Today: McKeldin 08:00AM - 05:00PM

UMD Libraries Research and Innovative Practice Forum

Please join us Tuesday, June 11, 2019 from 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM in McKeldin Library to learn about the various research and projects happening across the University of Maryland Libraries. Library faculty and staff will be highlighting their work through lightning talks, presentations, workshops and posters.

Handout schedule for 2019 Forum

Interested in last year's presentations? Have a look at the 2018 LRIPF schedule of events


Time: 9:00 AM

Room: McKeldin 6137

Welcome & Keynote Address

Testing Our Assumptions: The Centrality of Design Thinking and Scholarship for the Future of Library Practice

Trevor Owens

Research libraries are vital infrastructure enabling the development and dissemination of knowledge. They are simultaneously essential to the function of institutions of learning and themselves institutions that must grow and learn. In this context, librarianship must involve dynamic and empirically driven applied research and testing to improve our knowledge ecosystem. This talk explores how developments in human centered design, systems thinking for social change, frameworks for collaborative applied research, and service design can inform a general approach to the role of librarians in research institutions. Collectively, these areas of work support a vision of librarians at research institutions as both enablers of knowledge production and producers of essential new knowledge and scholarship.

Dr. Trevor Owens is a librarian, researcher, policy maker, and educator working on digital infrastructure for libraries. Owens currently serves as the inaugural Head of Digital Content Management at the Library of Congress. In addition, he teaches graduate seminars in digital history for American University’s History Department and digital preservation for the University of Maryland’s College of Information, where he is also a Research Affiliate with the Digital Curation Innovation Center.

He previously worked as a senior program administrator at the United States Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). At the IMLS, he led the establishment of the National Digital Platform initiative, which under his leadership, invested more than $30 million in 110 projects to advance digital infrastructure for libraries across the nation. Prior to that, he worked on digital preservation strategy and as a history of science curator at the Library of Congress. Before joining the Library of Congress, he led outreach and communications efforts for the Zotero project at the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

Owens is the author of three books, the most recent of which, The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2018. His research and writing has been featured in: Curator: The Museum Journal, Digital Humanities Quarterly, The Journal of Digital Humanities, D-Lib, Simulation & Gaming, Science Communication, New Directions in Folklore, and American Libraries.

In 2014 the Society for American Archivists granted him the Archival Innovator Award, presented annually to recognize the archivist, repository, or organization that best exemplifies the “ability to think outside the professional norm.”


Time: 10:10 AM

Room: McKeldin 6137

Three Librarians in Search of Outreach and Engagement

Eric Lindquist, Pat Herron, Lily Griner

The mission of the UMD Libraries is to support the university's teaching, learning, and research. In recent years subject specialists in HSSL have taken an enhanced view of this mission and developed an extensive program of outreach and engagement with faculty and others on campus. In this presentation three HSSL members will discuss programs they have helped develop and lead. Eric Lindquist will talk about the oldest of these programs, "Speaking of Books: Conversations with Faculty Authors", which last year held its fiftieth event in McKeldin Library. Pat Herron will speak on "Leveraging Literary Classics to Energize the Campus Community: A Case Study at the University of Maryland (UMD) Libraries." The 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in 2016 and the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein in 2018 were marked on campus by extensive programs of events involving partnerships with other departments. Lily Griner will discuss the interdisciplinary forum series that has brought together faculty members and other campus experts to talk about a wide range of significant current issues, including immigration, sex on campus, and social media and elections. All of these programs have attracted large and engaged audiences and helped make the Libraries true participants in campus intellectual life. As one faculty participant in one of the programs noted, they are examples of "how our libraries remain the heart and soul of the university."

Room: McKeldin 6107

Structured Study Breaks in the TLC as a Model for Developing New Library Services

Andy Horbal, Aaron Ginoza

During the spring, 2019 semester the Terrapin Learning Commons (TLC) piloted a series of structured study breaks in five areas (art, healthy snacks preparation and selection, interaction with pets, meditation, and yoga) during our evening hours as a wellness initiative. Although all of these events took place in the TLC, many of them were conducted by student support service providers located elsewhere on campus, including the Health Center, the Stamp Student Union, and University Recreation and Wellness (aka RecWell). This presentation will describe the origins of this project in an original idea proposed by Libraries staff member Michael Zeliff in the fall, 2018 semester; how it subsequently evolved in response to suggestions from the partners we cultivated; our approach to marketing and outreach; and our plans for building on these efforts in the future. We will also offer suggestions for how our process could serve as a framework for other Libraries departments interested in launching similar initiatives and share resources to guide and support such efforts.

