From the Executive Director, Elijah Scott


Elijah Scott

I've often observed over the years that November is the month when new college and university students – and perhaps new faculty as well – discover that the college experience is a marathon rather than a sprint. In fact, as the end of the semester draws ever closer and deadlines for papers and projects loom large, it often feels like a grudge match to determine if one can make it to the finish line. The extra hour of time in our lives that comes with the return of Standard Time is a welcome, but all too brief, respite from the harried pace.

For those of us at FALSC, the ILS Implementation Project is our current marathon. The finish line looms near, but much work remains to be done before we can cross it. From Oct. 9 through Oct. 20, FALSC and FLVC staff worked with the ILS Working Groups and with additional faculty and staff at our institutions to complete our first round of Preproduction Verification for Sierra/Encore Duet. This testing process was rigorous and thorough and could not have been completed without the work of many hands. Please accept my thanks to all of you who worked on any part of the Preproduction Verification! Through this testing process, we identified a number of problematic items in functionality and performance, which we in turn have shared with Innovative Interfaces for resolution.

We enter a second phase of Preproduction Verification today, and it will run through Dec. 2. This phase of testing is intended to examine and verify the solutions to the problems identified in the first round of testing. It is also an opportunity to uncover any problematic items that may not have surfaced during the first phase of testing. Much like running a marathon, it is critical that we continue working strenuously through the full Preproduction Verification process until we reach the finish line.

Although the ILS Implementation Project seems to take center stage for our work, there's still lots of other activity happening at FALSC. We are just wrapping up the process of e-resources licensing for another year, which is a huge part of the work that we do to support our libraries. We're also in the process of interviewing for four open positions at FALSC: Director of Digital Services & OER, Director of E-Resources, Director of Library Support and Training, and a Help Desk Analyst. We expect to have all of these positions filled by early 2018.

The MCLS has recently completed the process of launching two new Standing Committees: Textbook Affordability and OER and Library Assessment. My personal thanks go out to all of the individuals who applied to serve on these committees. Their work will enable us to continue to enhance the resources and services that we provide to all of our member libraries.

The next MCLS meeting will be Dec. 7-8 at the FLVC offices in Tallahassee. Jeff Gallant, Program Director for Affordable Learning Georgia, will be our keynote speaker, joining us to tell us more about how libraries in the University System of Georgia are supporting student success through textbook affordability and OER initiatives. We have also rescheduled FLVC’s Florida OER Summit for Feb. 7-8 in Destin. Specific details will soon be posted on the OER Summit website. I hope to see many of you in Destin.

The end of the marathon that is the fall semester is in sight! I'm never sure who is more relieved at the end of the semester, students or faculty, but in either case, we can all look forward to a well-earned holiday break.

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


Governance and Advisory Processes

MCLS Virtual Meeting – Nov. 1

The Members Council on Library Services (MCLS) met virtually via Collaborate on Nov. 1 with Chair-Elect Tom Messner, Executive Dean of the Library Learning Commons at Florida State College at Jacksonville, presiding. Using a consent agenda approach, members approved revised MCLS Operating Procedures, reports from the Standing Committees and ILS Working Groups, and future meeting dates. The next MCLS meeting will be Dec. 7-8 at FLVC’s Tallahassee offices.

Members were updated on recent Standing Committee appointments and on an addition to the charge of the Collection Management and E-Resources Standing Committee. The MCLS also heard reports on the status of our ILS Implementation Project, e-resources, and FALSC hiring. Find details on those three topics elsewhere in this newsletter.

Executive Committee meetings: The panel met, by conference call, most recently on Oct. 18 to discuss MCLS business and hear reports on the ILS project and other topics. The next session of the Executive Committee of the MCLS is Nov. 15.

Meeting agendas and minutes: To download materials from past Executive Committee and MCLS meetings, go here

Standing Committee appointments: Find complete membership lists for all Standing Committees, including the two newest committees, 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

Library and technology staff from the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC), Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), system vendor Innovative Interfaces Inc., and the colleges and universities are moving ahead with development and testing for the implementation of the new integrated library system (ILS), which is targeted for Go Live in July 2018.

