BACK TO SCHOOL SPECIAL!
For the month of September, ITS will be featuring one department every week. This is a way to get to know our staff a little better and highlight some of the things that we do and like.
This week you can find out what movies Antonio likes and what Brad’s dream job is plus lots more! We hope you enjoy reading our blog.
Information Technology Services
Duke University Libraries
Meet our staff
Core Services has a wide variety of responsibilities to the staff and patrons of Duke University Libraries. We’re responsible for workstation support and management, system and application administration, project management, and management of our Integrated Library System. As a part of that final area of responsibility, we’re working hard on migrating from our current ILS, Aleph, to Kuali OLE, and playing a key leadership role in the OLE community’s development and integration efforts.
Name: Brad Williams
Position: Senior IT Manager; Head of Core Services for Duke University Libraries
Years at Duke: 4
What I do at Duke: I manage Desktop Support, Enterprise Services (including Aleph and Kuali OLE), System and Application Administration, and Project Management.
If I had $5 million, I would: Endow a fund to support youth theater.
My first ever job: I worked as a clerk in a convenience store. However, my first job after college was sorting soiled hospital laundry at an industrial laundry facility. Sounds pretty awful, right? It was somehow even worse than it sounds.
My dream job: Film actor
If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about: Doctor Who
What I love about Duke: The importance of work-life balance is recognized and embraced.
If I could have one superpower, it would be: The ability to stop time.
Something most people don’t know about me: I have worked as a bouncer.
A unique thing in my office: Part of my collection of Doctor Who toys
Name: Angela Carter Bryant
Position: IT Project Manager
Years at Duke: 30
What I do at Duke: I manage projects and work with departmental heads on budget related issues for ITS. I help Desktop Support when needed.
If I had $5 million, I would: give to my family and travel. I would retire and volunteer at an orphanage or work with foster children.
My first ever job: I started working at the ripe age of 14, Library Page for Orange County Public Library in Hillsborough NC.
My dream job: would be to run my own organizational business where I would organize people’s homes and businesses. Nothing like having everything in its place!
If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about: My grandchildren, Alivia and Addison, my children, Aaron, Bryson and Emily.
The best advice I ever received: My Dad told me never to be afraid, that everyone puts their pants on the same way…I still get nervous in a crowd of people – lol.
What I love about Duke: The place is beautiful to look at and that never gets old. Being able to work from home is a plus and having good friends to talk to.
When I’m not at work, I like to: spend time with my family and travel, bake, shopping and doing crafts.
If I could have one superpower, it would be: to feed all the hungry children in the world.
A Movie(s) I like: Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – 1971 version with Gene Wilder, Wizard of Oz
Something most people don’t know about me: I am an introvert with a sense of humor. I like to laugh and have a good time but I also like to read a good book or take pictures with my camera.
A unique thing in my office: Always chocolate in my office.
Name: Derrek Croney
Position: IT Analyst
Years at Duke: 3 years
What I Do At Duke: Drink lots of coffee!
And I manage the Libraries’ application servers, manage the Libraries’ public and intranet websites, serve as the Libraries’ liason with the central Office of IT, and occasionally write PHP, Ruby and Java code.
That, and drink lots of coffee!
If I had $5 million, I would… Have a wife who now had $5 million, and I would enjoy coming to work at Duke each day.
A Unique Thing My Office: A photograph of me posing next to the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
The Best Advice I Ever Received: The first ‘IT Director’ I worked under once told me (in the deepest “southern drawl” known to man), “If you don’t like how something is going, wait six(6) months and things will change.”
What I love about Duke: Getting away to the Duke Gardens to decompress and unwind.
A Movie I Like: Tombstone
Name: Dorothy Coletta
Position: Section Head, Desktop Support
Years at Duke: 15
What I do at Duke: translate technology into English.
If I had $5 million, I would: buy everyone in the library all the technology they want.
My first ever job: counter clerk at McDonald’s.
My dream job: I’m in it!
If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about:yoga
The best advice I ever received: rub screws on a bar of soap before screwing them into the wall.
What I love about Duke: Cameron.
When I’m not at work, I like to: be outside.
If I could have one superpower, it would be: being able to focus despite the commotion around me.
A Movie I like: Brainstorm and Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Something most people don’t know about me:I’ve met both Mother Teresa and Jane Goodall, two of my top role models.
A unique thing in my office: Library party posters that make my cube as beautiful as a museum.
An interesting/memorable day at work for me:all days are interesting because technology is always changing and the people in the library are fascinating to talk to.
