Left Menu Right Menu

From the Chair of the Board & Executive Director

Interviews for Program Manager finalists are planned for November 19. We are so very fortunate to be interviewing Kathryn L. H.Cabe, Scholarly Resources Analyst at Western Washington University, and Ray Henry, Web Services Librarian at Washington State University. As with previous Program Manager searches, all staff at member libraries will be welcome to view application materials, watch candidate presentations, and will be encouraged to submit comments. Both candidates will also interview with the Discovery & Delivery Team, Search Committee, and Alliance staff.
Board members have recently completed on-site visits as part of the membership application process for Clackamas Community College in Oregon City and Whitworth University in Spokane. The Board meets soon and is expected to make recommendations for Council consideration in mid-November. Consideration of new member applications will make for a full Council meeting that also includes discussion and decisions regarding changing the basis for managing payroll, benefits, and HR policies for Alliance staff and further exploration of Alliance membership in the Digital Public Library of America.
Finally, we are pleased to announce the opening of the Executive Director position:
Position announcement:  http://jobs.uoregon.edu/unclassified.php?id=5361
DeadlineDecember 28, 2015.
Many thanks are due to the search committee: Lizabeth (Betsy) Wilson, Chair, Lynn N. Baird, Faye A. Chadwell, Jeffrey T. Gayton, Scot Harrison, and Cassie Schmitt. As we get closer to working with finalists, the committee will make sure we all have an opportunity to review resumes, see presentations, and submit comments on the finalists. Please help get the word out about this terrific opportunity to lead the Alliance into its third successful decade.
Best wishes and thank you to all the staff and teams of the Alliance for your creativity and hard work.
Faye Chadwell, Chair of the Board and Council
John Helmer, Executive Director

Helmer on Library Consortia: 

Check out the newest issue of Collaborative Librarianship including the piece "Finding Joy in Our Profession: John F. Helmer on Library Consortia."

Program & Team Updates


Team work for FY16
The Assessment Team had a productive conversation with the Board of Directors at its October meeting, reporting out on its work for FY15 and requesting goals for FY16. The following goals were approved: 
  • In consultation with the Ebook Working Group, conduct qualitative assessment of the shared Ebook program in accordance with the recommendations contained in the FY15 Ebook Assessment report.
  • Oversee the work of the Primo Assessment Joint Working Group.
  • Continue development of assessment plan in collaboration with other Teams. Development of an assessment plan can result in the establishment of a common data set at the Alliance in FY17
  • Improve and increase communication across the Alliance about the mission, focus, and accomplishments of the Assessment Team.
Primo Assessment Joint Working Group
The Assessment Team made its appointments to the Primo Assessment Joint Working Group. Members are:
  • Michele Burke, Chemeketa CC (chair)
  • Tami Wilkerson, OHSU (Collaborative Workforce representative)
  • Rachel Bridgewater, PCC (Content Creation & Dissemination representative)
  • Rebecca Marrall, WWU (Discovery & Delivery representative)
  • Andrea Kueter, University of Puget Sound (Shared Content representative)
  • Alex Merrill, WSU (Systems representative)
  • Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Alliance staff
The group will convene this month to begin its assessment of Primo 5, which will be released in 2016, in order to characterize the extent to which Primo 5 solves known problems in Primo. The group expects to work very actively with the Primo Toolkit Working Group of the Systems Team.

Collaborative Workforce

CW Team
As a step towards more fully understanding the work of Alliance Teams and Working Groups, the Collaborative Workforce Team is moving full speed ahead on its charge to inventory the work being accomplished across Alliance Teams and their working groups and to map that work to the Collaborative Work Model. In October the team continued work on and finalized a template for this work.

In November and December the team will be working with team chairs and program managers to capture information about their work. Members of the Collaborative Workforce Team will be liaisons to each team to offer support in accomplishing the inventory.

The  New Staff Training Group for Acquisitions held its first meeting in early November. Stay tuned as the group creates a training framework for acquisitions.

