Facilities & Operations: 2017/08 (Aug)

(Grace Mlady)

  • Barker Active Learning Classroom: The core team recently held its third meeting with the MIT Facilities PM and the architect to agree on the final architectural design for the classroom. The group also discussed flexible furniture needs and technology that may impact the use and number of whiteboards needed. The Facilities PM will work on the next stages of the process which include pricing out the design, getting agreement from CRSP and Libraries on the pricing, and sourcing bids from contractors for the work before a contractor is selected. The current timeline places the construction phase during the winter months and the classroom opening in the spring of 2018.
  • Barker Service Desk: The Libraries’ project plan has been shared and a space change request has been filed with Facilities. We’ve been assigned a Facilities PM, and Facilities is currently writing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) as well as gathering estimates for all aspects of the work required (demolition of the service desk, installation of a new desk, patch/paint, carpeting, and possibly the installation of additional power).
  • GIS/RDM Rotch: The Collections Redeployment Team and Design and Construction Team have both convened. The timeline to begin removing collections and furnishings (shelving, carrels, etc.) on Rotch’s 1st floor is the first week of October; the removal work should take approximately two weeks with an end date of October 13th. The Construction Team will determine floor plan and furniture selections during September and the build-out of the space is currently scheduled for IAP.
  • Hayden Courtyard furniture: Six Adirondack chairs, 5 tables of varied sizes, and 14 total chairs for said tables have been selected in coordination with Campus Planning and purchased. The delivery and installation date is currently October 20th, and the new furniture can remain outdoors year-round once it’s fully in place.
  • Hayden Events Space: The space directly outside the Director’s Office on the 2nd floor will be outfitted with flexible furniture to create a comfortable quiet work space and allow easy rearrangement of furniture to accommodate readings and other events typically held in Hayden. There will also be increased access to power outlets. The furniture installation has been delayed due to vendor turnaround time, but the expected install date is in mid-October.

Extra event chairs were purchased and are stored under the west mezzanine on 2nd. There are now enough chairs for 50 attendees. A podium from the DIRC was also relocated to Hayden’s 2nd floor.

  • Hayden Mezzanines: Abatement has been completed for the flooring of all five mezzanines as of August 11th. Two walls (one on 2M east and one on 2M center) also required mold treatment which has been completed. Grace M. is now finalizing the selection and approval process to hire B&D Building and Remodeling as the contractor to remove the uprights from each mezzanine (excluding those with air vents), install new carpet, and fix any ceiling infrastructure affected by the upright removal. Stafford Painting will complete the patching and painting of the mezzanines once the upright removal is complete. Hayden will remain open during this work and updates about possible space disruption (noise, odors, etc) will be shared with all-hayden-lib as soon as they’re known.

Additionally, furniture designs for the two center mezzanines have been finalized and shared with the Director’s Group. Once approved, the Hayden Mezzanine Group will move onto selection of finishes.

  • Music Audio Lab: The new HVAC unit has been installed, the ceiling patched, and the walls painted. Facilities will begin installing new light fixtures for LED lighting within the space beginning the first week of September. The equipment and furniture order has been placed with Parsons Audio and chairs ordered from Red Thread.


Institute Archives & Special Collections: 2017/08 (Aug)

Notable collections activities

  • Notable new accessions: Personal archives of Peter Schiller (Brain & Cog Sciences), Stephen Lippard (Chemistry), Arthur Kerman (Physics), books from Thomas Kuhn residence
  • Processing work: Added description of Mujid Kazimi accession to collection; Processing plan completed for Women’s League records

Instruction and presentations

  • Greta presented on diversity and Wikipedia edit-a-thons at the National Conference of African-American Librarians (NCAAL)
  • Archives prep for Fall courses: 986, Introduction to Archaeology; 4.677, Advance Study in the History of Art – Enlightenments; 21H.343, Making Books in the Renaissance and Today; 21H.S01, MIT & Slavery (Nora as co-instructor); 21L.013, The Supernatural in Music, Literature and Culture; 21L.701, Hacking the American Renaissance (Literary Methods); 21W.021, Writing and Experience: MIT Inside, Live; 21W.825, Advanced Science Writing Seminar I; CMS.400, Media Systems and Texts

