Technology Planning, Integration, & Experience: 2018/02 (Feb)

March 5, 2018

Selected TPIE/Technology project highlights

TPIE UXWS updates aggregated by Darcy Duke: (more information is available here

  • Discovery and access environment: DiscoUI leads met w/EBSCO to discuss EDS issues; work on item display in the DiscoUI full record view is progressing; moving to the new Google search product for our site search is in progress.
  • Web development: Launched new branding on homepage and major web properties and created new “About” page to focus on FOL goals and initiatives; launched Open Access Task Force site.
  • UX/UI design/development/research: Provided UI/design/styling/branding assistance for the GrandChallenges Summit site, planned, led, and participated in a brainstorm session for the Persona Framework Project team.

Data and Specialized Services: 2018/02 (Feb)

Aga Khan Documentation Center

Geographic Information Services

Presented a suite of GIS workshops to the community during IAP including:

    • New Introduction to GIS and Mapping workshop.
    • Drone use with Lincoln Laboratory and Department of Architecture staff.
    • Python programming in Arcgis.
    • Revised Intro to VR and co-taught with DUSP PhD student, Jesus (Ricardo) Alvarez.
  • Daniel worked with 12.115/12.482 (Field Geology) providing GIS training in the field and during the evenings at the research station and organized drone flights for data capture and later processing.
  • Jennie, Madeline, and Daniel hosted faculty from Ritsumeikan University, who were surveying the way peer institutions (Yale, Columbia, and Harvard) provide GIS assistance to their communities.
  • Madeline Wrable and Samuel Spencer have been teaching IDLA IHOP participants to do 3D renderings of library spaces.


Digital Scholarship

  • The Digital Scholarship Working Group (DSWG) has developed  priorities  and shared with them with the Joint Leadership Team (JLT).  These will inform strategic goals development related to Priority a.

Acquisitions & Appraisal: 2018/02 (Feb)

New Department: Acquisitions & Appraisal (A&A for short) became a brand new department on February 1, 2018. You can reach us at We’re super excited and have big plans, so watch this space for updates in the coming months.

Human Resources: 2018/02 (Feb)

(Robin Deadrick)

  • The support staff salary review is complete. Salary letters will be available for distribution in mid-March.  Increases are effective April 2.
  • According to the schedule for the rollout of the required online training dealing with preventing sexual misconduct, library staff will be expected to complete the training module in April. Note:  This requirement does not apply to new staff who have completed the training as part of the new employee orientation process.
  • Nina, Robin and Cherry are scheduled to attend the Simmons Recruitment Fair on April 18.

Marketing & Communications: 2018/02 (Feb)

(Brigham Fay)

  • A Brand Guide for staff is now available on the Staff Web (there are also links from the Staff Web homepage). Additional templates will be added in the coming weeks; Brigham will send out a notice when they are ready.
  • We have new branded SWAG items, including pencils, keychains, and stickers. These are available from the orientation cabinet in Hayden.
  • In the Media for February; this month featured a lot of coverage of the MIT and Slavery course and its initial findings
  • Brigham held two training sessions for news site correspondents to submit events using the new MIT events calendar, which is now integrated with our website. If anyone missed the training and would like to walk through the new system, let Brigham know.
  • Current and upcoming projects: Continued rebranding rollout, Grand Challenges Summit, redesign of Bibliotech and production of spring issue, MIT 24-Hour fundraising challenge

Finance & Business Operations: 2018/02 (Feb)


(Judith Gallagher)

The MITemp program timesheet system TAMS is transitioning to Smart Track.  nextSource has announced the upgrade and replacement of their current online application TAMS to Smart Track.  Smart Track is a new generation tool offers many intuitive features and it is mobile friendly, making it easy for you to report times and expenses on the go. You will find this system to be a huge improvement over what you are currently using and really simple to use.

  • Go Live date is March 5, 2018
  • What to Expect with the transition from TAMS to Smart Track
  • Smart Track will be available on 03/05/2018 (Go Live)
  • All time worked until 03/04/2018 must be entered and approved in TAMS
  • All time worked starting 03/05/2018 should be entered in the Smart Track system

Please do not hesitate to reach out to nextSource directly if you have any questions or concerns.

You may call the on-campus office at 617-324-0191, or email

Facilities & Operations: 2018/02 (Feb)

(Grace Mlady)

Barker Active Learning Classroom (10-600): The architect has met with the appropriate engineers to complete the code analysis of the future classroom space and will complete the final drawings for Libraries to review and approve. Then the architect will present the plan to the city and, if there are no code issues, CRSP will bring in a contractor to provide a preliminary construction budget. As long as the scope falls within the CRSP budget and Libraries’ budget, Facilities can put the project out to bid.

