Properly testing the migration to Full Text Finder is crucial. Library Systems and Technical Services met to identify the affected systems and discuss most effective approach to ensuring a successful upgrade. Simply performing searches at random would not give us the information we need. Because we are changing our A-Z management tool as well as our link resolver, we determined that we needed to test all forms of full test links and not just Full Text Finder links.
We began by creating a test profile in EDS that used the new EBSCO management tools. Then we created a spreadsheet and populated it with the test url and Content Providers. We called for volunteers to perform searches and record the results for linking and the journal for the first twenty results.
Admittedly 20 results is a small sample size for a pass/fail but, given the number of content providers and journals, we will still record over 1500 search results. If we want to be confident in our 90% success rate, then the sample size should be closer to 65 but we simply do not have time to perform that many searches.
The current plan shows that this project will take about 4 months to complete. Given our samples, we are really only finding gross errors in the system which we will correct and retest. Assuming major failures are kept to a minimum, we can be more thorough in the follow-up testing.
Next post will be a review of the data collected by the project team.
Our relationship with EBSCO’s EDS have evolved from “We love it!” to “We love it, but…”. We implemented EDS in 2011 and immediately realized stunning increases in full text downloads from our patrons. We were recognized as an EBSCO success story and received an innovation award from our local business community. When EDS works, it is wonderful, but keeping it working is more work than we anticipated. I think it is more work than EBSCO anticipated too. Building an enterprise data warehouse is difficult when you own all of the data so I don’t envy the challenges EBSCO must face building one out of the content owned by other entities. Creating a working system that links to their competitor’s content must be a daunting experience, but also at fault are EBSCO’s own management tools LinkSource and A-Z. These tools ensure that EDS knows what the University of North Florida has and how to get them. It should be as simple as telling A-Z, “these are the packages we have”, but it isn’t. Frequently we find that EDS doesn’t get the message or that our particular package configuration, like dates, is not an option. That means EDS either thinks we have something we don’t or doesn’t recognize what we do have so our patrons get false positives and false negatives. Worse, perhaps, is when they find the result they want, but the link to the full text doesn’t work. For a library, this is a breach of trust in our patron relationship and something we have to minimize. It is getting harder and harder to get patrons to use the library, given all of the competition we have these days. When they go to the trouble of searching our resources and fin something they want, they need to be confident in their ability to get it. They need to be confident in the library’s ability to provide it. As a result of all of this, we spend a great deal of time working with EBSCO to ensure that we meet our patron’s expectations.
So, does that mean we are unhappy with EDS? No, we still love it, but we are always looking for opportunities to improve it and reduce our own work load. Enter Full Text Finder, EBSCO’s new and (hopefully) improved suite of tools to manage holdings and linking. Always anxious to improve our resources, we pushed to be an early adopter of the new tools, but our past experience tells us that methodical testing is crucial to a successful implementation. So we won’t be the first to implement Full Text Finder, but we hope to go live this Fall and have an improved experience for our patrons. Over the next three months we will plan, test and implement Full Text Finder and share our methods, challenges and results along the way.
I’ve gotten a lot of questions recently about customizing the default A-Z Database list in LibGuides 2. This post will show you how to create a key for any icons that you might use to help describe your databases.
The first step is to create a new template for your A-Z layout. You can reach this from the “Look & Feel” option in your admin module and then select the “A-Z Page Layout” tab. Once you’ve created and named your new template you’ll need to add the following HTML. I use four icons so I have four lines dedicated to images, just replace the appropriate attributes and link your images.
In my text editor, the above code appears at line 41 but it may be slightly different in yours.
Once you have entered the HTML, you now need to add the following CSS to LibGuides 2. I keep a separate style sheet just for the A-Z page and I would suggest that you do the same. It just makes it a lot easier to keep track of everything.
Adobe has been the preferred tool of graphics professionals for decades. Some at the UNF library have been using Photoshop for several years for a variety of tasks but it wasn’t until the implementation of Digital Commons and the formation of the Digital Projects department in 2011 that the Adobe Creative Suite became a core tool for our business processes. In addition to Photoshop, Acrobat (formerly Acrobat Pro) became integrated into our workflows as we edited images and embedded metadata into TIFFs, JPEGs and PDFs for the archives. One of the early major challenges was versioning the software. At the time, we lacked the funding to acquire the latest license for every computer so early adopters used older versions while newer users received the latest release. This caused significant difficulty for the veteran user who was asked to provide training. Should the more experienced user train on the old software that the newer user didn’t have or learn the interface and features of the new software that couldn’t access? Eventually this problem was resolved when, fairly recently, the campus invested in a site license for the Adobe Create Suite which has allowed us to standardize on a common platform. While Creative Suite is a collection of many software packages, the library continued to primarily use Photoshop, Acrobat and Premiere (Adobe’s Video editing tool).
