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July 2, 2018

Alliance News July 2018

From the Chair of the Board & Executive Director

On behalf of the entire Council, we’d like to thank Alliance membership, and especially Teams, for their hard work on the strategic plan so far. The 300 responses to the Initiative survey was amazing, and the Board and Teams found the feedback very useful. As Council prepares for the July meeting, we are excited to establish a new vision for the Alliance, backed by your feedback.

July 2018 also marks the beginning of FY19, so we thank the FY18 Teams and Groups. Those individuals will be recognized in a special edition newsletter this month. In the meantime, we sincerely thank you for all you’ve done this year for the Alliance!

Other topics at Council this July include a proposal for Summer Meeting 2019, big projects for FY19 (including membership dues and Alliance governance), and an update on the new Ex Libris contract amendment.

After the July Council meeting, Michelle Bagley, PCC, will become Chair and we will welcome new Board members Natalie Beach, Chemeketa Community College (Chair-Elect), Dena Hutto, Reed College (Treasurer), Amanda Clark, Whitworth (Secretary), and Members-At-Large Jeff Gayton (SOU) and Betsy Wilson, UW. They join continuing Board members Susan Barnes Whyte, Linfield (Immediate Past Chair) and Members-At-Large Isaac Gilman, Pacific & Xan Arch, UP. The Alliance staff will work on organizing the work approved by Council, and the Strategic Planning Project Group writing subgroup will work with the Teams and program managers to develop the final version of the strategic plan. We will also share other updates such as plans for the summer meeting.

Included in this newsletter are the e-mails released earlier about management of Alliance central staff work and plans for Marylhurst’s departure from the Alliance. The email on management of Alliance work includes a description of the Teams and Groups will that will continue this summer and fall. If you have any questions, please contact Dana Bostrom.

Dana enjoyed seeing so many members at ELUNA, Primo Day, and the Digital Collections in Teaching and Research event. A big thanks to Eastern Washington University for co-hosting ELUNA, and to Suzanne Milton and her team for hosting such a fabulous reception for ELUNA Alliance attendees! There were over 100 members from Alliance institutions present, many presenting formally in sessions, and all teaching and learning. We hope to see many of you in Atlanta next year. Dana also visited Western Oregon University recently, and is planning fall visits to some of the members in our eastern and southern regions.

Michelle Bagley, Chair of the Board and Council
Susan Barnes Whyte, past Chair of the Board and Council
Dana Bostrom, Executive Director
Staffing Contact Update: Interim Support for Systems & ULC

With the departures of Curtis Wyant and Jodi Allison-Bunnell, I’m writing to let you know how we’ll manage work that they led on behalf of Alliance central staff.  I hope that this is a clear and comprehensive guide, but in case there are questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

Systems-area work:
  • Interim Program Manager: Dana Bostrom will work with the Team.  Most groups will meet independently, with the help of Elizabeth Duell.  The Primo Central Package Management group will continue to meet and work on projects.  Paul Ojennus, Systems Chair, will update and maintain the Central Package as appropriate.
  • Marylhurst Departure activity: Lesley Lowery, Network Zone Manager, will lead the technical part of this work for the Alliance central staff. We'll have a separate email with more details on that soon.
  • Alma Enhancements Project Group: Lesley Lowery is providing Alliance support for this group.
  • Primo Enhancements Project Group: Cassie Schmitt will provide Alliance support for this group for the second round of voting.
  • Confluence documentation project: The Systems Team will continue to lead this.
  • Sandbox refreshes: As these occur every 6 months, we don’t expect one until the end of this year, at the earliest.  Lesley Lowery will be responsible for setting up any necessary accounts for new sandbox testers.
  • Alma Release Notes: Jesse Holden, Shared Content & Technical Services Program Manager, will lead this.  However, depending on the July Council discussion, we may consider reducing central support for this.
Unique & Local Collections (ULC) work:
  • Interim Program Manager: Cassie Schmitt will work with the Team and its standing groups to support ArchivesSpace, Archives West, and essential functions of the Digital Collections Service. For those of you who don’t know, Cassie has an extensive background in archives and special collections, particularly with collection management and metadata.
  • DPLA Ingest: We plan to complete the initial ingest to DPLA by the end of 2018, and are in the process of identifying a suitable contractor to lead this. We have a number of good options and feel confident that we will find the right fit.
  • Digital Collections in Primo: We are also identifying a suitable contractor to lead this work.  
Much more specific plans for ULC support will be sent to the specific communities over the next few days and documented on the ULC blogs and the Alliance website.

This summer we had already planned reduced Team and Group work, and had been working on refining how to manage this work since January 2018.  This pause in activity is to allow Teams to easily plan and transition into the new strategic plan. The link (on the second tab) shows what work will continue over the summer / fall.

