From the Executive Director, Elijah Scott


Elijah Scott

The end of the semester and the end of the calendar year are both upon us. For our students, December means papers and projects due, followed swiftly by final exams. For FALSC, as we continue to work through the project to implement a new integrated library system (ILS), this month marks something of a final exam for our partners at Innovative Interfaces. Beginning in October, the ILS project entered the comprehensive, iterative testing phase defined in the contract as Preproduction Verification. During this process, members of the ILS Working Groups, along with library faculty and staff at all 40 institutions, collaborated with FALSC and FLVC staff to thoroughly test the functionality and performance of the system.

It's a comprehensive final exam, to be sure!

As we review the results of the Preproduction Verification process, I would like to extend a word of thanks to everyone who participated in this phase of the project. The analysis and feedback provided by all of our library colleagues will be critical as we move into the next phase of the project. This collaborative work with and among all of the institutions that we serve is the essential factor that will allow us to successfully implement a next-generation integrated library system.

As we look back over the calendar year, we have many things to celebrate. Our users performed more than 19 million searches and over 3 million checkouts on our current ILS. Our collaborative e-resources licensing program saved our institutions an estimated $14 million through a centralized negotiating and licensing process. Students, faculty, and staff performed more than 23 million searches on these e-resources. Our Help Desk responded to more than 13,000 queries from users across the state via chat, email, and phone.

In all that we do at FALSC, our goal is to provide our users – more than 1.3 million students, faculty, and staff at 40 institutions across the state – with the best possible resources and services, all while delivering a truly exceptional level of customer service. In short, we’re here to help YOU in every way that we possibly can!

As we enter the holiday season, it is my wish that all of you will have time to celebrate with family and friends, while also finding opportunities for rest and renewal. From everyone at FALSC, happy holidays! We look forward to working with all of you in the new year.

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


Governance and Advisory Processes

Members Council on Library Services – Dec. 7-8

The Members Council on Library Services (MCLS) met Dec. 7-8 at the FLVC offices in Tallahassee. The meeting’s first day focused on MCLS business, an e-resources update, discussion of the 2019 Florida College System (FCS) Collection, and a report on the status of the project to implement a new integrated library system (ILS) for Florida’s public colleges and universities. The meeting’s second day was devoted to open educational resources (OER) and kicked off with a keynote presentation by Jeff Gallant, Program Manager of Affordable Learning Georgia.

In MCLS business, the council approved these items by consent agenda on Dec. 7:

  • Nov. 1 MCLS meeting minutes
  • FALSC Standing Committee Reports, with the exception of the Collection Management and E-Resources (CMESC) and Technical Services (TSSC) reports, which were taken up for discussion
  • Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Working Group reports
  • Future meeting dates for Feb. 27-28 and May 15-16
  • Notice of an increase in the MCLS meeting registration fee to $35 from $30, beginning in February

Find more about the other topics covered at the MCLS meeting throughout this update. Download a meeting agenda and supporting documents here on FALSC.org.


MCLS Executive Committee – Nov. 15

The Executive Committee of the Members Council on Library Services met by conference call on Nov. 15 with MCLS Chair Kathleen Miller presiding. Along with other business, the committee:

  • Named chairs for the two new Standing Committees, with Jennifer Gregor appointed for Textbook Affordability and OER (TAOERSC) and Victoria McGlone for Library Assessment (LASC).
  • Appointed Alicia Ellison to the Collection Management and E-Resources Standing Committee.

The committee also heard a report on the status of the ILS Implementation Project from FALSC Executive Director Elijah Scott and project co-leads Ellen Bishop and Dave Whisenant, focusing on results from October Preproduction Verification testing.

The Executive Committee will meet next in January.

Download materials from 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

Preproduction Verification, a comprehensive program of testing, retesting, feedback and corrections on the new integrated library system, Sierra/Encore Duet, began in October and wrapped up this month.

At this time, FALSC and FLVC staff, and library faculty and staff have suspended implementation work on Sierra/Encore Duet in order to give vendor Innovative Interfaces the opportunity to resolve all reported system issues by our agreed upon deadline, Dec. 18.

The initial period of large-scale testing, Oct. 9-20, uncovered more than 190 issues and 31 major problems, including deficiencies in performance and capacity. Issues were submitted to vendor Innovative Interfaces for resolution, and several have been addressed.

