Elijah Scott

I’m sure we’re all familiar with the verse of Robert Burns as he observes to a mouse, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men / Gang aft agley / An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain / for primis’d joy!” On April 5, I felt somewhat akin to the mouse while trying to find a way home from Washington, D.C. 

The Atlanta airport closed for weather on that day, resulting in travel disruption across the country. What an adventure! Twelve of us from FALSC attended the Innovative Users Group (IUG) Conference in Maryland on April 2-5. Many of us were scheduled to fly back to Florida on April 5, but our “best-laid schemes” and travel plans went “agley,” indeed! I can tell you that it’s a long, long drive from Washington back to Tallahassee, but nonetheless, the trip to the conference was well worth the “grief an’ pain” of disrupted travel plans.

At IUG, our FALSC staff had the opportunity to connect and network with library colleagues from around the world, all of whom are fellow users of III products. We attended sessions ranging from integration of library resources with learning management systems to new options for digital repositories, along with many sessions about how to maximize our usage of the features that will be available to us in Sierra Encore Duet. We also had the opportunity to talk with colleagues at Florida libraries who are currently using III products, and much of that conversation revolved around our plans for FALSC to host an annual conference for all users of Sierra and Encore Duet in the state of Florida. We anticipate the first such conference to take place in summer 2018.

In his words of wisdom to the mouse, Burns also notes, “But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane / in proving foresight may be vain.” When FALSC and our member libraries officially partnered with III in April 2016 to implement a next-generation ILS, we embarked on an ambitious timeline to deliver a system to provide an enhanced search and discovery experience for our users. Our commitment to that goal has not waivered. In late March, after careful consideration, we came to an agreement with III that essential functionality was not yet fully developed in Sierra/Encore Duet. Following the guidelines that we had originally set forth in the “Organizational Framework for ILS Implementation,” we arrived at a decision to delay the system “Go Live” date by one year. Even though we’ve pushed back our Go Live date, we most definitely have not slowed any activity on the project! Much work remains to be done, so all of the teams and work groups that are involved in the project will continue their activities. Our ultimate goal is the success of the end user of this system, and the best way to ensure we meet this goal is to allow Innovative sufficient time to deliver a system that fully meets the needs and expectations of our users. 

In This Is a Book, comedian and author Demetri Martin illustrates what people think the trajectory toward success looks like versus what is often the reality. Below is our rough sketch of the two paths.

I suppose it’s an innate feature of human nature to hope that the path to success will be a straight line, but much more often, it is a winding, twisty road. Those of us who work in academic libraries might be reminded of the research process that we teach to students every day – research is a process as much as an end goal, and the research process generally takes students along a winding, twisty road among the books, articles, online sources, and myriad other information resources that we provide in multiple formats through our libraries. If we try to take shortcuts in the research process, we likely will fail to be successful at reaching our goal.

In the same line of thinking, there are no shortcuts along the way to a successful ILS implementation. Planning is essential, and the adoption of a revised plan clearly demonstrates that the system described in the “Organizational Framework for ILS Implementation” is a system that works. We will continue to work with III, with our member libraries, with our teams and work groups, to ensure that the ILS project moves forward to a successful conclusion.

– ELIJAH SCOTT, Executive Director, Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative


Governance and Advisory Processes

Executive Committee — March 15, March 31, April 19

The Executive Committee of the Members Council on Library Services (MCLS) met by conference call on March 15. Members heard updates on the Sierra/Encore Duet project and efforts to brand the new ILS, and discussed voting language in the MCLS bylaws.

On March 31, the Executive Committee held a special meeting to discuss extending the timeline for the Sierra/Encore Duet implementation project. The new Go Live date, July 2018, was announced later the same day.

The Executive Committee met most recently on April 19, when members revisited several topics from the March 15 meeting and discussed agenda items for the upcoming MCLS meeting, May 24-25 in Cocoa. Likely items for the May meeting include new voting language in the MCLS bylaws, updating FALSC’s e-resources licensing guidelines, a report on the recent legislative session, branding for the new ILS, and, of course, an update on the Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Project.

The Executive Committee meets next on May 17.

 Find agendas and minutes for past Executive Committee and MCLS meetings here.


Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation

A NOTE ON WIKI ACCESS: Many items in this section 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, help@flvc.org or (877) 506-2210 (toll free), to request login information.


Project Status and Next Steps

The April/May edition of the Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Update e-newsletter released Monday includes a full report on the project, so we’ll just hit a few high spots in this Update from the Executive Director.

