Elijah Scott

As spring draws near to a close, and the warm days of summer loom ahead of us, we at FALSC reluctantly bid a fond farewell to our dear colleague, Linda McCarthy, Director of Library Support and Training.

Linda has worked with FALSC and CCLA for 15 years, during which time she has created a legacy of service to Florida libraries. Her contributions to our organization have been invaluable, but she has also served libraries across the state in many capacities, including as president of the Florida Library Association. Along the way, she has been a kind and cheerful representative of our organization, always reaching out to meet and connect with our colleagues across the state. She will indeed be missed.

Linda’s departure leaves another hole in the leadership fabric of FALSC, one of three director positions that we are working to fill: Director of Library Support and Training, Director of E-Resources, and Director of Digital Services and Open Educational Resources (OER). We are currently working with the search firm Myers McRae to finalize the postings for national searches for each of these positions. Each presents an opportunity for professionals in our field who have the capacity and the desire to collaboratively create the future of our consortium and the libraries that we serve. As the postings for the positions become available, please share this information with anyone you know who would be interested in joining the FALSC team.

Several FALSC staff attended the Florida Library Association Annual Conference, held May 10-12 in Orlando. This was my first occasion to attend the FLA event, and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to meet and talk with many library professionals from across our state. We had many visitors to our FALSC booth, including a lucky few who won FALSC chairs! Our colleague Tom Messner wasted no time in taking his new chair to the beach and sharing a photo with us.

While working at our booth, I discovered that having a bowl of chocolate in hand to be an excellent way to draw people into a conversation about FALSC and the resources and services we provide.

Our partnership with Innovative Interfaces, Inc., continues to yield forward momentum for the development of the next-generation integrated library system (ILS). FALSC staff continue to have multiple weekly meetings with Innovative to work through the development work to create a system that meets our needs and expectations. We have developed a revised timeline for the implementation, which will soon be shared with all member libraries. The path forward to a successful implementation of the ILS will continue to emerge over the coming months.

Einstein once observed that, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” In our academic libraries, we have created a world in which we can provide an array of services and resources that would likely astound Einstein if he were here to see it. As a group of library professionals across the colleges and universities within our state, our collective thoughts on the future of our libraries will enable us to continue to change and grow to meet the needs of the future.

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


Governance and Advisory Processes

MCLS Quarterly Meeting – May 24-25

The Members Council on Library Services (MCLS) met May 24-25 at Eastern Florida State College in Cocoa. Dedra Sibley, Cocoa Campus Provost, welcomed the group. MCLS Chair Raymond Calvert, Pasco-Hernando State College, presided. Two guests from Innovative Interfaces, Inc., joined the group on May 24, Chief Operating Officer Roger Leitner and Marina Keating, Senior Vice President of Customer Operations.

The two half-day sessions included updates and discussion on MCLS Standing Committees, the Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Project, the ILS Working Groups, branding for the new ILS, e-resources, the legislative Session, FALSC hiring, FALSC Digital Services, changes to the organization of Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), open educational resources (OER), and the upcoming Florida OER Summit. Find more information on these topics throughout this Update.

MCLS business addressed at the meeting included:

  • The election of 2017-2018 officers
    • Tom Messner, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Chair-Elect (3-year term)
    • Karen Griffin, Hillsborough Community College, FCS At-Large Member
      (2-year term)
    • Brian Doherty, New College of Florida, Secretary (1-year term)
  • Updated bylaws, with the MCLS making some changes to language and Chair Raymond Calvert sending a final draft of Operating Procedures to the FLVC-LS-MC list on May 30
  • New Standing Committee members
    • CMESC, Nora Rackley, Lake-Sumter State College
    • DISC, Kelley Rowan, Florida International University
    • TSSC, Susan A. Massey, University of North Florida
  • Dates for upcoming MCLS meetings
    • Sept. 13-14 at New College of Florida, Sarasota
    • Dec. 7-8 at FLVC headquarters, Tallahassee

This meeting was Ray Calvert’s last as MCLS Chair, and he closed the session May 25 by symbolically handing over the gavel to Kathleen Miller, Florida Gulf Coast University Library. She begins her term as Chair on July 1.

“I actually enjoyed doing this,” Ray said of his service at the May 17 Executive Committee meeting. “This has been very worthwhile, very rewarding.”


Executive Committee – May 17

The Executive Committee of the Members Council on Library Services met by conference call on May 17. Members discussed the agenda for the May MCLS meeting, organization bylaws, and committee nominations, approving three new members for Standing Committees. They also heard updates on the Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Project, the recent legislative Session, e-resources, and other topics.

The Executive Committee meets next on June 21.

 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

Since the March 31st announcement that our project has been extended for a year, with Go Live now set for July 2018, FALSC and FLVC staff have been working with vendor Innovative Interfaces to hammer out a new timeline. The “Implementation Timeline Overview” and an “Issues List Delivery” schedule were presented to the MCLS at the May 24-25 meeting.

FALSC’s high-level timeline and “Issues List” map 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 set timeframes for data conversion, a client readiness review, and the Production Go Live period.

Our extended schedule is intended to allow Innovative Interfaces time to develop a fully functional system that addresses the needs of our consortium. The goal now is to complete and test work on a schedule that will allow Go Live in July 2018 to become essentially a non-event. With that result in mind, 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 working with a new version of the Sierra software. Sierra 3.2 Beta was released May 25 and has been loaded on our Sierra Test server. 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.

The upcoming June/July edition of the Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Update, to be released within a week, will offer more details on the timeline for upcoming software releases, and on ongoing topics and development issues. 

Here are other key points on where the ILS project stands and what’s ahead:

  • Innovative continues to address development issues
  • All work by FALSC staff, Innovative, and library staff continues
  • The Organizational Framework for the project remains in place
  • The ILS Working Groups remain in place and continue to meet, review data migration and configuration, and test workflows
  • In-person training of all library staff goes on as scheduled through mid-June, and training webinars are being released as planned
  • Refresher training is to be provided in Spring 2018 by Innovative staff
  • The Systems Working Group and FALSC have begun the process for creating staff accounts and permissions in Sierra
  • Our longer timeline offers the opportunity for broader system testing by library staff

Special thanks go to all members of the Working Groups, who have so generously contributed their time and expertise to this project. We deeply appreciate members’ continued service.

“Staying Informed,” below, provides links to in-depth information on the project and groups that meet regularly, including the Working Groups, the Implementation Team, and the ILS Coordinators at the institutions. 


Special Note on the Discovery Tool 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. The Discovery Interface Working Group and the Discovery Configuration Working Group are now simply the Discovery 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 into the Discovery Discussion Group and will interact through a single new list.



In-person spring training on the new system wrapped up last week. 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 help@flvc.org 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.



Drumroll … logo mockups for our new system’s name, OAK: Online Access to Knowledge, were unveiled at the MCLS meeting. We’re very happy with the work by our new graphic artist, and hope you will be, too. As a reminder: FALSC will provide branding for the new system, but the decision to use it, or not, is up to each institution.

At this time, various versions of the new logo are undergoing accessibility testing for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Final logos will be available this summer.


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 sent 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


While we await finalization of the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year, it currently appears that the allocation for electronic resources for the colleges and universities will remain unchanged. If this is correct, the current collection for the colleges could remain unchanged for the 2018 calendar year, per the recommendation of the Collections Management and E-Resources Standing Committee (CMESC). The universities, however, would face a shortfall, and the university collection would face a cut for 2018. The CMESC has made a recommendation on the necessary cut to meet the budget, and it has been voted on and approved by the university representatives of the Members Council. So barring any last minute changes to the budget, or new recommendations by the CMESC, the statewide collection of resources should be set for 2018. The CMESC will soon be working on preliminary recommendations for the 2019 collection.

FALSC is gearing up for our 2018 Group Licensing process, in which we act as agent on behalf of institutions wishing to join a shared license, using local funds, in order to realize consortial or group participation discounts. We are looking forward to another successful licensing process, and are taking steps to ensure it goes smoothly. Our initial survey of interest will go out on Sept. 1.  Look for an invitation to a webinar in August, in which we will discuss the parameters of the process and set expectations for the timeline. 