Time: 10:45 AM

Room: McKeldin 7121

UPS Address Cleanup Project

Emily Spangler, Austin Fletcher, Taylor Vaughn

User Services & Resource Sharing underwent a 4-month long process to delete the UPS address book and import an updated address book. In this presentation, we will discuss the problems that sparked the discussion, the solutions we found effective, and how other libraries with large mail volume can benefit from "de-cluttering" their UPS address book.

Time: 11:30 AM

Room: McKeldin 6103

Creating a hub on campus

Sophia Lee

One of the goals of Public Services Division's Strategic Plan for 2019-2021 is that "The Libraries will be a research hub on campus, offering a broad array of research services via highly skilled librarians and specialized services to support the entire research lifecycle." The Art Library has been sharing its building with three academic departments, Art, Art History and Archaeology, and Sociology, with limited interactions in-between. As current art practices become more expressively involving social activism, issues of diversity, and our society's various concerns, bringing these three departments together can inseminate and encourage various collaborative research efforts among the scholarly communities on campus. However, collaborations among different disciplines rarely come without first knowing each other and their academic interests. As an effort to engage scholars from different disciplines and creating a welcoming environment for graduate communities, the Art Library hosted an Open House in November 2018. This presentation will share the planning process, its reception, as well as the Art Library's future goals.

Room: McKeldin 6107

So, You HAVE to Write A Strategic Plan?? The Priddy Library's Collaborative Approach

C.T. Unonu, Amy Trost, Greta Ober-Beauchesne

From October 2018 to May 2019, full-time staff members at the UMD Libraries' Priddy Library worked to create the first comprehensive strategic plan in the Universities at Shady Grove's history. This panel will share three perspectives on the lessons learned in the process: (1) How our early discussions of library culture and climate, including a S.W.O.T. (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) Analysis, shaped planning in later months; (2) How the library's established data collection & assessment activities contributed to the specifics of the plan; and (3) a focus on the importance of appropriately scoping goals and objectives. In presenting thee experiences, the hope is to stimulate a productive discussion regarding short-term and long-term planning in a variety of library settings.

Room: McKeldin 7121

Let go of the syllables: Plain language for accessibility and more

Jay Brite

Do you communicate with written words? How accessible is your website, form, email, sign, or other text? Who's your target audience, and how well are you reaching them when they're busy, confused, or overwhelmed? In this hands-on half-hour workshop, you'll learn what plain language is, and why it matters to everyone. Get experience with word choice, editing, and assessing effectiveness. Leave with resources on best practices, including using tools like SiteImprove, to practice with confidence.

"Communication equals remembering what it's like not to know." - Richard Saul Wurman, Information Anxiety

Time: 12:05 PM

Room: McKeldin 7121

How We Helped UMD Undergraduates Construct Biographies of Obscure Maryland Suffragists: A Collaboration between the UMD Libraries and a History Department Course

Eric Lindquist, Doug McElrath

Looking ahead to the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, Professor Robyn Muncy of the History Department offered a senior seminar in the spring semester of 2019 (History 408W: Votes for Women in Maryland! ) with an unusual assignment. The students were to write biographies of obscure Maryland suffragists for possible inclusion in Women and Social Movements in the U.S., an online subscription resource. (The UMD Libraries subscribe.) Because the women concerned are obscure, such a task would have been virtually impossible until fairly recently, but the digitization of many primary sources has greatly increased the possibilities in this kind of research. The course presented an excellent opportunity for close collaboration with the Libraries. UMD librarians and curators held two sessions for the course. In the first, Eric Lindquist and Doug McElrath showed how digitized newspapers and digitized census records could be used to create surprisingly rich pictures of even the obscurest of suffragists. In the second session, the class met with Ashleigh Coren in Hornbake to be introduced to other resources that would help them. The collaboration between course and Libraries might continue beyond the spring. The Libraries' Special Collections and University Archives are planning an exhibit on women's activism to mark the centennial of the 19th amendment, and some work arising from the course might be included.

