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March 4, 2016

Alliance News March 2016

From the Chair of the Board & Executive Director

Spring is fast approaching and, as usual, the Council of deans and directors has a very full March meeting planned. Here are a few highlights:
Retirement reception for John F. Helmer, Executive Director
Please join us on March 10, 2016 from 6 - 8pm on the 30th floor of the Portland City Grill (111 5th Ave). There will be a short ceremony with some surprise guest speakers, and everyone will have an opportunity to express their best wishes or to tell their favorite “John” story. Hearty Hors d'oeuvres will be served along with beverages. Dress is business casual.
Welcome to Whitworth University
Amanda C. R. Clark will attend her first Council meeting and join us in celebrating Whitworth University as the 38th member of the Orbis Cascade Alliance.
Budget for next year
Reviewing, revising, and adopting a budget is always an important job for any governance group and this year Council will be considering a $16.9 million annual budget for FY17 (July 2016 - June 2017). About three-quarters of the budget funds databases, ejournals, and ebooks but the budget also includes the Shared ILS, courier, salaries, travel, rent, cloud computing, meeting costs, and all that goes in to running a non-profit corporation.
Aggregate Digital Content
Council will consider a ground-breaking recommendation from the Board to approve an initiative from the Content Creation and Dissemination Team to "foster a growing Alliance community of practice around digital content metadata, develop an Alliance digital collection aggregation infrastructure, support efficient aggregation in shared Primo, apply for a grant to support a portion of the activities, and apply to become a Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) service hub for Alliance members."
Presentation and discussion
Council will spend significant time at the next meeting hearing updates and discussing Alma, Primo, our development partnership with Ex Libris and the state of the art regarding ebooks.
We hope you enjoy the approach of Spring and will join us for John's soirée on March 10 at the Portland City Grill.
Faye A. Chadwell, Chair of the Board and Council
John Helmer, Executive Director

Bonnie Parks recipient of

ALA Award!


Congratulations to the University of Portland's Bonnie Parks, this year's recipient of ALA's Ulrich's Serials Librarianship Award! The award is presented by the Continuing Resources Section (CRS) of  the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS).

Check out ALA's announcement and wonderful summary of Bonnie's accomplishments.

Program & Team Updates


Ebook Recommendation and Literature Review Available
The Assessment Team has completed one of its major tasks for the year. The group was charged to complete a qualitative assessment of the shared Ebook program including testing with end users. After conducting a thorough review of current ebook literature, the Assessment Team recommended that the Alliance not conduct a user study since that has been done thoroughly by others. The E-book Working Group concurred and included that in their February 10 recommendation to the Board of Directors.
Please read and enjoy the Assessment Team’s report and the full list of sources.
Kudos to Assessment Team Chair Annie Downey and incoming chair Meredith Farkas for their work on this literature review and to Shared Content Program Manager Kathi Fountain and Kristi DeShazo, chair of the E-Book Working Group, for their assistance. 
Primo 5 Assessment
The Primo Assessment Joint Working Group continues to make progress on its plan for assessing Primo 5 this spring. Alliance members can anticipate hearing from the group in June and July in order to plan for Primo 5 implementation. Expect to hear from the JWG soon for more details on their plans!

Collaborative Workforce

CW Team
Michele Reilly (Central Washington University) joined the team in January to fill a vacancy. 

The CW Team had a productive in-person meeting at the University of Portland on January 26. The team developed draft goals for FY17 for the Board's consideration and discussed the responses to the CW inventory project, a snapshot of work across the Alliance. The team is working on writing a short report detailing observations of collaborative work based on this snapshot.

The  New Staff Training Group for Acquisitions submitted their final report outlining training topics for acquisitions. Stay tuned for more information on how to get involved in building training materials.

The Collaborative Workforce Program Blog launched as a place to share information such as:
  • Program updates including updates from various working groups and groups
  • Meeting minutes
  • Announcements when new policies, best practices, or workflows are posted
  • Draft policies/best practices for community comment and discussion
  • Recruitment announcements for participation opportunities
Technical Services Working Group
In January, the group appointed Radka Ballada (Clark), Iris Godwin (Oregon Tech), and Cheryl Morrison (UW) to continue to manage the Technical Services Open Calls.