The Alliance has also brought on a Managed Services Provider to help us with our back-end IT needs, and we will likely talk with them about taking on some of the other ULC systems work in the future.  

Finally, the Systems Program Manager Search Committee has scheduled phone interviews with selected candidates, and we hope to be able to announce, early in July, interview dates for finalists.  Finalists will be tentatively scheduled to interview with the Alliance July 21-23, 2018. We welcome your participation.
Marylhurst University Update

We’ve heard questions from many colleagues from across the Alliance about how they can help Marylhurst, and what they should do to change their work. Since we are in a shared system, we’ve been carefully considering this and working with Ex Libris and Nancy Hoover and her team to develop a plan. We are now at the point where we can share more details. 

Marylhurst is closing just after Labor Day, and the campus will permanently close September 30, 2018.  Details:

  • Network Zone: We have filed a case to have Ex Libris work with us on removing Marylhurst from the Network Zone. Fortunately, they have removed institutions from Network Zones before. We expect Marylhurst to be removed from our Network Zone on September 10.  As noted in yesterday's email, Lesley Lowery is the Alliance staff lead on this.
  • Borrowing/Lending: They will cease to borrow and lend on July 9. But they still can receive materials back past July 9.  After July 9, they may "manually" request items via Alma that are necessary for student or faculty research and check them out to patrons with shortened loan periods (to ensure materials are returned well ahead of the closure). Likewise, if after July 9 there is something in their collection that an Alliance member needs, please reach out to them to borrow it. Their last day for Courier Service will be Friday September 7.
  • Collection: Marylhurst has 15,000 unique ​print items and they are working on how to provide access to them.  They are also working with YBP on the possible transfer of ownership of their e-books​. ​
  • Digital collections in ContentDM: Marylhurst has several collections of digitized scholarship including Art Gym Exhibition Catalogs and Master's Theses. ​ ​An Alliance library has already been in touch with Nancy about ​transfer of these collections.
  •  Electronic Licensing: Nancy has worked with Jesse Holden and his team to manage these licenses.
  •  The Council already voted on management of Marylhurst’s remaining fees.

Thank you for your patience, and support for Marylhurst’s users and staff. We know that we all wish them well.

Program & Team Updates

Discovery & User Experience

Membership update
Thank you to all the members of the DUX Team, the Primo Release Testing Standing Group, and the User Testing Toolkit Project Group this year!

Thank you to outgoing chair Molly Gunderson (PSU) for her willingness to step up into this role in September and her excellence leadership of the DUX Team. We welcome current team member Anne Pepitone (UW) who will serve as the new chair of the team. Molly will join the other members of the DUX team and continue their service until the end of the calendar year.

Thanks also to Natalie Beach (CCC) for serving as our Council Liaison (and before DUX Natalie was the liaison for the Discovery & Delivery Team.) Natalie will rotate off as she is now the chair elect of the Board. We're excited to welcome Jane Carlin (Puget Sound) as our new Council Liaison. 

Primo Release Testing Standing Group 
The group helped facilitate information sharing between Ex Libris and members regarding new releases. They proactively tested new functionality and submitted cases to expedite solutions before releases were installed to production. The group developed new workflows for testing including opening up all the testing documentation to all Alliance members and encouraged sharing of testing results and case information. We are lucky that the group members have agreed to continue through the end of the calendar year!

User Testing Toolkit Project Group
The group has completed their work and disbanded. The group collaboratively created the User Testing Toolkit to assist libraries in improving their user testing processes. The group completed this on a short timeline and has provided the DUX team with suggestions for adding onto the toolkit in the future. You can see their final report.

Primo Day 2018 Recordings Available
Primo Day occurred on June 11, 2018 focused on post-migration issues such as accessibility and customization. There was also a break-out session for libraries that have not yet switched to the Primo New UI.

The recording of the whole day is available on the Primo Day schedule webpage.

Thanks to the planning group and all the presenters for their work in making a successful day.

DUX Open Call
The DUX Team will have more information in July about summer open calls. In the meantime, you can view the agendas and recordings for the June open call on the DUX Open Calls webpage.

Resource Sharing and Fulfillment (RSF)

RSF Team
The RSF Team for FY19 would like to thank the outgoing and incoming members of the Summit Standing Group, the RSF Analytics Project Group, the Fulfillment Project Group, and the Shared Resources Joint Project Group, as well as all of the mentors and mentees in the RSF Mentorship Pilot Program

An additional special thank you to the Sarah Stevenson, outgoing chair of the RSF Team and creator of the RSF Mentorship Pilot Program!

Reminder: This year's Summit & Fulfillment Day will be held at Clark College in Vancouver, Washington on Friday, August 3rd. The schedule of presentations and presenters can be found here: https://www.orbiscascade.org/summit-fulfillment-day-2018, including the full S&F Day schedule, lodging and transportation information, and the registration formRegistration closes July 13th - don't forget to register, and we'll see you there!

