View in browser
June 10, 2015

SCF3 Opens for Business

Construction of Shared Collection Facility module 3 is now complete and we have received our occupancy permit. Following twelve months of construction and many more months of planning, design and approvals we can begin using the expanded Shared Collection Facility! 

The first module of Shared Collection Facility opened in April 1994 and it took nearly 15 years to fill it. The WRLC Board of Directors approved adding a second module in 2007 and it became available three years later in August 2010. Then a funny thing happened. Within 18 months, 30% of the second module was filled. Sensing a dramatic increase in transfers to the Shared Collection Facility, we conducted a survey of the WRLC partners and discovered their expected transfers would likely fill the second module by 2015, only five years after it opened. The WRLC Board approved proceeding with a third Shared Collection Facility module in April 2013 and  construction commenced in March 2014. With completion of the construction work and the release of the Occupancy Permit we can begin to use the new module, and just in the nick of time, too. Space for archival boxes in the second module will soon be filled and shipments of bound volumes are picking up as we move into the Summer months.  

We are fortunate to have recognized the need to expand the Shared Collection Facility and had the support to do so, allowing us to continue to ensure access to shared information resources by working together with our partners in the Washington Research Library Consortium.
View More Photos Here
Mark Jacobs
WRLC Executive Director

Library Staff Orientation at the WRLC HQ

Thursday, July 2, 2015 from 10:00 am to noon
WRLC Headquarters, 901 Commerce Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

Join us for an orientation highlighting how the Washington Research Library Consortium works together to provide shared information resources, services and expertise. Learn about current initiatives and tour the facilities of your Consortium headquarters. Learn about your partners, how decisions are made and how the services benefit you and your university. Be the first to visit the recently completed Shared Collections Facility! 

Previous participants found the orientation to be very useful. They appreciated the opportunity to put faces with names and to get a better understanding of the integration of the technical infrastructure that is the foundation of the services provided by the WRLC. Seeing the Shared Collections Facility, with its collection of over 2 million print volumes and over 55,000 archival boxes, is always a favorite. 

Whether you are new to the WRLC or have been among its partners for years, you will discover how our work together benefits the success of learning and scholarship.

Space is limited. Please complete the registration form by Thursday, July 2.

Transportation: Directions to the WRLC HQ can be found at:

Register Today!
Mark Jacobs
WRLC Executive Director

Service Desk Improvements Update

Recognizing that consistency and accountability improve our ability to provide excellent service, we have established a new service model to define how the WRLC staff and library staff together can fulfill service requests in a consistent and transparent way. The new model will ensure we are accountable for providing service or explaining how a request is out of scope or beyond the resources available. The model will serve as a basis for ongoing development of operational procedures and service level agreements to make our service provision more structured.

A first step was establishing scheduled maintenance windows, as I reported in the last Newsletter. Later this summer we will roll out a new ticket tracking system to document and track all kinds of service requests (not just “problem reports”), provide clearer analytics and service performance reports, and develop a knowledge base to further improve service. With the new system we will formalize procedures for submitting service requests and service level objectives for response time, incident management, and request fulfillment.

Since excellent service depends on both virtual and physical infrastructure, we have been working on updating, organizing, and cleaning up the WRLC data center. Old equipment has been removed, recycled where possible and otherwise de-installed and disposed of, and the server room has been thoroughly cleaned from sub-floor to above the drop ceiling. Next time you visit the WRLC HQ it would be our pleasure to provide a tour of the refreshed data center.
- Don Gourley
Director of Information Technology


The Islandora implementation is nearing completion, and the platform should be ready for live use by mid-July. DiscoveryGarden completed the functionality enhancements requested by the Islandora Implementation Team in a timely manner and these have been successfully tested. The enhancements included:
  • embargo enhancements
  • navigational breadcrumbs
  • display of usage stats on object pages
  • searching within collections
  • sorting within collections
In addition to these functionality enhancements, WRLC staff have been working on a number of fronts to add necessary services to the Islandora environment. One of these is to establish an object identifier scheme to replace the DSpace handle server. This will be done in such a way as to allow existing handles from the Research Commons to continue to function. Completion of this project is slated for the end of June. 

OAI-PMH functionality was implemented in May, allowing metadata from Islandora to be harvested by external discovery platforms (such as Summon) and providing additional access points to Islandora content.  Authentication via EZproxy is another important service established in May. This was done with the assistance of Mark Jordan, Head of Library Systems at Simon Fraser University's W.A.C. Bennett Library. Being part of the Islandora community has its advantages. 

A major restructuring of the Islandora hardware environment was completed in late May. A staging server was created that will be used for batch ingests and configuration work. This will allow these activities to be performed without impacting the production environment. The production server will be synchronized with the staging server as needed to capture newly added objects and configurations. 

