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December 15, 2017

Alliance News December 2017

From the Chair of the Board & Executive Director

We wish you the happiest of holidays and the beginning of 2018. The Alliance is ending the year with a great deal of activity.

We’d like to welcome two new Council members: Linda Crook, the Interim Library Director for Lane County Community College, and Dawn LoweWincentsen as the Interim Director for the Oregon Institute of Technology.

We are also welcoming new staff to the Alliance. Amy Wheeler starts as our Finance Manager on January 2, and Lesley Lowery begins as the Network Zone Manager on January 29. We had a long fall of search activities, and we thank all Alliance members and staff for their patience and help during our transition. We owe big thanks to Bob Hoffman, our interim Finance Manager, for his deep insight and help during the last 7 months.

We have a special section on Strategic Planning – please see that for upcoming activities that we hope all members will participate in.

In Council news, the Council met in November and reviewed the voting guidelines for Council meetings, the Dues Task Force report, discussed how we want to work with Ex Libris in the coming years, and reviewed the SILS Evaluation recommendations. The Board meets twice in January, to accommodate the later ALA Midwinter and thus will not meet in February. We’re expecting January Board meetings to review the proposed FY19 Budget, the role of the SILS in the strategic plan, Primo Standardization, and an update from the Collaborative Workforce-Council group. We’re also pleased to have a group working on a Council handbook, to help new Council members better participate. The group includes Isaac Gilman (Pacific), Xan Arch (UP), Ryan Ingersoll (GFU), Lishi Kwasitsu (WP), Kim Read (Concordia), Jane Carlin (UPS) and Greg Mullins (Evergreen).

In the coming weeks, we’ll be releasing a survey to understand your interest in coordinated Alliance-wide testing of Primo and Alma. This was an activity that had wide participation in our early years of adoption, but interest has decreased over time. We want to understand what members would like to do prior to changing any Alliance practice.

We’ll also be releasing several new surveys related to Collaborative Workforce helping us to assess member effort in Alliance work, and what kinds of work we should count outside of Alliance group work. This tool is based on a NASA tool to estimate perceived workload in a few specific areas. There will be further instructions, and an open call, coming soon. Your responses to the surveys will help us all consider how we organize and manage our future work.

For 2018, we are busy making plans for new meetings (we are setting dates for Primo Day, Summit & Fulfillment Day, and Digital Collections in Teaching and Research already!) and are planning a few Reps meetings. Dana will be visiting more members and traveling to ALA Midwinter, ICOLC & a special meeting on shared storage facilities. We wish you a happy & healthy 2018.

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

Strategic Planning Update

In November the Council met, and in December the Strategic Planning Project Group (SPG) met to continue work on the next version of the strategic plan.

We are working with Crux Consulting, who is leading us through a multi-month process using the “Iceberg Model”. There are many versions of the Iceberg Model, but they all essentially convey that there is a great deal to the strategy of an organization that is underneath what you can “see” above the water line. So in November, the Council worked on our core assumptions and what we want to do “all the time.” The Council also examined our mission and vision statements for potential revisions. In March the Council will move one step closer to “above water” by discussing our desired impacts and what the best way is to achieve our mission. All of this leads to our July discussion on what initiatives we’ll engage in during the next 5 years. The initiatives are the visible projects that Teams and Standing and Project Groups engage in. 

The SPG met in December to plan how to best engage members during this process. The SPG is hard at work on a survey to encourage member input on revised Mission and Vision statements, as well as the other Council discussion items in November. We’ll also return later with an opportunity to propose new initiatives that the Alliance would engage in. The first survey will be released in January.

We’d also like to invite you to participate in a special event on March 7 from 3-5 pm. We’ve invited two speakers to lead us in thinking about what the Alliance can do together in these next years. Kristen Eshleman from Davidson College and Lauren Pressley from the University of Washington Tacoma will speak and engage in discussion. This event will be available live for members across the Alliance to join in via GoToMeeting. Please consider coordinating with your colleagues – both at your institution and near you – to participate together. 

Thank you for helping us plan the next 5 years!  We look forward to your participation.

By Project Co-Chairs Susan Barnes Whyte & Michelle Bagley

Copyright First Responders - Save the Dates

Thanks to the award of a John F. Helmer professional development grant and additional sponsorship by Reed College and Western Oregon University, the Alliance Copyright First Responders program begins in May 2018. This comprehensive copyright education program provides librarians and staff with the tools, techniques, and confidence to address the multitude of copyright questions asked every day in academic libraries. Embedded in Alliance libraries, trained CFRs will develop information expertise, create a collaborative network of support among peers, serve as a resource by answering copyright questions and share critical knowledge. In preparation for this professional development event, please mark your calendars and plan to attend:

Information Webinar – February 28 from 9am-10am PST – an introduction to the program. We will answer questions Alliance members may have about what it takes to become an Alliance CFR. Register here for the February 28, 2018 webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the webinar. The webinar will be recorded.

