A Different Kind of Exhibit

A new library exhibit featured in The Jerry and Bruce Chappell Family Gallery explains the work of DUL’s Collections Services division. What makes this exhibit unique is the intangible nature of most of the work done by Collections Services employees. But even though the behind-the-scenes work often cannot be seen or touched, it is crucial to the operations of the library and the services offered to patrons. The exhibit, titled, “The Library Uncovered: Behind the Scenes with Collections Services,” creatively meets the challenge of conveying all that is done to make sure patrons can find what they’re looking for in the library, whether it is a book on a shelf, an academic journal article online, or a streaming video.

The exhibit team worked hard to show the processes that take place every day to cycle resources through the libraries’ collections. Exploring the exhibit gives viewers a sense of the routine operations of the division through various display cases highlighting some of the materials that move through Collections Services on their way to library shelves, as well as an animated overview of the complex processes required to deliver the millions of items in the library catalog.

From the exhibit’s conception, the team grappled with how to represent Collections Services’ work that doesn’t neatly fit into an exhibit case. How can we convey manipulating the metadata of millions of library records? What items can we display that represent the countless hours of budget planning that go into creating and maintaining collections? Like most exhibits, The Library Uncovered just scratches the surface of the complexities of Collections Services. But it does serve as great starting point for sharing the often overlooked and always vital work that goes into keeping the library up and running.

The exhibit opened on Jan 10, with a small celebration and opening remarks from Joe Salem and Dracine Hodges. We invite you to visit the exhibit before it closes on Jun. 4, 2023.  More information can be found here.

 

Introducing Collections Services

Duke's blue devil reading a book - the library iconEarlier this year, the Collection Strategy & Development department was added to Technical Services.  After his arrival, Joe Salem, the new Rita DiGiallonardo Holloway University Librarian and Vice Provost for Library Affairs, affirmed that this organizational change, which mirrors existing structures at many of Duke’s peer institutions makes strategic sense moving forward. It brings together collection strategy and stewardship around the lifecycle which is now wholly represented in the division. It is important to mark this change to update the framing of collections holistically.

Since its inception, the modern Duke Libraries as part of a comprehensive, research institution grows daily as scholarship continues, formats change, and culture evolves. Our work is supporting the full resource lifecycle which enables a range of scholarly pursuits. The six departments in the division (Collection Strategy & Development, Conservation Services, Continuing Resource Acquisitions, Metadata & Discovery Strategy, Monograph Acquisitions, Resource Description) are responsible for overarching collections stewardship – strategy and analysis, licensing and acquisition, access and description, and preservation to extend the life and reach of Duke University Libraries’ (DUL) collections.

Within this division, it is important to highlight that we are tasked with working across the collections spectrum. We provide support directly or indirectly for nearly all collections-related programs. We support general and special collections, in English and on average over 80 non-English languages. Of course, we support all formats – physical and online. We provide collections management and/or cooperatively work with all Duke affiliated libraries, and we keep DUL’s collections networked through extensive engagement with its many consortia partners.

With these things in mind, I wanted to note two changes that are effective immediately. First, the Continuing Resource Acquisitions department will now be called Electronic Resources & Serials Acquisitions (ERSA) to provide a more overt understanding of that work. And finally, Technical Services is now named Collections Services. It is a good amalgamation of where we’ve been as well as where we are now. Updates to the directory, website pages, org chart, etc., will all be made in the coming weeks.

Happy National Book Month!

Books on ShelfIn honor of National Book Month in October, DUL Technical Services was surveyed about our favorite books, as well as our favorite book formats. The survey was sent to staff who work across the Technical Services workflows, including collection development, ordering and receiving, cataloging,  bindery, conservation and preservation. Their work involves a variety of materials in a variety of formats. The list of favorite books (below) is a fascinating mix of fiction and non-fiction genres.  We bet you’ll add several to your to-read list!

 

 

 DULTS Staff Favorites

DULTS Format Preferences

Pie chart of format preferences noted below

  • Print–64.71%
  • eBook–23.53%
  • Audiobook–11.76%

 

 

 

 

 

Survey Notes

One colleague enjoys all three formats interchangeably, while another colleague doesn’t have just one favorite book. (So many to choose from, right?!) Yet another colleague listed a favorite book included in the list above, but added that their all-time favorite was the Cradle series by Will Wight.

