Texas Digital Library Blog

Data Management Working Group holds kick-off meeting December 12

December 12th, 2013

The Texas Digital Library has convened a working group of representatives from member institutions and partners to address needs related to the accessibility and usability of research data.

The Data Management Working Group will be chaired by Dr. Bruce Herbert, Professor of Geology at Texas A&M University and Director of Digital Services and Scholarly Communications for Texas A&M Libraries. The group held its inaugural meeting on Thursday, December 12.

Other members of the Working Group are:

  • Maria Esteva, PhD, Research Associate/Data Archivist, Texas Advanced Computing Center
  • Debra Hanken Kurtz, Executive Director, Texas Digital Library
  • Colleen Lyon, Digital Repository Librarian, UT Austin
  • Christie Peters, Science Research Support Librarian, University of Houston
  • Ryan Steans, Director of Operations, Texas Digital Library
  • Joseph Tan, Manager, Digital Services & Technology,  UT Southwestern Medical Library
  • Megan Toups, Instruction/Liaison Librarian, Trinity University

For more information about the TDL Data Management Working Group, please contact the TDL Program Coordinator at info@tdl.org.

Vireo Users Group announces 2013-14 steering committee, spring meeting date

December 10th, 2013

The Vireo Users Group (VUG) is pleased to announce the members of the 2013-14 VUG Steering Committee.

The co-chairs of the committee are Stephanie Larrison, Electronic Resources Librarian at Texas State University, and David Reynolds, Manager of Scholarly Digital Initiatives at Johns Hopkins University.

Other members include:

  • Joy Perrin, Assistant Librarian in the Digital Resources Department of Texas Tech University Libraries
  • Laura Spradlin, Thesis and Development Specialist, Graduate College at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Ryan Steans, Director of Operations at the Texas Digital Library (ex-officio member)

The VUG will hold its annual meeting on April 30, 2014 in Austin. The meeting will provide opportunity to discuss the next round of software development related to Vireo as well as organizational business.

The Vireo Users Group gathers and prioritizes constituent needs to guide future development of the Vireo ETD Submission and Management software application. Further, the VUG provides avenues for the exchange of information about Vireo development, needs and utilization. For more information about the VUG and Vireo, please visit the VUG website at http://vireoetd.org.

TDL to begin upgrades to hosted installations of Vireo ETD software

November 26th, 2013

The Texas Digital Library is set to begin upgrades to all hosted instances of the Vireo Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Management application from version 1.8 to the latest version of the Vireo code – version  This version of Vireo has many new features, including enhancements that allow for easier customization, batch editing, and publication to ProQuest.

TDL staff will contact each hosted member institution to communicate a proposed update schedule, which should cause only minimal interruption to current users. To facilitate the upgrade process, the TDL has scheduled three webinars to demonstrate new functionality and will provide any local support that TDL institutions require for management of the new features.

Proposed dates for web-based demonstrations of Vireo

  • Monday, December 9, 2013 at 11:00 AM – Noon (CST)
  • Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM – Noon (CST)
  • Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 11:00 AM – Noon (CST)

All future communication about this upgrade, including details about the scheduled demos, will be sent either directly to individual campuses or through the Vireo Users Group (VUG) email list. To join the VUG list, use the “Subscribe” feature at this link, or simply email info@tdl.org with the request.

The TDL would like to thank Texas A&M University for its work in taking Vireo from version 1.8 to this latest version.  The enhancements resulting from their work will significantly improve the experience of students, graduate school staff and librarians alike, and will provide a more flexible tool to fit the needs of more campuses.

New Features of Vireo

  • Customizable Theming (add school colors, banners, etc.)
  • Customizable Text
    • change field names
    • edit welcome text
    • edit license
    • edit help notes and sticky notes
  • All fields can be toggled on, off or optional
  • New settings for easier campus integration with ProQuest publication
    • ProQuest Degree Codes
    • ProQuest Subject Matching
    • ProQuest Languages
  • New Fields Available
    • Previously published material
    • Defense Date
    • Committee Member Role Types
    • Administrative file upload
    • Reviewer notes
  • Customized filter enhancements
  • Customizable exports
  • Batch functionality
    • email to students
    • status change
    • publication to multiple repositories (ProQuest included)

Questions about Vireo or the upgrade of TDL-hosted instances of Vireo can be directed to TDL staff at info@tdl.org.