Multiple groups submitted reports to TSWG recently: A huge thank you to members of the these groups for their detailed work and contribution.

Center of Excellence Initiative: Bibliographic record management (including Network Zone)
Al Cornish is leading this COE work to gain efficient management of Network Zone records through the use of ongoing imports and day to day management tools. Multiple issues/cases are summarized on the COE initiative page, including current status of work. The Alliance hopes to accelerate work in this area this spring.

Content Creation & Dissemination

CCD Launches Digital Preservation and Exploration Working Groups
In February, CCD launched the working groups scheduled for the second half of the fiscal year: Digital Preservation and Exploration. 

The Digital Preservation Working Group includes:
  • Devin Becker, University of Idaho (chair)
  • Sara Amato, Willamette University
  • Laura Buchholz, Reed College
  • Moriah Caruso, University of Washington
  • Brian Davis, Oregon State University
  • Danielle Mericle, University of Oregon
  • Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Alliance staff (ex officio)
The Exploration Working Group is divided into three small groups. It includes the following individuals: 
Exploration Working Group
  • Trevor Bond, Washington State University (chair)
  • Jodi Allison-Bunnell, Alliance staff (ex officio)
OER Group
  • Karen Bjork, Portland State University (chair)
  • Mara Valentino, Oregon State University
  • Friday Valentine, Chemeketa Community College
  • Annie Gaines, University of Idaho
Data Group
  • Maija Anderson, Oregon Health & Science University (chair)
  • Jeremy Kenyon, University of Idaho
  • Jonathan Cain, University of Oregon
  • David Isaak, Reed College
Unique Collections Sharing Group
  • Trevor Bond, Washington State University (chair)
  • Larry Landis, Oregon State University
  • Elizabeth Joffrion, Western Washington University
  • Rose Krause, Eastern Washington University
  • Tracey Rice, Eastern Washington University

Discovery & Delivery

Primo February Release: Testing and Installation to Production
The Primo Release Testing Working Group (PRTWG) concluded their testing of the February release on Wednesday, 2/24. After reviewing input from membership, the PRTWG consulted with the Discovery & Delivery Team, which decided to install the February release on the Production environment on Tuesday, March 1st. The release is scheduled for installation on Sunday, March 6th.

The Primo February release includes access to the development prototype of the Primo 5 user interface at a separate URL:
http://alliance-primo-sb.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/primo-explore/search?vid=[INST]. Replace [INST] with your institution’s VID code.

Even at this early stage, Ex Libris user interface developers are looking for feedback, as are the Discovery and Delivery and Systems teams. Please send feedback to Ex Libris at primo-new-ui@exlibrisgroup.com, and cc the Alliance’s new email address for Primo 5 at primo5@orbiscascade.org (please contact Elizabeth Duell to subscribe/post to the Primo 5 list.)

Primo Premium Sandbox Renormalization/Re-indexing 2/25 - 2/29
The Primo Premium sandbox has had the proposed normalization rule (NR) changes applied to the Premium sandbox and renormalization and reindexing completed 2/29. The Normalization Rules Working Group (NRWG) will be coordinating Alliance-wide testing of those rules from Monday, 2/29 to Monday, 3/14. After reviewing input from membership and in consultation with the Discovery & Delivery Team, NRWG will give a go/no-go decision about the new NR set on Tuesday, 3/15. If the move to Production is a go, the new Alliance NRs will be implemented by a renorm/reindex process beginning Friday, March 18th. That process is scheduled to complete byMonday, March 21st. Please remember that during that time, all other scheduled jobs are suspended, which means that Alma changes during that time will not be reflected in Primo until after the renorm/reindex has completed and the suspended jobs have caught up.

New Joint Advisory Group proposed
The NRWG has been working with the Technical Services Working Group (TSWG) to coordinate input and feedback from membership and move to a more strategic approach to developing Alliance Primo normalization rules. With the support of the Discovery and Delivery Team, the NRWG has submitted a proposal to the Policy & Coordination Team for a new joint advisory group that will inform future norm rule development.

