Program & Team Updates
A-Team Establishes Liaisons to other Teams
As per the decision of the Alliance’s Board of Directors in November, and in order to increase communication and embed assessment across all Alliance teams, the Assessment Team has established the following liaison relationships with other Teams:
- Lynn Deeken, Seattle University, Content Creation & Dissemination Team
- Meredith Farkas, Portland Community College, Collaborative Workforce Team
- Rob Bohall, George Fox University, Discovery & Delivery Team
- Kate Cabe, Western Washington University, Shared Content Team
- Michele Burke, Chemeketa Community College, Systems Team
A-team members will attend the meetings of other Teams on an as-needed basis as determined by the Team chair, staff liaison, or Assessment team member, to assist with discussions and initiatives that benefit from an assessment framework or perspective.
The Assessment Team is currently deep into a review of the current literature on Ebooks, including the volume that was released at the Charleston conference. With a charge to complete an end user focused assessment of the Alliance’s Ebook program this year, the Assessment Team is carefully looking for the best niche in which to work. With all the excellent literature about this rapidly-changing landscape, we don’t want to re-create the wheel!
The CW Team completed work on a template to gather information on collaborative work across the Alliance. The team met with all the team chairs and program managers to kick off the project. It is expected that the CW Team will evaluate the submissions in January and identity any patterns or areas where further exploration of work assignment may be useful.
The CW Team will be looking for a new team member to fill a vacancy so stay tuned for an announcement shortly!
The New Staff Training Group for Acquisitions is seeking your input on a draft of training topics for acquisitions. Please comment in the document or send any thoughts to Morag Stewart, chair of the group by December 18.
Technical Services Working Group
The group reviewed the following reports and recommended review and follow up action by the Shared Content Team:
Two reports were submitted to TSWG that will be reviewed at the December 8 meeting:
Content Creation & Dissemination
ArchivesSpace Pilot Reports Available
The Archival Collection Management Working Group of the Content Creation & Dissemination Team has completed its report on the ArchivesSpace pilot and recommendation to the CCD Team.
Want more information about ArchivesSpace and participating institutions’ experiences in the pilot? Come to one of the webinars the group is hosting in December:
Tuesday, December 8, 10 Pacific/11 Mountain/9 Alaska
Thursday, December 10, 1 Pacific/2 Mountain/noon Alaska
Last, but not least....you need to know how much this may cost! That’s a question on which the CCD Team has not yet made any decisions—and will not without input from all institutions that participate in the Archives & Manuscripts Collections Service. The question of ArchivesSpace implementation is wound into the FY17 budget process. All A&M Collections Service participating institutions should expect more information on potential costs and a chance to make choices between now and the end of January as we work on the FY17 budget.
Digital Content JWG Releases Report on Surveys on DAMs/IRs, unique materials in SILS, and Review of Draft Metadata Standards
The report contains the following recommendations:
The report will inform the following efforts:
- The inventory of DAMs and IRs will move to the Alliance’s documentation center, when available, so that Alliance members can update the information there (thus eliminating the need for future surveys on this subject)
- The number of DAMs, IRs, amount of customization, and number of fully open digital objects will inform the CCD Team’s work on proposing a DPLA hub for Alliance members
- Current and desired practices for managing unique materials in the Shared ILS will inform the DC JWG’s work on recommending development of shared practices
- Desires for managing digital objects in Alma will inform the Center of Excellence work on digital objects
- Feedback on the draft digital content metadata standards will inform needed revisions to that draft and further higher-level conversations on the shared vision for aggregating digital content at the Alliance in fulfillment of the Strategic Agenda.
Discovery & Delivery
Ray Henry Starting as Discovery & Delivery Program Manager January 25
As you may have heard, Ray Henry has accepted the position of Program Manager for Discovery & Delivery and will be taking on the position on January 25, 2016. She has already begun working with the D&D team and staff at the Alliance to help her toward a smooth transition into the role. Please join us in welcoming her. She will be a wonderful addition to the staff of the Alliance!
Primo Renormalization/Re-indexing in December
The Primo Premium sandbox will be renormalized and re-indexed beginning on December 14 at 1:00am Pacific Time. The process should complete by early on December 17. Ex Libris has made a configuration change that should prevent most of the problems we have seen with the Primo eShelf during the re-indexing phase, which takes place during the last 40-48 hours of the overall process.