Call for Proposals: 2014 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries

November 18th, 2013

The TCDL 2014 planning committee invites proposals for participation at the 2014 Texas Conference on Digital Libraries.

TCDL 2014 will take place April 28-29 in Austin, TX. The conference covers topics relevant to the creation, promotion and preservation of research, scholarship and cultural heritage digital materials. This year’s conference theme, Engaging Outliers:  Context, Collections & Community, will explore the full range of projects, workflows, use cases and ideas-in-the-making related to digital library work with a special emphasis on those projects that lie outside of the ordinary.

The conference will address such questions as:  How are you using digital collections or materials in ways that are outside of their original context?  What are you doing that no one else is doing?  What would you like seen done that no one else is doing?  Possible topics could include the following:

  • Transformative ventures beyond library contexts
  • Use and adaptation of systems in ways not originally intended
  • Innovative processes that are changing established library workflows
  • Use and reuse of digital materials in novel ways
  • Unique collections
  • Gaps in collecting areas or formats
  • Demographics not represented in typical digital library projects
  • Anticipating emerging needs for potential communities

Proposals on other topics of interest to a digital libraries audience are welcome.

TCDL 2014 has multiple avenues for participation, including individual presentations, panel sessions, posters, workshops and tutorials, “birds of a feather” sessions, and – new for 2014 – a 24×7 lightning round format. All completed presentations will be published on the conference website, and each presenters will have the option to submit a short paper to accompany the published presentation slides.

Submission Guidelines

Proposals will be accepted in the following categories. Please follow the links for more detailed information about proposal requirements.

  • Presentations: General presentations on practical work, theoretical or speculative issues, or on-going or completed research.
  • PanelsPanel sessions should address a single topic from multiple perspectives and should engage the audience for a full 80-minute session.
  • 24×7 Presentations (24 slides in 7 minutes): 7-minute presentations comprising no more than 24 slides.
  • Posters: Posters will be featured at the conference reception and through a “Minute Madness” session, during which presenters will give a 60-second summary of each poster.
  • Workshops, Tutorials & Demos, Birds of a Feather Sessions: These sessions will take place on April 29th in the afternoon.

Proposals of no more than 500 words can be submitted through the “Proposal Submission” link on the conference website.

Key Dates

  • November 14:  Call for Proposals
  • January 31: Deadline for proposals for Workshops, Tutorials & Demos, and Birds of a Feather Sessions
  • February 7:  Deadline for all other Proposal Submissions
  • March 14:  Notification of Acceptance
  • April 1:  Early Bird Conference Registration Deadline
  • June 2: Deadline for OPTIONAL papers (Presenters and panelists will have the option to produce a short paper to accompany their published presentations. The paper is not a requirement for participation. Papers will be published on the conference website under Presentations, along with the presentation slides.)

Note: No individual shall participate as a speaker in more than one presentation/panel session; however, presenters and panel speakers are welcome to participate in the poster sessions.

Also note: Accepted presenters, including co-presenters, panelists, and poster presenters, must register for the conference and pay applicable registration fees.

Submission Instructions

Proposals should be submitted through the “Proposal Submission” link on the conference website. Detailed instructions can be found in the Call for Proposals on the conference website.

Need help? If you have questions about using the online submission system, please contact support@tdl.org.

TDL welcomes new members West Texas A&M and Trinity

October 9th, 2013

trinity west texas TDL welcomes new members West Texas A&M and TrinityThe Texas Digital Library is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to the TDL consortium for the 2013-14 academic year: Trinity University and West Texas A&M University.

Located in San Antonio, Texas, Trinity University is a private liberal arts university with approximately 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students. Diane Graves leads the Coates Library at Trinity as University Librarian.

West Texas A&M University, a member of the Texas A&M System, is located in Canyon, Texas, and has a student enrollment of approximately 8,400 students.The Cornette Library at West Texas A&M is led by Shawna Kennedy-Witthar, Director of Information and Library Resources.

“We are excited to have Trinity and West Texas A&M as part of the TDL family,” said TDL Executive Director Debra Hanken Kurtz. “Each of these institutions brings valuable perspective and expertise to the table, and we’re confident that our partnerships will enrich both their campuses and the entire TDL consortium.”

