Organizational Updates

With the implementation of a next-generation integrated library system well under way and the 2017 legislative session on the horizon, the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC) is looking toward the future with a new leader.

Elijah ScottWe’re pleased to welcome Elijah Scott as our Executive Director, beginning officially on Oct. 10.

He was named to the position on Sept. 23 by Dr. Pamela Northrup, CEO of the Innovation Institute and Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), after a nationwide search. Special thanks go to those who served on the 12-member FALSC Executive Director Search Committee. 

Elijah comes to us from Georgia Highlands College in Rome, Ga., where he was most recently Dean of Libraries, College Testing, and Curriculum Innovation. He has more than 20 years of experience in higher education and library services, along with recent experience in supporting the state of Georgia through a unified library system migration.

His “ability to envision the technical process while focusing on the user experience ensures that Florida is well on its way to achieving the future focused goals of the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative,” Dr. Northrup said. In his new role, he “will provide leadership and strategic support to Florida’s 40 college and university libraries while also managing the resources and support teams which provide services to 1.3 million Sunshine State students.”

The new Executive Director is eager to get started. “It’s critically important that I get to meet and know everyone as soon as possible, so that I can understand the needs at each individual library,” he said Monday.

Elijah holds a Master of Arts in English from Georgia College & State University, an ALA-accredited Master of Science degree in information science from the University of Tennessee, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Kentucky. He is working toward a Doctorate of Education from the University of Georgia’s College of Education.

Elijah began college intending to be a high school history teacher but “wound up working in libraries because I like to help people,” he explained last year to reporter Donna Harris of the Daily Tribune News in Cartersville, Ga. All this time later, “I know that I made the right choice, and I have had many, many opportunities over the years to help people find success in college and in life.”

Outside libraries, our new Executive Director has worked as a whitewater rafting guide and enjoys restoring antique cars.

The Executive Director and his wife, Nicole, will move to Tallahassee in early October with their big white Samoyed, Qannik, whose name means snowflake in Inuit.


Governance and Advisory Processes

The Members Council on Library Services (MCLS) met Sept. 8-9 on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.

Business included updates and discussion on:

  • The ongoing implementation of the new integrated library system (ILS), Sierra/Encore Duet
  • Comparing the two discovery tools that will be available to institutions after the implementation, EBSCO’s EDS and Encore Duet
  • The FALSC Communications Plan for keeping all stakeholders informed during the ILS implementation, which is undergoing revision but will soon be posted on the FALSC website
  • E-Resource licensing
  • The handling of lost UBorrow items
  • Survey results and recommendations on the use of open educational resources from the Open Access Textbook and Educational Resources (OATER) Task Force
  • The FALSC Digital Framework and our response to the legislative mandate for an organization-wide discovery mechanism that will allow users to see all digital content across the system
  • Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative (FALSC) committee updates.

Dr. Pamela Northrup, CEO of the Innovation Institute and Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), was on hand for the two-day meeting and advised that affordable education is top-of-mind for our state’s political leaders. Efforts by FALSC and FLVC to make education more affordable for Florida’s students will be highly valued. The libraries and Distance Learning should leverage initiatives with “quality, access, and affordability” in mind. Pam also cited FALSC as a model for sharing resources, given the new ILS and our e-resources programs.

In FALSC committee news, new MCLS liaisons were named for two standing committees. Meg Hawkins, State College of Florida, will serve on the User Interface Standing Committee, and Tom Messner, Florida State College at Jacksonville, will serve on the Resource Sharing Standing Committee.

The MCLS Executive Committee met on Aug. 26 and Sept. 22. At the August meeting, members appointed Maria Alvarez and Sarah Hess Cohen to the Technical Services Committee. 


Sierra and Encore Duet Implementation

The Groups Driving the Project

Dozens of people from FALSC, FLVC IT, the Working Groups, and Innovative Interfaces Inc. are at work on the Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation. Here’s an update on the groups:

The ILS Implementation Team, which is the main decision-making body for specific project deliverables and for initial policy and workflow decisions, continues to meet bi-weekly. The ILS Implementation Team is made up of the nine Working Group chairs, multiple liaisons from FALSC, two project leads, and two representatives from the Members Council on Library Services. At team meetings, the project leads provide implementation updates, and the Working Group chairs discuss their issues and concerns. Find meeting notes, agendas, and documentation on the ILS Implementation Team Wiki.

