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June 5, 2015

From the Chair of the Board and Executive Director

We are very excited to let you know that Ex Libris' John Larson, Ex Libris Consulting Services Manager, is moving to Portland this summer! Over the past couple of years, John has been instrumental in his role as one of the lead trainers for our implementation. He is a fount of information about the current capabilities and future of Alma. It will be wonderful to have him in our own backyard. Welcome John!
The Summer Meeting is just around the corner (July 8-9) and John Larson is joining us so register now! Alliance Teams have put together a great set of offerings, including a plenary session with chairs and program managers and breakouts such as: 

  • Shared eBooks: Updates, Challenges, and Opportunities
  • I will show you mine if you show me yours: Display logic rules and Primo customization
  • Ex Libris Developer Network update 
  • Technical Services in Alma Lightning Round
  • Supporting Collaborative Work: Technical Services Working Group 
  • What is good Assessment and how do we do it as a group? 
  • Primo Discovery: Approaches to Teaching and Learning 
  • Digital Public Library of America 
  • Integrating Alma for invoices, payments, and fines 
  • Why should I care about Norm Rules? 
  • Unique collections in the Shared ILS 
  • WEST and the Alliance: New Directions 
  • Introduction to UStat 
  • Analytics Fundamentals
  • Alma License Module at the Institution and Network Level 
  • How Alma data is used in Primo 
  • Implementing the updated user schema
Come meet a couple hundred colleagues, learn about the present, envision the future, and hang out on the side of an urban volcano. And contribute to the first Alliance Zine!  

Jane Carlin, Chair of the Board and Council
John F. Helmer, Executive Director

Program Updates

Collaborative Workforce

May brought the first meeting of the Collaborate Workforce Team! Check out the team's web page to stay up to date on meeting minutes and other news.

CWT is sponsoring several programs at the Summer Meeting. We hope you will come and share your Alma knowledge, brainstorm ways we can support collaborative work, and get a chance to see what all the program areas are up to.

The team was instrumental in forming the new Technical Services Working Group:

  • Bob Thomas, Chair and Member of CWT, Western Washington University
  • Kyle Banerjee, Oregon Health and Science University
  • Kathy Faust, Lewis & Clark College
  • Mary Ellen Kenreich, Portland State University
  • Sion Romaine, University of Washington
  • Richard Sapon-White, Oregon State University
  • Cassie Schmitt, Orbis Cascade Alliance (ex-officio)
Check out TSWG’s charge.

This summer the Collaborative Workforce program will launch a pilot site to centralize documentation across Alliance programs, functions, and systems. Stay tuned for more information as we begin rolling out content.

Content Creation & Dissemination

Summer Meeting Sessions
CCD is developing the following sessions for the Alliance Summer Meeting on Wednesday, July 8:

Session B: Digital Public Library of America -- A panel discussion that includes an introduction to how contributing unique collections to DPLA provides exposure for unique collections; a presentation from DPLA on how the DPLA supports teaching and research; Ann Lally from the University of Washington on their experiences as a DPLA Content Hub; and speaker on the discussions around creating one or more DPLA service hubs in the Northwest.

Session C: Unique collections in the Shared ILS -- A round table discussion with invited panelists representing a broad spectrum of institutions on their work to describe unique collections in the Alliance’s shared Primo space and the proposed CCD metadata standards for digital content from IRs, DAMS, and other platforms. Panelists will discuss innovative projects, choices of what to include and not, challenges, and areas for consortial consideration and work in the coming year.

ArchivesSpace Pilot
The CCD’s Archival Collection Management Working Group, under the leadership of Pacific University’s Eva Guggemos, will carry out a pilot of ArchivesSpace July-December 2015. For more information, see the group’s page

Discovery & Delivery

May was a month of excitement and activity. This was the first active month of the new Discovery and Delivery Team! Under their short tenure they have over seen both a Primo and an Alma Release. 

Once a year members reconcile accounts and reimburse each other for lost and damaged  summit materials this process is known as Annual Account Reconciliation (AAR). This process is underway and members are actively searching their stacks for missing items. 

Tracking Summit Items by using the Item Barcode was installed in the April release and in May the Discovery and Delivery team tested the procedure and approved its use. In June all members will be using the item barcode to receive. This represents a major win for Summit Borrowing.  