External relationships and meetings

  • Multiple people attended workshops for supervisors: “Aligning DISJ values with our performance development”; also workshop “Dealing with Change”
  • Met w/ other institutions and choose items to digitize for Cybernetics grant
  • Liz, Myles, Nora, Chris on New England Archivists fall meeting planning committee which will be at MIT
  • Participated in the Academic Expo

Outreach and community building

  • Published 2 blog posts – https://mitiascblog.wordpress.com/
  • Participated in the International Students Libraries Orientation hosted by the Lewis Music Library.
  • Gave music library tours to: Marisa Hernandez (visiting student from USC), Houman Behzadi (Collection Development Librarian, University of Toronto Music Library), Nilma Dominique (Lecturer in Portuguese / Language Coordinator, Global Studies and Languages).

New group work

  • Collections Directorate pilot team for reformatting/digitization criteria and project proposal triage process


  • Morale Outing: Bowling at Sacco’s!
  • Digital Archivist search committee concluded interviewing candidates
  • DISJ retreat to work on department DISJ goals

Data and Specialized Services: 2017/08 (Aug)

Data Management Services:

  • DMS (Phoebe Ayers and Christine Malinowski) presented at the “Working Open Workshop” for early career researchers, held at the Media Lab and co-hosted by Mozilla Science.
  • DMS (Phoebe Ayers) presented at the Pizza and Open Science event, hosted by the MIT Postdoctoral Association & MIT Libraries.
  • DMS members participated in two regional meetings for libraries and research data management, NE Research Data Management Roundtable (WPI) & Boston Region Data Librarians (Countway Library), which have the potential for new collaborations.
  • Space planning (more overall DSS)
  • DMS is in the midst of its project planning cycle for FY18-21, focusing on the areas of Education, Tools & technology, Outreach, 3Ps [practices, procedures & policies], and Research & community involvement
  • Two templates in the DMPTool have been updated in accordance with recently released requirements.

Aga Khan Documentation Center

  • The exhibition, Through the Eyes of Durdy Bayramov: Turkmen Village Life, 1960 – 80s, opened in Rotch Library and will be on view until 26 November 2017.  The exhibition, sponsored by the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT and curated by Sharon C. Smith, Ph.D., with assistant curator, Betsy Baldwin, highlights the life and work of Durdy Bayramov.
  • AKDC@MIT was well represented at the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (BRIMSES) annual meeting. This year’s conference, Movement and Migration in the Middle East: People and Ideas in Flux, was held at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, July 5-7, 2017. Sharon C. Smith and Michael Toler co-organized “Chronicles and Curation: Documenting Cultural Transitions in the Wider Middle East (in 2 parts)”.
  • Sharon C. Smith, in her role as President of MELA (Middle East Librarians Association) and Betsy Baldwin attended SAA in Portland, OR.
  • Sharon C. Smith was the invited lecturer at the Aga Khan University, London, where she presented, Tools of the Trade: Updates from the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT.
  • Sharon C. Smith met with staff members and the director of ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) to discuss forthcoming collaborations and projects.
  • Sharon C. Smith held discussions with DLME (Digital Library of the Middle East) team to plan for presentations at the MELA Annual Meeting and to assist in populating their digital platform with AKDC@MIT objects and metadata.

Digital Scholarship (DSWG)

  • DSWG will shift its primary reporting relationship to the Joint Leadership Team (JLT) and is expanding its membership in FY18.   Welcoming new members:  Carl Jones, Christine Quirion, and  Amy Nurnberger.
  • The Student Digital Projects report is available for reading.  Summarized interviews conducted in Fall 2016 with 17 undergraduate and graduate students about their digital project work.

