Sierra/Encore Duet Implementation Update
November / December 2016

With thanks to everyone involved, here’s an overview of recent progress toward the implementation of our next-generation integrated library system (ILS).






ABOUT WIKI ACCESS: Many items here refer readers to wikis. Since there is proprietary information on the wikis, a generic password is required to view content. To get view-only credentials, contact the Help Desk, or (877) 506-2210 (toll free).



Dating from the contract signing in April, this 15-month project is nearing the halfway mark on its road to completion. The Sierra/Encore Duet implementation remains on track for “Go Live” in July 2017. Work is ongoing to migrate records, review data, and test and configure the new software while addressing any issues that arise along the way. Many hours also are pouring into training, with staff from the Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative and ILS Working Groups undergoing in-depth functionality training through mid-December. Training for library staff statewide begins in February. 


Leadership and Collaboration

An implementation of this scope is, of course, the work of many hands. Participants include library and technology professionals from FALSC, the Division of Information Technology of Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC IT), the public colleges and universities, and vendor Innovative Interfaces Inc., maker of the Sierra/Encore Duet software.

Here’s an update on key groups active during this phase of the project:

  • The nine ILS Working Groups, made up of librarians from the universities and colleges and focused on various areas of the new system, meet regularly and post minutes to corresponding Listservs. For brief summaries of their recent work, see “News From the Working Groups” below.
  • The ILS Implementation Team met last on Nov. 14 and meets next on Nov. 21. The Implementation Team is made up of the Working Group chairs, multiple liaisons from FALSC, two project leads, and two representatives from the Members Council on Library Services.
  • The ILS Coordinators representing each of the 40 institutions in the system hold monthly meetings with the implementation project co-leads, Ellen Bishop and Dave Whisenant, and met most recently on Oct. 27. Due to the holidays, the ILS Coordinators plan a combined November/December meeting on Dec. 8. ILS Coordinators are responsible for putting together local implementation teams at their institutions.

Visit the Sierra / Encore Duet Implementation Wiki for details on each group’s activities, including meeting notes, agendas, and documentation.



Implementation and Migration

FALSC and FLVC IT staff and the Working Groups currently are tackling Sierra and Encore system configuration, 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).

By the end of October, our primary Sierra server was up and running with reloaded data and upgraded beta software that includes the expanded fields needed for our installation. Data review and testing are under way on the upgraded server. Data also is being reloaded onto the Sierra training server, and it will be unavailable for data review through Nov. 28.

Innovative Interfaces recently loaded FALSC’s current ERM data as well as data from a couple of universities. Innovative also is in the process of loading acquisitions records, one or two libraries at a time. Course reserves will follow soon.

New files of all record types – bib records, holdings, items, authority records, patrons, cash transactions, checkouts, holds, orders, vendors, fund records, ERM records, course reserves – have been sent to Innovative for a total data reload that will be released in January, meaning that more current data will be available for review then. The data that is available now dates from April.

Aside from Sierra and Encore Duet, our installation is to provide each of the colleges and universities with the opportunity to use Curriculum Builder. Beta testing on the tool will be conducted at four institutions this spring, which will allow us to familiarize ourselves with the product before it becomes widely available.



Encore Duet Setup

EBSCO is finalizing setup of the discovery tool for all of the institutions. Innovative has sent FALSC links to the individual Encore library interfaces. After FALSC and the Working Groups complete an initial review of the Encore suites, institutions will be able to see their own interfaces.



Information Technology

Meetings with Innovative Interfaces regarding authentication continue weekly. 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.




Looking ahead, expect the new year to get off to a fast start, with statewide registration for library staff training taking place in January, and in-person “Spring” training beginning on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

Nearly 150 in-person training sessions have been booked at 30 host sites around the state. Training will continue through mid-June. Each of the 40 ILS Coordinators has been sent their institution’s schedule. See the Training Calendar and Topics spreadsheet on Google for details. Besides the in-person sessions, training will involve eLearning modules, recorded webinars, and documents, some of which will be prerequisites to classroom work, as will be specified in future communications.

The Training Working Group presented a Training Update for all library staff on Nov. 14. This one-hour update included a discussion of our Spring training plans as well as Sierra documentation and proposed webinars. See the PowerPoint and the Collaborate recording on the Training Working Group Wiki Training page.

The Nov. 14 presentation also included an overview of the FAQ document that can be found on the Training Working Group Wiki Document page. The FAQ contains responses to questions submitted via the Training Needs Assessment survey, as well as a Google Form for library staff to submit additional inquiries. The group welcomes your comments and questions

Meanwhile, FALSC staff and the Working Groups began functionality training on the new system in October and continue through mid-December, with FALSC staff receiving instruction on a topic in either Gainesville or Tallahassee one week, then Working Group members covering the same topic via Collaborate the next week. Recordings of the Working Group training sessions will be available on and the Working Group wikis the week after each session. 