The nine Working Groups, made up of librarians from the universities and colleges and focused on various areas of the new system, are meeting regularly. The groups post meeting agendas and minutes on project wikis, and share information with corresponding listserv discussion groups. Since many of the topics discussed are interrelated among the functional areas, Working Group members have appointed liaisons to other Working Groups for cross representation.

The ILS Coordinators representing each of the 40 institutions in the system are holding monthly meetings with the implementation project co-leads, Ellen Bishop and Dave Whisenant. ILS Coordinators are responsible for putting together local implementation teams at their institutions. Consider them the “single point of contact” for their colleges and universities, the people who will ensure that the needs of the whole institution are met. For more information, visit the ILS Coordinators Wiki.

The Steering Committee, which offers high-level guidance for the implementation, meets monthly.



There are several ways for stakeholders to keep apprised of progress on the ILS project:

  • A Monthly Implementation Newsletter sent via listservs to all library staff and posted on this website
  • 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 (NOTE: 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 to request login information.)
  • This website’s ILS Implementation section, including new Information Technology pages intended to help library staff communicate with their institutions’ IT departments.

The wikis in particular are invaluable for stakeholders seeking detailed information on the implementation. As Janice Henderson, Northwest Florida State College, put it at the MCLS meeting: “Yay for the wikis!” To help home in on the information you want, she suggests reading the agenda or minutes of a Working Group meeting before listening to the recording.


Current status

The implementation is proceeding on schedule, with “Go Live” planned for late July 2017. Here’s what happened during July, August and the first half of September 2016, based on information submitted to the MCLS by Project Co-Leads Ellen Bishop and Dave Whisenant:

  • FALSC staff trained on the data mapping process and began work on profiling spreadsheets provided by Sierra.
  • Working Group members were given an overview of Sierra, then focused training on various components (Acquisitions/Serials, Discovery Interface, Cataloging, ERM, Circulation, Systems).
  • FALSC staff and several Working Groups met with EBSCO representatives on how to organize the profiling of the mega-index.
  • After an iterative process of review with III, FALSC staff completed the initial data mapping process and submitted all spreadsheets to Innovative.
  • EBSCO began working on the mega-index profiles for each of the institutions. The company split the libraries into 3 groups. Group 1 (16 libraries) began work on Aug. 1 and most are finished. Group 2 (13 libraries) began work on Sept. 1, and Group 3 (11 libraries) will begin work around Oct. 1.
  • Once the profiles are complete, it will take EBSCO about 30 days to finish the configuration.
  • Afterwards, libraries and/or FALSC can make changes to the settings.
  • By mid-September, Innovative finished setting up our primary Sierra server and our Encore server, and completed our initial data load of bibs, items, holdings, and patron data into Sierra.
  • Our primary server and Encore server are undergoing the initial data review process.
  • FALSC staff received training on profile evaluation the week of Sept. 12th, followed by training for the Working Groups on Sept. 20.


What’s Next

  • The remainder of September to mid-October, Working Groups will review the data and make changes to the mapping spreadsheets.
  • Innovative has begun setting up an additional secondary server.
  • In mid-October, Innovative will take down the primary server for two weeks to reload our data with the changes in the data mapping spreadsheets and to test new features. The secondary server will be available during this time for continued data review.
  • In late October through the beginning of December, Innovative will do extensive training on all components of Sierra and Encore Duet for FALSC staff and Working Groups. This training will help determine what needs to be covered in the library staff training sessions next year and help us understand the new workflows for the system.



Training is, of course, a critical part of our implementation, and we thank you all for identifying your needs in the Training Survey. The Training Working Group is analyzing the results and putting together a training schedule for the spring. Group members are working closely with Innovative and the other workgroups on this.

As it stands, most of the major institutions will receive their own training sessions, and others will be grouped together. Most in-person sessions are capped at 15.

Our contract includes 165 days of in-person training along with some remote training. We will use all of that and maybe more. We have identified a total of seven different training in-person sessions covering all aspects of the system, with some sessions incorporating eLearning computer-based training.

Please bear with us as we try to accommodate the needs of all 40 institutions.