Selected Links about Books

Selected Book-related Bibliography from the DUL Catalog

 

E-Resource Database Trial Accessibility Evaluations

Overview

Over the past few years, Duke University Libraries have been making efforts to consider additional ways to incorporate DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) principles into our daily work. In Technical Services, one example of this work is advocating for strong accessibility language in e-resource license negotiations. This is a high priority, because accessibility compliance is inherent to complying with civil rights law. Prioritizing accessibility language in DUL licenses lets providers know that the library’s willingness to acquire e-resources is compromised when accessibility needs are not met or prioritized. Inclusion of strong accessibility language also codifies content providers’ acknowledgment that the e-books, e-journals, and online databases they are selling for inclusion in the library’s collection should be accessible according to national and international standards. It also ensures that the library has the right to modify material as needed when resources do not comply with patrons’ accessibility needs.

To build on this existing accessibility work, the DUL E-Resources Management Team is piloting a database accessibility evaluation project to more closely assess e-resources under consideration for acquisition during trials. E-resource trials are a common way for subject selectors to review e-resources before committing to add the material to the collection, typically via a temporary gratis access period of around 30 days. By testing databases on trial for a few key accessibility elements, we hope to provide additional useful information for our colleagues’ consideration as they build the library’s collection.

Designing a Template

Barb Dietsch, ERM Specialist, and Abby Wickes, ERM Librarian, based the pilot on the Library Accessibility Alliance E-resource Reports (LAA) which are highlighted in detail in an incredibly informative ASERL webinar, “Accessibility of Research Library E-resources”. Using the LAA model, Dietsch and Wickes developed a local Accessibility Evaluation Template for testing with a variety of free tools and manual testing methods according to the POUR rubric, which is adroitly described in the 2020 NASIG session, “Designing for Accessibility”.

Perceivable (can be accessed with more than one sense)

Evaluate for captions, alternative image text, screen reader success

Operable (provides flexible navigation options and can be accessed with a variety of input methods)

Attempt to navigate website using only keyboard

Understandable (behaves in an intuitive, logical, and predictable way)

Attempt to intuitively navigate website, looking for usability issues (e.g., help or documentation, clearly labeled links)

Robust (works across browsers and devices, follows standards)

Attempt to navigate website in multiple browsers, devices; attempt to zoom in to resize text

Using POUR as a guide, the evaluation template also incorporates data from free tools including the NVDA Speech Viewer screen reader and the WAVE online web service and browser extensions.

Additionally, the template includes the option to link to existing accessibility language and/or a VPAT (Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, describing providers’ compliance with accessibility standards), if the library has already negotiated a license with the content provider. (These licensing additions to the Accessibility Evaluation Template were incorporated after learning more about a similar evaluation process at the University of Washington through another very helpful and informative Library Accessibility Alliance webinar, “Accessibility Committees: Cultivating Cultures of Accessibility at Your Library”.)

Sharing Findings

After testing the Accessibility Evaluation Template with multiple databases and soliciting feedback from colleagues, we will be launching the project for all database trials going forward. The findings from the evaluations will be shared with both DUL colleagues for incorporation into acquisition decisions, as well as content providers in the hopes that they will remedy any accessibility problems the evaluation uncovers. As part of our local evaluation process, we also plan to try to reproduce results from existing LAA E-Resource Reports whenever a database has already gone through their more detailed review process. If LAA reports are not yet available for the database in question, we will typically use the form on the LAA site to suggest the more extensive LAA review.

Helpful Resources

In addition to the resources linked throughout this post, we also found these tools, webinars, and websites incredibly helpful when learning more about this topic:

Future Plans

We expect to learn a lot more after launching the pilot evaluations, and we have a few ideas on how to potentially expand our efforts in the future.

  • We’ve learned a lot from other organizations undertaking similar efforts, and it would be beneficial to figure out a way to share our local evaluations more broadly so peer institutions can incorporate findings into their own acquisition decisions.
  • It could also be helpful to more quantitatively assess the resources to come up with a score or color-coded range for easier comparison with other databases under review. However, since online databases can differ greatly in content and format, we anticipate this would be a challenging metric to quantify.
  • Finally, we hope to continue incorporating additional and emerging accessibility tools and resources. In the future, incorporating content’s availability in the FRAME repository of adapted, accessible materials could also be helpful information.

