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December 2, 2016

Alliance News December 2016

From the Chair of the Board & Executive Director

We hope you had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving, and have festive times planned for the end of the year. We are just ending our November Council meeting, and wanted to share the highlights.

The most impactful change for all members is that we will NOT hold a single Summer Meeting, as we have in the recent past. The Council identified some needs for some smaller, more distributed meetings, and so the staff and Teams will be working on what topical and regional meetings we want to plan for Fiscal Year 2018. With so many members considering moving to the new Primo UI this summer, there was a strong desire for a meeting focusing on this subject – but there are more meetings to come. Please let Dana or the program manager you work the most with about your suggestions!

The Council heard updates on Hathi Trust and Data Sharing, both which will require action in the future. Hathi Trust will be incorporated into future strategic planning, while we’ll be planning some additional policy work to support Alliance-wide data sharing. We’ll need policies governing patron privacy and access to the Network Zone, for example. There will be more to come on both of these in the new year.

The Council also considered, and approved, a proposal to clarify how we appoint people to Alliance groups. In the future, we’ll make the nature and timing of groups more clear, including:
  • Changing the Names. Teams will become Steering Teams and many Working Groups will become Standing Groups and other, smaller scope groups will become Project Groups. We’ll have more details in the future – but this is designed to help you understand how long you’re engaged on a topic and what your role is.
  • Criteria Clarification.  Making criteria for group participation more clear.
  • Timing Adjustment. We’ll appoint teams earlier and encourage them to start planning for the following year earlier as well.
  • Group Announcement. Announcing almost ALL groups that will be formed during the fiscal year at once, allowing members to better select which group(s) on which they want to participate.
There is certainly more work to do in making the appointment process more clear, but we hope that this is a good start!

We also had an update on the work a small team, led by Jane Carlin (UPS), is doing to develop more structure for the John F. Helmer Professional Development awards. You’ll see a call for proposals in Spring 2017, so look for more information soon!

Much of the meeting focused on Collaborative Work, since that is an important theme of the Alliance. We talked about how to accurately “count” participation in Alliance work, and examined information from a survey which gave us a first look at member staff, and how their work is distributed. We have considerably more work to do in clarifying how to best count, and “judge” how much collaborative work is enough, or too little! But this is exciting, important work for the Alliance to lead.

During our discussion on the “Don’t Touch that Dial” article mentioned last month, the Council was interested in tying future discussions of where to collaborate more with our strategic planning process. We did focus on “how many Primos” is too many? And talked about the upcoming new Primo interface, and whether there was opportunity for more similarity there. It was clear from the discussion that there are numerous needs that each member uniquely fills, making “one Primo” challenging, but perhaps enabling other kinds of analysis and sharing of efforts.

The Council also examined the latest update on the SILS Evaluation, DPLA & the Human Resources Task Force. (See later article for the SILS Evaluation update) The Council decided to keep our current Board election process and established Ground Rules for discussions. It was a full, productive meeting, and we are already looking forward to the discussion in March!
Lynn Baird, Chair of the Board and Council
Dana Bostrom, Executive Director

Shared ILS Evaluation

The SILS Evaluation project was approved in July 2016, and the new Coordinating Team talked with Team Chairs about the implementation plan just before Thanksgiving. We’ll be working with small groups who will help define and clarify specific areas of analysis, and will release a survey for each member to submit in the Winter. The project will identify high-level issues that we should address  -- some soon and some later. Our goals remain focused on what is improved and what is a degradation to our work, and our collaborative work. You can find more information on the web page as well as look for a call for participation soon!

Program & Team Updates

Collaborative Workforce

CW Team
Both the CW Inventory Working Group and the CW Expertise Working Group began ramping up their activity over the past month. We expect to have a progress update for both groups in January.

Technical Services Working Group
  • The Alma December Release will be installed to production on Sunday, December 4.
  • The release also includes a "sneak peak" section for the January release.
New Staff Training Group for Serials has formed! The group will be chaired by Mary Grenci (University of Oregon), who will also serve as the TSWG liaison. Group members include: Kim Colvin (Washington State University), Julianne Hoppen (Whitman College), and Karen Spence (Portland Community College). The group's first meeting is in December.

Incorrectly merged bibliographic records
You can now report incorrectly merged bibliographic records directly to Karen Highum (UW) who will work to resolve the issues.

COE Network Zone Update
As part of our COE Initiative in September 2016 the Alliance provided Ex Libris feedback on errors and bugs with functionality for the automation of record merging and moving all inventory data to the retained merged record in the NZ. Ex Libris released new code to resolve these issues with the November hot fix. Milly Williams and Tom Larsen have been diligently and thoroughly testing to determine what issues have been resolved and which still remain. We will have a more in-depth status update on all the issues in this initiative in the next few weeks.

Open Calls
As a reminder the technical services open calls schedule is available on the TS Open Calls page. The last open call of 2016 will take place on Thursday, December 15 from 11am-12pm.

Content Creation & Dissemination

Unique Collections in the SILS
The Unique Collections in the SILS Working Group, under the leadership of Eastern Washington University’s Rose Krause and Western Washington University’s Elizabeth Joffrion, continues its work on identifying issues with unique collections in the SILS. They have a well-formed issues list and are beginning the process of working with Alliance teams and working groups to identify potential solutions. 

We will hold an open forum on January 5 to discuss the group’s findings. The meeting information for this will go out later this month. The forum will be recorded.

Digital Collections Implementation Plan
The implementation plan for our digital collections initiative—which includes metadata remediation and harvesting for aggregation in DPLA and Alliance Primo—is out and under review. With three successful discussion forums completed mid-month, the Digital Collections Working Group will meet on December 5 to refine the plan based on the thoughtful feedback we’ve received. 

The initiative is on schedule to enhance existing infrastructure and deliver documentation and training so that Alliance institutions can begin metadata remediation in February.

With Council approval for the CCD Team to complete an application to become a DPLA hub for Alliance members, subject to budget approval in March, we’re on track to complete all of our goals. 

A shout-out to the members of the Digital Collections Working Group and most especially to our Metadata Applications Librarian Anneliese Dehner, for their work on the implementation plan.

ArchivesSpace Implementation 
On December 1, the Alliance began the next stage of its implementation of ArchivesSpace. The nineteen institutions in Cohort 1 will participate in training, prepare their Archivist’s Toolkit installations for migration, and will be using ArchivesSpace in production by the end of June.

ArchivesSpace is the successor to Archivist’s Toolkit, which the Alliance has supported since 2011. After careful consideration of options, we’re pleased to move forward with the next phase of our two-year implementation that will offer all participants in the Archives & Manuscripts Collections Service well-supported access to the tool in support of archival collection management. Look for the release of the Alliance’s ArchivesSpace documentation and the beginning of training in December! Kudos to the members of the Archival Collection Management Working Group under the leadership of Pacific University’s Eva Guggemos, for their work on the documentation and training!

For more details on the implementation, see the ArchivesSpace Implementation page. 

Discovery & Delivery

Pending approval from the Discovery & Delivery Team, the Primo November Release will be installed to production on Sunday, December 11. As of this release, the Primo Release Testing Working Group also summarizes and shares Alliance-reported issues with the release. For more resources, see the PRTWG documentation page, which includes links to release notes and feedback from Alliance libraries.

The Alliance Primo Customization Joint Working Group (APCJWG) continues to work on consortial interface customizations in the new UI. Testers have discovered a bug that is preventing additional testing, and the WG has reported this issue to Ex Libris.

A subset of D&D Team members is investigating options for engaging the D&D community around accessibility and usability, and will share more information on December's Discovery open call scheduled for 12/15. The Team will also have updates on the release, as well as the new UI customization work.

Testing of the December Release continues this week in resource sharing and fulfillment areas. This appears to be a relatively light release for these areas. Jesse Thomas, D&D Team Chair, has created and shared documentation on features and functions in this release. The Delivery open call on 12/1 covered these notes, as well as using work orders, troubleshooting Summit requests, and an Analytics Report of the Month. The call recording and agenda can be found linked from the D&D Open Calls page.

The Summit COE  met with Ex Libris and the University of Georgia System to investigate the Fulfillment Network, Ex Libris' other model for resource sharing. 

The Summit WG wrapped up their survey of Summit processors, and would like to thank the 36 respondents for all of the great feedback they shared. These responses will be analyzed, summarized, and key points shared back out with the community soon. The WG is also reviewing the rota on schedule, and will suggest changes to the D&D Team shortly. Barring any issues, rota moves will be shared the week of December 12th, and will be implemented the first week of January.

The Courier RFP Committee is in the final review stages of the RFP before publishing. Publication will be announced widely, once the review is complete.


Shared Content

Wiley and YBP Update
We have final confirmation that Wiley and YBP have been unable to come to terms to support the Alliance’s Evidence-based Pilot through GOBI holdings. The Alliance and Wiley agreed to terms last spring without YBP and that proved an insurmountable obstacle for this year’s pilot. Both parties will be included in contract renewal conversations next spring so that YBP can participate if the pilot continues for a second year.
As a result of this decision, YBP will stop profiling Wiley’s evidence-based pilot in GOBI, so libraries will be responsible for duplication checking locally. Shared Content Representatives will receive more details later today about the impact of this decision, so contact your representative if you need clarification.
E-Books Data Updates 
DDA Wiley E-Resources Product Updates
The staff are racing to complete the journal package renewals and have begun tackling February and March database renewals. All January 1st database renewals have concluded and should have been invoiced. The status report for outstanding journal packages is as follows:
  • ACS – Pricing under review by libraries
  • ACM – Awaiting pricing from vendor
  • Cambridge – Awaiting final pricing from vendor
  • Oxford – Review concluded, pricing finalized, and invoices forthcoming  
  • SAGE Premier – Packages selected and license terms are under review
  • SpringerNature – Packages selected and awaiting license from vendor for review
  • Wiley – Shared cancellations determined, and Wiley finalizing pricing with libraries


Alma December release
The Alma December release will be installed on production on Sunday, December 4. Information on this release is available in the Ex Libris Knowledge Center.

December Alma Release Feature: Institutional Analytics Profile
A key feature of the December release is the addition of an institutional analytics profile for each library. This feature will facilitate the comparative benchmark analytics that are planned for the February release, enabling libraries to compare their Alma data to that of similar institutions.

Following the installation of the December release, Alma staff users with the General Administrator role will be prompted to set up an institutional profile each time they sign in to the system, and this prompt will re-occur until the institution has set up a profile. For libraries that are undecided on whether to set up a profile and contribute data, it is possible to select “No” for the question on contributing data or not when you are defining the profile. This can be updated later, if a library decides to begin contributing data.

The Systems Team will continue to work with Ex Libris to fully understand this feature, and in particular how data will be effectively aggregated and anonymized. The Team will share relevant info with the Systems community as we learn more.

At this point, the Systems Team recommends that all Alliance libraries do the following in preparation for the installation of the December release on Sunday:

  1. Alert all staff users with the General Administrator role that they will begin seeing the prompt to set up an institutional profile after the December release is installed on production this Sunday.

  2. Review the section of the release notes regarding this new feature, in order to make an institutional decision on whether to contribute data or not.

    1. To contribute data, select the Yes option, complete the form, and save it.

    2. To not contribute data, select the No option and save it.

Alma enhancements cycle for 2017
The University of Oregon’s Ann Miller (who serves as Alma Enhancements Coordinator for the Alma Product Working Group) will be posting information soon to ALMA-L on the 2017 Alma Enhancements Process. The cycle calendar will be roughly the same as in 2016. However, the bulk of past Alliance- and institution-submitted Alma enhancement requests will be deleted from the NERS system. The Systems Team will be reaching out to other teams soon on the approximately 200 past Alliance and Alliance institution submissions that will need to be reviewed prior to the request submission deadline, which is around February 11. Additionally, the Alliance’s Curtis Wyant is performing an analysis of Salesforce cases to identify additional requests that need to be submitted to NERS. Stand by for more information soon from Nathan and Al on this enhancements process.  

Primo Hackathon
IGELU/ELUNA will be hosting an online Primo Hackathon December 12th-16th. The weeklong virtual conference will explore how to customize and develop with the new Primo UI, and include some of the following topics:

  • Learn how to apply your university's colors and logo to the environment
  • Build custom headers and footers
  • Insert recommendations or book reviews from sources other than bx
  • Query an externally hosted RESTful API and deliver the results within the user interface
  • Change the request/service pages in a some way
  • Team-up with other developers to collaboratively build a feature. E.g., some may choose to develop a resource-sharing/ILL availability feature for BorrowDirect

People interested in attending can sign-up here: https://igelu-eluna-siwg.signup.team/

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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