Left Menu Right Menu
October 6, 2017

Alliance News October 2017

From the Chair of the Board & Council

October greetings everyone,
I had the privilege of meeting with the SILS Negotiation Group a couple of weeks ago. I listened hard to this smart group (Craig Milberg (Willamette, Chair), Chelle Batchelor (UW), Natalie Beach (Chemeketa), Faye Chadwell (OSU), Nathan Mealey (PSU), Ann Miller (UO), Dana Bostrom (Alliance), Al Cornish (Alliance) as they all deliberated issues that are so important to us as we re-negotiate our contract with Ex Libris. 

The other group that I met with in September, in addition to the Board, was the Strategic Planning Group. We are in the midst of working with a facilitator for our upcoming year-long, or more, strategic planning process. We will start in November with Council members working on mission/vision/values. We are also working with some potential visionary speakers for our March 2018 Council meeting. We plan to stream these presentations out to the membership so that we can all benefit from new and perhaps provocative ideas.

Despite the many differences amongst us 39 member institutions, we share the commitment to collaborate and to making resources available and more useful for our faculty, students and staff. We have come a long way since 2003, when Orbis and Cascade merged. We will continue along this path because we know it works for our communities of learning and research. I know it takes a lot of your time and attention and I thank you all for this. Remember our vision from the former strategic planning process: Do things Once, Do things The Same, Do things Together. We know how challenging this can be and yet we are all contributing to a product and process that is on the whole successful and meaningful for all 39 institutions. As I was reminded recently the Alliance must “live up to both its potential and legacy of success.“

Susan Barnes Whyte, Chair of the Board and Council

From the Chair of the Board & Executive Director

We hope to see you, virtually, at the upcoming interviews for our three open positions. We know that it is challenging to have such critical positions open, and we appreciate how members have pitched in and helped. We all have benefited from the additional expertise of our amazing contractors for our open Program Manager (Linda DiBiase, Joan Thompson) and Finance Manager (Bob Hoffman) positions, but I know we all look forward to 2018. In the next few weeks and months, we’ll have interviews for the Program Manager, Finance Manager and Network Zone Manager – all will have member participation.  Thank you, in advance, for your help! We know that the central Alliance staff play a critical role in helping us achieve the Alliance mission. 

The Board met in September 2017 and discussed the strategic planning process and timeline. Part of this work is reviewing current Alliance activity to understand impact and resource use. As we consider new initiatives and possible work, we’d like to be able to evaluate both new and existing work within a similar framework. Part of planning for our future is also considering the resources we want to use to engage in all our work, and we hope that this project will help us better understand and prioritize resources when we consider new initiatives in July 2018!

In October, the Board will meet in person, and discuss the SILS Evaluation, how that impacts our new contract with Ex Libris, review job descriptions for Board members, and hear updates on strategic planning and the Dues Task Force. We are preparing for a long discussion at the November Council meeting on the Mission, Vision & Values of the organization. We are working with our facilitator to identify the best methods to engage all members on these discussions – so stay tuned! We really value your input and want to work with our facilitator on timing and mechanisms for input.

We hope you enjoyed seeing information about many of the Project and Standing Groups together in September. Just yesterday the information on the rest of the groups we know about was released. We look forward to your participation. Dana will be supporting two groups directly, both related to our ability to share data in Alma. Please let us know your feedback on this process, as it is new this year. Dana is also busy planning member visits. In October & November, she will visit Central Oregon Community College, Marylhurst University, OSU-Cascades campus, The Evergreen State College, and St. Martin’s University. 

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

Program & Team Updates

Discovery & User Experience

User Testing Toolkit Project Group
DUX appointed the following members to the new User Testing Toolkit Project Group:
  • Holli Kubly, Chair, University of Oregon
  • Hilary Robbeloth, University of Puget Sound
  • Kate Thornhill, Oregon Health and Science University
  • Kathleen Veldhuisen, Chemeketa Community College
  • Kathy Watts, Whitworth University
  • Rebecca Marrall, Western Washington University
This group will focus on building a user testing toolkit to support user testing at Alliance libraries. Stay tuned for future information as the group begins their work this month.

DUX Open Call
The next open call will be on Thursday, October 19 from 10am-11am. The agenda will be available shortly. As a reminder, all DUX open calls are recorded and posted to the DUX Open Call webpage. 

Primo Customization and Standardization groups
Stay up to date with the Alliance's work on the Primo central package as well as the pilot for what a standardized Primo might look like by checking out the updates from these groups in the Systems section below.

Resource Sharing and Fulfillment (RSF)

Annual Account Reconciliation
AAR for this year has been completed, and the checks have sent to owed libraries. Thank you to all participants for making this a smooth process!

