Total Advising Coming to Clemons Library

Beginning in January 2017, Total Advising, part of President Sullivan’s Cornerstone Plan, will transform the second floor of Clemons Library into a centrally-located resource where students can get information about academic and career options. Whether they need counseling on careers, internships, financial assistance, study abroad, research, or extra tutoring in writing or math, students will find assistance in Clemons. The space will be open and admit plenty of light, but will have private and semi-private areas as well. Archie Holmes, vice provost for educational innovation and interdisciplinary studies, and Maurie McInnis, vice provost for academic affairs, continue to involve students, seeking their advice about planning and design for the center.

Advising Center Coming to Clemons; Construction to Begin in January (UVA Today)

In an editorial, the Cavalier Daily welcomed the changes to student advising, noting that placing the resource in a central location already frequented by students will encourage many to seek advice—those who “may need significantly more advising than others” will now get “an extra push.” The editorial also notes that Total Advising will help the Library realize its stated mission “to be a central and responsive partner in the research, teaching, and learning priorities” of the University.

Another step toward ‘total advising’ (Cavalier Daily)

Library Digitizes McGregor Collection

The Library is currently using a $245,000 grant from the McGregor Fund to digitize part of the Tracy W. McGregor Library of American History in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. According to a story in UVA Today, the Library hopes to add 25,000 more pages to the 50,000 pages it has digitized over the last two years from books beginning in 1475, books that curator David Whitesell says are the “the oldest and most valuable volumes that are not already available in electronic form.” The Library “hopes to make it to 1700,” using high resolution cameras to digitize everything, says project manager Lois Widmer, including blank pages and delicate fold-out maps in an effort to make online viewing “the same experience you would have if you were turning the pages.” Focusing on the “European discovery and settlement of the Americas,” the volumes includes Hernán Cortés’s account of the Conquistadors’ destruction of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, as well as Dominican friar Bartolomé de las Casas’s plea for better treatment of Native Americans. The project is a community effort involving Special Collection staff, the Library Digital Production Team, and student workers. “We couldn’t do what we do without the students,” says Digital Production Group manager Christina Deane.

McGregor Library Offers Rare Digital History of the Americas (UVA Today)

Library to Scale Up Libra

The University of Virginia Library has embarked on a project to rebuild the University’s institutional repository Libra to meet technical standards and the needs of the University’s administration, the Library, and scholars. Plans are for Libra 2 to be ready to accept deposits by the spring of 2016.

Three segments of Libra—electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs), open access articles, and open access datasets—have been the foundation of repository requirements, but current and future needs have outstripped the capabilities of the Libra 1.x structure. By updating Libra we ensure that the Library will maintain a functioning institutional repository, fulfilling the 2010 Faculty Senate’s Open Access Resolution and the Library’s commitment to 98% of graduate programs that require an ETD deposit for completion. Further, a recent Jefferson Trust grant proposal for $78,000.00 over two years to digitize and provide worldwide access to dissertations and theses depends on the continued development and stability of Libra.

Early in 2015 the Libra Services Team completed a comparison of institutional repository platforms and development options, and recommended the following two-pronged platform for the Libra 2 project:

  1. ETD/Open Access Repository Platform: Penn State University’s Sufia, as a core for a U.Va.-built Hydra/Fedora 4 solution.
  2. Data Repository Platform: Harvard University’s Dataverse, hosted and administered by U.Va.

U.Va. affiliates can follow the project blog, or contact Ellen Ramsey for more information.