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May 5, 2017

Alliance News May 2017

From the Chair of the Board & Executive Director

As we approach the end of the fiscal year, some of our members are also finishing their school years. We hope that your intense time with students, faculty and staff was useful and that you have some time to reflect and plan for the next school year!

We are doing the same at the Alliance – with open calls for Teams just closing, a call for participation in planning for strategic planning open now, and information about other groups – standing groups, project groups, policy groups, negotiation groups – coming in June & July! We also have an open search for a Program Manager in Shared Content and Technical Services. We’d like to thank Zeb Evelhoch (CWU), Jill Emery (PSU), Linda Crook (Lane CC) and Cassie Schmitt (Alliance) for serving on the search committee. 

We’ll have new Council members joining us this summer, as Seattle University and George Fox University have already announced the results of their successful searches. We are pleased to welcome Sarah Barbara Watstein to Seattle University and Ryan Ingersoll to George Fox. More searches are underway, and we look forward to welcoming new Council members to our ongoing work!

Dana recently posted about her first time at ACRL. We’d also like to congratulate Cheryl A. Middleton (OSU) who will start her term as ACRL President soon, and Lauren Pressley (UW), who was just elected
Vice-President / President-Elect. Dana also recently attended the annual ICOLC meeting – this is a consortia of library consortia! The Alliance learns from what other consortia are doing and many other consortia learn from our experience with deep collaboration.

The Board meets in early May to discuss nominations to Teams, learn about Ex Libris’ strategic agenda, and consider a white paper on levels of standardization in Primo. Following on the November Council discussion on Primo, and with the new Primo user interface, the Alliance has more tools to support member work in the user interface. We hope you are planning to come to the June 12 Primo Day to join Alliance colleagues and Ex Libris staff in planning for the transition.

Please remember that the call for proposals for the John F. Helmer Professional Development Awards is open until July 31. The committee would love to see your proposals.

Many of the Alliance staff are headed to ELUNA! We will see you there, and bring back new information. Good luck to our many presenters. Congratulations as well to Kyle Banerjee (OHSU), who will join the ELUNA Steering Committee. 

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

ELUNA Presentations & Get Together

The ELUNA program is full of panels and presentations involving Alliance member library staff. Here's a preview of who will be presenting next week.

Get Together
Going to ELUNA? Want to meet up with other Alliance folks?

Orbis Cascade Alliance is arranging a no-host dinner for May 10th at 6pm at the

Olive Garden
Schaumburg - Woodfield Mall
1925 East Golf Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173
(847) 619-9095

The hotel hosting ELUNA has a shuttle which will take you to this location.

Program & Team Updates

Collaborative Workforce

Technical Services Working Group
TSWG approved the Contributing Collections to the CZ Policy after feedback and discussion from members.

Alma May Release
The Alma May release will move to production on Sunday, May 7th. You can view potential areas of interest to technical services.

Open Calls
As a reminder the technical services open calls schedule is available on the TS Open Calls page. The next open call on May 25 and will include a presentation by the Systems Team on setting up COUNTER usage stats. 

Content Creation & Dissemination

Digital Collections Milestone: Launch of Alliance Harvester

On May 1, the launch of the Alliance Harvester meant that that digital collections at the Alliance begin to go from this:

lots of random dots

Toward this:
random dots going to same place

With this new tool, Alliance members can remediate, enrich, and contribute OAI sets from digital collections from a DAM or IR for aggregation in the Digital Public Library of America, Alliance Primo, or both!

What kinds of content should I contribute for DPLA? For Alliance Primo?
The collection development statements for both are broad. They are:
  • Primo: Digital objects that are described with Dublin Core in an unrestricted system and that you would like to pipe into Alliance Primo.
  • DPLA: Digital objects that are described with Dublin Core in an unrestricted system and that are part of the United States’ cultural and/or scientific heritage.
  • DPLA and Primo: Digital objects that meet criteria for both Primo and DPLA.
What are our obligations under the LSTA grant?
To have 50,000 digital objects cleaned up and submitted to the harvester. 

I’m going to contribute collections for DPLA. When will they appear in DPLA?
First we have to become a hub for Alliance members! We are continuing to work with DPLA on that process. 

Once we are accepted as a hub, there’s an ingest process with DPLA that often takes some time—though since our metadata will be already remediated, we should be in good shape on this score. We were excited to hear at DPLAfest that they have redesigned their ingest system to handle the increasingly large amount of content they are taking in. 

I’m going to contribute collections for Alliance Primo. When will they appear in Primo?
When Council approved this work, we were asked to add an assessment activity to this part of the project. We chose to develop a set of objectives for the user experience in Primo and to measure the extent to which we can meet those objectives. 

To that end:
  • We have a pipe for digital collections in the Alliance’s Premium Sandbox and a set of test objects;
  • Lesley Lowrey (WWU), Anneliese Dehner (Alliance—MAL), and the Normalization Rules Working Group have already been hard at work writing the normalization rules necessary to work with the digital object records in Primo;
  • User testing for digital collections in Primo wrapped up in April, and we expect to hear from the Digital Collections Working Group on their recommendations soon;
  • Once we have those objectives, we will be able to measure the extent to which we can meet them in Primo and what additional steps need to be taken to deliver the user experience desired;
  • And, once we determine that we have met an acceptable threshold, we can move this to production. 
Please do contribute collections for Primo to the harvester! They will allow us to conduct better testing.

