FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Members Council on Library Services (MCLS) representatives, FALSC staff, and guests catch up before the opening of the Feb. 14 MCLS meeting at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. For more on the meeting, see below.
The changing weather here in Tallahassee recently included some thunderous storms, which reminded me of an important aspect of change – change is disruptive!
In one of those little ironies of life, I know that although I sometimes have a longing for the environment around me to be comfortably static, I also know that I have chosen to pursue a career in a field that is constantly changing and filled with disruption.
I think that one of the things about our work in libraries that appeals most to me is the ever-changing nature of the opportunities available to us to provide exceptional services and a wealth of resources to the students, faculty, staff, and communities that are served by all FALSC member libraries.
Right now at FALSC, we’re working on a few internal changes that will enhance our ability to meet the needs of our customers. We are currently searching for two leadership positions, a Director of E-Resources and a Director of Digital Services and Open Educational Resources (OER). The Director of E-Resources will lead our ongoing work to provide highly cost-effective options for e-resource licensing for all member libraries.
The Director of Digital Services and OER is a new position within FALSC that will lead our ongoing projects in digital archives and digital repositories, while also moving us forward in the area of open educational resources.
Both of these positions will provide leadership in areas that are invaluable to all member libraries, and I will keep you updated on the progress of these searches.
We are also in the midst of a search for a new Help Desk Analyst, a position that provides vital frontline support for FALSC and all other areas of FLVC as well.
In other work at FALSC, the pace of change continues to accelerate as we move ever closer to a successful launch of the new integrated library system (ILS).
Our FALSC staff will be participating in over 150 ILS training sessions at more than 30 different locations over the next five months, while still doing all of the behind-the-scenes work to ensure a successful transition from Aleph to Sierra.
Disruptive change always provides opportunities for growth and improvement, and we look forward to providing better services and resources to each of our member institutions as we work through this time of transition.
– ELIJAH SCOTT, Executive Director, Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative
Governance and Advisory Processes
The Members Council on Library Services (MCLS) met on Feb. 14 in Ocala at the College of Central Florida. The council faced a packed agenda for the one-day meeting, with updates from and discussion on the Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation, FALSC Standing Committees, FALSC hiring, and other topics.
The MCLS also welcomed a special attendee, State Librarian Amy Johnson, left, who stayed for the full session and plans to attend future meetings. Our other guests were Scott McCausland and Martha Gettys, both from Innovative Interfaces, the Sierra/Encore Duet vendor.
Among other actions, the MCLS:
- Approved a Consortial (FALSC) Patron Confidentiality Statement put forth by the Resource Sharing Standing Committee. It reads: “Patron and library circulation records are considered confidential information and are to be protected. Guidance provided by the American Library Association recommends that institutional and/or library policies at universities and colleges keep patrons records confidential. Staff at Florida universities and colleges will be required to treat patron records from other institutions within the consortium with the same confidentiality and care as patron records at their own institutions. We will continue our current practice of keeping patron information confidential and secure.”
- Agreed to discuss nominations for new Executive Committee members at the next MCLS meeting, May 24-25.
- Was advised that the Executive Committee has granted the CMESC two additional members.
- Postponed a decision on the updated MCLS Bylaws pending review of a marked-up draft that makes changes between the old and new versions readily apparent.
- Voted to continue using the name UBorrow for the service under the new ILS.
You will find news from the meeting throughout this FALSC Update. For the Standing Committees’ reports and additional documents presented to the MCLS, please see the agenda packet posted on this website.
Find agendas and minutes for other past MCLS and Executive Committee meetings here.
Executive Committee, Feb. 15
The Executive Committee of the Members Council on Library Services (MCLS) met by conference call on Feb. 15. Members discussed follow-up items from the Feb. 14 MCLS meeting, agreed to call for applications for a vacancy on the Technical Services Standing Committee, and agreed to discuss legislative budget requests and how voting procedures are described in the MCLS Bylaws at its next meeting.
The Executive Committee met previously on Jan. 18, and will meet next on March 15.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or (877) 506-2210 (toll free), to request login information.
