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May 13, 2016

Alliance News May 2016

Welcome Dana Bostrom!

The Alliance welcomes our new Executive Director Dana Bostrom on Monday, May 16!

For a reminder of Dana's background check out Board Chair Faye A. Chadwell'sannouncement.

Team Nominations

Today is your last chance to nominate a colleague or yourself for an open position on an Alliance team

Submit nominations via survey by the end of today, Friday, May 16 for consideration!

Program & Team Updates


Primo Assessment Joint Working Group
The Primo Assessment Joint Working Group partnered with Clark College to conduct a usability test of Primo 5 (now known as Primo “new UI") before the May release, and has also been able to measure areas of improvement in the May release. 
Access our initial observations and on page 3 of the Primo 5 Overview.  We’ve also had a chance to review the May release, which shows improvements in many areas of concern from initial usability testing. Here is an update. Green = resolved, Red = still watching, Yellow = local control. 
We have completed analysis of the student demographic data and responses to the ten usability tasks. We still need to evaluate the general comments and notes about jargon. We will share all of this information with you as soon as possible, but want to make sure you have these initial user experience notes to consider going into the May 8th Primo 5 release.
We have more testing to do now that greater functionality is present. Updates to follow, and we’ll keep you posted through the JWG page.
The working group extends heartfelt thanks to Kitty Mackey, Bob Hughes, Zachary Grant and especially the CGT students for their incredible work. Thank you Clark College for being generous collaborators and for sharing your expertise! 


Collaborative Workforce

CW Team
Chair-elect (incoming chair for FY17) Susan Barnes Whyte was elected as chair-elect of the Board! Congratulations Susan! Due to this committment, Susan will assume the CW Team chair position, but will remain as the team's Council Liaison.

The CW Team welcomes Chris Shaffer (OHSU) as our incoming Chair for FY17! Chris was integral to the development of the Collaborative Workforce Model and will bring great administrative experience to the team.

The CW Team is in the final stages of preparing a report on on the collaborative workforce inventory the team performed this winter. The inventory was a first step to analyze Alliance work and map to the Collaborative Workforce Model.

Technical Services Working Group
TSWG approved the YBP EOCR group to continue their work building documentation. The group will also start working on building training around these workflow.

The group reviewed the Authority Control Group released their Phase 1 report (March 2016) and is working to provide feedback to the group as to their next steps.

Technical Services ELUNA Update
The Orbis Cascade Alliance's Al Cornish and Cassie Schmitt met with Ex Libris's Dana Sharvit to discuss progress on the COE: Bibliographic record management (including Network Zone). Status of topics in this initiative will continue to be updated on the COE initiative page.

More detailed information is shared in the ELUNA conference summary in this newsletter. 

Content Creation & Dissemination

Dublin Core Best Practices Approved
The Alliance's Dublin Core Best Practices (formerly known as the Digital Content Metadata Standards) were approved by the Content Creation & Dissemination Team on April 27, adopting the recommendation of the Digital Content Joint Working Group.
The Dublin Core Best Practices are available in the Alliance website. The best practices are the result of two years of work by Alliance groups including:
  • Archive Engine West Working Group, 2014 September
  • Digital Content Metadata Working Group, 2015 September
  • Digital Content Metadata Working Group, 2016 March
  • Digital Content Joint Working Group, 2016 April
Check out the blog post  for all the individuals involved in this effort as well as answers to the following questions:
  • What is the purpose of the Dublin Core (DC) Best Practices?
  • Is use of the best practices required?
  • Do I have to change all the metadata in my DAM or IR?
  • What training will the Alliance offer in metadata cleanup?
  • Will you help me enter metadata in my DAM or IR so that it creates the desired output?
  • My institution doesn’t have time to do this right now. Am I obligated to start doing this work right away?
  • When will we start aggregating content in Primo?
  • I’m concerned about how digital object records will function in Primo. How are we going to address this?