Work to load the final set of collections is in progress. One issue encountered in dealing with these was a problem with the script developed by DiscoveryGarden to create derivative objects from the master tiffs (display JPEG's, thumbnail images, etc.). This was operating so slowly that it was proving difficult to get the script to run to completion. WRLC staff worked with DGI to resolve this issue, which will allow us to move forward to completion of the collection ingests.  In addition to the production and staging environments a development server was built to serve as a sandbox for experimenting with Islandora code.   

Our implementation consultant, Liza Coburn, has completed her work on the project. Aaron Krebeck, WRLC's Digital Services Librarian, is coordinating completion of the implementation, as well as providing applications support. WRLC programming staff have also made important contributions to the project: Gloria Sena handled initial data extracts, Kurt Nordstrom has provided valuable support in reformatting metadata for the more complex collections and creating manifests for ingest, and Kathy Kilduff is working on establishing the new handle system. Don Gourley, Director of Information Technology, has provided valuable insight and guidance.
- Bruce Hulse
Director of Information Services

WRLC Mobile Update is Live

WRLC's Mobile web app has been updated to provide the best mobile experience for our patrons.

Features include:
  • Updated Design: The new WRLC Mobile site has a new, updated look with smaller file sizes for faster loading on mobile.
  • Responsive design for use on mobile and tablet devices.
  • Customized catalog search and display when logged in with your MyLibrary Account information. (Please note: We are using Summon  and Primo for the mobile catalog interface).
  • Saving a link to your mobile device homescreen as an App.
  • Locations and Hours displays have been updated to provide more information at a glance.  Select the 3-dot “More” button to see hours for the week.
  • Seeing live "Ask a Librarian" availability and chat ting with them from anywhere.
  • Access Website, Directions, and Calling the library at the touch of a button.
  • Sorting checked out items by title, author, and location.
  • Seeing your renewal counts.
  • Viewing fine alerts from homepage.
  • Mobile Library Card: Forgot your ID? Use your mobile device as a library card!  Scan the mobile library card barcode and checkout your items (use of mobile library card may vary depending on hardware available at library checkout desks).
Check it out at
- Joel Shields
UX and Emerging Technologies Librarian

Professional Development Opportunities for
the WRLC Community

The WRLC Newsletter is a great source to learn about local professional development opportunities open to the WRLC community. The Newsletter announces programs open to all library staff in the WRLC by highlighting programs offered by the individual WRLC libraries, arranging for discounted registration to local conferences, sharing information about webinars offered by other organizations and, of course, holding our own Annual Meeting to share the excellent work being done within the WRLC. 

Over the past year, 26 different programs offered by the libraries at American, George Mason, George Washington and Georgetown universities, by the WRLC and by library organizations such as OCLC and the Potomac Technical Processing Librarians were announced. Topics covered included The Evolving Relationship Between Open Access Publishing and Promotion and Tenure at Research Universities; Persistent Identifiers for People, Places, and Things in Scholarly Communications; and Code Collaboration with Git. Most of these events were free and all were local, making them great opportunities for us to hone our skills and grow professionally.
Mark Jacobs
WRLC Executive Director

Event: Punctuating Happiness. A free conference on the Declaration of Independence.

9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on June 23, 2015

The William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC.  Special Events Entrance, located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, NW.

In advance of its traditional Fourth of July celebration, the National Archives, in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Study, will host a free conference on the Declaration of Independence titled “Punctuating Happiness,” from 9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on June 23, 2015, in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC. The conference will be streamed live on the National Archives YouTube channel.

The conference is free and open to the public, and advance registration is required, go to: Attendees should use the Special Events Entrance, located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, NW. Metro access on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.

Inspired by the work of Danielle Allen, UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study and author of Our Declaration, (Liveright 2014) and research paper “Punctuating Happiness,” the conference will explore the National Archives’ work in preserving the original Declaration of Independence, the diversity of the document’s textual tradition, how this diversity affects historical research, and how it is taught in schools.

Speakers will include National Archives Executive for Research Services Bill Mayer and National Archives Director of Conservation Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler; historians David Armitage, Holly Brewer, Woody Holton, Eric Slauter, and Richard Wendorf; the editor of the The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, James McClure; and Seth Kaller, a collector and broker of rare documents who has documented that the 1823 Stone Engraving is not the exact replica of the parchment that it is commonly thought to be.

Ms. Allen’s research raises questions about the transcription of the Declaration taken from the 1823 Stone engraving. Specifically, that the Stone engraving uses a period after “pursuit of happiness,” whereas the 1776 manuscripts by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and Secretary for the Continental Congress Charles Thomson use semicolons or commas. She argues that the question of whether a period belongs there affects whether we read a sentence with three self-evident truths, or with five. And it affects whether we take the self-evident truths to concern primarily individual rights or rather to concern the positive value of government as a tool for securing individual rights.
Advance registration is required.
Register Here
WRLC            Library Staff Intranet      Helpdesk       Twitter       Facebook
Copyright © 2015 Washington Research Library Consortium, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp