Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Update

With thanks to all for their efforts, 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 password is required to view content. For generic, view-only credentials, contact the Help Desk, or (877) 506-2210 (toll free). Access is open to staff at Florida's public colleges and universities. 

Testing of the most recent software releases has been under way on our three project servers for several weeks. Starting today, July 26, the Production server will be unavailable as it undergoes a fresh reload of millions of records from the colleges and universities. 

Leadership and Collaboration
Library and technology staff from the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC), Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), system vendor Innovative Interfaces, and the colleges and universities continue to move ahead with development and testing for the implementation, which is scheduled for Go Live in July 2018.
Here’s an update on key groups:
  • The eight ILS Working Groups, made up of staff from the universities and colleges and focused on various areas of the new system, remain in place and meet regularly, posting updates on the ILS wiki. For summaries of their recent work, see “News from the Working Groups” below.
  • The Working Groups have corresponding Discussion Groups open to all interested college and university library staff. Participation is encouraged! Join one or more Discussion Groups to track developments and help shape the new ILS. Find more information and links on’s Discussion Groups page, or go directly to the FLVC Discussion Lists to find a group and subscribe. Look for list names such as ILS-DISCOVERY-DISCUSSION.
  • The ILS Implementation Team meets every other week, with the next session scheduled Aug. 7. 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. The Coordinators meet next on July 27, and then on Aug. 24. Find a list of Coordinators on
Check the Sierra / Encore Duet Implementation Wiki for details on each group’s activities, including meeting agendas, notes, and documentation.
Visit the Sierra/Encore Duet Wiki
Implementation and Migration
Our project servers are loaded with the newest beta versions of the ILS and discovery tool software, Sierra 3.2 and Encore 4.6.2. The Test and Training servers are currently up and available.
The Production server is unavailable starting today as work begins on the reload of a fresh batch of extracted, merged, and de-duped data from the colleges and universities. The reload is expected to take several weeks, from now through Sept. 30.
While Production is tied up with the load, all workflow testing and changing data will continue on the Sierra Test and Training servers, and on the union statewide Encore Test suite. The Test server is scheduled for the installation of a new version of the Sierra software, 3.3 Beta, on Aug. 30. Check service status and availability at any time on the project wiki.
Other recent activities
  • Reconfiguration of acquisitions data and holdings records for several libraries that want multiple accounting units
  • Ongoing EBSCO harvest of bib records from FALSC Test Server into EDS
  • Began initial creation of staff user accounts
  • Continued discussions with Innovative and the libraries for Authentication setup
  • Production Verification Test Plan for the October testing and review
  • Patron data migration and ongoing patron loads meetings with Innovative
  • Continued discussions with Innovative on necessary requirements for OAI-PMH Harvesting
Ongoing Topics
FALSC and FLVC staff and Innovative are working through a list of 21 development issues on an agreed-upon timeline. Twelve of those issues are resolved – firmly scheduled, delivered, or closed. 
This issue was recently added by Innovative to the resolved list:
  • Browse search in Encore: Different personas are served by Encore (patrons) and WebPAC (researchers, librarians). Browse searching functionality will be delivered in WebPAC. 
Sierra 3.3, to be released Aug. 30, will address:
  • API Functionality
    Patron Authentication against u field
    Fines Output or Cash Transactions (batch mode)
  • Audit Trails for Record Edits (front-end functionality)
    Report available in Sierra
  • ERM and Knowledge Base
    Auto Updates from the Knowledge Base to Sierra
    SUSHI (Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative) and Counter Fix
In other development news:
  • Restricting access to Course Reserves: FALSC has surveyed member libraries; survey results and requirements will be submitted to Innovative in July.
  • Authentication: Functionality will be in place for testing by October. Weekly meetings continue, resulting in solid progress. Per an agreement between FALSC and Innovative, Aug. 15 is the deadline for schools to select an SSO protocol for inclusion in the October testing. We are supporting SSO integration (SAML, Shibboleth and CAS), LDAP integration for three schools, and LWAUTH for many of the colleges.
All 21 issues are scheduled to be resolved by December 2017. For an issue-by-issue list with feature release dates, please download the Project Timeline Overview that was posted in June.
Get the Project Timeline Overview
For the first time in months, there is no active in-person training to talk about, and there won’t be until refresher classes start in Spring 2018. Right now, we encourage staffers to review the documentation and recordings accessible on the Training Tracks wiki.
Go to Training Tracks
After the reloading process on the Production server is completed Sept. 30, library staff who have been trained on Sierra can access that server to review, test, and customize local loan policies, review records, and customize templates and other functions in the new system.
There are many 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 eight Working Groups. For more information, please visit the project wiki. For login information, see “About Wiki Access," at top.