The system was retested Nov. 14-Dec. 2 by FALSC and FLVC staff, the ILS Working Groups, and other faculty and staff from the colleges and universities. A new version of the Sierra software, Release 3.4, was loaded onto the Production server on Nov. 30.

After the second round of testing ended Dec. 2, 15 issues were added to the priority list. A new version of Encore Duet, Release 4.7, was installed Dec. 6.

Per our contract, Innovative has until Dec. 18 to resolve required features, functionality, performance, and security issues. Later this month, the new system will undergo Executive Review to determine system acceptance based on its status as of that date.

The MCLS heard a complete report on test results and overall project status, along with options for next steps, at its quarterly meeting Dec. 7-8 in Tallahassee.

Please visit the project wiki for more information, or to find the most recent Project Timeline Overview and presentation slides and handouts from the December MCLS meeting.


Staying Informed

There are several paths for finding information about the ILS project:

  • The Sierra / Encore Duet Implementation Wiki
  • The Training Tracks wiki
  • This website’s ILS Implementation section


Other Library Projects

Open Educational Resources

We would all like to make higher education more affordable. Even before the first Florida OER Summit opens Feb. 7, FALSC and its member institutions have begun taking steps to put libraries at the forefront of our state’s burgeoning efforts to support and promote open educational resources, which can help students succeed by reducing the cost of a degree.

The Members Council on Library Services focused the second day of its December meeting on OER, beginning with a keynote presentation by Jeff Gallant, Program Manager of Affordable Learning Georgia. Jeff spoke on his state’s years-long effort to increase the use of OER in higher education, and offered valuable insights on what does and doesn’t work. Other OER-related presentations followed, including a brainstorming session that broke up the crowd into small groups to address how, should commercial textbooks not exist, libraries would facilitate the use of library collections and OER as essential teaching resources.

Also on Dec. 8, the council heard the first report from the newly established Textbook Affordability and OER Standing Committee, which held its kick-off meeting Nov. 2 and is discussing OER discovery tools and a survey to gauge existing implementation of OER and textbook affordability initiatives at member institutions.

The OER focus wrapped up with reports on:

  • Our possible membership in the Open Textbook Network (OTN), an alliance of more than 600 colleges and universities that helps members build sustainable open textbook programs
  • The 2018-2019 legislative budget request for OER, which is undergoing revision.



Since the approval of our 2018 statewide collection of resources at the November virtual meeting of the Members Council on Library Services, FALSC has submitted purchase requisitions and is in the process of paying our vendor invoices as they arrive. In November, the SUS members of the Collection Management and E-Resources Standing Committee (CMESC) agreed to license LexisNexis Academic for 2018, which had been approved in advance at the virtual MCLS meeting. FALSC is updating three older license agreements, and processing one new agreement for LexisNexis.

The CMESC has made a recommendation for the FCS collection for 2019, according to our accelerated schedule for committee recommendations on the statewide collection. The FCS members of the MCLS were asked to vote between the two newspaper products we license. The decision was made to use an online poll for the vote, and the poll is still underway. The CMESC did not make recommendations for the SUS collection for 2019 because they have been working on the LexisNexis recommendation.

The FALSC group licensing process for 2018 is wrapping up. We are still waiting on letters of commitment from four institutions. Once these are received, we can begin issuing invoices to the participating schools, and request invoices from the vendors. We are also working on several new license agreements with new vendors. This year, 38 institutions are licensing 131 different products from 38 vendors for $1.79m.

FALSC is currently finalizing the Taylor & Francis agreement for 2017-2019. We are working on a one-year amendment for Cambridge, and new agreements for Oxford and SAGE for 2018-2020. 


Centralized Data Loads, Extracts, and Reports

SUS Aleph record counts for November are complete. November monthly FCS reports have been released.

Ad hoc reports for various institutions were prepared on:

  • Reports of HOL with no sublibrary
  • Various circulation reports for a sublibrary
  • Assessment project for FSCJ
  • Patrons with local notes and global notes (separate reports)
  • Age of collection for sublibrary
  • Report of waived fines (and set up to run monthly)
  • Ebook cleanup report
  • Report of community borrowers with fines owed
  • Circulation statistics for specific publisher series
  • Items with notes with specific text
  • Report of OCLC# for titles in specific collection
  • Report of patrons with specific statuses
  • Report of text in item description field
  • Count of 10-yrs of circulation for BOOKS at specific campus

Recent data loading projects include:

  • Marc GPO for November loaded.
  • LC authority loads complete through 1740
  • PDA plans: YBP, Ebook Central, Rittenhouse, Wiley, Cambridge Univ. Press, JSTOR,
  • Ebook subscriptions: Gale Lit crit, Safari, Overdrive


Digital Services


  • An open source community software release for Islandora version 7.x-1.10 took place on Nov. 8, 2017. Bryan Brown (FSU), Wilhelmina Randtke (FALSC), and Matthew Miguez (FSU) participated in the release through testing and documentation updates.

