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May 1, 2015

Happy Anniversary!

As of May 1, 2015 all 37 institutions have been live on the same system for 101 days!

From the Chair of the Board and Executive Director 

Happy May to all our Alliance friends. Things continue to move fast with old teams and programs now phased out and all the new teams in place. This week the 37-member Council of deans and library directors will finalize the budget for next year and approximately 40 staff from member libraries have traveled to Minneapolis to participate in the Ex Libris Users Group of North America (ELUNA). As part of that meeting, the Alliance’s Center of Excellence Team that is overseeing our development partnership with Ex Libris will meet with Matti Shem Tov, CEO; Yair Amsterdam, COO; Asaf Kline, Director of Product Management, Resources Management; Yuval Kiselstein, Director of Product Management, Discovery & Delivery; Eric Hines, President North America; Matt Baker, Director of North America Support; and others for a half-day discussion of our work together. This is a significant opportunity to evaluate the  implementation process and plan for the future.

The  Alliance has received membership applications from Whitworth University and Clackamas Community College. The earliest Council would vote on these applications is November 2015 and work would not proceed until well after that. Growth is familiar territory yet different since membership now includes the Shared ILS. Please know that the Board and Council are very cautious about growth and not planning a major expansion. The Board will be evaluating the applications. This process involves both discussion and site visits.

Finally, be sure to mark your calendars for the Summer Meeting on July 8 - 10, 2015 at Warner Pacific College in Portland. Registration and a preliminary program will be available later this month. See you there!

Best wishes for a lovely May and thank you for your hard work and creativity.

Jane Carlin, Chair of the Board and Council

John F. Helmer, Executive Director

Program Updates

Collaborative Workforce

April welcomed the appointment of the Collaborate Workforce Team:

  • Drew Harrington, University of Portland, Chair (FY16)
  • Beth Blakesley, Washington State University, Chair-elect
  • Susan Barnes Whyte, Linfield College, Council Liaison
  • Elaine Hirsch, Lewis & Clark
  • Tom Larsen, Portland State University
  • Kathleen Spring, Linfield College
  • Bob Thomas, Western Washington University, Chair of Technical Services Working Group

The team’s first meeting will occur the week of May 11. In the interim, the team is soliciting ideas for sessions at the summer meeting and discussions are underway to develop the charge and membership of the Technical Services Working Group.

Content Creation & Dissemination

Researcher Site Redesign

It”s been a busy month in the redesign of the Researcher Site, which will re-launch July 1 as Archives West. With new EAD Best Practices released March 31, we”re on track to have those adopted by May 1 with training, support, global changes, and the implementation of the Repository Registry. The Interface and Usability Design-Infrastructure Group conducted some very rewarding and fun focus groups on browse approaches that allowed us to finalize the graphic design for the site.

You can see the latest changes in the Researcher Site and an overview of the site redesign process.

Archives & Manuscripts Collections Service Annual Meeting

Participants in the Archives & Manuscripts Collections Service will meet in Denver, CO, the day before the Western Roundup meeting of regional archival associations. Check out the agenda.

CCD Team Activities

The CCD Team is working on program proposals for Summer Meeting and a proposal to participate in the Digital Public Library of America.

Discovery & Delivery

This month has been dedicated to the the transition away from implementation mode and starting new normal. SPOT, Shared Discovery Working Group, and Shared Circulation Working Group have been decommissioned and the new Discovery and Delivery team has been formed:

  • Megan Drake, Pacific, Chair (FY16)
  • Jesse Thomas, UI, Chair-elect
  • Kelly V. Peterson-Fairchild, OIT, Council Liaison
  • E.J. Carter, Lewis & Clark 
  • Lesley Lowery, Western Washington U
  • Mindy Muzatko, TESC
  • Stephanie Michel, UP

New webpages and email lists have been created this month with some to follow in the early part of May to complete the transition.

In April Ex Libris performed maintenance on the hardware hosting the DataGuard solution that enables Primo to remain online in the event of a performance (Fusion IO) card fails. 

Primo version 4.10 was released on the Alliance Sandboxes for testing; estimated date to install on production is May 31, 2015. The May release of Alma is sure to solve many issues and reveal more opportunities to collaborate within the areas of fulfillment and resource sharing.  

Shared Content

E-book Updates 

The Shared Content Team's E-book Working Group has taken several actions to reduce spending as we near the end of the fiscal year, including removing titles and temporarily suspending purchasing. The details about these changes have been shared with your library's team representative.

It's a good time to remind you to report problems with the DDA titles to Kathi Fountain, kfountain@orbiscascade.org, for resolution.

Electronic Resources Updates

There is a new Offers page on the Alliance website. The information here duplicates what is sent by email but provides a central place to post documentation and links to the product. The information is considered confidential to the Alliance and requires the e-resources password. If you need the password, either consult your library's e-resources person or email: eresources@orbiscascade.org.


The Systems Program began its work in April. The Systems Team is expected to hold its first meeting on the week of May 11.  