Liaison, Instruction, & Reference Services: 2017/08 (Aug)

LIRS is engaging Engineering Activists as contributors to our instruction program around key issues of the information ecosystem, including privacy, open govt information, and why people might want to run their own servers.  Micah is helping to further a project on privacy.  Several people across the libraries will be involved as we develop The People’s Server as a sophisticated, sustainable and scalable part of the instruction program.  Contact Karrie or Sofia.

LIRS completed a reference refresher/training series.  The recordings, presentation slides, and handouts are on the Information Service Training page.  Contact Tina.

LIRS Leadership Team will embark this Fall on a systematic learning campaign around program management – what practices lead to a well-articulated value proposition, smooth operations, good communications, quality assurance, development of strategic goals and meaningful assessment.  Contact Lisa or Karrie.

Several LIRSians participated in a webinar about how to Influence Up, Down and Sideways in your organization, and Nick reviewed key concepts at a LIRS meeting.  LIRSians will be coming to influence YOU!

Anna Boutin and Alena McNamara met with researchers in the Center for Advanced Urbanism who are interested in working to influence scholarly publishing patterns in architecture and urban studies.

Barbara is organizing some great sessions at SLA New England, Waltham, Oct 13th.  Chris Bourg will speak about skills needed in libraries – when and whether the MLIS is essential – and there will also be a panel on changing roles and skills focused on business intelligence and business analytics.  (Note – this is NOT about how librarians can go out and do business intelligence research for business and industry, it is about how the library can use business intelligence and business analytics to plan and predict, using rigorous methods and good data, products and services that are needed by researchers.)  Draft program:  https://sla https://slane2017fallcon.eventbrite.com/?aff=social

Mark and Ece are working to build text and data mining capacity among LIRSians.  Mark started an online class “Encoding and Analyzing Digital Editions (TEI, TEI Schemas, XSLT, Python and Gephi)” sponsored by Programming for Humanists at Texas A&M.

Ece is working with other library folks and a cross-campus group looking at IIIF (the International Image Interoperability Framework) as a way to coordinate better how we all work with visual materials.  This group will form a registry of ongoing IIIF-related projects around campus to identify common needs across the Institute.

Neat and clean libguides, you say?  Georgiana has been the project manager to put our research guides on a strong product management plan, with help from TPIE.  We will henceforth use semi-annual Libguides parties to update and improve these resources.  Contact Georgiana, Tina or Lisa.

Everyone should know – Lisa is co-leading LIRS with Karrie.  She leans more toward overseeing reference and Karrie leans more toward overseeing instruction at this point, but increasingly it is fine to contact either of us regarding LIRS business. We have weekly managers meetings, and we welcome anyone to email us to get on our agenda for those meetings to initiate projects, solve problems, exchange info, etc!

Research: 2017/08 (Aug)

Since the last LC meeting, the Information Science program has added a new undergraduate research intern in the area of Library Privacy and a new graduate research intern in the area of neurodiversity and library systems, received an invitation to present at RDA and Boston Postdocs Association, had a paper accepted and asked to give a talk at the FPF Algorithmic Discrimination conference, and preparation for the Mellon Grand Challenges Summit is underway.

In September Micah Altman will send the Grand Challenges save-the-date notices, work on an external review for Nature, complete a draft of the proposed UROP program with Rafael Jaramillo, and organize the NDSA National Agenda group.  The program will present a Brown Bag entitled Labor and Reward in Science: Do Women Have an Equal Voice in Scholarly Communication? with Cassidy Sugimoto, continue work on the Mellon Grand Challenge, RTI reports and experiment planning, IJDP revisions, and manage multiple paper submissions, LOIs, blog posts, and papers.

As usual, papers, events, blog posts, course materials, etc. are available from the program website, blog, and twitter feed here.