If all goes well during the sandbox process, we will initiate a renorm/re-indexing for Primo Production on December 28 at 1:00am which should be complete by early on the morning of December 31. This will enable the newest additions and changes to the normalization rules that have been tested and approved by the Normalization Rules Working Group.
Primo November Release: Testing and Installation to Production
The November release of Primo was installed in the sandbox environments on Sunday, November 22. The Primo Release Testing Working Group has been conducting testing of the release and, after consultation with the Discovery & Delivery Team, will be making a go/no go decision on whether to install it in the Production environment on Tuesday, December 15. If the decision is to go, it will be installed on Sunday, December 20.
"Collection Development Guiding Principles" Poised for Review
The Shared Content Team is finalizing an initial draft and will be distributing the draft to the representatives early the week of December 7th. The document is intended to help inform local collection development practices within our shared consortial collection. Watch for a message from Mike Olson, chair of Shared Content, for more information.
E-books at the Alliance
The E-Book Working Group
will hold an open call on December 10th
to discuss alternatives to our demand driven acquisitions project. Shared Content Representatives and their colleagues are welcome to join the call. Credentials and related documents will be shared with the representatives early the week of December 7th
The problem of false Alliance DDA hits in Primo was mentioned in the November issue of this newsletter. Ex Libris corrected the underlying problem, so this should no longer affect patrons. As always, send your reports of inaccessible titles to Kathi Fountain
, who is currently maintaining the DDA records in Alma.
Licenses in the Network Zone: Testing
A working group
in Shared Content is exploring the mechanics of providing licensing information in the Alma Network Zone. Our goal is to help simplify management of shared resources, but we're starting small by testing in the sandbox and refining processes before full scale implementation in the live environment.
Alma release information
This week, the Alma December release is installed on sandbox environments - the release will be installed on Alma production on Sunday morning, December 6. One point of interest: Ex Libris has now stated monthly release dates through the 12 months of 2016. This is significant, in terms of testing expectations for 2016.
Testing of PDS removal from Primo authentication
Wade Guidry and Nathan Mealey are currently testing no-PDS (Patron Directory Services) authentication in the Alliance Primo premium sandbox, on Shibboleth. The first successful test of Shibboleth occurred on Dec 2. You can see an example presentation of no-PDS authentication on the UPUGS sandbox
. Additional testing is still needed, after which results and guidelines will be shared in January. This is critical work, because most of the Alliance's Primo authentication problems have been traceable back to PDS.
Support case activity for Alliance/member institutions
Ex Libris Support is currently putting a number of Alliance and institution cases into a Pending Work Plan status. This is how the Pending Work Plan cases are managed by ExL Support: "Cases in Pending Work Plan status will be reassessed by Support and Development periodically. If the assessment results in the issue moving into the work plan, the Case status will change to Development. If the Case is not moved into the work plan after 24 months, the Case will change to Closing status."
Note that it is possible to appeal this decision for a case, though you should be selective in doing so. In April, ExL Senior Support Manager Brian Noone wrote: "I also want you and your colleagues to know that as described in the Pending Work Plan announcement, you have the option to tell us that you don’t accept Pending Work Plan status for a case, and ask us to put the Case back into Development status. If you choose to do this, just update the Case to indicate that you don’t think Pending Work Plan status is correct for that particular Case, and ask for it to be handed back to Development."
Please contact Al Cornish if you have any questions on this status or case management.
Primo Toolkit Working Group update
The Primo Toolkit Working Group has begun creating documentation and step-by-step instructions for the customizations that will be included in the finished, published toolkit. In the end, based on the results of our survey to the Alliance, we'll be including 29 items that cover a range of functionality improvements and how-to guides. The goal is to make these available to everyone in late-January/early-February. Thanks to all of you who responded to our survey!
Center of Excellence Analytics - Systems update
Wade and Mary Galvin (University of Oregon) have been pursuing, loosely under the Analytics COE, some alternative methods for constructing period comparison and rolling period reports in Alma Analytics. Wade shared a write-up on a new rolling period technique
. Meanwhile, Mary has discovered some new rolling period approaches, which can be seen in report examples available in the Alma Analytics community folder at: Shared Folders Community Reports Orbis Cascade Alliance Systems.
Systems Open Call for December
This month's Systems Open Call will be on Wednesday, December 9, from 1 PM to 2 PM.