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February 2, 2018

Alliance News February 2018

From the Chair of the Board & Executive Director

We hope you had a happy and healthy start to 2018. The Alliance staff spent some time in January working on internal communication and member communication, the strategic planning process, whether we should remain a distributed workforce, and spent some time getting to know each other! The staff will be in touch with more information about how best we can support communication between and with you as we get further in the process. But there were lots of other activities in January, too.

The Board met twice. They discussed strategic planning, how best to have a conversation about Collaborative Workforce as part of strategic planning, reviewed the proposed FY19 budget, heard a report on Primo Standardization, and reviewed recommendations for next steps with our Finance Team and reserves. With ALA Midwinter in February, the Board will not meet in February. The Board will next meet in March with the Team Chairs, the Team Chair-Elects and the Program Managers to review all the existing Alliance work to begin the process of assessing how that work fits into our new strategic plan. We’ll also be launching a process where any member across the Alliance can submit new ideas for Alliance work. Watch for more details in mid to late February, and for the process to begin in March! We received over 170 responses on the Mission Vision Value survey, so the Strategic Project Planning Group is carefully reviewing that feedback as they plan next steps. We are excited about this robust start to our strategic planning process.

We also welcome Tom Bielavitz, the Interim Dean of Libraries for Portland State University to Council.

We do hope you have marked your calendars for March 7 from 3-5 pm to participate in a presentation from Kristen Eshleman (Davidson College) and Lauren Pressley (UW Tacoma). Think about getting together with colleagues from your library or other nearby libraries and using GoTo Meeting together! Elizabeth will release details soon.

We appreciated all the feedback on the Testing Alma & Primo survey, and the staff are working on next steps. Stay tuned for more in February and March.

Dana has enjoyed her visit to Pacific University (both Forest Grove & Hillsboro campuses!) and may see you soon at Linfield College, George Fox University, Oregon State University, Seattle University, Mount Hood Community College or Clackamas Community College! Or you may see Dana at ALA Midwinter or the ULC Reps meeting.

Wherever your February finds you, we hope it is happy, productive & healthy!

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

Program & Team Updates

Discovery & User Experience

Reference & Instruction Survey
The DUX Team has released a survey for reference and instruction librarians and your use of Primo. The DUX Team will be analyzing the responses so that we can assess ways the Alliance can better support Reference and Instruction staff. Recommendations might include, but are not limited to, creating recommendations for improvements to the system, training, documentation, hosting online or in-person events, communication changes, or other types of support.

The survey is open to anyone at an Alliance institution that performs reference and/or instruction work. The survey will close at the end of business on Friday, February 16.

Primo February Release
The schedule for the Primo February release is as follows:

  • February 11: release instead on sandbox environments
  • March 2: Go/no-go vote due
  • March 11: release installed to production

The Primo Release Testing Standing Group will be sending out additional information on how members can pro-actively get involved with testing the release.

Accessibility Group with NWACC
Members of a joint group between the Alliance and NWAAC have been pointed to explore how our organizations can work together on accessibility. Members of the group include:

  • Kun Lin, Whitman College - Alliance - (co-coordinator)
  • Gloria Doherty, George Fox University - Alliance
  • Marianne Colgrove, Deputy CIO, Reed College - NWACC (co-coordinator)
  • Ann Harris, Assoc. CIO, Univ. of Portland - NWACC 
  • Sasi Pillay, Vice President and CIO, Washington State Univ. - NWACC

The group will begin meeting in mid-February.

DUX Open Call
The next DUX open call is on Thursday, February 15, 10am-11. The agenda will be available shortly and will include information about the Primo release testing process.

Resource Sharing and Fulfillment (RSF)

RSF Team
The team is completing phone interviews with RSF institutional representatives as the first stage of developing an RSF mentorship program. Results of the survey and next steps will be shared on a future open call and on the Alliance website.

This month's RSF Open Call reviews tested functionality from the January and February releases. PSU's Molly Gunderson and SOU's Kate Jones will share their local processes and policies for serving distance students.