Open Educational Resources

Section 48.1004.085(7)(g)2, Florida Statutes, calls for use of open access textbooks and educational resources to improve college affordability, and we are forging ahead with our efforts to promote the proliferation of open resources.

Members Council on Library Services representatives were asked in April by FALSC, FLVC, and UWF’s Innovation Institute to participate in a survey regarding their perceptions of libraries’ role in promoting the use of OER in online courses.

Coming this fall, expect information from that survey to appear as part of an article in a special OER issue of The Reference Librarian, a Taylor & Francis journal. A full report on the survey results also will be sent to MCLS members and posted on FALSC.org and other websites later this year.

On Sept. 7-8, FLVC will sponsor the Florida OER Summit at the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort – Ocean Walk Village, Daytona Beach. The summit will feature national and campus leaders involved in driving and defining OER strategy and initiatives, and is intended to help participants explore the potential for systematic implementation of OER programs. Expect to hear more on the conference soon. To learn more now, email OERSummit@flvc.org.

Also, in June, Florida International University got good news on the OER front from the OpenStax program at Rice University.


Centralized Data Loads, Extracts, and Reports

SUS Aleph record counts for April are complete, and May is in progress. Ad hoc reports were completed for FSU on reference works by call number ranges, engineering inventory, Panama City, Ringling items, all items in FSULC GEN.

FCS quarterly vendor statistics and FCS monthly reports have been released. Ad hoc reports for various institutions were prepared on:

  • All items in a specific collection
  • Shelf-list report for a specific collection
  • Item status 60
  • HOL in three specific collections with and without items
  • Circulation for iPADs
  • HOL without items and items without call number
  • Duplicate titles
  • Hourly stats for the Sunday before finals last year
  • “Complicated subject headings” report – specific s.h. (topic and name) related to Cuba, NOT published in Cuba, and published prior to 1923
  • MARCit! records in Aleph with order records attached
  • Report of records with 852 $cMAIN and $XDISCARDED
  • Report of all records with Panama Canal in subject heading and no URL (to help with digitizing remaining items) – still in progress
  • Counts of HOL without items for CAWG
  • Report of ISBNs (follow up to report from last fall)
  • Report of all items in specific sublibrary/collection (FSRIN/KOG)
  • E-books in Q-R call numbers published since 2010
  • Items in P-PZ call number loaned in past year
  • Reserves items
  • Items with specific instructors in reserve room; needed certain loan information
  • Staff activity
  • Reserve items without call numbers
  • UF-owned government documents on Panama Canal that don’t have 856
  • Various reports for items in collections as FSRIN
  • Fines less than $1

Recent data loading projects include:

  • Periodic loads: Ebook Central, Overdrive, Credo, Rittenhouse
  • May loads: SUS GPO
  • MARCit! load for May for USF
  • Added vendor One Click Digital for IRC, JSTOR for MJC & Kanopy PDA plan for PKC
  • Almost finished with the college migrations of ebrary to Ebook Central;  BOC and VCC PDA plans loaded and migrated
  • Completed SUS-wide Taylor and Francis PDA load for FAMU
  • Completed PDA load profile change for UF Harrassowitz to differentiate between two print plans
  • LC authority loads complete through 1719
  • RAPIDILL Updates - EJournal via SFX: May done for FAMU, NCF, UCF and USF
  • RAPIDILL Updates - EJournal via Serial Solutions:  May done for FAU, FGCU, FIU and UF
  • RAPIDILL Yearly Book Chapters Update: Done for all participating SUS libraries (Florida Poly not a participant).
  • ECCO Record Reloads Eighteenth Century Collections Online: completed for FSU
  • EEBO Record Reloads Early English Books Online: Currently working with UCF, FSU & USF to load the replacement records for Early English Books Online

Genload profiles were created for FSU for Oxford Linguistics, Oxford Literature, Oxford philosophy, and Oxford religion, and for UCF, Taylor & Francis e-books.

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


Digital Services

Florida Digital Archive

All institutions were asked to participate in a survey designed to assess current and potential use of the Florida Digital Archive (FDA). Every institution’s input, both universities and colleges, is a valuable contribution in determining how well your needs are being met, potential for future functionality, and repository capacity. The survey closed June 14.