Our project entered a crucial phase in October with the beginning of Preproduction Verification, a comprehensive program of testing, retesting, feedback and corrections that will continue into December.

The initial period of large-scale testing, in October, uncovered more than 190 issues and 31 major problems, including deficiencies in performance and capacity. Issues have been submitted to the vendor for resolution, and development is underway.

The system will be retested Nov. 14-Dec. 2 by FALSC and FLVC staff, the ILS Working Groups, and other faculty and staff from the colleges and universities. We deeply appreciate everyone’s work so far! Your continued participation is essential to the project.

While we are not pleased by the initial testing results, this is exactly why our project plan included the verification test at this point in the schedule, well before the target Go Live date in July.

The next meeting of the MCLS, Dec. 7-8 in Tallahassee, will include significant discussions on the future course of the ILS implementation. As the project moves toward Executive Review later this year, the matter will be brought to other groups, including the Executive Advisory Council, the ILS Steering Committee, and the Go Live Committee of the MCLS.

For more details on current project status, please see the late October/November edition of the Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Update newsletter or visit the project wiki.


Freeze Dates for Legacy Systems

In anticipation of Go Live for July 23, 2018, FALSC has proposed the following dates for freezing changes to our legacy systems (Aleph, Mango, Primo, etc.). The MCLS is to consider the dates at its December meeting.

Feb. 1, 2018

  • Service requests that don’t affect functionality
  • Service requests for table changes (sublibraries, collections, item statuses, patron statuses, etc.)
  • New development functionality that will migrate to the new system.

June 1, 2018

  • Service requests for policy or system settings


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 Training Tracks wiki, which offers a wealth of instructional materials on the new system
  • 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


The Members Council on Library Services approved our 2018 statewide collection of resources during its virtual meeting on Nov. 1. Recommendations for the 2019 statewide collection will be presented by the Collection Management and E-Resources Standing Committee at the December MCLS meeting.

The FALSC group licensing process for 2018 is wrapping up. The first round of the process included 38 schools requesting pricing, 51 vendors,164 products, 772 line items, and a budget of $2.9 million. Institutions now have their final round of pricing, and we hope to move to final commitments in the next couple of weeks. Prompt responses allow this process to remain on schedule, and for invoices to be issued in a timely manner.


'The New, Improved IPEDS'

Staff at institutions that participate in the annual Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System survey might be interested in an article published Oct. 12 by Inside Higher Ed. “The New, Improved IPEDS” shares details on an upgrade that makes the federal government’s main higher education database more useful for policy makers, particularly at community colleges. FALSC helps Florida College System libraries complete the survey each year. Submission season starts soon: The next annual survey opens Dec. 13. Participating institutions can expect an email from FALSC about the survey later this month.


Centralized Data Loads, Extracts, and Reports

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

Ad hoc reports for various institutions were prepared on:

  • Online resources for FSMED location
  • Circulation counts for VCCEA for the past 3 semesters
  • All BK formatted materials in ELEC collection published after 2005
  • Duplicate call numbers between General and DOC collections
  • Report of 690 2 fields with specific codes in the $$5 FTS field
  • Titles with suppressed items in specific location
  • Shelf list by 4 specific call number ranges
  • Patron records with no status code
  • HOL records with specific information in the 852$a
  • Assistance with loan report and the difference in it and 2 other reports
  • Helped FIU Law with request for query for BIB record counts by format

Recent data loading projects include:

  • Serial Solutions ejournals for October for FAMU and FIU
  • Completed transition for FGCU from Serial Solutions to EBSCO for ejournal titles. (EBSCO records loaded; Serial Solution records removed) Transition in process for UF and FSU
  • MARCit! October load for USF
  • New JSTOR PDA plan for FGCU added
  • Added records for all FCS and SUS libraries to reflect the FALSC statewide purchase of 106 JSTOR titles
  • Released new version of Genload (2.2.13) for download from the FALSC website. This version accommodates OCLC 10 digit numbers
  • Updated the Marcive GPO loader to accommodate OCLC 10 digit numbers
  • Periodic subscription loads: EBSCO, Ebook Central
  • PDA Updates: Harrassowitz, Ebook Central, YBP, JSTOR, EBSCO, Coutts, Cambridge, Wiley
  • Serials Solutions e book for October loaded.
  • Marc GPO for October loaded.
  • LC authority loads complete through 1738
  • RapidILL Serial Solutions E-Journal files for October – FAU, FIU, FGCU, UF
  • Helped UF restore deleted Leader from serials Holdings
  • Loaded UF file of holdings modifications for Education Reclassification project

In other work:

  • The following EZProxy database definitions were added/updated:
    • JAMA Network for Eastern Florida State College, Palm Beach State College and St. Petersburg College
    • Credo Reference for 8 colleges
    • Credo Education Trial for Broward College
    • Elsevier Science Direct 18 colleges
    • Artstor for all colleges
    • Swank for St. Petersburg College
    • Transparent Languates for Broward College
  • Updated the FCS Outsource file retrieval script to retrieve Marc files from the vendor Midwest.


Digital Services


  • A display of altmetrics using altmetrics.com was added to the display of PDFs in all Islandora sites. For instructions on prepping metadata to show the almetrics information and links, visit FALSC's Islandora training wiki at https://fig.wiki.flvc.org/wiki/index.php/Using_Google_Analytics_with_FL-Islandora#Altmetrics.
  • Metadata entry forms on all Islandora sites were updated to include the Library of Congress's Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS) version 3.6. On the backend, software was updated to appropriately handle different versions of MODS in use on the site, and to ensure that metadata exported in other formats, such as Dublin Core, will accurately map from all versions of MODS in use on the sites.
  • The Drexel University College of Medicine, a member of the Islandora community, expressed an interest in the FLVC-developed Excel to MODS Transformer web service and has been granted temporary guest access to test our product and evaluate it for use in metadata creation for its own Islandora implementation.

Florida OJ:

  • In July 2017, OAI-PMH was disabled on Florida OJ because of an inefficient query related to the OAI-PMH repository functionality in the software. A code fix has been implemented on the Florida OJ production servers. As of Oct. 11, it is once again possible to harvest records from Florida OJ using OAI-PMH. Information on harvesting can be found in the section on Florida OJ in the Inventory of Digital Libraries and Collections Held by Florida Public Universities and State Colleges available for download at https://libraries.flvc.org/reports-publications.
  • The Journal of Public Interest Communications launched to the public.


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 that you would like to send in.

Send in news


Staff Update

FALSC and the FLVC are in the process of hiring a new Help Desk Analyst, and FALSC is working to fill three leadership positions:

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


Upcoming Events

The Sunshine State Digital Network (SSDN) is inviting library and museum staff statewide to attend a free, one-day informational workshop about Florida’s involvement with the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The workshop will be offered at three locations: Orlando and Miami on Nov. 16, and Fort Myers on Nov. 17. A session in Tallahassee is also in the works, with date to be determined. Workshop participants will get a better understanding of what DPLA is, how to use it as a resource, and about Florida’s involvement with DPLA through the new Sunshine State Digital Network. Learn about how to get involved and prepare your metadata for inclusion. Get more details or register.

The Members Council on Library Services will meet Dec. 7-8 at the FLVC offices in Tallahassee. Members are asked to register for the meeting by Nov. 29. Click here to register now. The contract for our hotel room block in Tallahassee is still being finalized. Hotel information will be emailed to members as soon as it is available.

Looking ahead to 2018, the MCLS will meet Feb. 27-28 at a location to be determined and May 15-16 at the University of Central Florida, Orlando.


See Previous Updates