Alma Analytics Project Group (AAPG)
The AAPG has been working in the two main areas of their charge: developing canned reports, and developing Alliance-specific training resources. Pilot dashboards for resource sharing reports and fulfillment reports are being tested and developed, and the group is reaching out to other consortia to explore potential training models.

Fulfillment Project Group (FPG)
The FPG has drafted and is now refining sets of questions for stakeholders to understand both shared documentation training needs in Access Services/Circulation departments across the Alliance, as well as opportunities for deeper collaboration in those areas.

Shared Resources Joint Project Group (SRJPG)
The SRJPG is inventorying existing institutional patron satisfaction and workflow assessments around shared resources (Summit, ILL, or other systems), and is reaching out to institutions that have recently done surveys or assessments in these areas. If your institution would be interested in sharing this data, please contact Ray Henry at rayhenry@orbiscascade.org. The group is also examining Alma (and other) analytics reporting that could reveal additional relevant information.

Summit Standing Group (SSG)
The SSG tested the Alma February release, and reports that impacts to resource sharing and fulfillment are minimal. A known issue with proxy patrons (and the related workaround) was reported on ALMA-L, and shared with the RSF community. A reminder that this release, scheduled to be installed on production on Sunday, February 4, marks the final cutover to the Alma new UI. Summit processing documentation has been updated to reflect the changes.

Shared Content & Technical Services

New NZ Manager has arrived!
Welcome to Lesley Lowery, who started in her new Alliance staff role as Network Zone Manager on Monday, January 29!

Technical Services Open Calls
Technical Services Open Calls continue to be held on the first and third Thursdays, from 11-12. Recent calls conversations have touched on the role of technical services in supporting Open Educational Resources and questions about the Alma enhancement process.

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 Standing Group
The ESG is anticipating receipt of usage data in February from the second year of the Wiley ebook plan, and plans to make selection decisions in March.

Normalization Rules Standing Group (NRSG)
At the end of January, NRSG bid farewell to Lesley Lowery, long-time working group member and past chair. We are grateful for the expertise and enthusiasm Lesley brought to NRSG, and look forward to working with her in her new position as Network Zone Manager.
NRSG continues to focus on training new and current members, in order to increase capacity and knowledge about normalization rules. We appreciate the patience and understanding of Alliance library staff as we concentrate on providing NRSG members opportunities to expand their expertise in order to support shared discovery.
Please mark your calendars for February 19-23 for normalization rule testing in the Primo Premium sandbox. Specific details about rule changes will be released the week of February 6 and NRSG will give presentations at the Systems, DUX, and Technical Services open calls the week of February 12. The new rules will be added to Production Primo the week of February 26. Please note the dates for the following renormalization/reindex processes: Primo Premium sandbox: February 12-15/16; Production Primo: March 5-8/9.

Cataloging Standing Group
The Cataloging SG has held their initial meeting in January. In the coming weeks, they will be identifying potential first projects. Several ideas are already being discussed, so stay tuned!

NZ Manager Support Group
Thanks to the members of the NZMSG, who have put so much effort into preparing for Lesley's arrival: Tami Wilkerson, chair (OHSU), Maria Wagner (PCC), Kyle Banerjee (OHSU), Karen Highum (UW), and Kelley McGrath (UO). The group will continue to meet periodically in the coming months as the work of the new NZ Manager gets underway.


Ex Libris product enhancement processes
Alma and Primo requests can be submitted to NERS, the user groups’ enhancement tracking and voting system until February 10 (for Alma) and February 17 (for Primo).

Information on the Alma enhancement process was posted to Alliance announce on January 25. The requests submitted by the Alliance and member institutions are being tracked on this sheet.

Expect the call for participation on Alliance groups that will support collaborative voting for the Alma and Primo cycles to go out soon. Please volunteer if you’re interested and able to serve.

ELUNA 2018 will be held in Spokane, Washington. For the Ex Libris-led Technical Seminar on April 30 and May 1: The schedule and other information has been published to this site.