Time: 12:35 - 1:35 PM

Room: McKeldin 6137 - Lunch & Poster Session

Lunch will be provided during the poster session in McKeldin 6137. 

Bento Search Update

Ben Bradley, Jay Brite, Nevenka Zdravkovska, Bria Parker, Austin Smith, Ben Wallberg

For the past year, the Discovery Committee has been working on creating a new search interface for the libraries using NCSU Libraries' QuickSearch, an open-source application. This poster will provide an update on the progress the group has made and will include a live demo and usability testing of the in-development application.

Title Normalization & Quality Control: Making Excel Work for You and Not the Other Way Around

Clarlyn Burt

Every year, the Continuing Resources & Database Management Division systematically renews the journal and serial subscriptions for the Library. It involves obtaining title lists from each publisher and aggregate and comparing them to the order history from Aleph. While it sounds simple, there are many moving parts resulting in a multi-step, multi-month workflow. This past 2018 renewal season, I streamlined the process in two innovative ways: title normalization and using the IF function in Excel as a quality control step.

I began by cleaning the data to normalize the titles. I tried to have it match the Aleph data as much as possible in formatting and syntax. After completing a rigorous vLookUp function, I added a quality control step with an IF function to ensure that the matches were accurate. It asked if two cells were the same. For example, =IF(O4=Q4,"ok","not ok"). However, I realized this was not a wide enough formula, so I created a new one: =IF(F4=H4,"ok",IF("The "&F4=H4,"ok",IF(F4="The "&H4,"ok","not ok"))). Because I took the time to standardize and normalize my data at the beginning of this process, I could create a better, more inclusive formula. Ultimately, I did not have to manually check hundreds of titles because I engineered Excel to do it for me. This saved time and money in meeting the needs of the users and researchers here at McKeldin Library.

Creating a culture of research and innovative practice: 5 years of the LRIPF

Heidi Hanson

The Library Research and Innovative Practice Forum launched in 2015, making this year the 5th annual Forum. This poster will reflect on the origin of the LRIPF and how it has developed through the years, including:

  • Who made the LRIPF happen, partnerships of committees, etc.
  • Format of the program over the years 2015-2019
  • Number and nature of presentations, presenters
  • Assessing the impact of the LRIPF on the culture of scholarship and innovation in the Libraries

This poster also serves as a kickoff of sorts for a research project I plan to undertake on the LRIPF in the University of Maryland Libraries.

Using data visualization tools to design a search strategy for a systematic review

Jodi Coalter, Nedelina Tchangalova, Amy Trost

The aim of this study is to survey various research support models to address the following question: What unique research support practices are being successfully used by STEM academic libraries? The results of our investigation will help inform future programming and services for best practices in STEM libraries serving academic institutions.

To answer this question, a comprehensive search of the literature is necessary to capture all relevant studies. The poster will explore the development of key words and phrases used to search databases, grey literature, and STEM libraries' websites. Text mining and data visualization tools are used to identify terms during an initial environmental scan of the literature. Tools may include Voyant, Tableau, Pajek, Gephi, and R. Preliminary results will be shared, including problems encountered and successful data visualization techniques, as well as next steps for completing this project.

Preservation and Access to Historical Botanical Data

Jodi Coalter

Identification and preservation of boutique sets of historical botanical data poses several unique problems in research data management. For example, Henry David Thoreau's journals contain invaluable data on spring blooming of thousands of species in and around the Massachusetts area. However, with each year that passes, botanical identification of those species have shifted to their current taxonomic name. The aim of this research was to capture historical botanical data from an at risk website developed in the early aughts and transform it into a usable, easily accessible and manipulable format, essentially creating a "living data set" that can be updated easily as botanical nomenclature shifts. This poster will discuss issues in identifying at risk boutique data sets with high value, scraping the website to gather the data, and transforming it into a usable set.

