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February 3, 2017

Alliance News February 2017

From the Chair of the Board & Executive Director

Thank you for persevering through our very tough winter so far. We’ve together managed Courier delays, missed phone calls and tough weather. Let’s hope we’ve seen the worst.

The Board met in January and meets again next week. In January, the Board discussed the Collaborative Workforce Committee Contribution Report, following up on the Council recommendation in July to examine how roles are counted. The Board also reviewed the Board election process as well as reviewed Council feedback about the November meeting, assessing what we could improve for future Council meetings. The February Board meeting is just a week away, and a significant portion is dedicated to goal setting for FY18. Team Chairs, Team Chair-Elects and Program Managers will join the Board for a several hour session to collaboratively plan next year’s goals and activities. Other key topics include review of the draft FY18 budget, and updates on the accreditation project, HR transition activities and the SILS evaluation. 

We would like to officially welcome Linda DiBiase as our interim program manager for Shared Content. With Kathi Fountain’s departure, we are pleased Linda can work closely with the E-Book Working Group and Shared Content Team. Linda joins us part time, while also working part time at the University of Washington.

Michelle Bagley (Clark), Jane Carlin (Puget Sound) and Marilyn Moody (PSU) join Dana in conversation with the Northwest Academic Computing Consortium (NWACC) as we look for ways we can work more closely together in the future. These conversations are the beginning of a long planning process, as both organizations will begin strategic planning processes soon and incorporate our ideas into these planning exercises. 

Speaking of planning, lots of it is happening at Alliance headquarters! We are beginning work on Summit Day in the summer, and a session on the new Primo user interface, among other activities. Alliance staff are also getting ready to hit the road. You’ll see us at ELUNA, PRIM, ACRL, and Online Northwest, just to name a few acronyms. We hope to see you at all of these events!

Later this month, the Courier RFP Committee meets to hear presentations from finalists and make a recommendation to staff for a new contract. Service under the new contract is expected to start July 2017, and we plan to give an update to Council in March.

The staff have been busy working on all things related to the HR transition. Over the last months we’ve been working on a brand new employee handbook and picked a company to work with us on our health and insurance benefits. There is more to be done, but these are major milestones along the way. 

On a final note, The SILS Evaluation Survey is coming! Watch for it in the next month and work with your member survey manager to provide your input! This month beta testers will be looking at it and giving feedback.

Lynn Baird, Chair of the Board and Council
Dana Bostrom, Executive Director

Program & Team Updates

Collaborative Workforce

CW Team
Coming out of the late November Council meeting the name of the Collaborative Workforce Model FY16 Benchmarking Summary was changed to the Alliance Committee Contribution Report. The CW Team was charged to work with the Board to revise the report methodology to give more credit for roles that have multiple responsibilities, such as a Team member who also serves as chair of a Working Group and to work with the Board to identify additional Alliance groups that should be included, such as sandbox groups. The CW Team has provided information to the Board that is under review.

The CW Inventory Working Group developed a proposal to assist the Alliance in gathering information about contributions by Alliance institutions including:
  • Capturing information about involvement and contributions by member library staff outside of formal team roles/structure
  • Capturing information about team work (W2 work) across the Alliance in an inclusive and consistent way
  • Assessing the workload of teams and their members
  • Identifying areas of intense member work
The Board will review this proposal in February and provide feedback before a discussion by Council in March.

The CW Expertise Working Group has been working on creating requirements for a "skills database" that will be integrated with the Alliance website. We envision this as a one-stop resource for Alliance members for consultation, mentorship, and training. After upcoming consultation with our CMS provider, SiteCrafting, the group will roll out additional information and solicit feedback.

Technical Services Working Group
  • The Alma February Release will be installed to production on Sunday, February 5 after a two week testing period.
  • You can find highlights of interest to technical services with comments regarding results from sandbox testing in this summary document.
Network Zone Management
Milly Williams ended her work as NZ Manager for Technical Services in late January. We are extremely grateful for Milly's work and to PCC for their contribution. Unfortunately, we have not identified anyone who wants to work on the entire role as Milly and Bob Thomas (WWU) did. However, a few Alliance members have agreed to manage some components of this role:
  • Karen Highum (UW) will continue managing deletions in the NZ and resolving multi matches. Please continue to contact Karen by email for these requests. 
  • Tom Larsen (PSU) will continue his involvement with the COE Initiative: Bibliographic Record Management (including NZ). We may ask others to provide feedback on initial designs from Ex Libris in the coming months. We expect to have an update on the status of this COE out to the community soon.
  • Abby Bibee (Reed) will be testing selected aspects of new monthly Alma releases that may have an impact on the NZ and/or interaction between the NZ and IZ. Abby will provide information to TSWG as needed to inform policy, best practice, or other actions based on testing results.
  • The Alliance's Curtis Wyant will continue monitoring import jobs and downloading failed records. 
The Board and Council will be reviewing the need for paid NZ staffing in February and March, respectively. 

