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August 4, 2017

Alliance News August 2017

From the Chair of the Board

Welcome to August All,
It’s a pleasure and an honor to serve as the Alliance chair. Thank you Lynn Baird for doing such a good job as chair this past year. And thank you Faye Chadwell, our outgoing past chair, for all the work you’ve done for the past three years on the Board. Also, I want to thank the other outgoing board members: Kelly Peterson-Fairchild, OIT, and Mark Dahl, Lewis and Clark, for their commendable work on the Board. And, I want to welcome the new Board members: Michelle Bagley, chair-elect, from PCC and Marilyn Moody, PSU and Isaac Gilman, Pacific.
This coming year, as always, looks to be full of unique challenges for the Alliance. I look forward to working with the Board, Council and Dana Bostrom as we work on strategic planning for the next 5 years for the Alliance, SILS negotiation, SILS Evaluation, Collaborative Work, Open Educational Resources, and the continuing work of Unique and Local Content.
Our current strategic plan calls for us to Work Smart, Design for Engagement, and Innovate to Transform. Work Smart refers to how we partner at the appropriate scale. Deign for Engagement focuses upon collecting wisely, sharing freely, and enhancing the teaching, learning and research environment. Innovate to Transform refers to how we push boundaries and inspire the profession. The past 5 years have been rigorous and you all have done such excellent work. Please do help us as we continue to add value and build relevance to our work together for our students, faculty and researchers. And, we look forward to working on our new strategic plan with all of you as we think about where and what we want to be in the next 5 years.
Best wishes,
Susan Barnes Whyte

From the Chair of the Board & Executive Director

We’re excited that many of the Teams this year have begun their work and soon will involve even more members in the ongoing collaborative work of the Alliance.
Since our last update in mid July, the Council met and agreed to support work on Open Educational Resources, define and examine the value of a standardized Primo, work to create goals and approaches to Collaborative Workforce, and approve updated Last Copy & 3 Copy Guidelines. We have a new group working already on the contract with Ex Libris, as August marks our first month in the last year of our contract. The new FY 18 Board meets later this month and will discuss our Council voting process, the SILS Evaluation draft report and the updated Strategic Planning timeline. 

The final report of the SILS Evaluation Coordinating Group should be released in August, with more detailed information released to Teams in August or September. We thank all Alliance members for their excellent feedback and participation.
We’d like to thank in advance the hard work of the Network Zone Manager Search Committee: Abby Bibee, Reed; Mary Grenci, UO; Karen Highum, UW; Tom Larsen, PSU; and Ray Henry, Alliance. While the new Network Zone Manager will report to the Program Manager for Shared Content & Technical Services, Ray Henry will facilitate the search until that new PM starts work. The group will start with reviewing the draft job description from Winter 2017. Stay tuned!
We are still accepting applications for the SCTS Program Manager role. With Margarita Wickham leaving us in September to go to back school full time, we’ve also opened a part time Licensing Specialist role.  Joan Thompson will continue to work with the SCTS community until our new PM is on board.

Susan Barnes Whyte, Chair of the Board and Council
Dana Bostrom, Executive Director

Alma & Primo New UIs

Primo new UI
Seven institutions are live on the Primo new UI with at least eight more planning to migrate by mid-September. Reminder: Ex Libris has asked that each institution submit a Salesforce case with their Primo new UI go-live date. The case should be submitted thirty days before your go-live date, if possible. Please add Curtis Wyant (cwyant@orbiscascade.org) to your Salesforce case. If you have questions or need help with the Primo new UI, use the Alliance list primonui@orbiscascade.org

Alma new user interface
Ex Libris is offering encore sessions of the “The New Alma User Interface” (initially presented on July 26). For those of you who could not make the July sessions, these two days/times are available:

Wednesday, August 9, 8-9 AM
Monday, August 21, 8-9 AM

Additional information and training opportunities will be announced when scheduled. 

The Alma new user interface will be available for use in production beginning on Sunday, September 3. 