Alliance CFR In-Person Training – May 15-16, 2018 – Portland Community College, Cascade Campus in North Portland. Registration for the in-person training will open on March 1, 2018. If you have questions about the upcoming informational webinar, the Alliance CFR program, or how to become a co-sponsor for the in-person training, please contact one of the Alliance CFR project team: Chelle BatchelorRachel BridgewaterLinda Frederiksen, or Sue Kunda.

Program & Team Updates

Discovery & User Experience

Primo November Release & Holiday Closures
Ex Libris North American support is closed on December 22, December 25, and January 1. The Jerusalem office is open during their normal business hours during this time. System down and system component down cases will receive the support attention as they normally would. More information on the criteria for setting a case as System-Component Down can be found on this page. Cases with major regressions will be addressed on December 26 for Development.

On December 25, two members of the Primo Release Testing Standing Group will do some testing in the morning and file any cases if needed. Al Cornish will be in the Alliance office on December 26 and Cassie Schmitt will be in the Alliance office December 27-29. If you file a case during December 24-25 please add Cassie Schmitt and Al Cornish to your case so that we can follow up that week.

User Testing Toolkit Project Group
UTTPG has made significant progress on our deliverables and will continue to do so through the new year. As a quick reminder, the deliverables are as follow: 

  • Product 1: Curate general resources which may include how to’s, process information, software recommendations, and other relevant information.
  • Product 2: Solicit, centralize, and provide access to sample user testing documentation and summaries of findings from Alliance libraries as examples.
  • Product 3: Prepare sample questions, user tasks, scripts, or other information for libraries to perform user testing on the new Primo UI.
  • Product 4: Prepare and provide resources for instruction and reference staff to perform user testing
  • Product 5: A toolkit that includes Products 1-4 that can be applied across multiple systems/interfaces/areas. 

The group has also submitted two proposals for Online Northwest and ELUNA. More ways to spread this knowledgeable are being developed by the group!

Resource Sharing and Fulfillment (RSF)

RSF Alma Analytics Project Group
The RSF Alma Analytics Project Group held their first few meetings, and the decision was made to break the group into two subgroups: one to focus on a suite of canned reports and a second to focus on the development and coordination of future trainings. Both subgroups are refining what they’ll need to do to complete their goals and the timelines for each deliverable/subgoal.

Fulfillment Project Group
The Fulfillment Project Group has met twice and are excited to move forward on a survey that will determine Alliance members’ needs and desires for training, documentation and best practices in circulation and access services. They are also looking at Alma processes and workflows with an eye to figuring out some of the things none of us have yet had time to figure out - more on that soon!

Summit Standing Group
The Summit Standing Group's documentation in the Alma new UI is now live, and linked from the Resource Sharing & Fulfillment documentation page (please be sure your bookmarks are updated):https://www.orbiscascade.org/rsf-documentation.

The new UI Summit documentation site is here: https://sites.google.com/view/summitdocumentation/home

To request corrections, ask for additional documentation, or to submit documentation, please use the form link at the bottom of the site: https://sites.google.com/view/summitdocumentation/feedback. The documentation for the current UI will remain available until the Alma February release.

RSF Team
The RSF Team is developing a mentorship program for RSF community members. We will be checking in with member library staff soon for your ideas and feedback! More details coming soon.

Alma New UI Resources
Mark your calendars! The RSF Team has moved the open call originally scheduled for January 4. The Team will be hosting a New Alma UI check in call - please join us on Friday, January 12th from 1-2pm.This call is an open Q&A session to follow up after the new UI is enabled by default in the January release to production on January 7th.

Need to know more about the new UI before then? A new page linking RSF-specific resources, including: video workflow walkthroughs in resource sharing and circ, videos from the Systems Team, and Ex Libris resources, is here: https://www.orbiscascade.org/alma-new-ui-resources/.

Shared Content & Technical Services

New NZ Manager
We are pleased to announce that Lesley Lowery will be joining the Alliance staff at the end of January as the new Network Zone Manager. An early welcome to Lesley!

Technical Services Open Calls
Technical Services Open Calls continue to be held on the first and third Thursdays, from 11-12. Recent calls have featured Linda Crook’s presentation on item description templates and a sustained conversation about the new Alma UI. A reminder that these calls are being recorded and made 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
Following the platform migration earlier this fall, the EWG continues to work with Taylor & Francis concerning  a series of unresolved access issues. Problems with accessing T&F titles should be forwarded to Andy Eikhart and Jesse Holden (jholden@orbiscascade.org).

A reminder that the EWG encourages member libraries to visit the new platform and make sure that ezproxy stanzas are updated to reflect the current stanzas.

Normalization Rules Standing Group (NRSG)
The NRSG is continuing to focus on training group members and on documentation of procedures.  They're also prioritizing projects for the next testing and rollout cycle (date TBD)

Cataloging Group
Thanks to Linnea Marshall (University of Idaho), who has agreed to chair this new group! Membership also includes Peggy Firman (Puget Sound), Suzanne Sager (PSU), and Casey Mullin (WWU).

