Copley Library Hosts Successful, Informative Digital Initiatives Symposium

Copley Library Dean Theresa Byrd and DIS 2019 attendeesUSD's Copley Library hosted its sixth annual Digital Initiatives Symposium April 29-30. Dean of the University Library, Theresa Byrd, center, is flanked by DIS speakers and DIS Librarian Amanda Makula

The Copley Library at the University of San Diego hosted its Sixth Annual Digital Initiatives Symposium on April 29-30. Offering workshops on a plethora of digital topics and providing experts to discuss such topics as open access, institutional repositories, digital collections, research and more from all across the United States and internationally, was a success.

The program began April 29 with five concurrently run three-hour afternoon workshop choices for attendees to consider. Topics were — "Collections as Data: Digital Collections for Emerging Research Methods"; "Creating a Results-Driving OER Initiative: Writing a Strategic Plan to Market and Encourage OER and See Results"; "Metadata for Digital Projects: An Overview of Practical Issues and Challenges"; "Strategies and Tools for Digital Repository Selection and Migration"; and "Text Mining with HathiTrust: Empowering Librarians to Support Digital Scholarship Research." Representatives, in order, from University of Pennsylvania, Rice University, Emerita from UCLA and Getty Research Institute, University of Houston and HathiTrust, delivered the workshops.

A full program schedule greeted the 150-plus attendees on April 30, beginning with 9 a.m. welcome remarks from USD Vice President and Provost Gail F. Baker, PhD, and USD's Dean of the University Library, Theresa S. Byrd, PhD.

The morning keynote speaker was Virginia Steel, the Norman and Armena Powell University Librarian from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her talk with a broad brush was titled, "Open, Equitable, Affordable and Transparent: Progress on the Road to True Open Access."

A series of panels, including a Deans' Panel on "Digital Infrastructure: Paying for the Pipes," with St. Cloud State's Rhonda Huisman, Oberlin College's Alexia Hudson-Ward, University of Arizona's Shan Sutton and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) Dean Emeritus David Lewis (via Skype), was next.

Following lunch, breakout sessions included representatives discussing stories related to their own library institutions. Topics in the next concurrent session included one in which Whittier College representatives discussed building a community learning laboratory through digital initiatives. One interesting topic in the mid-afternoon had library staff and an English faculty member talk about a digital project in which they were able to record first-generation college students’ stories.

The day's closing keynote address was given by Leslie Chan, associate professor and associate director for the Centre for Critical Development Studies at the University of Toronto Scarborough. His talk, "Platform Capitalism and the Governance of Knowledge Infrastructure," delved into a good overview of the system and he finished with a slide on what can be done.

The Digital Initiatives Symposium concluded with Institutional Repositories User Groups — Digital Commons, DSpace, Fedora, Islandora — and an EBSCO demonstration.

For those interested in learning more about Copley Library’s Digital USD project and more ways it utilizes digital assets, contact USD Digital Initiatives Librarian Amanda Makula via email at or call (619) 260-6850.


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