Below you will find highlights of the academic year 2016-2017 for Library and Information Technology (L&IT). You may read Year in Review documents from previous years on the L&IT About Us page.
Changing Research Services’ Strategic Directions
In an increasingly digital information environment, the ways knowledge is created, discovered, used are changing. Research Services has been adjusting our services to meet changes in pedagogy, research, and scholarship resulting from this new information environment. Working with faculty, students and staff, we identified the following strategic directions and associated action items for the next few years:
Expand integration and participation in University learning goals to strengthen the educational impact of library programs
Partner with faculty to adopt effective pedagogy and student instruction for information literacy and technological competency across disciplines
Create innovative services for scholarly communication and publication to support the full cycle of research and scholarly conversation
Develop local and shared collections and provide access to information to support the curriculum and independent exploration
Expand service and systems for creating, using, and curating information resources
Enhance outreach and assessment of faculty and student needs
Give back to the local and professional community through public engagement
Save the Data Initiative
With the change of presidential administrations, there were concerns across the nation, particularly within library and academic communities about government data no longer being collected or made accessible. L&IT staff worked with faculty to identify needed government data sets that may be in danger and to raise awareness of the issue, offer opportunities to express concerns to government representatives and professional organizations.
Learning Objects for Information Literacy
We created online information literacy educational resources for use inside and outside the classroom to assist students in completing everyday research-related tasks that can be confusing or troublesome. These resources can be utilized by faculty and students alike; they have several access points so that students can find them easily and revisit them when they need help and a librarian isn't available. Faculty can also access them through Moodle.
#BUDSC16 Bucknell Digital Scholarship Conference
October 28-30, Bucknell hosted its third annual Digital Scholarship Conference. 72 institutions sent over 200 participants, including academics, librarians, educational technologists, museum professionals, and exceptional undergraduates. The conference has increased in size each year. This year participants travelled from all across the U.S. and as far away as Nigeria to attend.
The conference opened with a reception in the Samek Museum followed by dinner and a thought-provoking keynote by Digital Sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom (Virginia Commonwealth University), who received a standing ovation. All weekend, the conference hashtag #budsc16 revealed engaging presentations, collaborations, and conversations around digital scholarship. Bucknell’s conference has become known for its focus on projects and programs that display the range of expertise and collaboration needed to create and sustain digital scholarship efforts, as well as our commitment to showcasing outstanding student research. Bucknell faculty, staff, and students were central to the conference, presenting on the innovative work being done here across disciplines.
Prior to the conference, participants in the “Crossing Borders” Pre-conference Summit gathered at Bucknell for three days to discuss both challenges and opportunities of cross-departmental collaboration. The competitive application process resulted in the selection of nine participants, including technologists, librarians, a faculty member, a grants manager, and others whose work moves beyond traditional job categories. Summit members represented a wide range of schools from small liberal arts colleges to large state universities. In addition to submitting a letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education (https://goo.gl/BWAArV), participants created http://scholaboration.us, an open wiki to share individual stories of successes and how “failures” can be transformed into learning opportunities.
The entire program of events addressed our goal of collaboration and sharing digital scholarship successes and challenges with our colleagues across higher education. This annual event provides an exciting opportunity for our faculty and students to become immersed in this growing field.
New Initiatives: Digital Preservation
In 2016, an ad hoc digital preservation group was convened by Special Collections and University Archives to begin discussions about identifying and addressing the digital preservation needs of the Bucknell campus. Digital preservation of Bucknell’s historical records or University archives and the digital art works in the Samek Art Museum’s collections are of particular concern. There is strong evidence that Bucknell campus offices and academic departments have similar concerns about the preservation of digital information they produce and want to preserve for future reference and research purposes.
The ad hoc group arranged site visits to academic and public institutions that were actively building digital preservation programs; conducted telephone interviews with several digital preservation practitioners; and surveyed the peer academic institutions about their digital preservation practices. L&IT invited Educopia, a digital preservation consultant, to work with the ad hoc group to help gather data about campus perceptions and concerns concerning digital preservation.