The first Alma enhancements cycle that will be managed by the Ex Libris user groups is in progress, with final voting scheduled for July and August. Given that all Alliance institutions and the Alliance are able to vote (38 total votes) and the number of Alma installations to date (less than 200), the Alliance will represent a significant chunk of the Alma community participating in the 2015 enhancements cycle. To implement the collaborative voting process approved by the Alliance Board in January (when the Board funded institutional user group memberships), Systems Team chair Wade Guidry (Puget Sound) will be leading an Alliance Alma Enhancements Working Group that will identify, in part through survey of member institutions, enhancement requests that meet Alliance-wide needs. The working group will then create a voting recommendation for Alliance institutions. This team's first meeting is on April 30. 

The Systems Team is currently working on session proposals for this year's Alliance Summer Meeting. One team priority is the need to communicate with members on a required change to the structure of user XML data loaded to Alma. This change must be implemented at all Alliance institutions by the end of December.

News from Members

Primo at the University of Washington
UW implemented Primo as part of Cohort 1 but, to date, has elected to continuing using WorldCat Local as the default except at the Law library and UW Bothell where Primo has been the default since mid-2013. UW and the Alliance continue to press for improvements to Primo and, in the interests of gathering user feedback, UW has decided to begin using Primo as their default discovery system on June 15.  UW Libraries will actively evaluate the user experience and will reverse this decision if necessary. Betsy Wilson indicates that "UW looks forward to ongoing improvements as we move to and evaluate Primo as our primary interface."

Conferences: ELUNA

The Alliance is well represented at the annual meeting of Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA) next week in Minneapolis, MN. See below for a snapshot of sessions and meetings with Ex Libris staff. Check out the full online program for session descriptions, times, and locations. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Meeting: The Center of Excellence (COE) Leadership team will be meeting with its counterparts for several hours on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the development partnership with Ex Libris.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

  • Kathi Fountain and Al Cornish will meet with Ex Libris staff to discuss Consortial Analytics, a current COE initiative.
  • Al Cornish, Kyle Banerjee, and Bonnie Park will meet with Ex Libris staff to discuss the use of the Community Zone. Discussion points were developed by the Community Zone Records Quality Task Group.
  • Doris Munson, Eastern Washington University
    • A very basic introduction to Alma Fulfillment units, rules, policies and Terms of Use
  • Siôn Romaine, University of Washington; Jian Wang, Portland State University
    • From Silos and Grist Mills to Gold Medal Flour: Alma as a Consortial ERM
  • Charlene Chou, University of Washington
    • Using Automation Tools in Alma
  • Ping Fu, Central Washington University Libraries
    • Harvesting a Local Digital Repository: Experiences and Lessons Learned

Thursday, May 7, 2015

  • Ex Libris presentation to Alliance on negotiations with EBSCO session, 11-Noon Central (9-10 AM Pacific). The session will also be available as a webinar.
  • Ping Fu, Central Washington University Libraries
    • From Millennium to Alma/Primo: Pre-Migration Preparation, Testing and Cutover
  • Sunshine Carter, University of Minnesota; Janet Morrow, Northeastern University; Heidi Nance, University of Washington
    • Licensing in Alma: the Good, the Bad, and the Not-so-Useful!
  • Ping Fu, Central Washington University Libraries
    • Alma Integrates with External Systems: Experiences and Lessons Learned at CWU
  • Moshe Shecter, Ex Libris; Anya Arnold, Orbis Cascade Alliance; Ian Chan, CSU-San Marco
    • Alma Resource Sharing - A Customer Perspective
  • Chelle Batchelor, University of Washington
    • Missing Managed: Tracking Searches for Missing and Claimed Returned Items in Alma
  • Doris Munson, Eastern Washington University
    • Northwest Users Group (NWEG)

Friday, May 8, 2015
  • Richard Sapon-White, Oregon State University
    • Know Your Data: A Structured Approach to Migration Preparation, Post-Migration Clean-up, and Ongoing Metadata Maintenance
  • Siôn Romaine, University of Washington
    • Alma Acquisitions Interest Group
  • Anya Arnold, Orbis Cascade Alliance, Al Cornish, Orbis Cascade Alliance, Megan Drake, Pacific University, John Helmer, Orbis Cascade Alliance, Kathleen Spring, Linfield College
    • Migrating to a Shared ILS using Alma and Primo: Lessons learned
  • Rose Krause, Eastern Washington University; Doris Munson, Eastern Washington University
    • How Alma data is used in Primo
  • Bill Kelm, Willamette University
    • ILLIAD and Alma Workflow: Some Partial Integration
  • Siôn Romaine, University of Washington
    • Sunnier skies in the Ex Libris Cloud: Predictive Checkin in Alma
  • Steve Shadle, University of Washington
    • Electronic Resource Profiling in Primo Central and Alma: Intersecting Metadata and How It Affects Your Users
  • Jennifer Ward, University of Washington; Megan Drake, Pacific University Oregon; Ray Henry, Washington State University Libraries; Al Cornish, Orbis Cascade Alliance
    • Getting Things Done in Primo at the Orbis-Cascade Alliance, a year later
  • Nathan Mealey, Portland State University
    • Importing Institutional Repository Records into Primo
  • Alex Merrill, Washington State University Libraries; Ray Henry, Washington State University Libraries
    • Using CasperJS and Nagios to gather real world (and real time) Primo performance data

Editor's Note 

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