Discovery & Delivery

Primo May Release: Undergoing Testing
The Primo May release is now available on the premium sandbox environments, and includes the latest version of the new Primo UI. Institutions can see the May release version of  new UI using this sandbox URL (replace [INST] with your institution’s VID code):
Institutional customization is now possible, and additional documentation for that process will come from Ex Libris in the next few weeks.
Summit 3 Center of Excellence Initiative Update
The Summit 3 COE is moving forward, with a list of outstanding issues submitted to Melissa Hilbert, Ex Libris' Vice President of Professional Services. More information is available from the Summit 3 COE page on the Alliance website.

Annual Account Reconciliation (AAR) to Begin Soon
This will be the first AAR process where all member libraries are fully integrated into Alma and Summit 3. Much has changed since last year's reconciliation, and theupdated instructions and timeline will be posted to the Alliance website next week.
Discovery and Delivery Team ELUNA Update
The Orbis Cascade Alliance's Ray Henry and Al Cornish; the Discovery and Delivery Team's Lesley Lowery (WWU), Jennifer Ward, (UW), Stephanie Michel (UP), and Kelly Peterson-Fairchild (OIT), and  the System's Team's Nathan Mealey (PSU), Rose Carlson (Reed), and Alex Merrill (WSU), met with Ex Libris Primo Product Managers. Key takeaways:
  • Primo and Summon (ProQuest's discovery product) will both still be in active development. New functions and features will be developed for both systems in parallel going forward, and past improvements in Summon will be integrated into Primo (and vice versa). 
  • Developers estimate they have completed approximately 70% of the production functionality, with the August release targeted for full functionality. The development emphasis for the August release is on accessibility issues, improving the mobile experience, Advanced Search functions, bX Recommender, and consortial support.
More detailed information is shared in the ELUNA conference summary in this newsletter. 

Alliance Primo Usability Testing
The Primo Assessment Joint Working Group (PAJWG), led by chair Michele Burke (Chemeketa), has partnered with Clark College students to conduct initial usability tests with end-users on the Primo February release as part of preparing for the new Primo UI, and has shared those results with the Discovery and Delivery Team. Updates on the project are posted under the Primo 5 Overview section.

Shared Content

E-Resources July 1 Renewals Update
The E-Resources staff expect to complete nearly all July renewals in May so they can be invoiced by the end of the month. Help us reach our goal by monitoring renewal messages, requesting quotes early, and making decisions by the deadlines. 
Wiley E-Book Pilot Launched on May 1
The Alliance's pilot project with Wiley publishers began at the beginning of the month. Patrons at all Alliance libraries can access about 18,000 Wiley titles through Wiley Online Library. Details about the evidence-based purchasing project are available online.
End-of-Year DDA Title Purchasing
Unlike the end of fiscal year 2015, the Alliance's DDA budget was spent slowly this year and we're approaching the end of the year with a surplus. The Ebook Working Group will be using those funds in late June to purchase DDA titles used widely and frequently across the Alliance. 
Academic Complete Titles to be Removed by Ebrary
Our ebrary representative reports that about 600 titles will be removed from Academic Complete on June 15th. Kathi will receive a copy of the title list and all usage, but libraries should also expect to receive a library-specific report from ebrary. To retain access to the titles being removed, libraries will need to purchase them before the removal date of June 15th.


No-PDS authentication
Puget Sound’s Wade Guidry and Portland State University’s Nathan Mealy have taken the technical lead in work to remove PDS (Patron Directory Services) from Primo authentication. Given that most Primo authentication problems are traceable back to the PDS layer, removing PDS is a priority for the Alliance. Earlier this week, Puget Sound successfully brought no-PDS authentication into production, and PSU expects to do so very soon. Currently, the removal of PDS authentication is possible for Shibboleth systems, with CAS and LDAP support expected in the near future. 

Systems Team leadership change
Wade Guidry, current Systems Team chair and Systems Working Group chair during the early SILS migration period, is leaving Puget Sound on May 25. Nathan Mealey of Portland State University, incoming chair, has agreed to step in and take over as chair beginning this week. 
Thank you to Wade for all of his efforts for the Alliance, including service on the 2012 RFP team and as the first chair of the Systems Working Group during the SILS migration period. 