Educopia conducted a campus survey to gather information about the campus’ digital holdings, including priorities for preserving digital content important to business work, research, and scholarship. The consultants visited the campus in August 2016 to conduct focus groups with faculty and staff and provided a well-attended introduction to digital preservation issues and the need to address digital preservation at a campus level. The data Educopia gathered, along with recommendations and the resources needed to move forward with digital preservation, were delivered in a report last fall. L&IT is now considering these recommendations and is planning for the resources required to follow through implementing some of Educopia’s recommendations.
Celebrating Faculty Scholarship
On October 4, 2016, Library and Information Technology hosted a reception honoring 61 books or book chapters written by 41 Bucknell authors representing 25 departments. To see a complete listing of the books, please visit http://facultyauthors.blogs.bucknell.edu/. On March 7, 2017, we recognized 128 works by 74 faculty members, in 25 departments with a focus on published journal articles, exhibits, performances, films, and other works. To see a complete listing of their work, please visit http://facultyscholars.scholar.bucknell.edu/.
Bucknell Joins EAST
Bucknell joined the Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST), a shared print initiative with members primarily along the eastern seaboard. EAST member libraries, with the assistance of OCLC Sustainable Collection Services, perform a collection analysis across all cohort and peer libraries to determine monographic overlap and to identify sparsely-held titles. These libraries then commit to retaining specific holdings for at least fifteen years to ensure copies are readily available for researchers across partner institutions.
Digital Pedagogy and Scholarship Showcase
The new Digital Pedagogy and Scholarship showcase site contains information on digital research and teaching projects undertaken together with members of DP&S staff. This new site serves to both inspire faculty with examples and highlight the work already completed by faculty and students.
Summer Workshops and Research
Summer continued to be a busy time for the staff of Digital Pedagogy and Scholarship as we organized workshops and institutes, and collaborated on summer research projects:
Digital Pedagogy Institute
This year nine faculty from eight departments participated in our inaugural Digital Pedagogy Institute. This institute is intended to help faculty identify and create 2-3 specific modules or assignments for a course that integrate established teaching methods with emerging digital methodologies and tools in order to meet learning outcomes, increase student engagement, and further students’ digital literacy skills.
Digital Scholarship Summer Fellows Program
L&IT initiated a fellowship program for students to develop an independent digital scholarship project. Four students were selected through a competitive application interview process. Students represented a range of disciplines: applied math; economics; film/media studies; comparative humanities and Spanish. The fellows learned to use digital tools and methodologies, and to apply them to a digital research project. The program used a cohort model in which students conducted their individual research, but also worked together to learn new tools and methodologies, and gave feedback and suggestions on each others’ projects. The fellows also developed and honed their research skills through the process of designing and conducting an independent research project. The fellows were also introduced to the broader digital scholarship community of practice through trips to meet with students at Bryn Mawr College and Gettysburg College. The fellows' projects are accessible via Bucknell Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.bucknell.edu/dssrf/
Introduction to Digital Pedagogy: New Tools and Methods for Student Engagement
Eight faculty from seven departments participated in our 3rd annual Introduction to Digital Pedagogy workshop. This three day workshop helps faculty identify and develop a short module that incorporates digital tools.
Digital and Video Ethnography Workshop
This workshop enabled faculty to devise digital and/or video ethnographic assignments for integration into their courses. Participants were given the opportunity to learn about digital possibilities for ethnographic work and the responsibilities such work entails from three guest speakers. DP&S staff also discussed the use of specific tools for ethnographic projects, such as WordPress, TimelineJS, and mobile smartphone rigs.
Let’s Get Visual: Animating Course Content
In this pedagogical animation workshop, participants learned how to create a frame by frame animation using iStopMotion, in addition to basic 2D and 3D keyframe animations using computer software. The goal of the workshop was for participants to gain an awareness of how animation can be applied to course curricula by drafting a mini-assignment using animation to explain complex content.