Database Accessibility Evaluation Template

Download the template

Please take a look at our template, and thank you for any feedback on this pilot project! If you’d like to hear more, Barb Dietsch and Abby Wickes will be presenting on this project at the upcoming November DUL First Wednesday presentation.

Database Trials Accessibility Review:

[Provider: Title]

Resource

Provider:
Title:  
Access URL:
Test search term:
Example page used in testing:
DUL Tester:

Overview Summary

[Paragraph and quick bullet points providing general overview]

Library Accessibility Alliance (LAA) Evaluation

Manual Evaluation according to POUR Rubric

(Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust)

Perceivable (can be accessed with more than one sense)

Evaluate for captions, alternative image text, screen reader success:

Notes Screenshot(s)
·
·

Operable (provides flexible navigation options and can be accessed with a variety of input methods)

Attempt to navigate website using only keyboard (tab and shift tab to go forward and back):

Notes Screenshot(s)
·

 Understandable (behaves in an intuitive, logical, and predictable way)

Attempt to intuitively navigate website, looking for usability issues (e.g., help or documentation, clearly labeled links):

Notes Screenshot(s)
·

Robust (works across browsers and devices, follows standards)

Attempt to view website in multiple browsers, devices; attempt to zoom in to resize text:

Notes Screenshot(s)
·

High-level WAVE findings:

Notes Screenshot(s)
Errors

·   []

Alerts

·   []

Notes

·   []

Communicating Findings

Stakeholders Item Status/Notes
DUL Colleagues BTAA Evaluation or,

High-level summary of CRA Accessibility Review

Content Providers BTAA Evaluation (or flag that we have submitted to BTAA for review) or,

High-level summary of CRA Accessibility Review

Licensing

Link to License Accessibility Language Link to VPAT

 

A Day in the Life: Adam Hudnut-Beumler

A man and woman stand in front of a pale green lake surrounded by rocks and trees.Hello! My name is Adam Hudnut-Beumler, and I am a Serials Management Associate in the Continuing Resource Acquisitions Department. When not at work, I love going to bar trivia, playing sports, binging podcasts and hiking. But how did I get to Duke?

In 2017, I came to Durham right after college to start a PhD in American Religions at Duke’s Graduate Program in Religion. During that time, I got a summer job as a student assistant working in the stacks and at the desk at Lilly Library. Somewhere along the line, I realized I liked contributing to the library more than studying critical theory, so after three years I pivoted my career aspirations to the library. Gratefully, in February 2021 I started as a Serials Management Assistant with CRAD. I am also thankful for the support of the department as I also attend the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science. My coursework allows me to acquire data science skills of use to academic libraries and our patrons.

I began my current responsibilities around the start of May 2022. Placing orders, paying invoices, and handling vendor communication make up the core of my job. I also copy catalog and manage the receipt and labeling of Duke’s Government Documents collection. Working constantly between DUL’s order, subscription, item, and holdings records in our current ILS Aleph, the job also requires a diligent eye to ensure our periodicals and serials data and metadata are correct and up to date for our users. As our department looks to the transition to FOLIO next summer, I attend weekly meetings with my Serials Management Team members to advocate for greater serials and periodicals acquisitions functionality.  Screencap of a spreadsheet describing claimable issues of periodical orders.

Recently, I brought my library school learning into my job for CRAD’s annual subscription renewals review project. Starting with the spreadsheets of our open orders provided by our major vendors, I added a column that lists all past-due issues aligned with each order row. I used the principles of database querying I learned in a course this summer to develop a working knowledge of the Aleph Reporting Center. I created a report of all periodicals with elapsed expected arrival dates, and then read that data as a .csv into a Python script which could combine multiple issues’ data into single lines for each order number. After transforming the data, I read the .csv back into Excel and used the VLOOKUP function to join my claimable issues table to our renewals spreadsheets on the order number. With this data readily available, we can identify our problematic subscriptions at a glance and achieve a thorough claiming of the materials DUL promises to provide its patrons.