Migrating the Minority Health & Health Equity Archive from EPrints to DRUM

Judith Kidd, Terry Owen, Josh Westgard, Anne Hendrick, Carlos Alvarado

In 2016 the Minority Health and Health Equity Archive (MHHEA) was transferred from the University of Pittsburgh to the University of Maryland Libraries at the request of Dr. Stephen Thomas, director of the Center for Health Equity in the School of Public Health. The archive runs on EPrints software which is not actively supported by the Libraries. This poster will outline the methodology and workflows used to migrate the archive from EPrints to DRUM, including a comparison of software features, data analysis, and content organization.

The benefits of library involvement when implementing a faculty activity reporting system

Kelsey Corlett-Rivera, Sharon Goodall, Kendra MacOmber

Many universities have implemented software programs, such as Digital Measures and Faculty180, to manage faculty productivity and research information. This implementation process involves a number of different stakeholders, including IT, institutional reporting, research administration, faculty, etc. In many cases, an implementation team is assembled to bring together the right expertise. We advocate for the inclusion of the Libraries on that implementation team based primarily on our experience with Digital Measures at the University of Maryland, but also on communication with other institutions who have been through a similar process and a review of the literature. This poster will enumerate the benefits of library involvement, recommend points in the process at which to get involved (e.g. procurement, technical implementation, training), and identify the best people in a library organization to include at those moments, such as metadata experts or graduate assistants for training. We will also provide suggestions for librarians who need to make the case for inclusion, and address a few challenges to full participation. The poster format will allow us to present the information based on a visual timeline, which will make it easy for interested attendees to take our experience and apply it at their own institutions. We will also be able to spend time discussing our experience one-on-one with attendees to answer questions and learn from their experiences.

Preserving Archival Collections while Preserving the Environment: How Severn Library Has Reduced the Carbon Footprint of SCUA

Liz Caringola, Charlotte Johnson

In 2016, Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) began moving collections from their stacks to Severn Library. When Severn Library is at capacity, at least half of the Libraries' space will be dedicated to storing materials from SCUA. Our poster will outline how storing collections at Severn Library has affected SCUA's carbon footprint when compared with the energy consumption of onsite storage and a previously-used commercial offsite facility and how this change fits into wider campus goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2020 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. We will use data provided by Sustainable UMD's energy dashboard and UMD Facilities Management to determine the energy consumption of each campus-owned facility, as well as taking other factors into consideration, such as gas mileage. After considering all the data, we will determine whether moving collections to Severn has reduced our unit's energy consumption.

From Print to Digital: Migrating Handbooks and Workflows into a Wiki

Margaret Rose Hunt

This poster explains considerations when moving information from a static, paper document to a digital Wiki format. These include the use of hyperlinks to external websites, or internal headings, and the using of written directions versus videos and .gifs. Through both physical and digital documentation, and a variety of tools, information can be more easily accessible to a wider range of people.

Researchers ask, librarians deliver: Meeting the needs of scholars through a suite of systematic review services for every subject discipline

Nedelina Tchangalova, Eileen Harrington, Sarah Over, Stephanie Ritchie

Scholarly communities are producing more articles every year due to the implementation of speedy review processes and innovative technologies for research dissemination. To quickly inform best practices and policies, systematic reviews started flourishing beyond the health and medical sciences. Researchers from other subject disciplines including education, engineering, agricultural, library, humanities, and social sciences, explore ways to compile, analyze and evaluate in a systematic way the best evidence to inform future practices. To address this growing need, the University of Maryland Libraries launched a pilot program in two phases under the Research Commons Unit to introduce researchers to the process of conducting systematic reviews. The primary focus of this poster will include the development of a workshop series designed based on the registrants' feedback. Future plans for assessment and evaluation will be shared as well.

Time: 1:35 PM

Room: McKeldin 6103

Whose Search is the Best Search and How Do We Know?: A Comparison of Agricultural Research Literature Databases

Stephanie Ritchie

Preliminary results of a comparative study of eight databases (AGRICOLA, AGRIS, BIOSIS, CABI, FSTA, Google Scholar, Scopus, and Web of Science) for their effectiveness in search result retrieval for the agricultural sciences was presented a couple years ago. Now the data has been analyzed to evaluate several relevancy metrics (precision, recall, novelty, and originality), as well as interrater reliability of the relevancy determination process. Additionally, novel tools (Rayyan), and statistical tests (generalized linear model) employed during the study improved upon some of the traditional methods to conduct information retrieval evaluation studies. Details of both the process and methodology, as well as the data analysis will be presented to share best research practices and provide a picture of well these databases perform in relation to each other for retrieval of agricultural sciences literature.

