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March 6, 2015

Editor's Note 

The Alliance News is back! Going forward we’ll be releasing a monthly update to provide a broad overview of Alliance activities, programs, and successes. The aim is to provide members with information at a higher level than detailed weekly updates, while providing you more meat than semi-annual reports. Watch for future issues on the first Friday of each month. Please send any feedback, thoughts, or suggestions for future content to Cassie Schmitt.


Don’t forget to nominate yourself or your colleagues as team members for the Collaborative Workforce, Discovery and Delivery, and Systems teams. Deadline is Monday, March 9 at 8am.

From the Chair of the Board and Executive Director 

These are amazing and very busy times for Alliance member libraries and we are pleased to announce a new newsletter to help keep us all informed.  With this issue, the Alliance News is being revived after several years of being on hold as we relied on weekly updates through migration. We know how important is communication and this newsletter will connect programs, services and as well as Alliance staff and member libraries. 

There are so many remarkable initiatives going on as the 37 members of the Alliance continue their tradition of innovation through collaboration. Over the course of the past year, the Board has been focused on the Shared ILS and managing implementation of the new Alliance program and team structure approved by Council in March 2014.  As part of this process, the Board solicited feedback from Council members, teams, and staff concerning operational Shared ILS work, workload and financial compensation models, as well as the formation, charge and goals of new teams. While teams charges are still being fine tuned, they are reasonably solid now and will be finalized by Council in mid-March.  The Board also accelerated the appointment of team chairs and held our first coordination meeting attended by members of the Board, team chairs, and program managers.  

Finally, we don't want to miss this opportunity to welcome two new members of the Alliance staff: Margarita Wickham, Electronic Resources Specialist and Cassie Schmitt, Program Manager and editor of the Alliance News.  Welcome Margarita and Cassie!

Here are links to learn more:

Jane Carlin, Chair of the Board and Council

John F. Helmer, Executive Director

2013 Retreat in action…more

Program Updates

Collaborative Workforce

Chair Drew Harrington and Program Manager Cassie Schmitt are in start up activities for the new Collaborative Workforce Program, working with the Alliance Board to identify team members. Collaborative Workforce will provide broad oversight and leadership for shared human resources in the post migration Alma Resource Management environment. The Collaborative Workforce Program will concentrate on shared workflows, training and professional development, and on documentation as we develop a model for shared work.

As we transition to the new organizational model, we've been reaching out to groups to understand their current work, concerns, and upcoming projects and to facilitate knowledge transfer that will guide the Collaborative Workforce Program. So far these include the Collaborative Technical Services Team (CTST), SILS Acquisitions Working Group, SILS Cataloging Working Group, SILS Serials ERM Working Group, and the SILS Training Working Group. Each group has done outstanding and important work and their support and expertise is critical to the transition.

We're in initial planning to identify potential future training opportunities. Be on the lookout for a survey on short term SILS training needs opening soon.

Content Creation & Dissemination

The CCD team completed its portion of the FY16 budget.

In support of the EAD Database program, CCD working groups and Alliance staff began the process of the long-anticipated redesign of the Researcher Site. Check out the overview of the redesign process.

The ArchivesSpace Pilot/Archival Collection Management Working Group participants were selected. They will carry out a pilot of ArchivesSpace over the course of calendar year 2015. 

Resource Sharing (soon to be Discovery & Delivery)

In February, SPOT identified 6 categories of issues within Summit Processing that needed to be fixed 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
  2. Request need to flow through the system.
  3. Receiving items needs to be a batch process
  4. Correction for Duplicate Requests
  5. Local Configuration and/or workflow issues
  6. Removal of items with no Network Zone holdings from Primo

SPOT and the SILS-CIRC teams and reps worked together to rank all the open cases  that comprised the above categories, so that ExLibris would know in what order they should prioritizes their work. Already, March, has seen much improvement to Summit Processing. Exlibris development staff are working quickly to address the categories; these improvements have immediate ripple effects for patrons and staff. 