Summer Faculty/Student Research
Six Bucknell faculty members and seven students were awarded L&IT summer research project grants. These grants support a productive cycle of teaching and research in digital scholarship by bringing together faculty, students researchers, research librarians, and instructional technologists to collaborate on the creation of new knowledge that can subsequently lead to new research questions.
Back to top
The rollout of Workday, in support of core Finance and HR functions, is on track for April 2018 implementation. Subject matter experts have completed design activities in collaboration with their Workday consultants and formal testing activities have begun. Teams and processes that will be used to manage and govern the live Workday environment at Bucknell have been established, including on-going testing, management of the Workday release cycle, and new feature adoption.
Workday will offer significant opportunities to modernize processes and empower employees at every level of the institution through improved self-service and better access to data. Integrations are a specific focus of L&IT in this and other new initiatives as we move away from the on-premise Banner ERP-dominated environment to a much more distributed cloud-based modular environment.
L&IT continues to partner with and support Development and Alumni Relations as they migrate from Banner Advancement to Blackbaud CRM via the BRAIN project. Implementation is currently scheduled for Spring 2018.
After learning of Perceptive’s intention to sunset their Nolij product, the University investigated other document imaging solutions and chose Ascend to replace Nolij.
In the past eight months, L&IT has been working with the vendor to convert our 3TB of stored documents, integrate Ascend with Workday, Blackbaud, and Banner, and identify and coordinate the retention policies.
Ascend is currently in the testing phase and is scheduled to be live by the end of the calendar year.
Move to Hosted Banner
Bucknell decided to remain on Banner for core Student, Bursar, and Financial Aid functionality, as competitor’s products were determined to be too immature to fill this key institutional role. This decision meant that Bucknell was not only remaining on Banner but had to implement the new Banner technology platform, Banner 9, by December 31, 2018 in order to avoid Oracle deprecation dates that would leave us unsupported.
Bucknell is working with Ellucian to move our Banner environment to their hosted and managed cloud environment. Hosted Banner will be tested in Fall 2017 with implementation to follow Workday and Blackbaud in Spring 2018.
Implementation of Bucknell Data Warehouse
We have been building a new enterprise data warehouse to replace the existing delivered solution from Ellucian. This new warehouse is built upon an entirely new and modernized platform, consisting of a SQL Server data warehouse and a MongoDB Data Lake, both running on AWS. To build the new EDW, which we’ve dubbed the Bucknell Data Warehouse (BDW), we used a data warehouse automation tool called WhereScape, which was used to extract data from sources, load that data into the BDW, then perform the necessary transformations needed to make it conducive to reporting.
With well over 600 data items in the BDW and nearly 250 Cognos reports, validation of data and reports was a significant effort. Working with Registrar and Institutional Research, we validated every one of the data items. We then re-pointed the Cognos reports to the BDW and validated each of them, deploying the new reports to Production along the way.
The BDW is now implemented and in use in Production. At the end of July, we disabled the nightly refresh processes on the Ellucian ODS/EDW and will soon begin the process of formal retirement of the product and its underlying infrastructure.
Back to top
The Technology Services group implemented a computer management system that provides the currently implemented functions: Windows imaging, on-campus remote support capabilities, and application push support to lab and classroom computers. LanDesk was rolled out to new, reimaged, classroom and lab PCs this summer. This has improved our ability to provision and support Bucknell-owned PCs.
We created a single landing page which allows our users to quickly and easily request services or notify us of an existing problem. The structure of the catalog is designed to be user-centric, which only requires knowing what type of problem you are having or service that is needed and does not require extensive knowledge of L&IT to make choices.
Zoom Replaces WebEx
We’ve implemented a conferencing product called Zoom, which has replaced our previous tool WebEx. Zoom is much more intuitive to use, and also provides superior video and audio quality. With ease of use and license availability, the campus community can schedule and support their own sessions with a modest amount of collaboration from Event Support. Zoom is compatible with PC, Mac, and iOS or Android tablets and smartphones.