I feel blessed to work with such a talented team. Our department head, Virginia, and our team leaders, Bethany and Abby, promote open collaboration and communication. We always have each other’s backs in CRAD. The other great thing about working in Technical Services broadly and CRAD in particular is the breadth of materials and areas of the library our work touches. Digital and print, humanities and sciences, East and West Campus,all corners of Duke University Libraries and its offerings intersect with CRAD. Getting to know colleagues across DUL divisions is an added bonus of that variety. With that variety comes a lot of complexity, and the job forces you to have a good memory for DUL’s many codes and abbreviations. SMT work takes you across Aleph modules—Acquisitions, Cataloging, and even Circulation regularly—and requires learning of multiple vendor websites, Caiasoft for LSC records, and external programs like WinSCP and OCLC Connexion. It is work that turns you into a jack of all trades (and master of some). Using those skills to work with colleagues in other TS departments is always a treat—Smith Solidarity! No one does it quite like TS.

 

TRLN Annual Meeting Report

This year the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) annual meeting was held on July 11th and 12th, and some of our very own staff presented.
Below, please find summaries and slides for two of the presentations we were proud to give and watch!

Integrating FOLIO into ERM workflows at Duke University Libraries (presentation slides)

Continuing Resource Acquisitions colleagues Bethany Blankemeyer, Virginia Martin, and Abby Wickes presented on integrating FOLIO into existing e-resource management (ERM) workflows at Duke University Libraries. The presentation kicked off with an overview of the FOLIO library management system and the workflow improvements the department has experienced after implementing the Licenses and Organizations apps in 2020. Because DUL did not have an ERM system before implementing these FOLIO apps, the department benefited right away from centralized places to manage this data. The department uses the Licenses app to store data about e-resource license agreements, and the Organizations app stores information about providers and vendors the library works with (which had previously been tracked in a variety of spreadsheets.) The structured records for Licenses and related documents make it much easier keep track of information about them, including related Organizations and Amendments, term start and end dates, and various coded terms such as inclusion of confidentiality or ADA language. The department has incorporated these apps into existing Trello workflows to ensure the FOLIO records are kept up to date. In the near future the CRA department also expects to implement the eUsage and Agreements apps, which will also provide workflow efficiencies. Currently the department supports routine and ad hoc cost per use analysis by manually gathering COUNTER reports for major content providers on a quarterly basis. When the eUsage app is implemented, the majority of the usage stats will be gathered automatically and more frequently via SUSHI, which will be much less work. The Agreements app has functionality unique to FOLIO; it’s a place to store information about deals that also acts as a connecting hub for many different components of provider and vendor relationship information, such as relationships between licenses, holdings, and Acquisitions apps. DUL is planning a full FOLIO implementation in July 2023, at which point apps including Orders, Receiving, Invoices, and Finance will replace the current Aleph ILS. This will be a big change, but some benefits include a cleaner, more modern user interface, templates for order creation, improvements exporting acquisitions data, and more robust options for moving POs between instances. Overall, the department is looking forward to having acquisitions and e-resource management data in one system.

Change Management – A Microcosm (presentation slides)

The Monograph Acquisitions Transition Team (Stephen Conrad, Bronwyn Cox, Sara Biondi and Fouzia El Gargouri in absentia) with Bill Verner and Natalie Sommerville reflected on the process of change in libraries, and how their experience ingesting and adapting to a new workflow might translate to a larger stage.
In January 2021, physical processing workflows from one department were relocated into Monograph Acquisitions. In order to facilitate this reorganization, planning was done by the heads of the original and destination departments, and a transition team convened to learn the workflows, describe them in documentation, and train their peers in executing them with a minimum of disruption or dissatisfaction.
This was a successful change for the department; it originated with a clear destination, grew out of a strong sense of established trust in Monograph Acquisitions, fundamentally empowered staff to guide the change on their own, and was fully supported beginning to end by management. These strategies, and others that were based in deep respect for the expertise and knowledge of staff were crucial, and shed a little light on how larger-scale challenges and changes might be managed successfully across the library.

