USMAI Library Consortium


Proposal Made by Metadata Subgroup Follows Request by Librarians, Staff at Towson University

On June 18, 2020, the Council of Library Directors (CLD) approved a proposal made by the Metadata Subgroup to change the display of Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) containing the term "illegal aliens" in the USMAI shared catalog.

Beginning July 1, 2020, the term "illegal alien" in subject headings will display in the catalog as "undocumented immigrant," and the term "alien," when in reference to human beings, will display as "noncitizen." 

The initial request for these changes was made by a group of librarians and staff at Towson University (TU): Sara Arnold-GarzaElizabeth DeCoster, Rick Davis,Julia Caffrey-HillAllison Fischbach, Shana Gass, Claire Holmes, Hannah Krauss, Clare Kuntz Balcer, Norma Urbina, Elisabeth White, Cynthia Baker, and Miriam DesHarnais.

In their January 2020 proposal to the Metadata Subgroup, the authors note that the Library of Congress itself recommended the term "illegal aliens" be replaced in 2016. However, the Library of Congress "was not able to implement the recommended changes, after the Legislative Branch Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee intervened, taking the unprecedented step of instructing to the Library of Congress to the retain original heading in April 2016." 

"Changing the displayed subject heading will demonstrate USMAI’s commitment to inclusion and respect for a vulnerable and often marginalized population," write the petitioners from TU's Albert S. Cook Library. 

Enacting the desired changes required significant technical expertise and creativity. Systems Librarian Linda Seguin, who serves as Consortial Library Applications Support (CLAS) liaison to the Metadata Subgroup, developed the solution ultimately proposed by the group.

Under the approved proposal, CLAS will virtually add the new preferred terms as a local heading and hide the original heading. "By virtually adding a field rather than replacing the original, we ensure that users can still search with either heading," the Metadata Subgroup explains in their proposal to CLD.

In a June 9 email to USMAI Library Consortium Executive Director Chuck Thomas, Metadata Subgroup Co-Chair Katherine Ryner(SMCM) writes, "Credit for the Subgroup's iteration of the proposal goes largely to Linda Seguin (CLAS) who came up with various solutions to effect the change in Aleph, and Aimee Plaisance (UMBC) for communicating with multiple communities of practice about this and drafting the Subgroup's proposal."  

FY 2020 Metadata Subgroup: Kat Ryner (SMCM, Co-Chair), Maria Pinkas(HS/HSL, Co-Chair), Aimee Plaisance (UMBC), Audrey Schadt (SU), Neil Frau-Cortes(UMCP), Linda Seguin (CLAS liaison)

Related Documents

"Proposal for Changes to Subject Headings in the Shared Catalog," Presented by the USMAI Metadata Subgroup to the Council of Library Directors, 9 June 2020

"Proposed Change to the Display of Subject Heading 'Illegal Aliens,'" Presented by Towson University Librarians and Staff (complete list at left) to the USMAI Metadata Subgroup, January 2020

"Breaking the Rules Carefully: Implementation of Inclusive Terminology in the Catalog," Linda Seguin, Presented at the Library Research & Innovative Practice Forum, 9 June 2020

"Library of Congress to Cancel the Subject Heading 'Illegal Aliens,'" 22 March 2016 

"GOP reinstates usage of 'illegal alien' in Library of Congress' records," Associated Press, 17 May 2016 

"Report of the SAC Working Group on Alternatives to LCSH 'Illegal aliens,'" 19 June 2020

The USMAI Data Warehouse has some exciting new developments! Read on for details about changes to the Reporting Environment and a new reporting topic that uses EZproxy data.

User Interface Changes

The Data Warehouse Reporting Environment has been updated to Jaspersoft v7.5.1, and with that update comes a fresh new look. Don't worry, though, it hasn't changed too much!

Here are a few of the changes you'll notice:

  • Redesigned Home Page: the home page of the Reporting Environment, has been reworked to put those options that you're most likely to use (Ad Hoc Views, Reports, and Dashboards) at the top. Site navigation and access to your recent items remain unchanged. 
  • New workflow for choosing between table, crosstab, and chart options: In the ad hoc view editor, there's a new icon () that is your one-stop-shop for choosing the type of view you want to create - whether it's a table, crosstab, or colorful pie chart!
  • New "Gauge" visualizations: If you're really adventurous and observant, you'll see a few new visualization options available in the ad hoc view editor.
  • Hide Duplicate Rows option: Sometimes you'll get duplicate rows of data in your reports (think duplicate items on the same BIB). There's now an option to hide rows when all the displayed data is the same as another row.

 screenshot of the new option to hide duplicate rows

New "EZproxy Sessions Snapshot" Reporting Topic

Back in March when campuses were physically shutting down and courses were moving online, we started monitoring use of EZproxy, knowing that usage was likely to increase. The data set is a snapshot of the current count of EZproxy sessions, taken every 15 minutes.