Relocating Staff to Centralize Front-Line Services
In late November, Technology Support staff relocated to from the Computer Center to Bertrand Library in a renovated space that now also includes Classroom Technology and Events Technology Services staff. The co-location improves efficiencies for the Tech Support staff and allows these teams to better cross-train and provide backup support to our colleagues across campus. Additionally, the move allows L&IT to offer front-line user services from one location on campus. As a result of the technology support move, the Discovery and Access Services team relocated to a renovated space that is more conveniently located to the services that staff provide at the Library Services Desk.
Back to top
Technology Infrastructure and Information Security
Disaster Recovery Testing
This year, Library and Information Technology (L&IT) completed five disaster recovery tests to validate the redundancies built into our infrastructure and to expose any gaps that may exist. At the beginning of the year, we started with a test of our data center networking. The next tests involved campus networking and enterprise systems services. For our grand finale on August 5th, we simulated a failure of the data center in the library. We wanted to make sure we could keep our services up and running in the event of a failure of a significant chunk of our infrastructure. Thanks to careful planning, effective team communication, and skillful execution, the tests ran smoothly. Each test has yielded great insights for us and has helped us make necessary corrections as we seek to have the very best technology infrastructure we can.
L&IT implemented a data collection and analysis tool called Splunk. The system resides on campus and is fed data from various L&IT systems such as firewalls, storage servers, our AWS cloud environment, and network switches and routers. Splunk analyzes the flood of data to help us keep a better eye on security and performance of our IT environment.
Wifi in Sojka
To improve the experience of Bison fans at games in Sojka Pavilion, we designed and implemented an enhanced wireless solution for the arena. As a part of this project, 50 wireless access points were installed to provide game day wireless coverage. Last season during the Men’s basketball Patriot League Championship game, the new network got quite a workout and performed very nicely. During peak usage, nearly 2000 devices were connected in Sojka.
Protecting Bucknell Users and Devices
For the start of the school year, Bucknell implemented OpenDNS, which helps to protect individual users from accessing various malicious websites while on campus. In the Spring of 2017 and continuing into the summer, we began deploying Cisco AMP to over 3000 computers on campus belonging to faculty and staff as well as labs. Cisco AMP is an end-point protection solution designed to prevent malicious code from executing on a computer and is driven by cloud-based data from users around the world.
We began the next step in our DUO rollout, enabling Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for 2100 users, including faculty, staff, retirees and those with courtesy accounts. This fall, we will make this available to students.
Back to top
NSF Grant – Bucknell Science DMZ
This summer, Bucknell University was awarded almost $400,000 from the National Science Foundation for a Science DMZ. This is a two year grant. Additional information about the grant can be found in our press release.
Bucknell University, with the support of the Pennsylvania-wide education and research network (KINBER), is building a next generation campus research network to enable secure transfer of large datasets across campus and between off-campus research partners. Campus network infrastructure limitations emerge when such data transfers compete with other campus network traffic and further limitations prevent broad sharing of large data sets outside of the network to other potential collaborators. Building on Bucknell’s strong teacher-scholar model, new, quality, data-intensive, in-lab and in-classroom data transfer capabilities are accelerating student and faculty research, including off-campus data sharing collaborations.
This project creates a local area network optimized for high-performance scientific applications, a Science DMZ. Key to the project’s initial design is the addition of a data transfer node, combined with increased local network capacity, to improve Bucknell’s ability to work with and exchange GIS, bioinformatics, and clinical data with partners within and outside of Bucknell, while preparing students for postgraduate work and study in data-intensive fields. With special focus on improving network function to improve the throughput for larger data sets, the project will include improvements in border router technology and distribution/access nodes that support lab spaces on campus as well as the construction of a Science DMZ and incorporation of the data transfer nodes alongside the campus High Performance Computing Cluster (HPCC). In addition, this project establishes network performance monitoring metrics, improves inter and intra-institutional data exchange capabilities, and strengthens current and future research support for faculty, students and their collaborators.
Back to top
Library and IT by the Numbers