Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Update

With thanks to everyone involved, here’s an overview of recent progress toward the implementation of our next-generation integrated library system (ILS)






ABOUT WIKI ACCESS: Many items here refer readers to wikis. Since there is proprietary information on the wikis, a generic password is required to view content. To get view-only credentials, contact the Help Desk, or (877) 506-2210 (toll free).



It’s a new year, with a fresh flurry of activity on Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation project as we look forward to “Go Live” in July 2017. Top of mind now is training on the new integrated library system (ILS), and library staffers statewide are encouraged to begin preparing for the in-person training sessions that will be held later this year. Please see “Training” below for details.


Leadership and Collaboration

Participants during this phase of our 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 vendor Innovative Interfaces Inc., maker of the Sierra/Encore Duet software.

Here’s an update on three key groups active now:

  • • 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. For brief summaries of their recent work, see “News From the Working Groups” below.
  • • The ILS Implementation Team meets every other week, and meets next on Jan. 23. 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 are meeting monthly with the implementation project co-leads, Ellen Bishop and Dave Whisenant. Their next meeting will be Jan. 26. ILS Coordinators are responsible for putting together local implementation teams at their institutions. Find a list of Coordinators on

Visit the Sierra / Encore Duet Implementation Wiki for details on each group’s activities, including meeting notes, agendas, and documentation.



Implementation and Migration

FALSC and FLVC IT staff and the Working Groups are forging ahead with Sierra and Encore system configuration, authentication, development issues, electronic resource management (ERM), acquisitions migration, a Curriculum Builder pilot at four institutions, patron loads, duplicate patron IDs, joint use, and application program interfaces (APIs).

Three servers are in use for the project: a Sierra training server, a Sierra production server, and an Encore Duet server. FALSC staff and the Working Groups currently are using the Sierra training server for data review. The Sierra production server is being reloaded with new data, and should be available for data review by the end of January. This reload includes files of all record types: bib records, holdings, items, authority records, patrons, cash transactions, checkouts, holds, orders, vendors, fund records, ERM records, and course reserves. After it is complete, we will have more current material to review. The data being used now dates from April. The Sierra production server and the Encore server remain available for configuration while the reload is taking place.

There has been an issue with mapping ebook URLs for colleges in the new system, and FALSC staff is changing the links for e-book records in order to make them work properly. Work for eight colleges has been completed thus far. 



Encore Duet Setup

FALSC’s role in EBSCO’s initial configuration for the mega-index and link resolver has been completed. EBSCO has some configuration remaining with a couple of institutions and is working directly with them. FALSC continues to review settings for colleges and universities as requested.

EBSCO is conducting two webinars this month on how institutions can compare their provided Encore discovery interfaces with EBSCO’s EDS interface. The first webinar was at 3 p.m. ET Jan. 19, with a repeat session on Jan. 25. An announcement about the sessions has been sent to users. Information also is available on the project wiki. 



Information Technology

Meetings with Innovative Interfaces regarding authentication continue as we work through the issue. The FALSC and FLVC development team is exploring options for patron authentication and for access to electronic resources. We sent out an Authentication survey last October to gather information from each institution about their current IdP technology. We have selected five institutions for round one testing and exploration of authentication options. We will be contacting and scheduling the other institutions in subsequent rounds. Where available, our goal is for students and faculty to use each institution’s native Single Sign-On/Identity Provider (SSO/IdP) solution.




In-person training on the new system for library staff will begin in February and continue through early June, on a rolling schedule at locations throughout the state.

Please note that there are online prerequisites for the in-person sessions that staffers who plan to attend will need to complete. The Training Tracks document offers a step-by-step guide for getting prepared, and organizes the materials into topic categories. Links to relevant sites are included in the document, which can be accessed from the Documents page of the Training Working Group wiki

Individual registration for the training sessions is taking place this month, and will be coordinated by FALSC staff. FALSC will contact ILS Coordinators for the institutions to let them know how many seats they have at each training session and to gather the names of attendees. FALSC then will send follow-up emails to each attendee with a registration confirmation, as well as directions and parking information from the local ILS Coordinator.