Program & Team Updates

Discovery & User Experience

The DUX team has been busy finalizing the working/standing/project groups that our team will need to tackle priorities. Stay tuned! Our next open call on Thursday, August 17 from 10 – 11 AM will highlight two institutions that are live in the new Primo UI as they provide a demo of their live environment, discuss the decision process for what to customize (or not), and lessons learned. If you have any ideas for our open calls, please let us know by filling out this form (linked here).
Important Dates:
8/7: Primo production renorm/reindex to implement NR changes
8/13: Primo August release installed on the sandbox environment
8/14: PRIM Event (Central Washington) - register by August 4!
8/17: Open DUX Call: 10 AM - 11 AM
9/1, 5pm: Primo August release Go/no-go vote due - submit via the feedback form
9/10: Primo August release installed to production, barring major issue

Resource Sharing and Fulfillment (RSF)

Summit & Fulfillment Day
Summit & Fulfillment Day is scheduled for Friday, August 4th, at Clark College in Vancouver. Over 100 people are registered to attend this full-day event. Thank you to the organizers, presenters, and attendees for being willing to brave extreme heat and traffic to share your expertise with your colleagues!

Summit Standing Group
Many of the Summit Working Group and Summit Center of Excellence members are continuing this year as the Summit Standing Group:

  • Jada Pelger, Chair, University of Puget Sound [returning]
  • Dawn Lowe-Wincentsen, Oregon Tech [returning]
  • Erin Bledsoe, Central Washington University [returning]
  • Kate Ball Jones, University of Oregon [new, from Summit COE]
  • Lindsay Lermo, Concordia University [returning]
  • Meghan Williams, Western Washington University [new, from Summit COE]
  • Stefanie Gorzelsky, St. Martin's University [returning]
  • Turner Masland, Portland State University [returning]

Sue Shipman, WSU, and Raven Keppinger, SOU, have opted not to continue this year - we wish them well, and thank them for their service! 

The Summit SG has also completed their Summit documentation, with plans to update it with Alma new UI information as we get closer to the switch in January.

RSF Team
The RSF Team has scheduled their Open Calls for the year, and those dates are on the Team's page. The Team is currently developing charges and defining outcomes for additional standing and working groups in the areas of fulfillment, Alma analytics, and Alma release testing. Look for more information soon, including joint work with other program areas.

We went live with the new courier service just one month ago, and the benefits are already visible. We are now able to track packages throughout the system, and transit times are currently less than three days between institutions, no matter where they are in our service area. Expak, our vendor, is responding to customer service issues the same day (and sometimes as quickly as within 5 minutes)!

Thank you to Expak for making this a very smooth transition for Alliance libraries and all our dropsites, and thanks too to everyone processing materials at all our libraries - your ongoing feedback and input, and willingness to embrace the new system, have made this switch a success!

Shared Content & Technical Services

Ebook Working Group
The group continues to work towards getting records loaded into Alma/Primo for the new T&F evidence based program and the Oxford purchased titles. Libraries currently have access to the content in these programs directly through the vendor platforms.  

Reminder: The ProQuest DDA program will be discontinued as of 8/15/2017.

Norm Rules Standing Group
The Normalization Rules Standing Group (NRSG) recently completed the latest round of Primo normalization rule change testing and is in the process of adding the new rules to Production Primo. The changes will become live on Production Primo Thursday, August 10. The changes include the addition of new MARC fields for music, works, audience and relators, updates to some link functionality, and changes to facets, among others. A digest of changes is available. Major thanks to each institution’s testing coordinator for managing testing at their institutions and providing results to the NRSG!

The groups members for this year are:
  • Rose Krause, Eastern Washington University, Chair [new]
  • Lesley Lowery, Western Washington University [returning]
  • Kelley McGrath, University of Oregon [returning]
  • Hilary Robbeloth, University of Puget Sound [returning]
  • Suzanne Sager, Portland State University [new, from Norm Rules Advisory Group]
Outgoing members of the NRWG and NRAG: Doris Munson, Eastern Washington University; Shannon Eagles, Chemeketa Community College; Whitney Buccicone, University of Washington; Stewart Baker, Western Oregon University.