Scholarly Communications & Collections Strategy: 2017/08 (Aug)

  • SCCS staff had a productive conversation with Philip Lippel, Assistant Director of the MIT Washington Office, about the White House Directive, which requires the major federal funding agencies to create public access policies.   We shared information and perspectives on implementation, the climate in Washington, engagement with federal agencies, and the need for infrastructure (such as a unified deposit interface) to support efficiencies in making scholarly articles openly available under these policies.
  • SCCS met as a group to talk about DISJ goals for this year, and identified a team project that we will focus on as one goal: building a “publisher scorecard” that rates information providers on a wide range of new criteria that manifest the aims of SCCS in supporting diversity, inclusion, and social justice, and open access.  We have a draft scorecard, and are consulting with Shikha Sharma on the best sources and methods for rating corporations on the DISJ criteria we’ve identified    We expect this scorecard to be a key tool to use (along with more traditional measures) in making selection and retention decisions, and in realizing the aim set when our department was launched, of ‘voting with our dollars’ to encourage positive change in the scholarly communications sphere.
  • SCCS staff met with a small team from UMass Amherst, to share strategies and approaches for combining scholarly communication programs with managing the collections budget and license negotiation, as we have done here.

Assessment: 2017/08 (Aug)

The Libraries’ triennial survey will be launched in October. Lisa has been working with Tracy and JLT (Joint Leadership Team) members to come up with appropriate questions, and the ADs along with Chris have reviewed the content. It is focused on gathering data to inform the Future of Libraries TF implementation. A copy of the final content of the survey will be sent to JLT for sharing with library staff, and of course the instrument, results and some tools for analysis will be available to all staff after results are in.

Jennie Murack will be handling the launch and administration of the survey with someone from the Office of Institutional Research. Thanks to some new ways of using our survey tools (Qualtrics with Tableau), for the first time we may be able to share some survey results while the survey is still live. We will keep you posted!

Marketing & Communications: 2017/08 (Aug)

  • Addison Dlott completed her summer internship in video production. She created a new orientation video and a video cover photo for Facebook, among other projects. We will be hiring another video production intern for the fall.
  • Brigham provided an update on the Libraries rebranding project with Pentagram
  • Recently completed: Orientation events promotion, MIT Reads fall book promotion, Director’s Message to donors, Grand Challenges summit press release
  • Current and upcoming projects: EarthArt exhibit promotion, Fall Bibliotech, fall fundraising appeal, campaign roadshow display

Technology Planning, Integration, & Experience: 2017/08 (Aug)

August 31, 2017

Selected TPIE / technology project highlights

  • Visit the  Library Technology Portfolio (last updated at start of June) to see a “dashboard” view of progress on projects which is updated monthly in the last/first week of each month; for further details about individual projects, see the TPIE Project Management Repository
  • Communication & Collaboration Project:  The project team has kicked off the 10th sprint iteration. During this sprint, the team will be testing an upgraded and improved Slack instance. The team is also working on a soon to be published landing page prototype. This initial version of the Communication & Collaboration landing page will include best practices around email and Slack.
  • Digitization Workflow Tool Project: This project is in the midst of the discovery phase. Project Execution plan has been approved by the sponsors. The project team is finalizing the documentation of the current digitization workflow, has started to analyze the workflow and supporting tools to identify areas that could be improved via automation and/or integration with other applications.
  • DSpace Migration Phase 1  – Planning – Project Execution Plan (PEP) has been approved.  Stakeholders identified and started to conduct interviews around custom code in DSpace and the associated workflows
  • DSpace@MIT author lookup service: Project CLOSED. Reviewed list of authors with their middle initial both have a period after it and not having one.  Agreed to manually fix the issue in DSpace and hold off on proposing any future metadata updates until after the DSpace Migration is complete.
  • OA Workflow migration to Symplectic Elements– after extensive testing of Elements features and functions, work began to start production process on August 14th, including migration of SCCS’ legacy “OADB” data, configuration of crosswalks to migrate data and article deposits from Elements to the OA Article collection in DSpace@MIT. Work is nearly complete, pending a last round of testing, for functionality to support the recruitment of open access articles via email via the DLAD-developed Solenoid email application, which is nearly finished.  MIT staff are currently validating the data migration and hope to be able to complete the transition to full use of Elements as a system of record in early September.

