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February 5, 2016

Alliance News February 2016

Executive Director Interviews

On behalf of the Executive Director Search Committee, I am pleased to announce mid-February interviews for three outstanding Executive Director candidates. Please remember these interviews span 3 days for each candidate. More details about the candidates is available on the Orbis Cascade Alliance website on the Executive Director Interviews page. 
Roger C. Schonfeld
Director, Library and Scholarly Communication Program
Ithaka S+R
New York, NY
February 14-16
Dana Bostrom
Executive Director, Data Commons
Arlington, VA
February 15-17
Bonnie J. Allen
Dean of Walker Library, Professor of Library Science
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
February 16-18
There will be live streaming of the presentations from the White Stag building in Portland. Recordings of presentations will also be available. Following the interviews, the process will look like this: the search committee will collect and compile evaluative comments from our community. The committee will then create a report with recommendations for the Board. The Board will discuss the report and make the decision of whom to hire; ultimately the Board chair will pursue the actual negotiation for hiring.  
Just to remind you: Our search team:  Betsy Wilson, chair (University of Washington), Lynn Baird (Chair Elect; University of Idaho), Scot Harrison ( St. Martin’s College), Jeffrey Gayton, (Southern Oregon University), Cassie Schmitt, (Orbis Cascade Alliance staff representative). We have been ably assisted by Elizabeth Duell. I want to thank all of these folks for their work on this effort thus far.
Faye A. Chadwell, Chair of the Board and Council

New Members on the Horizon

Membership in the Orbis Cascade Alliance is a big deal. We all know this but imagine what it is like to consider becoming a member for the first time. Generations of Alliance Council members have contributed to a very complete set of membership criteria and the process of applying includes an application form, letters from the library director and chief academic officer, planning for technical migration, the preparation of cost estimates, and a site visit by Board members and the Executive Director that includes a presentation and various meetings with the applicant library director, staff, and provost or other chief academic officer. All this work typically takes a year or more and culminates in a Council vote on each application.

The Alliance has not offered membership since the University of Idaho joined in 2011 and the application process was frozen during Shared ILS migration so Council’s recent approval of two membership applications is all the more momentous:

Whitworth University
Whitworth is located in Spokane Washington and they are already engaged in an Alma migration that should be complete this summer. Director Amanda C. R. Clark says the staff is very excited to be joining us and they hope to finalize membership very soon.

Clackamas Community College
Clackamas CC is located in Oregon City and currently uses the III system. Library Chair Sarah Nolan says that planning for migration is underway and the college is enthused about moving forward as soon as possible. We estimate that migration will be complete in the summer of 2017.

Both of these new members will bring unique collections and a skilled staff to our collaborative efforts. In addition, Clackamas rounds Alliance coverage in the Portland area and Whitworth represents an important additional presence in eastern Washington.

Look for official announcements and a welcome message as memberships are finalized.

Assessment Updates

Assessment Team and Alliance Assessment Plan
The Assessment Team is looking forward to working with all Alliance Program Managers and Team chairs on February 11 on the Alliance’s Assessment Plan. The plan, which will be completed by the end of the year, will promote the culture of assessment at the Alliance and could form the basis of a common data set.
Primo Assessment Joint Working Group
The Primo Assessment Joint Working Group is hard at work preparing to assess Primo 5 on behalf of Alliance institutions. With a preliminary release this month and full functionality in May, the JWG will test and describe the extent to which Primo 5 solves known issues in order to advise Alliance members on implementation and timing.
The group has drawn from many existing sources including Priority Support Issues, items that received top ELUNA votes, customizations identified by the Primo Toolkit Working Group, interviews with key individuals, a survey of reference and instruction personnel, and the promotion materials on Primo 5 from Ex Libris.
In creating this complex and multi-part list from many sources at the Alliance, it is clear that there are the following types of Primo issues:
  1. Issues that affect end users
  2. Issues that have their origins in metadata
  3. Issues that affect library staff, particularly Primo Back Office administrators
  4. Issues that reflect the larger organizational picture at the Alliance and Ex Libris
The PAJWG will focus its work on the first category: issues that affect end users. It’s clear from the group’s review that this is what Ex Libris intends to address with Primo 5. 
Anyone with questions about the work of the JWG should feel free to contact JWG chair Michele Burke or staff liaison Jodi Allison-Bunnell.

Collaboration among Consortia

Historically, the Alliance has often found it very useful to collaborate with consortia that share our goals and interests. The Alliance was one of the founding members of the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) back in 1997 and that group has proven to be particularly useful for topics related to electronic resource licensing. We also participated in a group of consortia using the same resource sharing system for about a decade around the turn of the century and now the Alliance is playing a key role in launching a new group: Consortia Using Alma.

Our initial group consists of the Alliance, Georgia, Wisconsin, and the Cal State libraries: four large academic consortia, all in various stages of implementing Alma, using the network zone, and most are also using Primo. Webinars took place in November and January with plans to meet every other month and get together in-person at ELUNA in May. In January 2016, our own Jesse Thomas (UI) and Heidi Nance (UW) joined as guests to report on the Summit 3 development effort with Ex Libris. The Consortia Using Alma group is already proving to be a useful venue for sharing information and coordinating our thoughts about Alma development. Consortia are more diverse than they might seem but, as relationships mature and development ideas coalesce, we predict that this group will become an increasingly powerful venue for influencing Alma development. Ex Libris executive leadership recognizes the value of hearing from customers in a coordinated fashion and have welcomed this new group and offered to meet in the future. You can expect to hear more from Consortia Using Alma.

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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