Discovery and Delivery members at ELUNA
If you’re planning to be at ELUNA in May, consider getting together with some of your Alliance colleagues from D&D. Scheduled presentations include:
  • Lesley Lowery and Ray Henry - One Set to Rule Them All: Primo Norm Rule Management in a Consortial Environment (May 511:15-12:00pm,)
  • Lesley Lowery - Why Should I Care About Primo Norm Rules? (May 42:30-3:15pm)
  • Doris Munson, Andy Eickolt, Rose Krause - Picking Apart the Alma Link Resolver (May 42:30-3:15pm)
Additional D&D Team ELUNA attendees: Kelly Peterson-Fairchild (OIT), Jennifer Ward (UW), and Stephanie Michel (UP).

Shared Content

Wiley recommended for Evidence-based Acquisitions pilot
Council will also consider the Shared Content Team's recommendation to partner with Wiley for an Alliance-wide evidence based acquisitions pilot. Wiley is a publisher that has demonstrated use and value across all institutions in the Alliance. It is used consistently in both DDA and in Academic Complete, and we are proposing that we take the money we would have spent on Wiley through ProQuest and spend it directly with Wiley. We look forward to Council's decision and planning for our implementation and evaluation of this experiment.
"Collection Development Guiding Principles" up for Council review
Thanks to thoughtful development and feedback from the Shared Content community, Council will consider a new set of guidelines to help inform local collection development practices within our shared consortial collection. The Board gave it a strong recommendation at its February meeting, and a lively discussion is expected next week with Council.

E-book Data for ACRL Reporting
Institutional e-book reports, including DDA and subscription use, are posted in a shared Google Drive folder

Demand Driven Acquistions (EBL)
2620 Titles owned
9655 Titles available for discovery 

DDA monthly usage and expenditure reports are up-to-date on the website.

purchased title report is available and will be updated shortly.
E-Book Subscription (ebrary)
132,539 discovery titles
July E-Resources Renewals Coming Soon
Staff have been gearing up for the July 1 renewal season, during which a full third of all Alliance subscriptions will be renewed. Renewal review will begin in March so that libraries who need invoices before the end of the fiscal year have time to request and receive them. 
In anticipation, take a look at the Renewal Calendar to see what's up for renewal and plan for any potential changes.  
Annual E-Resource Savings Reports
The Alliance's annual reports of library e-resource savings is currently in production with a late March release expected.


Alma March release
The Alma March release will be installed on Alliance production this Sunday, March 6. Details on the release are available on the Ex Libris Knowledge site.  Note that for Alma, monthly releases are calendared through December 2016. 
Whitworth University migration to Alliance Alma/Primo
Work is ramping up to bring Whitworth University into the Alliance’s Alma and Primo in the June timeframe. The first Whitworth University-Alliance-Ex Libris planning meeting is expected to be conducted early next week. ExLibris' Audrey Ho, who worked with the Alliance on its migration, is the Ex Libris lead for this project. ExLibris' Megan Drake, fomerly of Pacific University, is part of the ExL project team and will be performing Alma and Primo configuration work in support of Whitworth University. 
Open Systems Call, March 9
The Open Systems Call on March 9 will include the following enticing topics, among others:
  • A brief overview of SMS (text-based) patron notice implementation, by Rose Carlson, Reed College
  • A brief overview of  pivot tables in Analytics (a much easier way to construct rolling-time-period reports), by Mary Galvin, University of Oregon
  • A brief overview of filtering journal usage reports in Analytics to just the journals you actually subscribe to, by Bill Kelm, Willamette University
No-PDS authentication
No-PDS authentication testing continues in the University of Puget Sound and Portland State University sandboxes. Following a call with Ex Libris contacts in Israel, we are very close to having the configuration fully working, and hope to try it in production soon. Note also that Ex Libris has confirmed that CAS and LDAP support for no-PDS is currently planned, but won’t be implemented until May / June 2016 timeframe, at the earliest.
Alma Enhancements ELUNA voting cycle for 2016
Institutional ELUNA representatives should plan on receiving information and calls-to-action from the Alliance Alma Enhancements Working Group, regarding ELUNA Alma Enhancements voting, in the early April timeframe.
Serving on this year’s Alliance Alma Enhancements Working Group will be:
  • Bonnie Parks, Systems Team, University of Portland, Working Group Chair
  • Al Cornish, Alliance Systems Program Manager
  • Cassie Schmitt, Alliance Collaborative Workforce Program Manager
  • Ray Henry, Alliance Discovery & Delivery Program Manager
  • Lori Hilterbrand, DD representative for fulfillment, University of Oregon
  • Kyle Banerjee, TSWG representative for cataloging, OHSU
  • Morag Stewart, TSWG representative for acquisitions & e-resources, UW
  • Karen Spence, TSWG representative for serials & /e-resources, PCC
  • Rose Sliger Krause, CCD representative, EWU