Florida OJ:

  • OJS 3 update: New OJS 3.1 release by the open source community: The Florida OJ site at http://journals.fcla.edu runs on Open Journal Systems (OJS) 2.4.8 . In August 2016, successor software OJS 3 was released. At that time, FALSC determined that OJS 3 did not support embargos, used by some journals hosted in Florida OJ, and so an upgrade could not be scheduled or planned until OJS 3 introduced support for embargos. In late October 2017, the open source community released an update, OJS 3.1.0 . FALSC has reviewed this newest release and determined that it supports subscriptions but that embargos and access control in OJS 3 do not yet meet needs of journals in Florida OJ. Therefore it is inappropriate to schedule or plan an upgrade at this time. FALSC will continue to monitor the situation and after embargos are supported by OJS 3, FALSC will move to schedule an upgrade.
  • OJS 3 Demonstration site accounts have been issued to librarians working with the software. Any librarians working regularly with Florida OJ should have been issued an account. The purpose of these accounts is to explore differences in the interface and prepare for planning on what training or communication will be needed to get editorial boards ready for the new interface. At this time, any upgrade to the site is far away - more than a year off, and it’s too early to share the demonstration site with editorial boards.
  • Wilhelmina Randtke and Stephen Szanati attended the Florida OJ Publishers Round Table that University of Florida on Nov. 15. Stephen reports that a representative from one of the journals hosted on the site mentioned how easy Florida OJ was to use. A presenter from UF noted that archiving of the journals on Florida OJ that are hosted by the University of Florida is being done via the Florida Digital Archive. 

ETD Hosting Service:

  • A test batch of ETD metadata has been successfully loaded into the Sierra catalog. This will ensure the continuity of the ETD hosting service, which converts submitted metadata into MARC records and loads them into the production ILS.


Help Desk Chat

Expect the Help Desk’s chat interface to have a fresh look after the holidays. We’re modernizing the interface’s look and feel along with improving its functionality. 


FYI: Items of Interest

Sunshine State Digital Network Launch Announced

Florida State University Libraries, Florida International University, and the University of Miami have teamed up to launch the Sunshine State Digital Network (SSDN). As detailed in an FSU Libraries post on Nov. 17: “The SSDN is part of the Digital Public Library of America, and FSU is proud to be the service hub for the state of Florida. The service hub represents a community of institutions in the state which will provide their partner institutions aggregated metadata for the DPLA and offer tiered services to connect institutions of all sizes to DPLA.”

To learn more about this exciting new initiative, which will “provide digital access to over 72,000 cultural heritage materials from across the state of Florida,” see FSU Libraries’ full post or visit the Sunshine State Digital Network website.


We Want Your News!

We like to share news about the libraries and library staff of Florida’s public colleges and universities. To that end, please email us items! We would appreciate information on hires, promotions, presentations, publications, awards, notable library initiatives and events, renovations and building projects, and other items of interest.

Send in news


Staff Update

FALSC and FLVC welcomed new Help Desk Analyst Peter Ott on Dec. 11. Peter is originally from Illinois, but earned his master’s degree in Library and Information Studies at Florida State University and a bachelor’s degree in Information Resources from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. His background is in information technology – both support and teaching.

FALSC is working to fill three leadership positions by early 2018. In-person interviews will take place in January for:

  • Director of Library Support and Training
  • Director of Digital Services and Open Educational Resources (OER)
  • Director of E-Resources


Upcoming Events

Looking ahead to 2018, the Members Council on Library Services will meet Feb. 27-28 at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and May 15-16 at the University of Central Florida, Orlando.

Florida’s first-ever Open Educational Resources (OER) Summit is back on, and we hope to see you Feb. 7-8 at the Hilton Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Originally scheduled for September in Daytona Beach, the summit was rescheduled due to Hurricane Irma. As originally planned, the event will feature Cable Green, Director of Open Education at Creative Commons, and other national and campus leaders involved in defining and driving OER strategy and initiatives. Learn more or register at www.flvc.org/oersummit.

See Previous Updates