Technical Services Working Group
Members to the following groups were appointed and all groups have begun their work: The Technical Services Open Call Group has hosted four calls so far since the reboot in September. You can find links to agendas, connection information, and call recordings on the TS Open Calls summary page. Please consider submitting a topic for the agenda!

Bibliographic Mandates Survey
You are invited to participate in a survey related to the Orbis Cascade Alliance seven bibliographic mandates. The survey is intended for all staff who work with bibliographic records in OCLC and Alma, primarily related to cataloging activities but not limited to catalogers.
Through the survey, the Bibliographic Mandates Review Group has two objectives related to our charge: The first objective is to determine the level of compliance with the mandates as they are currently written; The second objective is to solicit your thoughts and opinions on the mandates as they are currently written.

This survey will remain open until COB on Tuesday November 17, 2015. It should take approximately 10-30 minutes to complete depending on the length of your comments relating to each mandate.

Content Creation & Dissemination

Digital Public Library of America
The CCD Team continues it work on creating a DPLA hub for Alliance members. After a very productive conversation with the Board in October, and Board endorsement of this direction, CCD Team chair Trevor Bond will take the Team”s proposal to theNovember 12-13 Council meeting in order to move forward with budget models and exploring external funding opportunities in early 2016. 
Digital Content Joint Working Group
The CCD Team made its appointments to the Digital Content Joint Working Group
  • Isaac Gilman, Pacific University (chair)
  • Linda Crook, Lane CC (Collaborative Workforce representative)
  • Susan Hinken, University of Portland (Shared Content representative)
  • Ping Fu, Central Washington University (Systems representative)
  • Beth Blakesley, WSU (Discovery & Delivery representative)
  • Rose Krause, Eastern Washington University (Content Creation & Dissemination representative)
  • Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Alliance staff
The DC JWG has met and is surveying Alliance members for information on DAMs and IRs and on current and desired practices for managing unique collections in Primo and Alma. 
On Monday, November 9, they will release the draft digital content metadata standards for review and comment by CCD Representatives and all other Alliance teams. The JWG will hold webinars on November 13 at 10 AM PST and November 16 at 1 PM PST. The draft standards will be open for comment until close of business on Tuesday, November 24
EAD Database Working Group
The CCD Team made its appointments to the EAD database Working Group:
  • Rose Krause, Eastern Washington University (chair)
  • Johanna Meetz, Concordia University
  • Evan Williamson, University of Idaho
  • Julie Carmen, Central Washington University
  • Doug Lambeth, Washington State University
  • Laura Zeigen, OHSU
  • Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Alliance staff

Discovery & Delivery

Primo November Release Installation Timeline
The November Release of Primo will be installed on both our Premium and Standard sandboxes on November 22.  The Primo Release Testing Working Group will then test the release extensively and, if all goes well, it will be installed on Production on December 20. 
Primo Version 5:  Current Timeline for Testing and Release
Ex Libris is working on a major update to Primo, which is identified as Primo 5. It is currently in development and beta testing. Though the Alliance has been in conversations about the progress and design of the new version, we are not currently part of the beta testing process.  This will change in February, 2016, when the plan is to make Primo 5 available to the Alliance via its sandbox, where we will be able to test and provide feedback to Ex Libris. In May, we will receive another update to Primo 5 in the sandbox that will include a greater ability to make customizations. In August, Primo 5 will go live, with sufficient ability to customize that it can be rolled out for general use.  

During both the testing and release phases, the current version of Primo will remain available for use in the sandbox and Production.  Institutions will not need to start using Primo 5 until they are ready.

One of the major changes in Primo 5 is the use of a modern web design framework called AngularJS which will make Primo 5 mobile-friendly, as well as give us more and better options for customizing the interface.

You can see a preliminary example of the new Primo 5 interface.

Shared Content

Shared Content Program
As all of the E-resources contacts have noticed, the Alliance is in the midst of the flurry of January renewal cycle. To keep deadlines straight, please see our Deadline Reminders calendar online.