TPIE UXWS updates aggregated by Darcy Duke: (more information is available here https://wikis.mit.edu/confluence/x/cHVsB)

  • Discovery and access environment- Bento/tabs: Launched search hints to alleviate issue with database discovery; a full record view has been designed and is now under development; analytics for the Bento and our other discovery tools were discussed with improvements made or in process; met w/ EBSCO engineers and reps to discuss ongoing issues with EDS and the API; fixed or improved a number of issues that came out of testing or feedback; implemented changes based on an accessibility review by the ATIC Lab; added “Quick” (aka Bento) search option into LibX; continued to process and assess feedback from users and staff on Bento.
    Other: Changed default sort in WorldCat to be by relevance only; reviewed SFX/A-Z list issues and new features with RIch Wenger.
  • Web development: Some issues with the MIT Music Oral History site have been resolved (some missing videos still need to be restored); style guide work continued; various fixes and improvements to the Child theme; implemented improved headers and footers across our web properties (based on a recent accessibility review)
  • SpringShare products: LibChat/LibAnswers is now using SSL/https which should fix downtime issues the chat service was periodically experiencing; the LibGuides Research Guides team (led by LIRS) has developed recommendations for a maintenance plan.
  • UX/UI design/development- The “MIT and Slavery” site has been launched: http://libraries.mit.edu/mit-and-slavery/; met with Brigham to discuss potential integration with the new MIT Events Calendar; reviewed Islamic Architecture guide with owners; made tweaks to Rotch exhibit request form

Information Delivery & Library Access: 2017/08 (Aug)

Facilities and Space related:

Hayden has been the site of much activity:

  • Abatement has been completed in Hayden on the 5 mezzanines
  • Old uprights will come down and new title and carpeting will be installed on these in September
  • Designs for refurnishing the 2 center mezzanines have been conditionally approved and will be finalized soon
  • Wall painting and carpet patching will begin soon on the second floor of Hayden
  • In collaboration with EAPS an iGlobe has been installed on the first floor of Hayden (please note: the ladder being used to support the light-blocking shelter should be removed as soon as the edge panels are reinforced).

In other news:

  • ID&LA is working towards DISJ goal setting for the department.
  • All our service points are busy getting spaces and collections ready for new and returning students, faculty and other community members.

Acquisitions Discovery & Enhancement: 2017/07 (July)

MIT Press eBooks Meetings: Members of SCCS and ADE met with MIT Press staff to offer thoughts on new ways the Press will be curating and offering their ebook collections. A second meeting is set for August to discuss pricing models and other business terms specifics.

Acquisitions Aligning: With the departures of Charlene Follett and our long-term temp Sadina Shawver, the acquisitions staff in ADE are retraining and reviewing workflows to meet the materials acquiring needs of the Libraries. We may be short-staffed, but we are not short on ideas or optimism! Plans are underway to hire new staff.

Liaison, Instruction, & Reference Services: 2017/07 (July)

Reference training for ACE staff is underway on these topics: engineering/science, technical help/DSpace support, newspapers, art/architecture/urban studies and planning, humanities, business, and social sciences.