For the conference proper (May 1-4):  If you’re planning to attend and haven’t registered for a hotel room, it’s a good idea to do this at this time. Visit this site for more information and to reserve a room. Registration for the user group conference will open in March.

Idea Exchange
Have you submitted an Idea to the Idea Exchange? Please let the Systems Team know so that we can track Alliance-supported submissions. We have created a simple form here for you to input your submission metadata.

Unique & Local Content

Reminder: Discussion Forum on Objectives for Digital Collections in Primo
We have over 38,000 digital objects in the Premium Sandbox and can work on known issues to make them function better….but is Primo “ready" for digital collections? Will our users find more of what they need, or will the numbers be overwhelming?

As we move forward with the work to pipe digital objects into Primo through the Alliance Harvester and a single shared pipe, it is essential that the Alliance has a shared understanding of what success look like; these objectives are designed to help us develop that understanding.

Please plan to join the Digital Collections in Primo Project Group for a discussion of the shared objectives for digital collections in Alliance Primo onThursday, February 8, at 1 PM PST:
  • Description:Forum on Objectives for Digital Collections in Primo Thu, Feb 8, 2018 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM PST Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/849020917 You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (786) 535-3211 Access Code: 849-020-917
Project Group members Ann Lally, Sara Amato, Dan Oswalt, and Philip Vue will present an overview of their work, the group's draft objectives, and share their plan for testing with end users and Alliance member staff. 

The session will be recorded, and we'll provide feedback channels for anyone who attends and/or watches the recording.  We look forward to a lively discussion!

Alliance Harvester Contributions October-December
As part of the continued work in the Alliance's Digital Collections Service, we continue to review sets contributed to the Alliance Harvester for inclusion in the Digital Public Library of America, Alliance Primo, or both. 

Comparing harvester contributions as of December 31, 2017 against the previous counts from September 30, 2017, we find very modest contributions in this quarter. Under the terms of our LSTA grant for this year, which is funding continued workshops, direct support, and revision/expansion of documentation, Alliance libraries need to remediate and contribute another 50,000 digital objects to the harvester by June 30, 2018.

If you need assistance with either new contributions or making corrections to previous contributions, please contact Robin Fay, Metadata Analyst. 

Digital Collections in Teaching and Research Project Group Appointed
The ULC Team made appointments to the Digital Collections in Teaching and Research Project Group, which will be active from now until early June. Members are:
  • Janet Hauck (Whitworth University), Chair
  • Maurice Blackson (Central Washington University)
  • Justin Wadland (University of Washington--Tacoma)
  • Angie Beiriger (Reed College)
  • Sarah Seymore (University of Oregon)
The group will create a one-day in-person conference the weeks of May 21 that provides a forum for librarians, curators, and cultural heritage professionals in the Northwest to explore the present and future of teaching and in-depth research with digitized primary sources. We will announce the day and location shortly.

ULC Representatives Meeting: Agenda Available, Please Register by February 16
The Unique & Local Content Representatives will meet on February 28, 9 AM to 5 PM, at the White Stag building, room 142/144 in Portland, OR. We look forward to seeing all ULC Representatives or their designees. 

By preparing for and participating in this meeting, ULC Representatives will be better informed about Alliance and ULC activities, and better able to serve their key functions as communications liaisons.

ULC representatives have a chance to speak on behalf of their institution on key issues in the ULC program, including: 
  • Review of current offerings in the ULC program (initiatives review) 
  • A change to consider proposing new initiatives that support the needs of unique and local content users and curators 
  • Understand the current use of user personae in the ULC program, and help to create revisions and additions that reflect current user audiences.
In order to participate productively in these discussions, Representatives are expected to thoroughly review the preparatory materials they receive before the meeting, discuss the agenda with all relevant individuals and units in their organization, and come prepared with an institutional perspective on the issues at hand. 

If you have logistics questions, please direct them to Elizabeth Duell. But before you ask: There will be plenty of strong coffee and tea.

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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