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April 3, 2015

Editor's Note 

Please send any feedback, thoughts, or suggestions for future content to Cassie Schmitt.

From the Chair of the Board and Executive Director 

April brings the promise of Spring and thoughts of summer before we know it. And what would summer be without the Summer Meeting? This year we will meet on July 8-10 at Warner Pacific College in Portland on the slopes of Mount Tabor ...  one of only four volcanoes within the boundary of a US city! The newly established Policy and Coordination Team, made up of team chairs and program managers, has been tasked with organizing the meeting so mark your calendar and stay tuned for more information.  

All of the new Teams and Programs are on the Alliance web and appointments will soon be made. It has been a long transition in the making but all of these teams should be up and running in May. With compliments to University of Puget Sound graphics staff, here is a fun new way to visualize how teams relate to each other:

Alliance teams

Beginning shortly after go-live, the Board has actively engaged with Ex Libris, advocating for improvements in Summit as our top priority. We are pleased to see that huge improvements have been made and would like to extend a special thanks to Anya Arnold, SPOT, everyone involved in testing, and to our colleagues at Ex Libris for these rapid improvements.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) conference was a big hit in Portland and it was great to see so many of you at Ex Libris' celebratory reception for Alliance members. Also a big shout out to Anya Arnold and Moshe Shechter for their presentation Better Together: Successful Collaborations in Resource Sharing and to colleagues Susan Barnes Whyte, Faye Chadwell, and Donna Reed, who joined us for Frontloading the Messiness: Radical Collaboration in a Distributed Environment.

Finally, we are so very pleased to let you know that Lynn Baird, Dean of the University of Idaho Libraries, has been elected Chair of Alliance Board of Directors. Lynn will be chair-elect next year and will take over for Faye Chadwell in July 2016. See below for a profile of Lynn. Council voting continues for two members-at large of the Board.

Best wishes for a fine April and thank you for your hard work and creativity!

Jane Carlin, Chair of the Board and Council

John F. Helmer, Executive Director


Profile of Lynn Baird

Lynn Baird

Lynn Baird is the Dean of the University of Idaho Libraries, serving in that role since 2007. Previously she held positions as Associate Dean and various positions in both technical and public services at the University of Idaho Libraries.

Lynn earned a Ph.D. in Education in 2010 from the University of Idaho. Her dissertation title ‘Colliding Scopes: Seeing Academic Library Leadership through a Lens of Complexity’ provides insights about organizations and human resource development needed for adaptation and survival in the context of ceaseless change. She holds a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Idaho and an MLS from the University of Oregon.



Program Updates

Collaborative Workforce

Thanks to everyone who participated in the SILS short term training survey! We”ll be using the responses to plan upcoming training opportunities. You can view a summary of responses.

Chair Drew Harrington and Program Manager Cassie Schmitt continued conversations with outgoing SILS working groups. We”re thrilled the Board has appointed Bob Thomas to the Collaborative Workforce team! Bob will chair and provide leadership to the Technical Services Working Group.

We”re looking forward to bringing the whole team on board in April!

Content Creation & Dissemination

Researcher Site Redesign: The first phase of the Researcher Site Redesign wrapped up on March 31 with implementation of the following features: improved search precision, faceting on search results, and direct XML retrieval.

EAD Best Practices: The EAD Best Practices version 3.8 was released on March 27. Major changes include those that anticipate the completion of the Researcher Site redesign and launch as Archives West, and a dramatically different approach to linking to associated digital content from finding aids. 

Many thanks to the members of the EAD Best Practices Group: 

            Elizabeth Nielsen, Oregon State University (chair)

            Rose Krause, Eastern Washington University

            Liz Woolcott, Utah State University

            Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Alliance (ex officio)

Northwest Digital Summit: The Alliance and Alliance member institutions were well represented at the Northwest Digital Summit, held March 20 at the Oregon State Library. This unprecedented gathering brought together over 50 key stakeholders from Oregon and Washington to discuss the present and future of digital collections from heritage institutions in the region and how to meet the needs of a variety of organizations and audiences. The creation of one or more Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) hubs was a key topic. Facilitator Danielle Plumer will be preparing a report and recommendations in the coming weeks, and CCD will ensure that this report is shared with all Alliance members.

