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)





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A new Project Timeline is in place, and the goal now is
to complete and test work on a schedule that allows Go Live
in July 2018 to become essentially a non-event.

>> All work on the new integrated library system (ILS) continues.
>> A Project Timeline Overview is available for download.
>> In-person Spring training wrapped up in June, but refresher training will be offered in Spring 2018.
>> Our longer timeline offers the opportunity for broader system testing by library staff, many of whom have been through in-person training.
>> The Systems Working Group and FALSC have begun the process for creating staff accounts and permissions in Sierra.
>> The two discovery-tool Working Groups are now a single, unified group.
>> We will continue to keep stakeholders informed, through multiple outlets.
Leadership and Collaboration
Since the March 31st announcement that our project has been extended for a year, with Go Live now set for July 2018, staff from the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC) and the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC) have worked with system vendor Innovative Interfaces Inc. to develop a new project timeline (details below). The original Organizational Framework for the project remains in place, and all work by FALSC, Innovative, and library staff continues.
Here’s an update on key groups:
  • The 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 ILS Implementation Team meets every other week, and meets next on June 26. 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. 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
Special Note on the Discovery Working Groups: Following approval by the MCLS at its May 24-25 meeting, the two Working Groups concentrated on the discovery tool were combined into one group in order to simplify their work. The Discovery Interface Working Group and the Discovery Configuration Working Group are now the Discovery Interface Working Group, with members subscribed to a new mailing list, ILS-DISCOVERY-WORKING. The lists formerly used by the separate groups are closed to new posts, but older posts remain available. The two discovery tool Discussion Groups also are merging. For anyone keeping count of Working Groups, the change means that there are now eight.
Implementation and Migration
The Members Council on Library Services saw an initial version of the new “Project Timeline Overview and Issues Delivery Schedule” at its meeting May 24-25. A more concise version of the Overview is now available for download.
Get the Project Timeline Overview
Our high-level timeline maps out when each desired software feature in the new system will be developed and when new versions of the full system software will be released and tested, and sets timeframes for data conversion, a client readiness review, and the Production Go Live period.
A full, finished version of the system software is scheduled to be released in December 2017 for executive review and approval, with the readiness review and Production Go Live period occurring in 2018.
Currently, we are testing a new version of the Sierra software. Sierra 3.2 Beta was released May 25 and has been loaded on our Sierra Test server. Check service status and availability at any time on the project wiki.
Sierra 3.2 addresses several development issues, including support for multiple time zones, API functionality (patron CRUD, patron authentication, staff authentication, non-batch fines output or cash transactions), back-end functionality for audit trails for record edits, and a self-harvesting tool for OAI-PMH harvesting.
Other recent activities:
  • Final profile evaluation of system settings by institution staff was completed June 16.
  • Circulation transaction data continues to be tweaked, and appears improved.
  • Evaluation of acquisitions data load continues; profile changes are ahead.
  • Bib/Item/Authority Data for August/September reload delivered to BSLW.
  • EBSCO harvest of bib records from FALSC Test Server into EDS continues.
Ongoing Topics
FALSC and FLVC staff and Innovative are addressing 21 issues on an agreed-upon timeline and intend to resolve them by December 2017. This list groups issues by status, with some already resolved and five, listed last, requiring additional analysis and discussion.
Items firmly scheduled, already delivered, or closed
  • Managing multiple time zones: Functionality delivered in Sierra Beta 3.2 (May 31).
  • Mobile Encore for full suites: Setup completed and URLs sent to FALSC (June 13).
  • Mapping problem in Encore display: Functionality to be delivered in Encore 4.6.2 (June 30).
  • SIP2 Encryption: Functionality delivered Feb. 20, 2017; solution tested successfully in Tallahassee and Gainesville FALSC offices; to be available at Go Live.
  • Encore Duet/EDS Discovery interface comparison: Demonstrations conducted April 11-12, 2017; link to recording available on the Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Wiki.
  • Local field display in Encore: Functionality will be delivered in Encore 4.7 (Q3 2017).
  • Timeout page in Encore: Functionality will be delivered in Encore 4.7 (Q3 2017).
  • Audit Trails for record edits: Back end functionality delivered in Sierra Beta 3.2 (June 12); Front end functionality to be delivered in Sierra 3.3 (Q3 2017).
  • Removal of limits to configuration tables: Functionality delivered.
  • Support for Multiple roles for patrons: Proposed solution uses existing Sierra functionality to meet FALSC requirements; the Joint Use Working Group and FALSC have tested and agree requirements can be met with existing functionality.