Barker window installation (10-400 & 10-500): Turner Construction has installed new windows to almost the entirety of the 5th floor; one of the stairwell windows still needs to be replaced, but the remainder of the floor is complete. The removal and installation of Barker’s 4th floor windows is currently scheduled for June 2018; Keith G., Grace M., and Jeremiah G. will meet with Turner and the Facilities PM the week of March 5th to learn the latest information about the 4th floor removal and installation timeline and will keep Barker staff updated with more information as soon as it’s confirmed.

GIS/RDS (7A-100): Red Thread (RT) has configured a floor layout that fits five office spaces, the future GIS lab, and “lounge” space along the perimeter of the floor. RT has also provided furniture finishes and color options for the stakeholders to decide upon; a review of these options has been scheduled for the week of March 5th. Cassandra S. and Grace M. will be meeting with MIT AV to finalize the number of monitors needed in the lab and power/data needs. This information will be factored into the request for construction bid that the Facilities PM creates.

Hayden events space (14S-200) and mezzanines: MIT Facilities did not grant approval for use of the PowerThread system, specifically the portion that’s installed under the carpet. Libraries may still use the Power Hubs, which are essentially upright extension cords. New products that have yet to be used at MIT must first be tested by Facilities as they will be responsible for maintaining and repairing any equipment as well as liable for any possible incidents caused by the equipment (ie: in this case, fire or electrocution). Libraries has decided to store the PowerThread product, and we’ve asked Facilities to keep the Libraries’ power needs in mind in case Facilities should pursue use of this system elsewhere on campus in the future. Grace M. and Maria R. continue to work with Facilities’ electrical staff to plan for installation of additional power outlets on the mezzanines.


Scholarly Communications & Collections Strategy: 2018/02 (Feb)

This year, Fair Use Week took place February 26-March 2.  In celebration, members of SCCS worked with the marketing team to create a foldable Fair Use Kaleidocycle reference tool (invented by SCCS’ own Katie Zimmerman) and accompanying folding video.  We also hosted a series of events:

Research: 2018/02 (Feb)

Since the last LC meeting, the Informatics Program welcomed the first Libraries UROPSara Wilson joins the Information Science program as a UROP in a joint program between the Libraries and the Jaramillo Lab in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Micah Altman attended the Facebook/O’Reilly Data science workshop in San Francisco, and finished the IRISSC L2L prep.  The final submission for the Algorithmic Harm IEEE paper was submitted.

The Grand Challenges work this month included additions to the website, coordinating travel and housing for attendees, the GCS attendee survey and analysis thereof, the final Barriers position paper, the final draft of the External Challenges position paper, and the setup of the PubPub hosting for the background materials for participants.  The final two of three MIT Libraries staff workshops were held on campus, and staff attended facilitator training.  A seconded facilitator training was scheduled as a follow up in early March.

In March, Micah Altman will, in conjunction with Chris Bourg, host the Grand Challenges Summit, and start work on the white paper that will come out of the summit work product.  Work will continue on the administrative setup for the Diversity Workshop. There are plans for work on or submission of a postdoc project, a research affiliate project, an undergrad intern project, the NDSA National agenda report, and at least four papers, articles, working papers, blog posts, and reviews.

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

Institute Archives & Special Collections: 2018/02 (Feb)

Notable collections activities

  • Notable accessions: Office of the President, records of Mary Rowe; Kevin Lynch, outlines for Wasting Away; Dining services materials from the 1990s added to MIT, Office of the Dean for Student Affairs, residence and campus activities records; CSAIL Hal Abelson and Gerald Jay Sussman materials
  • Ongoing quality assurance of ArchivesSpace data migration.
  • Music Library worked with Michelle Baildon in making the Rokus available for circulation.

Instruction and presentations

  • Nora co-teaching MIT and Slavery (21H.S02), and brought 1774 edition of Homer’s Illiad to Foundations of Western Culture: Homer to Dante (0001)
  • Myles and Nora talked with 2 sections of The History of MIT (STS.050) in anticipation of working with students on class projects about doing research with original material, the IASC, and the history of MIT
  • Greta presented at BLC workshop “Educating with Wikipedia” at Boston University
  • Supplied music manuscripts and assisted with them for the Medieval and Renaissance Music class (21M.220) taught in the Lewis Music Library by Elina Hamilton.
  • Forrest provided five tours and training sessions of the library’s newly opened Audio Lab.

