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Jun 01 2020 - 10:00 AM
Dev Team, Spring 2020 Semester Report

Our Work:

The development team at Gottesman Libraries has continued to support the library and various digital endeavors at Teachers College during the Spring 2020 semester. Our efforts this semester included identifying ways to streamline our services, enhancing our digital products based on new requirements, keeping our systems and technology updated and running, reduce operational costs, and expand our reach and offerings throughout Teachers College. Some of these efforts are listed below -

Library Website/App Updates

  • Made several UI/UX enhancements, bug-fixes, and updates to support the Gottesman Libraries and Teachers College community.
  • Added new sections for News Cafe Book Display and Staff Picks.
  • Supported the library design team's co-drawing app integration with the library eco-system.

Freshchat Integration

  • Added new chat functionality to our Helpdesk services team connect better with patrons.

Sunsetting Rhizr

  • Migrated essential content from Rhizr to Library Blog and Website.
  • Provided users with an option to download their Rhizrs.
  • On May 30, 2020 at 6 pm we sunset Rhizr.

Other Work

  • Performed regular maintenance work of our various products, systems and micro-services.
  • Attended to several support tickets for the Library website, Library app, PocketKnowledge, and Vialogues.
  • Analyzed our AWS usage and terminated extra instances and successfully requested refunds for some unused instances.
  • Helped update tax and invoice settings to streamline future payments for all paid services.
  • Supporting Teachers College staff members with technical assistance as they take their classes online on Zoom.
  • Evaluated library tech landscape and presented it to stakeholders at TC.

The Library Tech Eco-System:

This is a consolidated list of all the digital products, systems, and micro-services that the dev team has designed/developed/customized and is currently responsible for:

Library Systems

  • Library Website and Blog
  • iOS and Android Library Apps
  • Library Search
  • Summon / Serial Solutions & Sierra
  • Library Website (elasticsearch)
  • PocketKnowledge (elasticsearch)
  • Library Payment System with PayPal
  • Library Catalog (EDUCAT)
  • Library Support (Freshdesk and Freshchat)
  • Room Reservation iPads (Displays outside meeting rooms)
  • Content Management System to create/edit/manage -
  • Content on Library subpages
  • Library Blog
  • News
  • Events
  • Rooms
  • People and Permissions
  • Files (uploaded in blog posts and other applications)
  • Shortened URLs

Other Systems

  • PocketKnowledge
  • Teachers College Digital Archives
  • 152,000+ items from 8282 contributors
  • Vialogues
  • Video Discussion Tool
  • 41000+ Vialogues with 478,000+ comments from 51,000+ users


  • Library Login/Profile
  • MyEdLab (80,000+ accounts)
  • Library Single Sign-On service (TCCAS)
  • TC data and TC directory (UNI + EdLab Account Integration)
  • Library Search (ElasticSearch)
  • Search across all our applications and systems
  • Easily scalable and adaptable search / More filters could be applied
  • Library URL shortener
  • Used in newsletters for tracking
  • URL extractor
  • Extracts Title + Image + Description from a given URL to display in our systems (ex: blog)
  • Query Logger
  • Save Search Log in S3 via SQS
  • Messenger
  • Newsletter/communications manager
  • APIs are complete, easy to adapt to new projects
  • Bounced emails detection and prevention mechanism
  • Frontend WIP
  • Image Processor
  • Content Delivery Network for images uploaded to any application
  • Image modifier
  • File Previewer
  • Used in PocketKnowledge to generate preview images for any types of documents
  • Auto Captions
  • Used in Vialogues for auto captioning videos
  • Nginx
  • Used for load balancing and secure all of our traffic
  • Metabase
  • Create data dashboards for our applications/services
  • Matomo (Piwik)
  • Web and App custom analytics
  • Heroku
  • Used for Continuous Integration and Deployment of our applications and services
  • Jenkins
  • Was used for continuous integration and deployment of our applications
  • Now used to manage nginx

- The Dev Team (Ziyin & Sabarish)