  • Log tracking of all Activities: Functionality will be delivered in Sierra 3.4 (Q4 2017).
Plan in place, but continuing initiatives required
  • Authentication: Functionality will be in place for testing by October. We are supporting SSO integration (SAML, Shibboleth and CAS), LDAP integration for 3 schools and LWAUTH for the colleges.
  • APIs:
    Delivered in Sierra 3.2, with accompanying Release Notes (FALSC/FLVC continues to test and work with Innovative to achieve full functionality): Patron CRUD, staff authentication
    To be included in Sierra 3.3: Validate patrons against the “u” index for authentication, invoices CRUD, Fines Output (batch), Fines Ouput (non-batch) with AgencyCode and Date Range
    To be included in Sierra 3.4: Fines Output (non-batch mode): ChargeTime, DueDate, DueTime, ReturnDate, and ReturnTime
    Invoice API: III/FALSC will identify order/invoice data endpoints for query/use by Invoices CRUD; meetings with UF, UNF, and FIU, the three schools currently using the Aleph to PeopleSoft/Banner Financials Interface, were conducted in June.
  • PDA/DDA: FALSC and the Cataloging and Authorities Working Group have accepted the proposed solution of loading bibs into Sierra, with scoped items containing/protecting local information (institutions’ program and URL); profiling meeting conducted June 8.
  • Full Encore Duet/EDS API from EBSCO: We are continuing to wait for the API; EBSCO has begun harvesting records from FALSC Test Server.
  • Browse search in Encore: Per the ITN, Browse searching functionality will be delivered in WebPAC.
Items requiring additional analysis and discussion
  • OAI-PMH Harvesting: III has harvested sample collections and will work with FALSC on evaluating results and setting up additional targets. FALSC has given III eight additional requirements to maintain current functionality and support.
  • ERM full functionality and the Open Knowledge Base: Innovative to assist FALSC in fully implementing and testing Sierra’s existing ERM functionality.
  • Sierra Web Application: Functionality will be delivered on a date to be determined.
  • Paging in Sierra: Functionality to the ITN delivered in Sierra 3.1; discussions continue for possible development to have local paging optional by institution.
  • Restricting access to Course Reserves: FALSC has surveyed member libraries; waiting for all institutions to respond to the survey before we can move forward.
In-person spring training on the new system wrapped up in early June. Coordinating, hosting, and presenting these sessions was a huge group effort, and many thanks go to the 31 host sites, all participants, and our trainers from Innovative.
Dating from Feb. 14, nearly 150 sessions were presented throughout the state, with each class accommodating up to 15 trainees.
In-person training provides the foundation for supplemental educational activities, including refresher training to be offered in Spring 2018.
Now the extended timeline for implementation allows library staff greater opportunity to review data, test and customize local loan policies, and customize templates. Library staffers who have completed training can now focus on reviewing their records and loan polices in Sierra and sending feedback to with any issues they find. They also can begin customizing templates and other functions within Sierra.
In addition, the Systems Working Group and FALSC have begun the process for creating staff accounts and permissions in Sierra. 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.
To review topic-by-topic information on training and for links to materials, please see the Training Tracks wiki.
In addition to in-person training, we’ve offered several webinars on ILS topics this spring. Check the Training Tracks wiki for recordings. Going forward, webinars on specific aspects of the system will be offered throughout the coming year. Look for announcements in your inbox as sessions are scheduled.
Go to Training Tracks
Logo mockups for our new system’s name, OAK: Online Access to Knowledge, were unveiled at the MCLS meeting in May, and reactions have been favorable. As a reminder: FALSC will provide branding for the new system, but the decision to use it, or not, is up to each institution. Expect to see finalized, color logos later this summer.
OAK logo
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 Working Group has voted to meet twice a month at least through 2016 fiscal close. We will increase meeting times as needed. We have been evaluating the order, fund and vendor record data in Sierra and reporting anomalies and missing data. In response, FALSC is working to find places in the Sierra records to accommodate this previously unextracted information. For example, we have mapped the Aleph material type data to the Sierra Form code which was missing in the last data load. Mapping spreadsheets listing the Aleph vendor and Aleph budgets and the corresponding Sierra codes and names are on the Working group wiki. These spreadsheets are used to as lookup tables to transform the Aleph codes into the Sierra codes and names. Nearly all RLOC and BLOC data has been entered into Sierra and the group is reviewing this data too, to make sure the addresses that have been entered are correct. Deadlines to update the Sierra codes and names on the lookup spreadsheets is June 30 so that the data will appear correctly in Sierra. The working group submitted their requests for multiple accounting units and FALSC is studying possible implications in the ERM of having multiple units. We are also getting clarification on the rules involved in selecting a fiscal close method.