Project Status and Next Steps
There is much to say about the ongoing implementation of our next-generation ILS, and this report offers only a brief overview of recent progress and next steps. Look for more details in the Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Update newsletter, to be released later this month.
Planning is also under way for a virtual meeting of MCLS members to assess the project’s progress. The meeting will be in April, and will be hosted by FALSC. Specifics will be announced when they are available.
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, institutional IT contacts, and the ILS Coordinators responsible for putting together local implementation teams at their institutions.
Work overview: FALSC and FLVC IT staff and the Working Groups are tackling Sierra and Encore system configuration, data review, authentication, development issues, EBSCO profiles, electronic resource management (ERM), acquisitions migration, a Curriculum Builder pilot, patron loads, duplicate patron IDs, joint use, and application program interfaces (APIs). FALSC staff and the Working Groups have completed functionality training, and in-person training has begun for library staff throughout the staff (see "Training," below).
Encore Duet: Institutions continue to design and tweak the look and feel of their local interface as well as settings in the EDS mega-index. For institutions trying to choose between the two discovery tools, EBSCO presented two webinars in January on the pros and cons of Encore Duet vs. EDS. Recordings are available on the project wiki. Plans are in the works for EBSCO and Innovative to collaborate on a new webinar that will offer a more comprehensive comparison of the two tools.
Sierra Web: All libraries recently were introduced to the site at https://ils.falsc.org/sierraweb, which will be the face of Sierra for library staff at many institutions, functioning as the back end of the system. To get an early look, visit the site and enter the word “preview” for both username and password. Compared to a desktop client, “this will be, in the future, a lot easier for your staff to manage,” ILS project co-lead Dave Whisenant told MCLS members on Feb. 14.
Curriculum Builder: Our ILS installation is to provide each of the colleges and universities with the opportunity to use Curriculum Builder, a tool that allows instructors to access and add content from the libraries to course reading lists. Beta testing on the tool will be conducted for four institutions this spring: Florida Gulf Coast University, Tallahassee Community College, St. Petersburg College, and Indian River State College. Other institutions will be configured around the time of Go Live in July.
As is to be expected with a project of this scope and complexity, issues do arise. FALSC and FLVC IT staff, the Working Groups, and Innovative Interfaces are working toward solutions for pending matters, and Innovative’s Scott McCausland and Martha Gettys came to the MCLS meeting in Ocala to hear members’ thoughts and offer their insights.
In a “hats off” to all of us, Scott praised the libraries and FALSC for putting in place three ingredients crucial to this project’s success:
- Outstanding organization
- Thorough data cleanup
- Extensive training.
The Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Update newsletter will offer a full report on implementation issues later this month. Here, we’ll touch base on two topics of interest:
Time Zones: The MCLS got good news Feb. 14 when Innovative announced that support for multiple time zones, as versus only Eastern, will be available in the new system by late spring. Previously, that functionality was not promised until September 2017, after the scheduled July Go Live. Given that six of our 40 institutions operate in the Central time zone, this is a welcome development that should help Go Live go more smoothly.
Information Technology: FALSC and FLVC began individual meetings with each institution’s IT staff on SSO functionality and authentication in January, and those meetings should be completed in February. The FALSC and FLVC development team is exploring options for patron authentication and for access to electronic resources. Where available, our goal is for students and faculty to use each institution’s native Single Sign-On/Identity Provider (SSO/IdP) solution. We have received responses from all 40 institutions to the message posted to the IT-Contacts list asking for information on each institution’s current authentication functionality.
As part of the Sierra implementation, there is a new process for uploading student and personnel patron files that must be tested by each institution. An email went out to ILS IT Contacts on Feb. 2 asking that they contact the Help Desk by March 3 for login information that will allow them access to test the process. At this time, more than a third of institutions have responded to the request.
Branding can help establish and “sell” the new ILS – to library staff, students, faculty, and the decision-makers who determine funding for universities, libraries, FLVC, and FALSC.
Ideally, a good brand would be a word or term memorable enough to become commonly used – our own “Galileo.” In a perfect world, students and faculty might even adopt the name as a verb – think “Google.”
With those considerations in mind, a marketing and communications company has begun work on finding a name for the ILS. The branding would be available to colleges and universities, but its use is optional. Seven candidates were presented to the MCLS in Ocala, but no decision has been made, and work continues. Stay tuned!