CCD Program Terms: The name of the CCD program service formerly known as Northwest Digital Archives is now Archives & Manuscripts, which better describes the service (EAD database, archival collection management) offered by the program. The Researcher Site will remain Northwest Digital Archives until the completion of the redesign, when it will relaunch as Archives West. 

Resource Sharing (soon to be Discovery & Delivery)

Over the last month, much work has been done on the identified 6 categories of issues within Summit Processing that needed fixing in order to create a streamlined reliable Summit process for both our patrons and our processors. In turn ExLibris devoted a full development team to work on these categories.  

  1. Patrons need to receive notices. -Fully fixed
  2. Request need to flow through the system. -Out of 12 total issues: 7 have been resolved and the rest are rescheduled for May and June  
  3. Receiving items needs to be a batch process. -Fully fixed
  4. Correction for Duplicate Requests- Scheduled for June 
  5. Local Configuration and/or workflow issues. -Out of 12 total issues:7 have been scheduled and rest are under investigation 
  6. Removal of items with no Network Zone holdings from Primo. -Out of 3 total issues: 2 issues have been schedule and one is under investigation. 

Today is day 73 live using the system, and we have had our share of ups and downs. Overall, we all have made great progress in those 73 days! NRE processing is slowly phasing out and we will be shutting that system down completely in the next few months. Annual Account Reconciliation is right around the corner, so be on the look out for that Announcement. 

Shared Content

The Month in Alliance E-books: It's been an eventful month for the Alliance's e-book initiative! The Shared Content Team approved its first policy to explicitly permit walk-in use for Alliance DDA e-books. 

We greeted March with Wiley's decision to turn off short term loans on their latest titles. Thankfully, we had just secured an exception to this policy, and ProQuest worked quickly to find a technical fix and reinstate access. 

This event demonstrated how volatile the DDA environment is today. The E-book Working Group is actively looking at ways to deal with the situation, including exploring alternatives such as those proposed by Project Muse and JSTOR. Be assured that any significant changes will be made with broad consultation of the Alliance membership.

Electronic Resources Updates: The Electronic Resources trio of Kathi, Margarita, and Debora continue to get comfortable with their roles in the post-Greg Doyle era. As we codify practices, we are posting them in the Electronic Resources area of the website (now nestled under the Shared Content Program). 

A change to note: In consultation with vendors that we deal with frequently, we have come to the conclusion that we will no longer transfer direct subscriptions to the Alliance for renewals. We welcome quotes for upgrades and new products.

Shared ILS

Formal end to Shared ILS implementation: The formal Shared ILS migration period ended on March 31. Note that institutions have a number of resources available during the transition period. These include:

  • SILS listservs will remain in place throughout transition
  • New team chairs and team members, including the the Technical Services Working Group chair. Full team appointments expected soon.
  • Alliance program managers
  • Al will continue meeting with ExL's Audrey Ho; please contact me via phone or email if you'd like me to reach out to her on an issue

Alma enhancements process: The two Ex Libris groups (ELUNA and its international counterpart IGeLU) are now accepting enhancement requests for Alma. The outgoing SILS working groups created Alma enhancement requests; these requests have been submitted for ballot consideration through the NERS system. The 131 Alliance-level requests currently represent over half of the Alma enhancements submitted by the global Alma community.

Alliance institution ELUNA contacts have until April 10 to submit institution-level Alma enhancement requests. AI sent instructions to institutions on April 2 describing how staff can submit institution-level requests for the ballot. As part of the submission process, staff are asked to check the requests submitted by the Alliance and other Alma users to avoid duplication. Voting on the requests will be conducted in May (preliminary) and July-August (final). The user groups will then engage with Ex Libris on the highest priority requests identified through the voting process. 

News from Members

The libraries of the Northwest 5 Consortium (Lewis & Clark College, Reed College,University of Puget Sound, Whitman College, and Willamette University) have received a grant from the Consortium to host a data management and curation workshop this summer on the campus of Reed College. Facilitated by Amanda Whitmire, Assistant Professor and Data Management Specialist at Oregon State University, the workshop will bring together teams of librarians, faculty, and students to learn best practices and tackle real-world data management problems.

Remember When?

SILS launch meeting January 2013


The crowd at rapt attention during the SILS kick off meeting held January 8-9, 2013 at White Stag in Portland, Oregon. Over 80 people attended including the SILS Implementation Team, SILS working group members, leadership from the Collaborative Technical Services Team (CTST), institutional leads, and Cohort 1 library directors.