While this was done for internal monitoring to make sure EZproxy was ready for the increased demand, members of the Resource Acquisition & Licensing Subgroup (RALS) helped us see that this would be interesting/useful data for library staff as well. So, we developed a program to load this data into the Reporting Environment on a nightly basis.

You'll now see "EZproxy Sessions Snapshot" as a data source option when you create an ad hoc view. Check out the EZproxy Sessions Snapshot Data Dictionary for more information about the data and what you can do with it, and start building fun charts like this one!

New to the USMAI Data Warehouse?

Check out the Data Warehouse Reporting Environment User Guide for more information on how to get started.

As part of the implementation of Marcive Authority Control Services, CLAS will be refreshing the Aleph TEST database. This is scheduled to happen on, or shortly after, July 13th. This is necessary in order to allow for processed records to be reviewed before implementing this service in Aleph LIVE. This post will be updated as more specific details about the timing of the refresh emerge.

What does "Refreshing the Aleph TEST database" mean?

The "refresh" will replace all of the current data (e.g., items, patrons, loans, etc.) in the TEST database with data from our production environment (a.k.a. "Aleph LIVE").

Configuration settings for item statuses, borrower statuses, circulation rules, etc. will not be impacted. If you are currently testing new configurations, those will remain, but the items, loans, patrons, etc. that you may be using to review changes in TEST will be overwritten.

User accounts and passwords are part of the Aleph database that would normally be overwritten. Our goal is to preserve existing user accounts and passwords in the TEST database in order to minimize disruptions to your work.

If you have any questions or concerns about the timing of this refresh, please email

Congratulations to the Earl S. Richardson Library at Morgan State University (MSU) and the Frederick Douglass Library at University of Maryland, Eastern Shore (UMES) on winning FY2020 Institute of Library and Museum Sciences (IMLS) grants through the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC) program.

Morgan State University's grant will go towards "implement[ing] a comprehensive interpretive project based on archival collections documenting the life and work of Ellen Irene Diggs, the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in anthropology." This project, described below, is among those highlighted in IMLS's recent press release

Morgan State University will implement a comprehensive interpretive project based on archival collections documenting the life and work of Ellen Irene Diggs, the first African American woman to earn a doctorate in anthropology. Multiple university departments will collaborate to organize and analyze the collections. The project team of staff and consultants will implement an internship program for more than 40 undergraduate and graduate students and volunteers, focusing on archival research, preservation, and anthropology. Project activities will include the enhancement of public access to the collections through an online exhibit, student posters, and panels as part of the 117th annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association. A professional development program including workshops and instructional materials will engage 90 teachers, resulting in enhanced curricula in humanities and social studies for over 400 K-12 students in each year of the project.

The University of Maryland, Eastern Shore's grant will go toward "enhanc[ing] its identity as a historically black, land grant institution by improving the care and accessibility of archival collections housed in the Special Collections Department of the Frederick Douglass Library."

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore will enhance its identity as a historically black, land grant institution by improving the care and accessibility of archival collections housed in the Special Collections Department of the Frederick Douglass Library. The project director will recruit three student interns, who will receive stipends to assist with creating an inventory and cataloging priority record groups, providing library patrons access to organized archival material accompanied by finding aids. The university will purchase supplies to rehouse the materials, and the project team will create both physical and digital exhibitions on the project to support faculty and student learning. Project activities will include a workshop for faculty, a student symposium, and a faculty reading circle to further promote teaching and learning opportunities with the collections. Selected faculty will share experiences with their peers through attendance and presentations at conferences.

Read more about the planned work in UMES's June 5th press release.

This year, IMLS awarded more than $2.7 million in AAHC grants to 22 institutions. Eight of the 22 grants went to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including USMAI Library Consortium members MSU and UMES. 

The anticipated deadline for FY2021 grant applications is November 16, 2020. More info about applying for an AAHC grant is available here:

CLAS is joining with our UMD Libraries colleagues and others across the University of Maryland, College Park campus in a movement to #ShutDownAcademia and #ShutDownSTEM today, June 10th.

Today, we will replace our "business as usual" activities with dedicated time for reflection, education, and taking, or planning, action to combat racism.

This means that, for today, we will forego our work on service requests, projects, meetings, and other "normal" activities. Rest assured, we will return tomorrow more emboldened to pursue our craft with fresh perspectives and ideas.

In the coming weeks, CLAS will discuss how, as professionals and a team, we can combat racism. If you have thoughts or ideas about ways in which we might do this, I would love to hear them.

