Monday, 14 November 2011

The work goes on

I've not posted anything for a few weeks - more from lack of time than lack of activity!  Things have been fairly busy on a number of fronts, so I thought I'd give you a quick precis of what people have been up to.

Although we don't have a contract with SirsiDynix yet we've been ploughing forward with system configuration stuff whilst paralleling our contract discussions.  Staff from the likely first 9 libraries underwent three intensive workshops in preparation for looking at their system configuration.  These people are now all working on their data translation charts etc.

The Transitional User Group has also been meeting & the outcome of their meeting went out to libraries for consultation. Thanks to those of you who found the time to provide feedback.  Your feedback will be considered by the Group tomorrow.  And at their meeting tomorrow the Group will also consider another range of issues, which will then lead to another consultation paper which will come out later this week.

We've (finally) got approval to create a new position as the library technical specialist to join our project team.  We now need to get permission to advertise the position & the sooner this happens the better!  I know that there are people eagerly awaiting this & I apologise for the delay.  I can tell you that the stress on the team not having this person is considerable.  To this end we have asked Kathy Haese from Onkaparinga to work with us a couple of days a week to provide technical expertise and project support.  This is certainly proving a real boost to progress.

We are also about to advertise for private sector project management support.  We're hopeful of having additional project resources on deck before the year is out.

The User Functionality group met last Thursday to consider what additional features we may want to include in the system through buying additional functionality from 3rd party providers.  They have already looked at the functionality of ChiliFresh & have more work to do looking at other options.  Likewise the Library IT group met today and had a presentation from DirectComms regarding how SMS and email messaging will work in a consortium environment.

In the meantime I have been to WA to meet with some public librarians, people from their local LGA and State Library as they wanted to hear more about our project.  Who knows where that may lead. I have also added a few appointments to my diary in response from councils who would like me to meet with and address either their senior staff team or their Council. I have attended a couple of session & I look forward to attending more in coming weeks.  I am happy to accept invitations from anyone else who would like me to come and talk to their staff or Council.

Lyal and Jo attended the SirsiDynix user conference in Melbourne to gather more information about how the system works and get a better understanding of interacting with the company.  One of the pieces of good news that came from this meeting is that the SirsiDynix user conference will be held in Adelaide in 2012. So there will be ample opportunities for local public library staff to attend and learn more in this forum. 

We've also organised for the system administrator of the SWIFT network to come to Adelaide and spend a day working with us on system set up etc.

We have started more detailed mapping of what the impact of this project will be on the courier system.  We have mapped current usage and are looking at how to have a smooth phase in of increased ILL traffic in the new environment.  This project has two parts: the Macro part of how many boxes and deliveries will be needed, and how much additional resource will be needed to sort the increased volume every night, and the Micro part - what it means for each library if they get more boxes or more deliveries per week.  Mel will be in touch with early adopting libraries in coming months to work this through. 

So, as you can see there is lots on - all focused on ensuring timely, smooth transitions for all involved in the project.  I look forward to seeing quite a few of you at the SCL meeting on Sunday 27 November and many more at the PLSA Quarterly meeting on Monday 28th.


  1. Hi Geoff,

    Thanks for the update and all the work you are doing.

    I know there are many questions about how the consortium will work. From discussions I know some relate to ILL's. For example can the public place their own ILL requests?, Will the loan period still be two weeks? Is there a limit on how many ILLs you can have at time?

    Even though there will be an increase in ILLs I think it will be a great improvement for our customers. Especially those with special needs who currently have a small collection to access.

    Who are the early adopting libraries? Or When we will find out?


  2. Thanks for your questions. I began to write a response, but realised that my reply would be longer than my average blog posts. So rather than answering here, I will use your questions as the basis of a few posts in coming days.

    Perhaps most important to say is that all libraries in the network have an opportunity to have input into the sorts of questions you are asking. The Transitional User Group is meeting fortnightly at the moment to consider matters & then puts out a consultation paper to all library managers. Please talk to your manager if you want to see these papers and provide input to the decisions.