NZ Database Maintenance
Karen Highum's (UW) has been keeping statistics in her role in managing deletions from the NZ on behalf of the Alliance. From July 2016 through January 2017 Karen has fielded 576 requests from 28 institutions for a total of 7,429 records. These numbers under represent the volume of requests and records Karen managed for this period as we did not begin tracking requests from her own institution until November. We want to thank Karen for her work in this area and helping to make the NZ more accurate and reliable.

New policy approved
TSWG approved a new policy for Cataloging Titles on Electronic Readers.

TS Representative Outreach
TSWG would like to thank all representatives and member staff for sharing their thoughts on how the Alliance can improve services. TSWG will begin discussing the common themes and share back out a summary to the community.

Open Calls
As a reminder the technical services open calls schedule is available on the TS Open Calls page. The next open call on February 16 will include a presentation by TSWG's Mary Grenci (UO) on boundwiths.

Content Creation & Dissemination

Digital Collections Initiative Progress
The Alliance’s digital collections initiative is in the midst of furious activity and much progress. 

In January, the Digital Collections Working Group and Metadata Applications Librarian Anneliese released the first tools to support Alliance members in metadata remediation to meet the Alliance’s Dublin Core Best Practices, Version 2.1: In February, we’ll hold our first workshops to support digital collections work: Metadata Readiness, which supports the evaluation of metadata using the checklist and tools listed above; and Rights, which supports determining copyright status of materials and applying standardized rights statements. We’ll be asking Alliance institutions to indicate their level of commitment to remediate and aggregate digital collections before June 30. We’re also having “power users” of ContentDM or Digital Commons test the beta version of the digital collections harvester

We’re seeing outstanding work from Ms. Dehner and the members of the Digital Collections Working Group. We are grateful for their work and for the support of the Oregon State Library’s LSTA program this year. 

Look for more documentation and training opportunities in March!

ArchivesSpace Implementation Progress
The ArchivesSpace implementation is moving along nicely.  Also, three institutions are doing the test migrations with LibraryHost this spring in order to better prepare for migrations that are expected to be more complex. We’ll also begin to prepare for Cohort 2 (July-December 2017) and Cohort 3 (January-June 2018). 

Draft Statement of Principles for Unique and Local Content Under Discussion
The Content Creation & Dissemination Team released a draft of its Statement of Principles for Unique and Local Content on January 10. This document fulfills a portion of the CCD Team’s FY17 goals: Facilitate a coordinated approach to discovery of unique collections in the Alliance Primo environment.

Drawing on the Shared Content Team’s successful creation of a statement of principles for collection development last year, the project is to develop a statement of principles that provides a framework for the Alliance and its member libraries as they engage in the curation, preservation, creation, and dissemination of unique and local content. The project recognizes that while unique and local content enriches the collections of Alliance libraries, and often requires investment in labor, tools, and other resources on par with commodity content, there is not currently consensus as to the appropriate role that Alliance standards, resources, shared work, or decision-making could take in supporting members’ work with such content. As such, the project focuses on high-level organizational matters including, but not limited to: the role of the consortium and of individual institutions in developing approaches and best practices; consortium and local resources devoted to unique and local content; and opportunities for consortial work and systems to add value for institutions, their students, and their priority researchers.

The Team held an open forum for the CCD community on January 18; a recording is available. The statement will next be circulated to other teams and working groups for comment and discussion. 

Unique Collections in the SILS Issues Identification Moves to Solutions
The Unique Collections in the SILS Working Group released its report, Enhancing Unique Collections in the SILS: Issues and Source(s) Identificationand held a productive open forum with the CCD community on January 19; a recording is available. 

The report represents months of work and interactions with the CCD Representatives and other Alliance teams and working groups to identify the issues with how unique physical materials represented in the SILS with MARC records function in terms of discovery, search, and display. Since all Alliance libraries have unique materials to some degree, these are issues that affect all member libraries and their researchers. 

The working group is now meeting with other teams and working groups in order to identify and move toward solutions that may include changes to metadata, system settings, or taking issues to Ex Libris.

Discovery & Delivery

Primo February Release
The Primo February release is scheduled to be installed on the Alliance's premium sandbox environment on Sunday, February 12th. Release notes can be found on the Ex Libris Knowledge Center page. Look for more information soon from the Primo Release Testing Working Group.

Primo Release Testing Working Group
The D&D Team is is pleased to announce the appointment of Bill Kelm (Willamette University) as the PRTWG's Chair-Elect. Bill has been a very active member of the WG since its earliest days, and we're excited to have someone with so much experience to continue the group's critical work. Thank you, Bill, and congratulations!

Primo Reference and Instruction Meeting
The Primo Reference and Instruction Meeting (PRIM) Organizing Committee:

  • Amy Blau, Whitman College
  • Kristin Henrich, University of Idaho
  • Ben Hunter, University of Idaho
  • Kael Moffat, St. Martin's University
  • Doris Munson, Eastern Washington University
  • Ben Murphy, Whitman College
  • Aimee Quinn, Central Washington University
  • Sara Thompson, Oregon State University

extend a Call for Proposals and invite you to attend the second PRIM at Central Washington University's James E. Brooks Library on March 20th. PRIM is a meeting of librarians in the region to share ideas, practices, and knowledge. More information can be found on the PRIM 2017 website, as well as the instructions and form for submitting proposals. We hope to see you there!

The Alma February release was installed on the sandbox environment on January 22nd, and will move to production on Sunday, January 5th. This is the first release with the expanded two-week testing window. Resource sharing and fulfillment updates, as well as related Alliance case information, can be found in this summary document.

Courier RFP
The Courier RFP Committee has selected two finalists, who will deliver in-person presentations on Friday, February 24th, at Lewis & Clark College in Portland. Courier service stakeholders will be invited to attend, and those presentations will also be live streamed and recorded. More specifics about the presentation day will be shared widely soon.

A password-protected page has been created on the Alliance website where these links and recordings will be posted, and that information (and the credentials to access it) will also be shared with the Alliance and the entire courier community shortly. Community feedback on the finalists will be solicited using a feedback form, linked from the same page.

Shared Content

New Interim Program Manager
On January 9 Linda Di Biase joined the Alliance staff on a temporary, part time basis to support the work of the Shared Content Team, to manage the ebook program, and to support electronic resources management. Margarita Wickham will continue to handle electronic resources renewals. Ebook access problems should be reported via the eresources@orbiscascade.org email, and they will be triaged to the appropriate person to handle. Many thanks to Ebook Working Group members Abby Bibee and Tom Larsen for assisting with ebook troubleshooting.

Removal of Cambridge and Oxford titles in the DDA
This month 2,222 Cambridge University Press and 108 Oxford University Press titles were removed from our EBL DDA, in response to new publisher short term loan embargoes that affected all Cambridge titles and the latest 12 months of Oxford titles. This represents about 30% of our DDA content pool as of December 31. A small number (160) Cambridge titles were retained that had been used since January 1 or were close to being triggered for purchase, as were about 650 Oxford titles that are not subject to the embargo. The removal of so much DDA content from our top 2 publishers is prompting a consideration of other alternatives for shared ebook access and ownership.

Ebook Central Migration
The EBL and ebrary platforms will migrate to a combined Ebook Central platform on February 21. Representatives of Proquest are contacting each member library with institution-specific information about what the migration entails. A couple of Alliance-wide training webinars will be announced in the near future about the migration.

Last Copy and Three-Copy Threshold Guidelines
The Shared Content Team hosted a Representatives meeting on January 26 to review the latest draft revisions of the Alliance Last Copy and Three-Copy Threshold Guideline documents.  After suggestions from the meeting are incorporated, the documents will be forwarded to Executive Director for review.

Shared Content Team Proposed FY2018 Activities
The Team developed its proposed activities list in support of Alliance FY2018 goals. The document will be reviewed along with other Team submissions at a February 10 Board, Team Chairs and Program Managers meeting which will focus on Alliance goals for the next fiscal year.


Alma February release
The Alma February release will be installed on production this Sunday, February 5. The release information is available online.  

Primo New UI Meeting this June
The Systems Team, in collaboration with the Discovery & Delivery Team, will be organizing a Primo New UI meeting on June 12th at the White Stag building in Portland. The goal of this meeting will be to help Alliance libraries prepare and strategize for their migration to the new Primo UI, through customizations, configuration, and rollout planning. More info should be forthcoming shortly.

Alma enhancements update
The Alma enhancements process is underway! On January 29th, the window for submitting new NERS (enhancement submission and voting system) enhancements began, with a deadline of February 11th. As in past years, the Systems Team will be organizing the effort to determine how best to allocate the Alliance’s enhancement votes. That process will begin in mid-March, after the Alma Enhancements Team creates the first round ballot. 

Alliance teams have been reviewing past requests for their functional areas and submitting them for entry into NERS as Alliance-level cases. All Alliance-level cases from teams are expected to be submitted to NERS during the day on Monday, February 6. At that point, the Alliance's Curtis Wyant will post to the Alliance ELUNA representatives list informing them that the team submissions have been completed. The remainder of the week will be an opportunity for institutions to submit any needs not covered by the Alliance requests as institution-level requests.  

For any questions, contact Curtis at the Alliance office. 

Alma UX timeline
Ex LIbris’ Dana Sharvit performed a demonstration of the Alma user interface during a recorded web meeting on February 1. During the session, Dana described the 2017 timeline for the new Alma user interface rollout:

  • August:  Installed on Alma sandbox environments, with no option to disable

  • September:  Installed on Alma production environments

    • New user interface can be turned on or off at the institution level

    • If new user interface is turned on at the institution level, it can be turned off (or on) by individual users

  • December:  Use in Alma production environments will be mandatory for all users at all institutions

    For more information, including a recording of the February 1 demonstration, see the Alma UX page on the Ex Libris Knowledge Center.

Next Open Systems Team Call
The Systems Open Call for February will be scheduled - dates for this and later calls are being adjusted to better map them to the System Team meetings. Updates on this will be posted to the sys-discussion listserv.  

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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