View the latest news and status updates about the implementation process, along with a summary, milestones, and key implementation features.
FALSC and Florida’s public postsecondary libraries are in the process of a transition to a next-generation integrated library system (ILS). This multi-year effort marks the largest transition to an integrated academic library catalog/discovery system in Florida’s history.
Implementation Status Update: April/May 2017
A NOTE ON WIKI ACCESS: Many items below refer readers to wikis for more information. Since there is proprietary information on the wikis, a generic password is required to view content. Access is available to staff at Florida’s public higher-education institutions. Please contact your local ILS Coordinator or the Help Desk, firstname.lastname@example.org or (877) 506-2210 (toll free), to request log-in information.
As was announced March 31, we have delayed the implementation of the new ILS for a year to allow vendor Innovative Interfaces time to develop a fully functional system that addresses the needs of our consortium. The system is now scheduled to “Go Live” in July 2018. Despite the longer timeline, work on the new system proceeds full speed ahead.
Leadership and Collaboration
The agreement to delay Go Live came after many meetings and consultations among the extensive list of committees involved in the ILS project. Those meetings, in turn, followed on extensive communication with Innovative and between the ILS Working Groups, FALSC, and FLVC IT.
Since the delay was announced, all active groups continue to meet regularly.
Participants during this phase of the project include library and technology professionals from the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC), the Division of Information Technology of the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC IT), public colleges and universities, and Innovative Interfaces Inc., the software company providing the Sierra/Encore Duet integrated library system.
Here’s an overview of key groups collaborating on the project:
- The nine ILS Working Groups, made up of staff from the universities and colleges and focused on various areas of the new system, meet regularly and post minutes to corresponding Listservs.
- The ILS Implementation Team meets every other week. The Implementation Team is made up of the Working Group chairs, multiple liaisons from FALSC, two project leads, and two representatives from the Members Council on Library Services.
- The ILS Coordinators representing each of the 40 colleges and universities meet monthly with the implementation project co-leads, Ellen Bishop and Dave Whisenant. ILS Coordinators are responsible for putting together local implementation teams at their institutions. Find a list of Coordinators on this website.
Visit the Sierra / Encore Duet Implementation Wiki for details on each group’s activities, including meeting agendas, notes, and documentation.
Implementation and Migration
FALSC and FLVC IT staff are working with Innovative Interfaces to develop a new project timeline, which will be released in late May. This high-level timeline will cover: the development issues that will be addressed in each Sierra release; the scheduling of a refresh of the database and subsequent testing; and the timing of a revised Go Live schedule.
Meanwhile, work proceeds as before, with FALSC and FLVC IT staff and the Working Groups addressing Sierra and Encore system configuration, data review, authentication, development issues, electronic resource management (ERM) development, acquisitions migration, a Curriculum Builder pilot, patron loads, duplicate patron IDs, joint use, and application program interfaces (APIs). Below are some details on the work in progress.
Server status and data loading: Innovative has completed the setup and is currently loading data for our new Test server for Sierra. The new Encore instance for the Test server also has been set up and is operational. FALSC now has two complete server environments with both Encore and Sierra for Production and Test, and a Training server for Sierra. Check server status at any time on the project wiki.
Encore Duet: Institutions continue to customize the look and feel of their local interface as well as settings in the EDS mega-index. For institutions trying to choose between Encore Duet and EBSCO EDS, a recent webinar offered the opportunity to compare the two discovery tools. “Encore Duet and EBSCO EDS Interface Comparison” was offered on April 11 and April 12. Visit the project wiki’s main page for a session recording.
Sierra Web: The Sierra Web client at https://ils.falsc.org/sierraweb, intended to function as the back-end of the system for library staff at many institutions, continues to experience slow response times despite efforts to correct the problem. Innovative is recommending that everyone use the Sierra Desktop Application (SDA) Java client instead of Sierra Web. Instructions for downloading the SDA client can be found on the wiki here. If anyone has problems downloading the client, please contact the Help Desk. The training sites have been asked to install the SDA client in all training workstations.
Go Live Steps: It should be noted that the document, released in February by Innovative, is no longer valid. Please scrap any copies you have. A fresh version will be released well in advance of the new Go Live date, July 2018.
