-four smaller projects concurrently. IT Staff and  Library Staff on campus are serviced by the Lab. Their Usability testing pool is pulled from student workers. The trip was very informative and instructive on how other university library’s embed user research labs.

Digital Humanities Summer Institute 2016 at the University of Victoria

This past June, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute convened at the University of Victoria in Victoria, BC. For those who are not familiar with DHSI, here is a brief introduction from DHSI’s website:

“Every summer, the institute brings together faculty, staff, and students from the Arts, Humanities, Library, and Archives communities as well as independent scholars and participants from areas beyond. A time of intensive coursework, seminars, and lectures, participants at DHSI share ideas and methods, and develop expertise in using advanced technologies. The Digital Humanities Summer Institute provides an ideal environment for discussing and learning about new computing technologies and how they are influencing teaching, research, dissemination, creation, and preservation in different disciplines, via a community-based approach.”

This year’s gathering was one of the largest in its 15-year history. The Institute was in session for two weeks, and over 50 courses and short workshops were offered. Tracy MacMath of Yale University Library IT attended “Accessibility and Digital Environments”, which explored the theoretical and practical aspects of web accessibility. Students read and discussed key works from disability studies scholarship, and obtained hands-on experience with tools that allowed them to audit their institutions’ websites for compliance with accessibility standards. Some of the auditing tools used were the WAVE Chrome extension and HTML Code Sniffer. Major topics in the course included emerging standards for accessibility in digital environments, the social model of disability, user-centered design, and embodiment.

Both weeks of the Institute concluded with a “show and tell” session in which each class demonstrated what they had learned through interactive projects. The Web Accessibility class performed on-the-spot audits of academic websites, and made the results available to participants, along with suggestions on how to improve compliance with accessibility guidelines.

For those who are interested in attending next year’s sessions, course information can be found on DHSI’s website.



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!

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.