In other Digital Services news:

  • A routine Islandora software upgrade was completed on the production server on May 7.
  • Discussions with Innovative about Encore Duet harvesting and presentation of Digital Collections records in the Encore discovery tool are under way.



Congratulations to the staff members at Florida’s public colleges and universities who have been elected to section seats in the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association:

  • Susan Silver, University of South Florida (USF): Member-at-Large (two-year term), Anthropology and Sociology Section (ANSS) of ACRL
  • Abby Janine Scheel , Florida State University (FSU): Member-at-Large, Literatures in English Section (LES)
  • E. Haven Hawley, University of Florida (UF): Secretary (two-year term), Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS)
  • Sara Russell Gonzalez, UF: Member-at-Large (two-year term), Science and Technology Section
  • Michelle Demeter, FSU: Secretary, University Libraries Section

We welcome Morgan Tracy as the new Director of College Libraries at Seminole State College. He started in April and will now serve as the college's new MCLS primary representative. Morgan comes to Seminole from Asbury University, Wilmore, Ky. Previously, he worked for the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives for several years.

FALSC regularly shares news about our library colleagues and the public colleges and universities here on the FALSC website and on Facebook.

If you have news about yourself or your institution, please share it. Send information to Joni Branch, jbranch@flvc.org.


Of Chocolate, Colleagues, and FLA

As he mentions in his introduction above, Executive Director Elijah Scott was the guy offering a big bowl of chocolates to anyone passing FALSC’s booth at the Florida Library Association Annual Conference, May 10-12 in Orlando. Most everyone in FALSC’s 12-person FLA contingent spent time at the booth, where we offered flyers with information about the organization, the ILS, our job openings, and Digital Services. Besides candy, we came bearing FALSC pens, tape measures, and camp chairs.

It was a great pleasure to see so many library colleagues at FLA, and to hear several public college and university staffers give highly informative presentations. Elijah and FALSC staff were particularly intrigued by Bess de Farber’s presentation titled “Collaborative Grant-Seeking: A Guide for Librarians.” Bess, who is grants manager for the University of Florida’s George A. Smathers Libraries, knows her subject inside-out and has written a book on the topic under the same title. Working from her ideas, FALSC may explore how it can help libraries pursue grants at some point in the future.

For more on our trip to FLA 2017, please check out FALSC on Facebook. You’ll find lots of photos, including some taken at our booth, which placed second for “best booth” there.


FLVC Organization

In January, Dr. Pamela Northrup, formerly CEO of the Innovation Institute and Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), became founding Vice President of the Division of Research and Strategic Innovation (DRSI) at the University of West Florida.

Following on that change, DRSI’s two associate vice presidents, Michael Dieckmann and Karen Rasmussen, will take on expanded roles beginning July 1:

  • Mike becomes Chief Operating Officer of FLVC, which will additionally hire a Director of Business Operations and a Chief Technology Officer to be based in Tallahassee.
  • Karen transitions to working with other units and will no longer be administrative liaison to FLVC.


FALSC Staff News

Sadly, FALSC said goodbye to Linda McCarthy, Director of Library Support and Training, at the end of May. In her 15 years with FALSC and predecessor organizations, Linda has been a driving force behind scores of projects, a mentor to many, and a kind but indomitable presence at countless meetings and conferences. We at FALSC and FLVC salute her service, and wish her many wonderful years of leisure in retirement. Linda, raise a glass to us in Paris.

Linda’s departure brings to four the number of positions that FALSC is seeking to fill:

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

The three leadership positions will be advertised by a national search firm. The Library Services Analyst position (#123530) was posted through June 8 on the University of West Florida jobs site.


Upcoming Events

The MCLS plans to meet Sept. 13-14 at New College of Florida, Sarasota, and Dec. 7-8 at FLVC headquarters, Tallahassee.

The Florida OER Summit, with national and campus leaders speaking on strategies and initiatives for implementing open educational resources programs, will be Sept. 7-8 at the Hilton Daytona Beach Resort / Ocean Walk Village, Daytona Beach. For more information, please email OERSummit@flvc.org.