The postponement allows more opportunity to develop and test solutions for ongoing issues. Topics to be addressed in the coming months include:
- Managing multiple time zones
- PDA/DDA solution
- OAI-PMH harvesting data format limitations and availability of the self-harvesting tool
- Mobile Encore sites for full suites
- Mapping problem affecting Encore display of material type and statuses
- SIP2 encryption
- ERM full functionality with the Open Knowledgebase
- Full Encore Duet/EDS API from EBSCO
- Browse Searching in Encore
- Sierra Web application
- Paging in Sierra
- Local field display in Encore
- Timeout page in Encore
- Audit trail for record edits
- Support for multiple roles for patrons
- Log tracking of all activities
- Restricting access to course reserve materials
Technology: FALSC and FLVC began individual meetings with each institution’s IT staff on SSO functionality and authentication in January, and those meetings were completed in early March. The FALSC and FLVC development team is exploring options for patron authentication and for access to electronic resources. Where available, our goal is for students and faculty to use each institution’s native Single Sign-On/Identity Provider (SSO/IdP) solution. We have received responses from all 40 colleges and universities about each institution’s current authentication functionality, and testing has begun at several institutions. Our authentication team will be contacting the remaining institutions to begin testing authentication integration with Sierra.
As part of the Sierra project, a new process for uploading student and personnel patron files was implemented in February. About 50 percent of the institutions have already migrated to the new process, and we’d like to migrate the remaining institutions by June 1. If your institution needs assistance with the new process, please contact the Help Desk.
The in-person training and webinar schedule is continuing as planned, and it’s important that staffers who are registered for in-person training attend. Classroom sessions provide the foundation for supplemental training activities.
The delay in implementation allows library staff greater opportunity to review data, test and customize local loan policies, and customize templates. Library staff who have completed their training can now focus on reviewing their records and loan polices in Sierra and sending feedback to email@example.com with any issues they find. They also can begin customizing templates and other functions within Sierra.
Webinars will be offered throughout the coming year to increase knowledge on specific aspects of the system. Please take a look at the webinar schedule and follow the instructions to register for the sessions relevant to you. Note that many of these webinars, such as customizing notices and spine labels, require in-person training to be completed beforehand.
All webinars will be recorded and made available to all library staff. Please check the Training Tracks wiki for recorded webinars and new documentation.
In addition, FALSC plans to begin the configuration of individual staff user accounts soon. Library staff will need to be comfortable navigating Sierra in order to test their functions and permissions and make sure they can perform their daily work.
A year may seem like a long time, but it will fly by!
If your in-person training is coming up: Please note there are online prerequisites for anyone attending the sessions. The Training Tracks wiki offers step-by-step details on how to prepare for classroom training, and organizes the materials into topic categories. Links to relevant sites are included.
In addition to this website, FALSC offers several ways for stakeholders to keep apprised of progress on the ILS project:
- The Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Newsletter, which is sent via Listservs to all library staff and is accessible from the "ILS Newsletters" box at the left of this page.
- The Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Wiki, where users can find agendas, minutes, recordings, and contact information for members of the Working Groups, Implementation Team, ILS Coordinators, and IT Contacts. The wiki also offers information on Working Group training sessions and links to training recordings. (Please see "A Note on Wiki Access" at top for access information.)
- The “Staying Informed” handout outlining communication and documentation resources.
Implementation Status Announcement: March 31, 2017
After meetings and consultations among the extensive list of committees involved in the Sierra/Encore Duet project, we have agreed to delay implementation of our next-generation integrated library system for approximately one year, meaning that the new system will launch in July 2018.
At FALSC, our goal is to ensure that we deliver the products and services that best meet the needs and expectations of our member libraries. Innovative Interfaces, our ILS vendor and partner in this project, is equally committed to ensuring the success of its customers by providing the utmost level of quality in systems and support. We have reached a point in the process of the implementation project where we all agree that the only way for us – both FALSC and Innovative – to meet those objectives and uphold our common standards of excellence, will be to slow down and allow the company more time to craft a solution that fully addresses the needs of our consortium.
This delay doesn’t mean that work will stop, nor does it mean that the work completed so far has been effort wasted. Quite the contrary! In order to deliver a next-gen ILS that meets the needs and expectations of everyone involved, all activity on the system will continue, albeit on a revised timeline that will be released in a few weeks.
Training will go on as scheduled. The Working Groups immersed in the details of their respective areas will continue to have input on development of the system and the work needed for migration of data. FALSC will continue to provide regular and timely updates on the project through multiple outlets, including the Sierra/Encore Implementation Update and this website, as work moves ahead.
July - August:
- Sierra and Encore servers set up
- Initial profiling complete
- Merged records loaded/indexed on the server
September - December:
- Functionality training for Working Groups and FALSC staff
- Data clean-up by Backstage Library Works (BSLW)
- Iterative review of data and parameters
- Data from BSLW reloaded to test server
February - July:
- Training for public college and university library staff statewide
Throughout the year:
- Continued system development and testing
- Data loading and review
- "Go Live"