NZ Manager Support Group
The group has been diligently continue work to identify projects, priorities, and resources for the incoming Network Zone Manager, Lesley Lowery.


Systems open call for December
The Systems open call was held on December 13. Topics discussed included the planned Primo November release install on production; a review of the Primo Customization Standing Group’s work; and, topic brainstorming for Primo Day 2018. The recording and notes from this meeting are available online.

Primo Customization Standing Group
One item reported on in the open call:  The Primo Customization Standing Group’s Trello board shows the customizations and extensions that they are creating for the Alliance (and the status of the group’s work on each of them). 

Alma new UI
There was an Alliance information session held on December 14; the recording is available online. This includes a Alma new UI demo by COCC’s Tamara Marnell and some overview information presented by Al Cornish. 

The Alma new UI will be turned on for all users beginning on January 7, when the release is installed on production. More information on this transition is provided in the December Alma release notes (under "New Alma User Interface").

There’s a collection of Alma new UI resources on the Alliance Systems documentation page, under the heading “Alma.” 

Primo Day
Planning for Primo Day has begun. The meeting is tentatively scheduled for June 11th, 2018 at the UO/White Stag Building in Portland. 

The Systems and DUX teams will be assembling a group to help coordinate this event in January. If you have recommendations for Primo Day sessions, please send to Blake Galbreath (blake.galbreath@wsu.edu) and Al Cornish (acornish@orbiscascade.org)

Primo Standardization Project Group 
The Primo Standardization Project Group is nearly finished with its final report. The report will describe the group's work and findings, as well as its recommendation about pursuing Primo standardization across the Alliance. The report will be available by mid-January, and will be distributed for feedback from the Systems and DUX communities. 

Idea Exchange Pilot
Regarding this pilot described in a November 28 Alliance Announce message:  All four Ideas in the voting recommendation have received a significant boost from Alliance members in (AlmaPrimo) voting. Thanks! Look for an update on this pilot in January.

Unique & Local Content

LSTA Grant Progress
We’ve launched the Rights workshop series for Alliance members, beginning with the Risk Management and Rights workshop on December 13. That workshop will be offered again on January 19, and there are still seats available. Watch for more workshops on standardized rights statements and free-text rights statements in February and March. Each workshop will be offered twice. Robin Fay is available to Alliance members who need direct support with digital collections metadata; sign up for a meeting with her here

We’re also in the midst of conducting assessments with the non-Alliance members with whom we will actively work this year to provide training, documentation, and direct support. Those institutions are: 
  • Spokane Public Library
  • Seattle Public Library
  • Washington State Library/Washington Rural Heritage
  • Multnomah County Library
  • Oregon Historical Society
  • Densho
  • Everett Public Library
  • Richland Public Library
  • Whatcom County Library
We continue our coordination work with the Oregon State Library, Oregon Heritage Commission, and Washington State Library, and are on track to complete the census of cultural heritage organizations in Washington and Oregon with digital collections by the close of the grant. 

Discussion Forums Foster Collaborative Decisions
Over the past month, groups associated with the Unique and Local Content Team have held several discussion forums on key topics. By attending forums and participating in the discussions, our members shape our policies and practices so that they are in alignment with their needs and capacity. 

The ULC Forum on Digital Collections (November 16) offered an overview of this year’s LSTA grant work with the project staff, including plans for training and offering means for direct support. A summary and recording of the forum are here; the feedback form is closed. Discussions enabled the project staff to complete plans for support of Alliance members.  

The Dublin Core Best Practices Standing Group held the Forum on Free-Text Rights Statements in Digital Collections on December 6. The discussion focused on refinements to the Alliance’s standards for free-text rights statements in digital collections. These statements complement the standardized rights standards; both are required. A summary and recording of the forum are here; the feedback form is open until close of business on Friday, December 15. 

On December 14, the Creative Commons Licenses in Archives West Project Group held a discussion on applying Creative Commons licenses to finding aids to encourage re-use of descriptive metadata. A recording is available here, and the slides from the presentation are hereFeedback from all participants in the Archives & Manuscripts Collections Service is open until December 22. The project group is on track to complete its recommendations so that we can update the Archives West site, the EAD Best Practices, and put the changes into production in January.

Upcoming ULC discussions will include one with the Digital Collections in Primo Project Group, and an in-person ULC Representatives meeting in Portland in late February or early March.

DPLA Hub Update
With the acceptance of the Alliance’s DPLA hub application last month, we continue to work on next steps: completing our data exchange agreement and officially signing on as members. Then the work on our first data ingest begins. Thanks to the hard work of the members & ULC community, we already have over 70,000 digital objects contributed and ready for DPLA, and will prepare an additional 50,000 objects by June 30, 2018.  We do not have a timeline for the first ingest, but will continue to keep you posted. 

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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