As was announced March 31 and as everyone likely has heard, the implementation has been delayed for approximately a year in order to allow vendor Innovative Interfaces time to develop a fully functional system that addresses the needs of our consortium. “Go Live” is now scheduled for July 2018.

Here are a few key points on where the project stands and what’s next:

  • The work rolls on, full speed ahead. FALSC and FLVC IT staff and the Working Groups continue to tackle Sierra and Encore system configuration, data review, authentication, development issues, electronic resource management (ERM) development, acquisitions migration, patron loads, duplicate patron IDs, joint use, application program interfaces (APIs), and other issues. We also continue to collaborate closely with system vendor Innovative Interfaces.
  • The in-person training and webinar schedule will continue as planned. It’s important that staffers who are registered for in-person sessions attend, as the classroom work provides a foundation for supplemental training activities. There are prerequisites for the in-person sessions, and those are detailed on the Training Tracks wiki. Webinars will be offered throughout the coming year on specific aspects of the system. Please see the webinar schedule and follow the instructions to register for the sessions relevant to you. In-person training is a prerequisite for most webinars. In case you miss a live session, recordings of the webinars will be available, also on the Training Tracks wiki.
  • A new project timeline will be released in late May. Work on the timeline is under way.

See “Staying Informed,” below, for links to in-depth information on the project and key groups that are meeting regularly to move the work forward, including the Implementation Team, the nine Working Groups, and the ILS Coordinators responsible for putting together local implementation teams at their institutions. 


Notes from the IUG

As Elijah Scott mentions in his introduction above, FALSC and FLVC sent a large contingent to the Innovative Users Group 2017 Conference, April 2-5 in National Harbor, Md. In fact, we were a little worried about getting them back when their flights were cancelled due to storms. Everyone returned safely by whatever means they could arrange, with some negotiating alternate flights and several renting vehicles to drive back to Florida, as Elijah’s group did. Cherie McCraw and Natalie Henri-Bennett may have had the most colorful trip. The last leg of the journey found them piloting a rented Suburban from Macon, Ga., to Tallahassee with a toddler and two women Cherie had befriended on a flight to Atlanta.

Before all the travel drama, FALSC staffers attended several IUG sessions and picked up good information.

The University of Central Florida also sent a crew to IUG, and several librarians presented a poster for the conference. “Two Barcodes, Many Headaches” addressed how the transition from Aleph to Sierra/Encore-Duet should improve the patron and librarian experience at UCF’s 10 joint-use libraries across central Florida. Workflows from acquisitions, cataloging, circulation, collection management, and resource sharing were explained. The poster by Jeanne Piascik, Kristine Shrauger, Tina Buck, Lindsey Ritzert, and Ying Zhang outlines how UCF and its partners plan to use Sierra to create seamless patron and staff interactions for all.

UCF librarian Athena Hoeppner made a separate presentation, “Discovery Duo: Examining EDS and Encore Duet Discovery Options,” that shared an investigation of the interface and configuration options, content handling, and the user experience provided by each interface.



After much discussion, we have a name for the new ILS! It will be called OAK, Online Access to Knowledge, and a logo is under development. As a reminder: The decision on whether or not to use FALSC’s branding for the system is up to each college and university. We will provide the name, but institutions are not required to use it. 


Staying Informed

There are many paths for finding more information about the ILS project:

  • The Sierra / Encore Duet Implementation Wiki, which includes links to training recordings and to wikis for the Working Groups, Implementation Team, ILS Coordinators, and ILS IT Contacts
  • The monthly Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Update newsletter, which is via Listservs to all library staff and posted on this website
  • This website's ILS Implementation section, including Information Technology pages intended to help library staff communicate with institutions’ IT departments. 


Other Library Projects


Support for electronic resources licensing and access continues while we begin our search for a Director of E-Resources. Our most challenging agreement in 2017 has been with Taylor & Francis, a publisher that has made the unprecedented business decision of cutting off back-file access by the implementation of a 20-year rolling window. We will continue to resist this as a business practice, and look forward to support from other consortia which are renewing in 2018. We will also have three other agreements up for renewal in 2018: Oxford, Cambridge, and SAGE.

