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.
The Beinecke library’s major renovation will impact all areas of service as the historic building is shuttered between May 2015 and September 2016. Both patrons and staff depend on reliable access to the unparalleled rare materials collection, and therefore need a reliable requesting mechanism to get offsite materials delivered to either the temporary public reading room (located in SML) or the new Beinecke Technical Services space at Science Park.
Special collections stored at the LSF have historically only been deliverable to the owning collection – further movement is handled by the collection’s staff. Changing this to allow for two formal delivery locations required a change to Aeon, the software used by special collections to manage requesting, and to the scripts used by the LSF to process incoming requests. Working with Beinecke and LSF Staff, Enterprise Systems and Services personnel were able to identify an unused field in the Aeon application and use it to store the desired pickup location. The Aeon and GFA applications responsible for integration were then modified to recognize this field and use it to represent a new “drop code” for Beinecke materials. Staff can now populate this field from a radio button in the web request form or through direct entry in the staff client – no other changes to the request are necessary.
Patron requests are automatically designated for the public reading room without staff intervention. With the first test requests processed successfully, Beinecke’s staff at the new technical services headquarters will be ready to continue work uninterrupted after their move. This solution also opens the door to requesting across special collections – allowing readers to view materials at the reading room most convenient for them. While there are many policy, safety, and preservation concerns to be addressed, this project has helped to ensure continuity of service for Beinecke patrons while opening the discussion for more convenient material access for special collection patrons in general.
Staff within the Enterprise Systems and Architecture group have completed several areas of work that will allow the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library to move forward with their renewed video digitization effort starting in November 2014. The Beinecke aims to digitize approximately 1,600 videotapes to both rescue at-risk material and provide greater access to these collections materials through the Beinecke Digital Library. Special thanks to Steve DiSorbo, Systems Programmer and Yue Ji, Senior Programmer Analyst for all of their work on this project.
Library IT has completed the following in support of this initiative:
- Expanded the tape repository that serves as the preservation end-point to accommodate the estimate 180TB of digital master video files that are anticipated to be created through digitization
- Developed a general purpose Quality Control tool used to validate the successful capture of newly created digital surrogates. This tool can be used going forward for other video digitization projects across Yale University Library
- Developed various automation and integration functionality to move content from the SAMMA video capture stations to the tape repository, and capture technical and descriptive metadata throughout the process
- And finally, expanded the Kaltura Video Platform, the video delivery service used by the Beinecke Digital Library to stream content to patrons worldwide