RSF Group Recruitment
The RSF Team is has extended recruiting for two project groups: the Fulfillment Project Group and the Analytics Project Group. Please join us! Nominate yourself or a colleague before 5pm Friday, October 6th. More details and a link to the nomination form are here:https://www.orbiscascade.org/sg-pg-recruitment-fy2018/

Alma New UI
Alma New UI known issues are being documented by Ex Libris, and the current list can be found here: https://knowledge.exlibrisgroup.com/Alma/Release_Notes/0099_2017/October_2017

RSF Alma Release Testing and Open Testing Framework Pilot
Do you test a certain set of functions when releases come out? Or have a checklist of things you review? We are currently collecting test scenarios for the Alliance's participation in Ex Libris' Open Testing Framework pilot. Please take a few moments to write up the steps you take, and what you expect (the successful outcome), and submit your tests to Jen Jacobs, who is coordinating this effort for the RSF community, using this Google Form. Thanks, and please be sure to let us know if you are using the classic UI or the new UI when you submit these tests.

Shared Content & Technical Services

SCTS Team & Groups
SCTS is finalizing recruitment for the NZ Manager Support project group and the Norm Rules standing group, and will soon be recruiting for four new groups. Please watch for the new call and consider volunteering. Many thanks to those who volunteered in the last round!

Technical Services Open Calls
Technical Services Open Calls continue to be held on the first and third Thursdays, from 11-12. They are once again being recorded, beginning with the September 21 call that featured a presentation on EBSCO EDI by Damon Campbell (UO).  Recordings are available on the Technical Services Open Calls web page. Please contact Mary Grenci if you would like to make an announcement, give a presentation, or have topics you would like us to cover either in discussions or presentations.  

Ebook Working Group
The EWG continues to work with vendors to manage records for the titles available through the ebook program. A platform migration at T&F has prompted questions. The EWG encourages member libraries to visit the new platform at https://www.taylorfrancis.com and make sure that ezproxy stanzas are updated to reflect the current stanzas found at  https://www.oclc.org/support/services/ezproxy/documentation/db/tandfebooks.en.html 


Documentation Updates
Updates have been made to the following documents:

Alma new UI migration update
Please see resources available on the Systems Team’s documentation page, including a recording of the Ex Libris-led September 20 session demonstrating some workflows in the Alma new UI.

As of today, Ex Libris still plans to remove access to the Alma legacy or classic UI on January 7, 2018. Any updates to this timeline and information on Alma new UI training opportunities will be posted to the Alliance Announce listserv.

Updated Ex Libris and customer presentations from IGeLU 2017
Ex Libris presentations and a subset of the customer presentations from September’s international Ex Libris user group meeting are available online for review:

Primo Customization Standing Group
Group members presented their work on a new extension that allows users to access ILLiad requests and articles from their Primo "My Account" area. For details see the minutes of the October 5th RSF Open Call (Open Calls page) and/or the PCSG GitHub page.

Primo Standardization update
This exploratory group has developed a process for identifying areas for potential standardization. Members initially inventoried the "full record view" as an example, and performed an environmental scan of Alliance institutions live on the Primo new UI to examine differences and similarities in their full record views.

Unique & Local Content

Digital Collections Service Updates
What’s ahead for our LSTA grant this year? Continuing to help Alliance members remediate and contribute at least 50,000 additional digital objects to the harvester, with support from some skilled and dynamic contract staff! But first—next week—we’ll be asking you to tell us what you need to support that work. Find out more. 
Alliance members contributed over 3,000 new digital objects to the harvester in the last quarter—and an additional institution contributed too. Celebrate these contributions and see who’s new here. 
What’s up with digital collections in Alliance Primo? Working on our shared objectives with the Digital Collections in Primo Project Group. Find out more.
Whatever happened with the Alliance’s DPLA hub applicationIt’s in! We’re eager to hear from them—and to see who the new Executive Director at DPLA is. Read more here. 
And before we get too far with this year’s LSTA grant, let’s pause and celebrate what we accomplished with last year’s grant—and what we learned that will inform this year’s projectFind out more. 
Archives West Revision Plans
Over the next three months, as part of our regular plan of maintenance, we’ll be making some changes to Archives West that were recommended by Alliance working groups last year. These changes include addressing accessibility and usability issues, applying Creative Commons licenses to metadata, and addressing some housekeeping. You can see all the details here. 
In early 2018, the Unique & Local Content Team will convene the Archives West Assessment Project Group to evaluate the changes and determine any additional work that may be needed. 
We’re pleased to be able to make these changes, particularly on the accessibility issues, which are of particular importance to our members and participants who are legally and ethically obligated to ensure that all interfaces are accessible to all individuals.  

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.
Back to Blog