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
Common Questions About IPEDS
The annual Academic Library Survey of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is in full swing. The deadline for entering the data is about a month away, on March 15. There are a couple of questions that have come up several times.
Question: Why are we using the T010 title report instead of the I023 Item report? And why do I get a flag when I enter the numbers because they are much lower than last year?
Answer: The IPEDS Academic Library Survey made a deliberate change this year to count TITLES instead of VOLUMES. Especially for multi-campus institutions, that results in a significant drop from previous surveys. This was a deliberate change and not an error in nomenclature. If you do get flagged for your response, you can indicate that it was due to the change in counting titles instead of items.
Question: The T010 report distributed with the survey data has different numbers than the annual T010 run in July. What numbers should I use?
Answer: We re-ran the T010 report in early October to exclude the collection sort so we could more easily grab the data for the IPEDS report. While the report used a date of 6/30/16 as the ending date for items added, if items were deleted or changed between July 1 and when the report was re-run on Oct. 11 there could be some changes in the numbers. It usually isn’t significant. You may certainly use whichever report you want to.
Starting later this month, we will be following up with schools that have not submitted data. As always, if you have questions about the survey or the library data, please contact the Help Desk.
Lost Items Procedures
On Feb. 1, FALSC sent a spreadsheet of UBorrow loans shipped from the Lending library that became lost between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. Billing will need to be done manually until a new workflow can be established in Sierra.
As a reminder: Per a recommendation from the Resource Sharing Standing Committee that was approved by the MCLS in 2016, all FALSC libraries were to begin billing one another for UBorrow lost items in January. The committee has put forth the following practices:
We continue to finalize the last of our licenses and invoices for the 2017 statewide collection and the annual group licensing process. FALSC also continues to provide support for e-journal package licensing, and has assisted in title reconciliation and invoicing for the final year of the Cambridge and Oxford journal package licenses. We are working with Taylor & Francis on the renewal of their package on behalf of the subscribing institutions.
Centralized Data Loads, Extracts, and Reports
SUS Aleph record counts for December are complete. We have completed ad hoc reports for: FSU, FSINF items duplicated in other Tallahassee campus libraries; UF, UFSWE/UFSLA duplicates items.
FCS monthly reports through January have been released. Ad hoc reports were prepared for:
Recent data loading projects include:
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. The number of records cleaned up totals 160,841. Progress is slow because the same FALSC staff members are working on the cleanup and Sierra implementation.
We have updated or added the following FCS EZproxy database definitions: Law Library Microform Consortium for NWF State and New College; Plumb’s Veterinary Drugs for St. Petersburg. The weekly export of SFX holdings to EBSCO has been disabled for USF at their request.
As we move ahead into 2017, it’s worth noting that our numbers for 2016 were quite impressive: Last year the Florida Digital Archive archived nearly 45 terabytes of new materials, an increase of more than 50 percent over 2015, and now contains just under 600,000 packages and more than 70 million individual files. The two charts below offer details on archive contents.
Currently in Digital Services:
FALSC Short Takes
New Help Center Debuts
FALSC launched a redesigned website page for the Help Desk on Feb. 10. All of the same channels of communication with the Help Desk are still available: email, telephone, chat, the web form, and the Knowledge Base. We have two new features on the page, a text banner and a Suggestion Box. We look forward to getting your great ideas for the website, services, or anything else you’d like to submit. Keep an eye on the text banner, near the top of the Help Center page, for system updates when issues occur.
Look for Us on LinkedIn
FALSC is dipping a toe into social media, and you can now find us on LinkedIn. Look for the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative, and please follow us!
FALSC is in the process of hiring a new Help Desk Analyst, and soon will post openings through the University of West Florida’s jobs site for two leadership positions, Director of E-Resources and Director of Digital Services and OER. If you know good candidates for either position, please send them our way.
The MCLS plans to meet next on May 24-25 at Eastern Florida State College in Cocoa Beach. Following that, the council is considering dates in September at New College of Florida, Sarasota, and in December at the FLVC headquarters in Tallahassee.