Room: McKeldin 6107

KBQuery's Got Your Coverage!

Ben Bradley

KBQuery is a Python script I created that uses the WorldCat Knowledge Base API to automate batch searches of our holdings in the WorldCat knowledge base. The script outputs coverage information which can then be used to support collection management. For example, the script can be used on a list of titles under consideration for cancelation to understand what other avenues the libraries have to access the title (such as an aggregator database or from an open access source). The script can also search on list of entitlements to see if a titles are missing from the KB, so we can identify those missing titles and add them, providing access to those titles.

My lightning talk will give an overview of the script, present some real-world applications for the script, and close by discussion some opportunities to further develop the script.

Google Doc as classroom question and answer tool

Cindy Frank

I worked with a teaching and learning fellow to teach two courses in Architecture history - one grad, one undergrad. Both times we surveyed the class before our session via a link to a google doc, we used a google doc in class for anonymous questions while teaching, and then post library google doc assessment and feedback. The inclass participation using the google doc to ask and answer questions in real time was great for the undergrads, not so for the grads. I will share the process and take-aways.

Room: McKeldin 7121

Documenting the Now: Federal Government Shutdown

Ben Blake, Alan Wierdak

Our proposal is to present on our work surrounding AFL-CIO sponsored rallies and protests related to the Federal Government Shutdown. This work was a small pilot project, created in three days to document a historically significant national event. At four rallies, we passed out flyers outlining our project, talked with organizers and attendees, posted footage from the rallies on our social media accounts, and collected signs, posters, and other materials. In our presentation we intend to outline our approach, our goals, and the outcome of attending these rallies and protests. Our presentation will include photos and videos from the rallies, as well as signs, posters, and other materials we collected of the events as they unfolded. Our presentation will outline the goal of capturing the events and materials from the events that may not have otherwise made it to the archives in the future. This presentation will also include clips of a podcast interview on the Union City Radio podcast, Labor History Today, where we discussed the project. Our presentation intends to show both the successes and limitations of our project, both in terms of "Documenting the Now" framework and as a form of outreach. Our presentation will also include a series of questions through which we hope to enrich the current discussions regarding "Documenting the Now," community archives, and more. Should this work be a focus of archivists? How can those doing this type of work be better prepared to "document the now" on short notice?

Time: 2:10 PM

Room: McKeldin 6137

The Art of Presentation: Speaking Skills for Library People

Drew Barker

This workshop will teach attendees some fundamentals of public speaking through the fundamentals of theatre. Attendees will learn tips, tricks, and tenets of public speaking that they will be able to use immediately in their life. All library employees are welcome to attend.

Room: McKeldin 7121

A Work in Progress: Improving Labor Practices in Digital Libraries

Amy Wickner, Liz Caringola

Labor sustains cultural heritage and yet it is undervalued across libraries, archives, and museums (LAM). LAMs furthermore normalize contingency through practices like using short-term funding to create short-term positions in support of long-term programs and services. Conversations about labor practices and workers' well-being in LAM often frame these issues as individual concerns. However, the impacts of LAM labor practices spread beyond the growing number of undervalued, invisible, and contingent workers that characterizes this field. In academic libraries, for example, workers with job protections (such as non-contingent faculty status) face mounting workloads as they find themselves unable to support and retain talented colleagues. These protected workers may also find it difficult to scale down their units' responsibilities, even as undervalued and contingent workers depart. And when library workers depart or become burned out, what becomes of libraries' ability to sustain access to information, teaching and learning, and high-quality research collections?

In this session, we'll discuss our recent work with the Digital Library Federation Working Group on Labor in Digital Libraries, Archives, and Museums (, which focuses on two research areas: foregrounding the experiences of contingent and precarious workers; and developing a research agenda for valuing labor. We'll briefly review each research activity in the first half of the session and devote the second half to discussion with participants.

Time: 2:55 PM

Room: McKeldin 6137

Wrap Up