Encore Duet vs. EDS Interface

Each institution will have its choice of two discovery tools under the new ILS. As stipulated by our contract with Innovative, institutions can choose to use either the Encore Duet interface or the EBSCO EDS interface after Go Live. Here are some facts:

  • FALSC will provide an Encore Duet interface for all 40 institutions and a union interface.
  • The EBSCO EDS interface is available with no subscription fee. However, for those libraries that require services from EBSCO to set up an EDS interface, possible costs should be addressed with EBSCO.
  • An EDS interface will not support the proposed ILL functionality in Sierra. The EDS interface only displays holdings for a single institution. Users would have to use the union view of Encore Duet to perform ILL/UBorrow functions (similar to the current Mango setup).

To help institutions choose between the two interfaces, Innovative and EBSCO are working together to provide a document comparing the EDS interface and Encore Duet.


System Enhancements and Known Issues

Innovative is undertaking two system enhancements that are critical to our implementation:

  • Table size: Several tables have a limit of 256 settings, which is too small for our setup.  Table size for patron types and item types will be increased for the data reload in October.
  • Time zone: The system must be configured to accommodate two time zones. Innovative will address this issue in the near future.

The need for unique patron IDs is a known issue, as we now have some duplicate IDs. Innovative is also working on a solution for this issue.



Our next-gen ILS needs a name, ideally something snappier than Encore Duet. To that end, the MCLS Executive Committee has agreed to work with branding professionals for input on a name and branding. A few options will then be sent to other groups for feedback, including the Members Council on Library Services, Implementation Team, Steering Council, Discovery Interface Working Group, and possibly others. If you have a suggestion for a name, please let us know by contacting the Help Desk. We welcome input from all of our members.


Other Library Projects


These changes to the 2017 Statewide Collection were decided by an online vote Aug. 12:

  • The SUS will drop Oxford’s Grove Music.
  • The FCS will drop EBSCO’s Health Source: Nursing/Academic and Associates Programs Source Plus, while adding ProQuest’s U.S. Newsstream.

The 2017 Group Licensing process is under way, and FALSC recently held a webinar to help explain the process and define expectations. A licensing survey went out Sept. 1 and was due back Sept. 16. We urge participants in this process to commit to our milestones, as many of us are involved in the ILS implementation.


Resource Sharing

The Resource Sharing Standing Committee’s recommendation for handling lost UBorrow items was approved at the September MCLS meeting. The committee recommends that:

FALSC libraries begin billing one another for lost UBorrow items beginning in January 2017.

At minimum, the following practices will be followed when a UBorrow item is declared lost or billed as lost:

  • FALSC will run reports in January and June of lost items that are more than six months overdue.
  • Lending libraries generate bills to invoice borrowing libraries.
  • Institutions will reimburse one another according to their individual procedures.
  • Institutions will bill twice a year, in January and July.
  • Libraries may accept replacement copies per suppliers/biller approval.
  • The replacement cost is determined by the owning library.
  • FCS institutions will continue to bill at the point when an item becomes lost, using their local policies.


Open Educational Resources

The Open Access Textbook and Educational Resources (OATER) Task Force reported survey results and recommendations on the use of open educational resources (OER) at the September MCLS meeting. The task force’s final report, titled “An Action Plan for Building a Statewide Infrastructure to Support OER in Florida’s Public Institutions of Higher Education,” is now posted on this website. Here are the task force’s major recommendations for the FLVC:

  • Become active members in or partners with a national OER organization such as MERLOT II and OpenStax College@Rice University.
  • Work with its Members Council on Distance Learning and Student Services (MCDLSS) and Members Council on Library Services (MCLS) to identify one librarian and one instructional design/technology staff member from each institution to pair up and serve as official FLVC OER liaisons and campus OER points of contact.
  • Establish a website to serve as a central Knowledge Base for OER and related topics, to include directories of official FLVC institutional OER liaisons, faculty peer-to-peer OER advisors, etc.
  • Work with campus leaders in the FCS and SUS to clarify policies regarding copyright and faculty-created instructional materials, and the ability of faculty to license such content under Creative Commons licenses so they may be openly shared.
  • Develop a “re-mix” tool that would allow the integration of disparate content into a single presentation platform. Such content could include OER resources, library materials, and video formats.