There are several paths for staying informed about the ILS project, including this newsletter and:





News from the Working Groups

Below is a brief update from each of the nine Working Groups. For more information, please visit the project wikis. Since there is proprietary information on the wikis, a generic password is required to view content. To get view-only credentials, contact the Help Desk, or (877) 506-2210 (toll free).

Acquisitions & Serials

Chair: Ernestine Holmes, FAMU 

The Working Group meets biweekly. This period was spent primarily addressing procedural issues and what order records will be migrated. We were instructed to hold off on further code creation until the ACQ data is loaded and we’ve been through training. We had training Oct. 25-27. Members continue to review bibliographic data and prepare for code creation for ACQ data.


Cataloging & Authorities

Chair: Annie Glerum, FSU

The group is making a concerted effort to look at issues that might lead to data loss, such as the migration of location codes for resources without item records, the migration of temporary location data, and the migration of linker fields (LKR) to Sierra. The group is also reaching out to other Working Groups such as Circulation/Resource Sharing, Acquisitions/Serials, Joint Use, and Systems to organize joint meetings or invite specific guests to our Working Group meetings to discuss cataloging-related issues as they pertain to each of those groups.


Circulation & Resource Sharing

Chair: LeEtta Schmidt, USF 

The Circulation & Resource Sharing Working Group has completed the recommendation for a global patron database in Sierra. The Working Group is continuing work on status (formerly item process status) labels to suggest common language, and members have begun work on a recommendation for the cleanup of very old lost items.


Discovery Configuration

Chair: Allison Jai-O'Dell, UF

The Discovery Configuration Working Group (DCWG) is exploring the pros and cons of batch-loading e-resource records into Sierra versus into EDS. This work will expand our documentation of the range of discovery options available to libraries in the new ILS/LSP environment. The group is also investigating browsing options. Based on feedback from numerous libraries, the DCWG and Discovery Interface Working Group expressed to Innovative Interfaces interest in having “browse search” features available in the new front-end catalog interface. Meanwhile, FALSC staff discussed options for building out browsing features in Encore Duet. As a result, Athena Hoeppner conducted a survey of use cases for “browse search” and browsing features in Encore Duet.


Discovery Interface

Chair: Alexis Carlson, IRSC

Innovative Interfaces has begun making the Encore suites for each institution available as the integration with EBSCO is finished. The Discovery Interface Working Group is working on the material types that will be used in Encore Duet and has begun looking at customization options and general display, such as of the custom links EBSCO has created for various article results. The Working Group is also looking at added features, such as Research Starters, a curated EBSCO product that is included with Encore Duet. 


E-Resource Management

Chair: Tina Buck, UCF

The ERM Working Group has met once since the last update, due to some FALSC training session overlap and some staff absences. We reviewed the document on accessing the Sierra servers, and we continued to look at some of the variable field setups at other Sierra customer sites. 


Joint Use

Chair: Janice Henderson, NFSC

The Joint Use Working Group is currently looking at Sierra options for managing materials that are owned by the partner institution and circulated by the host institution. The group reviewed Sierra location scopes to ensure materials purchased by a partner are included in the host's scope for maintenance, circulation, and discovery tool purposes. The next big task is looking at patrons and circulation policies for joint-use facilities. Anyone involved with college or university joint-use facilities or with an interest in them needs to join the Joint Use Discussion Group list (ILS-JOINT-USE-DISCUSSION) and visit the Joint Use wiki to review the information for local information accuracy.



Chair: Parker Fruehan, FGCU

The Systems Working Group expects to provide a recommendation on naming conventions (for create lists, user accounts, etc.) this month. The subgroups continue to research and learn more about reporting, access and permissions, printing, batch loading (especially patron loading), and ERP interoperability. The chair, Parker Fruehan, has announced he is taking another job out of state, so the Working Group is looking to replace him as chair as well as replace him as a member.



Chair: Sara Alegria, Miami Dade College 

The Training Working Group has set up a calendar for the in-person Spring training sessions for library staff, and presented a Training Update webinar for all library staff on Nov. 14 (see “Training,” above). The Working Group also has created a draft Training Tracks document that guides staff through the recommended steps for complete training and practice in each functionality. Members led staff statewide through the document and other relevant resources during the Nov. 14 webinar. See the PowerPoint and the recording on the Training Working Group Wiki Training page. Find the Training Tracks draft and an overall Training Plan on the Documents page of the wiki.





ABOUT FALSC: The Florida Academic Library Services Cooperative provides services and information to the libraries of the state's 40 public colleges and universities. FALSC has offices in Tallahassee and Gainesville, and is part of the Florida Virtual Campus (FLVC), which is administered by the University of West Florida's Innovation Institute.