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Development Projects Hub

The Alliance's 2018-2023 contract with Ex Libris includes the following development projects.  This page serves as a hub for information about these projects.

  • High-level project outcomes Analytics
  • Coordinator: Bryan Vogh
E-resource Management
  • High-level project outcomes E-Resources
  • Coordinator: Jesse Holden
Network Zone sync with WorldCat 
  • High-level project outcomes NZ/OCLC
  • Coordinator: Lesley Lowery
Resource Sharing and Fulfillment
  • High-level project outcomes RSF
  • Coordinator: Lori Hilterbrand

Alliance staff are now preparing to work with Ex Libris product managers and developers to move these projects forward.  

The Process

June and July 2020

Alliance staff has been meeting with Ex Libris to refine the outcomes of the four projects.  The slides from the Alliance & ExLibris Development Meeting (PDF) provide details.

August 16, 2019 Meeting

Alliance representatives met with Ex Libris in Portland for a full-day discussion regarding the scope and outcomes of our four Development Projects. 

The Alliance was represented by:

  • Maija Anderson (Interim Executive Director) 
  • Natalie Beach (Board Chair)
  • Lori Hilterbrand (PM, RSF)
  • Jesse Holden (PM, SCTS)
  • Lesley Lowery (NZ Manager)
  • Bryan Vogh (PM, Systems)

Ex Libris was represented by: 

  • Jane Burke (Vice President of Strategic Initiatives) 
  • Carmit Marcus (Director of Project Management and Partnerships)

We spent time intensively discussing each of the initiatives. For our "To-Be-Determined" fourth topic, Alliance Central Staff proposed an initiative focused on improving fulfillment and resource sharing workflows.  For each initiative, the Alliance Central Staff described opportunities and desired outcomes, drawing on member feedback and documented use cases. Ex Libris asked thoughtful questions and sought clarification on complex issues.

The next step is for Carmit Marcus from Ex Libris to create refined, actionable scope documents for each initiative. Alliance Central Staff are continuing to solicit member feedback and develop detailed use cases to support Carmit's work. Ex Libris will return to Portland later this year for a member-driven kickoff meeting.

First Steps

  • Alliance staff will meet with Ex Libris' Jane Burke (VP for Strategic Initiatives) and Carmit Marcus (Director of Product Management and Partnerships) on August 16th, 2019 to discuss the specific scope and expected outcomes for each of these projects.
  • Jane and Carmit will consult with Ex Libris Development to draft detailed specifications for each project.  These project specs will receive Alliance review before development work begins.
  • Iterative testing and feedback cycles will ensure that the solutions built by Ex Libris address the needs of Alliance members.

How you can get involved

To provide involvement opportunities from the very start, members are encouraged to submit development input to Alliance staff ahead of the 8/16 meeting.  This will enable Alliance staff to best represent consortial concerns and proposed outcomes for each project to Jane and Carmit.  Here are a few guidelines to make sure your feedback is most impactful on the process:

  1. Review the project documents linked above to identify which one(s) interest you.
  2. Describe how Alma's current functionality within those parameters is different from your ideal workflow or process.
    • Focus on the desired outcome rather than suggesting solutions.
    • Think in terms of “ideals.”  Ex Libris is encouraging Alliance members to think outside of current (maybe long-standing) workarounds and envision how these project areas could be substantially improved.
  3. Send your “ask(s)” to the respective Alliance staff member coordinating the project.
  4. Alliance staff will be providing the community lists with updates as the development projects move forward.  We will also reach out with additional opportunities for involvement, both via informal community activities (e.g., list discussions and open calls) and formal project groups.

Please don't hesitate to contact the project coordinator(s) with your questions regarding the upcoming development projects.  Bear in mind that these projects are still in the early stages of assessment and planning.  Questions about later stages (e.g., functional testing) may not have an immediate answer.

Please send feedback for the 8/16 meeting no later than 5:00 pm on Wednesday, 8/14.  And as always, thank you so much for your engagement and assistance!