Statewide, computer classrooms have been booked at 31 host sites, and each of the 40 ILS Coordinators has been sent their institution’s site schedule. Find details in the updated Training Calendar and Topics spreadsheet on Google. Please note that the spreadsheet has tabs for "Live Training by Date," "Live by Institution," "In-person Topics," "Host Locations," and "Webinar Series."

Training on the new ILS will be accomplished through a variety of formats: documentation, eLearning modules, recorded webinars, and in-person classes. Prerequisites for the classroom sessions are to be completed online, with about four hours required for general introductory materials. Additional time may be needed for materials within areas of specialization.

The Sierra / Encore Duet Training Working Group presented a Training Update on Jan.9 that discussed our plans and Training Tracks. The webinar was well attended, with 220 library staff logged on. See the Training Working Group wiki for a session recording and the PowerPoint. A recording of the webinar also is available on the recorded training page of




The next-generation ILS is going to get its own name, and we’re hoping for something nearly as memorable and “sticky” as Google. To that end, the MCLS Executive Committee and FALSC staffers met Jan. 11 with creative professionals from BowStern Marketing Communications to get the branding process rolling and toss around ideas. The company plans to move ahead quickly, and may have two or three possible monikers to present to the MCLS for discussion at its next meeting, on Feb. 14.




There are several paths for staying informed about the ILS project, including this newsletter and:





News from the Working Groups

Below is a brief update from each of the nine Working Groups. For more information, please visit the project wikis. Since there is proprietary information on the wikis, a generic password is required to view content. To get view-only credentials, contact the Help Desk, or (877) 506-2210 (toll free).

Acquisitions & Serials

Chair: Ernestine Holmes, FAMU 

The Acquisitions/Serials Working Group is now meeting weekly. Recently, the group has recommended against migrating new orders, discussed and approved acquisitions types values, and prepared a list of acquisitions codes. Members are working on order types codes and continue to review bibliographic data. Innovative is loading acquisitions data for our review. As data is loaded, a spreadsheet is being created to show open orders for each institution for cleanup. The Working Group also scheduled a joint meeting with the ERM Working Group to discuss the fixed and non-fixed codes to see overlap between Acquisitions and the ERM module.


Cataloging & Authorities

Chair: Annie Glerum, FSU

The Cataloging/Authorities Working Group continues to examine data in Sierra to find and suggest solutions for issues that might affect the migration. We are also formulating specific pre-migration cleanup projects in Aleph which include flipping local notes from tag 500 to 590 to improve the Backstage Library Works deduplication and merge process. Also, a group is looking at how to ensure all goes well with the migration of temporary locations which is handled differently in Sierra.


Circulation & Resource Sharing

Chair: LeEtta Schmidt, USF 

The Circulation/Resource Sharing Working Group has made a recommendation for how lost loans will be handled during the migration from Aleph to Sierra. Each institution will be able to work with FALSC to customize this process and receive a report of items that have been changed. In addition to training and weekly meetings, the Circulation/Resource Sharing Working Group had a joint meeting with the Cataloging /Authorities Working Group to discuss item types and material types and any overlap in work between the two groups. Circulation/Resource Sharing is now looking at a list of existing reports to identify continuing needs in the new system, discussing the migration of cash transactions, and preparing a document explaining how paging, or UBorrow functionality, will work in the new system.