Marketing & Communications: 2017/07 (July)

(Brigham Fay)

  • A new welcome sign was installed at the entrance to Building 14 near Lewis; come check it out if you haven’t already
  • Libraries in the media in July
  • Video intern Addie Dlott made a video for Tesla’s birthday; it was our most re-tweeted tweet all year!
  • Current and upcoming projects: Fall Bibliotech, fall MIT Reads promotion, new orientation video, campaign roadshow display, message to donors from the director

Scholarly Communications & Collections Strategy: 2017/07 (July)

  • At the annual Boston open access (OA) librarians’ meeting, Katharine Dunn and Katie Zimmerman made presentations and led conversations on the opt-in OA license and our license negotiations to obtain advances in scholarly communication such as expanding authors’ rights. SCCS will be hosting the meeting next year.
  • Katie assisted ADE with vendor outreach around the recent change in MIT’s IP ranges.
  • Katie joined Phoebe Ayers and Media Lab researcher Kevin Moerman in a talk on open science aimed at post-docs. Katie provided an overview of open access (OA) support available through the Libraries, while Kevin discussed the importance of open science, and Phoebe talked about open data. The talk is to be followed by a panel discussion on August 4th at the MIT Working Open Workshop, where the same group will be joined by OA experts from other Boston-area campuses.
  • Planning is underway on a project to reformat the remaining unscanned 80,000+ MIT theses in our collection. Stakeholders from SCCS, ADE, and IASC have been meeting to define the various workflows needed to complete the project. Quotes have been received from several potential reformatting partners and we are in the process of analyzing our options. A decision on how to move forward will be made by early September.

Institute Archives & Special Collections: 2017/07 (July)

Notable space and collections activities

  • A metal cage was built in the reference section of the library to hold some of the library’s music facsimiles and other rare materials (formerly housed in the Music Library’s Special Collections Room).
  • We are working to set up a new audio lab in the library. We met with Parsons Audio staff to discuss audio equipment and furniture for this lab that is expected to open in the fall.
  • The large banjo club photo was removed from outside of the Lewis Music Library.
  • New accessions: Bruce Mazlish (History) personal archives (~46 boxes); MIT Committee on Curricula (2 folders); Age of Science Oral History Project, Interviews of Victor McElheny (134GB); MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy records (7 boxes); MIT150 Symposium “Leaders in Science and Engineering: Women at MIT” records (1 box); MIT Dept. of MechE student records (4 boxes)
  • Processing work: David Gordon Wilson (MechE) personal archives, MIT Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program records, MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy records

Instruction and presentations

  • Peter talked to the Music Librarianship class from Simmons College about his role in the Lewis Music Library.  Forrest Larson discussed the Music at MIT Oral History project with the class.
  • Collaborated with history professor Chris Capozzola who co-directed a 3 week NEH Summer Institute with the theme “Foreign Exchanges: The U.S. and the Wider World in the Twentieth Century“. The purpose of the Summer Institute is to provide the teachers and opportunity to “bolster teachers’ abilities to present a more thorough and nuanced account of American foreign relations…”. IASC offered a workshop for 34 K-12 teachers on 17 July, 2017, where the teachers could work with original materials related to 8 Cold War topics.
  • Collaborated with Eugenia Beh, Howard Silver, and Professor Emma Teng on visit of librarians from China visiting MIT as part of a Scholarly Exchange Program.

External relationships and meetings

  • The Lewis staff is working with Student Assistant Jacob Higgins to develop an augmented reality app that will allow users to listen to the music composed on the glass panels on the music library’s mezzanine. The musical notes will appear to light up as they are being performed.
  • Met with Brandeis University reference archivist to exchange ideas.
  • Liz, Nora, Myles, Chris, Greta, and Kari attended the Society of American Archivists (SAA) annual meeting in Portland, OR.
  • Kari and Greta attended and volunteered at the Research Forum at SAA.

Outreach and community building

New group work

  • Reformatting Criteria and Workflow group


  • Simmons intern Alexandra Bush completed her project to research and prepare biographical information about the 37 signers of the 11 January 1861 Act of Association that preceded MIT’s establishment 4 months later. The biographies will be available online, linked from the IASC’s MIT History web pages.
  • Simmons interns Robert Sanford completed preliminary processing and created a finding aid for the Harold A. Fidler papers. Fidler was a MIT student who graduated in 1940.