Name: Antonio Fields
Position: IT Analyst
Years at Duke: 13yrs
What I do at Duke: I manage and support servers and end-users. I spend a great deal of time solving problems for the technology I manage and the people I support. At the end of the day it’s about customer service so I do what it takes to get the job done.
If I had $5 million, I would: I wouldn’t change anything…………
My first ever job: Was at fast food chain
If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about: My kid, technology, football, movies, or whatever they would like to ask.
What I love about Duke: The people I work with. It’s never a dull moment.
When I’m not at work, I like to: Watch movies, bowl, karaoke, or whatever moves me at that moment.
If I could have one superpower, it would be: Precognition, it would be nice to see in the future.
Something most people don’t know about me: Is that when I’m quiet I’m observant of my surroundings
An interesting/memorable day at work for me: Getting stuck on two different elevators
Name: Paul Wilshire
Position: IT Analyst Desktop Support
Years at Duke: 9
What I do at Duke: I work with Library Desktop Support to provide internal computer support to the Duke Library staff.
If I had $5 million, I would: Buy a nice Cabin in the Mountains, retire early
My first ever job: Library Page in Public Library System
My dream job: Working with Dolphins
If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about:Anything?
The best advice I ever received: Do what you love and the money will come.
What I love about Duke: Work environment
When I’m not at work, I like to: Interact with My Kids, read, watch movies, travel, and hike
If I could have one superpower, it would be: Teleportation
A Movie I like: Gattica
Something most people don’t know about me: I like to scuba dive
A unique thing in my office: Butterfly picture of my daughter
An interesting/memorable day at work for me:My first day at work when I saw all the computer junk that no one had surplussed.
Name: Alton Wills
Position: IT Analyst
Years at Duke: 6 months
What I do at Duke: I support the end users software and hardware needs.
If I had $5 million, I would: With that money I would finally be able to capitalize on some of my investment strategies as well as start my own audio engineering business.
What I love about Duke: I love the campus, the prestige, as well as the vast amounts of benefits that come with working here.
When I’m not at work, I like to: I like to watch a large amount of stand-up comedy.
If I could have one superpower, it would be: To have the ability to teleport.
A Movie I like: Inception.
Name: Mohamed El Ouirdi
Position: Head, Discovery Services
Years at Duke: 11
What I do at Duke: I manage the Discovery Services team, which is responsible of the upkeep of the Integrated Library System and other applications. We make sure the ILS is functioning at optimal performance and that it provides the functionality library staff and patrons need.
I am also the Project Manager for the Duke OLE Implementation. The Kuali Open Library Environment is a next generation ILS that is designed and built by and for research libraries. The implementation of OLE at Duke is an exciting opportunity to reap the benefits of open source and community developed software.
If I had $5 million, I would: Build a cancer treatment hospital in my hometown in Morocco.
My first ever job: I worked at a grocery store in my hometown. It was a major personal growth opportunity, having to deal with different aspects of running a small business. I also interacted with customers on a daily basis, sometimes during charged and intense situations. I learned to stay calm and act rationally under pressure.
If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about: soccer, martial arts and international travel. I am especially fascinated by the Japanese culture, and would love to travel there some day.
What I love about Duke: The community and the sense of pride I get from being part of Duke. I also consider west campus to be a big part of my work life.
When I’m not at work: I like to: play soccer, practice karate, and spend time with my family and friends.
Name: Ayse Durmaz
Position: IT Analyst in Core/Discovery Services group
Years at Duke: nearly one year in the library, six years formerly at Fuqua as Web Developer
What I do at Duke: Support and develop Duke library’s ILS systems.
If I had $5 million, I would: Travel around the world.
What I love about Duke: The beautiful campus and the people that work here.
When I’m not at work, I like to: Play flute, do origami, right now I’m learning calligraphy and guitar; volunteer at an animal shelter.
Name: Jeff Fleming
Position: Analyst, IT, Sr – Core Services
Years at Duke: 6
What I do at Duke: ILS and whatever else needs to get done.
If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about: Talk to me about my twin girls.
Name: Karen Newbery
Position: IT Analyst, Core Services
Years at Duke: 18 (how did that happen?!)
What I do at Duke:I support the integrated library system for Duke – the system that allows library material to be bought, described and circulated for Duke’s patrons.
If I had $5 million, I would: I would have a craft store and a staff at home so I could spend time doing what I want and not keeping up with the chores at home.
My first ever job: I got my first job at a Walgreens at a mall in Omaha with some friends from high school. We had a great time working together! I’ll still help “face” a shelf or put something back where it belongs in a retail store today.