Thank you to the incoming, returning, and outgoing members!

Last Copy and 3-Copy Threshold guidelines updates
At the July Board meeting, revised versions of the Last Copy and Three Copy Threshold guidelines were approved. These new guidelines retain the spirit of the original initiatives but clarify that decisions should be governed by local needs and local judgement. The review and development of the guidelines utilize feedback gathered from the 2016 Summer Meeting and from a Shared Content Open Call in the Spring of 2017. Both documents also adhere to the recently developed Alliance Statement of Collection Development Best Practices. SCTS will be looking into the feasibility of providing standard procedures for members use to record commitments to hold items.

Alliance staff update
Margarita Wickham will be leaving the Electronic Resources Specialist position in late September. A part-time Electronic Resources Specialist position has been distributed locally (contact Joan Thompson for more information).  

A revised Shared Content Technical Services Program Manager position has been posted and applications submitted by August 25 will be given first consideration.    

A search committee for the NZ Manager position has begun meeting.


Systems Open Call
The Systems Open call will be held on Wednesday, August 9, from 1 PM to 2 PM. Demonstrations are scheduled: Primo Analytics for the New UI (Maria McShane, Pacific University) and Coding for the New UI: Accessibility Issues (Kate Deibel, University of Washington). 

Open Testing Framework
The Alliance will be participating in a four month Ex Libris-led pilot project this fall, the Open Testing Framework. A key goal of this framework will be to reduce the amount of time that customers commit to Alma release testing by providing a transparent system/service that supports the sharing of test results. It also offers the possibility of reducing regressions in Alma that slip through to production releases. More information will be shared in Systems updates as this work goes forward. 

Unique & Local Content

Digital Collections Working Group Releases User Testing Report
The ULC’s Digital Collections Working Group (from 2016-2017) has completed and posted its report on user testing for digital objects in Primo.
In April, the group created user testing routines and called for all Alliance members to participate in testing. Four Alliance institutions administered a total of 40 tests, to the four user personae of undergraduate, research faculty, teaching faculty, and digital humanist. The three different tests covered the concepts of how users locate digital objects in a source repository, how they use facets, and concerns they may have about holding institutions.
Many thanks to DCWG chair Janet Hauck and member Laura Zeigen for completing this report, and to Central Washington University, Whitworth University, Willamette University, and Washington State University for conducting user tests!
The report findings will be used to develop objectives for digital objects in Primo. These objectives will be thoroughly discussed in the ULC community prior to testing digital objects in the Primo premium sandbox. 
Depending on the extent to which we're able to create the desired experience in Primo through metadata consistency, local practice, Alliance-wide practice, and/or advocacy with Ex Libris, we'll decide whether to move digital objects into production by the end of 2017.

Archives West User Testing Accessibility Reports Available
ULC's EAD Database Working Group has released its reports on accessibility and user testing  of Archives West
The accessibility report was created in response to participant concerns that Archives West had accessibility issues, a concern both for institutions under Department of Justice scrutiny and for the Alliance. The group identified key and relatively simple issues to address prior to another level of review. Review the full report here. 
The usability testing report details the results of the user testing that the group conducted in collaboration with members in April on three key issues:
  • Search pathways and the need for an advanced search;
  • Placement and use of <controlaccess> terms;
  • Digital object linking and presentation. 
These reports, plus some known issues, will form the basis of the workplan for maintenance and improvement of Archives West this year. This is consistent with the Alliance’s prioritization of accessibility and usability of all interfaces, and ULC will work with the Discovery and User Experience (DUX) Team on the plans to respond to the findings in these reports. As per our normal technical support schedule, and once Alliance staff scope the work, we expect to hire contract assistance to complete changes to the site. 
 Many thanks all the members of this group for their very fine work:
  • Anne Jenner, University of Washington (chair)
  • Donna McCrea, University of Montana
  • Emily Dominick, University of Washington
  • Kate Thornhill, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Alliance staff

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.
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