"Collection Development Guiding Principles" in Development
The Shared Content Team is developing an Alliance-level statement of Collection Development Guiding Principles for all members and librarians. The Team expects to distribute a draft to the Shared Content Representatives for feedback, so watch for that around the Thanksgiving holiday.
E-books at the Alliance
The Alliance currently owns 2,397 titles and has access to an additional 11,378 titles through the DDA program. The E-book Working Group's actions in the summer to reduce the discovery pool, the publisher list, and the maximum list price have paid off for fiscal management of DDA. The expenditures are proceeding at a reasonable pace, even though the peak usage period of mid-terms.
Many have reported finding e-titles in Alma that have a "this book is not available" message. This is a result of an error in record loading in August, and a fix to delete the problematic collection is in development with Ex Libris. 


Survey request from Primo Toolkit Working Group
From Nathan Mealey, Primo Toolkit Working Group chair:
The Primo Toolkit Working Group needs your input! We're working to figure out which Primo customizations, tips, and tricks, to document and make available to the Alliance, and we'd like to hear what items you'd most like to see included. The survey linked below includes an initial list of customizations that we're considering including, and asks for your input on which would be of most interest to you.

Filling this out will help us prioritize what to include, as well as give you the chance to tell us about other items we may not have considered yet. The survey is open to everyone in the Alliance, and I encourage you to share it with any of your colleagues who would be interested.  

The deadline for the survey will be Friday, November 13th.

Priority Support Issues update
Alliance teams are currently compiling issues for the November Priority Support Issues meeting with Ex Libris staff, which is scheduled for November 17.

Ex Libris site visit to the region, October 23
Ex Libris executives Yair Amsterdam (Chief Operating Officer), Melissa Hilbert (VP, Professional Services) and Matt Baker (Director of North America Support) participated in a meeting with Alliance representatives on October 23 at Portland”s UO White Stag building. The meeting focused on Primo performance improvements (including reducing renormalization/reindexing times and streamlining user authentication) and working with Ex Libris Support. A complete report on the visit is available online.

Systems Open Call, November 11
There will be a Systems Open Call on Wednesday, November 11, from 1 PM to 2 PM. Expected topics of discussion include: Updates from a November 2 Ex Libris Primo performance briefing; review of recent Primo service disruptions; status of removal of PDS from Primo authentication; and, a check-in on the transition to the version 2 Alma user schema.  

Center of Excellence Digital formats initiative
COE initiative has been launched that”s focused on support for consortial digital format management in Alma. Al Cornish is leading this initiative, working closely with Jodi Allison-Bunnell (Alliance) and Kyle Banerjee (OHSU). The Digital Content Joint Working Group is providing active assistance for this initiative.

In the kickoff meeting for this initiative on October 26, Ex Libris” Asaf Kline demonstrated special collections workflow functionality that will be supported in Alma with the January 2016 release, including digital uploader and viewer capabilities.  

Profile of Michael Paulus

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.

Michael Paulus and his daughters at Seattle's Discovery Park.
Name, positionMichael Paulus, University Librarian, Seattle Pacific University

City of residenceSeattle, OR
Favorite thing about where you currently live: 
Seattle is an inspiring place, situated within a glorious landscape and home to many creative and entrepreneurial individuals and institutions. With our history of pragmatic utopianism and technological innovation, it often feels as though the future is here or near.

Favorite outside of work activity: 
Spending time with my family exploring our city, helping to make the future more evenly distributed in it, and patronizing our great cultural institutions. 

What are you most proud of while working at the Alliance? 
We have an impressive record of deep collaboration that significantly helps each member library fulfill its institutional mission. I have enjoyed participating in the development of new consortial programs as well as leveraging that work to be more strategic about what we do locally.

What are you excited about for the coming year? 
This year at SPU, librarians are at the center of a number of curricular innovations around writing, digital literacy, and vocation. Building on our strong information literacy program, we our expanding the educational role of the library in new and exciting ways.

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.