USMAI Library Consortium


The Maryland State Library has purchased a statewide license from Niche Academy to provide training to all staff in the state's public libraries on serving homeless customers. 

The presenter is Ryan Dowd, Librarian's Guide to Homelessness. The Statewide Staff Development Coordinator’s group in public libraries identified the need for such training and identified this resource.  The course is also available for staff in academic and school libraries.  There is no charge for this training.

The total training time including activities is approximately 4 hours, but the training is presented in short video clips that make it easy to participate over time. Niche Academy tracks your progress so you can simply pick up where you left off.

Public Library Staff can earn contact hours (CE Credit = 4 hours) by completing the trainingYou will need to document your participation by completing the Downloadable Notes and successfully passing the Quiz at 94%.  Both can be printed while participating in the training. The staff development coordinator in your library system oversees the approval process for this course.

This training opportunity is available through October 31, 2020.

Enroll in the Training

You will need to create a Niche Academy account with username and password so that you are officially enrolled in the trainingYou can get an account and start your training from this URL:


This project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act Administered by the Maryland State Library.

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The "Collections (Current)" Reporting Topic in the Data Warehouse Reporting Environment has been refreshed with data that is current as of January 1. All reports run in the Reporting Environment will now include the refreshed data set.

The next data refresh will take place in early February.

Want more information about the USMAI Data Warehouse?

Visit the Data Warehouse web page, read the Data Warehouse Reporting Environment User Guide, and join one of our weekly online "knowledge sharing" sessions on Fridays at 1pm.

As Library Standards Alliance Members of NISO, the USMAI Library Consortium receives a limited number of logins for each webinar in the popular NISO Educational and NFAIS Forethought webinar series. Registration is now open for staff at USMAI libraries.

Schedule: 2020 NISO Webinars

How to Register:

Any staff member at a USMAI institution can request access to one or more of the webinars.

It's easy to register:

  1. Make note of the date of the webinar or webinars you would like to attend.
  2. Visit USMAI's eventbrite page for this series.
  3. Click "select a date."
  4. Click "tickets" next to the date of the webinar you want to attend.
  5. Use the dropdown box next to your campus name to indicate the number of people you are registering for the webinar.

A Few Things to Know:

  • Since we have a limited number of logins, each institution should only expect to receive one login. This means that if multiple people at a single institution register for a webinar, we will contact the people who have registered and ask that they watch the webinar together.
  • Attendees are responsible for booking a room at their library (if necessary) and for notifying colleagues of the opportunity to attend the webinar.
  • Logins are provided to USMAI member libraries on a "first come, first served" basis. However, we may ask staff at nearby institutions to schedule a joint viewing in order to provide access for a more remote library.
  • Once we have distributed all the logins for a webinar, we will close registration at the remaining institutions. The viewing locations for the webinar will be listed on the eventbrite page. Staff at member libraries not listed can register to attend a group viewing at another library.

If you can't attend a live viewing: No worries. Archived recordings are available free to all members. You will need to log into the Portal to access the credentials.

Questions? Please contact Katia Fowler

As part of its investigative "Next Gen ILS Series," the USMAI Library Consortium’s Shared Platforms, Applications & Systems Subgroup (SPASS) is hosting four in-person ILS demonstrations with vendors this winter. Staff at USMAI Libraries are able to attend either remotely via Webex or in-person.

Please visit our eventbrite page to register for one or more of these Vendor Days.

All Vendor Days will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a continental breakfast served at 9:30 a.m. Lunch and a light afternoon snack will also be provided.

For in-person attendance, please register at least one week in advance.

For remote attendance, please register at least two days in advance.

Meet the Vendor graphic with link to registration

CLAS Winter Break Support

UMD's Digital Systems and Technologies (DST) division, including CLAS, will be closed for the Winter Break starting Monday, December 23, 2019 through Wednesday, January 1, 2020 in alignment with the University of Maryland's holiday leave schedule. Normal hours of support will resume on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

Reporting problems to DST

Instructions for reporting problems to DST can be found on the Portal's "Support" page.

For an emergency, please call the DST Help Desk at 301-405-9188 in addition to submitting an Aleph Rx or E-Resource Support Request - standard after-hours coverage will be in effect.

Wishing you all a Happy Holiday!

On January 10, 2020, starting at 10 pm, Digital Services & Technologies will be moving our data center to a new location. All systems hosted by UMD Libraries will experience downtime during this move. We expect the downtime to last from 10pm on Jan 10, 2020 to noon on Jan 11, 2020, with prioritization so that critical systems have shorter downtime.

The migration downtime will impact USMAI systems, which includes the following:

  • Aleph (critical)
  • EZproxy (critical)
  • SFX (critical)
  • USMAI Website and Member Portal
  • Data Warehouse

The systems labeled "critical" are being prioritized in order to minimize their downtime during the migration window. 

Beyond the planned downtime, the migration is expected to be seamless to your staff and patrons. Once services are restored, all systems will operate as they did prior to the move. You may wish to communicate this downtime with your patrons.

While disruptive, the move to the new data center will yield long-term benefits. The new facility will provide better system redundancies in electricity, backup generators, backup telecom, and better cooling systems. We will have cost savings in annual service contracts and will avoid a need to upgrade our power and cooling systems that make this option very attractive.

Further communications will be sent immediately preceding the migration and confirming when the migration is complete. For inquiries, please send questions to DST Helpdesk at

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

As a part of our efforts to better support consortial information sharing and collaboration, the CLAS team has developed a new public landing page and Member Portal. The updated design and enhanced functionality will better serve our consortial web needs. As of December 11, our new Member Portal is active for all to use.

Some important points you should know about:

  • You’ll notice that the page layout for the public landing page ( has been modernized.This new layout not only includes a more pleasant design but also features adaptive display functionality, supporting easy viewing on computers, tablets, and smartphones. More content will be added to this page over time, so stay tuned for even more info and functionality!

  • We are very excited to present the new Member Portal ( to our USMAI partners! Using the Confluence application as the basis for our member portal, we have developed new site architecture models that support the sharing of information to the whole consortium and provide subgroup-only spaces where members can privately work on notes, reports, and other working documents without having to navigate to a different site. Additional functionality — such as integrated calendars, community forums, and content templates — will make collaboration and information sharing all the easier.

    An important note about the member portal: while some of the content on the portal will be publicly visible, there is a great deal of content that is only visible to logged-in users.

    Please be sure to review the available documentation on Setting up an account: Create an account and login.

    You can also find additional Confluence documentation at

    You can also find a recording of our webinar introducing Confluence at

  • While we are migrating away from our legacy staff site (, the old page will remain available for USMAI staff members to review old content. Please note that existing content is being migrated to the new Staff Portal, but we did not want to remove familiar pages or break bookmarks before users can get comfortable with the Confluence interface. Further announcements will be made about the eventual sun-setting of

We’re very excited to deliver this new web environment to the Consortium and look forward to seeing how we will use it to better serve our member institutions and our users. If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact the CLAS team at

The "Collections (Current)" Reporting Topic in the Data Warehouse has been refreshed with data that is current as of December 1. All reports run in the Data Warehouse will now include the refreshed data set.

The next data refresh will take place in early January.