Recently I volunteered to take on the role of Liaison for the University of North Florida Mathematics Department in addition to my current responsibilities with the College of Computing Engineering and Construction). I’ve always loved Math and my time in the Six Sigma program only deepened my affection for the field. As a librarian, though, I have found the role to be challenging. Being good at math and studying or researching Mathematics are two completely different things. What do Math faculty, students and researchers want? Getting an answer to that is rarely as simple as asking the question. You have to build a relationship with faculty who are focused on their classes and their research far more than on library collection development and rightfully so. After months of trying to meet with Mathematics through their Faculty meeting, I was approached by Mahbubur Rahman, Associate Professor of Mathematics, to discuss the needs of the faculty and students of Math.
Dr. Rahman, who is teaching Ordinary Differential Equations (MAP2302) and Linear Algebra (MAS 3105) this Spring, is clearly passionate about Applied Mathematics. He shared a list of databases and books that he and his fellow faculty beleived were critical to the academic development of their students. He mentioned that he had sent students to look for these titles and was told that they were not in the Library. In some cases they were correct. In others, they were not.
As with any request from faculty, I shared Dr. Rahman’s list with Robb Waltner, our Head of Acquisitions. Robb investigated the books and journals and produced three very useful reports. The first report showed that some of the requested items are, in fact, available from our library. It also showed the coverage dates and sources for the journals. The second report showed Library resources for Mathematics that were underutilized. Underutilized journals are resources that have a very high cost/use ratio relative to the cost of interlibrary loan. These journals could be considered for cancellation in order to pay for the requested titles. The third report showed all of the Math ejournals in our A-Z list. These were fantastic resources to share with the Math Faculty with one caveat. The list of resources had not been de-duplicated. That meant receiving a 2300 line list showing eJournals availability through as many as 15 different sources. As a rule, we don’t share documents like this because they can be hard to navigate and they also beg the question, “Why do we buy the same resource so many times?”. Of course any Librarian familiar with eResource acquisitions understands that we have little choice in the matter. While it may be possible to buy only what we need on a title-by-title basis, it would cost far more than simply buying large packages that may include duplicate content. Another reason for duplication is that some titles included in the packages are free or open journals and, so, everyone includes them.
We are pleased to acknowledge that last week, Jeremy Hall was invited to present with SpringShare at the 2015 ACRL conference in Portland, OR. Over the past year, Jeremy has worked very closely with SpringShare developers to resolve technical issues in the new LibGuides2 platform and help define business requirements that have lead to a more effective and feature rich product. His work customizing LibGuides has lead to a cleaner, home page with seamlessly integrated systems like OneSearch, Chat and an automatically updated calendar.
Jeremy’ expertise has not gone unnoticed in the greater SpringShare community either. Jeremy has been called upon by web developers all over the country to help find new ways to configure their sites.
Due to the late notice and short budget. Jeremy will not attend this year’s ACRL but he will present at the next Springy Web Conference (not yet scheduled) and next year’s Computers in Libraries in 2016.
Have a look at the new LibGuides Home Page rolled out in late February and leave your comments on the new look and feel of the site.
Many years ago, no one in the library seems to remember when, the library acquired a satellite dish. Collective memory suggests that it was part of a continuing education program for library faculty (think webinars before the web). This century, however, it has simply been a forgotten part of the building rusting quietly on the roof until Dr. Brian Kopp, Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, noticed it and recognized its potential.
Dr. Kopp would like to decode weather data from EUMETSAT pointing our satellite just 5° off the western horizon. This will be a challenge for the equipment on the roof of the library but it would be impossible anywhere else on campus. The structure on top of the four story library provides the necessary height and the positioning grants us the line of sight required to target the elusive Eutelsat 5 West A satellite. According to Dr. Kopp, Eutelsat 5 West A is “a commercial geostationary satellite at longitude west 5 degrees over Africa. We would receive a C-band signal carrying the EUMETCast meteorological data products from the EUMETSAT program which is Europe’s version of NOAA.” Although the positioning is technically sufficient, some are skeptical that we will be able to receive data reliably due to the low angle of the dish. This could be exacerbated by rain or other inclement weather.