ELUNA Meeting Update

Twenty-one Alliance institutions (about 43 people include three Alliance staff members) were represented at the ELUNA Meeting in Oklahoma City the first week of May. As ELUNA presenter slides and other information becomes available, updates will be posted on the Alliance website.

Nathan Mealey and Al Cornish provided the following summary:
The character of this meeting is changing, with some dilution of the Alma and Primo product focus due to the inclusion of ProQuest products and customers, along with Ex Libris’ increasing focus on higher education beyond libraries (with products like the campusM student engagement service). 
At the meeting, Ex Libris managers confirmed that Alma’s monthly release cycle is set through December 2017. The Alliance is working with other consortia (through a Consortia using Alma group) to engage with Ex Libris on the need to reduce staff impact of monthly releases, particularly in the resource sharing area. As noted in earlier posts, ExL is now performing pre-sandbox release testing on an Alma environment mirroring the Alliance’s. 
For Alma’s emerging digital format support: Since January, Alma has provided support for the storage and management of digital format files. The capabilities are described in Alma help and on the Ex Libris Developer Network. The current storage format for all digital object metadata is MARC 21. According to ExL managers, Dublin Core will be supported as a target and storage metadata format for digital objects in Alma by the end of this summer. Additional information on Alma digital work being performed at an Alliance institution will be posted to the sys-discussion list. 
This year’s ELUNA conference included a one day Developers Day, organized by ELUNA. The initial Developers Day was held at the most recent IGeLU (international user group) conference and was a big success. This year’s ELUNA Developers Day was pretty interesting, with a range of presentations from members, and an in-depth discussion and demo of the new Primo customization package manager. Highly recommended for those attending next year’s ELUNA.
Notable product announcements included:
  • A mobile app for Alma is under development to support staff-side workflows (no timeline announced)
  • In conjunction with the Alma Product Working Group, Ex Libris is undertaking a redesign of the Alma user interface. The design will be aimed at tackling both aesthetic and usability issues, and will use analytics data to prioritize areas of the interface for redesign. Timeline is for release in 2017, and they are seeking development partners now.
  • Lots of info about the new Primo UI (see details below)
  • A few points of integration with ProQuest and Ex Libris products were announced, including:
    • The ProQuest knowledge base will be incorporated into Primo
    • Ideas from Intota will be incorporated into Alma; one cited example was improved acquisitions workflows
    • SIPX and Leganto will be integrated to improve ExL’s course reserves-related offerings
  • Summon and Primo will be maintained as separate products, with separate developer teams
  • COUNTER data collection will be added to Alma in late 2016, replacing the functionality that UStat is used for now. Existing configurations from UStat will be carried over when this functionality is available.
  • Institutional comparators will be added to Alma Analytics, enabling libraries to compare their data to like institutions. Comparison institutions can be selected based on size of student population, holdings, etc.
  • Alma will also include Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for staff-side workflows. Examples included, purchase order processing time, vendor supply time, and request processing time.
More details about the new Primo UI
  • Ex Libris is now officially calling this the Primo New UI, not Primo 5
  • Permalinks made in the current UI will continue to point to the this UI after you launch the new Primo UI (though they pointed to libraries being able to roll something locally to fix this)
  • The new Primo UI is a single-page application, meaning that all of the content and actions are contained within a single screen.
  • August release is on schedule
  • Package manager feature looks pretty powerful, and could yield some real benefits for the consortium
  • (Some?) accessibility fixes will be in place for August
  • A setting for "load more results" in place of infinite scrolling will be added for the August release
  • Documentation for May release will be available in June
  • No sunset date for current UI, and they will continue to provide updates
  • Mashup CSS will still be used to control viewit/getit window(s)
  • May release should be fully configurable in PBO
  • It will still be possible to view the PNX records in the new interface
  • Authentication process in the new UI will use a lightbox-style popup window

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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