Towards the end of February, Ex Libris made two changes in Primo production that decreased the number of electronic items that the Summit link  appeared on, as well as hide some items that had no inventory in the Network Zone. These two changes dramatically reduced the number of requests that the Alliance Libraries could not fill. Patrons can now place a little more faith in the Summit request link, and staff do not have to devote as much time in determining what to do with these types of requests and focus on filling legitimate Summit requests. 

Shared Content

Electronic Resources: It's only March, but July 1 renewals are just around the corner. Margarita is already receiving pricing and processing it. Watch for a flurry of messages asking for your renewal commitments coming soon. 

E-Books Program: We have received our latest three months of usage and expenditure statistics for the Demand Driven Acquisitions program from ProQuest. See the statistics page for December 2014, January 2015, and February 2015 data. The consortium now owns 2095 titles (2039 marked as such in Alma) collectively.

Shared Record Management: The Collaborative Technical Services Team began two tests for shared record management for a licensed product: Theatre in Video from Alexander Street Press. This week, we added three more schools to that set of records (6 in total) and troubleshooting. We expect this test will lead to further successes in shared labor in this area.

Shared ILS

Shared ILS working groups are currently working through transition planning, with the teams scheduled to wrap up their work at the end of the month. Continuity during the transition will be supported through several means, including the experience of chairs and members appointed to the new teams; by task lists being created by the existing teams; and, by the continued availability of SILS listservs during the transition period. 

Cohort 4 institutions are expected to transition from Professional Services support to Ex Libris support in the second half of March. 

In the next few weeks, Ex Libris will be testing Primo performance improvements on the Alliance Primo sandbox. This is a result of the Alliance Board's engagement with Ex Libris on performance issues. One goal of this work is to significantly reduce the time of renormalization/reindexing operations; Primo cannot be updated while these jobs are running. Ex Libris is expected to report back to the Alliance on this work by the end of March.

Testing is being conducted on a set of Alliance-created Primo normalization rules designed to improve the Primo service. Please see Al Cornish’s Announce message from March 5 for details and a testing request. Feedback is requested by noon on March 11.

Conferences: ACRL

Here are a few ACRL events of interest coming up in Portland in late March.

Better Together: Successful Collaborations in Resource Sharing

Anya Arnold & Moshe Shechter

Ex Libris lunch | registration

Thursday, March 26, 2015 @ 11:30am-1:00pm

DoubleTree Hilton Hotel Portland

Ex Libris Customer Reception


Thursday, March 26 @ 6:30pm-8:30pm

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland | Pacific Northwest Ballroom

Frontloading the Messiness: Radical Collaboration in a Distributed Environment

Susan Barnes Whyte, Faye Chadwell, Jane Carlin, John F. Helmer, Donna Reed

Friday, March 27, 2015 @ 4:00pm-5:00pm

Oregon Convention Center | Room D135-136

Library directors from a university, a community college, a liberal arts college and a consortium, describe the migration of our 37-member consortium over two years to a next-gen cloud-based library system. Focus will be upon the strategic decision to migrate and the complex communication process. Essential to success was the work and collaborative spirit of staff and their revision of workflows. Come find out what we learned and how we plan to move forward collectively.

Remember When?

First Council retreat in 1995 at Campbell House, Eugene, Oregon. Pictured: Pictured: John F. Helmer (UO), Larry Oberg (Willamette), Nancy Nathanson (first staff person), Lynn Chmelir (Linfield), Karen Clay (OIT), Alice Allen (UO), Gary Jensen (WOU), Vickie Hanawalt (Reed), Sue Burkholder (SOU), Merrill Johnson (GFU), Henry Yaple (Whitman), Jim Kopp (UP), Johannah Sherrer (L&C), Theresa Gillis for Patricia Cutright (EOU), George Shipman (UO)