Chair: Ernestine Holmes, FAMU 
The Acquisitions/Serials Working Group completed order, fund, and vendor record evaluations and modified the .sql extract script to mediate some issues. The group re-extracted data for the University of South Florida and Eastern Florida State College using the modified script and evaluated this output. Most issues discovered have been rectified, and we are confident the summer load will prove more reflective of Aleph content. The Working Group finalized fund code and vendor code name additions and changes and are using the revised spreadsheet for the data extract. The ILS Implementation Team met with the five schools interested in multiple accounting units and reviewed the repercussions for adding them. Florida A&M University, Florida International University, Florida State University, University of Florida, and University of South Florida chose to use multiple accounting units. Innovative is currently modifying the setup for these schools, and the FALSC programmer is further modifying the script to accommodate separate data extracts for each unit. The group is looking toward long term planning and is discussing webinars, help sheets, and joint sessions to address the day-to-day use of Sierra and the change in workflow.


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 with an emphasis on preventing lost data and adverse impacts to user experience. Subgroups continue to work on various focused issues to insure a successful implementation. Beginning Aug. 1, the Working Group will devote its meetings on the first Tuesday of the month to open sessions with the broader Cataloging/Authorities community to share updates on known issues, and then have an open forum for community members to provide feedback on data review, ask questions, or share any other thoughts about the Sierra/Encore implementation. These open sessions were announced broadly to FALSC, CSUL, and LINCC technical services and cataloging Listservs.

Circulation/Resource Sharing

Chair: LeEtta Schmidt, USF 
The Circulation and Resource Sharing Working Group put forth a recommendation to have pullslips generated twice daily, at 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. The recommendation was approved by the Implementation Team and is in the process of being communicated to library staff via the ILS Coordinators, FLVC Access Services, and other Listservs. The group is also preparing a recommendation for the essential information needed for the creation of a patron and course reserves record, and will coordinate with the Cataloging and Authorities Working Group regarding the item record. The Working Group is continuing preparation for a second UBorrow webinar in early Fall, and will soon begin both Circulation and UBorrow workflow testing.

Discovery Interface

Co-Chairs: Alexis Carlson, IRSC, and Laura Gayle Green, FSU 
The Discovery Interface Working Group continues to make profiling recommendations for the Encore Discovery layer and the Sierra WebPac. Members have provided input into the functionality of the new mobile interfaces for each suite. They also have discussed changes made to the configuration of EBSCO’s link resolver and mega-index used with Encore to include text that appears on the custom links in Encore and on the link resolver menu, and configuration changes made in Publication Finder, EBSCO’s Journals A-Z equivalent. The Working Group has continued to test Sierra and Encore Duet as the various records/data loads and software updates occurred, and continued to make recommendations related to text that appears in the Encore interface. 

E-Resource Management

Chair: Tina Buck, UCF
The E-Resource Management (ERM) Working Group and our FALSC liaisons finalized the ERM data dictionaries for the last test load, held a training session for all libraries that planned to submit data, and carefully prepared our own data sets. This data includes vendor contacts, resource, and license information in large and very specifically formatted spreadsheets. As the only Working Group gathering and submitting data that is external to Aleph, ERM is in a unique position when it comes to data loads. 

Joint Use

Chair: Janice Henderson, NFSC
The Joint Use Working Group has evaluated the changes made to the location facets in Encore version 4.6 and finds them to be a great improvement for Joint Use Facilities. The committee has started work on a webinar about Joint Use Facilities that will be scheduled for late September. The target audience is FCS and SUS staff who want to learn more about Joint Use. Meanwhile, anyone involved with college or university joint-use facilities or with an interest in them should join the Joint Use Discussion Group list (ILS-JOINT-USE-DISCUSSION) and visit the Joint Use wiki


Chair: Nancy Kellett, FSU 
The Systems Working Group has updated its recommendation on user accounts. The group reviewed the list of reports needed at Go Live; there were 131 reports in the Day 1 inventory. Of those only 27 don’t exist or couldn’t be found. Of that 27, 21 deal with ILL/UBorrow (15 reports) or Course Reading (six reports). That leaves only six that possibly need to be created.


Chair: Sara Alegria, MDC 
The Training Working Group is in the process of creating some exercises and functionality checklists that may help when testing your individual Sierra User Accounts. The group has also created a draft list of webinar topics for the Fall. We welcome your input. Please “drop” your questions, comments, and ideas in the Training Working Group’s Questions/Suggestions Box.
Open the Suggestions Box
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. FALSC is headquartered at 1753 W. Paul Dirac Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32310. To learn more, please visit