Kenney-Witthar and Graves will join the Texas Digital Library Member Board as representatives of their respective institutions.

About the Texas Digital Library:

The Texas Digital Library (TDL) is a consortium of academic libraries in Texas that enables each of its member institutions to advance a program of digital initiatives  in support of research, scholarship, and learning. By providing technology infrastructure and a community of support to its members, the TDL promotes open access to scholarly materials, preserves digital collections, and encourages collaboration among scholars and librarians throughout the state. For more information about the Texas Digital Library and membership in the consortium, please visit the TDL website at http://tdl.org/ or contact the TDL at info@tdl.org.

Debra Hanken Kurtz, TDL members to present at 2013 DLF Forum

September 11th, 2013
hanken kurtz headshot Debra Hanken Kurtz, TDL members to present at 2013 DLF Forum

TDL Executive Director Debra Hanken Kurtz, above, will present with other TDL members at the 2013 DLF Forum

TDL Executive Director Debra Hanken Kurtz will speak on digital library collaboration alongside other TDL member librarians and administrators at the 2013 DLF Forum, to be held November 4-6 in Austin, Texas.

Dana Rooks (Dean of Libraries at the University of Houston) will also serve on the panel, along with Mira Greene (Moody Medical Library, UTMB Galveston), Laura Hammons (Texas A&M Thesis Office), Billie Peterson-Lugo (Baylor Libraries), Sarah Potvin (Texas A&M Libraries), and Amy Rushing (formerly of UT Libraries, now UT San Antonio).

The panel presentation is entitled “Corralling the Independent Spirit of Texas Libraries to Re-envision a Collaborative Statewide Digital Library.”

The 2013 DLF Forum, which takes place at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center, is open to all who are interested in contributing to and playing an active part in the successful future of digital libraries, museum and archives services, and collections. The Forum will feature presentations and panels, workshops, research updates, working sessions, demos, and more.

The Texas Digital Library will participate in the DLF Forum in two additional ways: by co-sponsoring a Digital Humanities and Libraries THATCamp on November 7 and by organizing a conference “Dine Around,” in which attendees have a chance to go out for a casual dinner with other attendees at a variety of local eateries.

For more information about the 2013 DLF Forum, please visit the conference website.

Registration open for Advanced DSpace course

September 10th, 2013
Note: All seats for Advanced DSpace on October 16-17 have been filled, and registration has closed. Texas Digital Library will be working to schedule additional instances of this course in the future. Please refer to tdl.org/training for additional course dates as they become available.

The Texas Digital Library is pleased to announce that registration for the two-day course Advanced DSpace is now open for TDL members only.

The course will be held October 16-17, 2013, in Room 1.202 of the Perry-Castañeda Library at UT Austin.

Priority registration for TDL members at a discounted price of $150 will be available through the end of the day on Monday, September 23.

Beginning on Tuesday, September 24, registration will be open to anyone, including those from institutions not affiliated with the TDL.  The non-member registration rate for the course is $250. (Note: TDL members who register after September 23 are still eligible for the discounted rate.)


About the course:

The two-day Advanced DSpace course provides instruction on advanced features and customizations in DSpace 1.7.

Topics covered include:

  • Configuring a collection to harvest from an external source
  • Configuring general repository harvest settings
  • Customizing the system emails
  • Customizing the submission form for specific collections
  • How to create custom input forms
  • Configuring IP-based authentication
  • Configuring and customizing metadata crosswalks
  • How to change what fields are indexed for Browse
  • Faceted search/browse (aka “discovery”)
  • Configuring Media Filters
  • Configuring Curation Tasks
  • Overview of writing new Media Filters and/or new Curation Tasks
  • How to create a custom theme
  • How to create and upload and batch (including scripting)

Please note: The version of the course offered on October 16-17 will cover features available in DSpace version 1.7. Several topics listed in a previous email about this course – including item versioning and embargoing metadata – are only available in later versions of the software and will not be covered in this instance of the course.

Who should attend this course?

Skill Level: Advanced. Participants should at minimum have a thorough understanding of the DSpace user interface and issues covered in the Introduction to DSpace course.

Please read below for more information about the types of tasks and skills involved in this course. If you have additional questions about whether you should register for the course, please contact TDL at info@tdl.org.