The "Collections (Current)" and "BIBs and HOLs (Current)" reporting topics have been refreshed with data that is current as of June 1. All reports run in the Reporting Environment will now include the refreshed data set.

The next data refresh will take place in early July.

Visit the Data Warehouse web page and read the Data Warehouse Reporting Environment User Guide to learn more about the Data Warehouse and running your own reports.

USMAI Library Consortium's Executive Director Chuck Thomas distributed the following message to all staff at USMAI Member Libraries via Campus Contacts yesterday, June 3, 2020:

To All Staff in USMAI Member Libraries:

The leaders of the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions are simultaneously shocked, heartbroken and angered by the events of the past week.

In a May 28th statement, the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) condemned the unjustified and brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and subsequent events as “the latest in a long line of recent and historical violence against Black people in the United States.” On Monday, the ALA Executive Board joined in solidarity with BCALA and with all library workers, library users, and members of the communities that libraries support who are susceptible to acts of prejudice, threats of violence, and even death based solely on their race or ethnicity. They reminded us that “the pervasive racism present in our nation denies its residents equal rights and equal access and as such is a barrier to the goals of this association and to the wider profession.” ALA called upon the wider library community to join BCALA in condemning these injustices, and in “working not only responsively, but also preemptively, to eradicate racism anywhere and everywhere it exists.” USMAI joins in that call.

Several weeks ago, the USMAI Library Consortium approved and released a Statement of Purpose, Guiding Principles, and Strategic Priorities. One core Guiding Principle is:

“Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion are fundamental values of the consortium and its members and are reflected in both the internal operations of each organization and in the resources and services provided to all users.”

The events of the past week are a reminder that we cannot assume these values are universally supported. As individuals and as a united group of institutions, , we must speak and act against hatred and racism. We must work to support and safeguard our vulnerable friends and co-workers within our own libraries, and throughout the communities we serve. We must seek social justice.

The USMAI Council of Library Directors and the consortium's staff express to all member library faculty and staff our continuing commitment to diversity and inclusion. We share the sorrow felt across the nation at this moment, and we offer help and support to all members of vulnerable minority groups. As a group, our organizations encourage those of you who may feel threatened or troubled to come to us if you need support. We encourage all staff to consider ways our libraries and our consortium can confront these threats to our society. Our library faculty and staff are our greatest assets. We will continue to support all of you in ways which reflect the shared values of our profession, and align with the missions and goals of our member institutions and campuses.

Thank you for your continuing work on behalf of our libraries and USMAI.

Chuck Thomas
Executive Director, USMAI Library Consortium
Tel: 202-651-1921

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

The next data refresh will take place in early June.

Visit the Data Warehouse web page and read the Data Warehouse Reporting Environment User Guide to learn more about the Data Warehouse and running your own reports.

The USMAI Library Consortium is sponsoring group registrations for several webinars and virtual conferences in May. Unless otherwise stated, we have multiple logins that we can distribute to staff at USMAI member libraries. For details on the distribution of logins for an event, please click "Request One Here."  Clicking the link will take you to the Eventbrite page for the event. 

Access information for archived recordings of these events will be made available to staff at USMAI member libraries after the event.

The Exchange

May 4, 6, & 8, 2020

Logins Available (non-livestream only)

As of May 1st, logins for livestream access are no longer available. To access discussion forums and archived recordings, follow the instructions provided here.

Making Content Accessible: How Can Publishers and Libraries Better Satisfy the Obligation?

12:00 - 4:00 | Wednesday, May 13, 2020 (Rescheduled from April 15, 2020)

Logins Available for staff at currently registered libraries (Request One Here)

Currently Registered Libraries: BSU, SU, TU, UMCP, UMGC

NFAIS Forethought: Artificial Intelligence #2 – Processes for Media Analysis and Extraction

1:00 - 2:30 | Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Logins Available (Request One Here)

Currently Registered Libraries: MSU, HS/HSL, TU, UMCP, UMGC

Starting next week, migrated pages from the old website that are of primarily historical value (e.g., pages related to inactive groups, historical events, etc.) will be moved to "archive" status.

All the pages will be accessible, but they will not appear in search results unless you have turned on the option to "Search archived spaces" (see image below). This should make it easier to find current material in the Member Portal.

For detailed instructions and more tips on searching, check out this page on how to search for content in the Member Portal.

Image: Turning on the option to "Search archived spaces"

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

The next data refresh will take place in early May.

New "BIBs and HOLs (Current)" Reporting Topic

A new reporting topic, called "BIBs and HOLs (Current)" is now available in the Reporting Environment. The new topic can be selected in the "Select Data" dialog box during the process of creating a new ad hoc view.