Chair: Annie Glerum, FSU
The Cataloging/Authorities Working Group (CAWG) continues to examine data in Sierra to find and suggest solutions for issues that might affect the migration with the 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 in July, once a month the Working Group will devote one of its weekly meeting times to outreach with the broader Cataloging/Authorities community. The Working Group will share a few updates on their activities but leave the majority of the session for questions and answers. Joint outreach sessions with other Working Groups may be held as well. Communication about the open sessions will be through the CAWG discussion list.

Circulation/Resource Sharing

Chair: LeEtta Schmidt, USF
The Circulation and Resource Sharing Working Group created a UBorrow/requesting scenarios page on the wiki to help explain how local requesting and UBorrow requesting will work in Sierra/Encore Duet. The group also offered a webinar on the UBorrow process in Sierra on June 14, and a recording will be made available on the project wiki. Continuing activities for the Circulation and Resource Sharing working group include: investigating options for distanced learner UBorrow requests in Sierra/Encore Duet; testing course reserves data load, display and functionality; creating a FAQ for questions specific to circulation and resource.

Discovery Interface

Co-Chairs: Alexis Carlson, IRSC, and Laura Gayle Green, FSU

With the approval of the Members Council on Library Services at its May meeting, the two discovery tool Working Groups joined forces as one group in order to simplify their work. The chairs of the two original groups, Discovery Configuration and Discovery Interface, now serve as co-chairs of the unified Discovery Interface Working Group. The groups have made profiling recommendations for the Encore Discovery layer and the Sierra WebPac, reviewed reports prepared by FLVC using Google Analytics for Encore reporting needs, reviewed the FALSC report inventory as the Systems Working Group requested, 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 interface. Working Group members have attended various webinars hosted by III and EBSCO regarding configuration of the discovery tools, which includes configuration and maintenance of EBSCO’s link resolver and mega-index used with Encore.


E-Resource Management

Chair: Tina Buck, UCF
The ERM Working Group has finalized ERM records’ fields and field options. We are in the process of testing the public display of resource and license records. We have distributed a survey to determine which libraries may need field definitions that will enhance consortially friendly tickler options. We are having discussions about the Sierra WebPac database A-Z pages, and recently had a brainstorming session with a FALSC programmer working on the pages. We are planning training and documentation for all libraries expecting to load ERM data during the July-September load.

Joint Use

Chair: Janice Henderson, NFSC
The Joint Use Working Group has compiled patron and circulation policies for joint use facilities from the Joint Use Survey of all institutions and additional contacts with ILS Coordinators. The Working Group reviewed the Sierra functionality for Joint Use Facilities and agrees with FALSC staff that no new development for Multiple Patron Roles by Innovative is necessary for joint use to be supported in Sierra. The committee has begun to look at the joint use facility user perspective in Encore, have encountered the same issues that are challenging for branches, and have alerted FALSC about the concerns. The committee is working on a document to describe the joint use facilities and will share that with each of the 15 institutions involved. 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 to review the information for local accuracy.


Chair: Nancy Kellett, FSU
The Systems Working Group has finalized its recommendation for user names for Sierra. The analysis of reports needed at Go Live was completed in May, and the group next turned to refining the list of needed reports that don’t already exist in Sierra and documenting the process for running the reports in Sierra. There are very few reports on the list that do not exist currently in Sierra.


Chair: Sara Alegria, MDC
The Training WG welcomes the extended Go Live date as an opportunity for more in-depth training and familiarization with additional functionalities. We are planning on scheduling supplementary training starting in January 2018. The group has placed a questions/suggestions box in the General Library Staff Training section of the FALSC web page, to encourage all staff to reach out as needed. It is also planning an Update Training Webinar for staff statewide, to present an updated timeline of activities and review new training activities and practice exercise documents.
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
Questions? Contact the FLVC Help Desk, or (877) 506-2210 (toll free).