While the library is focusing on Europe, Dr. Kopp is also pursuing a smaller dish on building 3 that he would like to point at NOAA’s geostationary GOES east spacecraft. This would provide examples of different kinds of satellite signals. Students will also have an opportunity to study several smaller satellites donated by Dr. Kopp.
According to Dr. Kopp, “UNF is uniquely located on the US east coast and also at the north end of the space coast. We can “see” satellites flying over all of the US but also over South America and even western Europe and Africa. Installing satellite communication reception stations on the UNF library and elsewhere on campus will create unique teaching and outreach opportunities (for the library, engineering departments and environmental sciences departments). These installations will also help establish UNF as an industry space communications hub. It is hoped this will help advance research opportunities to work with NASA and NOAA partners as well as other space industry partners such as SpaceX.”
Upon completion of the installation, Dr. Kopp intends to use the data as a demonstration tool for his EEL4514 Communications Systems class and EEL4514L lab. He is also looking forward to selected topic courses in communication systems where students and researcher will analyze signals and test equipment.
As a partner, the Library hopes to provide more than just a platform for the satellite dish. The project requires computers in order to receive and utilize the data. They will decode and stream weather data across the network. In the short term, the Library may be able to use some surplus computers in storage but the longer term vision may include a large screen multi-touch display in the public area. Such a system could integrate Dr. Kopp’s satellite data with the Library’s vast resources on an open, collaborative tool allowing multiple students to simultaneously search, retrieve and manipulate live data and scholarly resources. We will have more on that in future posts. Until then, we are looking forward to seeing what students do with the data and knowledge of this partnership.
As part on our ongoing effort to improve the student experience, we’ve 3D printed some QR codes that will be mounted outside of our group study rooms. Scanning these codes will take students directly to our online portal where study rooms may be reserved. Expect to see these mounted and ready for use as part of the brand new library learning commons some time this summer.
It’s been a long road but after months of work the UNF Library has finally completed the migration from the old LibGuides system to the new LibGuides version 2!
LibGuides 2 is a fully responsive platform on all mobile devices and features a far richer feature set than the original LibGuides. Built upon one of the most popular web development platforms, bootstrap, LibGuides 2 should continue to be easy for faculty and staff to maintain and yet flexible enough to allow for extensive customization and the elasticity to adapt to any future needs. More importantly, we think students, faculty, and all users will find the new system more visually attractive, more informative, and easier to use.
Over the coming months expect to see further improvements in the form of new features, further customizations, and the gradual migration of information from other library systems added into LibGuides. If you’re interested in more information about some of the custom work we’ve done, you can contact us and we’ll be happy to share!
The School of Computing Symposium is a semester event that showcases work done by both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in computing courses during the fall and spring semesters. Everything from course projects, to capstone projects, to graduate theses is presented as posters to the public in a professional environment. Often these presentations include examples of hardware and software SoC students have constructed over the course of the semester. These poster presentations may be the work of a group of students or a single student, and all constitute a considerable amount of work by the students. The event is free to present and attend, and attendees are able to vote on the presentations they like the most. Prizes are awarded to presentations at the end of the symposium. There are honorable mention prizes for each course represented, as well as a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place overall prizes.
This is the third SoC symposium the Thomas G. Carpenter Library has participated as a “Community Partner” with the School of Computing to foster interdisciplinary academic engagement with students. As a Community Partner the Library works with a group of students from the Information Systems Senior Project capstone courses (Fall and Semester), and acts as a “customer” in need of a software-based web application that fulfills some need. This year the library requested of the students a custom group study room reservation web application. Early in the semester a group of students from the Senior Project course volunteered to tackle this project, and throughout the semester has met with representatives from the library to discuss business requirements, design, and functionality. The library will continue to work with this group of students in the Spring 2015 semester to the successful completion of the project.
During the Fall 2014 Symposium the undergraduate Senior Project course group working with the Thomas G. Carpenter Library won the 1st Place Overall prize, including a $200 cash prize.