Alma Analytics Project Group (AAPG)
The AAPG has submitted its final report, and has completed two large RSF analytics dashboards - one focusing on fulfillment and one focusing on resource sharing, along with comprehensive documentation for use and customization. More information about how to get to them and how to use them will be shared at Summit and Fulfillment Day.

Fulfillment Project Group (FPG)
The FPG has completed their work, submitted their final report, and are wrapping up the final pieces of a proof-of-concept documentation site for course reserves, as well as an online directory of colleagues with expertise in various areas of fulfillment. Once that work is done, it will be linked from the RSF documentation page.

Shared Resources Joint Project Group (SRJPG)
The SRJPG has submitted the Executive Summary of their survey results and initial analysis, and will be posting a final, in-depth analysis and report the week of July 2. Both documents will be linked from the RSF documentation page once the final report is completed.

Summit Standing Group (SSG)
The SSG has also submitted its final report, and has been testing the Alma July release (installed to production Sunday, July 1st), which has the "real time requestability" check. Patrons requesting Summit items in Primo can now see an indicator that Alma is checking in the background for requestable items when they open the request form in Primo. Requesters will still be able to submit a Summit request, even if no resource is found - this is important, especially for institutions with an "ILL as last resort" lending partner. The SSG will continue to test and make recommendations for best practices in this area, and will update the Alliance documentation. The SSG and RSF Team are excited about this large step towards improving the Summit requesting experience, and look forward to feedback on this functionality from Alliance institutions.

Shared Content & Technical Services

Cataloging Standing Group
In June the SCTS Cataloging Standing Group sent out a survey to the TS representatives at each member library regarding current cataloging practice on the inclusion of faceted terms and the newer MARC fields for those terms. Twenty-seven libraries submitted responses. We believe this will provide us with some excellent data to direct our development of cataloging aids and guidelines designed to increase the use of these fields among Alliance members. These terms have potential to substantially enhance discovery in Primo. We would like to thank everyone that contributed to the survey. We know it was long and detailed, and we appreciate the effort it took to complete. It’s a pleasure working with colleagues who will take the time to respond.
Ebook Standing Group
The ESG is continuing to review ebook proposals from several content providers and expects to finalize a decision regarding a replacement for T&F later in July. Thanks to all the Shared Content Reps who completed the recent ebook survey!
News from the NZ
The GPO Project Group has made its recommendation on the shared loading of records for electronic and physical resources from the Government Printing Office (GPO). The SCTS Program Manager, NZ Manager, and SCTS Team Chair will be reviewing the recommendation in the coming days and coordinating the next steps of that project.

We would like to take this opportunity to bring the members of the GPO Project Group to your attention. 
  • Rami Attebury (University of Idaho), 
  • Abby Bibee (Reed College), 
  • Karen Highum (University of Washington), 
  • Tom Larsen (Portland State University), 
  • Karen Stephens (Central Washington University)
Each member volunteered to serve the group on short notice, and during a time when they had many other tasks at hand. Every member of the group has contributed consistently and helpfully to our discussions and research on GPO data sources and member interest. It has been a real pleasure to work with them on this project, and I hope that you will join me in thanking them for their hard work!

The marking of members' bound-with records in the Network Zone is complete as of July 2nd. Institutions are reminded that records that are part of new bound-with relationships in Alma should be marked with the MARC 979 "NZ boundwith record" marker.  

Since bound-with records are now marked to protect them from deletion, the following NZ projects have also been advanced as of July 2nd:
  • Cleanup of childless bibliographic records in the NZ.
  • Re-loading of multi-match error records from 2015-2017.


Primo Day 2018 Recordings Available
Primo Day occurred on June 11, 2018 focused on post-migration issues such as accessibility and customization. There was also a break-out session for libraries that have not yet switched to the Primo New UI.

The recording of the whole day is available on the Primo Day schedule webpage.

Thanks to the planning group and all the presenters for their work in making a successful day.

Primo Customization Standing Group
Recently released updates include chat widget, Alma mashup cookbook, add custom action, send SMS, and show/hide Summit libraries revision.

For more information: see the group's webpage.

Primo New UI
 27 Alliance institutions now use the Primo new UI as their primary search service. As a reminder, the Primo new UI manual is available to support institutional migrations and improvements to the new UI.

Unique & Local Content

Recognizing the ULC Team
This was the first year for the Unique & Local Content Team, at least with that name: They carried on the work of the Content Creation & Dissemination Team, which was active the previous two years. 

The Team and its component groups accomplished a great deal this year, including:
So let’s hear it for all the Team and Group members!

Archivists' Toolkit: We're Done!
Today marks the end of seven years of supporting Archivist’s Toolkit at the Orbis Cascade Alliance. The last AT installations that we host have been migrated, the remaining databases backed up, and the AT documentation and training removed from the Alliance website and the Archives West utility site.
We’re now fully migrated to supporting archival collection management with ArchivesSpace! 