The Discovery and Delivery team will be hosting Open Calls every other week starting the first week in June. All Discovery topics will be held on Mondays at 2pm and all fulfillment topics will be held on Thursdays at 11.

Shared Content

The Shared Content Team is busy planning several programs for the Summer Meeting. It's also looking forward to connecting with representatives for the first time. Please join us!

The Electronic Resources operation is gliding into the fiscal year finish line. There are a few final end-of-the-year offers and one renewal outstanding. This summer, this area will participate with Collaborative Workforce's pilot to centralize documentation that informs our work. Stay tuned for further information.

Last month's newsletter brought the news that the E-book Working Group had taken several actions to curtail end-of-year spending. The latest update: the project will end the year on budget!

The DDA title removal process proved more technically complicated than expected for all internal and external parties. In the last week, the final inactive titles should have been thoroughly removed. Still, if you find titles with problems, send citations for correction to kfountain@orbiscascade.org.


Systems Team chair Wade Guidry is leading a cross-functional working group that created a voting recommendation for Alma enhancement voting. Following this recommendation is essential in maximizing the Alliance's voice in this enhancement cycle. The first round of voting in the user groups' online system, NERS, ends at the close of business on Friday, June 5. The user groups will then forward the top 20 enhancements voted on by the Alma user community to Ex Libris in order to determine difficulty. The Alliance working group will communicate with institutions on the final voting for this cycle that will be conducted in August and September.  

Along with Wade, Al Cornish is serving on a cross-functional Alliance working group, led by Kathi Fountain, that's testing existing Alma consortial Analytics functionality and developing use cases and prioritization for consortial reporting needs. This group had its first meeting on June 1.

There will be four sessions created by Systems Team members that will be conducted during this year's Summer Meeting:

  • Implementing the updated user schema :  Information on the updated Alma user schema that must be implemented at institutions by the end of the year 
  • Introduction to UStat:  Information on the retrieval of journal and database usage data from Alma Analytics
  • Ex Libris Developer Network update: Information on using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to extend Alma's and Primo's functionality
  • Integrating Alma for invoices, payments, and fines: Information on three Alma integrations that many institutions have not yet performed
Al continues to communicate with Ex Libris (and the Alliance teams in turn) on Alma and Primo performance issues, including two May 26 Primo service outages. At the same time, the Systems Team is formalizing its monitoring of the Alliance's Service Level Agreement with Ex Libris (which is focused on Alma and Primo uptime/downtime). 

Finally, with the move of all institutions to Ex Libris Support, Al will have regularly-scheduled one-on-one web meetings with ExL's support managers. If you have a Systems-related question that you need to have addressed by a Support manager, please contact Al via phone or email. This is more efficient and should get a more rapid response compared with sending your questions to an Alliance listserv.

Systems Team member Rose Carlson will serve on the Discovery & Delivery Team's Primo Release Testing Working Group, enabling the Systems Team to be closely involved in the ongoing (and now more frequent) Primo release review work. 

Profile of Anya Arnold

Each month we will be featuring a profile of someone in the Alliance. If you have a colleague you think we should know about, please send in suggestions.

Anya Arnold and family

   Anya Arnold and family

Name, positionAnya Nichole Arnold, Program Manager, Discovery, fulfillment, courier services

City of residenceEugene, Oregon 
Favorite thing about where you currently live
My favorite thing about Oregon is the weather. It is never too hot or to cold for very long. I really enjoy getting out to the coast and walking nature trails with my family.  

Favorite outside of work activity?
Whenever I am not working, I am active with my kids activities such as soccer, volleyball, dance, and swim. My husband and I collect comic books and enjoy cooking together.   
What are you most proud of while working at the Alliance?
To be honest, I feel privileged to be apart of the Alliance. I have worked with different groups and none have the camaraderie and willingness to work together so deeply ingrained as to what is found here at the Alliance. 
What are you excited about for the coming year?
In August my family will be welcoming a new family member! This upcoming year will include sleepless nights and family acclimation to its newest addition. Along with working to build a new Discovery and Delivery community. 

Editor's Note

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

Check out the Alliance News on the web for future reference.