Juneteenth Jamboree

We’ve been waiting for Juneteenth to roll around again, ever since it was made a federal holiday last year (An Act to Amend Title 5, United States Code, to Designate Juneteenth National Independence Day as a Legal Public Holiday). This weekend we hope for good weather, joyful celebration, and an opportunity to reflect on the work that still remains to be done in the US around racial equity. 

This weekend, why not give a listen to two versions of “Juneteenth Jamboree”, selected for us by our very own Stephen (of INSIST! fame).  

“Juneteenth Jamboree” – Fatso Bentley 

Our first version comes to us from Gladys Bentley (1907-1960), a gender-non-conforming lesbian who unapologetically sang in speakeasies in Harlem and made her own way in the world. 

For more on race and sexuality in Harlem, and on Gladys herself, check out Bulldaggers, pansies, and chocolate babies : performance, race, and sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance by James F. Wilson.  

If you’re more feeling a documentary, Duke Libraries offers “Unladylike2020: unsung women who changed America”, both streaming and on DVD. 

Juneteenth Jambouree   Louis Jordan 

Then we have this amazing recording of Louis Jordan (1908-1975), complete with some serious dance moves. Jordan cut across genres, and changed the face of music and R&B forever. Read more about Jordan in Louis Jordan: son of Arkansas father of R&B by Stephen Koch (find it in the library here), or explore more of his contributions to musical history with the Platinum Collection, streaming online through Duke Libraries. 

Happy Retirement, Debbie!

Debra (Debbie) Taylor is retiring from Duke University Libraries after over 45 years (!) of service to Duke University. Thank you, Debbie!

First, we hear from Debbie herself, reflecting on her time at Duke:

Debbie Taylor portrait on blueCelebrating retirement as a Library Assistant. A person who stops at nothing to achieve her goals. Known to be full of joy, full of energy, and an immense love for people.

I have had the honor of being at Duke University for 45 plus years working in various departments. As much as I have enjoyed my time working here at Duke, it is now time for me to embark on my next adventure. I am excited to be able to spend more time with my family and friends.

In all sincerity, I will miss seeing smiling faces of my colleagues and friends, and although I am retiring from Duke University, I find joy and solace in taking your friendships with me. It has been an incredible journey. As the saying goes, our professional lives are filled with people usually who come and go. Personally for me, I will always hold in my heart everyone that I have met along my Duke journey. I am so grateful for all the times my colleagues and I have worked together. My colleagues have always been such an inspiring and an admirable group; just like family from the very beginning.

Debbie office portrait

To all my lunch friends, your kindness and your friendships have been such a blessing to experience. All of my experiences, filled with lots of laughter and fun, I will take with me and treasure the years we have worked together. Time has passed us by so fast. It seems like only yesterday when we all met and became a family. There are times where I ask myself, “Where did all those years go at Perkins Library and Smith Warehouse?” As time continues to move, the memories that I have of my Duke family will remain steadfast in my heart. I am grateful. Thank you, Duke University, for an incredible journey. I would like to leave this special word with everyone,

 

 

And of course, her colleagues wanted to share a few words in congratulations:

Virginia Martin:

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know Debbie better over the past few years after she joined the CRA department. When I think about Debbie, what stands out to me the most is how much love and kindness she offers to others, whether it be her family, friends, or colleagues. She is generous with her time and energy, always willing to lend a helping hand or a listening ear. I will definitely miss the positive energy that Debbie brings to Smith every day. Earlier this year, when she returned to the office after a couple of months away, we all noticed the change in office vibe –

Party picture for Debbie

Debbie was back! And somehow Smith was more lively and fun. With 45 years of service, however, Debbie deserves a break. I hope that the next magazine she picks up is one that she is taking to the beach!

Bethany Blankemeyer:

Even though we only worked together for a short period of time, Debbie made such an impact on my time here at Duke. From day one she made me feel welcome and comfortable. I always enjoyed checking in and chatting with her about her family or her time here at Duke. Debbie is such a kind and thoughtful colleague and she will be greatly missed here at Smith! I wish her a happy and restful retirement filled with lots of family time!

Abby Wickes:

From the first time I met Debbie during my interview with the department, I remember her being incredibly friendly and welcoming. She’s a gracious colleague who checks in on teammates regularly. She was particularly thoughtful this past year when I was expecting, always asking “how y’all doing?” whenever I’d see her. I’ll really miss seeing Debbie around Smith, and I wish her lots of fun and relaxation during this exciting next chapter!