External relationships and meetings

  • Peter participated in the Music Library Association national meeting in Portland, Oregon

Outreach and Community building

  • MIT and Slavery related community building: Nora presented to MIT department heads; was interviewed by MVP for video that accompanied President Reif’s letter, The Boston Globe, The Tech, WCAI; participated in workshop at MC2 Multicultural Conference, participated in the 3/16/18 community-wide dialog
  • Forrest and Peter presented library updates at the Music and Theater Arts Section’s staff meeting
  • The Lewis Music Library hosted a Composer Forum Series talk that featured Music Professor Peter Child.
  • The Lewis Music Library hosted a stage of the Literature Mobile Reading Marathon
  • Published 3 blog posts – – Getting to Know You w/ Joe; Blizzard of ’78; Black Women in the Academy conference records
  • Cate attended DJA Consultants – All-Staff (Group Discussion Session #4)
  • Forrest attended the MLK Celebration and lunch


  • Interviews and references concluded for Collections Archivist
  • Interviews conducted and scheduled for Digital Scholarship Archivist
  • Interviews scheduled for Head of Special Collections

Liaison, Instruction, & Reference Services: 2018/02 (Feb)

LIRS is following up on our January series of open-ended discussions on priorities with a focused look at questions we still have, concerns and assumptions, and next steps.

LIRS adopted “priority trackers” to help share information efficiently and transparently about how we are allocating our effort near term (next 2-3 months) – these are being used by individuals and teams.

Under the heading of “understanding teaching and learning” we have several entries:

  • Michael Noga has attended the Electronic Math Education Seminar (EMES) since September.  Online lectures are given by mathematicians  across the US on topics in teaching and learning, e.g., innovative probability courses at MIT, new mathematics education tools, etc.
  • Mark Szarko is taking a Harvard class on copyright, taught by Katie Zimmerman.
  • Shikha Sharma is auditing the course Communicating with Data.
  • Sofia is taking the Kaufman Teaching Certificate Program from MIT’s Teaching+Learning Lab.
  • Karrie and Ece attended a session on proxy data in the humanities at Northeastern.
  • Several LIRSians heard the presentation by students on MIT’s relationship to the slave economy.
  • Sofia assisted with the Office of Minority Education’s Momentum class and some LIRSians attended the Momentum presentation by students on Mixed Reality.

MIT Libraries is participating in the Week of Digital Humanities in March (week of March 12th). For a complete list of workshop offerings at neighboring institutions see this link.  Jennie Murack, Christine Malinowski and Ece Turnator are teaching several workshops.

Continuing with the LIRS dive into text and data mining, several LIRSians will attend (April 27) or have attended a workshop on “Text Mining with HATHI Trust,” and are planning to turn around and teach here in MIT Libraries some of what they learned.

A&H CoP did an active learning exercise, led by Sofia Leung and Anna Boutin, in preparation for teaching in the the Concourse program on March 16.

S&E CoP held an initial discussion about the inside/out collection, raising questions and sharing concerns.

Several LIRSians have gotten formal training or engaged in a substantial way with Design Thinking (Lisa Horowitz, Barbara Williams, Sofia Leung).

Human Resources: 2017/12 (Dec)2018/01 (Jan)

Human Resources (Robin Deadrick)


  • The MIT Committee on Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response (CSMPR) has recommended that all MIT faculty and staff complete online sexual misconduct prevention training. MIT HR has partnered with EverFi to offer this online, research-based educational training program through Atlas. The training provides a learning experience regarding critical prevention skills and strategies and well as the opportunity to become familiar with existing MIT policies and resources.  MIT HR will rollout the training a few departments at a time with the expectation that all faculty and staff will participate.  The Libraries are scheduled for April. We will send further details as we have them.
  • The support staff review period ends on January 27. Salary letters will be ready for distribution by mid-March with raises effective April 2, 2018.
  • The FlexWork Pilot in the DLS directorate is now complete. Chris and the ADs met with the consultants to review feedback and discuss next steps.  Lessons learned and broader implementation will be discussed at the February all-staff meeting.
  • MIT HR is working to increase employee demographic information including gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as veteran and disability status. This information is collected for two purposes: 1) to help MIT determine where additional efforts should be made in achieving its equal opportunity goals; and, 2) because the Institute receives a significant portion of its funding from federal research grants and contracts, collection of data about the composition of our workforce is a requirement.  We encourage staff to consider self-identifying.  Go to the “About Me” section in Atlas to do so.
  • The Libraries will be sponsoring a social at the ARL Leadership Symposium at ALA midwinter in Denver. This will be the 9th year we have supported this 3-day symposium for diversity scholars.  Keith, Robin and Nina will also be participating as resume reviewers at the Job Skills Workshop on Sunday.

Facilities & Operations: 2017/12 (Dec)2018/01 (Jan)

Facilities and Space (Grace Mlady)


See the Libraries Space Projects wiki for more information and context for each project.