Discovery Configuration

Chair: Laura Gayle Green, FSU

Discovery Configuration Working Group (DCWG) has been addressing Encore discovery tool customizations, particularly those settings affecting all 40 institutions. Sixteen institutions (represented on the Discovery Configuration, Discovery Interface, and Electronic Resource Management Working Groups) have submitted some suite/institution-specific Encore and EDS integration settings to test ahead of the rest of the institutions. Other customizations examined by the Discovery Configuration Working Group include using custom JavaScript in the individual record display and examining what CSS can be applied to suite-specific Encore headers with assistance from FALSC staff. One challenge has been learning which settings apply across all institutions, which settings are institution/suite specific, and the nomenclature specific to Innovative Interfaces/Encore versus EBSCO/EDS. Many configuration and customization issues overlap between the Discovery Configuration and Discovery Interface charges, so the Working Groups have had joint meetings and discussions to facilitate information sharing and decision making.


Discovery Interface

Chair: Alexis Carlson, IRSC

The Discovery Interface Working Group has been reviewing options in the interface that are statewide to determine if they should be enabled. A link to Worldcat and Research Starters were enabled in all suites. The Worldcat link is above the search results list, next to the FALSC link. Research Starters is an EBSCO-curated product, and if one exists for the topic searched, it will be the first result in the search results list. The Working Group has been exploring locally customized material type icons after finding the out-of-the-box icons too dense with graphics to be easily understood. Encore Duet can toggle between an English and Spanish language interface. We are responsible for the translation of any text that is locally customized. The Working Group came up with a plan to provide Spanish-language translations for text that is customized during the implementation period and is working with the User Interfaces Standing Committee to develop a process after Go Live. The group also determined the initial set of search tab labels: CatalogPlus, Library Catalog, and Articles & More. The CatalogPlus tab searches Sierra and EBSCO content, the Library Catalog tab searches just Sierra content, and Articles & More searches just EBSCO content. These will be used in the statewide Encore interface and can be changed in each local Encore interface as desired. Discovery Interface has asked Innovative for a placeholder for a fourth tab for digital content that can be enabled by each institution as desired once digital content is loaded. 


E-Resource Management

Chair: Tina Buck, UCF

The ERM Working Group is working on data load profiles for the data to be loaded for the in-person training sessions that will take place February through June. The group also has proposed suggestions for the in-person training agenda, in hopes that the session will provide users with the best understanding of the functionality and workflows. The group is also working on the fixed and variable length field values for the ERM in preparation of Go Live.


Joint Use

Chair: Janice Henderson, NFSC

The Joint Use Working Group is looking at Sierra options for managing materials that are owned by the partner institution and circulated by the host institution. Members participated in a Q&A session on joint use with the lead Innovative trainer, Schlomit Schwarzer, on Dec. 14. They are now looking at Schlomit's proposal for a testing scenario using the Daytona State College-Daytona and University of Central Florida-Daytona joint-use facility. Anyone involved with college or university joint-use facilities or with an interest in them needs to join the Joint Use Discussion Group list (ILS-JOINT-USE-DISCUSSION) and visit the Joint Use wiki to review the information for local accuracy.



Chair: Nancy Kellett, FSU

The Systems Working Group welcomed our new chair, Nancy Kellett from FSU. The group worked on workflow functions and submitted that to FALSC staff. The group has added two new members and reviewed the memberships in our sub-groups to include the new members. We also have started a spreadsheet of possible Sierra enhancement requests.



Chair: Sara Alegria, Miami Dade College 

The Training Working Group continues to prepare for the Feb. 14 start of in-person training on the new system. Members are working on documentation, and the group held a Training Update webinar for library staff on Jan. 9. The main topic of discussion was the new Training Tracks document, which organizes the available instructional materials into topic areas. The group hopes this will give library staff a starting point as training kicks off, and would like to encourage all staffers to review the document and start learning about the new system now. Training Tracks is available on the Training Working Group wiki





ABOUT FALSC: The Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative provides services and information to the libraries of the state's 40 public colleges and universities. FALSC has offices in Tallahassee and Gainesville, and is part of the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), which is administered by the University of West Florida's Innovation Institute.

ABOUT THE UPDATE: This regularly published electronic newsletter is intended to keep stakeholders apprised of progress toward the implementation of a new integrated library system for Florida's public colleges and universities. The next edition, February/March, will be distributed by FALSC in late February.