For the Florida College System, we continue to maintain more than 3,500 links to over 500 unique products through the LINCCWeb database pages. The number of links has been decreasing slightly since around 2012, as the result of lost content in the statewide collection and product lines being merged together (a la Wilson and EBSCO). Also for the colleges, we released a new reports interface for e-resources reports in February. This new interface allows users to access all data that each vendor provides in a specified date range. Users have so far generated nearly 350 report views, and we hope this service becomes more useful as we approach the end of the fiscal year.  

We continue to maintain EZproxy services for all of the colleges and a few of the universities. In the first quarter of 2017, we updated 122 proxy stanzas, to ensure that connections to resources are stable and provide access to the content that we have licensed. 



It’s done! The annual Academic Library Survey of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) was completed on March 15, with all 28 of the FCS institutions submitting their data by the deadline. 


Centralized Data Loads, Extracts, and Reports

SUS Aleph record counts for February are complete. Ad hoc reports were completed on:

  • Reference works by call number ranges
  • Engineering inventory

FCS monthly reports through March have been released. Ad hoc reports for various institutions or requesters were prepared on:

  • Staff privileges in Aleph
  • Holdings with no items for all institutions
  • Items with zero loans
  • All orders to Amazon
  •  ISBNs for items in CFHSL
  • Serials with specific subject heading
  • Titles in FSRS2 and FLARE
  • Monographic holdings in FSMUS.
  • FSULC tittles with call number and number of loans.
  • FCS account information.
  • Counts of titles broken down by physical vs. digital.
  • Rerun of daily money reports .
  • Information from z108
  • Count of e-books in nursing.
  • Listing of e-books in medical/health science

The following LINCC reports for January-March 2017 are now available from the LINCC Reports Service:

  • Vendor Statistics - College Searches (L010)
  • Vendor Statistics - Statewide Searches (L011)
  • E-books Usage - College Title Requests (L012)
  • E-books Usage - Statewide Title Requests (L013)
  • Vendor Statistics - College Full-Text Accessions (L029)
  • Vendor Statistics - Statewide Full-Text Accessions (L030)
  • Vendor Statistics - College Sessions (L031)
  • Vendor Statistics - Statewide Sessions (L032)
  • Vendor Statistics - College Multimedia Accessions (L033)
  • Vendor Statistics - Statewide Multimedia Accessions (L034)

Please note that information is incomplete or missing for the following database vendors:  Sage (March only) , EBSCO (March only), Consumer Reports (February statistics lost when they switched platforms).

Recent data loading projects include:

  • Monthly loads: FMG
  • PDA updates: EBSCO, YBP, Coutts; JSTOR, Dockuseek2, Harrassowitz
  • Serials Solutions e-books
  • RAPIDILL Updates - EJournal via SFX: March for FAMU, NCF, UCF and USF
  • RAPIDILL Updates - EJournal via Serial Solutions: March for FAU, FGCU, FIU and UF
  • RAPIDILL Yearly Book Chapters Update: extractions for FAMU, FAU and UCF
  • SUS Coutts PDA: Two December files of records for purchased titles loaded into UXU01 and deleted from PDA01.
  • LAPS: Updated the EDI retrieval script to accommodate vendor naming conventions; removed special processing for Pensacola State College in the FCS outsource loading scripts.
  • ECCO Record Reloads Eighteenth Century Collections Online: completed for FSU
  • EEBO Record Reloads Early English Books Online: Working with UCF, FSU & USF to load the replacement records for Early English Books Online.

FALSC also extracts data from Aleph, on regular schedules, for shipping to outside parties (e.g., institutional financial systems, third-party discovery systems). 


Bibliographic Database Quality

As part of the Sierra/Encore Duet implementation, we have contracted with Backstage Library Works (BSLW) to provide de-duplication and authority control services, and BSLW duplication reports are under review. While we continue with work already begun to clean up records in current Aleph catalogs, and of course continue to perform regular reports and automated cleanup, our emphasis is shifting to the Sierra environment. 

Meanwhile, we are working to identify non-OCLC SUS record sets with OCLC numbers in the 035 field, and are on Phase 2, records with multiple holdings. This is the spreadsheet used to track progress. The number of records cleaned up totals 160,841. 


Digital Services

Florida Online Journals

  • FLVC is helping the Florida State Horticultural Society migrate back issues onto the Florida OJ platform. In March, articles from 1992 through 2001 were batch loaded to Florida OJ, resulting in approximately 1,200 additional articles available to the public. In the coming weeks, FLVC plans to load all articles and issues back to 1888.
  • Status of the OJS 3 demonstration site: Florida Online Journals (Florida OJ) currently runs on Open Journal Systems (OJS) 2.4.8. In Fall 2016, the open source community released OJS 3.0. In February, FLVC completed an install of OJS 3.0. The Digital Services department is now investigating interface changes on the new software, and plans to open a demonstration site for users to try the new software in the coming weeks.