Centralized Data Loads, Extracts, and Reports

FALSC has continued regular monthly loading of records into the FCS (FCC01), SUS (UXU01), and PDA01 bibliographic libraries, and into the LCA10 authority library in Aleph. Patron data was also loaded regularly for the FCS and SUS libraries, per their requested schedules.

The July SUS Aleph record counts are also complete, and we have completed an ad hoc report for FSU on Inventory Equipment Lists. 

Monthly reports for the FCS through August have been released as well the annual FCS reports, including the annual vendor stats.

We continue to produce a report each month of subfield 5KEEP fields that are in the incorrect order. We correct the order and notify the library when we see a pattern developing. 

Data loading projects of note include:

  • E-Book and PDA monthly updates: LLMC, Safari, Gale Lit Crit, ebrary, Wiley, Kanopy, SWETS.
  • LCA10: For 2016, we have loaded records through 1636.
  • EJournal Serial Solutions: August is complete.
  • EJournal MARCit!: August is complete. 

We continue to consult with SUS libraries to develop and approve GenLoad profiles for library staff to use for ongoing data loads into UXU01. We are currently working on Alexander Street Press revision for FAMU and Medical YBP E-books for FSU.

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. While we will continue with the work already begun to clean up records in the current Aleph catalogs, and will of course perform regular reports and automated cleanup over the next year, our emphasis will now be shifting to the new Sierra environment. We will be working closely with BSLW and the appropriate Working Groups to ensure that the quality of the Sierra bibliographic database meets our needs.

We continue to work with university library staff to identify non-OCLC record sets with OCLC numbers in the 035 field. This is the spreadsheet used to track progress.



FALSC continues to work with several colleges on their migration to Yankee Book Peddler. Chipola College is testing and adjusting their GOBI settings, and we are working with YBP to finalize the configuration for the College of Central Florida. All of the Aleph configuration is finished.


Digital Services


FLVC plans to hire an Assistant Director for Digital Platforms and, if possible, an additional Digital Library Services Coordinator. Amanda Yesilbas, an e-resources librarian with Drupal experience, has been reassigned to digital services part time. FALSC also has hired consultants to help with upgrades to the Open Journal Systems software and DAITSS, the software that underlies the Florida Digital Archive.

The FALSC Digital Framework

FALSC is under legislative mandate to create an organization-wide discovery mechanism that will allow users to discover digital collections and archives content across the SUS and FCS. Along with that mandate, we are interested in creating a larger FALSC Digital Framework in which to operate. We’re approaching this effort with a two-phase process:

  1. Assess the current environment.
  2. Develop a vision, framework, and plan.

For Phase 1, we will produce an inventory of current member initiatives, a summary of members’ digital goals and plans, and a report on models in other states and library groups.

After those three deliverables are completed, FALSC plans to engage a consultant, involve members from the Digital Initiatives Standing Committee and other interested groups, and gather more information. A report will be issued in early 2017, and Phase 2 will be mapped out from that point.


A preliminary installation of ArchivesSpace software has been performed. Amanda Yesilbas is working towards a Digital Archivist Certificate to better support this area in the future. She will be working with St. Petersburg College on a pilot project to install our first instance of ArchivesSpace. This initial project will help shape the process for additional installations.


The FLVC institutional repository test site has been made available to members of the Working Group for review of the following new developments: Department Entities displays have been customized; Person (researcher) Entities can now be linked to any content/content model in an Islandora site, and all objects of any file format or type can now display under each Researcher; and linking between content objects and researchers is now configurable to allow links on ORCID or other identifiers. An FL-Islandora test site has been created for Valencia College. FALSC staff members are consulting with the institution about adding content to the site.

Florida OJS

The upgrade to version 2.4.8 has been tentatively rescheduled to occur on the production server on Sunday, Oct. 9. This upgrade will allow statistical reports on journal use, and will introduce functionality to record ORCID information about authors.

FALSC digital services staff met recently with Florida OJ users at the University of Florida to discuss improvements to the interface.


Staff Update

  • Joni Branch joined FLVC as FALSC Communications Coordinator on Aug. 29.
  • FLVC is also in the process of hiring a Library Services Analyst.


Upcoming Events

The next meeting of the Members Council on Library Services will be Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at the University of Central Florida, Orlando. Following that, MCLS meetings will be held in February and June at locations to be determined.

See previous updates.