As its name suggests, the topic is designed for Bibliographic and Holdings (i.e. no items) record reporting. Review the BIBs and HOLs (Current) Data Dictionary for more information about what attributes are available in this topic. Data is refreshed on the same monthly schedule as the "Collections (Current)" Reporting Topic.

Staff at the USMAI Library Consortium have created a new COVID-19 space for members. This space provides resources, community forums, a calendar of free COVID-19-related webinars, and more.

Most of the COVID-19 space is editable by staff at USMAI libraries who have a USMAI Member Portal account. (Don't have an account yet? Create one here.) So, if you have an idea for a helpful resource, create a page! Want to let your colleagues know about an upcoming webinar? Add an event to the Community Calendar.

Here's a quick look at what's offered so far. Don't hesitate to let us know what you think of the space by commenting on this post or emailing us at If you have any questions about using Confluence (the platform for our Member Portal), please contact 


 Pages in the space so far:

Operational and Service Status of USMAI Libraries

What libraries are open? What libraries are closed? Where can I find out what services are being offered by a USMAI member library? This is the page you are looking for.

COVID-19 Continuity of Operations

How can I access Aleph from home? How does my library suspend resource sharing? The Consortial Library Applications Support (CLAS) Team  provides information on this page.

Vendor Offerings in Response to COVID-19

How can I find out which vendors are offering free resources? Check out this page being maintained by the Electronic Resources Management (ERM) Task Group.  

Community Forums

Community Forums are places for discussions about working from home, communicating with faculty and staff, and anything else related to to the impact COVID-19 has had on your life.

Forums in the space so far:

Access Services

Acquisitions and Serials

Cataloging and Database Maintenance

Electronic Resource Management

Interlibrary Loan

Special Collections and Archives

Working from Home

Webinars and Online Learning

As efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 continue, many organizations are hosting free webinars for library staff. The COVID-19 Community Calendar provides information on some of these webinars. The space also has pages with links to registration forms and archived recordings. (If you're looking for more general online learning opportunities, be sure to visit the Professional Development section in the Main space.)

Information on free webinars and webinar series gathered so far:

ACRL Presents - Academic Librarianship in the Wake of the Coronavirus

AL Live - Libraries and COVID-19

IMLS - Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections

LITA - A Crash Course in Protecting Library Data While Working From Home

Through April 17, 2020, LYRASIS members and non-members alike are able to access LYRASIS' Learning Library of recorded classes for free.  LYRASIS members will also have free access to all live LYRASIS Learning classes during that time period. From the website:

"Want to use this time to upskill your team? We are opening LYRASIS Learning to members and non-member institutions alike for 30 days. Members will have access to all live AND recorded classes at no charge during this time. Non-member institutions will have access to our vast library of recorded classes. Email to register your institution."

LYRASIS Learning Catalog provides descriptions of recorded classes available in the library.

LYRASIS Classes provides a list of upcoming live webinars, free information sessions, and demonstrations. 

Please contact with any questions about access to these courses. If your institution is not a LYRASIS member, you will also need to contact to register your institution so you can access the recorded classes.

Learn more about LYRASIS's response to the COVID-19 pandemic on their website.

If you attend a class, please provide feedback by commenting on this post or contacting Katia Fowler.

Due to popular demand, CLAS has extended our weekly Data Warehouse Knowledge Sharing Sessions through May 1st (at least!).

Sessions are held on Fridays at 1pm. More details, including login information are listed on the Portal's Data Warehouse page.

If you have questions about using the data warehouse or want to share something you're putting together, the Knowledge Sharing Sessions are the place to be!

The USMAI Council of Library Directors (CLD) has been preparing for disruptions in operations and staffing during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. As part of our contingency planning, the CLD agreed on March 13, 2020 that in the event of any potential operational interruptions among any of our member libraries, all of the consortium's libraries will waive or suspend the accumulation of any user fees or fines for affected institutions and users, for the duration of the interruption. Such interruptions might include:

1) full or partial institutional or library closures of physical facilities,
2) other related decisions that might significantly reduce physical staffing of libraries, or
3) other circumstances that would interrupt full regular access to library services and resources by authorized users.

In support of this decision, Library Directors will instruct their library’s access services and resources-sharing teams to coordinate through USMAI's Consortial Library Applications Support (CLAS) Team and appropriate consortium working groups to develop simple and effective plans that can be put into effect as needed. The plans will include timely notifications among CLD members about operational interruptions/closures and appropriate communication between each library and CLAS. This will allow CLAS, for example, to enact system-level, programmatic changes that will disallow requesting and shipping of books to and from closed member libraries.

Related page: COVID-19 Continuity of Operations