The First Annual Mid-Atlantic Digital Commons User Group Meeting

Carrie Levinson giving a presentation at MADCUG
The author mid-presentation. Photo by Juliana Terciotti Magro.

I’ve attended quite a few conferences on many different topics relevant to librarianship, but never had the opportunity to help organize one. When several people on the Digital Commons Google Forum started to speak about putting together a group just for those institutions in the Mid-Atlantic region of the USA, I wanted in.

Let me backtrack a bit: I’m the Scholarly Communications Librarian for Touro College, which means I run our institutional repository (or online scholarly archive of faculty, student, and staff publications), Touro Scholar, and Touro Scholar runs on a software platform called Digital Commons (owned by a company called bepress). There are other one-day conferences for Digital Commons users across the country, but the closest one to us here in NYC was the Digital Commons New England User Group, a bit too far away for us in the Mid-Atlantic states. So we decided to create our own.

Several information professionals got together virtually (and telephonically) to brainstorm what kind of format would work, when and where we should hold the meeting, and who would send out information to listservs. We secured a space at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, thanks to our committee chair, Christine Anne George, Faculty & Scholarly Services Librarian at Cardozo, and put together calls for submissions, a registration page, and an event page (complete with a spiffy logo created by Cataloging and Metadata Coordinator Tammy Troup of Bucknell University).

Since most of our submissions were presentation proposals, we decided the whole day would be 20-minute presentations back-to-back, with a lunch break to network and discuss institutional repository (IR) topics in between. We were thrilled that so many participants came from so many different states, including NY, NJ, PA, ME, and WV.

The presentations (most of which you can download by the end of the week from that event page link above!) ranged from specific case studies on faculty work to migrating data to an IR, to faculty and student outreach. There was something to learn from everyone, and I hope you’ll check them out.

Touro Scholar workflow
Touro Scholar workflow, created by Carrie Levinson. Licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0.

My presentation focused on the transition from Touro’s Faculty Publications Database to Touro Scholar, some issues we ran into, and some lessons learned (feel free to ask me more about it if you’re interested!)

All in all, we had a great turnout, and things went pretty smoothly. I’d like to thank my fellow committee members for their hard work, bepress for sponsoring the meeting, and I hope we can do it again next year!

2018 MADCUG Committee Members:

Chair: Christine Anne George, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Maria Aghazarian, Swarthmore College

Denise Brush, Rowan University

Rosemary LaSala, St. John’s University School of Law

Carrie Levinson, Touro College

Tabitha Ochtera, Molloy College

Karen Ramsden, Montclair State University

Natalia (Natasha) Tomlin, LIU Post

Tammy Troup, Bucknell University



Contributed by Carrie Levinson, Scholarly Communications Librarian, Midtown Library

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