  • Participants will be asked to perform basic tasks at a system command line, such as: listing files and directories, changing the working directory, and executing programs. (Note: Prior experience performing these simple command-line tasks is not necessary, but participants will be asked to learn and try them in the class.)
  • In addition, participants should be comfortable editing text files.  The course material will involve editing a variety of DSpace configuration files.
  • Finally, basic knowledge of programming languages and web development will enhance one’s appreciation of some of the course material.  Examples on customizing themes will involve XML, XSLT, CSS, and JavaScript.  Examples on writing new curation tasks and media filters will involve Java.

About the Instructor:

The Advanced DSpace Course will be led by James Creel. James is a Senior Software Developer at Texas A&M University Libraries with more than seven years of experience with DSpace.

For more information, please see the TDL website or contact the TDL at info@tdl.org.

TDL to co-sponsor DH & Libraries THATCamp in Austin on November 7

August 22nd, 2013

The Texas Digital Library is pleased to be one of the co-sponsors of the next Digital Humanities & Libraries THATCamp, to be held in Austin on November 7, 2013, as a DLF Forum post-conference event.

Registration is now open for THATCamp. The cost is only $25 and qualifies registrants for discounted DLF registration. However, space is limited, so sign up early!  (Please note that you must also register at the DLF Eventbrite site.)

More about the DH and Libraries THATCamp:

Academic libraries– their staff, content, and services– have a long history of supporting digital humanities (DH) initiatives. Often these initiatives are concerned with  digital representation of content, discovery, preservation, and analysis — activities that are essential to a library’s mission. The DH and Libraries THATCamp will provide a venue to further explore on-going conversations about strategic partnerships and services libraries are uniquely situated to offer to the digital humanities arena, moving away from a support model to a truly collaborative framework in which librarians foster and contribute to DH as experts and scholars in their own right. It is our hope that by better defining and promoting our unique roles: valuable services will emerge; administrative and organizational support can be secured; and outreach endeavors will shape the community in sustainable ways.

The program for the day is up to the participants, but possible formats for sessions could include:

  • Demos and working sessions pertaining to specific digital humanities tools and resources
  • Lightening talks to raise awareness of all things DH and libraries: projects, tools, promotional tactics, workflows, programs/labs
  • Discussions about partnerships between librarians and digital humanities initiatives that can include pedagogy, emerging trends, critical skills
  • Strategizing sessions aimed at exploring organizational models and service frameworks
  • Workshops aimed at sharing skills with other participants

TDL Update newsletter – July 2013

July 31st, 2013

Check out the latest issue of TDL Update, the newsletter of the Texas Digital Library, to discover the latest news and learn how TDL is working with its members to advance scholarly communication.

Here’s what is inside the July issue of TDL Update:

  • TDL Director joins DPN working group
  • New director begins Texas tour
  • TDL staff travel to summer and fall conferences
  • TDL OA journals launch first issues
  • New groups launch email forums
  • Awards and Conference Committees begin work
  • Worldwide Open Access Week coming in October

For suggestions about content for the TDL Update, please contact Kristi Park at kristi.park@austin.utexas.edu.

To sign up to receive issues of the TDL Update newsletter, fill out the quick web form on this page.

TDL director joins DPN Business Model Working Group

July 22nd, 2013
hanken kurtz headshot 159x240 TDL director joins DPN Business Model Working Group

TDL Executive Director Debra Hanken Kurtz

TDL executive director Debra Hanken Kurtz has joined the DPN Business Model Working Group, which has been tasked with creating a formal business plan and establishing a sustainable economic model for the Digital Preservation Network (DPN).

The Texas Digital Library is a charter member of DPN, a nationwide effort among academic institutions to develop a geographically distributed, format-independent infrastructure to ensure the preservation of the scholarly record.

The Business Model Working Group will complement the work of the on-going Technical Working Group, which is developing the technology infrastructure that makes the storage, replication, and inventory of contents in the DPN network possible. TDL’s senior software engineer Dan Galewsky is working with the TWG to advance an Austin-based node of DPN.

An additional group, the Succession Rights Working Group, is identifying best practices among organizations focused on data preservation and developing templates for defining license agreements among data depositors, repositories, and DPN.

For more information about the Digital Preservation Network, please visit http://www.dpn.org.