The Alliance began supporting AT in 2011 as part of the Emergent Archival Programs in the Northwest grant funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Because hand encoding EAD in XML requires a specialized skill set that is difficult to acquire or maintain as an "archivist of many hats," supporting AT was an essential element to enable smaller institutions with less than full-time archives staff to make their “hidden collections” available through Archives West. In 2012, we co-developed an AT training series with the California Digital Library. That training series allowed us to debut a flipped classroom approach that better supports adult learners through interactive, hands-on workshops supported with recordings and written documentation. We've continued to use this style of training for EAD, digital collections--and, of course, ArchivesSpace! It’s been two full years of developing all of our own ArchivesSpace documentation and training and facilitating twenty-eight AT migrations or AS implementations. We've confronted the mysteries of the Top Container and learned that some fields should have only numerals. None of this would have been possible, of course, without the skill and generous contributions of all the members of the Archival Collection Management Standing Group and its predecessor, the Archival Collection Management Working Group

Members of those groups:
  • Eva Guggemos (Pacific University) (chair in 2016)
  • Sarah Shipley (Seattle Municipal Archives) (chair in 2017)
  • Zach Selley (Lewis & Clark College) (current chair)
  • Amber D’Ambrosio (Willamette University)
  • Rachel Thomas (George Fox University)
  • Mark Carlson (University of Washington)
  • Nathan Georgitis (University of Oregon)
  • Steve Duckworth (Oregon Health & Science University)
  • Conor Casey (University of Washington)
  • Tatiana Bryant (University of Oregon)
I’m particularly pleased that, over the course of the migration, the ACM Working/Standing Group has been able to consistently attract skilled new members and allow those who have already served to rotate off.

Thanks as well to LibraryHost, which hosts most of our AS installations, for their skilled support and commitment to making ArchivesSpace hosting affordable for all institutions!

Harvester Contributions Top 100,000
With a flurry of contributions (and a great deal of work by Metadata Analyst Robin Fay) over the last week, the Alliance's digital collections harvester now has over 100,000 digital objects for DPLA, Primo, or both. Hearty congratulations to all of you for braving the choppy waters of rights statements, RDA, and Digital Commons administration to make this all happen!

A special thanks to Robin for lending us her expertise over the last few months. Her one-on-one support has been invaluable. And thanks as well to Leigh Grinstead for teaching our digital collections workshops!

Leigh and Robin's work was supported with a grant from the Oregon State Library's LSTA grant program. We are grateful for their support over the last two years, which has funded the development of the Alliance's digital collections documentation and training. 

ULC Team Endorses Objectives for Digital Collections in Primo
The Unique and Local Content Team endorsed the Objectives for Digital Collections in Primo in its meeting on Monday, June 18.
The Digital Collections in Primo Project Group created the recommendations as part of its work this year. They are the culmination of two years of user testing and research on how to first define a successful approach to digital objects in shared discovery, and to make progress implementing it. The first question we heard about digital collections in Primo was, "Will that work?" The objectives define what we mean when we say whether it "works." 

At a high level, the objectives propose the following for including digital collections successfully in shared Primo:
  • Enable discovery of all materials held by Alliance libraries in one space.
  • Centralize digital collections aggregation through the Digital Collections Harvester so that members can stop piping things individually if they choose.
  • Include digital collections in the general search scope by default rather than breaking them out in a separate category, but allow institutions to opt in or out according to their needs and preferences. 
  • Ensure that the pathway to the digital object is clear in both search results and the item record. Specifically, provide a means for access from both text and visual links.
  • Incorporate nested facets for Resource Type. Card sort testing suggested top level facets of Images, Maps, Text, Video, Audio, and Software, with more specific terms nested in those top-level categories.
  • Provide standardized and free-text rights statements, and make the standardized rights statements available as a facet.
  • Consider the identity of the institution as secondary. End users do not care which institution holds a particular object if they can access it online unless they need to pay or request permissions. However, the institutions do consider this an important matter, and that needs to be accommodated.
The full text of the objectives is available here, and on the group's webpage.

The group also presented a recommendation, which the Team endorsed, to continue work on digital collections in Primo with a small-scale pilot with three to four institutions. We will release more specifics on how that work may continue in the interim period (July-December 2018) as we clarify the staff and resources available to do so.

Many thanks to the members of the DCP Project Group for their thoughtful and focused work! They are:
  • Ann Lally, University of Washington, Chair
  • Sara Amato, Willamette University
  • Philip Vue, University of Portland
  • Dan Oswalt, Lews & Clark College
  • Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Alliance (ex officio)
Thanks also to Josh Duffy, a University of Washington Information School student, for lending his expertise to the group!

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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