  • Barker Active Learning Classroom (10-600): CRSP received an original estimate for the work that fell outside of the allotted budget. Libraries and the Facilities PM met to determine ways to cut costs while still maintaining the functional requirements of the space; the architect will resubmit a new scope of work, which has been agreed upon by both Libraries and Facilities, to be priced out by a contractor. Once the new scope falls within the budget allotment, Facilities can put the project out to bid.
  • Barker window installation (10-500): Barker’s 5th floor has been without windows for a full year as a part of the Institute façade renewal project affecting most main group buildings; Turner Construction will begin installing new windows on this floor beginning with a one-window test run on Saturday, February 3rd from 5-11AM. An install schedule will be developed after this test installation and confirmed with both Grace M. and Jeremiah before full installation begins. Campus Facilities and Turner expect to finish the installation sometime between the end of February and early March. Jeremiah will share related information with all Barker staff as soon as it’s available. Note: The removal and installation of Barker’s 4th floor windows is currently scheduled for June 2018.
  • GIS/RDS (7A-100): Red Thread (RT) has configured a layout that now fits five office spaces within Rotch 7A-100, and the RT team is working with Libraries to configure the lab space itself. Factors under consideration that affect the lab layout are: Power/data needs, mobility and flexibility of furniture vs equipment security and furniture sturdiness, sightlines to mounted monitors, and space for instructor/user collaboration needs. Both a short wall and steel table supports have been removed from the floor in preparation for future furniture installation. As the layout is finalized, the next steps will be moving the existing (loose) shelving and furniture, cleaning the floor itself, and patching/painting.
  • Hayden events space (14S-200): The installation of the Steelcase PowerThread system is currently on hold until we receive approval from MIT Facilities to use this new product. Grace M. and Maria R. continue to work with MIT Facilities electrical staff to consider alternative power options to support the new furniture in this area.
  • Hayden mezzanines: Furnishings have been ordered (as of December) for both 1M and 2M center. The estimated installation is Spring Break week, March 26-30, as there will be drilling into the concrete walls. The final installation date will depend upon when all items have been shipped and are available in the vendor warehouse. The installation of the Steelcase PowerThread system is currently on hold until we receive approval from MIT Facilities to use this new product. Grace M. and Maria R. continue to work with MIT Facilities electrical staff to coordinate the installation of additional power outlets on both mezzanines.
  • HVAC replacements within E25-100 corridor: Old HVAC equipment is being replaced along the corridors of the 1st floor of E25; this work is part of a capital renewal project for E23 and The work requires that the contractor temporarily remove part of the ceiling along the south side of E25-131 (Cubespace) in order to remove old ductwork. At times, the small conference room (LIB: E25-131) may be offline due to this work. Renee H. and Grace M. are the liaisons to the Facilities PM and the contractor, and Renee will continue to share all relevant updates with Cubespace staff as the project progresses.

Marketing & Communications: 2017/12 (Dec)2018/01 (Jan)

Marketing and Communications (Brigham Fay)


  • The new branding was unveiled on the Libraries homepage, About page, in a news story, and on our social media accounts
  • Hannah Piecuch has switched to a new schedule: she works remotely on Tuesdays and is in the office on Wednesdays and Thursdays
  • Jia Spiggle is continuing on as our video production intern for the spring semester. Her “Year in Review” video was shared by Chris at the Annual Staff Breakfast.
  • January in the media
  • The Development and Communications teams hosted our peers from the Ivy Plus schools at MIT on January 16 and 17
  • Recently completed projects: IAP promotion, TLO Lunch & Learn series promotion, rebranded SWAG production
  • Current and upcoming projects: Grand Challenges Summit, rebranding rollout, redesign of Bibliotech, MIT 24-Hour fundraising challenge, gift acknowledgment letters

Data and Specialized Services: 2017/12 (Dec)2018/01 (Jan)

Citation Management and Writing Tools

  • CMWT welcomes two new members to the team: Stephanie Kohler (IDLA) and Chris Tanguay (IASC). They join existing CMWTers Darcy Duke, Christine Malinowski (convener), Georgiana McReynolds, Jennie Murack, and Stacey Snyder.

Data Management Services

  • Participated in the Provisional-Persona Development project first brainstorming meeting
  • Started planning for an OA Hackathon, scheduled for Spring and further details to be forthcoming
  • Presented or co-presented at least five IAP sessions, including a new session, “Managing Your Research Code”
  • Kicked off the long-awaited DMS project to document functional & business requirements for a repository housing research data and related research outputs/products/outcomes. Scope is restricted to research data storage & access, and results will be fed into other technology projects.