My dream job: Being a full-time crafter.
If someone wanted to start a conversation with me they should ask me about:My son or my cats. I could regale you for hours on either subject!
The best advice I ever received: “It doesn’t matter what your degree is in, as long as you have a degree.” My Father
What I love about Duke: I love all the people I’ve worked with. They both challenge me and keep me sane.
When I’m not at work, I like to: Family is really important to me, so you’ll find me spending time with mine. I also run and do lots of crafts
If I could have one superpower, it would be: To cure cancer. Stupid cancer.
A Movie I like: One of my favorite movies is Top Secret. I also really like Shawshank Redemption and Oh Brother, Where art thou?
Something most people don’t know about me:I’m really an introvert. Really!
A unique thing in my office: My counted cross stitch puzzle. Put together by Glenda Lacoste and her crew in the copy center years ago. I love it because I love cross stitch and it’s so colorful.
An interesting/memorable day at work for me:When I manage to make it through the entire day without blowing anything or anyone up.
Duke’s Lilly Library has over 12,000 VHS videotapes in its collection. Unfortunately, most first-year Duke students were born close to 1997, the year consumer-level DVD players hit the U.S. market, essentially marking the end of the VHS tape as the dominant format for video distribution. To a Duke freshman, a VHS tape is a curious artifact their parents’ wedding was likely recorded on, not something useful in today’s classroom or library. Most classrooms at Duke, and other college campuses, are outfitted with the latest technology for presenting video. The systems are all digital, in high definition. Any VHS players languishing in classrooms were sent to surplus years ago.
So, what to do with 12,000 VHS videotapes that are essentially obsolete? The first course of action is to replace the VHS title with a commercially-released version in DVD format, or as streaming video. Lilly Library has been able to do that with some titles. But their collection doesn’t consist of what you might see on Netflix or Amazon. Many of the films are long out of print, and have never been released on DVD or as streaming media. Lilly’s collection includes obscure foreign titles that many people have never heard of, political documentaries made by struggling filmmakers on a low budget, rare ballet performances that were only sold to niche markets when they were first released decades ago. Like your favorite vinyl record that’s never been released on CD or iTunes, many of Lilly’s video titles are stuck in analog purgatory. They may never become available in digital format, because there’s not enough commercial demand.
Over the last year, the Digital Production Center has undertaken the process of migrating these particular titles to DVD format, in house. The DVDs can then be presented by professors in Duke’s classrooms, or played by students in Lilly Library. The digital files can also be used for future streaming, if there are no copyright restrictions. Legally, it is determined that if a VHS tape is commercially unavailable in digital format, that VHS tape can be migrated to DVD for inclusion in our circulating collection, so the title can remain relevant for teaching purposes. The source VHS tape must then be removed from circulation.
In the Digital Production Center, we first run the VHS tape through an RTI tape-cleaning machine, which removes dirt and tells us the condition and duration of the tape. Next, we determine if the tape is in NTSC format (Americas, Japan, South Korea) or in another format such as PAL (Europe, China, India), PAL-M (Brazil), SECAM (France) or MESCAM (Eastern Europe, Middle East). If the title is in a format other than NTSC, it must be played on a special VCR that converts international formats to NTSC. Next, we determine if the title has encoded copy-protection. Some VHS tapes incorporate a copy-protection algorithm known as Macrovision, which inserts pseudo-sync pulses into the vertical signal, or outputs a rapidly modulated colorburst signal. In this situation, we have to route the video signal in a specific way, in order to produce a DVD without distortion.
Once those hurdles are overcome, we play each VHS tape in real time, simultaneously burning the content to a recordable DVD-R. Once the transfer is complete, we play each DVD, making sure it looks and sound good. The DVDs are then sent to cataloging for inclusion in our circulating collection. The corresponding VHS title is simultaneously removed from circulation, and sent to our warehouse for long-term storage. But first, we rewind that VHS tape one last time. As they used to say at your friendly neighborhood VHS-rental store, “Be Kind, Rewind.”
Welcome to Bitstreams!
News, pictures and digital projects know-how served weekly!
Be sure to also visit Duke Digital Collections.
- Meet Information Technology Services: Core Services
- Be Kind, Rewind
- Bodies of Knowledge: Seeking Design Contractors for Innovative Anatomical Digital Collection
- Analog to Digital to Analog: Impact of digital collections on permission-to-publish requests
- Tweets and Metadata Unite!: Meet the Twitter Card
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