Antha Marshall: Party photo with Debbie and Antha

Debbie began working in the Acquisitions Department in Perkins Library in 1980.  It has been a pleasure to have worked with her all these years.  Getting to know Debbie’s family as well has been wonderful.  We recall how much fun we have had through the years attending DULSA parties for Halloween and Christmas and birthday parties for co-workers.  Debbie will be missed!  I wish her much happiness and joy as she retires!

Adam Hudnut-Beumler:

Working with Debbie has been a complete joy. Even though we only got to overlap in our department for a little over a year it feels like much longer because Debbie’s innate kindness made me feel so welcome right away. I have met few people in my life as reliable and resilient as Debbie Taylor. In truth, Debbie is a model colleague, friend, and person. We will all miss Debbie and the frequent loving stories of her tight-knit and talented family greatly, but I am happy Debbie will have even more time to spend with that very special family!

Debbie at field dayDebbie party 2

Thank you for everything, Debbie!

Catch Three Lobed Recordings at the Music Library

Logo for Three Lobed  Monographic Acquisitions recently undertook the pleasurable task of acquiring numerous LPs and CDs released by the North Carolina independent record label Three Lobed Recordings. Cory Rayborn (’98) is a Duke grad and corporate attorney based in Jamestown, NC, (just outside of Greensboro) who, for the past two decades, has also run one of the most esteemed underground record labels going. With a keen attention to design, and an ongoing impressive roster of artists, Three Lobed has set a standard that is bolstered by every new release. This has especially come into relief as the label turns 21 this year and is celebrating with a festival  on April 14-16, 2022,  by Duke Performances. Working directly with Rayborn, and sourcing elsewhere as needed, we were able to purchase a large chunk of the Three Lobed catalog in advance of the upcoming celebration and festival. Let’s take a closer look at just three of the releases in the Three Lobed catalog, which patrons can find at the Music Library or listen to immediately via Bandcamp links.

Sonic Youth:  In/Out/In (At the Music Library | On Bandcamp) Album cover for Sonic Youth In/Out/In
Perhaps no other band in the Three Lobed catalog is as known or esteemed as the mighty Sonic Youth. These 5 tracks are culled from studio outtakes during their last years of recording, 2000-2010. Call them “jams” if you like, but these mostly instrumental tracks find the group extending and exploring in the studio with always compelling results. ‘Social Static’, especially, recalls the series of more experimental recordings that the band released on their own Sonic Youth Records imprint.

Album cover for Meg Baird & Mary Lattimore Ghost ForestsMeg Baird and Mary Lattimore:  Ghost Forests (At the Music Library | On Bandcamp)
These two prolific stalwarts and friends collaborated for the first time on this 2018 release. Meg Baird has numerous recordings that can best be described as modern folk, whether solo or in the groups Espers and Heron Oblivion. Mary Lattimore is an experimental harpist who is continually pushing the boundaries and possibilities of her instrument, via loops and avant techniques. Together they created this beautiful, pastoral and engaging album, full of the best of their sounds and approaches.

Daniel Bachman:  River (At the Music Library | On Bandcamp) Album cover for Daniel Bachman River
Solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar that the former Durham resident refers to as “psychedelic Appalachia”. Bachman really came into his on with this 2015 release, evoking the classic sounds of the American Primitive style of playing and pushing his own sound and take further. He also covers a tune by the late Jack Rose (‘Levee’), another artist with several Three Lobed releases, who tragically passed away in 2009. You can find more Rose recordings here: https://jackrose.bandcamp.com/

For more information, and an interview with Rayborn, see this recent Duke Arts post: “Q&A with Cory Rayborn ’98, Founder & Manager, Three Lobed Recordings
Tickets are still on sale for some of the festival sessions. See the roster and learn more via Duke Performances: THREE LOBED RECORDINGS 21ST ANNIVERSARY FESTIVAL
And for further reading, here’s a post from the Indy Week about the label and fest: “For Artists at Three Lobed Recordings, Its Durham Festival Is Another Family Reunion