Looking for more details? You’ll find them here: https://www.orbiscascade.org/digital-collections

Discovery & Delivery

Alma May Release
The Alma May release was installed on the sandbox environment on April 23rd, and will move to production on Sunday, May 7th. Resource sharing and fulfillment updates, as well as related Alliance case information, can be found in this release summary.

Primo May Release
The Primo May release will be installed to the Alliance’s Premium Sandbox on Sunday, May 21. For an overview of release features, please see Ex Libris’ Primo May 2017 Release Notes, as well as the May 2017 Highlights for instructions for implementing features in Primo Back Office. The Primo Release Testing Working Group is drafting Alliance-customized release notes and release notes organized by user type; these documents will be available soon.  The Primo May 2017 release is anticipated to be installed to the Alliance’s production environment on Sunday, June 18.

Norm Rules Working Group updates
To support Ex Libris’ Clackamas CC migration work in Primo, the NRWG is in a development freeze until approximately June 19th. The NRWG will resume development as quickly as possible after the Clackamas migration, with the goal of staging a production rollout in August - so keep sending in your norm rules requests!

The NRWG has been working with the Digital Collections Working Group's Metadata Applications Librarian and the Alliance's IT manager to get the first test set of records, visible in Western Washington University's premium Primo sandbox, from the Alliance digital harvester piped into the Primo premium sandbox environment. In early May, the NRWG will be making norm rule adjustments for these records in consultation with the CCD’s Digital Collections Working Group.

Summit & Fulfillment Day
Summit & Fulfillment Day returns, scheduled for Friday, August 4th at Clark College in Vancouver. For more information, please visit the Summit & Fulfillment Day website. A schedule is posted, and more information about presenters, accommodations, and event registration are coming soon!

Annual Account Reconciliation (AAR)
This year’s Annual Account Reconciliation (AAR) cycle has started.. The D&D Team hosted a special open call on April 26th to review timelines and procedures, and to explain some of the changes to this year’s process. The recording can of that open call, as well as additional details and documentation can be found on the Alliance’s AAR website.

Clackamas training update
Erin Bledsoe (CWU), Lori Hilterbrand (OSU), and Julie Carter (WHITC) will be providing onsite fulfillment and resource sharing training for Clackamas Community College staff on May 4-5. We are excited to meet Sarah, Mark, Alison, Derek, and our other CCC colleagues, and look forward to working with Clackamas in the future!

Shared Content

The Alliance successfully negotiated a renewal of our Wiley Evidence-Based pilot for Year 2, and GOBI Library Solutions (formerly known as YBP) will be a partner. SCT reps will be notified when integration with GOBI has been accomplished.
Per our agreement with Wiley, in April the Ebook Working Group selected 536 titles at a cost of slightly above $234,000, to own perpetually. Three factors were considered in making the choices: the most used titles for each member library, the titles seeing broadest use across the consortium, and the titles with greatest aggregate use. The results of these selections are available on the Alliance Evidence Based Acquisitions page as the first bullet in the Title Lists section. Hats off to SCT/EWG members Serin Anderson and Andy Eickholt for the hours of work they spent in devising formulas and refining Wiley’s data to accomplish this critical task.
Academic Complete Dead Links
As previously reported, the Academic Complete CZ has over 2,300 portfolios that are not in fact part of the ProQuest collection.  As a result, when a user tries to access one of these titles, the link goes to the ebook with a message that says: "Sorry, this ebook is not available. Please contact your librarian about purchasing it, or search for another book." This week Ex Libris responded to our Salesforce case, acknowledging the critical nature of the problem while noting they are currently unable to project a date for its resolution. Absent assurance of a quick fix, libraries may wish to delete any erroneous CZ portfolios they may encounter. (To see an example of the dead link, search The Age of the Flower by Helga Sandburg.)
Ebook Program Options for FY2018
The Ebook Working Group continues to consider vendors and options for next year’s shared ebook program. On April 12 an open meeting was held with SCT representations, followed by a survey to gain feedback on the criteria and approaches members found most compelling. A summary of survey results will be posted later this month; the majority opinion favors diversity of content, frontlist publications, no DRM, and a user-driven approach. These considerations are shaping the negotiations with our vendor finalists.


Alma May release
The Alma May release will be installed on Alliance production this Sunday, May 7. Full details on this release are provided in this document.

New systems-related features of interest include:

  • Analytics related to Digital Usage and COUNTER reports

  • APIs related to

    • Retrieving both electronic portfolios and electronic services

    • The collection ID, portfolio ID, and portfolio availability fields were added to the AVE section of the Retrieve Bib API and SRU responses

    • Creating, updating, and deleting collections (of bibliographic records)

Registration for Primo Day, June 12
Registration for Primo Day 2017: Moving to the New UI is open. If you haven’t registered yet, please do so using this form. See this page for additional information.

ELUNA events calendar
For staff from Alliance institutions attending the Ex Libris North America User Group (ELUNA) meeting this year: Please consider using the new meeting scheduler application, which allows you to build a sharable schedule by clicking on the events calendar for the meeting.

External Authentication Focus Group (AFG)
Ex Libris and the AFG (created by the user groups) provided an update on Alma authentication in a May 4 web presentation. They are jointly investigating alternatives to authentication that’s based on storing passwords in cloud-hosted Alma and Primo. One point made during the session: No timetable has been set for removing support for Alma accounts with the password stored internally, but no changes will be made before 2019 (at the earliest).

One compelling alternative method of authentication mentioned during the session is passwordless authentication (or, sign-in via email). It will be available for enabling patron login to Primo in June, and for staff logins to Alma at a later date.  

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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