Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Budget Updates:

I met with both faculty and staff this past week to review budget details for FY13 and FY14.  I appreciate the thoughtful questions and suggestions at each meeting.  We are working through the most difficult budget period in the past forty years.  We have made large and painful cuts to our collections budget and we have lost 12 positions.  Thus far, all position eliminations have been from vacant positions.  As we move forward we must re-evaluate everything that we do to assure that we meet the needs of our students, faculty and researchers and that we use our creativity in changing how we work. 

Please email regarding any questions you may have about the budget or the budget process.  Also, please send along any suggestions you may have that will make UK Libraries more effective, efficient, and service oriented.

Lunch with the Dean:

Last week I had lunch with Peggy Phillips, Shirley Greene, and Kathryne LeFevre.  I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation and look forward to the next lunch.  We will be taking a break the remainder of the summer and begin the lunches again during the fall semester.   

UK Libraries Innovations:

For its upcoming summer conference, FoKAL (Federation of Kentucky Academic Libraries) asked that each academic library submit a list of innovations for the past year.  This seemed like a good place to share what UK Libraries reported:

·         UK Libraries is moving to a virtualized computer environment for public computing.  This move will be in place before the fall semester begins in August.  Using a Citrix based solution, users will log into a virtual desktop environment with their UK credentials.  Software is licensed and distributed from a central server.  This virtualized environment can run on older equipment because the power for running the software applications comes from the central server.  Service needs will be greatly reduced because the virtualized environment is less vulnerable to viruses and user introduced problems.  As the older machines fail they can be replaced with much less expensive thin clients, thus reducing the overall cost of providing desktop computing in the library and library classrooms.

·         UK Libraries is developing a secure enterprise wide repository for digital content.  UK Libraries is taking the technical lead on the development of this repository that meets current digital preservation standards.  The repository is based on an Open Archival Information System model and utilizes micro services to perform repository functions.  This repository will not only preserve all digital library content created by Kentucky libraries for the Kentucky Digital Library, but also research data sets and other digital content created to support the research enterprise.

·         Special Collections has brought their historic onsite exhibits into the 21st century with the addition of two iPad kiosks.  The kiosks allow for the creation of enhanced context in a user friendly and interactive interface.  Importantly it allows curators to add audio and moving images into traditional exhibit spaces.  Additionally, the kiosks will be used for interactive Special Collections displays and information in a format that our current users demand.

·         OHMS: Innovation:  The Louie B. Nunn Center created an open source web-based, tool called OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer) to inexpensively and efficiently enhance access to and discovery of oral histories online. The OHMS tool connects a user from a search term in a transcript or an index to the corresponding moment in the online audio or video.  The Nunn Center currently has about 700 oral history interviews online utilizing the transcript synchronizing technology.  The newly developed indexing module of OHMS creates a searchable online index containing a variety of descriptive fields that also connect to the corresponding moment in the audio or video interview.  The interview index can be created for a fraction of the cost of verbatim transcription and can be done much more quickly.  OHMS is a free and open source tool that empowers repositories to significantly enhance the ways they provide online access to oral history interviews. 

·         Special Collections is transforming the way we utilize undergraduate and graduate assistants.  In treating Special Collections as a Learning Laboratory we are matching students to primary source materials that fit their areas of research.  The SC Learning Lab will enhance the potential for student research and make new collections available for researchers worldwide.

·         The Academic Affairs and Research Division of UK Libraries uses Springshare's LibAnalytics to collect data on library instruction sessions, strategic plan progress, quarterly report activities, and some public services statistics.  We use LibAnswers/RefAnalytics for the rest of our public services statistics; we moved to this system in January after using LibStats for over four years.  We are an early adopter of LibAnalytics and have developed a detailed form for collecting information about library instruction in particular.  Collecting data in this fashion is considerably easier than collecting emails, sharing a spreadsheet, using a SurveyMonkey form, or other systems which were used in the past.  Using these tools gives us a searchable database which provides many reporting and analysis options.

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