Profile of John F. Helmer

Each month we will be featuring a profile of someone in the Alliance. If you have a colleague you think we should know about, please send in suggestions.

Name, positionJohn F. Helmer, Executive Director, Orbis Cascade Alliance

City of residence No city!  ... just the wilds of uncivilized Lane County, Oregon
Favorite thing about where you currently live: 
I live near Mount Pisgah in a rural area surrounded by farms, a county park, and land owned by The Nature Conservancy. I can leave my house and wander for hours along the Coast and Middle Forks of the Willamette River without ever getting in a car or touching foot on pavement. It is amazing to do have this natural area at hand while just ten minutes from downtown Eugene or Springfield. Our neighborhood has been under threat by various kinds of commercial development and we have successfully managed to hold on to the rural and open spaces valued by so many in the area. As a result, the neighbors have bonded in a way that only happens when you work hard together. My Alliance colleagues probably won't be surprised to hear that I organized the neighborhood to begin with, started an email list, called meetings etc.... Seems to be my lot in life to form consortia! We are a spirited and unruly rabble but I would not have it any other way!

Favorite outside of work activity: 
My all time favorite thing is sailing small fast sailboats. I have a 1971 Vanguard 470. This is a sort of "anti-social" Olympic class of boat that tends to scare off guests and throw you in the drink if your attention lapses. I have always liked the concept of "if you never capsize, then you're not taking enough risks." I also love camping, hiking, and touring the arid parts of the west. Places like the Steens in Oregon or Anza Borrego Desert in California. I do various work for several non-profits that have nothing to do with libraries. In particular, I really value my experiences serving as a  Court Appointed Special Advocate, or CASA, for two abused and neglected children currently in foster care.

What are you most proud of while working at the Alliance? 
I am proud of being there from the very beginning, listening to what the membership wants, and helping them get there. I like the Alliance as an ever-changing organization and rolling set of personal relationships. The Alliance will do different things at different times but I expect it to be a powerful tool for libraries far in to the future. As I said in a recent interview for Collaborative Librarianship
"some of the worst times have also been the best: failure of a grant; financial meltdown of a key partner; major technical problems; hostile relationship with a very powerful vendor. All were scary and some were existential threats, but we never let a good emergency go to waste. In an emergency the Alliance shines. There is a clarity, nimbleness, focus, and lack of complacency that is awesome to behold. We ended up stronger after every one, and with the kind of personal relationships that are only formed under fire"
What are you excited about for the coming year? 
The simplest way to say what I am doing is that I am “retiring.” The longer answer is that at 58, I am energetic, my health is good, and I have ambitions that could take me in many directions. The Alliance is wonderful, the work love of my life, but I have an itch to take a risk and try something new. To begin with I will enforce a period without additional commitments so that I can move forward in a mindful way; not just keep going on what I already know. I am very bad at sitting still so who knows, maybe I have another career or two left in me.
Serving as the Executive Director of the Alliance has been more enjoyable and stimulating than I could possible have imagined. Personal relationship formed through important and hard work: that is what this consortium is all about. I count on all of you to carry it forward. Be bold and have fun together!

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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