  • A routine software upgrade is underway to upgrade Islandora to version 7.x-1.8. The upgrade has been performed on development and test servers. New features will be demonstrated at an upcoming meeting of the Islandora SubGroup (ISG) of the Digital Initiatives Subcommittee (DISC) of the Members Council on Library Services (MCLS), and the upgrade is scheduled for production Islandora sites in mid-May.
  • Valencia College's Islandora site opened to the public.
  • Migration of Gulf Coast State College's legacy CONTENTdm materials to Islandora is now complete, and the site is open to the public.
  • A project to enable batch MODS updates in Islandora is on hold as resources have been prioritized to the ILS implementation.
  • Progress continues in the Florida Islandora Institutional Repositories Transformation (FLIIRT) project. Some code changes were made in order to ensure that all Metadata Authority Description Schema (MADS) records created by the Islandora software will validate against the XML schema. Faculty information was batch loaded to Florida Gulf Coast University's test site, and all faculty and departments are now connected. An update to MODS forms has been developed which will allow rights information to be stored as an uncontrolled field, or additionally to be stored as a Creative Commons license or a RightsStatements.org value. This change to forms is not yet scheduled for deployment on production sites.

Florida Digital Archive

FLVC is continuing exploration of preservation system options that will meet our users’ needs.

Digital Collections harvest for the Encore discovery tool

Test records have been harvested from FIU dPanther, UF Sobek and FAU Isandora. The test load of these records into the Encore discovery tool is under review. Based on findings from the test load, requirements for presentation of digital collections records in Encore and additional functions of the harvesting tool have been submitted to Innovative.


FALSC Short Takes


Several people in the Florida postsecondary library firmament have recently racked up remarkable achievements, including Elizabeth Curry, Judith Russell, Krystal Thomas, and Theresa Burress. Please see People in the News for details. If you have news about yourself or your institution, send it to Joni Branch, jbranch@flvc.org. All contributions are appreciated!


We Hope to See You at FLA 2017

We’re looking forward to the Florida Library Association (FLA) Annual Conference, and we hope to see many of our library colleagues in Orlando on May 10-12.

If you are going to the conference, please plan to drop by:

  • The FALSC Booth, No. 218 in the Exhibit Hall
  • Innovative Interfaces, Booth No. 204
  • FALSC Forum, Thursday, May 11, 4:15 p.m. ET in Curacao Nos. 3 and 4, where you can meet our new Executive Director, Elijah Scott, and get the latest on the implementation project.


Show FALSC Some 'Like' on Facebook

FALSC launched a Facebook page March 3 with photos from the last MCLS meeting, and we’ve made many posts since. Besides photos from us, including some taken at training sites, the page features shares from libraries’ FB pages as we pass along your good news. If you get a chance, please “goFALSC” on Facebook and give the page a “like.” FALSC has already “liked” all the Florida college and university library pages we can find. We’ve even mastered enough code to include a scrollable feed from Facebook on the bottom of FALSC.org’s Welcome page, so our posts and shares will be visible there, too.


Staff News

The Help Desk welcomed two new Analysts on April 10, Sabrina Dickey and Anthony Perryman. Many of you may remember Sabrina, who worked for the Service Desk of the College Center for Library Automation (CCLA) for 17 years before leaving in 2013. Anthony comes to us from the library of Albany State University in Georgia, where he worked for nearly 10 years assisting students in the library and handling desktop support.

Anthony’s interests include football and poetry. He and his wife, Alicia Thompkins-Perryman, are currently living in Thomasville, Ga.

Sabrina also likes football – FAMU football, in particular – and enjoys traveling and reading. Sabrina notes that she has a passion for helping others, and spearheaded her church’s “One Shoe for You Mission Project” for the people of Haiti.

In other staffing news, nationwide searches for three FALSC leadership positions are in the works. We soon will be seeking candidates for:

  • Director of Library Support and Training
  • Director of E-Resources
  • Director of Digital Services and OER


Upcoming Events

The MCLS will meet on May 24-25 at Eastern Florida State College in Cocoa Beach. Following that meeting, the council is considering dates in September at New College of Florida, Sarasota, and in December at the FLVC headquarters in Tallahassee.